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Health, or, How to Live

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    DRUGS

    Hygienic medication — commonly called Water-Cure, Hydropathy, Hygeopathy, or more properly Hygeio-Therapy — is based on the fundamental principle that all curative virtue is inherent in the living organism; and that all that remedial agents can or should do, is to supply favorable conditions for the successful exertion of that power. Those conditions can never be supplied by the administration of drug-poisons, which are themselves incompatible with living structures, and which only cure (or rather change) one disease by producing another. They are found in such materials and influences as the organism uses in its normal state; not in such things as it rejects. Food, water, air, light, temperature, exercise and rest, sleep, clothing, electricity, passional influences, etc., are necessary and useful to, and usable by, the living system, in its state of health; and they constitute, also, its proper materia medica in all its conditions of disease.HHTL 155.2

    So far from being a “one-ideaism” — as many charge, who regard the system as literally a Water-Cure, and cold water at that — Hygienic medication embraces all the useful things in the world — every curative agent in the universe. It adopts whatever nature appropriates, and discards only what nature rejects. The “one-ideaism” is all on the other side. The term may well be retorted upon those whose remedial agents are, whatever nature abhors and rebels against, and whose only idea of a medicine is an animal, vegetable, or mineral poison.HHTL 155.3

    The system of the healing art which I advocate and practice, not only repudiates all the remedies of the drug schools, but denies the philosophy on which their employment is predicated. It charges their practice with being destructive, and their theory with being false. It ignores all the fundamental premises of all drug-medical systems, and declares the truth to be the exact contrary of what they teach.HHTL 155.4

    To illustrate: it is taught in all their books and schools, that nature has provided remedies for diseases in the things outside of the domain of organic life. The truth is exactly the contrary. Nature has provided penalties — and among them sickness — as the consequences of disobedience to organic law; but she has not provided remedies to do away the penalties!HHTL 156.1

    It is also taught, in all their books and schools, that disease is an entity, a thing foreign to the living organism, and an enemy to the life-principle. The truth is exactly the contrary. Disease is the life-principle itself at war with an enemy. It is the defender and protector of the living organism. It is a process of purification. It is an effort to remove foreign and offensive materials from the system, and to repair the damages the vital machinery has sustained. It is remedial effort. Disease, therefore, is not a foe to be subdued, or “cured,” or killed; but a friendly office, to be directed and regulated. And every attempt to cure or subdue disease with drug-poisons, is nothing more nor less than a war on the human constitution.HHTL 156.2

    It is further taught, in all the books and schools of the drug-systems, that medicines have specific relations to the various parts, organs, or structures of the living system; that they possess an inherent power to “elect” or “select” the part or organ on which to make an impression; and that, in virtue of this “special” “elective” or “selective” affinity, certain medicines act on the stomach, others on the bowels, others on the liver, others on the brain, others on the skin, others on the kidneys, etc. This absurd notion is the groundwork of the classification of the materia medica into emetics, cathartics, colagogues, narcotics and nervines, diaphoretics, diuretics, etc. Now the truth is exactly the contrary. So far from there being any such ability on the part of the dead, inert drug — any “special affinity” between a poison and living tissue — the relation between them is one of absolute and eternal antagonism. The drugs do not act at all. All the action is on the part of the living organism. And it ejects, rejects, casts out, expels, as best it can, by vomiting, purging, sweating diuresis, etc., these drug-poisons; and the doctors have mistaken this warfare against their medicines for their action on the living system.HHTL 156.3

    The treatment of diseases with drugs ever was, now is, and always must be, uncertain and dangerous experimentation. It never was and never can be reduced to reliable practical rules. An art is the application of the principles of a science to specific results. And a science is an arrangement of ascertained principles in their normal order and relations. These principles constitute the premises of the system which is made up of the science and the art. But in medicine according to the philosophy of all the drug schools, every one of its fundamental premises is false; hence its science is false, and its practice must be false also.HHTL 157.1

    On the contrary, the treatment of diseases with normal or Hygienic agencies and materials is founded on the demonstrable laws of physiology, and reducible to fixed and invariable rules of practice, and it affords the data for a true Medical Science and a successful Healing Art.HHTL 157.2

    Wherever and by whomsoever this system is understood, it is adopted. Just so fast as people become thoroughly acquainted with it, they abandon all the systems of drug-medication. Thenceforth they have very little need of the physician, and never patronize the quack. They will not be killed by regular, nor imposed upon by irregular, physicians.HHTL 157.3

    But an imperfect and superficial acquaintance with its fundamental principles causes many persons to err in the management of its agents and processes. The scarcity of properly educated Hygeio-Therapeutic physicians, and the incompetency and charlatanism of some who assume the title of Water-Cure doctors, have rendered it necessary, for the great majority who approve our system, to be their own physicians. Very few of them, however, have time, opportunity, and inclination to study our larger works; and for the benefit of such I have arranged this little tract. Attention to the rules and principles herein stated and briefly illustrated will, I am confident, enable any person of ordinary tact and judgment to manage all ordinary maladies successfully, and to avoid doing any very serious injury in any case.HHTL 157.4

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