( Originally Published 1934 )
The majority of cases of indigestion are due to impure, bad or decomposed food. Overeating of good, safe food is rarely if ever a cause of indigestion. Foods that cause indigestion have food poison in them. There is no known, rapid test for the most common food poisons, for those minute, fine traces of poisons which so commonly occur in most of our daily foods ; for instance, meats which have been kept most carefully for a few days have minute traces of poison in them; the same can be said of, most preserved foods, even most canned foods, etc. Good food is of even greater importance to the general welfare of the individual than is generally realized. It is unbelievable to what profound extents the harmful influence of bad food reaches.
The same can be said of so-called indigestible foods. It is questionable whether there is such a thing as in-digestible foods which will do real harm. For instance, the cellulose of plants is indigestible but nevertheless, harmless ; the same is true of all roughage. Even good, fresh pork is harmless if well-cooked. It is only harmful when old and spoiled. The same statements can be made of most solid foods. A truly indigestible food is harmful only as it gives off a poison in its passage through the stomach and intestines.
People who are on the verge of growing ill are highly sensitive to even the slightest trace of decomposition in their foods. Most of our food stuffs, with few exceptions, have more or less badness in them. This harmful substance often called allergic substance, is the equivalent of a fine poison; in most instances it is the result of decay or decomposition. People eat these bad foods and call the general ill effects indigestion, upset stomach, dyspepsia, untoward effects of foods, allergic reactions, etc., when in reality, in effect, it is nothing more nor less than a case of mild or sometimes even severe poisoning food poisoning. If the food is poor to even a mild degree, these people will suffer with such highly sensitive reactions as disturbed sleep and annoying, unpleasant dreams, eructations of gas from the stomach, excessive passage of gas, increased nervousness, coating of the tongue, particularly the back of the tongue, etc.
Even people in excellent health are highly susceptible to a combination of different foods; this is due mostly to the presence of decomposition in one or more of these foods. Apparently many people do not suffer any ill effects from the eating of contaminated foods, as far as they know, but in reality they do suffer, and some harm is done them by these bad foods (mildly or slightly decomposed foods).
There are both immediate and distant harmful effects due to the eating of bad foods. The immediate harmful effects may be such unpleasant effects as nervousness, restlessness; excessive, unpleasant dreaming; disturbed sleep or even sleeplessness, indigestion, gas or acid eructation; excessive gas, rumbling of the intestines, etc.
To a lesser extent some foods are purely incompatible to people and give rise to food illness or so-called allergic effects of foods. But this effect again is a pure matter of food poisoning, only in this instance, these foods may be absolutely fresh and have undergone no decomposition whatsoever. People are harmed by bad foods directly in proportion to the frequency with which these foods are eaten, and the degree of badness of the foods. Weak, sickly people or those who have recently recovered from a serious illness, or aging or old people, or people subjected to great mental or nervous strains or much worry are more readily and more seriously injured by bad foods. People seriously ill or people with a bad cold or other illness are severely affected by the slightest badness or decomposition in their food.
The best test as to whether a person is suffering merely from so-called ill effects of indigestion or better still, from the ill effects of ordinary bad food, is the almost immediate ability of a good cathartic or purgative and of a well administered nasal antisepticizing treatment to restore the person's general well being, and enable such a patient to sleep peacefully and undisturbed. If this does not follow, the illness is due to more than merely bad or spoiled food; the character of the food should be even more carefully scrutinized, even poisoning should be suspected.
In other words, the rule from which there are mighty few exceptions is that in a healthy or in a fairly well person, if only good, fresh food is being eaten, and the person is receiving the antisepticizing treatments, then he should sleep well, not suffer from indigestion, eat well, have a clean, uncoated tongue, be free from constipation. The exceptions are patients who are suffering from evident, serious diseases such as cancer, the advanced stages of diabetes, the terminal stages of kidney disease, or some other very serious disease which can readily be diagnosed or one that is easily recognizable. All other patients who are not so seriously ill should sleep well when receiving the antisepticizing treatments daily and are given only good, pure food as allowed under the simple diet.
The term "upsetting the stomach" or biliousness is a misnomer. With extremely few exceptions, it is really a case of poisoning the person by food poisons, which slight traces of poison so many of our foods possess. The only foods which do not possess traces of food poison are fresh, pure water; fresh, recently sterilized milk; fresh eggs; fresh vegetables and fruits; fresh but-ter; fresh white bread, toasted; freshly killed fowl and meats from healthy animals; preferably live fish or fish taken from the water within the last twenty-four hours.
In most instances people are unaware that the general sickening feeling and deficient energy so commonly experienced sometimes daily are due to a large degree to the decomposition products of the food eaten. These general sickening feelings are commonly known by the terms of upset stomach, indigestion, biliousness, etc. The fact that this general feeling of being sick is due to and has been caused by bad food eaten very recently is not known to the average person. The many symptoms and sensations which accompany disturbed sleep and constipation are a part and parcel of these sickening feelings and have likewise been caused to a considerable degree by the evil effects of bad food eaten. The person may only become aware of a general feeling of illness many hours after having eaten certain foods, and for this reason does not associate his sickening feelings with the food eaten a few hours back. When trying to fall asleep, sleep does not come so readily. The early hours of sleep are disturbed both by worrisome and annoying dreams and in other ways. Twitching or jerking of the limbs during sleep may be present. Mouth breathing during sleep is often due to the eating of bad food; usually the same is true of snoring and of sounds and utterances made during sleep. The person wakes up frequently from sleep. The next day the person is unrefreshed. The tongue is coated. Constipation or a tendency to it follows. It must be remembered that frequently the individual is simultaneously suffering with a fresh or recent infection of his common foundation of disease. In instances of upset states due to bad food only, the persons recover quickly; when the upset state due to bad food is combined with a fresh infection (fresh. cold) the full recovery takes longer.
Foods bad foods which undergo fermentation in the stomach and intestines with the production of gas, will cause irregular heart action due both to pressure of the gas in the stomach and intestines upwards against the heart and also to the actual irritation of the poisonous content of the food on the heart nerves.
As stated in the chapter on diet, the rate of the heart beat and hence the pulse will be increased by the eating of bad food. Therefore, any food which increases the rate of the pulse is bad. An antisepticizing treatment or two will usually slow the rate of the heart beat and make the patient feel better in every way.
Morning mouth or bad taste in the mouth at any time; bad odor from the mouth (halitosis), or from the nose, are all quickly and easily relieved by the use of the antisepticizing treatments and the simple diet.
Many of these late ill effects mentioned following the eating of bad food are really the distant harmful effects of bad food. A more concrete example is the constant eating of beef or other food which are only slightly spoiled; in time this will eventually give rise to high blood pressure, but again mostly by way of the person's common foundation of disease as explained.
Biliousness is the old fashioned name for indigestion or upset stomach which was formerly thought to be due to overeating, eating the wrong kind of food or even somewhat spoiled food. As a matter of fact, biliousness is really due to the poisonous qualities in our everyday food as explained in Chapter VI. Such food may be taken in excess or even in small quantities and cause the so-called biliousness. Biliousness is not the right term to use, since it does not express the true facts. The truth of the matter is that the person has been poisoned by the food eaten due to the fact that this food contained decomposition products, so-called badness which is so frequently present in our foods as mentioned in this chapter. The unpleasant and worrisome effects of biliousness are not due to wrong foods or overeating, but to the badness in the food. This conception of the word biliousness gives us a clearer under-standing of its meaning. The bad food eaten is harmful directly in proportion to the amount of injurious or poisonous ingredients it possesses. These harmful ingredients do exactly what any other poisons would be expected to do, but usually in a much milder degree. When the person eats such bad food, all the intestinal secretions and the digestive secretions containing the enzymes which digest our food are arrested in their formation; much smaller quantities of these digestive agents are formed. In severe cases they are temporarily entirely arrested. The bile from the liver is greatly decreased and this is equally true of all the other intestinal digestive agents. Many of the complaints of people suffering from biliousness are due to a considerable degree to the absence or the insufficient quantities of these digestive agents.
Auto-intoxication is another but more recent term which has been used in the same sense as biliousness, and with the same mistaken idea that the effect is really the cause. Auto-intoxication can be explained just as biliousness has been explained.
Uric acid diathesis was another term which was formerly extensively used to explain many of these effects resulting from the eating of bad food. Most bad foods do contain too much acids and the excess acid (hyper-acidity) state of the body was a direct result of the eating of these bad foods and their disturbing effects on the proper body chemistry as explained by the principles of common foundationing which maintains that deficient oxygen intake and excess toxin formation in the sinuses give rise to perverted body chemistry.