The milk preparation placed on the market in form of lactic tablets, yougurth, lactone, fermalac, etc., are all founded on the theory that the human organism is constitutionally imperfect and inadequate to maintain its own physiological integrity. To save the situation, however, science comes to the rescue with a system of serum therapy, which consists in the introduction into the human organism, either through hypodermal injections, inhalations, or by way of the mouth, - of microbic cultures prepared from substances, the corruption of which, in order to be effective, must be even more destructive than the corruptive processes at work in the body itself. In other words, the forces called upon for aid and protection, must be more sanguine and ferocious than the forces which are to be conquered: the poison of the injection must be more corrupt than the poison already active in the diseased system.
Now by its very readiness to yield a mi crobe culture, milk has always been selected as a means of generating the alien microbe when its importation into the organism had to go via the digestive field; and it is to Prof. Metchnikoff, in particular, that we are indebted for a more elaborate and detailed treatment of disease by these systematic, fermentative processes.
Having discovered a bacillus putrificans coli in the human bowel, which as a product of intestinal decomposition, is undoubtedly detrimental to human health, the famous French savant, in his attempt to affect its elimination, ignored the fact that this bacillus is not a genetic, constitutional output of human nature, but the abnormal product of abnormal living; abnormal food, and abnormal habits, Hence in place of instructing the patient how to live so as to prevent any further generation in his system of these parasites, Prof. Metchnikoff proceeds to generate a bacteria de novo, more destructive than the old, and by which he proposes to wage a general war of extermination against the putrifactive bacillus of man's intestine. In place of so improving and fortifying human nature that she may victoriously fight her own battles, he displaces her by an alien, life-destroying agent, which forever barred from an amalgamation with the forces of legitimate, progressive, evolutionary growth, retains its position to the organism of an enemy of her household.
Prof. Metchnikoff holds the position of a general who, with his country in the throes of a civil war, invites the armed assistance of a foreign nation to subdue the domestic rebellion - later on, however, to realize that a still more formidable issue confronts him is his relation to the victorious invader who refuses to relinquish its grip over the subdued subjects. In either case there is a danger, that the conqueror will not forego his tempting opportunity for continued spoil and conquests.
This is exactly the attitude of the human organism after it has become inoculated by the bacillus bulgaricus, introduced into the world-pharmacopoeia by Prof. Metchnikoff in some artificial form of sour milk, such as yougurth, lactic tablets, fermalac, etc., - or any of the recently developed fermenting, decomposing microbe cultures. Nothing is more remote from true health than the lethargic feeling of false peace which may follow the use of these preparations. The system has lost its power of resistance and submits readily to every pathologic change of its cell-life and general metabolism. Hence, the sensation of strength and flush of vitality which the microbe culture frequently gives rise to, is a mere surface reaction, and refers to the strength of the alien bacillus, rather than to the resilience of the subdued human organism, which fundamentally and constitutionally is growing weaker.
To give strength and plausibility to his theory, Prof. Metchnikoff refers to the people of Bulgaria, whose universally renowned longevity he declares is due to their immoderate indulgence in sour milk. An investigation of the subject, however, has shown that as a matter of fact, the people of Bulgaria use very little sour milk in their diet. According to Dr. Gundurm - a royal health commissioner of Croatia - who has spent many years of study among the Bulgarian peasantry, - the cause of their long life is not in the indulgence in sour milk - not even "yougurth" - but in a dish called "tschessnakova" - in English, garlic - and which, together with black rye-bread, forms the main body of their daily diet. "The fact is," says Dr. Gundurm, that the population of Bulgaria eats or drinks very little "kiselo miljeko," as sour milk is known there. But they eat great quantities of garlic: three times daily. 'Tscheschnakova Tscherba,' or garlic soup, is the favorite dish. It is prepared with grated garlic, cold water and paprika - a natural pepper. The Bulgarians are strictly orthodox. They have many and long periods of fasting, during which products of animals may not be eaten. These fasts are rigidly kept and during that time garlic and garlic soup are the principal dishes. "As the result of my five years of investigation in Bulgaria," concludes the Croation health-commissioner in his official report, "I have come to the firm conviction that the remarkable health and long life of the simple abstemious ways of living and the Bulgarians is due to nothing else than their abundance of garlic in their food."