The condition known as a “cold” is characterized by inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose and throat; there also may be inflammation of the membrane lining the nasal sinuses, the larynx, the pharynx, or the bronchial tubes.
There is a profuse flow of mucus, initially thin and watery, gradually becoming thicker and whitish or greenish. The nasal lining thickens and interferes with breathing.
There may be a temporary loss of smell and taste. Often there is a raw, sore throat with a flow of mucus from this membrane, a husky voice, and a cough. The eyes and ears may become involved. The person feels miserable, and may have a fever, often a headache.
A disease that can be aborted to 24 to 48 hours lasts for weeks in many cases.
Treatments for colds
Everyone who has had a “cold” (and who hasn’t?) will agree as to the nature of the symptoms, and the misery they cause. But it is almost incredible to realize that the misunderstanding of colds, and the type of treatment commonly employed today, have changed very little in the last few hundred years.
The current medical community admits, that it hasn’t made much progress in its efforts against the common cold. The American Medical Association and doctors at Harvard Medical School say that colds still resist the best efforts of the world’s combined medical research talent.
German scientist Dr. W. Kruse announced in 1914 his discovery that colds were caused by viruses and this was hailed as the first big discovery on colds. After that, research sputtered along, seeking the elusive “cure” that was always just around the corner.
Dr. Robert Muldoon, specialist in virology, and professor of medicine at the University of Illinois, said in 1978, “Disgustingly enough, there is not much new about the, common cold. There really isn’t much you can do to protect yourself from a cold, and there still isn’t anything you can do for it once you get it except to treat the symptoms.” (We beg to contradict him!)
Dr. Muldoon took part in a classic experiment at the university with Dr. George Jackson, showing that exposure to cold temperatures or wet feet do not increase a person’s risk of catching a cold. He said that when a person with a cold sneezes on you, you can expect to receive a direct blast of germs, but your chances of catching his cold are only about one in ten. Dr. Muldoon does not give any explanation as to why he thinks nine out of ten people will not get the cold, even when directly exposed.
A cold research establishment in England has been working for twenty-five years to find a definite cause for the common cold. Everything they have tried has failed, though they have subjected volunteers to every conceivable circumstance in order to find some pattern or combination of factors which produce a cold.
Notwithstanding these conclusions (that no one knows the causes of colds)—I must insist that the causes of colds are known, and that the proper method of dealing with a cold has been known for many years. As long ago as 1873, Dr. Robert Walter said, “A cold is simply an effort of the system to relieve itself of its accumulated waste particles.”
Failure of the medical community to find the cause of colds is due to the fact that researchers are looking for something that isn’t there. No cure for the common cold has ever been found by the researchers for an excellent reason: the cold itself is the “cure.”
When the state of nervous energy is lowered, excretion, elimination and digestion are impaired. The two great causes of colds are exhaustion and repletion (surfeit).
When the state of bodily clogging which precedes a cold reaches intolerable proportions, the body organizes for a radical eliminative crisis. The temperature rises, the head and nasal passages become congested, appetite may disappear. The cold may go through various stages of eliminative processes, usually regarded as disease symptoms, instead of being understood as cleansing efforts of the body to unburden the vital organs.
If drugs are used to stop these processes, the body may face a more serious situation later on—perhaps influenza, or pneumonia, or possibly problems with other organs or functions.
We have been taught that colds lay the foundation for other more serious diseases. Rather, they are efforts to prevent the development of more serious conditions. The persistence of the causes, or the drug treatment common today, can lay the foundations for future degenerative pathologies. Chronic disease is due to chronic provocation.
Means of eliminating the accumulations must be employed by the troubled organism. Coughing, sneezing, discharge of mucus, all represent efforts on the part of the body to remove the accumulated unexcreted waste. The symptoms represent part of the remedial process, as the body is striving to maintain or restore the status quo—the homeostasis or physiological equilibrium.
When the body produces symptoms of a cold as vicarious elimination of toxic material which is threatening its survival, we should not even consider suppressing them. Why should we try to check a cough that is necessary to remove an obstruction? Why should we try to dam up in the body the noxious matter that the wisdom of the body has determined must be expelled?
Aspirin is the most commonly used cold remedy. Among so-called “health-minded” people, aspirin is often supplanted by vitamin C. Some people take both aspirin and vitamin C. Antihistamines are commonly used.
Neither “booze,” nor aspirin, nor antihistamines, nor vitamin C (nor anything else) can possibly “cure” a cold. Whatever temporary symptomatic relief they may afford is expiated later by accentuation and prolongation of the symptoms, and by insidious damage to the organism.
The most common “side effect” of aspirin is internal bleeding. Most people who experience slight gastric bleeding are unaware that it is occurring. Many people do experience overt, often serious, effects including burning mouth, throat and stomach; breathing difficulties and congestion; dizziness; lethargy; tinnitus (ringing of the ears); vomiting; a decrease in blood circulation; gastric bleeding, or hemorrhaging serious enough to cause ulceration or anemia, or to be life threatening.
Aspirin also interferes with the prostaglandin system, the body’s key defense against disease-causing elements, and the key to detoxification.
A study by researchers at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland reported that five to ten percent of permanent kidney failure is due to damage by aspirin, acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), and other analgesics (pain killers). I believe this to be a low estimate—Hygienists have been maintaining for years that drugs subject the kidneys (and the liver) to intolerable stress. The report says that taking three aspirin tablets a day for three years causes renal (kidney) disease, and many people are advised to use much more than that as blood thinners for chronic pain or to relieve arthritis and other inflammatory ailments. Dr. William M. Bennett told a National Kidney Foundation seminar that mixtures of drugs appear to cause more kidney damage than each drug alone. Dr. Bennett said it is not uncommon for people to take analgesics daily in the danger-level amounts, sometimes just to “feel good” or for the mild mood-altering qualities they have.
The mood-altering drugs in coffee and tea also have adverse effects on gastric, cardiac and renal function.
Alcohol, aspirin, antihistamines, and all drugs are designed to stop the body from doing what it is trying to do. The drugs form chemical unions with body tissues, fluids and processes, destroy the body’s ability to purify itself, dam up the poisons, and multiply the problems. So-called “natural cures” (herbs, vitamin C, etc.) are also used in an effort to thwart the action of the body.
Some people are under the impression that colds can be prevented or “cured” by megadoses of vitamin C. The publicity generated by Linus Pauling’s research and writings helped to perpetuate this belief. It is particularly unwise to use vitamin C if one is also taking aspirin, because vitamin C tablets intensify the effects of aspirin in the body, such as hemorrhaging and anemia.
It is true that a diet predominating in raw foods is high in vitamin C, and it is also true that such a diet is a good start in not developing disease. But vitamin C supplements are not food (contrary to what vitamin pill advocates are fond of proclaiming). The body’s reaction to their use is indisputable proof that they are just another form of drug. They are recognized by the body as acids and irritants, to be expelled as quickly as possible. Large amounts of vitamin C supplements trigger an extraordinary detoxification effort of the body (just as do garlic, mustard, camomille, etc.), at great cost in vitality and energy. Some of the toxins which made the cold necessary will often be borne out of the body, riding out on the “fast train” the body is using as an emergency measure to rid itself of the even more intolerable vitamin C supplements. The cold symptoms may disappear, due to the concurrent elimination of some of the toxins, but primarily due to the diversion of the attention of the body from the toxins causing the cold, to the more urgent necessity for getting rid of the acids and irritants in the vitamin C pills.
Viktoras Kulvinskas says, “Fighting colds with vitamin C results in acidification of mucus, which prevents its elimination via the respiratory system. It must instead be expelled by the kidney. The overall effect is strain on the kidney.”
The ultimate result of forcing the symptoms “underground” is insidious damage to the organism, and chronic degenerative disease.
Causes of colds
There is nothing mysterious about a cold—it is the body’s own cure for an intolerable condition brought about by the errors and omissions inherent in “civilized living.” Overeating; overconsumption of refined carbohydrates; too few fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables; coffee, tea, chocolate; soft drinks, hard drinks (even copious water drinking); insufficient muscular activity; not enough clean, fresh air; too little rest; excessive stress—the more of these mistakes we commit, the more often our bodies require “colds” or other eliminating crises.
Air-tight homes add to the problem. Modern homes outfitted with double- or triple-glazed windows; air-lock vestibules; weather stripping; insulation and plastic vapor barriers in walls, floors and ceilings make a “residential thermos bottle” which traps dangerous pollutants inside. In older, draftier homes, air is replaced by fresh air about once an hour. In today’s tightly-sealed homes, inside air is replaced only about once every ten hours.”
The net result of “civilized living” is that every cell in the body is filled with and surrounded by waste material, the blood vessels are lined with excesses of food, and the blood itself is overloaded with waste materials and excesses of food. Hygienists call this condition toxemia, and consider this to be the basic cause of disease.
When the cells, tissues and body fluids contain an abnormally high amount of metabolic waste, it is a threat to the organism. When the body reaches its toleration level, it must employ means of eliminating these accumulations.
Since the cells will, at all times, act in their own best interests, individually and cooperatively, they initiate a process to eliminate the wastes and excess food residues. The body speeds up some activities and reduces the level of others. Elimination is accelerated. The increased burning activity of the body in disposing of the excess materials produces greater heat—the body temperature rises and a fever is experienced. Loss of appetite is a self-protective mechanism.
“A cold is an intense and acute activity designed to rapidly, efficiently, and effectively expel accumulated wastes. … It is pure insanity to suppress the symptoms of a cold as is commonly done. … A cold is no more nor less than a period of intense housecleaning.” (Dr. Immerman) People speak of “catching a cold.” People with colds have not “caught” anything—it is just the opposite—they are getting rid of something: they are getting rid of accumulated foul material. A cold is a cleansing, rejuvenating, renovating process.
A cold, or any disease, usually takes a lot of causation. The bodies of most people have taken so much punishment during the time since infancy, their bloodstreams have become so contaminated, that their levels of toleration have gradually increased. A nontoxic, healthy baby (or a truly Hygienic adult) has a relatively uncontaminated bloodstream. Improper feeding of the infant, too little sleep and rest, too much clothing, not enough fresh air and sunshine, results in a retention of toxic material and the baby develops a cold to eliminate wastes in excess of the toleration level.
As the bad habits continue and the child is dosed and drugged and “immunized,” the child’s body gradually learns to tolerate more toxins and will develop fewer eliminative colds and fevers. When bad habits force the system to learn to live with poisons, the waste products remain to damage the body and pave the way for the development of degenerative disease.
When the body has established high toleration levels, a cold does not eliminate all the toxemia—it only brings it down to a level at which the body has become adapted to functioning.
This adaptation is accomplished by the body as a means of preservation of life, since it could not survive the tremendous and constant elimination required by the mode of eating and living or the frequent interference with its remedial processes by drugs and treatments. So it adapts, sacrificing its level of vitality to the necessity for survival. Most physiological adaptations are regressive, as explained in detail in Lesson No. 66. The adaptation is not toward health; it is away from health. But the body has no alternative.
The toleration point can be returned to its pristine low level by fasting and improving the way of life. The toleration level of the average Hygienist has been reduced. The vitality has been restored to a point where the body will no longer tolerate a large toxic load, and may conduct extraordinary elimination at a level that would allow others to continue insulting their bodies. But if a Hygienist perceives the beginnings of cold symptoms, he knows what to do.
How to deal with colds
It is not true that colds are caused by viruses; that there really isn’t anything you can do to not cause a cold; or that there isn’t anything you can do for a cold once you get it except treat the symptoms (admittedly with scant success).
My [T.C.Fry] grandchildren have known what to do about colds since they were just a few years old. They know that the way to avoid colds is to avoid junk foods and overeating; and they know that a cold can be eliminated by withholding food completely when the first symptoms appear. They know that if one fasts for 36 or 48 hours (or, at the most, three days), the symptoms will usually disappear, and it will not be necessary to contend with a seven- to fourteen-day period of suffering nor the organic damage that can be caused to the respiratory organs or other parts of the body by a prolongation of the causes and the symptoms.
Such cooperation with the self-healing power of one’s own body enables the necessary elimination of toxins to proceed with a minimum of discomfort, a procedure which is quickly consummated.
It is not what we eat, but what we digest and assimilate that produces health and strength. Conditions which disturb or impair digestion produce decomposition, thus poisoning the body instead of supplying it with nutritional elements from the food eaten. Whether or not the individual is aware of overt symptoms of such decomposition, insidious damage occurs.
Acute diseases, such as colds, are debilitating, but they are self-limiting. Most people eventually recover without any treatment, or in spite of the treatment. For that reason, almost anything seems to be a “cure.”
When it is fully understood that a cold, or any disease, is body action and not an attack by an external entity, attempts are not instituted to suppress the body’s own defensive and remedial processes.
If the body is allowed to continue its cleansing actions, the person will feel much better afterwards. The only helpful means of aborting or shortening the duration of a cold is through fasting, keeping warm, getting plenty of fresh air and as much bed rest as possible.
This methodology will increase elimination of toxic materials through the regular channels of excretion, and will decrease the necessity for vicarious elimination through the nose, throat, eyes, etc. The headache and fever will subside and the other uncomfortable symptoms will be reduced and gradually disappear.
People who have frequent colds are conducting beneficial and necessary eliminative processes. Other people, equally toxic (or more toxic) may not have the energy to conduct such housecleaning and may, instead, undergo insidious degeneration.
The wise Hygienist will avoid toxemia, and avoid the necessity for so many housecleaning episodes. If such episodes are too frequent, damage to the channels of vicarious elimination will be inevitable.
Dr. Sidhwa says, “It must be pointed out that too frequent use of the same paths of vicarious elimination will lead to atrophy and degeneration of any path of elimination, as well as a gradual wearing down of the strength of the glands themselves. Although disease, especially acute disease, is a life-saving process, it is also a life-consuming process. Frequent stimulation leads to exhaustion, leading to further enervation of the whole system.”
Bacteria and viruses
When the body is undergoing a crisis of elimination, virulent bacteria (or viruses) may become involved as secondary or tertiary factors. The use of drugs may produce mutant, more resistant strains. Edwin W. Schultz, M.D., in an article in the Cyclopedia of Medicine, states, “It is well established that viruses do undergo variations … in virulence, in antigenic structure, and in the character of lesions induced … sometimes of a stable mutation type.”
All the newer knowledge about bacteria and viruses substantiate the Hygienic viewpoint: A healthy body will eliminate virulent or threatening influences, making disease unnecessary. Hygienists understand that disease originates inside the body as a result of poor eating and living habits; of physical, mental and emotional practices which subtly and insidiously weaken the organism.”
The true role of germs is as scavengers, breaking up and consuming dead and dying cells and other debris. Bacteria perform the same function in the toxic body as they do everywhere in nature.
Viruses, which the medical profession has been incriminating more and more as the cause of so many diseases, are not even living entities in the same sense as bacteria. Bacteria are microorganisms which have the ability to act. A Virus on the other hand, is not a living entity.
The poisonous materials called viruses have no existence apart from a living organism. They are actually the debris of spent cells—the genetic material or nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) from these spent cells. Viruses are in no sense alive, nor do they have any ability to act, but their presence in the body is as toxic as any other retained body waste material, favoring the surfacing and multiplication of bacteria.
Actually, humans live symbiotically with bacteria. We adapt to, and are dependent on, bacterial flora. Health and disease are not antagonistic to each other. Disease does not attack the body, but rather is produced by it as a means of restoring health.
There are no “disease-producing” bacteria, germs, microbes, bacilli or viruses. It is the environment—the host—the disease condition—that determines the type of bacteria that proliferate. The germ does not produce the disease. The disease produces the germ by changing nontoxic bacteria into toxic bacteria in a septic environment.
During the early stages of a cold, the nasal secretions are completely void of bacteria. None are found in the thin watery secretion the first two or three days of the cold. When the thick purulent secretion begins, then pneumococci, staphylococci, or streptococci make their appearance.
Dr. Vetrano says, “Since bacteria are so conspicuously absent at the beginning of a cold, another cause had to be found. The unpopular idea that a person could change his life habits and not develop colds was too preposterous to entertain. The virus saved the day.” People don’t have to change their ways of life as long as they believe their colds are caused because they “picked up” a very malignant virus.
She adds, “Volunteers, we are told, developed colds when infected by filtrates of nose and throat washings from those who had colds. A poison, a virus is a poison, or any foreign agent, in contact with the nasal mucous membranes, occasions inflammation, rhinorrhea (running of the nose) redness and swelling, and fever in children. An example of which you can perform yourself, is to run a match stick up into the nostril. The nose will begin to run, sneezing will commence, and if kept there longer inflammation will develop to rid the body of the foreign agent.”
“When viruses are injected to cause colds in “susceptible” invidividuals, it must be remembered that only certain individuals develop symptoms of coryza, and that the great numbers of viruses present are treated as foreign agents and expelled by the only method the nose knows—inflammation and sneezing.”
A summation by Dr. Vetrano is concise and eloquent: “Colds develop and are not ‘caught.’ Bacteria and viruses have nothing to do with the development of coryza. They may be complicating features or function as saprophytes feeding on the debris. They arrive on the scene when tissues and fluids are abnormal and survive as long as the tissues remains abnormal. They help clean up the debris. Our enervating way of life is the true cause of colds.”
Why More Colds Develop in Cold Weather
Colds may develop at any time of the year, but the summer months show fewer colds because most people get more fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, and commonly eat less. The first colds of early winter are not “caught” from someone else with a cold but develop in those most susceptible because of the way they have been living and eating. The added stress of cold temperatures further checks elimination, adds to the general toxemia and enervated condition, and precipitates a crisis.
Leslie Thomson says, “To many people a ‘chill’ and a ‘cold’ are almost synonymous. It is an easy error, all the more so because it is not a complete fallacy; rather it is a seriously misplaced emphasis. Many people do develop a cold after an unpleasant incident in bad weather, but one should ask a few questions. In most cases the feelings of chill and the development of a cold are only different aspects—or successive stages—of a bodily springcleaning. When the body reaches a state in which retained wastes seriously impede normal vital functioning, the process has been so slow that the individual is only dimly aware of being substandard. Then some circumstance presents his system with an unusual challenge and the tolerance of his vital system is exceeded.” There is an inability to keep warm because the normal physical and chemical processes are so retarded that the heart is unable to maintain adequately free circulation. The body must, and does, organize for a thorough cleansing and rejuvenating “crisis”—uncomfortable, to be sure—but necessary—and eminently worthwhile. If no stupid interference occurs, “this wonderfully complex process achieves in a few days a massive ejection of waste and a burning up of combustible rubbish.”
Types of Influenza
Influenza often starts out like a simple cold. Sometimes the first symptoms are vigorous, and arrive without warning,. Suddenly the patient may suffer from fever, nausea, vomiting, severe neuritic pain, severe inflammation, general muscular aching, or other distressing or violent symptoms.
Leslie Thomson (son of Dr. James C. Thomson) describes the four main types of flu. No matter how novel the identifying names given by epidemiologists or immunologists, any particular case consists of either one of these types, or a combination of two or more.
Respiratory, which starts off with violent, paroxysmal coughing.
Gastro-Intestinal – nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are the immediate indications.
Nervous – headache of unusual severity, often concomitant with pains in neck, chest and upper abdomen. Depression and sleeplessness are common accompaniments.
Febrile – quite intense fever, sometimes accompanied by disorientation, to the extent of delirium. In this form, it is imperative that no nourishment whatever be given to the patient until the fever has subsided.
Leslie Thomson says that how individuals have lived, and the relative strength of the various vital organs—the individual physical makeup and the inherited temperament—are dominant and significant in determining the type and severity of the flu episode. Nobody needs to be “infected” by anyone else to develop flu. Flu is something which originates and is directed within the individual system.
Dealing with Influenza
A couple of days or more of bed rest with nothing taken in except sips of water, is all that is necessary. Plenty of fresh air should be provided, but chilling should be carefully avoided. No attempt should be made to bring down the temperature by prolonged cold bathing, or by applying ice packs, or alcohol, which can be a dangerous interference in the body’s processes.
After perhaps forty-eight hours, if the temperature is more or less normal, fresh fruit or small quantities of green salad may be offered. But the patient must continue to rest. There might be a second phase in a few days, during which food should again be withheld or reduced to a minimum. The patient should continue to rest in bed until the fever and shakiness have cleared.
If one must vomit, or experience diarrhea, to remove irritants and morbid matter from the body, it is the height of folly to try to block it. The body does not go to the trouble of initiating these modifications in its activities unless they are essential for survival.
Some waste is directly transferred from the bloodstream through the walls of the intestines into the alimentary canal, and then eliminated via vomiting and diarrhea. Violent diarrhea and vomiting rapidly clear the digestive tract so that it can be temporarily put to rest, and repair, rejuvenation and cleansing are accelerated. To eat while experiencing the flu is sheer insanity.
The heat of spontaneously-induced fever is produced for the purpose of acceleration of cell activity When the organism perceives that this is necessary. When there is an emergency, the metabolism is accelerated by increasing the amount of heat available. This is controlled by the hypothalamus, which is sort of a human thermostat.
Metabolism consists of the absorption of nutrients and the excretion of wastes. The heat is necessary to accelerate the excretion of wastes which have accumulated beyond the body’s ability to tolerate them, and beyond the body’s ability to eliminate without some extraordinary modification. Heat acts as a catalyst which causes the toxins to liquefy and pass into the bloodstream, where they are transported to the organs of elimination, and thus out of the body.
Herbert M. Shelton said, “Fever is a necessary increase in body temperature designed to enable the body, or some part or parts of it, to effectively meet and destroy some foe of life that is threatening the body and to repair damages.”
Eugene F. Du Bois, professor of Physiology at Cornell, University, in his monograph on fever, stated that antipyretics were abandoned in the early part of this century (although later their use was revived). Cold-tubbing in typhoid was also abandoned. Du Bois said, “Clinicians began to regard high temperature as helpful. This belief was strengthened by the realization that many pathogenic organisms (germs and viruses) were inhibited or killed at temperatures that could be tolerated by the human body.” The metabolism and chemical reactions of the body, including enzyme activity, are accelerated by a rise in temperature, thus enhancing the healing process. When fasting is employed during a fever, the metabolism and healing process are even more dramatically multiplied.
Both vaccinations and medications not only add more poison to the already overburdened system, they frustrate nature’s attempts to help you, and they prolong and intensify your miseries. In addition, they both Have the more insidious quality of increasing your susceptibility and vulnerability to future chronic and degenerative diseases.
Hygienists live to have health, not to prevent certain specific diseases. Good health is immunity against influenza and all diseases. Microorganisms only surface when there is a job for them to do—they help to clean up the debris created by atrocious diet and living habits.
Herbert Shelton said, “It is unfortunate that our seasons of good will and festivities are always seasons of overeating (commonly also of drinking), so that they are followed almost inevitably by colds, coughs, ‘flu,’ and more severe illness. Beginning with the orgy of Thanksgiving, extending through the revelry of Christmas and ending with the bacchanalia of New Year’s, our periods of festivity not only result in hundreds of deaths and much mayhem on the highways, but in more suffering and death from indulgence and excess. More bronchitis follows such indulgences than ever follows exposure. Those who are more moderate in indulgence, those who are least enervated and least toxemic escape the evolution of crises at these times, but often, they escape by the ‘skin of their teeth.’ “
I would like to add that some recent stats show that most diseases increase during the winter and are lower during the summer, both chronic and infectious diseases. (strokes, absence rates)
If we accept the theory of toxemia, this fact makes sense, because in winter the life conditions are worse: low temperatures, low physical activity outside, low sunlight exposure, closed windows in buildings, … and the food and drink excesses during Christmas and New Year festivities add to the problem.
On the other side, what is the rational of germs being more virulent during winter, when all life beings are less active because of low temperatures?
Concerning epidemies, they could be explaining according to Natural Hygiene because people that live in the same area are exposed to the same enervating agents: weather and temperature; toxics in the air, water and food; traditions and festivities; political, economic and social problems; etc. In the same way, in a school all children breath the same air; drink the same water and eat the same food; as well as it is shared in a family. These are the elements that determine the contagion.
We don’t know for sure which is the correct theory concerning the responsible of colds and flus: germ theory or toxemia theory. I’m more inclined to the last approach.
In any case, it must be accepted that following a good nutrition and life style the colds and flus are almost inexistent, be it because we are stronger to “fight” against germs or because our body doesn’t need to do a cleaning process.