INHS International Natural Hygiene Society


What is Natural Hygiene?
What does Natural Hygiene teach about illness?
Laws of Life - the basis of Natural Hygiene
What is health?
How do we get healthy?
What is disease?
Hygienic care - no drugs
The major healing methods in NH
What is the optimal diet?

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What is disease?

Dr. Shelton
What is disease? It is not a thing to be removed, expelled, subdued, broken up, cured or killed. It is not a thing, but an action; not an entity, but a process; not an enemy at war with the organism, but remedial action, a remedial effort; not a substance to be opposed, but an action to be left alone. The drug system endeavors to remove disease; the Hygienic System endeavors to remove the causes of disease." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.25

We are responsible for our own illnesses
"Health and disease ... result from opposite modes of living. We cannot do as we please, for some ways are superior to other ways."
"Disease, suffering and premature death are but the consequences of the infractions of the laws that regularly govern the processes of life. Thus the causes of disease are knowable and avoidable; hence, we must bear responsibility for our illnesses. "

"The men of (medical) science say that it is due to the invasion of the body by foreign entities (germs and viruses), a concept identical with the demon etiology of the past. Hygiene teaches dependence on laws that govern the organic world, that health will be sustained so long as these are obeyed, and that disease results from violations of the same laws." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 19.

Purification of the blood
"Nature has made ample provision for the maintenance of pure blood, provided her laws are obeyed. Four of the principal organs of the body -- lungs, liver, bowel and kidneys -- are constantly engaged in the work of purification."
"Waste and repair belong to health as well as to disease - The process of life is one of continual waste and repair."
"Living and non-living machines have one thing in common: namely, their work uses energy. Everything that tends to exhaust the vital resources of the body lowers its functioning powers and disposes it to the development of disease."

Low energy inhibits the purification
"Lowered functioning power, a state which we call enervation, inhibits secretion and excretion, resulting in a slow accumulation of body waste in the fluids and tissues of the organism."
"Medical science does not include enervation in its etiology; it knows nothing of the inhibition of excretion that enervation produces and of the toxemia that results from inhibited excretion. It is busy searching the sun, moon and stars for causes of man's suffering. We say that toxemia, which grows out of inhibition of excretion, is the universal basic cause of disease; but we also say that toxemia has many causes. Toxemia is but a link in the chain of causes and effects. "It takes more than one blue-bird to make a spring," runs the old adage. It takes more than one bad habit to build a fatal disease." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 19.

Waste in the bloodstream - acute disease
"There is at all times a normal amount of waste matter in the blood stream. This becomes a menace to health only when it is allowed to accumulate above a certain physiological maximum."
"When it accumulates above this point, the body establishes a channel of supplementary excretion to remove the waste matter from the fluids of the body - sudden and fierce fevers, severe inflammations, etc." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 19.

Tissue deterioration - chronic disease
"With the passage of time, the tissues harden and lose their original sensitivity. ... Inflammations, fevers, etc., are less fierce, last longer and are less effective in resisting the sources of irritation."
"The longer toxemia has lasted and the more tissue deterioration has resulted, the greater is the time required for a return to health. Established as a chronic state ..., toxemia itself lowers and impairs the functioning of all the organs of the body." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 19.

"We are all more or less toxic to some extent ... Most bodies can handle a large degree of toxemia for a long time. Deficiencies damage us much more quickly. That's the difference between the two evils. ... You could be a vegetarian on a very imbalanced diet and feel good for five, seven, even ten years, but after ten years you'd start to fall apart when you have used up your reserves of B12 and D. When that happens, down you go. And once down, it is very hard to get back up." Stanley S. Bass: In Search of the Ultimate Diet

Here is a simplified Natural Hygiene DISEASE-THEORY:
So what causes garbage to pile up (inside your body)? And cause problems...
  • Either more garbage is added continually than possibly can be removed = TOXICITY
  • Or your body is too tired to remove all garbage - is lacking energy = ENERVATION (LACK OF ENERGY)
  • Or, something is missing - so the job goes haltingly = DEFICIENCY

Hygienic care - no drugs

"Alcott gave it as his opinion that all systems of medicine were leading us "to one grand issue." He said: "Within a short time--it may be five hundred years, for that in history is a short time, but it may be in 50--all sensible and truly learned medical men, as a general rule, will give no medicine at all." By medicine, in this instance, he meant drugs.
The vital truths of Natural Hygiene will be accepted as certainly as was the truth that the earth is round and not flat and that the earth turns on its axis and that the sun does not go around the earth. The principles of Hygiene are perhaps as representative of our modern era as the theories of Copernicus and Gallelio were of their own time." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 56.

Go to bed, keep warm, eat less food - of better quality
"Graham's opening lecture in New York City in 1832 was on cholera and this lecture was subsequently published in book form. The success of Hygienic means both in preventing cholera and in enabling the cholera patient to recover was phenomenal. The Hygienic rule in all acute disease is a simple one: go to bed, keep warm and abstain from food until comfort returns."
"In his work on Cholera (1854) Joel Shew, M.D., says: "The diarrhea which so generally precedes the real attack of cholera should be treated like any other diarrhea, on general principles. It would be better for the individual to practice entire abstinence from all food--the hunger cure, as the Germans call it--until the diarrhea ceases." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 27.

"In all states of impaired health (acute and chronic disease and wounds) the physiological needs of life (air, water, food, sunshine, temperature, activity, rest and sleep, etc.) must be supplied in keeping with the ability of the body to appropriate and use them." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 33.
"Landis ... contended that Hygienic practitioners "should prescribe food--as the drug-doctors do their medicinal agents--measuring it, according to circumstances. If our tables are provided with food of improper qualities, and patients are also allowed to partake of as much as they wish, they often eat too much, thus impeding the various functions of the system, and retarding or entirely preventing any curative operation whatever. Physiological food in quantity and quality is the great panacea of a true hygeio-therapeutic or hygienic practice."

Drug relief --- wolf in sheep's clothing
"Drug relief is an enemy in disguise. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Drug symptoms get mixed up with symptoms of disease and the physician cannot tell one from the other. ... Confirming the contentions of Hygienists concerning the superiority of Hygienic care in pneumonia and the deadliness of drug treatment in this disease is the experience of Prof. Austin Flint, M.D., of the New York Medical College, ... asserted that in the hospital where he used no drugs, he lost no cases."

"There is not the slightest room to doubt that the frightful mortality from the "Black Death," "yellow fever," "sinking typhus," "congestive chills," smallpox, typhoid fever and pneumonia was due almost wholly to the poisoning, stimulating, narcotizing, bleeding, blistering, cauterizing, leeching, mercurializing, purging and antimonial practices of the times." H. Shelton, 1968, ch. 27.

"It cannot be too strongly emphasized that today the medical profession is confronted with obstacles and with problems which are insurmountable and insoluble. ... Increased mass sickness, the explosive developments of the so-called side effects of their new drugs, the growing number of iatrogenic (doctor-caused) diseases, the growing public distrust of their poisoning practices, and the deadly menace of their wonder drugs -- all this, and much more, constitutes an endless nightmare for all who would preserve the criminal system of poisoning the sick because they are sick." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.49.

"The Hygienist wants to know the why and wherefore of each thing that he does; the devotee of drugging shuts his eyes and swallows his medicine. --- Whereas, in medicine, the patient must have confidence, in Hygiene, the first step towards health is that of enlightening the mind. ... --- Our only mystery is the great mystery of life. All else is an open book." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.25

The major healing methods in NH

The methods in Natural Hygiene are very simple, so simple that it may be hard to believe that they will work. But usually they are far superior to any other methods. Very cheap, but very powerful. (Note: in physical trauma there may also be need for manipulation/surgery.)

One method is the same as used for a sick houseplant --- provide the best environment, the best soil, nutrition, water, sunshine - and it will recover. The key is to know what environment and food is optimal for humans, but here we can study primitive peoples more than 10,000 years ago - how they lived and what they ate.
Another method is the same as what an animal in nature would use if it ate something poisonous, or broke a leg -- just lie down, rest and sleep, don't eat, until the damage is healed - a method called "fasting".

There is always hope
Natural Hygiene teaches us to trust ourself and our bodies, to observe the body and its vital signs and use simple natural living to overcome just about all diseases (except on occasion diseases that have been allowed to go too far). Our bodies have amazing powers to recover - if we just stop standing in the way. Self-reliance is regarded as better than relying on authorities. Remember that there is always hope, no matter what you have heard.

Natural Hygienic doctors are teachers, teaching you about the factors of health - water, food, sunshine, rest & sleep, exercise, etc. - that will enable you to get truly well, and allow you to reach a high state of health. No drugs are necessary, or even acceptable (unless serious doctor-caused drug-dependency). Food supplements are inferior to fresh natural foods.

E.g. FOOD is an important factor of health - and here there are 2 major healing methods:

"From consistent and convincing clinical experience, we know that this diet results not only in weight loss, but also purifies and strengthens body tissues and our natural defenses against disease. We have repeatedly observed people with a wide range or disorders - including cellulite or diet-resistant fat - get better after strictly following this program. Skin tone improves, circulation becomes more efficient, hormonal outputs are balanced, vigor increases.

As the body's vitality is enhanced and its capacities are improved, the cleansing or detoxifying of its tissues follows as a natural by-product - it simply happens.

Scientists can't fully explain why, but some believe it works on the principle of self-immunization: Foods themselves neither cleanse nor pollute our bodies. But rather, the proper ones eaten in a non-stressful sequence help create a highly favorable internal environment, in which the body can simply maintain or regenerate itself and correct its own imbalances." C. Gian-Cursio, 1979, Preventing Cellulite - The Diet Solution,
read here at

(Note that the other factors of health - sunshine, water, rest, sleep, exercise, joy & peace, etc. are equally important.)

"Fasting affords the organs of the body the closest possible approach to a complete physiological rest. Many organs are overworked and overstimulated, and hence weakened, rough the constant use of defective foods and excessive quantities of foods. ... Thus the organs are given a chance to recuperate and restore their vital powers. Repair of damaged structures may take place. Broken bones, wounds and open sores heal much more rapidly. If inflammation is present it tends to subside. The body undergoes a general healing process.

Associated with physiological rest of an organ is increased elimination. This, according to some observers, is the most important advantage of fasting. ...The surplus material on hand is utilized first. The effusions, dropsical swellings, fat, infiltrations, etc., are absorbed with great rapidity on a fast. The body thus gradually releases itself from a former burden of superfluous and waste material.

A marked improvement in nervous and mental function occurs on the fast. Max Nordau declared that "Pessimism has a physiological basis;' and it may also be said that even the most severe forms of mental aberration usually have a physiological basis. ... While fasting, all enervating influences are discontinued and the entire nervous system and brain undergoes the same physiological rest that the balance of the body experiences. Nerve forces are restored and mental powers are improved. The ability to reason is increased. The powers of attention and association are quickened while memory of past events is often recovered. " Arnold DeVries: Therapeutic Fasting

CONTINUED HERE - the diet question in Natural Hygiene

Or read: OLD PARADIGM --- "DISEASE IS THE PROBLEM" Natural Hygiene history is part of the history of healing and medicine .....

(Important: Fasting is a good tool - but a poor master. It is our recommendation that all extended fasts beyond 3 days be carried out with supervision. Fasting equals "water-fasting" = no food-intake, no enemas, no pills & drugs, only water-intake, while resting and sleeping.)

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