Water as a medicine
We are told that not one person in a hundred drinks water enough to keep the system in a healthy condition; a sluggish circulation and torpidity of the liver, due to lack of liquids in the blood, will bring disfiguring blemishes, dark, puffy places under the eyes, and make one look haggard and old before their time.
What the external bath does for the cuticle, the internal bath does for the sewerage of the body, and, while massage and electric treatment are good, the main work of beautifying and building up the health must be done by flushing the clogged sewers of the body, relieving the canals of the poisonous waste of dead tissues.
Kidney troubles bring the puffy look, and one of the finest remedies for kidney troubles is copious water-drinking. Sip the water slowly, and do not have it too cold. A pint may be taken on rising in the morning, before breakfast, and even more will not hurt; but no water should be drank for at least two hours after meals, giving the stomach time to digest its contents. A person with a small stomach can not drink as much water at one time as one with a larger one, but as the glands absorb the water, carrying it into the system, more can be taken, and this should be kept up at short intervals until half an hour before the next meal.
On going to bed, the last thing to do is to drink more water. Several quarts a day, and for some disorders, two or more gallons are recommended to be taken.
It is not advisable to drink the water ice cold, and many persons can not take it in quantities unless slightly warmed, while some disorders call for hot water to be drank freely. Many people find it more agreeable to drink it after it has stood several hours, as, there being no thirst to quench, it can be better taken as a food or medicine.
As to raw or boiled water, it has been said that raw water is an aquarium, while boiled water is a cemetery, and the stomach will only have to choose between having the germs served up to it alive, or taking its chances of killing them by the stomach juices after swallowing.
To be effective, water drinking should become a habit, as no noticeable good will be evident from a few drinks, or scattered indulgences. The “drink habit” must become regular and prolonged, if good is to result — which it surely will.
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Publication: The Commoner (Lincoln, Neb.)
Publication date: September 22, 1905
Original title: The Home Department, by Helen Watts McVey