Every Womans Book of Health and Beauty.
The distinguished president of the New Health Society has given to the ladies a readable little book full of wise advice which, it is to be hoped, will be largely followed. Sir Arbuthnot is a great idealist. He has pointed out innumerable times in books, articles and speeches, that civilization suffers from faulty nutrition and consequent stagnation of the intestines, that chronic constipation is the great disease of civilization which is responsible for the enormous proportion of the diseases known to medical science.
It stands to reason that every disease or disorder is aggravated if the patient has a foul bowel, if the system is poisoned from stagnant masses of putrefying food. In many of his publications, Sir Arbuthnot has dealt exclusively, or almost exclusively, with what he calls chronic intestinal stasis, the scientific term for constipation. In his present work, he deals with every phase of womans life in chapters headed:.
Womans Place in the Modern World.
Girlhood and Adolescence.
Fear and Fatigue.
Problems of Diet and Digestion.
The Change of Life.
Happy Old Age.
The Golden Rules of Health.
Woman and Exercise.
The Skin and Complexion.
Putting on Weight.
In fairness to the author it will be best to give some extracts from this book, which will undoubtedly induce many of the readers to order it forthwith.
“It must not be thought that the venereal diseases constituted a War-time problem, or that their incidence throughout the country has been definitely checked. They are only kept at bay by persistent, unremitting effort of which popular education regarding their prevalence and dangers is an important part. About these diseases everyone should know something, for they are apt to affect not only those who knowingly take a risk, but quite innocent people, women and children, and, alas, the unborn.
It is by no means unusual for an otherwise propitious union to be ruined by the self-assurance of a bridegroom who does not realize the latent consequences of a bachelor escapade which he may think he has put behind him for ever. This is particularly true of untreated or imperfectly treated gonorrhoeal infections which in themselves might not appear serious or of long standing, but which may recur after a latent period of some years and infect an innocent wife without her knowledge or that of her husband.
When at last the infected condition of the wife comes to light the infecting organism may be pervading the more inaccessible parts of the reproductive system, involving prolonged treatment, sometimes serious operations, and often resulting in subsequent sterility. In addition a child born in such circumstances is exposed to the risk of blindness unless prompt measures are taken by the officiating doctor or midwife.
“This is only one of the risks involved in the so-called sowing of wild oats, and there are many others. Syphilitic infection involving constitutional sequelae of the gravest character and affecting unborn generations may result from a single injudicious contact, sometimes even of an innocent character.
It is the duty of those who are about to marry to ascertain the full facts of these diseases from the British Social Hygiene Council, who are entrusted by the Ministry of Health with the important work of disseminating knowledge among the lay public. All I can do myself is to help to draw the attention of the public to this grave menace and to point out how obviously the interchange of heal certificates before marriage might help in exposing an unsuspected taint which can often be made amenable to successful treatment.”.
“Of all the factors which make for healthy motherhood and the rearing of strong, vigorous children, I do not think that there is one of greater significance than diet. Quite obviously, it is impossible to construct a sound edifice from imperfect materials, and it is equally impossible to build up a new human being from poor foodstuffs. Nor can the mother maintain the health and strength which, though at all times desirable, is imperative when she is about to bring new life into the world.
We must bear in mind that the child within the womb is in a specially intimate relationship with the various physiological processes of the mother. By means of an organ called the placenta there is a constant interchange between the blood of the mother and the blood of the child. Food elements and oxygen pass from mother to child, while waste material passes from child to mother.
Thus, it will be clear that any impoverishment or poisoning of the mothers blood will have a corresponding effect upon the childs blood, and so will adversely affect the healthy development of the child. This effect can readily be seen in the case of poisons such as lead and alcohol, but there is no doubt that more subtle poisonings, such as those associated with constipation, also have a detrimental action upon the child within the womb”.
“The first essential of the expectant mothers dietary is that it should be well balanced. In other words, that it should contain proper proportions of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In the matter of proteins there can be no question that a minimum of these should be obtained from animal flesh, and for this special reason. The mothers kidneys have to excrete waste for two, and a very slight excess of waste resulting from protein digestion is very liable to disturb the functioning of the delicate kidney cells, and may lead to inflammation of this organ.
I need hardly mention that kidney inflammation is a serious complication of pregnancy, and that unfortunately it is of fairly frequent occurrence. In any case, expectant mothers should always remember that eggs, cheese and milk are excellent sources of first class proteins, and that health will never suffer at any tie from the omission of butchers meat from the dietary. White fish and chicken may be taken in reasonable amounts from time to time.”.
“In an address, Faulty Food in Relation to Gastro-intestinal Disorders, delivered in the United States in 1921 McCarrison states:–.
For some nine years of my professional life my duties lay in a remote part of the Himalayas, amongst isolated races far removed from the refinements of civilization. Certain of these races are of magnificent physique, preserving until later in life the characteristics of youth: they are unusually fertile and long lived and endowed with nervous systems of notable stability.
During the period of my association with these people I never saw a case of asthenic dyspepsia, of gastric and duodenal ulcer, of appendicitis, of mucous colitis, or of cancer, although my operating list averaged over 400 operations a year..
Can anything be more striking and instructive than this experience of a man who is not only a highly trained researcher in dietetics but also very skilled in surgery and medicine ?.
I particularly underlined cancer, since to people living in a state of civilization the rapidly-increasing rate with which it exacts a toll of suffering, misery and death is more terrifying than the course and termination of most other chronic diseases.
The statement my McCarrison, supported by the evidence of a number of skilled observers who have spent their lives treating nations living under natural conditions, must impress on an intelligent community the vast importance of carefully considering the conditions created by constipation, and its sequence of ailments ending in cancer.
While the treatment of cancer is of vital importance, its elimination by scientific dietetic measures is vastly more urgent. I have repeated on innumerable occasions in the last forty years that I have never operated on a case of cancer in a healthy subject — in other words, a healthy individual cannot be infected by the virus of cancer, however old he or she may be.”.
“Save for hereditary maladies and accidents, is there any reason why we should not all live to be centenarians ? Biologists have propounded various theories to explain longevity, but we are here concerned with practical issues. Duration of life in the vegetable and animal kingdoms varies from a few hours in the case of some insects to thousands of years in the case of the giant Sequoia trees of California.
Tortoises, parrots and swans are notoriously long-lived, while the sacred crocodiles of India are believed to live for more than a hundred years. With human beings there is a marked variation in the span of life, according to race and climate. A recent census at Sofia states that there are 158 centenarians in Bulgaria — all peasants from the rough mountainous areas, of whom 95 per cent. have been vegetarians all their lives, drinking large quantities of yoghurt, while only 2 per cent. eat meat regularly.
In this connection the case of Thomas Parr, whose autopsy was performed by William Harvey, the discoverer of the blood circulation, may be mentioned. This Shropshire peasant, who did public penance for incontinence, after he had passed his hundredth year, is recorded to have died in his 153rd year (that is probably apocrypha, but there is no doubt that he attained a great age), and it is interesting to observe that his ordinary diet consisted of sub-rancid cheese, and milk in every form, coarse and hard bread, and small drink, generally sour whey.