CONSTIPATION and civilization go hand in hand. In fact it may be said that constipation is a disease of civilization and it is an exceedingly serious disease, for chronic constipation leads to self-poisoning, leads to the fouling of the blood stream and thereby causes innumerable diseases, and aggravates every disease known to medical science. It attacks body and brain. The institutions for the mentally deranged are filled with the constipation. According to Sir Arbuthnot Lane, constipation is the principal cause of cancer.
Constipation is practically unknown among primitive races and among naturally living animals. The civilized refine all their foods. By taking out of the food the roughage which stimulates the bowel into activity we deprive our food also of the vitamins and mineral elements which are indispensable to our health. We live on refined white flour, white bread, white sugar, and we ruin our vegetables either by over-cooking them and throwing the water away, or by boiling them for appearances sake with soda, which destroys their goodness.
Eminent scientists, such as Colonel McCarrison, Professor Plimmer, and others have produced in monkeys, dogs, rabbits, rats, and birds, not only chronic constipation by feeding them on refined food, but also appendicitis, colitis, gastric and duodenal ulcers and other diseases of civilization. Digs fed on the refined diet of civilization are also apt to suffer from constipation and all its evil consequences, including pyorrhoea. Primitively-living savages and animals have magnificent teeth. The civilized have deplorable teeth.
We need not live like savages in order to be health and free from constipation. On the other hand, we cannot keep ourselves in health by overcoming constipation by the easy but dangerous methods usually employed. Pills, salts, and enemas are a delusion and a snare. The digestive tract is about 30 feet long. Constipation occurs at the end of the bowel nearest the exit. It is therefore a mistake to treat that the trouble from the mouth. Besides, all laxatives and purgatives act on the bowel by irritating it.
Every laxative is an irritant. We do not realize the injury done to our bowel because the bowel has no pain nerves. Laxatives are largely responsible for appendicitis and for the numerous lesions of the bowel known to medical science. Emptying and cleaning the bowel by means of enemas and douches seems at first sight a wholesome and unobjectionable proceeding. However, the frequent uses of douches and enemas causes the bowels to become sodden and torpid and at last natural, normal action of the bowls muscles and bowel nerves is lost altogether and the sufferer is in despair.
About 95 per cent of the cases of constipation can be cured by diet alone, even if the trouble has been in existence for years and for decades. Natural food with its natural roughage will work a miracle. Twenty-three centuries ago Hippocrates, the father of medicine and of surgery, wrote that every doctor worthy of his salt should know the difference between white bread and wholemeal bread, and he pointed out that diet was infinitely more valuable than drugs.
A century ago Hahnemann frequently made similar statements and Florence Nightingale, the queen of nurses, and the organizer of modern hospitals and of modern nursing, showed that most cases of constipation can be cured if a sufficiency of wholemeal bread and other roughage is consumed. Millers oppose the use of wholemeal bread because wholemeal flour does not keep.
They have spent vast sums in constructing mills which eliminate from the flour the roughage and the wonderful germ and they all the unwholesome dead, white, starchy stuff to the bakers, after having bleached it with harmful chemicals. This dead and dangerous stuff will keep for a long time, as will tinned meat and tinned vegetables.
Unfortunately the bakers are allowed to sell under the name Wholemeal Bread bread which is no means wholemeal bread, but which is made of de-mineralized and de-vitaminized white flour, which is given the appearance of wholemeal bread by addition of some bran. People should insist upon getting real wholemeal bread, which is obtainable from the Pitman Health Food Company, 471 Vitaland, Four Oaks, Warwickshire.
This firm produces not only a particularly excellent wholemeal bread made from selected wheat, but a very tasty wholemeal flour of excellent keeping quality, because a special method of milling has been adopted. Besides, the Pitman Health Food Company sells a large number of laxative health foods, such as clean and irreproachable wheat, which can be converted into frumenty, washed brain, finely ground bran flour, and a large selection of exceedingly palatable wholemeal biscuits, wholemeal cakes, etc.
Besides, the firm mentioned sends out recipes for preparing wholemeal and bran foods. Besides there is the excellent Dr. Allinsons wholemeal bread and wholemeal flour and whole wheat. I myself have taken every morning for many years a large basin of porridge and made either of coarse oatmeal and bran or of boiled whole wheat and bran, and I have recommended this very tasty dish to hundreds of people. Further bran can be used in everything in which flour is employed. It should be added to cakes, buns, pastry, bread, milk puddings, biscuits and so forth.
Vegetables should never be boiled with soda, which ruins them, and the water in which vegetables have been cooked should never be thrown away because it contains the most valuable extractives. Further, aluminium cooking utensils should never be used. Aluminium dissolves in water. It affects injuriously numerous people, it acts as a poison to the susceptible, it causes countless disorders and diseases and it frequently causes, or intensifies, constipation.
If the bowel contents become too dry, they cannot be readily expelled. Natural motions are not hard or formed, but are soft like those of healthy babies. An insufficient intake of liquid causes the bowel contents to become hard. Therefore an adequate quantity of liquid should be taken by the constipated and they will do well to take a tumblerful of water with lemon juice or something of the kind two or three times a day between or half an hour before meals.
If an adequate quantity of bran and wholemeal flour is taken together with an adequate quantity of liquid and of vegetables and fruit, constipation will disappear permanently. In the relatively few cases where diet alone does not suffice to regularize bowel action, medicinal paraffin should be used, which is not absorbed by the system and which acts as a mechanical lubricant. There are numerous kinds of liquid paraffin obtainable. The best is probably a brand called Colonol.