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Nature Cure by Henry Lindlahr

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Nature Cure

Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure

Henry Lindlahr, M.D.

"Ho, ye who suffer! Know ye suffer from vowselves. None else
compels--no other holds ye that ye live or die. "~--Siddartha~


There are two principal methods of treating disease. One is the
combative, the other the preventive. The trend of modern medical
research and practice in our great colleges and endowed research
institutes is almost entirely along combative lines, while the
individual, progressive physician learns to work more and more along
preventive lines. The slogan of modern medical science is, "Kill the
germ and cure the disease." The usual procedure is to wait until
acute or chronic diseases have fully developed, and then, if
possible, to subdue them by means of drugs, surgical operations, and
by means of the morbid products of disease, in the form of serums,
antitoxins, vaccines, etc. The combative method fights disease with
disease, poison with poison, and germs with germs and germ products.
In the language of the Good Book, it is "Beelzebub against the

The preventive method does not wait until diseases have fully
developed and gained the ascendancy in the body, but concentrates
its best endeavors on preventing, by hygienic living and by natural
methods of treatment, the development of diseases. By these it
endeavors to put the human body in such a normal, healthy condition
that it is practically proof against infection or contagion by
disease taints and miasms, and against the inroads of germs,
bacteria and parasites.

The question is, which method is the most practical, the most
successful and most popular? Which will stand the test of "the
survival of the fittest" in the great struggle for existence?

The medical profession has good reason to be alarmed by the inroads
made in its work by irregular, unorthodox systems, schools and cults
of treating human ailments; but instead of raging at the audacious
presumption of these interlopers, would it not be better to inquire
if there is not some reason for the astonishing spread and
popularity of these therapeutic innovations?

Their success undoubtedly is based on the fact that they concentrate
their best efforts on preventive instead of combative methods of
treating disease. People are beginning to realize that it is cheaper
and more advantageous to prevent disease than to cure it. To create
and maintain continuous, buoyant good health means greater
efficiency for mental and physical work; greater capacity for the
true enjoyment of life, and the best insurance against failure and
poverty. Therefore, he who builds health is of greater value to
humanity than he who allows people to drift into disease through
ignorance of Nature's laws, and then attempts to cure them by
doubtful and uncertain combative methods.

It is said that in China the physician is hired and paid by the
year; that he receives a certain stipend as long as the members of
the family are in good health, but that the salary is suspended as
long as one of his charges is ill. If some similar method of
engaging and paying for medical services were in vogue in this
country the trend of medical research and practice would soon
undergo a radical change.

The diet expert, the hydropath, the physical culturist, the adjuster
of the spine, the mental healer, and Christian scientist, do not pay
much attention to the pathological conditions or to the symptoms of
disease. They regulate the diet and habits of living on a natural
basis, promote elimination, teach correct breathing and wholesome
exercise, correct the mechanical lesions of the spine, establish the
right mental and emotional attitude and, in so far as they succeed
in doing this, they build health and diminish the possibility of
disease. The successful doctor of the future will have to fall in
line with the procession and do more teaching than prescribing.

I realize that many of the statements and claims made in this volume
will seem radical and irrational to my colleagues of the regular
school of medicine. They win say that most of my teachings are
contrary to the firmly established theories of medical science. All
I ask, of them is not to judge too hastily; to observe, to think and
to test, and I am certain that they will find verified in actual
experience many of the teachings of the Nature Cure Philosophy.
Medical science has had to abandon innumerable theories and
practices which at one time were as firmly established as some of
the pet theories of today.

By none of the statements made in this book do I mean to deny the
necessity of combative methods under certain circumstances. What I
wish to emphasize is that the regular school of medicine is spending
too much of its effort along combative lines and not enough along
preventive. It would be foolish to deny the necessity of surgery in
traumatism, and in abnormal conditions which require mechanical
means of adjustment or treatment.

Such necessity, for instance, will exist in certain obstetrical
cases, as long as women have not learned, or are not willing to live
in such a way as to make surgical intervention unnecessary in
child-birth. The same is true with regard to the treatment of germ
diseases. As long as people persist in violating the laws of their
being, and thereby making their bodies prolific breeding grounds for
disease taints, germs and parasites which are bound to provoke
inflammatory, feverish processes (Nature's cleansing and healing
efforts), combative measures will have to be resorted to by the
physician, and precautionary measures against infection will have to
be observed, but these should be in harmony with Nature's endeavors,
not contrary and suppressive; they should tend to conserve and not
to destroy.

Natural dietetics, fasting, hydropathy, osteopathy, chiropractic,
and mental therapeutics, are combative as well as preventive, but if
properly applied they do not in any way injure the organism or
interfere with Nature's intent and Nature's methods. This cannot be
said for much of the surgical and medical treatment of the old
school of medicine. We criticize and condemn only those methods
which are suppressive and destructive instead of curative.

In many instances already the warnings and teachings of Nature Cure
Philosophy have been verified, and had to be heeded and accepted by
medical science. The exponents of Nature Cure protested against the
barbarous practice of withholding water from patients burning in
fever heat, and against the exclusion of fresh air from the sickroom
by order of the doctor. The cold water and no drug treatment of
typhoid fever, the water treatment for other acute diseases, as well
as the open air treatment for tuberculosis, were forced upon the
medical profession by the Nature Cure people. For more than half a
century the latter have been curing all inflammaory, feverish
diseases, from simple colds to scarlet fever, diphtheria,
cerebro-spinal meningitis, smallpox, appendicitis, etc., etc., by
hydropathy, fasting, and other natural methods, without resorting at
all to the use of poisonous drugs, antitoxins and surgical

For many years before the terrible after-effects of X-Ray treatment,
of extirpation of the ovaries, the womb, and of other vital organs,
became so patent that the physicians of the regular school could not
ignore them any longer, Nature Cure physicians had strongly warned
against these unnatural practices, and called attention to their
destructive after-effects.

As far back as ten years ago, when the X-Rays were in high favor for
the treatment of cancer, lupus, and other diseases, I warned against
the use of these rays, claiming that their vibratory velocity was
too high and powerful, and therefore destructive to the tissues of
the human body. Since the failure of the X-Rays and the discovery of
Radio-activity, the rays and emanations of radium and other
radio-active substances are widely advertised and exploited as
therapeutic agents, but these rays also are far beyond the vibratory
ranges of the physical body in velocity and power. Therefore, it
remains to be seen whether their injurious by and after-effects do
not out-weigh in the long run their beneficial effects.

The destructive action of these high power rays, as well as of
inorganic minerals, is very slow and insidious, manifesting only in
the course of many years. This new field of therapeutics, therefore,
has not yet passed the stage of dangerous experimentation.

Inorganic minerals prove injurious and destructive to the tissues of
the human body because they are too slow in vibratory velocity, and
too coarse in molecular structure.

It is the intent and purpose of this volume to warn against the
exploitation of destructive combative methods to the neglect of
preventive constructive and conservative methods. If these teachings
contribute something toward this end they will fulfil their mission.

The Author

Chicago, Nov., 1913.


It was the following letter from Mr. William Louden to the editor of
~"Health Culture"~ which prompted the author to issue the ~"Nature
Cure Magazine"~ (published from November, 1907, to October, 1909).
In the series of books of which this is the first volume, he will
endeavor to collect and systematize all his former writings in the~
"Nature Cure Magazine," "Health Culture," "Life and Action,"~ the
~"Naturopath,"~ the ~"Volksrath,"~ and other publications, and to
amplify these by new material obtained through further research and
wider experience.

Mr. Albert Turner,

Editor of ~"Health Culture."~

DEAR SIR--I write to ask what you consider the best book or pamphlet
to put into the hands of people generally, in regard to the
preservation of health. I know ther e are a number of very excellent
publications, but as a rule they deal with certain details or phases
of the question, and do not begin with the great underlying
principles in such a way as to attract and hold the attention of the
masses. One advocates one plan, and another an entirely different,
and sometimes a directly opposite plan--such as uncooked vs.
thoroughly cooked food; a strictly vegetarian diet, and mental
culture in place of attention to either, etc. Such a state of
affairs makes it confusing to average people and gets them to
believe that health reformers are all at sea, and what is good for
one is not good for another, or, in common language, "what is one
man's meat is another's poison."

Now, I know it is natural, and doubtless best, that there should be
a difference of opinion on any question, but at the same time, if
any movement is to be crowned with great success, there should be
some underlying principles upon which all should agree, and these
should be pressed to the forefront, so as to attract and hold the
attention of the people, in place of the divergent details upon
which they disagree. If these fundamental laws and principles are
thoroughly studied and well defined, it may be found that they would
explain the discrepancies between the different theories, and that
under certain conditions, one plan is best, and that under different
conditions another plan is more applicable, etc. The pushing of
these fundamental principles to the front would also tend to correct
errors into which the different theorists have fallen, and would
certainly tend to make the different theories more homogeneous and
more easily understood by people in general, than at present.

In my opinion, the general fundamental principles of life and health
are what people need to understand more than anything else. Without
this, most of the details will be meaningless or at least confusing
dogmas. I don't mean by these fundamental principles the details of
anatomy, or, for that matter, the details of anything else, but the
general rules governing life and death, so that people may know
which way they, are tending, and may understand the many illusions
with which life and death, as well as all else in nature are beset.

Yours truly,


Louden Mfg. Co.,

Fairfield, Iowa.

The present volume and others of the "Nature Cure Series" which are
to follow are an attempt to answer Mr. Louden's inquiry and to
formulate and elucidate the fundamental laws of health, disease and
cure for which he and many others have been vainly seeking. Who
among you at some time or another, has not thought and felt like Mr.
Louden and in doubt and perplexity voiced Pilate's query,

What Is Truth?

The exact information and rational method of teaching which Mr.
Louden is seeking, has heretofore been wanting in health-culture

Many, indeed, stand ready and willing to show the way to physical,
mental and moral perfection. Hundreds, yes, thousands, of different
cults, isms, teachers, books and periodicals treat of these
subjects, but their teachings are so manifold, so contradictory and
confusing, that one becomes bewildered amid the ever increasing
testimony. As is often the case in the study of complicated
subjects, the more one reads and the more one hears, the less one
knows. I believe that no one has described more strikingly this
state of general perplexity than Mr. Louden in his excellent letter.

Nevertheless, these simple fundamental laws and principles really
exist. They must exist, because everything in Nature, including the
processes of health, of disease and cure, of birth, of life and
death, are subject to law and order.

Allopathy, or Old School Medical Science, admits that it does not
know these fundamental principles; that it reasons, not from
underlying causes, but from external symptoms and personal
experiences. It is, therefore, self-confessedly full of doubts,
errors and confusion; in short, empirical--and necessarily, a

Many teachers of Nature Cure, Hygiene and Health cults have stumbled
accidentally upon some of the natural laws and true methods of
healing, but have failed to grasp and to formulate the broad
underlying principles. For this reason they are often partly right
and partly wrong and very apt to overdo certain methods to the
neglect of others just as effective and essential, or even more so.

I shall endeavor in these volumes to formulate and elucidate some of
the fundamental laws and principles underlying the phenomena of life
and death, health, disease and cure, and shall try to ascertain in
the light of these laws how much of truth and how much of error, how
much of usefulness and how much of harmfulness there may be
contained in the various theories and systems of living and of

Nature Owe an Exact Science

One of the reasons why Nature Cure is not more popular with the
medical profession and the public is that it is too simple. The
average mind is more impressed by the involved and mysterious than
by the simple and common-sense.

However, it remains a fact that "exact science" reduces complexity
and confusion to simplicity and clearness. Science becomes exact
science only when the underlying laws which correlate and unify its
scattered facts and theories have been discovered.

These simple laws rightly understood and applied will do for medical
science what the law of gravitation has done for physics and
astronomy, and what the laws of chemical affinity have done for
chemistry, they will place medical science in the ranks of exact
sciences. The understanding and proper application of these truths
will explain every fact and phenomenon in the processes of health,
disease and cure, and will enable the student to reason from simple,
natural laws and principles to their logical effects. The "Regular"
school of medicine, so far, has endeavored to build a medical
science on the observation of "effects" and "experiences," but
since one fundamental law of nature may produce a million seemingly
differing effects it becomes self-evident that it is utterly
impossible to found an exact science on such uncertain and
conflicting evidence.

The primary laws and principles once understood, it becomes easy to
reason from and to explain through them, the various phenomena which
they produce. Herein lie the merit and achievement of the Nature
Cure philosophy.



Chapter I

What ~Is~ Nature Cure?

It is vastly more than a system of curing aches and pains; it is a
complete revolution in the art and science of living. It is the
practical realization and application of all that is good in natural
science, philosophy and religion. Like many another world-wide
revolution and reformation, it had its inception in Germany, the
land of thinkers and philosophers.

About seventy years ago this greatest and most beneficent of
reformation movements was inaugurated by Priessnitz in Grafenberg, a
small village in the Silesian mountains. The originator of Nature
Cure was a simple farmer, but he had a natural genius for the art of

His pharmacopeia consisted not in poisonous pills and potions but in
plenty of exercise, fresh mountain air, water treatments in the
cool, sparkling brooks, and simple, wholesome country fare,
consisting largely of black bread, vegetables, and milk fresh from
cows fed on nutritious mountain grasses.

The results accomplished by these simple means were wonderful.
Before he died, a large sanitarium, filled with patients from all
over the world and from all stations of life, had grown up around
his forest home.

Among those who made the pilgrimage to Grafenberg to become patients
and students of this genial healer, the simple-minded
farmer-physician, were wealthy merchants, princes and doctors from
all parts of the world.

Rapidly the idea of drugless healing spread over Germany and over
the civilized world. In the Fatherland, Hahn the apothecary, Kuhne
the weaver, Rikli the manufacturer, Father Kneipp the priest,
Lahmann the doctor, and Turnvater Jahn, the founder of physical
culture, became enthusiastic pupils and followers of Priessnitz.

Each one of these men enlarged and enriched some special field of
the great realm of natural healing. Some elaborated the water cure
and natural dietetics, others invented various systems of
manipulative treatment, earth, air and light cures, magnetic
healing, mental therapeutics, curative gymnastics, etc., etc. Von
Peckzely added the Diagnosis from the Eye, which reveals not only
the innermost secrets of the human organism, but also Nature's ways
and means of cure, and the changes for better or for worse
continually occurring in the body.

In this country, Dr. Trall of New York, Dr. Jackson of Danville, Dr.
Kellogg of Battle Creek, and others caught the infection and crossed
the ocean to become students of Priessnitz. The achievements of
these men in their respective fields of endeavor will stand as
enduring monuments to the eternal truths revealed by the genius of
Nature Cure.

Quimby, the itinerant spiritualist and healer, became successful and
renowned by the application of the natural methods of cure. At first
his favorite methods were water, massage, magnetic and mental
treatment. Gradually he concentrated his efforts on metaphysical
methods of cure, and before he died, he evolved a complete system of
magnetic and mental therapeutics.

Quimby's teachings and methods were adopted by Mrs. Eddy, his most
enthusiastic pupil, and by her elaborated into Christian Science,
the latest and most successful of modern mental-healing cults.

Dr. Still of Kirksville, Missouri, made a valuable addition to
natural methods of treatment by the invention of Osteopathy, a
system of scientific manipulation of the bony structures, nerves and
nerve centers, muscles and ligaments. A later development of
manipulative science is Chiropractic, originated by Dr. Palmer of
Davenport, Iowa. Thus the simple pioneers of German Nature Cure,
every one of them gifted by Nature with the instinct and genius of
the true healer, who is born, not made, laid the foundation for the
worldwide modern healthculture movement.

They were not blinded or confused by the conflicting theories of
books and authorities, or by the action of a thousand different
drugs on a legion of different symptoms, but applied common-sense
reasoning to the solution of the problems of health, disease and

They went for inspiration to field and forest rather than to the
murky atmosphere of the dissecting and vivisection rooms. They
studied the whole and not only the parts, causes as well as effects
and symptoms. Realizing that man had lost his natural instinct and
strayed far from Nature's ways, they studied and imitated the
natural habits of the animal creation rather than the confusing
doctrines of the schools.

Thus they proclaimed the "return to Nature" and the "new gospel of
health," which are destined to free humanity from the destructive
influences of alcoholism, red meat overeating, the dope and tobacco
habit, and of drug poisoning, vaccination, surgical mutilation,
vivisection and a thousand other abuses practiced in the name of

When parents learn how to create children in accord with natural
law, how to mold their bodies and their characters into harmony and
beauty before the new life sees the light of day, when they learn to
rear their offspring in health of body and purity of mind in harmony
with the laws of their being, then we shall have true types of
beautiful manhood and womanhood, then children will no longer be a
curse and a burden to themselves and to those who bring them into
the world or to society at large.

These thoughts are not the mere dreams of a visionary. When we see
the wonderful changes wrought in a human being by a few months or
years of rational living and treatment, it seems not impossible or
improbable that these ideals may be realized within a few

Children thus born and reared in harmony with the law will be the
future masters of the earth. They will need neither gold nor
influence to win in the race of life--their innate powers of body and
soul will make them victors over every circumstance. The offspring
of alcoholism, drug poisoning and sexual perversity will cut but
sorry figures in comparison with the manhood and womanhood of a true
and noble aristocracy of health.

Chapter II

Catechism of Nature Cure

The philosophy of Nature Cure is based on sciences dealing with
newly discovered or rediscovered natural laws and principles, and
with their application to the phenomena of life and death, health,
disease and cure.

Every new science embodying new modes of thought requires exact
modes of expression and new definitions of already well-known words
and phrases.

Therefore, we have endeavored to define, as precisely as possible,
certain words and phrases which convey meanings and ideas peculiar
to the teachings of Nature Cure.

The student of Nature Cure and kindred subjects will do well to
study these definitions and formulated principles closely, as they
contain the pith and marrow of our philosophy and greatly facilitate
its understanding.

(1) What Is Nature Cure?

Nature Cure is a system of building the entire being in harmony with
the constructive principle in Nature on the physical, mental, moral
and spiritual planes of being.

(2) What Is the Constructive Principle in Nature?

The constructive principle in Nature is that principle which builds
up, improves and repairs, which always makes for the perfect type,
whose activity in Nature is designated as evolutionary and
constructive and which is opposed to the destructive principle in

(3) What Is the Destructive Principle in Nature?

The destructive principle in Nature is that principle which
disintegrates and destroys existing forms and types, and whose
activity in Nature is designated as devolutionary and destructive.

(4) What Is Normal or Natural?

That is normal or natural which is in harmonic relation with the
life purposes of the individual and the constructive principle in

(5) What Is Health?

Health is normal and harmonious vibration of the elements and forces
composing the human entity on the physical, mental, moral and
spiritual planes of being, in conformity with the constructive
principle of Nature applied to individual life.

(6) What Is Disease?

Disease is abnormal or inharmonious vibration of the elements and
forces composing the human entity on one or more planes of being, in
conformity with the destructive principle of Nature applied to
individual life.

(7) What Is the Primary Cause of Disease?

The primary cause of disease, barring accidental or surgical injury
to the human organism and surroundings hostile to human life, is
violation of Nature's Laws.

(8) What Is the Effect of Violation of Nature's Laws on the Physical
Human Organism?

The effect of violation of Nature's Laws on the physical human
organism are:

Lowered vitality. Abnormal composition of blood and lymph.
Accumulation of waste matter, morbid materials and poisons.

These conditions are identical with disease, because they tend to
lower, hinder or inhibit normal function (harmonious vibration) and
because they engender and promote destruction of living tissues.

(9) What Is Acute Disease?

What is commonly called acute disease is in reality the result of
Nature's efforts to eliminate from the organism waste matter,
foreign matter and poisons, and to repair injury to living tissues.
In other words, every so-called acute disease is the result of a
cleansing and healing effort of Nature. The real disease is lowered
vitality, abnormal composition of the vital fluids (blood and lymph)
and the resulting accumulation of waste materials and poisons.

(10) What Is Chronic Disease?

Chronic disease is a condition of the organism in which lowered
vibration (lowered vitality), due to the accumulation of waste
matter and poisons, with the consequent destruction of vital parts
and organs, has progressed to such an extent that Nature's
constructive and healing forces are no longer able to react against
the disease conditions by acute corrective efforts (healing crises).
Chronic disease is a condition of the organismin which the morbid
encumbrances have gained the ascendancy and prevent acute reaction
(healing crises) on the part of the constructive forces of Nature.
Chronic disease is the inability of the organism to react by acute
efforts or healing crises against constitutional disease conditions.

(11) What Is a Healing Crisis?

A healing crisis is an acute reaction, resulting from the ascendancy
of Nature's healing forces over disease conditions. Its tendency is
toward recovery, and it is, therefore, in conformity with Nature's
constructive principle.

(12) Are All Acute Reactions Healing Crises?

No, there are healing crises and disease crises.

(13) What Is a Disease Crisis?

A disease crisis is an acute reaction resulting from the ascendancy
of disease conditions over the healing forces of the organism. Its
tendency is toward fatal termination, and it is, therefore, in
conformity with Nature's destructive principle

(14) What Is Cure?

Cure is the readjustment of the human organism from abnormal to
normal conditions and functions.

(15) What Methods of Cure Are in Conformity with the Constructive
Principle in Nature?

Those methods which:

Establish normal surroundings and natural habits of life in accord
with Nature's Laws. Economize vital force. Build up the blood on a
natural basis, that is, supply the blood with its natural
constituents in right proportions. Promote the elimination of waste
matter and poisons without in any way injuring the human body.
Arouse the individual in the highest possible degree to the
consciousness of personal accountability and the necessity of
intelligent personal effort and self-help.

(16) Are Medicines in Conformity with the Constructive Principle in

Medicines are in conformity with the constructive principle in
Nature insofar as they, in themselves, are not injurious and
destructive to the human organism and insofar as they act as tissue
foods and promote the neutralization and elimination of morbid
matter and poisons.

(17) Are Poisonous Drugs and Promiscuous Surgical Operations in
Conformity with the Constructive Principle in Nature?

Poisonous drugs and promiscuous operations are not usually in
conformity with the constructive principle in Nature, because:

They suppress acute diseases or reactions (crises), the cleaning and
healing efforts of Nature. They are in themselves harmful and
destructive to human life. Such treatment fosters the belief that
drugs and surgical operations can be substituted for obedience to
Nature's Laws and for personal effort and self-help.

(18) Is Metaphysical Healing in Conformity with the Constructive
Principle in Nature?

Metaphysical systems of healing are in conformity with the
constructive principle in Nature insofar as:

They do not interfere with or suppress Nature's healing efforts.
They awaken hope and confidence (therapeutic faith) and increase the
inflow of vital force into the organism.

They are not in conformity with the constructive principle in Nature
in so far as:

They fail to assist Nature's healing efforts. They ignore, obscure
and deny the laws of Nature and defy the dictates of reason and
common sense. They substitute, in the treatment of disease, a blind,
dogmatic belief in the wonder-working power of metaphysical formulas
and prayer for intelligent cooperation with Nature's constructive
forces for personal effort and self-help. They weaken the
consciousness of personal responsibility.

(19) Is Nature Cure in Conformity with the Constructive Principle in

Nature Cure is in conformity with the constructive principle in
Nature because:

It teaches that the primary cause of weakness and disease is
disobedience to the laws of Nature. It arouses the individual to the
study of natural laws and demonstrates the necessity of strict
compliance with these laws. It strengthens the consciousness of
personal responsibility of the individual for his own status of
health and for the hereditary conditions, traits and tendencies of
his off-spring. It encourages personal effort and self-help. It
adapts surroundings and habits of life to natural laws. It assists
Nature's cleansing and healing efforts by simple natural means and
methods of treatment which are in no wise harmful or destructive to
health and life, and which are within the reach of everyone.

(20) What Are the Natural Methods of Living and of Treatment?

Return to Nature by the regulation of eating, drinking, breathing,
bathing, dressing, working, resting, thinking, the moral life,
sexual and social activities, etc., on a normal and natural basis.
Elementary remedies, such as water, air, light, earth cures,
magnetism, electricity, etc. Chemical remedies, such as scientific
food selection and combination, specific nutritional augmentation
with natural food concentrates, homeopathic medicines, simple herb
extracts and the vitochemical remedies. Mechanical remedies, such as
corrective gymnastics, massage, magnetic treatment, chiropractic or
osteopathic manipulation and, when indicated, surgery. Mental and
spiritual remedies, such as scientific relaxation, normal
suggestion, constructive thought, the prayer of faith, etc.

Chapter III

What Is Life?

In our study of the cause and character of disease we must endeavor
to begin at the beginning, and that is with LIFE itself, for the
processes of health, disease and cure are manifestations of that
which we call life, vitality, life elements, etc.

While endeavoring to fathom the mystery of life we soon realize,
however, that we are dealing with an ultimate which no human mind is
capable of solving or explaining. We can study and understand life
only in its manifestations, not in its origin and real essence.

There are two prevalent, but widely differing, conceptions of the
nature of life or vital force: the material and the vital.

The former looks upon life or vital force with all its physical,
mental and psychical phenomena as manifestations of the electric,
magnetic and chemical activities of the physical-material elements
composing the human organism. From this viewpoint, life is a sort of
spontaneous combustion, or, as one scientist expressed it, a
succession of fermentations.

This materialistic conception of life, however, has already become
obsolete among the more advanced biologists as a result of the
wonderful discoveries of modern science, which are fast bridging the
chasm between the material and the spiritual realms of being.

But medical science, as taught in the regular schools, is still
dominated by the old, crude, mechanical conception of vital force
and this, as we shall see, accounts for some of its gravest errors
of theory and of practice.

The vital conception of life, on the other hand, regards it as the
primary force of all forces, coming from the great central source of
all power.

This force, which permeates, heats and animates the entire created
universe, is the expression of the divine will, the "logos," the
"word" of the great creative intelligence. It is this divine energy
which sets in motion the whirls in the ether, the electric
corpuscles and ions that make up the different atoms and elements of

These corpuscles and ions are positive and negative forms of
electricity. Electricity is a form of energy. It is intelligent
energy; otherwise it could not move with that same wonderful
precision in the electrons of the atoms as in the suns and planets
of the sidereal universe.

This intelligent energy can have but one source: the will and the
intelligence of the Creator; as Swedenborg expresses it, "the great
central sun of the universe."

If this supreme intelligence should withdraw its energy, the
electrical charges (forms of energy) and with it the atoms,
elements, and the entire material universe would disappear in the
flash of a moment.

From this it appears that crude matter, instead of being the source
of life and of all its complicated mental and spiritual phenomena
(which assumption, on the face of it, is absurd), is only an
expression of the Life Force, itself a manifestation of the great
creative intelligence which some call God, others Nature, the
Oversoul, Brahma, Prana, etc., each one according to his best

It is this supreme power and intelligence, acting in and through
every atom, molecule and cell in the human body, which is the true
healer, the vis medicatrix nature, which always endeavors to
repair, to heal and to restore the perfect type. All that the
physician can do is to remove obstructions and to establish normal
conditions within and around the patient, so that the healer within
can do his work to the best advantage.

Here the Christian Scientist will say: "That is exactly what we
claim. All is God, all is mind! There is no matter! Our attitude
toward disease is based on these facts."

Well, what of it, Brother Scientist? Suppose, in the final analysis,
matter is nothing but vibration, an expression of Divine Mind and
Will. That, for all practical purposes, does not justify me to deny
and to ignore its reality. Because I have an "all-mind" body, is it
advisable for me to place myself in the way of an "all-mind"
locomotive moving at the rate of sixty miles an hour?

The question is not what matter is in the final analysis, but how
matter affects us. We have to take it and treat it as we find it. We
must be as obedient to the laws of matter as to those of the higher
planes of being.

Life Is Vibratory

In the final analysis, all things in Nature, from a fleeti g thought
or emotion to the hardest piece of diamond or platinum, are modes of
motion or vibration. A few years ago physical science assumed that
an atom was the smallest imaginable part of a given element of
matter; that although infinitesimally small, it still represented
solid matter. Now, in the light of better evidence, we have good
reason to believe that there is no such thing as solid matter: that
every atom is made up of charges of negative and positive
electricity acting in and upon an omnipresent ether; that the
difference between an atom of iron and of hydrogen or any other
element consists solely in the number of electrical charges or
corpuscles it contains, and on the velocity with which these vibrate
around one another.

Thus the atom, which was thought to be the ultimate particle of
solid matter, is found to be a little universe in itself in which
corpuscles of electricity rotate or vibrate around one another like
the suns and planets in the sidereal universe. This explains what we
mean when we say life and matter are vibratory.

As early as 1863 John Newlands discovered that when he arranged the
elements of matter in the order of their atomic weight, they
displayed the same relationship to one another as do the tones in
the musical scale. Thus modern chemistry demonstrates the verity of
the music of the spheres--another visionary concept of ancient
mysticism. The individual atoms in themselves, as well as all the
atoms of matter in their relationship to one another, are
constructed and arranged in exact correspondence with the laws of
harmony. Therefore the entire sidereal universe is built on the laws
of music.

That which is orderly, lawful, good, beautiful, natural, healthy,
vibrates in unison with the harmonics of this great "Diapason of
Nature"; in other words, it is in alignment with the constructive
principle in Nature.

That which is disorderly, abnormal, ugly, unnatural, unhealthy,
vibrates in discord with Nature's harmonics. It is in alignment with
the destructive principle in Nature.

What we call "Inanimate Nature" is beautiful and orderly because it
plays in tune with the score of the Symphony of Life. Man alone can
play out of tune. This is his privilege, if he so chooses, by virtue
of his freedom of choice and action.

We can now better understand the definitions of health and of
disease, given in Chapter Two, "Catechism of Nature Cure" as

"Health is normal and harmonious vibration of the elements and
forces composing the human entity on the physical, mental, moral and
spiritual planes of being, in conformity with the constructive
principle of Nature applied to individual life."

"Disease is abnormal or inharmonious vibration of the elements and
forces composing the human entity on one or more planes of being, in
conformity with the destructive principle of Nature applied to
individual life."

The question naturally arising here is, "Normal or abnormal
vibration with what?" The answer is that the vibratory conditions of
the organism must be in harmony with Nature's established harmonic
relations in the physical, mental, moral, spiritual and psychical
realms of human life and action.

What Is an Established Harmonic Relation?

Let us see whether we cannot make this clear by a simile. If a watch
is in good condition, in harmonious vibration, its movement is so
adjusted that it coincides exactly, in point of time, with the
rotations of our earth around its axis. The established, regular
movement of the earth forms the basis of the established harmonic
relationship between the vibrations of a normal, healthy timepiece
and the revolutions of our planet. The watch has to vibrate in
unison with the harmonics of the planetary universe in order to be
normal, or in harmony.

In like manner, everything that is normal, natural, healthy, good,
beautiful must vibrate in unison with its correlated harmonics in

Obedience the Only Salvation

Orthodox medical science attributes disease largely to accidental
causes: to chance infection by disease taints, germs or parasites;
to drafts, chills, wet feet, etc.

The religiously inclined frequently attribute disease and other
tribulations to the arbitrary rulings of an inscrutable Providence.

Christian Scientists tell us that sin, suffering, disease and all
other kinds of evil are only errors of mortal mind, or the products
of diseased imagination (though this in itself admits the existence
of something abnormal or diseased).

Nature Cure philosophy presents a rational concept of evil, its
cause and purpose, namely: that it is brought on by violation of
Nature's Laws; that it is corrective in its purpose; that it can be
overcome only by compliance with the law. There is no suffering,
disease or evil of any kind anywhere unless the law has been
transgressed somewhere by someone.

These transgressions of the law may be due to ignorance, to
indifference or to wilfulness and viciousness. The effects will
always be commensurate with the causes.

The science of natural living and healing shows clearly that what we
call disease is primarily Nature's effort to eliminate morbid matter
and to restore the normal functions of the body; that the processes
of disease are just as orderly in their way as everything else in
Nature; that we must not check or suppress them, but cooperate with
them. Thus we learn, slowly and laboriously, the all-important
lesson that "obedience to the law" is the only means of prevention
of disease, and the only cure.

The Fundamental Law of Cure, the Law of Action and Reaction, and the
Law of Crises, as revealed by the Nature Cure philosophy, impress
upon us the truth that there is nothing accidental or arbitrary in
the processes of health, disease and cure; that every changing
condition is either in harmony or in discord with the laws of our
being; that only by complete surrender and obedience to the law can
we attain and maintain perfect physical health.

Self-Control, the Master's Key

Thus Nature Cure brings home to us constantly and forcibly the
inexorable facts of natural law and the necessity of compliance with
the law. Herein lies its great educational value to the individual
and to the race. The man who has learned to master his habits and
his appetites so as to conform to Nature's Laws on the physical
plane, and who has thereby regained his bodily health, realizes that
personal effort and self-control are the Master's Key to all further
development on the mental and spiritual planes of being as well;
that self-mastery and unremitting and unselfish personal effort are
the only means of self-completion, of individual and social

The naturist who has regained health and strength through obedience
to the laws of his being, enjoys a measure of self-content, gladness
of soul and enthusiasm which cannot be explained by the mere
possession of physical health. These highest and purest attainments
of the human soul are not the results of mere physical well-being,
but of the peace and harmony which come only from obedience to the
law. Such is the peace which passeth understanding.

Chapter IV

The Unity of Disease and Treatment

There exists a close resemblance between the mechanism and the
functions of a watch and of the human body. Their well-being is
subject to similar underlying laws and principles. Both a watch and
a human body may function abnormally as a result of accidental
injury or unfavorable external conditions, such as extreme heat or
cold, etc. However, in our present study of the causes of disease we
shall not consider accidental injury and hostile environment, but
confine ourselves to causes arising within the organism itself.

The watch may cease to vibrate in accord with the harmonics of our
planetary universe for several reasons. It may lose time or stand
still because (1) the wound spring has spent its force, or (2) its
parts are not made up of the right constituents, or (3) foreign
matter clogs or corrodes its mechanism.

Similarly, there exist three primary causes of disease and of
premature death of the physical body. These are:

Lowered vitality. Abnormal composition of blood and lymph.
Accumulation of morbid matter and poisons.

In the ultimate, disease and everything else that we designate as
evil are the result of transgressions of natural laws in thinking,
breathing, eating, dressing, working, resting, as well as in moral,
sexual and social conduct.

In Tables I and II, I have endeavored to present in concise and
comprehensive form the primary and the secondary causes or
manifestations of disease and the corresponding natural methods of



Barring trauma (injury), advancing age and surroundings uncongenial
to human life, all causes of disease may be classified as given

Violations of Nature's Laws in thinking, breathing, eating,
drinking, dressing, working, resting and in moral, sexual and social
conduct result in the following:

Primary and Secondary Causes of Disease

Primary Causes

Lowered vitality due to overwork, nightwork, excesses,
overstimulation, poisonous drugs and ill-advised surgical
operations. Abnormal composition of blood and lymph due to the
improper selection and combination of food, and especially the lack
of organic mineral salts and other essential nutritional elements.
Accumulation of waste matter, morbid matter and poisons due to the
first two causes, as well as to faulty diet, overeating, the use of
alcoholic and narcotic stimulants, drugs [both street and
prescription], vaccines, accidental poisoning and, last but not
least, to the suppression of acute diseases (Nature's cleansing and
healing efforts) by poisonous drugs and surgical operations.

Secondary Causes

Hereditary and constitutional taints of sycosis, scrofula, psora,
syphilis; mercurianism, cinchonism, iodism and many other forms of
chronic poisoning. Fevers, inflammations, skin eruptions, chronic
sinus discharges, ulcers, abscesses, germs, bacteria, parasites,
etc. Mechanical subluxations, distortions and displacements of bony
structures, muscles and ligaments; weakening and loss of reason,
will, and self-control resulting in negative, sensitive and
subjective conditions which open the way to nervous prostration,
control by other personalities (hypnotic influence, obsession,
possession); the different forms of insanity, epilepsy, petit mal,

Table II


In correspondence with the three primary causes of disease, Nature
Cure recognizes the following:

Natural Methods of Treatment

1. Return to Nature, or the establishment of normal habits and
surroundings, which necessitates:

Extension of consciousness by popular general and individual
education. The constant exercise of reason, will and self-control. A
return to natural habits of life in thinking, breathing, eating,
dressing, working, resting and in moral, sexual and social conduct.
Correction of mechanical defects and injuries by means of massage,
chiropractic or osteopathy, surgery and other mechanical methods of

2. Economy of Vital Force, which necessitates:

Prevention of waste of vital force by the stoppage of all leaks.
Scientific relaxation, proper rest and sleep. Proper food selection,
magnetic treatment, etc. The right mental attitude.

3. Elimination, which necessitates:

Scientific selection and combination of food and drink. Judicious
fasting. Hydrotherapy (water cure). Light and air baths, friction.
Chiropratic or osteopathy, massage, and other manipulative
treatment. Correct breathing, curative gymnastics. Such medicinal
remedies as will build up the blood on a normal basis and supply the
system with the all-important mineral salts in organic form.

In the following chapters I shall endeavor to show that all the
different forms, phases and phenomena of disease arising within the
human organism, provided they are not caused by accident or external
conditions unfavorable to the existence of human life, can be
attributed to one or more of three primary causes (as outlined in
Tables I and II). When we succeed in proving that all disease
originates from a few simple causes, it will not seem so strange and
improbable that all disease can be cured by a few simple, natural
methods of living and of treatment. If Nature Cure can accomplish
this, it establishes its right to be classed with the exact

The Three Primary Causes of Disease

We shall now consider the three primary causes of disease one by

Lowered Vitality

There is a well-defined limit to the running of a watch. When the
wound spring has spent its force, the mechanism stops.

So also the living forms of vegetable, animal and human life seem to
be wound by Nature to run a certain length of time, in accordance
with the laws governing their growth and development. Even the
healthiest of animals living in the most congenial surroundings in
the freedom of Nature do not much exceed their allotted span of
life, nor do they fall much below it. As a rule, the longer the
period between birth and maturity, the longer the life of the

All the different families of mammalia, when living in freedom, live
closely up to the life period allotted to them by Nature. Man is the
only exception. It is claimed that according to the laws of
longevity his average length of life should be considerably over one
hundred years, while according to life insurance statistics, the
average is at present [1913] thirty-seven years. This shows an
immense discrepancy between the possible and the actual longevity of

Even this brief span of life means little else than weakness,
physical and mental suffering and degeneracy for the majority of
mankind. Visiting physicians of the public schools in our large
cities report that seventy-five percent of all school children show
defective health in some way. Diagnosis from the Eye proves that the
remaining twenty-five percent are also more or less affected by
hereditary and acquired disease conditions. Christian Science says,
"There is no disease." Nature's records in the iris of the eye say
there is no perfect health.

These established facts of greatly impaired longevity and universal
abnormality of the human race would of themselves indicate that
there is something radically wrong somewhere in the life habits of
man, and that there is ample reason for the great health-reform
movement which was started about the middle of the last century by
the pioneers of Nature Cure in Germany, and which has since swept,
under many different forms and guises, all portions of the civilized

When people in general grow better acquainted with the laws
underlying prenatal and postnatal child culture, natural living and
the natural treatment of diseases, human beings will approach much
more closely the normal in health, strength, beauty and longevity.
Then will arise a true aristocracy, not of morbid, venous blue
blood, but pulsating with the rich red blood of health.

However, to reach this ideal of perfect physical, mental and moral
health, succeeding generations will have to adhere to the natural
ways of living and of treating their ailments. It cannot be attained
by the present generation. The enthusiasts who claim that they can,
by their particular methods, achieve perfect health and live the
full term of human life, are destined to disappointment. We are so
handicapped by the mistakes of the past that the best which most of
us adults can do is to patch up, to attain a reasonable measure of
health and to approach somewhat nearer Nature's full allotment of

Wild animals living in freedom retain their full vigor unimpaired
almost to the end of life. Hunters report that among the great herds
of buffalo, elk and deer, the oldest bucks are the rulers and
maintain their sovereignty over the younger males of the herd solely
by reason of their superior strength and prowess. Premature old age,
among human beings, as indicated by the early decay of physical and
mental powers, is brought on solely by their violation of Nature's
Laws in almost all the ordinary habits of life.

Health Positive--Disease Negative

The freer the inflow of life force into the organism, the greater
the vitality, the more there is of strength, of positive resisting
and recuperating power.

In the book~ Harmonics of Evolution~ we are told that at the very
foundation of the manifestation of life lies the principle of
polarity, which expresses itself in the duality and unity of
positive and negative affinity. The swaying to and fro of the
positive and the negative, the desire to balance incomplete
polarity, constitutes the very ebb and flow of life.

Disease is disturbed polarity. Exaggerated positive or negative
conditions, whether physical, mental, moral or spiritual, tend to
disease on the respective planes of being. Foods, medicines,
suggestion and all the other different methods of therapeutic
treatment exert on the individual subjected to them either a
positive or a negative influence. It is, therefore, of the greatest
importance that the physician and every one who wishes to live and
work in harmony with Nature's Laws should understand this
all-important question of magnetic polarity.

Lowered vitality means lowered, slower and coarser vibration, and
this results in lowered resistance to the accumulation of morbid
matter, poisons, disease taints, germs and parasites. This is what
we designate ordinarily as the negative condition.

Let us see whether we can explain this more fully by a homely but
practical illustration: A great many of my readers have probably
seen in operation in the summer amusement parks the "human
roulette." This contrivance consists of a large wheel,
board-covered, somewhat raised in the center, and sloping towards
the circumference. The wheel rotates horizontally, evenly with the
floor or ground. The merrymakers pay their nickels for the privilege
of throwing themselves flat down on the wheel and attempting to
cling to it while it rotates with increasing swiftness. While the
wheel moves slowly, it is easy enough to cling to it; but the faster
it revolves, the more strongly the centrifugal force tends to throw
off the human flies who try to stick to it.

The increasing repelling power of the accelerated motion of the
wheel may serve as an illustration of that which we call vigorous
vibration, good vitality, natural immunity or recuperative power.
This is the positive condition.

The more intense the action of the life force, the more rapid and
vigorous are the vibratory activities of the atoms and molecules in
the cells, and of the cells in the organs and tissues of the body.
The more rapid and vigorous this vibratory activity, the more
powerful is the repulsion and expulsion of morbid matter, poisons
and germs of disease which try to encumber or destroy the organism.

Health and Disease Resident in the Cell

We must not forget that health or disease, in the final analysis, is
resident in the cell. Though a minute, microscopic organism, the
cell is an independent living being, which is born, grows, eats,
drinks, throws off waste matter, multiplies, ages and dies, just
like man, the large cell. If the individual cell is well, man, the
complex cell, is well also, and vice versa. From this it is apparent
that in all our considerations of the processes of health, disease
and cure, we have to deal primarily with the individual cell.

The vibratory activity of the cell may be lowered through the
decline of vitality brought about in a natural way by advancing age,
or in an artificial way through wrong habits of living, wrong
thinking and feeling, overwork, unnatural stimulation and excesses
of various kinds.

On the other hand, the inflow of vital force into the cells may be
obstructed and their vibratory activity lowered by the accumulation
of waste and morbid matter in the tissues, blood vessels and nerve
channels of the body. Such clogging will interfere with the inflow
of life force and with the free and harmonious vibration of the
cells and organs of the body as surely as dust in a watch will
interfere with the normal action and vibration of its wheels and

From this it is evident that negative conditions may be brought
about not only by hyperrefinement of the physical organism, but also
by clogging it with waste and morbid matter which interfere with the
inflow and distribution of the vital force. It also becomes apparent
that in such cases the Nature Cure methods of eliminative treatment,
such as pure food diet, hydrotherapy, massage, chiropractic,
osteopathy, etc., are valuable means of removing these obstructions
and promoting the inflow and free circulation of the positive
electric and magnetic life currents

Abnormal Composition of Blood and Lymph

As one of the primary causes of disease, we cited abnormal
composition of blood and lymph. The human organism is made up of a
certain number of elements in well-defined proportions. Chem-istry
has discovered, so far, about seventeen of these elements in
appreciable quantities and has ascertained their functions in the
economy of the body. These seventeen elements must be present in the
right proportions in order to insure normal texture, structure and
functioning of the component parts and organs of the body.

The cells and organs receive their nourishment from the blood and
lymph currents. Therefore, these must contain all the elements
needed by the organism in the right proportions, and this, of
course, depends upon the character and the combination of the food

Every disease arising in the human organism from internal causes is
accompanied by a deficiency in blood and tissues of certain
important mineral elements [organic salts]. Undoubtedly, the
majority of these diseases are caused by an unbalanced diet, or by
food and drink poisoning. Wrong food combinations, on the one hand,
create an overabundance of waste and morbid matter in the system
and, on the other hand, fail to supply the positive mineral elements
or organic salts on which depends the elimination of waste and
systemic poisons from the body.

The great problem of natural dietetics and of natural medical
treatment is, therefore, how to restore and maintain the positivity
of the blood and of the organism as a whole through providing in
food, drink and medicine an abundant supply of the positive mineral
salts in organic form.

Accumulation of Morbid Matter and Poisons

This is the third of the primary causes of disease. We have learned
how lowered vitality and the abnormal composition of thevital fluids
favor the retention of systemic poisons in the body. If, in addition
to this, food and drink contain too much of the waste-producing
carbohydrates, hydrocarbons and proteins, and not enough of the
eliminating positive mineral salts then waste and morbid materials
are bound to accumulate in the system and this results in the
clogging of the tissues with acid precipitates and earthy deposits.

Such accumulation of waste and morbid matter in blood and tissues
creates the great majority of all diseases arising within the human
organism. This will be explained fully in the following chapters
which deal with the causation of acute and chronic disease.

More harmful and dangerous, and more difficult to eliminate than the
different kinds of systemic poisons, that is, those which have
originated within the body, are the drug poisons, especially when
they are administered in the inorganic mineral form. Health is
dependent upon an abundant supply of life force, upon the
unobstructed, normal circulation of the vital fluids and upon
perfect oxygenation and combustion. Anything that interferes with
these essentials causes disease; anything that promotes them
establishes health. Nothing so interferes with the inflow of the
life force, with free and normal circulation of blood and lymph and
with the oxygenation and combustion of food materials and systemic
waste as the accumulation of morbid matter and poisons in the
tissues of the body.

This I have endeavored to explain more fully in connection with
lowered vitality. Let us now see how disease and health are affected
by mental and emotional conditions.

Mental and Emotional Influences

Our mental and emotional conditions exert a most powerful influence
upon the inflow and distribution of vital force. The author of The
Great Work [~The Great Work: The Constructive Principle of Nature in
Individual Life, ~by John Emmett Richardson {1853-1935},
Indio-American Book Company, Chicago, IL. 1907.] has described most
graphically in the chapter on Self-Control how fear, worry, anxiety
and all kindred emotions create in the system conditions similar to
those of freezing; how these destructive vibrations congeal the
tissues, clog the channels of life and paralyze the vital functions.
He shows how the emotional conditions of impatience, irritability,
anger, etc., have a heating, corroding effect upon the tissues of
the body.

In like manner, all other destructive emotional vibrations ob-struct
the inflow and normal distribution of the life forces in and through
the organism, while on the other hand the constructive emotions of
faith, hope, cheerfulness, happiness and love exert a relaxing,
harmonizing influence upon the tissues, blood vessels and nerve
channels of the body, thus opening wide the floodgates of the life
forces, and raising the discords of weakness, disease and discontent
to the harmonics of buoyant health and happiness.

Let us see just how mind controls matter and how it affects the
changing conditions of the physical body. Life manifests through
vibration. It acts on the mass by acting through its minutest
par-ticles. Changes in the physical body are wrought by vibratory
changes in atoms, molecules and cells. Health is satisfied polarity,
that is, the balancing of the positive and negative elements in
harmonious vibration. Anything that interferes with the free,
vigor-ous and harmonious vibration of the minute parts and particles
composing the human organism tends to disturb polarity and natural
affinity, thus causing discord or disease.

When we fully realize these facts we shall not stand so much in awe
of our physical bodies. In the past we have been thinking of the
body as a solid and imponderable mass difficult to control and to
change. This conception left us in a condition of utter helplessness
and hopelessness in the presence of weakness and disease.

We now think of the body as composed of minute corpuscles rotating
around one another within the atom at relatively immense distances.
We know that in similar manner the atoms vibrate in the molecule,
the molecules in the cell, the cells in the organ and the organs in
the body; the whole capable of being changed by a change in the
vibrations of its particles.

Thus the erstwhile solid physical mass appears plastic and fluidic,
readily swayed and changed by the vibratory harmonies or discords of
thoughts and emotions as well as by foods, medicines and therapeutic

Under the old conception the mind fell readily under the control of
the body and became the abject slave of its physical conditions,
swayed by fear and apprehension under every sensation of physical
weakness, discomfort or pain. The servants lorded it with a high
hand over the master of the house, and the result was chaos. Under
the new conception, control is placed where it belongs. It is
assumed by the real master of the house, the Soul-Man, and the
servants, the physical members of the body, remain obedient to his

This is the new man, the ideal progeny of a new and higher
philosophy. Understanding the structure of the body, the laws of its
being and the operation of the life elements within it, the superman
retains perfect poise and confidence under the most trying
circumstances. Animated by an abounding faith in the supremacy of
the healing forces within him and sustained by the power of his
sovereign will, he governs his body as perfectly as the artist
controls his violin and attunes its vibrations to Nature's harmonies
of health and happiness.

Chapter V

The Unity of Acute Diseases

In the last chapter I endeavored to explain the three primary causes
of disease, namely: (1) Lowered Vitality, (2) Abnormal Composition
of Blood and Lymph, (3) Accumulation of Waste, Morbid Matter, and
Poisons in the System.

We shall now consider some of the secondary manifestations resulting
from these primary causes. Consulting the table on page 18 (Chapter
2, internet version), we find mentioned as the first one of the
secondary causes or manifestations of disease, "Hereditary and
Constitutional Taints."

On first impression, it might be thought that heredity is a primary
cause of disease; but on further consideration it becomes apparent
that it is an effect and not a primary cause. If the parents possess
good vitality and pure, normal blood and tissues, and if they apply
in the prenatal and postnatal treatment of the child the necessary
insight and foresight, there cannot be disease heredity. In order to
create abnormal hereditary tendencies, the parents, or earlier
ancestors, must have ignorantly or wantonly violated Nature's Laws,
such violation resulting in lowered vitality and in deterioration of
blood and tissues.

The female and male germinal cells unite and form the primitive
reproductive cell--the prototype of marriage. The human body with
its millions of cells and cell colonies is developed by the
multiplication, with gradual differentiation, of the reproductive
cell. Its abnormalities of structure, of cell materials and of
functional tendencies are reproduced just as surely as its normal
constituents. Herein lies the simple explanation of heredity which
is proved to be an actual fact, not only by common experience and
scientific observation but also in a more definite way by Nature's
records in the iris of the eye.

The iris of the newborn child reveals in its diagnostic details not
only, in a general way, hereditary taints, lowered resistance, and
deterioration of vital fluids, but frequently special weakness and
deterioration in those organs which were weak or diseased in the
parents. Under the conventional (unnatural) management of the
infant, these hereditary tendencies to weakness and disease and
their corresponding signs in the iris become more and more
pronounced, proceeding through the various stages of incumbrance
from acute, infantile diseases through chronic catarrhal conditions
to the final destructive stages.

In the face of the well-established facts of disease heredity we
have, however, this consolation: If the child be treated in
accordance with the teachings of Nature Cure philosophy, the
abnormal hereditary encumbrances and tendencies can be overcome and
eliminated within a few years. If we place the infant organism under
the right conditions of living and of treatment, in harmony with the
laws of its being, the Life Principle within will approach ever
nearer to the establishment of the perfect type. Hundreds of "Nature
Cure" babies all over this country are living proofs of this
gladsome message to all those who have assumed or intend to assume
the responsibilities of parenthood.

Natural Immunity

Under Division II of "Secondary Causes or Manifestations of Disease"
we find mentioned germs, bacteria, parasites, inflammations, fevers,
skin eruptions, chronic sinus discharges, ulcers, etc.

Modern medical science is built up upon the germ theory of disease
and treatment. Since the microscope has revealed the presence and
seemingly entirely pernicious activity of certain microorganisms in
connection with certain diseases, it has been assumed that bacteria
are the direct, primary causes of most diseases. Therefore, the
slogan now is: "Kill the bacteria (by poisonous antiseptics, serums
and antitoxins) and you will cure the disease."

The Nature Cure philosophy takes a different view of the problem.
Germs cannot be the cause of disease, because disease germs are also
found in healthy bodies. The real cause must be something else. We
claim that it is the waste and morbid matter in the system which
afford the microorganisms of disease the opportunity to breed and

We regard microorganisms as secondary manifestations of disease, and
maintain that bacteria and parasites live, thrive and multiply to
the danger point in a weakened and diseased organism only. If it
were not so, the human family would be extinct within a few months'

The fear instilled by the bacterial theory of disease is frequently
more destructive than the microorganisms themselves. We have had
under observation and treatment a number of insane patients whose
peculiar delusion or monomania was an exaggerated fear of germs, a
genuine bacteriophobia.

Keep yourself clean and vigorous from within, and you cannot be
affected by disease taints and germs from without.

Bacteria are practically omnipresent. We absorb them in food and
drink, we inhale them in the air we breathe. Our bodies are
literally alive with them. The last stages of the digestive
processes depend upon the activity of millions of bacteria in the
intestinal tract.

The proper thing to do, therefore, is not to try and kill the germs,
but to remove the morbid matter and disease taints in which they

Instead of concentrating its energies upon killing the germs, whose
presence we cannot escape, Nature Cure endeavors to in-vigorate the
system, to build up blood and lymph on a normal basis and to purify
the tissues of their morbid encumbrances in such a way as to
establish natural immunity to destructive germ activity. Everything
that tends to accomplish this without injuring the system by
poisonous drugs or surgical operations is good Nature Cure

To adopt the germ-killing process without purifying and invigorating
the organism would be like trying to keep a house free from fungi
and vermin by sprinkling it daily with carbolic acid and other germ
killers, instead of keeping it pure and sweet by flooding it with
fresh air and sunshine and applying freely and vigorously broom,
brush and plenty of soap and water. Instead of purifying it, the
antiseptics and germ killers would only add to the filth in the

All bacteriologists are unanimous in declaring that the various
disease germs are found not only in the bodies of the sick, but also
in seemingly healthy persons.

A celebrated French bacteriologist reports that in the mouth of a
healthy infant, two months old, he found almost all the disease
germs known to medical science. Only lately, a celebrated physician,
appointed by the French government to investigate the causes of
tuberculosis, declared before a meeting of the International
Tuberculosis Congress in Rome that he found the bacilli of
tuberculosis in ninety-five percent of all the school children he
had examined.

Dr. Osler, one of the greatest living medical authorities, mentions
repeatedly in his works that the bacilli of diphtheria, pneumonia
and of many other virulent diseases are found in the bodies of
healthy persons.

The inability of bacteria, by themselves, to create diseases is
further confirmed by the well-known facts of natural immunity to
specific infection or contagion. All mankind is more or less
affected by hereditary and acquired disease taints, morbid
encumbrances and drug poisoning, resulting from age-long violation
of Nature's Laws and from the suppression of acute diseases; but
even under the almost universal present conditions of lowered
vitality, morbid heredity and physical and mental degeneration it is
found that under identical conditions of exposure to drafts or
infection, a certain percentage of individuals only will take the
cold or catch the disease. The fact of natural immunity is
constantly confirmed by common experience as well as in the clinics
and laboratories of our medical schools and research institutes. Of
a specific number of mice or rabbits inoculated with particles of
cancer, only a small percentage develops the malignant growth and
succumbs to its ravages.

The development of infectious and contagious diseases necessitates a
certain predisposition, or, as medical science calls it, "disease
diathesis." This predisposition to infection and contagion consists
in the primary causes of disease, which we have designated as
lowered vitality, abnormal composition of blood and lymph, and the
accumulation of waste, morbid matter and poisons in the system.

Bacteria: Secondary, Not Primary,

Manifestations of Disease

In a previous chapter we learned how lowered vitality weakens the
resistance of the system to the attacks and inroads of disease germs
and poisons. The growth and multiplication of microorganisms depend
furthermore upon a congenial, morbid soil. Just as the ordinary
yeast germ multiplies in a sugar solution only, so the various
microorganisms of disease thrive and multiply to the danger point
only in their own peculiar and congenial kind of morbid matter.
Thus, the typhoid fever bacillus thrives in a certain kind of effete
matter which accumulates in the intestines; the pneumonia bacilli
flourish best in the catarrhal secretions of the lungs, and
meningitis bacilli in the diseased meninges of the brain and spinal

Dr. Pettenkofer, a celebrated physician and professor of the
University of Vienna, also arrived at the conclusion that bacteria,
by themselves, cannot create disease, and for years he defended his
opinion from the lecture platform and in his writings against the
practically solid phalanx of the medical profession. One day he
backed his theory by a practical test. While instructing his class
in the bacteriological laboratory of the university, he picked up a
glass which contained millions of live cholera germs and swallowed
its contents before the eyes of the students. The seemingly
dangerous experiment was followed only by a slight nausea. Lately I
have heard repeatedly of persons in this country who subjected
themselves in similar manner to infection, inoculation and contagion
with the most virulent kinds of bacteria and disease taints without
developing the corresponding diseases.

A few years ago Dr. Rodermund, a physician in the State of
Wisconsin, created a sensation all over this country when he smeared
his body with the exudate of smallpox sores in order to demonstrate
to his medical colleagues that a healthy body could not be infected
with the disease. He was arrested and quarantined in jail, but not
before he had come in contact with many people. Neither he nor
anyone else exposed by him developed smallpox.

During the ten years that I have been connected with sanitarium
work, my workers and myself, in giving the various forms of
manipulative treatment, have handled intimately thousands of cases
of infectious and contagious diseases, and I do not remember a
single instance where any one of us was in the least affected by
such contact. Ordinary cleanliness, good vitality, clean blood and
tissues, the organs of elimination in good, active condition and,
last but not least, a positive, fearless attitude of mind will
practically establish natural immunity to the inroads and ravages of
bacteria and disease taints. If infection takes place, the organism
reacts to it through inflammatory processes, and by means of these
endeavors to overcome and eliminate microorganisms and poisons from
the system.

In this connection it is of interest to learn that the danger to
life from bites and stings of poisonous reptiles and insects has
been greatly exaggerated. According to popular opinion, anyone
bitten by a rattlesnake, gila monster or tarantula is doomed to die,
while as a matter of fact the statistics show that only from two to
seven per-cent succumb to the effects of the wounds inflicted by the
bites of poisonous reptiles.

In this, as in many other instances, popular opinion should rather
be called "popular superstition."

In the open discussions following my public lectures, I am often
asked: "What is the right thing to do in case of snakebite? Would
you not give plenty of whiskey to save the victim's life?"

It is my belief that of the seven percent who die after being bitten
by rattlesnakes or other poisonous snakes, a goodly proportion give
up the ghost because of the effects of the enormous doses of strong
whiskey that are poured into them under the mistaken idea that the
whiskey is an efficient antidote to the snake poison.

People do not know that the death rate from snakebite is so very
low, and therefore they attribute the recoveries to the whiskey,
just as recoveries from other diseases under medical or metaphysical
treatment are attributed to the virtues of the particular medicine
or method of treatment instead of to the real healer, the~ vis
medicatrix nature,~ the healing power of Nature, which in
ninety-three cases in a hundred eliminates the rattlesnake venom
without injury to the organism.

To recapitulate: Just as yeast cells are not only the cause but also
the product of sugar fermentation, so disease germs are not only a
cause (secondary) but also a product of morbid fermentation in the
system. Furthermore, just as yeast germs live on and decompose
sugar, so disease germs live on and decompose morbid matter and
systemic poisons.

In a way, therefore, microorganisms are just as much the product as
the cause of disease and act as scavengers or eliminators of morbid
matter. In order to hold in check the destructive activity of
bacteria and to prevent their multiplication beyond the danger
point, Nature resorts to inflammation and manufactures her own

On the other hand, whatever tends to build up the blood on a natural
basis, to promote elimination of morbid matter and thereby to limit
the activity of destructive microorganisms without injuring the body
or depressing its vital functions, is good Nature Cure practice. The
first consideration, therefore, in the treatment of inflammation
must be to not interfere with its natural course.

By the various statements and claims made in this chapter, I do not
wish to convey the idea that I am opposed to scrupulous cleanliness
or surgical asepsis. Far from it! These are dictates of common
sense. But I do affirm that the danger from germ and other
infectious diseases lies just as much or more so in internal filth
as in external uncleanliness. Cleanliness and asepsis must go hand
in hand with the purification of the inner man in order to insure
natural immunity.

Chapter VI

The Laws of Cure

This brings us to the consideration of acute inflammatory and
feverish diseases. From what has been said, it follows that
inflammation and fever are not primary, but secondary,
manifestations of disease. There cannot arise any form of
inflammatory disease in the system unless there is present some
enemy to health which Nature is endeavoring to overcome and get rid
of. On this fact in Nature is based what I claim to be the
fundamental Law of Cure.

"Give me fever and I can cure every disease." Thus Hippocrates the
Father of Medicine, expressed the fundamental Law of Cure over two
thousand years ago. I have expressed this law in the following
sentence: "Every acute disease is the result of a cleansing and
healing effort of Nature."

This law, when thoroughly understood and applied to the treatment of
diseases, will in time do for medical science what the discovery of
other natural laws has done for physics, astronomy, chemistry and
other exact sciences. It will transform the medical empiricism and
confusion of the past and present into an exact science by
demonstrating the unity of disease and treatment.

Applying the law in a general way, it means that all acute diseases,
from a simple cold to measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, smallpox,
pneumonia, etc., represent Nature's efforts to repair injury or to
remove from the system some kind of morbid matter, virus, poison or
microorganism dangerous to health and life. In other words, acute
diseases cannot develop in a perfectly normal, healthy body living
under conditions favorable to human life. The question may be asked:
"If acute diseases represent Nature's healing efforts, why is it
that people die from them?" The answer to this is: the vitality may
be too low, the injury or morbid encumbrance too great or the
treatment may be inadequate or harmful, so that Nature loses the
fight; still, the acute disease represents an effort of Nature to
overcome the enemies to health and life and to reestablish normal,
healthy conditions.

It is a curious fact that this fundamental principle of Nature Cure
and Law of Nature has been acknowledged and verified by medical
science. The most advanced works on pathology admit the constructive
and beneficial character of inflammation. However, when it comes to
the treatment of acute diseases, physicians seem to forget entirely
this basic principle of pathology, and treat inflammation and fever
as though they were, in themselves, inimical and destructive to
health and life.

From this inconsistency in theory and practice arise all the errors
of allopathic medical treatment. Failure to understand this
fundamental Law of Cure accounts for all the confusion on the part
of the exponents of the different schools of healing sciences, and
for the greater part of human suffering.

The Nature Cure philosophy never loses sight of the fundamental Law
of Cure. While allopathy regards acute disease conditions as in
themselves harmful and hostile to health and life, as something to
be cured (we should say suppressed) by drug or knife, the Nature
Cure school regards these forcible housecleanings as beneficial and
necessary, so long, at least, as people will continue to disregard
Nature's Laws. While, through its simple, natural methods of
treatment, Nature Cure easily modifies the course of inflammatory
and feverish processes and keeps them within safe limits, it never
checks or suppresses these acute reactions by poisonous drugs,
serums, antiseptics, surgical operations, suggestion or any other
suppressive treatment.

Skin eruptions, boils, ulcers, catarrhs, diarrheas, and all other
forms of inflammatory febrile disease conditions are indications
that there is something hostile to life and health in the organism
which Nature is trying to remove or overcome by these so-called
"acute" diseases. What, then, can be gained by suppressing them with
poisonous drugs and surgical operations? Such practice does not
allow Nature to carry on her work of cleansing and repair and to
attain her ends. The morbid matter which she endeavored to eliminate
by acute reactions is thrown back into the system. Worse than that,
drug poisons are added to disease poisons. Is it any wonder that
fatal complications arise, or that the acute condition is changed to
chronic disease?

Why Does the Greater Part of Allopathic Materia

Medica Consist of Virulent Poisons?

The statements made in the preceding pages are a severe indictment
of regular medical science, but they point out the difference in the
basic principles of the "Old School" of healing and those of the
Nature Cure philosophy.

The fundamental Law of Cure quoted in this chapter explains why
allopathic medical science is in error, not in a few things only,
but in most things. The foundation, the orthodox conception of
disease being wrong, it follows that everything which is built
thereon must be wrong also.

No matter how learned a man may be, if he begins a problem in
arithmetic with the proposition 2x2=5, he never will arrive at a
correct solution if he continue to figure into all eternity. Neither
can allopathy solve the problem of disease and cure as long as its
fundamental conception of disease is based on error.

The fundamental law of cure explains also why the great majority of
allopathic prescriptions contain virulent poisons in some form or
another and why surgical operations are in high favor with the
disciples of the regular school.

The answer of allopathy to the question, "Why do you give poisons?"
usually is, "Our materia medica contains poisons because drug poison
kills and eliminates disease poison." We, however, claim that drug
poisons merely serve to paralyze vital force, whereby the deceptive
results of allopathic treatment are obtained.

The following will explain this more fully. We have learned that
so-called acute diseases are Nature's cleansing and healing efforts.
All acute reactions represent increased activity of vital force,
resulting in feverish and inflammatory conditions, accompanied by
pain, redness, swelling, high temperature, rapid pulse, catarrhal
discharges, skin eruptions, boils, ulcers, etc.

Allopathy regards these violent activities of vital force as
detrimental and harmful in themselves. Anything which will inhibit
the action of vital force will, in allopathic parlance, cure (?)
acute diseases. As a matter of fact, nothing more effectively
paralyzes vital force and impairs the vital organs than poisonous
drugs and the surgeon's knife. These, therefore, must necessarily
constitute the favorite means of cure (?) of the regular school of

This school mistakes effect for cause. It fails to see that the
local inflammation arising within the organism is not the disease,
but merely marks the locality and the method through which Nature is
trying her best to discharge the morbid encumbrances; that the acute
reaction is local, but that its causes or feeders are always
constitutional and must be treated constitutionally. When, under the
influence of rational, natural treatment, the poisonous irritants
are eliminated from blood and tissues, the local symptoms take care
of themselves; it does not matter whether they manifest as pimple or
cancer, as a simple cold or as consumption.

The Law of Dual Effect

Everywhere in Nature rules the great Law of Action and Reaction. All
life sways back and forth between giving and receiving, between
action and reaction. The very breath of life mysteriously comes and
goes in rhythmical flow. So also heaves and falls in ebb and tide
the bosom of Mother Earth.

In some of its aspects, this law is called the Law of Compensation,
or the Law of Dual Effect. On its action depends the preservation of

The Great Master expressed the ethical application of this law when
he said:

"Give, and it shall be given unto you. . . . For with the same
measure that ye mete it shall be measured to you again."--Luke 6:38.

In the realms of physical nature, giving and receiving, action and
reaction balance each other mechanically and automatically. What we
gain in power we lose in speed or volume, and vice versa. This makes
it possible for the mechanic, the scientist and the astronomer to
predict with mathematical precision for ages in advance the results
of certain activities in Nature.

The great Law of Dual Effect forms the foundation of the healing
sciences. It is related to and governs every phenomenon of health,
disease and cure. When I formulated the fundamental Law of Cure in
the words, "Every acute disease is the result of a healing effort of
Nature," this was but another expression of the great Law of Action
and Reaction. What we commonly call crisis, acute reaction or acute
disease is in reality Nature's attempt to establish health.

Applied to the physical activity of the body, the Law of
Com-pensation may be expressed as follows: "Every agent affecting
the human organism produces two effects: a first, apparent,
temporary effect, and a second, lasting effect. The secondary,
lasting effect is always contrary to the primary, transient effect."

For instance: The first and temporary effect of cold water applied
to the skin consists in sending the blood to the interior; but in
order to compensate for the local depletion, Nature responds by
sending greater quantities of blood back to the surface, resulting
in increased warmth and better surface circulation.

The first effect of a hot bath is to draw the blood to the surface;
but the secondary effect sends the blood back to the interior,
leaving the surface bloodless and chilled.

Stimulants, as we shall see later on, produce their deceptive
effects by burning up the reserve stores of vital energy in the
organism. This is inevitably followed by weakness and exhaustion in
exact proportion to the previous excitation.

The primary effect of relaxation and sleep is weakness, numbness and
death-like stupor; the secondary effect, however, is an increase of

The Law of Dual Effect governs all drug action. The first,
temporary, violent effect of poisonous drugs, when given in
physiological doses, is usually due to Nature's efforts to overcome
and eliminate these substances. The secondary, lasting effect is due
to the retention of the drug poisons in the system and their action
on the organism.

In theory and practice, allopathy considers the first effect only
and ignores the lasting aftereffects of drugs and surgical
operations. It administers remedies whose first effect is contrary
to the disease condition. Therefore, in accordance with the Law of
Action and Reaction, the secondary, lasting effect of such remedies
must be similar to or like the disease condition.

Common, everyday experience should teach us that this is so, for
laxatives and cathartics always tend to produce chronic

The secondary effect of stimulants and tonics of any kind is
increased weakness, and their continued use often results in
complete exhaustion and paralysis of mental and physical powers.

Headache powders, pain killers, opiates, sedatives and hypnotics may
paralyze brain and nerves into temporary insensibility; but, if due
to constitutional causes, the pain, nervousness and insomnia will
always return with redoubled force. If taken habitually, these
agents invariably tend to create heart disease and paralysis, and
ultimately develop the patient into a dope fiend.

Cold and catarrh cures (?), such as quinine, coal-tar products,
etc., suppress Nature's efforts to eliminate waste and morbid matter
through the mucous linings of the respiratory tract, and drive the
disease matter back into the lungs, thus breeding pneumonia, chronic
catarrhs, asthma and consumption.

Mercury, iodine and all other alteratives, by suppression of
external elimination, create internal chronic diseases of the most
dreadful types, such as locomotor ataxy, paresis, etc.

So the recital might be continued all through orthodox materia
medica. Each drug breeds new disease symptoms which are in their
turn cured (?) by other poisons, until the insane asylum or merciful
death rings down the curtain on the tragedy of a ruined life.

The teaching and practice of homeopathy, as explained in Chapter
Twenty-Six, is fully in harmony with the Law of Action and Reaction.
Acting upon the basic principle of homeopathy: ~Similia similibus
curantur,~ or like cures like, it administers remedies whose first,
temporary effect is similar to the disease conditions. In accordance
with the Law of Dual Effect, then, the secondary effect of these
remedies must be contrary to the disease conditions, that is,

Chapter VII

Suppression Versus Elimination

My claim that the conventional treatment of acute diseases is
suppressive and not curative will probably be denied by my medical
colleagues. They will maintain that their methods also are
calculated to eliminate morbid matter and disease germs from the

But what are the facts in actual practice? Is it not true that
preparations of mercury, lead, zinc and other powerful poisons are
constantly used to suppress skin eruptions, boils, abscesses, etc.,
instead of allowing Nature to rid the system through these skin
diseases of scrofulous, venereal and psoric taints?

Some time ago Dr. Wiley, the former Government Chemist, published
the ingredients of a number of popular remedies for colds, coughs
and catarrh. Every one of them contained some powerful opiate or
astringent. These poisonous drugs relieve the cough and the
catarrhal conditions by paralyzing the eliminative activity of the
membranous linings of the nasal passages, the bronchi and lungs, the
digestive and genitourinary organs; but in doing so, they throw back
into the system the morbid matter which Nature is trying to get rid
of, and add drug poisons to disease poisons.

Equally harmful is suppression by means of the surgeon's knife. It
may be a quicker and apparently more effective process to remove the
inflamed appendix or the diseased tonsils than to cure them by
building up the blood and inducing elimination of systemic poisons
by natural methods. But operative treatment is not eliminative. It
does not remove from the system the original cause of the
inflammation or deterioration of tissues and organs, but it does
remove the outlet which Nature had established for the escape of
morbid materials.

These morbid encumbrances, forcibly retained in the body, weaken and
destroy other parts and organs, or affect the general health of the

My own observations during nearly fifteen years of practical
experience, confirmed by many other conscientious observers among
Nature Cure practitioners as well as physicians of other schools and
of allopathy itself, prove positively that the average length of
life after a major operation, performed on important, vital parts
and organs, is less than ten years, and that after such an operation
the general health of the patient is in the great majority of cases
not as good as before.

In the following paragraphs are mentioned some very common instances
of suppression and some of their usual chronic aftereffects

Diarrhea is suppressed with laudanum and other opiates, which
paralyze the peristaltic action of the bowels and, if repeated, soon
produce chronic constipation. Gonorrheal discharges and syphilitic
ulcers are checked and suppressed by local injections, cauterization
and by prescriptions containing mercury, iodine and other poisonous
alternatives which effectually prevent Nature's efforts to eliminate
the venereal poisons from the system.

Gonorrheal discharges and syphilitic ulcers are checked and
supressed by local injections, cauterizatin, and by prescriptions
containing mercury, iodine, and other poisonous alternatives which
effectually prevent Nature's efforts to elminate the venereal
poisons from the system.

All feverish diseases are more or less interfered with or suppressed
by antiseptics, antipyretics, serums and antitoxins. The best books
on ~Materia Medica~ and the professors in the colleges teach that
these remedies lower the fever because they are "protoplasmic
poisons"; because they paralyze the red and white blood corpuscles,
benumb heart action and respiration, and depress all vital

Nervousness, sleeplessness and pain are suppressed by sedatives,
opiates and hypnotics. Every one of the drugs used for such purposes
is a powerful poison which paralyzes brain and nerve action, in that
way interfering with Nature's healing efforts and frequently
preventing the consummation of beneficial healing crises.

Epileptic attacks and other forms of convulsions are suppressed, but
never cured, by bromides which benumb and paralyze the brain and
nerve centers. All that these sedatives accomplish is to produce in
the course of time idiocy and the different forms of paralysis and
premature senility.

However, is he not considered the best doctor who can most promptly
produce these and many similar deceptive results through artificial
inhibition or stimulation by means of the most virulent poisons
found on earth?

Dandruff and falling hair are caused by the elimination of systemic
poisons through the scalp. The thing to do, therefore, is not to

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