"Is it really true that you can cure disease without the use of medicines?" asked a doting old lady of a Hygienic practitioner. The Hygienic answer to this question is that diseases should not be cured. Being remedial processes, they are to be left alone; only their causes should receive attention. When cause is removed, the disease ceases of itself.

It is a popular error that what is called the cure of disease is equivalent to or includes the recovery of health--an error which is fraught with disastrous consequences to millions. There is a vast, a radical difference between treating or curing disease and intelligently caring for a sick person. Thousands of persons are daily engaged in the treatment of disease and uncounted ponderous tomes have been written on the subject, while the sick multiply in a corresponding ratio. Many are the ways and varying the means, requiring but little skill and less experience, to cure disease; but the obvious fact is that these ways and means fail and have to be discarded for new ones. Treating disease is empirical, experimental and haphazard.

It would seem that the time has arrived when the care of sick people should engage intelligent attention. And there is a distinction with a difference--a vast difference between treating and curing disease and caring for a sick person and restoring him to health. To guide a sick person back to good health requires wisdom, attention and skill, if not learning, all exercised within a straight and narrow way. Such a plan is established upon a basis of demonstrated principle, having definite, settled and tried principles to guide us in the use of all its measures. These measures are not empirical; they are not experimental; they are not haphazard; nor do haphazard results follow their application. Every particular process must conform to the principles of the system and all results are results of unvarying accuracy.

Our science is but common sense. We cure nobody and make no claim to cures. We leave the work of healing in the capable hands of the living organism. We let people get well where this is possible, not interfering with nor letting anything else interfere with the processes of healing. It should be easy to understand that if recovery ever takes place at all under drug treatment, it should do so in much less time if no drugs are employed.

Writing editorially, July 1862, Trall said: "There is no curative virtue, no healing power in drugs or poisons, nor even in Hygienic agencies, whether applied externally or taken internally. All healing power is inherent in the living organism." Dr. Walter well expressed the Hygienic position when he said that, "unless science is humbug and logic sophistry," water or Graham bread or exercise or rest or other means or conditions applied to the sick do not restore them to health. Hygienic means are not cures. We refute curing power either as belonging to ourselves or to anyone else. We insist that the power to heal belongs exclusively to and to nothing outside the living organism.

By supplying such means and conditions as have normal relations to the living organism in such amounts and degrees as can be used by the vital powers under the circumstances, we can hasten the remedial process. But we should understand that nature has not provided these things as remedies--she has provided them for health. Air, water, food, rest, exercise, etc., may be said to be remedial, although they are not remedies, because the living system uses them in disease as it uses them in health--to build and replenish its structures and maintain the condition of health. Their use in disease is identical with their use in health--they do not serve any other or special function in disease. We do not think that when we open the window and let the sick man have fresh air to breathe, we are thereby curing disease. We are merely supplying one of the regular and ordinary needs of life--water, food, warmth, rest and sleep, exercise, cleanliness and emotional poise. These are not cures; they are not therapies; they are not treatments.

The importance of special applications of Hygienic means to meet special conditions requires further consideration. The man who relies upon Hygienic means in his care of the sick is not restricted to either diet or exercise or rest or fasting, but is permitted to range the whole field of Hygiene and to employ any or all of these as the requirements of the individual case call for. There are very weighty reasons why exercise in particular should be specifically adapted, not only to the needs of the sick, but to those who have a measured degree of health. The same necessity exists for adapting the length of the fast or length of rest or the amount and character of food, etc., to individual requirements.

Whatever may be the reasons that impel one to adopt Hygiene, it is all too likely to be regarded as merely a substitute for the usual forms of medication, or at least, like drugging, to be a plan of reconciling physiological inconsistencies with the desire for health and enjoyment and there may be much talk of their search for food specifics or light specifics, etc., when the failure of the popular methods has driven them to adopt Hygiene. Overlooking the grand fundamental principles that underlie the system of Natural Hygiene, they continue to seek health through some formidable operation performed by some exotic or adventitious something.

In medicine the disease is the primal object of solicitude, an incomprehensible something that must either be neutralized, cast out or outwitted by some professional legerdemain. In Hygiene the plan consists in attending to the health, to all those matters concerned in the production and preservation of the structures and powers of life and to all impairing influences; Hygiene attempts to fulfill nature's needs as seen in the well, graduating them to the altered condition and wants of the sick. The chief agencies or circumstances concerned in the production of living structure and the performance of vital function are oxygen, food, water, warmth, activity, rest and sleep, and sunlight. A modification of these factors of living readily alters the state of the body, whether it is well or sick, abating or intensifying activities as need dictates.

Drugs which, from their chemical relations to living structure, annul, excite or alter the functions of life, are employed by physicians to effect a curative rather than a recuperative work. If the patient recovers; the physician receives the heart-felt benison of grateful patient and family. If the patient dies, it is usual to assume that the Lord took him.

Yes, some people will die under the Hygienic plan of care; but we have known of one or two deaths under drug treatment. Nobody ever claimed that the processes of restoration. are always successful, even under the best of conditions.