COD liver oil is given as a rule to weak, anaemic and sickly people and to consumptive in small doses, a teaspoonful, a pudding-spoonful, or a tablespoonful after meals. It is widely believed that large doses upset patients and do harm. That assumption is, I believe largely due to experiments on animals, with which a terrible abuse is made. As animals reacts very differently from men to both medicines and diet, the argument from the animal to the human being is illogical, absurd and most unscientific. This aberration of modern science will arouse the derision and the contempt of future generations.
In a book with the curious title : Dennoch Landarzt- Erfahrungen and Betrachtungen aus der Praxis, Dr. A. Heisler, a general practitioner in the South of Germany, wrote :.
“Shortly after the end of the War I was consulted by the wife of a large manufacture. She complained about catarrh of the lung. The lady had spent nearly the whole of the war years in the mountain districts of Switzerland. Therefore she had not suffered from under nutrition. She came to me because she had been visiting her sister who lived nearby. The catarrh of the lungs was still in evidence. A prolonged stay at Davos and Arosa had not been able to cure it. Now the lady came to me and asked me to help her.
I told her that she should undergo the usual rest cure, but I instructed her to rest in moderation because I have discovered long ago that an interminable cure lying on ones back weakens the body and the will power of the patient with lung trouble should not only have plenty of rest, but should also undergo a certain amount of training of the muscles, which should be started as soon as possible. I gave her Silica in trituration and later in cod liver oil.
The patient asked me : How much cod liver oil am I to take ? I replied vaguely : Take as much as you can digest. After about four weeks I saw the lady again and was amazed at the vast improvement which had taken place in her. I inquired whether she had followed my directions and whether she had taken the cod liver oil and if so in what quantity. She replied :
You told me that I should take as much cod liver oil as I could digest and I have taken fifteen tablespoonfuls per day. If I had not been sitting on a chair I might have fallen on my back. I am sure my patient noticed the amazement with which I listened to her tale. I had thought it impossible that my human being could swallow fifteen tablespoonfuls of cod liver oil per day. I pulled myself together praised her for having done so well, swallowing cod liver oil by the cupful, and congratulated her upon her splendid recovery.
Soon afterwards she went back to her home, her lungs were examined in the usual way and by means of X-ray pictures and it was discovered that the lung lesion had completely healed. Hitherto the lady had been an invalid. Now she regained her youthfulness she dance every night, became a great traveller, and a daring motor driver, and she was enjoyed perfect health ever since I saw her seven years ago.
She had sung my praise to everybody and has enjoyed perfect health ever since I saw her seven years ago. She has sung my praise to everybody and had declared that I was a higher authority on disease of the chest than all the numerous specialists whom she had consulted.
The unexpected success which I had with this lady was constantly on my mind. I was much puzzle and wished to know whether fantastically large doses of cod liver oil would be helpful in other cases as well, and tried it on other patients. I would illustrate the action of the oil in large doses by two cases of virulent tuberculosis which I treated exclusively with cod liver oil.
One of the two cases was the wife of a peasant, a nice, simple woman, who was lying in hospital. She had married at an early age and was anxious to recover her health. I urged her to take for weeks at least eight tablespoonfuls of cod liver oil per day. As hers was an open tuberculosis, I was anxious to ascertain whether the taking of the oil would have any effect on the bacilli themselves. In order to see clearly with regard to this point, I sent once a fortnight her expectoration to the Hygienic Institute at Freiburg, with a request to ascertain the number of the bacilli and their readiness to take up dye. The result was as follows :
At first the bacilli were positive. The Next report was the bacilli were difficult to find because they did not take up the dye, that they were disintegrating and at last I was told that the bacilli had completely disappeared. The patient became perfectly well and during the next two years she sent me presents of wine, reporting that she was in splendid health.
The second case was that of a councillor of education. A large part of his left lung had been eaten away by tuberculosis. He was married and had a son. In view of his occupation in an educational establishment it was of the utmost importance to him that he should be healthy, able to work, and clear of bacilli. He was quite willing to take cod liver oil in large quantities and he used his ingenuity in order to add to the oil various substances to make it less nauseous.
During many months he took eight tablespoonfuls per day. It is a surprising fact that the reports furnished by the Hygienic Institute in Freiburg were practically identical with those regarding the peasant woman previously mentioned. At first there was in increase in the bacilli, then there was difficulty to stain, and then they disappeared altogether. The process was aided by considerable haemorrhage, which may be considered out of the lung. The patient could start his work once more”.
I hope that some of my readers will try the rather startling experiment of giving to consumptives cod liver oil in huge doses and report to me the result. Of course the unrefined oil is infinitely better than the refined. In the process of refining many invaluable substances are weakened or destroyed. I have found it very useful to give unrefined cod liver oil by the skin.
Patients who are nauseated by the oil when taken by the mouth will readily rub a tablespoonful or two into the whole body and the skin will absorb it greedily, especially if the oil is used after a bath. The moist skin, dried only superficially with a towel, rapidly takes up the oil which cannot upset the stomach. This process leads to speedy gain of weight.