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.
Asclepiades used fasting 2,000 years ago, as did Thessalus of Tralles; Celsus employed fasting in jaundice and epilepsy; Avicenna used to fast his patients four or five weeks. Even Paracelsus declared, "Fasting is the greatest remedy." In the 17th Century, Dr. Hoffman wrote a treatise on fasting entitled "Description of the Magnificent Results Obtained Through Fasting in All Diseases." In the 18th century, Dr. Anton Nikolai asked: "What is more sense, to feed the patient and give him medicine and keep him sick for the rest of his life, or make him thin for a while and make him absolutely well?"
Dr. Van Seeland, a Russian physician, says "As a result of experiments, I have come to the conclusion that fasting is not only a therapeutic agent of the highest degree possible but also deserves consideration educationally." Dr. Adolph Mayer, a prominent German physician, says, in a book entitled Fast Cures--Wondercures; "I assert that fasting is the most efficient means for correcting any disease." He also asserts that "Fasting and surgery is all that is of any value in the professional armamentarium."
Dr. Moeller, head of the sanatorium "Closchwitz," says, "fasting is the only natural evolutionary method whereby through a systemic cleansing you can restore yourself by degrees to physiologic normality." Dr. Osbeck, of Upsala, Professor of Surgery, was so successful with fasting treatments that the government ordered them investigated, and upon receipt of a favorable report from the committee, gave him a bonus of $5,000 and a yearly pension of $500. Fasting is now employed in several European sanatoriums, both in England and on the continent.