The Childhood Ailments by Harry Benjamin ND
Part 1.
Introduction by Ivor Hughes.

Harry Benjamin was a noted British Naturopath. Given the lethal turn that Modern Medicine has taken then his advice is timeless and is as good today as it was then. The success of his methods are legendary in the UK. It is permissible to use herbal teas when applying his treatment methods.

In posting this information which is now almost 70 years old I have in my mind the recent disastrous Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, therefore we must also take account of the law of necessity. If you find yourself unable to afford or reach medical care then it could save your child�s life.

It is for you to take what you need and leave the rest. Common sense and hygiene will see you through. The interested reader will also note that the problems listed by Harry Benjamin are also applicable to the Adult state and may be treated in the same manner as laid out for the child.


Extracted from, 'Everybody's Guide to Nature Cure (1936) by Harry Benjamin ND.



STOMACH AND BOWEL DISORDERS: Acute Indigestion - Chronic Indigestion - Colic � Colitis � Constipation � Diarrhea � Infective diarrhea �Dysentery Vomiting�Worms.

DISEASES OF THE HEART, LUNGS, THROAT, ETC. : Bronchitis � The common cold � Croup (membranous)� Croup (spasmodic or false) � Enlarged tonsils and adenoids � Heart disease � Mumps � Pleurisy. � Pneumonia �Whooping-cough.

CHILDHOOD FEVERS : Chicken-pox � Diphtheria � German measles � Measles, Meningitis � Rheumatic fever�Scarlet fever.



NERVOUS DISEASES OF CHILDHOOD : Convulsions�Infantile Paralysis �Meningitis � St. Vitus Dance.

PARASITIC DISEASES OF CHILDHOOD : Thread-worms. Also Bed-wetting�Teething.

OF all forms of disease, those of infancy and early childhood are most due to wrong feeding. It is the criminally unwise feeding habits of our age which are at the bottom of the vast amount of infant disease of to-day ; and until parents learn this, there can be little hope of rescue for their children from the so-called "children's ailments."

From before birth the child of civilisation is fed wrongly; for we must remember that even in the womb the child depends for its nutriment upon what the mother supplies to it, and the modern mother seems to take a special delight in eating those foods which deprive her growing unborn child of the invaluable mineral elements it needs for proper bone and body building, and in making its entry into the world as potentially unhealthy as possible.

It is all a question of ignorance : of ignorance on the part of the mother as to what foods she needs for her own health, as well as for the health of her child ; and ignorance on the part of the medical profession in ascribing to outside causes, such as "germs" and" the weather," diseases which originate entirely from within the infant organism as a result of wrong feeding.

The mother who lives on the refined foods of to-day, and ignores the invaluable part to be played in the daily dietary by fresh fruits and raw salad vegetables, is making the path in life of her children very hard indeed � a path strewn with the "usual" children's ailments (usual only because of the abysmal ignorance of most mothers regarding the diet question). For most unusual would they be if mothers knew how to feed themselves and their children.

The medical profession has at last learned that rickets is a deficiency disease. But when will it learn that infantile paralysis, whooping cough, measles, and all the other diseases of childhood, even defective teeth are merely the result of a grossly deficient (whilst at the same time grossly excessive) infant dietary? Deficient in organic mineral salts, that is, but vastly over-excessive in the shape of refined sugar, refined starchy foods, proteins, and fats.

All babies should be breast fed ; but if this is not possible, they should be given either cow's milk or goat's milk (diluted) instead. Prepared baby-foods are absolutely worthless for building a high grade of health. Babies who have to be fed on either cow's milk or goat's milk should also receive plenty of orange juice during the day to make up for any mineral deficiency in the pre-natal diet.

The old medical idea that the baby should be fed every two hours during the day (with night-feeding if the child should wake) has received its death-blow at the hands of such pioneers of infant welfare as Dr. Truby King ; but it still lurks here and there in medical manuals for the bringing up of children. Babies should be fed at four-hourly intervals during the day, and not at all at night.

This overfeeding in the earliest months of life is the greatest predisposing factor concerned in the setting up of ailments of early childhood, such as indigestion, constipation, Diarrhoea, etc.

If any proof is needed to show how thoroughly the medical mind fails to understand the diet question and its relation to disease both in young and old, it is furnished by the following specimen daily dietary for a child of between two and three which is published in a fairly recent medical book on health.* It has been elaborated by a highly esteemed American doctor, and is accepted as "ideal" by the medical profession at large. It is :

Breakfast. (1) A small portion of beefsteak, with oatmeal or other cereal porridge, and plenty of milk.] A soft-boiled egg, bread and butter and a glass of milk.

Second meal. (1) A glass of milk with bread and butter or with a soda or other biscuit. 2) Bread and milk.](3) Chicken broth.

Dinner. Roasted fowl, mutton, or beef cut fine ; mashed roast potato with butter or dish gravy over it ; bread and butter. As dessert, tapioca or rice or sago pudding, junket (or fruit).

Supper. (1) Bread and butter. Milk with soda or other biscuit, or with bread and butter.

It would be interesting for the reader just to compare this "ideal" diet for a child of two or three with the child diet chart for those of the same age given in the Appendix herewith. Where is that daily abundance of fresh fruits and fresh raw vegetables so needful to the infant system ? Not thought of at all � just ignored!

Merely a belated reference to rice pudding, or junket, or fruit as a dessert after a meat breakfast and dinner! But plenty of refined starches, fats, and animal proteins! Oh yes! there the whole fallacy of medical dietetics is exposed in a nutshell ; the kind of dietetics which is universal to-day, and which is the main causative factor in all disease. Wrong feeding par excellence!

Let a child of two be brought up on such a dietary, and it will be well in the running for every childhood complaint from enlarged tonsils to St. Vitus dance!

We come now to the actual treatments for children's ailments ; but before beginning, the following special note must be carefully borne in mind by all those administering the treatments :

SPECIAL NOTE. For babies or very young children, parents must, of course, use their discretion and modify the treatment given throughout the whole of this section where necessary.

STOMACH AND BOWEL DISORDERS. Acute Indigestion. � This is usually marked by vomiting, pain, and fever. When undigested food has remained so long in the stomach as to have caused inflammation, chronic indigestion follows the acute attack. The cause of the trouble is improper feeding, overloading of the stomach, the fermentation and decomposition of food, etc.

*Treatment. The child should be fasted for a day or so (it may be given hot water to drink, and orange juice), and the bowels should be cleansed once or twice with a small warm-water enema. If this is done, the symptoms will soon disappear, and the child should then be placed on the all-fruit diet for a further day or two, and then on to the diet-chart given in the Appendix.

Chronic Indigestion. Vomiting is the most common symptom. The tongue is coated, the breath bad, the sleep disturbed, the temper irritable. The child fails to gain weight and becomes unnaturally pale. The bowels may be alternately relaxed and constipated. The cause, as stated above, is improper feeding, generally the giving of too much food, and the wrong kind.

Treatment. A day on orange juice, with plenty of hot water in between, followed by from one to three or four days on the all-fruit diet (according to the needs of the case), and with the use of the enema nightly, will soon help to rectify matters. If the child is then placed on a sensible dietary such as given in the Appendix, the trouble should soon be eradicated from the child's system for good.

Colic. The feet are cold and pain occurs in paroxysms marked by a loud, violent cry with drawing up of the legs. The cry of hunger is more continuous and there is no evidence of pain. In colic the paroxysms are relieved by the expulsion of gas. Colic usually results from the distension of the bowels by gas (or wind). It is most common between the second and sixth month. The cause is faulty feeding on the part of the mother, this affecting the quality of the milk, or else is due to overfeeding of the infant � or more often, both. Where the patient is a very young child, treatment must, of course, be modified accordingly.

Treatment. To nurse the baby whilst it has colic is useless and only causes more harm. The baby should be given a little fairly hot water to sip, and a small warm-water enema should be given to cleanse the bowel. This latter is most effective. Feeding should not be resumed until all signs of the colic have disappeared. (The mother might find that the application of heat to the abdomen�say a hot towel�would help materially in recovery.)

The mother should, in addition, look very carefully to her own diet, and regulate it according to the dietary for adults given in the Appendix. She should also avoid overfeeding of the child in future. Four-hourly feeds and no night-feeding should be the rule. Sometimes the milk of the mother is affected from a psychological cause, i.e., bad temper, worry, great excitement, etc., and a baby should never be fed when the mother is in such a state.

Colitis. Infective Diarrhoea, This is usually known as summer Diarrhoea, and is the most common form seen in children. It presents two types. In the first the onset is gradual, and looseness of the bowels is the first symptom. There may be five to ten movements a day. Thin and frequently green, they soon contain mucus. More or less fever is present. The case may run a mild course, or become progressively worse and turn into inflammatory Diarrhoea (entero-colitis). In the second type the onset is sudden and is marked by vomiting, fever, and numerous loose green movements. At first the movements may be large and watery and contain blood, but later they become green or brown and contain mucus. Vomiting is sometimes persistent. The number of movements is not always a guide to the seriousness of the condition, for some of the worst cases have a high temperature and but few movements. The cause in all cases is wrong feeding, especially the giving of large quantities of protein food in hot weather (meat, fish, etc.).


Treatment. The treatment for this more serious type of Diarrhoea is to keep the child in bed, cleanse the bowels night and morning with the

warm water enema, and give nothing but water and orange juice for a few

days (no milk or anything else). As soon as the severity of the condition has been checked, and no more Diarrhoea is present, the all-fruit diet may be adopted, and after a few days on this, the child can pass on to the regular diet for children given in the Appendix.

If the condition is very serious, and the parent feels alarmed and does not feel capable of carrying out the treatment himself, a Naturopath should be called in, but in all cases, no matter how serious they may seem, the above simple home treatment will be found to be quite effective if applied properly.

Constipation. Constipation is one of the most troublesome disorders of childhood. The local trouble is frequently the only symptom, but in many cases there are colic, disturbed sleep, and irritability. Improper diet and irregular habits are the chief causes of this condition.

Treatment. This will depend upon the age of the child�whether a very small baby or a child, say, of four or five. In the case of a young baby being breast fed, the constipation is usually the result of wrong feeding on the part of the mother, and it needs correcting. But even so, the baby can be kept on water and orange juice for, say, a day, and a small enema of warm water given. The enema can be resorted to every second or third day for the next week or so (if necessary), until things begin to normalise themselves. A further day on water and orange juice may be required in some cases.

Never give laxatives. Where the baby is artificially fed, the cause is wrong feeding, obviously, and this should be rectified in accordance with the rules given in the Appendix re child feeding. Treatment should otherwise be as above.

For the child of two, three, four, and upwards, one to three or four days on the all-fruit diet and the adoption of the child menus given in the Appendix should soon help to right matters. ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD PURGATIVES BE GIVEN. A small warm-water enema should be given nightly whilst on the all-fruit diet, and the child should be encouraged to take plenty of exercise. (A little olive oil, given preferably with the salad meal, will help.

Part 2.   Part 3.   Part 4.   Part 5.