One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The treatment of illness through the use of water, either internally or through external means such as steam baths (not now a part of orthodox medicine).Compare with hydrotherapy
- ‘It jumped from a small local spa to a national one in the middle of the 19th cent. with the popularity of hydropathy.’
- ‘She was a single mother, and she was exploring all sorts of homeopathy, hydropathy, all those things that people did in those days to try to get well.’
- ‘He turned to hydropathy, a Victorian medical fashion in which a patient is given cold showers, steam baths, and wrappings in wet sheets.’
Mid 19th century: from hydro- ‘of water’, on the pattern of allopathy and homeopathy.
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