Poisons kill; that is their nature. This is known to all. To say that a substance is poisonous is not to awaken a recognition that it has as one of its essential properties, one that preserves health and life or that restores health to the sick. The contrary thought is immediately aroused. We associate with poison the idea of destruction--of disease and death. Naturally, then, in considering arrangements which preserve life, no informed man can include a giver of drugs. It is conceivable, to return to an ancient conception, that the drug system is the creation of the Angel of Death. He must "grin horrible a ghastly smile" everytime he watches the physician and nurse at the bedside of the sick.

What a list of nostrums the physician has at his command! What a library of books a man must study to understand such a dealing out of poisons! Equipped with a pharmacopeia filled with nostrums and with a lot of unmeaning, incomprehensible jargon, with mystery as black as night, the physician goes forth on his mission of mayhem and murder secure in the knowledge that he has the law, custom, popular credulity and general ignorance all on his side. He even dares to flaunt the evidence of the crippling and lethal effects of his drugs in the public print, knowing that he is not going to be called to account by a credulous people nor by the authorities who have connived with him to give him a monopoly of the care of the sick.

The medical school frequently boasts of the number and variety of its remedial appliances, processes and agents. Few mistakes have been more egregious than to suppose that medicine's usefulness is in proportion to the number and variety of its means of treatment. Its means are not truly remedial and, even if they were, there can be no conceivable reason for so many thousands of them. Their very number and variety testify to their ineffectiveness and fallacy. The reader may inquire: are there not some good drugs? He should understand that any valid principle which will give us one good drug will give us a million of them.

Drugs are essentially disease producing when placed in contact with the tissues of the living organism. It is a fact that has been demonstrated by more than 2,000 years of medical experience, that every drug that is or has ever been used in the treatment of the sick will occasion in the healthy individual symptoms that are identical with the symptoms of disease. This is to say, drugs make well people sick. It is bad enough to be sick; but when, in addition to sickness, one is dosed with poisons, he is truly in a pitiable state.

Nothing can be more preposterous than the idea that those things that make well men sick or that tend to kill when administered to the healthy are proper things with which to restore health to the sick. Yet on such nonsense as this the whole healing art--healing art!--has rested for 2,500 years. May we not, with the utmost propriety, call it the killing art? Has it not been a stupendous evil? Indeed, does not the testimony of its most illustrious advocates and teachers admit that it has been evil from the outset? Is there within the reach of written memorial another thing so tenaciously held, so persistently defended and regularly employed, while the reasons for its employment are so diverse and contradictory, as drugs?

When such substances, the ordinary and inevitable effect of which upon the healthy organism is to disturb, damage and even to destroy it, are called remedies, there must be something wrong with the understanding of those practitioners who make use of such so-called remedies. When, notwithstanding the combination of all the false, morbid and, not infrequently, deadly means that are applied to the treatment of the sick, the sick succeed in surviving and returning to a measure of health, what more evidence can we ask for than this--that between health and sickness, life and death, the forces of the organism are on the side of the former?

Drugs are commonly thought to be necessary to healing. But if they are necessary, why are they not afforded a separate compartment in the individuality of man? Why are they not desired as food and drink? Why is the healthy man not made sick or even killed without them? Why is there such a strong, instinctive repugnance to them? Why are they indignantly rejected by the body when taken? Why are they causes of so much harm? In science there is not the slightest show of grounds for identifying drugs with Hygienic materials.

The physiologist knows of no power in the living organism that enables it to synthesize living tissue or to generate functioning power out of the elements of drugs, nor of any power, either in the drug or in the body, that enables it to use drugs to remove disease or to repair damages. He is well aware that they are only means whereby tissues may be destroyed or damaged, functions impaired and the body exhausted in a very unnecessary and wasteful manner. The evils of drug medication lie in the necessity of the sick patient spending his strength "casting out devils" instead of employing it in "entertaining angels." Every drug (poison) administered to the sick requires new and additional remedial efforts, so that with every new drug there is an additional disease, resulting in greater waste of functional power. If disease so radically changed the body as to make a demand for drugs, enabling the body to make use of them, there would be some excuse for their employment. But disease makes no radical change in the human organism. What it cannot use in a state of health it cannot use in a state of disease.

Drugging necessitates a critical squandering of our energies, which must be concentrated upon the elimination of the drug poison, while the causes of the disease for which the drugs are given are permitted to corrode the very vitals of the human constitution. We are so intent upon finding means for the erasure of the effects of our modes of living and treatment, that we have no energy left for living, as a good, per se. When poisons are administered to the sick, all the powers of his system are taxed to a fearful extent in casting them off through the excretory and other channels. When the patient is dosed with drugs, his digestive system, bowels, liver, kidneys, nerves--his everything--are in a state of universal revolt. His entire organism is involved in the effort to resist and expel the poison.

His whole being is outraged by the drug and is up in arms in defense. Is it, then, any wonder that when he begins to convalesce (if he does), convalescence is slow, digestion is impaired, excretion is inhibited and he is weak (exhausted, in fact) and nervous?

If a drug will prostrate the powers of a well man, it will do the same for the powers of a sick man. If it will reduce a man from strength to weakness, it will reduce him from weakness to even greater weakness. It is not within the power of drugs to evolve strength out of weakness. Their natural and invariable tendency is the reverse of this. If, in the whole kingdom of nature, a drug can be found which, if given to one in full health, tends to make one more healthy, one may use it with confidence when ill. It will improve the health of the sick with irresistable effect. It will restore his exhausted powers, purify his fouled tissues, improve his impaired secretions, accelerate his slackened circulation and restore him to that soundness of physical body that belongs to health. If, in health, it will contribute to his strength and beauty, in disease it will do the same. To believe in the necessity of drugs, we must first admit or demonstrate that they are useful in effecting some necessary result in a state of health. We must then regard them as Hygienic materials. We must believe that their habitual use by a person in perfect health would be not only beneficial but necessary.