FOOD AND DISEASE
By what has been said, it must not be imagined that the incontestible learning and probity of able and reputable investigators is at all questioned. But we are privileged to doubt, and, if investigation warrants, to deny the doctrines which are generally regarded as authoritative, even though these doctrines are advanced by eminent scientists.
In the popular mind disease inculcates fear, and, when certain symptoms are in evidence, it is fled from in terror. This attitude is to be supposed so long as present general conceptions and teachings prevail, but the day is at hand when human ailments will be regarded in their true light as the means by which nature works to restore health, as the only rational processes of cure. To emphasize--disease is not a foe to life, but is the plan of nature instituted to restore a system in unbalance to equilibrium or health. That the general conception of disease and its treatment through attack upon symptoms, are wrong, and that health lies within reach of all ailing bodies that are not suffering from structural organic defect, are truths which, it is hoped, the text will fully demonstrate.
Despite prevalent belief, disease never strikes suddenly, but is the consequence of long-continued violation of natural law. It is the result of a gradual clogging of the avenues through which vitality functions, a long-drawn process of stifling the forces of life. "Every disease," says Dr. Edward Hooker Dewey, "is an inherited possibility, which every violation of the laws of life tends to develop. It is never simply an attack on a well person, but is rather a summing-up of the more or less life-long violations of health laws." Because of these transgressions, loss of digestive power occurs; lowered vitality succeeds; and disease symptoms become apparent along lines of least physical resistance.
Symptoms of disease, the tangible evidences of its presence, vary with temperament, hereditary tendencies, surroundings, and the organic state, congenital or otherwise, of the individual. No two human beings ever express in disease identical morbid signs, even under like environment; and the reason underlying the development of symptoms differing in character in persons presumably of like constitution and with the same environment is to be sought most probably in the domain of the phenomena of heredity.
Exercising the privilege of the investigator, the author not only questions the doctrine embodied in what is known as the "germ theory" of the causation of disease, but she denies its validity. And, using in her turn the power of assertion, she condemns the remedies advanced by therapists for the cure of so-called microbically caused illnesses as being radically erroneous, leading not to health and long life, but to further disease and ultimate death.
The germ, we know, is omnipresent; it is the scavenger of animate existence; and life could not exist in its absence. In health, when physical balance is the rule, various kinds of micro-organisms live and propagate within the human body, but only to the degree necessary for the consumption of noxious products of systemic refuse, which otherwise would cause toxication. To this extent the germ is an ally of the eliminative organs, working to render harmless body waste during the time it is retained within the organism. Given for attention waste in excess of normal, germ life increases, the products of germ life add to the putrefying mass, and the task of consumption proving too great for even myriad bacilli to accomplish, physical balance is disturbed, and disease appears.
Infection is one of the methods of nature for relieving the living organism of any non-usable organic matter that may find its way into the blood, and the category of what is non-usable includes all coagulable material from serum albumen to what are known as the white corpuscles. There is doubt that virtually amounts to certainty in the mind of the author concerning the accepted theory of the life and office of the much vaunted leucocyte or white corpuscle of the blood. This body, which by scientists is given the high position of being the primordial animal cell, is in reality here placed upon the defensive, and its proponents must give proof that it is either what they claim, a vigilant policeman, a phagocyte or germ-destroyer, a tissue-builder; or that it is a surpassingly harmful foreign body that paves the way for all disease.
What we know about this inhabitant of the blood current is that in good health, when by microscopic examination we discover one thousand or thereabouts of red corpuscles in the blood, relatively we find only one or at most several white corpuscles; and, when disease appears, at first these leucocytes are unusually numerous, increasing in number with the gravity of the symptoms. If the case progresses to the point of death or its immanency, the increase of white corpuscles becomes so great as to form a complete reversal of the proportion between the red and the white which is the rule in health. And the fact is that the greater the number of these so-called phagocytes or germ-destroyers that a sick man carries in his circulation, the less probable is his chance of recovery.
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