The Treatment of Acute Diseases by Natural Methods
In the preceding chapters we have described
the results of the wrong, that is, suppressive
treatment of acute diseases. We shall now proceed to describe
the simple and uniform methods of natural treatment.
If the uniformity of acute diseases be
a fact in Nature, then it follows that it must be possible
to treat all acute diseases by uniform methods.
That it is possible to treat all
acute diseases most successfully by natural methods,
which anybody possessed of ordinary intelligence can apply, has
been demonstrated for more than seventy years by the Nature Cure
practitioners in Germany, and by myself during the last ten years
in an extensive practice.
One of the many advantages of
natural treatment is that it may be applied right from
the beginning, as soon as the first symptoms of acute
febrile conditions manifest themselves. It is not necessary to
wait for a correct diagnosis of the case.
The regular physician, with his specific
treatment for the multitude of specific diseases which he recognizes,
often has to wait several days or even weeks before the real nature
of the disease becomes clear to him, before he is able to diagnose
the case or even to make a good guess. The conscientious medical
practitioner has to postpone actual treatment until the symptoms
are well defined. Meanwhile he applies expectant treatment as
it is called in medical parlance, that is, he gives a purgative
or a placebo, something or other to placate, or to make the patient
and his friends believe that something is being done.
But during this period of indecision and
inaction very often the best opportunity for aiding Nature in
her healing efforts is lost, and the inflammatory processes may
reach such virulence that it becomes very difficult or even impossible
to keep them within constructive limits. The bonfire that was
to burn up the rubbish on the premises may, if not watched and
tended, assume such proportions that it damages or destroys the
It must also be borne in mind that very
frequently acute diseases do not present the well-defined sets
of symptoms which fit into the accepted medical conception of
certain specific ailments. On the contrary, in many instances
the symptoms suggest a combination of different forms of acute
If the character of the disease is ill-defined
and complicated, how, then, is the physician of the "Old
School" to select the proper specific remedy, Under such
circumstances, the diagnosis of the case as well as the medical
treatment will at best be largely guesswork.
Compare with this unreliable and unsatisfactory
treatment the simple and scientific, exact and efficient natural
methods. The natural remedies can be applied from the
first, at the slightest manifestation of inflammatory
and febrile symptoms. No matter what the specific nature or trend
of the inflammatory process, whether it be a simple cold, or whether
it take the form of measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, smallpox,
appendicitis, etc.--it makes absolutely no difference in the mode
of treatment. In many instances the natural treatment will have
broken the virulence of the attack or brought about a cure before
the regular physician gets good and ready to apply his specific
In the following I shall describe briefly
these natural methods for the treatment of acute diseases which
insure the largest possible percentage of recoveries and at the
same time do not in any way tax the system, cause undesirable
aftereffects or lead to the different forms of chronic invalidism.
The Natural Remedies
The most important ones of these natural
remedies can be had free of cost in any home. They are: air, fasting
or eliminative diets, water, and the right mental attitude.
I am fully convinced that these remedies
offered freely by Mother Nature are sufficient, if rightly applied,
to cure any acute disease arising within the organism. If circumstances
permit, however, we may advantageously add corrective manipulation
of the spine, massage, magnetic treatment, advanced regenerative
modalities (like the Magnatherm) and homeopathic, herbal and specific
The Fresh-Air Treatment
A plentiful supply of pure fresh air is
of vital importance at any time. We can live without food for
several weeks and without water for several days, but we cannot
live without air for more than a few minutes. Just as a fire in
the furnace cannot be kept up without a good draft which supplies
the necessary amount of oxygen to the flame, so the fires of life
in the body cannot be maintained without an abundance of oxygen
in the air we breathe.
This is of vital importance at all times,
but especially so in acute disease, because here, as we have learned,
all the vital processes are intensified. The system is working
under high pressure. Large quantities of waste and morbid materials,
the products of inflam-mation, have to be oxidized, that is, burned
up and eliminated from the system.
In this respect the Nature Cure people
have brought about one of the greatest reforms in medical treatment:
the admission of plenty of fresh air to the sickroom.
But, strange to say, the importance of
this most essential natural remedy is as yet not universally recognized
by the representatives of the regular school of medicine. Time
and again I have been called to sickrooms where by order of the
doctor every window was closed and the room filled with pestilential
odors, the poisonous exhalations of the diseased organism added
to the stale air of the unventilated and often overheated apartment.
And this air starvation had been enforced by graduates of our
best medical schools and colleges. This unnatural and inexcusable
crime against the sick is committed even at this late day in our
great hospitals under the direct supervision of physicians who
are foremost in their profession.
It is not the cold draft that
is to be feared in the sickroom. Cool air is most agreeable
and beneficial to the body burning in fever heat. What
is to be feared is the reinhalation and reabsorption of poisonous
emanations from the lungs and skin of the diseased body.
Furthermore, the ventilation of a room
can be so regulated as to provide a constant and plentiful supply
of fresh air without expos-ing its occupants to a direct draft.
Where there is only one window and one door, both may be opened
and a sheet or blanket hung across the opening of the door, or
the single window may be opened partly from above and partly from
below, which insures the entrance of fresh, cold air at the bottom
and the expulsion of the heated and vitiated air at the top. The
patient may be protected by a screen, or a board may be placed
across the lower part of the window in such manner that a direct
current of air upon the patient is prevented.
In very cold weather, or if conditions
are not favorable to constant ventilation of the sickroom, the
doors and windows may be opened wide for several
minutes every few hours, while the patient's body and head are
well protected. There is absolutely no danger of taking cold if
these precautions are taken. Under right conditions of room temperature,
frequent exposure of the patient's nude body to air and the sunlight
will be found most beneficial and will often induce sleep when
other means fail.
I would strongly warn against keeping
the patient too warm. This is
especially dangerous in the case of young children, who cannot
use their own judgment or make their wishes known. I have frequently
found children in high fever smothered in heavy blankets under
the mistaken impression on the part of the attendants that they
had to be kept warm and protected against possible draft. In many
instances the air under the covers was actually steaming hot.
This surely does not tend to reduce the burning fever heat in
the body of the patient.
"Natural Diet" in Acute Diseases
From the appearance of the first suspicious
symptoms until the fever has abated and there is a hearty, natural
hunger, feeding should be reduced to a minimum or better still,
In cases of extreme weakness, and where
the acute and subacute processes are long drawn out and the patient
has become greatly emaciated, it is advisable to give such easily
digestible foods as white of egg, milk, buttermilk and whole grain
bread with butter in combination with raw and stewed fruits and
with vegetable salads prepared with lemon juice and olive oil.
The quantity of drinking water should
be regulated by the desire of the patient, but he should be warned
not to take any more than is necessary to satisfy his thirst.
Large amounts of water taken into the system dilute the blood
and the other fluids and secretions of the organism to an excessive
degree, and this tends to increase the general weakness and lower
the patient's resistance to the disease forces.
Water may be made more palatable and at
the same time more effective for purposes of elimination by the
addition of the unsweetened juice of acid fruits, such as orange,
grapefruit or lemon, about one part of juice to three parts of
water. Fresh pineapple juice is very good except in cases of hyperacidity
of the stomach. The fresh, unsweetened juice of Concord grapes
is also beneficial.
Acid and subacid fruit juices do not contain
sufficient carbohydrate or protein materials to unduly excite
the digestive processes, while on the other hand they are very
rich in Nature's best medicines, the mineral salts in
organic form. Sweet grapes and sweetened grape juice
should not be given to patients suffering from acute, febrile
diseases because they contain too much sugar, which would have
a tendency to start the processes of digestion and assimilation,
to cause morbid fermentation and to raise the temperature and
accelerate the other disease symptoms.