Dietetics As An Applied Science
( Originally Published 1954 )
The modern physician or surgeon has much knowledge at his fingertips. The uses of drugs, surgery and other modern medical adjuncts are all familiar to the up-to-date physician or surgeon.
The osteopathic physician has gained additional special skills in using his hands to apply the art and science of anatomical mechanics. The osteopathic physician, for this reason, has a considerable advantage over the old-school practitioners, the allopathic or homeopathic physicians and surgeons.
Both in the older schools of medical teaching and practice as well as in the newer school of osteopathic medicine, dietetics as an applied science and art is hardly touched on. The sick in the hospitals are fed very poor diet mixtures. Food could be applied as medicine in the treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Food has very potent therapeutic properties!
Feeding the sick must eventually become an exact science and an art. It must, because it can. Drugs are not always potent enough to cure the sick. Food can be.
Physicians and surgeons must wake up to the realization of this important fact in order not to lose their patients. Many of the sick wander away from their family physicians and their specialists. They seek health advice and guidance from health-food dealers and from other promoters, through food, rest and prayer.
The most successful and prominent physicians and surgeons of our time seem to be unaware of the need to reform hospital dietetics. Unwholesome food mixtures are being served to the sick on their trays while they spend time in the hospital with medical or surgical problems. Dietetics in the modern hospital kitchen is a cut-and-dried form of food preparation and a stereotyped method of feeding the sick. This must change.
Patients suffering with any one of the many forms of acute disease or chronic disease should not be fed such ordinary food mixtures as bread, cereal, milk, sugar mixtures, meats, tea and coffee. The sick can get better only when they are fed freshly made raw fruit and vegetable juices as their diet. Raw fruit juices and raw vegetable juices can help cure the major and difficult chronic diseases whose cause and cure remain mysterious today. The sick body responds not less than marvelously to a properly managed raw fruit juice and vegetable juice dietary.
The fruit juices must be used for breakfast, dinner and supper, and also between meals if necessary. In some hospitals fruit juices are used in addition to the regular menus of the day. This cannot work. An individual who suffers from an inflammatory disease process such as bronchial asthma, hypertension, arthritis, nephritis, or endocarditis can be helped in a really curative manner and measure only when systematically treated by means of raw fruit juices and raw vegetable salad juices. The freshly made fruit juices and raw vegetable juices make an ideal combination of food staples, which could help to regenerate the sick!
This type of feeding would necessarily require the retraining of chefs, dieticians and other kitchen help in their methods of doing their work.
The medical profession knows, even if its members may not admit, that ordinary diet lists are valueless. There are no two patients who suffer from a type of symptom-complex or syndrome that can be treated with the same diet. For example, two different patients suffering from obesity will require different food prescriptions. Two patients suffering from hypertension may each require a different type of diet. The patient who suffers from a chronic ailment which is also accompanied by chronic fatigue will require a diet different from that of the individual who is not chronically fatigued.
Clinical dietetics has to be worked out at the bedside of the sick. A special, light diet can help those who suffer from chronic diseases whose cause and cure have not yet been discovered by their physicians and surgeons.
It was in the early days of my studies and practice that I was put on the correct track of reasoning with regard to using foods as an applied art. Dr. J. H. Tilden, a pioneer in the medical field who practiced his profession from the years 1866 to 1940, developed a dietetic method of treating the sick that could be applied to the greatest advantage of the whole profession as well as of those who suffer and linger and die from their incurable diseases under ordinary methods of medical and surgical practice.
Around 1900 Dr. Tilden made a radical departure from nineteenth-century methods. It was then that the great doctor began to use fasting, rest in bed, and suitable vegetable and fruit mixtures. Early in our century, the science of nutrition as applied to human health was not as advanced as it is today. Yet Dr. Tilden was farsighted enough, and also courageous enough, to use foods instead of drugs for the treatment of disease. He believed that the sick body, when it is in pain and suffering from excessive weakness or tiredness, must be kept in bed in a state of complete physical rest. His methods of treating the sick gained him an enviable reputation among some of the thoughtful and searching laymen of his time.
To supplement his practice Dr. Tilden published a magazine for his following. He launched a publication known today only to those who have saved the now out-of-print bound volumes. His first magazine was called A Stuffed Club. A Stuffed Club was succeeded about 1915 by Philosophy of Health. This in turn was replaced around 1926 by Health Review and Critique. This last publication closed in 1939, about one year before the great doctor passed away at the age of 90. Perhaps a hundred years from now the world will recognize Dr. J. H. Tilden as one of the great pathfinders in medicine.
I was fortunate in becoming acquainted with Dr. Tilden's writings, and also with his sanitorium, the Tilden Health School, in 1923. At that time I was in my pre-medical course of study. My discovery of his writings and of their application in his institution was a momentous revelation to me in my search for knowledge and enlightenment on health and medicine. From then on, my professional studies were influenced and enriched by his teachings.
I observed the methods which Dr. Tilden used in his practice during the years 1923-1924-1925 at the Tilden Health School, located at Denver, Colorado. It is regrettable that Dr. Tilden did not leave a memorial institution to spread the knowledge of his methods of treating the sick and of teaching both the sick and the well how to live correctly. The Tilden teachings enriched many who came to him to learn how to live a more wholesome life and how to live a longer life, by applying the hygienic methods of eating and the correct attitudes in thinking which he taught.
Among the basic rules for daily habits of eating and living that Dr. Tilden stressed were these:
(1) Never eat when uncomfortable physically, mentally, or emotionally.
(2) Never eat without an appetite.
(3) Never eat a meal unless fully comfortable from the last mealtime.
These three simple rules would do much good for the sick and for their doctors if they were applied as guiding principles in the treatment of the sick. It is seldom that a physician prescribes fasting or the withholding of food. Yet fasting is a very powerful biochemical and biophysiological process of arresting disease and regenerating the sick body. This emphatic statement is based on over twenty years of clinical application of the fast in my own practice. Low-caloric feeding, used alternately with shorter or longer fasting periods, is a very potent method of treating the chronic diseases successfully!
Fasting, alternated with the intake of raw vegetable juices and raw fruit juices, has been used in my practice in the treatment of diseases that are classified as incurable in medical literature and in clinical practice, diseases that are virtually unknown quantities. I have seen arthritis deformans and other types of arthritis respond to fasting and vegetable and fruit juice feeding methods with dramatic results. Other inflammatory diseases—such as sinusitis, bronchitis, the gastrointestinal chronic diseases, hypertensive syndromes—have all responded in my practice to fasting and dietary methods as I learned them from Dr. Tilden. My patients have come to me, in most instances, after they had been exposed to ordinary methods of treatment, including drugs, and some of them had had major surgical operations.
Many of the sick who are operated upon today for some ailment are entitled beforehand to the raw vegetable juice and raw fruit juice dietary, alternated with fasting periods, as the first-choice treatment for a period of a week to a month. The fasting regimen consists of water with lemon juice or grapefruit juice, unsweetened, taken by the patient as often as it can be enjoyed without forcing.
During the fasting period two daily enemas, consisting of plain water mixed with the juice of a lemon, to three pints, should be given to every patient as a matter of routine. The extremities, the feet and the hands, as a rule, get cold during the fasting period. It is therefore necessary to apply one or two electric pads day and night in order to keep the patient comfortably warm.
Daily osteopathic treatments are of benefit during this potent therapeutic regimen. The osteopathic treatment is also very effective medicine. The subjective sense of well-being after an osteopathic treatment is very real. The patient is grateful for it.
It is superior to artificial stimulants such as coffee or drugs or even vitamin products. The patient who receives a daily osteopathic treatment does not suffer from nervous tension and does not require or demand sedation for sleep. Such preliminary care may avoid the need for a surgical operation.
Other chronic types of diseases that came under my care have been the various forms of skin diseases, such as eczema, psoriasis and other types of "allergic" skin manifestations. Patients of mine who had skin affections responded dramatically to my fasting and feeding regimens.
At this point I may also report that some of my patients came to me with malignant diseases. One of my patients had a typical deteriorated breast condition, with one nipple completely necrosed and the breast structure fifty per cent atrophied. This woman refused to face the fact that she suffered from a malignant condition and therefore would not consult an ordinary, accepted cancer specialist. She had lost faith because, as she put it: "Those of my friends who had their breasts cut off suffered, and lived only a short period, in agony."
This particular patient responded to my methods of treatment so well that, within one month of treatment, the area of the nipple had an overgrowth of new cells in place of the previously ulcerating, granulating mess. This same patient also had a chronic wet eczema in the folds of her breasts; this condition healed during the first three weeks of my management of her case.
Mrs. N. B. suffered from eczema for about forty years. According to her case history she saw some leading dermatologists, but none of them was able to help her with various drug prescriptions. She suffered from an extreme condition of chronic fatigue. She responded to rest in bed, two daily enemas, daily osteopathic treatments, raw fruit juices and raw vegetable juices, fed to her without forcing.
The rest cure and my feeding plan helped to eliminate her subjective sense of being tired. She had been drinking several cups of coffee every day until she came to me for treatment. I do not use coffee or any other toxic beverages, because the sick can be regenerated only by means of pure food and pure drink.
This is one of my dramatic case histories, an example of how potent food as medicine can be! I can cite many more examples from my observations and experiences with the sick. Food has proved to be superior to drugs.
The physician and the surgeon, besides knowing how to use foods, must also know how to use fasting. The sick body must periodically be given a rest from food. Every physician who observes his patients carefully knows how distasteful food becomes when it cannot be digested, when the body cannot utilize it, when the patient does not need it. In conventional practice, the sick are often fed by means of such heroic procedures as intravenous feeding, nasal feeding, duodenal feeding or rectal feeding. No sick individual will die from starvation when fasting is correctly managed.
When a sick person cannot eat food with relish, it is best to leave him alone. In fact, some internists are getting wise. I recently read a medical treatise in which the author recommends "hibernation" for the sick when they are in a critical condition and refusing food. This suggestion embodies a new kind of wisdom. Hibernation means fasting!
Of course, the same author falls flat on his face when he also suggests that the bowels not be emptied as long as the patient is not being fed. The bowels must be emptied once or twice a day during the fasting period because the liver produces bile which is thrown into the gastro-intestinal tract. Colon irrigation or enemas are necessary to wash away fluid and solid wastes in order to expedite the progress of the patient toward recovery. Otherwise reabsorption of deleterious putrid wastes from the colon would introduce these poisons into the blood circulation and cause a kind of systemic toxemia. Even patients in coma must be given colon irrigations to help expedite recovery.
The patient, when properly managed on the regenerating rest cure and low-calorie feeding regimen, which is outlined above, becomes subjectively and objectively improved to a dramatic extent. The fat lose weight, which is waste. The tired and the weak become refreshed! The blood of the anemic presents a better picture in every respect. Those with low vitality acquire new strength. This all happens while the patient is kept in bed, resting physically, mentally and emotionally, as well as dietetically.
The types of foods which should be taken next in order are: some solid fruits, raw rather than cooked; raw vegetables in the form of a salad once a day; and steamed vegetables once a day. A protein food once a day may be included. The kind of protein food will depend on the type of ailment, the age of the patient, his weight, and other factors. The patient who has hardening of the arteries should necessarily be fed a lighter protein diet than one who is suffering from a milder complaint.
According to my plan of feeding the sick, when I am trying to build them up, no cadaverous products such as meat and fish are endorsed or prescribed. Meat is bad for anybody. The dead animal wastes are a burden for the healthy body to dispose of. They may be detrimental, cutting life short for the sick.
Eggs are also a food that must be used judiciously in building-up diets, after a fast with alternated fruit juice and vegetable juice feedings. People with a tendency to malignancy or actual malignancies must not be given any eggs. People with skin disease cannot handle eggs. Eggs are a sulphur-containing protein food. For this reason they cannot be handled by those who suffer from any of the degenerative diseases.
For the same reason meat and other animal substance is bad for those with serious chronic disease. These protein substances are high in sulphur content, and sulphur has to be decomposed by the body into neutral salts before it can be eliminated. The sick body is already burdened by excessive sulphur wastes because it is handicapped in its eliminative efficiency.
Milk and cheese are more easily handled by convalescents from. chronic disease of any kind; but the very chronic types of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, bronchitis and sinusitis, react unfavorably also to milk and milk products.
The stomach and intestinal inflammatory diseases react fairly well to adequate mixtures of milk with other foods. Any type of inflammatory disease of the stomach, intestine or colon will do well on liquefied steamed vegetables with milk. Milk or buttermilk should be taken first and followed with a properly steamed vegetable dish, liquefied in a blender when a smooth food mixture is required.
Raw vegetable salads can be given to a stomach ulcer case in extracted juice form. This is a wonderful type of food. Raw vegetable juices supply the body with minerals and vitamins that contribute toward building up strength and neutralizing tissue wastes. Many of the sick who are suffering and lingering in chronic disease are unfortunate because they do not receive raw vegetable juices in their diet.
In late stages of chronic disease, as in cancer, the body shrinks. It loses weight, despite "good nourishing foods." If these patients were fed every day three to four glasses of raw vegetable juice, and also freshly made fruit juice, their bodies would not suffer from starvation and cachexia. The cancer sufferer, particularly, at times loses weight to the extent of 100 to 150 pounds. This takes place when the body cannot regenerate itself through ordinary foods. The raw vegetable juices will prove to be elixirs of new life and health!
Many cancer sufferers in very late stages of the disease develop the complication of spontaneous fractures of various bones of the body. This complication might be arrested by feeding several glasses of raw vegetable juice a day to every patient who suffers from malignancy. If the other foods that are given in addition to the raw vegetable juices are also of the right kind, many malignant cases will have their lives prolonged, even if they cannot be cured.
Starchy foods and also sweet foods, such as grapes, honey and other sweet fruits, are handled much better by the chronically sick than are protein foods. Any invalid who has been prepared for a mixed diet or a building-up diet by an initial fast and then by a liquid fruit and vegetable juice diet, will be able to digest well starches and sugars and assimilate them to gain body weight and energy.
The most easily digestible starches are baked potatoes and steamed brown rice (the latter must be steamed without salt or butter). Toasted bread can also be digested easily by invalids who have an appetite for food.
Sugars are not all easy to digest. Ordinary table sugar is not so easy to digest as honey. It is a type of disaccharide which is difficult to break down into monosaccharides. All the fresh fruits of the sub-acid varieties contain the monosaccharides dextrose and fructose. They are therefore easy to digest. In fact, all the fruit sugars are comparatively easy to digest. Grapes consist almost entirely of dextrose sugar. Honey is an excellent energizing food for invalids and convalescents.
The concentrated sweet fruits, especially dates and figs, contain a high percentage of sucrose; therefore they are not so easily digestible by an invalid or convalescent. The sugars that are found in vegetables, such as carrots and beets, are of the sucrose variety, but the percentage is not very high. They are therefore quite easily digested, either raw or cooked.
Toasted bread is easily digested because it is dextrinized by the heat in the process of toasting. Heat converts starch into intermediate sugars or dextrines.
The sick could be built up in strength and weight on a diet that is composed of a mixture of starchy foods, sweet foods and a certain amount of fat—in the form of butter, cream and oil, used only as seasoning, to make the meals palatable—in addition to raw vegetable juices, raw fruit juices, some palatable salads, and fruits and vegetables when these can be adequately chewed and enjoyed.
The thousands who are suffering from chronic diseases and die untimely deaths would be saved from their miseries by a lacto-vegetarian-fruitarian diet such as is outlined above
Leaders and teachers in the medical field, and also public health officers and authorities, must wake up to the realization of these facts. The people, the lay public, are beginning to think and they are wondering if the methods established by medical orthodoxy are the last word in the scientific practice of the healing arts. In fact, people are wandering into health-food stores for health advice and diet advice, with new hope and new faith, because they are losing their faith in their doctors of orthodox medicine.
The lacto-vegetarian-fruitarian dietary in general can maintain good health. It has also proved successful in regenerating the sick. The great physician, Dr. J. H. Tilden, who was an eye-opener for me on the problems of health and disease, quite often stressed in his writing and in his lectures to patients that "the sick can be restored to good health only by fasting and by feeding with dairy products, fruits and vegetables."
In twenty-two years of practice, operating my sanitorium The Health Rest, and applying the basic Tilden principles, I found that the great doctor was correct and sound in his judgment on the role of fasting and food as medicines.