The chemical composition of blood and lymph depends upon the chemical composition of food and drink, and upon the normal or abnormal condition of the digestive organs.

The purer the food and drink, the less it contains of morbid matter and poison-producing materials and the more it contains of the elements necessary for the proper execution of the manifold functions of the organism, for the building and repair of tissues and for the neutralization and elimination of waste and systemic poisons, the more "normal" and the more "natural" will be the diet.

The system of dietetics of the Nature Cure school is based upon the composition of MILK, which is the only perfect natural food combination in existence.

In its composition, milk corresponds very closely to red, arterial blood and contains all the elements which the newborn and growing organism needs in exactly the right proportions, providing, of course, that the human or animal body which produces the milk is in good health and lives on pure and normal foods.

Therefore, if any food combination or diet is to be "normal" or "natural," it must approach in its chemical composition the chemical composition of milk or of red, arterial blood. This furnishes a strictly scientific basis for an exact science of dietetics, and proves true not only in the chemical aspect of the diet problem, but also in every other aspect and in its practical application.

The "regular" school of medicine pays little or no attention to rational food regulation. In fact, it knows nothing about it, because "natural dietetics" are as yet not taught in medical schools. As a result of this condition, the dietary advice given by the majority of Old School practitioners is something as follows: "Eat what agrees with you: plenty of good, nourishing food. There is nothing in dietetic fads. What is one man's meat is another man's poison, etc."

However, if we study dietetics from a strictly scientific point of view, we find that certain foods--among these especially the highly valued flesh foods, eggs, pulses and cereals--create in the system large quantities of morbid, poisonous substances, while on the other hand fruits and vegetables, which are rich in the organic salts, tend to neutralize and to eliminate from the system the waste materials and poisons created in the processes of protein and starch digestion.

The accumulations of waste and systemic poisons are the cause of the majority of diseases arising within the human organism. Therefore it is imperative that the neutralizing and eliminating food elements be provided in sufficient quantities.

On this turns the entire problem of natural dietetics. While the "Old School" of medicine looks upon starches, sugars, fats and proteins as the only elements of nutrition worthy of consideration, Nature Cure aims to reduce these foods in the natural dietary and to increase the purifying and eliminating fruits and vegetables.

In this volume we cannot go into the details of the diet question. They will be treated in full in our Vegetarian Cookbook and in our volume on Natural Dietetics. We shall say here in a general way that in the treatment of chronic diseases, with few exceptions, we favor a strict vegetarian diet for the reason that most chronic diseases are created, as before stated, by the accumulation of the "feces of the cells" in the system.

Every piece of animal flesh is saturated with these excrements of the cells in the form of uric acid and many other kinds of acids, alkaloids of putrefaction, xanthines, ptomaines, etc. The organism of the meat eater must dispose not only of its own impurities produced in the processes of digestion and of cell metabolism, but also of the morbid substances that are already contained in the animal flesh.

Since the cure of chronic diseases consists largely in purifying the body of morbid materials, it stands to reason that a "chronic" must cease taking these in his daily food and drink. To do otherwise would be like sweeping the dirt out of a house through the front door and carrying it in again through the back door.

Whether one approves of strict vegetarianism as a continuous mode of living or not, it will be admitted that the change from a meat diet to a nonmeat diet must be of great benefit in the treatment of chronic diseases.

The cure of chronic conditions depends upon radical changes in the cells and tissues of the body, as explained in Chapter Twenty. The old, abnormal, faulty diet will continue to build the same abnormal and disease-encumbered tissues. The more thorough and radical the change in diet toward normality and purity, the quicker the cells and tissues of the body will change toward the normal and thus bring about a complete regeneration of the organism.

Anything short of this may be palliative treatment, but is not worthy the name of cure.