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Health, or, How to Live

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    BY REMOVING CAUSES

    Unless the original cause of any given disease be removed, there is no successful way of obtaining a permanent cure; and by the removal of the original cause, perhaps in more than nine cases out of ten, Nature will remove the difficulty without the aid of any kind of medicine. It is the most consummate quackery to prescribe medicine to cure disease, while the cause that produced it is not abandoned. If a liver complaint, or kidney complaint, or any other glandular derangement shall occur, which has been produced by tobacco, coffee, tea, or any other narcotic or stimulant, it is an outrage on all common sense, as well as science, to prescribe remedies while indulgence in these false luxuries is continued. They must be abandoned, or health give up; and it is folly to inquire which should be relinquished, for they are all hurtful, and should be rejected.HHTL 146.2

    Here comes a lady with prostrated nervous system; and from this arises a diversity of complaints, — dyspepsia in its various forms and the hundreds of attendant sufferings, sick headaches, and nervous headaches, with their periodical visits, goneness at the stomach and palpitation of the heart; — any, and all of these, and many more, have grown out of the long-continued use of stimulating drinks. Her dear wicked luxuries of coffee and teas, — especially the green teas, — by their intoxicating power on the nerves, have gradually and imperceptibly worn out their healthy tone; they are now in a morbid and irritable state, laying a broad foundation for ill health in a variety of forms. If the liver is the point to which her illegal living has directed its force, and her immediate sufferings arise from a torpid condition of that gland, accompanied with its usual attendant, a sluggish condition of bowels, she runs after some nostrum in the form of anti-bilious pills, or other quackery. She takes her pills, which force a temporary action that is generally followed by greater prostration of nervous force, giving the liver greater torpidity, and still continues her luxuries of coffee and tea.HHTL 147.1

    This is like a man’s holding his hand in the fire till the skin is removed, calling on the doctor for a salve, while he is still holding his hand in the flame. If he wants the burned skin to be removed and a new one to take its place, he must take the hand out of the fire; he must put away the original cause. When he will do this, Nature will want little help to bring things again to their right bearings. But if he continues the cause, he may tax the skill of the whole medical world, and find no relief. If he will continue to violate law, he must meet the damages. But if he will cease rebelling against Nature, put away his weapons of warfare, desist from destroying her vital forces, and let her have her own way, she will put forth her very best efforts to set everything right. Nature always goes for health; and so zealous is she in her undertakings, and so certain of the best possible issue, that we may rest assured that on her part no pains will be spared, and on our part no risk is run.HHTL 147.2

    As before remarked, probably in nine cases out of ten of all the diseases in the world, especially those of chronic form, when the primary cause is removed, Nature requires no help from medical agents, and will perform her work of cure better without than with them. Where medicines are not really needed, they do harm instead of good; for all medical agents are unnatural to the laws of healthy life. The philosophy of allopathic cure consists in creating an unnatural condition of the animal economy, in opposition to the existing one. A morbid condition now exists; another morbid condition is instituted in order to overcome and expel it. And if the medicine succeed in removing it, still Nature must remove the unnatural condition produced by the medicine; and if Nature alone can remove any existing disease by having its cause put away, she will come out better in the end, than she will if two morbid conditions, instead of one, are thrown in her way.HHTL 148.1

    My own department of the medical profession has been, in many instances, deficient in attention to the laws which belong to health. The study of Pathology, or the laws which govern diseased life, do not, as a general rule, direct sufficient attention to laws which govern healthy life. The Homoeopathists, and Hydropathists give much attention to this subject. If a man comes to them for medical aid, they look into the history of the case. They inquire into his habits of eating and drinking; carefully note all his physical errors and proscribe everything which is in conflict with the laws of health. In this way they put their patients upon the resources of Nature. While their medicines, to say the least of them, are not drugging the patients to death, they are giving the powers of Nature an opportunity to exert their healing forces and this fact probably forms the principle basis of their success. Nature gets a chance to put forth healing energies, which drugging has sometimes, nay, often, prevented.HHTL 148.2

    Cases have often come under observation where persons affected with chronic diseases have been taking drugs prescribed by their physician, while at the same time they were indulging unnatural appetites in sufficient degree to account for all the attendant morbid symptoms. Several cases of prostrated health, from the use of tobacco, have fallen under notice, where several members of the faculty have been consulted, each recommending his remedies but not one of them so much as intimating that tobacco possessed deadly properties. Even those who have noticed its deadly effects at all, have generally only half condemned the practice, and merely recommended the lessening of the quantity, instead of entire and eternal abstinence from it. The prescribing of medicine to cure a disease which is the product of an unnatural habit unrelinquished, is of all kinds of quackery in the world the most enormous and inexcusable.HHTL 149.1

    More than nineteen-twentieths, probably, of all the diseases of which complaint is made, are created, directly or indirectly, by the people who suffer from them; and, as a general rule, if they will cease creating the disturbance, Nature will recover herself better without medicines than with them. A portion of their diseases they create directly, by interference with natural law, without any other agency. Another portion of diseases are created indirectly. There are morbid conditions of the atmosphere, and also contagions, which cannot always be wholly avoided; but, as a very general rule, these would touch us lightly, if at all, if we would not, by impairing the tone of natural vitality, open the door of the “house we live in,” and invite them in. As fearful as are the ravages of the cholera, it is comparatively little to be feared, if we will continually pay obedience to all the laws of organic life. But if we will abuse the powers of our own vitality, we may expect cholera, or any other epidemic or contagious disease, to walk in and take such a possession as may prove fatal.HHTL 149.2

    The great majority of fatal cases of cholera, were made so by the intemperance of its victims. Many who used no spirituous liquors, used tobacco. Many who used no tobacco, had destroyed the equilibrium of their electric forces, circulating in the nervous system, by strong teas and coffees. Perhaps they had eaten luncheons and late suppers, or had taken largely of meats and condiments.HHTL 150.1

    If we take such a natural course of habitual living as to secure a healthy and even-balanced circulation of the blood, and especially of the electric current of the body, we shall be in comparatively little danger from hurtful atmospheric influences. Neither cholera or any other morbid agency can find much chance to pray upon us. But if we derange the functions of our organism, though we may seem to do so with impunity to-day, yet to-morrow other destructive causes may enter, with deadly weapons.HHTL 150.2

    Hence we can see, if those who are suffering ill health will read and inform themselves on the natural laws of healthy life, and cease violating them altogether, Nature will generally perform a cure. If we create a majority of all our diseases by intemperate habits, we certainly can quit those habits and let the system recover itself. Seeking for remedies short of this, is the very worst of folly. It is spending time and money to no purpose, and wasting the vital energies by medicines, which, when they cannot effect good, are only increasing disease and hastening premature death. If, instead of resorting to drug-shops and quack-doctor books, men would see that all violations of natural law were put away, so that no embarrassment should oppress Nature, they would not only save themselves from a vast waste of money, but from many a ruined constitution and loss of life, which silver and gold cannot replace.HHTL 150.3

    Oh, what consummate fools some people are! If we recommend them a book on the laws of health, they will call it quackery, a catchpenny, or a humbug. Or, if we tell them at the bedside, that all they really need is abstinence from disobedience to some law of health — that they do not need drugs — they will think us ignoramuses, and probably send for some doctor, so destitute of skill or honesty, that he will abundantly gratify them with medicines. The efforts of an honest man they cannot appreciate; but the man who will furnish them with a doctor book, promising to show them how to cure themselves with medicines — the man who will really humbug for money — they will regard as a benefactor to the race. The man who will make a display of powders and drops which are only preparing them to drop into the grave, is at once reckoned one of the most skillful doctors of the age.HHTL 151.1

    The man who has not moral courage to repel the temptations which such ignorance furnishes, is not fit for the profession. The man who will seek a reputation at the peril of community, has not that degree of honesty which could prepare him for a station of such responsibility. He is obtaining money under false pretences, and even bartering the life that has been intrusted to his hands, for paltry gain. Nay; he is worse than a highway robber and murderer. He meets you, not in bold frank attitude of his real character, as does the highwayman, letting you understand at once your danger and need of preparation for defence, but comes to you in the meanest hyprocrisy, pretending to be devoted to the cause of humanity and the relief of human suffering, while he is willing to let you go on in your course of self-destruction; and then, instead of seeking to show you wherein you have departed from Nature’s path, and turn you back into it again, will deal out needless drugs for money and a reputation, which push you into the grave.HHTL 151.2

    Considering the ignorance of the people and their fondness for drugs — the abundance of quackery and the contingencies attending the administration of all medical agents — the increased indifference of the people toward the laws of health because there are plenty of doctors and medicine on hand — it is pretty safe to conclude, setting aside the benefits of skillful surgery, that the standard of health and longevity would be far above its present position, if no medicines had ever been known in the land, and not a physician had ever set foot upon its soil. The existence of medicines and physicians will probably continue to do more harm than good, until the friends of humanity will take more interest in diffusing among the people a knowledge of the laws of the human system which relate to practical life, and the people themselves shall wake up to their own highest earthly interests in this matter, and those of their rising posterity. Then, and not till then, probably, will doctors and the medicines become, on the whole, blessings to community.HHTL 151.3

    The second step toward the cure of disease is effectedHHTL 152.1

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