Can a logical reason be provided why a person should swallow or permit to be sent into his blood and tissues by injection, a nauseous, noxious substance because he is sick? No such reason has ever been given; if it can be done, is it not high time somebody did it? It is everywhere admitted that drugs are poisons, that they are always poisons to persons in health. All of us are very careful to exclude them from our food and drink; we are well aware that if we take them into the body while we are well, we will become sick as a consequence. What person would dare to take an ordinary dose of penicillin, streptomycin or cortisone while in health? Yet, let him become sick and he swallows them, not only without fear, but as the essential condition of safety and recovery. It should be obvious that there is a terrible delusion abroad on this subject.

W. T. Vail, M.D., writing in the Journal (October 1858) asks how could one in wisdom and goodness "invite you to embrace and press to the very bosom of your life, the most deadly enemies of your being?"

He thought that "a demon might take upon himself to persuade you that the fair and innocent look of some poisonous element, so disorganizing in its nature that a simple drop placed upon the tip of your tongue should destroy your life in a few moments, might, under form of certain reductions and combinations, in consequence of some delusive temporary effects, be good for you to introduce into the life currents of your bodies, there to be diffused in contact with all the delicate tissues and minute fibers of your wondrous composition . . . ;" but he thought it difficult to conceive of an intelligent and philantropic man doing this.

The practice of poisoning a person because he is ill is based on erroneous notions of the essential nature of disease. In all the teachings of the medical schools, disease is regarded as something foreign to the system, as an attacking entity, and poisons are administered to war upon, drive out or destroy the enemy. But, as the truth is the exact contrary to this ancient notion, all poisoning practice is exactly wrong; it is nothing more nor less than a blind war upon the human constitution. When the great, grand, glorious and revolutionary truth that disease is remedial action, that it is the action of the living system itself instead of a foreign something making war upon the body, is generally understood, then the whole poisoning practice will be viewed with disgust and horror.

It is the general opinion that men die of disease and that they are sometimes saved from dying by taking poisons. There is no evidence that these are the facts. There is no valid authority for saying that disease is a crippler, a destroyer, a killer. No one has any evidence that poison is a savior. There is no evidence to controvert, but much to sustain the opinion that poison is always destructive to man and that disease is a conservative effort of the living organism to free itself of poison. It is by no means certain that anyone ever died of disease. There is strong reason, however, to think that all who have not died of violence or exhaustion have died of poisoning and that all who have died of exhaustion did so prematurely by being robbed of life by poisons.

Can organic function be restored and organic structure be repaired by means and measures that are destructive of structure and subversive of function? Can the exhausting narcotics and deadly chemical poisons of physicians, choking and irritating the bodies of the sick, the pungent, smarting compounds, the caustics, corrosives, stupefyers, the bowel-rasping, stomach-emptying, blood-poisoning, brain-disordering medley of poisons that dose the sick into a state of lethargy, muttering delirium and phrenetic excitement be expected to restore the sick to health? Let the truthful answer be: these things are all health destroying and too many deaths from slow poisoning are passed off as deaths from disease. Viewed in this light, the administration of drugs is seen to be a crime.

There is no mystery in this. It is not difficult to understand why poisons do not save us from suffering and death. The mystery lies in the fact that, after the truth is demonstrated, the mass of mankind go on to their destruction nevertheless. When one considers the immense masses of poisons that are merchandized in the drug trade, some of it so toxic that a small drop of it will kill an ordinary pig in a matter of minutes, one cannot help but think that human life is shortened under the drugging practice. It is a bit foolish to think that all of this poison can be diluted and swallowed at intervals in such a way as to promote health instead of impairing and destroying life.

Drugs never have a remedial influence, but their administration is always and necessarily attended by a loss of constitutional power. To bring disorganizing poisons into contact with the living tissues of the body is to damage and destroy, not to build and renew. The fact that these poisons are prescribed by a physician does not alter their relationship to the tissues nor render them adaptable to the purposes of life. Prof. Martin Paine said in the latter half of the nineteenth century, after admitting that all drugs are poisons: "In a remedial sense, however, we do not know them as poisons, but as among the choicest blessings bestowed upon man." How actually absurd!

However good and benevolent the motive that leads to the administration of poisons as medicines, it cannot alter their actual qualities, nor mitigate their hurtful, even deadly, effects on the powers of life. If they are poisons before they enter the living system, they must of necessity be poisons after they enter. As soon as the people fully understand the intrinsically poisonous character of all drugs, they will convict the medical profession of manslaughter and destroy their fame as healers and their character as useful citizens.

Medical men cling to their implanted fixations which were developed in advance of all experimental verification and before the development of biologic, physiologic and pathologic knowledge. The only relation which a true interpretation of facts shows drugs to have to the human organism is that of poison and no amount of falsification of nature can make this relation any different. What recent discoveries in physiology have been made which show that drugs (poisons) have the same relations to the human organism as foods? Medical authors neglect to give us even a brief account of such discoveries. The relation of all drugs to the living organism, even in those cases in which they may be useful, as in anesthesia, is always anti-vital. It may be thought that so-called sleeping drugs serve some good purpose, but it should be known that stupefaction is not slumber. The barbiturate physician might as well benumb his patient by a blow on the head.

It is not true that substances which are poisonous in health become innoxious in disease. Nothing changes its relations to the human organism when it is well or sick. If it is a poison, it is so once and always--under all possible circumstances. If it will corrode the tissues of a well person, it will corrode the tissues of a sick man. The unceasing clash of the organism with these unassimilable substances gives rise to pathologies galore. The body must maintain a state of perpetual vigilance against poisons and this reduces it to the status of a maladept.

When poison is taken, the powers of life are excited to increased actions to resist and expel it. This will be followed by reaction, more or less severe, depending on the prior expenditure. The introduction of foreign elements into the blood stream is sufficiently guarded against by the living organism and only men of science recklessly disregard these safeguards of internal purity and break through the defenses and deliberately introduce foreign materials, some of them highly toxic, into the blood. Many drugs produce no appreciable immediate damage but are retained, as they are eliminated with difficulty, and accumulate in the body and it is said by toxicologists of some of these that small amounts of such drugs may be retained in the body for months and even years.

Most people think that it is necessary to take drugs when ill; they must take them, if not for cure, at least for relief from discomforts and pains, so many of us once thought. But millions today are rejoicing in better health because they have learned that there is no balm in poison; they have been emancipated from the belief in the necessity of drugs and have been freed from their diseases. It is possible for every reader of this book to free himself from his slavery to drugs. The daily consumption of drugs as mere palliatives or subterfuges, to paralyze some aching nerve or to goad some faltering organ into renewed (increased) activity, is a practice that cannot be justified on any scientific ground. Today, the American public is practically pickled in drugs. Anodynes, analgesics, antacids, laxatives, cathartics, sedatives, soporifics, tranquilizers, for headaches, gastric distress, constipation, emotional disturbances, sleeplessness, etc. are swallowed by almost everybody. Indeed, drugging has become a way of life. For the reader to free himself from his slavery to drugs, it will cost him a little effort, a little resolution, some persevering effort, the exercise of some faith in the powers of his own body, some transient sacrifice; but the rewards are well worth the cost.

To call this poisoning of the life currents and the body's tissues a rational, scientific mode of treating disease is to do violence to human reason. Taking poison, so far from diminishing disease, always makes more work for it to do. There is no surer means of evolving chronic disease than that of treating acute disease with poisons. There never can be and never ought to be any congenial relationship between the living organism and rank, disorganizing poisons, no matter how these are sugar coated.

Man must disabuse his mind of the fallacy that when he is ill or that when we call drugs medicines and take them upon the directions of the physician, that poisons are transformed from deadly foes into kindly friends, ready to do him good in his time of need. When, with all the gravity they can command, the professors of medicine assure us that there is no other source under heaven whereunto we may turn when ill with any hope of succor, than the myriads of poisons that exist throughout the earth, we must think them to be laboring under a delusion.

Instead of the most poisonous and deadly substances being good for us in the days of our suffering, only the friendly and congenial substances can be of genuine service to us. These are serviceable in restoring health as they are serviceable in preserving health. It is false to think that what is poisonous in one circumstance or condition of our being is the very supporter of life in another, that what will destroy health when we are well can be made to build it up and establish it when we are sick. There is no more harmony between drugs and the sick body than between drugs and the healthy body. There is never a circumstance in which there is a genial relationship and adaptability between drugs and the living organism.

To invalids of every age and description, who are subjects of disease, suffering, weakness, irritability or despondency, who hope to secure a return to the normal vigor of their organization or to realize the joys and rich blessings of uninterrupted health through the agency of poisonous and disorganizing substances, I address this important question: is it logical to think that the causes of disease and death are also the causes of health and renewed life?