CONTINUED - KARL ANDERSON PRESENTS NATURAL HYGIENE CLASSICS|
INHS member and long-time hygienist Karl Anderson presents this interesting collection of articles from "Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review" and other publications. Click here to go to the first articles in this series.
VARIOUS ARTICLES BY DR. SHELTON - CONTINUED|
The Value of Good Digestion - 1972
Herbal Medicine Phytotherapy - 1978
Suffering In Cancer - 1978
Finding A "CURE" For Cancer - 1943
Eating and Cancer - 1972
Enervation & Toxemia -1964
Gastric Ulcer - 1961
What Is In A Name? - 1967
What Was Incurability? - 1965
Hygienic Position Verified - 1966
The Tyranny of Hygiene - 1967
Living Your Way to Health - 1978
Biodynamics Vs. Pharmacodynamics- 1964
Healing Versus "Curing" - 1967
The Non-Starch Diet - 1971
Fragmentation Of Man's Food - 1973
There Are No Good Drugs- 1973
Pestilence and Plagues - 1967
Contagion - 1967
Adaptation and Toleration - 1968
Explaining The Apparent Actions of Drugs
The Hot Bath (1971)
The Universal Basic Cause Of Disease (1976)
Click here to go to the first articles in this series.
For other Shelton writings click here.
For various articles by Dr. Gian-Cursio click here.
For articles on fasting click here.
The Value of Good Digestion
Vol. XXXIII February , 1972 No.6
The Value of Good Digestion
Herbert M. Shelton
What shall we eat for health? The old advice to "eat nothing for breakfast and something you don't like for dinner" is a false approach. The wholesome foods of nature are as delicious and delightful to the sense of taste as anything can conceivably be. We can eat things that we like and be healthy. It is true that we can learn to like things that are far from wholesome, and once we have acquired a perversion of the sense of taste, we may no longer relish wholesome foods, but it is not difficult to re-acquire a relish for that which is wholesome.
The subject of food and feeding has been fully studied and the many foods we eat have been thoroughly tested and analyzed and there can no longer be any excuse for any man pleading ignorance of diet. If he is ignorant, this is because he has chosen to be so. The food which a man eats, though very important, is no more so than the efficiency of his digestion; for poor digestion will fail to prepare the best of food for nutrition.
Many factors or conditions impair or retard the process of digestion and thus interfere with the work of preparing what may otherwise be wholesome foods for entrance into the body. Extensive tests have shown that the residues left in bread by baking powders, retard the digestion of proteins. Although most of these tests were made with cream of tartar powders, there does not seem to be any powders that are exempt from this effect. Strong alkalies in food must go far to neutralize the acid of the gastric juice and thus annul the digestive power. The food eaten is then left to ferment instead of digesting. Baking soda, milk of magnesia or other alkali taken following a meal retard the digestion of the meal. The resort to alkalies as "medicines" is a patent abuse of the body. Physicians with their drugs as well as cooks with their concoctions make dyspeptics. Indigestion is frequently caused by taking laxative and cathartic drugs. This eternal swallowing of drugs ruins many constitutions.
The sour stomach, sour eructations, heavy stomachs, gas, distress and discomfort that are so common after the conventional meals do not teach our deluded people that their ways of life and particularly their ways of eating are out of harmony with the laws of being. They think that if they can take a dose of baking soda, or an aspirin and "relieve" their distress, all of the evil consequences of their wrong eating are wiped out and they may go on in continual violation of the laws of life.
These drugs are advertised to give absolution of our daily gastronomic sins and free indulgences for repetitions of this agreeable weakness. This use of alkalies is of modern and comparatively recent origin; in fact the indiscriminate use of them dates back not more than a hundred years.
Would you eat rotten apples? Of course you couldn't. It borders on insult to even imply that you would condescend to take such an unwholesome substance into your mouth. Do you drink hard cider? Do you use cider vinegar? If you take either of these substances you are taking rotten apples. You may properly be classed with a person who eats ripened (rotted) poultry or spoiled cabbage (sauerkraut).
In the production of cider and vinegar we start with a good apple, which is wholesome food. The apple juice begins to undergo decomposition as soon as it is extracted from the apple and soon becomes loaded with decomposition products. The two most abundant of these products are alcohol, which is a protoplasmic poison, and acetic acid, which is more toxic than alcohol. Alcohol precipitates pepsin and thus interrupts and retards protein digestion. Acetic acid chiefly retards starch digestion. Both alcohol and acetic acid occasion irritation of the stomach and thus impair digestion in general.
Experiments have shown that even as small a proportion of vinegar as one part in 5,000 appreciably diminishes the digestion of starch by its inhibiting or destructive effect upon salivary amylase. One part in 1,000 renders starch digestion very slow and twice this quantity arrests it altogether. From these facts it becomes evident that vinegar, pickles, salads on which vinegar has been sprinkled and salad dressings containing vinegar and other foods to which vinegar is added are unwholesome, especially when taken with starchy foods such as cereals, bread, legumes, potatoes and the like.
As I dictated this article, my secretary, who is taking down the dictation in shorthand, asked me if I had ever eaten sauerkraut. She stated that she had tried it once in her life and could not remember how it tasted. She remembers only that it was repulsive. It probably is repulsive to everybody the first time it is tried, but by repeated eating one can acquire a relish for the rotten cabbage and the brine in which it is pickled. Just as one may acquire a liking for sauerkraut or for tobacco, which is even more repugnant to the unperverted taste, so one may acquire a relish for the repulsive taste of vinegar. By frequent repetition we thus succeed in beating down our instinctive warnings against unwholesome substances.
I recall my boyhood experiences in trying to eat cucumbers and beets pickled in vinegar and my efforts to use pepper sauce, which was made by pickling pods in vinegar. I was never quite successful in learning to relish these unwholesome "foods." In those days many housewives made their own vinegar so. that it was free of adulteration and chemical additives, but its taste was nonetheless repugnant. The only way I was ever able to eat it was as the filler in the vinegar pies my mother used to make. In these pies the repulsiveness of the vinegar was camouflaged by an abundance of sugar. The whole concoction was unwholesome and I do not recommend it as an article of diet.
Other acids, even wholesome ones such as those of the lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple and other fruit acids, destroy the salivary amylase and retard or suspend starch digestion. It is unwise to eat acid foods and starches at the same meal. As the hydrochloric acid of the gastric juice, so essential to protein digestion in the stomach, also destroys ptyalin or salivary amylase and thus retards starch digestion, it is not wise to eat protein foods and starch foods at the same meal. Bread, potatoes, cereals, beans, peas, and other starchy foods are best eaten at meals separate from nuts, cheese, eggs or flesh foods.
In the largest sense no food is digestible or indigestible per se, but according to persons, times and circumstances. Overeating is among the chief causes of indigestion. The competition of our public dining rooms tempts us to eat three big meals a day, often two of them at a time.
The rate of action of the digestion enzymes depends not alone upon the pH of the medium in which they act, but also upon the temperature of the medium. They are most efficient at the normal internal temperature of the body. Making the contents of the stomach cold by drinking cold water or other cold drink or by eating ice inevitably reduces the activity of the digestive enzymes. Very hot liquids raise the temperature of the mouth and stomach above the normal temperature and bring about certain equally undesirable changes in the enzymes. Neither hot nor cold drinks or foods should be taken. Ice cream, ice, sherberts, etc., taken at the end of the meal, play havoc with digestion.
The stomach has been termed the "center of sympathies." Certain it is, irritation of the digestive tract can occasion more vertigo, trembling, muscular weaknesses, etc., than irritation of almost any other region of the body. Indigestion is among the most common causes of physical discomfort and emotional stresses. Palliating these discomforts with drugs instead of removing the causes of the indigestion leads to ruinous consequences.
What is the extent of the role played in the evolution of disease by impaired function of the digestive tract? The fouling of the food supply and the deterioration of the tissues of the body that results from poisoning by absorption of septic materials from a digestive tract that is reeking with decomposition, this largely, if not wholly from the small intestines, are factors that we must reckon with in any consideration of etiology, even of the simplest as well as of the most complex diseases.<
Herbert M. Shelton
Herbal Medicine Phytotherapy
Vol. XXXIX August, 1978 No.12
Herbal Medicine Phytotherapy
Herbert M. Shelton
The worst type of blindness is intellectual blindness"There are none so blind as those who can see and won't." Modern man likes to think of himself as "enlightened" despite the fact that his intellectual equipment contains a preponderant admixture of ancient errors and superstitions. The survival in modern times, of the ancient herbal practice is a case in point. Here we have an ancient method of treating the sick that has as its sole claim to superior merit, the fact that it is less lethal in its effects than the virulent poisons employed by the modern physician. The two superstitions are of a piece and it is not to be forgotten that "modern medicine" is a direct outgrowth of the ancient herbal practice. The physician regards his present practice as an improvement on the ancient practice; the herbalist or "natural therapist" looks upon "modern medicine" as a perversion and departure from what he likes to think of as the "natural cure." It is difficult to differentiate between the two superstitions.
Herbalists attempt to rationalize their herbal practices by discussing their use in the light of modern nutritional science. As an example of this, one writer on "natural therapeutics" says that, "as an aid to the natural cure, some positively beneficial herbs and herbal juices may be used. These should be such as are locally available and of such nature as to make up for the known deficiencies of the sickthe various organic minerals and vitamins. These are not strictly medicines; they must be considered as part of the curative diet." If the herbs so used are nonpoisonous, they are true foods; but it will be observed by the student of these practices, that nonpoisonous herbs do not give rise to the alleged physiological actions that they seek to produce. Only poisonous herbs are considered "medicinal."
I frequently find the herbal practice designated a "Nature Cure method." That herbs, all of them, the nonpoisonous as well as the poisonous ones, are natural is true. But they are no more natural than mercury and arsenic. All that is, is natural. The bite of a rattlesnake or the sting of the nettle are both natural. The venom of the cobra is as natural as the opium of the poppy. A stroke of lightning is as natural as the digitalis of foxglove. The eruption of a volcano with its poisonous gases, is as natural as the prussic acid of the bitter almond. The cyclone and tidal wave are as natural as the nicotine of tobacco. That a thing is natural does not mean that it has any normal relationship to the living organism. It does not belong in the human body merely because it is natural. The various molds from which the antibiotics are derived are as natural as any herb that grows. It is objected that the medical man does not use the whole herb, but extracts of the herb, I reply that the herbalist uses teas, infusions, extracted juices, and in other ways, employs, not the whole herb, but extracts of it. But I deny that his use of the whole herb is any more rational than his use of infusions and juices made from the herb.
One could easily get the idea, after listening to the fulsome eulogy lavished upon aloe by certain of the herbalists, that, this plant is some kind of king or queen of the plant world and a real wonder drug among the medicinal herbs. A genus of plants of the lily family, of which there are several species, the dried juices of the leaves of several of these species provides the herbalist and the physician with a laxative. An aloetic is defined as "a medicine containing aloes." Time was, and this was in the not distant past, when aloetic pills were very popular and were prescribed by physicians in a variety of so-called diseases. It is difficult to understand why so much praise is lavished on this "laxative" herb. Any other laxative would do as much mischief, indeed, some of the more poisonous herbs are purgatives and drastics.
Some of the self-styled "natural therapists" never tire of extolling the virtues of the simple "home remedies," by which they mean herbs, that were employed in the past, and which they tell us were "harmless." The so-called "medicinal" herbs were not harmless. Many of them, on the contrary, can be deadly, as deadly as any drug the physicians now use. None of them removed the cause of the patient's trouble; all * of them were directed at the suppression of symptoms; all of them gave rise to evils of their own. The herbal practice was the original drugging practice and only those drugs were used that occasioned marked defensive actions on the part of the body. They were given to produce vomiting, purging, diuresis, diaphoresis and expectoration, to reduce fever, relieve pain, allay coughing, to produce blistering, as sedatives, stimulants, narcotics, etc., etc. They are still employed for the same purposes, despite all the loose talk about their alleged richness in minerals and vitamins. Few of them have ever been analyzed to determine their mineral and vitamin content. That they are possessed of these food factors, as all plants are, is not denied; that they are superior sources of such nutrients has not been proved. Certainly a drug that induces vomiting and one that occasions purging does not yield up any minerals and vitamins to the sick organism.
The sick organism is suffering from poisoning, not from deficiency. Deficiencies do exist, but the so-called deficiency diseases are not numerous. The acutely sick patient is as unable to digest and assimilate medicinal herbs as he is to digest and assimilate the nonpoisonous herbs. The presence of poisons in herbs renders their digestion all but impossible. Imagine trying to digest a salad of fresh green tobacco leaves!
I have taken the following examples of the "medicinal" use of herbs from but one issue of a magazine devoted to what its editor and publisher and its contributors all agree in calling "Nature Cure" and "Natural Therapeutics." Were I to take time to go through several issues of this same journal or to go through several issues of several similar journals and take out the great wealth of similar examples that could easily be collected I could fill a book with them. The few that I have offered here, however, will be enough to reveal to the reader that the herbal practice is not a nutritional program but a drugging practice. Herbs are used to suppress symptoms and not as a means of supplying nutritive deficiencies. The fact is, as every student of the subject is well aware, that the herbal practice antedates our knowledge of nutritional deficiencies by several hundreds of years and grew, not out of any effort to supply the nutritive needs of the body, but out of the assumed necessity of driving evil spirits out of the sick. Under the spell of this ancient etiology, the more of nausea, griping, purging and convulsions a drug occasioned the more effective was it supposed to be in exorcising the malignant imp that had taken up housekeeping in the body of the sick.
Spikenard may serve as our first example of the way in which herbs are used as nutritive substances. This herb is described as a "good stimulant, digestant, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, and a good antispasmodic and nervous tonic in hysteria, chorea, convulsions and epilepsy." In India this herb is said to be good in "leprosy, old fever, internal heat, diarrhea, diseases of the eye, asthma, dyspnoea or difficulty of breathing, rheumatism." Penicillin will have to move over and make room for a new wonder drug. All the "therapeutic" classes into which this drug falls, prove it to be poisonous. Certainly none of these alleged "medicinal" qualities have anything to do with nutrition. Like all herbal "medication," the use of this herb is purely symptomatic. Not only is the use designed to "treat the symptoms as they arise," but its use is on the allopathic principle. As an antispasmodic it is used to suppress spasm, not to remove cause.
After talking of the vitamins and minerals in herbs, they offer us pastes made from herbs that are applied externally. It is a carminative. It is a good rubefacient "linament." If all this has anything to do with nutrition, I fail to understand the relationship. Of another plant we read that "the leaves are astringent, detergent and deodorant. The flower is refrigerant and soporific. The seed is deodorant. The bark is astringent." What have vitamins and minerals to do with all these effects?
Here is another herb of which it is said: "its nutritional value is very little." But it is declared to be a "beneficial stomachic. It aids digestion . It is given even to feverish patients." It is said to be useful in asthma, bronchitis, consumption, fever, dullness of digestive fire, rheumatism, paralysis, etc. It is an expectorant, diuretic, and carminative. Its seed is a drastic purgative." Its alleged therapeutic actions are evidences of its poisonous character.
Here is another herb that is said to be "cathartic, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, lithontriptic." It is useful in "tapeworm, chronic skin disease and hookworm." It is said to kill the tapeworm. Another herb is described as a "good purgative" and causes small thread worms to "come out." Here is another herb that is described as "sedative" in its effect and is advised in cases of irritation in the digestive tract. It is said to form a coating between the lining of the intestines and the food and feces, thus protecting the surface of the stomach and intestine from irritation. Here is another herb that is described as "a mild astringent, refrigerant, diuretic, demulcent and emollient." It is taken internally and applied externally. It is "useful" in a wide variety of diseases, ranging all the way from headache (in this complaint it is applied to the forehead so that the minerals and vitamins may be absorbed through the cranium, I suppose), biliousness, dysentery, scalds, burns and skin diseases, to "syphilis." Certainly this herb should be kept in every "medicine" cabinet in the land. It is almost as "good" as penicillin.
A self-styled "natural therapist" who uses and advocates a great medley of herbs, many of them highly poisonous, so far forgets the basic tenets of his herbal practice as to parrot (repeat without understanding) the Hygienic principle that people are sick because of their errors in living and that they can escape from their ills only by correcting their ways of life. He goes so far as to repeat the Hygienic teaching that responsibility for disease rests squarely upon the shoulders of the sick and suffering and that responsibility for recovery rests upon the same shoulders. After he has repeated these Hygienic teachings, he offers his readers a great array of herbal "remedies." Can he give herbs to stop sexual excesses and abuses; will herbs correct gluttony; will they cause the patient to control his emotional life or to secure more sleep; will they render white bread adequate or make unclean living safe? What have herbs to do with right and wrong living? He speaks of the necessity for making "amends for past transgressions." Perhaps the herbal "remedies" will make amends.
Too many of the "natural therapists" are trying the impossible task of riding two horses at once, the horses going in opposite directions. The mental gymnastics and logical somersaults that they perform in trying to reconcile their two opposite courses of action fill all rings of a five ring circus. But their antics are neither amusing nor entertaining. To be intelligent and informed, these things are saddening. Here we have a large group of men, represented in almost all parts of the world, who have hibernated in antiquity and who seem unable to free themselves from fallacies that were born in the fecund brain of the ancient shaman. Physically, they live in the second half of the twentieth century; intellectually they are with the cave man.
Herbert M. Shelton
Suffering In Cancer
Vol. XXXIX February, 1978 No.6
Suffering In Cancer
Herbert M. Shelton
Cancer sufferers are said to die fiendish deaths. Their suffering is persistent and almost unbearable. This intense suffering lasts for days or weeks, or until death puts a merciful end to the horror. This tragical ending results from the usual treatment, which is about as follows: the surgeon amputates, excises or extirpates a cancer and gives X-ray treatments to prevent a return. Such treatment renders the patient exquisitely sensitive, requiring (according to "medical science") mild anodynes, which are all too soon supplanted by the king "painkiller," opium or morphinea habit-forming drug which in a short time produces more pain than it relieves. Drugs are the chief cause of these fiendish deaths.
The two chief causes of intolerable suffering in cancer are:
1. anodynes (drugs to "relieve" pain), and
2. eating any food at all when uncomfortable.
As both of these procedures are regular parts of standard medical practice, it is not amiss to say that most of the suffering of cancer patients is caused by their physicians. When, through feeding and drugging, pain is established and intensified, a drug habit is established. From this point on pain is dictator. Day and night, patient, physician, nurse, family and friends must dance attendance on this tyrant. Unless feeding and drugging are discontinued, the pains must persist and grow in intensity until the cancer patient pleads for death as a "relief" from his intolerable suffering.
The most terrible pains are induced by drugs to "relieve" suffering. These are continued until a drug habit is formed after which, the amount required to relieve must be continuously increased until the most "potent" anodyne will no longer afford respite from suffering. When this point is reached, the poor sufferer clamors for a gun or for sufficient drug to kill. What a dreadful penalty to have to pay at the end of lifea penalty that is made necessary by feeding and drugging, after physicians and surgeons have cut, slashed, X-rayed, and radium-ized to their hearts' content.
If there were no physicians with their dreadful disease-breeding influence on the people and their deadly disease-producing drugs and prophylactic measures, good health and long life would be as common as disease and early death are today. When the patient realizes that his or her case is hopeless, when hope is gone, there is no longer any courage to fight. The desire for "relief" increases day by day and the patient will use all of his or her persuasive powers to get enough drug to end it all. All who have cancer must die of that disease plus scientific treatment.
There is but one logical and successful way to stop pain and this is to cease feeding and drugging. No food until comfortable, then fruit juices for a few days, then raw fruits and vegetables, with due attention to bathing and exercise. If there is pain, another fast until comfortable with warm water to control the pain, drinking hot water ad libitum. This done, in a reasonable time, the patient will be comfortable. This assures keenness enough of mind to enjoy friends to the end. If the end is near, the patient can remain rational to the last minute of life; if the end is some weeks or months away, light eating of fruits and vegetables will maintain comfort during this period. How truly did Tilden speak when he wrote: "The end of a cancer patient under food and drug poisoning is like the wailing of lost souls as depicted by writers of an earlier age when describing the tragedy of perdition."
Few such patients are willing to eat sparingly enough to live comfortablyfriends and relatives usually take the position that "she has but a few days to live anyway, she may as well enjoy herself while she can." What they overlook is the fact that she does not enjoy herself, but greatly intensifies her misery. Most people prefer to go to their death drunk on food, alcohol, or drugs. I saw one woman deliberately prepare and "enjoy" a meal she wanted and, then, take enough pain-"relieving" drug to kill herself, rather than persist with the dietary restrictions that were enabling her to live in comfort. I saw a man deliberately cast aside the dietary restrictions that had kept him free of pain for an extended period, return to eating habits that he had been warned would result in suffering, and, then, when he suffered, refused another short fast and a return to dietary restrictions, but demanded an operation he had been warned would kill him. He died on the operating table.
I saw another man in his middle thirties with two inoperable cancers, who had grown stronger, was free of pain for an extended period, and had discarded drugs, eat a forbidden meal (a meal of dove) which was followed in two hours by intense pain. He took another three day fast and became comfortable. By adhering to the prescribed dietary restrictions he was free of pain for another month. Then he repeated his former offense which brought immediate suffering. He refused another fast, refused another period of dietary restrictions, returned to his use of anodynes and was soon numbered among those who had been but are no more.
These three patients chose death rather than life without their favorite indulgences. The first of them wanted pie and coffee, the second wanted salt and bread, the third wanted flesh foods. None of them wanted to live without these things, which they valued higher than life itself. Old Mother Nature has a way of accommodating those who choose death.
Our people do not know the meaning of self-restraint. They are unable to interpret the language of their senses. They have been taught to "go the limit" and, then, when they suffer, to palliate their suffering with drugs. Thus they become slaves to habits that destroy them. They lose all desire to break their fetters and be free again. The unbearable suffering that grows out of their incorrigibility and drugging ends only at death.
The ancient admonition: "Choose life that ye may live," is as unintelligible to men and women of today as it was to those to whom it was given. Today we choose suffering and premature death.
Herbert M. Shelton
Finding A "CURE" For Cancer
Vol. IV August, 1943 No.12
Finding A "CURE" For Cancer
Herbert M. Shelton
A recent issue of Science Digest, a popular magazine that digests little science, carries a short article headed; "Predicts Cure for Cancer."
There is nothing new or unusual in predicting cures for cancer. Some publicity seeker makes such a prediction almost every day. However, the predictions all have one thing in common namely: they all fail of materialization. That this one will fail to materialize may be seen from the opening sentence of the article in Science (?) Digest. It says:
The cure of cancer will be achieved before the cause is discovered, Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads, director of Memorial Hospital, New York, predicts in the hospital's biennium report.
Why do newspapers, magazines, writers, authors, lecturers, etc, continue to call such men, doctors. Call them physicians: call them voodoo priests; call them Shamans; call them Magi; call them any of the traditional names for wonder workers, but, for Heaven's sake, cease calling them teachers or learned men.
Medicine (as that ancient system of humbug, delusion and spectacular palliation that dopes, drugs, cuts, electrocutes, blisters and inoculates the well and the sick, is falsely called) has never been anything but a mass of voodoo tricks. It has always claimed to be able to cure disease. It has never bothered with causes.
Why? Because, from its origin, it has believed it could control the forces of nature by the use of brews, concoctions, incantations, rites, ceremonials, etc. At first, it sought to control the spirits (good and evil ones) that control nature. It has abandoned its belief in spirits, but it clings with a dogged tenacity to the practices that grew up around the belief.
The devotees of the little tin god, Aesculapius, have never believed in law and order. If they ever catch a glimpse of law and order their whole medical house will come tumbling down around their ears.
Because they have never had any conception of law and order, they have always believed that they could cure disease without giving any attention to its causes. They do not have to know cause; they do not have to regard cause; they do not have to correct or remove cause. They only need to discover a cure that will cure in spite of Cause.
They have been discovering cures for ages and none of their cures have remained cures long. As soon as they announced the discovery of a cure for a certain disease, they set about to find another cure for the same disease. For they know from experience that their cures do not cure.
I read Man the Unknown, by Carrel, while in jail where the predatory forces of organized medicine and their ally, the State, had put me for "practicing medicine without a license." I was convicted on the perjured testimony of two lying stool pigeons. But I do not want to tell that story here. It, together with the story of the other rounds of my fight with State Medicine, will soon be published in a little book to be entitled: My Thirty Days in Jail.
What I want to discuss here is the impression the book left with me. I got the impression that if I stuck a tack in my foot and the foot became sore, so that I could not walk, and I went to Carrel with it, he would shake his head and say: "We do not know what to do about this at this time. Perhaps in a hundred years, if we can continue our researches, we will have found a serum or other means of protecting man against tacks. In the meantime, I will cut off your foot." But he would not suggest so simple and unscientific a procedure as removing the tack.
Removing cause is the last thing the medical mind ever thinks of. They think always of cures. They search always for cures. They make their money out of the "discovery,", manufacture, distribution, sale and administration of cures. One of the largest industries in the world, one that pays rich dividends to a vast world-wide army of men and women, is built around this delusion that diseases can be cured.
They have been curing cancer for a long time now without removing its cause. Their cures don't stay cured and this irks their voodoo-infected souls. They cure cancer with the knife, X-rays, radium rays, cyclotrons and other things. Not so long ago (or was it ages ago) they were curing cancer with frozen sleep.
All of these cures are methods of destroying the cancerous growth. All of them also help to destroy the patient. But, since destroying the growth does not remove its cause, recurrence is invariable. Hence the need to search for new cures.
At the Memorial Hospital where physician Rhoads wastes his time, "search for a chemical cure for cancer is being carried on." Rhoads emphasizes that no chemical cure has been found yet, but a method has been devised for testing in the test tube the poisoning effects on the cancer cells of various chemical compounds. "So far, some 70 different compounds have been tested." Rhoads reports:
A type of chemical has been found which in the test tube appears to interfere with the health of one type of cancer cell of man, that found in cancer of the breast, and in the same concentration not to interfere with the well-being of any normal organ tissue so far tested. The chemicals which have this preferential anti-cancer effect are characterized by a common structure.
The results may have a far reaching significance. They prove apparently that there is a real difference between cancer cells and normal cells in their sensitivity to certain types of chemicals. The cancer is more sensitive and can be killed by compounds which do not kill the normal tissues. This observation alone is sufficient justification for the intensive continuation of the experiments.
Of course! of course! The experiments must be continued. But how are experiments to be continued unless some money-bag (a miscalled philanthropist) supplies a few hundred thousand dollars out of his pile of loot, with which to carry on these justified experiments? This is the reason for rushing into print with a Report when there is nothing to report. Rhoads and the hospital want an endowment with which to intensively prosecute the continuation of the experiments.
Science Digest says "Dr. Rhoads is not yet ready to disclose the name of the type of chemical found to have this preferential anti-cancer effect because the studies have not yet gone far enough to justify considering it as a cancer cure." The true facts are (1) that the "studies" have not yet gone far enough to justify saying anything about them at all, and (2) that it will make no difference to anybody but Rhoads if he never names the type of chemicals "that have this preferential anti-cancer effect."
The preferential action of drugs is a medical delusion. They are simply poisonous and they poison all cells alike. If some cells are more resistant to them than others, the preferential action is in the living cells not in the lifeless drugs. Cancer cells, being diseased cells, are weaker than normal cells. They doubtless offer less resistance to the drugs.
It is easily possible to destroy cancer cells with drugs. Indeed it has been done thousands of times. But whether the cancer cells are destroyed with the knife, X-rays, radium rays or with drugs makes no difference neither method of destroying the morbid tissue removes the cause of the morbidity.
If after more "intensive experiments," Rhoads announces the discovery of another cure (the millionth cure for cancer), it will go to the same limbo to which all other cures have gone. If his cure does not remove cause, it cannot cure.
Cancer is an end point in a pathological evolution that had its beginning years prior to the appearance of cancer. Mussolini is reported to have cancer of the stomach. We are told the "disease attacked him four years ago." The idea that "disease" is an attacking force is a hang-over from the days of evil spirits. Cancer does not attack. Cancer evolves. Cancer cells and cancer tissues are modifications of the patient's own cells and tissues. They are not foreign entities that pounce upon their unwary victims from out of the dark.
More than fifteen years ago Mussolini had gastric ulcer. Ulcer of the stomach frequently becomes cancer. The stages of its evolution are enervation, indigestion, irritation, inflammation, induration, ulceration, fungation. Mussolini had chronic gastritis for years before it resulted in hardening (induration). The hardening probably persisted for considerable time before it cut off circulation sufficiently to result in the breakdown of the hardened tissues resulting in ulceration. It has taken a number of years more for the condition to evolve into cancer.
Searching for a cancer-causing chemical at this stage in the pathological evolution in the "sawdust Caesar," and ignoring all the antecedent stages of the evolution and the causes of the first and subsequent stages, is approved medical practice but it is not at all scientific.
Medical pathologists recognize pre-cancer, early cancer and cancer, but they fail to consider the pathological sequences that precede pre-cancer. They close their eyes to the causes of local irritative conditions that finally evolve into cancer. To them, cancer is a specific disease (a special creation) and they must find a specific cause. So long as they persist in holding this view of the matter, just so long must chaos reign supreme in medical "reasoning" about cancer.
Despite his optimism about finding a cure for cancer, before its cause is found, we are informed in the same article that "investigations into the cause of cancer" are being made in the same hospital. "Delving into the cause of cancer," says Science Digest, Memorial Chemists, with the help (financial help, no doubt) of Harvard University, are engaged on the gigantic task of searching for cancer-causing chemicals in the kidney excretions of the patient."
There is a certain respect in which the medical crowd resemble Hollywood they never do anything unless it is gigantic, colossal, stupendous.
True to the time honored medical practice, they are sifting the ashes to discover the cause of the fire. Abnormal constituents of the urine are effects, results, end-products, not causes. Whatever abnormal constituent they may ultimately discover in the urine will be the result of antecedent causes and they will be no nearer the discovery of the true cause of cancer than they were before they started digging in the ash-heap.
If they ever find such "cancer-causing chemicals," they won't know what causes the production of the chemicals. Without knowing the cause of the chemical causes, they won't be able to do anything more than treat the body as a test tube.
The Digest says: "Scientists (they mean physicians) believe that a defect in body chemistry may result in cancer-chemicals being formed from the natural ones." This is equivalent to saying that they believe that cancer grows out of a perverted metabolism. Then why not search for the cause of the metabolic perversion. Such a search would not be scientific and could not lead to the production of a new serum or drug, but it might lead them into a sane view of the diseases of the body and a new conception of etiology.
The Digest article also says: "attempts to find a cure for cancer by starvation of the cancer cell are being made. Preliminary steps, now under way, consist in studies of the diet requirements of cancer and normal cells."
I fear it is to much to hope from this that the medicos are considering adopting the use of the fast in their care of cancer sufferers. If so, let me tell them, in advance that, while the fast "starves" the cancer cells, its greatest influence is in ridding of the body of toxins and nutritive excesses and in normalizing metabolism. It is effective in early cancer only. Late cancer will continue to be fatal.
Science News Letter for September 26, 1942 tells us of an "improved" cancer therapy. The new method is still in the "experimental stage," "only a small number of selected patients have been treated by Boston doctors," but "results so far have been encouraging."
Day after day we read these much used cliches, "A new and improved treatment." It is "still in the experimental stage." "Only a few selected patients have been treated." "So far results have been encouraging." Then we get prophesies of what the "new treatment" holds one for the future, despite the fact that they "do not want to raise false hopes." It is not just cancer "cures" that are loudly trumpeted to an expectant world by these stereotyped word-formulas. All new treatments come swathed in these same swaddling clothes.
What is this "new treatment" for cancer? It is not a new treatment at all. It is merely a stronger dose of an old failure one that has been tried in hundreds of thousands of cases during many years on a world wide scale, and has never fulfilled any of its "encouraging" promises. It is X-ray treatment.
A new and more powerful machine has been devised which allows them to use "X-rays of 3,000,000 volt energy for treatment of malignancy. The "experimental treatment of cancer" with such powerful doses of X-rays was described to the members of the American Roentgen Ray Society Meeting in Chicago, by Dr. Richard Dresser.
Dr. Dresser explained that the high intensity of the ray created by the new machine permits a depth dose much greater than has been obtained even with great amounts of radium. He explained, to quote Science News Letter, that "the penetrating effect of these rays of extremely short wave length is such that the maximum therapeutic (treatment) effect occurs not on the patient's skin, but some distances below in the subcutaneous tissue." "Thus the new machine may make possible larger doses of radiation directed at deep-seated malignancies (cancers) with proportionately less effect upon the skin and adjacent normal tissue."
The deeper these rays penetrate and the more powerful they are, the more extensive and deeper must be the burns they produce. No doubt they will burn the cancerous tissue, while they also burn the normal tissue. X-ray burns often produce cancer in normal tissues, but they have never been known to cure cancer. The more powerful the rays and the deeper they penetrate, the more likely they are to produce (not cure) cancer.
Destroying a growth, in whole or in part, does not remove the cause of the growth and cancers are not their own cause. After destroying millions of growths with caustic drugs, red-hot pokers, knives, X-rays, radium rays and by other methods, the medical profession should have learned that the cause does not lie within the growth and is not destroyed with the growth.
It is necessary that we repeat that: if the more powerful and improved X-ray does not remove cause it cannot cure. Cancer sufferers who submit to experimental treatment with this new machine are destined to disappointment.
"Research" is a profitable racket and cancer "research" is especially profitable. An item in the New York Times (Dec. 29, 1942) headed "Secret of Cancer on Eve of Discovery", tells us of cancer "research" being conducted in England and adds, "Similar research work is being carried on incessantly in all the civilized countries of the world". The fact is that everywhere men, organizations or the state can be induced to supply the money with which to keep them supplied with cars and golf clubs, these research cooties are engaged in "intensive research".
The item in the Times was inspired by a remark made by Lord Horder, "the famous physician, in connection with the British Empire cancer campaign". He said: "We are now so close to the secret of cancer that we shall be able to hand the cure to our children". The great Lord did not explain to the little boys of the press just what he meant by this repetition of a statement that has been made over and over by many lesser lords during the past thirty years, so the reporters hurried to a member of the campaign committee (perhaps this member is its duly appointed and well-paid publicity director), who told the London reporters:
"Lord Horder's hopes are based on the results up to date of ceaseless work by more than 100 scientists at our twenty research centers throughout the country.
"A different line of experiment is being conducted at each center, and at regular intervals the scientists all meet together and pool whatever new knowledge they have gained.
"Certain lines of experiment are often assisted by discoveries made along others, and recently this has been happening more often.
"Although it is impossible to say exactly when anybody will hit on the great secret of a cure, there can be no doubt that we are getting nearer to it at a very fast rate.
"Lord Horder is aware of all that is going on, and he speaks from that knowledge."
It is really unfortunate that these crystal gazers cannot tell just what day some "researcher" is going to stumble upon the long-sought "cure" for cancer. It is some satisfaction to know, however, that in the minds of these wise men, there is "no doubt" that they are getting "warm" in their search for the holy grail. Perhaps they only need another hundred million pounds to enable them to find the "secret" that is so near and yet so far.
"Research", other than that previously mentioned is also going on in our country in fact, it will continue to go on so long as the money holds out. In his "Science News In Review" (N. Y. Times, Dec. 27, 1942) Waldeman Kaempffert tells us that during 1942 "promising new ways of controlling cancer were tested". He lists as the "promising new way of controlling cancer" that probably "attracted most medical attention", that of administering large daily doses of dry egg-white.
This voodoo method is based on the assumption that growth, whether normal or abnormal, depends upon the vitamin, biotin, and that avidin, "the active principle of egg-white, neutralizes biotin". The next leg on which this practice stands is the assumption that "an excess of biotin causes cells to proliferate". This being so "it should be theoretically possible to check a tumor and even to cause it to disappear by giving a cancer patient large doses of avidin or dried raw egg-white".
Kaempffert does not explain just why the egg-white has to be dried to be effective, nor why cancer is so common among those who eat large numbers of eggs each year, but I think we may take it for granted that the voodoo boys have "scientific" reasons for the use of dried raw egg-white.
It seems that Drs. Ira I. Kaplan and Milton Zurrow of Bellevue Hospital, New York, have made "the only clinical experiments of importance" with the raw egg-white. They report that "the evidence is sufficient to warrant belief that raw-egg white, and possibly pure avidin, is of substantive value in the control of cancer."
"The evidence is sufficient to warrant" to warrant somebody in supplying us with more funds with which to play golf. This statement has been used so often and so long, it is becoming worn. Can't they coin another one? Research always seems to stimulate the search for more funds for research. Researchers must not research themselves out of a job.
This particular branch of the cancer research racket is becoming more and more complicated. After being told that "further research will be facilitated by Dr. Vincent de Vigneaud's success in determining the structure of biotin" we learn that:
Drs. Dean Burk and Charles Kensler found that not only avidin but riboflavin (one of the B vitamins), liver extract and yeast extract and casein were anti-cancerous. Moreover, they concluded that not only biotin but inositol (a B vitamin) plays its part in the growth of tumors. But when liver extract is given with casein and riboflavin to rats, cancers nevertheless develop. It follows that the cancer problem cannot be solved by juggling biotin and avidin alone.
The cancer problem, which is a problem only to the willfully blind, can never be solved by juggling anything. Juggling in the "research" laboratories and in the clinics (where patients are used as guinea pigs) is done for the same purpose as on the stage to entertain the paying patrons and get them to open their purse strings.
Time for April 30, 1943, briefly recounts a story from an article by Robert H. Williams, M. D., which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, of an Italian who had been consuming two dozen to six dozen raw eggs a week and who had been eating raw eggs since he was in his teens.. He had cancer which had developed despite the hypothetical inhibiting effect of the large amounts of avidin he was consuming. The fantastic patient's condition ran contrary to this theory", says Time. It does not run contrary to the theory that cancer is the result of protein poisoning, a theory the blind editors of Time re-ruse to devote space to.
In the hospital, where the above patient had been temporarily taken off his diet of eggs and wine, when they placed him back on his huge raw egg consumption, "his cancer progressed." He had other troubles and a "possible explanation" of the progress of cancer in spite of large doses of avidin is that "perhaps the bacteria of the urinary tract infection were making biotin, sending enough into his blood to cancel stupendous quantities of avidin and feed the cancer besides."
Every guess of "science" requires the support of another guess. It has not been proved that excesses of biotin produce cancer. It was not determined that the bacteria in this patient's urinary tract were manufacturing large quantities of biotin. It is not certain that the biotin got into his bloodstream it would not be likely to do so in such location. It is all guess, but Time's writer did not question the correctness of this new guess at the cause of cancer.
For several years now, medical men have been warning us of the dangers of sunshine. The sun's rays they warn, cause skin cancer. We have seen no real evidence of the truth of this claim and have not noted any increase in skin cancer with the growth in popularity of sunbathing.
Recently Frank L. Apperly of the Medical College of Virginia, presented a new theory of the cause of cancer of the stomach to the meeting of the Southern Medical Association in Richmond.
He suggested that stomach cancer and perhaps other cancer is a deficiency disease. Lack of sunlight and, therefore, possibly deficiency of the so-called sunshine vitamin D were suggested as the deficiency which results in cancer of the stomach.
Dr. Apperly showed statistically that cancer mortality in this country and Canada grows less as the amount of sunlight across the continent increases and as more people are exposed to sunshine in outdoor occupations. The doctor also referred to some studies which show that patients with stomach cancer have in general some deficiency of vitamin A.
The effort to trace cancer to deficiency is no new thing. For years, now, there have been men who are determined to trace every so-called disease with which man suffers to some deficiency or other, just as there are others who are determined to trace all of man's ills to glandular malfunctioning.
All of these guessers, theorizers, "researchers" and peddlers of peurile piffle are determined not to see the most obvious facts of pathological evolution. They will not recognize that cancer is an end-point in a pathological process that has gone on for years and which has had many causes. They refuse to see it as merely the last link in a chain of causes and effects that reaches back to the very childhood of the patient. Perhaps there is not a more wilfully blind group anywhere in the world.
The experimental method is extolled as the scientific method. "Don't think; try" is the advice given by Sir John Hunter. Cancer researchers follow this advice to the letter. They don't think. They do try. They try everything that they can get their fingers on perhaps on the theory that if they only experiment long enough and with a sufficiently large number of kinds of agents and substances a cure for cancer will sometime, somehow, somewhere turn up.
The following item was published in one of the Austin Texas dailies on June 4 of this year:
CANCER GROWTH IN MICE CHECKED BY NEW YORKERS - VITAMIN INOSITOL SAID TO STOP DEVELOPMENT WITHIN 48 HOURS TIME
NEW YORK, June 3.(INS)A new scientific discovery which may aid in medical science's efforts to prevent and treat cancer in man was reported Thursday night in the June 4 issue of "Science." The discovery, which is that the vitamin inositol a member of vitamin B complex"inhibits" (stops) the growth of one kind of cancer in mice, has been made by Drs. Daniel Laszlo and Cecile Leuchtenberger, under their chief, Dr. Richard Lewisohn, at the cancer research laboratories of New York's Mount Sinai hospital. Drs. Lewisohn, Laszlo and Leuchtenberger were led to the present discovery through their previous research which has shown that certain yeast preparations, rice and barley and soy beans contain some substance or substances which check the growth of cancer in mice.
What has now been found is this: By injection into the veins of a solution in salt water of the pure, crystalline vitamin inositol the growth of "Sarcoma 180," a very fast growing and fatal mice cancer, is checked within 48 hours. Hence science has a new "yardstick" for measuring the cancer-checking power of other substances, including those found in cereal grains, liver and so on.
The New York scientists make no mention whatever of the application of their discovery to the treatment of cancer in man. No one yet knows whether or not other types of cancer than the one used in the experiments can be cleared up, even in mice.
SUBSTANCE IN YEAST
Nevertheless it is very significant that inositol is found in yeast, certain extracts from which were found to check cancer in mice. Also, two other substances which act like inositol check cancer growth in mice. One of these substances, "sodium phytate" is derived from rice, barley and other seeds and plant materials. 'The other substance, "dipositol," is present in animal brain tissues, and probably other body tissues.
Normally inositol and the other like substances help in the growth of the body tissues of mice. The fact that they check the growth of cancer cells, while they are needed for normal body tissue growth, is of great interest to these investigators.
Hundreds of substances have been reported to "check the growth of cancer in rats." None of them have ever been successful in "checking the growth of cancer" in man. Do I need to say that if a substance is found that will "check the growth of cancer" it will not remove the cause of cancer. It will not restore the patient to health.
All of the efforts to "check the growth of cancer" with members of the vitamin B complex, extracts of various foods, etc., are efforts to cure disease without removing its cause. Only simpletons and lack-wits will expect these efforts to succeed.
I think the "great interest" that these "investigators"these boys who don't think, but try have in the alleged fact that inositol, while needed for normal body tissue growth, check the growth of cancer cells, is not just "interest," but compound interest and I'll wager that it is greater than 6 per cent compounded semi-annually.
Herbert M. Shelton
Eating and Cancer
Vol. XXXIII May, 1972 No.9
Eating and Cancer
Herbert M. Shelton
Lawrence Lamb, M.D., authors a syndicated isn't too surprising, medical newspaper column that appears in many newspapers over the land. How many physicians he has associated with him in the production of this column, I shall not try to guess. I shall, however, assume that there is a sufficient number of physicians at his side to give his article the stamp of medical authority. In his column dated February 6, 1972, Lamb quotes the following words contained in a letter from one of his readers: "Dear Dr. Lamb What precautions do doctors take with their families? We never hear of any of them having cancer."
To this query Lamb makes the following significant reply: "Dear ReaderUnfortunately, doctors and doctors' families have just about as many cancers as other people. I suspect that you are just not acquainted with that many physicians and their families. There are really no secrets about preventing cancer. Almost anything that a doctor and his family might do, you can do as well. One thing is regular checkups and I might add that doctors aren't always too good about this in reference to their own families. Many a doctor's wife has complained that she needed to make an appointment at the office to find out what her own medical status was.
Incidentally, doctors as a group are not the most healthy segment of our population. This A good many of them, like other middle class Americans, eat entirely too much of the wrong foods. Their profession, as such, does not permit them to enjoy a lot of physical activity."
Aside from tacitly admitting that physicians do not know how to maintain health in themselves and their families and suffer more disease than many other groups in our country, Lamb admits that the profession and its families suffer with cancer about as often, if not more so, as other segments of the population. He tries to excuse the profession by saying that they tend to eat too much of the wrong food and fail to get enough exercise, as though these factors taken together constitute a healthy program.
Has Lamb joined the ranks of the faddists and quacks? Does overeating on wrong foods and insufficient exercise cause or aid in causing cancer? His reply to his reader's question would seem to imply as much. If this is what it means and if he knows what are right and wrong foods, why does he not give this information to his readers?
So physicians tend to eat too much, do they? I wonder, by what valid standard, Lamb or some other member of his profession determines when a man has had too much to eat. When did physicians ever give enough attention to the subject of food and feeding to cause them to assume that they know how much food is enough.
So they eat the wrong kind of food, do they? What is the right kind of food? What are the wrong foods? Physicians customarily advise their patients to eat what agrees with them or to eat what they like. They commonly tell them not to worry about their diet, a piece of advice that would be well heeded if by worry they really mean worry. Unfortunately what they mean is that one should give no intelligent attention to what one eats, but should just eat as haphazardly and indiscriminately as his friends and relatives.
When and where did and do physicians study the subject of diet? How do they know when they are eating the wrong kind of food? If they do know when they are eating the wrong land, why do they continue to do so?
A few days before we entered World War II, I was in the office of a physician friend here in San Antonio. His office was on the eleventh floor of the Medical Arts Building and I arrived just before his office girl brought in his noon lunch from the cafeteria on the first floor. On the tray was a stack of white bread, an oversized helping of mashed potatoes, a liberal dish of cheese and spaghetti, a small dish of spinach, a half pint of cream and a few other items. The physician explained to me that he was eating all of that gooey mess of starch and grease in an effort to gain weight. He was underweight, he said, and had been trying for some time to gain.
I suggested that a more adequate form of diet would be more likely to enable him to gain weight than the one he was eating. Before eating this lunch, he indulged in his customary smoking of a cigarette. I suggested that if he would give up smoking he would probably gain more readily. He agreed, saying, "I know I should give them up. I don't know why I don't."
A few days later we entered the war and he attempted to volunteer for medical service in the army. He had been rejected and I met him as he came from the army medical center. He was staggering like a drunk man, although I knew he did not drink. He fell into my arms and I think would have fallen had I not held him. To my query: "What is wrong, doctor?", he stated, that he had been turned down for medical service in the army because of a small hernia. This was not enough to account for the state he was in. He regained his composure after a few minutes of talk with me and returned to his office. A few days later I was informed by his office girl that he had gone away to the country for a rest. He returned at the end of six weeks and attempted to resume his practice but after two weeks of this he gave up and retired to his home, where he died after another three or four weeksof heart disease.
In view of the present thought about fat in causing heart and arterial diseases, we are constrained to wonder how much his cream drinking to gain weight had to do with hastening his death. Also, we may add: what was the office of cigarette smoking in which he had indulged since his student days, in producing his heart disease. The heart disease had gone unnoticed and unsuspected until uncovered by the army medical examiners. How much influence did the emotional state created by this disclosure have in hastening his death? When he was told he had heart disease (the exact diagnosis is unknown to me) it was like a blow on the head, hence his staggering which I previously described. A few years before the death of this physician I had another experience with him. We were driving in early one morning from attending a birth in a suburban home. As we drove along he said to me: "Dr. Shelton, when you feed a woman through her pregnancy, we have no trouble. The birth is soon over and there are no complications. The woman rapidly recuperates and she always has plenty of milk for the baby." Then, he added: "I know nothing about diet." To my question, why don't you learn something about it?, he gave the stock reply: "I don't have time."
A few years passed, and I called him one evening to attend a birth. On the telephone, he said to me: "I am sorry, Dr. Shelton, but I'll have to send my assistant. I'd like to come myself, but I am taking my thirty-third degree in Masonry this evening, and I've got to be present." Immediately my mind ran back to the time when he said he did not have time to study diet. I thought of all the time he had to waste in study, and in ritual exercise to become a thirty-third degree mason. I believe the real answer was given to me by a woman physician who lived in and practiced in Ohio. I met her in New York, where she was attending special classes in Columbia University. Our conversation turned to diet and, after saying that she believed that there is much value in diet, she added that she did not know anything about it. To my question, why do you not learn something about it, she gave the stock reply: "I do not have time." I pointed out to her, that while she was in New York with a lot of spare time on her hands would be an excellent time to devote some attention to the study of diet. Then she said: "My profession regards dietetics as quackery and I cannot afford to get the reputation of being a quack."
Now the answer was out in the open: It is scientific to poison the sick; it is quackery to attempt to feed them correctly. So long as this is the accepted view of the profession, there is no hope that they will ever give any intelligent attention to the subject of food and feeding. They will continue to overfeed their patients, their families and themselves on "wrong food."
Herbert M. Shelton
Enervation & Toxemia
Vol. XXV August, 1964 No. 12
Enervation & Toxemia
Herbert M. Shelton
In line with the old concept of disease as something imposed from without, an attacking entity, medical men and the public have been taught to think of causation in terms of germs, viruses, parasites; resistance as the capacity of the body to marshal its phagocytes to overcome or repel an invader or to marshal antitoxins to neutralize the toxins of germ activity; cure in terms of antagonists, antidotes, antitoxins. They employ the term toxemia, but they mean by it poisoning by germ activity. No germs, no toxemia, is their general attitude.
Our concept of toxemia is fundamentally different from that held by the medical profession. To us toxemia is the result of the accumulation in the blood, lymph, and tissues of retained metabolic waste. It is an autogenerated state, the toxin arising as a normal by-product of the regular and necessary activities of life. Toxin accumulates as a result of inhibited excretion (checked elimination). Basically, we hold that any influence, whether physical or mental, that results in an excessive expenditure of nerve energy leads to toxemia. This means that the chief causes of enervation are found in the voluntary habits of the individual.
What is meant by the term enervation? It means the reduction of nerve energy sufficient to interfere with or reduce the organic activities of the body. The nervous system presides over and controls the functions of the many and various organs of the bodysecretion, excretion, circulation, digestion, respiration, absorption, etc., etc. Hence the term enervation simply means a reduction of the capacity of the nervous system below the level required to maintain a normal level of physiological activity.
As man in civilized life does not possess perfect health, we hold that everyone is more or less enervated, hence more or less toxemic. This lowering of the body's capacity to function on a high physiological level is what we mean by lowered or broken resistance. But we have a different concept of what is resisted. We resist heat, cold, poisons, fatigue, and other inimical influences. When our energy is sufficiently low that we present inadequate resistance to cold, for example, exposure to severe or prolonged stress by cold, results in a sufficient added check being placed upon excretion that there is a sudden increase of the body's toxic load, thus precipitating a crisis.
A gradual accumulation of waste (toxin) occurs when continual draughts upon the nerve energy of the body are made by various activities, stresses and exigencies of life that prevent the maintenance of complete elimination. This accumulated waste constitutes what we understand as toxemia. This is not to say that there are no other sources of intoxication (such as drug poisoning, toxins absorbed from decomposition processes going on in the intestine, etc.) but we prefer to differentiate between poisons of en-dogeneous origin and those of exogeneous origin, by calling the one toxemia and the other poisoning.
Poisoning from any source causes suffering & disease, so that we have also defined toxemia as the presence in the fluids and tissues of toxins from any source. Tobacco poisoning causes disease; acute disease when the tobacco is first taken, chronic disease after toleration has been established. The same facts are true of all poisons. Bacteria produce toxins in their activities, but they are as helpless as a feather in a whirlwind in a healthy body. The body must first be enervated and toxemic before bacteria can gain a foothold therein and thrive. This means that we must first be sick before bacteria can add a complicating and, perhaps, differentiating toxemia to the primary or metabolic intoxication.
It should be borne in mind that there can be no toxemia, as we have here defined it, without a previous checking of elimination and that this is due to lowering of functioning power-enervation. The order of events (sequence) in the evolution of cause is habits of mind and body and environmental influences that use up nerve energy in excess of the body's power to regenerate it during the hours allotted to rest and repose, enervation, checked secretion and excretion (indeed a lowering of the power of function in general), retention and accumulation of body waste, toxemia. In the last analysis toxemia is the result of fatigue of the nervous system to a sufficient degree to lessen the functioning power of life and cripple the effort to maintain normal functions.
While we may speak of an absorptive-toxemia arising from gastro-intestinal decomposition or from an abscess, or we may speak of a toxemia resulting from great emotional stress or from profound physical fatigue, in the final analysis these are results of enervation. Intoxication (alcoholic, narcotic, tobacco, etc.) may occur even in those of perfect health, if poisons are deliberately introduced into the body, but let us keep this variety of poisoning separate in our thinking from the toxemia that is the result of habits of life and environmental influences that reduce nerve energy; all the while keeping in mind that indulgence in poison habits add a profoundly enervating influence to their poisoning.
Enervation may grow out of any possible combination of the following practices and influences:
Such emotional stresses as fright, grief, worry, apprehension, anxiety, hurry, anger, irritability, hate, resentment, jealousy, over ambition leading to overwork (mental or physical); physical overexertion, excessive venery, lasciviousness, pain and shock, injuries, loss or blood, surgical operations, disease processes, constant coughing, loss of sleep, lack of rest and relaxation, drug treatments, the stimulations and inhibitions of osteopathic, chiropractic, naprapathic, hydropathic, electrical, thermal (heat and cold), and similar treatments, the digestive strain caused by overeating, wrong food combinations, condiments, drinking with meals; exposure to cold, and wet, exposure to heat and humidity; eye-strain, malpositions anywhere in the body; a lack of exercise, of fresh air, of warmth and comfort, lack of cleanliness, lack of sunlight, inadequate food; in short, the universal excesses and deficiencies of which mankind is guilty and the treatments which are heaped upon the sick, are the most common causes of enervation.
Another great source of enervation is the almost universal indulgence in poisons of one kind or anotherthe various alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, tobacco (smoking and chewing), betel chewing, arsenic eating, drinking of tea and coffee, the taking of narcotics and other drugs, poisons absorbed from the intestinal tract, chemical and bacterial poisons taken in by mouth, lungs, mucous membrane or by injection. Poisoning of any nature and from any source causes a waste of nerve energy in resisting and expelling the poison. Toxemia, once it is established, causes a waste of nerve energy in the activities needed to resist and expel the toxin.
Thus it will be seen that enervation results in toxemia, toxemia increases enervation, thus increasing the toxemia; enervation causes the individual to resort to enervating depressants and stimulants for relief of discomforts and the enervation thus caused calls for more enervating means of relief. Soon the individual finds himself in a complex of vicious cycles, from which he sees no way of escape. The more he resorts to the treatments, the more enervated he becomes. The more enervated, the more toxemic and the more he thinks he needs treatment. The more he lashes himself with stimulants, the weaker he grows and the more he resorts to stimulation.
How do we break up this complex of vicious cycles? Certainly not by resort to more enervating treatments, not by surgical vandalism, not by more of the hair of the dog that bit you. A radical, a revolutionary change in the way of life is the only way out. Every cause of enervation must be abandoned or corrected. Every bad habit of mind and body must be abandoned and good habits of life substituted therefor. Anything short of a radical change in the way of life will fail to enable the man or woman to evolve into a state of good health.
A housecleaning is in order. Toxin must be eliminated. This is not to be accomplished by the artificial and forcing methods that have been employed for ages by the curing cults, for the effect of these is to produce more enervation while failing to secure toxin elimination. The body has its own blood purifiers and these will do the work if they are given an opportunity and supplied with adequate functioning power. Where is functioning power to come from in a body that is already profoundly enervated? It can come only by hoarding what one has; this is, by ceasing all unnecessary expenditure. Energy saved from one activity is available for use in other activities. This is the reason physical and mental rest result in an immediate increase in excretion.
It is also important that we look toward stopping the absorption of toxic materials from the digestive tract and from drug habits. An empty digestive tract and discontinuance of all drug habits enable the body to free itself of poisons already accumulated. The fundamental error of all the curing systems lies in their effort to force the sick organism to act in accordance with the practitioners' conceptions of how it ought to act, ignoring all study and observations of how it is constituted to act. They try to force healthy action upon the sick body and cause more suffering by their very efforts.
Herbert M. Shelton
A circumscribed loss of tissue in the stomach, usually involving both the mucous membrane and the deeper structures. An ulcer differs from a wound in the following ways: A wound arises from some external source; an ulcer has its cause within the body. A wound is always idiopathic; an ulcer is always symptomatic. The tendency of the wound is to heal because its cause is removed: the cause acted but momentarily. An ulcer persists and often enlarges, because its cause persists and often increases. The healing of an ulcer therefore depends primarily upon the removal and correction of the internal condition of which it is but a symptom. This done, the ulcer quickly heals.
Pain, usually paroxysmal, severe and localized, though it may radiate to the back or sides, is usually present. In many cases taking food induces or aggravates the pain and this lasts until the stomach is emptied, either by vomiting or by emptying into the intestine. Localized tenderness is often felt. Vomiting, usually of undigested food and acid fluid, which is quite frequent, usually comes on from one-half hour to two hours after eating. Hemorrhage into the stomach with vomiting of blood occurs in more than half the cases and is said to cause death in about twenty per cent of all fatal cases of ulcer. There is an excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid (hyperacidity). Symptoms of indigestion (dyspepsia) precede most cases, though in some cases there are few symptoms until sudden perforation into the peritoneum, pleura, pericardium, or intestine, with hemorrhage, occurs.
Perforation occurs in from 8 to 10 per cent of cases. General or circumscribed peritonitis results from perforation. The peritonitis is a conservative process resulting in adhesions and walling up of the perforation. Sub-phrenic abscess sometimes follows the formation of adhesions. Stenosis, either of the cardiac or pyloric orifices, or hour-glass constriction of the stomach may result from contraction of the cicatrices scars. About 20 per cent of ulcers become malignant cancerous.
As gastric catarrh evolves, the catarrh passes to inflammation, from inflammation to induration (hardening), and from induration to ulceration. Stomach ulcer is the end of a chain of stomach disorders beginning with irritation indigestion from imprudent eating or drinking which, when very severe, or oft repeated causes' inflammation (catarrh); and when the abuse of the stomach is continued, ulceration follows, or induration (hardening), then cancer.
Decidedly nervous individuals who consume much starch bread, cake and pastry are more inclined to develop ulcer. Where there is a decided acidity of the secretion, inflammation and ulceration are almost sure to develop. Discomfort and often great pain accompany this condition.
It is not uncommon to see a patient whose stomach is so sour that, on drinking water and vomiting, the returned water and diluted acid are strong enough to sear the throat and paralyze the epiglottis so it can not close, and an attempt to drink water will cause the water to run into the nose. Even gases eructated from such a stomach burn the membranes of the nose and throat.
This is very favorable in all early; cases. Many persist for years, then recover. Relapses, so common under regular care, are due to failure to remove causes. Advanced cases, in the profoundly enervated may end fatally in spite of the best of care.
Care of the Patient: The palliative treatments in vogue are so unsatisfactory that a noted American surgeon recommends that ulcers be removed after they have been cured nine times. As in all other troubles, the first necessity is the removal of the causes immediate and remote of the trouble. All enervating habits must be discontinued and sufficient rest in bed secured to permit of restoration of full nerve energy. A fast, both to hasten elimination of toxemia and to give the stomach an opportunity to heal, is essential. Chronic provocation by food, indigestion and drugs prevent healing. Food also keeps up the excessive gastric secretion. Fasting soon stops gastric secretion so that, while it often increases the pain during the first two or three days, it speedily establishes a state of comfort so that satisfactory healing may proceed. The fast should last until the body is free of toxemia.
Feeding after the fast should be, in most particulars, exactly opposite to the feeding commonly employed in cases of ulcer. Instead of the highly acid-forming diet in vogue, an alkaline diet should be employed. Fruits and vegetables, and these raw, should make up the bulk of the diet. If, at first, there is sensitiveness to the roughage in these foods, raw juices of the fruits and vegetables and purees and strained vegetable soups may be used. Cooked fruits are never to be used.
Every health building agent sunshine, exercise, etc. should be employed as early as possible.
Operations are notoriously unsatisfactory in ulcers. First, the operation does not remove the cause of the ulcer. Second, the ulcer is in a field of inflammation in the mucous membrane, which inflammatory field may be quite limited or may involve much of the gastric mucosa, and an operation will remove the ulcer, but there is always quite an area of inflamed mucous membrane left after the ulcer is removed and this inflamed membrane tends to ulcerate. Two, three, four, five and even more operations are performed for the removal of ulcers, as these persist in developing. There is nothing to restore an inflamed mucous membrane to health when the causes of the inflammation are left operative.
Herbert M. Shelton
What Is In A Name?
Vol. XXVIII March, 1967 No. 7
What Is In A Name?
Herbert M. Shelton
We often hear the remark that "there is nothing in a name." Is it true that there is nothing in a name? A name is a mere word and it may seem that one word is as good as another. But words have both denotative and connotative meanings and they carry these meanings with them at all times, so that it does make a difference 'what name we use to designate a thing. When we take into consideration the fact that when a thing is misnamed, it may be received by the unwary and uninformed as desirable, whereas, if it is correctly named, it will be rejected, we can understand that a thing wrongly named may maintain its hold upon the public mind for a long time and do much mischief in the meantime. Names, in other words, may be deceptive; they may hide the true character of a thing.
No better example of the power of false labels to deceive can be offered than that of drugs. If they were all called, as they all are, poisons, they would be immediately condemned and rejected; but they are not called poisons. Instead, they are named medicines. Just as we see valuable truths rejected simply because they are introduced under an unpopular name, so we observe the acceptance of the most virulent poisons because they come to us labeled as medicines. Perfume manufacturers are well aware that they can sell more of a certain perfume if they market it under one name than under another; lip-stick manufacturers find that not only the name but the showyness of the container affects the sales of their product. Man is deceived by the packaging as well as by the name.
Due, in great measure, to this power of names to deceive, poisons have long retained their hold upon the public confidence, because they have been called medicines. The toxicologist and the chemist may list them as poisons; in the drug store, they may be contained in bottles, bearing a skull and cross bones; but in the sick room, they are introduced as medicines. Iodine, potassium, mercury, arsenic, quinine, prussic acid, strychnine, aspirin, sulfonamides, antibiotics, cortisone, etc., may be labeled poison; but when they are put up in ampules, draughts, pills, powders and potions to be given to the sick, they are no longer correctly labeled they are called medicines and are administered to cure disease. The term, medicine, helps to blind both the physician and the patient to the true character of the poison being administered as a cure.
Suppose, instead of giving his drugs under the name of medicine, the physicians were required to use the word poison every time he now uses the term medicine; what would be the effect upon both the physician and his trusting victim? If, when the prospective patient inquires of the physician how he is to be treated, the physician were always to reply: "I am going to give you a dose of this poison three times a day, and, if after a time, the results are not satisfactory, I am going to switch to this other poison," would not the patient be less ready to take it and the physician himself less ready to prescribe it. But in the mind of the physician, as in the mind of the patient, the drug is a medicine; hence, both of them impose their confidence in it.
Remarkable, isn't it, how the human mind can be so easily cheated by a mere change of name. If the physician and the patient is familiar with the Latin name of the drug and understands that it is a medicine, no matter how virulent it may be, he is likely to forget that the substance logically comes under the plain English name for all such substances poison. We are fooled by names; there is more in a name than we have recognized.
All drugs are poisonous. All drugs, even the least virulent of them, occasion, when administered, consequences that are far from desirable. In saying this, I do not have reference solely to those effects that follow their administration that have been labeled untoward side effects and those that are frankly called their toxic effects. I include in these undesirable consequences, their alleged physiological and their alleged therapeutic effects. I insist that all of their consequences are evil, that there is no good in poisoning.
Herbert M. Shelton
What Was Incurability?
Vol. XXVII September, 1965 No. 1
What Was Incurability?
Herbert M. Shelton
What is meant when a patient is told that his disease is incurable? Some diseases are said to be incurable and some patients are declared to be incurable. There are those who declare that, while there are no incurable diseases, there are incurable cases. What, then, is an incurable disease and what is an incurable patient? I do not find any clear-cut replies to these questions and I note that practitioners of all schools do not hesitate to treat "diseases" and patients that are declared to be incurable. At the same time researches are carried on in efforts to discover cures for the incurable diseases.
For those of us who do not believe that any so-called disease is curable or that there is any such thing as a cure, the whole concept of curability and incurability is wrong. We regard all the effort devoted to administering cures as wasted effort. Curing disease is a form of voodooism that should be outgrown by enlightened and civilized peoples. There should be a search for causes and an effort made to correct or remove these, but no effort should be made to cure disease.
Now it is a generally known fact, one that no intelligent medical man will deny, that many thousands of patients who had been told by their physicians that they were incurable, have recovered health after deserting medicine and seeking cure through other channels. Many thousands of so-called incurables gained health through the application of Water-Cure processes; many more did so through the efforts of the Ling Movement-Cure; many thousands have regained health, after being told by their physicians that they were hopelessly incurable, by recourse to Christian Science, the same thing may be said of the great armies of hopeless invalids who regained health after turning to Mechano - Therapy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Physical Culture (Physcultopathy), Naprapathy, Neuropathy, Naturopathy, the Emanuel Movement, the Unity School of Christianity, herbalism, radiesthesis, acupuncture, ultrasonics, and a host of other methods and systems.
Mass experiences of this kind, having occurred under the very noses of medical men, and not without their knowledge, should long ago have completely upset the medical ideas regarding the curability and incurability of disease. If they declare a disease to be incurable and cases do recover under Christian Science or under Water-Cure or if a patient is told that he cannot be cured and he gets well under chiropractic, should not the medical man re-examine both his theories and his practices?
It is safe to say that more than eighty per cent of the patients going to these other schools for care or treatment or prayer, have given medical physicians weeks, months and years of opportunity to restore them to health. Great numbers of them have been pronounced incurable. They do not all get well when they go to these other practitioners and they patronize first a chiropractor, then a naturopath or a Christian Scientists, but a sufficient number of them are either greatly improved or recover health that they supply these other practitioners with enough case histories of success to keep them in practice and in popular favor.
To be assured, by one or more scientific physicians that you are hopelessly incurable, to go through a medical clinic and be informed that there "is no cure" for your disease, to have the verdict of a consultation of physicians handed to you in the word, incurable, to be treated for years with drugs and surgery and grow progressively worse, and then to turn to some form of "quackery" and recover health, is to upset your faith in science.
Now, I believe that these medical men are right in their judgements of the incurability of these cases. I believe that everyone of them would die of their "disease, " as told they will by their physicians, should they remain under medical care. The people have no sort of conception, nor have physicians much better conception of the health-destroying effects of drugs. Every dose of every drug administered to a patient is not only disease producing in its own right, but it depresses the healing operations that are always going on in the sick organism. When the drugging is discontinued, when the body is relieved of this intolerable burden, it can do for itself much that it fails to do while being poisoned.
One thing all of these various schools have in common is their rejection of drugs. They do not remove causes, they do not cure disease, they do not make an intelligent effort to supply the physiological needs of the body or supply healthful conditions, but they do eschew drugs. There is no drug in a Christian Science prayer, there is no drug in a chiropractic thrust, these is no drug in a water application, the mechano-therapist does not have any drugs in his manipulative procedures, the New Thought practitioner administers no drugs in her metaphysical formulas.
Now there have also been numerous instances of recovery in incurable cases in which nothing, other than the abandonment of drugging, was done. When drugs are abandoned, whether the patient turns to some other and ineffective mode of treatment or merely resigns himself to the seeming inevitable, a most prolific cause of chronic disease and organic impairment is removed. The strength of the body's self-healing efforts is graphically illustrated in those many instances in which they succeed in restoring health in spite of the use of drugs. Should we, then, be surprised that they are frequently successful in more advanced cases, when drugs are abandoned? Incurability is often nothing more than chronic drug poisoning.
Incurability is often due entirely to the fact that the original and sustaining causes of the disease (to which drug poisoning is merely an addition) are not corrected or removed. As the other schools of "healing" also fail to remove causes, we have every reason to think that more incurables would recover than do, were these original causes removed coincident with the cessation of drugging; No case should be classed as incurable until, after the full correction of all causes, it fails of recovery.
Another reason for failure of recovery is the failure to provide the sick organism with adequacies of the primordial requisites of organic existence. If the drugs are discontinued and nothing is done other than chiropractic adjustments or Christian Science jollying, and the physiological needs of life are neglected, many will fail of recovery who might speedily recover were these Hygienic requirements fully and adequately met. As none of the schools of "healing" make an effort to meet all these needs of life, it must be certain that many incurables are sacrificed to this neglect.
No practitioner, of whatever school of so-called healing, who ignores cause, provides only inadequately and haphazardly for the physiological wants of the sick organism, and contents himself with throwing monkey-wrenches into the vital machinery, can have any adequate conception of the marvelous efficiency of the body's self-healing abilities when operating under favorable or healthful conditions. To take only a simple example, the common cold: no one who has not watched it repeatedly can know with what greater speed and satisfaction one who rests and fasts recovers from a cold, as contrasted with recoveries under drugging and feeding.
There can be no doubt that there are irreversible pathologies; there are patients who are so badly impaired that they are past vital redemption. But there was a long stage in the disease of these before irreversibility was reached, when they could have recovered health. We can say of these that failure to remove causes, failure to provide primordial requisites, and drugging and enervating palliatives have persisted so long that an irreversible stage has been reached. Correct means of care, even if now employed, come too late.
In the final analysis, then, it seems correct to say that incurability, which exists far less often than popularly and professionally thought to be the case, is almost always due to maltreatment, ignorance and simple neglect of the most elemental needs of life. None of the schools of so-called "healing, " can be exempt from the charge of contributing to the production of incurability, but it must be recognized that the drugging school is by far the worst offender in this respect. Perhaps if correct care is inaugurated in the initial stages of disease, no such thing as incurability would ever evolve.
This brings us to a brief consideration of the question: what and when are the initial stages of disease? The Hygienist regards the first cold or diarrhea or skin eruption of infancy as representing an already established toxemia. This is the initial stage of a pathological evolution that will culminate years later in apoplexy, Bright's disease, heart disease, cancer, etc. The time to begin to head off the evolution of advanced and incurable pathologies is in infancy or even before birth. There is no time of life when it is safe to neglect its genuine needs or to subject it to abuses.
Herbert M. Shelton
Hygienic Position Verified
Vol. XXVII May, 1966 No. 9
Hygienic Position Verified
Herbert M. Shelton
Many times during the past several years I have told my readers that all drugs are poisonous and that it was folly to expend time and money investigating each drug when it is possible to discard them all in one blanket condemnation. I am happy to be able to present some confirmation of the view from authoritative medical sources. I am going to quote from an article entitled, "Toxicology and the Biomedical Sciences" which appeared in the June, 1965, issue of Science, the official organ of the American Association For The Advancement of Science. This article was jointly authored by Bernard B. Brodie, M. D., chief of Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology in the National Heart Institute; George J. Cosmides, M. D., program director, Pharmacology-Toxicology Program, National Institutes of Health; and David P. Rall, M. D., associate scientific director for Experimental Therapeutics, National Cancer Institute. The high standing of each of these men assures us the last word on the subject.
To begin with they say, "The number and variety of chemicals that affect man has increased at an alarming rate and created a public health problem of major proportions. We are confronted with a profusion of chemicals in the form of industrial and municipal wastes, air and water pollutants, herbicides, pesticides, cosmetics, food additives, as well as drugs administered over extended periods of time, and yet we do not know what these substances do to biological systems. In effect, we are thrust into global experiments for which we are not prepared.
"For some of these hazards, such as automobile exhaust fumes or cigarette smoke, we are unlikely to find more compelling evidence of their deleterious effects. It remains for industrial and governmental bodies to utilize in the public interest all the information now available, and for the scientific community to continue experimentation on the basic mechanisms of their effects and to find ways of preventing or attenuating their hazard.
"There remains, however, a major problem with the vast number of chemical compounds whose possible poisonous effects are not known or cannot be predicted. It is this area which is the subject of our article."
Then it is that these authors confirm my position that it is futile to test chemical substances, one by one, when it is known that all of them are toxic. Concerning this they say: "It seems futile to record one by one the biological effects of millions of chemical entities without the development of unifying and simplifying generalizations. It is evident that new means must be sought to accelerate the acquisition of new knowledge on the effects of chemicals on living materials, and to develop a system for the rapid dissemination of such information, In this article we outline some of the problems in toxicology and offer recommendations as to how these problems should be approached."
While it is fully acknowledged by the authors that our modern chemical environment is a mass of toxins, that new toxic substances are being added to our environment daily, they do not offer anything so simple as the discontinuance of air pollution, water pollution, food pollution, and country-side pollution with insecticides, but have taken for granted that the increasing poisoning of our environment is to continue and that the so-called researchers are to continue testing the various toxins to determine the effects of each. In their article, they practically ignore environmental pollution after the initial admission that it exists and constitutes a serious problem and largely confine their attention to drugs.
Of drugs they say: "Investigations of drugs are frequently complicated by the difficulties of eliciting their subtle, often unusual deleterious effects, and of evaluating these effects against the beneficial actions. Even members of a single species can vary in their response to a particular substance, yet large numbers of people may be exposed to a drug on the basis of toxicity in relatively few animals."
A recent example of the manner in which human beings are subjected to drug dangers after relatively slight animal testing is that of a new birth control drug, NK-665, manufactured by the Merck Company. While the drug was still being tested on animals, large numbers of women were used in so-called clinical tests on the same drug. When it was found that it produced cancer in the test animals, testing on women was immediately discontinued. Whatever else we may say about drug and drug testing, it does seem that all animal testing should be completed before a new drug is tested on human beings. In saying this I do not mean to be understood as having anything against the animals. I pity these poor victims of "science" the same as I do the poor human guinea-pigs who are submitted to drugging, whether for test purposes or for therapeutic purposes.
I do not put any value in the medical stupidity that drugs that have usual or unusual deleterious effects may also have "beneficial actions. " Drugs are simply poisonous, and the only effects they can have are harmful ones. These authors say: "At present, a potential therapeutic agent is first screened for biological activity in laboratory mammals. If the substance shows potentially useful pharmacological or therapeutic activity, then the toxic effects are determined in experimental animals before the substance is tested in man. Thus the pharmacological and toxic effects exerted by a drug must he predicted from the effects in laboratory animals. Our modern system of drug development, therefore, depends on the assumption of a high degree of correlation between effects in animals and man. That such predictions are often unreliable raises serious questions regarding these tests."
Concerning this same difference between effects following drugs when given to animals and when given to man, they say: "In the past, variations among species in the response to a drug were attributed to differences in the sensitivity of receptor sites, and the prospects of obtaining data from animals that would be applicable to man were bleak. However, variation in drug metabolism within and between species is now known to be the rule rather than the exception..."
Here again we have these men stupidly referring to the biological activity of chemical substances and to drug metabolism. It is becoming quite common for pharmacologists and physicians to discuss the metabolism of drugs, when they should know that there is no such thing as drug metabolism not any more than there is such a thing as biological activity of chemical components. Loose language of this type indicates loose thinking, or else it indicates a deliberate misuse of terms in an effort to deceive, to create confusion, and in an effort to deceive readers. Another frequent expression of these men of so-called science is "drug receptors. " They regard the various organs and tissues of the body as receivers of drugs when in reality they reject them.
Returning, however, to the difficulties of extrapolating the effects occasioned by a drug in one animal to another animal, let me quote further from these authors. They say: "In tests of subacute and chronic toxicity, differences between animals and man in rates of drug metabolism are particularly important. Despite a large variability in metabolism, the acute lethal toxicity of many barbiturates (administered intravenously) is almost identical in various mammalian species because of the short time lapse between administration of drug and death, On the other hand, the lethal toxicity of a drug will vary considerably if time elapses between drug administration and death. A substance metabolized in rats 50 times more rapidly than in man may have the same acute toxicity in both species, but the chronic toxicity may be vastly different because of drug cumulation. Phenyl-hutazone, an antirheumatic agent metabolized much more rapidly in the rat than in man, causes the retention of sodium. Rats given a single dose of drug do not show this effect. To maintain the drug at a plasma concentration that produces sodium retention in man (about 150 ug/ml), the rat must be given a total daily dosage of 400 milligrams per kilogram of body weight compared with the 5 to 10 milligrams per kilogram required in man.
"Much of the research on the teratogenic effects of thalidomide in animals is difficult to interpret. The drug is said to produce a long-lasting sedation in man and the horse but only a fleeting effect in most other species. We know of no studies that relate the plasma concentration to the teratogenic effects. From the short-lived sedative action in the rat, one would suspect that this animal might inactivate the drug much more rapidly than does man.
"Thus, in toxicity studies it is important to compare in the various species the plasma or tissue concentration at which a drug elicits an adverse effect. Until this has been done with a variety of agents we cannot know to what extent species variability in toxicity depends on differences in rate of' drug metabolism or differences in inherent toxicity."
By drug metabolism and inactivating the drug they mean the same thing. They have in mind only the means employed by the body in defending itself against the "inherent toxicity" of chemical substances that are foolishly introduced into the body.
After all the testing on men and animals has been done, there still remains the variability between men and women. For example, these authors say: "A common cause of toxic reactions arises from 'overdosage' because of person-to-person variability in rates of drug metabolism; the same daily dose of a drug may cure, cause severe toxicity, or have no effects whatsoever... Each person seems to have his own pattern of metabolism for these drugs. (They have previously mentioned certain drugs) The consequences of individual differences in drug metabolism are exaggerated in long-term therapy..."
It may be well to consider a few more statements of theirs concerning the harmfulness of drugs. They say: "Drugs used medicinally may produce adverse effects by causing biochemical lesions and cellular damage, rather than by exaggerating the actions of physiological control systems."
"Some drugs will invariably produce cellular damage if the concentration in the plasma is high enough. For example, isoniazid at almost the same plasma concentration in animals and man reacts with pyridoxal to produce adverse effects on the nervous system. In fact, isoniazid produces a neuropathy in patients who, by genetic predisposition, (a mere suppositionauthor) metabolize the drug excessively slowly and therefore receive the maximum antituberculous effects of the drug."
They tell us that certain drugs cause delayed toxic reactions and that cancer production is among the important aspects of chemical toxicity. While certain drugs which are classed as cyto-toxic agents (cellular poisons) cause necrosis of the liver, others produce irreversible but fatal lesions in the kidneys, and certain others produce cataracts. They point out that tissue damage is related to drug accumulation and say that small amounts of some drugs may be retained in the body for months and even years. Thus, if they are prescribed for regular use, they tend to accumulate in amounts that cause great damage and death.
To the intelligent individual it would seem that men, viewing all of these dangers produced by drugs, would warn against their use. But these men issue no such warning. They are medical men engaged in prescribing drugs and in promoting the use of drugs. Their interest is not in discrediting drug usage but in increasing the drugging practice. Were it suggested to either of these three men that it might be more advantageous to the sick to provide them with helpful things, rather than ply them with destructive chemicals, they would indignantly characterize the one making the suggestion as a member of the "lunatic fringe. " They would be on the alert to protect their racket and would be among the first to denounce as an ignoramus and quack any man who should dare to challenge the validity of a system that seeks to restore the sick to health by poisoning them. Yet there is no more sense in poisoning the sick than there is in poisoning the well. Why should we pollute the human blood stream any more than we should pollute our water supply or our atmosphere? Why should we pollute our cellular structures any more than we should pollute our foods? The growing problem confronting mankind, consequent upon the effort of chemists to take over human life and deal with it as though it could be handled in a test tube, cannot be solved by any amount of drug research. Human life will be safe only when the last physician has been strangled with the guts of the last chemist.
Herbert M. Shelton
The Tyranny of Hygiene
Vol. XXVIII April, 1967 No. 8
The Tyranny of Hygiene
Herbert M. Shelton
If healing is a biological process, which we can neither imitate, duplicate nor substitute, as we contend, the proper plan of caring for the sick will be one of supplying the most favorable conditions for the successful operation of the healing processes. The primary requisite of the success of the healing processes is the removal of all causes of organic and systemic impairment. There are no short-cuts to health. There are no speedways that take us there in a hurry. There are no ways of "cutting corners" or "going across the lot." You either remove the causes of organic and functional impairment and supply the conditions of health, or you do not get well.
Dr. James C. Jackson once advised one of his physician correspondents, P. H. Adams, M. D., of Florence, Texas, to "be autocratic in your determination to have them (the patients) do as you wish to have done. " How far Adams carried out this advice the record does not reveal; but if we can judge the past by the present, he was inclined to go easy with his patients and cater to their whims and compromise with their habits of life.
"Who made you God?," is a question that we are frequently asked when we insist upon instructions being carried out. The undisciplined resent the restrictions that are placed upon their living habits; the incorrigible refuse to go even a little way in correcting their ways of life; yet it is true, as Dr. Tilden so often stressed, that the limitations that we place upon these unruly ones are only such as nature herself dictates.
We do not advise rest for our own profit, but because there is a distinct need for and a natural call for rest. What good does it do to the Hygienic practitioner for a man to give up coffee or tobacco? The patient receives all the good out of abandoning these practices. But, in insisting that these poison habits be discontinued, have we done anything more than to demand that the normal rules of life be carried out? Nature herself is the tyrant; she is the dictator. She is the one who does the penalizing when her rules are flouted.
What or who is this nature that penalizes us for our wrongs to ourselves? It is none other than our own body. If you try to live on deficient food, it is your own tissues that fail to renew themselves ideally. If you do not secure adequate rest and sleep, it is the tissues of your own body that fail of ideal renewal. If you smoke or drink, it is your own tissues that are damaged. The limitations you face are your own limitations. They are set by your own constitutional capacities and powers.
All the needs of normal physiology are present in states of disease and require to be supplied to the end that organic and functional integrity may be preserved or restored. No piece-meal plan of care can possibly succeed in restoring health. Hygienic care comprehends not only a regulation of the diet, but a synthesis and coordination of all the factor elements of normal livings-drinking, breathing, sunning, temperature, clothing, exercise, rest, sleep, emotional factors, etc. Nothing short of a total regulation of the way of life can produce ideal results.
All processes of recovery or healing are but extensions and modifications of the processes that preserve health and the materials and processes employed in caring for the sick must be in consonance with physiology and compatible with all other useful measures. A sane method of caring for the sick will not attempt to force the body to utilize substances that are not subject to its metabolic processes.
If we demand a correction of the ways of life as the one and only means of securing a restoration of health, we will not be patronized by the millions who still believe that among the myriads of so-called cures there is palliation for them and who are content with mere palliation. There is a mighty army of invalids today who cannot get well in spite of their travels, their patronage of the great specialists and their submission to operations; but they are still unwilling to make a few simple corrections in their ways of living in the interest of better health.
When one of these sufferers does condescend to break away from the cures of science and to undertake a wholly new and, to him, untried way back to health, he is often in a desperate condition. Much organic change has occurred so that nothing short of the creation of a new organ can restore full health. We don't expect such sufferers to recover full health, but we do witness some remarkable improvements in great numbers of these desperate cases. In the less damaged, we see great numbers of full recoveries.
It is often in these desperate cases that we witness the most remarkable effects of the fast. To withhold food provides relief from pain and discomfort, enables tired and damaged organs to rest and to repair themselves, gives the enervated organism an opportunity to excrete its accumulated load of waste and exotic poisons and, to, in great measure, rejuvenate itself. What is needed is a plan or mode of elimination much more compatible with physiology than those proposed by the so-called schools of healing and fasting meets this demand.
Even in those cases where full recovery is no longer possible, comfort may be restored and, by teaching them how to eat and live, life may be prolonged for months and even years. A correction of the habits of life, even if for only a time, results in an abandonment or disappearance of symptoms; but to build vigorous health and restore body and mind to normal, to retrieve lost vigor and add years to life, the correction must take place before serious organic change has occurred in some or several of the vital organs of the body.
Herbert M. Shelton
Living Your Way to Health
Vol. XXXIX January, 1978 No. 5
Living Your Way to Health
Herbert M. Shelton
Professor Millard Parker, M. D., said: "Hygiene is of far more value in the treatment of diseases than drugs. "This admission by one of the leading medical authorities and professors of this country, was made while Trail was living and trying to awaken the people and the profession to a full realization of the value of Hygiene.
Unfortunately, Parker's statement implies that drugs have value in the treatment of disease. While this should be sufficient to cause the people and the profession to prefer Hygiene to drugs, it is not a full statement of truth. The whole truth is that Hygiene possesses all the value and drugs none.
A full moon may be mistaken for a crescent behind a cloud sufficiently thick. Those who possess only confused and hazy ideas about Natural Hygiene are likely to fail to comprehend its full scope in caring for both the well and the sick. They are likely to think of it as a useful adjunct to some system of treatment. Hygiene long ago asserted its independence of all other schools. The Hygienic System is no mere adjunct to medical science.
Hygienic measures are not supplements to drugs, nor mere substitutes for them. The Hygienic method is not just a "better way"; it is the only way.
The essential difference in our practices and that of the schools of healing is that they treat the disease with drugs and we care for the body with Hygienic agencies alone.
Hygienists seek to find and remove causes; whereas, medical men seek to dose and cut away effects. Our care of the sick involves a more thorough and complete regulation of regimen and Hygienic agencies, because in that consists our whole hope of aiding and assisting nature.
"Physicians of all schools save the Hygienic have taught that disease should be cured-but the underlying question is: 'Should disease be cured?' We say no. And we challenge all the medical men of the earth to prove the affirmative. This challenge issued by Trail was never accepted by any of the cure-mongers of any of the schools of his day. "Be it remembered, he said, "that we do not believe in curing disease. Not until we understand the true nature of disease can we understand the meaning of this statement.
I do not believe in curing the sick. To me it seems more rational to permit the sick to get well. Curing is a fallacious practice-it is, in fact, voodooism. Grave errors have been entertained as to what is really intended to be remedied by the practices of the "healing art. Ambiguity in the use of the term disease makes itself felt more as we pursue our studies of the subject before us. Unfortunately our language could not have been more precise because our ideas in the field were not clear.
All healing is according to the law of cause and effect. So-called miracles of healing may all be explained by natural law.
We cannot admit exceptions to law and order. Who ever discovered exceptions to gravitation, chemical affinity, the law of the lever, or any other principle of nature? Mathematicians do not record exceptions. It is not merely a general, but an invariable rule that two and two make four. Mechanical laws know no exceptions. The laws of nature are invariable, immutable, universal, omnipresent.
Living existence is undoubtedly a part of nature, hence its operations are subject to natural principles. An analysis of all the facts connected with any apparent miracle of healing will reveal that it has violated no law of life. There was no miracle. When Nature's laws and human institutions come in conflict, we are always suspicious of the latter. We are of the opinion that Nature is not the erring party.
Hygiene is not a system of caring for the sick according to the names that are attached to groups of symptoms and pathological conditions. We care for the sick according to well-defined
principles, and according to the nature of disease. For these reasons "accurate diagnosesare not as important in our work as medical men demand in theirs.
In making an examination in order to diagnose the patient's disease, a careful hunt for signs, symptoms, pathology and effects is made. After these have all been found and classified, the disease is named and a prognosis is given.
It is unfortunate for the patient that the disease cannot be diagnosed until it has progressed far enough to produce physical signs. Hence physicians are in the habit of telling many people that they only imagine that they are sick. On the medical theory, if the physician cannot diagnose the disease, he does not know how to treat his patient.
Medical examinations do not find causes. They are not efforts to find causes. For the reason that cause is not found, it cannot be removed, hence the sick man never recovers health. The Hygienist searches for causes rather than for effects; he removes causes and does not treat symptoms. This permits full recovery.
The government demands correct burial certificates on which to base the national mortuary reports. Cabot published the results of the autopsy findings in one of the best hospitals in the nation. These showed the diagnoses to have been wrong in over fifty percent of the cases. Few top-notch physicians are willing to publish their autopsy reports as contrasted with their diagnoses. It is certain that average physicians' diagnoses are not correct as often as were those in the hospital where Cabot made his findings. How, then, can the country's mortality reports present a true picture of the people's illnesses? As it is likely that the diagnoses are wrong as often in cases that recover as in cases that die, no dependence can be placed in the statistics of disease incidence and in the percentage of recoveries in the various diseases.
It is a peculiar circumstance that all doctors of all schools of so-called healing admit that nature is the healer. All that any of them profess to be able to do with their drugs and treatments, their diets, and baths, their electrical gadgets and manual maulings, is to aid nature. All that we ask these people, who admit that nature heals, is that they make their practice conform to their theory and stop trying to usurp nature's prerogative. Of the people we ask only an increased and abiding faith in nature and a loss of faith in drugs and treatments. Let us not lose sight of the real healing process and then, we will not be found guilty of meddling with the process. For, all too often, when we think we are aiding nature, we are thwarting her very effort.
It is an unfortunate circumstance that all those who seek to "aid naturethink of disease as an evil that must be combatted. They think of their "aidsas things that act upon and within the body to combat, subdue, repress or kill the disease. Their "aidof nature is almost always a war upon the human constitution. To check coughing, induce vomiting, "relievepain, reduce fever, repress inflammation, "allaynervousness, induce diarrhea or suppress it, to force sweating or "stimulateand "inhibit(depress) function in any manner is not to "aid nature, but to thwart her.
A patient has a sour stomach and the physician prescribes alkalies; another has worms and the physician administers something to poison them to death; another has pain and the physician administers a "pain-killing(really, a patient-killing) drug; another has constipation and the physician prescribes a laxative, and so on to the end of life. But who cannot perceive that all this practice as a part of the "healing art, is absurd and ridiculous? Who is so stupidly blind as to be unable to see that it is merely patchwork; tinkering with effects without removing causes?
All the schools of so-called healing have myriads of methods of spectacular palliation. They palliate the patient's suffering and "relievehis pain, and do nothing constructive in caring for him.
No Hygienist would employ drugs to "relievepain, for the reason that, besides the other evils that attend their use, they are causes of greater pains than they "relieve. While the medical man classifies certain drugs an anodynes, Dr. Jennings said truly, that they are odynes. Instead of pain relievers, they are pain inducers. Who suffers more pain than the morphine addict?
Giving drugs to relieve pain is like giving whiskey to relieve drunkenness. Drugs are the causes of the "fiendish deathscancer sufferers are said to die. They suffer more from drug-induced pain-the drugs are given to "relievepain-than they do from pains otherwise induced. Death is hastened in almost all cancer patients by drugs, surgery, X-ray and radium.
In medicine and religion, poisons and penances take the place of truth and righteousness. Why, therefore seek to know the right and do it? Why avoid injurious practices when penicillin will erase their effects? Why live cleanly when vaccines can make unclean living safe? Why be good when you can buy absolution? Why behave lawfully when a pill or serum can annul the laws of nature? Why think of consequences when we can beg, buy, borrow or steal a cure?
The physician, by his professional deeds, acts as an abetter of vice, by professing to show how to escape, by medical penance, from the consequences of violations of the laws of life. By the mystical contents of his materia medica, by professional legerdemain, he professes to be able to counteract the operations of the laws of nature. He virtually proposes to the weak-minded, inducements for the violation of the laws of their being. Thus he leads the human race on to its deterioration. The absurdity, even the wickedness, of such a practice is apparent to all who will bestow a little thought upon it. If such things were really possible they would demoralize the race; for they would automatically license us to do wrong.
Take then the well-known scriptural statement: "The soul that sinneth, it shalltake a dose of Epsom salts; of the advice of Jesus to those he healed to "goand poison yourself some more; or the equally excellent advice to evildoers: if you have done evil, a dose of calomel will right matters; are these not good medical prescriptions? Are not good religion and good medicine in perfect harmony? The advice to "go and sin no moreis superfluous and the advice to "learn to do good and cease to do evilis pernicious, while it is certainly false to tell the soul that sinneth that it shall die. Hospitals have, as one of their chief function, that of teaching bad habits.
If the use of drugs be not dark, doubtful and dangerous, nothing can be. Indeed, we may say that the use of drugs confronts us with one enormous certainty expressed in the word destruction. In contact with living structures they can have but one effect: injury and destruction. How often do we read of a patient dying "suddenlyafter his physicians have pronounced him "out of danger"!
No patient is ever out of danger so long as drug medicines are being poured into him. The use of drugs not only wastes the energies of the patient, but it masks his true condition so that after the first twenty-four hours of drugging, no physician is wise enough to tell what the true condition of his patient is. He never knows from one visit to the next how he will find his patient.
The medical profession makes no pretense of restoring their patients to health; they only pretend to cure their diseases. If they cure pneumonia and the patient subsequently dies of tuberculosis, their pneumonia cure, at least, was "successful. They are satisfied with results of this nature and seem not to suspect that there is or can be a better way. They are ever on the alert in their search for new cures and a never-ending succession of cures are announced to a cure-cursed world.
The great need of our age is not more methods and means of palliating symptoms during a crisis, but a means of restoring the sick to sound, vigorous health. This the Hygienic System offers to all who have eyes to see, ears to hear and minds to understand.
These principles are so wonderfully simple, so eminently practical, that many will wonder how they can be effective when applied to the care of the body in health and in sickness. They want the mysterious and incomprehensible. They want something that they cannot understand. Nonetheless, these principles reveal the conditions by which we can best preserve and recover health.
These conditions amount to nothing more nor less than a strict observance of the laws which govern and control the living organism. And these laws are not hidden; they are clearly written on every page of the volume of nature; they are indelibly fixed in every vital tissue; they are stamped on every organic instinct; seen in every manifestation of sense and expressed in every action of every mental power.
Trall said that "All diseases consist of exhaustion and impurity, and impurity produces exhaustion; two things are requisite to a cure. These two should be written in large letters of gold, INVIGORATION and PURIFICATION. This summing up of the causes of diseases and of the needs of recovery may be put in the following present-day terms - enervation (exhaustion) and toxemia (impurity); and restoration of normal nerve energy (invigoration) and elimination of toxemia (purification). By this we mean that the toxins that cause the disease have been completely eliminated from the body and this without the production of another disease. No chronic disease has been left behind as a consequence of the treatment used.
The Hygienic school is the first, and thus far the only school in the world, which makes the laws of life and the conditions of health the leading features of its teachings and practices. Trail wrote: "When the vital powers can be allowed to have complete control of the organic machinery, undisturbed by mental care and anxiety, and the condition of pure air, proper food, abundant sleep, and appropriate exercise, recoveries are often rapid and astonishing. This all means that it is safe to remove the conditions of disease, supply the conditions of health, and leave the forces and processes of life to the performance of their legitimate duties under the direction of the laws of their operation. In the sense just described, Hygiene becomes the means of recovery of health. If we break this up, it falls naturally and logically into two sets of procedures:
1. Remove the conditions of disease.
Why experiment with a host of "remedies"? Why not study cause and effect? Disease is not a thing, an enemy, to be removed, expelled, subdued, broken up, destroyed, conquered, or cured or killed. It is not a thing, but an action; not an entity, but a process; not an enemy at war with the living organism, but a remedial effort; not a substance to be opposed, but an action to be cooperated with. The drug system attempts to remove or cure the disease; the Hygienic System endeavors to remove the causes of disease.
Graham said that "All nature asks, or can receive from human skill in disease, is the removal of disturbing causes, and she will, of her own accord, as naturally as a stone falls to earth, return to health, unless the vital constitution has received an irreparable injury. This is a statement that the return to healthy action takes place spontaneously after the occasion for abnormal action has been removed or expelled.
Disease is a process of purification and reparation. It is not an enemy of the vital powers but a struggle of the vital powers themselves in self-defense. We of the Hygienica School, do not regard the diseases which are said to kill so many every year as of themselves, dangerous; we hold that the great mortality seen in these diseases is due to suppressive and combative treatment.
Graham pointed out that only the blood-purifying organs can purify the blood; that so long as the functions of these organs remain impaired, the blood must remain impure (toxic), no matter what the quantity and quality of the drugs employed to purify it.
Only by removing the causes that have impaired the functions of life can normal function be restored. This requires, first of all, a full and thorough-going correction of the habits and conditions of life. Time is the next essential. "How long will I have to live correctly?The answer is: Until you grow tired of being healthy. As soon as you tire of health and desire to become sick again, you should return to the old way of living. It will not take long, then, for you to again evolve the former condition of discomfort, distress and disease.
Trall said: "The redemption of the world from diseases, doctors and drugs, depends on the recognition of the doctrine that Nature's laws cannot be violated with impunity; that every unphysiological habit will make its injurious mark irreparably and forever; that our life, or strength, our health, will be measured exactly by our observance of organic law. This is a statement of a vital truth the full realization of which, by the people as a whole, will lead inevitably to a revolution in their various modes of living. For the beginning of Hygienic wisdom is to "cease to do evil. It will be easy thereafter to "learn to do good. There are great errors in our habits of life, as evidenced by the great amount of faulty development, weakness, sickness and premature dying among us. But we cannot wipe these errors out by drugs, vaccines, serums, gland extracts and the surgeon's knife. Nor can we ignore the errors of life.
Let us study ourselves and our habits more fully and find out what is causing our troubles and remove these, and cease damaging our bodies by introducing into them something that is neither food nor drink, but a vile foreigner.
It is necessary that we learn the relation between the habits of life and causes of disease and death. Tilden says: "Those who can see in wrong life a sufficient cause for disease are mentally prepared to receive relief and cure from a rational system. What seemed most natural to the Hygienists was the correction of the mode of living.
The highest happiness of which we are capable, the highest intellectuality attainable, the best health and the greatest strength that we can hope for are consistent with, and dependent on, conformity with all the laws of our being, and not vice versa. False "joysimpair health and shorten life at the same time that they rob us of our power to enjoy.
Habits are frequently repeated with cumulative effects. For this reason, if we would preserve health we must avoid all habits that tend to impair health. In like manner, when we come to correct or remove the causes that have induced suffering, in the sick, we need to give the attention to all causes, not merely to one or two of them. Correction is always somewhat distasteful to a truant child. Consequences are never to be desired, although always inevitable, when we have been the subject of misdeeds. "Wisdom is ever crying in the streets, but how few are there who listen to her voice, wrote Trall.
Hygienists have not found it easy to induce sick people to correct their habits of life. Habit is often difficult to escape. This is doubly so when the sick person's whole environment tends to fasten these habits upon him. But there is an even more fundamental reason than this: namely, people derive a certain satisfaction, a sense of well-being and a feeling of strength from their habits. Following the medical lead, they have mistaken stimulation for strength, inflammation for nutrition, fever for a heat-forming principle, a waste of vital power for supply, poison for food, disease for health. And they have done all this on the basis of the erroneous principle that lifeless matter acts on living matter.
Thus, as Graham remarked, "the very means of our relief serves to aggravate our diseases. When coffee is taken to "relieve a coffee-induced headache, when morphine is taken to "relievethe sufferings of the morphine addict, when tobacco is taken to "steady nerves that have been unsteadied by the use of tobacco, the poor victim of the poison disease mistakes his fictional relief for genuine benefit and returns again and again to the real source of his miseries. Dr. Walter said that in a long experience in dealing with invalids he "found it to be invariable that what makes the man sick is the thing which he never wants to relinquish. This is true because to relinquish the evil thing is to suffer, while to resort to it again is to smother the suffering. For this fictional relief millions have given their lives.
2. Supply the conditions of health.
There is a radical distinction between Hygiene and drug medication. One aims to aid and assist the vital organism in its effort to rid itself of morbific causes; the other only directs its energies to a new foe and creates new diseases. Hygienists reject all poisons and insist upon doing nothing beyond supplying the physiological wants under the circumstances. If the processes of purification and reparation are facilitated by a proper regulation of the surrounding influences -this is, by furnishing the sick man with precisely the amount of air, water, food, rest, temperature, light, quiet, etc., he can use under the circumstances, and by the careful avoidance of all injurious agents and influences - the sick will very rarely die of any form of acute disease.
The frantic, almost hysterical doing something that goes on so industriously at the bedside of the sick is the cause of thousands of deaths yearly. Have you not seen the wringing of hands and heard the hysterical cry, "Why doesn't somebody do something?Do something - anything - just so something is being done. The physicians of the world meet this unintelligent demand in thousands of equally unintelligent and very destructive ways.
Dr. Thomas Low Nichols, a Hygienist who was a contemporary of Trall wrote: "The moment anyone is taken ill - that is, the moment nature begins the operation of expelling some matter of disease, everybody wants to do something to the patient. Every old woman rushes in with her infallible nostrum, and nature, who has honestly set to work to cue a disease, finds herself hindered on every side. When the stomach is incapable of digestion, it must be deluged with gruels, rice, water and barley water, as if the moment one is sick, he was in imminent danger of starvation. Then comes the physician, and if one of the common sort, the attack begins in earnest. A few years ago out came the lancet, and followed its rude gash a quart of blood. Poor nature, feeling the work she has to do, and needing all her strength, gasped at this murderous sacrifice; but the next attack was to cover fifty square inches of skin with a torturing blister and at the same time to pour down the throat doses of the most virulent poisons of the material medica. This went on, and when nature finally sank under the disease, and the added enthusiasm of a vile torturing medication, everybody consoled himself with the idea that 'everything was done that could be done': it should be added, to kill the patient', "
The do something practice attempts to do nature's work for her. It attempts this without knowing what is to be done, what is being done and how it is to be done. It is a slap in the face of law and order. The do something practice almost invariably hinders or completely suppresses the vital activities that have been instituted to remove toxins, repair damages and restore integrity.
In an editorial entitled "You Must Do Something, Trall wrote: "Impatient men and meddlesome women will not be quiet and let nature take her course, but are constantly tampering or tinkering with their stomachs, livers, kidneys or other 'innards, ' till they get the machine out of running order, whereas, if they would let it alone for a time, it would right itself. Every old granny one meets, whether in petticoats or in trousers, delights in experiments on one's bowels, with all his or her 'sartin remedies' for any fancied complaint. Have you had a backache, a side-ache, pain or infirmity, that they have not had 'in the very worst way? This is the class who are 'never so happy as when most miserable. ' They are always 'dosing and doctoring. ' If it were not for their continued meddling, they would soon be well. But in their ignorance they believe in 'having something to take, ' and they swallow the stuff advertised by quacks in the newspapers. They 'try' a few bottles or boxes of every new remedy. Then, getting no better, conclude they have taken the wrong thing, and of course, must try something else. 'They must take something. ' And so they go on fooling about all through their miserable existence. "
How much longer will it take the human race and the medical profession to learn the simple lesson that it is better to do nothing than to do evil. Trall continues: "In nine out of ten of these cases the thing to do is to keep quiet, stop tinkering and leave nature to regulate the machinery in her own good time and way. No matter what the cause of illness, the simplest treatment is always the best. Swallowing poisons never did anybody any good, and the sooner we give up the foolish habit of dosing, the better. We repeat, that in most cases of bodily derangement, the best thing to do is to do nothing.
Herbert M. Shelton
Biodynamics Vs. Pharmacodynamics
Vol. XXV August, 1964 No. 12
Biodynamics Vs. Pharmacodynamics
Herbert M. Shelton
To the present-day scientists man is not a biological being, but a physical entity that, like a dry stick, can only react when it is acted upon. The stimulus-response theory, accepted alike, by biologists, physiologists and psychologists, holds that the living organism is capable of acting only as it is acted upon from without. Its environment or some part of it first acts upon the body and then the body reacts. Except for this action of its environment, the living organism is as inert as a clod of earth.
Hygienists maintain, on the other hand, that a living organism is permeated in every organ and system, through every sell and every fiber with energy. It maintains itself by the exercise of this energy and easily resists the forces of decay so long as its energy is abundant. The body controls the chemical processes and changes that take place within it as certainly as the chemist controls those that he manipulates in the laboratory. We think that this is one of the most important subjects that ever engaged the attention of thinking men. In it are concealed the germs of the solution of numerous questions that have long engaged the attention of physiologists, pharmacologist and physicians.
Let us state this matter in the form of a question: Does the lifeless, unorganized, energy less, quiescent, passive, inert thing or substance act or does the living, organized, energized, dynamic, active organism act? Dr. Trall supplied the Hygienist's reply to this question when he said that in the relations between lifeless matter and the living organism, the latter is active always, and the former passive. The power to act and react belongs to the living organism and not to the inert and unorganized substance. The living organism possesses both the energy of action and the instruments of action.
If we apply this principle to drugs, we come up with the principle that it is the body and not the drug that acts; that the drug is no more capable of acting when it is taken into the human organism than it was while still resting in bottle or box on the druggist's shelf. The drug may rest on the shelf for centuries without acting; as soon as it is taken into the human stomach or into the human blood stream or applied to the human skin it is supposed to become very active.
Not only is the drug supposed to act, it is supposed to perform certain types of action for which it lacks every qualification. For example, it is said to have physiological actions. Now, physiological actions are performed only by a physiological apparatus and this only by a living apparatus. Lifeless lungs do not breathe, a life-less heart does not pulsate, lifeless livers perform no functions, the lifeless stomach does not digest Food, a lifeless gland does not secrete, a lifeless nerve fiber transmits no nerve impulses. Cat-gut makes a fine violin string, but as a violin string it performs no physiological activity. These things being true, how was it ever conceived that a mere chemical compound could perform such actions?
It has been said that all foreign substances that enter the body are either inert or poisonous; but the supposedly inert, except for the bulk that is in most foodstuffs, are not inert--they are poisonous. The first thing the body does when they are taken in is to institute processes to cast them out through the bowels, the skin, the kidneys, the liver, the lungs, the mucous membranes, or by vomiting. This casting-out process is accomplished by processes that are called symptoms and are often uncomfortable and painful.
Foreign materials are either retained or expelled. If expelled this may take place through the regular channels of excretion with little systemic disturbance: on the other hand, the process of resistance and expulsion may be a very disagreeable and painful experience. The expulsion of certain chemical substances is often very difficult, even dangerous and it may be stored in the bones or other tissues for safe keeping. Arsenic, iodine, mercury, bismuth and common salt are among the materials stored.
When it is declared that a substance is both a toxic substance and a medicinal substance, it should be known that the two phrases mean exactly the same thing. It is the poisonous quality of the "powerful drugs" that occasion those biologists or vital actions that are called medicinal actions of the drugs. When drugs are employed and side-effects are said to be produced, it should be understood that these side-
effects are but some of the disease occasioned by the drug. The alleged physiological and therapeutic effects of these drugs are also disease. For example, if a drug is given to produce a diarrhea, the diarrhea is disease; if a drug is given to produce vomiting, the vomiting is disease.
Between a poison and the living organism there is a relationship of eternal antagonism, not one of affinity. The body resists, rejects, expels the drug. The drug is as inert in the body as in the bottle, but is acted upon by the organism, which alone has the power of action. The various powers and capacities of action are built into the body during its embryonic stage, when its tissues are being differentiated and its organs are being organized.
The hypothesis is an old one that drugs have specific relations to various parts, organs or structures of the organism, although it has never been verified. They are also said to have selective action or, as this was formerly ex-pressed, they possess the inherent power to "elect" or "select" the part or organ on which they act, and that by virtue of this special selective or elective affinity certain drugs act on one part of the body and others act on other parts. This absurd notion is the basis of the classification of drugs into cathartics, emetics, purgatives, diaphoretics, etc.
Viewing the actions that follow the taking of drugs from a biodynamic point of view, it becomes evident that, so far from these medical notions being correct, the opposite is true. In-stead of the lifeless, inert drug acting on the body or parts of it, it is acted on by the body or some part of it. The means of action, this is to say, the instruments of action, belong to the complexly organized living body and the power of action, this is, the energy with which to act, belongs also to the living organism.
There is nothing certain about the drugging system, accept that is as always a source of in-jury. It is not even possible to tell in advance whether a certain drug shall prove to be an emetic, a cathartic, a diaphoretic, a diuretic or something else. This can be known only by observing the operations that follow its ad-ministration. This should not be true if the drugs possessed the properties with which the physician and the pharmacologist have invested them. If they have the power to perform certain actions, there should be no loss of uniformity in their actions.
The reason that their alleged actions are uncertain is simple enough to understand. They are all poisons and the body expels them in the best way it can. The so-called cathartic may be expelled by emesis, or the so-called emetic may be expelled by catharsis. There is just one thing of which we can be certain, and this is the fact that the body never lets up until it has expelled all of the drug in one way or another or in several ways. if the stomach is irritable, no matter how cathartically inclined" a drug may be, emesis will follow. Indeed, the sensation caused in swallowing may "reflexly" result in the drug being ejected by vomiting, so that a drug that is given as a cathartic becomes an emetic.
If the stomach is in a state of depression, a drug that is regularly an emetic may have to he expelled in some other manner. In self-defense, the body must throw it out--through the bowels or the kidneys or the skin or some other channel. The more speedy and violent the emesis or catharsis or diuresis or diaphoresis that follows the taking of the drug, the more the physician is inclined to laud the virtues of his medicine. To the enlightened Hygienist, this speed of action is evidence of the virulence of the poison. It is not drug action that is witnessed, but defensive action of the body. Let the physician laud the alleged virtues of his favorite cathartic, it is a cathartic only because its presence in the food canal is a source of danger.
There are drugs that are classed as sedatives, narcotics, soporifics, tranquilizers, anesthetics, etc. These are drugs that occasion depression of the functions and powers of life. They occasion a reduction of respiration, a slowing down of the heart, lessened activity of the nervous system, mental depression, etc. The depression may be only such as to induce a slight depression of consciousness and feeling, it may be enough to result in unconsciousness, a state miscalled sleep, or they may occasion such a profound mental and nervous depression that operations may be performed and the subject not be aware that he is being cut open and organs cut away. The depression of the powers of life may be great enough that functions are suspended and the victim dies.
It should be understood that somatic awareness, no less than psychic awareness is be-numbed by the taking of sedative drugs and that the housecleaning that is urgently needed is not undertaken. If the housecleaning is already underway, it is suspended or suppressed. A sedative may be given to a patient with an excited heart; the heart slows down and all too often the patient dies. Sedation borders on death.
The narcotic addict keeps himself continuously depressed by habitual dosing with a narcotic drug. A re-birth of awareness follows the excretion of the drug. It is then that the drug-taker becomes aware of his actual condition. His physician will call his symptoms, withdrawal symptoms. He should realize that they are the outcries of an organism that has been outraged with poisons.
Man is a sensorial creature. All of his communications with the external world are through the organs of sense. These control his actions. The organs of man's body are sensories and, although most of their sensations are subconscious, they, nevertheless, govern the subconscious activities within. Just as a man seeks warmth when he feels cold and seeks the shade when he is hot, so his organs feel poison and seek to resist and to expel it. Not all of the sensations aroused by the presence of poisons are below the level of consciousness. The discomfort, nausea, distress and vomiting that result when a poison is swallowed or the griping, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea that follow taking other poisons are not subconscious.
The thing I would emphasize here is that any substance the natural tendency of which is to occasion discomfort, distress, nausea, vomiting, griping, diarrhea, vertigo, pain and other such symptoms is not a suitable substance to introduce into the living body. Its relations to the body are not altered by calling it a medicine. It is a poison and no possible change of names can make it into any thing else.
Herbert M. Shelton
Healing Versus "Curing"
Vol. XXVII July, 1967 No. 11
Healing Versus "Curing"
Herbert M. Shelton
Healing is a prerogative of the living organism. It is omnipresent and is forever functioning in the body that is not in full health. Curing disease is a voodoo game. A cure for disease will be discovered simultaneously with the discovery of perpetual motion. The search for cures should have been abandoned at the same time the search for the Philosopher's stone was given up. People who want to be cured should not consult a Hygienist. Hygienists cannot cure; they have no cures.
Man can know what to do to help lagging function; he can know much about the creative processes that go on in his body, and their requirements; but he cannot make blood; he cannot produce a cell; he cannot knit a broken bone; he cannot repair a wound. All that he may legitimately do is to remove all interfering factors, whether internal or external, and supply the normal conditions of this creative work; after which the organs and processes of life, under the control of the laws of life, get busy and do the work of healing.
We have a great army of invalids and semi-invalids who are going from specialist to specialist, from hospital to hospital, from clinic to clinic, from sanitarium to sanitarium, from one health resort to another, from climate to climate, from the sea shore to the mountains, seeking, ever seeking, for health. They go from one school of curing to another school of curing, but they never regain health. They spend time and money in their search for health and never find it. What is wrong? If the drugs and operations, the sea bathing and sunshine and mountain air and different climates and the specialists and the famous hospitals and clinics and sanitariums cannot cure them, what is the reason? If modern medical science, with all of its great wealth of cures, fails them and they turn to the lesser schools of curing, and these also fail them, what shall they do?
The answers to all these questions are simple ones. These people are not getting well because the causes of their illnesses are not being removed. Their modes of living are not being corrected. Enervating habits are being permitted to cripple their functioning power so that they remain toxemic. They continue to eat in a manner to maintain the constant and seething cesspools in their digestive tracts. They do not need to change climates. They do not need to go to the mountains or to the sea shores. They need to change their modes of life. They can get well as soon as they cease to build disease. When they learn the correct way of life and conform to it, they can have health. Until then, they are destined to go on suffering and chasing cures until the undertaker relieves them of the necessity of further chasing.
The first deviation from health is a gradually evolving enervation resulting from enervating mental and physical habits. So long as enervation checks secretion and excretion, there is a general inability of the organs of the body to function normally. A toxemic state of the body develops and slowly devitalizes the tissues for years, resulting in delayed healing and degeneration in injured or devitalized parts. The varying symptom-complexes, starting with enervation and progressing to toxemia, impaired nutrition, with a gradual deterioration of the entire system, and ending, finally, in ulceration, induration and fungation (cancer), is a long drawn-out pathological evolution with a continuous degeneration of tissue. When men live in a manner to maintain a continuous toxin saturation, they are in line for the development of any disease to which diathesis or environment determines them.
It may be questioned that this progressive toxemic saturation of the tissues of the body is responsible for the many so-called diseases with which man suffers. It is commonly thought that each of these so-called diseases is a distinct entity, requiring a specific cure. This idea grows out of the symptomatic differences noted in the various so-called diseases. Why should not organs differing as much in histology and function as the tonsils and the stomach present different symptoms when they are inflamed? Will it be denied that the cardinal symptoms of inflammation are the same in the two organs? It will not. But the secondary symptoms will differ and these differences will flow from the differences in structure and function of the two organs. If pneumonia differs from hepatitis or if nephritis differs from colitis, this is due to the fact that, while inflammation in every possible location is basically the same, the different structures lend their own characteristic features to the symptoms. But if they are basically and actually one and the same thing, why should they be recognized as different diseases and treated differently?
Pneumonia is a symptom-complex based on inflammation localized in the air cells. Were the inflammation localized in the bronchial tubes, it would be called bronchitis. When the inflammation is localized in the tonsils, it is called tonsillitis; if in the stomach, gastritis; if in the womb, metritis; if in the appendix, appendicitis; if in the colon, colitis, etc., etc.
In studying pathology in the text books, it has neither past nor future. It is without beginning and without end. We study isolated fragments of pathological processes. Is it atrophy we study? We never have it connected with preceding states of the body. Do we study abscess of the liver? We study the abscess as though it has no connection with the ills of functional impairment, irritation, chronic inflammation, etc., that have preceded. End-points are studied. Unfortunately, also, there is no differentiation between what we may term natural pathology and drug-created pathology. Nobody ever suspects that we are studying end-products of years of pathological functioning and our pathology is like topsy; it was never born, it just growed. It appears without cause, without a history of premonitory symptoms, to be cut out and pronounced cured.
The belief in disease and cures stands as an effective barrier to a true education in healthful living. The medical profession is not teaching the people how to live, but has opposed every effort at living improvement. The only prevention they have fostered is that of immunization by means of vaccines and serums.
Wrong habits of body and mind reduce the powers of the body and make it possible for parasites and germs to live in its cavities. Parasites and germs are not the causes of disease of the body, but incidents of the disease. Germs are as helpless in a truly healthy body as a feather in a gale. The cause of disease is not the germ that is present, but the mental and physical habits that have broken down the body. Let the office of the germs be what it may, they can no more cause disease than a fire can be kindled in a vacuum. The theory that germs and parasites have to be destroyed in order to cure disease, is one of the myriads of delusions that collectively constitute what is called scientific medicine.
Parasites seem to be almost, if not quite as omnipresent as germs, but like germs, parasites of all kinds must find favorable habitats if they are to begin housekeeping. When you start homesteading parasites, you may know that your tissues and secretions have become so impaired that the parasites find residence in them possible. "Carriers" of germs and parasites are those who have converted their bodies, particularly their digestive tracts, into bouillon cultures, by enervating habits and gross eating. Amebic dysentery, a so-called parasitic disease, ends in recovery in two to three weeks if the patient is properly cared for and no amebicides are given by mouth or by rectum. These drugs cause inflammation, build ulcerative colitis and proctitis.
If we take a look at the curing process in the case of cancer, we cannot help but be shocked and amazed at the pain to which people are subjected in their effort to regain health without the necessity of removing the cause or causes of their suffering. The tortures of the orthodox hell are mild compared to the suffering of the cancer patient who has been operated upon and then given the orthodox treatment that is used as a follow-up. The pain is "relieved" with narcotics given in increasing doses, with diminishing "relief," until the patient dies in a narcotic drunk. At no point in the care of a cancer case is any effort made to discover and remove its cause.
Cancer does not develop in a normal body. This is to say, a genuinely healthy body will not evolve cancer. Cancers are not self-caused. It should be understood, then, before any effort is undertaken to treat cancer, that it is necessary to know what changes have taken place in the body before cancer develops. If these are known and corrected, the cancer should disappear, providing the whole organism is not so greatly devitalized that it is not capable of throwing off the evolving pathology. To remove the cancer and follow the removal with X-ray and radium certainly does nothing to correct the pre-cancerous developments and their causes.
A physician is called to see a sick man. He finds him in severe pain and administers an anodyne. This provides a temporary respite from pain, but it practically suspends the operations of the body in throwing off toxins and repairing damage. If the case is one of pneumonia, and the cough is "relieved," the lungs fill with secretion and the patient dies; if it is one of diarrhea in an infant, and the diarrhea is checked, the infant may die of the "relief." Maltreated pneumonia may end in death or in tuberculosis. Maltreated pleurisy may end in pyothorax (pus in the pleural cavity). If the pus is well drained, and the patient is otherwise properly cared for, he will make a full recovery. If drainage is imperfect, pus absorption follows and the patient will be kept in a state of semi-invalidism with the possible development of one or more abscesses in some vital organ or organs. In such a case, ultimate death from exhaustion is the contingency to be expected.
We frequently read in medical works that "most fatal diseases start with a cold; " we are warned not to neglect a cold, lest it be the forerunner of more serious illness. We are also told that colds make us liable to "other diseases. " The real truth, as any practitioner of the so-called healing arts may demonstrate to his own satisfaction, is that, unwise care of the patient with a cold often produces a fatal malady. The imprudent always "feed a cold" until it ends fatally. There is one important rule of life that all informed people should know and serve, and this is: When feeling bad, cease all eating, This is one of the most important rules that may be observed in the care of the ailing body.
Children that are kept in bed, kept quiet, and not permitted to eat when they have measles, whooping-cough, scarlet fever and other so-called children's diseases, will be well in a few days. If fed and drugged in the usual manner, a child that should soon recover may die in a few days.
Parents whose misguided sympathy leads them to persuade, even to coerce, their children to eat when they are irritated, excited, tired, hard to please, or have no desire to eat, may lose one or more children before they learn the simple fact that such children should not be fed. If they are put to bed and allowed to keep quiet, but without food, they will be well and happy the next morning. Parents should send their false teachers and doctors and physicians of all "schools of healing, " with their drugs and foods, and their neighborhood advisors to the oblivion, to which they so richly deserve to go, and care for their children sensibly.
The child or adult with a cold, should refrain from eating so long as the cold lasts. The original meaning of the old maxim, "Feed a cold and starve a fever, " was feed a cold and you will have to starve a fever. Its meaning has been perverted. People who develop pneumonia are those who have a cold and who continue to eat up to and during the development of pneumonia. Pneumonia begins with a cold; the patient commonly complaining for a week, but eating daily, even overeating. It requires a week to ten days of eating while the cold lasts to evolve pneumonia; often it requires but three more days to prepare the patient for the undertaker.
I will be told that germs cause pneumonia. Yes, I am aware that this is the theory. But germs are as omnipresent as the orthodox god. They are always on hand. Pneumonia develops only when our living and eating have made it possible. In spite of the constant presence of pneumonia germs, we can maintain good health and never have the disease. Feeding in a cold provides a culture medium for the growth and multiplication of the germs. If they are the cause, they are invited by feeding.
People who die of pneumonia have been toxemic for years. They have suffered with a long-drawn-out sub-acute inflammatory state, accompanied with colds and other symptoms until the ultimate development of pneumonia. In the majority of cases there has also been impairment of liver function. But the immediate cause the fulminant is protein poisoning, due to excessive eating of animal foods. If these patients have also been addicted to alcohol, the death rate is higher. I think that a careful statistical analysis of pneumonia cases will also show that smoking increases the death rate.
More than three million people are incapacitated by illness every day. Great numbers of these are cared for in hospitals. New hospitals are continually being built and new additions are being built to those already in existence. We are always preparing to care for increasing numbers of sick people, all the while the story goes out that preventive medicine is such a howling success. It is obvious, however, that the art of keeping well is not well understood and that knowledge of how to stay well is not spreading very fast. The great amount of sickness observed among those who are the closest adherents of the schools of healing reveals that they are not receiving the right kind of health education. If our people knew how to keep well, we could do with fewer rather than more institutions in which to care for the sick.
Herbert M. Shelton
The Non-Starch Diet
Vol. XXXII July, 1971 No. 11
The Non-Starch Diet
Herbert M. Shelton
In his efforts to establish, to his complete satisfaction, the normal diet of man, Dr. Emmet Densmore pursued a line of reasoning that we may consider with profit. First he noted that animals in their natural state live upon foods which are spontaneously produced by nature, and require no cultivation. Man, on the other hand, he noted, lives upon foods that are produced by cultivation. Man does not live upon the spontaneous products of nature, but lives artificially.
The thought then occurred to him that, if nature has provided a natural food for all the animals below man, perhaps she has also provided a normal food for man. He assumed that nature has produced foods that are as normal to man as grasses are to the herbivore, or as flesh is to the carnivore. This was certainly no unreasonable assumption, but is based on the principle of the unity of nature. It is based upon the fact that man, as much as the lion or the deer, is a child of nature and that, like these animals, his normal requirements are found in nature.
If man, like the other animals of nature, is constituted for a certain type of food, what is that food or what is that type? What, in other words, is the normal food of man? He sought for his answer in several directions. Scientists were agreed that man's original home was in a warm climate, either in the tropics or the sub-tropics. Without tools and without fire, he must have lived in a part of the world where the spontaneous productions of nature could be obtained by him with only the "tools" with which he is physiologically equipped and could eat without artificial preparation.
"If man first lived in a warm climate, " he reasoned, "and, if like other animals, he subsisted on foods spontaneously produced by nature, these foods must have been those which grow wild in such a climate, quite probably such foods as are still spontaneously produced in such localities. The woods of the south, as is well known, abound in sweet fruits and nuts."
It will be seen at a glance that this line of reasoning led straight to the fruits of the trees as man's normal diet. But man does not live on a fruit diet. Indeed, the greater part of his diet has long been cereals and animal foods. Let us, then, see what Densmore found about cereals.
"It is taught by botanists that wheat is an artificial product developed from some grass plant not now known. Moreover, cereals are the product of the temperate zone, not of those regions where there is no winter, and it was, therefore a necessity of man's sustenance when he was without agriculture, without tools and without fire, and had to depend upon foods spontaneously produced by nature, that he live in a region where these foods were produced at all seasons of the year. This narrows or confines the inquiry to two articles of dietfruit and nuts."
He next noted that these foods need no additions, no sweetenings, no seasonings, no preparations, to appeal to the olfactory and gustatory senses of man. "If the dishes that are set before a gourmet, " he said, "those that have been prepared by the most skillful chefs, and that are the product of the most elaborate inventions and preparations, were set beside a portion of the sweet fruits and nuts, as produced by nature, without addition or change, every child and most men and women would consider the fruits and nuts quite equal if not superior in gustatory excellence to the most recherche dishes."
Analysis showed that these foods contain the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals that are essential to human nutrition. Subsequent analysis has shown them to be abundant in the various essential vitamins. Sugar, he noted, is the chief carbohydrate of fruits and nuts. In what way does this diet differ from the diet of civilization? Let us see how Densmore viewed this.
"Instituting a comparison between sweet fruits and nuts on the one hand, and the diet of civilization on the other, I soon detected an essential difference. I saw that while bread, cereals, and vegetables are the basis of the diet of the present day, that starch is the chief element of these foods. Scrutinizing the component parts of fruits and nuts, I saw that these fruits contain very little starch, and hence I perceived that I had brought to light a fact that was not unlikely to bear an important part in the solution of the problem before me."
Thus, by a simple process of reasoning upon well-known facts of nature, he had arrived at the conclusion that, as man's normal diet as represented in the spontaneous products of nature, contains little starch, the cultivated food plants of civilized man were abundant in starch. This led to the question: "What is the effects of starch upon the system?" "Wherein, " he asked, "Does a diet that is without starch differ physiologically from one in which starch is the predominant element?"
Seeking a reply to this last question, he noted first of all "that the two foods (fruits and starch or cereals) involve a different process of digestion. " "Sweet fruits are composed largely of glucose, with a fair proportion of nitrogen... " cereals are composed largely of starch, with a higher proportion of nitrogen. The carbohydrate in nuts is largely sugar. If fruits and nuts constitute man's normal diet, as his reasoning had concluded, the starch diet is not his normal diet.
But he was met by one of the most convenient arguments that the evolution hypothesis has supplied its votaries. "Since man, by artificial contrivance and agriculture, " it was reasoned, "has developed and employed cereals and starchy vegetables as the basis of his diet, he has reversed what appears to be the natural order. " Densmore examined this contention in the light of anatomy and physiology and found that man's digestive organs have undergone no alterations in structure and function to adapt him to the starch diet. "The orang-outang and the several species of long-armed apes, which have, apparently since time began, fed upon nuts and fruits, to the exclusion of cereals and starchy vegetables, have today the same digestive apparatus in substantially the same proportion of parts as man, after his thousands of years of cereal eating. This fact is undeniable evidence that man's organs have not undergone essential modification or change by these centuries of unnatural diet." Evolution just didn't evolve.
Analyzing the various mono-diets that were then popular, and for which much was claimed in the way of their benefits to the patient, he noted that the Salisbury meat diet, the grape diet, and the milk diet each were non-starch diets. They were simple and, at the same time, they met another requirement of a dietease of digestion. "At the foundation" of these diets, he said, "I was gratified to find the same basic fact that the diet is essentially non-starch, and one in which bread, cereals, and starchy vegetables are reduced to a minimum. "The Salisbury diet was, to quote Densmore, "entirely free from starch. " He says of the Salisbury diet, that it was "a uniform diet. " It was usually considered that a variety of food is necessary both for the invalid and the robust. The triumphs of the mono-diets fly in the face of this commonly received axiom.
Can it be true, then, as Densmore contended, that invalids, and especially those suffering with digestive disease, are "invariably benefited by being placed on an exclusively non-starch diet?" If man's digestive organs had undergone the modifications suggested by the defenders of the starch diet, " he reasoned, "starch foods would naturally be those best adapted to man's restoration; but if, as we contend, the race has been, during all these thousands of years of cereal eating, perpetually straining and overcrowding the powers of the second stomach (the duodenum), and thus deranging the digestive apparatusand if man is seen to be at once benefited by discontinuing that diet, and by taking a food which is digested in the first stomachthese facts tend to confirm the view that the adoption of a non-starch diet is in conformity with man's physiological structure and needs."
What he denominated food fruits consisted chiefly of sweet fruitsdates, figs, bananas, raisins, prunes, apples, nuts. Fruits and nuts, with the addition of green vegetables, constitute an adequate diet, furnishing all the food-factors needed by man's organism, and whoever eats a diet of this kind will be better off than he who eats a great variety of foods, from soup to nuts, from all the kingdoms of nature. Is it not sufficient comment upon the abnormality of the modern diet that fruit is relegated to the last place on the menu and is all too often used merely for ornamental purposes?
Prior to Graham the medical and conventional view of fruit was well expressed by a noted British physician thus: "for decorative purposes fruit equals flowers. " Fruits were thought of, also, as relishes, but were not supposed to have any food value. "Bread and meat" were symbolic of nutriment, and those who could afford to do so often sat down to meals consisting of several types of flesh foods. Puddings, porridges, and similar articles of diet were classed with bread.
"The ordinary dried figs of commerce, " said Dr. Densmore, "contain about 68 per cent of glucose, which glucose when eaten is in the identical condition that the starch of cereal food is converted into after a protracted and nerve-force-wasting digestion. " He correctly observed that the sugar of fruits is predigested. Many of them require no preparation at all to render them ready to enter the blood stream, others have to be reduced to simpler sugars, a process that takes place in the intestine. There is certainly good common sense in his thought that foods that are "pre-digested by nature" and are ready for absorption and assimilation upon ingestion, place less tax upon the digestive system than those foods that are prepared for assimilation only after a complicated and laborious process of digestion.
But, as man is equipped with ptyalin and with starch splitting enzymes in the intestine, it may be urged that starch may be thought of as constituting a normal part of his diet. It was the thought of Dr. Densmore that man's normal starch-digesting equipment is just sufficient to enable him to digest the small amounts of starch that normally exist in the fruits and nuts that constitute his normal diet. This thought is that, while man is equipped to digest a certain amount of starch, a predominately starch diet, such as is eaten in much of the world today, is not normal to him, and that, the best form in which he should secure his carbohydrates is sugar.
In this connection, sugar means the sweet fruits produced by old mother nature herself, not the processed sugars of commerce. Sugars, whether in the form of sugar (crystalsbrown or white) or in the form of syrups, that have been separated from their associated nutrients and that have been concentrated and changed, do not constitute ideal foods for man or beast. The maple sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, milk sugar and fruit sugars of commerce and the syrups and molasses that are freely eaten, whether from cane or maple sap, do not constitute really good foods for man. Honey, even when pure and unchanged, is not a good food for man for much the same reason, and for added reasons. It is a fine food for bees.
It was believed in Densmore's day, it is still believed that toasting starch, as in toasting bread, dextrinizes it, thus rendering it more easily digested. Although the toasting of bread spoils much of the food value that remains in it after the first baking, and converts part of it into charcoal, precious little dextrinization occurs. Densmore, accepting the dextrinization of bread by toasting, said: "the sweet fruits are removed a step beyond. If there was some method by which a piece of toast could undergo a second transformation and the dextrin be converted into glucose, it would then in all probability be substantially as easy of digestion as the sweet fruits; for the simple reason that it would already be glucose; in a word, no digestion would be necessary."
Certainly, as he contended, sweet foods would be far better for the weakened individual and the invalid, with lowered digestive powers, than would be a diet of starches. If there is one starch food that may be regarded as an exception to this rule, it would be the potato, as its starch is more easily and speedily converted into sugar than the starch of cereals, legumes, etc. But Densmore goes further than a consideration of the interests of the invalid when he says: "it would seem plain that a human being in apparently robust health is much more liable to remain so upon a food that is adapted to his organism, and that is of easy digestion, than upon one that is a foreign body, and that must undergo a protracted and difficult digestion before being of use to the system."
Herbert M. Shelton
Fragmentation Of Man's Food
Vol. XXXII July, 1973 No. 11
Fragmentation Of Man's Food
Herbert M. Shelton
There has long been a tendency to study nutrition in terms of individual nutritional factors rather than in terms of the total diet. The result has been an effort to fragmentize our foodstuffs and feed fragments instead of whole foods. Nature puts up her food stuffs in more or less balanced ensembles, each food factor ideally associated with other and correlated factors; we have tried to separate them and feed broken foods. Our whole study of foods has been in terms of individual factors rather than in terms of whole foods. We talk very learnedly about protein but know little of nuts; write whole books about fats and know nothing of nuts; bum carbohydrates in caliometers and know nothing of dates. We talk about vitamins and minerals instead of studying and making use of fruits and vegetables.
A writer on diet will go to some lengths to explain to readers that the body needs proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. Then he will tell him the foodstuffs in which these food factors are contained, not even differentiating between the whole foods and the robbed foods that have been through the food processor's hands, and think that he has given the reader almost the whole of the science of dietetics. Man has been eating foods for centuries and should know, by this time, not only what foods best serve his nutritive needs, but how best to prepare and use them. Unfortunately he knows neither of these things and his advisors have not attempted to enlighten him. They have been so busily engaged in studying food factors that they have neglected to give any attention to the factors of eating, combining, preparation, etc., that are as important as the foods themselves.
How else could it have come about that we could be led to believe that we can secure the food factors we require by swallowing pills and powders said to contain minerals and vitamins? How else could we have been induced to surrender delicious natural sources of proteins for the foul tasting amino acid preparations that are marketed? How otherwise could a nation that is chronically distended with gas, suffers with a sour stomach and has distress after every meal, so that millions are made yearly out of the manufacture and sale of drugs to relieve "acid stomach" and "upset stomach, " have been persuaded that its eating practices are commendable? We eat and we suffer and we profess to believe that our eating habits conform to the requirements of nature.
If we assume that the minerals added to our foods are utilized the practice is still a lop-sided one. The body does not require minerals, but minerals in ideal association with proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is not vitamins that are needed but vitamins in ideal association with minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It is food, whole food that is needed. If the diet is faulty it is not to be made good by bolstering it up with supplements and reinforcements.
There is much learned talk about "trace elements, " a number of which have been found in the body. No chemist is prepared to say that several more will not be found. Nor is any physiologist or physiological chemist in a position to say with definiteness which of these "trace elements" (they are called trace elements because they are found in mere traces in the body) is essential and which are merely adventitious elements. The following elements are present in the body, or in some bodies in mere traces: Copper, tin, zinc, chromium, manganese, silver, vanadium, cobalt, boron, arsenic, caesium, lithium, palladium, tellurium, strontium, selenium, rubidium, molybdenum. How probable is it that all of these elements are essential elements of human structure? How many more elements are present in traces so minute that his means of detection are inadequate to enable the chemist to find them? We think that it has been fully established that copper is an essential element of the blood cells, we think that some of these minerals serve as catalysts, but we have a long way to go before we are sure of many of them.
One thing we do know, however, and this is that, if we take our foods from the hands of old mother nature and eat them as she prepares them and if they have been grown on good soil, we shall obtain all the food elements we require without bothering ourselves about the uncertainties and confusions of biochemistry. Here is the important fact for the man in the street. Man of ten thousand years ago found all the nourishment he required in the products of nature without a knowledge of food chemistry and body chemistry: man of today can do the same thing.
Our tendency to think of nutrition in terms of individual nutrients leads to such mistakes as placing all the emphasis on proteins or on vitamins or minerals, even on calories. Or, we may narrow our consideration to calcium or iron or tryptophane. Also, there is the common mistake of assuming that, merely because a food factor is taken into the stomach it gets into the blood.
The desire to be scientific has caused students of diet to preoccupy themselves with chemical considerations. Chemistry at least gives them something about which to talk and to present the appearance of knowledge, even though a knowledge of chemistry does not enable one to feed either a baby, child, adult or patient. Any chemist can tell you that the cure for acidosis is an alkali, although any man of experience can tell you that it does not work in the human body.
How logical it appears to feed the patient who is thought to be or known to be deficient in some element or elements of food, to feed foods rich in the lacking element or elements or give these elements in some other form. The hypothesis that disease is due to deficiency has been stretched to cover great numbers of so-called diseases that are obviously toxic crises and the dietitians and biochemists are trying to cure these diseases with vitamins, minerals and foods. Failure after failure does not shake their faith in the correctness of their practices, even though it may convince them that a particular preparation does not answer the purpose.
The "refined" minerals of the biochemists, the synthetic vitamins of the drug trades, the biologicals (glandular products) of laboratories are all very popular with the cure mongers and the obvious failure of these practices does not seem to dim their popularity.
The man or woman who has lost confidence in drugs (poisons) is commonly desperately anxious to do something or take something to neutralize the effects of his errors in living. The biochemist caters to this demand by explaining to the anxious health seeker that by long and laborious processes he has been able to produce a highly delicate form of minerals that are lacking in his body and that if he will just supply these to his body he will be cured. Unless the health seeker is possessed of more fundamental knowledge than the average, he is likely to be lured into spending his money and wasting valuable time trying to cure his disease by dosing himself with these "biochemic" preparations.
Year after year I watch the parade of sick into and out of the stores buying vitamin pills and mineral preparations, but I fail to see any of them get well of their troubles. A progressive deterioration of health is observed in these people.
The proper source of minerals and vitamins as of other food factors is foodnot just anything that may be sold as food, but those food substances that have not been refined and processed and robbed of valuable nutrients to such an extent that they are no longer worthy of being called foods. For untold ages the human body has received its nutriments from this source and the present-day effort to avoid eating foods and to live upon refined and processed substances to which have been added minerals and vitamins is ruinous.
It is well known that the effort to live upon a diet of denatured foods is disastrous; it will soon be equally as fully realized that the effort to live upon these same foods after a few vitaminssynthetic or extractedand a few minerals have been added to them is equally disastrous.
When through faulty diet and a general mode of living that impairs every function of Me, body functions have been reduced and some of them completely arrested, it is not unusual for orthodox dietitians to talk learnedly about "available" and "non-available" substances in the diet. It is then that he discovers that the vitamins in the foods eaten are not being assimilated and wants to provide them by hypodermic injection. He may explain that, due to the impairment of the digestive system, the patient is unable to digest his foods and thus cannot extract the minerals or amino acids from them. What more reasonable, under these circumstances, than to provide pre-digested proteins (amino-acids) and minerals that may be taken into the blood stream without the laborious process of digestion! Clever, these biochemists!
No known chemist by any physico-chemical means no matter how elaborate his effort, has yet been able to prepare crude mineral elements so that they become suitable for use by the human body. So far as is now possible, only the living plant possesses this ability and it does this by processes that are only vaguely guessed at by the chemist. Elements in plants are always present in combination with other elements and the total complex presents us with a balanced nutrient for the animal organism. If one or two of these elements is removed, the remaining substance is no longer fit for human use.
Chemists now assert that by long, patient and ingenious processes they are now able to produce certain fair imitations of proteins, but no chemist pretends to be able to synthesize exact replicas of natural proteins. Even if he could, the work would be too complex and expensive to justify doing it, except as a research project.
The failure of the synthetic vitamins to prove truly remedial when given in cases of vitamin deficiency and their known toxic effects indicate, I think, that they are not identical with the natural vitamins. The body seems to be well able to detect the difference and to expel the imitation vitamin.
Herbert M. Shelton
There Are No Good Drugs
Vol. XXXIII October, 1973 No. 2
There Are No Good Drugs
Herbert M. Shelton
In a round table discussion of drug abuse that took place on one of San Antonio's television stations in August, a former heroin addict, in discussing drug addiction, made the assertion that there are no bad drugs. He stated that the problem faced by the nation today is the abuse of drags. To fortify his statement he pointed out that heroin has been put in cough medicines and that it is used to kill pain. These are supposed to be good effects of the legitimate use of heroin. This, undoubtedly, expresses the common view, as it certainly expresses the medical view.
If a drug may be employed with which to suppress symptoms, it is good. That the drug may produce harmful effects at the same time it suppresses the symptoms is, of course, unfortunate and the physician hopes that the side effects will not be too great or that he can stop the drug if the side effects threaten to become formidable. The suppression of the cough by heroin and the suppression of pain by the same drug are listed as some of its therapeutic effects. In reality these alleged therapeutic effects are among its evil effects. They are classed as therapeutic effects only because they are the effects the physician wishes to produce when he prescribes the drug. Laboring, as he does, under the delusion that something constructive and beneficial is accomplished when a symptom is temporarily suppressed, the physician prescribes his drugs almost wholly with this end in view.
The illusion that suppressing symptoms is beneficial should be dispelled by consideration of the character of symptoms. Let us consider a cough. It is a vigorous, forceful and dramatic expulsion of air from the lungs and is accomplished by sudden contraction of the walls of the chest and of the diaphragm. It is designed to expel obstructing and irritating matter (mucus, blood, water, particles of dust, smoke, gas, etc. ) from the air passages. In pneumonia, coughing keeps the lungs cleared of exudate so that breathing remains possible. The cough is part of the remedial effort, not an attack upon the body from without. If the cough is checked or suppressed the respiratory passages tend to fill with exudate. Checking the cough definitely reduces the patients chance's of recovery.
Analogous to coughing is diarrhea. Like coughing, diarrhea is a dramatic exaggeration of a normal physiological action. It is a bowel action and is designed to free the colon, perhaps even the small intestines, of unwanted material. The unwanted substance may be unsuitable, or decaying food or drugs, or it may be a mineral water. In either case, the diarrhea is a remedial effort. To check the diarrhea while there is a need for it is to lock up, as it were, in the food tube the unsuitable material the diarrhea is intended to remove. The diarrhea automatically ends when its purpose is served and no suppression is necessary. It should be said at this place that coughing also automatically ends when there is no longer a need for it.
Suppressing symptoms is the chief cause of death in acute disease. Instead of drugs being good in proportion to their capacity to suppress symptoms, they are evil in direct proportion to their ability to do so. They suppress symptoms in direct proportion to their toxicity. Let us take pain killers which are classified as anodynes, analgesics, and anesthetics. They "relieve" pain by destroying the power of the nerve to feel. The more toxic anodynes are, the more effective in suspending the patient's awareness. Anesthetics which are among the most toxic drugs in use, may so completely suspend the ability to feel that the victim of anesthetic poisoning may be cut open, even cut into small pieces without being aware that anything is happening to him. The state of anesthesia borders on death. Just a little more of the drug and the victim is dead. A narcotic drug, a hypnotic or soporific drug also destroys the victim's awareness. All of these drugs produce their pain killing effect by crippling the powers of fife. This crippling process greatly reduces or completely suspends the functions of life. The effects of such poisons, whether given in small doses or large are evil and evil only. They are antivital always.
In an article which appeared in the Lancet (London) June 20, 1970 appears an article from which I quote the following: "Our findings suggest that a considerable number of patients with psychiatric disorders may be, for psychological reasons, ingesting analgesics to the extent of inducing peptic ulceration, anaemia, and renal damage. This syndrome of analgesic abuse should be especially sought for in middle-aged women with chronic neurosis, inadequate personality, or reactive depression, especially if they complain of headache or are known to abuse other drugs. Many cases are being missed in the early stages; detecting these patients is important since not only can irrelevant investigation and treatment of dyspepsia and obscure anaemias be avoided, but it is probable that renal damage is arrested if the analgesic ingestion ceases. "
The disease-producing effects of drugs are brought clearly to light in the foregoing quotation. People take headache remedies, pep pills, goof balls, anesthetics, pain killers, sleeping potions and narcotics for the temporary relief these afford, or they take them to get "high" and develop, as a direct consequence of the drug poisoning, gastric ulcer, anemia and kidney disease. The disease that evolves out of repeated taking of the drug is far worse than the minor trouble the drug was originally taken to suppress. It may have been taken originally because the patient was mentally distressed, it speedily grew into a habit after which it produced gastric ulcer, anemia, renal damage or other serious disease.
One of the men who took part in the group discussion of drug abuse which I mentioned at the beginning of this article pointed out that the drug industry is busily engaged in turning out a never ending stream of new drugs. He said that eighty-five percent of the drugs now in use were unknown twenty-five years ago and that new ones are constantly pouring from the laboratories of the drug companies. No law, he thought, designed to curb the manufacture, distribution, sale and "abuse, " of drugs now in use could solve the drug problem which the nation and its armed forces now face. Another speaker emphasized the importance of developing new social attitudes, new goals and a new attitude toward drugs if the young are to be stopped from experimenting with drugs. What was overlooked in the discussion is that so long as the medical profession and the drug industry, with the aid of the educational institution, the religious institution and the government continue to teach the stultifying doctrine that poisons are the proper means with which to build, maintain and restore health, the public can have no different attitude towards drugs than the traditional one which it now holds. It is necessary, if they are to be rescued from drug induced degeneracy and death, that the truth about drugs shall be made known. It must become common knowledge that there are no good drugs and that even their apparent beneficial effects are illusions. The symptomatic relief afforded by drugs is as illusory as the snakes the alcoholic sees in his boots.
Today we are much disturbed over air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution and food pollution, but we are overlooking the greatest evil of them all, namely: the massive chemical and vaccinal pollution of the fluids and tissues of the human body by the medical profession and the pharmaceutical companies. More constant, more direct, more immediate and more general is the deliberate poisoning of children and adults by the medical profession with its delusory cures and immunizers. Until a way is found to stop this massive chemical and vaccinal assault upon the human constitution, victory against other pollutions will avail little.
Herbert M. Shelton
Pestilence and Plagues
Vol. XXXIX November, 1967 No. 3
Pestilence and Plagues
Herbert M. Shelton
The break-down of the ancient systems of sanitation and the decline of individual hygiene was confined, at least at first, to Western Europe, where filthiness was extolled as a means of immortalizing the soul. For a thousand years personal cleanliness was so universally disregarded in Europe "that scarce a man, woman or child throughout Europe made a practice of daily ablution. During this carnival of filth, again and again the Black Death ravaged European countries. In the reign of Justinian, as Gibbon records, a large proportion of the human race was swept away by an epidemic which, with but slight intermissions, raged for fifty years. In Constantinople, 1, 000 grave diggers in constant employ could not hide away fast enough the victims of the dreadful disaster. We have all been made acquainted with the ghastly picture drawn by Boccaccio, with the fearful plague that desolated Florence in the Fourteenth century, and by Defoe, with the ravages of the 'great plague' in London. "
Byzantium, which was Greek, continued the ancient culture and maintained the ancient systems of hygiene and sanitation, at least until it was wrecked, first by the Latin Church and later by the Turks. It is doubtful that the Turks could have taken the nation and its stronghold, one of the most cultured cities of the world, Constantinople, had not the crusaders from the West first sacked and weakened the city and the nation.
In the West the peasant families (serfs) lived in one-room huts, slept in one bed, while pigs, sheep and other farm animals rooted about the dirt floor. Both the men and the women wore coarse woolen clothing the year round, which they rarely, if ever, changed. The houses were unventilated; the people did not bathe; the excretions of their bodies were thrown out into the streets or into the yards. No self-respecting hog raiser of today would keep hogs under such unsanitary conditions. It should be recalled that the few physicians who lived at the time not only made no protest against such filthy living conditions, but lived about as unhealthfully themselves.
Peter the Hermit, who preached the first Crusade, beginning about 1096, is described as a "scrawny little man, nearly sixty, with swarthy skin and face so ugly that it compared unfavorably with his donkeys. In an age when no one bathed, when sanitation consisted of heaving the contents of your slop jar into the road outside your door, when women were considered saintly because they never washed their hands, Peter the Hermit was renowned for his filthiness. It was said that his cloak could not only stand upright by itself but that it would walk as well. It was also said that he carried a flea or a louse on his body for every man he persuaded to take the Cross. But since he had almost twenty thousand followers by the time he reached Cologne, Germany, in April, 1096, this is probably an exaggeration. "The Crusaders, Richard Suskind, 1962. Although Europeans of the West were sunk in the lowest savagery, they lacked the savage's regard for personal and community cleanliness.
While the Crusaders carried an army of prostitutes with them when they went out to fight for God, Ambrose tells us that when the Crusaders were torn away from the delights of Arce, "the only women allowed to follow the troops were those old raddled creatures who washed the laundry and the soldier's heads, and who, for picking lice from the hair, were as good as monkeys. " It does not appear that monkeys pick lice from the hair, but I quote this to show the unhygienic state of these soldiers of the Cross, as they went out to do battle with the Infidels. It is a wonder that they even washed their heads; certain it is that their drinking, fornicating, raping and other crimes reveal that they were about as Christian as Beelzebub.
When Enrico Dandolo, the 95-year-old blind Doge of Venice, who is said to have achieved immortal infamy by turning the Fourth Crusade into "The Crusade Against Christians, " approached the small island of San Niccolo do Lido, a few hundred yards off the Adriatic coast of Italy, where some 30, 000 Crusaders and their families had been living on this lump of barren rock and sand, virtual prisoners for almost a year and a half, these people were in a precarious condition. They had little water, while such a stench arose from the great piles of garbage which clung to the shore, that, when the wind was in the right direction, "no Venetian left his home without a perfume-soaked kerchief to hold against his face. " What wonder that typhoid, typhus and other "epidemic diseases" had decimated their ranks.
Of St. Francis of Assisi, Suskind tells us that when he journeyed to the East with the thought that he could reason with both the Crusaders and the Moslems and get them to cease cutting each other's throats in the service of their respective gods, the Moslem guards "soon decided that anyone so simple and filthy must be mad. " A man may be simple without being mad, but there is no doubt that this filthy "saint" was as mad as the inmates of a house for the insane. However, his filth is what is of interest to us at this time. Francis failed in his efforts and soon sailed back to his pig styWestern Europe.
So long as the body was an object of religious contempt and to abuse it and neglect it was a sure passport to the realms of heavenly bliss, there could be no thought of hygiene and sanitation. The peasant class, even if it had any ideas about cleanliness, either personal or communal, was so poverty stricken that they would have found it difficult to have cultivated this desirable condition. As this contempt for the body was still in full flower with the coming of the Renaissance, there did not follow, immediately upon the revival of learning, a revival of hygiene and sanitation. Not only was religion opposed to hygiene and sanitation, but the medical profession, as it then existed, was also opposed to these measures of promoting health.
Hecker's Epidemics of the Middle Ages says of the Plague that "mighty revolutions in the organism of the earth, of which we have credible information, had preceded it. From China to the Atlantic the foundations of the earth were shaken, throughout Asia and Europe the atmosphere was in commotion, and endangered by its baneful influence, both vegetable and animal life. " Berdoe's Origins and Growth of the Healing Art says (p. 331): "In 1337, four millions of people perished by famine in China in the neighborhood of Kiang alone. Floods, famine and earthquakes were frequent, both in Asia and Europe. In Cyprus a pestiferous wind spread a poisonous odor before an earthquake shook the island to its foundations, and many of the inhabitants fell down suddenly and expired in dreadful agonies after inhaling the noxious gases. German chemists state that a thick stinking mist advanced from the East and spread over Italy in thousands of places, and vast chasms opened in the earth which exhaled the most noxious vapors. "
These are but two of the many efforts made by the medical profession to account for the epidemics that spread over Europe during the Middle Ages. Then, as now, the profession explained epidemics by assuming that nature has suddenly gone upon the war-path and was seeking to destroy man. If the earth does not open up and exhale noxious vapors, or if the sun, moon, stars and oceans do not engage in the mighty battle that results in the formation of pestilential vapors, nature goes into the business of filling man's habitat with viruses and germs that are too virulent for his resistance. Man is always, in their view, the helpless victim of a malevolent nature and is in no wise responsible for the troubles from which he suffers.
The medical historian, Ibanez, describes the sanitary and hygienic conditions of Europe at the height of the Middle Ages in the following words: "The lavish use of baths in Rome, Byzantium, and Islamic societies found no counterpart in medieval society.
"Powerful stenches pervaded towns, villages, baronial castles. Moslem travelers in Europe often complained of 'infidel smells. '
'Water conduits consisted mainly of hollowed logs placed end to end. Homes with water supply were rare; some German burgher dwellings had well water piped into the kitchens. As towns grew, refuse on streets waited for scavenger-pigs, birds, or cleansing rains.
"Wealthy homes, castles, and monasteries built latrines that emptied into cesspools, a dozen ordinary homes often shared one outhouse. Thirteenth century Parisians emptied chamber pots from windows with the warning, Care I'eau! Paris depended on the overflow of the Seine to purge its streets. "
In summer the streets of Paris were so foul smelling as hardly to be endured. Most houses had neither drains nor cesspools and all waste was emptied into the gutter of the streets. People relieved themselves on the streets. Truly does Ibanez say of the European towns at the beginning of the nineteenth century, that they "were like pigsties. " To Hygienists it seems quite evident that the real source of the epidemics of the Middle Ages was the filthy condition of the towns and cities here described by Ibanez and the often more filthy condition of the homes of the people themselves.
While he was American Minister to France, Thomas Jefferson sought to discover how the people of that nation lived. He entered the homes of the poor, lolled upon their cots, peeped into their pots, pried with tongue and spied with eyes, in the most practical, prosaic and uncomfortable manner in his searches.
Jefferson found the French peasantry to be wretchedly poor, degraded, squalid and ignorant to a shameful degree. He was of the opinion that 19 million of the 20 million citizens that France then had were in a worse condition than the most abject victims of poverty in America. He could not find words harsh enough to condemn the heartless ruling class that enslaved and brutalized the masses that the privileged few might revel in riches and indulgence.
He describes the peasantry thus: "Come and gaze upon the toilers of the land, those who feed and clothe and serve their master, living in huts not fit for horse or cow, keeping body and soul together on food not good enough for a decent dog! Look at their rags, their starved faces and forms! Their minds are blank; they have had no schooling. Ignorant, superstitious, well-nigh bestial, they have lost all conception of government, and their religion is a meaningless form. To them, the state means a master they must pay, or be damned here on earth; the church is a master they must pay, or be damned in hell thereafter. " He described the French priests as being "as greedy as the peers and as corrupt. " If this was the condition of the serfs of France at the time Jefferson resided in that nation, what must have been the condition of the serfs in other lands? But a few hundred years ago the sanitary conditions of Europe were scarcely better, if, indeed, they were not far worse, than that of the most barbarous tribes that roamed our Western plains. In the same room people cooked, ate and slept, and not infrequently, oxen, which till the soil and furnish almost the sole means of travel, were sheltered under the same roof with the family. Even so late as the time of Henry VIII, England is described by historians as "a land of filth, every room full of grease, fragments, bones, spittle, excrement of dogs and cats and everything that is nauseous. "
At this time London, even then a populous city, had no sewers. Into the open gutters of the street were turned the garbage, slops and offal from the household on either side, where it was allowed to accumulate, fermenting and decaying in the sun and sending forth the most putrescent and pestilential odors. The city of Madrid was in an equally bad condition, little more than two centuries agosuch a thing as a privy being unknown so late as 1760. With such a state of things, is it any wonder that frequent epidemics swept over the world with terrific effects?
In Medieval Europe the narrow winding alleys were heaped with refuse, while farm animals were stalled in the town center and it was "unwise to walk about the streets without heavy wooden-soled shoes. " In seventeenth century Holland, a canal running down the middle of the street served as a general sewer. Norwegian peasants lived throughout the long winter season in houses perpetually filled with smoke. There was no fresh air. Constantinople of the Middle Ages is said to have awed the Western visitor, but there was another side to the splendors of this cityits streets and narrow alleys were unsafe and filthy. English streets in the sixteenth century were filled with filth and garbage and were badly paved.
In a letter to the physician of Lord Wolsey, Erasmus, the learned humanist of the Reformation period, describes the houses of England as without ventilation and says that "the floors are in general laid with white clay and are covered with rushes, occasionally removed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, sometimes for twenty years, harboring expectorations, vomitings, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned... " He also cautioned that the English should practice "more moderation in diet" (they were notorious for their gluttonous habits), and suggested that "public ediles" be "appointed to see the streets cleaned and the suburbs kept in better order. " At the time Erasmus wrote this letter, England was enjoying an epidemic of English sweat, a disease that seems to have been confined to that country.
In those days the air of the sick room was fetid, the doors and windows being kept closed by order of the attending physician. Physicians did not recognize the health value of fresh air. It has been said that the "medical value" of fresh air is a modern discovery. At least it is true that "in early Victorian times the first thing the doctor (physician) did when he had a sick patient was to close the windows. Even the Royal palaces were in a disgraceful condition. Sir Robert Rawlinson, who was called in to make an inspection of Windsor Castle after the Prince Consort's death, found that 'cesspools full of putrid refuse and drains of the worst description existed beneath the basement... Twenty of these cesspools were removed from the upper ward, and twenty-eight from the middle and lower wards... Means of ventilation by windows in Windsor Castle were very defective. Even in the Royal apartments the upper portions of the windows were fixed. Lower casements alone could be opened, so that by far the largest amount of air spaces in the rooms contained vitiated air, comparatively stagnant. " The Journal of the Society of Estate Clerks and Works.
It is noteworthy that as late as 1865 every condition of the lives of the people of London was harmful. Overcrowding was so bad that a -workman could seldom afford more than one room for himself and his family. The bakeries of London of the time are described as "shockingly filthy. " "The smells from the drains were very offensivethe air of the small bakehouses was generally overloaded with foul gases from the drains... as late as the year 1890 the bakehouses do not seem to have undergone any improvement. "
In 1901 in London 900,000 people were living and sleeping two to three in one room; 290,000 people were living and sleeping three or four to the room; 114,000 people were living and sleeping four to five in a room; 27,000 people were living and sleeping 6 to 12 in a room. In St. George's-in-the-East, a man with five daughters and three sons, most of them grown up, were living in one room. In Birmingham, 68,000 people were living two or more in one room; in Leeds, 60,000; in Liverpool, 52,000; in Manchester, 41,000; in Sheffield, 30,000. One room had to serve as kitchen, drawing room, dining room, bedroom, laundry, workshop and, often, as sick room for the fever patient and the dying man or woman. One room to live in and die in crowded, unsanitary, immoral. What a satire upon the boasted civilization of the time!
Until the end of the nineteenth century most people in the United States lived in the country. New York was the only city of any size and it was, until late in the century, without any drainage system. American small towns were also devoid of sewage systems and depended upon dump-carts to carry away the excreta from their privies. The sanitary conditions of these towns, while they were rarely over-crowded and not as bad as the conditions of European towns, was far from ideal.
It is highly significant, I think, that the medical profession to this day insists that hygiene and sanitation had no part in the elimination of smallpox, but that the inoculations of the people of Europe with pus, taken from festering sores on the abdomens of previously infected cows, wiped out the disease. They are still unwilling to credit sanitation and hygiene with doing for smallpox what it so obviously did for typhus, typhoid, cholera, English sweat, bubonic plague, etc. If sanitation and hygiene have not eliminated the plagues, how account for the disappearance of those plagues for which no vaccines exist? It is also significant that there is a respectable body of physicians today who hold that sanitation and hygiene have rendered us susceptible to poliomyelitis. Their idea is that the wav to health is not by the use of the factors of health, but by getting sick. Introduce the causes of disease into the bodies of the well to the end that they may establish that fiction called immunity. It is an upside-down view of life.
When in the year 1760 the King of Spain issued a public decree to free Madrid from the abominable practice of tossing the ordure through the windows into the streets and ordering, by proclamation, that the proprietors of every house should build a proper receptacle and that sinks, drains and common sewers should be made at public expense, "every class devised some objection against it, but the physicians bid the fairest to interest the king in the preservation of the ancient privileges of his people, for they remonstrated that if the filth was not thrown into the streets as usual, a fatal sickness would probably ensue, because the putrescent particles of the air, which such filth attracted, would then be imbibed by the human body. "
This reminds us that at a later date a similar position was voiced by physicians concerning the proposal to clean up New Orleans as a means of freeing the city of the frequent epidemics of yellow fever. In 1853 a yellow fever epidemic developed in that city with a death rate that reached nearly 200 daily. The Crescent, writing of the epidemic, said: "Dr. MacFarlane, the old war-horse of physicians, who has had great experience for the last thirty years, has addressed a letter to the Mayor through the Delta, of this morning, in which he boldly asserts that, 'so far from believing that the filth and impurities in our streets, yards and suburbs, have anything to do with the creation of a yellow fever atmosphere, I believe that, to a certain extent, they are calculated to retard its formation. "
The filth was there. The epidemic was there. The death-rate was high. But this "old war-horse of physicians" believed that the filth tended to prevent or to retard the creation of a yellow fever atmosphere. Surely there was never logic like this! New Orleans was cleaned up and yellow fever vanished. But the profession refuses to credit sanitation and better living with its disappearance. Rather they give credit to the "fact" that they or the entomologists did the St. Patrick act with the mosquitoes, which, by the way, are still there in abundance.
Europe was once a hot bed of leprosy. Even as far west as England it was a serious problem. It has practically disappeared from Europe and this has not been due to any vaccine or serum drug has wiped it out. The improved social conditionssanitation, diet, personal cleanliness, better housing, and other healthful factorsthat have evolved in Europe, with no aid from the medical profession have eliminated this disease.
What part did the profession play in the revival of sanitation? No more than it played in the revival of personal hygiene. It has opposed every move to improve the health of the people until this was forced upon them by a progressing enlightenment of the people, and then it has claimed credit for all the advances that have been made. Let us look briefly at the admission of one of medicine's European leaders. In his presidential address, reprinted in the Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute, August 1926, Sir George Newman, Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health in England, says: "It was Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832 Wililam Cobbett, 1762-1835 Robert Owen, 1771-1858 Edwin Chadwick, 1800-1890 Lord Shaftsburg, 1800-1890 who were the men who moved England to undertake sanitary reform. None of these men were doctors. "
He means that none of these men were physicians. Like all medical men, he strives to sustain the myth that doctor and physician are synonymous terms. It is important, however, to note that the movement for the revival of sanitation, in England at least, was a layman's movement and that the professionals, if they took any part in it at all, probably treated it as they did Holmes and Semmelweiss. It was physicians and not laymen who hounded Semmelweiss out of Vienna and it was the profession and not the people who retired the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table from active practice.
The fact is that the medical profession gave no attention to the need for cleanliness until after Pasteur had frightened the wits out of them with his absurd theory that microbes are the cause of disease. They were slow, even then, to concede that cleanliness is important. Indeed, they are more interested today in chemical sterility than in cleanliness. They prefer vaccines and serums to clean living. They have not really learned the lesson of cleanliness.
Herbert M. Shelton
Vol. XXIX September, 1967 No. 1
Herbert M. Shelton
We are frequently asked to explain epidemics and we are told stories about a child in a schoolroom developing some supposedly contagious disease and the disease sweeping the schoolroom like a wild fire. These stories are commonly greatly exaggerated, as it is very rare for more than a few children in the same classroom to develop the so-called contagious disease. We often hear, also, of every member of a family coming down with a disease following its development by one member of the family. This kind of story, too, is usually an exaggeration. It is rare that the whole family has the same disease.
These stories are told so regularly and the notion is so wide-spread that if one comes in contact with another person suffering with a so-called contagious disease, he is sure to develop it ("catch" it), unless he has been immunized, that it is difficult for the average person to reason logically upon this subject. The fact that stories of an opposite character could be provided in greater abundance, if one had the time to gather them.
It is commonly thought that the common cold is an infection and that one person may "catch" it from another. We are warned to beware of the person with a cold. Yet, every year many thousands of people are in intimate contact with those who have colds, often in daily contact for days at a time and do not develop a cold. On the other hand, every year many thousands of people develop colds who have not been in contact with someone with a cold. The total experience of the people of the country points clearly to the conclusion that one does not "catch" a cold from another.
In the Fall of 1914 a little 17-month old boy developed what was diagnosed as membranous croup. In two days he was dead. It was not the custom to quarantine children with membranous croup and during this child's illness a number of children (brothers, sisters and neighbor children) were in intimate contact with him. Not a single child that was in contact with the sick boy developed membranous croup. Membranous croup is now classed as diphtheria and cases are quarantined.
Two brothers, with four years difference in their ages, slept together in a double bed until the older one was 23 years of age. When the younger brother was about 14 years of age he developed chicken pox. The two continued to sleep together while the younger one had chicken pox. The older brother did not develop chicken pox. Two or three years later the older brother developed mumps. They continued to sleep together during the time the older brother had mumps. The younger brother did not develop mumps.
In the winter of 1918 five soldiers, stationed in Camp Travis at San Antonio, Texas, slipped through the guard lines at night and visited sick friends who were isolated and quarantined in a special section of the camp because they had influenza. They spent an hour visiting with and talking with their sick friends, then slipped back through the guard lines and returned to their barracks. Not one of the five soldiers developed influenza.
A number of experiments were made in the Naval Detention camps during the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 to transmit the disease from the sick to the well. Several such experiments were made on 68 volunteers from the U. S. Naval Detention training Camp on Deer Island.
Several groups of volunteers were inoculated with pure cultures of Pfeiffer's bacillus, with the secretions of the upper respiratory passages and with blood taken from typical influenza cases. About 30 of the men had the germs sprayed and swabbed in the nose and throat. The Public Health Report sums up the results in these words: "In no instance was an attack of influenza produced in any one of the subjects. "
Ten other men were carried to the bedside of ten new cases of influenza and spent 45 minutes with them. Each well man had ten sick men to cough in his face. With what results? "None of these volunteers developed any symptoms of influenza following the experiment. "
Some similar experiments conducted in San Francisco are described in another article. Here one group of ten men was given emulsifying cultures of Pfeiffer's bacillus with no results during 7 days of observation. Other groups of men, in all 40, were given emulsions of the secretions from the upper respiratory passages of patients in the active stages of influenza. These emulsions were sent into the nose by a medicine dropper and by an atomizer. The results are described in these words: "In every case the results were negative, so far as the reproduction of influenza is concerned. The men were all observed for seven days after inoculation. "
A little girl in an apartment building, suffering with scarlet fever, escaped from under the vigilant watchfulness of her mother and wandered down the hall and entered the room of a sleeping baby. Missing her sick child, the mother went in search of her and found her standing over the crib of the sleeping baby. The baby did not develop scarlet fever.
Two little boys, aged about five years, lived across the street from each other. Their mothers brought them together daily for play. One day one of the mothers and her boy failed to show up. The next day, also, they failed to put in an appearance. On the third morning the little boy, escaping from his mother's watchfulness, came out into the front yard for play. The other little boy, seeing him, crossed the street to play with him. After several moments of such play, the mother discovered that her son had escaped the house and was playing with the neighbor boy. In consternation she called the mother of the other boy and explained that her boy had whooping cough and she had been keeping him in the house, but that he had gotten out and she found the two boys playing together in the yard. The other boy did not develop whooping cough.
A mother with her three children visited relatives in a distant city. Arriving there, she found one of the children of her relatives down with measles. She did not panic, but remained for a week's visit, during which time her children were in daily contact with the sick boy, even sitting on the bed of the sick child and playing with the child's toys. Neither of the three children developed measles.
A young married man developed mumps. Inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) developed as a complication. He became very weak and unable to get about. His brother-in-law, a younger man, carried him from bed to bathroom and bathroom to bed five times each day for several days. The brother-in-law did not develop mumps.
A young woman, aged 20, suffering with tuberculosis of the lungs, married a young man two years her senior. Three children resulted from the union. The tubercular mother cared for her children and their father until her death from tuberculosis several years later. Neither the father nor either of the children developed tuberculosis.
Cases like the foregoing could be multiplied by the thousands. They have been noted for ages and with relation to every so-called contagious and infectious disease. In the Middle Ages, when the Black Death accounted for many deaths, there were great numbers of people who came in contact with patients suffering with Bubonic plague and did not develop the disease. The same thing was true of smallpox, typhus fever, cholera, English sweat and other so-called infectious diseases. There is actually as much evidence to indicate that these diseases are not contagious or infectious as to indicate that they are.
It is not enough to say that those "exposed" individuals who failed to develop allegedly infectious disease are immune. This merely says that they do not develop the disease because they do not develop it. It explains nothing. What is immunity? Upon what does immunity depend? It is customary to divide immunity into two types natural and acquired. How does one build natural immunity? We have tried the acquired immunity programs sufficiently long and over a sufficient expanse of the population to know that it is a total failure. The serums and vaccines that are supposed to confer immunity often cause troubles that are worse than the disease they are supposed to immunize one against. It is important for us to know, assuming that there is such a thing as acquiring a disease from another person, how we can build genuine resistance and protect ourselves and our children. The vaccinating and inoculating program is merely a commercial one. While it nets huge profits to the traffickers in vaccines and serums, it provides no health for the people.
Herbert M. Shelton
Adaptation and Toleration
Vol. XXIX May, 1968 No. 9
Adaptation and Toleration
Herbert M. Shelton
Some confusion arose in early Hygienic circles from the mistake of considering adaptation and toleration as the same thing. Some Hygienists declared that there is a law of adaptation and others rejected the idea altogether.
The Law of Vital Accommodation is usually interpreted to mean that the living organism adapts itself to poisons so as not to be harmed by them. This the Hygienic school considers a misinterpretation of the law. As Trall said of it, this interpretation of the law "is one of the vagaries of the Dark Ages." He said that he "could as soon believe in a moral law of accommodation by which the mind or soul adapts itself to moral evilsto lying, cheating, stealing, profane swearing, Sabbath-breaking, idolatry, adultery, etc., etc.as to believe in a physiological law of accommodation by which the vital organism so adapts itself to poisons and impurities as not to be injured by them."
Dr. Jennings did accept this interpretation of the Law of Vital Accommodation, but he went even further. He assumed that the use of noxious agents, by occasioning a "reinforcement of vitality" to a part, is actually a source of strength and invigoration. He propounded what Trall designated the "monstrous absurdity" that the very poisons which are antagonistic to life actually increase the force of life locally, at least. That this is a monstrous absurdity is shown by evidence which exists all around us.
It was notoriously true in the days when the practice of "snuffing" tobacco was in flower that, old snuff topers could fill the whole nasal cavity with the strongest and most pungent kind of snuff without being able to raise the smallest specimen of a sneeze. The merest particle of the same snuff placed in the nasal cavity of the non-user would occasion prompt and violent sneezing.
Sneezing and snuffing were in inverse ratio to each other. An examination of the nasal membranes of the habitual snuffer revealed that they were inflamed, thickened, toughened, even ulcerated. Their sensibilities were reduced to the lowest point short of actual paralysis.
It is a fact that may be easily verified that the more sound and vigorous the organism or any part of it, the more prompt and vigorous will be its action in resisting and expelling a poison of any kindthe more acutely will it feel, the more readily will it resent, and the more violently will it resist and expel the tobacco, alcohol, arsenic or other poison. Try it when, where and with whom you please, you will find no exception to this law of organic life.
We do not deny a fact that everybody knows, that the more the living organism is exposed to contact with a given poison, the less disturbance is occasioned by such contact. But this does not mean that the poison has ceased to be noxious. It means, on the contrary, that the enervation induced by such continued and repeated contact with the poison has reduced the body's power to violently resist it. The vital powers are enfeebled by the constant struggle against the poison. In resisting and expelling the poison, the powers of life are exhausted precisely in ratio to the amount and frequency of the doses of poison they have to resist. It is obvious that if the resistance is always thus violent, complete and rapid, exhaustion would soon ensue and death would soon put an end to the struggle. Hence, to conserve the forces of life, the organism brings up some of its reserve means of defense. It does throw up a kind of fortification, but this is not of a kind that adds to the powers and capacities of the fortified part. Less violent means of resistance are brought into play.
When tobacco is first taken its use is followed by vertigo, nausea, vomiting, prostration, drowsiness and stupor. Tobacco applied to a sore or placed under the arm-pits will soon poison and sicken the whole body. But if the young hopeful continues his use of tobacco, the violent symptoms of nicotine poisoning abate and, although he slowly increases the quantity taken each day, he does not realize much if any apparent evil from it. Is it, then, to be supposed that what was poison before the habit was formed, has ceased to be poisonous now that the habit has been formed? Has the relation between tobacco and the living organism changed? Is nicotine now innoxious? Instead of habituation rendering the poison less poisonous, it actually becomes more injurious.
Because the body struggles violently against the poison when it is first used and does not struggle violently against it after the poison habit is formed, are we to conclude that the organism is reconciled to it? It would be more sensible to infer that it has been overcome by the poison. We may logically infer that the signs of rebellion and resistance have ceased because the struggle has so exhausted the body that it is no longer capable of such resistance. And, as the resisting power of the body is lowered more and more by the continued use of the poison, it becomes less and less disturbed by even more grievous in- roads upon the citadel of life.
The alternatives are either a violent and heroic effort to expel the poison or, failing this, a weak compromise by pathogenetic adaptation with ultimate loss of healthy structure and function. So far from toleration being established, a mere expedient devise is exercised which barely and woefully maintains a kind of status quo. Genuine power, rapidly or slowly (depending upon the amount of indulgence), is steadily waning.
As every adaptation to inimical substances is achieved by changes in the tissues that are away from the ideal, commonly by dystrophic changes in the cells and tissue elements, they necessarily cripple the normal or legitimate functions of the altered part. We have in the instance of adaptation to arsenic eating, the building up of impediments and units which are incapable of response either to wholesome foods or to virulent poisons. Toleration is merely a slow method of dying. Instead of seeing in the phenomenon of toleration something to be sought after, it is something to seek to avoid the necessity for.
Because the organism is enervated by the continued use of the poison, the user must frequently increase the size of the dose-whether the poison is tobacco, alcohol, tea, coffee, arsenic, salt, pepper, or other noxious substanceif he is to continue to induce the same apparent effect.
There is but one way to preserve the integrity, functioning ability, fortitude and endurance of the vital machinery and this is to keep poisons of all kinds at as great a distance from the organism as possible. Indeed, if we never saw, touched, tasted or smelled poisons of any kind, we would be all the stronger and live all the longer for it. Every dose of the poison, every cigarette, every drink of alcohol, every particle of arsenic, every cup of coffee, reduces the powers of life by as much as the body is forced to expend its powers in resisting and expelling the poison.
To compel the body to build "toleration" against all known poisons and all known causes of disease would, indeed, insure us against disease, but it would be the security of death. For long the world has been so infatuated with this nonsensical theory of "adaptation," that it is leading the race to its destruction. Are men so incorrigibly muddled with the false philosophy and nonsensical dogmas of the ignorant past that they cannot see that their very theories and practices are at variance with every known fact of existence and opposed to every demonstrable law of nature? Are they so ingrained with life-long prejudices or so deluded and infatuated with their favorite theories that they cannot understand that their theories and practices are leading the race to destruction?
If it is true that the use of a poison "fortifies" any part against the noxious substance, then all we have to do to be fully fortified against all causes of disease is to use all of them long enough to become "fortified" against all of them. To say that tobacco, alcohol, opium, etc., are all very destructive at first, but after we get used to them, that is, after we have accommodated ourselves to them, the mischief they do is either nil or comparatively slight, is to teach, in effect, that the more poison a person takes, over a long period of time, the less damage it does him. This is to say, the more poison, the more adaptation, so that bye and bye the sum total of the accommodation should be so great that the poison would have no bad effects at all.
The law of accommodation does not mean that the living organism adapts itself to poisons so as not to be harmed by them. I doubt very much that this law should ever be applied to what we call "toleration" of poisons; for, while there may be a certain sense in which adaptation does take place, it is really a form of defense. It should not be supposed that by the power of toleration or adaptation the body is capable of rendering that which is constitutionally noxious practically innoxious or wholesome. It is only that it bends itself, like the tough but limber oak to the force of the storm, instead of standing stiffly against it only to be uprooted.
Let us once understand that it is not possible for the vital organism to adapt itself to poisons so that they are no longer harmful to it, and we will readily understand that any and every use of these substances, for any purpose whatsoever, is injurious to the body. What is known as adaptation to poisons is always and necessarily of a retrogressive character and the greater the "adaptation," the greater the retrogression. Graham was eternally right when he said that this "adaptation" occurred by virtue of physiological depravity.
Just as the body cannot adapt itself to noxious substances and render them harmless, so it cannot adapt itself to abuses of useful substances so that these abuses become harmless. Because the digestive tract of the habitual glutton has so adapted itself to the customary load of food that it no longer groans and complains, it should not be thought that the gluttony has been rendered harmless. As digestion is so vitally important to the preparation of foodstuffs for entrance into and use by the body, it should be readily seen how any impairment of the general integrity of the digestive system must in turn impair the functions of the body generally.
Herbert M. Shelton
Explaining The Apparent Actions of Drugs
Explaining The Apparent Actions of Drugs
Herbert M. Shelton
Why is one substance poisonous and another not? Why do the actions of the body in relation to different substances differ so greatly? Why does not an apple occasion vomiting and bread occasion purging? Why does not a baked potato occasion profuse sweating and brown rice copious urination? Why are these substances, when taken into the stomach, treated so differently from the way in which a drug is treated? We know that normally they are digested and taken into the bloodstream and utilized in the replenishment of the tissues of the body. We class them as foods, because they may be used for tissue replenishment.
Why are not drugs digested and used? Why does one drug occasion catharsis, another emesis, a third diuresis, etc? Why do some drugs, when applied to the skin, cause vesication, others rubification and others corrosion? Why is one drug, when swallowed, followed by stimulation and another by narcosis? Why do foods not occasion stimulation or narcosis? It is customary to say that vesication, diarrhea, diuresis, emesis, narcosis, etc., are actions of the drugs. This, however, is no different from saying that digestion is the action of foods. We know that emesis, diarrhea, diuresis, etc., are actions of the living organism, not of the drugs, just as digestion is a physiological process and is not done by foods.
But the swallowing of different drugs is followed by different actions. Castor oil, for example, is commonly expelled by diarrhea, tartar emetic is commonly expelled by vomiting. Aloes and rhubarb occasion sweating. Why do different drugs occasion so many different actions? It is not to be thought that these drugs go through the organism seeking out, from choice, the different organs and tissues for which they have an affinity. They do not possess even this rudimentary type of intelligence that enables them to seek for and act only on certain structures.
Let us try to answer our first question first. Certain substances, such as an apple or a nut, can be utilized by the body in the replenishment of tissue. These substances are foods. Certain substances cannot be utilized by the body in the production of tissue. These substances are not foods. The answer to our question seems to lie, then, in the usability and nonusability of a substance.
A substance is not a poison if it is usable, it is a poison if it is not usable.
We define food as any substance that can be transformed into living 'structure'. This is to say, food is any material that the cells of the body can take into and incorporate into their substances as integral parts of themselves. If it can be transformed into cell substance, it is food. Anything that cannot be transformed into cell substance is not food.
This last statement leaves us with a whole world of matter, both. Organic and inorganic that is not food, at least, not for man. It leaves us with far more nonusable than usable materials in the universe. If a substance is not usable, it must be expelled. But substances that are nonusable are not merely nonusable; they are also chemical substances governed by all the laws of matter.
They tend to unite with other chemical substances. They tend to unite with the elements of the cells. Such unions would be destructive of the cells. In plain English, the union of a drug with the substance of a cell would result in the death of the cell. This creates the urgent necessity to resist the union and to hurriedly expel the substance.
Substances that tend to form chemical unions with the substances of the cells and thus destroy the life of the cell are incompatible with life. Toxicity may be defined as the degree of incompatibility between a drug and the cells of the body. Some substances are highly toxic, others are only slightly so. Two forms of incompatibility must be recognized: namely, chemical incompatibility with the structures of the body and physiological incompatibility with the functions of life.
The actions that occur following the swallowing of a substance that is incompatible with life are very varied. They depend in part upon the character of the substance, but for the most part they vary with the tissues with which they come in contact. Each tissue acts in keeping with its own powers. A drug that is expelled before it reaches the kidneys will not occasion any kidney action. A drug that the kidneys excrete with great difficulty, may be expelled through the skin or through some other channel. It was the view of Dr. Trail that drugs are expelled through those channels and by those means that cause the least wear and tear on the system. This gives the body a certain power of selection in its work of expelling drugs.
But there are drugs that are resisted at every point and that are expelled through a number of channels. It would seem that, as a matter of necessity, every tissue in the body must resist and expel, as far as it can, nonusable substances with which it comes in contact. But not every tissue is so constituted that it can expel drugs from the body. It can expel them only from itself. It can offer local resistance. It would seem to be correct to say that the tissue must offer resistance if the drug comes into contact with it. This seems to be the explanation of the alleged "side efects" that are so often mentioned today.
But why is one drug an emetic, another a purgative, another a diuretic, another an expectorant, another a stimulant, another a nar cotic, etc.? Do these different apparent actions of different drugs represent actions of the drugs, as is taught and believed, or-are they different actions of the living organism in relation to different drugs? If so, why does the body behave differently in the presence of one poison from what it does in the presence of another?
If we attempt to answer our last question first, it seems that there is no basic difference between the actions of the body in relation to one drug and its actions in relation to another. The differences are more apparent than real and are the results of the structural and functional differences of the organs and tissues involved in the actions. Basically, the action is one of resistance and expulsion and this is not radically different in any tissue.
In a work published in 1874 by the office of the Health Reformer, apparently from the of M. G. Kellogg, M.D., who says that he derived his views from Graham, Trall, Alcott, Shew and Tanner, the idea is presented that different organs excrete different drugs because the presence of the different substances is perceived by different nerves. He draws a parallel between the nerves of the organ-systems and the nerves of special sense. Just as the nerves of the eyes perceive objects and light and the nerves of the ears perceive sounds, those of the nose perceive odors, those Of the tongue perceive flavors, etc., so the different nerves of the organsystems perceive one drug and not another. The different ganglia perceiving a certain substance to be such that "it cannot be used to replenish any of the tissues of the body," causes activities to be instituted to secure the expulsion of the drug. He suggests that the different ganglia differ in their perceptions, just as do different parts of the brain, hence the action following the taking of a drug will be determined by the particular ganglion that perceives its presence.
Assuming that there is a grain of truth in this idea, it does not seem to cover the whole of the phenomena that follow the taking of drugs. Although, he is probably right in saying that "all matter does not possess the same sensible properties; if it did, we would know of but one kind of matter," and he is probably correct in saying that it is through the "various senses" that we can recognize various nronerties of matter, 'there seems to be a necessity that the useless and harmful be recognized by all of the tissues and by all of the 'nerves. There would seem to be, as a matter of fact, a cellular recognition of the unsuitableness of drug substances.
He but echoes the words of Trall when he says that "instead of medicines (drugs) having special affinities for certain organs and tissues of the body, the vital organism has a special dislike for drugs, and makes a special effort to eliminate them as rapidly as possible. "It is not amity, but antagonism that gives rise to those vital actions of defense, resistance, expulsion and repair that are mistaken for the actions of drugs. But he may have hit upon a vital element in the explanation of the different actions that follow the taking of drugs in his suggestion that, due to the fact that we recognize different substances through the media of different nerves, we act according to that recognition. For example, it would seem to be the part of organic wisdom to expel all drugs, when swallowed, either by vomiting or by diarrhea. Why should any of them be permitted to be absorbed into the bloodstream? Why send some of them to the. Kidneys, for instance, for excretion? Why excrete others by diaphoresis and others by expectoration; why excrete some through the liver? Can this be because the nerves of the intestinal tract do not adequately recognize the useless or injurious character of some substances? Do drugs slip past the sentinels of the prima via because they do not "appear" to the nerve end endings in the gastrointestinal canal to be of a specially hurtful nature?
Must their injuriousness be perceived by other nerves and must they then be appropriately dealt with by other organs and sent out through other channels? Why, when a certain drug is taken, is it later expelled by the kidneys (diuretic)? Was its useless and hurtful character not perceived in the stomach and why was it not expelled by emesis or diarrhea? Perhaps the explanation lies in the suggestion of Kellogg.
He is certainly wrong, however, when he says, after giving the actions that follow certain drugs, "if each of the medicines named above is given in proper doses, it will occasion the effects named, and no other." There is no known drug that occasions but one action on the part of the body in resisting and expelling it. Perhaps but one effect will be produced if it is all expelled by the primary effort at expulsion, as when vomiting may expel all of a drug that is swallowed. But if it is not all thus expelled, it may occasion a diarrhea or small amounts of it may be absorbed into the bloodstream and it may then be expelled by diuresis or by diaphoresis or by expectoration or by all three of these processes.
The secretion of digestive juices upon the food eaten is controlled by the nervous system. We get one kind of juice or another kind of of juice depending on the character of the food eaten and this is appreciated and appropriate nerve and glandular action instituted, when the food comes into contact with the nerve endings (taste buds) in the tongue. The character of the saliva, as well as of the gastric juice, is thus determined. If we eat a potato we have the outpouring of one type of gastric juice; if we eat a beefsteak we have the outpouring of another type of digestive juice. If we swallow a marble there is no outpouring of digestive juice. If we take sugar there will be a copious outpouring of saliva, but it will contain no ptyalin. Control of action here lies in the nervous stem and its perceptions of the character of the food eaten.
Suppose, instead of food, we swallow a teaspoon full of castor oil. This is a poisonous oil that must be expelled. Its presence and its character are recognized by the same nervous system that appreciates the differences between foods. There is again a copious outpouring of juice into the stomach, but it is not a digestivee. It is a watery mucus. The muscles of the stomach also act, but their action is somewhat different to what goes on in digestion. They hasten the mucus and oil to the pyloric orifice of the stomach and the valve opens and the mixture (oil and mucus) is expelled into the intestine, where, instead of being met with digestive juices, it is met with more mucus. Here, also, instead of the regular movements of peristalsis and antiperistalsis, there is only a hurried peristalsis, thus hurrying the mixture along towards the colon. When it reaches the ileocecal valve, this opens and the mixture is expelled into the colon, which, in turn, hastens it to the rectum, where it is expelled from the vital domain.
What part did the oil play in all this activity? It did not perceive its own toxic character. It did not pour out mucus to dilute it and flush it along. It did not perform the muscular work of the stomach, small intestine and colon. It did not expel itself. Indeed, being lifeless, inert and as incapable of any action as a dry stick or clod of earth, it was passive in the hands of the forces of life. It no more acted in the stomach than it acted in being poured into a spoon and taken to the mouth for ingestion. It was as passive and actionless during the whole of its journey through the alvine canal as while resting in the bottle on the shelf.
Living hands poured it from the bottle; living hands took it to the mouth; living organs of deglutition swallowed' it living nerves percieved its presence and its character; living glands poured out mucus upon it; living muscles propelled it through the digestive tract; living muscles expelled it from the rectum. The living organism was the actor from start to finish. The living organism alone possesses the instruments of action and the energy of action. It is specialized in myriads of ways for the performance of myriads of actions.
Kellogg suggests that certain drugs are diuretics, this is to say, they are expelled through the kidneys, because "the properties of this class of poisons are not recognized by the nerve centers which preside over the stomach, hence vomiting does not occur." They are thus permitted to enter the bloodstream and circulate in the blood to all parts of the body. But their useless character is immediately recognized by other nerves and they are excreted through the kidneys. There is increased action, diuresis, to expel the poison Here, again, it is the living organism that does all the acting. Diuresis is as much an action of the living organism as is diarrhea. In diuresis the kidneys and bladder and the other parts of the urinary apparatus are the actors rather than the intestinal tract.
Kellogg may be correct when he says of the diuretic that it did not occasion vomiting "simply because they (the diuretic drugs) were not recognizable by the nerve centers which preside over the stomach." But there is reason to think that this may not be the whole explanation. Ipecac is classed as an emetic. In a dose of a certain size it occasions vomiting. In a much smaller dose it occasions diaphoresis and expectoration. It may be that in small doses the nerves of the stomach fail to recognize the poison; it may be that when sufficiently camouflaged with food or other substances, they fail to appreciate its character.
This drug can be classed according to the faulty classifications that have been adopted by pharmacologists and physicians, as an emetic, an expectorant and a diaphoretic. Applied locally, it can be given other classifications. It is entitled to but one classification-it is poison. Its presence in the body is resented; it is expelled, not through one channel, but through several.
Trall indicated that just as the special senses take cognizance of external elements in our environment, so the nerves of organic life take cognizance of things that find their way into the body. Kellogg followed this thought in his suggestion that different drugs occasion different actions due to the fact that their presence and character is detected by different nerves. Graham had previously indicated such explanation, calling the perceptive faculties of the nerves of organic life, organic instincts.
Graham and Trall and later Kellogg took the position that, just as the brain sets in action the organs of voluntary motion and causes these to act, according to its recognition (through the special senses) of external objects, so the nerves of organic life (the organic instincts, to use Graham's term) set in motion the appropriate glandular and muscular activity in accordance with the character of the substances that are within-actions designed to use one type of substances and actions designed to expel another type. As every organ and tissue is under the control of the nervous system, there is nothing illogical in thinking that the nervous system is the controlling mechanism in determining the actions of the body in relation to not only foods but poisons. Thus it is that the presence of poisons in the body occasions unusual vital activities in the various organs of the body. We commonly, refer to such unusual betivities as disease; at other times we simply recognize them as symptoms of poisoning.
Each organ is capable of a certain kind or kinds of activity, depending on its structure or structures. Each organ acts in relation to toxins in accordance with its functional capabilities, as determined by its structural adaptations. The number and varied assortments of actions of the human body are possible only because of its almost infinite structural complexity and the resulting functional capacities. Drugs are simple substances, lacking both structural specializations and functional abilities. They not only lack the instruments of action, but they are also lacking in the energy of action. We are correct, then, in saying that the body acts; the drugs are acted upon.
Herbert M. Shelton
The Hot Bath
Vol. XXXIII November, 1971 No. 3
The Hot Bath
Herbert M. Shelton
Many and varied have been the means employed by man in various parts of the earth and in different ages to apply heat to the body. Often extreme degrees have been employed. Sometimes the application of heat has been prolonged. Often heat has been alternated with cold. At other times, the cold has been applied at the end". In many instances, various herbal substances and gases have accompanied the heat. All of these hot water, steam and hot air applications have been thought of as means of variably influencing the processes of life. With the rise of modern physiology arose the idea that the benefits of hot applications grows out of the elimination of poisons from the body by means of sweating. The skin is commonly, though erroneously, looked upon as an organ of excretion. As Hygienists, we have been forced to combat this false idea and the sweating practices.
In the Kingston Chronicle, (Edinburgh) November-December 1969 issue in an article entitled "The Place of Water," Dr. C. Leslie Thomson discusses the fallacy of the hot applications at some length. I take pleasure in quoting him at this place. He says: "Land creatures much older than man discovered the comfort and benefits of water and mud, and written history makes it clear that 'primitive' peoples have always recognized the value of moisture as an aid to healing, whether of surface injuries or of internal distresses. By contrast, their more cultured and urbanized brothers have tended to distort the picture; for them, water treatment tended to become a social ritual. In an extreme instance, at the time of the Roman Empire, public baths became associated with the uninhibited pursuit of pleasure, and these excesses left an ugly mark.
"So it was that for centuries thereafter bathing and vice were associated in the minds of the pious: cleanliness was close to godlessness. As one might expect, this attitude did nothing to improve the sanitary condition of the general public; as towns grew, and turned into cities, the problems of hygiene became overwhelming. Throughout Europe, plagues of various kinds occurred, decimating the devout and dirty populace.
"Elsewhere in the world, water-treatment maintained its popularity, although often based on fallacious belief or imperfect understanding. Particularly among northern peoples, the preference was for some form of intense overheating of the subject before applying cold water. Thus in Scandinavia and the Baltic area the favored method was to sit in a little hut built over or adjacent to a furnace, and remain there until the heat became intolerable. On the point of collapse, the naked subject then leapt into snow or the icy waters of a mountain stream alongside.
"The North American Indian built a bonfire and put large stones upon it. When these became red hot, he put up a tent just big enough to contain himself and the stones, and had his squaw pour water on these to raise quantities of steam and vapor. Just as did his Nordic brothers, the Redskin waited until he was on the point of suffocation then jumped into the life-saving pool or river. Other races had-and have-their own variants of these primitive arrangements, and. some of them are associated with architectural opulence reminiscent of Rome's decadence.
"That these methods have a profound effect on the subject is not questioned. The immediate feeling of well-being and the cessation of symptoms are dramatically impressive; for the uninformed participant or onlooker the obvious and prompt relief 'proves' the efficacy of the treatment. While the cook-and-chill method may have no ill-effect on those of fair vitality, and may produce some healthful activity in a skin which otherwise has too little exercise, for the less-vital person trying to regain health it is inefficiently drastic. That is, the useful elimination of wastes through the skin is not proportional to the flow of sweat, and it does not justify the expenditure of bodily energy which the bath exacts.
"In most cases, the feeling of well-being which follows a Turkish or Sauna bath is literally a shock reaction. The strain and threat presented by the excessive heat are so great as to constitute a more urgent problem for the body than any previous distress. This 'obliteration' of minor symptoms, in conjunction with the tremendous relief when the temperature is brought down, accounts for the considerable feelings of relaxation which the subject experiences. People have many ways of producing a similar euphoria by taking themselves to the brink of disaster and changing course at the last moment, and much medication works on the principle of presenting a distressed body with a more serious problem. The greater menace obliterates awareness of the lesser, and when the greater is discontinued there is an interval of "bliss" before the system regains its normal sensitivities.
"Of all the characteristics of sweat-baths, the most misleading is the appearance of vigorous perspiration. By most people this is taken as clear evidence of benefit. More accurately, the production of visible sweat is a sign of distress-not health. To be truly effective, perspiration has to evaporate as soon as it reaches the surface of the skin. In doing so, it absorbs a great deal of heat from the skin-just as the steam from a boiling kettle carries away large quantities of heat from the flames below-and so helps to cool the blood flowing immediately below the surface.
"Sweat which lies on or trickles over the skin in droplets cannot appreciably assist in bodily cooling; it absorbs no heat-being already at skin-temperature-and merely makes the person more uncomfortable. Profuse perspiration, produced in a desperate attempt to avoid overheating, is almost always a sign of vital strain.
"The only benefit of copious sweat otherwise is as a means of eliminating wastes freely, but here also the sweating bath proves disappointing. Tests have shown that the sweat produced for the first few minutes has a high proportion of waste content, but thereafter it consists almost entirely of water and salts. Loss of these is by no means beneficial, and may often be harmful, since the subject will tend to increase his or her intake of liquids and salty things to restore the original condition. Most people do not obtain their fluids and salts in 'balanced' forms-as in whole fruits and vegetables-but are content with brews, juices and common salt. The tendency, therefore, is for their bodies to become depleted of organized minerals and laden with wateriness.
"However, it is true that the pummeling and the cold douches which normally form part of a Turkish bath may do much to improve the vitality of the skin, and so encourage more vigorous function for some days thereafter. Even so, we feel sure that just as effective results can be produced by simpler methods and without involving any vital strain. Of Turkish and similar baths, one can say that they are comparatively harmless pastimes for those of fair health and vigor, but unlikely to benefit the ailing person.
"Generally, heat applied from without has no lastingly beneficial effect on the system. For a comparatively brief interval, it can be most soothing, and can take the pain out of an aching joint; but the tendency is to extend the application so that nerves are numbered, circulation slowed and the body's own heat-production depressed. The internal temperature of the body is controlled within close limits, and the mechanism is quickly and powerfully influenced by the temperature of the skin. When the surface is chilled, heat-production is automatically increased in anticipation of continued loss of warmth through the skin. Conversely, if the skin is heated, combustion is restrained so as to avoid any risk of internal overheating.
"One effect of continued heating of the surface is the blood-thickening already referred to. This has some resemblance to the way in which the white of an egg sets with heat, and it obviously can have a seriously obstructing effect on the general circulation. The superficial effect can be plainly seen on the shins of women who persistently sit near the fire. The thickened and immobilized blood resembles a bruise, with a resultant mottled brownish discoloration of the flesh which may remain for months after the toasting.
"Such flesh is obviously damaged. It is also-although perhaps not quite so obviously-devitalized. It lacks proper resiliency, toughness and strength, and is unable to repair the damage within itself in a normally rapid fashion. Although the superficial damage done in this way is considerable, the actual heating seemed quite mild and did not involve any discomfort at the time-altogether otherwise. Similar injury can be produced by any other form of dry radiant heat, by hot poultices or by chemically-induced scorching."
I do not agree with Dr. Thompson that any real good is ever derived, even, if only for short periods, from subjecting the body of the vigorous and healthy to procedures and processes that are hurtful and destructive in their nature and tendency. Either the Turkish bath is a genuinely helpful modality, or it is not. It cannot be both constructive and destructive. Hygienists have almost uniformly condemned such baths from the beginning.
Herbert M. Shelton
The Universal Basic Cause Of Disease
Vol. XXXVII January, 1976 No. 5
The Universal Basic Cause Of Disease
Herbert M. Shelton
With the exception of palpable injuries, the cause of the hodgepodge of so-called diseases has been a terra incognita so far as physicians go. Platitudes and empty assertions, at times savoring of medieval primitiveness have had unconditional sway and physicians, generally, have contented themselves with elaborate stop gaps. What better example of this than the familiar catch-phrase "caught a chill or a cold." What a mountain of ignorance and scientific indifference is covered by this much-abused expression!
The pathologist and the treating professions know everything about disease except its cause. They have myriads of palliatives, but they cannot restore health. Pathology is an effect, an end product. The pathologist can study it and describe it, but he does not know its cause and he does not know why it developed where it did instead of developing in some other part of the body.
Normal evolution does not produce all the myriads of symptom-complexes that are listed in the nosologies. They are evolved out of an abnormal style of living-a style of living that produces enervation, toxemia and gastrointestinal poisoning. Only yesterday drunken humanity was advised to eat as it pleases and was assured that food, tobacco, coffee and other habits have nothing to do with causing disease. From suggestive therapeutics to ultra-medical science, the minds of the practitioners of all these schools of thought and practice are so bigoted, creed-bound, arrogant and cocky that they are incapable of understanding that man is the architect of his own discomforts, the builder of his own disease.
The causes of disease are no longer either innumerable or ill-defined. If they embrace the whole pathology, this is because errors of living are general and the consequent organic deteriorations are numerous. For the control of the entire vital process, both in normal and abnormal states, the blood and lymph supply the base. The constituents requisite for the composition and maintenance of all the organs of the body are contained in the blood and lymph: "blood is liquid life." It is not only the immediate vehicle of metabolism, but it also yields the building materials of organic structure. Thus it is that all considerations of the cause of disease must commence with the blood and the sources of its deterioration and defilement.
Normal elimination keeps the blood and lymph streams sweet and clean so that health is preserved. Tissue changes are normal, and healing when an injury is received, is speedy. When elimination is inhibited, body waste-byproducts of metabolism-are retained and accumulate in the body. This waste is toxic and when it accumulates in sufficient amounts to constitute a danger, a process of vicarious or supplementary or compensatory elimination-a crisis or disease-develops to throw it off. Toxemia in this sense is blood contamination due to retained cell waste; it is a true self-poisoning, a poisoning of autogenous origin. In its very nature it is essentially systemic or constitutional.
These residues of the metabolic process, if not eliminated, due, we think, to impairment of the organs of excretion, accumulate and poison. Such retained metabolic residues have an irritating and paralyzing effect upon the tissues and upon the whole body. Thus auto-intoxication or toxemia is nothing more mysterious than the poisoning of the organs by the products of its own metabolism. When it is said that toxemia is the cause of disease, it is overlooked that toxemia is itself, an abnormal state. As waste is formed continuously in the body, the body must be possessed of efficient means of removing these else they accumulate. The excretory organs are not the only organs involved in removing waste. Indeed, theirs is the last act of the eliminating process. But when they become fatigued or impaired, their functions lag and accumulation of waste follows.
The first cold or gastritis or diarrhea or skin eruption of infancy represents an established toxemia which, since its causes are not corrected, persists throughout life. The crisis-cold, bronchitis, gastritis, diarrhea, fever, etc.-serves to reduce the toxic load to the toleration point and then subsides as spontaneously and automatically as it arises. This is called cure. But the sick person is still toxemic and his mode of life has not been corrected, so soon thereafter another crisis develops and he has "another disease."
Nerve energy is functioning power. When this is abundant, functioning is efficient and excretion keeps the blood stream pure; when nerve energy is low, excretion is inhibited and toxemia develops. Nerve energy is lowered in many ways-overwork, overeating, sexual and all other excesses, stimulation, emotional unrest, lack of rest and sleep, etc. Impaired health from avoidable exhaustion of the nervous system fills homes with despair, hospitals with the sick, asylums with the insane, jails and prisons with criminals, and cemeteries with the premature dead. Enervation (nervous fatigue) is the cause of inhibited elimination. It also inhibits secretion so that digestion and nutrition are impaired.
Waste is continuously being formed in the tissues and is just as continuously being removed and carried to the organs of excretion for elimination. It is true, then, that at all times the blood and lymph carry a load (a normal or physiological load) of metabolic waste. "When this waste is retained beyond this normal amount, it irritates (stimulates) and poisons the body. When it thus accumulates beyond the normal toleration point we have toxemia. The toxemic state is characterized by crises-the so-called acute diseases of medical science.
As the different tissues and organs of the body are affected by the mounting toxemia, a multitudinous symptomatology evolves, the various symptoms being the expressions of the various organs and tissues involved. The pronounced symptom-complexes thus created have been analyzed and synthesized scientifically; they have been searched and researched for cause, but without reward. The painstaking patience and zeal of the searchers has certainly been worthy of better reward, but discouraging failure has dogged all of their efforts.
In diagnosis the physician depends on discovering organic change. The change is recognized and treated as a disease, when in reality, it is nothing more than an end-product resulting from repeated toxemic crises, which are marked by functional irritation and leading to enlargement, induration (hardening) and degeneration. The degeneration may be tumor, tuberculosis, cancer, etc.
Toxemia (metabolic poisoning) manifests itself in a thousand ways. All the diseases of the nosology are but symptom-complexes, differing from each other as organs differ in structure and function, arising out of the same basic systemic toxemia. There is but one primary, all-inclusive toxemia and this is blood poisoning arising out of retention and accumulation of metabolites. All other toxemias listed are adventitious and evanescent; the autogenous toxemia here described is a constant.
Toxemia ebbs and floods as nerve energy rises and falls with the varying habits and circumstances of the life of the individual, but once established and its causes never corrected, it remains throughout life. Any mental and physical influence that reduces nerve energy below the standard for secretion and excretion to meet the needs of the body will increase the systemic toxemia and precipitate a crisis. The crisis persists until the pre-crisis systemic standard is restored and then subsides. This standard is maintained until more enervation has increased the toxemia, when another crisis will evolve.
When the blood is supersaturated with retained waste, the totality of symptoms that result from this poisoning may sum up to a complex to which the name arthritis has been given, or it may be named hay fever, asthma, gastric ulcer, colitis, sinusitis, or cancer. Toxin poisoning manifests in a wide variety of ways-indigestion in a babe at its mother's breast, to multiple sclerosis that comes on from years of toxic saturation. Gastric ulcer is but one of many endings of a chain of symptom complexes, the initial start of which was some minor crisis in toxemia, such as a cold or a diarrhea.
From the first sign of an established toxemia-the initiatory cold or gastritis or diarrhea to the fully developed organic disease (the ulcer in this instance) thirty to eighty years subsequent, there will develop many crises. The pathologic developments in an individual, once toxemia has developed, are in keeping with the individual constitutional tendencies (diatheses), and these are so many, varied and complex that solution seems a hopeless task. Efforts have been made to identify general constitutional types (one of these, the "ulcer type"), but each individual in the particular classification is a distinct constitutional variation within himself.
The more common structures chosen by nature to serve as a channel of vicarious elimination is the mucous membrane. Acute and chronic inflammation of the mucous structures are, therefore, the more common of all diseases and are the forerunners of all others. In early life one local mucous surface is likely to be chosen as a fontanel, but as life continues and the toxemia mounts more and more mucous surfaces are requisitioned to do vicarious duty, so that the individual develops "other diseases." All of these vicarious so-called diseases, from a cold to tonsillitis to gastritis, to sinusitis, to hay fever, to asthma to colitis;-to metritis, to hepatitis, to pancreatitis, to nephritis, to gall stones and kidney stones, to cancer, to tuberculosis, to apoplexy, etc., are but successive and concomitant developments out of the one, common, basic, systemic toxemia, complicated often by poisoning from exogenous sources. In this sense, disease has but one cause and that cause has many causes.
Gastritis may develop in an infant from overfeeding, from feeding when fatigued, from being overexcited, cold, feverish, etc., or from wrong food, as from too much sugar or candy. Repeated gastric crises of this kind may develop and subside before the gastritis becomes chronic. Chronic gastritis, may persist for years before sufficient hardening of the gastric mucosa develops for an ulcer to form. Gastric ulcer, which always develops in a field of gastric inflammation, evolves out of chronic gastritis. Gastric cancer may evolve out of gastric ulcer.
The virtually universal belief that the gastric hyperacidity commonly seen in ulcer of the stomach represents a purely local condition is questioned by the writer. I am convinced that it represents a local expression of a systemic condition and that this is but one reason that treatment directed at the local condition is a uniform failure. Constitutional correction is not only essential, but it is the more important part of the care of the sick.
It is sheer nonsense to talk about curing a disease so long as its cause is unknown. A child should be able to understand that so long as cause is not removed the individual will continue to build more pathology. The one measure that suspends the secretion of gastric juice and keeps it suspended is fasting. It requires but three days in the average case of gastric ulcer for the fast to bring relief from pain and discomfort. During these first three days, there is likely to be increased suffering, although this is by no means always true.
Full health is maintained so long as excretion is active and complete. If the habits of life (physical and mental) are excessive and enervating, enervation evolves, elimination fails to keep pace with metabolic waste and toxemia develops. The waste, which is toxic, accumulates and toxemia becomes master of the show-a pathologic show. Everything that brings a man down to the evolution of a cold, a diarrhea or smallpox requires a preliminary period of training in enervating habits. Enervation must precede the evolution of any disease. To forget that our tomorrows are made of todays and that if today one's resources are used up, that the ashes of today's pleasures are all that remain for tomorrow, nothing wild remain except a whole series of cultivated habits with no means of supplying them.
Biographers of Lincoln emphasize the morbid mental state of the population of the middle West during his growing years. The people were depressed, melancholy, fearful and dejected. No doubt much of this was the direct outgrowth of their economic depression, much of it due to malnutrition and drugs, but there can be no doubt that much of it was due to the fears and apprehension inculcated by religion. Anything that causes a constant state of fear or apprehension builds physical depression and disease.
The fear of hell and purgatory and of the after life that was cultivated by the religions of the time contributed to the disease and shortened life of the time. We have largely lost our fear of hell. The spread of the works of Voltaire, Paine and Ingersoll and others like them, the work of the New Thought people, the Unity School of Christianity, Jehovah's Witnesses and similar groups, who have turned the hose on hell and all but extinguished its fires, has resulted in a more cheerful, hopeful and courageous outlook on life. Christian Science has done a large share of this work. The deadly pessimism of the past has been supplanted by a hopeful and health-building optimism. The fears, that killed so many of our ancestors have given way to hope and cheerfulness.
An economic system that keeps thousands in abject poverty and that thus holds them below their level-poorly nourished, without hope, and without the common needs of hygiene-builds disease and shortens life.
Toxins accumulating in the blood, lymph and tissues as a result of faulty secretion and excretion, and as a result of absorption of poisons from the digestive tract is well covered by the term toxemia. All so-called diseases are varying states of one constitutional impairment, which may be summed up as enervation and checked elimination, ending in toxemia. The resulting disease will be in keeping with the diathesis of the individual. Toxemia, as here defined, is the constant, ever-present cause of all so-called disease.
When enjoyment beyond normal limitations has resulted in profound enervation, and secretion and excretion are inhibited, the organism becomes surcharged with waste, which is toxic. This is the state that we term toxemia, the great single, basic cause of all disease. When toxemia is evolved, there are symptoms galore. These symptoms are bunched and labeled in keeping with the organ that is the source of the greatest number of symptoms.
Enervation resulting from mental and physical habits that expend functioning power beyond the limits of reproduction during the hours allotted to rest and repose, can be recovered from through rest, but only after the habits that have produced and are maintaining and intensifying it are corrected. So long as enervating habits are practiced reliefs and cures are not lasting. Dependable health cannot be reestablished so long as enervating mental and physical indulgences are continued.
A rational prescription would stop the enervating habits, not add the irritating effects of drugs to these. What is rational about giving drugs to a sick person with an irregular and intermittent pulse from tobacco poisoning, and permitting the taking of tobacco to continue? What is rational about drugging a person suffering with delirium tremens and permitting him to continue drinking? Why dose for indigestion in one who overeats and permit the overeating to be continued?
After what has been said about cause, can the intelligent man ask for treatment? Treatment for what? Treat what? If you have stepped on a tack, you pull the tack out of your foot, you do not treat the foot. If you are close to fire and your skin is smarting from the heat, you move back, you do not apply a lotion and move closer. Stopping pain with anodynes or applying hot poultices and ignoring cause are highly irrational procedures. To remove the cause is the only rational procedure; and when this is done the healing forces of the organism do all that can be done to restore health.
HOW DISEASES ARE CURED
Herbert M. Shelton
Comment from Dr. Stanley S. Bass: " The following article by Dr. Herbert Shelton was first printed in his HYGIENIC REVIEW. Dr. Shelton had a Texas-based fasting retreat. He collected knowledge from the old hygienic masters as far back as the 1820's, cleared out the junk, and made it into a basic intelligence system - Natural Hygiene or Orthopathy."
THE TIME FACTOR IN RECOVERY
Herbert M. Shelton
Quote: " One of the most trying problems of the Hygienist, in dealing with the sick, and this is particularly true of chronic sufferers, is the demand for speedy results. Everybody wants to get well in a hurry. It is not unusual for sufferers to demand recovery in a week to two weeks. ."
When Fanaticism Reigns
Herbert M. Shelton
Comment from Dr. Tosca Haag: "When this article was written there was a strong Hygienic movement with Chapters of The American Natural Hygiene Society scattered across the United States and into Canada, as well as similar organizations started as spin-offs in Europe. I hope our readers will enjoy this one written and published in the June 1953 issue of Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review."
Click here to go to the beginning of this collection of Shelton articles.|
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For various articles by Dr. Gian-Cursio click here.
For fasting articles by Dr. Shelton and Theraputic Fasting by Arnold Devries click here.
Read excerpts from Shelton's Orthopathy (a disease encyclopedia - with definitions, etiology, prognosis, care, etc.) at drbass.com/orthopathy/
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