Well, I guess God knew that my memory needed to be triggered. As we are recovering from several weeks of cold/congestion/flu symptoms -- after having been without sickness for so long -- I am recalling the tricks I had to learn before we changed our diets.
I will say this, our recovery is much easier now that we are eating better (not perfectly) and more fermented foods and treating early and persistently with herbal remedies.
Back to topic. Another tool in our arsenal that we use to battle congestion are hot baths. Now, you might think that this is just a way to open and soothe nasal passages, relax tired muscles and such. You'd be wrong.
It was found that a hot bath would shift urine, become alkaline, back to the acid. With this evidence at hand, the bowl of hot lemonade sipped slowly and the hot foot bath, which mothers have learned from Vermont fold medicine to depend on when a child appears to be coming down with some sickness, began to make medical sense.
From the book Folk Medicine
by D.C. Jarvis, M.D.
Why would you want to shift your urine output to that of a more acid pH?
By the end of the two years it was possible to answer the original question: "Does sickness come when the urine reaction is alkaline or when it is acid?" The answer is that sickness comes when the reaction . . . is alkaline . . .
Whether or not you believe that your urine output should have a more alkaline or acid pH, the fact is that a warm bath can change the nature of your urine output. Your body uses the skin, lungs, colon, and bladder to remove toxins from your system. When you are battling sickness, anything that helps these systems more efficiently remove toxins, is helping you get well quicker. Taking detoxifying baths helps your skin remove toxins, helps you cough up the stuff your sinus cavity and/or lungs are sloughing off and it helps your kidneys operate more efficiently.
For me, I find that a 20 minute hot bath helps this process along. Depending on my symptoms, I will repeat this as often as necessary until the chills subside and I break into a healthy sweat. It can really shorten the time of your illness, IMO.
For a detox bath, I use 2 cups baking soda, 2 cups sea salt and (if I have it on hand) 1/4 to 1/3 cup bentonite clay. If sinuses are congested, I may add peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil (10 to 12 drops) to the bath. If you don't have the essential oils, an over the counter vapor rub works well.