The people have learned to bathe, to eat more fruits and vegetables, to ventilate their homes, to get daily exercise, to avail themselves of the benefits of sunshine, to cast off their fears of night air, damp air, cold air and draughts, to eat less flesh; they have adopted better modes of food preparation. It is true they have forgotten who it was that promulgated these things; they have lost the record of the tremendous opposition to these things that the medical profession offered. They believe that the medical profession was responsible for the decline of disease and death, for the decline of the infant death-rate, for the inauguration of sanitation, and for the increased average life-span. They believe this because the medical profession, controlling the media of communication, has indoctrinated them with the idea.

Neglect of the Hygienic needs (especially of the need for rest, fresh air and water) is not as persistent nor as criminal today, thanks to the work of Hygienists, hydropathists and nature curists, as it was a hundred years ago; but the total Hygienic program is far from having been accepted. By line upon line, precept upon precept and volume upon volume, the workers for a revolution in the way of life have done a good job.

Jackson declared that the changes in medical practices that occurred during his lifetime had been due "clearly and wholly to the promulgation of the principles" of Hygiene. They had come about, he said, during the period that he and Dr. Trall had been "recognized as Hygienic practitioners." "For half of a life time of an entire generation," he said, "has this Journal (the Water-Cure Journal ) been the advocate of the Hygienic theory of treating disease."

Dr. James C. Jackson

Let it not be said that medical schools were quick to adopt the principles and practices of Hygiene. In The Science of Health, March 1873, Trall quotes the following statement from an article on "Medical Schools" which appeared in the New York Medical Record: "The principles of Hygiene, too, with sanitary laws, should have appropriate places in our systems of education." Then referring to the importance of Hygiene and sanitation and pointing out that medical men in general were ignorant of them, Trall asked: "Where, among the one hundred and fifty medical colleges of the civilized world, is there a chair of Hygiene or a professorship of sanitary laws?"

Answering his own question, Trall replied: "Not one can be found except in the Hygeio-Therapeutic College and this is not regarded as 'regular' by the regular profession." He says that "soon after the establishment of the 'Hydropathic and Physiological School' in New York some twenty years ago, a chair of Hygiene was introduced in the principal medical college of New York, and professorships of hydropathy were introduced into three Eclectic colleges. But the chair of Hygiene soon ran out, and has been vacant ever since; while the professorships of hydropathy all ended at the end of the first college term-in one instance in mid-term. Why these chairs could not work harmoniously with the others, the reader need have no difficulty in imagining. It was soon discovered that the Hygiene was ruining the materia medica, while the hydropathy was drowning out all the druggery."

Trall regarded the plan proposed by the Medical Record as both "revolutionary and ruinous." He said that its adoption "would in a few years close three-fourths of all the medical colleges on the face of the earth, and destroy nine-tenths of the medical practices of the world." It would, he added, also "be very damaging to the business of the Hygienic physicians everywhere, for as things are now, three-fourths of their business consists in treating invalids for diseases which the medicines of the drug systems have occasioned."

Medical colleges and the medical profession were not only neglecting Hygiene, but their practices were producing so much iatrogenic disease that Hygienic practitioners were kept busy trying to repair the flood of damages that flowed from the drug-satchels of the physicians. With their lancets, their pukes and purges, their blisters and their stimulants, in a word, with their poisons, they were busily engaged not only in disease producing, but in killing their patients.

Without poisons the minds of the medical men would be blank, so far, at least, as their treatment of their patients is concerned. Poisons are almost their sole stock in trade. Poisons legitimately belong to them and we will let them have them. We have no need for them. We have a broader basis of action and in comparison with which, theirs sinks into insignificance. Let them have their cherished illusions along with their indispensable poisons; but let the people, who have to suffer the consequences of the poisoning practice, emancipate themselves from its control. To them, the poisoning practice is not a messenger of life, but of disease and death. The truth of this is contained in every medical report that is issued.

Quietly, and at different places, the details of the application of the great principle of employing only the normal things of life in the care of the sick is working its way into the consciousness of the people and a complete system of Natural Hygiene is about to dawn upon the world.

The doctrines of the Hygienic System are new. Its principles and the application of these principles have now been before the world but a century and a quarter; and, although a comparatively few persons have studied its basis and mastered its fundamental premises, and many have obtained some general knowledge of its application, the majority of the people really know little about it.

Beginning with Graham's lectures and the publication of the Graham Journal of Health and Longevity, the Hygienic movement pushed forward with vigor and enthusiasm. As early as 1850 the Water-Cure Journal had a circulation of 18,000. Wherever the journal circulated there was invariably an improvement in the Hygienic habits of the people and a corresponding decrease in the fatal cases of disease and an immense saving to the people. So vigorous was Hygiene promulgated and so great was the enthusiasm with which the people accepted it, it was estimated in January 1852 that the practitioners of the two and somewhat commingled schools--hydropathy and hygeiotherapy--outnumbered the practitioners of any of the medical schools--allopathic, homeopathic, eclectic and physio-medical--in this country. One does not get a true picture of this situation, however, unless one understands that many of the hydropathists also used drugs and that an occasional Hygienic practitioner was not above a "little drugging" now and then.

So vigorous was the drive against the drugging systems that the medical laws were repealed in a number of our states. During this period when the powers of the state could no longer be used to deprive people of their right of private judgment in their choice of modes of care, medical societies were formed by groups who voted themselves the "salt of the earth," the "regulars," etc. These organizations were intended to influence and mold public opinion and let the world know who were the regulars, who was scientific, and who were the quacks and empirics. Medical schools conferred the title Doctor of Medicine as a part of the move to create a select monopoly; medical journals, medical societies and lecturers endeavored to suppress all empiricism, while they wrote and declaimed against "quackery" until the very word became odious and quack became a synonym for a knave or a fool.

Medical societies mistook their function when they endeavored to put down all plans of care of the sick but their own. When assembled for the purpose of free discussion of medical subjects, for the collection of facts, the establishment of principles and the investigation of new truths, they are useful auxiliaries to the cause of progress; but when they do little more than regulate the rate at which each member shall bleed, blister, purge and tax, or transfuse, inoculate, operate and tax, and the particular courtesy that they shall extend towards each other and how they shall treat the outside "barbarians," they fail in any worthwhile mission.

The establishment of a mode of medication by the state is an infringement upon one of our most precious rights and an injury to the cause of truth and the progress of science. Such an establishment never can suppress empiricism; for when all other systems have been suppressed, empiricism will flourish in the one allowed. The state has no more right to establish one school of medicine above others than it has to establish one church above all others. It is important that the people shall be free in their choice of means of care and any curtailment of this basic freedom is tyranny.

So far as medical colleges teach science, they travel in the right direction; but when they desert science and teach an empiric mode of medication and give to their arts an air of mystery, they serve neither God nor man. So long as medical colleges promulgate the superstition that drugs have curative power, they will continue to be curses to the race.

Naming diseases in two or three ancient languages is but a camouflage for ignorance. Writing prescriptions in a language which their patients cannot read serves to confuse the minds of the people. When the medical colleges contribute to and give countenance to these mysteries, they do not serve the cause of science and human advancement. Could the colleges of medicine confine themselves to the teachings of the sciences that are connected with medicine and to seeking to erect a mode of practice upon these as a basis, they could become worthwhile institutions; but so long as they continue to mystify disease and to teach that it can be cured by poisons, they not only reject science, but they aid and abet the patent medicine industry.