INHS International Natural Hygiene Society

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This concept was revolutionary when it first appeared, and still is. A new paradigm - a new way of thinking - that still is new, almost 200 years later:
Disease is the solution, the way to get rid of disease is stop breaking the divine laws about how to take care of ones body. The cause is obvious - wrong behavior. It is easy to avoid disease. One knows exactly how to remove disease if it appears.
Example: a cold is elimination started by an overload of toxins - the cause may e.g. be overeating the day before. No big deal - just rest and sleep more, and eat less - and let the body do its cleaning job undisturbed - one knows that the cold will soon be gone.
Example 2: cancer is the last stage of continually breaking universal divine laws - excessive toxicity is making the cells go crazy. The solution is to stop all toxins, return to a pristine mode of living, give the body maximal rest (including mental rest).

  • Natural Hygiene history

    "Hygiene" became very popular in the 1800's, both among healing practitioners and the public --- but in the 1900's it lost ground to the medical (allopathic, drugging) system, that had gotten a powerful ally in the Rockefeller drug & oil empire. The medical system gradually did adopt the sanitation-part of Hygiene, while rejecting its no-drugs philosophy. When "sanitation" and "hygiene" as a consequence became synonymous, the prefix Natural was added to Hygiene.
    In the 1800's there was some side-tracking by hydropathy, and in the 1900's diet became a major topic, e.g. the dangers/benefits of veganism.

    "The "medical art" in America during the colonial period had been simple and unpretentious. There were no medical schools and few physicians."
    "By the time the period arrived (1800's) ... the schools of healing had arrived; folk medicine was almost obsolete. A considerable medical literature with Latin and Greek terminology had accumulated; medical colleges (schools of physic) had been established; ... Homeopathy and chrono-thermalism had come from Europe to compete with the dominant school, which became known as the allopathic school;"
    druggist ".. each school accused the other of killing its patients, an accusation which could be well substantiated against each school. In addition to this struggle, there was a wide-spread drug nihilism among medical men, the leading medical authorities of both Europe and America agreeing with the statement made by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes that if all the drugs of the pharmacopeia were cast into the sea it would be better for mankind, although a bit hard on the fishes. Is it to be wondered that the people became distrustful of their physicians and began to believe that they were being killed in the process of being cured?

    "How is a man who is already sick to be made less so by swallowing a substance that would sicken, even kill him if he were to take it in a state of health? Whoever has had his bowels moved into convulsions by cathartics, his teeth rotted by mercurials, his liver enlarged and impaired by tartar emetic knows that the effects of drugging are many and varied, but always evil."
    "In addition to drugging their patients to death, physicians have frequently bled them to death. Butchers bled pigs to kill them; physicians bled patients to cure them." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.1.

    (Early 1800's:) "The whole medical system of Western society was in a state of chaos and confusion. It is not surprising that the revolution had its first beginning in France, where medicine was most progressed. As early as the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were physicians in France who discarded drugs and relied upon "nature" and "good nursing."
    Nature Cure in Europe: "... the revolution in Europe and that in America were interrelated and interconnected. Especially did the works of Priessnitz, Schrodt and Rausse of Germany, Ling of Sweden and Lamb and Combe of Britain influence the American scene. The French school seems to have exercised very little influence outside of France." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.2.

    "Should we marvel that the people lost confidence in their physicians and began to (correctly) suspect that they were being killed by them? A real revolutionary situation existed. The time was ripe for a change." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.1.
    "It was into the milieu of doubt and uncertainty, of disease and death that Sylvester Graham threw a stone in 1830. ... Only the existence of a revolutionary situation, created by the failures and contradictions of medical theories and practices, made possible the immediate and widespread acceptance of the truths announced by Graham, his contemporaries and successors." H. Shelton, 1968

    JenningsDr. Jennings - only water and bread pills from 1822
    "Isaac Jennings, M.D.: - After 20 years spent in the regular drugging and bleeding practices of the time, during which his confidence in drugs and bleeding had grown steadily weaker so that his lancet had been sheathed and his doses were fewer, further apart and smaller, he discontinued all drugging in 1822 and relied thereafter on Hygienic care of the sick, using water (drops of it) and bread pills to meet the demands of his patients for "medicines" for another 20 years before he made public the secret of his phenomenal success."
    "He noted, also, in consultation with his more experienced professional brethren, that old doctors, as a general rule, gave much less medicine than young ones. The former trusted more to nature; the latter trusted all to drugs. This led him to doubt the prevalent ideas of the faculty of medicine; and further observations induced him to discard them altogether."

    " ... he furnished one pocket with an assortment of breadpills; another pocket was stored with a variety of powders made of wheaten flour, variously scented and colored ; and a third pocket with a quantity of vials filled with pure, soft water, of various hues. ... Diseases vanished before him with a promptness unknown before. His fame spread far and wide." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.2.

    Dr. Isaac Jennings, who served as Oberlin's mayor in 1849, came to Oberlin in 1839 as a physician with an honorary M. D. from Yale University. Jennings practiced a system of medicine which he termed orthopathy. Jennings lived a long life as a member of Oberlin: he died in 1875 at the age of 86.

  • Hygiene theory - early development

    Dr. Jennings' theory of disease
    "Jennings continued his no-drug practice, which he called the "let alone" practice, for another 20 years before he retired. He worked out a theory of disease, diverse from any that had preceded him, which he called Orthopathy." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.2.
    "Disease, in this theory, is a unit and, in its various forms of fever, inflammation, coughs, etc., is entirely true to the laws of life, which cannot be aided by any system of medication or any medication whatever; but, relying solely upon the healing powers of the body and placing his patients in the best possible conditions for the operation of the body's own healing processes, by means of rest, fasting, diet, pure air and other Hygienic factors, he permitted his patients to get well."

    Graham Sylvester Graham
    "Sylvester Graham, with 'The Science of Human Life,' made a great step in advance; and, though some of his theories are not what later developments would approve, he nevertheless made a valuable attempt at systematization."
    "Herald of Health, January 1865, says of Sylvester Graham, who was not a physician, that he was "pre-eminently the father of the philosophy of physiology. In his masterly and celebrated work, the 'Science of Life,' he has given the world more philosophy and more truth concerning the primary and fundamental laws which relate man to external objects and to other beings, than any other author ever did -- than all other authors ever have."
    "Medical deprecations of Graham's work began very early. One Dr. Bell ... reduced Graham and Grahamism to smouldering ruins with such matchless and devastating logic as "eutopian dreamers," "modern empirics and modern innovators," "self-conceited and opinionated dogmatism," "visionary novelties," "new sect of fanatics," "men of erratic and visionary genius," "modern Pythagoreans," "bigoted exclusives," etc., etc." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.2,3.

    "Beginning with Graham's lectures and the publication of the Graham Journal of Health and Longevity, the Hygienic movement pushed forward with vigor and enthusiasm. As early as 1850 the Water-Cure Journal had a circulation of 18,000. ... So vigorous was Hygiene promulgated and so great was the enthusiasm with which the people accepted it, it was estimated in January 1852 that the practitioners of the two schools -- hydropathy and hygeiotherapy -- outnumbered the practitioners of any of the medical schools -- allopathic, homeopathic, eclectic and physio-medical -- in this country." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.3.

    Dr. Trall
    TrallR.T. Trall M.D. - "... it was left to him to solve the great primary problems which must underlie all medical systems, and to base a theory of medical science, and a system of the Healing Art, on the laws of nature themselves. No author except him ever traced medical problems back to their starting point, and thereby discovered their harmony or disharmony with universal and unalterable law. In this manner he has been enabled to do what no other author before him ever could do, viz, explain the nature of disease, the effects of remedies, the doctrine of vitality, the vis medicatrix naturae, and the laws or conditions of cure. His philosophy goes back of all medical systems and proves to a positive demonstration the fallacy and falsity of medicating diseases with poisonous drugs."

    "In 1862 Trall delivered in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington his famous lecture,
    The True Healing Art, or Hygienic Versus Drug Medication. It should be recorded that after this lecture was delivered, there was a heavy demand that it be delivered elsewhere. Complying with this demand, Trall delivered this lecture in several other cities. Writing in November 1873, Trall said that "allopathic physicians could be named both in this country and in Europe who had immediately abandoned the whole drugging system after reading The True Healing Art, and that some of them were then practicing Hygienically." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.2,3.

    "All history attests the fact, that wherever the Drug Medical System prevails, desolation marks its track, human health declines, vital stamina diminishes, diseases become more numerous, more complicated, and more fatal, and the human race deteriorates. On the contrary, wherever the Hygienic Healing System is adopted--and there is no exception--renovation denotes its progress, and humanity improves in all the relations of its existence. " Dr. R.T. Trall: The True Heling Art

    "In April 1862 Trall issued a call for the formation of a National Hygienic Association, to be made up of Hygienic practitioners, male and female. In 1860 Trall issued a booklet on the Principles of Hygeio-Therapy." H. Shelton, 1968

  • Hygiene and Hydropathy - confusion

    Hydropathy - using water as a drug
    "Hydropathy spread quickly in America. According to one account, 213 cure centers were established between 1843 and 1900. Although most treated both sexes, the centers were especially popular with women; and women, who had long been denied access to the "regular" medical field, not only gained acceptance but took the lead as water-cure physicians."

    "The introduction of hydropathy into this country occurred 22 years after Jennings had discarded the drugging system and adopted the Hygienic practice. ... The Hygienic movement was already well established and had thousands of adherents at the time of the introduction of the water-cure into this country. Its books and magazines already had a wide circulation."

    "Great numbers of physicians had lost confidence in drugs and took advantage of the water-cure as a means of escaping from the drugging system. Even though they adopted more or less of Hygiene in connection with their water-cure practices, they called their practice hydropathy and called themselves hydropathists. ... Many physicians who turned to water-cure thought of water as an agent that could be made to take the place of drugs altogether. In other words, they professed to be able to do with water everything that they had formerly sought to do with drugs."
    H. Shelton, 1968

    hose bath "Hydropathy presented a totally fresh approach to childbirth, denying that it was a disease, as the allopaths seemed to believe, or that it was of necessity excruciatingly painful because it was God's punishment for Eve's sin, as many believed. Water curists taught that excessive pain in childbirth was the result of poor health. They stressed extensive exercise and proper diet during pregnancy and the relaxing effects of free movement and warm-water baths during labor. Women found they could be up and about a few days after delivery. With the scientific management of allopathy, two months of invalidism after delivery was not uncommon. ...
    By the middle of the nineteenth century women's health in America was in a deplorable state. Catherine Beecher, sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, made an informal survey of over 1,000 women and found that the sick outnumbered the well by a ratio of three to one.... Mrs. Beecher's suggested remedies for women's poor health were three: dress reform, vigorous exercise, and participation in the water cure."

    Separating Hygiene and Hydropathy
    "The practices of the early Hygienists were a composite mixture of hygiene and hydropathy, while most of the practitioners were designated as hydropathists."

    Alcott "Writing on the health reform movement in December 1853, William Alcott M.D. (1798 - 1859) designates the physiological (hygienic) as distinct from the hydropathic part of the movement. He mentions also that "our periodicals and our books also repudiate as absurd the idea of curing disease," and that "all the elements of hygiene, and these only, are the true materia medica." - It is important that we keep these distinctions in mind. The physiological reform (Hygiene) had its origin in this country. Hydropathy had its origin in Europe. The two movements mingled and ran along together for a time, but they were separate and distinct and must be understood in this way if we are to grasp in clear outline the evolution of the Hygienic System."

    "In an editorial in the Journal, May 1858, Trall speaks of those "who do not distinguish between water treatment and hygienic treatment," thus setting the two systems apart from each other. ... At least as early as 1853, Trall's institution was listed as a hydropathic and Hygienic institute. .... When people discontinued the use of tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol and animal foods, they were following Graham and Alcott, not Priessnitz."

    "Instead of being a revolutionary movement, it (hydropathy) turned out to be a mere reform movement; instead of calling for radical changes in the ways of life, it sought merely to substitute water in the form of baths, hot and cold applications, enemas, douches, packs, fomentations, dripping wet sheets, etc., for drugs. Such treatments have no legitimate place in a system of Hygiene." H. Shelton, 1968


    Shelton: Man's Pristine Way Of Life, 1968, can be read free at

    "The Hygienic System was not merely a historic phenomenon of interest to historians - it was the bursting forth of life itself. It arose to meet a need of the people and it has continued and will continue to exist because the need is ever-present." Herbert M. Shelton

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