Laboratory men working with animals know disease only as caused by violent injections of poisons. They show only unnatural infections and they draw from these artificial diseases conclusions as to the causation of diseases in men although mens constitutions are entirely different from those of laboratory animals.

From Naturarztliche, Rundschau, May, 1934.

THERE is a crisis in medicine. That has been pointed out by many of the leading German physicians and surgeons, among them, Doctors Bier, Sauerbruch, Much, Hueppe, Schleich, Grotjan, Honigmann, and Liek. Those physicians who wish to cure by natural means are not surprised, for they have criticised modern medicine for decades and have declared that things are drifting towards a crisis. We are glad to find that leading men of the profession begin to recognize that things can no longer go on in the present way.

What has caused the crisis? It is due to the fact that modern medicine is a building without a foundation. Such a structure must come down earlier or later.

Towards the middle of the last century arose cellular pathology, the doctrine that disease arises in the cells, a conception which was developed by celebrities such as Malpighi, Bichat and we were told by Virchow that every disease was seated in an organ.

With this conception came the introduction of diagnostic methods devised to discover “the sick organ”. Then came the doctrine of the microbic origin of disease, which caused doctors to hunt for the responsible micro-organism.

The doctrines relating to the origin and seat of diseases destroyed the idea of the vital force and the idea that disease was due to the changed character of the bodily fluids which had dominated medical science in the past. Medicine came under the domination of mechanical ideas. It became purely materialistic and all the processes of the body were explained mechanically, chemically or physically in laboratory language with perfect disregard of the fact that man is neither a machine nor a chemical appliance.

The conception that disease is seated in some organ or organs caused medicine to be divided into scores of branches and sub- branches, which were studied by narrow visioned specialists who concentrate all their attention on the special organ in which they are interested and they endeavour to treat that organ by means of drugs, serums, vaccines, injections, glandular medicines, by surgery, etc.

Medicine fell under the sway of pathologists who study disease in dead bodies, and of anatomists who dissect them. The predominance of men who endeavour to study disease in the mortuary was of no advantage to the patient. Medical men sought to discover the causation and cure of disease not in the living but in the dead, forgetting that disease may have developed in the body long before the cells are affected, that it may be caused by chemical changes within the body.

Physicians and surgeons endeavour to find disease by means of the knife and the microscope. They did not understand that disease is not a fixed condition, but a process of the body. They did not understand that in reality there are no diseases but only sick people, people whose health deviates in some way or other from normality.

Doctors refused to believe that, as Professor Schweninger taught, disease was merely an abstraction, not a fact, that, to speak plainly, there was no such thing as pneumonia or typhoid in existence, exactly as there is in existence a house, a table or a chair, and that pneumonia and typhoid have no existence by themselves, but that there are human beings whose lungs or bowels have morbidly changed from the normal.

Those who pretended to see disease in the changed conditions of cells or organs denied that disease is sent to us for a purpose. In view of the purposeful work of every body organ in health, it would of course be illogical if the same purposeful organs would act without a purpose in time of illness.

Of course, the mechanistic and materialistic science of medicine has its strong points. It stands firmly on the basis of facts. With untiring industry the body and its disorders were studied. Anatomy, bacteriology, the chemical sciences, etc. were called in and were highly developed, enabling doctors to make a reliable diagnosis of local degenerative processes.

But what about the thing which principally interests the patient, what about treatment? If one asked that question one was told only too often that there is no treatment for the disease, that possibly symptoms might be relieved!.

Professor Bier wrote in his most important work: A Textbook of Hyperaemia:.

“In spite of all the numerous new discoveries, we must admit that medicine has not advanced but has gone backward. A natural instinct guided the doctors of the past who did not possess the vast knowledge and the scientific appliances which we have now.

Yet they knew ways and means of treatment which only now we recognize to have been correct. Many centuries ago doctors considered fever as a natural curative process. Yet the greatest difficulties were experienced in making doctors of the present understand that fever is indeed a curative process, undertaken by the body for the good of the patient.”.

Although Professor Bier has preached this doctrine for many years, he has not found many adherents, at least not in practice, for fever is still combated by the doctor as it was in the past. It is treated by the medical profession with antipyretics employed on a huge scale. Otherwise the chemical manufacturing industry would not advertise and sell enormous quantities of antipyretics of every kind. It is not conceivable that the thousands of tons of antipyretics produced by the pharmaceutical industry remain un-utilized.

Inflammation, like fever, is a curative effort of the body which endeavours to deal in this way with disease germs and their poisons. However, inflammation, like fever, is “fought” by the doctor with antiphlogistics, with chemicals of every kind, or with ice bags. In other words patient are treated on the principle of contraria contraris. Doctors try to bring down fever and inflammation by artificial means, interfering with the curative action of the body.

The symptomatic treatment of eruptions, such as psoriasis, is equally unnatural and illogical. Chemicals of every kind are applied outwardly as if an eruption on the surface of the skin was a purely local disorder and was in no way due to constitutional factors, such as impurity of the blood caused by a faulty diet or other factors. In most skin diseases an appropriate change of the methods of living and of the dietary is indicated if we wish to cure.

If we treat skin disorders merely by outward applications we may indeed eliminate the eruption, but if the blood and body fluids can no longer get rid of morbid material by the skin, it is carried towards the internal organs where it may lead to diseases, such as pleurisy, meningitis, etc.

Until recently the “scientific” treatment of tuberculosis of the joints and bones was purely local. The diseases joints or member was immobilised, if possible with plaster of Paris, and local treatment was given with disinfectants, such as Iodoform. Besides bones and joints were surgically cleaned up and operated upon! At the same time the patient was given a “strengthening diet” with plenty of meat, eggs, milk and medicines of every kind.

If such a case got better, a cure took a long time and it was frequently accompanied by loss of a joint or of an entire arm or leg. Only decades after Rickli, a non-doctor, had created air and sun treatment for surgical tuberculosis, scientific medicine, guided by Rollier, began to recognize the curative power of sunlight. Medicine, guided by another non-doctor, Lahmann, also discovered the advantage of a diet, poor in protein and table salt, but rich in mineral elements and vitamins.

I might describe dozens of examples showing the harm which has been done for generations by the purely symptomatic treatment of diseases. Orthodox medicine had obviously forgotten that the living body possesses numerous curative processes whereby the great majority of diseases and disorders get well even if the patient is not treated at all.

Of course one must not forget that there is a limit to the curative power of the body. One must not forget that the various protective processes of the body may fail to act or that they may act with insufficient force. If that is the case the medical men has to aid nature. Also he may have to limit the reaction of the body to disease if that reaction becomes dangerously strong. We can cure our patients only if we imitate the action of nature, follow her guidance and understand the limits of her power.

The unfortunate materialistic and mechanistic conception of life and diseases and the unfortunate idea that disease is a local process which is seated in an organ or in the cells has been greatly promoted by the science of bacteriology. Modern medicine is dominated by the bacteriologist.

He is the dictator. Bacteriology has given us important new conceptions relating to the origin of infectious diseases, but after long wanderings in the wilderness, scientists have discovered that disease processes are not so simple as they appear to those whose horizon is limited by animal experiments and by developments in test tubes.

Erwin Silber