The word disease means morbid condition of body, deranged or depraved state of mind or morals. It is a kind of deviation from normal health. It is a temporary or permanent disorder of the physical or mental faculties. Disease is, in many cases, an effort of nature to throw off offending matters from animal bodies. It may be called natures process of purification of living bodies. It often enables us to save our lives. Certain hostile bodies or forces gain entrance into living bodies for effecting their destruction.
Nature, the great mother of all living beings, at once comes to the aid of the invaded organism and tries to save life by an endeavour to expel the invading forces from the system. Then a struggle ensues. This struggle between the forces of nature and the foreign bodies creates a number of symptoms of long or short duration, of mild or severe intensity. The aggregate of these symptoms may be called disease.
According to the nature, character, disposition, location and severity of these symptoms the word disease has been again divided and subdivided into several heads, each with its own peculiar name for the convenience of combating it with medicines. Homoeopathic medicines assist nature in her work of elimination of foreign forces invading living organism.
Disease occurs from numerous causes. Diarrhoea is excited by imprudence in diet, by dirty condition of utensils, by defective tinning of certain kinds of food, etc. Cholera is caused by contamination of water used for drinking purposes with the dejections of persons suffering from the complaint. Cholera evacuations constitute the principal channel of contagion. Thus every disease proceeds from certain causes. In this article we will try to trace some of the principal causes responsible for the production of diseases which invade living organisms.
The symptoms which we call disease or diseases are the persistent cry of nature for remedial help when she finds herself in an unequal situation, when there is fear of her defeat, which means the death of the organism for whose protection she fights. For nature has created in abundance the remedies in all places for the cure of all human or animal ills. Each plant at our door or about our house has been created by nature for our food and for our medicine which we are to recognise and apply when need arises.
Continued starvation, partial or complete, causes considerable deterioration of human health and usually causes fatal diseases either directly or indirectly. Preservation of health requires in an eminent degree most nourishing and liberal diet. Experience displays in a striking degree the prophylactic influence of a sound dietary against many dreadful and destructive diseases prevailing in India of to-day and inspiring awe in the minds of persons residing in India where shortage of food and adulterated articles of diet render individuals liable to ill health.
India was in the past a country where abundant food supply was always ensured. Milk, butter, ghee and other preparations of milk, fish, meat, eggs, fruits of all varieties, wheat, rice and other cereals, fresh vegetables of different kinds rich in vitamins, and all other articles of food for human diet were found in great abundance in all parts of India. All these things were very cheap and easily available to every person, rich or poor.
Food adulteration was absolutely unknown to our forefathers who ate delicacies which were always pure and fresh and which ever gave them strength and long life free from the devastating effects of modern diseases chiefly arising from deficiency of good food and drinks. Nutritious and unadulterated diet is useful as a prophylactic against diseases and proves beneficial to human health.
Where the inhabitants are poorly nourished many death – bearing diseases abound. People under better conditions of diet and living are generally free from invasion of fatal diseases or are well fortified with vitality and supreme power of resistance which ensures immunity from diseases or quick and uneventful recovery with re – establishment of health and strength which existed previous to the attack. It is a well – known fact that starvation in all forms is followed by grave consequences which endanger individual life or the very existence of society of human beings.
Diseases like Phthisis, Paralysis, anaemia, rickets, etc. are the results of lack of sufficient nourishment. Poor nourishment induces all kinds of minor or grave maladies by causing gradual emaciation and loss of strength which takes away from the system all powers which resist invasions of diseases or crushes forces hostile to human health. It is an admitted fact that starvation, in whatever form it may exist, is a fertile source of all kinds of maladies which may visit human flesh.
WRONG SELECTION OF FOOD.
Besides the facts as stated above people fall sick for wrong selection of diet. Very rich food or decomposed animal or vegetable diet, overloading of stomach, untimely eating of food; excessive use of tea, coffee, wine, etc., taking of cold drinks when boy is overheated especially during summer days, taking of ill – backed bread or over – cooked foods, dried vegetables, etc. produce conditions favourable for the growth of many ills of life. In short, intemperance in diet or imprudence in diet is the mother of several kinds of illness which can be avoided in majority of instances by judicious selection of articles of diet or by using discretion in the matter of food taking.
Certain individuals have a peculiar sensitiveness to some particular kind of food which, when taken, produces some sort of disease. We have seen persons who can not take milk or meat or egg or sweets without a good deal of suffering in the stomach. Overflow of bile or decomposed bile often causes diseases of serious nature. Thus prevalence of diseases may be in very many cases due to unsatisfactory food position of a country or due to unwise selection of daily diet.
A vast majority of diseases proceed from unsatisfactory housing conditions. This is another principal cause of several maladies which invade human organism seeking its annihilation or inflicting some permanent injury in some vital parts. Many diseases may be introduced into the system for lack of sufficient air and light in the quarters where individuals live and work. Residence in a slum area where air and light gain no free access is a fruitful source of serious maladies which carry off unfortunate victims to the abode of Death.
Confined and badly ventilated space is very dangerous for health. Overcrowded, unventilated, dark, damp, and moist residential quarters afford no natural protection to its residents and help the propagation and production of diseases. Such unhealthy places where Indias poor people are compelled to live have no power to protect human health and have no advantage of free air and free light which constitute the very source of life and energy.