Defined, gangrene is mortification or putrefaction of tissue. The process is named necrobiosis. It is declared to be of microbic origin. It is well, however, to be reminded that microbes are always secondary causes, and to declare that a given disease is of microbic origin is to leave the question of real cause in the air, from which it will never come down for a thinking mind until it is furnished an adequate cause. The fact that there is no specific gangrenous microbe is proof that, following the cause of the devitalizing of a given tissue, any organized ferment is sufficient to cause putrefaction of the dead tissue. The colon bacillus is sufficient to set up putrefaction or gangrene of the undigested food in the intestine.

When a part is dead, it must either desiccate or putrefy. Where there is heat and moisture it rots; and that is what gangrene is. The causes leading to death of tissue may be mechanical, physical, chemical, or animate: mechanical when a part is killed by machinery; physical when a part is killed by strong acid, excessive cold, or excessive heat; and animate when a part is killed by bacteria. It should not be forgotten, however, that germs must be aided by a forerunner which first devitalizes. The animate agents follow all agents that devitalize.

Anything that cuts off blood or nerve supply may devitalize to such an extent that germs may finish the destruction.

Fermentation of food may cause sufficient intoxication to destroy tissue. Then gangrene follows.

If it is understood that any putrefactive process, it matters not what the cause, is gangrenous, it will not be necessary to go into detail and name all the diseases which end in the death, or gangrene, of isolated spots of tissue or integument. Suffice it to say that the infections from typhoid fever, syphilitic chancre, gonorrheal bubo, septicemic fever, etc., are all putrefactive--gangrenous--infections.

Every diathesis takes advantage of systemic enervation to use these foci as centers from which to spread its peculiar type of disease.

If those who have suffered infection--an invasion--from a septic disease of any type (so-called contagious or infectious) will live in such a manner as to encourage elimination and an increase of nerve energy, these internal foci will be destroyed--will be used as fuel; and then it may be said that a blood poisoning--a specific disease--is cured.

A cure cannot be made by drugs, because a drug adds nothing to nutrition. A drug may irritate an organ and force artificial functioning, as in purging the bowels. But what does really take place? The bowels are forced to empty, but their functioning is inhibited, and, if the abuse is continued, they will cease functioning entirely. This is true of all medication and all organs affected by drugs. The so-called eliminating drugs irritate, but do not eliminate. They depress, enervate, and join with the enemies of the body in breaking down resistance and establishing infection rule over the entire body, or what "Damaged Goods" so graphically describes as the inevitable taint.

I here and now call upon all truth that is potential in medical science to bear witness to the statement I am about to make; namely: The human body is fully able to eliminate all infections, if it is given reasonable care in the lines of feeding, bathing, clothing, and mental poise. If, from an inherited diathesis, the constitution cannot resist the breaking-down influence of an infection, even when aided by the best of dietetic and hygienic care, the only possible results from medication and baths must be further enervation and less resistance to septic (specific) infection. Nature can eliminate and readjust, if permitted to rest physically and physiologically.

If proper care--a care that favors a better elimination and tissue renewal--fails to rid the body of septic foci, it is a beggarly reasoning power that ran believe that a medication which impairs nutrition and hardens tissue--causes a gingivitis (shedding of teeth) and ulceration of glands and bones, and even blindness--can act favorably and persuade or force a health standard that does not exist and is not potential in an organism.

The consensus of medical opinion holds to the superstition that by some magical power the drugs mercury, arsenic, iodin, potash, or a mysterious compounding--a synthetical blend--of drugs, can be made to go on a still hunt through the organism and drag out of their hidings all septic foci and expel them from the body, "Some dream," I admit; but no unprejudiced mind can find any proof for it in any of the fundamentals of medical science yet recorded.