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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    THE hour for Health Study, on Thursday, was principally occupied in answering questions, among which were the following:—GCB February 17, 1895, page 194.8

    Question. — What is the effect of singing soon after eating?GCB February 17, 1895, page 194.9

    Answer. — Excellent; deep breathing after eating is one of the best means of relieving “heaviness” of the stomach, and is exceedingly helpful to digestion.GCB February 17, 1895, page 194.10

    Question. — Is it harmful to a weak stomach to eat milk and vegetables together?GCB February 17, 1895, page 194.11

    Answer. — It is apt to be. Most vegetables are difficult of digestion. For instance, it takes cabbage five hours to digest, while milk, under right conditions, will digest in one hour; but if both are in the stomach at the same time, the milk will be retained until the cabbage is digested, and is apt to sour. Milk is not the best food for adults anyway. Fruit, grains, and nuts are much better.GCB February 17, 1895, page 194.12

    Question. — Do you recommend bicarbonate of soda in case of sour stomach?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.1

    Answer. — Where the trouble is due not to fermentation, but to too much acid in the fluids of the stomach, as in hyperpepsia, bicarbonate of soda is good as a palliative.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.2

    Question. — Why is it unhealthful to eat between meals?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.3

    Answer. — The stomach is a muscle and a gland, and needs rest as well as any other part of the body. If one eats between meals, the stomach is liable to become dilated. The number of meals one should eat depends upon the kind of food and the kind of stomach. Two meals a day is the most natural plan. There should be at least seven hours between meals, if the diet is bread, fruit, and vegetables.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.4

    Question. — Can food be of such quality and taken in such proportion that one who has a good appetite and yet is habitually thin in flesh, will flesh up?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.5

    Answer. — Yes, if you have a poor stomach and a poor liver, you cannot gain in flesh; first of all, get good digestion, then eat wholesome food.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.6

    Question. — Is it best, when nursing a patient who is sleeping well, to wake him to give him medicine?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.7

    Answer. — It is not a good thing to waken him up to give him medicine, nor a very good thing to give him medicine when he is awake, for that matter.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.8

    Question. — Why don’t we have consumption and diphtheria, if the germs are nearly always present?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.9

    Answer. — For the reasons given in a previous lesson, that the body is ever resisting and destroying them. The reason we take disease at all is because the powers of resistance are lessened so that the germs are too many for us, and we fall a prey to consumption or some other disease. We may be brought down to this state gradually by bad habits, or suddenly by some great strain upon the system, as by loss of sleep, overwork, or as is more often the case, by eating too much.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.10

    Question. — I was once made deathly sick by eating stale salt-rising bread; please explain.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.11

    Answer. — The bread was probably slightly decayed. It, and other fermented breads, contain quantities of germs, as the baking only kills those on the outside. The stale bread had a greatly increased number of germs. The bread should be made into zwieback, or twice-baked.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.12

    Question. — Must water be digested?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.13

    Answer. — No; it is absorbed at once, as is air.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.14

    Question. — Would the intestines be liable to get sore and out of order if a person ate his food mostly in a liquid state?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.15

    Answer. — Intestinal digestion will go on perfectly, providing the digestion is started right in the first place. If the part of digestion over which we have control, that in the mouth, is done properly, the stomach will do its part, and the intestines will do their part. It is only the part that is under our control that is apt to go wrong. The way to cure intestinal indigestion is to begin with the mouth and the stomach. Imperfect mastication of food is one of the principal causes of intestinal digestion.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.16

    Question. — Would you advise a very feeble person to take a cold bath on rising in the morning?GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.17

    Answer. — No. The way to tell the proper temperature for you is to try it. If feeble, begin with a temperature of about 80 degrees, and use colder water as you are able.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.18

    I will tell you how you can take a cold bath even when there are but few conveniences. Take a towel, wet one end of it; rub the face, then one arm, then the chest; then dry, rubbing rapidly with the dry part of the towel. Then wet the towel again and rub the other arm and the back, dry quickly. Apply the moist towel to the whole surface of the body in a similar way. The cold bath is not for cleanliness, but for the circulation. The whole time occupied in taking the cold bath should not be more than half a minute to two minutes. The vigor of the bath may be regulated by the amount of moisture in the towel. If the water is too cold, wring the towel very dry. It is then quickly warmed by the skin, so unpleasant effects are not produced. A person who has not been accustomed to cold bathing must gradually educate himself to tolerate cold water and to enjoy it, beginning with moderately warm water, say 75 degrees to 80 degrees, applying it with a towel, gradually becoming accustomed to cold water until a cold shower bath will be actually enjoyed and will be found beneficial. The cold bath, by increasing the resistance of the body through bringing into activity the blood in the circulation, is one of the most efficient means by which we may be enabled to resist disease. If after a cold bath you have a headache, and are chilly for a long time, or feel exhausted, the bath was too cold or too prolonged. Use a higher temperature next time and make the bath shorter in duration; or, perhaps, apply the water to the upper part of the body, or the arms and chest only, gradually increasing the surface covered as a tolerance is established.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.19

    Some of you get up in the morning with the headache, you feel stupid, dull of comprehending; you think you are overworking; you feel discouraged, that you are backsliding, you are getting into a cold state spiritually. No doubt this is all true. One of the ways of helping yourself out of this state is to get rid of the fogs in your brain by exercise in the open air and the daily cold bath. One should exercise every day enough to induce vigorous perspiration.GCB February 17, 1895, page 195.20

    Don’t take a cold bath when you are tired out, because there may not be a reaction so you will warm up after the bath, and you may have a chill.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.1

    Question. — How soon after eating is it well to begin work or study?GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.2

    Answer. — It is better not to do any very hard work immediately after eating.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.3

    Question. — Tell us something about eggs.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.4

    Answer. — Eggs are very digestible when properly fresh, but they are very liable to be stale or sick. After an egg dies it very soon decays. In hot weather, eggs will not keep perfectly fresh for more than three or four days, unless kept on ice. Eggs from fowls allowed to feed upon dead animals or compost heaps are unfit for food. Eggs are certainly not the most wholesome food.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.5

    Question. — Are nuts good food, and will they take the place of meat and butter?GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.6

    Answer. — Yes, providing they are well masticated. If thoroughly chewed, nuts digest readily and do not ferment. They are the most nourishing of all food products. Some nuts, as the peanut, contain twice as much beefsteak as an equal quantity of beefsteak itself, and without the objectionable features of beefsteak. The best nuts to be eaten raw are pecans, hickory nuts, English walnuts, filberts, and almonds. Chestnuts are an excellent food and are largely used by the natives of Italy. They are best roasted or boiled. Peanuts are not very digestible when roasted, but when boiled for ten or twelve hours become exceedingly palatable, wholesome, and digestible. They are largely used as food in some countries.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.7

    Question. — What is the cause of a bad taste in the mouth every morning?GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.8

    Answer. — Germs, a big supper, or a big dinner, that did not digest, and has been attacked by germs. A diet of fruits and nuts for a week or two would probably give relief. The use of milk sometimes produces a coated tongue and a bad taste in the mouth. Milk is not the most wholesome food for adults on account of the shape of the stomach, which, in adults, differs from that in infants in such a way that the food is retained a much longer time in the stomach. The reason for this is that fruits and grains, such foods as are suitable for adults, must be longer retained in the stomach to be prepared for their digestion in the intestines, whereas milk being chiefly digested in the intestines, in the infant remains in the stomach but a short time. Being too long retained in the stomach, especially when the stomach is dilated, or has a pouch in it, a condition of things not uncommon and almost universal among dyspeptics, the milk decomposes, producing the condition commonly called “biliousness.”GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.9

    I wish to give some extracts from Sister White’s writings, which I hope may be carefully studied and followed:—GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.10


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    Neglecting to exercise the entire body, or a portion of it, will bring on morbid conditions. Inaction of any of the organs of the body will be followed by a decrease in size and strength of the muscles, and will cause the blood to flow sluggishly through the blood vessels. — “Testimonies,” Vol. 3, p.76.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.11

    In some cases, want of exercise causes the bowels and muscles to become enfeebled and shrunken, and these organs that have become enfeebled for want of use will be strengthened by exercise. — “Testimonies,” Vol. 3, p.78.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.12

    The studied habit of shunning the air and avoiding exercise, closes the pores, — the little mouths through which the body breathes, — making it impossible to throw off impurities through that channel. The burden of labor is thrown upon the liver, lungs, kidneys, etc., and these internal organs are compelled to do the work of the skin. — Vol. 2, p.524.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.13

    More people die for want of exercise than through over fatigue; very many more rust out than wear out. — Vol. 2, p.526.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.14


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    By it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved. — Vol. 3, p.78.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.15

    If physical exercise were combined with mental exertion, the blood would be quickened in its circulation, the action of the heart would be more perfect, impure matter would be thrown off, and new life and vigor would be experienced in every part of the body. — Vol. 3, p.490.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.16

    Judicious exercise would induce the blood to the surface, and thus relieve the internal organs. Brisk, yet not violent exercise in the open air, with cheerfulness of spirits, will promote the circulation, giving a healthful glow to the skin, and sending the blood, vitalized by the pure air, to the extremities. The diseased stomach will find relief by exercise. — Vol. 2, p.530.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.17

    Not only will the organs of the body be strengthened by exercise, but the mind will also acquire strength and knowledge through the action of those organs. — Vol. 3, p.77.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.18

    To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, and exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. — Vol. 2, p.530.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.19


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    Disease never comes without a cause. The way is first prepared and disease invited by disregarding the laws of health. — “How to Live,” 5:70. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health, and make no effort to prevent disease. — “How to Live,” 4:61.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.20


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    God requires purity of heart and personal cleanliness now as when he gave the special directions to the children of Israel. If God was so particular to enjoin cleanliness upon those journeying in the wilderness, who were in the open air most of the time, he requires no less of us who live in ceiled houses, where impurities are more observable, and have a more unhealthful influence. “Spiritual Gifts,” Vol. 4, 128. Dwellings, if possible, should be built upon high and dry ground. If the house be built where waters settle around it, remaining for a time and then drying away, a poisonous miasma rises, and fever and ague, sore throat, lung disease, and fever will be the result. — “How to Live,” 4:64.GCB February 17, 1895, page 196.21


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    I have seen in many houses where the best rooms were kept closed by blinds and curtains, so that not a ray of sunshine could brighten, gladden, and purify the rooms, from the commencement of the week to the close. These choice, closed rooms, deprived of the health-giving rays of the sun, seemed like damp cellars. — Health Reformer, April, 1871.GCB February 17, 1895, page 197.1

    If rooms are closed even one day.... no one should be invited to occupy them until they have been thoroughly ventilated and the rays of the sun freely admitted. This is the only way rooms can be kept free from impurities. — Ibid.GCB February 17, 1895, page 197.2

    Shall we close our houses, and exclude from them the light which God had pronounced good? — Ibid.GCB February 17, 1895, page 197.3

    Go out into the light and warmth of the glorious sun, you pale and sickly ones, and share with vegetation its life-giving, healing power.” — Health Reformer, May, 1871.GCB February 17, 1895, page 197.4

    As a parting word, my friends, allow me to say that I wish I could induce every one of you to take these things that the Lord has given us, and read up everything that pertains to health. You will find a regular encyclopedia on health. You will find more on this question than upon any other one subject. That means something. It means that the Lord wants to make of this people a strong, vigorous, healthy people just as he did of the children of Israel. He has placed before us the fact that the times before us will try our bodies as well as our minds, and he wants to get us ready by developing our powers of resistance to disease so we shall be able to stand; and the development of our moral and physical powers naturally go together.GCB February 17, 1895, page 197.5

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