The Nature and Cause of Disease

From The Hygienic Dictionary

Toxemia. [1] "Toxemia is the basic cause of all so-called diseases.

In the process of tissue-building (metabolism), there is

cell-building (anabolism) and cell destruction (catabolism). The

broken-down tissue is toxic. In the healthy body (when nerve energy

is normal), this toxic material is eliminated from the blood as fast

as it is evolved. But when nerve energy is dissipate
from any cause

(such as physical or mental excitement or bad habits) the body

becomes weakened or enervated. When the body is enervated,

elimination is checked. This, in turn, results in a retention of

toxins in the blood--the condition which we speak of as toxemia.

This state produces a crisis which is nothing more than heroic or

extraordinary efforts by the body to eliminate waste or toxin from

the blood. It is this crisis which we term disease. Such

accumulation of toxin when once established, will continue until

nerve energy has been restored to normal by removing the cause.

So-called disease is nature's effort to eliminate toxin from the

blood. All so-called diseases are crises of toxemia." _John H.

Tilden, M.D., Toxemia Explained._ [2] Toxins are divided into two

groups; namely exogenous, those formed in the alimentary canal from

fermentation and decomposition following imperfect or faulty

digestion. If the fermentation is of vegetables or fruit, the toxins

are irritating, stimulating and enervating, but not so dangerous or

destructive to organic life as putrefaction, which is a fermentation

set up in nitrogenous matter--protein-bearing foods, but

particularly animal foods. Endogenous toxins are autogenerated. They

are the waste products of metabolism. _Dr. John. H. Tilden, Impaired

Health: Its Cause and Cure, 1921._

Suppose a fast-growing city is having traffic jams. "We don't like

it!" protest the voters. "Why are these problems happening?" asks

the city council, trying to look like they are doing something about


Experts then proffer answers. "Because there are too many cars,"

says the Get A Horse Society. The auto makers suggest it is because

there are uncoordinated traffic lights and because almost all the

businesses send their employees home at the same time. Easy to fix!

And no reason whatsoever to limit the number of cars. The asphalt

industry suggests it is because the size and amount of roads is


What do we do then? Tax cars severely until few can afford them?

Legislate opening and closing hours of businesses to stagger to'ing

and fro'ing? Hire a smarter municipal highway engineer to

synchronize the traffic lights? Build larger and more efficient

streets? Demand that auto companies make cars smaller so more can

fit the existing roads? Tax gasoline prohibitively, pass out and

give away free bicycles in virtually unlimited quantities while

simultaneously building mass rail systems? What? Which?

When we settle on a solution we have simultaneously chosen what we

consider the real, underlying cause of the problem. If our chosen

reason was the real reason. then our solution results in a real

cure. If we picked wrongly, our attempt at solution may result in no

cure, or create a worse situation than we had before.

The American Medical Association style of medicine (a philosophy I

will henceforth call allopathic) has a model that explains the

causes of illness. It suggests that anyone who is sick is a victim.

Either they were attacked by a "bad" organism--virus, bacteria,

yeast, pollen, cancer cell, etc.--or they have a "bad" organ--liver,

kidney, gall bladder, even brain. Or, the victim may also have been

cursed by bad genes. In any case, the cause of the disease is not

the person and the person is neither responsible for creating their

own complaint nor is the victim capable of making it go away. This

institutionalized irresponsibility seems useful for both parties to

the illness, doctor and patient. The patient is not required to do

anything about their complaint except pay (a lot) and obediently

follow the instructions of the doctor, submitting unquestioningly to

their drugs and surgeries. The physician then acquires a role of

being considered vital to the survival of others and thus obtains

great status, prestige, authority, and financial remuneration.

Perhaps because the sick person is seen to have been victimized, and

it is logically impossible to consider a victimizer as anything but

something evil, the physician's cure is often violent,

confrontational. Powerful poisons are used to rejigger body

chemistry or to arrest the multiplication of disease bacteria or to

suppress symptoms; if it is possible to sustain life without them,

"bad," poorly-functioning organs are cut out.

I've had a lot of trouble with the medical profession. Over the

years doctors have made attempts to put me in jail and keep me in

fear. But they never stopped me. When I've had a client die there

has been an almost inevitable coroner's investigation, complete with

detectives and the sheriff. Fortunately, I practice in rural Oregon,

where the local people have a deeply-held belief in individual

liberty and where the authorities know they would have had a very

hard time finding a jury to convict me. Had I chosen to practice

with a high profile and had I located Great Oaks School of Health in

a major market area where the physicians were able to charge top

dollar, I probably would have spent years behind bars as did other

heroes of my profession such as Linda Hazzard and Royal Lee.

So I have acquired an uncomplimentary attitude about medical

doctors, a viewpoint I am going to share with you ungently, despite

the fact that doing so will alienate some of my readers. But I do so

because most Americans are entirely enthralled by doctors, and this

doctor-god worship kills a lot of them.

However, before I get started on the medicos, let me state that one

area exists where I do have fundamental admiration for allopathic

medicine. This is its handling of trauma. I agree that a body can

become the genuine victim of fast moving bullets. It can be

innocently cut, smashed, burned, crushed and broken. Trauma are not

diseases and modern medicine has become quite skilled at putting

traumatized bodies back together. Genetic abnormality may be another

undesirable physical condition that is beyond the purview of natural

medicine. However, the expression of contra-survival genetics can

often be controlled by nutrition. And the expression of poor

genetics often results from poor nutrition, and thus is similar to a

degenerative disease condition, and thus is well within the scope of

natural medicine.

Today's suffering American public is firmly in the AMA's grip.

People have been effectively prevented from learning much about

medical alternatives, have been virtually brainwashed by clever

media management that portrays other medical models as dangerous

and/or ineffective. Legislation influenced by the allopathic

doctors' union, the American Medical Association, severely limits or

prohibits the practice of holistic health. People are repeatedly

directed by those with authority to an allopathic doctor whenever

they have a health problem, question or confusion. Other types of

healers are considered to be at best harmless as long as they

confine themselves to minor complaints; at worst, when naturopaths,

hygienists, or homeopaths seek to treat serious disease conditions

they are called quacks, accused of unlicensed practice of medicine

and if they persist or develop a broad, successful, high-profile and

(this is the very worst) profitable practice, they are frequently


Even licensed MDs are crushed by the authorities if they offer

non-standard treatments. So when anyone seeks an alternative health

approach it is usually because their complaint has already failed to

vanish after consulting a whole series of allopathic doctors. This

highly unfortunate kind of sufferer not only has a degenerative

condition to rectify, they may have been further damaged by harsh

medical treatments and additionally, they have a considerable amount

of brainwashing to overcome.

The AMA has succeeded at making their influence over information and

media so pervasive that most people do not even realize that the

doctors' union is the source of their medical outlook. Whenever an

American complains of some malady, a concerned and honestly caring

friend will demand to know have they yet consulted a medical doctor.

Failure to do so on one's own behalf is considered highly

irresponsible. Concerned relatives of seriously ill adults who

decline standard medical therapy may, with a great show of

self-righteousness, have the sick person judged mentally incompetent

so that treatment can be forced upon them. When a parent fails to

seek standard medical treatment for their child, the adult may well

be found guilty of criminal negligence, raising the interesting

issue of who "owns" the child, the parents or the State.

It is perfectly acceptable to die while under conventional medical

care. Happens all the time, in fact. But holistic alternatives are

represented as stupidly risky, especially for serious conditions

such as cancer. People with cancer see no choice but to do

chemotherapy, radiation, and radical surgery because this is the

current allopathic medical approach. On some level people may know

that these remedies are highly dangerous but they have been told by

their attending oncologist that violent therapies are their only

hope of survival, however poor that may be. If a cancer victim

doesn't proceed immediately with such treatment their official

prognosis becomes worse by the hour. Such scare tactics are common

amongst the medical profession, and they leave the recipient so

terrified that they meekly and obediently give up all

self-determinism, sign the liability waiver, and submit, no

questions asked. Many then die after suffering intensely from the

therapy, long before the so-called disease could have actually

caused their demise. I will later offer alternative and frequently

successful (but not guaranteed) approaches to treating cancer that

do not require the earliest-possible detection, surgery or poisons.

If holistic practitioners were to apply painful treatments like

allopaths use, ones with such poor statistical outcomes like

allopaths use, there would most certainly be witch hunts and all

such irresponsible, greedy quacks would be safely imprisoned. I find

it highly ironic that for at least the past twenty five hundred

years the basic principle of good medicine has been that the

treatment must first do no harm. This is such an obvious truism that

even the AMA doctors pledge to do the same thing when they take the

Hippocratic Oath. Yet virtually every action taken by the allopath

is a conscious compromise between the potential harm of the therapy

and its potential benefit.

In absolute contrast, if a person dies while on a natural hygiene

program, they died because their end was inevitable no matter what

therapy was attempted. Almost certainly receiving hygienic therapy

contributed to making their last days far more comfortable and

relatively freer of pain without using opiates. I have personally

taken on clients sent home to die after they had suffered everything

the doctors could do to them, told they had only a few days, weeks,

or months to live. Some of these clients survived as a result of

hygienic programs even at that late date. And some didn't. The

amazing thing was that any of them survived at all, because the best

time to begin a hygienic program is as early in the degenerative

process as possible, not after the body has been drastically

weakened by invasive and toxic treatments. Later on, I'll tell you

about some of these cases.

Something I consider especially ironic is that when the patient of a

medical doctor dies, it is inevitably thought that the blessed

doctor did all that could be done; rarely is any blame laid. If the

physician was especially careless or stupid, their fault can only

result in a civil suit, covered by malpractice insurance. But let a

holistic practitioner treat a sick person and have that person

follow any of their suggestions or take any natural remedies and

have that person die or worsen and it instantly becomes the natural

doctor's fault. Great blame is placed and the practitioner faces

inquests, grand juries, manslaughter charges, jail time and civil

suits that can't be insured against.

Allopathic medicine rarely makes a connection between the real

causes of a degenerative or infectious disease and its cure. The

causes are usually considered mysterious: we don't know why the

pancreas is acting up, etc. The sick are sympathized with as victims

who did nothing to contribute to their condition. The cure is a

highly technical battle against the illness, whose weapons are

defined in Latin and far beyond the understanding of a layperson.

Hygienic medicine presents an opposite view. To the naturopath,

illness is not a perplexing and mysterious occurrence over which you

have no control or understanding. The causes of disease are clear

and simple, the sick person is rarely a victim of circumstance and

the cure is obvious and within the competence of a moderately

intelligent sick person themselves to understand and help

administer. In natural medicine, disease is a part of living that

you are responsible for, and quite capable of handling.

Asserting that the sick are pitiable victims is financially

beneficial to doctors. It makes medical intervention seem a vital

necessity for every ache and pain. It makes the sick become

dependent. I'm not implying that most doctors knowingly are

conniving extortionists. Actually most medical doctors are genuinely

well-intentioned. I've also noticed that most medical doctors are at

heart very timid individuals who consider that possession of a MD

degree and license proves that they are very important, proves them

to be highly intelligent, even makes them fully qualified to

pontificate on many subjects not related to medicine at all.

Doctors obtain an enormous sense of self-importance at medical

school, where they proudly endured the high pressure weeding out of

any free spirit unwilling to grind away into the night for seven or

more years. Anyone incapable of absorbing and regurgitating huge

amounts of rote information; anyone with a disrespectful or

irreverent attitude toward the senior doctor-gods who arrogantly

serve as med school professors, anyone like this was eliminated with

especial rapidity. When the thoroughly submissive, homogenized

survivors are finally licensed, they assume the status of junior


But becoming an official medical deity doesn't permit one to create

their own methods. No no, the AMA's professional oversight and

control system makes continued possession of the license to practice

(and the high income that usually comes with it) entirely dependent

on continued conformity to what is defined by the AMA as "correct

practice." Any doctor who innovates beyond strict limits or uses

non-standard treatments is in real danger of losing their livelihood

and status.

Not only are licensed graduates of AMA-sanctioned medical schools

kept on a very tight leash, doctors of other persuasions who use

other methods to heal the sick or help them heal themselves are

persecuted and prosecuted. Extension of the AMA's control through

regulatory law and police power is justified in the name of

preventing quackery and making sure the ignorant and gullible public

receives only scientifically proven effective medical care.

Those on the other side of the fence view the AMA's oppression as an

effective way to make sure the public has no real choices but to use

union doctors, pay their high fees and suffer greatly by

misunderstanding of the true cause of disease and its proper cure.

If there are any actual villains responsible for this suppressive

tragedy some of them are to be found in the inner core of the AMA,

officials who may perhaps fully and consciously comprehend the

suppressive system they promulgate.

Hygienists usually inform the patient quite clearly and directly

that the practitioner has no ability to heal them or cure their

condition and that no doctor of any type actually is able to heal.

Only the body can heal itself, something it is eager and usually

very able to do if only given the chance. One pithy old saying among

hygienists goes, "if the body can't heal itself, nothing can heal

it." The primary job of the hygienic practitioner is to reeducate

the patient by conducting them through their first natural healing

process. If this is done well the sick person learns how to get out

of their own body's way and permit its native healing power to

manifest. Unless later the victim of severe traumatic injury, never

again will that person need obscenely expensive medical procedures.

Hygienists rarely make six figure incomes from regular, repeat


This aspect of hygienic medicine makes it different than almost all

the others, even most other holistic methods. Hygiene is the only

system that does not interpose the assumed healing power of a doctor

between the patient and wellness. When I was younger and less

experienced I thought that the main reason traditional medical

practice did not stress the body's own healing power and represented

the doctor as a necessary intervention was for profit. But after

practicing for over twenty years I now understand that the last

thing most people want to hear is that their own habits, especially

their eating patterns and food choices, are responsible for their

disease and that their cure is to only be accomplished through

dietary reform, which means unremittingly applied self-discipline.

One of the hardest things to ask of a person is to change a habit.

The reason that AMA doctors have most of the patients is they're

giving the patients exactly what they want, which is to be allowed

to continue in their unconscious irresponsibility.

The Cause Of Disease

Ever since natural medicine arose in opposition to the violence of

so-called scientific medicine, every book on the subject of hygiene,

once it gets past its obligatory introductions and warm ups, must

address The Cause of Disease. This is a required step because we see

the cause of disease and its consequent cure in a very different

manner than the allopath. Instead of many causes, we see one basic

reason why. Instead of many unrelated cures, we have basically one

approach to fix all ills that can be fixed.

A beautiful fifty cent word that means a system for explaining

something is paradigm, pronounced para-dime. I am fond of this word

because it admits the possibility of many differing yet equally true

explanations for the same reality. Of all available paradigms,

Natural Hygiene suits me best and has been the one I've used for

most of my career.

The Natural Hygienist's paradigm for the cause of both degenerative

and infectious disease is called the Theory of Toxemia, or


Before explaining this theory it will help many readers if I digress

a brief moment about the nature and validity of alternative

paradigms. Not too many decades ago, scientists thought that reality

was a singular, real, perpetual--that Natural Law existed much as a

tree or a rock existed. In physics, for example, the mechanics of

Newton were considered capital "T" True, the only possible paradigm.

Any other view, not being True, was False. There was capital "N"

natural capital "L" law.

More recently, great uncertainty has entered science; it has become

indisputable that a theory or explanation of reality is only true

only to the degree it seems to work; conflicting or various

explanations can all work, all can be "true." At least, this

uncertainty has overtaken the hard, physical sciences. It has not

yet done so with medicine. The AMA is convinced (or is working hard

to convince everyone else) that its paradigm, the allopathic

approach, is Truth, is scientific, and therefore, anything else is

Falsehood, is irresponsibility, is a crime against the sick.

But the actual worth or truth of any paradigm is found not in its

"reality," but in its utility. Does an explanation or theory allow a

person to manipulate experience and create a desired outcome. To the

extent a paradigm does that, it can be considered valuable. Judged

by this standard, the Theory of Toxemia must be far truer than the

hodgepodge of psuedoscience taught in medical schools. Keep that in

mind the next time some officious medical doctor disdainfully

informs you that Theory of Toxemia was disproven in 1927 by Doctors

Jeckel and Hyde.

Why People Get Sick

This is the Theory of Toxemia. A healthy body struggles continually

to purify itself of poisons that are inevitably produced while going

about its business of digesting food, moving about, and repairing

itself. The body is a marvelous creation, a carbon, oxygen

combustion machine, constantly burning fuel, disposing of the waste

products of combustion, and constantly rebuilding tissue by

replacing worn out, dead cells with new, fresh ones. Every seven

years virtually every cell in the body is replaced, some types of

cells having a faster turnover rate than others, which means that

over a seven year period several hundred pounds of dead cells must

be digested (autolyzed) and eliminated. All by itself this would be

a lot of waste disposal for the body to handle. Added to that waste

load are numerous mild poisons created during proper digestion. And

added to that can be an enormous burden of waste products created as

the body's attempts to digest the indigestible, or those tasty items

I've heard called "fun food." Add to that burden the ruinous effects

of just plain overeating.

The waste products of digestion, of indigestion, of cellular

breakdown and the general metabolism are all poisonous to one degree

or another. Another word for this is toxic. If these toxins were

allowed to remain and accumulate in the body, it would poison itself

and die in agony. So the body has a processing system to eliminate

toxins. And when that system does break down the body does die in

agony, as from liver or kidney failure.

The organs of detoxification remove things from the body's system,

but these two vital organs should not be confused with what

hygienists call the secondary organs of elimination, such as the

large intestine, lungs, bladder and the skin, because none of these

other eliminatory organs are supposed to purify the body of toxins.

But when the body is faced with toxemia, the secondary organs of

elimination are frequently pressed into this duty and the

consequences are the symptoms we call illness.

The lungs are supposed to eliminate only carbon dioxide gas; not

self-generated toxic substances. The large intestine is supposed to

pass only insoluble food solids (and some nasty stuff dumped into

the small intestine by the liver). Skin eliminates in the form of

sweat (which contains mineral salts) to cool the body, but the skin

is not supposed to move toxins outside the system. But when toxins

are flowed out through secondary organs of elimination these areas

become inflamed, irritated, weakened. The results can be skin

irritations, sinusitis or a whole host of other "itises" depending

on the area involved, bacterial or viral infections, asthma. When

excess toxemia is deposited instead of eliminated, the results can

be arthritis if toxins are stored in joints, rheumatism if in muscle

tissues, cysts and benign tumors. And if toxins weaken the body's

immune response, cancer.

The liver and the kidneys, the two heroic organs of detoxification,

are the most important ones; these jointly act as filters to purify

the blood. Hygienists pay a lot of attention to these organs, the

liver especially.

In an ideal world, the liver and kidneys would keep up with their

job for 80 years or more before even beginning to tire. In this

ideal world, the food would of course, be very nutritious and free

of pesticide residues, the air and water would be pure, people would

not denature their food and turn it into junk. In this perfect world

everyone would get moderate exercise into old age, and live

virtually without stress. In this utopian vision, the average

healthy productive life span would approach a century, entirely

without using food supplements or vitamins. In this world doctors

would have next to no work other than repairing traumatic injuries,

because everyone would be healthy. But this is not the way it is.

In our less-than-ideal world virtually everything we eat is

denatured, processed, fried, salted, sweetened, preserved; thus more

stress is placed on the liver and kidneys than nature designed them

to handle. Except for a few highly fortunate individuals blessed

with an incredible genetic endowment that permits them to live to

age 99 on moose meat, well-larded white flour biscuits, coffee with

evaporated milk and sugar, brandy and cigarettes (we've all heard of

someone like this), most peoples' liver and kidneys begin to break

down prematurely. Thus doctoring has become a financially rewarding


Most people overburden their organs of elimination by eating

whatever they feel like eating whenever they feel like it. Or, they

irresponsibly eat whatever is served to them by a mother, wife,

institution or cook because doing so is easy or expected. Eating is

a very habitual and unconscious activity; frequently we continue to

eat as adults whatever our mother fed us as a child. I consider it

unsurprising that when people develop the very same disease

conditions as their parents. they wrongly assume the cause is

genetic inheritance, when actually it was just because they were

putting their feet under the same table as their parents.

Toxemia also comes about from following the wrongheaded

recommendations of allopathic-inspired nutritional texts and

licensed dietitians. For example, people believe they should eat one

food from each of the four so-called basic food groups at each meal,

thinking they are doing the right thing for their health by having

four colors of food on every plate, when they really aren't. What

they have actually done is force their bodies to attempt the

digestion of indigestible food combinations, and the resulting

indigestion creates massive doses of toxins. I'll have a lot more to

say about that later when I discuss the art of food combining.

Table 1: The Actual Food Groups

Starches Proteins Fats Sugars Watery Vegetables

bread meats butter honey zucchini

potatoes eggs oils fruit green beans

noodles fish lard sugar tomatoes

manioc/yuca most nuts nuts molassas peppers

baked goods dry beans avocado malt syrup eggplant

grains nut butters maple syrup radish

winter squash split peas dried fruit rutabaga

parsnips lentils melons turnips

sweet potatoes soybeans carrot juice Brussels sprouts

yams tofu beet juice celery

taro root tempeh cauliflower

plantains wheat grass juice broccoli

beets "green" drinks okra

spirulina lettuce

algae endive

yeast cabbage

dairy carrots

Standard dietitians divide our foods into four basic food groups

and recommend the ridiculous practice of mixing them at every meal.

This guarantees indigestion and lots of business for the medical

profession. This chart illustrates the actual food groups. It is

usually a poor practice to mix different foods from one group with

those from another.

The Digestive Process

After we have eaten our four-color meal--often we do this in a

hurry, without much chewing, under a lot of stress, or in the

presence of negative emotions--we give no thought to what becomes of

our food once it has been swallowed. We have been led to assume that

anything put in the mouth automatically gets digested flawlessly, is

efficiently absorbed into the body where it nourishes our cells,

with the waste products being eliminated completely by the large

intestine. This vision of efficiency may exist in the best cases but

for most there is many a slip between the table and the toilet. Most

bodies are not optimally efficient at performing all the required

functions, especially after years of poor living habits, stress,

fatigue, and aging. To the Natural Hygienist, most disease begins

and ends with our food; most of our healing efforts are focused on

improving the process of digestion.

Digestion means chemically changing the foods we eat into substances

that can pass into the blood stream and circulate through the body

where nutrition is used for bodily functions. Our bodies use

nutritional substances for fuel, for repair and rebuilding, and to

conduct an incredibly complex biochemistry. Scientists are still

busily engaged in trying to understand the chemical mysteries of our

bodies. But as bewildering as the chemistry of life is, the

chemistry of digestion itself is actually a relatively simple

process, and one doctors have had a fairly good understanding of for

many decades.

Though relatively straightforward, a lot can and does go wrong with

digestion. The body breaks down foods with a series of different

enzymes that are mixed with food at various points as it passes from

mouth to stomach to small intestine. An enzyme is a large, complex

molecule that has the ability to chemically change other large,

complex molecules without being changed itself. Digestive enzymes

perform relatively simple functions--breaking large molecules into

smaller parts that can dissolve in water.

Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with ptyalin, an

enzyme secreted by the salivary glands. Pylatin converts insoluble

starches into simple sugars. If the digestion of starchy foods is

impaired, the body is less able to extract the energy contained in

our foods, while far worse from the point of view of the genesis of

diseases, undigested starches pass through the stomach and into the

gut where they ferment and thereby create an additional toxic burden

for the liver to process. And fermenting starches also create gas.

As we chew our food it gets mixed with saliva; as we continue to

chew the starches in the food are converted into sugar. There is a

very simple experiment you can conduct to prove to yourself how this

works. Get a plain piece of bread, no jam, no butter, plain, and

without swallowing it or allowing much of it to pass down the

throat, begin to chew it until it seems to literally dissolve.

Pylatin works fast in our mouths so you may be surprised at how

sweet the taste gets. As important as chewing is, I have only run

into about one client in a hundred that actually makes an effort to

consciously chew their food.

Horace Fletcher, whose name has become synonymous with the

importance of chewing food well (Fletcherizing), ran an experiment

on a military population in Canada. He required half his

experimental group to chew thoroughly, and the other half to gulp

things down as usual. His study reports significant improvement in

the overall health and performance of the group that persistently

chewed. Fletcher's report recommended that every mouthful be chewed

50 times for half a minute before being swallowed. Try it, you might

be very surprised at what a beneficial effect such a simple change

in your approach to eating can make. Not only will you have less

intestinal gas, if overweight you will probably find yourself

getting smaller because your blood sugar will elevate quicker as you

are eating and thus your sense of hunger will go away sooner. If you

are very thin and have difficulty gaining weight you may find that

the pounds go on easier because chewing well makes your body more

capable of actually assimilating the calories you are consuming.

A logical conclusion from this data is that anything that would

prevent or reduce chewing would be unhealthful. For example, food

eaten when too hot tends to be gulped down. The same tends to happen

when food is seasoned with fresh Jalapeno or habaneo peppers.

People with poor teeth should blend or mash starchy foods and then

gum them thoroughly to mix them with saliva. Keep in mind that even

so-called protein foods such as beans often contain large quantities

of starches and the starch portion of protein foods is also digested

in the mouth.

Once the food is in the stomach, it is mixed with hydrochloric acid,

secreted by the stomach itself, and pepsin, an enzyme. Together

these break proteins down into water-soluble amino acids. To

accomplish this the stomach muscles agitate the food continuously,

somewhat like a washing machine. This extended churning forms a kind

of ball in the stomach called a bolis.

Many things can and frequently do go wrong at this stage of the

digestive process. First, the stomach's very acid environment

inactivates pylatin, so any starch not converted to sugar in the

mouth does not get properly processed thereafter. And the most

dangerous misdigetion comes from the sad fact that cooked proteins

are relatively indigestible no matter how strong the constitution,

no matter how concentrated the stomach acid or how many enzymes

present. It is quite understandable to me that people do not wish to

accept this fact. After all, cooked proteins are so delicious,

especially cooked red meats and the harder, more flavorful fishes.

To appreciate this, consider how those enzymes that digest proteins

work. A protein molecule is a large, complex string of amino acids,

each linked to the next in a specific order. Suppose there are only

six amino acids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. So a particular (imaginary)

protein could be structured: 1, 4, 4, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 1,

2, 3, etc. Thus you should see that by combining a limited number of

amino acids there can be a virtually infinite number of proteins.

But proteins are rarely water soluble. As I said a few paragraphs

back, digestion consists of rendering insoluble foods into

water-soluble substances so they can pass into the blood stream and

be used by the body's chemistry. To make them soluble, enzymes break

down the proteins, separating the individual amino acids one from

the other, because amino acids are soluble. Enzymes that digest

proteins work as though they are mirror images of a particular amino

acid. They fit against a particular amino acid like a key fits into

a lock. Then they break the bonds holding that amino acid to others

in the protein chain, and then, what I find so miraculous about this

process, the enzyme is capable of finding yet another amino acid to

free, and then yet another.

So with sufficient churning in an acid environment, with enough time

(a few hours), and enough enzymes, all the recently eaten proteins

are decomposed into amino acids and these amino acids pass into the

blood where the body recombines them into structures it wants to

make. And we have health. But when protein chains are heated, the

protein structures are altered into physical shapes that the enzymes

can't "latch" on to. The perfect example of this is when an egg is

fried. The eggwhite is albumen, a kind of protein. When it is

heated, it shrivels up and gets hard. While raw and liquid, it is

easily digestable. When cooked, largely indigestable.

Stress also inhibits the churning action in the stomach so that

otherwise digestible foods may not be mixed efficiently with

digestive enzymes. For all these reasons, undigested proteins may

pass into the gut.

Along with undigested starches. When starches convert best to sugars

under the alkaline conditions found in the mouth. Once they pass

into the acid stomach starch digestion is not as efficient. If

starches reach the small intestine they are fermented by yeasts. The

products of starch fermentation are only mildly toxic. The gases

produced by yeast fermentations usually don't smell particularly

bad; bodies that regularly contain starch fermentation usually don't

smell particularly bad either. In otherwise healthy people it can

take many years of exposure to starch fermentation toxins to produce

a life-threatening disease.

But undigested proteins aren't fermented by yeasts, they putrefy in

the gut (are attacked by anaerobic bacteria). Many of the waste

products of anaerobic putrefaction are highly toxic and evil

smelling; when these toxins are absorbed through the small or large

intestines they are very irritating to the mucous membranes,

frequently contributing to or causing cancer of the colon. Protein

putrefaction may even cause psychotic symptoms in some individuals.

Meat eaters often have a very unpleasant body odor even when they

are not releasing intestinal gasses.

Adding a heavy toxic burden from misdigested foods to the normal

toxic load a body already has to handle creates a myriad of

unpleasant symptoms, and greatly shortens life. But misdigestion

also carries with it a double whammy; fermenting and/or putrefying

foods immediately interfere with the functioning of another vital

organ--the large intestine--and cause constipation.

Most people don't know what the word constipation really means. Not

being able to move one's bowels is only the most elementary type of

constipation. A more accurate definition of constipation is "the

retention of waste products in the large intestine beyond the time

that is conducive to health." Properly digested food is not sticky

and exits the large intestine quickly. But improperly digested food

(or indigestible food) gradually coats the large intestine, making

an ever-thicker lining that interferes with the intestine's

functioning. Far worse, this coating steadily putrefies, creating

additional highly-potent toxins. Lining the colon with undigested

food can be compared to the mineral deposits filling in the inside

of an old water pipe, gradually choking off the flow. In the colon,

this deposit can become rock-hard, just like water pipe scale.

Since the large intestine is also an organ that removes moisture and

water-soluble minerals from the food and moves them into the blood

stream, when the large intestine is lined with putrefying undigested

food waste, the toxins of this putrefaction are also steadily moved

into the bloodstream and place an even greater burden on the liver

and kidneys, accelerating their breakdown, accelerating the aging

process and contributing to a lot of interesting and unpleasant

symptoms that keep doctors busy and financially solvent. I'll have

quite a bit more to say about colon cleansing later.

The Progress Of Disease: Irritation, Enervation, Toxemia

Disease routinely lies at the end of a three-part chain that goes:

irritation or sub-clinical malnutrition, enervation, toxemia.

Irritations are something the person does to themselves or something

that happens around them. Stresses, in other words.

Mental stressors include strong negative emotional states such as

anger, fear, resentment, hopelessness, etc. Behind most diseases it

is common to find a problematic mind churning in profound confusion,

one generated by a character that avoids responsibility. There may

also be job stress or ongoing hostile relationships, often within

the family.

Indigestible foods and misdigestion are also stressful irritations,

as are mild recreational poisons such as "soft" drugs, tobacco and

alcohol. Opiates are somewhat more toxifying, primarily because they

paralyze the gut and induce profound constipation. Stimulants like

cocaine and amphetamines are the most damaging recreational drugs;

these are highly toxic and rapidly shorten life.

Repeated irritations and/or malnutrition eventually produce

enervation. The old-time hygienists defined enervation as a lack of

or decline in an unmeasurable phenomena, "nerve energy." They viewed

the functioning of vital organs as being controlled by or driven by

nerve force, sometimes called life force or elan vital.

Whatever this vital force actually is, it can be observed and

subjectively measured by comparing one person with another. Some

people are full of it and literally sparkle with overflowing energy.

Beings like this make everyone around them feel good because they

somehow momentarily give energy to those endowed with less. Others

possess very little and dully plod through life.

As vital force drops, the overall efficiency of all the body's

organs correspondingly decline. The pancreas creates less digestive

enzymes; the thymus secretes less of its vital hormones that

mobilize the immune system; the pituitary makes less growth hormone

so the overall repair and rebuilding of cells and tissues slows

correspondingly; and so forth. It does not really matter if there is

or is not something called nerve energy that can or cannot be

measured in a laboratory. Vital force is observable to many people.

However, it is measurable by laboratory test that after repeated

irritation the overall functioning of the essential organs and

glands does deteriorate.

Enervation may develop so gradually that it progresses below the

level of awareness of the person, or times of increased enervation

can be experienced as a complaint--as a lack of energy, as

tiredness, as difficulties digesting, as a new inability to handle a

previously-tolerated insult like alcohol.

Long-term consumption of poor-quality food causes enervation. The

body is a carbon/oxygen engine designed to run efficiently only on

highly nutritious food and this aspect of human genetic programming

cannot be changed significantly by adaptation. Given enough

generations a human gene pool can adapt to extracting its nutrition

from a different group of foods. For example, a group of isolated

Fijians currently enjoying long healthy lives eating a diet of

seafoods and tropical root crops could suddenly be moved to the

highlands of Switzerland and forced to eat the local fare or starve.

But most of the Fijians would not have systems adept at making those

enzymes necessary to digest cows milk. So the transplanted Fijians

would experience many generations of poorer health and shorter life

spans until their genes had been selected for adaptation to the new

dietary. Ultimately their descendants could become uniformly healthy

on rye bread and dairy products just like the highland Swiss were.

However, modern industrial farming and processing of foodstuffs

significantly contributes to mass, widespread enervation in two

ways. Humans will probably adjust to the first; the second will, I'm

sure, prove insurmountable. First, industrially processed foods are

a recent invention and our bodies have not yet adapted to digesting

them. In a few more generations humans might be able to accomplish

that and public health could improve on factory food. In the

meanwhile, the health of humans has declined. Industrially farmed

foods have also been lowered in nutritional content compared to what

food could be. I gravely doubt if any biological organism can ever

adapt to an overall dietary that contains significantly lowered

levels of nutrition. I will explain this more fully in the chapter

on diet.

Secondary Eliminations Are Disease

However the exact form the chain from irritation or malnutrition to

enervation progresses, the ultimate result is an increased level of

toxemia, placing an eliminatory burden on the liver and kidneys in

excess of their ability. Eventually these organs begin to weaken.

Decline of liver and/or kidney function threatens the stability and

purity of blood chemistry. Rather than risk complete incapacitation

or death from self-poisoning, the overloaded, toxic body, guided by

its genetic predisposition and the nature of the toxins (what was

eaten, in what state of stress), cleverly channels surplus toxins

into its first line of defense--alternative or secondary elimination


Most non-life-threatening yet highly annoying disease conditions

originate as secondary eliminations. For example, the skin was

designed to sweat, elimination of fluids. Toxemia is often pushed

out the sweat glands and is recognized as an unpleasant body odor. A

healthy, non-toxic body smells sweet and pleasant (like a newborn

baby's body) even after exercise when it has been sweating heavily.

Other skin-like organs such as the sinus tissues, were designed to

secrete small amounts of mucus for lubrication. The lungs eliminate

used air and the tissues are lubricated with mucus-like secretions

too. These secretions are types of eliminations, but are not

intended for the elimination of toxins. When toxins are discharged

in mucus through tissues not designed to handle them, the tissues

themselves become irritated, inflamed, weakened and thus much more

subject to bacterial or viral infection. Despite this danger, not

eliminating surplus toxins carries with it the greater penalty of

serious disability or death. Because of this liability, the body, in

its wisdom, initially chooses secondary elimination routes as far

from vital tissues and organs as possible. Almost inevitably the

skin or skin-like mucus membranes such as the sinuses, or lung

tissues become the first line of defense.

Thus the average person's disease history begins with colds, flu,

sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, asthma, rashes, acne, eczema,

psoriasis. If these secondary eliminations are suppressed with drugs

(either from the medical doctor or with over the counter remedies),

if the eating or lifestyle habits that created the toxemia are not

changed, or if the toxic load increases beyond the limits of this

technique, the body then begins to store toxins in fat or muscle

tissues or the joint cavities, overburdens the kidneys, creates

cysts, fibroids, and benign tumors to store those toxins. If toxic

overload continues over a longer time the body will eventually have

to permit damages to vital tissues, and life-threatening conditions


Hygienic doctors always stress that disease is remedial effort.

Illness comes from the body's best attempt to lighten its toxic load

without immediately threatening its survival. The body always does

the very best it can to remedy toxemia given its circumstances, and

it should be commended for these efforts regardless of how

uncomfortable they might be to the person inhabiting the body.

Symptoms of secondary elimination are actually a positive thing

because they are the body's efforts to lessen a dangerously toxic

condition. Secondary eliminations shouldn't be treated immediately

with a drug to suppress the process. If you squelch the bodies best

and least-life-threatening method to eliminate toxins, the body will

ultimately have to resort to another more dangerous though probably

less immediately uncomfortable channel.

The conventional medical model does not view disease this way and

sees the symptoms of secondary elimination as the disease itself. So

the conventional doctor takes steps to halt the body's remedial

efforts, thus stopping the undesirable symptom and then, the symptom

gone, proclaims the patient cured. Actually, the disease is the


A common pattern of symptom suppression under the contemporary

medical model is this progression: treat colds with antihistamines

until the body gets influenza; suppress a flu repeatedly with

antibiotics and eventually you get pneumonia. Or, suppress eczema

with cortisone ointment repeatedly, and eventually you develop

kidney disease. Or, suppress asthma with bronkiodialators and

eventually you need cortisone to suppress it. Continue treating

asthma with steroids and you destroy the adrenals; now the body has

become allergic to virtually everything.

The presence of toxins in an organ of secondary elimination is

frequently the cause of infection. Sinuses and lungs, inflamed by

secondary eliminations, are attacked by viruses or bacteria;

infectious diseases of the skin result from pushing toxins out of

the skin. More generalized infections also result from toxemia; in

this case the immune system has become compromised and the body is

overwhelmed by an organism that it normally should be able to resist

easily. The wise cure of infections is not to use antibiotics to

suppress the bacteria while simultaneously whipping the immune

system; most people, including most medical doctors, do not realize

that antibiotics also goose the immune system into super efforts.

But when one chooses to whip a tired horse, eventually the exhausted

animal collapses and cannot rise again no matter how vigorously it

is beaten. The wise cure is to detoxify the body, a step that

simultaneously eliminates secondary eliminations and rebuilds the

immune system.

The wise way to deal with the body's eliminative efforts is to

accept that disease is an opportunity to pay the piper for past

indiscretions. You should go to bed, rest, and drink nothing but

water or dilute juice until the condition has passed. This allows

the body to conserve its vital energy, direct this energy toward

healing the disordered body part, and catch up on its waste

disposal. In this way you can help your body, be in harmony with its

efforts instead of working against it which is what most people do.

Please forgive another semi-political polemic here, but in my

practice I have often been amazed to hear my clients complain that

they have not the time nor the ability to be patient with their

body, to rest it through an illness because they have a job they

can't afford to miss or responsibilities they can't put down. This

is a sad commentary on the supposed wealth and prosperity of the

United States. In our country most people are enslaved by their

debts, incurred because they had been enthralled by the illusion of

happiness secured by the possession of material things. Debt slaves

believe they cannot miss a week of work. People who feel they can't

afford to be sick think they can afford to live on pills. So people

push through their symptoms by sheer grit for years on end, and keep

that up until their exhausted horse of a body breaks down totally

and they find themselves in the hospital running up bills to the

tune of several thousand dollars a day. But these very same people

do not think they can afford the loss of a few hundred dollars of

current income undertaking some virtually harmless preventative

maintenance on their bodies.

Given half a chance the body will throw off toxic overburdens and

cleanse itself. And once the body has been cleansed of toxemia,

disagreeable symptoms usually cease. This means that to make

relatively mild but unwanted symptoms lessen and ultimately stop it

is merely necessary to temporarily cut back food intake, eating only

what does not cause toxemia. These foods I classify as cleansing,

such as raw fruits and vegetables and their juices. If the symptoms

are extreme, are perceived as overwhelming or are actually

life-threatening, detoxification can be speeded up by dropping back

to only dilute raw juices or vegetable broth made only from greens,

without eating the solids. In the most extreme cases hygienists use

their most powerful medicine: a long fast on herb teas, or just

water. I will have a lot to say about fasting, later.

When acutely ill, the most important thing to do is to just get out

of the body's way, and let it heal itself. In our ignorance we are

usually our own worst enemy in this regard. We have been very

successfully conditioned to think that all symptoms are bad. But I

know from experience that people can and do learn a new way of

viewing the body, an understanding that puts them at cause over

their own body. It allows you to be empowered in one more area of

life instead of being dependent and at the mercy of other peoples

decisions about your body.

Finally, and this is why natural medicine is doubly unpopular, to

prevent the recurrence of toxemia and acute disease states, person

must discover what they are doing wrong and change their life. Often

as not this means elimination of the person's favorite

(indigestible) foods and/or (stress-producing) bad habits.

Naturally, I will have a lot more to say about this later, too.