This chapter gives good advice on personal hygiene, however Major Moss was incorrect about alcohol causing Bright's Disease. Bright's Disease is an old term for what we now know as nephritis and alcohol does not cause this condition. He was also incorrect when he wrote: "The wastes from the bowels and bladder, especially the bowels, are poison that should always be expelled from the body just as soon as possible.."

Dr Geoffrey Miller




1470. The knowledge of taking care of the body is called Personal Hygiene, the principal rules of which are as follows
Sanitation is the practice of the laws of Hygiene.

1471. RULE 1. Keep the skin clean. A dirty body invites sickness - Small troubles such as chafing, sore feet, saddle boils, sore eyes, felons, whitlows, earache, toothache, carbuncles, fleas, lice and ringworms, are all earned by lack of cleanliness, and they put men on sick report.

Owing to excessive perspiration a daily bath with soap is desirable in summer and in the tropics, the year around. At least a weekly bath should always be taken when possible When not possible to bathe, take a good rub daily with a dry towel.

Keep your feet clean with soap and water and put on dry socks before sleeping at night. Soiled socks should be washed and hung up to dry over night.

Keep your finger nails trimmed short with scissors or knife. Never bite them off. Keep them cleaned and keep your hands washed, especially at meal times.

Underwear must be washed in clean water, hot when possible and when soiled change as soon as possible.

Do not bathe or wash your clothes in dirty water. Bathing in water containing much alkali (hard water) or fine sand or mud will make the skin smart or chafe easily and cause sore eyes.
The hair of the head should be kept well-trimmed.

1472. RULE 2. Keep the body properly protected from the weather. Clothing of the soldier is worn as a protection. Too much causes sweating and exhaustion on the march and too little causes chilling and frost bite.

Be careful to rebutton the clothing in winter time after attending to Nature's calls. Cold fingers may make you careless, but the cold is merciless and may cause a bad frost bite. The first feeling of frost bite is numbness and the first sign is a marble whiteness. Frost attacks first the nose, ears, cheeks, fingers and toes.

Sun glare blindness may be prevented by colored goggles or a handkerchief tied across the face with a small slit for the eyes or by greasing the face and eyelids and rubbing in charcoal around the eyes.

1473. RULE 3. Keep the body properly fed. Your company mess is sufficient for your needs and is wholesome, provided it is well chewed.. Large lumps of food take a longer time to digest than small particles do, and so they tire the stomach and also cause constipation, gas and indigestion with headache.

Do not eat food left behind in strange houses or by the enemy, nor food that smells or looks badly.
If haversack rations are issued to you, do not eat them all at the first meal, but make a division for each meal. Stuffing will make you sick on a hike and later, hunger will drive you to eat things you would not touch at other times.

Before starting on the day's hike drink all the water you can and fill your canteen with water only.

Be sure your canteen does not leak.

After starting, do not drink anything until the end of the hike.

Do not eat ice or snow to quench thirst. It will make you more thirsty. Do not drink large quantities of cold spring water when heated, - it will give you a very bad bellyache.
Do not drink whiskey or beer, especially in the field. It will weaken you and favor heat exhaustion, sunstroke, frost bite and other serious troubles.
Alcohol muddles the mind and clouds thoughts, and so causes a feeling of carelessness and silliness that may ruin some military plan, or give the whole thing away to the enemy and with it the lives of yourself and your comrades.
The soldier who drinks alcohol will be among the first to fall out exhausted.

If you use tobacco, do not chew or smoke while marching. Tobacco is only a dope and increases the work of the heart.

A cup of hot coffee is a good stimulant.

1474. RULE 4. Keep the body supplied with fresh air. The brain, kidneys and other internal organs require oxygen (a part of the air) continually, and if deprived of it for five minutes, the body will die. Therefore, it is easy to see that we must continually get plenty of fresh air into the lungs to supply the blood which carries the oxygen throughout the body. Except in winter time when steam-heated barracks are filled with sleeping men, it is not, as a rule, difficult to get all the fresh air we need. The air in a dormitory should smell sweet and clean, even though warm. Fresh air should be continually admitted in a way that will not throw a draft on any of the sleepers.

It is much better to sleep in a cold room with fresh air than in a hot stuffy one.

Fresh air not only prevents consumption, but it will cure mild cases of consumption without other

1476. RULE 5. Keep the body well exercised without exhaustion. Exercise is absolutely necessary to good health. Lack of exercise of any set of muscles will cause them to grow flabby and weak. Outdoor sports are the best form of exercise, because they use all the body muscles and are in the open clear air. Exhaustion, on the other hand not only weakens the muscles of the body, but it also lessens the vital forces and powers to resist germs

1476. RULE 6. Keep the body rested by sufficient sleep. Give the body enough sleep. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep are enough for the average man and you should always have that much in every twenty-four hours. Remember your comrades need it also, so, if you come in after taps do not make a racket v with slamming doors, heavy tramping, talking or whistling. And in camp be careful not to fall over tent ropes or step on other sleepers. Do not drink coffee at night, - it will keep you awake and rob your body of needed rest.

When on the march take advantage of every halt to rest your body. As soon as the command is given to fall out select, if possible, a dry place on the side of the road to sit or lie on. If carrying the pack, loosen it and rest back on it, in a sitting or lying position. If the march has been a long one, lie flat on your back and raise the feet in the air. This is a quick way to remove the heavy dragged feeling of the feet and legs and to rest the heart, because the blood runs out of the legs into the body.
1477. RULE 7. keep the body free of wastes. Get into the habit of emptying the bowels at a certain hour each day. Immediately after breakfast is a good time. This IS a habit that can be cultivated just like any other habit. Cultivate it. It will do much to keep you in good health.
Always empty the bowels and bladder, especially the bowels, whenever you have the least desire to do so. Do not allow a little personal inconvenience or laziness to prevent you from doing this. The wastes from the bowels and bladder, especially the bowels, are poison that should always be expelled from the body just as soon as possible.

The free drinking of water flushes the bladder and helps to loosen the bowels. A glass of hot water soon after reveille will not only help to loosen the bowels, but it will also benefit the stomach and flush out the bladder. Some people drink a big glass of water either hot or cold, every morning before breakfast.

Proper physical exercise and eating ripe or cooked fruits will also do much to keep the bowels open.

Pressing and rubbing downward with the left hand on the lower left side of the belly will do much to induce a movement of the bowels

Most constipation come from swallowing food in large chunks, drinking large quantities of cold liquids with the meals and eating heavy articles of diet, such as, beans fried pork, hot bread.

Do not get into the habit of using laxatives to keep the bowels open. Their continued use is injurious. Use the natural means suggested above.

The constant moderate use of alcohol injures the kidney and when they become too weak to work and throw off the waste, a deadly disease, called "Bright's Disease," results.

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