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Source: Papers On Health
Where cold is easily "taken," it is the skin which is
defective in its action. The cure must therefore deal with it. Even
spasmodic asthma can be traced to the failure of the skin to throw off
waste sufficiently. Men exposed to great heats and chills, women and
children whose nervous energy is small, are liable to this skin
failure. Kneipp linen underwear, besides being more absorbent of
perspiration than woollens, has a stimulating effect on the skin owing
to a certain hardness (by no means unpleasant) of the fibre. Wearing it
is an excellent preventive of skin failure (see Underwear). This may
also be treated by careful, kindly rubbing over the whole body with
warm olive oil, the patient being kept warm during the operation. This
rubbing may with advantage come after a sponging with M'Clinton's soap
(see Soap). To face the wintry blast at half-past five in the morning
is for many severely trying. This treatment the night before will give
immense help to those who are so exposed. It is the best preventive
against taking cold known to us.
There is one great difficulty that stands in the way of such a remedy
as we have suggested--that is, the "trouble" which it implies, not so
much to ourselves as to others. Many a useful life is lost lest
"trouble" should be given. It needs to be well understood that this is
a temptation. If we can buy a quantity of some drug from a chemist
according to the prescription of some medical man, and just quietly
swallow it, that "troubles" nobody. So powders to sweat us, and powders
to stop our sweating, are readily "taken," greatly to increase all
tendency to "take cold." Our relatives and others have, as the fruit of
such a system, worlds of serious trouble and loss that might all be
saved if only a very little trouble were given in the more natural and
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