Health In Our Modern Age
( Originally Published 1954 )
The times that we are living in are trying and strenuous. Especially after maturity, the strain of modern living shows itself in wear and tear on the individual organism, bringing about disability for many, catastrophe for some.
In the last decade we lost some prominent people who were too young to die. One case of a prominent individual who died in his early forties while suffering from an acute "cold" or "flu" condition was the well-known Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman. That famous rabbi might have lived many more years. He was well known as both a writer and lecturer, and was outstanding as a rabbi.
Another well-known individual who passed away in his early fifties was Justice Rutledge of the Supreme Court. A prominent man who might have lived longer was Secretary of the Navy Forrestal. Another good, middle-aged man was our Ambassador to Great Britain, Mr. Winant. A few years ago we read about the suicide of an ex-son-in-law of President Roosevelt, John Boettinger, still in the prime of life.
The medical profession has achieved much scientific progress on diagnostic methods, but on the care of the sick body and on the care of the well body, success has been limited. Why this should be so is a problem that I have been concerned with throughout my years of practice as a physician.
Treatment with a minimum of medication is what I have been practicing for many years. The sick need pure air, wholesome food, kind nursing care, gentle service by attendants, nurses and physicians.
Wholesome food for the person who is impaired in health consists of fresh fruit juices and raw vegetable juices until he is relieved of symptoms. When a person is distressed physically, mentally or emotionally, the liquid diet, consisting of these natural elixirs of life—raw freshly made fruit and vegetable juices—will bring him back to normal sooner than the taking of drugs for sedation, hypnosis or overstimulation.
When the body is tense or fatigued, it must be relaxed by means of a light diet. Such a diet should exclude the ordinary staples—milk, coffee, bread, cereals, eggs—for a period of a few days to a few weeks. This is a new health-building method for physicians and surgeons to think about and to apply in the treatment of their sick friends. When a patient places himself under the care of a physician, the physician is accepted as a friend, as a savior. It is a challenge—yes, an opportunity—for the individual doctor, as well as for the profession, to serve the sick in the most honest capacity: by cleansing the body of retained wastes, instead of allowing it to deteriorate with irritating, unnecessary foods and poisonous drugs. In the case of surgical patients, operations often prove futile when the cleansing of cellular wastes is not part of the pre- and post-operation treatment.
Every sick person is entitled to thorough blood-cleansing and tissue-cleansing by means of fresh raw fruit and raw vegetable liquids. There are times when sick individuals have no appetite for any food or drink. The customary medical procedure, in ordinary practice, is to use forced feeding, duodenal feeding, intravenous feeding or rectal feeding. These are desperate measures that do the sick more harm than good. It is true that at times the physician must make use of intravenous nourishment—but only in cases of coma, insulin-shock, or accidental loss of blood. Ordinary chronic or acute diseases will respond more favorably to fasting than to desperately heroic methods of feeding.
Another tragic mistake in orthodox medical practice is the feeding of post-operative cases with the same foods that in a measure made them sick in the first place. Faulty food is a basic cause of the chronic diseases. Faulty food not only affects the digestive structures by irritation, inflammation, ulceration and neoplastic changes, but also affects the entire biochemistry of the organism.
"We are what we eat" applies universally. One who lives on bread, meat, gravy, potatoes, coffee, and liquors, plus condiments such as pepper, mustard and vinegar, ultimately pays with constitutional health impairment, because these eatables deplete the tissues of the body of chemicals essential to health. Another who lives on raw salad, raw fresh fruits, well-chosen proteins and starches, who uses no condiments, will be a different kind of product. The vegetarian who knows how to choose his food presents a better picture of health than the average individual who subsists on ordinary mixed diets. Flowers, fruits and vegetables that are nurtured by an adequately chemicalized soil will be finer products when full-grown than those that are poorly or inadequately grown and cared for.
Any horticulturist or any farmer who raises animals is alert to the important principle of nourishing his livestock or crops according to scientific rules and knowledge. Basic scientific knowledge of human nutrition is almost completely ignored in every day feeding of children and adults.
Good health can be built, and disease prevented, by eating right and by taking good hygienic care of the body. The mind will be healthy and vigorous and achieve its greatest development when the body is well.
To make the important subject which I am now discussing of practical value to the reader, I want to suggest a plan of daily living that will build good health instead of disease.
The human body is not unlike any other organic entity that is subject to wear and tear. Because it is an animate entity, the body can regenerate itself when impaired functionally and even structurally. Medical science is full of facts telling how the body can be kept in good functioning order. And when it is impaired, functionally or structurally, it can be repaired. The physician can do much for the ailing or impaired body without dope, without any of the various kinds of "new" and old drugs, without surgical procedures.
Some time ago, the press carried heartbreaking reports about a three- or four-year-old girl who had some kind of eye trouble. The physicians and surgeons who were consulted in her city (Atlanta, Georgia) pronounced the ominous verdict of "malignancy." Their recommendation was to enucleate one or both eyes. Reading that newspaper story, I felt indignant but helpless. Would the press accept my opinion that the physicians and surgeons who had examined the child should refrain from cutting until they had put their little patient on a fruit juice and raw vegetable diet?
Inflammation caused by crowded nutrition, by faulty blood chemistry, which in turn is caused by the average American child's feeding, evidently had caused a congested state of the little girl's eyes. She probably had the cold-catching habit since infancy. (Children do get the cold-catching habit when they are over-fed on starches, sugars, fats, and meats, and are not fed enough raw fruits and raw salads.) The fortunate circumstance for that little girl and for her parents was that some kind people financed a trip to the well-known Mayo clinic. In that great institution a diagnosis of inflammation of the eye structures was made. The child was spared her eyesight, and the proper treatment for inflammation (I hope) was instituted.
Inflammation is a general term given to many disease conditions which affect the human body. Inflammation is so well explained by the medical science of pathology that any physician should know how to treat inflammation, without drugs and without surgery. Yet many tonsils are being removed because they are inflamed. It would be much better for the patient, and for the physician, to remove the causes of inflammation in tonsillitis; thereby, inflammation affecting other structures of the head, throat and chest would be prevented. Many cases of sinus disease, ear disease and deafness are caused by faulty or slovenly methods of treatment of inflammatory acute and subacute processes affecting the mucous membranes of the breathing passages.
These are hard times for the individual. World conditions with impending and actual wars tend to undermine health and well being. It is therefore a matter of self-preservation to have or acquire knowledge that will keep the individual in good physical and mental health.