As this disease is very common, and is a very painful one, any useful information on the subject may be of benefit to some of our readers. The following is part of an article on the subject from the "Dollar Newspaper," Philadelphia : " Rheumatism is a disease ot the blood, and in order to effectually remove the disease, the rheumatic poison, (perhaps the urate of soda) must be eliminated from the circulation. The principal depurating organs are the emunctories of the kidneys, the lungs, and the skin. Through the skin and the kidneys aline can the rheumatic poison be removed, and far more through the latter than the former. Every man afflicted with rheumatism should have a long bath tub, in which he can completely immerse his whole body. In such a tub (made of tin perhaps) he should every morning take a warm, weak, ley bath, rubbing the surface briskly with a flesh-brush till it glows finely. This bath should be used for four or five days, and then, ior a few days, a strong salt-water bath (warm) should be substituted. This is the best external treatment known to the profession, and the great trouble is that it is so little known to them. Warm flannel should, of course, be constantly worn by rheumatics. But the great remedy for rheumatism, after all, is diuretics; and among the best of them is the meadow saffron (colchicum autumn- > ale.) The tincture of colchicum seeds is generally used. The brandy tincture is the bes' for decidedly nervous rheumatics: the wine tincture for those of a firm nerve fibre. 0: either of these tinctures, 25 drops three times a day, for an adult, till it operates as a slight laxative (when the dose should be lessened) is about the right quantity. After using the tincture of colchicum for ten or twelve days, the solution of iodide of potassium (of the strength of one ounce to the pint of rain-water,) half a teaspoonful twice a day will speedily complete the cure. An experience of several years in the treatment of all grades of rheumatism has established the correctness of the above treatment. I have never seen a case that would not yield to its powers. Sometimes acids or alkalies (according as the urinary deposit is white or red.) may be used with fine effect. The best acid that can be used in rheumatism is the citric, and the best form is that ol sour lemonade. The "Lynchburg (Va.) Express" says: A gentleman wishes us to publish the follow-lowing for the relief of humanity. He says he has known a number of cures made by it, and all of them in a short time:Half an ounce of pulverized saltpetre, put in half a pint of sweet oil; bathe the parts affected, and a sound cure will speedily be effected. [We would state that the first extract is decidedly orthodox, and the information should be extensively circulated. The wine of colchicum affects a cure upon some persons subject to gout in a very short period. We cannot say anything respecting the practical effects of the latter receipt, but it is so simple that it can easily be tried, and that without risk.
This article was originally published with the title "Rheumatism" in Scientific American 8, 40, 314 (June 1853)