This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
"My boarders, on the 19th morning, all presented such a forlorn, dilapidated appearance, that I feared I should lose my reputation as a caterer, and also all my guests, unless I changed my diet list. They had all lost heavily in weight, and were much debilitated.
"A weighed 138 lbs. Loss in 18 days 22 lbs.
B " 116 " " " 29 "
C " 136 " " " 19 "
D " 143 " " ". 23 "
E " 147 " " " 25 "
F " 126 " " " 22 "
"When, on the morning of the 19th day, I set before them nice beef-steaks, freed from fat and white tissue, they were all greatly delighted, and ate ravenously of them. I gave to each ten ounces of meat, with a good cup of clear coffee. Beef seasoned with butter, pepper, and salt; no other food or drinks. At dinner gave each twelve ounces of beefsteak, prepared as for breakfast, and half a pint of clear tea. The meal was hugely enjoyed.
"All now began to breathe easier and to feel clearer about the head. Passages less frequent, though still large and numerous. During the afternoon, all were in a state of enjoyable relief, and were ready to speak a good word for their host and his house."
Dr. Salisbury relates that on the 20th and 21st he gave them three meals a day, chiefly of beef-steak, and discharged them on the 22nd day, feeling in good trim. The outcome of the experiment on feeding on oatmeal exclusively is reported to be similar. On the 30th day he changed their diet to broiled beef-steak three times a day. His patients at once showed marked signs of improvement, and were discharged on the 34th day "well and happy."
It is not so very strange that a number of men, accustomed to active exercise, can be placed upon an exclusive diet of baked beans or oatmeal, and, by following this persistently for twenty or thirty days continuously, eating much more than the system requires, should develop serious symptoms of ill-health; but it must be confessed that it is strange that these symptoms should be overcome by a few days' continuous feeding of three hearty meals of beef-steak, with no other food. It is to be regretted that Dr. Salisbury does not give more particulars as to the amount of food the men consumed at each meal, or at least each day; and moreover, in the interests of science, it would have been well if he had given the names and addresses of his "boarders," and had procured from each a sworn statement of the facts, followed by the name, address, and statement of the notary before whom the depositions were made. But an important fact is open to the world, and easily verified. It is this : Dr. Salisbury conceived that most diseases arise from eating improper foods; and that, instead of entirely and easily digesting and assimilating, giving health and strength, the great bulk of the foods used in civilisation ferment in the stomach and intestines, causing gas, flatulency, inflammation, failure of digestion and assimilation, resulting in inadequate nutrition, a prostration of the nervous system, and a general break-down, and terminating in the hydra-headed brood of modern diseases. He claims to have proven by experiments that all cereals, vegetables (in the common use of that word), and fruits, if used exclusively and continuously as human food, result in intestinal fermentation, ending sooner or later in loss of health and a general break-down; that the muscular tissue of beef, separated from fat, gristle, skin, and connective tissue, used exclusively and continuously as human food, does not ferment, and is readily, easily, and perfectly digested and assimilated; and that two to four pounds of beef per day, with no other food whatever, and with three to six pints of hot water daily taken as he directs, with no other liquid, and with a cathartic sufficient to cause a daily movement of the bowels, is universally followed with great benefits to all, and usually with the fully restored health of the patient. On this system he commenced the practice of medicine, making a specialty of so-called "incurable" cases, and specially of consumption, tumours, etc., together with all nervous diseases; he began that practice over thirty years ago, in a western city; after a score of years of great professional success, he came to New York some ten years ago, and he had such phenomenal success in this city as to attract attention abroad. A few years since he established in London a branch office or centre from which the Salisbury treatment is given; and ft most noteworthy product of the London centre is a book published by a patient of Dr. Salisbury, a remarkably brilliant and able writer, entitled, "What Must I Do to get Well" (Elmer Stuart). This lady has filled her book with eloquent and enthusiastic praise of the treatment to which she feels she owes her life. Speaking of Dr. Salisbury, she says:
"By 1858 he perceived clearly and unmistakably that all diseases not caused by accident, poisons, or infections, eminate from unhealthy alimentations. And, having at last reached - the cause, the remedy was not far to seek. His life mission opened itself out fully before him; and earnestly, and with a deep sense of responsibility, did he set about it - not so much to make a living for himself, as to help others to live - to prevent disease, and to cure it. Nobly has he fulfilled that mission, as hundreds can now testify, who but for him would to-day be taking their long sleep in 'the land where no man dwelleth,' or would be as I was, hourly, for eight and a half most weary years, sleepless, helpless, barely able to move, and night and day unceasingly suffering great anguish. If you who read these lines had but seen me then - could but see me now, after a few short months of the diet and hot water! Two months and a half after I began the strict treatment, I could bend, and put on my shoes and stockings, and lace and unlace my boots, which I had been unable to do for nearly ten years. And then, gradually, each invalid appliance and device, and all cushions, etc., were discarded; and oh, the heartfelt joy with which I saw the last of these nuisances disappear!"