COLDS: (rhinitis, coryza) represent processes of vicarious elimination. They are not caused by cold feet, damp air, night air, exposure to cold, eating your gruel out of a damp bowl, exposure to heat, etc., nor are they caused by germs.
The two great causes of colds are repletion and exhaustion. Anything and everything that tends to tax and lower the vital or nervous powers, impairs digestion, checks elimination and tends to bring on disease.
Repletion or plethora, (overeating with surcharged blood vessels) tends to overtax the functions of life, poison the body and necessitates a process of compensatory elimination, which is disease.
Eating when exhausted, when worried, or over excited, or under any similar circumstance, when the digestive powers are low, also poisons the body and calls for an unusual house-cleaning process.
Excesses of sugar, starch and milk are the chief causes of colds and other catarrhal conditions.
We do not "catch" colds; we develop them within ourselves. The cold, per se, is a life saving measure, a process of elimination.
Many so-called diseases begin with a cold and others develop after recurring colds and this has given rise to the theory that colds prepare the way for "other diseases;" that they weaken the body and prepare it for attack by some other and more virulent disease. Nothing can be farther from the truth. If the prevailing theory that colds and other so-called diseases are due to germs is correct, there seems to be no reason why the less virulent germs (of colds) must first break down the resistance of the body before the more virulent germs (of infantile paralysis, measles, tuberculosis, etc.) can cause disease therein.
I do not accept the germ theory and I have no patience with those who use this superstition as a means of frightening people out of their wits. Mr. Harter, of the Defensive Diet League, lists an array of troubles which, he says are "all spread by what is technically known as 'spray infection,' " and that the "common cold" is responsible for "a tremenduous amount of sickness and many fatalities" from these diseases. He says "The germ laden spray from such a person carries up to five feet when he talks or laughs; up to ten feet when he coughs or sneezes without covering his nose and mouth with handkerchief, or mask or hand. Venture within five or ten foot limits unprotected at your own peril." This is just voodooism.
The germ theory is a theory of chance and lawlessness. We are here by accident. How we managed to escape annihilation, during the ages of ignorance and stupidity that elapsed before Louis Pasteur came upon the scene, is inexplicable. Without bacteriologists and serologists we would all soon perish.
The medical profession is satisfied to have every disease caused by a germ and in those diseases for which a germ has not been discovered, the profession assumes that germs cause them just the same and treat these conditions accordingly. Assuming the truth of this theory, there are several important questions that need answering. Dr. Tilden has well put them as follows:
"What prevents sporadic cases of disease from kindling endemics? And why do not endemics create epidemics? And epidemics create pandemics? Why is it that in families of children one or two may have diphtheria, scarlet fever, or typhoid fever, and no other member of the family takes the disease? Thc answer may be that as soon as the disease breaks out those who are not sick are rendered immune. But I must meet this statement with the very stubborn fact that this was true before the alleged discovery of immunization; and it is as true of scarlet fever today as in all past time. It must not be forgotten that the germ of scarlet fever has not yet been discovered; hence its cure and prevention are still in the maze of obscurity. But, in spite of this fact, scarlet fever has declined as rapidly, if not more tepidly, than diphtheria, which disease has been almost entirely wiped out by the great discoveries in the line of immunization."
Coming back to colds, instead of laying us liable to "other diseases," they tend just the other way. That condition of the body that makes the cold, or a series of colds necessary, may and often does, due to the persistence of its causes, demand other forms of eliminating crises (disease) to remedy. But tuberculosis no more develops out of a cold than the hair on a man's face develops out of the hair of his head. A cold may be and usually is part of an acute disease, like measles or scarlet fever, and it may be the first part of this marvelous process of systemic purification to develop.
CARE OF THE PATIENT: It is only because the cold may be the prodromal symptom of a formidable disease that this condition should receive immediate care in a child. A disease cared for properly from the start never becomes serious, nor results fataly.
Whether it is a "common cold" or a prodrome of typhoid or spinal menengitis, the child should be put to bed, all food stopped, except perhaps some orange juice, where there is no fever, and kept warm. That is all there is to the treatment of any acute so-called disease--rest, fasting, warmth. Rest includes quiet and physical comfort. Fresh air is always imperative. No common cold can last long when the patient is cared for in this manner.