It is a significant fact that the hazard from the ignorant employment of Hygiene is small when contrasted with that which accompanies the most scientific employment of the most popular drugs. One may use Hygiene amiss without endangering life; it will even prove beneficial. This is weighty evidence of the instrinsic goodness of Hygienic materials.

Admitting that drugs may, in some instances, apparently improve function and structure and restore normal and healthy action to the various organs of the body, we call attention to the undeniable fact that this improved condition and action is apparent only and never lasting. A laxative may occasion increased bowel action in constipation, but it does not remedy constipation and its supposed benefits are not susceptible of indefmite extension. On the contrary, its continued use results in worse constipation. Tea and coffee appear to remedy nervous irritability in a wonderful way, relieving headache, gloomy forebodings, etc.--but they appear to help only to make matters worse. A drug may be given (veratrum, for example) that will seem to control and regulate the excited pulse; but it depresses the heart's action. As soon as the drug is eliminated, the pulse is as excited as before. Can any definite relation be shown to exist between the abnormal condition to be remedied and the means commonly used to remove it?

We do not offer Hygienic care as a substitute for drug treatment. We do not think that drug treatment has any value; we deny that it can ever restore health. A great error in regard to the Hygienic System is that of considering Hygienic means as substitutes for drugs--that food, air, water, sunshine, warmth, exercise, rest, sleep, bathing, etc., are substitutes for penicillin, aspirin, cortisone, etc. Never was there a greater delusion. We may as well call truth and honesty substitutes for lying and stealing. They are totally dissimilar-in no sense interchangeable; under no possible circumstance of health or disease can the means of Hygiene be regarded as substitutes for drug poisons. The first are good; the second are bad--this is the whole of the matter. We affirm the omnipotence of Hygiene and decry the destructive tendencies of drugs when used in the care of the sick.

On what principle are the great and marked changes in the physical and mental conditions of the sick, when cared for Hygienically, to be accounted for? Certainly, not to the superior skill of the Hygienist over other men of other schools of thought and practice. We explain it as being due, in large measure, to two things:

    While under Hygienic supervision they are permitted to take nothing, the natural and legitimate tendency of which, in its effects upon the human body, is to injure or weaken, disturb, impair or ruin it. They are appropriately supplied with those normal means and conditions the legitimate effect of which, upon the human body, is to build and repair it.

Instead of the most poisonous and most deadly substances in all the kingdoms of nature being the proper means of restoring health, we want the most friendly and congenial elements in all nature, both for the preservation and the restoration of health. We must not permit ourselves to be fooled and misled by the plausible sophistries and shortsighted delusions of those who say that what is poison in one circumstance or condition of being is the very supporter of life in another; that what would destroy our health when we are well can be made to build up and re-establish health when we are sick.

We have been taught to ask and expect statistics. Where are your statistics? Where are your experiments? Statistics represent quantitative measurements, but are without value in the absence of adequate qualitative study. For example, a new drug is placed on the market with a mass of statistics derived from animal experimentation and clinical tests. The statistics appear to support the advertised value of the drug, but a few years of experience with it and evaluation of its assumed benefits results in it being discarded as ineffective and harmful. The statistics were misleading. The results of the experiments were misleading. Any man who will take the trouble to watch the passing medical fads for ten years will discover that this is the usual fate of drugs. Neither experimental observations nor the compilation of statistics, however great the compilation, proves of real value as a guide in the care of the sick.

Opponents of hygeio-therapy frequently pointed to the discrepancies in the practices of the hygeio-therapists as evidence that the system was not well established on a scientific basis. "And well they may," said Trall, for many of the early Hygienic practitioners did not entirely abandon their former drugging practices. It seems that it was primarily because Trall was adamant against all drugging that he was declared to be "too radical."

A number of "sudden converts" to Hygiene--who run into it as they would into some kind of religion or land speculation, or something of the sort, just for the sake of excitement or, perhaps, because they think it will pay or, being new, will provide something to talk about--begin soon to say: "Oh, Hygiene is well enough for some people or in some diseases, but it can't cure everything." How do they know? No Hygienist pretends that it will cure anything, but this does not bother them. They are simply oblivious of the fact that there are many things in heaven and earth that are not dreamed of in their philosophy. It is just possible that they may not have become familiar with all of the capabilities of Hygiene. They would repudiate the Hygienic System because it cannot perform miracles and raise the dead.

The strength of Hygiene lies not only in its naturalness and simplicity, but also in the great ideals that have and do actuate its proponents. Among these ideals is one that demands the universal enlightenment of mankind. Other systems write books, but they are for the professionals only. Ours are for the people. What medical journal is issued for the people? Upon the enlightenment of the people must rest the future health of mankind.

There are some things connected with the progress of Hygiene that are peculiar and gratifying. Other systems may have made as great progress, but none of them have made a progress of the same character. Other systems, and some very notably, have appealed to a blind faith in their dogmas and to a belief in the marvelous. Progress in Hygiene, on the other hand, has been progress in real knowledge. The most thorough converts to Hygiene are the best informed and most intelligent. Indeed, up to this time, there are few others. A man accepts Hygiene just as far as he understands its principles; his belief in the common practices of medicine, and especially the use of drugs, is just in proportion to his lack of such understanding.

The Hygienist wants to know the why and wherefore of each thing that he does; the devotee of drugging shuts his eyes and swallows his medicine or bares his back and submits to a thrust. Whereas, in medicine, the patient must have confidence, in Hygiene, the first step towards health is that of enlightening the mind. The best foundation for a belief in Hygiene is a thorough knowledge of physiology and a knowledge of the causes of disease. Our only mystery is the great mystery of life. All else is an open book.

When we have explained the human constitution and its relations to external nature, our work is done; when this explanation is understood, we have made another Hygienist. The attention of people may be attracted by recoveries under Hygiene, but it is by an understanding of its principles that they are converted. Hence the need for more books, more teachers, more missionaries.

The most important part of our educational activities is that of bringing the popular mind to a comprehension and appreciation of the principles of nature. Until we have done this, earth's human inhabitants must continue to grope their way through the mists of superstition and false theories.