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.
Diet cures are quite popular at this time and are now exploited from the housetops by all and sundry. There are "grape cures," "lemon cures," "orange cures." "onion cures," "garlic cures" and similar cures, galore. Juices of all kinds vegetable juices and fruit juices--simple, mixed (compounded) in every conceivable manner, are urged upon the sick as cures for almost all the ills flesh is subject to. Food extracts, food concentrates, vitamin preparations, gland extracts, food pills, food powders, and other food-derived imitations of the products of the pharmaceutical houses are sold at big profits to a credulous and cure-deluded people.
Practically all parts and tissues of the body are bathed in a solution of food and oxygen constantly renewed--the blood and lymph--which yields to functioning organs and growing tissues the elements needed by them to sustain their special actions and support their growth. Every functional act and every process of repair and growth is a local demand on the whole resources of the system. The organ or tissue is local, the supply is general and mobile.
The blood, if normal, contains ample resources to sustain alike all parts and all functions of the body. Healthy individuals find no difficulty in deriving nutritive support for all the organs and functions of their bodies from the same food. This means that ordinary natural foods contain ample diversity for all needs and that special foods are not required to support special functions or particular organs.
If these foods are adequate for the healthy, they are equally adequate for the unhealthy and special foods to support weakened powers are of slight value. The present feeding plans seek specific foods for special organs or for "specific diseases" in the same way the old drugging plan sought specific drugs for special organs or for "specific diseases."
Food cures are based on two half-truths. Some of them are based on the notion that the sick body is full of acids and that alkaline foods must be supplied to neutralize the acids. Foods rich in bases are prescribed for this purpose and it is usual to urge their use in large quantities.
Two fallacies are involved in this theory and practice. It is not true that the sick body is full of acids. It is true that the cell wastes are all acid and acid fermentation-products do get into the body from the digestive tract. But the body will not tolerate acids for a second. They are immediately "bound" with alkalies and neutralized.
The other fallacy is the belief that the body utilizes food elements in proportion to the amount ingested. This is not true. Forcing large quantities of alkalies into the body does not assure their utilization. Indeed, one may be positive that the sick body will not be able to utilize them. Only a healthy body, possessed of full nerve force, is capable of properly digesting and assimilating foods. To overfeed the sick body on certain elements does not restore health.