The presence of water is essential to the performance of the processes of assimilation and those of excretion. Indeed, all the chemico-vital processes or changes that take place in the living body require the presence of water and a deficiency of it soon manifests itself in disturbances of these operations. Those tissues which contain least water, such as bone, possess but little vital endowment. Tissues which serve merely as supports and for protection are relatively low in water. Active tissues, such as muscles, glands, nerves and brain, contain a high percentage of water. The greater the percentage of water in a tissue, the more rapid are the nutritive changes that take place during activities. Man concocts no beverage which is so wholesome, so strengthening, so agreeable to the unperverted taste as pure, cool water.

We are fully justified in studying the offices universally performed by water in nature and the general relations it bears to living organisms as a Hygienic material, but we are not justified in any attempt to convert it into a therapeutic agent as did the Hydropathists. Still less are we justified in withholding water from the sick, as did the medical profession. As one of the primordial needs of life, it should receive proper consideration in all discussions of Hygiene.

In the days of Graham, Jennings and Trall, fever patients begged for water, even to the extent in many instances that they might drink and die. Burning with fever and begging for water to cool his parched tongue, the physician continued to deny a glass of water to the fever patient. Even as late as the death of President Garfield, and this was long after the Hygienic System had spread among the people, physicians continued to deny water to their fever patients. When Garfield died (history says from an assassin's bullet), he was denied water by half a dozen idiots who attended him. Begging, coaxing, threatening for a little water to cool his parched tongue, his stomach was burned with brandy until it refused to receive it.

William Lamb, M.D., of England raised the question: Is man a drinking animal? He pointed out that man is ill equipped anatomically for drinking water from a stream or pond and also that there are many animals in nature that never drink. Lamb was contemporaneous with Graham and he and Graham had considerable correspondence with each other. But he was never able to convince Graham of the soundness of his position. In the November 1855 issue of the Journal, a reader raised the question: Could not Lamb's question be satisfactorily answered if it were ascertained whether the proportions of fluid and solid in the foods eaten, at least in a physiologically correct diet, was in proportion to the fluid and solid in the body? Trall said in discussing the reader's question, that this was an interesting suggestion and that it "propounds a principle deserving thorough investigation. It is clear that there should be a close approximation in the relative constituents of the solids and fluids of the body and those of the very best proportions of a truly frugivorous diet."

It is obvious, however, that, inasmuch as the body is constantly losing fluid faster than solids in its excretions, there would be need for a greater proportion of fluid in the diet than in the body. The question contained this clause: "the excretions included." It is also obvious that in hot weather and under heavy physical exertion with rapid sweating, the loss of fluid may call for extra fluid at times other than meal time. Today it is proposed by many that the extra fluid be supplied by drinking fruit and vegetable juices or by eating juicy fruits instead of drinking water when thirsty. It is doubtful if eating foods or drinking juices between meals is a wholesome practice.