The Deadliest Pandemic Part 2

In 1918 the Spanish influenza was one of the deadliest pandemics this country has ever faced. Yet, it wasn't without hope. Every other method seemed to avail little, but a simple treatment using water was found to be very successful in treating the deadly flu. It was called the Fomentation Treatment. Don't miss part 1 of this series: The Deadliest Pandemic Part 1. Here's the history & how to do the treatment:

His name: Paul Stuyvesant
The year: 1918
The location: Collegedale, Tennessee
The assignment: Impossible... actually, let me tell you the story (as told by his granddaughter):

“My grandfather, Paul Stuyvesant, had graduated from nursing school at the Hinsdale Sanitarium in Hinsdale, IL, near Chicago, the previous year. He moved down to Collegedale, Tennessee to help with building a new school (Southern Junior College) and to help as a school nurse for the male students. The school had moved to a new location and they were having to build all of the buildings on a very limited budget.”

“There were no dormitories built yet, so the young male students were living in tents that had very little heat. This particular fall there were two exceptionally bitter cold storms that came through dumping 18 inches of snow onto the ground, which for that area is very unusual.”

Then it happened…

“The college students started coming down with the flu. As the nurse for the young men, he set to work providing hot water treatments, known as fomentations. He was given a tent and an assistant and the two of them worked tirelessly to care for these sick men. Not one of those students died under his care, even though their living situations were far from ideal. This is especially remarkable considering the very high mortality rate of this pandemic.”

“Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, was also was hit hard with the epidemic. My grandfather and his assistant travelled there and provided treatments to those that were sick. Once again, God blessed the treatments and their efforts. Not one of their patients died. They then returned to Collegedale where the flu had returned. Again they treated the sick with success.”

“During this time, both my grandfather and his assistant became sick with the flu. My grandfather recovered, but his assistant died. For the rest of his long life, my grandfather, regretted that he had not been able to help his assistant to recover.” Written by Cheryl Hosford

So Now What?

The problem then was that too few people knew how to administer the hydrotherapy treatments. Only a few could be saved because there were so few workers. But you can learn the simple treatments now, and be in a position to help those around you, even today. In my experience, the common flu responds well to this treatment.

So it’s time to learn…

This is one of the treatments shown on our Lost Art of Natural Remedies, Hydrotherapy DVD & E-book set:

This next section comes from the Lost Art of Natural Remedies, Hydrotherapy E-book:

Why it works:

The application of heat to the skin draws the blood to the surface, and away from the internal organs. Heat relaxes the muscles and decreases pain and inflammation. Increased blood flow to the area stimulates white blood cell reproduction and action. The sweating caused by the heat increases the body’s ability to eliminate body wastes and toxins in the system. The treatment calms and soothes the nerves.

What they used this treatment for:

  • Chest congestion in colds or flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and pleurisy
  • Heal and improve the function of internal organs
  • Neuralgia (painful nerves)
  • Painful muscles and joints due to back injuries, arthritis
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nervousness (use prolonged, mild heat to the spine)
  • Detoxify liver or kidneys
  • Warm a body part in preparation for another treatment

Not for use with:

Do not apply fomentations if there is bleeding or hemorrhage.

Things to be careful of:

  • Be careful not to burn a patient who:
    • is paralyzed.
    • has edema (swollen tissues due to fluid retention).
    • is diabetic.
    • has neuropathy (loss of sensation).
    • has loss of feeling (numbness) and decreased blood flow to the legs and feet.
  • Body areas where the bone lies close to the skin surface may need extra padding to prevent burning.
  • Avoid chilling—change fomentations quickly; keep the body covered.
  • Be careful not to spread infection. Clean equipment thoroughly.

List of supplies used:

  • Large pot of boiling water, OR canning kettle with canning jar rack on the bottom, OR Microwave
  • Large foot bucket (if a foot bath is included in the treatment)
  • Basin of cold water for cold compress to the head
  • Ice
  • Tea kettle or pitcher of hot water
  • Pitcher for ice water
  • Large piece of plastic (to keep bed dry)
  • Pillow
  • Blankets—1 large or 2 small
  • Sheets—1 large or 2 small
  • Large, dry towels—4
  • 3-4 extra small towels or washcloths
  • 1 small hand towel
  • Washcloths (for cooling compress to the head)—2
  • Fomentations (may use large towels)—4 or 5 depending number of changes
  • Fomentation covers (a piece of thick blanket or a large, dry towel)—3
  • Glass of water and drinking straw
Lisa Meissner

I'm a blessed wife, a proud mother, and a happy homesteader.

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