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.
"From my own experience I can fully bear witness that the sleeplessness due to fermentation is altogether a most distressful sensation, and makes one far more wretched and uneasy than even that produced by too strong tea. The unconscious victim of fermentation soon has recourse to drugs and sleeping draughts, which cannot remove the cause, but instead increase the evil; for complications will ere long arise, indigestion, constipated bowels, feebler health and resisting power, etc., until it ends in a complete break-down. I am speaking from my own closely observed experience, for I can now prognosticate pretty accurately my night's rest from my supper. With people who are in fairly good health, it is not what they eat occasionally that can hurt them. It is a continual dropping that wears the stone away - the continuously and persistently eating the wrong food at the wrong time, in the wrong proportion, that causes the final disaster. I know not who invented the stupid saying that bread is the 'staff of life,' so often hurled triumphantly at me in the sanguine expectation of its discomforting experience and fact. Whoever it was is as answerable in one way for the world's unhappiness, as Solomon is in another, whose dictum respecting the rod and the child made of my childhood a misery at the time, and a pain to look back on. But Solomon had more excuse for his aphorism, since with such a large family he must often have been driven nearly distracted, and constrained to lay about him with lavish profusion. Tea being the cup that 'cheers but not inebriates,' is another moonshine proverb."
If my Vegetarian friends will bear with me for this seeming heresy, and for calling marked attention to these remarkable utterances, I promise them before the close of this essay to show some physiological and philosophical grounds for my position; and that, while the flesh of animals is undoubtedly an excremental, poisonous, unnatural, and unwholesome food for man, still the "Salisbury Treatment" is a stubborn fact in the world, and is a valuable milestone in the path of progress, helping to point out the colossal mistake the race has made in adopting for food those cereals and vegetables which require to be cooked in order to be digested and assimilated, and which, in the very nature of their ill adaptation to the human organism, are an ever present cause of nervous prostration and its resultant evils.
As to the cause that produces diabetes, physicians are quite undecided. But they are united upon this, that all cereal and starchy foods ought to be prohibited the patient. Quain's "Dictionary of Medicine," one of the latest and best received old school authorities in England and America, says:"All authorities agree that meat should be the chief constituent of the patient's food, and that starch and cane and grape sugar should be avoided, as well as all those foods containing them." To quote further from this authority : "Haricot beans, peas, and all cereals, tapioca, sago, arrowroot, all forms of macaroni, cheese, potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and beet-root, are on the forbidden list."
Quain tells us that a variety of food is very desirable, and proceeds to give quite an elaborate list of articles that may be allowed the patient. If one takes into consideration the great damage that is usually done to patients by old-school medication, the fact that they are almost universally ignorant of the remedial value of hot water, and considering also the relatively large variety of foods which are allowed the patient, one does not wonder that this authority states that diabetes is a very serious disease, and is almost never considered curable. A method of treatment quite largely adopted in America by practitioners in various schools of medicine consists chiefly in confining the patient's diet to skimmed milk only, from four to eight quarts being recommended in the twenty-four hours. As might be expected, this system of treatment is far more successful than that recommended by Quain, and usually adopted by the old-school practitioners.
Dr. Salisbury recommends a very radical treatment, and reports a very great success. In addition to the hot water usually prescribed to patients, he allows beef-tea made from pure lean meat fibre, and for food confines the patient to the muscle pulp of lean meat. After giving minute directions as to the hot water, beef-tea, beef-pulp, and hygienic directions, Dr. Salisbury remarks, on page 129:
"By judiciously and persistently following out the foregoing plan of alimentation, treatment, etc., the diseased organs and system generally soon begin to take on a more healthy state. The urine contains every succeeding day a smaller proportion of sugar; its density lessens steadily, its quantity decreases; the colour heightens, the appetite improves, the eyes grow brighter and brighter, the skin gradually loses its dryness and becomes more soft and oily, and the mucous membranes less and less feverish and dry; the thirst ceases, and the entire organism takes on, little by little, yet certainly and surely, the actual appearances', states, and conditions of health.
"In less than one week's time, after this treatment is thoroughly entered upon, the quantity of urine decreases from gallons to about two quarts per diem; and the density falls from 1040 to 1060 down to 1026 to 1034, varying with the advancement and severity of the disease. The thirst usually ceases in about three days, after which the sufferings of the patient are comparatively slight.
"The least deviation on the part of the patient from the course marked out can be at once detected by the watchful and expert physician. A single mouthful of bread, vegetables, fruit, sauce, sugar, or any fermenting farinaceous or saccharine food, will elevate the density of the urine many degrees, by increasing the sugar in it, and the quantity voided will be much greater. The physician should be able to perceive immediately any departure of the patient, and call him to strict account. No one need hope to handle this disease successfully, without an unfaltering observance of the foregoing rules and regulations."