Everybody�s Guide to Nature Cure
By Harry Benjamin N.D.
Compiled and edited by Ivor Hughes.
DISEASES OF THE BLOOD AND BLOOD-VESSELS (ALSO CIRCULATORY DISORDERS)
DISEASES of the blood and blood-vessels are very common indeed in these days, and are steadily on the increase despite all medical efforts to deal with them effectively. Drug treatment for complaints such as anaemia, high blood-pressure, etc., has been lamentably unsuccessful, and must continue to remain so, because the underlying causative factors at work in the development of these diseases are left entirely untouched by such treatment.
To the medical mind the real causes underlying such diseases as anaemia, high and low blood-pressure, arterio-sclerosis, etc., are mysteries really, and will continue to remain mysteries just so long as the diet factor is left out of account in medical reasoning into the causes of these, as well as all other diseases.
That there is a very close relationship existing between wrong feeding on the one hand and an impoverished blood-stream or hardened and defective arteries and veins on the other is obvious to the Naturopath from the very nature of things, but far from obvious to his medical confrere, suffering as he is from a very bad " germ complex."
Just let the reader consider : Here we have the blood coursing continuously without ceasing for one instant, through the arteries and veins of the body, either bringing nutriment to the cells in its forward surge from the heart, or carrying waste material away in its backward flow. Can it not be seen at once that if a person has a system whose tissues are continuously clogged with waste matter, as a result of wrong feeding habits and wrong living generally, there will be an ever-growing tendency for the bloodstream itself to become in time permanently laden with an over-accumulation of toxic material and systemic refuse and its work to be impeded, and for the arteries and veins it continuously passes through to become more and more silted up with a layer of this same toxic material and systemic waste as the years advance ?
Here we have, in a nutshell, the reason for circulatory disorders such as poor circulation and chilblains on the one hand, and diseases of the blood-vessels such as arterio-sclerosis, high blood-pressure, varicose veins, etc., on the other. Nothing could be simpler- to understand. (The cause of anaemia and pernicious anaemia is not quite the same. These diseases are due to debility of the system generally, with resultant impoverishment of the blood-making organs, as a result of faulty diet and wrong habits of living.)
We notice that people generally develop high blood-pressure, arterio-sclerosis, circulatory disorders, and the like, about middle life. The reason why such diseases appear then, and not sooner, should be quite obvious to the reader now, from what has just been said. The arteries have been steadily accumulating around their walls a mass of toxic waste left behind in ever-increasing quantity every year by an increasingly toxic blood-stream, and by middle life the effects of this process have begun to be really experienced and names such as high blood-pressure, arterio-sclerosis, etc., applied to these effects. That is all !
What have germs or drug treatment or inoculations to do with either the cause or cure of such diseases ? Just nothing ! Only a thorough cleansing of the system to enable the blood and arteries and veins to detoxify themselves and build themselves up anew can ensure a cure in such cases. Once the reader has thoroughly grasped the foregoing, the details of treatment now to follow will be appreciated in their proper significance.
Anaemia. - Anaemia really means deficiency of blood, but an anaemic person is generally taken to mean one whose blood is defective in quality as well as quantity. There is a deficiency of haemoglobin in the blood, in the anaemic person, a substance without which no one could live. Haemoglobin contains organic iron in its composition, and the presence of this organic iron is absolutely essential to health and life, as it takes up the oxygen brought into the system when breathing, and carries it in combination with itself to the multifarious cells of the organism for their sustenance. Haemoglobin is the red colouring matter of the blood, so that a person deficient in this substance will have a much paler blood stream than one in good health; but the anaemic person is not only pale and bloodless as one can well imagine, he is also without appetite, energy less, and of poor nutrition too, because his impoverished blood-stream is not supplying the vital organs and body structures with their proper amount of nutritional material, and so the whole organism, both physical and mental, is affected. But, as a matter of fact, the anaemia itself, in the first place, is only the outcome of a general debility of the whole system (due to faulty diet, general wrong living, previous suppressive treatment of disease, etc.), so it is a case of a vicious circle all the time, a debilitated system leading to an impoverished blood supply, and an impoverished blood supply leading to yet further weakening of the system, because of the inability of supplying all the nutritional requirements of the various vital organs and structures.
Thus anaemia is not a disease at all really, it is a condition, a condition of bloodlessness or impoverishment of blood through systemic causes, and manifests itself as a factor in many diseases, rather than as a disease on its own ; and so to attempt to treat just the anaemia alone is poor policy therefore. It is the person as a whole who must be treated, as it is the whole organism which is at fault, and which, through wrong functioning, has led to the anaemic condition in question. To say, " Ah, this person has anaemia. That means he is deficient in iron. What he needs is iron to cure him ! " is just nonsense. Yet that, in the main, is the attitude of the medical profession to the disease (or condition, as I would rather have it called). No wonder it cannot cure it !
Anaemia, of all things, needs constitutional treatment if a real cure is desired. To depend upon iron tonics or iron injections is just a waste of time. No anaemic person has ever been cured in that way. It is not just iron that is needed, but the regeneration of the whole system. By the way, the iron given in medical treatment is quite useless, as it is inorganic iron, not organic iron. The organic iron the body needs can only be obtained from food� from such substances as green and root vegetables (if uncooked), from fruits, whole-grain cereals, and dried fruits�not from the chemist's laboratory or the drug store.
Treatment. - If what has been said above, as well as in the opening pages of this section, has been understood by the reader, the treatment for anaemia about to be outlined should speak for itself. It aims at the regeneration of the whole system rather than at supplying a badly working organism with inorganic iron which it does not know in the least what to do with, and which ultimately only makes matters worse.
The anaemic person should carry on as follows : Have from four to seven days on the exclusive fresh fruit diet outlined in the Appendix, followed by a further two to four weeks on the fruit and milk diet (also outlined therein). Those who find the fruit and milk diet agreeing well with them will obviously stay on it longer than others�we must remember that all constitutions differ� but in any case the full weekly diet given in the Appendix should afterwards be adopted and adhered to as closely as possible. Further periods on all-fruit followed by fruit and milk may be required in some cases, but this must be left to the reader's own discretion to decide, depending upon the progress being made in the meantime.
The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels during the first few days of the treatment, and afterwards if necessary; whilst those who are habitually constipated should carry out the advice given for its eradication in Section 9 (page 275). The daily dry friction and sponge or sitz-bath should be undertaken by every sufferer from anaemia, as also the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix (these aje most essential) ; and as much time as possible should be spent in the open air. Gentle outdoor exercise, such as walking, is needful�a good walk every day is an excellent thing�and where possible sun and air bathing should be indulged in. A weekly hot Epsom-salts bath is very good too.
All habits of living tending to set up enervation of the system, such as overwork, excesses of all kinds, needless worry, wrong thinking, etc., must be eliminated as far as lies within the power of the sufferer. Upon such a regime as the above, anaemia will disappear in the most obstinate cases in time. On no account should iron " tonics," tonic wines, etc,, be taken. They are just a waste of money and time.
Aneurysm. - An aneurysm is a dilated or expanded portion of an artery, forming a tumour with a wall of varying thickness. It may have one or more openings or communications with the arterial tube ; it may form a connection with an adjacent vein ; or it may gradually fill up and become solid, in which case Nature effects a spontaneous cure. This latter condition, however, is very rare, unfortunately. It is usually the arteries of the brain or lungs which are most often, affected, or those leading directly from the heart.. The disease is one of middle life, and is the direct outcome of wrong living and wrong feeding generally, although injury may be the superficial starting cause. Heavy drinkers are most prone to the condition, and it also follows in the wake of metallic-drug treatment for diseases of syphilitic origin, and from metallic poisoning, such as lead poisoning, etc.
Treatment. - It must be said at the outset that the treatment for aneurysm must always be left to a Naturopath, for such cases need most skilled attention. Nor can a definite cure be expected in most cases; in many all that can be hoped for is a diminution of the seriousness of the condition as a result of manipulative treatment, ray therapy, correct diet, strict abstention from alcoholic liquor, avoidance of strain, etc. The patient should lead as quiet a life as his calling will permit. For those who cannot put themselves under naturopathic treatment, a few days' fruit diet, followed by the full weekly diet given in the Appendix, will be the best way of starting treatment, with, say, two or three days on all-fruit every month to follow. The enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels during the first few days of the treatment, and afterwards if necessary.
Apoplexy (Paralytic Stroke). - This disease, called apoplexy or cerebral haemorrhage in medical language, is generally known as paralysis, or paralytic stroke. It is a most serious condition, and although those in early life may sometimes be victims, it is in late middle life that it is most commonly seen. Recovery is complete in some cases even under orthodox medical treatment; but if the condition were treated strictly along natural lines, the percentage of complete recoveries would go up by leaps and bounds.
The initial cause of apoplexy is the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain as a result of excessively high blood-pressure following on many years of wrong feeding habits and general wrong living; but the superficial causative factor is most often intense excitement, strain, or some unusually heavy work calling for unwonted exertion.
Sometimes there is nothing tangible in the way of symptoms ' to warn the victim that a stroke is near, but more often the warning signs are most definite. Pain in the head, dizziness, thickened speech, dullness of intellect (accompanied by very high blood-pressure), are the usual warning signals given by Nature that trouble is brewing.
When a stroke definitely occurs, there is intense headache, usually vomiting accompanied by profuse perspiration, and then unconsciousness accompanied by loud snoring; but there are all sorts of degrees and gradations of strokes which it would be outside our scope to classify.
The stroke may lead to death, or, more generally, it leads to paralysis of one side of the body, as a result of the blood pressing upon certain nerve centres in the brain area. As convalescence continues, this gradually decreases in intensity, until in some cases the complete recovery of power in the affected limbs is brought about; but in many there is permanent loss of power in one or more limbs, together with a definite loss of intellectual ability and power of expression.
Treatment. - The natural treatment for apoplexy will, if carried out properly, result in a complete cure in very many cases; but of course the previous medical history of the case and the severity of the stroke will all have to be taken into account.
The first requisite is fasting. The patient should be completely fasted for the first few days, being given only water, if such can be taken, and afterwards orange juice as well as water. The fast should be continued for several days�until, indeed, the severity of the stroke has passed off, and something in the way of more solid nourishment can be taken. Even then it should only be fresh fruit that is given, nothing else. It is a very great mistake to start feeding the sufferer from a stroke with so-called " nourishing " food, such as chicken-broth, beef-tea, milk, etc. ; this only tends to hinder recover, and makes a complete cure difficult.
A most important factor during treatment is proper cleansing of the bowels. The bowels should be cleansed twice daily with the warm-water enema for the first two or three days, and thence nightly until the bowels begin to function of their own accord. Nothing should be done to disturb the patient. Cold compresses to the head may be helpful in certain cases in relieving pain.
If the above treatment is carried out�that is, complete fasting until the severe symptoms have disappeared (with the use of the enema), followed by the exclusive fruit diet when more solid food can be taken with comfort�most sufferers from a stroke will soon be well on the up grade. Then a gentle massage of the affected limbs will be most beneficial, together with manipulative treatment, if such can be procured. The diet can be extended to include milk (fresh and -unboiled), and as convalescence increases, the fruit and milk diet can be gradually followed by the adoption of the weekly dietary given in the Appendix. Never be in a hurry to " feed-up " the patient; rather keep the diet as low as possible, with fruits and salads as the main features. No DRUGS WHATEVER SHOULD BE TAKEN.
When able to get about again, the patient may begin taking Epsom-salts baths twice weekly, whilst the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix should be carried out daily, together with the daily friction and sponge. Regular habits of living should be encouraged from then onwards, and the consumption of alcoholic liquor should be stopped completely in those cases where it was habitual. Smoking should also be discontinued.
Fresh air and outdoor exercise (as far as is possible), correct diet along the lines outlined above, and clean wholesome living will prevent further strokes occurring. All undue nervous excitement, needless worry, and excessive strain must be guarded against. The treatment for High Blood-pressure, given in the present section, should be studied carefully by all .those who have had apoplexy.
Arterio-selerosis. - Arterio-sclerosis means hardening of the arteries, and is intimately connected with high blood-pressure, as the excessively hardened condition of the arterial walls present in arterio-sclerosis means that the blood will have to force its way through the restricted arterial channel open to it, thus increasing pressure. It is the external walls of the arteries which harden in arterio-sclerosis, and the inner walls soften. These degenerative changes take place solely as a result of improper care of the body and bodily functions, due to wrong feeding, lack of exercise, excesses of all kinds, etc. ; and the fact that arterio-sclerosis is to be met with very frequently these days in those who have not yet reached their forties is a definite indictment of modern habits of living�habits of living in which the daily purgative, the patent medicine, and the medicinal drug all play such an important part. Arterio-sclerosis means getting old before your time!
Treatment. - When the arteries of the body have lost their elasticity, it means that all the bodily organs and structures will suffer in consequence. It must be obvious, therefore, that treatment for arterio-sclerosis must be constitutional. It is only by building up the tone of the whole system that the condition can be eradicated in time. As already stated, arterio-sclerosis and high blood-pressure are intimately connected, and treatment which will cure the former will cure the latter, and vice versa. The sufferer from arteriosclerosis is therefore referred to the treatment for High Blood-pressure given in the present section for guidance in his case. He can be assured that by following it out he will not only renew the tissue-tone of his whole system and vastly increase his general health, but he will add many useful years to his life also.
Blood Poisoning. - From the medical standpoint, blood poisoning implies that infectious bacteria or germs have entered the blood-stream and caused unpleasant or serious symptoms which are referred to as poisoning. Blood poisoning may be of various levels or grades, slight, more serious, and very serious; and it may be said here and now that in every case of blood poisoning the root cause is a highly toxic blood-stream due to faulty feeding and wrong living, and NOT germ infection at all.
If a person has a blood-stream which is full of toxic matter, and has a scratch or cut or bruise which lets the dirt in, it is not the dirt which is responsible for the blood poisoning which sometimes follows (as is generally believed), but the toxicity of the blood itself which is at fault. 1^ dirt which enters the system through the medium of the cut or bruise acts as a focus of infection by forming a nucleus around which toxic matter being carried by the blood-stream may congregate ; and it is this congregation of toxic matter around the nucleus supplied by the dirt (or whatever else may have been introduced) which leads to the condition known as blood poisoning. It will be seen from this that the severity of the condition will always depend upon the general health and state of the blood of the victim, and not upon external conditions or phenomena; and this explains at once why some people are more liable to blood poisoning than others, and why some cases are much more serious than others. It is the individual state of health and quality of blood which is the deciding factor every time. To make it a question of " germs" and infection from outside sources is to miss the whole point in blood poisoning.
Treatment.- It is obvious that every case of blood poisoning will require slightly different handling from every other, depending upon the general health of the patient, the location of the trouble, etc.; but the following rules re treatment will serve as a general guide to those who cannot obtain the necessary first-hand regimen from a qualified Naturopath. A fast for from three to seven or more days, on orange juice and water, is the first requisite, the duration of the fasting period depending in every case upon the severity of the attack. The patient should either keep to bed if the condition demands it, or else rest quietly at home, during this time.
During the fasting period, and afterwards if necessary, the bowels should be cleansed nightly with the warm-water enema or douche, and a full Epsom-salts bath should be taken every day if possible. (If a full Epsom-salts bath is not possible, the affected area should be bathed several times daily in hot water containing Epsom salts�about | Ib. of salts to a foot-bath of water or a table-spoonful of salts to a cupful of water.) This bathing of the affected area with hot water containing Epsom salts several times daily is a good thing even if the full Epsom-salts bath is being taken.
Under the above treatment the symptoms will soon begin to diminish, and then the all-fruit diet can be adopted for a few days, and as convalescence increases the full weekly dietary given in the Appendix can be commenced. The bathing can be decreased as the trouble lessens, of course, and the enema discontinued The friction, sponge or sitz-bath, and exercises given in the Appendix should then be begun as a regular measure for building up the tone of the system and regular habits of living established. Outdoor exercise should be encouraged as far as possible.
The above simple treatment will be sufficient to cure any ' ordinary case of blood poisoning, if carried out efficiently, without any of the danger of complications setting in which is attendant upon orthodox medical treatment. In the cleansing of the blood-stream lies the cure, not in the use of suppressive drugs and medicinal antiseptics.
Chilblains. - Chilblains are superficially due to defective circulation or exposure to cold, and appear in winter on the extremities of the body, such as the hands, feet, ears, etc., where the circulation is poorest. But it is not only defective circulation or exposure to cold which is to blame, however, in the formation of chilblains; there is also an underlying toxic condition of the blood�due to wrong feeding and general wrong living�which has to be considered all the time. Owing to the coldness of the extremities in certain people in winter, the blood gets impeded in its circulation through these parts, and toxic waste collects in the small capillaries near the skin surface ; it is from this cause that chilblains occur.
The theory held in orthodox medical circles and to some extent in Nature-Cure circles to the effect that chilblains are in some way the outcome of a deficiency of calcium in the blood is, to the writer's mind, completely unsound, and capable of very simple disproof. For example, many people who come under Natural-Cure treatment for the first time develop chilblains where nothing of the kind was experienced before such treatment was begun. How can the calcium-deficiency theory justify itself in these cases ? Frankly, it cannot. For such people are now getting more organic calcium through the agency of the natural food eaten than before ; yet they never knew what chilblains were until natural treatment was started !
No, the truth is that chilblains developed in these cases as a result of the temporary swamping of the blood with toxic matter, following on the eliminative qfiects of the treatment, and to the collection of some of this toxic waste in the extremities because of the absence of stimulating foods and drinks from the dietary. Calcium deficiency has nothing to do with the matter at all in these cases.
Treatment. - Where chilblains are the outcome of Natural-Cure treatment, as mentioned above, they need not be worried about; they will gradually disappear in time as the toxic matter responsible for their occurrence is cleared out of the system through continuence with natural treatment. But still, the local measures for their alleviation given below can be carried out with the most beneficial effect. It is those whose chilblains are the outcome of a heavily toxin-laden and imperfectly heated system, through faulty dietetic habits, lack of exercise, insufficient clothing, etc.that need to put the full treatment here outlined into operation.
The best way to begin is with a short fast for three or four days, or with from four to seven days on the all-fruit diet given in the Appendix. Then the full weekly dietary given therein can be begun. Further short fasts or periods on all-fruit may be required in certain cases, depending upon the severity of the case. The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels during the first few days of the treatment; and where constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication should be put into operation forthwith. A hot Epsom-salts bath as detailed in the Appendix should be taken twice or even three times weekly to begin with, and less frequently as the chilblains disappear.
The condition of the skin must be attended to, and the daily dry friction and sponge or sitz-bath given in the Appendix should be carried out regularly, as also the physical and other exercises given therein. A fair amount of walking or other outdoor exercise should be taken daily, and care should be exercised in the selection of clothing to be worn. This should neither be too thin nor too thick or heavy. (Underclothing should always be light and porous, never of the heavy woollen kind.) The cKilblain sufferer is also advised not to sit too near a fire when at work, or at home (especially a gas fire), and to avoid extremes of temperature as far as possible. (It is best to take the chill off any cold water before using it for washing purposes, especially in a very cold spell.)
As regards local treatment, the best thing is to bathe the parts affected two or even three times daily in hot water containing Epsom-salts (� lb. of salts to a bowlful of hot water ; 1lb. of salts to a foot-bath of water).* Another good thing is to place two bowls or foot-baths side by side, the one containing hot water and the other cold, and to plunge the hands or feet�as the case may -be�first into the hot water and then into the cold. This should be done several times at each sitting, and two or three times daily in all. Getting the hands or feet into a good glow by exercising them for several minutes when cold is also a very good thing, both as a preventive as well as a cure for chilblains.
High Blood-pressure. - High blood-pressure is one of the " new " diseases the past fifty years have produced, and is the direct outcome of modern ways of living. As already intimated in the opening pages of this section, wrong feeding, excessive drinking and smoking, and wrong habits of living generally, are its direct precursors; and it makes its appearance in middle life as the outcome of a gradual silting up of the arteries with a steady accumulation of toxic matter brought there during the passage of the years by a heavily toxin-laden blood-stream.
The more the arteries are clogged with toxic waste, the harder will have to be the force exerted by the heart in its efforts to pump the blood through the arterial channels in its passage round the body, and in this way arises the modern phenomenon high blood-pressure. As mentioned in the section on arterio-sclerosis, high blood-pressure and arterio-sclerosis are intimately connected, as the predisposing causes of the one are the same as for the other ; and both are direct signs of a life spent in ill accord with Nature's rules as regard sensible living.
The symptoms of high blood-pressure are pain or noises in the head, irritability of temper, dizziness, failing mental power and powers of concentration, shortness of breath, disordered digestion, various heart symptoms, and many others denoting a condition in which the normal functions of the organism are disturbed by interference with proper heart and blood action following upon the resistance set up by hardened and inelastic arteries. (Of course, some cases of high blood-pressure will have more serious symptoms than others, depending entirely upon the general condition of the patient and the force of the pressure exerted in the arteries.) � Then rub in some olive oil or vaseline.
Treatment. - From what has just been said, it must be obvious to every reader that any treatment other than constitutional cannot but fail to effect a real cure in any case of high blood-pressure or arterio-sclerosis. Drug or injection treatment may seem to alleviate the condition temporarily, but more often than not it only succeeds in making matters worse finally. The only real cure for high blood-pressure or arterio-sclerosis is natural treatment along the following lines :
A fast for from four to seven days or seven to fourteen days on the exclusive fresh fruit diet should be the way to begin the treatment, depending upon the condition of the individual patient and his ability to stand a more or less protracted period of "self-cleansing." The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels for the first week of the treatment, and longer if necessary; and if constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication given should be put into operation.
After the fast or period on all-fruit the regular weekly diet given in the Appendix should be adopted, and adhered to strictly thereafter. Smoking, drinking, and the eating of rich clogging foods must be avoided in future if the condition is to be finally eradicated, and condiments, sauces, pickles, etc., likewise. Coffee should be rigorously cut out from the daily dietary, and tea should be very weak, and no sugar taken. (The eating of white sugar or white-sugar products, such as jams, confectionery, etc., is a very big factor in the setting up of high blood-pressure and arteriosclerosis, to say nothing of white flour and white-flour products too.)
A further short fast or two, at intervals, or occasional further monthly periods on all-fruit (two or three days, say), may be needed in some cases, depending upon the progress being made, and must be left to the patient's own discretion to decide.
The daily dry friction and sponge or sitz-bath and the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix, should all be put into operation daily, and outdoor exercise should be encouraged as far as possible. The hot Epsom-salts bath twice weekly is a very good thing indeed in cases of the kind we are here considering, and should be taken wherever possible.
If the above rules re treatment are carried out conscientiously, there is no reason at all why most sufferers from high blood-pressure or arterio-sclerosis should not be cured in time, but obviously some cases will need more prolonged treatment than others. Spinal manipulation can be strongly recommended in all cases where it can be conveniently procured. No DRUGS OF ANY KIND SHOULD BE TAKEN.
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