As in the case of the other elements, which have been already dealt with, man cannot do without sunlight. The sun is the source of light and heat. If there was no sun, there would be neither light nor warmth. Unfortunately we do not make full use of sunlight and consequently we are unable to enjoy perfect health. Sun-bath is as useful as ordinary water-bath though the two cannot replace one another. In cases of debility and slow circulation, exposure of the uncovered body to the morning sun acts as an all-round general tonic and accelerates the metabolism. The morning sun has the largest amount of ultra-violet rays which are a most effective component of the sun's rays. If the patient feels cold, he should lie in the sun covered up and gradually expose more and more of his body as he gets used to it. One can also take the sun-bath pacing up and down in the sun without any clothes on, in a private enclosure or in any other place away from the public gaze. If such place is not within easy reach, one can just cover up the private parts by tying a piece of cloth or a langoti and expose the rest of the body to the sun.
I know of many persons
who have been benefited by sun- baths. It is a well-known treatment for
tuberculosis. Sun-baths or helio-therapy is no longer confined to the
sphere of naturopathy. Orthodox medicine has taken it up from
naturopathy and developed it further. In cold countries, special glass
buildings have been constructed under medical super-vision, so that the
glass lets in the sun's rays and at the same time protects patients
against the cold. Sun-treatment often results in the cure of intractable
ulcers. To produce sweating, I have made the patients lie in the sun at
about 11 a.m., i.e. a little before midday. The experiment has been
successful and the patients are soon bathed in sweat. In these cases the
head should be protected from the sun by means of a cold mud poultice.
Banana or any other leaves can be used to cover up the head and face,
and thus further help in keeping the head cool and well protected. The
head should never be exposed to strong sunlight.