Food Remedies - Facts About Foods And Their Medicinal Uses

FOODS AND THEIR MEDICINAL USES

While there is life—and fruit—there is hope. When this truth is realised by the laity nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand professors of the healing art will be obliged to abandon their profession and take to fruit-growing for a living.

Many people have heard vaguely of the "grape cure" for diseases arising from over-feeding, and the lemon cure for rheumatism, but for the most part these "cures" remain mere names. Nevertheless it is almost incredible to the uninitiated what may be accomplished by the abandonment for a time of every kind of food in favour of fruit. Of course, such a proceeding should not be entered upon in a careless or random fashion. Too sudden changes of habit are apt to be attended with disturbances that discourage the patient, and cause him to lose patience and abandon the treatment without giving it a fair trial. In countries where the "grape cure" is practised the patient starts by taking one pound of grapes each day, which quantity is gradually increased until he can consume six pounds. As the quantity of grapes is increased that of the ordinary food is decreased, until at last the patient lives on nothing but grapes. I have not visited a "grape cure" centre in person, but I have read that it is not only persons suffering from the effects of over-feeding who find salvation in the "grape cure," but that consumptive patients thrive and even put on weight under it.

The Herald of Health stated, some few years back, that in the South of France where the "grape cure" is practised consumptive patients are fed on grapes alone, and become quite strong and well in a year or two. And I have myself known wonderful cures to follow on the adoption of a fruitarian dietary in cases of cancer, tumour, gout, eczema, all kinds of inflammatory complaints, and wounds that refused to heal.

H. Benjafield, M.B., writing in the Herald of Health, says: "Garrod, the great London authority on gout, advises his patients to take oranges, lemons, strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, etc. Tardieu, the great French authority, maintains that the salts of potash found so plentifully in fruits are the chief agents in purifying the blood from these rheumatic and gouty poisons.... Dr. Buzzard advises the scorbutic to take fruit morning, noon, and night. Fresh lemon juice in the form of lemonade is to be his ordinary drink; the existence of diarrhœa should be no reason for withholding it." The writer goes on to show that headache, indigestion, constipation, and all other complaints that result from the sluggish action of bowels and liver can never be cured by the use of artificial fruit salts and drugs.

Salts and acids as found in organised forms are quite different in their effects to the products of the laboratory, notwithstanding that the chemical composition may be shown to be the same. The chemist may be able to manufacture a "fruit juice," but he cannot, as yet, manufacture the actual fruit. The mysterious life force always evades him. Fruit is a vital food, it supplies the body with something over and above the mere elements that the chemist succeeds in isolating by analysis. The vegetable kingdom possesses the power of directly utilising minerals, and it is only in this "live" form that they are fit for the consumption of man. In the consumption of sodium chloride (common table salt), baking powders, and the whole army of mineral drugs and essences, we violate that decree of Nature which ordains that the animal kingdom shall feed upon the vegetable and the vegetable upon the mineral.

Written BY

C. W. DANIEL
11 CURSITOR STREET, E.C.
LONDON

1908

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rhubarb.

Rhubarb is a wholesome and cooling spring vegetable, and may well take the place of cooked fruit when the latter is scarce. But it is generally forbidden to rheumatic and gouty patients on account of its oxalic acid. This oxalic acid is supposed to combine with the lime in the blood of the gouty person, and to form crystals of oxalate of lime, which are eliminated by the kidneys. At the same time the general health suffers. "Dr. Prout," writes Dr. Fernie, "says he has seen well-marked instances in which an oxalate of lime kidney attack has followed the use of garden rhubarb in a tart or pudding, likewise of sorrel in a salad, particularly when at the same time the patient has been drinking hard water. But chemists explain that oxalates may be excreted in the urine without having necessarily been a constituent, as such, of vegetable or other foods taken at table, seeing that citric, malic, and other organic acids which are found distributed throughout the vegetable world are liable to chemical conversion into oxalic acid through a fermentation or perverted digestion."

I think the moral of the above is: "Do not drink hard water." Especially do not cook fruit and vegetables in hard water. They are nearly always rendered indigestible by such a process, and "vegetarianism," not the hard water, is often blamed for the sufferings of the consumers.

Rhubarb is apt to be over-valued as a "spring medicine" on account of its association with the Turkey rhubarb of materia medica. It should be thoroughly ripe before eating.

I am not recommending Turkey rhubarb.