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.
It may be objected to all of this that the patient should be fed so-called pre-digested foods. Our reply is that there are no predigested foods and little ability to absorb them if there were. Efforts to feed so-called pre-digested foods have proven failures, even when the foods were not vomited. Well did Dr. Dewey say: "Pre-digested foods! If they nourish the sick, why not feed the well? Why not abolish our kitchens at an immense saving in the time, expense and worry of cooking and live on them at an immense saving of the tax of digestion and the digestive juices? Brethren of the Medical Profession, make haste to let the world know when you have found a case in which you have made use of the lower bowel so to nourish the sick body that it didn't waste while the cure was going on."
Rectal feeding is absurd. It feeds nothing. The colon is busy excreting, not absorbing, and the so-called food injected into the colon, not being digested, could not be used if it were absorbed. The least it can do is ferment and putrefy and add to the discomforts and expenditures of the patient. Lavage or stomach tube or duodenal feeding are delusions.
When such large quantities of fluid are being poured out, there is no absorption from the stomach and intestine. To feed under such conditions, when there is no absorption, and also no digestion, is not to nourish the body. Food adds to the putrescence and to the danger.
The body never performs any of what Dr. Tilden calls "Hindu tricks," in this matter of taking nourishment. It does not digest and absorb food when digestion is suspended and the membranes of the stomach and intestine are exuding matter instead of absorbing it. It is exuding fluid to aid in expelling the mass of putrescence in the food tube, and to protect the walls of the tube and any irritated surface. Sometimes nature even rejects water, expelling it by vomiting as often as it is forced down. How foolish in such cases to continue to force food and drugs on the patient and water into his stomach. Nature is trying to protect herself by this vomiting. She even guards against water by creating a bad taste in the mouth that causes the patient to refuse water. Dr. Lindlahr likened the process to a sponge. During health, the sponge (intestine) is busy absorbing, during a fast or in acute "disease" the sponge is being squeezed.
Skin feeding is another absurdity. The skin will not absorb food, and it would not be prepared for use by the organism, if it did do so, as was shown in our study of digestion in a previous volume. I have heard doctors tell of feeding patients through the skin. Milk baths, olive oil rubs and other unphysiological procedures are employed, and then, if the patient does not die, the doctor tells us how long he kept his patient alive by such absurd practices. Had the doctor not been ignorant of the internal resources of the body he would have known that the patient would have lived just as long without such mis-called feeding. Skin foods are delusions. Intravenous feeding is also a delusion.