WARNINGS AND DISCLAIMERS
Transcriber's Note: This tract on health, like many published last century, is essentially an advertisement of a particular form of treatment invented and sold by the author. While it is of interest in historical terms, it should not be relied upon as medical advice.
This e-text "Royal Road To Health" is for historical and educational purposes only. This antiquated information is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or prescribing.
No responsibility, liability or warranty, express or implied, is assumed by the author or any distributer of this book. Anyone can distribute this book freely any way they want, as long as all this information contained in this book remains like it is now. . . . (no changes, additions, or deletions).
THE ROYAL ROAD TO HEALTH OR THE SECRET OF HEALTH WITHOUT DRUGS.
By Chas. A. Tyrrell
TO MY WIFE.
Whose Enthusiasm, and unflagging interest in all matters pertaining to health is excelled by none, and who has been a faithful coworker in building up the system treating disease by hygienic methods herein set forth,
This book is affectionately dedicated.
Charles A. Tyrrell, M.D.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DIAGRAM
DIGESTIVE ORGANS OF MAN.
1. Esophagus or Gullet. 2. Cardiac end of Stomach. 3. Pyloric end of Stomach. 4. Duodenum. 5, 6. Convolutions of Small Intestine. 7. Caecum. 7* Vermiform appendage of Caecum, called the appendicula vermiformis. 8. Ascending Colon. 9, 10. Transverse Colon. 11. Descending Colon. 12. Sigmoid Flexure, the last curve of the Colon before it terminates in the Rectum. 13. Rectum, the terminal part of the Colon. 14. Anus, posterior opening of the alimentary canal, through which the excrements are expelled. 15. Lobes of the Liver, raised and turned back. 16. Hepatic Duct, which carries the bile from the liver to the Cystic and Common Bile Ducts. 17. Cystic Duct. 18. Gall Bladder. 19. Common Bile Duct. 20. Pancreas, the gland which secretes the pancreatic juice. 21. Pancreatic Duct, entering the Duodunum with the Common Bile Duct.
TO THE ONE HUNDREDTH EDITION.
In presenting to the public the one hundredth edition of this work, it is a matter for profound gratification to be able to state that the treatment described in its pages has steadily increased in public favor since its introduction. Tens of thousands of grateful people testify to its efficiency, not only as a remedial process, but better still, as a preventive of disease. Truth must ever prevail, and this treatment being based on natural law (which is unerring), must achieve the desired result, which is the restoration and preservation of health.
This edition has been completely revised and much of it rewritten, and, while the essential principles remain unchanged, some slight departures from previously expressed opinions may be noted; for in the years that have elapsed since the first edition saw the light, some notable advances have been made in rational therapeutics and dietetics, and no one can afford to lag behind the car of Progress.
The arrangement of the book has been still farther altered, by adding another part, making nine in all, each part being devoted to a special phase of the general subject, thus simplifying it, and making its principles easier of application. Quotations have been freely made from articles written during the past three years by the author, in his capacity as editor of "Health," and several new formulas for the treatment of important diseases have been added to those that have appeared in previous editions.
While painfully conscious that the critically disposed may find something to condemn in its pages, the work is sent forth with the fervent hope, that despite any defects it may possess it may, in the future, as in the past, prove the means of restoring to suffering thousands the possession of their natural and rightful heritage health.
DRUGGING PROVED UNSCIENTIFIC.
Health is wealth. The truth about "Materia Medica." Medical opinions on drugs they do not cure disease. Opinions of British physicians. The most important medical discoveries made by laymen. There is no "law of cure," only a condition. Drugs do not act on the system, but are acted upon.
THE TRUE CAUSE OF DISEASE.
Only one cause of disease. There is only one disease, but many modifications. Digestion and assimilation explained. Evil effects of the retention of waste. The horrors of faecal impaction. How auto infection is accomplished. The mysteries of the circulation. Disease shown to be the result of imperfect elimination.
RATIONAL HYGIENIC TREATMENT.
Nature cures, not the physician. The action of microbes. The cathartic habit. The true action of cathartics explained, and popular suppositions corrected. A correct solution of the difficulty. "Flushing the colon" as an ancient practice. Dr. Turner's post mortem experiences. Colon distortion illustrated. Objections to the ordinary appliances danger in using the long, flexible catheter. Invention of the "J. B. L. Cascade," and description of it.
HOW TO USE IT.
The complete process of "flushing the colon" explained, step by step, so that even a child might understand it. Objections answered. Advice to users of the treatment.
Longevity man's natural heritage. The care of the body absolute cleanliness rare. The function of water in the human organism. Hot water the natural scavenger. The bath. Description of the skin, and its function. Hints on bathing. The wet sheet pack. Importance of fresh air. Interchange of gases in the lungs. Ventilation. Prof. Willard Parker on impure air. The function of the heart. The therapeutic value of sunlight.
Motion is life. Effect of exercise on the fluids of the body. How the tissues are nourished. Exercise for invalids. Complete system of breathing exercises for developing the lungs. Improved system of physical exercises, calling into play every muscle of the body ensuring harmonious development. Special nerve exercise. how to stand and how to walk. All the above exercises plainly illustrated.
THE DIET QUESTION.
The replacement of waste. Appetite and hunger. The evils of gluttony. Vegetarianism versus flesh eating. Diet, a question of latitude. The cause of old age. Cretinism. Danger of earthy matters in food substances. Fruits are ideal foods. The true value of bread. Classification of the ingredients of food substances. Table of proportions. Table of digestive values. Vegetarianism discussed. A mixed diet the most reasonable. How to eat. Liquids at meals. When to eat. The no breakfast plan. The effects of alcohol, tea and coffee. Improper habits of eating. The influence of mind upon digestion. The advantages of regularity. Nature's bookkeeping.
TREATMENT OF DISEASE.
Complete formulas of treatment (with dietary rules) for over fifty different diseases, including Consumption, Appendicitis, Locomotor Ataxia, Paralysis, Dyspepsia, Pneumonia, Diabetes Mellitus, Uterine troubles, etc. Also all the principal ailments of children.
SOME HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS.
Disease is the result of the operation of natural law don't dread it. Don't treat symptoms; treat the fundamental cause. Pain is Nature's danger signal. Prevention is better than cure. The elements of prevention. Importance of a knowledge of physiology. The body, the vehicle of expression for the mind. The strenuous life. Tear worse than wear. The importance of reserve energy. The effect of the mind on the body. The human body as a bank. The importance of a daily balance. Cultivate cheerfulness. The habit of happiness. The folly of squandering health. Medicine and surgery compared. What children should be taught. The final word.
Instructions for massage. How to use the stomach bath by three different methods. How to improvise the Turkish Bath in your own home, without apparatus. How to use the wet sheet pack. How to care for the "Cascade".
THE ROYAL ROAD TO HEALTH.
DRUGGING PROVED UNSCIENTIFIC.
It is one of the most profound mysteries of our civilization, and has been one of the most perplexing and discouraging phenomena of human existence, that, while the world at large has maintained an ever increasing "medical profession," whose members are popularly supposed to be competent to deal with all the ills that flesh is heir to; still there has always been a long list of what are termed "incurable diseases." But the immense strides made, in recent years, in every branch of modern science, has led the thinking public to consider such a condition of things as an outrageous libel on the God of Nature, and to question whether there can be such a thing as an incurable disease.
Health is such an inestimable blessing, that the individual who shall devise means to preserve it, or to restore it, when lost, is deserving of all the thanks and honors that a grateful community can bestow. Unfortunately, there are very few who estimate life at its true value, until they are confronted with the grim destroyer, Death. No one can fully appreciate the priceless blessings of health, until they feel that it has slipped from their grasp. The oft quoted phrase, "Health is Wealth," is truly a concrete expression of wisdom, for without the former, the latter is well nigh an impossibility. But its interference with the activities of life is one of the least evils of sickness, for perfect health is the very salt and spice of life; without it, existence is "weary, stale, flat and unprofitable."
But let none despair, for it is my purpose to show how those who enjoy the blessing of robust health may preserve it indefinitely, and how those who have lost it may regain it with access of vigor, and once more feel that life is indeed worth living. In presenting a new system of medication, it is necessary to attack the existing systems, and hence, I am placed in a delicate position, for of all the problems ever presented for the ingenuity of man to solve, undoubtedly the most difficult is, how to present new facts so as not to offend old errors; for individuals are very prone to regard arguments levelled against their opinions as direct attacks upon their personality; and not a few of them mistake their own deeply rooted prejudices for established certainties.
I shall endeavor to show that the practice of administering drugs to cure disease is a fallacy, and in so doing, I am bound to incur the condemnation of my brother practitioners, who prescribe drugs, and the druggists who vend them.
It may safely be asserted that the drug system of treating disease would be destroyed if it were to be critically examined; in fact, to defend it is provocative of unmistakable damage to it. If it is once subjected to the analysis of calm reason its defects become palpable to the meanest understanding.
There are three principal schools of medicine, each with a distinctive title, but they are all one in essential principles. They may differ in unimportant details; but in the main premises they are a unit. They all believe in the principle of "curing one disease by producing another." In other words, their practice is, to induce a drug disease to cure a primary one, for this is exactly what is done when drugs are administered, in pathological conditions as we shall prove later on by testimony from authorities on medical practice.
The materia medica of the schools, to-day, includes upwards of two thousand substances the number increasing daily and when viewed dispassionately it presents what? A list of drugs, chemicals, dye- stuffs, all subversive of organic structures. They are all antagonistic to living matter: all produce disease when brought in contact in any manner with the living domain as a matter of fact, all are poisons. Now, what logical standing can a system have, that employs, as remedies for diseases, those things that produce disease in healthy persons? No advocate of the drug system has ever advanced a reason that would bear one moment's scientific examination, why poisonous substances should be administered to the sick, and no one will ever be able to give a satisfactory explanation of the theory that underlies the practice, for none exists. When once the public fully grasps the true import of this glaring anomaly, the days of the drug system will be numbered.
Physicians of ability and long experience, who have devoted their lives to the relief of suffering humanity, both in this and other countries, have declared after close observation, that they were fully and thoroughly convinced that medicines do not cure patients, that they do not assist Nature's process of cure, so much as they retard it, and, that they are more hurtful than remedial in all diseases. A still larger number have reached the same conclusion with regard to certain complaints, such as scarlet fever, croup, pneumonia, cholera, rheumatism, diphtheria, measles, small-pox, dysentery, and typhoid fever, and that in every case where they have abandoned all medicine, abjured all drugs and potions, their success has been marvellously increased.
Professor B. F. Parker, of the New York Medical College, once said to a medical class: "I have recently given no medicine in the treatment of measles and scarlet fever, and I have had excellent success."
Dr. Snow, Health Officer of Providence, R. I., reported for the information of his professional brethren, through the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal that he had treated all the cases of small-pox, which had prevailed endemically in that city, without a particle of medicine, and that all of the cases some of which were very grave ones recovered.
Dr. John Bell, Professor of Materia Medica in one of the Philadelphia Colleges, and also in the Medical College of Baltimore, testified in a work which he published ("Bell on Baths"), that he and others had treated many cases of scarlet fever with bathing, and without medicines of any kind, and without losing a patient.
Dr. Ames, of Montgomery, Alabama, some years since published in the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, his experience and observation in the treatment of pneumonia. He had been led to notice for many years, that patients who were treated with the ordinary remedies—bleeding, mercury, and remedies—breeding certain complications which always aggravated the malady, and rendered the convalescence more lingering and recovery less complete. Such patients were always liable to collapses and re-lapses; to "run into typhoid"; to sink suddenly, and die very unexpectedly.
He noticed particularly that patients who took calomel and antimony were found, on post-mortem examinations, to have serious and even fatal inflammation of the stomach and small intestines, attended with great prostration, delirium, and other symptoms of drug poisoning. These "complications" were nothing more or less than drug diseases. And Dr. Ames found, on changing his plan of treatment to milder and simpler remedies, that he lost no patients.
The late Professor Win. Tully, M.D., of Yale College, and of the Vermont Academy of Medicine at Gastleton, Vt., informed his medical class, that on one occasion the typhoid pneumonia was so fatal in some places in the valley of the Connecticut River, that the people became suspicious that the physicians were doing more harm than good; and in their desperation they actually combined against the doctors and refused to employ them at all; "after which," said Professor Tully, "no deaths occurred." And I might add, as an historical incident of some pertinency in this place, that regular physicians were once banished from Rome, so fatal did their practice seem, so far as the people could judge of it.
The great Magendie, of France, who long stood at the very head of Physiology and Pathology in the French Academy which, by the way, has claimed to be, and perhaps is, the most learned body of men in the world performed this experiment. He divided the patients of one of the large Paris hospitals into three classes. To one he prescribed the common remedies of the books. To the second he administered only the common simples of domestic practice. And to the third class he gave no medicine at all. The result was, those who took less medicine did better than those who took more, and those who took no medicine did the best of all.
Magendie also divided his typhoid fever patients into two classes, to one of whom he prescribed the ordinary remedies, and to the other no medicines at all, relying wholly on such nursing and such attention to Hygiene as the vital instincts demanded and common sense suggested. Of the patients who were treated the usual way, he lost the usual proportion, about one-fourth. And of those who took no medicine, he lost none. And what opinion has Magendie left on record of the popular healing art? He said to his medical class, "Gentlemen, medicine is a great humbug."
In the face of such damaging testimony from prominent representatives of the medical profession, it becomes exceedingly difficult to place any reliance on the drug remedies prescribed by them.
The melancholy truth is, that drug medication has become an integral part of our domestic economy. At no time in history has the consumption of drugs even approximated the present rate. Enormous sums of money are invested in manufacturing and distributing them, and the physicians of the various schools, being educated to prescribe them, a mutual bond of interest has grown up between doctor and druggist, which is not at all surprising. The medical profession, as a whole is, and ever has been eminently conservative, and this fact, in connection with its traditional predilection for drugs causes its members to resolutely set their faces against any remedial process that runs counter to the theories they imbibed at college. They look askance at all such things and regard them as dangerous experiments, and assert that their dignity will not permit them to recognize any irregular practice, or any form of quackery.
Dignity! When was dignity ever known to save a life? Most humanity continue to suffer because the medical profession (blindly following in the rut of custom) fail to see anything superior to the antiquated system of treating disease by drugging, which many of its ablest members condemn as unreliable?
It is with all schools of medicine as it is with each individual practitioner of the healing art the less faith they have in medicine, the more they have in Hygiene; hence those who prescribe little or no medicine, are invariably and necessarily more attentive to Hygiene, which always was, and ever will be, all that there is really good, useful, or curative in medication. Such physicians are more careful to supply the vital organism with whatever of air, light, temperature, food, water, exercise or rest, etc., it needs in its struggle for health, and to remove all vitiating influences all poisons, impurities, or disturbing influences of any kind. This is hygienic medication, the natural and rational method of cure, and the more closely it is examined, the more strongly it will commend itself to reason.
It is a lamentable fact that the preservation of health is not taught in the medical schools, neither is it explained in their books, and judging from general practice not much regard is attached to it in their prescriptions. But when the inevitable typhoid or malaria appears as an inevitable consequence of neglected precautions, the physician can drug without mercy, and, as we contend, on most illogical grounds.
Who imagines for one instant, that quinine is a poison? Who is not aware that arsenic is a deadly poison? And yet physicians and medical journals calmly and gravely assert that arsenic is the better article of the two, and recommend it as a substitute for quinine. Can any intelligent person believe that a comparatively harmless tonic, and an intense poison are perfect equivalents for each other?
It is stated on reliable authority, that during the civil war, hundreds of sick soldiers implored the nurses to throw away their medicine. They feared drugs worse than bullets, and not without reason.
It is a curious fact that young physicians prescribe more medicine than the older ones.
Said the venerable Professor Alexander H. Stevens M.D., of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons: "Young practitioners are a most hopeful class of community. They are sure of success. They start out in life with twenty remedies for every disease; and after an experience of thirty years or less they find twenty diseases for every remedy." And again: "The older physicians grow, the more skeptical they become of the virtues of medicine, and the more they are disposed to trust to the powers of Nature."
The effect of drugging a person, is to lock up the actual causes of the disease in the system; thus producing permanent and worse diseases. It is in accordance with common sense that they should be expelled, not retained. What is known as disease, is nothing more or less than the struggle of Nature, to cast out impurities, and this remedial effort should be regulated, and assisted, not obstructed by administering drugs, which only complicate the situation, by producing more disease.
No man can fight two enemies better than one, and, to give drugs to a system already struggling to regain its normal condition, is like tying the hands of a man who is beset by enemies. The truth is, that the real nature of disease is misapprehended by the popular schools of medicine, and until broader views obtain a lodgment among them, it is useless to hope for any alteration or improvement in the antiquated system of drugging. "Who shall decide, when doctors disagree ?" is an oft Quoted sentence, and, the following conflicting opinions from prominent physicians show conclusively how little is actually known of the action of drugs upon the human system, by those who administer them right and left.
Says the "United States Dispensatory," "Medicines are those articles which make sanative impressions on the body." This may be important if, true. But, per contra, says Professor Martin Paine, M.D., of the New York University Medical School, in his "Institutes of Medicine": "Remedial agents are essentially morbific in their operations."
But again says Professor Paine: "Remedial agents operate in the same manner as do the remote causes of disease." This seems to be a very distinct announcement that remedies are themselves causes of disease. And yet again: "In the administration of medicines we cure one disease by producing another." This is both important and true.
Professor Paine quotes approvingly the famous professional adage, in good technical Latin,
"Ubi virus, ibi vitus,"
which, being translated, means, "our strongest poisons are our best remedies."
Says Professor Alonzo Clark, M.D., of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons: "All of our curative agents are poisons, and as a consequence, every dose diminishes the patient's vitality."
Says Professor Joseph M. Smith, M.D., of the same school: "All medicines which enter the circulation poison the blood in the same manner as do the poisons that produce disease."
Says Professor St. John, of the New York Medical College : "All medicines are poisonous."
Says Professor B. R. Peaslee, MD., of the same school: "The administration of powerful medicines is the most fruitful cause of derangements of the digestion."
Says Professor H. G. Cox, M.D., of the same school: "The fewer remedies you employ in any disease, the better for your patients."
Says Professor E. H. Davis, M.D., of the New York Medical College: "The modus operandi of medicines is still a very obscure subject. We know that they operate, but exactly how they operate is entirely unknown."
Says Professor J. W. Carson, M.D., of the New York University Medical School: "We do not know whether our patients recover because we give medicines, or because Nature cures them."
Says Professor E. S. Carr, of the same school: "All drugs are more or less adulterated; and as not more than one physician in a hundred has sufficient knowledge in chemistry to detect impurities, the physician seldom knows just how much of a remedy he is prescribing."
The authors disagree in many things; but all concur in the fact that medicines produce diseases; that their effects are wholly uncertain, and that we know nothing whatever of their modus operandi.
But now comes in the testimony of the venerable Professor Joseph M. Smith, M.D., who says: "Drugs do not cure diseases; disease is always cured by the vis medicatrix naturae."
And Professor Clark further complicates the problem before us by declaring that, "Physicians have hurried thousands to their graves who would have recovered if left to Nature." And again: "In scarlet fever you have nothing to do but to rely on the vis medicatrix naturae."
Says Professor Gross: "Of the essence of disease very little is known; indeed, nothing at all." And says Professor George B. Wood, M.D., of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia ("Wood's Practice of Medicine"): "Efforts have been made to reach the elements of disease; but not very successfully; because we have not yet learned the essential nature of the healthy actions, and cannot understand their derangements."
On the other side of the Atlantic the claims of the existing medical schools to popular favor, do not appear to rest upon any surer basis than they do here, if we may judge from the following opinions expressed by some of the most eminent authorities in the British Kingdom:
"The medical practice of our days is, at the best, a most uncertain and unsatisfactory system; it has neither philosophy nor common sense to commend it to confidence." DR. EVANS, Fellow of the Royal College, London.
"There has been a great increase of medical men of late, but, upon my life, diseases have increased in proportion." JOHN ABERNETHY, M.D., "The Good," of London.
"Gentlemen, ninety-nine out of every hundred medical facts are medical lies; and medical doctrines are, for the most part, stark, staring nonsense." Prof. GREGORY, of Edinburgh, author of a work on "Theory and Practice of Physic."
"It cannot be denied that the present system of medicine is a burning shame to its professors, if indeed a series of vague and uncertain incongruities deserves to be called by that name. How rarely do our medicines do good! How often do they make our patients really worse! I fearlessly assert, that in most cases the sufferer would be safer without a physician than with one. I have seen enough of the malpractice of my professional. brethren to warrant the strong language I employ." Dr. RAMAGE, Fellow of the Royal College, London.
"The present practice of medicine is a reproach to the name of Science, while its professors give evidence of an almost total ignorance of the nature and proper treatment of disease. Nine times out of ten, our miscalled remedies are absolutely injurious to our patients, suffering under diseases of whose real character and cause we are most culpably ignorant." Prof. JAMEISON, of Edinburgh.
Assuredly the uncertain and most unsatisfactory art that we call medical science, is no science at all, but a jumble of inconsistent opinions; of conclusions hastily and often incorrectly drawn; of facts misunderstood or perverted; of comparisons without analogy; of hypotheses without reason, and theories not only useless, but dangerous." Dublin Medical Journal.
"Some patients get well with the aid of medicine; more without it; and still more in spite of it." SIR JOHN FORBES, M.D., F.R.S.
"Thousands are annually slaughtered in the quiet of the sick-room.' Governments should at once either banish medical men, and proscribe their blundering art, or they should adopt some better means to protect the lives of the people than at present prevail, when they look far less after the practice of this dangerous profession, and the murders committed in it, than after the lowest trades." Dr FRANK, an eminent author and practitioner.
"Our actual information or knowledge of disease does not increase in proportion to our experimental practice. Every dose of medicine given is a blind experiment upon the vitality of the patient." Dr. BOSTOCK, author of "History of Medicine."
"The science of medicine is a barbarous jargon, and the effects of our medicines on the human system in the highest degree uncertain; except, indeed, that they have destroyed more lives than war, pestilence, and famine combined." JOHN MASON GOOD, M.D., F.R.S., author of "Book of Nature," "A System of Nosology," "Study of Medicine," etc.
"I declare as my conscientious conviction, founded on long experience and reflection, that if there were not a single physician, surgeon, man midwife, chemist, apothecary, druggist, nor drug on the face of the earth, there would be less sickness and less mortality than now prevail." JAS. JOHNSON, M.D., F.R.S., Editor of the Medico- Chirurgical Review.
So it comes to this, that during three thousand years remedies have been accumulating until between two and three thousand drugs are recorded in the archives of the medical profession, and yet we have the admission of some of the highest authorities on the subject that the nature of disease is still a mystery, that the "modus operandi" of drugs is equally obscure, and that in consequence there is profound uncertainty as to the relation of drugs to the diseases for which they are prescribed.
Can one cause cure another. Can a poison expel a poison? Can the human system throw off two burdens better than one? If such a proposition were submitted to us in any other domain we would indignantly resent it as an insult to our intelligence.
There can be no question but that the public are largely responsible for the existing condition of things, for whatever they demand they can obtain, in obedience to the inexorable law of supply and demand: which accounts for the rapidly increasing interest in hygiene. An eminent authority on therapeutics says:
"The medical profession holds a most false relation to society. Its honors and emoluments are measured, not by the good, but by the evil it does. The physician who keeps some member of the family of his rich neighbor on a bed of sickness for months or years, may secure to himself thereby both fame and fortune; while the other who would restore the patient to health in a week or two, will be neither appreciated nor understood. If a physician, in treating a simple fever, which if left to itself or to Nature would terminate in health in two or three weeks, drugs the patient into half a dozen chronic diseases, and nearly kills himself half a dozen times, and prolongs his sufferings for months, he will receive much money and many thanks for carrying him safely through so many complications, relapses, and collapses. But if he cures in a single week, and leaves him perfectly sound, the pay will be small, and the thanks nowhere, because he has not been very sick!
"I know many of you will say, 'My physician is a very excellent man and a good scholar I have all confidence in him.' But what if his system is false? Is your confidence in him or in his system? If in his system, you are to be pitied. If in him, take his good advice and refuse his bad medicine."
The Caucasian has not much to learn from the Mongolian, it is true, but the public might safely imitate the Chinese in dealing with their physicians. A Chinaman of rank pays his physician a retaining salary so long as he remains in health, but, the instant he gets sick, the salary ceases. Manifestly, it is a common sense proceeding. The doctor has a vital interest in preserving the health of his client, since sickness entails a pecuniary loss; and best of all, the patient escapes having his system drenched with drugs. There is no valid reason why there should be any such thing as serious sickness; nor would there be if Hygiene were taught, and practised, and the whole materia medica consigned to oblivion. As Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "If all drugs were thrown into the sea, it would be so much better for man, but so much worse for the fishes."
Now, the remedies of the Hygienic system, which I advocate, comprehend everything except poisons. The drug system rejects almost everything but poisons. My system rejects only poisons, and adopts everything else. I welcome anything that possesses remedial value, provided it is in accordance with the laws of Nature, and am equally ready to accept suggestions from the laity, as from fellow practitioners. I am ready to submit everything thus presented, to the test of experiment, and employ it if found worthy.
In this regard I may, without vanity, lay claim to the possession of a more progressive spirit than the members of the drug schools, for their disincilination to adopt anything new in the treatment of disease has passed into a proverb. It might naturally be supposed that any one who should come forward with a discovery by which the suffering portion. of the human family would be benefited, would be welcomed with open arms by the medical fraternity, or, that at least he would be allowed a hearing, but unfortunately it is not so.
Even if the discoverer be one of themselves, they are apt to regard his proposition with a certain amount of distrust, but if he happens to be a layman they instantly stand upon their dignity denounce all irregular practice and raise the cry of quack.
In justice, however, it must be said that there are members of liberal, broad minded men in the medical profession who recognize the fact that brains are not monopolized by physicians, and who are perfectly willing to accord credit where it is due, as the following opinions will show.
Dr. A. O'Leary, Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, says:
"The best things in the healing art have been done by those who never had a diploma the first Caesarian section, lithotomy, the use of cinchona, of ether as an anaesthetic, the treatment of the air passages by inhalation, the water cure and medicated baths, electricity as a healing agent, and magnetism, faith cure, mind cure, etc."
Prof. Waterhouse, writing to the learned Dr. Mitchell, of New York, says:
"I am, indeed, so disgusted with learned quackery that I take some interest in honest, humane, and strongminded empiricism; for it has done more for our art, in all ages and all countries, than all the universities since the time of Charlemagne."
Professor Benj. Rush, of the greatest and oldest Allopathic College in America, says:
"Remember how many of our most useful remedies have been discovered by quacks. Do not therefore be afraid of conversing with them, and of profiting by their ignorance and temerity. Medicine has its pharisees as well as religion. But the spirit of this sect is as unfriendly to the advancement of medicine as it is to Christian charity. In the pursuit of medical knowledge let me advise you to converse with nurses and old women. They will often suggest facts in the history and cure of disease which have escaped the most sagacious observers of nature. By so doing, we may discover laws of the animal economy which have no place in our system of Nosology, or in our theories of physic. The practice of physic hath been more improved by the casual experiments of illiterate nations, and the rash ones of vagabond quacks, than by all the once celebrated professors of it, and the theoretic teachers in the several schools of Europe, very few of whom have furnished us with one new medicine, or have taught us better to use our old ones, or have in any one instance at all, improved the art of curing disease."
Dr. Adam Smith says:
"After denouncing Paracelsus as a quack, the regular medical profession stole his 'quack-silver' mercury; after calling Jenner an imposter it adopted his discovery of vaccination; after dubbing Harvey a humbug it was forced to swallow his theory of the circulation of the blood."
Professor J. Rodes Buchanan, Boston, says:
"Mozart, Hoffman, Ole Bull, and Blind Tom were born with a mastery of music, as Zerah Colburn with a mastery of mathematics, as others are born with a mastery of the mystery of life and disease, like Greatrakes, Newton, Hutton, Sweet and Stephens, born doctors, and score of similar renown."
Professor Charles W. Emerson, M.D., the well known resident of the Monroe Conservatory of Oratory, of Boston, says:
"The progress in therapeutics has and still continues to come from the unlearned. Common people give us our improvements and the school men spend their time in giving Greek and Latin names to these improvements, and building metaphysical theories around them."
This is a heavy indictment against the medical profession, as a body, but truth and justice compel me to state that most of the foregoing statements were made some years ago, and that intolerance can no longer be charged against them as it could, even in the last generation. Nor can we close our eyes to the fact that thousands of highminded physicians are devoting their time and energies to the amelioration of disease. Scarcely a month passes in which some convention of physicians is not held to consider the best means of dealing with some particular malady, and a large number of the attending physicians at those conventions contribute their time and experience at considerable financial loss to themselves.
In the ranks of the medical body there are able and honorable men who would adorn any profession—men who have sacrificed health, wealth and happiness in their devotion to the cause of suffering humanity the pages of history are full of instances of such heroism. But of what avail is it to have the most perfect examples of humanity for physicians, if the system they practice is an erroneous one? It is impossible to secure good results with bad methods. We must have a sure foundation, if we expect to raise an abiding structure. And that is why I am in opposition to the existing method of treating disease. Not because of any feeling against the physician individually, but for the reason that I consider their system based upon error upon a false conception of the true nature of disease, and of the relation of drugs to the human system.
There is a tradition in the orthodox medical schools, that all curative processes are dependent upon, and act only in accordance With, an established law the "Law of Cure."
But although all the schools are a unit in believing in the existence and operation of such a law, no two of them agree upon a definition of it. Their theories concerning this all important law are as diametrically opposite as the poles. For instance, the Allopaths define it as "contraria contrariis curantur," which is simply the law of opposition. But the Homeopaths take a widely different view of the matter, their definition of it being "similia similibus curantur," which is, practically, the law of agreement; while the Eclectics declare that "sanative medication" is the law.
This diversity of opinion is not by any means unique, for the tendency to disagreement among physicians is proverbial; but the unfortunate layman who is the person most vitally interested in the matter, is at a loss what to believe among this conflict of definitions, and naturally asks, Who is right?
I answer, unequivocally, not one! They are all wrong. This so-called "Law of Cure" is a purely imaginary affair; one of the many misconceptions peculiar to the medical schools, originating in a false conception of the true nature of disease. There is no such thing as a law of cure! There is a condition of cure, and that is, obedience. Nature has provided penalties for disobedience, and is inexorable in exacting payment; but she does not provide remedies. If there is one thing absolutely certain in nature, it is the unfaltering sequence of cause and effect. Nature never stultifies herself. It is impossible to imagine nature providing penalties for violation of her laws, and then furnishing remedies to make those penalties negatory.
It is a lamentable fact that the medical profession, as a body, entertain a totally erroneous conception of the true nature of disease, and its legitimate function in the economy of nature. Instead of recognizing it as a beneficent remedial process, which, if properly aided, will work out the salvation of the patient, they antagonize it at every turn, and endeavor to suppress the symptoms, which are its legitimate expressions.
The whole thing is a huge misconception, the failure to understand the true relation between living and dead substances. According to the United States Dispensatory, medicines are those substances That make sanative impressions on the body.
A false definition of a word leads to a false system of remedial practice, based upon that definition. What is an impression? Is it the action of a dead substance, which cannot act upon a living substance that can? Assuredly not! Is it not rather the recognition by the living substance of the lifeless one? The whole theory of drug action is easily explainable on this hypothesis. Drugs—inert substances—do not act upon the living organism, but are acted upon, with a view to their expulsion from the living domain. If it were not so, if drugs really acted upon the various organs, then their action should be equally as effective after death as before. But no, nature resents the introduction of foreign substances into the human economy, and exerts all her powers to cast out the intruders.
Now, as all substances incapable of physiological use are foreign, such as particles of worn out tissue, the waste products of digestion, etc., and their presence in the animal economy inimical to the general welfare, the depurating organs are called into active play to expel the offending substances; and the increased physiological activity, and (in the case of actual lesion) the increased flow of blood to the parts, for the purpose of repair, cause a rise in temperature, commonly known as fever, which is one of the most frequent symptoms of what is generally recognized as disease; thus establishing the fact, indisputably, that disease is purely and simply a remedial process, either for purposes of repair or purification.
The practice, therefore, of increasing the deposits in the physical system by the introduction of drugs (foreign substances) is in direct opposition to physiological law, and has no scientific foundation whatever.
From the countless remedies of the pharmacopceia we can select substances that if administered to a healthy person will produce almost any known form of disease thus: brandy, cayenne pepper and quinine, will induce inflammatory fever; scammony and ipecac will cause cholera morbus; nitre, calomel and opium, will provoke typhoid or typhus fever; digitalis will cause Asiatic, or spasmodic cholera; cod liver oil and sulphur promote scurvy, and all the cathartic family inevitably cause diarrhcea, the disease in each case being nothing more than the effort of Nature to get rid of these troublesome intruders.
Drugs do not, as their advocates claim, select their special organ with a view of acting upon it, but are acted upon by that particular organ for the purpose of ridding the system of the drug.
It follows, therefore, as a perfectly legitimate and logical deduction, that, if the system of administering drugs is founded upon a wrong conception of their relation to the human organism, then any theoretical "law of cure" predicated upon drug action must necessarily be equally fallacious and untrustworthy.
As stated before, the simple fact is, that there is no law of cure, only a condition and that condition—obedience, by which is meant a course of treatment in harmony with Nature.
The older physicians grow the more they rely upon the vis medicatrix naturae, which is, after all, the only remedial force, and one totally beyond their control. The physician can no more perform cures than the farmer can make his crops grow. In each case, all that can be done is to employ all the methods that cumulative wisdom can suggest to make the conditions as favorable as possible, and leave the rest to Mother Nature, who is not in the habit of making mistakes, and whose unerring methods would cure ninety per cent. of all diseased conditions, if her beneficent intentions were not frustrated by well-meant, but nevertheless pernicious, drug interference.
THE TRUE CAUSE OF DISEASE.
At this point the reader will doubtless be tempered to exclaim: "Well, you have demonstrated to your own satisfaction that the medical profession entertains erroneous opinions as to the true nature of disease, and also that drugs are absolutely useless—nay, injurious—in such conditions: but is this all? Having destroyed our trust in drugs, what have you to offer in their stead?" To which perfectly natural query, I gladly reply, I have a system of treatment to propound, a system that has triumphantly stood the test of years, a system that must commend itself to every intelligent reader, because it is strictly in accordance with natural law.
But before I proceed to explain it, I desire to announce my own theory respecting disease—a theory essentially radical in its character, and of which I am the originator, and that is:
THERE IS ONLY ONE CAUSE OF DISEASE.
This may sound strange, for the majority of people imagine that there is a different and specific cause for every ailment, and physicians generally do not combat the opinion. But as a matter of fact, there is only one disease, although its manifestations are various, and there is only one cause for it, and that is the retention of waste matters in the system. These substances may be in the gaseous, liquid or solid form, but they are foreign bodies, inimical to the welfare of the organism, and their presence must result in derangement of bodily function.
The great need of the present day is adequate instruction in physiology and hygiene, that humanity may not only know how to secure the restoration of health, when lost, but by attention to physiological and sanitary laws may retain good health indefinitely. The body is the theatre of constant change. The process of tearing down and building up proceed without intermission during life. If construction exceeds destruction, the result is health; but just as surely as destruction exceeds repair, disease is the result. But during every moment of life waste is being formed by the destruction of tissue, and this effete material must be promptly removed if the individual would enjoy health. Nature has provided adequate means for the removal of these substances which are valueless to the economy, the retention of which obstructs and irritates the complex mechanism of the system, the principal avenues for its expulsion being the lungs, the skin and the intestinal canal. The latter is infinitely more important than the others, since by it the waste products of digestion are expelled. If it fails to promptly fulfil its office, every vital function is interfered with; and in addition the fluid portion of the semi-liquid waste is re-absorbed directly into the circulation, redepositing in the very fountain of life, matter which the system has thrown off as worthless. Should the system be exposed to a chill, while in this condition, a congestion of the surface excretory vessels takes place; and practically the whole work of elimination is thrown upon the already hard-worked kidneys, frequently resulting in uraemic poisoning and death.
The presence of a grain of sand in a watch will retard its movements, if not arrest them altogether. What, then, must be the result of an accumulation of impurities in the physical system? The finely adjusted balance that is capable of weighing the thousandth part of a grain, is carefully protected under a glass cover, for even impalpable dust would clog its movements. Reflect, then, upon the amount of friction that must be perpetually going on in the human organism owing to the retention of effete matter! And since not even the most cunning product of man's handiwork can compare with the intricate mechanism of the body, the importance of eliminating the waste becomes manifest. Here, in a nutshell, lies the secret of disease.
Let us now consider how the retention of waste affects the system—how the deleterious effects are produced. There are three factors at work in this process, mechanical, gaseous and absorptive, the last named being infinitely the most pernicious. We will first consider the mechanical.
Nature has beautifully apportioned the space in the abdominal cavity, each part of the viscera having ample room for the performance of its special function, but any abnormal increase in size of any part of the contents of the cavity must necessarily create disturbance. Now, when the food leaves the stomach, where it has been churned into a pulpaceous mass, it passes into the duodenum or second stomach, where it receives an augmentation of liquid material from the liver and pancreas; consequently, when it reaches the small intestine, where absorption takes place, it is in a well diluted condition. During its passage through the small intestine, the nutrient portion of the ingesta is abstracted from it by the villi (small hair-like processes) with which the small intestine is thickly studded, so that at the end of its journey of about twenty-two feet (if digestion is normal) all that is of value to the organism has been appropriated—the remainder being refuse. This waste product passes into the colon, or large intestine, and should be promptly expelled. If prompt expulsion does not take place, this is what happens: The fluid portion of this semi- liquid waste is re-absorbed through the walls of the colon directly into the circulation, a percentage of the solids being deposited on the walls of the intestine. This process of accretion goes on from day to day, week to week, month to month, until it not infrequently happens that the colon becomes distended to several times its natural size. Instances are on record, where these abnormal accumulations of faecal matter in the colon have been mistaken for enlargement of the liver, and even pregnancy. A surgeon in London has a preparation of the colon measuring some twenty inches in circumference, containing three gallons of faecal matter, and even larger accumulations have been reported. The foregoing instances are, of course, exceptional ones, but it is safe to assert that seventy per cent. of the colons of the human family (living under civilized conditions) are impacted, and some of them terribly so. It is impossible to estimate the amount of evil caused by an engorged colon monopolizing two or three times its allotted space in the abdominal cavity, crowding and hampering the other organs in their work.
But the effects of direct mechanical pressure are not the only ones. The accumulations in the colon necessarily arrest the free passage of the product of the small intestine, and that, in turn, causes undue retention of food in the stomach, with consequent fermentation; while the irritation, due to pressure on the nerve terminals by the distension, and by the encrusted matter adhering to the intestinal wall, is simply incalculable.
The effects of gaseous accumulations in the alimentary canal are not thoroughly understood at present—that is—the pathological effects. The more direct effects, as manifested in abdominal distension, and the terrible distress that frequently follows eating, are unfortunately, but too well known. The reader does not need to be told that during the decomposition of organic substances, gases are evolved, and no matter where the process goes on, the results are always the same. Owing to the causes previously mentioned, the intestinal canal usually offers special facilities for the production of gases, owing to the retention of partially digested food, in a medium highly favorable to fermentation. A moderate amount of sulphuretted hydrogen, and also carburetted hydrogen is always present in the colon, normally, to preserve moderate distention of the walls, while the gases usually found in the stomach and small intestine, are oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbonic acid. What functional disturbances may arise from the presence of these gaseous substances in excess in the system is, at present, largely a matter of conjecture, but it is known that a stream of carbonic acid gas, or hydrogen continuously directed against a muscle will cause paralysis of that structure. The expansive force of gases is too well known to need comment, and the force with which they will at times distend the abdominal wall points irresistibly to the conclusion that such an amount of force exerted against vital organs cannot be otherwise than productive of serious harm. It is not at all improbable that many cases of hernia and uterine displacement may be due to this hitherto unsuspected cause. That they penetrate the neighboring tissues is an established fact, and it is quite conceivable that their action upon the nervous system though the medium of the circulation may lie at the root of many of the cases of neurasthenia that are now so prevalent.
But the auto-infection that results from the absorption of the liquid waste into the blood supply is by far the most serious feature. The blood is the life. From it the system obtains all the material for the formation of fresh tissue, and it is a practical impossibility for good, healthy structures to be built up from a tainted blood current. Why is it that the vegetation on the banks of a stream, on which a manufacturing town is located, is invariably stunted and withered? Because the water that should nourish it is polluted by the refuse poured into it, and no amount of deodorants or disinfectants will prove of any avail to restore the devitalized vegetation, but will rather aggravate the trouble. But cut off the source of pollution, and in an incredibly short space of time the vegetation will take on a new 1ease of life.
This liquid refuse in the colon is composed of substances for which the system has no further use—it has rejected them; consequently they are foreign bodies, and as such, are the equivalent of poisons. The colon, in this condition, is a perfect hot-bed for the breeding of all kinds of poisonous germs, and the action of cathartics aggravates the condition by filling the pouched portions of the colon with a foul liquid which facilitates the absorption of the ptomaines and leucomaines through the mucous coat of the intestine. It is known now, that as much as three-fourths of this foul putrid substance may be absorbed, carrying into the system poisonous germs and excrementitious matter. Dr. Murchison states, "that a circulation is constantly taking place between the fluid contents of the bowel and the blood, the existence of which, till within the last few years, was quite unknown, and which even now is too little heeded." And Dr. Parker says, "It is now known, that in varying degrees there is a constant transit of fluid from the blood into the alimentary canal, and as rapid absorption." It is also stated on reliable authority, "that every portion of the blood may, and possibly does, pass several times into the alimentary canal in twenty-four hours." Prof. I. I. Metchinkoff recently stated in a lecture at Paris: "Particularly injurious are the microbes of the large intestines. Thence, they penetrate into the blood and impair it alike by their presence and the products they yield—ptomaines, alkaloids, etc. The auto intoxication of the organism and poisoning through microbes is an established fact."
Having shown that the average colon is a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of poisonous germs, and that they are conveyed into the circulation by the interchange of fluids in that organ, it may be interesting to explain how these germs are conveyed to, and deposited in the various organs of the body.
We have in our bodies a system of canals called arteries and veins, having their head at the heart, which is the main pump that keeps the blood in motion. The arterial circulation consists of those channels which convey the blood—supposed pure blood—away from the heart to the different parts of the body, loaded with the life-giving principle of sustenance, invigoration and heat, while the veins or venous circulation conveys to the heart and lungs the impure blood, loaded many times with disease-breeding germs.
Now, in the blood, as it courses through our bodies, are myriads of little vessels called corpuscles; these are what give the blood a red color. There are also a smaller number of white corpuscles, that are known as phagocytes, whose mission is to destroy micro-organisms that are prejudicial to life. In order that you may know their use, I, for convenience sake and to make my meaning better understood, will call them little war vessels, loaded with soldiers, and the soldiers have in their vessels a furnace whose fire never goes out. These vessels and their little warriors are continually sailing through our bodies, hunting for germs of disease, that they catch and throw into their furnace and burn them up. Now, suppose we take a violent cold, thus closing the pores of the skin, and that at the same time the colon is engorged, two of the most important outlets for the filth and decayed matter of our bodies are closed up—for the life of our bodies is one continual process of building anew and tearing down; these two most important sewers are now closed. These little vessels now have their hands full, catching disease-bearing germs that nature cannot throw out through the colon or pores of the skin—both being closed—and we call this condition of things fever. The white corpuscle has but two dumping places now, the lungs or kidneys. Suppose that in the colon is the tubercular ulcer, breeding the bacillus of consumption, and they are absorbed into the circulation. Ordinarily the white corpuscles would be able to destroy them, but now they are so overworked that the tubercular germ lands in the lung tissue alive and well, ready to commence his work of destruction and death. The person developes a hacking cough, and finally goes to the doctor, and he, if he knows his business, probably finds tuberculosis well established. Typhoid fever has its nursery solely in the colon, and gets possession of the citadel of life in the same way as any other germ or contagious disease. What a terrible battle there must be going on in us between our life-preservers and the germs of disease.
Is it any wonder that people die of premature old age, of apoplexy, paralysis, dropsy, consumption, and the thousand and one maladies that scourge humanity? And is it not unreasonable to pour a few grains of diluted drugs into the stomach to purify the blood—even granting for the sake of argument that such a purpose could be accomplished by that means—when occupying nearly one-half of the abdominal cavity is an engorged intestine reeking with filth so foul that carrion is as the odor of roses compared to it, and which is being steadily absorbed into the circulation? If a man were to act as foolishly as that in his business, his friends would quickly petition the courts to appoint a guardian for him.
It may be asked, why has not this discovery been made before? In the first place, the colon has had but scant attention paid to it in the dissecting room, until of late years the appendicitis craze has awakened some interest in it. Its importance was not realized—the circulatory and nervous systems receiving the lion's share of attention. In the second place, in holding post-mortems the organ was avoided, cut off, if in the way, and thrown into the slop bucket. It was known to be always full, but no one ever asked whether or not it was natural in its fullness of faecal matter, and as a result, probably the profession knows the least about this important organ, of any in the human body. Strange, is it not, that among the seven thousand physicians ground out and polished in the mills of wisdom each year, that there was not one who had originality enough to ask the question, Is it natural that this scent bag of filth should always be so full of putrid matter that we cannot abide one moment with it? And, inasmuch as it is so, is it not a great detriment at least to our health to carry this mass of filth around with us, from day to day, from week to week, and from year to year—absorbing its poison back into the circulation? Strange that these questions did not present themselves to some one of the enterprising youths of our original young America.
The muscular fibres of the intestines are circular and longitudinal. In the large intestine the longitudinal fibres are shorter than the tube itself, which length permits the formation of loculi (cavities). These become the seat of faecal accumulations, only too often unnoticed by the physician. It is undoubtedly a fact that the loculi of the colon contain small faecal accumulations extending over weeks, months, or even years. Their presence produces symptoms varying all the way from a little catarrhal irritation up to the most diverse, and in some instances serious, reflex disturbances. When the loculi only are filled, the main channel of the colon is undisturbed. The most common parts of the colon to become enlarged are the sigmoid flexure and the caecum (see diagram in beginning of book), but accumulations may occur in any part of the colon. The ascending colon is much more often filled in life than the books would lead us to believe; indeed, it may be said that chronic accumulations are oftener to be found in the ascending than in the descending colon, which is also contrary to the assertions of the authors. This is due partly to the fact that the contents of the colon have to rise in opposition to gravity, and partly to the semi-paralyzed condition of the muscular coat of the colon through inactivity. When the accumulations are large, the increased weight of the colon tends to displace it; and if in the transverse colon, that portion may be depressed, even into the pelvis.
The mass may be so enormous as to press upon any organ located in the abdomen, interfering with its functions; thus we may have pressure on the liver that arrests the flow of bile; or, upon the urinary organs, crippling their functions.
Of course, such excessive accumulations occur only exceptionally, and it is not to these that attention is particularly drawn, because when they are so excessive, any physician can detect them by palpation (touch).
It is to the minor accumulations particularly, that I wish to draw attention—the accumulations that we see in the majority of patients who visit our offices. Such patients assure us that the bowels move daily, but the color of their complexions, and the condition of their tongues, are enough to assure us that they are the victims of costiveness.
Daily movements of the bowels are no sign that the colon is not impacted; in fact, the worst cases of costiveness that we ever see are those in which daily movements of the bowels occur. The diagnosis of faecal accumulations is facilitated by inquiring as to the color of the daily discharges. A black or a very dark green color almost always indicates the faeces are ancient.
Prompt discharge of food refuse is indicated by more or less yellow color. It would be interesting to inquire why fresh faces are yellow and ancient faeces are dark.
Such patients have digestive fermentations to torment them, resulting in flatulent distension which encroaches on the cavity of the chest, which in excessive cases may cause short and rapid breathing, irregular heart action, disturbed circulation in the brain, with vertigo and headache. An over-distended caecum, or sigmoid flexure, from pressure, may produce dropsy, numbness or cramps in the right or left lower extremity.
The reports of the Post-mortem examination of the colons of hundreds of subjects reveals a series of horrors more weird and ghastly than were ever penned by Eugene Sue, or Emile Zola. The mind shrinks in dismay at the appalling revelations, and shudders at the possibly of the "human form divine" becoming such a peripatetic charnel house.
Is it any wonder that the average human system, being thus saturated with impurities, should succumb to the first exciting cause? Is it not, in fact, a greater marvel that the rate of mortality is not even higher than at present?
My object in publishing this book is to point out the true cause of disease, together with the means for its prevention and cure, and that, too, by a simple and inexpensive method of hygienic treatment, which has proved eminently successful in tens of thousands of cases, which is perfectly harmless and natural in its action, and absolutely free from even the suspicion of a drug.
RATIONAL HYGIENIC TREATMENT.
Having striven to explain in an intelligible manner the true nature and cause of disease, and to point out the inadequacy of the drug system of treatment to combat pathological conditions successfully (not from any lack of intention on the part of the drug practitioners: but from the unreliability of their methods), I shall now proceed to lay before you the system of treatment which it is proposed to substitute in its stead, and I unhesitatingly affirm that it will be found so simple, so inexpensive and so obviously based on common sense and true hygienic principles, that the thoughtful reader cannot fail to give it his unqualified endorsement, and will be lost in wonder that any one should fail to adopt it, when made acquainted with its simplicity and its marvellous results.
In an old comedy, which used to delight our fore-fathers, the hero, Felix O'Callaghan, defines the practice of medicine as "the art of amusing the patient while Nature performs the cure." In that sentence, the dramatist (unwittingly perhaps) embodied a great truth. Nature, and Nature only, can effect a cure. Fresh air, sunlight, pure water, diet and exercise are the great curative agents provided by Nature, and all that the physician can do, no matter to what school be belongs, is to remove as far as possible all existing impediments, and to see that the hygienic conditions are made as favorable as possible. For the rest, Nature, the marvellous builder, will, in her own mysterious way, build up fresh tissue, and, slowly but surely, repair the ravages made by disease. No one would dare to say that the farmer made the corn grow. He does all that the science of agriculture tells him is needful to furnish proper conditions for growth, but there he must stop—the rest must be left to Nature. Then, since disease is a wasting of tissue, and recovery a building up, it is a palpable absurdity to credit a physician with a cure. All that he can do is to cooperate with Nature, by seeing that none of her laws are violated, and insisting that nothing whatever shall obstruct her beneficent functions.
Whether for the preservation of health, or the treatment of disease, when present, the chief thing is to cleanse the colon. It is useless to attempt to get rid of the effects while the cause is present.
If the principal drain in a dwelling becomes choked, what is the consequence? The noxious and pestilent gases generated by the accumulated filth having no outlet, are forced back into the building, poisoning the atmosphere, and breeding contagion among the inhabitants. Deodorizing and disinfecting will simply be a waste of time and material, until the drain is cleared. The colon is the main drain of the human body, and if it be necessary, for sanitary reasons, to keep the house drains clean, how vitally important is it to keep the main outlet of the physical system free from obstructions.
Or, to use another homely illustration, when your coal stove has been run continuously for a long time, as a natural result it becomes clogged with cinders and ashes, causing the fire to burn badly. You encourage it with fresh fuel, rake it and shake it but without avail—the accumulations of debris are too great. You remove a portion, but its place is taken by more substance from above. At length you resort to the measure you should have employed at first—you "dump the grate" and start a fresh fire. The moral is obvious: dump the grate of the human system—in other words, empty the colon.
It has been previously shown that an impacted colon is neither more nor less than a prolific hot-bed for the wholesale breeding of disease germs—microbes—those infinitesimal organisms which science has demonstrated to be the cause of many phases of disease, or rather, the toxins (poisons) they produce, cause disease. Of course, there are harmless micro-organisms as well as hurtful ones; in fact, a large proportion of them are beneficial rather than otherwise; but some of them (notably the tubercle bacillus) are so intimately associated with disease that it is next to impossible to doubt their responsibility.
The sphere of the microbe is absolutely without limit. He is equally at ease in the air, the earth, and the water. He makes himself at home in our beverages and our foods. Our mouths furnish desirable lurking places for him, our hair, and finger-nails are favorite posts of vantage; while he delights to disport himself in our blood. He is the active agent of decay, and the prime cause of disease. He is the most selfish of parasites. The world for a long time disregarded him, but now acknowledges him as one of the mightiest of conquerers; for while other devastators have slain thousands, millions have fallen beneath his insidious attacks. He is a foe to be dreaded, for he is forever lying in ambush for fresh victims.
Microbes breed in fermentation, consequently, every particle of undigested food remaining in the stomach or intestines becomes an ideal nursery for their propagation. It has been demonstrated that food that has been subjected to the action of the gastric juice decomposes far more rapidly than that which has not—hence, with imperfect digestion, fermentation quickly takes place. If microbes are now introduced into the system, either by contact with sick persons, inhaling impure air in crowded public buildings, or breathing in the dust on ill-kept streets, there is danger ahead; for if the recipient is not in a sound, physical condition, the microbes (finding congenial lodgment), multiply with the most marvellous rapidity, permeating every portion of the tissue—causing, in fact, DECOMPOSITION WHILE STILL ALIVE.
Every particle of animal or vegetable matter, even if only a single grain in weight, by exposure to the air, putrefies, breeds, and attracts to itself thousands of microbes, and becomes a center of infection. Thus, in a piece of street dirt containing organic matter, we may find upon examination, the germs of typhoid fever, diphtheria, scarlet fever, or consumption. When this piece of dirt is dried by the sun and pulverized by horses' hoofs, the particles of dirt are caught up by the wind, and sent whirling through the air, to be drawn into the lungs by those within reach, Of course, every one who breathes in the microbes of some particular disease does not catch it, or we should soon all be dead, but those who have not the resisting power of sound bodies to kill these germs, before they have time to set up their peculiar inflammation, are apt to realize the evil effects, a week, a month, or even a year afterwards.
It is evident then that to cure disease we must get rid of all fermentation in the system, and thus prevent the further breeding of microbes and to prevent disease we must get the system into such a sound, healthy condition that disease germs cannot obtain a lodgment in it.
Now, this can only be accomplished by thoroughly cleansing the colon, and keeping it absolutely clean, thus preventing further contamination of the blood current—the fountain of life.
The intelligent reader, recognizing the absolute correctness of the foregoing proposition, will naturally ask, "Can such a thing be accomplished, and how?" We beg to assure the reader, most emphatically, that it can, but not by the means usually employed. It is perfectly plain that the cleansing process cannot be effected by cathartics, for at the best, they only afford temporary relief (witness the growth of the cathartic habit), while on an impacted mass such as is commonly present in the colon, the influence they can exert is practically nil. The common experience of those afflicted with constipation is, that they commence with a laxative, gradually increasing the quantity and frequency of the dose until it fails to act at all. Then they resort to a cathartic, with a similar experience, when it is exchanged for a more powerful one, and then for another still more powerful, until at last, it becomes impossible to move the bowels without a powerful dose.
That this is no overdrawn picture many of my readers will bear witness, and my brother practitioners can amply corroborate the statement, for they fully recognize the vital importance of removing the waste from the system. The pity of it is that they still persist in employing such a crude and ineffective method.
Do any of my readers know how a cathartic acts?
It is popularly supposed that the drug passes from the stomach into the small intestines, rendering their contents more liquid; then passes into the colon, producing the same effect upon its more solid contents, thus causing an evacuation. Many people have no conception, whatever, of the modus operandi of a purgative drug, simply believing that it acts in a certain mysterious manner, but the above described process is generally believed to be the correct one by those who have thought upon the matter, but lack physiological knowledge. It is a huge mistake.
Any purgative drug, whether aperient, laxative or cathartic, is dissolved in the stomach by the action of the gastric juice—in fact, goes through the same digestive process as the food that is eaten, that is, it passes into the small intestines and is there absorbed into the circulation.
By its irritation of the nerves, the secretory and excretory processes of the system are stimulated into abnormal action, and an extra quantity of fluid is poured into the colon to dissolve the accumulated mass; which is about as scientific a proceeding as pouring a quart of water into a washbowl on the upper floor of a dwelling to clear away an obstruction in the main drain of the building. And, again, as previously stated, the action of laxatives and cathartics, especially the variety known as hydrogo-cathartics (watery), fill the ano-rectal cavity and the loculi, or folds of the colon, with a foul watery solution that is a perpetual source of irritation to the sensitive mucous surface, hastening and intensifying the process of auto-infection by absorption, that is constantly going on.
And what about the enormous drain upon the vital forces? Who is not familiar with the feeling of exhaustion when the reaction sets in after the employment of such methods of relief? How can it be otherwise? These stimulants to defecation are like the applications of the whip to the jaded horse-they excite the system to make a supreme effort in the required direction, but the reaction is disastrous in the extreme. With the repeated demands upon the delicate nervous system incidental to constant catharsis is it any wonder that we are so constantly confronted with cases of nervous collapse? The wonder would be if it were otherwise.
Nor are these the only objections to be urged against purgative medication. Its effects upon the digestive functions is, in the highest degree, destructive. It would be next to impossible to find an individual addicted to the use of cathartics whose digestion was not, practically, a wreck. It is true, that a large part of the digestive disturbance in such cases is due to the obstructed condition of the colon, and the consequent undue retention of food in the stomach, until fermentation sets in; but no inconsiderable share of the trouble is due to the action of the drugs, by repeated over- stimulation of the nervous system, and perpetual irritation of the delicate absorbent vessels.
Viewed from whatever standpoint we may choose, the employment of drugs to relieve an overcharged colon is both unsatisfactory and unscientific.
And yet there is a simple and effective method of dealing with this trouble; of removing the accumulations, no matter how large they may be; of thoroughly cleansing and purifying that important organ, the colon, without the least demand upon the vital forces, and that is by
WASHING IT OUT.
In plain English, the preservation and restoration of health depends entirely upon cleanliness, especially internal cleanliness, and to attain that condition which we are told is next to godliness, there is nothing equal to water—especially "hot water, which is the great scavenger of nature."
Strange, that such an obviously common-sense proceeding should not be universal, is it not? I do not claim to be the discoverer of this method of internal purification, for it is in reality of ancient origin, as we have it on good authority that it was practised by the ancient Egyptians, who, it is believed, acquired their knowledge from observing a bird called the Ibis, a species of Egyptian snipe. The food of this bird, gathered on the banks of the Nile, was of a very constipating character, and it was observed, by the earliest naturalists, to suck up the water of the river and using its long bill for a syringe, inject it into its anus, thus relieving itself. Pliny says this habit of the Ibis first suggested the use of clysters to the ancient Egyptian doctors, known to be the first medical practitioners of any nation, not excepting the Chinese. [See Naturalis Historia, Lib. VIII., Dap. 41, Hague 1518.
Another writer, viz., Christianus Langius, says, that this bird when attacked with constipation at some distance from the river, and not able to fly from weakness, would be seen to crawl to the water's edge with drooping wings and there take its rectal treatment, when in a few minutes it would fly away in full vigor of regained strength.
Nor do I even claim to have rediscovered this system of treatment, although it is a common practice in these days to revamp old theories and discoveries, and try to foist them upon the public as entirely new propositions. The credit for the resuscitation of this ancient remedial practice belongs, without doubt, to Dr. A. Wilford Hall, of New York, who practiced the treatment on himself for forty years before giving its principles to the public, thereby fully proving its merits.
The following experience from the pen of Dr. H. T. Turner, of Washington, affords incontestable proof of the allegation made, that the colon is the seat of disease, and his testimony should be read with extreme care. It is no fanciful, theoretical statement, but the ghastly revelation of an appalling reality. While reading his statement, the reader will do well to refer to the engraving, representing the digestive apparatus, at the commencement of this book, as it will greatly facilitate his comprehension of the matter.
"In 1880 I lost a patient with inflammation of the bowels, and requested of the friends the privilege of holding a post-mortem examination, as I was satisfied that there was some foreign substance in or near the Ileo-coecal valve, or in that apparently useless appendage, the Appendicula Vermiformis. (See explanation of engraving.)
"The autopsy developed a quantity of grape seed and popcorn, filling the lower enlarged pouch of the colon and the opening into the Appendicula Vermiformis. This, from the mortified and blackened condition of the colon alone, indicated that my diagnosis was correct. I opened the colon throughout its entire length of five feet, and found it filled with faecal matter encrusted on its walls and into the folds of the colon, in many places dry and hard as slate, and so completely obstructing the passage of the bowels as to throw him into violent colic (as his friends stated), sometimes as often as twice a month, for years, and that powerful doses of physic was his only relief; that all the doctors had agreed that it was bilious colic. I observed that this crusted matter was evidently of long standing, the result of years of accumulation, and although the remote cause, not the immediate cause of his death. The sigmoid-flexure (see engraving), or bend in the colon on the left side, was especially full, and distended to double its natural size, filling the gut uniformly, with a small hole the size of one's little finger through the center, through which the recent faecal matter passed. In the lower part of the sigmoid-flexure, just before descending to form the rectum, and in the left hand upper corner of the colon as it turns toward the right, were pockets eaten out of the hardened faecal matter, in which were eggs of worms and quite a quantity of maggots, which had eaten into the sensitive mucous membrane, causing serious inflammation of the colon and its adjacent parts, and as recent investigation has established as a fact, were the cause of his hemorrhoids, or piles, which I learned were of years' standing. The whole length of the colon was in a state of chronic inflammation; still this man considered himself well and healthy until the unfortunate eating of the grape seed and popcorn, and had no trouble in getting his life insured in one of the best companies in America.
"I have been thus explicit in this description, from the fact that recent investigation has developed the fact that in the discovery described above, I had found but a prototype of at least seven-tenths of the human family in civilized life—the real cause of all diseases of the human body, excepting the grape seed and popcorn. That I had found the fountain of premature old age and death, for, as surprising as it may seem, out of 284 cases of autopsies held of late on the colon (they representing in their death nearly all the diseases known to our climate), but twenty-eight colons were found to be free from hardened, adhered matter, and in their normal healthy state, and that the 256 were all more or less as described above, except, perhaps, the grape seeds and popcorn. In many of them the colon was distended to double its natural size throughout its whole length, with a small hole through the center, and as far as could be learned, these last cases spoken of had regular evacuations of the bowels each day. Many of the colons contained large maggots from four to six inches long, and pockets of eggs and maggots, while blood and pus were frequently present."
The question is often asked, and naturally so, why this unnatural accumulation is in the colon? The horse and ox promptly obey the call of nature; they know no time or place, and are blessed with clean colons. So are the natives of Africa. But the demands of civilized life insist upon a time and place. Business, etiquette, opportunity, and a thousand and one excuses stand continually in the way, and nature's call is put off to a more convenient time and place.
How many people are not presentable to themselves or friends, owing to the putrid smell of their bodies, so that in polite society strong colognes and other perfumes are used. Show me a woman who girts her waist with corsets or any tight clothing, and I will warrant you that the smell from her body will be sickening in the extreme. The special reason for this is, that the lacing comes immediately where the transverse colon crosses her body. Now, if the sigmoid-flexure becomes loaded, because of its folding upon itself, how much more will the transverse colon become clogged if unnaturally folded upon itself by compression from each side folding it, as demonstrated in some instances, almost double the whole length, into two extra elbows, where it, if natural; is straight (see engraving on next page). Many reasons have been given by physiologists and humanitarians, why it is injurious for the lady to lace, but this reason outweighs them all. Wear the clothing loose, clean out the colon and heal it up, and you will smell sweet, and life will be a continual blessing; for if the main sewer in the body is closed or clogged, nature has but three other outlets: the capillaries or pores of the skin, the lungs in exhalation, or the kidneys. If the colon is clogged, the penned-up acid permeations of the stomach and duodenum will have to seek other outlets, which is indicated by the putrid smell of the body and a foul breath with finally dyspepsia, and what is usually termed biliousness, torpid liver, etc.
The condition of the colon (the physiological sewer) in the average adult having been demonstrated, does it need any argument to convince the intelligent thinker that the most rational and practical manner of dealing with this hot-bed of filth and breeding place of disease, is to wash it out?
With me, it has passed beyond the theoretical stage, for I have in my office fully 15,000 grateful letters from patients who have used this process, under my direction, with the most astounding results; scarcely a disease known to humanity, but has been relieved, and in ninety-five per cent. of cases, cures effected; while tens of thousands of gratifying messages have reached me from time to time; nor is the testimony in its favor confined to the laity, for hundreds of physicians (including some of the most prominent authorities) testify to the wonderfully beneficial results achieved by its use.
We now come to the most important feature of the subject—the means for putting it into practice, for it will readily be admitted that such an admirable and common-sense method of treatment should have the most perfect means procurable for its application, but until the present time the available means have remained crude and undeveloped. This, however, is scarcely to be wondered at. It is the history of all important discoveries.
Those great natural forces, steam and electricity, although their value was recognized, yet required the aid of inventive genius to develop their possibilities; in fact, it has required three-fourths of a century to bring the locomotive to its present state of perfection, while the potentialities of electricity are as yet only surmised. This being so in matters that offer a rich pecuniary harvest to the inventor, it is little matter for surprise that improvement in a means of combating disease should progress slowly. In the first place, it was a new departure, unheralded to the world, and frowned upon by the members of the orthodox medical schools; consequently there was no tempting bait of a handsome profit to encourage the inventor, and until lately the indifference to matters pertaining to health was proverbial.
When Dr. Hall commenced his famous experimentation upon himself, the only appliance available for the purpose was the old-fashioned bulb syringe, which is simply a flexible rubber tube with an egg-shaped receptacle in the center. One end of the tube is inserted in the rectum, while the other end is immersed in a vessel of water, the injection of the fluid being accomplished by alternately compressing and relaxing the bulbous portion. It is needless to say that the process of "flushing the colon" copiously, the only effectual way, was a tedious, inconvenient and imperfect matter with such a crude appliance. After the lapse of a great number of years the "gravity" or "fountain" syringe was invented, which consisted of a rubber bag with a long flexible tube attached to its lower end. The bag was suspended from a nail or hook several feet above the individual, the water being forced into the body by gravity, the pressure being increased or diminished by raising or lowering the bag. This was a distinct advance upon the bulb syringe, but it still left a great deal to be desired. In the first place, they are both exceedingly tedious, a serious objection in the case of weakly or elderly people; secondly, both methods necessitate the uncovering of the lower portion of the body, which is decidedly unpleasant; and, most serious of all, it is impossible to prevent the admission of air into the intestine, and that is a fruitful source of pain and discomfort. It should, however, be borne in mind that both of these appliances were devised for an entirely different class of operation (namely, vaginal douching), and were only used for intestinal treatment because there was nothing better at hand.
Another method, sometimes employed by progressive physicians, consists in using, in connection with the fountain syringe, a tube from eighteen to twenty-four inches in length, made of a firm but flexible variety of rubber. This was introduced (its entire length) into the body, the theory being that it was necessary to get behind the impacted mass and force it out ahead of the water, which was theoretically correct, but in practice found sadly wanting. In the first place, the opening in the eye of the tube became clogged with the faecal matter, and, secondly, with the double tube employed for the return flow, the opening was too small to allow of the passage of solid substances. The introduction of the catheter is a process requiring considerable skill, and a perfect acquaintance with the anatomy of the parts, so that personal use of it is practically impossible, or, at least, attended with considerable danger. An examination of the diagram of the digestive apparatus at the beginning of the book will enable the reader to understand the difficulties attending its introduction, since it has to pass the sigmoid flexure (No. 12), and the splenic flexure—that angle of the colon where the transverse portion turns to descend. With such a tortuous road to travel, the risk of injury to the sensitive mucous membrane is excessive—hence this instrument should never be used by the patient upon himself.