Nutritional Approach To Overcoming Addictions
Lesson 69 - Nutritional Approach To Overcoming Addictions
Most addicting habits arise from the desire to suppress symptoms or to overcome the feeling of tiredness. These symptoms appear due to an unhealthful lifestyle. Poisons are often resorted to instead of correcting the cause of the symptoms. All drugs and coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, tobacco, etc., stimulate and give the false sense of well-being but this feeling lasts only a short time when depression occurs and the addict resorts to even higher doses of his poison. So the cycle goes on and on.
The Hygienic approach is a very rational one. To break this self-poisoning cycle, a fast is instituted followed by a normal and physiological pattern of eating. With this approach, the addict will find that it is much easier to discontinue his habit than with any other method. Furthermore, there will be no more desire for the former habit.
Alcohol is absorbed into the blood, principally from the small intestine. It accumulates in the blood because absorption is more rapid than oxidation and elimination. Depression of the central nervous system is a principle effect of alcohol. The CNS is at first stimulated. This is a defensive response by the body to begin action to eliminate this harmful poison. Due to the enervation that invariably follows, exhaustion and depression follow.
People who drink large amounts of alcohol repetitively become somewhat “tolerant” to its effects; later doses seem not to have the same intoxicating effect as earlier ones. This tolerance is not based primarily on changes in drug dispositions or metabolism but is caused by destructive changes in central nervous system cells. Those said to be tolerant to alcohol may have incredibly high blood alcohol concentrations. In this case, the body has become so enervated that it has lost its capacity to react to this drug and eliminate its poisons from the system. The so-called “physical dependence” accompanying tolerance is profound, and withdrawal produces a series of pronounced physical and mental effects. While these symptoms may be severe, the acute period usually only lasts about two days if the alcoholic fasts, but may last as long as ten days under orthodox treatment. Delirium tremens, experienced by many alcoholics, usually ceases after two days on the fast. Since alcohol results in central nervous system stimulation I and its eventual depression, it invariably has similar effects on all bodily parts connected with the CNS and this includes everything. Especially effected is the brain and this is demonstrated in the alcoholic’s lack of memory, disorientation, slurred speech, etc.
Also, there is a marked prevalence of vitamin B deficiency, especially thiamine, due partly to the poor diet of the alcoholic and partly due to malabsorption of this vitamin by the impaired gastrointestinal tract of such individuals. Many so-called vitamin deficiencies have been corrected during the fast while no food was being ingested. The body normalizes while on the fast and certain food stored vitamins are utilized. On the Hygienic diet of raw fruits, vegetables and nuts, no thiamine deficiency could be possible because all of these foods contain this vitamin in abundance. Thus, the alcoholic is very greatly benefited by this raw diet since his body will be provided the most ideal conditions for normalcy of function to return. Not only will all nutrients be available for utilization but the proper conditions will be provided for healing.
Usual orthodox treatment includes large doses of vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, particularly thiamine. These inorganic vitamins will not provide any benefit to the alcoholic since the body cannot utilize nutrients in this form. The result will be added toxins and additional problems for the body to deal with. In addition, alcoholics are often given fluids if they are thought to be dehydrated. The usual therapy is 1,000 ml of 5% dextrose in a saline solution followed by 1,000 ml of 10% dextrose in distilled water. This practice is totally anti-life and will result in more stimulation if the body is able to respond defensively. In any case, it is harmful practice.
Drugs are used frequently to treat the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But trading one drug for another never results in health. It only results in additional sickness and destruction of tissues and cells.
Another treatment given to alcoholics is the administration of Disulfiram. This is a drug that interferes with metabolism of acetaldehyde (an intermediary product in the oxidation of alcohol) so that acetaldehyde accumulates, producing toxic symptoms and great discomfort. Drinking alcohol within twelve hours after taking Disulfiram results in facial flushing in five to fifteen minutes, then intense vasodilation of the face and neck with suffusion of the conjunctiva, throbbing headache, tachycardia, hyperpnea, and swelling. Nausea and vomiting follow in 30 to 60 minutes and may be so intense as to lead to hypotension, dizziness, and sometimes fainting and collapse. The reaction lasts one to three hours. Discomfort is so intense that few patients will risk taking alcohol as long as they are taking Disulfiram. This is obvious an extremely dangerous practice.
We take a more rational approach. It is so much more pleasant (and beneficial) to fast in an atmosphere with fresh air, peace and quiet, and then to enjoy the wonderful raw foods that nature has prepared for us. Following a more natural lifestyle, the alcoholic will never crave this poison again.
Addictions to Opiate-Type Drugs
Use of opiate-type drugs, such as heroin, results in stimulation of the central nervous system and one of the first noticeable signs is a strong psychic dependence on an overpowering compulsion to continue taking the drug. This dependence may be evident as soon as two to three days after beginning use. Thus, so-called “therapeutic” use of narcotics that are given by some physicians often creates some tolerance and dependence and the user may show symptoms of withdrawal when the drug is discontinued.
The effects of this drug are so damaging and enervating to the nervous system and all systems of the body that a situation is soon created where the body is too enervated to react defensively. In this case, the addict resorts to increased dosages and more frequent dosages until he again achieves the stimulation that he is seeking.
Acute intoxication with opiates is characterized by euphoria, flushing, itching of the skin, abnormal contraction of the pupils, drowsiness, decreased respiratory rate and depth, hypotension, slow heart rate, and decreased body temperature.
The entire body is in an extremely debilitated condition and the only remedy for this situation is rest. That is, total rest until the body can once again begin to function normally. So the addict must fast. Following the fast, the raw foods diet of fruits, vegetables, and nuts will provide the body with the optimum materials to make those desperately needed repairs of the damages that occurred while taking this deadly drug.
Withdrawal symptoms are the opposite of the drug effects (central nervous system hyperactivity). In other words, depression of the CNS occurs. The symptoms may be severe and occur rapidly but are self-limited and the length of their occurrence and their severity will be less while fasting than while eating.
Orthodox treatment often-involves administration of methadone but this results in another type of addiction, so nothing worthwhile has been accomplished. The withdrawal symptoms of methadone are similar to those of heroin.
People become addicted to caffeine because of its stimulating effects. Caffeine is a powerful central nervous system stimulator affecting the cortex first, then the medulla, and finally the spinal cord as the dose is increased. Large doses of caffeine may result in impaired motor function. Adverse effects may occur after 150 to 250 mg of caffeine, equivalent to one or two cups of coffee.
Persons who drink large amounts of coffee (fifteen to twenty cups a day) may develop “caffeinism.” The symptoms of this illness are insomnia, a slight fever, and irritability.
Children are particularly affected, probably due to their lower body weight.
Caffeine results in stimulation of the heart with tachycardia and arrhythmias. Caffeine also stimulates release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla, and norepinephrine is released from nerve endings in the heart. Catecholamines have a marked effect on the central nervous system, metabolic rate, temperature, and smooth muscle.
Nicotine, in the tobacco, has been found to result in increased heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, stroke volume, and velocity of myocardial contraction. An entire lesson was devoted to this pernicious habit so I will not enlarge upon it here, but again, it is a habit endorsed for its stimulating effects.
According to the Law of Dual Effect, “The secondary effect upon the living organism of any act, habit, indulgence, or agent is the exact opposite and equal of the primary effect.”
This means that when you take a drug of alcohol, caffeine, etc., the first effect will be that of stimulation. But the second and lasting effect will be just the opposite—depression. Enlarging upon this subject, Dr. Shelton states, “Tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, spices, meat, etc., which appear to give strength (their first effect), invariably as their secondary and lasting effect, weaken in proportion to the strength they appear to give.”
“Alcohol which apparently strengthens and which, for a very brief moment increases function, results in diminished function and weakness. Alcohol, like ether and chloroform, does not add power to the system. It only occasions the expenditure of power already possessed. It is properly classed as a caustic irritant and the exalted function, which first follows its use, is not due to any power it communicates to the body and mind, but to the vital resistance and consequent expenditure of vital power its irritating effects occasion. Its secondary effect is due to the exhaustion of the vital powers and its destructive effects upon the tissues of the body.
“Opium permanently produces sleeplessness, nervousness, and pain because it temporarily relieves these conditions. Give opium to cure a man of pain! Who has pains equal to those of the opium addict? The nomenclature of medicine needs revision. Opium and other anodynes and antispasmodics should be classed as odynes and spasmodics. The whole class of tonics should be classed as atonics. “Stimulants” should be called depressants. These substances should be classed according to their secondary and lasting effects and not according to their primary and temporary effects.
“A cup of coffee will relieve a headache but in so doing it permanently fastens the headache habit upon the patient. It will relieve mental depression, but when the user is deprived of his coffee he becomes doubly depressed. Tobacco steadies the nerves only to unsteady them. Tonics strengthen only to debilitate. Purging produces constipation, diuretics produce inactivity of the kidneys, expectorants result in dryness of the lungs. If the habitual user of any drug will cease its use for a few days, he will experience in their fullness all its secondary effects. If he then returns to his use of the drug, he will be delighted to find that these secondary effects are ‘cured’ by it. The disease is ‘cured’ by its cause—coffee appears to cure the headache it produced; whiskey seems to restore strength it has wasted; tobacco seems to restore steadiness of nerves it has destroyed.”
With these facts in mind, we must be sure that our foods do not contain equal stimulating qualities.
Foods Must Not Contain Toxins
All refined foods and all flesh foods contain drug-like stimulating qualities. Like all stimulating substances, the stimulation will eventually lead to depression and enervation.
The normal response of the stomach to food is called stimulation. This increased activity of the stomach is necessary for digesting food and it is normal action. But the food contributes to the renewal of the organism and therefore adds more than it takes away.
Dr. Shelton outlined three types of stimulants:
- Those substances and forces—light,air,water,food—which supply the materials of renewal and prepare the body for increased activity.
- Those kindly influences—warmth, coolness, good motives, good feelings, joy, enthusiasm, ambition, determination, will, etc.—that invite or inspire increased action; inspire the body to exert its power and means in a given direction; enable it to mobilize, organize and redirect its forces.
- Those substances, forces and influences that provoke or excite defensive action.
The first two renew and are beneficial while the last are irritants and do not provide any nutriment or benefit to the individual. In order for the foods to result in a beneficial renewal of our cells and tissues, they must not contain any toxins.
Dr. Shelton says, “Nature has arranged that natural, unseasoned foods, eaten when required by the body and under proper mental or emotional and physical condition, will occasion the secretion of the digestive fluids in a perfectly natural way and the stimulation they afford is never sufficient to impair the functional vigor of the digestive glands. Artificial ‘stimulation’ is not necessary, and it is harmful.”
All condiments artificially stimulate the appetite due to their irritating quality. The desire for food normally arises out of a real physiological need for food. When there is no need, hunger will be absent. Also, in the absence of hunger, the body is not ready to digest food. Appetite should never be stimulated by the use of condiments.
The use of condiments leads to overeating that eventually leads to a number of problems when excess food is taken. In order to recover from any addiction, you must be sure that your food does not contain such artificial and health-impairing stimulants.
All condiments act as irritants and, as a consequence, induce inflammation in the digestive tract. Their continued use results in hardening of the mucous lining of the digestive tract. This hardening renders the membranes less sensitive to the irritating qualities of condiments but cripples the efficiency of digestion. So the real effect of condiments is just the opposite of what it is thought to be. They result in depression and hinder rather than aid digestion.
Mustard, pepper, pepper-sauce, horseradish, cayenne, and other hot and stimulating substances are highly poisonous due to certain oils that they contain. The first effect is stimulation of the stomach due to increased action but latter the gastric juice secretion is lessened and decreased activity of the stomach follows.
Spices, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, mustard, and all irritating sauces and condiments result in the same kind of impairment and do not improve digestion. Food addictions can result from the artificial stimulation through such additives to our food. Just as the drug addict and alcoholic are seeking stimulation, so is the person who is addicted to such stimulating foods.
So we must be sure that our food does not contain destructive stimulants but is eaten as nature has prepared it for us. Once you break away from the habit of using condiments, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good your food tastes without them.
Dr. Shelton quotes Dr. Oswald and he says, “The carnivora digest their meat without salt; our next relatives, the frugivorous four-handers, detest it. Not one of the countless tonics, cordials, stimulations, pickles and spices, which have become household necessities of modern civilization, is ever touched by animals in a state of nature. A famished wolf would shrink away from a ‘deviled gizzard.’ To children and frugivorous animals our pickles and pepper sauces are, on the whole, more offensive than meat, and therefore, probably more injurious.”
The addict must strive to eat only those foods that do not contain toxins. It is well known that cooked foods are less valuable than raw foods and the cooked foods also contain toxins.
Protein digestibility is decreased by cooking because the protein molecule is so deranged. Sensitive amines are saponified by heat. The amine group is replaced by the hydroxyl group in the foodstuffs and it has been shown that the hydroxides cannot be reaminized by the animal body.
The organic phosphates in the protein foods are transformed into inorganic and therefore become unusable and toxic. While the body is capable of taking the more complex phosphates and reducing them to lower stages, it is unable to reverse the process. Only plants can do this.
The application of heat to fats and oils of all kinds develops free fatty acids which are not only non assimilable, but are also toxic. This applies not only to free fats, but also to the fats that are present in all foods. There is a small amount of fat in even vegetables and cooking these foods always renders that fat toxic. Likewise, the minerals and vitamins in the foods are changed from their organic and usable form to inorganic form when heat is applied. Since these inorganic minerals are nonusable, they are toxic.
It becomes clear that cooked foods are not suitable for human consumption. It is even more imperative that the addict not consume these foods since his body is already to very toxic. The body must be given every possible chance for complete recovery and we must provide the correct conditions and not add more poisons to interfere with this healing process.
The best food for the addict, and it does not matter what his particular addiction is, is that food that is easy to digest and assimilate, contains no toxins or overstimulating qualities, contains all nutrients needed for health and can be eaten and relished in its raw state.
Fruits fit into this description perfectly. Sweet fruits are especially valuable since they are so easily digested they expend little energy in digestion, thus reserving energy for other bodily processes such as healing and repair. The body will initiate cleansing where accumulated toxins will be eliminated.
Dr. Shelton says, “The best source of sugar for the body is sweet fruits—grapes, dates, bananas, figs, raisins, etc. These sugars come to us almost predigested and well balanced with minerals and vitamins. These fruits are wholesome, natural, delicious and are full of life-sustaining qualities. No cook, confectioner or manufacturer can even remotely imitate these delicious products of nature’s solar-vital laboratory.”
This energy conservation is extremely important for the addict. If he first fasts, he will overcome his poison habit. After the fast, however, there will be a period of rebuilding and it is imperative that the proper materials be provided for this repair. A total fruit diet during this time would be ideal. For a time, even such a wholesome food as nuts could be left off the diet because of the larger amount of energy expenditure that they require for their digestion and assimilation. If you would stay on a total fruit diet for a period of time after the fast and include plenty of the sweet fruits, such as bananas and figs, recovery would be rapid. After that time, raw nuts and vegetables may be added (in reasonable amounts) with benefit. Most of the accumulated wastes and poisons of the body are of a protein nature and when we go on a fruit diet that is very low in protein, these excess proteins are eliminated or reorganized more rapidly within the body and utilized.
A person who habitually overeats is no less an addict than the alcoholic. Overeating wears out the vital powers through overstimulation, overworking the digestive organs, the heart, the endocrine system, and the emunctories, by the strain placed on them and gives rise to intoxication through the poisons that these foods generate.
Most people are addicted to overeating on foods that would result in ill health even if they were consumed in moderate amounts. Flesh foods, baked goods—such as pies, pastries, cakes, etc.—bread and all cooked foods are toxic in themselves. Overeating on such foods makes invalids of those who so indulge.
Throughout history, there have been many noteworthy gluttons who always suffered from indigestion and other diseases and soon died from their indiscretions. Dr. Shelton describes a breakfast that was typically eaten by Mr. Bryan, a noted glutton:
“Cantaloupe was first served. Bryan ate a whole one— an immense yellow-meated melon. It was in the fall season—early fall—and quail were on the bill of fare. Bryan ate two. Virginia ham and eggs followed. Bryan ate almost ravenously of this ham in large portions and consumed not less than six eggs, when batter cakes are served, the commoner disposed of a plateful, swimming in butter and then accepted a second helping and got away with that.
“Numerous cups of coffee, potatoes and side dishes of various kinds accompanied the cantaloupe and the ham and eggs and the rest of it.”
Bryan had diabetes, hardening of the arteries, heart disease and apoplexy. But the final and real cause of his death was gluttony. He was a sick man who dug his grave with his teeth.
On the other hand, one Dr. Low performed a feat where he lifted 1,000 pounds 1,006 times in thirty-five minutes and four seconds, after a period of training on one meal a day and less. For the first five weeks of his training he ate one meal a day, almost wholly of uncooked foods. During the last three weeks of his training period he ate only four meals a week; the last meal was consumed eleven hours before the lift. It is significant that he abstained from eating 11 hours before the lift as energy was not diverted into the digestive process while needed in muscular activity.
Conservation of energy is the key in health and disease. You must eat enough to supply your body with needed requirements but not so much that there is a great surplus and excessive vital energy is being expanded in disposing of this surplus.
Dr. Shelton says, “Nothing enables the alcoholic, the drug fiend, the tobacco addict, to overcome his ‘desire’ for his accustomed poison and to return to a state of good health, as does fasting.”
It becomes easy to understand how and why fasting may be of service in these conditions. It is a period of rest during which the abused organism undergoes needed adjustments and repairs and recuperates its energies. When the fast is ended, the system has been freed of its accumulated toxins, and the nervous system has been restored to health.
Alcoholism is an illness involving structural abnormalities. The thickening and toughening of the membranes of the mouth, throat, and stomach are necessary defensive expediences. Fatty degeneration of the liver or sclerosis of the liver are later developments. When the alcoholic fasts, the thickening membranes are removed and new membranes are formed. The new membrane of the mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach will not be a thickened, seared one, impervious to foods and poisons, but a thin, delicate and sensitive one that permits full appreciation of the fine delicate flavors of foods.
Glands and nerves that have been lashed into impotency by overstimulation, rest into full functional power when given an opportunity. Renewal of their power can come in no other way. The abused organism will heal itself through rest as the broken bone will knit through rest.
When the alcoholic has fully recovered from his illness and hunger has returned, no form of alcoholic drink will tempt him.
Fasting also makes discontinuing the tobacco habit easy. In a few days, the very taste of this poison becomes repulsive. Fasting results in an improved nervous system, and in the regenerated membranes of the smoker’s mouth and nose.
Dr. Shelton quotes MacFadden’s Encyclopedia of Physical Culture: “Fasting is the most valuable of all forms of treatment for overcoming the pathologic conditions of the body brought about by the habitual use of poison. Fasting gives the body an opportunity to readjust itself in a normal way and also hastens the elimination of any poison remaining in the system. The drug fiend has lost his appetite anyway, and by means of a fast will regain a normal condition of the alimentary canal in a fraction of the time that would otherwise be consumed in the process. Especially the mind will clear and gain strength, and he will much sooner find himself in possession of the moral impulse and the will to fight his habit.”
Rest—physical, mental and physiological—is the great need. In a remarkably short time, the fasting individual finds his supposed “craving” for drugs or other poisons, has disappeared.
Violent reactions often follow the withdrawal of the drug. For this reason, it is essential to take great care of the individual. Mania following the withdrawal of morphine or opium, or delirium tremens following the withdrawal of alcohol are similar developments. They indicate the gravity of the injury to the nervous system and reveal how important and urgent is the need to get away from the use of the poison.
Violent reactions soon cease as the patient fasts. With the gradual recovery of energy, repair of his damaged nervous system, and regeneration of his membranes, he will soon recover.
Enervation is the basic fact in all addiction. To avoid recultivation of a drug addiction, it is essential that the individual live so that he does not enervate himself. All sources of enervation should be avoided. A well-nourished body, the energies of which are conserved by first-class habits, will not feel the “need” for stimulants and will not “need” to be “relieved” from discomforts and pains.
Dr. James C. Jackson says (How To Treat the Sick Without Medicine): “A simple nutrient diet, the use of pure cold water for a drink, and personal cleanliness, with ‘abundant sleep, will prove to be the only securities to the reformed drunkard ... Tea, coffee, tobacco, pepper, mustard, salt, and flesh meat will create such a condition of the organic nerves, and of the mucous lining of his stomach, as to reestablish the desire for liquor, and then he will drink, come what may to his pledges or his social position.”
Vital force is behind the stimulating-effect from poisons and stimulation from foods but the purposes are different. The stimulation experienced from foods, taken in proper amounts, is increased action for the welfare of the body in normal activity. The stimulating effects from poisons is defensive action. Vital energy is used without being replaced. Vital energy is used up when food is taken but it replaces more than it uses.
In this regard, Dr. R. T. Trall says, “We see how it is that alcohol is an element of force. It occasions force to be wasted, that is all. If a small draught is taken, only a little force is wasted (not supplied) in defending the system from it, and the individual is but slightly excited; that is, a little feverish. If much is taken, a greater amount of force is necessarily wasted (not supplied) and greater excitement is manifested in stimulation, fever, delirium, madness, etc. The system expends its force to get rid of the alcohol, but never derives any force, great or small, good, bad, or indifferent, from the alcohol. Stimulation does not impart strength—it wastes it. Vital power does not go out of the brandy into the patient, but occasions vital power to be exhausted from the patient in expelling the brandy.”
Explaining the stimulating effects of alcohol and how it occasions the use of vital energy without eventually restoring force, Dr. Hereward Carrington says, “What is stimulation? We know that it is an induced condition in which the organism can, temporarily, perform a greater amount of muscular, vital, or mental work than would normally be performed in the same period of time, and this increase in its ability to work is undoubtedly traceable to the “stimulus” it has received. There is a greater capacity for work (implying a greater nervous force being expended in such action), and it is generally known that there is invariably a “reaction” or prostration, more or less profound and noticeable, following upon such stimulation.”
Under all circumstances, however, vitality or energy of any character is invariably manifested or noticed by us in its expenditure, rather than when it accumulates.
Dr. Robert Walter stated it this way in Life’s Great Law: “Every particle of living matter in the organized body is endowed with an instinct of self-preservation, sustained by a force inherent in the organism, usually called vital force, the success of whose work is directly proportioned to the amount of the force and inversely as the degree of its activity.”
So any stimulant, such as alcohol, drugs, etc., will use up this vital energy to the degree that we use these stimulants. When we fast, we reverse this procedure. Vital energy is conserved, not expended. If you feel weak while fasting, it is only because vital energy is being used for healing and not directed toward the musculature or for digestion. In effect, you are getting stronger.
Dr. Carrington says, “The fear of being obliged to wait passively; the lack of faith in the healing powers of Nature, is one of the greatest causes of medical malpractice of today. We must keep in mind, always, that no action can possibly occur without an equal and opposite reaction; that the pendulum of human energy cannot, by any possibility, swing in one direction indefinitely; but must, at some time, turn and swing in the other. Rest must always follow effort, and effort rest; and this law of rhythm applies, of course to the human body, so far as its energy is concerned. This being so, is it not most obvious that the digestive organs need their periods of rest—just as all our other organ’s call for rest? And is it not obvious, also, that the only way in which such a rest can be furnished is by fasting?”
The purer your body, the more aware and sensitive you are to things that are harmful. Former habits will be repulsive especially regarding smoking, alcohol, drugs, junk foods, meat, etc. If you become tempted by some former food addiction, think of the results that will occur after partaking in that unhygienic food. After you have fasted, your body will be pure and you will react violently to foods that are unsuited for consumption. Is it worth contaminating your body and feeling sick? No, it is not worth it.
Our natural foods are so delicious in themselves, that soon no other food or drugs will appeal to you. Certainly anyone’s sweet tooth can be satisfied by some delicious figs, dates, bananas or any of the other dried and fresh fruits that you may choose from.
According to Dr. Shelton, our poisonous habits are the major cause of kidney impairment. He says that all poisons from decomposed foods as well as the poisons of tobacco, alcohol, tea, coffee, etc., constantly overtax the kidneys and eventually impair them to such an extent as to result in their disintegration. Coffee drinking by itself results in considerable bodily impairment. This is due largely to the caffeine but also to the other toxic substances that it contains., As a result, the stomach, nervous system, heart and kidneys become impaired. This is especially evident in the kidney/s as coffee drinking temporarily increases the amount of urine expelled since the kidneys must get rid of the poisons. The kidneys then eventually become impaired and damaged due to overuse and enervation.
But it is not only the kidneys but all the organs and all the cells of the body that suffer when we indulge in poisonous habits. With this in mind we should avoid all such poisons. Education and knowledge are a great asset in helping to overcome such addictions. A fast will enable us physiologically to overcome these habits but we must also prepare ourselves psychologically. Be determined. Eliminate all negativity and think positively. You do not have to be sick, it is entirely up to you. If you wish to feel great every day with abundant energy and zest for life, you can feel this way. All you have to do is follow the simple requirements for health in regard to proper food and water, exercise, rest, sleep, sunshine, fresh air, and emotional poise.
Questions & Answers
Can the addict gradually taper off his drugs while on the fast?
All drugs must be eliminated the first week of the fast. This is an absolute necessity. After the first few days, the artificial cravings will cease and bodily repair will commence.
Can a person really become addicted to a particular food?
Yes, this is quite possible. In fact, it occurs frequently. People become addicted to foods that are especially stimulating such as cooked foods with condiments, white sugar, baked goods, junk foods, flesh foods, etc. However, this temporary stimulation soon leads to depression. Then the “junk-food addict” seeks to relieve this depression through more stimulation via the junk foods. It becomes an endless cycle that eventually results in enervation and disease.
Is it true that one stimulating habit often leads to another?
Yes, this is often the case. Once stimulated by candy, ice cream, cookies, and cake, a person often looks for something more stimulating and turns to cigarettes, or perhaps to coffee drinking, alcohol or drugs. You rarely see fruitarians who also smoke or drink alcohol. It does not occur to a person on such a diet to look for stimulation. They are healthy and enjoy life. No poisons are sought to feel “well” or alter moods.
Do certain people have “addictive personalities?”
The “addictive personality” has been described by behavioral scientists, but there is no scientific evidence that characteristic personality factors exist. Some have concluded that addicts are basically escapists, persons who cannot face confronting the realities and who run away. Others have described addicts as schizoid individuals who are fearful, withdrawn, and depressed, and who have a history of frequent suicide attempts and numerous self-inflicted injuries. Addicts have also been described as basically dependent and grasping in their relations and frequently exhibiting overt and unconscious rage and immature sexuality. These descriptions are often used as excuses for a habit but they are irrelevant. We know that these addictions are wrong and must be discontinued. Under a Hygienic program, everyone can overcome their addictions, whatever their personality may be.
Article #1: Coffee, Tea, And Cocoa by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
In the United States, which appears to be the most drug-addicted nation of the world, about 96 percent of the families drink coffee daily. Eight out of ten adults drink coffee each day, as do one in four children. At the present time Americans are drinking, on the average, 50 percent more coffee than they did ten years ago. Someone figured that Americans are drinking about one thousand million more gallons of coffee a year than milk.
Within recent years the Indian government, in a land that suffers with perpetual famine, has destroyed whole forests of jack fruit trees to make room for coffee trees. The jack fruit, a large melon-like fruit, is delicious. Both pulp and seeds are edible. But it cannot be exported. When I asked an Indian banker why his government was destroying so many food plants to make room for coffee, his reply was: “Coffee brings in American dollars.” This is a striking example of the stupidities of an economy in which production is for profits. It is not conceivable that in an economy devoted to production for use such a stupid action could occur.
In our profit-mad world, millions of acres of land are devoted to the production of tobacco, coffee, tea, and similar poison substances. Millions of tons of grains and fruits are converted into alcoholic drinks, in a world that is even now struggling with the specter of a population explosion and worldwide food scarcity. It is impossible to conceive of such a thing being carried on in an intelligently ordered social system.
Tea drinking has spread over the earth, apparently from China, in much the same way that coffee and chocolate drinking spread. Tea was introduced into Europe about the same time as coffee.
These three substances, coffee, tea and cocoa Or chocolate, all contains an almost identical alkaloid. Called caffeine in coffee, theine in tea, and theobromine in chocolate, this alkaloid can be fatal to man or animal. Classed by pharmacologists as a stimulant, it is taken by those who think they need stimulation. We frequently hear it said that tea and coffee “excite the exercise of thought.”
Although it is customary to include such narcotic habits as tobacco, alcohol, opium, and marijuana under the general designation of stimulant habits, this does not seem to be the reason these substances are taken. It is not stimulation, but relief from discomfort that is sought when they are taken.
On the other hand, when coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa, and the stimulating soft drinks are taken, it would seem to be a different type of relief that is sought, relief from weakness and exhaustion. When such stomach stimulants (irritants) as pepper, mustard, pungent spices, and pepper sauce, are taken, there would seem to be a need for stimulation.
Because there is a tendency for discomfort to grow and for the relief afforded by these poisons to decrease, there is a natural and inevitable tendency to increase either the size or the frequency of the dose, or both. As this ultimately fails to provide the desired relief, a stronger poison is resorted to. This is the reason that employment of one of these substances can lead to the employment of another. The coffee drinker, the cocoa drinker, the addict to chocolate candy, although himself a tobacco chewer or smoker, may condemn his neighbor for his alcohol habits. When we thus choose narcotics or stimulant addictions, what right have we to assume superiority to those who choose different stimulants or narcotics? All are addicts, regardless of the nature of the addiction.
The search for relief is the essence of drug addiction. There is no craving for poisons; there is only unease, discomfort, and misery which drive the victim to more frequent and larger doses of his favorite poison in his search for relief. Some addicts have been known to take as much as 96 grains of morphine daily without harmful effects, other than the stupefaction which rendered them oblivious to pain. When the drug is withdrawn, obstinate vomiting, violent purging, and other distressing symptoms follow. These are falsely called withdrawal symptoms.
They are, in sober reality, symptoms of poisoning, and are present all the time. But they are kept repressed by repeated doses of the drug. Such symptoms follow, in varying degrees of severity, a discontinuance of any poison habit—tobacco, alcohol, morphine, heroin, marijuana, coffee, tea and chocolate.
Untold thousands of people go about their daily duties so tired they hardly know how to work unless driven by stimulants. They mourn their enthrallment to work and business and wish they could omit these. If they knew enough to discontinue eating wrong foods and desist from stimulant habits, and if they knew enough to supply their bodies with adequate nutrients and secure more rest and sleep, in two months they would find themselves new people. The “coffee break” would no longer seem “necessary” to them. They would soon discover the truth of Dr. Samuel Johnson’s remark that it is easier to be abstinent than temperate. They have already learned that the tendency of all poison habits is progressive.
The fact that almost every tribe of man has been found addicted to some poison habit has been offered as proof positive that there is a normal taste for these poisons, and therefore a natural necessity for their use. How absurd! Why not argue that because lying is such a universal vice, it is necessary and good? Every substance man employs in his vain search for relief from self-caused discomforts is to be judged not by any assumed universal taste for it, but by its ultimate effects.
We are frequently reminded that, since the time of Hippocrates, physicians have considered opium invaluable in alleviating acute human suffering. It is customary to add that, “like many others of God’s greatest blessings to mankind,” opium must be used with reason or with discretion, or “it will be found to be one of man’s greatest curses.” It never seems strange to these devotees of the drugging cults that God should wrap his greatest curse in the same package as his greatest blessing. Perhaps God made a mistake or, maybe it is man who makes the mistake. Certainly the effects of habitually taking opium are not desirable.
The cocoa chewer is damaged by his practice scarcely less than the opium eater by his. He is known by his uncertain steps, sallow complexion, his hollow, lusterless, black-rimmed eyes, deeply sunk into his head, trembling lips, incoherent speech and stolid apathy. He is irresolute, suspicious and false; in the prime of life he appears senile and in later years into complete idiocy.
Having asserted that stimulants are natural needs of the system, it becomes necessary to find some apology for their employment. So we are told that they are not only foods themselves, but that they aid in the digestion of other foods. That this is false may be seen from the following facts. Even in small quantities, tea completely paralyzes salivary secretion. When the infusion amounts to as much as one-fifth of the contents of the stomach, tea retards stomach digestion. Coffee and cocoa have little effect on salivary digestion, but interfere as much as tea with stomach digestion.
To the alcoholic drinks of the ancients we have added tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, tobacco, absinthe, chloral, opium, the pungent spices and a host of other drug habits intended to provide evanescent relief from the discomforts of our wrong eating. The soma drinking, prominently mentioned in the Rig Veda, was made from a plant which is today unidentified. The drink was intoxicating and played an important role in the ritual life of early Iranians as well as the Indians. We have gathered our poison habits from all corners of the earth. Every year sees an increase in them.
The feeling of exaltation that follows the taking of a stimulant has led to the fallacy that stimulants must be good. The depression which follows, and which is in exact proportion to the degree of stimulation occasioned, is either ignored or attributed to some other cause. It is likely to be met with another dose of the same stimulant that caused it. So imbued are we with the idea that stimulants are wholesome, that we are frequently told that “food is a stimulant.” This statement is based on a totally wrong conception of the character of stimulation.
Stimulation is irritation; a stimulant is a substance that temporarily occasions an increased vigor of action by means which exhaust the power of action, thereby actually reducing vigor. When this occurs, there must be a corresponding period of rest and sleep. Exhaustion necessitates depression; stimulation must be followed by debility. All of our poison habits have debilitating effects on the organism and increase the precariousness and fragility of life.
Reprinted from Health For The Millions
Article #2: Effects Of Stimulants by Sylvester Graham, M.D.
In explaining and illustrating the constitutional laws of external relation, I have stated that every substance in nature from which the human body can derive nourishment, possesses specific and peculiar qualities which the human organs have vital powers to perceive and appreciate. Thus the visual properties of things are perceived by the special sense of sight; the auditory properties by the special sense of hearing; the olfactory properties, by the special sense of smell; the gustatory properties, by the special sense of taste; and the tangible properties by the special sense of touch. These external substances have also certain other properties, which are only perceived and appreciated by the special organic senses residing in the organs belonging to the domain of organic life, or the ganglionic system of nerves. These properties, in all proper alimentary substances,
are the natural and appropriate stimuli of those nerves of organic sensibility which are adapted by the Creator to perceive and appreciate them, and to convey the impressions received from them to(the special center which presides over the functions of the particular organ or apparatus, But we have seen that some alimentary substances are much more stimulating than others, in proportion to the quantity of nourishment which they actually afford the system, and that some substances in nature are purely stimulating without affording any nourishment.
The stimulation produced by these various substances is always necessarily exhausting to the vital properties of the tissues on which they act, just in proportion to its degree and duration; and every stimulus impairs the vital susceptibilities and powers, just in proportion as it is un-fitted for the real wants of the vital economy, and unfriendly to the vital interests.
But whatever may be the real character of the stimulus, every stimulation to which the system is accustomed increases, according to the power and extent of its influence, what is called the tone and the action of the parts on which it is exerted, and while the stimulation lasts, it always increases the feeling of strength and vigor in the system, whether any nourishment be imparted to the system or not.
Yet by so much as the stimulation exceeds in degree which is necessary for the full and healthy performance of the function or functions of the organs stimulated, by so much the more does the expenditure of vital power and waste of organized substance exceed for the time the replenishing and renovating economy of the system; and, consequently, the exhaustion and indirect debility which succeed the stimulation are always necessarily commensurate with the excess.
Hence, though that food which contains the greatest proportion of stimulating power to its quantity of nourishment causes, while its stimulation continues, a feeling of the greatest strength and vigor, it also necessarily produces the greatest exhaustion in the end, which is commensurately importunate and vehement in its demands for relief, by the repetition of the accustomed stimulus; and as the same food, more readily than any other, affords the demanded relief, by supplying the requisite degree of stimulation, our feelings always lead us to believe that it is really the most strengthening.
Hence, whenever a less stimulating diet is substituted for a more stimulating one, a corresponding physiological depression, or want of tone and action, always necessarily succeeds, varying in degree and duration according to the general condition of the system, and the suddenness and greatness of the change; and this depression is always attended by a feeling of weakness and lassitude, which is immediately removed, and the feeling of strength and vigor restored, by the accustomed degree of stimulation, by whatever produced, whether any increase of nourishment is actually afforded to the system or not.
The pure stimulants, therefore, which of themselves afford no nourishment to the system, and only serve to in-. crease the expenditure of vital properties and waste of organized substance, by increasing vital action, cause, while their stimulation lasts, a sense of increased strength and vigor; and thus we are led by our feelings to believe that the pure stimulants are really strengthening; and in the same manner we are deceived by even those pernicious stimulants which not only exhaust by stimulation, but irritate, debilitate’, and impair, by their deleterious qualities.
The feeling of strength produced by stimulation, therefore, is no proof either that the stimulating substance is nourishing, or that it is salutary, nor even that it is not decidedly baneful.
But we have seen, that those proper alimentary substances whose stimulatory power is barely sufficient to excite a full and healthy performance of the functions of the digestive organs, in the appropriation of their nourishment to the system, are most conducive to the vital welfare of the body in all respects, causing all the processes of assimilation and organization to be most perfectly performed, without any unnecessary expenditure of vital power, and thus contributing to the most permanent and uniform health and vigor
of the body, and to the greatest longevity. For every degree of stimulating power beyond this, necessarily increases the vital exhaustion, without contributing in any measure to the welfare of the body.
With a true application of these well ascertained principles, the physiological evidence in relation to the natural dietetic character of man may be correctly apprehended and accurately estimated; yet the utmost caution and perspicacity and circumspection are requisite at every step, to avoid deception and error in the mazy and delusive paths of human experience and history.
Reprinted from Lectures on the Science of Human Life
Article #3: The Great Delusion By Dr. Robert Walter
Out of this principle of irritation grows the most important delusion that ever afflicted mankind. Irritation means increased action of the part irritated, and consequently of all parts sympathetically connected therewith, and increased strength. Tonics, nervines, and stimulants produce their effects only through this principle. It is in the this way that alcohol and tobacco increase the action of the brain and nervous system; that calomel and podophyllum apparently improve the functions of the liver; that all other drugs produce their effects; that arsenic and strychnine, nitric, muriatic, hydrochloric, prussic, sulphuric acids, etc., increase the apparent vigor of the whole system, largely through its sympathy with the stomach, which has been termed the great organ of sympathy. For this same reason men often feel more than ordinarily vigorous just previous to a severe attack of sickness: they sometimes retire to bed feeling well, only to wake up in another world. For this reason sudden and violent ailments often follow the most apparently robust health. It is the same delusion that tempts the physician to dose his patient with violent poisons until exhaustion and death close the scene. It is the basis of alcoholic consumption, just as it is the cause of the fearful and monstrous drunkenness, whether by alcohol, opium, or tobacco, which deluges the land. Increased action, apparently increased strength, supposed improved function, the result of the use of irritants deceive both physician and patient, and cause them to become victims of a monstrous delusion.
The delusion pervades all ranks of society, and is the chief explanation of the frequent diseases and sudden and untimely deaths that are everywhere chronicled. When we consider the immense quantities of irritants which are being introduced into human organisms in the guise of food, drink, medicine, etc., the only wonder is that the human constitution endures as long as it does.
But irritation produces a secondary effect, which is quite as important as the primary one, and this is increased flow of blood to the part irritated. Normal exercise does the same thing. Thought induces increased flow of blood to the brain, and labor, to the feet or hands. If this flow be beyond the power of the vessels to send it forward, as in the case of irritation, the blood accumulates, the vessels relax, and we have congestion. This increase of blood at one point of course necessitates a decrease at another point, and hence unbalanced circulation is a concomitant of all diseases.
Reprinted from The Nutritive Cure
Article #4: Drug Addiction by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
Science, as medicine is commonly called, is never-ceasing in its search for cures. In his syndicated column, Albert Edward Wiggam once wrote that science has not discovered a surefire cure for alcoholism, but it has found a drug that helps. He said that, after a drunken man sobers up the drug Equanil quiets his tense nerves and helps reduce the desire for another drink. This is to say, the drug substitutes for alcohol. The drug is sufficiently dangerous that it can be obtained only upon a physician’s prescription.
Drug addiction is frequently an aftermath of the employment of drugs in the treatment of disease. Sedatives, narcotics, and stimulants are employed with which to pro-
vide evanescent, but fictional, relief from discomfort and pain. Somatic awareness, no less than psychic awareness, is benumbed by the taking of sedative drugs and the house cleaning that is so urgently needed is not undertaken. Each repetition of the dose tends to build a drug habit. A rebirth of awareness follows the excretion of the drug. It is then that the drug user becomes aware of his actual condition. His physician will call his symptoms withdrawal symptoms. He should realize that they are the outcries of an organism that has been outraged with poisons. Drug addiction grows out of the search for relief from the unease, weakness, discomfort and pain that result from the employment of drugs and is not a genuine demand for a repetition of the drug. There is no craving for a drug, but a subconscious demand for relief.
For fifty years I have insisted that what is called drug addiction arises out of the search for relief from the unease, discomfort, distress and misery caused by prior taking of a drug. The narcotic addict obtains a brief respite from his misery by renarcotizing his nerves. The stimulant addict receives a brief illusion of renewed strength by goading his nerves with the stimulant the prior taking of which is responsible for his weakness. In July of 1971 a former drunkard was interviewed on television here in San Antonio. When asked what made him drink he stated: “I would drink today to get relief from the misery caused by drinking yesterday.” Thus speaking from his personal experience, he confirmed my view.
So persistent and so insistent is the demand for relief from the drug caused misery, the victim of the drug practice finds himself unable to resist the temptation to return again and again to the source of his misery for the temporary “relief” this affords. To provide this “relief” requires a progressive increase both in the size and the frequency of the dose. The standard procedures in such cases continue to revolve around efforts to break the vicious circle by a gradual reduction of the dose, both in size and frequency, and to substitute one addiction for another. Both of these plans have proved very unsatisfactory, for the reason that each of them continues to outrage the nervous system by continuing drugging and the search for relief through drugs. Instead of stopping the drug to which the habitue is addicted, it is continued or an effort is made to substitute another drug—one narcotic for another or one stimulant for another. The addict continues to be smothered in his drug-induced miseries. No effective means of promoting the health of the individual is employed, hence the addict does not recover normal health. In those few cases where apparent recovery from addiction occurs, the tendency to relapse is great.
Diseases and vices, growing out of the same general causes, and being essentially the same, are therefore, to handled on the same general plan. That mode of care that will restore health to the sick man, will just as effectually relieve the vicious man and vice versa. If it fails in one, it will fail in both. When either disease or vice becomes thoroughly matured, it is, to a large extent, beyond control of the will. A proper environment and a Hygienic life provide the best hope in this case. It is idle to suppose that a man who has violated nature’s laws until his sensations are all abnormal, and the mainsprings of his life are all befouled, representing poor diseased conditions and vicious habits, can merely exercise the will to recover, and even recovery would not be at all sufficient unless good habits and a thorough revolution of life follow. To appeal simply to the intellect and moral sense of a tobacco smoker or an opium eater or a drunkard, as a means of inducing him to relinquish his indulgence is generally about as effective as to ask an ague patient to stop shaking.
When Professor Carlson, who was a habitual cigar smoker, underwent a short fast in his studies of hunger, he found that after the second day of abstinence, he did not enjoy smoking. “In fact,” he reports, “smoking tended to produce nausea.” It is not an unusual experience for the fast to compel the smoker to discontinue the practice. Many have been able to continue smoking through a fast, but all who discontinue smoking at the outset of fast find that after two to three days without food, they have no more craving for the weed. The same is true of other forms (chewing, for example) of tobacco addiction.
A similar experience is seen in other drug addictions. It is a simple matter to give up coffee, tea, marijuana, alcohol, opium, morphine, and similar addictions by fasting at the same time the drug is discontinued. It is best to abandon all addictions at once and abruptly. For example, the average alcoholic also smokes tobacco and drinks coffee. He will find it easier to discontinue the alcohol if he also abandons both the coffee and the tobacco at the same time. This will be easily understood when the true character of addiction is understood.
Most addicts think it will be easier to give up one drug at a time or to give up one drug habit and continue the others. An organization in California has a home where drug addicts are taken in. By a program similar to that employed by Alcoholics Anonymous, they slowly educate the addict out of his addiction. Frequently two years or more are required to whip the morphine habit. The addicts eat a conventional diet, smoke tobacco and drink freely of coffee. This is the hard way: it is the long way and it probably registers many failures. There cannot be any doubt that their educational program and their cultivation of self-reliance are useful features of the rehabilitation of the addict, but the education program does not go far enough.
Faulty education is the chief, if not the only cause of all drug addiction. It may be and probably is true that individuals with neuropathic tendencies most readily fall prey to so-called habit-forming drugs, but the fact remains that the initial use of drugs arises out of false education. Had the whole population not been wrongly educated from infancy up, they would not turn to drugs to “sustain” them when some unusual circumstance puts a heavy tax upon the nervous system. Pain, sleeplessness, profound and lasting emotions, losses, etc., cause the nervously unstable to turn to those sources of palliation they have been, educated to believe will supply the desired, relief. For this false education and all the evils that grow inevitably out of it, we are indebted to the medical profession and to no other.
The legitimate pharmaceutical industry has flooded today’s market place with great quantities of addictive drugs which are being sold, especially to the young, through, both legitimate and illegitimate channels. Most of the drugs now being taken by youth are supplied the drug pushers by duly licensed manufacturers of the drugs. If we assume as is popularly done, that these drugs have valid medical usage, we are still faced with the fearful fact that the drug manufacturers are turning out thousands of times more of these drugs than the medical profession can possibly find valid medical use for. So great is their profit hunger that the manufacturers of drugs are willing to destroy the minds of all of today’s youth in order to increase their dividends. I marvel at the apathy and indifference of the parents of this country that cause them to sit by and watch the destruction of their children, instead of rising in their collective might and putting an eternal end to the drug industry.
Reprinted from Fasting For Renewal Of Life