ORTHODOX MEDICINE v. NATURE CURE.
IT cannot be doubted by anyone who has taken the trouble to inquire into the matter that the influence of orthodox medicine is steadily declining. The spread of education and the spirit of inquiry which have marked the twentieth century have led large numbers of people to examine more closely various inherited beliefs, and of recent years insistent questioning has arisen about the age-old attitude of doctors towards disease. The theory that disease is an evil and an ally of death is being denied, and the corresponding superstructure of treatment by drugs, injections, vaccines, serums, immunization and surgery is being denounced as futile and harmful.
The main reasons for the fall in prestige of medicine and medicine men and a corresponding rise in popularity of natural methods of treating disease are not hard to find. Whilst every other art, craft and profession have steadily forged ahead, medicine has remained substantially where it was at the beginning.
Its inability to stop the yearly increase in deaths from cancer, heart disease, cerebral haemorrhage, diabetes, pernicious anaemia, nephritis and other killing diseases has severely damaged any pretensions its practitioners may have to scientific knowledge; and the increasing frequency of multitudes of disorders and states of ill health and the absence of a well- defined cure for even one of them is now a matter of common comment. A writer in a popular weekly some time ago cynically remarked:.
“If engineering had advanced no further than medical science in surmounting everyday inconveniences we would still be crossing the Thames in pontoons.”.
The commercialization of the doctor is another source of serious public irritation. The old family physician with all his faults– and they were many– was usually a sympathetic and helpful observer of human suffering and could treat with a fair degree of success almost every type of case. The present-day doctor is more than often an egregious individual with a smattering of scientific procedure and information. His knowledge about disease is text-book and his interest in it financial.
Taking a birds- eye view of his daily activities he could be mistaken for a commercial traveller of a drug company. In cases where his drugs fail him or where he is nervous about treating something a specialist might insult him for meddling with, he sends an enormous number of people in pursuit of health are eventually persuaded to part company with their teeth, turbinates, tonsils, gall bladders, prostates, appendices, wombs and ovaries, and to undergo various curious and expensive operations.
If this “jerry- doctoring” cured there might be something to be said for it; but it does not cure. On the contrary, it leaves the patient usually worse off, as all that has happened is that his symptoms have been scientifically suppressed.
By far the greatest cause of the decline of medicine is the successful competition of systems of natural healing which propose a common sense philosophy of disease and give immeasurably superior results in the treatment of it. Those who profess these new theories hold that the body is a self-cleansing and self-regulating organism, and that all the phases of disease hitherto regarded as evils are really blessings as they are efforts of the body to recover, or at least to adapt itself to changed circumstances.
They believe that disease originates not from germs or miasmas or anything external to ourselves but mainly from our own faulty habits of living. Their treatment follows accordingly, and is directed to remove the cause, i.e. the faulty habits, and then to place the body in the most favourable physiological position to allow it to throw off the symptoms.
According to nature cure theory the natural state of man is health, and to preserve health he must intake natural food to renew the tissues constantly being broken down in the process of living, and he must excrete effectively all the waste products therefrom. So long as that balance is maintained everything is well, but when the intake of food is faulty or the excretion of waste matter ineffective, or, as usually is the case, both are out of order, a state of self-poisoning or autotoxaemia begins.
This deterioration then continues until the body, in an effort to protect some vital organ, secures a crisis of fever such as a cold, tonsillitis, influenza, typhoid, etc., which acts to clean up its unhealthy state and set it right again. If, however, the faulty habits of living are persisted in despite the benevolent and acute interventions of Nature, a chronic condition such as rheumatism, hypertension, kidney disease or cancer supervenes to shorten life.
It must be definitely understood, therefore, that there is but one disease — TOXAEMIA– and one process of cure — DETOXICATION. Without toxaemia no disease can occur. This, of course, contradicts the accepted medical notion which affixes the blame for many diseases to germs and accordingly activates treatment to destroy them.
For example, a corkscrew shaped micro- organism about 7 micro-millimetres long is regarded by scientific medicine as the disease syphilis, and its ill-starred possessor spends from three to five years in and out of a clinic in trying to have it destroyed with mercury, arsenic and bismuth. Yet so high an authority on venereal disease and its bacteriology as Professor J. E. R. McDonagh, in the Practitioner, January, 1921, stated:.
“The greatest error of the age is the assumption that the spirochaeta pallida is the sole cause of syphilis.”.
As a result of this error the modern scientific treatment of syphilis has added enormously to the toll of apoplexy, heart disease, paralysis, insanity and other terrible conditions. The germ theory of the origin of disease is waning in popularity. More and more physicians are realizing the importance of studying the ecology of bacteria and parasites, and are adopting the nature cure position. At the annual meeting of the Anti- Vaccination League in 1928, Dr. M. Beddow Bayly publicly said:.
“I am prepared to maintain quite definitely that in no single instance has it been proved that an organism or germ is the primal cause of a disease.”.
The swiftest and most powerful way to detoxicate the system is by fasting, so that all the toxic matter will be precipitated and oxidized. When one lives for a time on nothing but water, the myriads of cells which constitute the body are placed in a position to dispose of huge amounts of microscopic accretions and debris which lie in and around them, morbid tissue is revitalized, adhesions and growths are broken down, all the fluids and secretions are purified, and a strange feeling of rejuvenation is experienced.
Dr. Benedict Lust, a great American naturopath, aptly described fasting as “the great bloodless operation”, and an increasing number of both doctors and the public are making use of it, as it presents the simplest and safest way to induce at short notice tremendous beneficial changes in the physical economy.
In all acute disease fasting is imperative. In these cases the body is actively dealing with toxins, and must be left undisturbed by having to divert energy to digestion. When this state of absolute physiological rest is stringently enforced from the outset in all cases of primary fever the complications and mortality are next to nil. Scientific medical treatment, however, insists on giving serums, antipyretic drugs, heart tonics, sleeping draughts, eggs, milk, glucose, beef tea, gruel, etc.
As a result many of its unfortunate victims sink and die under the load of additional poisons, and a larger number develop complications which injure them permanently. The orthodox medico never seems to realize that it usually is is meddlesome attentions that cause orchitis after mumps, paralysis after diphtheria, peritonitis after typhoid fever, endocarditis, pericarditis and myocarditis after rheumatic fever, otitis media and nephritis after scarlet fever, and so on.
He is taught to regard the change of symptoms as new invading entities instead of being unnatural perversions of the original malady, and his text- books and journals overflow with an unlimited and meaningless mass of pathologies and treatments. Major Reginald Austin, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., a leading authority on the nature cure therapy of disease, in an article in the Medical World, June 26th, 1936, wrote on this highly important points as follows:.
“According to conventional text-books it takes six weeks to recover from rheumatic fever; typhoid fever from six to ten weeks; appendicitis from two to four weeks if not operated upon, or if it becomes chronic.
“By keeping all food, drugs, serum and vaccines away from the patient, and allowing tap water only as a drink, and warm water wash outs for the bowels, rheumatic fever cases are restored to health in two or three weeks, or less; typhoid fever cases in from seven to fourteen days; appendicitis in week, if there is no suppuration, if pus forms the patient is quite comfortable in three days, and then must wait until the abscess ruptures into the gut, or gets absorbed, in either contingency this will happen in from ten days to four weeks — usually in one to three weeks, then if the patient is fed properly for a week, there will be no sequels.
“In all the cases, treatment would have been interrupted at several points if a conventionally-minded medical confrere had been called in, and allowed to have his own way of treating the cases. Sand– in the shape of food, organic extract, drug, serum or vaccine — would have been thrown into the machine. (In the appendicitis cases cutting out the offended–not offending–organ would have been resorted to.) The result of this officiousness would have been to build text-book complications, all the which are really due to text-book treatment.”.
Formerly doctors as a routine measure actually used to feed up cases of small-pox, cholera, plague, typhoid, diphtheria, measles, etc. Graves, who was one of the greatest of last century orthodox doctors, even requested that the words “He fed fevers” should be written for his epitaph. Then the case mortality during any epidemic was certain to be terrific, and it only declined as the policy of restricting diet was enforced.
The profession, however, has got to go a good distance yet to adopt the ideal physiological requirements insisted on in nature cure practice that nothing but water occasionally sweetened with fruit juice should be allowed until the temperature is normal.
In chronic disease fasting is the most direct way to renovate the system and throw off the disability. Almost miraculous results are obtained in diabetes, gastric ulcer and rheumatoid arthritis by the simple expedient of ordering the individual to live on cold water for a week. Cataract and tuberculosis in their early stages are very amenable to fasting. High blood pressure will drop dramatically on a fast; an excess of 100 mm. will be wiped out in ten days. Cancer has often been cured this way alone.
It also can be relied on to work magically in cases of indolent ulcer, pernicious anaemia, psoriasis and pyorrhoea, and ordinary wounds and injuries heal quicker and without ugly when digestion and assimilation are suspended. In theory there should be no disease which will not yield to fasting; but, of course, it must be remembered that not every person with a disease can be fasted. Advanced cases of cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis and diabetes where much emaciation is present are usually bad subjects, as also are nervous individuals.
Fasting requires a certain amount of moral fibre and determination, and the best results are always secured by those who are strong in those qualities. Arthur Vos. M.D., wrote in Vigorous Health, October, 1935: “I regard the fast as the most powerful therapeutic means in the armamentarium of the physician, for use in both acute and chronic diseases.
Its value is without comparison; for the total abstention from all foods, under the proper conditions of atmosphere, temperature and the right psychology will effect changes in the body economy and prepare the body for a reconstruction of its tissues such as no drug, serum or surgery can bring about”.
The next best natural treatment for disease, and to prevent it, is suitable dieting, and it has the decided advantage of not being so severe a method as fasting. It is impossible to overestimate the damage done to the public, not only physically, but also mentally and morally, through faulty feeding habits.
Although at present we are only at the beginning of knowledge on this vital subject, yet the information established as definite fact up to date conveys the most serious warning about the results of eating along conventional lines.
It would be interesting to learn how many mothers and fathers and guardians of childrens institutes are aware that Alfred McCann, an eminent food authority, in his book Science of Eating wrote:.
“In the last four years there died in the United States 1,500,000 children under ten years of age. With their little knives, forks and spoons, with their little hands and fingers they– who were apparently in full possession of their health– they themselves dug their little graves.”.
It would be interesting also to learn the number of fat prosperous citizens of the middle classes who are acquainted with the dictum of Sir Arbuthnot Lane on cancer. That famous surgeon and dietician said:.
“The foundation of cancer is laid in the kitchen and in the dining room”.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a world recognized authority on nutrition even goes farther, and in his huge volume, The New Dietetics, writes:.
“It is never to be forgotten that we are made of what we eat. What we eat to-day will be walking and talking to-morrow”.
Quotations such as these could be easily centupled. It will be abundantly clear, therefore, that by altering a diet which is causing degenerative changes in the tissues to one which will regenerate them, disease can be made to disappear.
Most people live in such a vile way so far as feeding is concerned that a change of diet usually works wonders. On a reformed diet those who are ailing become well and those who are well begin to enjoy a still greater degree of physical fitness and vitality. Yet many persons through a mistaken impression of what such a diet really a dread the idea of having to make the change.
Such persons will be surprised to learn that there is a wider range of palatable foodstuffs to be found amongst the health giving class than amongst the highly “civilized” fare. In a proper dietary white bread, biscuits and pastries, white rice, white sugar, jam, sweets, chocolate, boiled or pasteurized milk, margarine, fried eggs, fries potatoes, meat or fish or ham that is either fried or preserved, meat extracts, strong tea, coffee, mustard and vinegar are prohibited.
In their stead should appear wholemeal bread and cakes, brown rice, Demerara sugar, treacle, honey, fresh raw milk, buttermilk, butter, cheese, eggs, potatoes– every type of fresh raw fruit, vegetables and nuts, especially apples, organs, grapes, tomatoes, lettuce and spinach. When a person has assimilated that much information he is half way on the road to dietetic perfection. The other half distance mainly consists in intelligently using and combining these natural products.
To make use of natural foods in a proper way it is of the highest importance to note that a large amount of fresh fruit and vegetables regularly are essential. These products are generally what are relied upon to preserve the acid-base equilibrium of the blood. It is, therefore, a practice to be strongly recommended to make one meal a day to consist solely of raw fruits. A protein food such as meat, fish or eggs may loom large in another meal, and the third should comprise the starch element, which in these countries is usually bread.
Gross combinations of starch and protein, such as bread and cheese are inadvisable, as also are combinations of starch and acid fruits. Many authorities also maintain that flesh food is quite unnecessary and that a future stop in our evolution will consists in doing without it. Whether this is true or not is doubtful.
How much to eat is as important as what to eat. It can be stated authoritatively that more than three meals a day under any circumstances are definitely unphysiological. Probably two meals a day are the ideal, and the no breakfast plan is finding favour with greater numbers every year. At any rate no person should eat until urged to do so by hunger.
This feeling of hunger should be deliberately sought after as it appears to be a law in Nature that a species flourishes at its optimum, when its food supply is obtained with a certain amount of difficulty. Needless to remark when one is worried or excited no food should be taken, as at such times hunger is not usually present.
Dieting to cure active disease will vary a lot. If often is necessary to rule out fresh food altogether and to put the patient on a low protein regime. Such a diet would be indicated in cancer, nephritis and arteriosclerosis, and for those who have long and well indulged in meat eating. Occasionally a mono-diet for some time appears expedient. The one article of food which is exclusively consumed in these diets is usually fruit, such as strawberries, oranges or grapes; sometimes it is milk, and sometimes, even flesh meat.
A course of one or other of these peculiar regimens has been found to be very effective in detoxifying the system. There is also the Schroth diet which is very popular on the Continent, and which consists in reducing the fluid intake to next to nothing. For diseases which appear to be connected with a particular vitamin deficiency an extra supply of the vitamin from some natural source will at times be of assistance as an addition to the diet.
For example, cod liver oil will be found to be of considerable benefit for rickets, conjunctivitis, sinusitis and exophthalmic goitre, yeast for gastritis, neurasthenia, anaemia and skin diseases, lemons for pyorrhoea, scurvy and cataract, and so on. Also it may be advisable at times to limit the number of meals of certain individuals to two or even one a day.
The science of nutrition permits of a great number of systems and combinations of food which can be used to suit the different disorders and peculiarities or people. That the last word on the question has not been said it is hardly necessary to add.
Those who practise the new art of healing should keep up to date with the subject and be free from fads and irrational prejudices which mar the work of so many dietetic reformers. Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research and high priest of orthodox medicine in the Western world has proclaimed:.
“The dietician of to-day will become the doctor of to-morrow, if the doctor of to-day does not become the dietician of to-morrow.