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Lather How To Make

Sources: Papers On Health

One of the most powerful soothing influences

which can be had, is found in the lather of M'Clinton's soap, so often

recommended in these pages. Applied to the skin over a stomach which

has been rejecting all food, and even retching on emptiness, for hours,

it will almost at once stop the irritation. Applied to the head it is

invaluable (see Brain; Head; Hearing, etc.), and in many cases we

have known it perform almost
iracles of soothing effect. But the

lather must be rightly made, and none but this soap used, if good

results are to be got. Lather is first Soap, secondly Water, and

thirdly Air, so wrought together to make a mass like whipped cream,

or only a little more fluid. To get this, dip a good shaving brush in

hot water, rub it on the soap a little, take another slight dip of hot

water, and work the brush in the hollow of the left hand patiently,

until you have a handful of fine creamy foam, sufficiently solid not to

run like water, and yet as soft in its consistency as cream. There is

in the hand just the temperature, consistency, and shape that are

required for working the lather, and no dish can properly replace it.

The lather is to be gathered from the hand with the brush (a soft

badger's-hair one preferred), and laid with it on the skin of the

patient wherever necessary. Then another handful is quickly made, and

so on until the required surface is covered. Or the lather may be

transferred to a hot dish, placed over a bowl of boiling water, till

enough is ready. After the application, a soft handkerchief may be laid

loosely on, and, if the lather is to remain on as a pack, a dry

covering put over this.

In many cases where it is inconvenient to apply the lather direct to

the skin, it may be spread on a warm cloth of soft and clean linen or

cotton, and this laid over the part to be treated before it is cold.

This will also apply where the patient is too weak to sit or lie in the

position required for lathering the skin. A dry cloth must be put on

the top of the soapy one, and all fastened on by proper wrapping. In

cases, however, where the skin has to be lathered in order to soothe

the nervous system or to allay irritation of internal organs, it is

well, if at all possible, to apply the lather direct to the skin, as

described above.

Lather of this soap, made in this way, may be spread on the most

sensitive sores (when ulcers have eaten through both outer and inner

skins) with only a very slight feeling of smarting to the patient, and

with the most healing effect. It is very different with soda soap made

in the usual way. When the skin of the head has got inflamed (as we saw

in the case of a child the other day, where the back of the head was a

matted mass of most distressing sores), it is charming to see the

effect of this lather. We took a number of handfuls of it, and soaked

the matted hair and inflamed skin till the poor child looked up with an

expression of astonished relief.