CEREBOS, a very elegant looking table salt, is used every day by millions of people. According to the Extra Pharmacopoeia, a standard work written by Martindale and Westcott, and published by Messrs.H.K. Lewis & Co., Cerebos contains 4 per cent. of Phosphates, mostly Calcium Phosphate. Similar information is to be found in other important reference books and it may therefore be presumed that it is correct. Saxa Salt, made by Cerebos Ltd., has apparently a similar admixture.
Calcium phosphate is known to every Homoeopathic physician and to thousands of laymen interested in homoeopathy under the name Calcarea Phosphorica. Calcarea Phosphorica is an exceedingly valuable remedy which is given to those who suffer from a lack of Calcium Phosphate. Lack of Calcium phosphate is indicated by weak bones, soft teeth, etc.
Homoeopathic doctors prescribe Calcarea Phosphorica as a rule in the 3x potency, which means in doses of one thousandth of a grain. In that strength it is exceedingly helpful and it has been used by thousands of homoeopathic doctors with excellent results for about a century. I personally have seen valuable results obtained by the 3x potency in hundreds of cases.
While experienced homoeopathic physicians and lay prescribers give to patients who require it Calcium phosphate in doses of one thousandth of a grain, the Cerebos Company administers to millions of people who do not need that drug Calcium phosphate in does which are from 50 to 100 times as great as the maximum doses currently give by those medical men who prescribe homoeopathically. Calcium phosphate is given as a rule for a few months and then the drug is stopped.
Those who use Cerebos salt and Saxa salt, are give every day as large a quantity of the drug as a homoeopathic doctor would allow to be used in the course of six weeks or of three months.
Drugs are valuable to those who need them, but dangerous to those who do not require them. Iron is an excellent drug for the anaemic, but is harmful if given day by day to those who do not suffer from anaemia, or who are full-blooded. Quinine is a valuable tonic and fever medicine, but it would be foolish for anyone to take Quinine day after day, year after year.
Sulphur is a popular blood-clearing medicine which, like Phosphate of lime, is, as a rule, given only for a limited number of weeks. It would be most injudicious for anyone to take small doses of Sulphur day after day, year after year.
Millions of people are given substantial doses of Calcium phosphate with every meal with their knowledge and the question arises. “What is the result of the daily ingestion of substantial doses of that drug?” There are a number of diseases which are characterized by a hardening of tissues and organs, by deposits of lime in them. These diseases have greatly increased during the last twenty or thirty years, during which the use of the Cerebos productions also has greatly increased.
It may be only coincidence. Still, the coincidence is a curious one. Those who suffer from accumulation of lime in the system, from hardened arteries, called arteriosclerosis, from lime in the joints, called gout, from hardening of the lens, called cataract, etc., are frequently told by their doctors to avoid lime, to avoid hard water. They will employ water-softeners curiously enough the Cerebos Company sells “Aquasol” for the purpose of water- softening or they boil the water before drinking it, causing the lime carried by the water to be deposited in the kettle.
However, if they take Cerebos salt or Saxa salt, they will ingest day after day substantial quantities of the very lime which they have been told to avoid and which they try to avoid.
About a century ago some leading homoeopathic doctors wished to find out what was the action of Phosphate of lime on the human body. In accordance with the homoeopathic rule, they did not test Phosphate of lime on animals, as is done by orthodox physicians, but they tried the drug on themselves and on other medical men and on medical students, who were not told what drug they were given.
In due course the people who were taking daily doses of Phosphate of lime began to suffer serious symptoms which have been recorded in the homoeopathic textbooks. The symptoms produced were too numerous to quote in full. In would quote a summary, contained in the well-known Manual of Therapeutics, written by Drs. Neatby and Stonham, and published in 1927. Under the heading “Limbs” we read.
“There is great weariness of the legs, especially below the knees. Dull aching or sharp shooting pains occur in all the limbs, especially from the elbows to the wrists and from the knees to the ankles, also about the knees on their inner aspects and in the tendons. All pains are worse from movement. Severe pain occurs in front of the ankles, followed by soreness in the sheaths of the tendons, worse from flexing and extending the ankle joints.”.
Of late years there has been a curious increase of rheumatism. This increase has been commented upon by numerous observers and by the Ministry f Health. Very likely the increase of the trouble is due to nutritional causes and it is certainly conceivable that part of it may be caused by the daily ingestion of Phosphate f lime in unsuspected table salt. These daily doses are bond to have some effect.
A doctor fried of mine who is not a homoeopath was becoming crippled with rheumatism. He is a magnificent specimen of manhood, excellent at many games, and his house is filled with trophies. He could not understand the cause of his trouble. He read my article, “What is Cerebos?” in the February issue of this magazine, immediately discarded Cerebos, replacing it by ordinary block slat, which costs one-sixth as much, and improvement occurred soon.
People who suffer with rheumatism, gout, arteriosclerosis and other diseases characterized by hardening of the tissues due to lime, are frequently advised to abstain from milk because milk is very rich in lime. It is a well-known fact that patients who are given a milk diet flourish greatly for a few weeks or months, and then they develop a distaste for milk, which is followed by an intolerance of milk.
Nature will not allow them to continue taking large quantities of milk indefinitely, probably because the limit of toleration of lime absorption is reached. Like all good things, lime, and phosphate of lime, are beneficial if taken when needed, and they are harmful if taken in excess.
Regret is often expressed that self-drugging is so prevalent. People readily fly to medicines, such as pain-killers, tonics, laxatives, etc., which are advertised in the daily press. They are very temptingly offered. However, if mischief results, then the individual who has prescribed for himself is the only one to suffer.
Individual drugging may be reprehensible, but mass- drugging of unsuspecting consumes on the pat of food manufacturers who add to the foods which they sell drugs without giving the people adequate warning is a national danger.
In the last Annual Report of the Chief Officer of the Ministry of Health, we read.
“Gross adulteration has largely given place to scientific treatment of food (sometimes described as sophistication) at the hands of skilled chemists. Whereas fifty years ago it was the rarest thing for a food manufacturer to employ a chemist, now every factory of any consequence is equipped with its research laboratory, and there are actually more chemists employed in the various branches of the food industry than in any other single industry in the company. The result is that every sort of artifice is being used in competition with rival firms to improve the appearance, colour, taste, keeping qualities, etc., of food.
“It is not question of any immediate and obvious injury to the health of the consumer. Such cases can be, and are, dealt with effectively under the existing Act. It is more a question of whether these practices are likely gradually to affect the digestive and metabolic functions of the human body and to became, to a greater or lesser extent, a contributory cause of lowered vitality, impaired physique, debased nutrition, or indifferent health.
“Some of the problems may be quite insoluble until physiological science has advanced into a new era of fundamental discovery, and guidance must be sought from the experience and intuition of those who know most about the internal economy of the human body. Meanwhile, is it the manufacturer or the consumer who should have the benefit of the doubt, the manufacturer whose interest in the matter is purely commercial, or the consumer, whose interest in the matter is personal and vital.”.
The sentence printed in italics in the extract was not printed in italics in the Government report mentioned.
The Cerebos Company claims on the wrapper of its cheaper salt, called Saxa salt. “Contains valuable ingredients which prevent the salt caking and improve its value.” The Company “improves” the salt it sells by adding to it a well-known drug which is useful when it is indicated, and which is only prescribed for limited periods.
If the Cerebos Company is entitled to add Phosphate of lime to our salt to improve our bones, some other manufacturer is equally entitled to add iron in some form to his products to improve our blood, and another one may add Sulphur to purify our system, or any other drug which he fancies. The average housewife has not the necessary knowledge to form an opinion whether the daily ingestion of a drug, which is extremely useful to those who need it, is, or is not, harmful to herself and her family.
We are being bombarded from every side with chemical preservatives, chemical dyes, chemical flavourings, and the manufacturers who use these chemicals are in the habit of assuring us that these chemical which may be harmful in large quantities are “quite harmless” if employed in small quantities. Whether this is so or not, no one can tell.
To go back to Cerebos. It may be that the daily ingestion of substantial doses of Calcium phosphate is harmless. It may also be that the daily ingestion of Phosphate of lime is extremely injurious and that in the course of months and years it will cause arteriosclerosis, or will at least aggravate that disease and increase the disposition towards hardening of the arteries.
It may be that the daily doses of that drug may cause or may aggravate the formation of deposits of lime in the joints, called gout, or in the values of the heart, producing valvular heart disease. One could collect opinions among medical men for and against these contingencies, but it would be extremely difficult to produce convincing proof, even by continued experiments on animals, for animals react to numerous drugs differently from human beings.
In any case, one should ask the question, which was put in the Government Report mentioned. ” Is it the manufacturer or the consumer who should have the benefit of the doubt, the manufacturer whose interest in the matter is purely commercial, or the consumer whose interest in the matter is personal and vital?”.
I assume that the Cerebos Company has acted without adequate knowledge in adding substantial quantities of Phosphate of lime to our salt and that, on consideration, they will recognize that they have made a mistake and that they will promptly rectify it. They can probably replace that drug by some harmless food substance which will prevent salt clogging, such as finely powdered starch, flour, etc.
If that is impossible, then they must give us pure salt, to which we surely are entitled, instead of salt, plus drug which only few of us need for a limited period.
In view of the undoubted risk involved in taking daily substantial doses of an unnecessary drug, I would warn all my readers, professional and lay, to avoid Cerebos and Saxa salt and I would suggest to my numerous professional readers to warn all their patients against their use, particularly those patients who suffer from sclerosis in some form or other and who are ordered to avoid the ingestion of lime in hard water, etc. Very likely the health of many patients would greatly improve if Cerebos and Saxa salt were strictly forbidden.
Most unfortunately it is extremely difficult to avoid the ingestion of the salts mentioned. Grocers wish to make a profit. Naturally they can obtain a larger profit from salt sold at 6d. a lb. than from the old-fashioned block salt sold at 1d. a lb. Consequently it is becoming more and more difficult to obtain unmedicated salt. If asked for salt, grocers will tell their customers that they keep Cerebos salt, Saxa salt, Iodized salt, etc., which they can sell at a substantial profit.
If asked for plain ordinary salt, such as block salt, they will say that they do not keep it because it is not asked for, or because it is inferior, or because it is dirty, making some plausible excuse or other. One has to go to the poorer shops in the poorer quarters to obtain plain salt in its original form.
As I stated before, I hope that the Cerebos Company will recognize that it made a mistake in selling to the people salt and a drug, probably under the honest belief that the addition of that drug constituted an improvement to the natural article. I trust that the Company will promptly put on to the market a pure, unmedicated salt. Otherwise it may be compelled to abandon its methods. I cannot imagine that the Ministry of Health will allow the mass-drugging on the part of food manufacturers to continue unchecked.
The warning contained in its latest yearly report, quoted above, should certainly be followed by action. It is particularly applicable to the salts produced by the Cerebos Company and I trust that the Ministry will act without delay for the protection of the public. Warnings in a report which is read by a few are useless unless they are followed by appropriate action.