T0 treat any derangement of the body successfully, the cause of the derangement must be known, and judging by what has gone before, causes for constipation are innumerable; for any influence of a mental or physical character that overstimulates the mind or body consumes energy, and when energy is continually used beyond the body's power of renewal, enervation is established. The enervation may be local or general--organic or constitutional.
Obviously a patient whose affection is purely local--a simple crisis of toxemia--or organic due to recurring crises of toxemia, should be treated differently. For example: In the early life of toxemia from imperfect elimination and intestinal decomposition, constipation is functional and should be easily cured. But after toxemia has caused endarteritis, endocarditis, increased arterial tension, and arteriosclerosis, and the consequent profound enervation and central nerve changes, then constipation becomes organic (colitis) and may be cured or not, depending on whether after correcting the errors of life nature can come back; and I will say she can in many cases where she is not prevented by dominating enervating mental and physical habits, or diatheses--by a chronic grouch, worry or lasciviousness, in a word sensualism.
The derangements of organs are of two kinds; namely, functional and organic. Constitutional derangements are of two kinds; namely, acute enervation depending upon an occasional debauch with its overstimulation, and chronic enervation depending upon daily overstimulation. Enervation built from years of overstimulation ends in organic--organized--lesions (lesions means organized change). For example: Overeating brings on fermentation and distention of the stomach and bowels from gas; the absorbed acid overstimulates the nervous system and perverts functioning for the time. This derangement is temporary and passes off in a few hours or a few days if eating is suspended. If, however, overeating becomes a habit, in the course of time--in a few years--the stomach and bowels become permanently changed, catarrhal, ulcerated, dilated, displaced (ptosic or prolapsed).
Those addicted to overstimulation from excessive eating or the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea or drugs, at first suffer from functional, intestinal derangement, but if the habits continue, chronic food or drug inebriation is established, with more or less organized change in the intestines and in the nervous and circulatory systems.
In treating constipation it is certainly necessary to determine first of all the cause, and it should be plain to a thoughtful mind how very possible it is for mixed causes to exist in almost every case.
One fact should be kept in mind and never lost sight of, and that is that constipation is impairment of the functions of the bowels. First, there is lost energy--enervation--resulting in motor insufficiency (lost muscular power). Second, there is deficiency of secretions and excretions, which means a reduction in digestive and germicidal power as well as mucus (lubricating fluid). It is obvious that the type of constipation must vary from a slight impairment or sluggishness to complete loss of function, requiring forceful means for securing short-lived relief. The cause must be a varying compound of motor, secretory and excretory influences.
When constipation is recognized as a result of the compounding of all these varying influences, to prescribe a drug or food for its eliminating effect, without thought or even the slightest comprehension of cause, is playing the fool and trifling with human health, happiness and even life itself.
In the face of the foregoing, it should not be necessary to say that a cure can be brought about only by removing cause; but if we are to interpret scientific convention's opinion of what causes constipation, by its treatment, we are forced to the belief that the medically wise people of earth believe that constipation is its own cause, and the proper treatment is to use drugs or foods that force action. As ridiculous and incongruous as this statement makes popular treatment, the writer refers the reader to one other similar application of this treatment to the most important organ of the body, namely, the heart. After a patient has brought on heart weakness from enervating habits, convention treats the heart weakness by drugs which whip the organ into more activity, instead of prescribing rest and removing the habitual stimulant.
Constipation means, if it means anything, exhaustion from overstimulation, and certainly anyone who can use logic at all would not undertake to cure enervation by increasing its cause; but that is exactly what forcing the bowels, by giving cathartic drugs, coarse indigestible foods and large enemas, means. The reader should keep in mind that constipation is not a disease--it is a symptom, and often only one of many symptoms.
2--The Enema Cure for Constipation
Today the most popular so-called remedy* for constipation is the enema. (*When the word remedy is used in the sense of relief or palliation, I am agreed, but I dissent from cures of all kinds.) That it is a relief of value in properly selected cases cannot be successfully disputed, but as it is used--to take the place of negligence and carelessness in giving oneself the attention that nature demands--it has become a very effective means in building the universal sick habit.
The enema is a greatly overworked palliative. Because of the general belief that enemas can not possibly do any harm, they are used in season, out of season, internally, eternally and from everlasting to everlasting, selah!
Many people have learned to get relief from the discomforts following dietary indiscretions by resorting to copious enemas, and because of this knowledge they throw discretion to the winds and indulge because they sidestep the penalty. By any reasoning mind this should be recognized as a crime against health; the same as resorting to various drugs to secure relief from headache, or other pain, which has been deliberately and knowingly brought on because a relief is at hand; or if not wise enough to secure self-relief, they know a doctor who will give the relief desired.
Just here is the meeting ground of sensualists and doctors who combine in commercializing the disease-building habits of the people. The profession has built a great system of palliation which acts as a boomerang and reacts by befogging the medical mind to such an extent that it knows practically nothing of cause and cure; hence, I say society has built a large sick habit, and medicine has built a great scheme of palliation, which doctors "kid" themselves into believing is scientific.
The enema is abused by being used too frequently, and builds the symptom it is supposed to relieve.
When bad habits have been palliated until organic functioning is about nil and life is a continuous discomfort, and medical science has diagnosed ulcer of the stomach or bowels, colitis, bronchitis, arteriosclerosis, paralysis, prostatic enlargement, migraine, or what not, what is to be done? Enemas of warm water daily to clear the bowels, and stomach lavage daily. This regimen is to be continued until elimination is about completed, which will be indicated by a clean tongue, or a cleaning tongue, and a returning of moisture to the tongue, the re-establishing of secretions, discomforts gone, sugar out of urine, albumen out of urine, asthma and cough gone, pulse back to normal and the patient ready to eat. Is he to be fed something peculiarly fitted to ulcer of stomach, colitis, diabetes, Bright's disease, rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, paralysis, migraine, or other disease? Why so? Is the sick habit to be rebuilt? These socalled diseases are only symptoms of Toxemia, showing which organ has had the greatest stress levied on it by toxemia. And said organs are not to receive more attention during convalescence and health than they received during the management of elimination. This is the reverse of scientific treatment which singles out these organs for special exorcism. The only reason for the use of the lavage and enema is to hasten expulsion of the eliminated debris, which is thrown into the stomach and bowels so rapidly the first week of fasting, and which, if left in the stomach and bowels, is absorbed or irritates and enervates and causes great weakness and discomfort. The fast hastens elimination of toxins; and rest in bed restores nerve energy; following which secretions and excretions are re-established, and this is a natural cure.
All acute diseases are crises of toxemic saturation, and the proper treatment is to stop food and use enemas of warm salt water; two quarts of water and a tablespoonful of salt. Salt encourages elimination into the bowels. Hot water without salt acts in the opposite manner--checks elimination and encourages absorption. Food under these circumstances is not digested, but adds to bacterial multiplication. Warm baths are not enervating when temperature is two or more degrees above the normal body temperature. Warm sponge baths are appropriate when temperature is below 100° F.
Feeding is never to be thought of when skin is dry, tongue coated, pointed, slick and dry, or when pulse is hard and wiry. When temperature is above 103° F., heat should be applied to feet, and warm baths given daily of a temperature from 90° to 100° F. When discomfort is great, the hot bath may be given every three hours until comfortable, then once a day. Enemas should be given once or twice a day until temperature is 100° F. or less.
When the tongue is coated and breath foul, the stomach should be cleared out with a siphon tube; the enemas given daily. In pneumonia, oil the chest and apply a layer of cotton; when breathing is labored, the hot bath should be given every three hours; no food; keep feet warm; give as much water as desired. Food and drugs to stop cough increase the mortality.
Asthma: No food until breathing is continuously normal for twenty-four hours, then fruit for breakfast, teakettle tea for noon and night.
All acute diseases should be treated without reference name--meet the indications.
The clinical groups which are so fashionable today are supposed to be a formidable manner of attacking disease. The group is made up of specialists for every division of the body, and this formidable array of talent descends upon a victim, and every part is pulverized, analyzed, scrutinized, and if there is anything left after they get through, it is reassembled--synthesized--and the victim and his friends will eventually find that they have all been P. T. Barnumized.
What has this formidable array of talent accomplished? It has built a system of prognosis. Each specialist discovers the status of his department of the human body, and whatever deviation from the normal he finds is named, and that is the disease. From our point of view he has discovered a symptom. The real cause is not even suspected, for, as we are demonstrating daily, the cause is back in the daily life--all enervating influencesand these lower vitality, check secretion and excretion; toxemia results, and the changes resulting from toxemia are the supposed diseases discovered by the clinical groups. The groups find the effects--not the causes, and they treat effects, and they have elaborated a more or less perfect system of prognosis based on a general treatment of symptoms. Their system of prognosis works out according to their interpretation if the victim remains under the direction of the group members, or the members of other groups, but when the patient passes into the hands of other systems the group's prognosis is void.
The mass of humanity inherit and are taught the sick and doctoring habits. Instead of being taught as children the very important habit of giving attention to the bowels at once when a desire to have a movement is felt, they grow up in ignorance of this great need and fall into the habit of neglecting and putting off going as long as possible, until a toleration is built which amounts to almost, if not quite, a complete loss of rectal functioning. The normal rectum is stimulated into euperistalsis (normal bearing down) as soon as the colon passes any fecal matter into it; if the desire is satisfied, no more sensation is felt until more feces enter it, then the desire is again felt.
If the desire to evacuate is resisted until dysperistalsis (painful bearing down) is felt--until driven by discomfort--a gradual tolerance is built until desire as well as power to have a movement is lost. Aperistalsis (lost power) is built by resisting desire--waiting for a more convenient time; then forcing or stimulating a desire by enemas, or taking drugs that stimulate or excite peristalsis, further enervates and adds to the lost power.
If the bowels were not abused by resisting desire to move, no one would become constipated except as a result of enough enervation to inhibit secretion, which often results in a dryness that causes catarrhal inflammation.
As taught in Toxemia, secretions and excretions of all the organs of the body are impaired and even inhibited by enervation, and enervation is brought about by any and all influences that use up nerve energy. When lack of secretion--impaired secretions of the glands of the bowels--from enervation is the cause of constipation, a cure can be brought about by correcting all enervating habits of body and mind, and in no other way can a cure be brought about. Enemas and physic further enervate and add to the derangement. These are the cases that water-enemas-and oil fail even to palliate. A cure can be brought about by rest in bed; poise of mind and body; and total abstinence from food until secretions and excretions are established, and this resumption will be announced by a moistening of the tongue and mucous membranes, cleaning of tongue and moving of bowels. When such patients go to bed the bowels may be cleared out by copious enemas; the stomach cleared out by a lavage; then thirst, or dryness of the mouth, may be relieved by a wet pack kept on abdomen day and night, changed night and morning, until bowels move and tongue cleans.
The thirst that accompanies constipation from enervation is not thirst proper, it is drying of the membranes from lack of secretion and is not relieved by water drinking. Indeed, drinking nauseates and, if persisted in, creates vomiting and great discomfort. Patients interpret their dry mouths as thirst, and feel abused if denied water; they will insist on being allowed to wet their lips and mouths, and if permitted to do so no relief is experienced, but more nervousness, dryness, and irritability and discomfort. Here is the place for teaching poise and self-control. Patients with no self-control certainly can make themselves most miserable, and they usually succeed in prolonging their discomforts and delaying their cure.
3--Diet Cure for Constipation
The idea of cure-that by taking something--a drug fetish--into the body, or by laying on of hands, or by the rubbing on of a medicamentum, or mumbling a prayer, or by incantation charm, or by inoculation--a cure can be effected, has become so ingrained that diet--eating some particular food or food combinations, or food representing just the right number of heat units and the proper amount of protein, etc., etc.--must or will cure disease. The thought that the body can wabble itself into health, if its environments and habits are not too belligerent, seems never to dawn on the average mind, and certainly never on the priests of the various curing systems, who know, God bless them, that if it were not for them, health would go to the damnation bow-wows. This is especially true of public health officers. The sooner up-to-date public health officers are made to know this and their activities confined to sanitation and care of food, the better. They have proved to be bulls in china shops when they have had anything to do with managing the sick, controlling epidemics, etc.
The truth about cures is that eighty per cent, or perhaps more, of those who fall sick get well in spite of the treatment. It should be popular knowledge that nature's push and pull is expended for health, and the so-called cures are pretty generally in opposition to natural order. (See Chapter 1.)
Diet, or feeding the sick, is governed by one fundamental principle, namely: fast, or feed so little that elimination will not be obstructed. It is easy to demonstrate, to those who have eyes with which to see, that obstructions of all kinds will be overcome and secretions and excretions established if food is either inhibited entirely, or given of such quality and light quantity as will not prevent the re-establishing of elimination. Any and all foods tend to check elimination. Fresh uncooked fruit and succulent vegetables are often referred to as eliminants, but it is just possible that these foods do not obstruct by overtaxing digestion, as do the more staple foods, such as bread and meat. The so-called eliminating foods may, and probably do, carry into the body the modicum of life, energy, enzyme or vitamin, needed to start the machinery--the elimination--necessary to expel the toxins that are obstructing nature in her never-ending struggle for health. The obstructive tendencies of food are why feeding in acute diseases is so disastrous and so productive of crises (complications) in the treatment of chronic diseases as well as in acute diseases.
The true dietitian must depreciate the lay, as well as the professional, idea that disease can be cured by dieting. Attempting to cure, with some peculiar food, food combination, or preparation, is on the order of curing with drugs or any supposed curing system. The dietitian must necessarily be an adventurer, and one who is ignorant of the real cause of disease. Indeed, the scientific dietitian knows the value of food in health, knows what the abuse of eating does for the well, as well as the sick; he knows that nature cures, and the only reason why man is sick is because he abuses his natural privileges. The commonest abuse is that of eating imprudently, or abusing other functions of the body, thereby bringing on a state of general enervation which curtails bodily efficiency, and of course the digestive function is reduced the same as all other functions. When this is true, obviously it requires less eating to be abusive (disease-provoking) when enervated than when the body was near normal resistance. Members of this class are often heard to say: "I'm a very small eater;" "Every one eats more than I do;" which may be true, but it does not signify that the small eater is not abusing his digestive efficiency equally 'to those who eat much more, but who have much more digestive power.
After the above explanation, certainly no one will continue to look to diet as a cure or a specific for constipation. It is true that cooked succulent vegetables are slightly laxative, that spinach and onions are more laxative than other vegetables, but they are as innocent of power to cure constipation as bran bread or cathartic drugs.
All fruit laxatives are more or less indigestible in gastric catarrh and are inclined to fill the bowels with gas, causing in many people irritation of the rectum, piles and prolapsus. Laxative foods can be used as an auxiliary in the treatment of constipation and other diseases, but never in the sense of a cure.
OXYGENATED AND DEOXYGENATED FOODS
People generally are ignorant of the fact that fresh, uncooked foods carry oxygen and are antiseptic. Foods carrying oxygen when eaten oppose acidity--oppose the development of fermentation. These foods are vitalized, they are potentized with enzyme-vitamine. (See chapter on water drinking.)
Cooked starch, or the carbohydrate foods, when eaten beyond digestive capacity, ferments and leads to acidosis-an intense type of Toxemia.
The animal protein, when eaten beyond digestive capacity, undergoes putrefactive fermentation, developing acute septic or putrid fevers, or ptomaine poisoning. Where this state exists for a long time scorbutic and scrofulous symptoms manifest. Such symptoms--crises--or so-called diseases as scurvy, pyorrhea, tuberculosis, pernicious anemia, Bright's disease, goiter, Hodgkins's disease, cancer, and many others develop. The acute symptoms of putrefactive fermentation manifest in many crises, such as diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhoid, pneumonia, smallpox, laryngitis, asthma, hay fever, bronchitis and others.
Raw fruit and vegetables (vegetable salads) eaten with starch or with meat, fish, or eggs, oppose fermentation and decomposition and the formation of septic poisoning. It can be said that all cases of septic toxemia and ptomaine poisoning could have been avoided if eating had been more moderate, and the meals well-balanced with food charged with enzyme (vitamine) life--oxygen.
One of the leading causes of constipation is the catarrhal inflammation that develops from eating devitalized foods--abstaining from fresh fruit and vegetables--which favors fermentation, bringing on local and intestinal putrefaction; the real cause being overeating of devitalized foods.
It is a fact that uncooked fresh fruit and vegetables have power to resist fermentation and putrefaction, and should point to the great necessity of man arranging to have uncooked fruit and fresh vegetable salads daily. Cooked foods have lost their oxygen, hence their resistance to decay, and they break down and ferment or decompose quickly; whereas the raw fruits, cabbage, lettuce and salad materials resist decomposition for months, if kept in a dry, cool atmosphere.
In feeding for constipation, it would be well to drop animal food so as to avoid the strong possibility of putrefactive poisoning.
Where enervation is great and the system much impaired, the patient should be put to bed and fasted until through eliminating, then given a selected laxative diet; and often these foods disagree, which indicates that a longer fast is necessary. Diet is not all that is necessary; the mind must be poised, and a systematic plan of light exercise should be practiced daily. The mind as well as the body must be poised. All attention to food and fasting will fail in those of unpoised minds, in those who are irritable and apprehensive. Many people have no self-control and are food-drunkards; they are childish enough to resent restrictions; they want to be cured if they can find a doctor who can do it without requiring an effort or sacrifice on their part. This is a class, and their names are legions, who undergo operation after operation until they are utterly ruined for life; for every operation reduces their resistance and carries them farther and farther from the possibility of a cure. The treatment that offers the only hope of restoration they spurn, and many would rather die than submit to it, for it requires complete reformation of mind and body habits.
Absolute self-control is the foundation on which a cure must be built. Perverted emotions--mental drunkenness--it is as necessary to cure as food drunkenness, or alcohol or drug inebriety. Nothing short of this foundation on which to start the treatment promises anything. Given this start, the rest is easy, for in a short time relaxation of mind and body sets in, secretions and excretions become established, and health returns, with greater mental and physical efficiency than has ever been known before.
The public mind is very material in its thinking on the subject of health. It believes that the body can be whipped into health by drugs or manual manipulation or some mechanical device. It is not prepared to believe that bodily functioning is more often held so tightly in a mental grip that it can not move from other causes. Few realize that the giving up of a grouchy habit will be followed in a short time by regular bowels. A dismissed fear often cures after thousands of dollars have been spent in hunting a cure.
After securing mental poise, many socalled incurable diseases get better, and, if followed by right living, dependable health is established.
Foods should be selected in keeping with their cellulose properties; unless there is a great tendency for gas to form, the foods carrying most cellulose should be eaten, but many patients are so distressed from gas distention when they first begin to eat raw fruits and vegetables, especially apples, that a complete fruit fast must be taken, and gruel or teakettle tea given. Prunes may be eaten when they agree. The more the patient is starch-poisoned, the more he will be troubled with gas distention. This must be overcome or modified by having bread thoroughly dried and by thorough mastication and insalivation and eating very sparingly. Many, when put on fresh uncooked fruits, eat too much. Gas discomfort should be the guide; when there is much gas, the amount eaten must be reduced.
Rough food, containing much cellulose, is the first food remedy thought of when the physician's mind turns from cathartics, and all kinds of drug stimulation, enemas, suppositories, rectal dilators, etc., to laxative foods.
Bran bread, graham bread, whole-wheat bread, bread containing flax-seed, oils, agar-agar, water-drinking, and many other bowel persuaders, are in daily use by the people and prescribed by the profession.
The use of bran in constipation usually marks the earliest state of dietetic evolution. When a physician begins to talk bran, eat bran, prescribe bran, insist on bran, and can expatiate for hours on the virtues of bran, it is safe to say that he is in the early state of dietetic evolution. His next evolution in dieting will bring him to the calorie and protein age, where he will spend his idle hours figuring out menus with an eye single to the correct number of calories (heat units) and protein contained therein. If heat units and protein were all that is necessary for a correct dietetic blend, then butter, oil, or sugar for heat, and eggs or cheese for protein, would fill the bill to a T. One may know, or think he knows, how many heat units and how much protein are required by a man of so many pounds' weight; and he may know how to figure out and properly blend menus which will contain just the required heat units and the proper weight of protein; yet he is many years removed from being a successful dietetic physician. Indeed, any layman may have all this knowledge, indeed be a dietitian--an expert food specialist--but it takes the dexterity of a physician to apply dietetic knowledge successfully. There is an artistic subtleness not possessed by the bull-in-the-china-shop methods. Without doubt if man's body were an inanimate machine, made of iron, steel, brass, copper, and silver, and lined with gold, with all joints ball-bearing, and the balls made of diamond, etc., etc., his food consumption could be figured to a fraction; but alas, alack, he is not, but, quite the contrary, he is an animate being that can start and stop volitionally, and there is no way of measuring the amount of energy required to start and stop; indeed, the number of engineers that manipulate these throttle valves and stearing gears can not be seen, nor even known; hence their fitness for stopping, starting, and driving must be conjecture only. Man has a digestive apparatus, and when he sleeps with his mind influence shut off he digests as an animal; when he is awake he digests as his mind will allow, and his mind will allow just as it is trained and disciplined. If the individual is mentally poised, he can do a lot of hard mental work without disturbing his digestive and nutritive functions further than using energy that may be needed for digestion. Those who can think and think hard with the wires down between their think tanks (brains) and their fire boxes (digestive organs) can get on without injury to their organisms. Those who can labor for twelve hours a day, day in and day out, as the years go by, at hard work, and have the aid of a poised mind--a mind that aids and directs the work--a mind that is satisfied to spend its force in improving ways and methods of doing the work with less expenditure of muscle power and turning out better products--can get on without unnecessary wear and tear.
Disease results when the physical and mental are not pulling together; when the mental has become too high-toned for the physical. When a man can not do the only work he has fitted himself for doing without complaining of his lot--without going to work reluctantly, watching the clock, and spending every hour finding fault with everybody except himself-instead of giving the physical man the help of the mental man, they are divorced, and, as a divided house must fall, so it is with the man who fails to help his physical with his mental.
The evil of mental and physical divorcement is what we call disease. The work done by the body is coarse and unprofitable; the work done by the mind is unfinished and finds a cheap market; and these troubles are called diseases, and the true physician spends his time in effecting a reconciliation of the divorcees. When a happy union is eff ected, disease vanishes.
One of the first evidences of domestic unrest between a man's mind and his body is constipation. It always means a lack of poise, and it will take something more than punishing the bowels with all sorts of torture--physic and bran--to make them move; and it requires more than counting calories and weighing protein to constitute a diet.
Whatever the cause for constipation, the effect is lost functions of motility, secretion and excretion; and the cure must be the restoration of nerve energy, the bringing back to the normal of secretions and excretions; then regular bowels will follow as the day follows the night.
It is not necessary to take up bran and other rough foods for a separate study, for all can come under one head. The object of rough foods is to prick and prod the bowels into activity. The eff ect is the same as prodding a jaded horse, or giving strychnine to a flagging heart; namely, it hastens to more enervation--prostration.
It is only a question of time when bowels that are forced to act will cease to act-cease to respond to the irritation-except by the use of more and more powerful stimulants.
No one has ever been cured of constipation by the use of rough food-by bran or wholewheat or graham bread. These breads, like laxatives, will keep the bowels regular for a time; but the end of their laxative effect comes, and then a change in bowel stimulants must be had.
A very serious objection to eating rough bread to keep the bowels moving is that too much is used--more bread than should be, and starch poisoning is developed. Those who are most constipated are often the very people who have the least power to digest starch in this form; and, as a consequence, they are often injured more than benefited by the use of bran. A remedy that does harm in one direction while palliating in another costs too much; it is a very short-sighted benefit.
Dry beans and peas are rich in cellulose (beans 40 grs., peas 28.5 grs. to the ounce); they stand at the head of vegetables in this regard, but both are quite unfit as a food for the severely constipated, for they are so hard to digest that they tax the digestion to the point of overthrowing what health this class of people have. The rule is that there is colitis, either simple or membranous. If, however, beans are selected because of a limited supply or lack of more suitable foods, no more than one teacupful of stewed or baked beans is to be eaten at a meal with a combination salad or fresh uncooked vegetables. If berries can be had, they are more laxative than apples and oranges.
All green vegetables carry cellulose. Green peas rank first in containing 9.5 grains per ounce, and onions 3.5 grains per ounce. All others are at the foot of the list. Green vegetables range in the amount of cellulose constituent from onions minimum to peas maximum.
Green peas are very inclined to produce gas in the bowels and should be eaten with salads and fruit, or, if meat is permissible, meat. Salad and peas make a well-balanced meal, and a minimum of gas will follow if masticating and insalivating are attended to properly.
When meat is eaten by the constipated, a large salad should be eaten if nothing else is. It would be well to have the salad made by combining equal parts of lettuce, tomatoes, spinach and celery in the winter time; in the summer, use cucumbers in place of celery. A dish of cooked spinach may be eaten also if a cooked vegetable is desired.
CELLULOSE IN FRUITS
The huckleberry stands at the head with a cellulose content of sixty grains to the ounce; the other berries range lower to gooseberries, which contain about seventeen to the ounce. Figs carry twenty-two, pears fifteen, and other dry fruits range down to apples, which contain only five grains to the ounce. Bananas carry less than one grain to the ounce. The physician will find himself many times endeavoring to determine whether the discomfort from indigestion and gas is due to fermentation of starch, from careless chewing and insalivating, or from overeating. The two latter causes are common--much more common than generally recognized.
FOOD DEPRIVED OF LIFE
It is more necessary in the treatment of constipation to eat foods that build general health than to eat foods because of their laxative influence. Indeed, laxative foods are not necessarily wholesome, and too often they are quite unsuitable to the digestion of those who are very much in need of daily evacuations.
To make this meaning clear, it should be known that those who have irritable stomachs, catarrhal stomachs--those who complain much of acid or sour stomach--those with sour eructations, often diagnosed hyperchlorhydria (excess of hydrochloric acid) cannot use prunes, figs, or any of the dried sweet fruits; indeed, any dried or dehydrated fruits and vegetables cause discomfort soon after they are eaten; even a drink of water will often excite the secretion of acid and cause the patient to complain of acidity-sour stomach.
Foods as furnished by nature are correct--they represent a synthesis* that man may imitate, but never duplicate. (*Synthesis: The artificial formation of compounds by mixing proximate principles; p. p. are the elements out of which thing--anything--is made.) The subtile elements, such as life, electricity, mind, love, hate, sorrow and all odors and aromas, escape the analyst. Foods can never be compounded, for all the distinguishing elements--life and mind-imparting elements--are gone out of cooked and artificially prepared or preserved foods. One of the latest discoveries in preserving foodstuffs is wonderful from a conservative--preservative and economic point of view; it is known as dehydrating; the process takes all the water out of fruits and vegetables, reducing the bulk to such an extent that it enables food-venders to put what was originally six to ten carloads of foodstuffs into one car. Foods brought into this state will keep any length of time. To use them, all that is necessary to restore them to their pristine state is to soak them in water for several hours, when, behold the modern miracle! The Egyptians beaten at their wonderful art of immortalization, and that, too, by modern machinery requiring no art at all. By this dehydrating process man might be preserved for an eternity, and at the end of that time he could be sent to the Rockefeller Institution, hydrated, and after his drouth has been overcome, he could tell all about what was going on in his time! The modern mummy would be more interesting than the Egyptian mummy, for it could be restored to its pristine shape, which would satisfy one kind of desire for immortality. But the modern mummy, like the ancient, when dehydrated is deprived of "the breath of life," an element necessary to complete a living soul, even out of a stalk of celery, and without which it can not impart life to the one who eats it.
The one thought necessary to keep uppermost in the mind when thinking of food is that there are two grand divisions, namely, live food and dead food. The live foods are all those that come to the table as nature prepares them; dead foods are those that have gone through all kinds of conservation, preservation and mummification.
Another thought that should associate with the above is that the first division of foods carry into man's organism life--these foods impart life and power to resist the disintegrating influence of man's environments, such as heat, cold, light, dark, moisture, dryness, etc., etc.
The dehydrated, preserved and cooked foods are dead; while they have the crude elements necessary for man's body renewal, they have lost "the breath of life"--the elements necessary for tissue perpetuity-those subtile elements that preside over and contribute to the transmutation of the inanimate into the animate; and when man is fed day after day, year in and year out, on only those foods that are dead--meat, bread, and the usual cooked foods--he gradually declines and takes on the diseases peculiar to premature aging; many die of old age at thirty-five.
Often the first symptom of physical degeneracy is constipation; hence the need of life-imparting foods, rather than dead laxative foods.
In the selection of food for the sick, the wise doctor will keep in mind the real needs of his patients; only the slacker or inefficient will prescribe for symptoms--give attention to symptoms--to the exclusion of cause.
In all cases of constipation, the first move to make in the line of cure is to restore energy and overcome toxemia. To accomplish the first, where it is possible the patient should be sent to bed. The quickest way to restore lost energy is to rest, and there is but one way to rest, and that is to go to bed and dismiss all company, and reading must be limited to light, humorous stories, and not more than thirty minutes a day to the daily papers. To overcome toxemia, the eating must be confined to fresh uncooked fruits for breakfast, but where fruit disagrees use a pint to a quart of teakettle tea and nothing else; salad and spinach for noon, and a pint to a quart of teakettle tea for evening for the first week; the second week a vegetable salad and two cooked vegetables may be eaten at noon; and a little whole-wheat bread with teakettle tea for the evening meal.
Those who have eaten largely of carbohydrates and are pronouncedly acid--in a state of acidosis--will experience quite a smash-up within one week after all stimulating foods are given up. This smash-up is due to the nervousness caused by the withdrawal of stimulating foods. When alcohol, morphine and other drugs have been used until an inebriating habit is formed, it is well known to medical men that, if the accustomed stimulant is withdrawn, the victim of the habit suffers great depression; the alcohol inebriate is thrown into delirium tremens. When the food-poisoned are put on a fast, depression with irritation follows in keeping with the degree of toxin poisoning, and a complete fast may be necessary.
Within one week after the pronounced toxemic cases are taken off their regular diet and fasted, great discomfort is felt and the exophthalmic goiter, the rheumatoid arthritic, the plethoric, the arteriosclerotic and others become very nervous, vomit and suffer other symptoms caused by auto-intoxication brought on from rapid elimination. The tongue and mucous membrane of stomach and bowels are dry and often heavily coated. So long as this condition lasts it is meddlesome to do anything more than to give three-minute hot baths once or twice daily; to give the patient all the water desired to drink, if it does not excite nausea and vomiting; if it does, give no water by mouth, but use half-pint enemas often enough to relieve thirst, and apply wet pack to abdomen.
Many of these patients are distressed with gas at the beginning of the use of fruit, and, encouraged by friends who are quite sure fruit never agreed with them, they decide that the treatment is not suited to them and on their own initiative stop eating it. At this point, if the treatment is continued, pronounced cases of chronic constipation and toxemia, with arthritis, endocarditis, inflammation of the ductless glands, and a sluggish state of all organic functioning, will develop great nausea, sometimes vomiting; the breath becomes offensive, the tongue loads up with a foul, massive coating, and the general symptoms may be many and most distressing. At this point the patients and their friends are positive that the treatment is a failure, and, in the days of "auld lang syne," here is where yours truly met many Waterloos. "A good doctor" would be called and, of course, save their lives by ordering "good nourishing food," which would act like magic in placing a lid on the cess-pool--within twenty-four hours most patients will be quite comfortable, their lives having been saved by a hair's breadth.
Of course, there is no danger of such cases dying, but they are easy to be made believe that they would have if "the good doctor had not been called in the nick-o'-time"--the treatment would have killed them! Many were sent to an early---premature--grave because of these nick-o'-time cures. Why not? These food inebriates, like the alcohol, morphine and cocaine inebriates, cannot be cured without removing the cause. Who would expect a drunkard to be cured by encouraging him to continue his drinking? Yet my profession has put the air-brakes on many of my prospective cures by encouraging the food drunkards to go on stuffing "good nourishing food." When the saved patients died a few weeks or months afterward, no connection was traced to the erstwhile episode when the supplanting doctor was endeavoring to procure for the late lamented new leases on life.
When fruit disagrees, stop the use of it, give teakettle tea if there is no nausea, and have the patient's stomach washed out night and morning with an alkaline lavage,* (*See Appendix.) also give enemas to clear out the bowels. As soon as the patient is comfortable, fruit is to be given again, and if nausea and gas distention return, stop the fruit, but continue the enemas and lavages.
So long as there is bad breath and coated tongue, the stomach washings should be kept up.
4--Exercise a Cure for Constipation
Activity is life, inactivity is death. An attentive reader of this book must have conceived the truth that constipation is quite generally a combining symptom found in most symptom-complexes of so-called diseases, or, stated in another way: Constipation is one symptom quite generally found in all so-called diseases. It should be obvious to reasoning minds that a treatment directed to one of many symptoms is a very primitive method of attempting to cure disease; in fact, only a temporary or palliative relief which must end when the effect passes off. Indeed, if that were true such practice would not be so bad, but it is a fact that palliation does not end with the relief given, but there must be a gradually growing enervation from the effect of each palliation, and a time comes when such treatment fails to relieve.
A logical treatment for overcoming constipation is a treatment directed to the removal of all symptoms. Singling out any one or two or more symptoms and treating them is symptom treatment, and in truth is palliation. If the patient really gets well, he does so in spite of the treatment, not because of it, and the parties to the performance--the doctors and their patients--are no wiser than they were before. This is the status of the practice of medicine; a sort of a game of mental blind-fold in which those playing it are seeing, yet see not; hearing, yet hear not; thinking, yet think not. Those playing it, however, grow a form of egomania that is death to mind growth, and they amount to pawns in the game of life.
Going back to the beginnings of any departure from a normal state of health, we find indulgences in mental and physical habits of an enervating character, and neither least nor last is one that bulks large with all others in making up the sum-total of disease, and that is lack of exercise. Any plan of treatment leaving out adequate exercise must fail of ideal results.
Inactivity favors stasis. When the bowels are enervated there is inactivity; the muscular coats of the bowels and blood-vessels become relaxed and fill with blood; passive engorgement takes place; irritation, engorgement, inflammation, ulceration and cancer come in regular order. No treatment that does not look to the re-establishment of activity--muscular tone, active circulation with absorption of deposits--will cure; hence all habits of life of an enervating character must stop, and exercise must be practiced daily. The tensing movements, particularly of the spine and abdomen, must be practiced when possible every three hours daily. Not spasmodically, but regularly every day.
Get busy and stay busy. Stop all bad habits; practice positiveness of mind and body; live on the al ert with eyes and mind wide open; do the tensing exercise from one-half to one hour before getting up of a morning; walk, run, jump, get exercise in any way and every way; boycott elevators and streetcars; be sure you are short for time before taking the automobile, and don't concoct an unworthy excuse. Take a warm sponge bath, dry the body, then follow with friction mittens after the morning exercise. Drink a glass or two of cold water on getting up. Sip a quart of half-and-half of hot milk and water for breakfast; at noon two ounces toasted whole-wheat bread and butter, eat dry, and follow with a quart of hot milk and water; dinner in the evening, two ounces of toasted whole-wheat bread eaten dry, followed with a large combination salad; follow the salad with a pint of milk and water. Eat in this way until bowels are moving daily, then stop the milk and water for breakfast and eat fresh uncooked fruit--one or two apples in winter; in the summer any well-ripened fruit. If the bowels continue to move daily for a week after this change, add meat to the dinner every other day and stop the toast, milk and water. This change should continue for a week, and if the bowels continue to move daily, then increase the toast to three or four ounces; no other change for the starch dinners. No butter is to be used on the toast when oil is used in the salad. Positively no water drinking nor eating between meals. Play the game fair!
Follow in this line for a month after all the changes have been made, then if all is going nicely, the noon and night meals may be selected from the "Pocket Dietitian."
If in the beginning of this treatment the bowels are obstinate, place half a pint or one pint of warm water in the rectum, holding the water for a few minutes (ten or fifteen minutes); then try to have a movement--no severe straining. This small enema may be used every night following every day that the bowels do not move. Don't be disappointed when the bowels fail to respond to the small enema; there will be another day, and so long as the sun continues to shine the vilest bowels may return to the normal. Don't tie the bowels up into double-bow knots by worrying. Constipation is not built in a day, week, or month; it can be corrected in a reasonable time by following the advice intelligently. As a result of this treatment the bowels will move daily, and physical and mental efficiency will increase until the erstwhile constipated individual would not sell out for a million.
EXERCISES AS USED AT THE TILDEN HEALTH SCHOOL
Tense the leg muscles from the toes to the body. First extend the toes as far as you can,
and then grip, as it were, by forcing the toes toward the heels, and at the same time make the muscles of the legs hard to the body; then relax and tense again. Alternate these movements, keeping count of the number of times, so as to know how much exercise you take each time. Do this five times each way, and then relax and rest.
Next tense the hands and arms in the same way. Extend the fingers as far as you can, making the muscles hard to the shoulders; then grip the fingers and shut the fist, hardening the muscles to the shoulders. Do this five times each way; then back to the feet and legs; then back to the arms again.
Then fold a pillow and put it under the shoulders, so that when the head drops back it will not touch anything. Then lift the head forward, placing the chin on the chest; then let the head go back again as far as it will, then lift. Do this as often as you can. Then, with pillow still under the shoulders, lock the fingers under head, allowing head to rest in hands. Swing head from side to side, up and down, and rotate, carrying each movement as far as possible.
Then push folded pillow down under hips and go through the leg movements of riding a bicycle. Then, with legs extended in the air, move each leg from side to side, allowing one to pass the other over the body.
Then tense the abdomen, making it as hard as possible, and at the same time knead the abdomen with the hands.
Then sit up and turn the face to the right as far as possible; then to the left as far as possible; then allow the head to drop over, so as to bring the ear close to the shoulder, and then carry it over to the opposite shoulder. Repeat in this manner as long as possible.
These movements of the head and neck are necessary to remove deposits that take place between the vertebrae, and in grooves and opening in bones where the nerves and arteries pass. If the hearing is bad, these movements will improve it. If the sense of smell is not so acute as it should be, by keeping up the exercises the olfactory nerve will be freed and the smell will be more acute. The taste, too, will be bettered. All the nerves of special sense will be invigorated. The pneumogastric nerve and all the vital nerves controlling vital organs are invigorated by this exercise. When nerves are pressed upon by organic deposits, the movements above described will cause the deposits to be absorbed. The muscles of the neck will develop; the muscles of the face will develop; one will grow to look and feel younger.
These exercises must be gone through with, not only before getting up, but every three or four hours during the day. You may think that this is very laborious, but it is the price you must pay to get well. So begin at once, and be faithful.
There are a few more exercises which I will describe. Sit on the edge of bed and sway the body from side to side as far as you can; then follow with a twisting movement, attempting to look behind over the shoulders. Sit up in bed and sway backward and forward, compelling the spine to bend from the small of the back up to the head, forward and backward. This loosens up the spine and invigorates the nerves that are sent off to the lower part of the body.
Get on the knees and elbows; then push the body forward as far as possible without falling upon the face; then push back as far as possible. Go back and forth, while in this position, until tired; then drop on either the left or the right shoulder while the hips are highly elevated. This is called the knee-shoulder position. The knee and elbow position, with the movements described, I call the "Irish mail movements." It is necessary to practice both these movements and positions in overcoming constipation, prolapsus of the bowels, rectum, or womb, and piles.
Place the forefingers over the closed eyes and rub gently from side to side. Then remove fingers and rotate eyeballs, reversing the movement to relieve the tire. Place forefingers on wings of nose; press together and move from side to side.
When the weather is nice, you are to take a walk in the open air as often as possible.
5--The Water Cure in Constipation
We hear such remarks as: Water is the natural solvent and should be used abundantly--impossible to use it too much; that our bodies are three-fourths water and our brains nine-tenths water; hence unless large quantities are used dire consequences will result.
To water drinking there is a limit, the same as to bread and meat eating. Some doctors tell us that bread is the staff of life, and then they proceed to calcify, ossify and petrify everyone who will come unto them and take their advice; even the advocates of the staff of life theory mentally petrify and remain, as Lot's wife, pillars of salt--proving the staying qualities of the food. On the other hand we have the advocates of meat, and they prove by the health of the buzzard, hyena and cannibal that meat eating is an open sesame to brain and brawn. Diet is the most talked about and most abused subject in the people's forum today. Specializing in diet ranges from: "there isn't anything in the food question," to: "eat what agrees with you;" from sipping milk every half-hour to corn-beef and cabbage; from cereals to meat; from fruit and nuts, and other forms of vegetarianism, to omnivorous stuffing; all of which shows that knowledge of the subject is chaotic, and proves that there is everywhere to be seen, by those with discernment, the palpable truth that it takes more than fanaticism, prejudice and a knowledge of the stoking value of foods to make a dietetic physician.
At the beginning of crystallization of ideas on any of the established systems chaos reigns. Truth and fallacy indulge in an orgy that ends only at the triumph of truth--at the triumph of order. Diet, as a subject, is in a drunken revel today, and those who know the least talk most for or against the subject. Small minds put a little salt on the tail of a diet idea and rush into print, and establish a following of fanatics who resist truth and stay progress for a time. But, in spite of all hindrances, truth on the subject is growing apace.
Diet, the subject of curing disease by properly adjusting man to his intake of food, and other habits both mental and physical, is so loaded down by fallacy that the untrained mind that goes to the Mother Hubbard Diet Cupboard will find it bare except for a bone.
Water drinking to overcome constipation is one of hundreds of cure-alls that have been worked overtime.
Those with the hydrocephalic idea can not conceive the fact that man is not an aquatic animal, and that his supply of water is prepared for him and handed to him in the form of luscious fruits and succulent vegetables and milk. Man will not understand that the earth was prepared for his coming. Rock, vegetable, animal, then man, is the way the story runs. Man last because he cannot make flesh from rock and water, but he can utilize rock and water that are prepared for him in the form of fruit, vegetables and meat. But the hydro-idealist is not satisfied with the spread nature sets before him; he proceeds to break up the compounds nature has given him by boiling or cooking the vegetables and fruit, which destroys the solvent enzymes, evaporates the rich volatile oils and aromas, and the sun-kissed (distilled) waters are made to throw down their organized minerals; and when the life is gone out, and the vegetable cells are dead, then simple man adds as dressing butter, flour, etc., most of which are soulless from the mechanistic manipulations they have gone through before they are added to the vegetable and fruit.
This distorted food is eaten with toasted bread which has been forced through so many manipulations that its relationship to grain is much the same as the mummy's body is to the man it is supposed to represent. Or, if meat be used, the water element, along with the salts and volatile oils, the soul of man's food, is driven out, and it returns to nature (God) who gave it, and man then proceeds to eat what is left. It is a case of the dead burying the dead. Constipation follows as surely as effect must follow cause. Why? Because the vital elements are devitalized--driven out; life is robbed of its food, of the elements of its renewal; and when the victim of such starvation gives down to an epidemic influencewhen struck down by "flu" or pneumonia or some other disease--death will be his portion unless medical treatment is much above average.
After devitalized food is eaten for some time, the body becomes enervated, for the life of the food is destroyed in cooking, and man's stock of nerve energy is expended in assimilating and imparting life to the intake, without being able to collect toll; hence enervation must follow, and the disease once called scurvy, but now acidosis is developed. When man eats vitalized food (fresh fruit and vegetables) he will get all the energies used in digesting and assimilating it paid back by the energy contained in the food, and if these finer energies--enzymes, so-called vitamines, life itself-- are not forthcoming in the food eaten, physical and mental bankruptcy must be the legitimate consequences.
The water that is drunk to replace the water that is driven out of food and destroyed by evaporation and the destructive analysis of cooking is a poor substitute. The destroyed water is the water of crystallization, and tissue histogenesis--tissue synthesis--the water of organized vegetable and animal bodies.
The mineral water and the mineral of our mountains are water and bread in potentiality, but the Great Artificer must send both through nature's laboratory before they are refined enough to be ideal food and drink for man.
When we eat bread the water original to the cereal is gone, and before the bread can become tissue it must be supplied with the loss sustained in milling and cooking. If we eat whole grain, water must be added. Ordinary mineral water is used, but a very much better plan is to eat bread with fresh uncooked fruit, or vegetable salads (the Tilden Salad is meant); in doing so we give to our bodies organic water similar to that destroyed in drying, milling and cooking our foods. Thirst always follows a hearty meal of solid devitalized foods--namely, bread, meat, beans, potatoes, puddings, pies, etc.--because the water of construction--histogenesis--has been driven out.
Distilled water is dead, and the waters of our springs, wells and hydrants are inorganic and mineralized, and as man can not digest rock as rock, the same bar holds good with the mineral in water. The juice of fruits and vegetables is water organized, and the unifying element, so far as we know, is life; this substance, or element, passes into the body of man, and replenishes his stock, commercially speaking, of life.
Mineralized water, when fresh from its source, is potentized with life, and, like air, can be made a carrier of impurities; it imparts life
while it takes into the body unutilizable debris. When it is distilled, boiled, bottled or confined, its life potency disappears; then it is not potable. At best mineralized water taxes the body to rid itself of the mineral. The kidneys labor to rid the body of mineralized water, and constipation results. Air when confined loses its life potency. Like water, however, its synthetical elements are not disturbed in their proportions. Both water and air can be surcharged with foreign matter to such an extent that they are rendered unfit for man's use, yet their legitimate elements except life are not disturbed in quantity nor quality. Both may carry a degree of cold and heat that unfits them for man's use, and both may be devoid of life-imparting power, yet on analysis they may be perfect in composition. Life eludes the analyst, yet he may learn to place elements -analyzed or synthesized--in such an environment as to attract life. This is a therapeutic possibility that receives very little, if any, attention by the majority of health teachers, notwithstanding life is omnipresent; and why shan't I say that it is the essence--the noumenon--the thing itself--the unknowable?
Thirst is a desire no more to be harkened to, without reason, than is appetite, passion, or any other want of the body or mind. The unspoiled world of instinct, which must give way to ratiocination (reasoning) when mind becomes our guide, is a safe pilot, but when instinct is befuddled by luxury, as it is in a commercialized world, we see human animals surrounded by luxury entirely out of keeping with their physiological needs, and as a result they suffer from abusing the chemistry of the body by supplying artificially created wants and anticipated privileges. For an exaggerated simile, think of "a bull in a china shop."
People in the instinct (animal) class, yet masquerading as ratiocinate (thinking) beings, when restricted in any way, can be known by such outbreaks as: "What is food for if not to eat? What is water, alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco and other stimulants for if not to be used? Why should one not eat when there is a desire? Why not indulge all wants? Why are these wants given to man if they are not to be satisfied?" These questions may be extended to the lowest type of criminal life: "Why should I not kill, rob, outrage and take advantage of society in any way I can? I have a desire to do so, and if it were not right for me to do so, the desire would not have been planted in my nature."
The same questions may be extended to governments. If God had not desired the Kaiser to massacre the world, why did He give him the desire? I leave the reader to apply the question to all forms of parties, cliques, societies and abused privileges, which are now busy howling their God-given rights across the chasm that separates instinct from reason.
Take a glimpse with me at the priests of the various professions which are supposed to place deluded humanity in the proper attitude toward the laws of instinct and reason. Isn't it to laugh at their teachings, if the results were not so tragic? Nature is as well satisfied with the results of law worked out in one way as in another; man can travel in reverse so long as he likes. If there is a "Master of the Show" he certainly must be splitting his sides guffawing at the monstrous farce--comedy he is pulling off on the world-stage.
As a health adviser I am forced to spend most of my time endeavoring to teach self-control in those who are satisfying their appetites and passions on a reasoning basis, while their mentalities--understandings--are still in the instinct class. When criticized they attempt to vindicate their crimes against their natures by such reasoning as before mentioned, namely: What's desire, etc., for, if not to satisfy? The burglar, or any criminal, inebriate, or drug fiend, can ask the same question.
There are very intelligent people who can not understand that the privilege of eating, drinking and enjoying ad libitum belongs to instinct and a natural world--belongs to an aboriginal people in an aboriginal world; and that their world requires the guiding influence of knowledge and judgment to steer the ratiocinate--the thinking--through ' their maze of temptation born of a commercialized civilization.
Luxury with only an instinct to guide ends as we see it, namely, in hospitals, sanitariums, insane asylums, benevolent institutions, criminal institutions galore, and a world of disease on the outside of these institutions.
When man is guided by instinct only, he requires no fig leaf of prohibition; but when he eats of the tree of knowledge his mental eyes are opened, and then, unless he acts the part of a rational being, he will surely die. Man eats of the tree of knowledge and assumes self-control; he then repudiates instinct; by sensuality he grieves away the holy spirit--instinct--and at the same time refuses to be guided by reason. Society today is pleasure-mad, and its health teachers declare: If you worship us you may enjoy to the full all pleasures of life; don't be a fool; be operated on; then eat and drink, for tomorrow you will not die. And the people fall for these modern devils.
It is within the mental grasp of any rational being to be his own physician, and enjoy within his requirements; but when his privileges are abused he loses his self- protection, and in that day he is doomed, and he must surely die.
I am reminded daily that "water is God's gift to man (and so is bread), and man should satisfy his desire for it." The same reasoning justifies soaking one's life out bathing, or drowning, if the desire is for doing so. If a desire is natural it should be satisfied, but when artificially created, to satisfy it then even by water drinking becomes a link in a chain of morbid habits and leads to disease and physical degeneracy. How is one to know? That is the doctor's business, in the absence of lay education and training; but as "doctoring" is a system of palliation, the average doctor knows no more about the evils of eating and drinking than the average layman, and when asked to prescribe a diet, he usually says: "Eat and drink whatever agrees with you." The prescription is absurd, and shows gross ignorance on the part of the doctor and a childish credulity on the part of the patient for not flouting the prescription back in the quack's face. Why should the patient consult the doctor if he knows what to do-what to eat and drink and wear?
SYMPTOMS INDICATING A DROUTHY STATE OF THE BODY
In constipation, where the feces are dry and scanty, the kidneys inactive and urine reduced to a pint in twenty-four hours--a little more or a little less--and high-colored, skin dry and shedding the scurf skin to such an extent as to give black socks and underwear a dusty or dirt-covered appearance, there is present, in most of such cases, an aversion to water; they are nervous, irritable and have a pinched or drawn facial expression. Such patients live in a high, state of tension; they never relax, know nothing of poise; suff er from headache, neuralgia, nervous discomforts in stomach and bowels, an all-gone feeling in stomach or bowels, a gnawing or grinding which may be relieved by eating, but certainly not cured! Many complain of a pulsating tumor near the umbilicus, which is the pulsating of the abdominal aorta and is natural, but too pronounced when people are nervous. The tongue is coated of a morning and the breath disagreeable; the breath odor may last all day, or pass away after the first meal. Where meat and eggs are eaten daily the bad breath may last all day. The pulse may be too rapid (from 80 to 100), the heart may palpitate under anger, fear, or on going up a flight of stairs. After thirty-five years of age, and even before, there may be a beginning of hardening of arteries. Gas in the stomach and bowels is a constant symptom, sometimes very distressing; catarrhal deafness and ringing or noises in the head are very common symptoms. Asthma and bronchitis are quite common accompaniments to the foregoing symptom-complex. Those presenting these symptoms are usually bread or toast and coffee and tobacco fiends, and certainly non-consumers of water in the natural state of fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables. Fruit often distresses these cases because of the gastric neuroses brought on from the acid of starch fermentation induced by eating bread and coffee together. Coffee is inclined to cause irritation and acidity--build a neurosis--of the stomach, and in those predisposed to take on cancer it hurries the development of that disease. Caffeine is a toxin, and when drunk daily favors arteriosclerosis and cancer.
Cases presenting many, or only a few, of the above symptoms should be encouraged to drink water very freely except after the hearty meals--after dinner. No fluid of any kind should be taken into the stomach after leaving the table, it matters not how urgent the demand, for if water is drunk, fermentation will be induced and ruin the digestion of that meal and cause acidity--sour stomach.
To persist in drinking water while digestion is on establishes polyuria in some and obesity in others. Obesity means retention of water in the tissues of the body.
WHEN TO DRINK WATER FOR CONSTIPATION
When the skin is dry and urine scanty and high-colored; when the tongue is coated or dry; when there is much nervousness, headache or discomfort, and when the pulse is small, wiry and resistant to light pressure, patients presenting most of these symptoms should stay in bed two weeks, should be given an enema (two quarts of warm water) daily, a stomach lavage every morning, and fast until tongue cleans and comfort returns. When ready for food give fruit for breakfast, salad at noon, buttermilk for supper. They should sip slowly a glass of cold or warm water of a morning and half an hour before each meal. In addition to the three pints of water, a cup or two of teakettle tea at the end of each meal. These patients are nervous and inclined to irritability, and when possible should stay in bed and fast from two to four weeks. Acids do not agree with them; they complain that fruit disagrees with them; that the fruit causes them to have pain in their stomach or bowels. They must fast until comfortable. When comfortable, eat as directed above. All cases presenting these symptoms have catarrh of the stomach; where the catarrh has extended to colon (colitis) starch must be avoided until much better, eaten in great moderation ever after. Constipation with colitis must be overcome by withholding or restricting starch eating to one meal each day. Until the bowels are regular, breakfasts should be confined to fruit or a pint of teakettle tea; or those who eat starch should eat the coarse bread--whole-wheat, rye or bran bread--or porridges, but in very great moderation--an ounce or two at the beginning; eat dry, very little butter, masticating thoroughly and follow with teakettle tea. Lunch: fresh fruit, berries in season, with an ounce of raisins if they do not cause acidity and discomfort. Many can not eat the sweet dried fruits. Follow with teakettle tea. When better, as much fresh fruit as desired. Those with rheumatism must avoid eating fruit, milk and starch in the same meal; bread and teakettle tea may be eaten with lettuce. Dinners should be meat and starch on alternate days. On meat days, preferably lamb, chicken, fish or eggs, with two succulent vegetables--spinach or onions--as often as possible to take with a relish, and every dinner a combination salad--a Tilden salad. For starch dinners select one decidedly starchy food* and eat with two succulent or non-starchy vegetables* and a combination salad. (*See Appendix.)
Where there is great enervation, rapid pulse, or a pulse below sixty, the patient should give up work and stay in bed until much improved. In cases of high blood-pressure--full, hard pulse--the patient should stay in bed until comfortable, and eating must be confined to fruit for breakfast, salad at noon and buttermilk for supper; positively no water or any other table beverage until the pressure is brought to normal.
WHEN NOT TO DRINK WATER OR ANY OTHER FLUID FOR CONSTIPATION
Never drink when the digestive process is on. When there is high blood-pressure; when there is flushed face and pain or discomfort; when the skin is moist, or the patient perspires without effort or exercise; when there is ptyalism (excessive flow of saliva) or heavy bronchial secretion with asthma, or polyuria (excessive flow of urine), a fast is necessary; no water without thirst, and then very little. When these symptoms are better, drinking at or between meals must not be allowed until bowel secretions have become established and constipation overcome; then at early morning and at meal time only. To drink water after digestion of a hearty meal has begun is positively disease-building. Constipation with uncomfortable feeling in the head, or dizziness, momentary blindness, or any recurring eye sensations, or ear sounds or noises that have come on recently, or with any disagreeable head or eye symptoms--a patient presenting these symptoms, if in full flesh or disposed to obesity (fatness), should fast; the fast should be broken if nausea develops, or as soon as any unusual discomfort appears; an orange for morning and noon, and a salad for night. Those in medium flesh should be allowed fruit for breakfast, salad for noon, buttermilk for supper. Those who are starch-poisoned will have an irritable stomach, and fruit disagrees with them; thin patients when comfortable should have a pint to a quart of teakettle tea for breakfast, fresh fruit, one ounce of raisins and teakettle tea for noon, and combination salad and milk for supper. A pint of water, cold or hot, every morning, sipping slowly. If constipation returns, a pint enema of warm water every evening or every other evening, retained for a few minutes, may be all that is necessary; if, however, this fails, give a quart of 50-50* for breakfast and lunch; salad, whole-wheat bread toasted, and a pint of 50-50 for dinner. (*See Appendix.)
FREQUENT URINATION, OR POLYURIA
Where there is an excess of urine and constipation, stop water drinking entirely until bowels are regular; then depend on fresh fruits, vegetables, salads and milk (at meal time only) for a supply of fluid to the system. Thirst, like appetite, is abnormal and can be overcome; after which health--normality--returns and will be permanent and dependable.
6--Laxatives as a Cure for Constipation
Laxatives are of two classes, namely, foods and drugs.
Food Laxatives: It should be known at the beginning of a formulation of natural remedies for constipation that Food--all food--is laxative, and when it is not, the natural functions of the bowels, secretions and excretions, are perverted. This being true, our first thought in overcoming constipation should be to correct the habits of life that are enervating, and prescribe a manner of eating and care of body that will conserve energy and build back lost functioning. While looking after the general health which is necessary to accomplish this purpose, it is also necessary to palliate the constipation in those who are of a nervous temperament and under weight. This secures a daily movement with the least harmful of all the artificial helps necessary to use for the purpose. It is safe to say that anything and everything that is used to cause--force--the bowels to move does more or less harm, but we often have to decide between two evils, namely, the harmful effects of constipation and the remedy used to secure relief. Even the laxative fruits do more or less harm, and the careful and discerning physician is often compelled to stop their use because of their tendency to ferment in the stomach.
Where fruit can be used without fermentation and gas distention, prunes* or black figs* may be used for breakfast, followed with a quart of teakettle tea. For lunch, two or three ounces of coarse bread toasted, followed with a quart of teakettle tea. For dinner, meat, spinach and combination salad. If the dry fruit can not be used, try a little fresh fruit, or one or two ounces of toasted bread. (*See Appendix.)
The best and most logical treatment is to correct all mental and physical bad habits, and then eat little enough to allow the system to return to the normal.
Laxative foods, laxative drugs, mineral waters, cathartics, the various oils, etc., do not cure, can not cure; possibly in the young and vigorous constipation may apparently be overcome by laxative foods, spring water, etc., but the sluggishness for which they were given is temporary and would have passed without any treatment, simply being an accumulation from neglect. There is nothing, logically speaking, in the so-called remedies, which are used to move the bowels, that will restore secretions and excretions; a necessary accomplishment and without which normal secretions and excretions, with daily evacuations, can not be had. Not only the enervation of the bowels must be restored, but systemic enervation as well, for primarily enervation is general, ending in toxemia, after which the organ with least resistance, or subjected to the greatest stress, gives down first. The stomach and bowels are greatly stressed and suffer most.
Drug Laxatives: Compelling the bowels to move does not necessarily force secretions; indeed, secretions sidestep (so to speak) the cathartic influence. A laxative influence is the primary cathartic influence. A dose of salts, spring waters or the dehydrated mineral, acts mechanically through the law of osmosis, drawing the water (or serum) from the blood into the bowels, causing large watery stools. If enough of the salts is taken the bowels will be cleared out, but constipation proper is not corrected by it. Besides the bowels being cleared out, the blood has been depleted; but have the secretions and excretions of the bowels been established? Not at all! Thirst follows the action of salts, for there is a demand for the restoration to the blood of its unnatural loss. As proof that the dehydration works a hardship to the blood, see the mouth and tongue; they are left dry, and there is a thirst that water-drinking fails to relieve immediately. Instead of laxatives establishing secretions, the function is further removed from the normal by the bowel-forcing treatment, notwithstanding relief to bowel accumulation is experienced. When the body is uncomfortable from the toxemia of constipation, if the clearing of the bowels be very thorough, the discomfort will be relieved, and rest in bed, poised mind, fasting and warm sponge baths will restore secretion and excretion; then by eating moderately of properly combined menus, and exercising all that is necessary for health, a cure will be established. At no time can the mental state be forgotten; a happy and optimistic mind is positively necessary.
It is necessary to clear out the bowels at the beginning of all so-called diseases, but there is a best way, and I shall attempt to point that way.
It is a mistake, which is liable to end fatally, to begin the treatment of typhoid fever with anything to move the bowels except daily enemas. Why? Because this fever starts with putrescence in the small intestine, and a cathartic forces infection of adenoid tissue and lymph follicles. The exanthematous (eruptive) fevers, smallpox, scarlet fever, measles, et alii, are complicated and made severe by any drugs, strong or mild, that are given to move the bowels. They tend to retrocede the eruption to the intestine, favoring infective toxemia.
As it is almost impossible to diagnose satellitic exanthemata, rather than complicate an obscure case by laying the foundation for inflammation and ulceration in the intestine by the use of bowel stimulants, physicians should abandon a routine of physic and adopt a safe course, namely, use enemas and stop feeding. When this is done the building of infectious fevers or chronic diseases will end. This precaution would have saved thousands in the late "flu" epidemic--in all epidemics.
To make the above clear, I will say that in epidemics of scarlet fever and diphtheria there are fifteen to twenty attacked with angina simplex to every one who develops a pronounced or septic type--only one in fifteen to twenty cases matures toxic bacteria. Why? Because the subjects are not toxemically vulnerable; that is, their bodies do not offer a welcome hostage for bacteria. For bacteria to take on toxicity and specificity, the subject must furnish a favorable habitat. In other words, there must be pronounced enervation and toxemia with denudation of mucous surfaces.
Chronic Constipation: Drugs given to force elimination in chronic so-called disease frustrate the real purpose for which they are given, namely, to establish secretion and excretion. It is true if the bowels are cleared out more absorption of decomposition from them will be prevented if the patient is fasted, but auto-intoxication, from checked and retained excretions, will continue until complete elimination is brought about by physiological, physical and mental rest--fasting, staying in bed, and the dismissal of worries, fears and enervating habits generally.
Rest need not be absolute except while there is much discomfort, pronounced elimination, nausea or vomiting. When comfortable, the patient may be rested from the bed for an hour or two each day, sitting in a chair, or if the day is fine he may sit in the sunshine and open air.
Fresh uncooked fruit may be eaten in moderation three times a day. If, however, fruit sets up erythema or hives, buttermilk may be substituted. As improvement continues, more food may be eaten. A pint or more of hot teakettle tea may give more and quicker relief, by invigorating the circulation.
In emergencies, such as obstructing constipation, a choice between evils may have to be made; high enemas or quick-acting drugs may have to be selected, but certainly they should be discontinued when the object for which they' are given is attained. Heroic remedies should not be given until hot wet packs or stupes have been given a trial.