Part 5 out of 7
Therefore we should welcome any and all methods of diagnosis which
throw more light on the causes and the nature of disease conditions
in the human organism.
Two valuable additions to diagnostic science are now offered to us
in osteopathy and in the Diagnosis from the Eye.
Osteopathy furnishes valuable information concerning the connection
between disease conditions and misplacements of vertebrae and other
bony structures, contractions or abnormal relaxation of muscles and
ligaments, and inflammation of nerves and nerve centers.
The Diagnosis from the Eye is as yet a new science, and much remains
to be discovered and to be better explained. We do not claim that
Nature's records in the eye disclose all the details of pathological
tendencies and changes, but they do reveal many disease conditions,
hereditary and acquired, that cannot be ascertained by any other
methods of diagnosis.
Omitting consideration of everything that is at present speculative
and uncertain, we are justified in making the following statements:
The eye is not only, as the ancients said, "the mirror of the soul,"
but it also reveals abnormal conditions and changes in every part
and organ of the body. Every organ and part of the body is
represented in the iris of the eye in a well-defined area. The iris
of the eye contains an immense number of minute nerve filaments,
which through the optic nerves, the optic brain centers and the
spinal cord are connected with and receive impressions from every
nerve in the body. The nerve filaments, muscle fibers and minute
blood vessels in the different areas of the iris reproduce the
changing conditions in the corresponding parts or organs. By means
of various marks, signs, abnormal colors and discolorations in the
iris, Nature reveals transmitted disease taints and hereditary
lesions. Nature also makes known, by signs, marks and
discolorations, acute and chronic inflammatory or catarrhal
conditions, local lesions, destruction of tissues, various drug
poisons and changes in structures and tissues caused by accidental
injury or by surgical mutilations. The Diagnosis from the Eye
positively confirms Hahnemann's theory that all acute diseases have
a constitutional background of hereditary or acquired disease
taints. This science enables the diagnostician to ascertain, from
the appearance of the iris alone, the patient's inherited or
acquired tendencies toward health and toward disease, his condition
in general and the state of every organin particular. Reading
Nature's records in the eye, he can predict the different healing
crises through which the patient will have to pass on the road to
health. The eye reveals dangerous changes in vital parts and organs
from their inception, thus enabling the patient to avert any
threatening disease by natural living and natural methods of
treatment. By changes in the iris, the gradual purification of the
system, the elimination of morbid matter and poisons, and the
readjustment of the organism to normal conditions under the
regenerating influences of natural living and treatment are
This interesting subject will be treated more fully in a separate
volume (~Iridiagnosis,~ published in 1919 by Dr. Lindlahr). In this
connection I shall confine myself to relating briefly the story of
the discovery of this valuable science.
The Story of a Great Discovery
Dr. Von Peckzely, of Budapest, Hungary, discovered Nature's records
in the eye, quite by accident, when a boy ten years of age.
Playing one day in the garden at his home, he caught an owl. While
struggling with the bird, he broke one of its limbs. Gazing straight
into the owl's large, bright eyes, he noticed, at the moment when
the bone snapped, the appearance of a black spot in the lower
central region of the iris, which area he later found to correspond
to the location of the broken leg.
The boy put a splint on the broken limb and kept the owl as a pet.
As the fracture healed, he noticed that the black spot in the iris
became overdrawn with a white film and surrounded by a white border
(denoting the formation of scar tissues in the broken bone).
This incident made a lasting impression on the mind of the future
doctor. It often recurred to him in later years. From further
observations he gained the conviction that abnormal physical
conditions are portrayed in the eyes.
As a student, Von Peckzely became involved in the revolutionary
movement of 1848 and was put in prison as an agitator and
ringleader. During his confinement, he had plenty of time and
leisure to pursue his favorite theory and he became more and more
convinced of the importance of his discovery. After his release, he
entered upon the study of medicine, in order to develop his
important discoveries and to confirm them more fully in the
operating and dissecting rooms. He had himself enrolled as an
interne in the surgical wards of the college hospital. Here he had
ample opportunity to observe the eyes of patients before and after
accidents and operations, and in that manner he was enabled to
elaborate the first accurate Chart of the Eye.
Since Von Peckzely gave his discoveries to the world, many
well-known scientists and conscientious observers in Austria,
Germany and Sweden have devoted their lives to the perfection of
this wonderful science. The regular schools of medicine, as a body,
have ignored and will ignore it, because it discloses the fallacy of
their favorite theories and practices, and because it reveals
unmistakably the direful results of chronic drug poisoning and
In our work we do not confine ourselves to the Diagnosis from the
Eye, but combine with it the diagnostic methods (physical diagnosis)
of the regular school of medicine and the osteopathic diagnosis of
bony lesions, as well as microscopic examinations and chemical
Thus any one of these methods supplements and verifies all the
others. In this way only is it possible to arrive at a thorough and
definite understanding of the patient's condition.
The "Key to the Diagnosis from the Eye" outlines with precision the
areas of the iris as they correspond to the various parts of the
body. This colored chart of the iris has been prepared by Dr. H.
Lahn, author of "The Diagnosis From the Eye," and can be obtained
from the Kosmos Publishing Co., 2112 Sherman Ave., Evanston, Ill.
In Chapter Four, we named, as the first of the primary causes of
disease, lowered vitality.
What can we do to increase vitality? "Old School" physicians and
people in general seem to think that this can be done by consuming
large quantities of nourishing food and drink and by the use of
stimulants and tonics.
The constant cry of patients is: "Doctor, if you could only
prescribe some good tonic or some food that will give me strength,
then I should be all right! I am sure that is all I need to be
We fully agree with the patient that he needs more vitality to
overcome disease, but unfortunately this cannot be obtained from
food and drink, from stimulants and tonics.
Vitality, life, life force, whatever we may call it or whatever its
aspect, is not something we can eat and drink. It is independent of
the physical body and of material food. If the body should "fall
dead," as we call it, the life force would continue to act just as
vigorously in the spiritual body, which is the exact counterpart of
the physical organism.
The physical-material body as well as the spiritual-material body
are only the instruments for the manifestation of the life force.
They are no more life itself than the violin is the artist.
But just as the violin must be kept in good condition in order to
enable the artist to draw from it the harmonies of sound, so food
and drink are necessary to keep the physical body in the best
possible condition for the manifestation of vital force. The more
normal our physical and spiritual bodies are in structure and
function, the more harmonious our thought life and emotional life,
the more abundant will be the influx of vital force into the twofold
This important subject has been treated more fully in Chapter IV.
Ignorance of these simple truths leads to the most serious mistakes.
Physicians and people in general do not stop to think that excessive
eating and drinking tend to rob the body of vitality instead of
The processes of digestion, assimilation and elimination of food and
drink in themselves require a considerable expenditure of vital
force. Therefore all food taken in excess of the actual needs of the
body consumes life force that should be available for other
purposes, for the execution of physical and mental work.
The Romans had a proverb: "Plenus venter non studet libenter"--"A
full stomach does not like to study." The most wholesome food, if
taken in excess, will clog the system with waste matter just as too
much coal will dampen and extinguish the fire in the furnace.
Furthermore, the morbid materials and systemic poisons produced by
impure, unsuitable or wrongly combined foods will clog the cells and
tissues of the body, cause unnecessary friction and obstruct the
inflow and the operations of the vital energies, just as dust in a
watch will clog and impede the movements of its mechanism.
The greatest artist living cannot draw harmonious sounds from the
strings of the finest Stradivarius if the body of the violin is
filled with dust and rubbish. Likewise, the life force cannot act
perfectly in a body filled with morbid encumbrances.
The human organism is capable of liberating and manifesting daily a
limited quantity of vital force, just as a certain amount of capital
in the bank will yield a specified sum of interest in a given time.
If more than the available interest be withdrawn, the capital in the
bank will be decreased and gradually exhausted.
Similarly, if we spend more than our daily allowance of vital force,
"nervous bankruptcy," that is, nervous prostration or neurasthenia
will be the result.
It is the duty of the physician to regulate the expenditure of vital
force according to the income. He must stop all leaks and guard
Stimulation by Paralysis
This heading may seem paradoxical, but it is borne out by fact.
Stimulants are poison to the system. Few people realize that their
exhilarating and apparently tonic effects are produced by the
paralysis of an important part of the nervous system.
If, as we have learned, wholesome food and drink in themselves do
not contain and therefore cannot convey life force to the human
body, much less can this be accomplished by stimulants.
The human body has many correspondences with a watch. Both have a
motor or driving mechanism and an inhibitory or restraining
If it were not for the inhibiting balances, the wound watchspring
would run off and spend its force in a few moments. The expenditure
of the latent force in the wound spring must be regulated by the
inhibitory and balancing mechanism of the timepiece.
Similarly, the nervous system in the animal and human organism
consists of two main divisions: the motor or driving and the
inhibitory or restraining mechanisms.
The driving power is furnished by the sympathetic nerves and the
motor nerves. They convey the vital energies and nerve impulses to
the cells and organs of the body, thus initiating and regulating
We found that the human body is capable of liberating in a given
time, say, in twenty-four hours, only a certain limited amount of
vital energy, just as the wound spring of the watch is capable of
liberating in a given time only a certain amount of kinetic energy.
As in the watch the force of the spring is controlled by the
regulating balances (the anchor), so in the body the expenditure of
vital energy must be regulated in such a manner that it is evenly
distributed over the entire running time. This is accomplished by
the inhibitory nervous system [the parasympathetics].
Every motor nerve must be balanced by an inhibitory nerve. The one
furnishes the driving force, the other applies the brake. For
instance, the heart muscle is supplied with motor force through the
spinal nerves from the upper dorsal region, while the pneumogastric
[vagus] nerve retards the action of the heart and in that way acts
as a brake.
Another brake is supplied by the waste products of metabolism in the
system, the uric acid, carbonic acid, oxalic acid, etc., and the
many forms of xanthines, alkaloids, and ptomaines. As these
accumulate in the organism during the hours of wakeful activity,
they gradually clog the capillary circulation, benumb brain and
nerves, and thus produce a feeling of exhaustion and tiredness and a
craving for rest and sleep.
In this way, by means of the inhibitory nervous system and of the
accumulating fatigue products in the body, Nature forces the
organism to rest and recuperate when the available supply of vital
force runs low. The lower the level of vital force, the more
powerful will become the inhibitory influences.
Now we can understand why stimulation is produced by paralysis.
Stimulants precipitate the fatigue products from the circulation
into the tissues of the body. They do this by overcoming and
paralyzing the power of the blood to dissolve and carry in solution
uric acid and other acids and alkaloids that should be eliminated
from the organism. Thus will be explained more fully in the volume on
Furthermore, stimulants temporarily benumb and paralyze the
inhibitory nervous system. In other words, they lift the brakes from
the motor nervous system, and allow the driving powers to run wild
when Nature wanted them to slow up or stop.
To illustrate: A man has been working hard all day. Toward night his
available supply of vitality has run low, his system is filled with
uric acid, carbonic acid and other benumbing fatigue products, and
he feels tired and sleepy, At this juncture he receives word that he
must sit up all night with a sick relative. In order to brace
himself for the extraordinary demand upon his vitality, our friend
takes a cup of strong coffee, or a drink of whisky, or whatever his
favorite stimulant may be.
The effect is marvelous. The tired feeling disappears, and he feels
as though he could remain awake all night without effort.
What has produced this apparent renewal and increase of vital
energy? Has the stimulant added to his system one iota of vitality?
This cannot be, because stimulants do not contain anything that
could impart vital force to the organism. What, then, has produced
the seemingly strengthening effect?
The caffeine, alcohol or whatever the stimulating poison may have
been has precipitated the fatigue products from the blood and
deposited them in the tissues and organs of the body. Furthermore,
the stimulant has benumbed the inhibitory nerves; in other words, it
has lifted the brakes from the driving part of the organism, so that
the wheels are running wild.
But this means drawing upon the reserve supplies of nerve fats and
of the vital energy stored in them, which Nature wants to save for
extraordinary demands upon the system in times of illness or extreme
exertion. Therefore this procedure is contrary to Nature's
intent. Nature tried to force the tired body to rest and sleep, so
that it could store up a new supply of vital force.
Under the paralyzing influence of the stimulant upon the inhibitory
nerves, the organism now draws upon the reserve stores of nerve fats
and vital energies for the necessary strength to accomplish the
At the same time, the organism remains awake and active during the
time it should be replenishing energy for the next day's work, which
means that the latter also has to be done at the expense of the
reserve supply of life force.
During sleep only do we replenish our reserve stores of vitality.
The expenditure of vital energies ceases, but their liberation in
the system continues.
Therefore sleep is the "sweet restorer." Nothing can take its place.
No amount of food and drink, no tonics or stimulants can make up for
the loss of sleep. Continued complete deprivation of sleep is bound
to end in a short time in physical and mental exhaustion, in
insanity and death.
That the body, during sleep, acts as a storage battery for vital
energy is proved by the fact that in deep, sound sleep the aura
disappears entirely from around the body.
The aura is to the organism what the exhaust steam is to the engine.
It is formed by the electromagnetic fluids which have performed
their work in the body and then escape from it, giving the
appearance of a many-colored halo.
With the first awakening of conscious mental activity after sleep,
the aura appears, indicating that the expenditure of vital force has
In the above diagram we have an illustration of the true effect of
stimulants upon the system. The heavy line A-B represents the normal
level of available vital energy in a certain body for a given time,
say, for twenty-four hours. At point C a stimulant is taken. This
paralyzes the inhibitory nerves and temporarily precipitates the
fatigue products from the blood.
As we have seen, this allows an increased, unnatural expenditure of
vital energy, which raises the latter to point D. But when the
effect of the stimulant has been spent, the vital energy drops from
the artificially attained high point not only back to the normal
level, but below it to point E.
The increased expenditure of vital energy was made possible at the
expense of the reserve supply of vitality; therefore the depression
following it is in proportion to the preceding stimulation. This is
in accordance with the law: "Action and reaction are equal, but
The falling of the vital energy below the normal to point E is
accompanied by a feeling of exhaustion and depression which creates
a desire to repeat the pleasurable experience of an abundant supply
of vitality, and thus leads to a repetition of the artificial
stimulation. As a result of this, the expenditure of vitality is
again raised above the normal to point F, only to fall again below
the normal, to G, etc.
In this way the person who resorts to stimulants to keep up his
strength or to increase it, is never normal, never on the level,
never at his best. He is either overstimulated or abnormally
depressed. His efforts are bound to be fitful and his work uneven in
quality. Furthermore, it will be only a matter of time until he
exhausts his reserve supply of nerve fats and vital energy and then
suffers nervous bankruptcy in the forms of nervous prostration,
neurasthenia or insanity.
Such a person is acting like the spendthrift whose capital in the
bank allows him to expend ten dollars a day, but who, instead, draws
several times the amount of his legitimate daily interest. There can
be but one outcome to this: in due time the cashier will inform him
that his account is overdrawn.
The same principles hold true with regard to stimulants given at the
One of the arguments I constantly hear from students and physicians
of the "Old School" of medicine is: "Some of your methods may be all
right, but what would you do at the sickbed of a patient who is so
weak and low that he may die at any moment? Would you just let him
die? Would you not give him something to keep him alive?"
I certainly would, if I could. But I do not believe that poisons can
give life. If there is enough vitality in that dying body to react
to the poisonous stimulant by a temporary increase of vital
activity, then that same amount of vitality will keep the heart
beating and the respiration going a little longer at the slower
pace. Nature regulates the heartbeat and the other functions
according to the amount and availability of vital force. If the
heart beats slow, it is because Nature is trying to economize
In the inevitable depression following the artificial whipping up of
the vital energies, many times the flame is snuffed out entirely
when otherwise it might have continued to burn at the slower rate
for some time longer.
However, I do not deny the advisability of administering stimulants
in cases of shock. When a shock has caused the stopping of the
wheels of life, another shock by a stimulant may set them in motion
The Effects of Stimulants upon the Mind
The mental and emotional exhilaration accompanying the indulgence in
alcohol or other poisonous stimulants is produced in a similar
manner as the apparent increase of physical strength under the
influence of these agents. Here, also, the temporary stimulation and
seeming increase of power are effected by paralysis of the governing
and restraining faculties of mind and soul: of reason, modesty,
reserve, caution, reverence, etc.
The moral, mental and emotional capacities and powers of the human
entity are governed by the same principle of dual action that
controls physical activity. We have on the one hand the motor or
driving impulses, and on the other hand the restraining and
In these higher realms appetite, passion, imagination and desire
correspond to the motor nervous system in the physical organism, and
the power of the will and the reasoning faculties represent the
inhibitory nervous system.
The exhilarating and stimulating influence of alcohol and narcotics
such as opiates or hashish upon the animal spirits and the emotional
and imaginative faculties is caused by the benumbing and paralyzing
effect of these stimulants upon the powers of will, reason and
self-control, the brakes on the lower appetites, passions and
desires which fire the emotional nature and the imagination.
However, what is gained in feeling and imagination, is lost in
judgment and logic.
Alcohol, nicotine, caffein, theobromine, lupulin (the bitter
principle of hops), opium, cocaine, morphine, etc., when given in
certain doses, all affect the human organism in a similar manner.
In small quantities they seemingly stimulate and animate; in larger
amounts they depress and stupefy. In reality, they are paralyzers
from the beginning in every instance, and their apparent, temporary
tonic effect is deceptive. They benumb and paralyze not only the
physical organism, but also the higher and highest mental and moral
qualities, capacities and powers.
These higher and finer qualities are located in the front part of
the brain. In the evolution of the species from lower to higher, the
brain gradually developed and enlarged in a forward direction. Thus
we find in the lowest order of fishes that all they possess of brain
matter is a small protuberance at the end of the spinal cord. As the
species and families rose in the scale of evolution, the brain
developed proportionately from behind forward and became
differentiated into three distinct divisions: the medulla oblongata,
the cerebellum, and the cerebrum.
The medulla oblongata, situated at the base of the brain where it
joins the spinal cord, contains those brain centers that control the
purely vegetative, vital functions: the circulation of the blood,
the respiration, regulation of animal heat, etc.
The cerebellum, in front of and above the medulla, is the seat of
the centers for the coordination of muscular activities and for
maintaining the equilibrium of the body.
The frontal brain or cerebrum contains the centers for the sensory
organs, also the motor centers which supply the driving impulses for
the muscular activities of the body, and in the occipital and
frontal lobes, the centers for the higher and highest qualities of
mind and soul, which constitute the governing and restraining
faculties on which depend the powers of self-control.
Thus we see that the development of the brain has been in a forward
direction, from the upper extremity of the spinal cord to the
frontal lobes of the cerebrum, from the low, vegetative qualities of
the animal and the savage to the complex and refined activities of
the highly civilized and trained mind.
It is an interesting and most significant fact that paralysis of
brain centers caused by alcohol and other stimulants, or by
hypnotics and narcotics, proceeds reversely to the order of their
development during the processes of evolution.
The first to succumb are the brain centers in the frontal lobes of
the cerebrum, which control the latest-developed and most-refined
human attributes. These are: modesty, caution, reserve, reverence,
altruism. Then follow in the order given: memory, reason, logic,
intelligence, will power, self-control, the control of muscular
coordination and equilibrium and finally consciousness and the vital
activities of heart action and respiration.
When the conscious activities of the soul have been put to sleep,
the paralysis extends to the subconscious activities of life or
vital force. Respiration and heart action become weak and labored,
and may finally cease entirely.
In order to verify this, let us study the effects of alcohol, the
best-known and most-used of stimulants. Many people believe that
alcohol increases not only physical strength, but mental energy
also. Regular medical science considers it a valuable tonic in all
cases of physical and mental depression. It is often administered in
surgical operations and in accidents with the idea of prolonging
life. I have frequently found the whisky or brandy bottle at the
bedside of infants and on it the directions of the attending
Watch the effect of this tonic on a group of convivial spirits at a
banquet. Full honor is done to the art of the chef, and the wine
flows freely. The flow of animal spirits increases proportionately;
conviviality, wit and humor rise by leaps and bounds. But the
apparent joy and happiness are in reality nothing but the play of
the lower animal impulses, unrestrained by the higher powers of mind
The words of the afterdinner speaker who, when sober, is a sedate
and earnest gentleman, flow with unusual ease. The close and
unprejudiced observer notices, however, that what the speaker has
gained in eloquence, loquacity and exuberance of style and
expres-sion, he has lost in logic, clearness and good sense.
As King Alcohol tightens his grasp on the merry company, the
toasters and speakers lose more and more their control over speech
and actions. What was at first mischievous abandon and merry jest,
gradually degenerates into loquaciousness, coarseness and querulous
brawls. Here and there one of the maudlin crowd drops off in the
stupor of drunkenness.
If the liquor is strong enough and if the debauch is continued long
enough, it may end in complete paralysis of the vital functions or
Hypnotism and Obsession
Again, we find the seeming paradox of stimulation by paralysis
exemplified in the phenomena of hypnotism and obsession. The
abnormally exaggerated sensation, feeling and imagination of the
subject under hypnotic control are made possible because the higher,
critical and restraining faculties and powers of will, reason and
self-control are temporarily or permanently benumbed and paralyzed
by the stronger will of the hypnotist or of the obsessing
There is a most interesting resemblance between the effects of
stimulants, narcotics or hypnotic control and blind, unreasoning
faith. The latter also benumbs and paralyzes judgment and reason. It
gives full sway to the powers of imagination and thus may produce
seemingly miraculous results.
This explains the modus operandi of faith cures as well as the
fitful strength of the intoxicated and the insane, or the beautiful
dreams and delusions of grandeur of the drug addict.
The close resemblance and relationship between hypnotic control and
faith became vividly apparent to me while witnessing the performance
of a professional hypnotist. His subject on the stage was a young
woman who, under his control, performed extraordinary feats of
strength and resistance. Several strong men could not lift or move
her in any way.
What was the reason? In the ordinary, waking condition her judgment
and common sense would tell her: "I cannot resist the combined
strength of these men. Of course, they can lift me and pull me here
and there." As a result of this doubting state of mind, she would
not have the strength to resist.
However, the control of the hypnotist had paralyzed her reasoning
faculties and therewith her capacity for judging, doubting and not
believing. Her subconscious mind accepted without question or the
shadow of a doubt the suggestion of the hypnotist that she did
possess the strength to resist the combined efforts of the men and
as a result she actually manifested the necessary powers of
It is an established fact that the impressions (records) made upon
the subconscious mind under certain conditions as, for instance,
under hypnotic influence absolutely control the activities of the
Does not this throw an interesting light on the power of absolute
faith, on the saying: "Everything is possible to him who believeth?"
Blind, unreasoning faith benumbs and paralyzes judgment and reason
in similar manner as hypnotic control or stimulants and in that way
gives free and full sway to the powers of imagination and
autosuggestion for good or ill, for white magic or black magic,
according to the purpose for which faith is exerted.
It also becomes apparent that such blind, unreasoning faith cannot
be constructive in its influence upon the higher mental, moral and
spiritual faculties. These can be developed only by the conscious
and voluntary exercise of will, reason and self-control.
From the foregoing it will have become evident that we cannot
increase vital force in the body through any artificial means or
methods from without, by food, drink or stimulant. What we can and
should do, however, is to put the organism into the best possible
condition for the liberation and manifestation of life force or
The more normal the chemical composition of the blood, and the more
free the tissues are from clogging impurities, poisons and
mechanical obstructions, such as lesions of the spinal column, the
more abundant will be the liberation and the available supply of
Therefore perfect, buoyant health, which ensures the greatest
possible efficiency and enjoyment of life, can be attained and
maintained only by strict adherence to the natural ways of living
and, when necessary, by the natural treatment of diseases.
The chemical composition of blood and lymph depends upon the
chemical composition of food and drink, and upon the normal or
abnormal condition of the digestive organs.
The purer the food and drink, the less it contains of morbid matter
and poison-producing materials and the more it contains of the
elements necessary for the proper execution of the manifold
functions of the organism, for the building and repair of tissues
and for the neutralization and elimination of waste and systemic
poisons, the more "normal" and the more "natural" will be the diet.
The system of dietetics of the Nature Cure school is based upon the
composition of MILK, which is the only perfect natural food
combination in existence.
In its composition, milk corresponds very closely to red, arterial
blood and contains all the elements which the newborn and growing
organism needs in exactly the right proportions, providing, of
course, that the human or animal body which produces the milk is in
good health and lives on pure and normal foods.
Therefore, if any food combination or diet is to be "normal" or
"natural," it must approach in its chemical composition the chemical
composition of milk or of red, arterial blood. This furnishes a
strictly scientific basis for an exact science of dietetics, and
proves true not only in the chemical aspect of the diet problem, but
also in every other aspect and in its practical application.
The "regular" school of medicine pays little or no attention to
rational food regulation. In fact, it knows nothing about it,
because "natural dietetics" are as yet not taught in medical
schools. As a result of this condition, the dietary advice given by
the majority of Old School practitioners is something as follows:
"Eat what agrees with you: plenty of good, nourishing food. There is
nothing in dietetic fads. What is one man's meat is another man's
However, if we study dietetics from a strictly scientific point of
view, we find that certain foods--among these especially the highly
valued flesh foods, eggs, pulses and cereals--create in the system
large quantities of morbid, poisonous substances, while on the other
hand fruits and vegetables, which are rich in the organic salts,
tend to neutralize and to eliminate from the system the waste
materials and poisons created in the processes of protein and starch
The accumulations of waste and systemic poisons are the cause of the
majority of diseases arising within the human organism. Therefore it
is imperative that the neutralizing and eliminating food elements be
provided in sufficient quantities.
On this turns the entire problem of natural dietetics. While the
"Old School" of medicine looks upon starches, sugars, fats and
proteins as the only elements of nutrition worthy of consideration,
Nature Cure aims to reduce these foods in the natural dietary and to
increase the purifying and eliminating fruits and vegetables.
In this volume we cannot go into the details of the diet question.
They will be treated in full in our ~Vegetarian Cookbook~ and in our
volume on ~Natural Dietetics.~ We shall say here in a general way
that in the treatment of chronic diseases, with few exceptions, we
favor a strict vegetarian diet for the reason that most chronic
diseases are created, as before stated, by the accumulation of the
"feces of the cells" in the system.
Every piece of animal flesh is saturated with these excrements of
the cells in the form of uric acid and many other kinds of acids,
alkaloids of putrefaction, xanthines, ptomaines, etc. The organism
of the meat eater must dispose not only of its own impurities
produced in the processes of digestion and of cell metabolism, but
also of the morbid substances that are already contained in the
Since the cure of chronic diseases consists largely in purifying the
body of morbid materials, it stands to reason that a "chronic" must
cease taking these in his daily food and drink. To do otherwise
would be like sweeping the dirt out of a house through the front
door and carrying it in again through the back door.
Whether one approves of strict vegetarianism as a continuous mode of
living or not, it will be admitted that the change from a meat diet
to a nonmeat diet must be of great benefit in the treatment of
The cure of chronic conditions depends upon radical changes in the
cells and tissues of the body, as explained in Chapter Twenty. The
old, abnormal, faulty diet will continue to build the same abnormal
and disease-encumbered tissues. The more thorough and radical the
change in diet toward normality and purity, the quicker the cells
and tissues of the body will change toward the normal and thus bring
about a complete regeneration of the organism.
Anything short of this may be palliative treatment, but is not
worthy the name of cure.
In the following I shall give the outline a natural diet regimen
which has been found by experience to meet all requirements of the
healthy organism, even when people have to work very hard physically
or mentally. In case of disease, certain modifications may have to
be made according to individual conditions. Persons in a low,
negative state, whether physical, mental or psychical, may
temporarily require the addition of flesh foods to their diet.
Dietetics In A Nutshell
Functions in Vital Processes
Foods in Which the Elements of the Respective Groups Predominate
Starches and Dextrines
Producers of Heat and Energy
CEREALS: The inner, white parts of wheat, corn, rye, oats, barley,
buckewheat and rice. VEGETABLES: Potatoes, pumpkins, squashes.
FRUITS: Bananas. NUTS: Chestnuts
VEGETABLES: Melons, beets, sorghum. FRUITS: Bananas, dates, figs,
grapes, raisins. DAIRY PRODUCTS: Milk. NATURAL SUGARS: Honey, maple
sugar. COMMERCIAL SUGARS: White sugar, syrup, glucose, candy. NUTS:
FRUITS: Olives. DAIRY PRODUCTS: Cream, butter, cheese. NUTS:
Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cocoanuts, Brazil nuts, pecans,
pignolias, etc. COMMERCIAL FATS: Olive oil, peanut oil, peanut
butter, vegetable-cooking oils. THE YOKES OF EGGS
(white of egg)
Producers of Heat and Energy;
Building Materials for Cells and Tissues
CEREALS: The outer, dark parts of wheat, corn, rye, oats, barley,
buckwheat, and rice. VEGETABLES: The legumes (peas, beans, lentils),
mushrooms. NUTS: Cocoanuts, chestnuts, peanuts, pignolias (pine
nuts), hickorynuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, etc. DAIRY PRODUCTS:
Milk, cheese. MEATS: Muscular parts of animals, fish, and fowls.
Bone, Blood, and Nerve
THE RED BLOOD OF ANIMALS. CEREALS: The hulls and outer, dark layers
of grains and rice. VEGETABLES: Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, green
peppers, watercress, celery, onions, asparagus, cauliflower,
tomatoes, string-beans, fresh peas, parsley, cucumbers, radishes,
savoy, horseradish, dandelion, beets, carrots, turnips, eggplant,
kohlrabi, oysterplant, artichokes, leek, rosekale (Brussels
sprouts), parsnips, pumpkins, squashes, sorghum. FRUITS: Apples,
pears, peaches, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, plums, prunes,
apricots, cherries, olives. BERRIES: Strawberries, huckleberries,
cranb \erries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries,
currants. DAIRY PRODUCTS: Milk, buttermilk, skimmed milk. NUTS:
In the accompanying table entitled "Dietics In A Nutshell" we have
divided all food materials into five groups:
(Carbohydrates): Starches. (Carbohydrates): Dextrins and sugars.
(Hydrocarbons): Fats and oils. (Proteids): white of egg, lean meat,
the gluten of grains and pulses, the proteins of nuts and milk.
(Organic Minerals): Iron, sodium calcium, potassium, magnesium,
silicon. These are contained in largest amounts in the juicy fruits
and the leafy, juicy vegetables.
As a general rule, let one-half of your food consist of Group V and
the other half of a mixture of the first four groups.
If you wish to follow a pure food diet, exclude meat, fish, fowl,
meat soups and sauces and all other foods prepared from the dead
This is brief and comprehensive. When in doubt, consult this rule.
Also do not use coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, tobacco or
stimulants of any kind.
Good foods are:
Dairy Products: milk, buttermilk, skimmed milk, cream, butter, fresh
cottage cheese. fermented cheeses, as American, Swiss, Holland and
DeBrie, should be used sparingly. The stronger cheeses like
Camembert and Roquefort should not be used at all
Eggs: Raw, soft-boiled or poached, not fried or hard-boiled. Eggs
should be used sparingly. Two eggs three times a week or on an
average one egg a day, is sufficient.
White of egg is much easier to digest than the yolk, therefore the
whites only should be used in cases of very weak digestion. Beaten
up with orange juice, they are both palatable and wholesome; or they
may be beaten very stiff and served cold with a sauce of prune juice
or other cooked fruit juices. This makes a delicious and very
Honey is a very valuable food and a natural laxative. It is not
generally known that honey is not a purely vegetable product, but
that in passing through the organism of the bee it partakes of its
life element (animal magnetism).
Honey is one of the best forms of sugar available. The white sugar
is detrimental to health, because it has become inorganic through
the refining process. The brown, unrefined granulated sugar or maple
sugar should be used instead.
Figs, dates, raisins, bananas and all the other sweet fruits are
excellent to satisfy the craving of the organism for sweets.
Cereal Foods: Rice, wheat, oats, barley, are good when properly
combined with fruits and vegetables and with dairy products. Use
preferably the whole-grain preparations such as shredded wheat or
corn flakes. Oatmeal is not easily digestible; it is all right for
robust people working in the open air, but not so good for invalids
and people of sedentary habits.
Thin mushes are not to be recommended, because they do not require
mastication and therefore escape the action of the saliva, which is
indispensable to the digestion of starchy foods.
Avoid the use of white bread or any other white-flour products,
especially pastry. White flour contains little more than the starchy
elements of the grain. Most of the valuable proteins which are equal
to meat in food value and the all-important organic salts which
lodge in the hulls and the outer layers of the grain have been
refined out of it together with the bran. The latter is in itself
very valuable as a mechanical stimulant to the peristaltic action of
In preference to white bread eat Graham bread or whole rye bread.
Our health bread forms the solid foundation of a well-balanced
vegetarian diet. It is prepared as follows:
Take one-third each of white flour, Graham flour and rye meal (not
the ordinary Bohemian rye flour, but the coarse pumpernickel meal
which contains the whole of the rye, including the hull).
Make a sponge of the white flour in the usual manner, either with
good yeast or with leavened dough from the last baking, which has
been kept cold and sweet. When the sponge has risen sufficiently,
work the graham flour and rye meal into it. Thorough kneading is of
importance. Let rise slowly a second time, place in pans, and bake
slowly until thoroughly done.
By chemical analysis this bread has been found to contain more
nourishment than meat. It is very easily digested and assimilated
and is a natural laxative. Eaten with sweet butter and in
combination with fruits and vegetables, it makes a complete and well
A good substitute for bread is the following excellent whole wheat
preparation: Soak clean, soft wheat in cold water for about seven
hours and steam in a double boiler for from eight to twelve hours,
or cook in a fireless cooker over night. Eat with honey and milk or
cream, or with prune juice, fig juice, etc., or add butter and dates
or raisins. This dish is more nutritious than meat, and one of the
finest laxative foods in existence.
Nuts are exceedingly rich in fats (60 percent) and proteins (15
percent), but rank low in mineral salts. Therefore they should be
used sparingly, and always in combination with fruits, berries or
vegetables. The coconut differs from the other nuts in that it
contains less fats and proteins and more organic salts. The meat of
the coconut together with its milk comes nearer to the chemical
composition of human milk than any other food in existence.
Leguminous Vegetables, such as peas, beans and lentils in the
ripened state are richer in protein than meat (25 percent), and
besides they contain a large percentage of starchy food elements (60
percent); therefore they produce in the process of digestion large
quantities of poisonous acids, alkaloids of putrefaction and noxious
They should not be taken in large quantities and only in combination
cooked or raw vegetables. As a dressing use lemon juice and olive
Peas and beans in the green state differ very much from their
chemical composition in the ripened state. As long as these
vegetables are green and in the pulp, they contain large quantities
of sugars and organic minerals, with but little starch and protein.
As the ripening process advances, the percentages of starches and
proteins increase, while those of the sugars and of the organic
minerals decrease. The latter retire into the leaves and stems
In the green, pulpy state these foods may, therefore, be classed
with Group II (Sugars) and with Group V (Organic Minerals), while in
the ripened state they must be classed with Groups I (Starches) and
Groups IV (Proteids).
Dried peas, beans and lentils are more palatable and wholesome when
cooked in combination with tomatoes or prunes.
The Leafy and Juicy Vegetables growing in or near the ground are
very rich in the positive organic salts and therefore of great
nutritive and medicinal value. For this reason they are best suited
to balance the negative, acid-producing starches, sugars, fats and
Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, watercress, celery, parsley, savoy
cabbage, brussels sprouts, Scotch kale, leek and endive rank highest
in organic mineral salts. Next to these come tomatoes, cucumbers,
green peppers, radishes, onions, asparagus, cauliflower and
horseradish.(See also Group V in "Dietetics in a Nutshell.")
Splendid, cooling summer foods, rich in the blood-purifying organic
salts, are watermelons, muskmelons. cantaloupes, pumpkins, squashes
and other members of the melon family.
The green vegetables are most beneficial when eaten raw, with a
dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Avoid the use of vinegar as
much as possible. It is a product of fermentation and a powerful
preservative which retards digestion as well as fermentation, both
processes being very much of the same character.
Use neither pepper nor salt at the table. They may be used sparingly
in cooking. Strong spices and condiments are more or less irritating
to the mucous linings of the intestinal tract. They paralyze
gradually the nerves of taste. At first they stimulate the digestive
organs; but, like all other stimulants, in time they produce
weakness and atrophy.
Cooking of Vegetables
While most vegetables are not improved by cooking, we do not mean
that they should never be cooked. Many diet reformers go to extremes
when they claim that all the organic salts in fruits and vegetables
are rendered inorganic by cooking. This is an exaggera-tion. Cooking
is merely a mechanical process of subdivision, not a chemical
process of transformation. Mechanical processes of division do not
dissolve or destroy organic molecules to any great extent.
Nevertheless, it remains true that the green leafy vegetables are
not improved by cooking. It is different with the starchy tubers and
roots like potatoes, turnips, etc., and with other starchy foods
such as rice and grains. Here the cooking serves to break up and
separate the hard starch granules and to make them more pervious to
penetration by the digestive juices.
How to Cook Vegetables
After the vegetables are thoroughly washed and cut into pieces as
desired, place them in the cooking vessel, adding only enough water
to keep them from burning, cover the vessel closely with a lid and
let them steam slowly in their own juices.
The leafy vegetables (cabbage, spinach, kale, etc.), usually contain
enough water for their own steaming.
Cook all vegetables only as long as is required to make them soft
enough for easy mastication. Do not throw away a drop of the water
in which such vegetables as carrots, beets, asparagus, oyster plant,
egg plant, etc., have been cooked. Use what is left for the making
of soups and sauces.
The organic mineral salts contained in the vegetables readily boil
out into the water. If the vegetables, as is the usual custom, are
boiled in a large quantity of water, then drained or, what is still
worse, pressed out, they have lost their nutritive and medicinal
value. The mineral salts have vanished in the sink, the remains are
insipid and indigestible and have to be soaked in soup stock and
seasoned with strong condiments and spices to make them at all
Fruits and Berries
Next to the leafy vegetables, fruits and berries are the most
valuable foods of the organic minerals group. Lemons, grapefruit,
oranges, apples are especially beneficial as blood purifiers. Plums,
pears, peaches, apricots, cherries, grapes, etc., contain large
amounts of fruit sugars in easily assimilable form and are also very
valuable on account of their mineral salts.
The different kinds of berries are even richer in mineral salts than
the acid and subacid fruits. In the country homes of Germany they
are always at hand either dried or preserved to serve during the
winter not only as delicious foods but also as valuable home
Fruits and berries are best eaten raw, although they may be stewed
or baked. Very few people know that rhubarb and cranberries are very
palatable when cut up fine and well mixed with honey, being allowed
to stand for about an hour before serving. Prepared in this way,
they require much less sweetening and therefore do not tax the
organism nearly as much as the ordinary rhubarb or cranberry sauce,
which usually contains an excessive amount of sugar.
Cooking of Fruits
It is better to cook apples, cranberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and
all other acid fruits without sugar until soft, and to add the sugar
afterward. Much less sugar will be required to sweeten them
sufficiently than when the sugar is added before or during the
Dried fruits rank next to the fresh in value, as the evaporating
process only removes a large percentage of water, without changing
the chemical composition of the fruit in any way. Prunes, apricots,
apples, pears, peaches and berries may be obtained in the dried
state all through the year. Dates, figs, raisins and currants also
come under this head.
Olives are an excellent food. They are very rich in fats (about 50
percent), and contain also considerable quantities of organic salts.
They are therefore a good substitute for animal fat.
Avoid factory-canned fruits. In the first place, they have become
deteriorated by the cooking process and secondly, they usually
contain poisonous chemical preservatives. Home-preserved fruits and
vegetables are all right providing they do not contain too much
sugar and no poisonous preservative.
Bananas differ from the juicy fruits in that they consist almost
entirely of starches, dextrines and sugars. They belong to the
carbohydrate groups and should be used sparingly by people suffering
from intestinal indigestion.
However, we do not share the belief entertained by many people that
bananas are injurious under all circumstances. We consider them an
excellent food, especially for children.
Mixing Fruits and Vegetables
Many people, when they first sit down to our table, are horrified to
see how we mix fruits and vegetables in the same meal. They have
been taught that it is a cardinal sin against the laws of health to
do this. After they overcome their prejudice and partake heartily of
the meals as we serve them, they are greatly surprised to find that
these combinations of vegetables and juicy fruits are not only
harmless, but agreeable and highly beneficial.
We have never been able to find any good reason why these foods
should not be mixed and our experience proves that no ill effects
can be traced to this practice except in very rare instances. There
are a few individuals with whom the mixing of fruits and vegetables
does not seem to agree. These, of course, should refrain from it. We
must comply with idiosyncrasies until they are overcome by natural
Eating fruits only or vegetables only at one and the same meal
limits the selection and combination of foods to a very considerable
extent and tends to create monotony, which is not only unpleasant
but injurious. The flow of saliva and of the digestive juices is
greatly increased by the agreeable sight, smell and taste of
appetizing food and these depend largely upon its variety.
With very few exceptions, every one of our patients (and we have in
our institution as fine a collection of dyspeptics as can be found
anywhere) heartily enjoys our mixed dietary and is greatly benefited
Mixing Starches and Acid Fruits
Occasionally we find that one or another of our patients cannot eat
starchy foods and acid fruits at the same meal without experiencing
digestive disturbances. Whenever this is the case, it is best to
take with bread or cereals only sweet, alkaline fruits such as
prunes, figs, dates, raisins, or, in their season, watermelons and
cantaloupes or the alkaline vegetables such as radishes, lettuce,
onions, cabbage slaw, etc. The acid and subacid fruits should then
be taken between those meals which consist largely of starchy foods.
A Word About the Milk Diet
When we explain that the natural diet is based upon the chemical
composition of milk because milk is the only perfect natural food
combination in existence, the question comes up: "Why, then, not
live on milk entirely?" To this we reply: While milk is the natural
food for the newborn and growing infant, it is not natural for the
adult. The digestive apparatus of the infant is especially adapted
to the digestion of milk, while that of the adult requires more
solid and bulky food.
Milk is a very beneficial article of diet in all acid diseases,
because it contains comparatively low percentages of carbohydrates
and proteins and large amounts of organic salts.
However, not everybody can use milk as a food or medicine. In many
instances it causes biliousness, fermentation and constipation.
In cases where it is easily digested, a straight milk diet often
proves very beneficial. As a rule, however, it is better to take
fruits or vegetable salads with the milk.
Directly with milk may be taken any sweetish, alkaline fruits such
as melons, sweet pears, etc., or the dried fruits, such as prunes,
dates, figs, and raisins, also vegetable salads. With the latter, if
taken together with milk, little or no lemon juice should be used.
All acid and subacid fruits should be taken between the milk meals.
A patient on a milk diet may take from one to five quarts of milk
daily, according to his capacity to digest it. This quantity may be
distributed over the day after the following plan:
Breakfast: One to three pints of milk, sipped slowly with any of the
sweetish, alkaline fruits mentioned above, or with vegetable salads
composed of lettuce, celery, raw cabbage slaw, watercress, green
onions, radishes, carrots, etc
10:00 A.M.: Grapefruit, oranges, peaches, apples, apricots, berries,
grapes or other acid and subacid fruits.
Luncheon: The same as breakfast.
3:00 P.M. The same as 10 a.m.
Supper: The same as breakfast. An orange or apple may be taken
When it is advisable to take a greater variety of food together with
large quantities of milk, good whole grain bread and butter, cream,
honey, cooked vegetables, moderate amounts of potatoes and cereals
may be added to the dietary.
Buttermilk is an excellent food for those with whom it agrees. In
many instances a straight buttermilk diet for a certain period will
prove very beneficial. This is especially true in all forms of uric
Sour milk or clabber also has excellent medicinal qualities and may
be taken freely by those with whom it agrees.
It has been stated before that coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages
should be avoided.
Instead of the customary coffee, tea or cocoa, delicious drinks,
which are nutritious and at the same time nonstimulating, may be
prepared from the different fruit and vegetable juices. They may be
served cold in hot weather and warm in winter. Recipes for fruit and
vegetable drinks will be included in our new Vegetarian Cookbook,
now in preparation.
If more substantial drinks are desired, white of egg may be added or
the entire egg may be used in combination with prune juice, fig
juice or any of the acid fruit juices. Other desirable and
unobjectionable additions to beverages are flaked nuts or bananas
mashed to a liquid.
The juice of a lemon or an orange, unsweetened, diluted with twice
the amount of water, taken upon rising, is one of the best means of
purifying the blood and other fluids of the body and, incidentally,
clearing the complexion. The water in which prunes or figs have been
cooked should be taken freely to remedy constipation.
As a practical illustration, I shall describe briefly the daily
dietary regimen as it is followed in our sanitarium work.
Breakfast consists of juicy fruits, raw, baked or stewed, a cereal
(whole wheat steamed, cracked wheat, shredded wheat, corn flakes,
oat meal, etc.), and our health bread with butter, cottage cheese or
honey. Nuts of various kinds, as well as figs, dates, or raisins,
are always on the table. To those of our patients who desire a
drink, we serve milk, buttermilk or cereal coffee.
Twice a week we serve eggs, preferably raw, soft boiled or poached.
Luncheon is served at noontime and is composed altogether of acid
and subacid fruits, vegetable salads or both. We have found by
experience that, by having one meal consist entirely of fruits and
vegetables, the medicinal properties of these foods have a chance to
act on the system without interference by starchy and protein food
Dinner is served to our patients between five and six. The items of
the daily menu comprise relishes, such as radishes, celery, olives,
young onions, raw carrots, etc., soup, one or two cooked vegetables,
potatoes, preferably boiled or baked in their skins, and a dessert
consisting of either a fruit combination or a pudding.
We serve soup three times a week only, because we believe that a
large amount of fluid of any kind taken into the system at meal time
dilutes and thereby weakens the digestive juices. For this reason it
is well to masticate with the soup some bread or crackers or some
As drinks we serve to those who desire it water, milk or buttermilk.
Prunes or figs, stewed or raw, are served at every meal to those who
require a specially laxative diet.
The origin, progressive development and cure of acid diseases are
very much the same whether they manifest as rheumatism,
arteriosclerosis, stones (calculi), gravel, diabetes, Bright's
disease, affections of the heart or apoplexy.
The human body is made up of acid and alkaline constituents. In
order to have normal conditions and functions of tissues and organs,
both must be present in the right proportions. If either the acid or
the alkaline elements are present in excessive or insufficient
quanitities, abnormal conditions and functions, that is, disease
will be the result.
All acids, with the exception of carbonic acid, exert a tensing
influence upon the tissues of the body, while alkalies have a
relaxing effect. The normal functions of the body depend upon the
equilibrium between these opposing forces.
Acidity and alkalinity undoubtedly play an important part in the
generation of electricity and magnetism in the human organism. Every
electric cell and battery contains acid and alkaline elements; and
the human body is a dynamo made up of innumerable minute electric
cells and batteries in the forms of living, protoplasmic cells and
It has been claimed that what we call vital force is electricity and
magnetism, and that these forces are manufactured in the human body.
This, however, is but a partial statement of the truth. It is true
that vital force manifests in the body as electricity and magnetism,
but life or vital force itself is not generated in the system.
Life is a primary force; it is the source of all activity animating
the universe. From this primary force other, secondary forces are
derived, such as electricity, magnetism, mind force, nerve and
muscle force, etc.
These secondary, derived forces cannot be changed back into vital
force in the human organism. Nothing can give life but LIFE itself.
When the physical body is dead, as we call it, the life which left
it is active in the spiritual body. It is independent of the
physical organism just as electricity is independent of the
incandescent bulb in which it manifests as light.
After this digression we shall return to our study of the cause and
development of acid diseases. Nearly every disease originating in
the human body is due to or accompanied by the excessive formation
of different kinds of acids in the system, the most important of
which are uric, carbonic, sulphuric, phosphoric and oxalic acids.
These, together with xanthines, poisonous alkaloids and ptomaines,
are formed during the processes of protein and starch digestion and
in the breaking down and decay of cells and tissues.
Of these different waste products, uric acid causes probably the
most trouble in the organism. The majority of diseases arising
within the human body are due to its erratic behavior. Together with
oxalic acid, it is responsible for arteriosclerosis, arthritic
rheumatism and the formation of calculi.
Dr. Haig of London has done excellent work in the investigation of
uric-acid poisoning, but he becomes one-sided when he makes uric
acid the scapegoat for all disease conditions originating in the
organism. In his philosophy of disease he fails to take into
consideration the effects of other acids and systemic poisons. For
instance, he does not mention the fact that carbonic acid is
produced in the system somewhat similarly to the formation of coal
gas in the furnace; and that its accumulation prevents the entrance
of oxygen into the cells and tissues, thus causing asphyxiation or
oxygen starvation, which manifests in the symptoms of anemia and
Neither does Dr. Haig explain the effects of other destructive
by-products formed during the digestion of starches and proteins.
Sulphurous acid and sulphuric acid (vitriol), as well as phosphorus
and phosphoric acids actually burn up the tissues of the body. They
destroy the cellulose membranes which form the protecting skins or
envelopes of the cells, dissolve the protoplasm and allow the latter
to escape into the circulation. This accounts for the symptoms of
Bright's disease, the presence of albumen (cell protoplasm) in blood
and urine, the clogging of the circulation, the consequent
stagnation and the accumulation of blood serum (dropsy) and the
final breaking down of the tissues (necrosis) resulting in open
sores and ulcers.
Excess of phosphorus and the acids derived from it overstimulates
the brain and the nervous system, causing nervousness, irritability,
hysteria and the different forms of mania.
An example of this is the distemper of a horse when given too much
oats and not enough grass or hay. The excess of phosphorus and
phosphoric acids formed from the protein materials of the grain, if
not neutralized by the alkaline minerals contained in grasses, hay
or straw, will overstimulate and irritate the nervous system of the
animal and cause it to become nervous, irritable and vicious. These
symptoms disappear when the rations of oats are decreased and when
more fresh grass or hay is fed in place of the grain.
Similar effects to those produced upon the horse by an excess of
grains are caused in the human organism, especially in the sensitive
nervous system of the child, by a surplus of protein foods, of meat,
eggs, grains and pulses.
Still, when patients suffering from overstimulation of the brain and
nervous system consult their doctor, his advice in almost every
instance is: "Your nerves are weak and overwrought. You need plenty
of good, nourishing food (broths, meat and eggs), and 'a good
The remedies prescribed by the doctor are the very things which
caused the trouble in the first place.
As stated before, uric acid is undoubtedly one of the most common
causes of disease and therefore deserves especial attention. Through
the study of its peculiar behavior under different circumstances and
influences, the cause, nature and development of all acid diseases
will become clearer.
Like urea, uric acid is one of the end products of protein
digestion. It is formed in much smaller quantities than urea, in
proportion of about one to fifty, but the latter is more easily
eliminated from the system through kidneys and skin.
The principal ingredient in the formation of uric acid is nitrogen,
one of the six elements which enter into all proteid or albuminous
food materials, also called nitrogenous foods. Uric acid, as one of
the by-products of digestion, is therefore always present in the
blood and, in moderate quantities, serves useful purposes in the
economy of the human and animal organism like the other waste
materials. It becomes a source of irritation and cause of disease
only when it is present in the circulation or in the tissues in
How Uric Acid Is Precipitated
The alkaline blood takes up the uric acid, dissolves it and holds it
in solution in the circulation until it is carried to the organs of
depuration and eliminated in perspiration and urine. If, however,
through the excessive use of nitrogenous foods or defective
elimination, the amount of uric acid in the system is increased
beyond a certain limit, the blood loses its power to dissolve it and
it forms a sticky, glue-like, colloid substance, which occludes or
blocks up the minute blood vessels (capillaries), so that the blood
cannot pass readily from the arterial system into the venous
This interference with the free passing of the blood is greater in
proportion to the distance from the heart, because the farther from
the heart, the less the force behind the circulation. Therefore we
find that slowing up of the blood currents, whether due to uric acid
occlusion or any other cause, is more pronounced in the surface of
the body and in the extremities than in the interior parts and
This occlusion of the surface circulation can be easily observed and
even measured by a simple test. Press the tip of the forefinger of
one hand on the back of the other. A white spot will be formed where
the blood has receded from the surface on account of the pressure.
Now observe how quickly or how slowly the blood returns into this
Dr. Haig says that, if the reflux of the blood take place within two
or three seconds, the circulation is normal and not obstructed by
uric acid. If, however, the blood does not return for four or more
seconds, it is a sign that the capillary circulation is obstructed
by colloid uric acid occlusion.
In this connection I would call attention to the fact that the
accumulation of carbonic acid in the cells and tissues, and the
resulting oxygen starvation, may produce similar interference with
the circulation and result in the same symptoms, including the slow
reflux of blood after pressure, as those which Dr. Haig ascribes to
the action of uric acid only.
When this obstruction of the circulation by uric or carbonic acid
prevails throughout the body, the blood pressure is too high in the
arterial blood vessels and in the interior organs, such as heart,
lungs, brain, etc., and too low in the surface, the extremities and
in the venous circulation. The return flow of the blood to the heart
through the veins is sluggish and stagnant because the force from
behind, that is, the arterial blood pressure, is obstructed by the
uric acid which clogs the minute capillaries that form the
connection between the arterial and the venous systems.
Because of this interference with the normal circulation and
distribution of the blood, uric acid produces many annoying and
deleterious effects. It irritates the nerves, the mucous membranes
and other tissues of the body, thus causing headaches, rheumatic
pains in joints and muscles, congestion of blood in the head,
flushes, dizziness, depression, fainting and even epilepsy.
Other results of uric acid irritation are: inflammatory and
catarrhal conditions of the bronchi, lungs, stomach, intestines,
genitourinary organs; rapid pulse; palpitation of the heart; angina
These colloid substances occlude the minute excretory ducts in
liver, spleen, kidneys and other organs, interfering with their
normal functions and causing the retention of morbid matter in the
All these troublesome and destructive effects of uric acid poisoning
may be greatly augmented by excessive accumulation of sulphuric,
phosphoric and other acids, and by the formation of ptomaines and
poisonous alkaloids during the metabolism of proteid substances.
The entire group of symptoms caused by the excess of uric acid in
the system and the resulting occlusion of the capillary blood
vessels by colloid substances is called ~collemia~ [a glutinous or
viscid condition of the blood].
If in such a condition as collemia the amount of uric acid in the
circulation is still farther increased by the taking of uric
acid-producing food and drink and the saturation point of the blood
is reached, that is, if the blood becomes overcharged with the acid,
a curious phenomenon may be observed: the collaemic symptoms
suddenly disappear as if by magic, giving way to a feeling of
physical and mental buoyancy and strength.
This wonderful change has been wrought because the blood has lost
its capacity for dissolving uric acid and holding it in solution and
the acid has been precipitated, thrown out of the circulation and
deposited in the tissues of the body.
After a period of rest, that is, when no uric acid-or
xanthine-producing foods have been taken for some time, say,
overnight, the blood regains its alkalinity and its capacity for
dissolving and carrying uric acid and begins to reabsorb it from the
tissues. As a consequence, the blood becomes again saturated with
uric acid and the collaemic symptoms reappear.
This explains why the hilariousness and exaltation of spirits at the
banquet is followed by "Katzenjammer" [hangover] in the morning. It
also explains why many people do not feel fit for their day's work
unless they take a stimulant of some kind on arising. Their blood is
continually filled with uric acid to the point of saturation and the
extra amount contained in the coffee or alcohol repeats the process
of uric-acid precipitation, the temporary stimulation and relief.
Every time this precipitation of uric acid from the circulation is
repeated, some of the morbid materials remain and accumulate in
different parts and organs. If these irritating substances become
lodged in the joints and muscles, arthritic or muscular rheumatism
is the result. If acids, xanthines and oxalates of lime form earthy
deposits along the walls of arteries and veins, these vessels harden
and become inelastic, and their diameter is diminished. This
obstructs the free circulation of the blood and causes malnutrition
of the brain and other vital organs. Furthermore, the blood vessels
become brittle and break easily and there is danger of hemorrhages.
This explains the origin and development of arteriosclerosis
(hardening of the arteries) and apoplexy.
Apoplexy may also be caused by other acids and drug poisons which
soften, corrode and destroy the walls of the blood vessels in the
In individuals of different constitutions, accumulations of uric
acid, xanthines, oxalates of calcium and various other earthy
substances form stones, gravel or sandy deposits in the kidneys, the
gall bladder and in other parts and organs.
The diseases caused by permanent deposits of uric acid in the
tissues are called arthritic diseases, because the accumulations
frequently occur in the joints.
Thus we distinguish two distinct stages of uric acid diseases: the
collaemic stage, marked by an excess of uric acid in the circulation
and resulting in occlusion of the capillary blood vessels, and the
arthritic stage, marked by permanent deposits of uric acid and other
earthy substances in the tissues of the body.
During the prevalence of the collaemic symptoms, that is, when the
circulation is saturated with uric acid, the urine is also highly
acid. When precipitation of the acid materials from the blood into
the tissues has taken place, the amount of acid in the urine
I have repeatedly stated that xanthines have the same effect upon
the system as uric acid. Caffeine and theobromine, the narcotic
principles of coffee and tea, are xanthines; and so is the nicotine
contained in tobacco. Peas, beans, lentils, mushrooms and peanuts,
besides being very rich in uric acid-producing proteins, carry also
large percentages of xanthines, which are chemically almost
identical with uric acid and have a similar effect upon the organism
and its functions.
From what has been said, it becomes clear why the meat-eater craves
alcohol and xanthines. When by the taking of flesh foods the blood
has become saturated with uric acid and the annoying symptoms of
collaemia make their appearance in the forms of lassitude, headache
and nervous depression, then alcohol and the xanthines contained in
coffee, tea and tobacco will cause the precipitation of the acids
from the circulation into the tissues of the body, and thus
temporarily relieve the collaemic symptoms and create a feeling of
well-being and stimulation.
Gradually, however, the blood regains its alkalinity and its
acid-dissolving power and enough of the acid deposits are reabsorbed
by the circulation to cause a return of the symptoms of collaemia.
Then arises a craving for more alcohol, coffee, tea, nicotine or
xanthine-producing foods in order to again obtain temporary relief
and stimulation, and so on, ad infinitum.
The person addicted to the use of stimulants is never himself. His
mental, moral and emotional equilibrium is always unbalanced. His
brain is muddled with poisons and he lacks the self-control, the
clear vision and steady hand necessary for the achievement of
success in any line of endeavor.
We can now understand why one stimulant craves another, why it is
almost impossible to give up one stimulant without giving up all
others as well.
From the foregoing it will have become clear that the stimulating
effect of alcohol and of many so-called tonics depends upon their
power to clear the circulation temporarily of uric and other acids.
Those who have read this chapter carefully, will know why this
effect is deceptive and temporary and why it is followed by a return
of the collaemic symptoms in aggravated form, and how these are
gradually changed into chronic arthritic uric acid diseases.
In order to give a better idea of the various phases of uric acid
poisoning, I have used the following illustration in some of my
A man may carry a burden of fifty pounds on his shoulders without
difficulty or serious discomfort. Let this correspond to the normal
solving-power and carrying-capacity of the blood for uric acid.
Suppose you add gradually to the burden on the man's back until its
weight has reached one-hundred and fifty pounds. He may still be
able to carry the burden, but as the weight increases he will begin
to show signs of distress. This increase of weight and the attendant
discomfort correspond to the increase of uric acid in the blood and
the accompanying symptoms of collaemia.
If you increase the burden on the man's shoulders still further,
beyond his individual carrying-capacity, a point will be reached
when he can no longer support its weight and will throw it off
entirely. This climax corresponds to the saturation point of the
blood, when the limit of its acid-carrying capacity is exceeded and
its acid contents are precipitated into the tissues.
The Treatment of Acid Diseases
The treatment of acid diseases is the same as of all other diseases
that are due to the violation of Nature's laws: purification of
blood and tissues from within and building up of the vital fluids
(blood and lymph) on a natural basis through normal habits of
eating, dressing, bathing, breathing, working, resting and thinking
as outlined in other parts of this volume.
In severe cases which have reached the chronic stage, the treatment
must be supplemented by the more aggressive methods of strict diet,
hydrotherapy, curative gymnastics, massage, manipulation and
Next in importance to building up the blood on a natural basis is
the elimination of waste, morbid matter and poisons from the system.
This depends to a large extent upon the right (natural) diet; but it
must be promoted by the different methods of eliminative treatment:
fasting, hydrotherapy, massage, physical exercise, air-and sunbaths
and, in the way of medicinal treatment, by homeopathic, herb and
Foremost among the methods of purification stands fasting, which of
late years has become quite popular and is regarded by many people
as a panacea for all human ailments. However, it is a two-edged
sword. According to circumstances, it may do a great deal of good or
a great deal of harm.
Kuhne, the German pioneer of Nature Cure, claimed that "disease is a
unit," that it consists in the accumulation of waste and morbid
matter in the system. Since his time, many "naturists" claim that
fasting offers the best and quickest means for eliminating systemic
poisons and other encumbrances.
To "fast it out" seems simple and plausible, but it does not always
prove to be successful in practice. Fasting enthusiasts forget that
the elimination of waste and morbid matter from the system is more
of a chemical than a mechanical process. They also overlook the fact
that in many cases lowered vitality and weakened powers of
resistance precede and make possible the accumulation of morbid
matter in the organism.
If the encumbrances consist merely of superfluous flesh and fat or
of accumulated waste materials, fasting may be sufficient to break
up the accumulations and to eliminate the impurities that are
clogging blood and tissues.
If, however, the disease has its origin in other than mechanical
causes, or if it is due to a weakened, negative constitution and
lowered powers of resistance, fasting may aggravate the abnormal
conditions instead of improving them.
We hear frequently of long fasts, extending over days and weeks,
undertaken recklessly without the prescription and guidance of a
competent medical adviser, without proper preparation of the system
and the right subsequent treatment. Many a good constitution has
thus been permanently injured and wrecked.
When Fasting Is Indicated
Persons of sanguine, vital temperament, with the animal qualities
strongly developed, enslaved by bad habits and evil passions, will
be greatly benefited by occasional short fasts. In such cases, the
experience affords a fine drill in self-discipline, strengthening of
self-control and conquest of the lower appetites.
Vigorous, fleshy people, positive physically and mentally,
especially those who do not take sufficient physical exercise,
should take frequent fasts of one, two, or three days' duration for
the reduction of superfluous flesh and fat and for the elimination
of systemic waste and other morbid materials. Such people should
never eat more than two meals a day, and many get along best on one
However, different temperaments and constitutions require different
treatment and management. People of a nervous, emotional
temperament, especially those who are below normal in weight and
physically and mentally negative, may be seriously and permanently
injured by fasting. They should never fast except in acute diseases
and during eliminative healing crises, when Nature calls for the
fast as a means of cure.
People of this type are usually thin, with weak and flabby muscles.
Their vital activities are at a low ebb and their magnetic envelopes
(aura) are wasted and attenuated like their physical bodies. The red
aura, which is created by the action of the purely animal functions
and forces, is more or less deficient or entirely lacking. Such
people have the tendency to become abnormally sensitive to
conditions in the magnetic field (the astral plane).
Next to the hypnotic or mediumistic process, there is nothing that
induces abnormal psychism so quickly as fasting. During a prolonged
fast, the purely animal functions of digestion, assimilation and
elimination are almost completely at a standstill. This depression
of the physical functions arouses and increases the psychic
functions and may produce intense emotionalism and abnormal activity
of the senses of the spiritual-material body, the individual thus
becoming abnormally clairvoyant, clairaudient and otherwise
sensitive to conditions on the spiritual planes of life.
This explains the spiritual exaltation and the visions of heavenly
scenes and beings or the fights with demons which are frequently,
indeed uniformly, reported by hermits, ascetics, saints, yogi,
fakirs and dervishes.
Fasting facilitates hypnotic control of the sensitive by positive
intelligences either on the physical or on the spiritual plane of
being. In the one case we speak of hypnotism, in the other of
mediumship, obsession or possession. These conditions are usually
diagnosed by the regular practitioner as nervousness, nervous
prostration, hysteria, paranoia, delusional insanity, double
personality, mania, etc.
The destructive effects of fasting are intensified by solitude,
grief, worry, introspection, religious exaltation or any other form
of depressive or destructive mental and emotional activity.
Spirit controls often force their subjects to abstain from food,
thus rendering them still more negative and submissive. Psychic
patients, when controlled or obsessed, will frequently not eat
unless they are forced or fed like an infant. When asked why they do
not want to eat, these patients reply: "I mustn't. They will not let
me." When we say: "Who?" the answer is: "These people. Don't you see
them?" pointing to a void, and becoming impatient when told that no
one is there. The regular school says delusion; we call it abnormal
In other instances the control tells the subject that his food and
drink are poisoned or unclean. To the obsessed victim these
suggestions are absolute reality.
To place persons of the negative, sensitive type on prolonged fasts
and thus to expose them to the dangers just described is little
short of criminal. Such patients need an abundance of the most
positive animal and vegetable foods in order to build up and
strengthen their physical bodies and their magnetic envelopes, which
form the dividing and protecting wall between the terrestrial plane
and the magnetic field.
A negative vegetarian diet, consisting principally of fruits, nuts,
cereal and pulses, but deficient in animal foods (the dairy
products, eggs, honey) and in the vegetables growing in or near the
ground may result in conditions similar to those which accompany
Animal foods are elaborated under the influence of a higher
life-element* than that controlling the vegetable kingdom, and foods
derived from the animal kingdom are necessary to develop and
stimulate the positive qualities in man.
*This subject will be treated more fully in another volume of this
series entitled "Natural Dietitics."
In the case of the psychic, who is already deficient in the physical
(animal) and overdeveloped in the spiritual qualities, it is
especially necessary, in order to restore and maintain the lost
equilibrium, to build up in him the animal qualities.
How to Take an Occasional Therapeutic Fast
Before, during and after a therapeutic fast, everything must be done
to keep elimination active, in order to prevent the reabsorption of
the toxins that are being stirred up and liberated.
Fasting involves rapid breaking down of the tissues. This creates
great quantities of worn-out cell materials and other morbid
substances. Unless these poison-producing accumulations are promptly
eliminated, they will be reabsorbed into the system and cause
To prevent this, bowels, kidneys and skin must be kept in active
condition. The diet, for several days before and after the fast,
should consist largely of uncooked fruits and vegetables and the
different methods of natural stimulative treatment to assure proper
bowel action should be systematically applied.
During a fast, every bit of vitality must be economized; therefore
the passive treatments are to be preferred to active exercise,
although a certain amount of exercise (especially walking) daily in
the open air accompanied by deep breathing should not be neglected.
While fasting, intestinal evacuation usually ceases, especially
where there is a natural tendency to sluggishness of the bowels.
Injections [salt and baking soda enemas are best] are therefore in
order and during prolonged fasts may be taken every few days.
By prolonged fasts we understand fasts that last from one to four
weeks, short fasts being those of one, two or three days' duration.
Moderate drinking is beneficial during a fast as well as at other
times; but excessive consumption of water, the so-called flushing of
the system, is very injurious. Under ordinary conditions from five
to eight glasses of water a day are probably sufficient; the
quantity consumed must be regulated by the desire of the patient.
Those who are fasting should mix their drinking water with the juice
of acid fruits, preferably lemon, orange or grapefruit. These juices
act as eliminators and are fine natural antiseptics.
Never use distilled water, whether during a fast or at any other
time. Deprived of its own mineral constituents, distilled water
leeches the mineral elements and organic salts out of the tissues of
the body and thereby intensifies dysemic [blood deterioration]
While fasting, the right mental attitude is all-important. Unless
you can do it with perfect equanimity, without fear or misgiving, do
not fast at all. Destructive mental conditions may more than offset
the beneficial effects of the fast.
To recapitulate: Never undertake a prolonged fast unless you have
been properly prepared by natural diet and treatment, and never
without the guidance of a competent Nature Cure doctor.
Fasting in Chronic Diseases
At all times some of our patients can be found fasting; but they do
not begin until the right physiological and psychological moment has
arrived, until the fast is indicated. When the organism, or rather
the individual cell, is ready to begin the work of elimination, then
assimilation should cease for the time being, because it interferes
with the excretory processes going on in the system.
To fast before the system is ready for it, means mineral salts
starvation and defective elimination.
Given a vigorous, positive constitution, encumbered with too much
flesh and with a tendency to chronic constipation, rheumatism, gout,
apoplexy and other diseases due to food poisoning, a fast may be
indicated from the beginning. But it is different with persons of
the weak, negative type.
Ordinarily, the organism resembles a huge sponge, which absorbs the
elements of nutrition from the digestive tract. During a fast the
process is reversed, the sponge is being squeezed and gives off the
impurities contained in it.
However, this is a purely mechanical process and deals only with the
mechanical aspect of disease: with the presence of waste matter in
the system. It does not take into consideration the chemical aspect
of disease. We have learned that most of the morbid matter in the
system has its origin in the acid waste products of starchy and
In rheumatism and gout, the colloid (glue-like) and earthy deposits
collect in the joints and muscular tissues; in arteriosclerosis, in
the arteries and veins; in paralysis, epilepsy and kindred diseases,
in brain and nerve tissues.
The accumulation of these waste products is due, in turn, to a
deficiency in the system of the alkaline, acid-binding and
acid-eliminating mineral elements. In point of fact, almost every
form of disease is characterized by a lack of these organic mineral
salts in blood and tissues.
Stones, gravel (calculi), etc., grow in acid blood only, and must be
dissolved and eliminated by rendering the blood alkaline. This is
accomplished by the absorption of the alkaline salts, contained most
abundantly in the juicy fruits, the leafy and juicy vegetables, the
hulls of cereals and in milk.
How, then, are these all-important solvents and eliminators to be
supplied to the organism by total abstinence from food?
Prolonged fasting undoubtedly lowers the patient's vitality and
powers of resistance. But natural elimination of waste products and
systemic poisons (healing crises) depends upon increased vitality
and activity of the organism and the individual cells that compose
For these reasons we find, in most cases, that proper adjustment of
the diet, both as to quality and quantity, together with the
different forms of natural corrective and stimulative treatment,
must precede the fasting.
The great majority of chronic patients have become chronics because
their skin, kidneys, intestines and other organs of elimination are