from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...

see also Cold Sponge

Alternate Sponge

  • The two sponges are used in alternation,
  • Ice may be used instead of the cold sponge


Alternate Sponging to the Spine, Tonic in:

Revulsives and Analgesic in:

Alternate Sponge to Joints

55°C 2min, 15°C 20sec for:

Hot Sponge

Vigorous drying is not needed, simply wrap in towel, pat dry


55-60°C very rapid in:

Local Hot Sponging in:

  • Itching - 55-60°C, add 2 teaspoons of soda to each litre in

Reflex Haemostatic

60°C or more wet sponge in...

  • Epistaxis to face and other reflex applications
  • Haemorrhages - use firm pressure
  • Suppuration 82-100°C in saturated sponge 5-10 sec. Don't scald surrounding tissue.
  • recent Sprains before swelling, ie 2 hours, water as hot as the patient can bear, temperature raised as tolerated.

Mustard Sponge:

Powerful skin stimulation see Mustard Bath

Hot Sponging to Spine in:

Tepid and Neutral Sponge

Antipyretic in

Sedative in



from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...


  • large soft sea-sponge
  • soft cotton cloth
  • towelling

Hot sponge:

  • water as hot as can be borne
  • treat in same order as Cold Mitten Friction dipping several times for each part
  • dry thoroughly

Tepid sponge:

Cold sponge:

Saline sponge:

  • Mild Tonic (stimulates vasomotors more than plain water)
  • 120grams of salt dissolved in a bowl of tepid water.
  • Bare hands dipped in salt water and each part lightly rubbed.

Alkaline sponge:

  • Paraesthesia Relief used locally
  • 60grams of bicarbonate soda in a small basin of hot or cool water according to case
  • Apply with bare hand or soft cloth

Vinegar and salt sponge:

  • Mix 125mls of water and 125mls of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • Apply thoroughly to parts that perspire most with bare hand, then dry lightly.

Witchhazel sponge:

Menthol sponge:

  • same effects as Alcohol Sponge
  • Use 30grams of menthol liniment (30mls of menthol crystals in 500mls of alcohol) in 100mls of water.