From what has already been said on this subject, it will have
become apparent that inflammatory and feverish diseases are just
as natural, orderly and lawful as anything else in Nature, that,
therefore, after they have once started, they must not be checked
or suppressed by poisonous drugs and surgical operations.
Inflammatory processes can be kept within safe limits, and they
must be assisted in their constructive tendencies
by the natural methods of treatment. To check and suppress acute
diseases before they have run their natural course means to suppress
Nature's purifying and healing efforts, to court fatal complications
and to change the acute, constructive reactions into chronic disease
Those who have followed the preceding chapters will remember that
their general trend has been to prove one of the fundamental principles
of Nature Cure philosophy, namely the Unity of Disease
We claim that all acute diseases are uniform in their
causes, their purpose, and if conditions are favorable,
uniform also in their progressive development.
In former chapters I endeavored to prove and to elucidate the
unity of acute diseases in regard to their causes and their purpose,
the latter not being destructive, but constructive and beneficial.
I demonstrated that the microorganisms of disease are not the
unmitigated nuisance and evil which they are commonly regarded,
but that, like everything else in Nature, they, too, serve a useful
purpose. I showed that it depends upon ourselves whether their
activity is harmful and destructive, or beneficial: upon our manner
of living and of treating acute reactions.
Let us now trace the unity of acute diseases in regard to their
general course by a brief examination of the processes of inflammation
and their progressive development through five well-defined stages.
We shall base our studies on the most advanced works on pathology
The Story of Inflammation
To me the story of inflammation has been one of the most wonderful
revelations of the complex activities of the human organism. More
than anything else it confirms to me the fundamental principles
of Nature Cure, the fact that Nature is a good healer, not a poor
Before inflammation can arise, there must exist an exciting cause
in the form of some obstruction or of some agent inimical to health
and life. Such excitants of inflammation may be dead cells, blood
clots, fragments of bone and other effete matter produced in the
system itself or they may be foreign bodies such as particles
of dust, soot, stone, iron or other metals, slivers of wood, etc.;
again, they may be microorganisms or parasites.
When one or more of these exciting agents of inflammation are
present in the tissues of the body in sufficient strength to call
forth the reaction and opposition of the healing forces, the microscope
will always reveal the following phenomena, slightly varying under
The blood rushes to the area of irritation. Owing to this increased
blood pressure, the minute arteries and veins in the immediate
neighborhood of the excitant dilate and increase in size. The
distension of the blood vessels stretches and thereby weakens
their walls. Through these the white blood corpuscles squeeze
their mobile bodies and work their way through the intervening
tissues toward the affected area.
In some mysterious way they seem to sense the exact location of
the danger point and hurry toward it in large numbers like soldiers
summoned to meet an invading army. This faculty of the white blood
corpuscles to apprehend the presence and exact location of the
enemy has been ascribed to chemical attraction and is called chemotaxis.
The army of defense is made up of the white blood corpuscles or
leukocytes and of connective tissue cells which separate themselves
from the neighboring tissues. All these wandering cells possess
the faculty of absorbing and digesting microbes. They contain
certain proteolytic or protein-splitting ferments, by means of
which they decompose and digest poisons and hostile microorganisms.
On account of their activity as germ destroyers, these cells have
been called germ killers or phagocytes. In their movements and
actions these valiant little warriors act very much like intelligent
beings, animated by the qualities of patience, perseverance, courage,
foresight and self-sacrifice.
The phagocytes absorb morbid matter, poisons or microorganisms
by enveloping them with their own bodies. It is a hand-to-hand
fight, and many of the brave little soldiers are destroyed by
the poisons and bacteria which they attack and swallow. What we
call pus is made up of the bodies of live and dead phagocytes,
disease taints and germs, blood serum, broken-down tissues and
cells, in short, the debris of the battlefield.
We can now understand how the processes just described produce
the well-known cardinal symptoms of inflammation and fever; the
redness, heat and swelling due to increased blood pressure, congestion
and the accumulation of exudates; the pain due to irritation and
to pressure on the nerves. We can also realize how impaired nutrition
and the obstruction and destruction in the affected parts and
organs will interfere with and inhibit functional activity.
The organism has still other ways and means of defending itself.
At the time of bacterial infection, certain germ-killing substances
are developed in the blood serum. Science has named these defensive
proteins alexins. It has also been found that the phagocyte and
tissue cells in the neighborhood of the area of irritation produce
antipoisons or natural antitoxins, which neutralize the bacterial
poisons and kill the microorganisms of disease.
With the Evil, Nature Provides the Cure
Furthermore, the growth and development of bacteria and parasites
is inhibited and finally arrested by their own waste products.
We have an example of this in the yeast germ, which thrives and
multiplies in the presence of sugar in solution. Living on and
digesting the sugar, it decomposes the sugar molecules into alcohol
and carbonic acid. As the alcohol increases during the process
of fermentation, it gradually arrests the development and activity
of the yeast cells.
Similar phenomena accompany the activity of disease germs and
parasites. They produce certain waste products which gradually
inhibit their own growth and increase. The vaccines, serums and
antitoxins of medical science are prepared from these bacterial
excrements and from extracts made of the bodies of bacteria.
In the serum and antitoxin treatment, therefore, the allopathic
school is imitating Nature's procedure in checking the growth
of microorganisms, but with this difference: Nature does not suppress
the growth and multiplication of disease germs until the
morbid matter on which they subsist has been decomposed and consumed,
and until the inflammatory processes have run their course through
the five stages of inflammation; while serums and antitoxins given
in powerful doses at the different stages of any disease may check
and suppress germ activity and the processes of inflammation before
the latter have run their natural course and before the morbid
matter has been eliminated.
The Five Stages of Inflammation
What has been said in former chapters confirms my claim that all
acute diseases are uniform in their causes and in their purpose.
From the foregoing description of inflammation it will have become
clear that they are also uniform in their pathological development.
The uniformity of acute inflammatory processes becomes still more
apparent when we follow them through their five succeeding stages,
that is: Incubation, Aggravation, Destruction, Abatement
and Reconstruction, as illustrated in the following diagram:
I. Incubation. The first section of the diagram
corresponds to the period of Incubation, the
time between the exposure to an infectious disease and its development.
This period may last from a few minutes to a few days, weeks,
months or even years.
During this stage morbid matter, poisons, microorganisms and other
excitants of inflammation gather and concentrate in certain parts
and organs of the body. When they have accumulated to such an
extent as to interfere with the normal functions or to endanger
the health and life of the organism, the life forces begin to
react to the obstruction or threatening danger by means of the
inflammatory processes before described.
II. Aggravation. During the period of Aggravation
the battle between the phagocytes and Nature's antitoxins on the
one hand, and the poisons and microorganisms of disease on the
other hand, gradually progresses, accompanied by a corresponding
increase of fever and inflammation, until it reaches its climax,
marked by the greatest intensity of feverish symptoms.
III. Destruction. This battle between the forces
of disease and the healing forces is accompanied by the disintegration
of tissues due to the accumulation of exudates, to pus formation,
the development of abscesses, boils, fistulas, open sores, etc.,
and to other morbid changes. It involves the destruction of phagocytes,
bacteria, blood vessels, and tissues just as a battle between
contending human armies results in loss of life and property.
The stage of Destruction ends in crisis, which
may be either fatal or beneficial. If the healing forces of the
organism are in the ascendancy, and if they are supported by right
treatment which tends to build up the blood, increase the vitality
and promote elimination, then the poisons and the microorganisms
of disease will gradually be overcome, absorbed or eliminated
and, by degrees, the tissues will be cleared of the debris of
IV. Abatement. The absorption and elimination
of exudates, pus, etc., take place during the period of abatement.
It is accompanied by a gradual lowering of temperature, pulse
rate and the other symptoms of fever and inflammation.
V. Resolution or Reconstruction. When the period
of Abate-ment has run its course and the affected areas have been
cleared of the morbid accumulations and obstructions, then, during
the fifth stage of inflammation, the work of rebuilding the injured
parts and organs begins. More or less destruction has taken place
in the cells and tissues, the blood vessels and organs of the
areas involved. These must now be reconstructed, and this last
stage of the inflammatory process is, therefore, in a way the
most important. On the perfect regeneration of the injured parts
depends the final effect of the acute disease upon the organism.
If the inflammation has been allowed to run its course through
the different stages of acute activity and the final stage of
Reconstruction, then every acute disease, whatever
its name and description may be, will prove beneficial to the
organism because morbid matter, foreign bodies, poisons and microorganisms
have been eliminated from the system; abnormal and diseased tissues
have been broken down and built up again to a purer and more normal
As it were, the acute disease has acted upon the organism like
a thunderstorm on the sultry, vitiated summer air. It has cleared
the system of impurities and destructive influences, and re-established
wholesome, normal conditions. Therefore acute diseases, when treated
in harmony with Nature's intent, always prove beneficial.
If, however, through neglect or wrong treatment, the inflammatory
processes are not allowed to run their natural course, if they
are checked or suppressed by poisonous drugs, the ice bag or surgical
operations, or if the disease conditions in the system are so
far in the ascendancy that the healing forces cannot react properly,
then the constructive forces may lose the battle and the disease
may take a fatal ending or develop into chronic ailments.