How and When to Be Your Own Doctor
by Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon
The Nature and Cause of Disease
From The Hygienic Dictionary
Toxemia.  "Toxemia is the basic cause of all so-called diseases. In the process of tissue-building (metabolism), there is cell-building (anabolism) and cell destruction (catabolism). The broken-down tissue is toxic. In the healthy body (when nerve energy is normal), this toxic material is eliminated from the blood as fast as it is evolved. But when nerve energy is dissipated from any cause (such as physical or mental excitement or bad habits) the body becomes weakened or enervated. When the body is enervated, elimination is checked. This, in turn, results in a retention of toxins in the blood--the condition which we speak of as toxemia. This state produces a crisis which is nothing more than heroic or extraordinary efforts by the body to eliminate waste or toxin from the blood. It is this crisis which we term disease. Such accumulation of toxin when once established, will continue until nerve energy has been restored to normal by removing the cause. So-called disease is nature's effort to eliminate toxin from the blood. All so-called diseases are crises of toxemia." John H. Tilden, M.D., Toxemia Explained.  Toxins are divided into two groups; namely exogenous, those formed in the alimentary canal from fermentation and decomposition following imperfect or faulty digestion. If the fermentation is of vegetables or fruit, the toxins are irritating, stimulating and enervating, but not so dangerous or destructive to organic life as putrefaction, which is a fermentation set up in nitrogenous matter--protein-bearing foods, but particularly animal foods. Endogenous toxins are autogenerated. They are the waste products of metabolism. Dr. John. H. Tllden, Impaired Health: Its Cause and Cure, 1921.
Experts then proffer answers. "Because there are too many cars," says the Get A Horse Society. The auto makers suggest it is because there are uncoordinated traffic lights and because almost all the businesses send their employees home at the same time. Easy to fix! And no reason whatsoever to limit the number of cars. The asphalt industry suggests it is because the size and amount of roads is inadequate.
What do we do then? Tax cars severely until few can afford them? Legislate opening and closing hours of businesses to stagger to'ing and fro'ing? Hire a smarter municipal highway engineer to synchronize the traffic lights? Build larger and more efficient streets? Demand that auto companies make cars smaller so more can fit the existing roads? Tax gasoline prohibitively, pass out and give away free bicycles in virtually unlimited quantities while simultaneously building mass rail systems? What? Which?
When we settle on a solution we have simultaneously chosen what we consider the real, underlying cause of the problem. If our chosen reason was the real reason. then our solution results in a real cure. If we picked wrongly, our attempt at solution may result in no cure, or create a worse situation than we had before.
The American Medical Association style of medicine (a philosophy I will henceforth call allopathic) has a model that explains the causes of illness. It suggests that anyone who is sick is a victim. Either they were attacked by a "bad" organism--virus, bacteria, yeast, pollen, cancer cell, etc.--or they have a "bad" organ--liver, kidney, gall bladder, even brain. Or, the victim may also have been cursed by bad genes. In any case, the cause of the disease is not the person and the person is neither responsible for creating their own complaint nor is the victim capable of making it go away. This institutionalized irresponsibility seems useful for both parties to the illness, doctor and patient. The patient is not required to do anything about their complaint except pay (a lot) and obediently follow the instructions of the doctor, submitting unquestioningly to their drugs and surgeries. The physician then acquires a role of being considered vital to the survival of others and thus obtains great status, prestige, authority, and financial remuneration.
Perhaps because the sick person is seen to have been victimized, and it is logically impossible to consider a victimizer as anything but something evil, the physician's cure is often violent, confrontational. Powerful poisons are used to rejigger body chemistry or to arrest the multiplication of disease bacteria or to suppress symptoms; if it is possible to sustain life without them, "bad," poorly-functioning organs are cut out.
I've had a lot of trouble with the medical profession. Over the years doctors have made attempts to put me in jail and keep me in fear. But they never stopped me. When I've had a client die there has been an almost inevitable coroner's investigation, complete with detectives and the sheriff. Fortunately, I practice in rural Oregon, where the local people have a deeply-held belief in individual liberty and where the authorities know they would have had a very hard time finding a jury to convict me. Had I chosen to practice with a high profile and had I located Great Oaks School of Health in a major market area where the physicians were able to charge top dollar, I probably would have spent years behind bars as did other heroes of my profession such as Linda Hazzard and Royal Lee.
So I have acquired an uncomplimentary attitude about medical doctors, a viewpoint I am going to share with you ungently, despite the fact that doing so will alienate some of my readers. But I do so because most Americans are entirely enthralled by doctors, and this doctor-god worship kills a lot of them.
However, before I get started on the medicos, let me state that one area exists where I do have fundamental admiration for allopathic medicine. This is its handling of trauma. I agree that a body can become the genuine victim of fast moving bullets. It can be innocently cut, smashed, burned, crushed and broken. Trauma are not diseases and modern medicine has become quite skilled at putting traumatized bodies back together. Genetic abnormality may be another undesirable physical condition that is beyond the purview of natural medicine. However, the expression of contra-survival genetics can often be controlled by nutrition. And the expression of poor genetics often results from poor nutrition, and thus is similar to a degenerative disease condition, and thus is well within the scope of natural medicine.
Today's suffering American public is firmly in the AMA's grip. People have been effectively prevented from learning much about medical alternatives, have been virtually brainwashed by clever media management that portrays other medical models as dangerous and/or ineffective. Legislation influenced by the allopathic doctors' union, the American Medical Association, severely limits or prohibits the practice of holistic health. People are repeatedly directed by those with authority to an allopathic doctor whenever they have a health problem, question or confusion. Other types of healers are considered to be at best harmless as long as they confine themselves to minor complaints; at worst, when naturopaths, hygienists, or homeopaths seek to treat serious disease conditions they are called quacks, accused of unlicensed practice of medicine and if they persist or develop a broad, successful, high-profile and (this is the very worst) profitable practice, they are frequently jailed.
Even licensed MDs are crushed by the authorities if they offer non-standard treatments. So when anyone seeks an alternative health approach it is usually because their complaint has already failed to vanish after consulting a whole series of allopathic doctors. This highly unfortunate kind of sufferer not only has a degenerative condition to rectify, they may have been further damaged by harsh medical treatments and additionally, they have a considerable amount of brainwashing to overcome.
The AMA has succeeded at making their influence over information and media so pervasive that most people do not even realize that the doctors' union is the source of their medical outlook. Whenever an American complains of some malady, a concerned and honestly caring friend will demand to know have they yet consulted a medical doctor. Failure to do so on one's own behalf is considered highly irresponsible. Concerned relatives of seriously ill adults who decline standard medical therapy may, with a great show of self-righteousness, have the sick person judged mentally incompetent so that treatment can be forced upon them. When a parent fails to seek standard medical treatment for their child, the adult may well be found guilty of criminal negligence, raising the interesting issue of who "owns" the child, the parents or the State.
It is perfectly acceptable to die while under conventional medical care. Happens all the time, in fact. But holistic alternatives are represented as stupidly risky, especially for serious conditions such as cancer. People with cancer see no choice but to do chemotherapy, radiation, and radical surgery because this is the current allopathic medical approach. On some level people may know that these remedies are highly dangerous but they have been told by their attending oncologist that violent therapies are their only hope of survival, however poor that may be. If a cancer victim doesn't proceed immediately with such treatment their official prognosis becomes worse by the hour. Such scare tactics are common amongst the medical profession, and they leave the recipient so terrified that they meekly and obediently give up all self-determinism, sign the liability waiver, and submit, no questions asked. Many then die after suffering intensely from the therapy, long before the so-called disease could have actually caused their demise. I will later offer alternative and frequently successful (but not guaranteed) approaches to treating cancer that do not require the earliest-possible detection, surgery or poisons.
If holistic practitioners were to apply painful treatments like allopaths use, ones with such poor statistical outcomes like allopaths use, there would most certainly be witch hunts and all such irresponsible, greedy quacks would be safely imprisoned. I find it highly ironic that for at least the past twenty five hundred years the basic principle of good medicine has been that the treatment must first do no harm. This is such an obvious truism that even the AMA doctors pledge to do the same thing when they take the Hippocratic Oath. Yet virtually every action taken by the allopath is a conscious compromise between the potential harm of the therapy and its potential benefit.
In absolute contrast, if a person dies while on a natural hygiene program, they died because their end was inevitable no matter what therapy was attempted. Almost certainly receiving hygienic therapy contributed to making their last days far more comfortable and relatively freer of pain without using opiates. I have personally taken on clients sent home to die after they had suffered everything the doctors could do to them, told they had only a few days, weeks, or months to live. Some of these clients survived as a result of hygienic programs even at that late date. And some didn't. The amazing thing was that any of them survived at all, because the best time to begin a hygienic program is as early in the degenerative process as possible, not after the body has been drastically weakened by invasive and toxic treatments. Later on, I'll tell you about some of these cases.
Something I consider especially ironic is that when the patient of a medical doctor dies, it is inevitably thought that the blessed doctor did all that could be done; rarely is any blame laid. If the physician was especially careless or stupid, their fault can only result in a civil suit, covered by malpractice insurance. But let a holistic practitioner treat a sick person and have that person follow any of their suggestions or take any natural remedies and have that person die or worsen and it instantly becomes the natural doctor's fault. Great blame is placed and the practitioner faces inquests, grand juries, manslaughter charges, jail time and civil suits that can't be insured against.
Allopathic medicine rarely makes a connection between the real causes of a degenerative or infectious disease and its cure. The causes are usually considered mysterious: we don't know why the pancreas is acting up, etc. The sick are sympathized with as victims who did nothing to contribute to their condition. The cure is a highly technical battle against the illness, whose weapons are defined in Latin and far beyond the understanding of a layperson.
Hygienic medicine presents an opposite view. To the naturopath, illness is not a perplexing and mysterious occurrence over which you have no control or understanding. The causes of disease are clear and simple, the sick person is rarely a victim of circumstance and the cure is obvious and within the competence of a moderately intelligent sick person themselves to understand and help administer. In natural medicine, disease is a part of living that you are responsible for, and quite capable of handling.
Asserting that the sick are pitiable victims is financially beneficial to doctors. It makes medical intervention seem a vital necessity for every ache and pain. It makes the sick become dependent. I'm not implying that most doctors knowingly are conniving extortionists. Actually most medical doctors are genuinely well-intentioned. I've also noticed that most medical doctors are at heart very timid individuals who consider that possession of a MD degree and license proves that they are very important, proves them to be highly intelligent, even makes them fully qualified to pontificate on many subjects not related to medicine at all.
Doctors obtain an enormous sense of self-importance at medical school, where they proudly endured the high pressure weeding out of any free spirit unwilling to grind away into the night for seven or more years. Anyone incapable of absorbing and regurgitating huge amounts of rote information; anyone with a disrespectful or irreverent attitude toward the senior doctor-gods who arrogantly serve as med school professors, anyone like this was eliminated with especial rapidity. When the thoroughly submissive, homogenized survivors are finally licensed, they assume the status of junior doctor-gods.
But becoming an official medical deity doesn't permit one to create their own methods. No no, the AMA's professional oversight and control system makes continued possession of the license to practice (and the high income that usually comes with it) entirely dependent on continued conformity to what is defined by the AMA as "correct practice." Any doctor who innovates beyond strict limits or uses non-standard treatments is in real danger of losing their livelihood and status.
Not only are licensed graduates of AMA-sanctioned medical schools kept on a very tight leash, doctors of other persuasions who use other methods to heal the sick or help them heal themselves are persecuted and prosecuted. Extension of the AMA's control through regulatory law and police power is justified in the name of preventing quackery and making sure the ignorant and gullible public receives only scientifically proven effective medical care.
Those on the other side of the fence view the AMA's oppression as an effective way to make sure the public has no real choices but to use union doctors, pay their high fees and suffer greatly by misunderstanding of the true cause of disease and its proper cure. If there are any actual villains responsible for this suppressive tragedy some of them are to be found in the inner core of the AMA, officials who may perhaps fully and consciously comprehend the suppressive system they promulgate.
Hygienists usually inform the patient quite clearly and directly that the practitioner has no ability to heal them or cure their condition and that no doctor of any type actually is able to heal. Only the body can heal itself, something it is eager and usually very able to do if only given the chance. One pithy old saying among hygienists goes, "if the body can't heal itself, nothing can heal it." The primary job of the hygienic practitioner is to reeducate the patient by conducting them through their first natural healing process. If this is done well the sick person learns how to get out of their own body's way and permit its native healing power to manifest. Unless later the victim of severe traumatic injury, never again will that person need obscenely expensive medical procedures. Hygienists rarely make six figure incomes from regular, repeat business.
This aspect of hygienic medicine makes it different than almost all the others, even most other holistic methods. Hygiene is the only system that does not interpose the assumed healing power of a doctor between the patient and wellness. When I was younger and less experienced I thought that the main reason traditional medical practice did not stress the body's own healing power and represented the doctor as a necessary intervention was for profit. But after practicing for over twenty years I now understand that the last thing most people want to hear is that their own habits, especially their eating patterns and food choices, are responsible for their disease and that their cure is to only be accomplished through dietary reform, which means unremittingly applied self-discipline.
One of the hardest things to ask of a person is to change a habit. The reason that AMA doctors have most of the patients is they're giving the patients exactly what they want, which is to be allowed to continue in their unconscious irresponsibility.
The Cause Of Disease
Ever since natural medicine arose in opposition to the violence of so-called scientific medicine, every book on the subject of hygiene, once it gets past its obligatory introductions and warm ups, must address The Cause of Disease. This is a required step because we see the cause of disease and its consequent cure in a very different manner than the allopath. Instead of many causes, we see one basic reason why. Instead of many unrelated cures, we have basically one approach to fix all ills that can be fixed.
A beautiful fifty cent word that means a system for explaining something is paradigm, pronounced para-dime. I am fond of this word because it admits the possibility of many differing yet equally true explanations for the same reality. Of all available paradigms, Natural Hygiene suits me best and has been the one I've used for most of my career.
The Natural Hygienist's paradigm for the cause of both degenerative and infectious disease is called the Theory of Toxemia, or "self-poisoning."
Before explaining this theory it will help many readers if I digress a brief moment about the nature and validity of alternative paradigms. Not too many decades ago, scientists thought that reality was a singular, real, perpetual--that Natural Law existed much as a tree or a rock existed. In physics, for example, the mechanics of Newton were considered capital "T" True, the only possible paradigm. Any other view, not being True, was False. There was capital "N" natural capital "L" law.
More recently, great uncertainty has entered science; it has become indisputable that a theory or explanation of reality is only true only to the degree it seems to work; conflicting or various explanations can all work, all can be "true." At least, this uncertainty has overtaken the hard, physical sciences. It has not yet done so with medicine. The AMA is convinced (or is working hard to convince everyone else) that its paradigm, the allopathic approach, is Truth, is scientific, and therefore, anything else is Falsehood, is irresponsibility, is a crime against the sick.
But the actual worth or truth of any paradigm is found not in its "reality," but in its utility. Does an explanation or theory allow a person to manipulate experience and create a desired outcome. To the extent a paradigm does that, it can be considered valuable. Judged by this standard, the Theory of Toxemia must be far truer than the hodgepodge of psuedoscience taught in medical schools. Keep that in mind the next time some officious medical doctor disdainfully informs you that Theory of Toxemia was disproven in 1927 by Doctors Jeckel and Hyde.
Why People Get Sick
This is the Theory of Toxemia. A healthy body struggles continually to purify itself of poisons that are inevitably produced while going about its business of digesting food, moving about, and repairing itself. The body is a marvelous creation, a carbon, oxygen combustion machine, constantly burning fuel, disposing of the waste products of combustion, and constantly rebuilding tissue by replacing worn out, dead cells with new, fresh ones. Every seven years virtually every cell in the body is replaced, some types of cells having a faster turnover rate than others, which means that over a seven year period several hundred pounds of dead cells must be digested (autolyzed) and eliminated. All by itself this would be a lot of waste disposal for the body to handle. Added to that waste load are numerous mild poisons created during proper digestion. And added to that can be an enormous burden of waste products created as the body's attempts to digest the indigestible, or those tasty items I've heard called "fun food." Add to that burden the ruinous effects of just plain overeating.
The waste products of digestion, of indigestion, of cellular breakdown and the general metabolism are all poisonous to one degree or another. Another word for this is toxic. If these toxins were allowed to remain and accumulate in the body, it would poison itself and die in agony. So the body has a processing system to eliminate toxins. And when that system does break down the body does die in agony, as from liver or kidney failure.
The organs of detoxification remove things from the body's system, but these two vital organs should not be confused with what hygienists call the secondary organs of elimination, such as the large intestine, lungs, bladder and the skin, because none of these other eliminatory organs are supposed to purify the body of toxins. But when the body is faced with toxemia, the secondary organs of elimination are frequently pressed into this duty and the consequences are the symptoms we call illness.
The lungs are supposed to eliminate only carbon dioxide gas; not self-generated toxic substances. The large intestine is supposed to pass only insoluble food solids (and some nasty stuff dumped into the small intestine by the liver). Skin eliminates in the form of sweat (which contains mineral salts) to cool the body, but the skin is not supposed to move toxins outside the system. But when toxins are flowed out through secondary organs of elimination these areas become inflamed, irritated, weakened. The results can be skin irritations, sinusitis or a whole host of other "itises" depending on the area involved, bacterial or viral infections, asthma. When excess toxemia is deposited instead of eliminated, the results can be arthritis if toxins are stored in joints, rheumatism if in muscle tissues, cysts and benign tumors. And if toxins weaken the body's immune response, cancer.
The liver and the kidneys, the two heroic organs of detoxification, are the most important ones; these jointly act as filters to purify the blood. Hygienists pay a lot of attention to these organs, the liver especially.
In an ideal world, the liver and kidneys would keep up with their job for 80 years or more before even beginning to tire. In this ideal world, the food would of course, be very nutritious and free of pesticide residues, the air and water would be pure, people would not denature their food and turn it into junk. In this perfect world everyone would get moderate exercise into old age, and live virtually without stress. In this utopian vision, the average healthy productive life span would approach a century, entirely without using food supplements or vitamins. In this world doctors would have next to no work other than repairing traumatic injuries, because everyone would be healthy. But this is not the way it is.
In our less-than-ideal world virtually everything we eat is denatured, processed, fried, salted, sweetened, preserved; thus more stress is placed on the liver and kidneys than nature designed them to handle. Except for a few highly fortunate individuals blessed with an incredible genetic endowment that permits them to live to age 99 on moose meat, well-larded white flour biscuits, coffee with evaporated milk and sugar, brandy and cigarettes (we've all heard of someone like this), most peoples' liver and kidneys begin to break down prematurely. Thus doctoring has become a financially rewarding profession.
Most people overburden their organs of elimination by eating whatever they feel like eating whenever they feel like it. Or, they irresponsibly eat whatever is served to them by a mother, wife, institution or cook because doing so is easy or expected. Eating is a very habitual and unconscious activity; frequently we continue to eat as adults whatever our mother fed us as a child. I consider it unsurprising that when people develop the very same disease conditions as their parents. they wrongly assume the cause is genetic inheritance, when actually it was just because they were putting their feet under the same table as their parents.
Toxemia also comes about from following the wrongheaded recommendations of allopathic-inspired nutritional texts and licensed dietitians. For example, people believe they should eat one food from each of the four so-called basic food groups at each meal, thinking they are doing the right thing for their health by having four colors of food on every plate, when they really aren't. What they have actually done is force their bodies to attempt the digestion of indigestible food combinations, and the resulting indigestion creates massive doses of toxins. I'll have a lot more to say about that later when I discuss the art of food combining.
wheat grass juice
* Standard dietitians divide our foods into four basic food groups and recommend the ridiculous practice of mixing them at every meal. This guarantees indigestion and lots of business for the medical profession. This chart illustrates the actual food groups. It is usually a poor practice to mix different foods from one group with those from another.
The Digestive Process
After we have eaten our four-color meal--often we do this in a hurry, without much chewing, under a lot of stress, or in the presence of negative emotions--we give no thought to what becomes of our food once it has been swallowed. We have been led to assume that anything put in the mouth automatically gets digested flawlessly, is efficiently absorbed into the body where it nourishes our cells, with the waste products being eliminated completely by the large intestine. This vision of efficiency may exist in the best cases but for most there is many a slip between the table and the toilet. Most bodies are not optimally efficient at performing all the required functions, especially after years of poor living habits, stress, fatigue, and aging. To the Natural Hygienist, most disease begins and ends with our food; most of our healing efforts are focused on improving the process of digestion.
Digestion means chemically changing the foods we eat into substances that can pass into the blood stream and circulate through the body where nutrition is used for bodily functions. Our bodies use nutritional substances for fuel, for repair and rebuilding, and to conduct an incredibly complex biochemistry. Scientists are still busily engaged in trying to understand the chemical mysteries of our bodies. But as bewildering as the chemistry of life is, the chemistry of digestion itself is actually a relatively simple process, and one doctors have had a fairly good understanding of for many decades.
Though relatively straightforward, a lot can and does go wrong with digestion. The body breaks down foods with a series of different enzymes that are mixed with food at various points as it passes from mouth to stomach to small intestine. An enzyme is a large, complex molecule that has the ability to chemically change other large, complex molecules without being changed itself. Digestive enzymes perform relatively simple functions--breaking large molecules into smaller parts that can dissolve in water.
Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with ptyalin, an enzyme secreted by the salivary glands. Pylatin converts insoluble starches into simple sugars. If the digestion of starchy foods is impaired, the body is less able to extract the energy contained in our foods, while far worse from the point of view of the genesis of diseases, undigested starches pass through the stomach and into the gut where they ferment and thereby create an additional toxic burden for the liver to process. And fermenting starches also create gas.
As we chew our food it gets mixed with saliva; as we continue to chew the starches in the food are converted into sugar. There is a very simple experiment you can conduct to prove to yourself how this works. Get a plain piece of bread, no jam, no butter, plain, and without swallowing it or allowing much of it to pass down the throat, begin to chew it until it seems to literally dissolve. Pylatin works fast in our mouths so you may be surprised at how sweet the taste gets. As important as chewing is, I have only run into about one client in a hundred that actually makes an effort to consciously chew their food.
Horace Fletcher, whose name has become synonymous with the importance of chewing food well (Fletcherizing), ran an experiment on a military population in Canada. He required half his experimental group to chew thoroughly, and the other half to gulp things down as usual,. His study reports significant improvement in the overall health and performance of the group that persistently chewed. Fletcher's report recommended that every mouthful be chewed 50 times for half a minute before being swallowed. Try it, you might be very surprised at what a beneficial effect such a simple change in your approach to eating can make. Not only will you have less intestinal gas, if overweight you will probably find yourself getting smaller because your blood sugar will elevate quicker as you are eating and thus your sense of hunger will go away sooner. If you are very thin and have difficulty gaining weight you may find that the pounds go on easier because chewing well makes your body more capable of actually assimilating the calories you are consuming.
A logical conclusion from this data is that anything that would prevent or reduce chewing would be unhealthful. For example, food eaten when too hot tends to be gulped down. The same tends to happen when food is seasoned with fresh Jalapeño or habaneo peppers. People with poor teeth should blend or mash starchy foods and then gum them thoroughly to mix them with saliva. Keep in mind that even so-called protein foods such as beans often contain large quantities of starches and the starch portion of protein foods is also digested in the mouth.
Once the food is in the stomach, it is mixed with hydrochloric acid, secreted by the stomach itself, and pepsin, an enzyme. Together these break proteins down into water-soluble amino acids. To accomplish this the stomach muscles agitate the food continuously, somewhat like a washing machine. This extended churning forms a kind of ball in the stomach called a bolis.
Many things can and frequently do go wrong at this stage of the digestive process. First, the stomach's very acid environment inactivates pylatin, so any starch not converted to sugar in the mouth does not get properly processed thereafter. And the most dangerous misdigetion comes from the sad fact that cooked proteins are relatively indigestible no matter how strong the constitution, no matter how concentrated the stomach acid or how many enzymes present. It is quite understandable to me that people do not wish to accept this fact. After all, cooked proteins are so delicious, especially cooked red meats and the harder, more flavorful fishes.
To appreciate this, consider how those enzymes that digest proteins work. A protein molecule is a large, complex string of amino acids, each linked to the next in a specific order. Suppose there are only six amino acids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. So a particular (imaginary) protein could be structured: 1, 4, 4, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 1, 2, 3, etc. Thus you should see that by combining a limited number of amino acids there can be a virtually infinite number of proteins.
But proteins are rarely water soluble. As I said a few paragraphs back, digestion consists of rendering insoluble foods into water-soluble substances so they can pass into the blood stream and be used by the body's chemistry. To make them soluble, enzymes break down the proteins, separating the individual amino acids one from the other, because amino acids are soluble. Enzymes that digest proteins work as though they are mirror images of a particular amino acid. They fit against a particular amino acid like a key fits into a lock. Then they break the bonds holding that amino acid to others in the protein chain, and then, what I find so miraculous about this process, the enzyme is capable of finding yet another amino acid to free, and then yet another.
So with sufficient churning in an acid environment, with enough time (a few hours), and enough enzymes, all the recently eaten proteins are decomposed into amino acids and these amino acids pass into the blood where the body recombines them into structures it wants to make. And we have health. But when protein chains are heated, the protein structures are altered into physical shapes that the enzymes can't "latch" on to. The perfect example of this is when an egg is fried. The eggwhite is albumen, a kind of protein. When it is heated, it shrivels up and gets hard. While raw and liquid, it is easily digestable. When cooked, largely indigestable.
Stress also inhibits the churning action in the stomach so that otherwise digestible foods may not be mixed efficiently with digestive enzymes. For all these reasons, undigested proteins may pass into the gut.
Along with undigested starches. When starches convert best to sugars under the alkaline conditions found in the mouth. Once they pass into the acid stomach starch digestion is not as efficient. If starches reach the small intestine they are fermented by yeasts. The products of starch fermentation are only mildly toxic. The gases produced by yeast fermentations usually don't smell particularly bad; bodies that regularly contain starch fermentation usually don't smell particularly bad either. In otherwise healthy people it can take many years of exposure to starch fermentation toxins to produce a life-threatening disease.
But undigested proteins aren't fermented by yeasts, they putrefy in the gut (are attacked by anaerobic bacteria). Many of the waste products of anaerobic putrefaction are highly toxic and evil smelling; when these toxins are absorbed through the small or large intestines they are very irritating to the mucous membranes, frequently contributing to or causing cancer of the colon. Protein putrefaction may even cause psychotic symptoms in some individuals. Meat eaters often have a very unpleasant body odor even when they are not releasing intestinal gasses.
Adding a heavy toxic burden from misdigested foods to the normal toxic load a body already has to handle creates a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, and greatly shortens life. But misdigestion also carries with it a double whammy; fermenting and/or putrefying foods immediately interfere with the functioning of another vital organ--the large intestine--and cause constipation.
Most people don't know what the word constipation really means. Not being able to move one's bowels is only the most elementary type of constipation. A more accurate definition of constipation is "the retention of waste products in the large intestine beyond the time that is conducive to health." Properly digested food is not sticky and exits the large intestine quickly. But improperly digested food (or indigestible food) gradually coats the large intestine, making an ever-thicker lining that interferes with the intestine's functioning. Far worse, this coating steadily putrefies, creating additional highly-potent toxins. Lining the colon with undigested food can be compared to the mineral deposits filling in the inside of an old water pipe, gradually choking off the flow. In the colon, this deposit can become rock-hard, just like water pipe scale.
Since the large intestine is also an organ that removes moisture and water-soluble minerals from the food and moves them into the blood stream, when the large intestine is lined with putrefying undigested food waste, the toxins of this putrefaction are also steadily moved into the bloodstream and place an even greater burden on the liver and kidneys, accelerating their breakdown, accelerating the aging process and contributing to a lot of interesting and unpleasant symptoms that keep doctors busy and financially solvent. I'll have quite a bit more to say about colon cleansing later.
The Progress Of Disease: Irritation, Enervation, Toxemia
Disease routinely lies at the end of a three-part chain that goes: irritation or sub-clinical malnutrition, enervation, toxemia. Irritations are something the person does to themselves or something that happens around them. Stresses, in other words.
Mental stressors include strong negative emotional states such as anger, fear, resentment, hopelessness, etc. Behind most diseases it is common to find a problematic mind churning in profound confusion, one generated by a character that avoids responsibility. There may also be job stress or ongoing hostile relationships, often within the family.
Indigestible foods and misdigestion are also stressful irritations, as are mild recreational poisons such as "soft" drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Opiates are somewhat more toxifying, primarily because they paralyze the gut and induce profound constipation. Stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines are the most damaging recreational drugs ; these are highly toxic and rapidly shorten life.
Repeated irritations and/or malnutrition eventually produce enervation. The old-time hygienists defined enervation as a lack of or decline in an unmeasurable phenomena, "nerve energy." They viewed the functioning of vital organs as being controlled by or driven by nerve force, sometimes called life force or élan vital. Whatever this vital force actually is, it can be observed and subjectively measured by comparing one person with another. Some people are full of it and literally sparkle with overflowing energy. Beings like this make everyone around them feel good because they somehow momentarily give energy to those endowed with less. Others possess very little and dully plod through life.
As vital force drops, the overall efficiency of all the body's organs correspondingly decline. The pancreas creates less digestive enzymes; the thymus secretes less of its vital hormones that mobilize the immune system; the pituitary makes less growth hormone so the overall repair and rebuilding of cells and tissues slows correspondingly; and so forth. It does not really matter if there is or is not something called nerve energy that can or cannot be measured in a laboratory. Vital force is observable to many people. However, it is measurable by laboratory test that after repeated irritation the overall functioning of the essential organs and glands does deteriorate.
Enervation may develop so gradually that it progresses below the level of awareness of the person, or times of increased enervation can be experienced as a complaint--as a lack of energy, as tiredness, as difficulties digesting, as a new inability to handle a previously-tolerated insult like alcohol.
Long-term consumption of poor-quality food causes enervation. The body is a carbon/oxygen engine designed to run efficiently only on highly nutritious food and this aspect of human genetic programming cannot be changed significantly by adaptation. Given enough generations a human gene pool can adapt to extracting its nutrition from a different group of foods. For example, a group of isolated Fijians currently enjoying long healthy lives eating a diet of seafoods and tropical root crops could suddenly be moved to the highlands of Switzerland and forced to eat the local fare or starve. But most of the Fijians would not have systems adept at making those enzymes necessary to digest cows milk. So the transplanted Fijians would experience many generations of poorer health and shorter life spans until their genes had been selected for adaptation to the new dietary. Ultimately their descendants could become uniformly healthy on rye bread and dairy products just like the highland Swiss were.
However, modern industrial farming and processing of foodstuffs significantly contributes to mass, widespread enervation in two ways. Humans will probably adjust to the first; the second will, I'm sure, prove insurmountable. First, industrially processed foods are a recent invention and our bodies have not yet adapted to digesting them. In a few more generations humans might be able to accomplish that and public health could improve on factory food. In the meanwhile, the health of humans has declined. Industrially farmed foods have also been lowered in nutritional content compared to what food could be. I gravely doubt if any biological organism can ever adapt to an overall dietary that contains significantly lowered levels of nutrition. I will explain this more fully in the chapter on diet.
Secondary Eliminations Are Disease
However the exact form the chain from irritation or malnutrition to enervation progresses, the ultimate result is an increased level of toxemia, placing an eliminatory burden on the liver and kidneys in excess of their ability. Eventually these organs begin to weaken. Decline of liver and/or kidney function threatens the stability and purity of blood chemistry. Rather than risk complete incapacitation or death from self-poisoning, the overloaded, toxic body, guided by its genetic predisposition and the nature of the toxins (what was eaten, in what state of stress), cleverly channels surplus toxins into its first line of defense--alternative or secondary elimination systems.
Most non-life-threatening yet highly annoying disease conditions originate as secondary eliminations. For example, the skin was designed to sweat, elimination of fluids. Toxemia is often pushed out the sweat glands and is recognized as an unpleasant body odor. A healthy, non-toxic body smells sweet and pleasant (like a newborn baby's body) even after exercise when it has been sweating heavily. Other skin-like organs such as the sinus tissues, were designed to secrete small amounts of mucus for lubrication. The lungs eliminate used air and the tissues are lubricated with mucus-like secretions too. These secretions are types of eliminations, but are not intended for the elimination of toxins. When toxins are discharged in mucus through tissues not designed to handle them, the tissues themselves become irritated, inflamed, weakened and thus much more subject to bacterial or viral infection. Despite this danger, not eliminating surplus toxins carries with it the greater penalty of serious disability or death. Because of this liability, the body, in its wisdom, initially chooses secondary elimination routes as far from vital tissues and organs as possible. Almost inevitably the skin or skin-like mucus membranes such as the sinuses, or lung tissues become the first line of defense.
Thus the average person's disease history begins with colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, asthma, rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis. If these secondary eliminations are suppressed with drugs (either from the medical doctor or with over the counter remedies), if the eating or lifestyle habits that created the toxemia are not changed, or if the toxic load increases beyond the limits of this technique, the body then begins to store toxins in fat or muscle tissues or the joint cavities, overburdens the kidneys, creates cysts, fibroids, and benign tumors to store those toxins. If toxic overload continues over a longer time the body will eventually have to permit damages to vital tissues, and life-threatening conditions develop.
Hygienic doctors always stress that disease is remedial effort. Illness comes from the body's best attempt to lighten its toxic load without immediately threatening its survival. The body always does the very best it can to remedy toxemia given its circumstances, and it should be commended for these efforts regardless of how uncomfortable they might be to the person inhabiting the body. Symptoms of secondary elimination are actually a positive thing because they are the body's efforts to lessen a dangerously toxic condition. Secondary eliminations shouldn't be treated immediately with a drug to suppress the process. If you squelch the bodies best and least-life-threatening method to eliminate toxins, the body will ultimately have to resort to another more dangerous though probably less immediately uncomfortable channel.
The conventional medical model does not view disease this way and sees the symptoms of secondary elimination as the disease itself. So the conventional doctor takes steps to halt the body's remedial efforts, thus stopping the undesirable symptom and then, the symptom gone, proclaims the patient cured. Actually, the disease is the cure.
A common pattern of symptom suppression under the contemporary medical model is this progression: treat colds with antihistamines until the body gets influenza; suppress a flu repeatedly with antibiotics and eventually you get pneumonia. Or, suppress eczema with cortisone ointment repeatedly, and eventually you develop kidney disease. Or, suppress asthma with bronkiodialators and eventually you need cortisone to suppress it. Continue treating asthma with steroids and you destroy the adrenals; now the body has become allergic to virtually everything.
The presence of toxins in an organ of secondary elimination is frequently the cause of infection. Sinuses and lungs, inflamed by secondary eliminations, are attacked by viruses or bacteria; infectious diseases of the skin result from pushing toxins out of the skin. More generalized infections also result from toxemia; in this case the immune system has become compromised and the body is overwhelmed by an organism that it normally should be able to resist easily. The wise cure of infections is not to use antibiotics to suppress the bacteria while simultaneously whipping the immune system; most people, including most medical doctors, do not realize that antibiotics also goose the immune system into super efforts. But when one chooses to whip a tired horse, eventually the exhausted animal collapses and cannot rise again no matter how vigorously it is beaten. The wise cure is to detoxify the body, a step that simultaneously eliminates secondary eliminations and rebuilds the immune system.
The wise way to deal with the body's eliminative efforts is to accept that disease is an opportunity to pay the piper for past indiscretions. You should go to bed, rest, and drink nothing but water or dilute juice until the condition has passed. This allows the body to conserve its vital energy, direct this energy toward healing the disordered body part, and catch up on its waste disposal. In this way you can help your body, be in harmony with its efforts instead of working against it which is what most people do.
Please forgive another semi-political polemic here, but in my practice I have often been amazed to hear my clients complain that they have not the time nor the ability to be patient with their body, to rest it through an illness because they have a job they can't afford to miss or responsibilities they can't put down. This is a sad commentary on the supposed wealth and prosperity of the United States. In our country most people are enslaved by their debts, incurred because they had been enthralled by the illusion of happiness secured by the possession of material things. Debt slaves believe they cannot miss a week of work. People who feel they can't afford to be sick think they can afford to live on pills. So people push through their symptoms by sheer grit for years on end, and keep that up until their exhausted horse of a body breaks down totally and they find themselves in the hospital running up bills to the tune of several thousand dollars a day. But these very same people do not think they can afford the loss of a few hundred dollars of current income undertaking some virtually harmless preventative maintenance on their bodies.
Given half a chance the body will throw off toxic overburdens and cleanse itself. And once the body has been cleansed of toxemia, disagreeable symptoms usually cease. This means that to make relatively mild but unwanted symptoms lessen and ultimately stop it is merely necessary to temporarily cut back food intake, eating only what does not cause toxemia. These foods I classify as cleansing, such as raw fruits and vegetables and their juices. If the symptoms are extreme, are perceived as overwhelming or are actually life-threatening, detoxification can be speeded up by dropping back to only dilute raw juices or vegetable broth made only from greens, without eating the solids. In the most extreme cases hygienists use their most powerful medicine: a long fast on herb teas, or just water. I will have a lot to say about fasting, later.
When acutely ill, the most important thing to do is to just get out of the body's way, and let it heal itself. In our ignorance we are usually our own worst enemy in this regard. We have been very successfully conditioned to think that all symptoms are bad. But I know from experience that people can and do learn a new way of viewing the body, an understanding that puts them at cause over their own body. It allows you to be empowered in one more area of life instead of being dependent and at the mercy of other peoples decisions about your body.
Finally, and this is why natural medicine is doubly unpopular, to prevent the recurrence of toxemia and acute disease states, person must discover what they are doing wrong and change their life. Often as not this means elimination of the person's favorite (indigestible) foods and/or (stress-producing) bad habits. Naturally, I will have a lot more to say about this later, too.
Go To Chapter Three
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