This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
In the past twenty-five years there have been a constant decline of all contagious diseases, an increase in cleanliness, sanitation, and the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables, and, neither last nor least, a decline in the use of drugs. Vegetable and fruit salads are furnished by all first-class eating-houses today, whereas a properly constructed vegetable salad was almost unknown twenty-five years ago.
Cleanliness, correct sanitation, and proper eating will annul the influences that build contagious diseases, and will pretty nearly, if not quite, annul or make void the vaccination disease--vaccinea.
Food properly balanced--given a preponderance of base, or alkaline, elements--prevents fermentation; and, as fermentation is the exciting cause of inflammation and the development of all diseases or affections, such food establishes immunization--rational immunization.
Instead of bacteria stamping disease with individuality, the germs take on individuality in keeping with the chemic changes in the medium. For example, in carbohydrate fermentation the evolved toxin is acetic acid or alcohol; and in nitrogenous fermentation the evolved toxin is putrescin, cadaverin, or sepsin. The bacteria are the same, but the elements on which they act vary very widely. The specificity of the bacterium is that of yeast, capable of starting fermentation; while the toxic properties of starch and meat are potential, and would not evolve without the yeast of fermentation--the bacterium or microbe.
Bacteriologists declare it is no wonder that bacterial toxins (secretions) provoke numerous nutritive changes. The road is no longer to travel back, and so it is no wonder that there are so many kinds of bacteria, when we consider the great variety of chemic mediums in which they are developed. The bacteria not only have their individuality determined for them by the peculiar chemistry of the environment, but also their physical development.
If bacteria were the cause of disease, withholding food would allow them to destroy the patient; whereas the reverse is true. A fed patient is in danger of being overwhelmed by the poison caused by bacterial fermentation, because in disease there is little or no secretion of enzymes to counteract the organized ferments.
Typhoid fever affords a most splendid opportunity to prove that bacterial activity declines with the cessation of the intake of food; and this is true of every disease--of every form of inflammation and fever. Bacterial activity increases or decreases along with the increase and decrease of the intake of food. After the fever is gone, there is a gradual increase in enzymal power, and soon food can be taken and digested.
It should be obvious to every person that the question of overeating must be settled by each individual for himself; for it is a question of personal power--the same as mental and physical efficiency. The fact that one person is efficient is no proof that his next-door neighbor is. The fact that Brown can eat so and so is no reason why Smith can do the same. That Jones can smoke twelve cigars a day is no proof that Johnson can smoke one. It is all a question of energy and enzymal efficiency. Two men of equal power may start life together, and possibly eat the same food in the same amounts. In twenty years they meet. One is full of life and vigor, and up with the times; while the other has deteriorated--gone back in every way. What is the cause? The one who made no progress has broken down his nerve energy by secret vices or mind inactivity. The mind and body must both be active to evolve full efficiency.
Everything else being equal, why should the man who smokes have as much resistance and efficiency as the man who does not? If two men of equal nerve energy smoke, and one adds coffee to his dissipations, it stands to reason that the one who has but one bad habit has the more resistance.
Two men of equal power start life together. One worries; the other does not. The one who worries dies of hardening of the arteries, twenty-five years before the other.
Two men persist in overeating and taxing their resistance with equal amounts of toxin poisoning. Both have headache. One takes drugs for relief, and dies of heart paralysis at thirty to thirty-five; the other takes no relief, gets over his headaches at fifty, and dies of premature old age at sixty.