Cold Tub Bath


from Hydrothermic Remedies...

For Production Fever or when temperature is above 40°C. Better to use a Brand Bath


Water 13-21°C. Followed by a Heating Wet Sheet Pack in bed or Cold Mitten Friction


"The cold bath is one of the most powerful means of improving nutrition through its influence upon the sympathetic nervous system. The impression made by a cold bath upon the many millions of sensitive nerve endings in the twenty square feet of the skin surfaces reacts upon the whole body in a most powerful manner. Every nerve center, every living cell in the body receives a thrill and responds with increased activity to such an application." J.H. Kellogg, "Baths" The American Journal of Physical Therapy.


The immersion of the whole body in cool water (21-27°C) or cold water (13-21°C).

Physiologic Effects

  1. When used with normal temperature it's effect is stimulant and tonic.
  2. When used with fever it is antipyretic.


  1. Colds
  2. Flu
  3. Production Fever or when temperature is above 40°C. Better to use a Brand Bath


See Fevers

Often it is tempting to use general cold to reduce fever, these conditions are best treated otherwise:

  1. Do not use when patient is cold or is chilling. Wait until the entire body is warm.
  2. Sweating - indicates the body has beaten the fever, or everything that the body can do is being done. Treat by cold mitten friction or simply wiping off the sweat.
  3. Goose bumps - indicate chills, or toxins causing peripheral vasoconstriction. Use hot mitten friction or cold after heat to the spine.
  4. Cyanosis - indicates cardiac weakness, treat with short hot tub bath, enema or fomentations to the spine followed by Cold Mitten Friction.
  5. Cardiac Weakness - often seen by areolar cyanosis. Use precordial compresses, Hot and Cold Sponge to the spine and general Cold Mitten Friction.
  6. Myocarditis - endocarditis, and pericarditis often occur in continued fevers. Treat as for cardiac weakness
  7. Intestinal Perforation - as with cardiac weakness
  8. Peritonitis - treat with prolonged tepid bath or short hot bath followed by Cold Mitten Friction
  9. Pleurisy and Pneumonia - Cooling Chest Compress with fomentations every 3 hours otherwise as for peritonitis
  10. Tuberculosis - Wet Sheet Pack and Cold Mitten Friction and cooling chest compress.


  1. Tub bath
  2. Hot Foot Bath or Russian Bath if patient is cold
  3. Bed prepared with sheets and blankets
  4. Towels and cold friction mitts


Important Considerations

  • Make sure the person is warmed thoroughly before getting into tub.

Preparation for Treatment

  • Explain procedure
  • Have patient void
  • Hot Foot Bath taken 5-10 minutes and if necessary, apply a cold compress to head. The feet and entire body should be warm.
  • Ensure the bed is ready
  • Fill tub 2/3 full of water 21-27°C.


  • Undress
  • After getting into tub, rub vigorously with mitts
  • At least 30 seconds but leave the duration up to the patient's preferences
  • When finished, while dripping wet, climb into bed between the sheets. Cover quickly with blankets.
  • Remain at least 2 hours or even overnight
  • Upon rising, finish with Cold Mitten Friction

Completion of Treatment


from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...

15, 10-20°C cool 24, 21-27°C

  • Bathe head, neck and chest in water 5°C below that of the bath before entering.
  • Protect head with very cold wet towel.
  • Enter quickly
  • Vigorous rubbing during entire bath
  • Leave as soon as good reaction is obtained

Rarely indicated - the Cold Plunge or other Tonic cold are usually far superior

As an Antipyretic use Graduated Tub Bath


same as for Cold Plunge and also:


from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...

Stimulant and Tonic 13-32°C

  • Skin must be warm and face bathed with cold water before entering
  • Constant or frequent rubbing during the bath