This section is from the book "The Hygienic System: Fasting And Sun Bathing", by Herbert M. Shelton. Also available from Amazon: The Hygienic System Vol III Fasting and Sun Bathing.
The other half-truth upon which diet cures are based is that "diseases" are due to nutritive deficiencies, and cure follows an adequate supply of the deficient element or elements. Efforts to meet this requirement may take the form of drinking large quantities of juices or of using food concentrates--substances rich in minerals or vitamins.
All over America the gum-willies are talking "deficiency" to the people and all over America there are millions of people who are living testimonials to the failure of the theory and the practices built thereon. This is not to deny that deficiencies exist; rather, it is to point out that most deficiencies are due to failure of assimilation and can be corrected only by removing the causes that have impaired the nutritive processes. Enervation and toxemia and the mental and physical habits that are responsible for these are the chief causes of deficiency.
There are deficiencies, but they are almost never primary. Constitutional impairment--enervation and toxemia--is prior to the appearance of the nutritional imbalance. The toxic state is the large factor and the mineral and vitamin deficiencies are secondary to this.
The truth of this is strikingly revealed in anemia, where the deficiency theory and the feeding practices based thereon are failures.
Care that eliminates the toxemia is followed by immediate and marked improvement in the blood without any food at all, except water, being given. Goitre also presents a striking demonstration of this fact. Care based on the "deficiency" theory is a failure. Care based on the toxemia theory is a success.
The great object to be achieved is the elimination of toxins. Nothing more effectively promotes the elimination of toxins than a fast coupled with rest. No "eliminative" or "curative" diet can equal the fast for this purpose.
Here is a true story of a woman who was cared for in the Health School. Among her troubles were brittle and corrugated finger nails. She had been assured that this trouble was due to calcium deficiency and for some time before coming to the Health School had been faithfully swallowing the calcium preparations that were prescribed for her. She was also using other food preparations that were prescribed for her. Nonetheless her nail condition grew worse instead of better. At the Health School she underwent a lengthy fast during which her nails completely recovered, so that when she left here all traces of the former difficulty had disappeared.