Fermented Foods

Introduction

RECIPE: "Take one fish and press it under a heavy stone for 24 hours. Remove the fish and pound it until soft and add two cups of salt. Lay the fish in the open sun for another day. Pack fish into straw and put into an open jar. Set jar with fish out in the sun for another month. Smash month-old salted fish into a paste and use it as a soup or spread. Delicious!"

This is a recipe for probably the first fermented food ever eaten by man. Today he eats many more types of foods that have undergone some fermenting processes. Cheese, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, soy sauce, vinegar, beer and buttermilk are some of the more common fermented foods eaten today.

None of them are necessary in the diet. 

What Is A Fermented Food?

A fermented food is basically a food that has been very carefully spoiled. Fermentation occurs when certain microorganisms (bacteria) break down a food into various waste products. If the "wrong" types of microorganisms decompose the food, then putrefaction, or rotting, occurs.

Fermented foods, then, are the result of active bacteria and contain their waste products (lactic acid and acetic acid are two examples). Putrefied or rotten foods also contain bacteria and certain waste products (usually a nitrogenous substance like ammonia).

Why do people want to eat rotting or decayed foods? Can these foods be beneficial in any way, as some people have claimed? What happens when you eat fermented foods?

How Fermented Foods Began

Fermented foods like yogurt, pickles, beer and so on were originally used as a substance for fresh foods. Fermentation became a way of preserving foods for the time when there was no supply of fresh food. In effect, man found a way to "spoil" his food by choice so that he could eat it at a later date.

Cheese, for example, was one way that milk could be preserved without refrigeration. Excess cucumbers and cabbage were turned into pickles and sauerkraut for the winter. Fermented foods were actually some of the first preserved foods.

And, like all preserved foods, they cannot supply the ingredients of good nutrition. Still, man has eaten them for hundreds of years, and over that time he has developed some good reasons (or excuses) for eating foods that are full of bacteria, decay and waste products. Let's look at the reasons given for including fermented foods in the diet.

Fermented Foods

The Myths Of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have been used and have been recommended in the diet for basically four reasons :

  1. Fermented foods are a healthy way to preserve food.
  2. Fermented foods can replace beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
  3. Fermented foods can aid digestion.
  4. Fermented foods are necessary for a long life. All of these reasons are false.

Fermentation Is NOT A Healthy Way To Keep Foods

Once a food has begun to ferment, it usually continues to do so until it has completely rotted. To halt the fermentation process, either salt, vinegar or extreme cold is used to inhibit the growth of the bacteria living in the food.

Many fermented foods are heavily salted. Salt is a biocide. It kills and inhibits life. The salt in fermented foods prevents the native bacteria from multiplying to the point where putrefaction occurs.

Salt is a useless and harmful inorganic chemical that should never be eaten. Pickles, sauerkraut, cheese and other fermented foods are very heavily salted. Foods preserved with salt should not be included in the diet.

Vinegar is another popular additive to various fermented foods. Vinegar itself is the result of fermentation and is used in concentration to halt the continual decay of fermented foods.

Vinegar, however, disrupts the digestion, kills healthy blood cells, and irritates all the membranes. Pickles and other foods which have been soaked in vinegar are rendered totally indigestible. Many times the digestive juices cannot penetrate and break down the food preserved by vinegar, and so the fermented food passes through the system just as it was swallowed.

A few fermented foods, such as yogurt and beer, are not salted or preserved with vinegar. These types of fermented foods are usually held at low temperatures or bottled to inhibit the continuing growth of the fermenting bacteria ?

Fermented Foods Do NOT Replace Beneficial Bacteria

One of the reasons most often given for eating fermented food is that they replace beneficial bacteria which naturally live in the intestines. These bacteria aid in the breakdown of food particles and are a part of our native intestinal microflora.

By eating foods rich in bacteria (such as fermented foods), it is believed that our own native bacteria will be enriched and re-established. It sounds reasonable, but this is also a myth.

The effects of fermented foods on the intestinal bacteria are only transitory at best. For example, one of the major so-called beneficial bacteria is called Lactobacillus bulgaricus. It’s found in yogurt and other naturally fermented foods.

This bacteria, however, is not a normal inhabitant of the intestine, and it does not survive long in that environment. In fact, as soon as the foods containing this bacteria are no longer eaten, this “beneficial” bacteria packs its bags and leaves your intestines with the next bowel movement.

Still, there is the persistent insistence that fermented foods can somehow re-establish the needed bacteria in the intestines. People are often advised to drink buttermilk or eat some yogurt or take a swig of acidolphilus after taking antibiotics which have killed the “beneficial” bacteria along with the so-called “harmful” bacteria.

This is quite humorous. First, some bacteria are deemed bad or harmful and a pill is taken to kill them. But the pill works too well, and bacteria we call “good” are also killed. So now we must eat foods full of bacteria to get the “good” bacteria back into our system!

Because of these claims made for fermented foods, much research has been done to see if they can indeed reestablish beneficial bacteria in the intestines. According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the influence of “dietary microflora (bacteria) on the large intestine microflora is unsubstantiated.” The researchers also discovered that even eating two pounds daily of true Bulgarian yogurt “failed to elicit a response in the fecal flora.”

Myth: Fermented Foods Aid Digestion

When a rotten or spoiled food is eaten, the body hurries it to the nearest exit in an effort to protect itself. If the food is extremely putrefactive, diarrhea may result. If the food is fermented, an increased motility of the intestines occurs. This increase in intestinal motion is wrongly associated with beneficial digestive or laxative properties of the fermented food. In reality, the body is trying to speedily eliminate a substandard food.

The idea that fermented foods could somehow make digestion easier probably came from the observations of people who could not tolerate whole milk but could eat yogurt or some other fermented milk product.

Over 70% of the world’s adults cannot digest milk. They lack a digestive enzyme called lactasethat is needed to digest milk sugar or lactose. Undigested lactose results in diarrhea, cramping and abdominal pains. Fermented milk products are low in lactose, and cause less discomfort than unfermented milk.

Two things should be obvious from this discussion. First, fermented foods (in this case, fermented milk products) are not aiding digestion, but instead are just low in one of the factors that may cause digestive distress (lactose). Digestion is always and entirely under control by the body. Foods cannot “aid” digestion anymore than they can aid breathing or circulation.

True, unsuitable foods can disrupt digestion (like milk and its products) but it is fallacious to say that foods which do not disrupt digestion are in fact aiding it. Food is inert. It can do nothing. It is acted on by the body. It cannot perform or abet an active, organic process.

The second thing to be learned is that obviously milk and its products are not good foods for the human body. If a food cannot be enjoyed in its natural and unprocessed state, then it is not a suitable food for the human diet. If milk must first be fermented (or partially decomposed) before it can be tolerated, then why should it ever be used in the first place?

Remember that foods cannot improve digestion, be they papayas or yogurt or sauerkraut. Digestion is improved by allowing the body to rest from this process (fasting) and letting it regenerate its own capacities—not by swallowing a fermented and rotted food.

Eating Rotting Foods For Longer Life?

The most romantic myth about fermented foods is that they can prolong your life. We are given images of 100-year-old Russians dutifully swallowing their yogurt or we’re told about how every long-lived people include at least one fermented food in their diet.

Here is a recent promotion for eating yogurt, perhaps the most popular fermented food: “Yogurt can cure ulcers, relieve sunburn and forestall a hangover. It can be used as a facial or as a remedy for malaria. It confers long life and good looks, prolongs youth and fortifies the soul….”

Stay young, live long and have your soul fortified—quite a claim for a dish full of soured milk. If only it were true.

The idea that fermented foods can prolong life is totally unsubstantiated. This belief got its start around the turn of the twentieth century when an over-enthusiastic researcher named Uya Metchnikoff visited the Bulgarians in Europe.

He discovered they had the greatest number of people who had lived past 100, and most of these people also incidentally ate yogurt. He seized upon these two coincidents and tried to present them as “cause” and “effect” without any real research or facts.

Other health writers since that time accepted Metchnikoff’s speculations as truth and let their imaginations run wild. The truth is this: There has never been any validated research which indicates that yogurt or any other food has “life-prolonging” properties. One nutritional researcher, Beatrice Trum Hunter, states that “the yogurt in the long-lived Bulgarians diet was by no means the entire reason.

The generous quantities of home-grown vegetables and their stress-free lifestyle played the vital roles in health and longevity of these people.”

It’s always tempting to think you can eat yourself into a long life, and for those people who fall prey to that kind of thinking, the yogurt manufacturers can find a ready market.

A long life, full of happiness and well-being, has as one of its requirements that wholesome, natural foods in an unprocessed state make up the diet. In any case, fermented and rotting foods could not be termed wholesome or natural.In no way, should yogurt or any other fermented food be given “magical” properties by over-enthusiastic promoters and writers.

The Harmful Effects of Fermented Foods

So far, we have only discussed the myths of the supposedly beneficial effects of fermented foods. Can we say that even though these foods may not be particularly beneficial that they are perhaps harmless? No.

Fermented foods are not only ineffective, but they possess harmful properties as well. We have already mentioned that many fermented foods are heavily salted or preserved with vinegar which makes them

harmful. What are some of the other bad properties of these foods?

The Side-Effects of Fermentation

When foods ferment, or decompose, certain waste products are produced by the bacteria which break down the food. One of these byproducts is alcohol. Many fermented foods, such as soy sauce, contain a significant amount of alcohol. Of course the alcohol in fermented foods is usually a small quantity (unless the fermented food happens to be beer or your favourite shot!), but even small amounts of alcohol affect the cells of the body.

Ammonia is another product of fermentation. Fermented soy may be as much as 15% ammonia. Ammonia is dangerous enough as a house-cleaning agent. You certainly shouldn’t be eating it.

Vinegar, in the form of acetic acid, also results from food fermentation. This acid gives fermented foods their sour or sharp taste. That sharp taste is a signal to the body that the food should not be eaten as it is harmful. Vinegar prevents the digestion of foods, so a food filled with vinegar and other similar byproducts would seem to be indigestible.

Another acid that results from fermentation is lactic acid. Lactic acid is a waste product. If you have

ever exercised or worked harder than usual, you might notice a stiffness or soreness in your muscles. That stiffness results from a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Now eating fermented foods that contain lactic acid may not make you “stiff,” but does it seem intelligent to eat foods that are already high in waste byproducts?

Other acids are also present in fermented foods. Carbonic acid is found in fermented foods and also soft drinks. All of these acids are the wastes produced by the bacteria which are feeding on the decomposing, “fermented” foods.

Fermented Foods Are Low In Nutrition

The foods that are highest in nutrition are those which are eaten in their fresh, natural and unprocessed state. As soon as a food is tampered with in any way, nutrient loss results. The longer a food is held in storage, the lower it becomes in nutrition.

Fermented foods are usually processed or destroyed in some manner. After that, they are often stored and used over a period of weeks or even months. You can eat a pickle that was once a cucumber perhaps one or two years ago, but it is very doubtful if any of the original nutrients remain in that cucumber.

Many times, foods are first heated to a high temperature before fermentation is allowed to occur. Milk is first heated or pasteurized to kill off all bacteria. Then it is inoculated with a specific bacteria strain to ferment it into yogurt. The milk serves merely as a bacteria culture ground.

If heat is not used, then the food is often chopped, sliced, smashed or blended. A whole head of cabbage does not readily “ferment,” but if you bruise and chop it to pieces, then the bacteria will do their natural job of finishing the decomposition process. Whenever foods are cut, chopped or sliced to start the fermentation process, rapid oxidation of the food and a nutrient loss occur.

Another reason given for eating fermented foods is that they are high in B-vitamins, or that they may somehow encourage the body to produce more Vitamin B12 in its intestines. Just the opposite may be true.

According to research, the levels of Vitamin B12 may be reduced by fermented foods. A Bulgarian report indicates that the bacteria within yogurt use the B12 for their own growth. The B12 in kefir (a fermented milk drink) decreases in proportion to its fermentation.

Instead of adding nutritional benefits to the food, fermentation decreases some vitamin and mineral availability.

We’ve explored the myths surrounding fermented foods and described some of the harmful effects that may occur from their use. Now it’s time to name names and discuss each popular fermented food.

Types of Fermented Foods in the Diet

yogurt

Various fermented foods are eaten all over the world. Fermented fish cake is a delicacy in Japan, while the Koreans eat pickled garlic. Our discussion of fermented foods is limited to those foods eaten in the United States.

With A Moo-Moo Here…

The most popular types of fermented foods in this country are those made from dairy products. We have already discussed the unsuitability of milk and its products as human foods, so we’ll give you a brief rundown on other aspects of these fermented foods.

Yogurt

Yogurt has been aggressively marketed as a health food. It’s been called the “perfect food” and “insurance for good health.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its yearbook for 1965 makes this unqualified statement: “Yogurt has no food or health values other than those present in the kind of milk from which it is made.”

Yogurt has also been advertised as the perfect diet food. Even on this point, yogurt fails. It is high in saturated animal fats, and although plain yogurt has 154 calories per cup, over 80% of all yogurt eaten is the sweetened fruit-flavored variety which has 275 calories a cup.

Research in the last ten years has pointed out another danger of yogurt: cataracts. A cataract is the cloudiness of the lens of the eye. In severe cases, it causes blindness.

In animal experiments, all animals that were fed yogurt exclusively for several months developed cataracts in both eyes. In parts of India where yogurt is a large proportion of the diet, the incidence of cataracts is very high. A coincidence? Doubtful.

Researchers finally decided that some individuals may develop cataracts if they eat foods containing high levels of galactose (a sugar less soluble and sweet than glucose). Yogurt is one of the highest foods in galactose. Most commercial yogurts are 22% to 24% galactose.

People that usually do not eat dairy products sometimes feel obligated to sneak some yogurt into their diet for “health” reasons. There is nothing magical or healthy about yogurt. Like all milk products, it should not be used in the diet.

Don’t Say Cheese!

Cheese is a very popular fermented food. The harmful effects of this food have already been discussed in an earlier lesson. You may want to consider this fact: most commercial cheeses have their fermentation process started by the addition of rennet to the milk. Rennet contains the enzyme rennin which is found naturally in the stomach of a cow.

To get rennet to ferment the cheese, the stomachs of cows are scraped. These stomach extracts are then added to the milk for curdling the cheese. So, can you be a “vegetarian” and still eat cheese which is made with stomach scrapings of cows? Probably not.

Cheese is a food that is always rotting. Leave a piece at room temperature and you’ll have blue, green, white and yellow mold growing all over it. Some people even like to eat this mold, but then some people will eat anything. You don’t need “moldy milk” or cheese in your diet.

4.4 Buttermilk, Sour Cream and Kefir

There are other fermented dairy foods besides cheese and yogurt. Buttermilk and kefir are two popular fermented milk drinks. Sour cream is exactly that: cream that has soured and gone bad.

Be aware that not only are these foods substandard because they are dairy products, but they are often adulterated before being sold. Buttermilk frequently has salt added to it; kefir is usually sweetened, and sour cream will have preservatives to keep it from becoming totally putrid.

Vegetables You Can’t Digest

A popular diet a few years ago allowed the dieter to eat all the pickles he or she could hold. If you wanted a snack, eat a pickle. If you had a meal, eat some pickles with it. Why? Because pickles are indigestible. They pass right through just as they were eaten, undigested and unabsorbed. There are better ways to lose weight that this pickle diet, but it does point out one fact: pickled and fermented vegetables are indigestible.

A cucumber is an excellent vegetable. It’s crisp, slightly sweet, full of vital fluids, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. But if you soak that cucumber in vinegar and make a “fermented” food out of it, you’ve destroyed any beneficial properties it had. Digestive juices cannot penetrate pickled foods. They’re like eating rubber. They pass right through you in the same small chunks that you chewed.

They are also heavily salted, spiced and preserved. They should not be eaten.

Although almost any vegetable can be fermented, the next most popular vegetable besides cucumbers for this purpose is cabbage. Sauerkraut is eaten in great quantities by some nationalities. Could it possibly be an acceptable food? Here is what T.C. Fry wrote about this food in 1981: “Sauerkraut is indigestible.

The acetic acid (vinegar) that results from its bacterial decomposition is damaging to our digestive tract and inhibits the digestion and utilization of foods eaten with it. It is in the same class as all rotted foods.”

Where’s The Joy In Soy?

Most of the fermented foods eaten in the world are made from soybeans. Of course, most of these fermented soy foods are chiefly popular in the Orient, but in the last few years they have greatly increased in use in this country as a result of the macrobiotic and other health movements. Is a fermented soybean good for you? You probably know the answer by now, but let’s look at some of them briefly:

Soy Sauce or Tamari: This is the most popular fermented soy product. It is a liquid made from fermenting soybeans and sometimes wheat in large barrels. The end product is a very dark and salty liquid. It contains ammonia, alcohol and various acids. It is also 18% salt.

Miso: Another high-salt fermented food made from soybeans principally. It is used in great quantities by the Japanese, which in turn makes them the highest salt-consuming nation on earth. The Japanese also have the highest rates of stomach cancer on earth—a fact closely related to their high-salt intake of fermented and pickled foods.

Tempeh: This is not a very widely known fermented soy food yet, but it is being very aggressively marketed by private soy industries in this country and also by the Department of Agriculture. Tempeh is a cake of souring soybeans that have a heavy layer of grey-white mold growing all over them. This heavy layer of mold is somehow supposed to make the soybeans more digestible (incidentally, soybeans are probably the hardest to digest of all beans, none of which are easy to digest anyway).

Research in the last 15 years has shown that there are dozens of different toxins produced by molds. Different molds produce different toxins. Aflatoxin is the best known toxin and is a potent cancer-causing agent. All molds, however, produce their own unique toxin.

Cooking does not destroy the toxins produced by mold. Why anyone would desire to eat moldy foods is a mystery, but it is no secret that they are dangerous.

4.7 Other Fermented Foods

There are fermented grain products such as sourdough bread. There are fermented drinks such as beer and wine. Some health enthusiasts have devised fermented “nut” cheeses and saltless sauerkraut.

There are two things you need to know about these and all other fermented foods. First, these foods are not needed in the diet. They perform no function, provide no special nutrients, contain no “beneficial” bacteria and have no magical, life-extending properties. Secondly, all fermented foods contain harmful bacterial waste byproducts as well as possible salt, vinegar and other preservatives. In and of themselves, they are harmful to the living organism.

If a person follows the biologically correct diet of fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts, he will have no perverse cravings for such spoiled foods. Eating rotting, putrefying and decomposing foods is an acquired habit, much like meat-eating and eating junk foods. Like these perverse habits, the practice of eating fermented and putrefied foods should be quickly abandoned by the dedicated seeker of health.

Questions & Answers

What do the words Natural, Unnatural, Normal, and Abnormal really mean?

Natural or normal is that to which we became accustomed while living in a pristine state of nature and that to which our bodies were adapted. That which is contrary to our adaptations, that is, to our biological heritage, is abnormal and unnatural.

What are biological adaptations?

Biological adaptations is a term to describe the faculties an organism has developed to meet its requirements in the environment in which its growth has occurred. What is natural to an organism depends on its environmental adaptations.

Would you say carnivores are biologically adapted to meat-eating because of the structure of their teeth and other body structures?

Yes, I’d say that. Animals that live primarily upon meat have developed the tools or faculties for securing their food supply and best digesting it for their physiological needs. Animals that have claws and fangs are usually carnivores.

Are we adapting to our present environment?

Probably, but not perceptibly. A social adaptation or accommodation is not physiological and anatomical adaptation. Biological adaptations are slow and often require hundreds of thousands of years to come about. For example, when humans started eating meat, they did not during all their meat-eating days over a period of several thousand years develop fangs, claws, or the concentrated hydrochloric acid solution that characterizes meat-eating animals.

You need but look at Eskimos to see confirmation of this. Animals adapt very slowly to changed conditions. On the other hand if there is a failure to adapt or the change is too quick, the danger of extinction exists.

In nature there are checks and balances. Isn’t something like the black plague a natural check on the population?

No. In nature there are no such things as checks and balances in that context. In normal circumstances there are periods of famine and periods of feast. When there’s famine, death overtakes many of the organisms that are victims of the scarcity. When there’s a feast, a rapid multiplication occurs. Organisms in nature live in symbiosis with each other and a balance exists amongst them according to the food chain. 

For instance, if you study and witness insect hordes, you’ll learn that when they are thriving on abundant vegetation there is a corresponding increase in their predators, that is, birds and other animals that feed upon insects. When the insect population is practically wiped out the predators decline in numbers. These are the only kinds of checks and balances that exist in nature. Nothing can exceed its possibilities.

What you call calamities cannot be in any sense referred to as natural. A plague or any sickness or disease is not natural. It happens because an organism has lived contrary to the laws or principles that apply to its life. When we contravene the laws of our existence, we will incur disease. Diseases or plagues are in no sense checks and balances. If humans live in pathogenic perversions they’ll develop diseases and die amidst plenteousness.

What is your opinion of holistic health?

Those who are striving for something better than the medical system with which they’ve become disillusioned must be admired for both their perspicacity and their courage in undertaking an independent course. We Hygienists may not agree with the course or courses they’ve chosen as an alternative, but we hold they have every right to pursue it as is their bent and persuasion.

The word “holistic” derives from the word “health” which, again, means “whole,” “complete,” or possessing fullness of function. The word “holy” also derives from the word whole or healthy, although we have lost sight of this.

What we call “holistic health” in current society is a catchall of all modalities. The term is a tautology. It’s like saying “healthy health.” But the holistic movement involves M.D.’s, homeopaths, chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopaths, herbologists, acupuncturists, polarity therapists, foot reflexologists, and just about anything else that attaches itself to the movement. The holistic health movement embraces anyone who wants to join it.

Hygienists who bring their philosophy with them are not accepted in the holistic movement. To be accepted into the movement you must be of a “curing” frame of mind, that is, basically medically oriented. This movement is therapy-oriented rather than health-oriented.

However, some of the practitioners in the movement, notably the naturopaths, do recognize that we must remove the causes of disease in order to establish a basis for health. Even some chiropractors are enlightened in this regard. There are, in fact, practitioners in all schools that recognize the real needs of the human organism and advise their clients of these needs.

We call ourselves wholistic. To us this means that we embrace every facet or condition that touches upon human welfare. In the sense that we recognize that health is realized only by the length and breadth of the living regime, we’re wholistic. But we do not identify with the current movement that calls itself holistic.

I think you’re wrong about all healing being self-healing. I’ve personally seen a woman who had a leg ulcer for over a year. Topical application of comfrey poultices healed it in less than ten days. How can you deny that?

I do not deny that the leg ulcer healed, and I do not deny that the comfrey poultice was the agency that precipitated the healing process of the leg ulcer. But the body is probably worse, not better for the treatment.

What happens physiologically to cause the ulcer in the first place? Why do they sometimes persist only to heal later? What happens when the agency of toxic materials such as in garlic, aloe, comfrey, or in pharmacological preparations are applied and the ulcer is healed?

The comfrey poultice neither caused nor healed the ulcer. The body created the ulcer in the first place just as it creates a boil, fever, pimple, or other so-called infection. The body creates these conditions as outlets for an extraordinary load of toxic materials.

As long as the body is burdened with toxicity that it cannot eliminate through normal channels, it will utilize vicarious outlets, i.e., outlets other than normal. As long as the practices introduce into the body toxic materials and the sufferer’s habits are such as to cause the body to retain its own metabolic wastes, then the body will protect itself against a death-dealing situation by getting rid of its problems any way it can.

An ulcer is created in two ways. First, a lesion can be created by the body through self-autolyzation of its tissues. The body causes the self-digestion of a hole to the surface in the case of a boil or pimple. It is the body that forces toxic materials into the hole it has created to the surface. It is the body that creates the tremendous pressure necessary to keep the pus and debris near the surface in the form of a boil until drainage or expulsion occurs.

Just so it is the body that causes the ulcer in one way or another. Probably the leg ulcer was caused by the body’s collection and concentration of poisons in a given area until the cells and tissues of the area were totally destroyed. Then the body utilizes the open sore as a drainage outlet much as a teakettle will discharge its steam through a blown hole after the hole is blown.

When aloe vera, comfrey, or certain pharmaceutical preparations are applied, they do not solve the body’s problems. Herbs and drugs have not the intelligence or power to create cells and new tissue to bridge the chasm or gulf that constitutes the ulcer or lesion.

What happens is that the poultice or drug application applied to an open sore poses a new danger. Absorption of poisons from the outside causes the body to change strategy. Where it had been exuding poisons to keep them low, the body is now absorbing poisons there. To obviate this new threat the body closes up the dumping ground and seals it off from the outside by scarring it over.

Though the body healed the ulcer, it is now worse off than before. It is retaining the toxic material previously expelled through the open sore or ulcer. Either it must now create a new extraordinary outlet or suffer the retention of the toxic materials it previously expelled
through the ulcer.

Had the ulcer sufferer fasted, the ulcer would have healed more quickly than with the application of a poultice. Moreover, the body would, under the fasting condition, be free of the input of toxic materials and toxigenesis due to enervating habits. Under this condition it can accelerate expulsion of toxic materials through regular channels.

Once the level of toxicity has been reduced below a certain tolerance level, the body will promptly proceed to heal the ulcer. Healing takes place much more quickly under the fasting condition than any other. While fasting, the body can concentrate its energies and its material resources to the healing process, thus affecting healing much more speedily.

So, the comfrey poultice did not do anything other than become a source of irritation. The body “closed up shop,” so to speak, at the ulcer site and did business elsewhere. Keep in mind that all healing is a body process and never that of drugs. And let us not mistake the drug nature of comfrey. It contains pyrrholizidine and allantoin, two quite toxic alkaloids or glycosides.

Are you telling us we’d get along better without doctors and healers? Does not nature furnish natural remedies for our problems?

I just furnished an example of the physiological modus operandi of the body under the influence of toxic materials. I had hoped that would suffice to dispel any ideas that healing can be effected by extraneous agencies.

Yes, we would be better off without physicians, miscalled doctors, and so-called healers. We do need teachers to help people see their errors concerning health. We need teachers to get them on the right biological track so they can lead healthy and happy lives.

Nature never developed humans or other animals so that remedies are needed in the first place, and it never created remedies in the second place. These interpretations errant humans have ascribed to disease and healing phenomena are based on illusory appearances. The only remedy for any ailment is the capacity of the body to right itself once the assault upon it has been discontinued.

Aren’t diseases caused by germs and viruses? Surely you can’t mean that millions of physicians the world over are wrong about this?

We’ll get into the depths of these matters in subsequent lessons. But the answer is no: germs do not cause disease. They can, at worst, complicate them secondarily. Bacteria are our symbiotic partners in life. Partners accommodate each other for mutual benefit. Viruses as an entitative existence are a medical myth.

If diseases are caused by uneliminated metabolic debris, which is what so-called viruses are, then the medics have a point. But we Hygienists call that metabolic debris retained wastes, not viruses. “Viruses” are nothing more than the proteinacious debris of spent cells.  

Their accumulation can precipitate a  healing crisis in the body. When this occurs, the body is likely to transport bacteria to the scene to aid it in cleaning up the mess, but the bacteria did not cause the problem. The habits and practices of the sufferer must be looked to as the real culprits. Once these deleterious habits and practices are discontinued, there will be no further toxic accumulations and thus the need for disease or healing crises will cease to exist. Sickness-free health will exist thereafter.

You say that disease is abnormal. Everyone has been sick at some time or other. Haven’t you ever been sick? If everyone gets sick, wouldn’t you say getting sick is a rather normal thing?

Yes, it is undeniable that disease and sickness are normal in our society. That is one reason there’s a great need for enlightened Life Scientists to be on the scene. We can put an end to this misery.

Let us not, however, confuse what is normal in nature and what is normal in a vitiated society.

Disease is a normal body response to an abnormal toxic condition. But the toxic condition is, let us recognize, abnormal.

You talk about Life Science as a cure-all. Aspirin will cure a headache, at least for a while. Can Life Science cure a headache?

Those practices which, aggregately, we term Life Science, are, indeed, a panacea, a cure-all. Correct diet and health practices build health, not disease. Aspirin does not “cure a headache.” The problems remain as before plus the toxic presence of the aspirin itself. Aspirin merely causes our body to paralyze or incapacitate the nervous system.

Just because you remove thermometers does not alter the temperature. The fact that the body finally expels the aspirin from its domain and reinstitutes the processes that give rise to another headache is ample indication that drugs solve no problems.

Under the Life Science regime all causes of headaches are removed. Causes of health are instituted. This is the ultimate solution to the problem of disease and suffering. When there are no causes there can be no disease. When only the causes of health are indulged, only health can result.

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