1747 | London


John Wesley throws some cold water on, well, everything.

Asthma: Take a pint of cold water every morning, washing the head in cold water immediately after, and using the cold bath.

Rickets in children: Dip them in cold water every morning.

To prevent apoplexy: Use the cold bath and drink only cold water.

Ague: Go into a cold bath just before the cold.

Cancer in the breast: Use the cold bath. This has cured many. This cured Mrs. Bates, of Leicestershire, of a cancer in her breast, a consumption, a sciatica, and rheumatism, which she had nearly twenty years. N.B. Generally, where cold bathing is necessary to cure any disease, water drinking is so, to prevent a relapse.

Hysteric colic: Mrs. Watts, by using the cold bath two and twenty times in a month, was entirely cured of an hysteric colic, fits, and convulsive motions, continual sweatings and vomitings, wandering pains in her limbs and head, and total loss of appetite.

To prevent the ill effects of cold: The moment a person gets into a house with his hands and feet quite chilled, let him put them into a vessel of water, as cold as can be got, and hold them there until they begin to glow—this they will do in a minute or two. This method likewise effectually prevents chilblains.

Consumption: Cold bathing has cured many deep consumptions.

Convulsions: Use the cold bath.


John Wesley

From Primitive Physick. After he was ordained an Anglican priest in 1728, Wesley hosted small meetings that focused on Bible study and social services. Derisive critics called those in attendance the “Bible moths,” and the “Methodists.” Wesley was an early advocate of hydrotherapy, which became popular in the 1840s at the therapeutic spa of Vincent Priessnitz in Austria.