Hostname: page-component-7d8f8d645b-xs5cw Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-05-27T23:32:27.047Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

On Warm and Cold Baths in the Treatment of Insanity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018


The employment of warm and cold bathing in the treatment of the insane is of the highest antiquity. Three thousand years ago, long before Pindar had sung his famous αϱιστον μεν υδωϱ, or that Hippocrates, arid after him Celsus, Aretæus, and Galen, had given their testimony to the value of its application in head affections, and in nervous disorders; Melampus the Pylian, the first “alienist,” and indeed the first physician of whom we have any record, is said to have cured mania and melancholia by the administration of hellebore and the use of the warm bath. It may be mythical, that by the last prescription he restored the health of a princess, and gained a wife; but it is not the less true that his practice, as recorded or alluded to by Homer, Herodotus, and Ovid, was rational and successful; and that the first specialist appears to have well understood the efficacy of purgation, and the beneficial effects of bathing, in the treatment of mental disease.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1858 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)