Perform a search for “gout cure”, and you will find almost nothing but dietary advice, perhaps coupled with some recommended nutritional supplements and medications. According to the reports of some hydrotherapists, cold water therapy is a seriously under explored treatment modality.
Several cases of gout being improved or cured by cold water therapy are described in the book, “Hydropathy, or the Cold Water Cure” by R.T. Claridge:
- “A king’s councillor had suffered for six years with the gout, which, affected different parts of the body, ended by settling in the feet, which were inflamed, and remarkably red. Foot-baths, in a hot decoction of plants, ordered by the faculty, so increased the pain, that the invalid, reduced to despair, had recourse to cold water; repeated cold foot-baths, after some days, caused the inflammation and redness to disappear. Astonished by the happy effect of cold water, he came to Graefenberg, where he submitted to the treatment” … “at the end of two months he went away radically cured”.
- “A doctor who had had sciatic gout for five years, in the left leg, which was very much swelled, and quite black, went to Graefenberg, where after three months’ treatment, such a number of boils came out, that he was no longer able to walk: after some time, these boils closed, and left the invalid in a perfect state of health.”
- “B____, a captain in the army was here fifteen months ago upon crutches, with gout in his feet and hands. He was perfectly cured in nine months, and staid the last six months to see if there was any probability of a return of the gout. He then left, fully satisfied that it no longer existed in his system.”
- “C____, an officer in the army, came here to see a friend: he also stated, that five years ago he had been perfectly cured of gout in five months.”
- “D_____, aged sixty, had been confined to his bed for the greater part of several years: he came to Graefenberg, staid six months, and now follows the treatment at his own house. Since that period, for two years, he has never been confined to his house for an hour: his hands and feet he finds are resuming their original size and form”.
Sebastion Kneipp and His Gout Cure
Sebastion Kneipp, one of the founders of hydrotherapy, also purportedly cured many gout patients with cold water applications and hay flower infusions. In his book “My Water Cure”, he describes that:
“… excessive and superfluous nourishment of the body produces gout, which is mostly to be traced to over-indulgence in eating and drinking…
People of simple habits, and who are not over-weakened by the complaint, I can easily and readily cure; but I seldom have any such illusion with regard to the more distinguished class of gout patients. They are a heavy burden, and mostly incurable by water, for they will not obey orders, and suffer alike from effeminacy and dread of cold water; were it not so, they would be as easily cured as the others.
A gentlemen of position suffered four weeks from violent foot pains. He was cured the first time by sweating; but a year later the complaint returned and chained him to bed for twelve weeks” … “He sent to consult me, saying he would do anything in order to be freed from this dreadful illness. In a few weeks the chief cure was accomplished.
As water poured upon quicklime inflates and breaks it up, so here, too, the gout tumours disappeared under the various applications. Later the patient continued to employ cold water from time to time, in one or the other form, and as far as I am aware, the former complaint never troubled him again.”