by Ross Horne
Toxemia is a polluted condition of the body's interior, due to impurities in the bloodstream derived from improperly produced food and to a lesser extent from other sources. The diseases of civilization in some cases commence before birth due to malnutrition and toxemia of the mother in pregnancy. From birth onwards they appear in a fairly predictable sequence in the average person and are so common they are generally assumed to be a more or less normal part of human existence. The sequence starts with various minor respiratory infections, proceeding to tooth decay, occasional flu, acne, dandruff, constipation and so on, all considered quite to be expected. As people grow older the more troublesome problems appear, such as premenstrual tension and headaches in women, slowly increasing blood pressure, the need for reading glasses, back problems and so forth.
From this stage it is only a short step to arthritis, diabetes, circulatory and digestive problems, ulcers, gallstones, kidney stones, bowel problems, glaucoma, and finally cataracts, prostate disorders, osteoporosis, senility, Alzheimer's disease - if heart attack, stroke or cancer have not already broken the sequence. These are only the common ones, but common or uncommon they are all caused by toxemia; they are all symptoms of toxemia. Toxemia is the real disease. The different manifestations of disease, being of mainly dietary origin, vary according to the nature of the dietary faults responsible, and thus different countries and communities display varying disease patterns which differ according to the traditional diets and other living habits which are followed.
Toxemia = impurities and deficiencies of the blood
Disease = dysfunction of normal body processes.
Why humans get sick and wild animals do not formula: The art of cooking + the science of chemistry and medicine = toxemia and the diseases of civilization.
Improperly produced food - although life sustaining, is at the same time health destroying because it does not furnish the life-sustaining components in the proper form or quantity, and in addition introduces, directly or indirectly, toxic substances into the bloodstream. Thus the digestive system is constantly overworked and the body's interior is constantly in a state of toxemia, the degree of which is dependent on the vitality of the eliminatory organs. Because there are countless variations in the nature and degree of toxemia, there are countless variations in symptoms, which accounts for why there are so many diseases doctors must try to remember the names of in their mistaken belief that each symptom represents a different disease. All races of people are sickness prone, some to a greater or lesser extent than others, for THE SIMPLE REASON THAT HUMANS EVERYWHERE TAMPER ONE WAY OR ANOTHER WITH NATURAL FOOD - MOSTLY BY COOKING - AND OFTEN CONSUME FOOD NOT REALLY SUITED TO THEIR SYSTEMS AT ALL, in addition to which they practise other harmful habits.
The traditional Western diet - that is, one high in fat, protein, cholesterol, salt, sugar, condiments and so on - contains plenty of nutrients, but in the wrong proportions, too much of it cooked, and too much of it altogether. That the Western diet can sustain health is a fact, but it does so only if the digestive system can perform the difficult task of breaking it down and assimilating it while at the same time effectively disposing of the toxic by-products produced. Thus no matter what the diet, the duration of healthy years and the ultimate duration of life depends on how long the integrity of the body's vital organs can be maintained under whatever strain they may be forced to endure. All forms of animal life respond to unnatural food in the same way. Horses fed on oats and chaff will maintain reasonable health and live for twenty-five years, but on good natural pastures will maintain better health and live for fifty years. Similarly, dogs and cats fed only on canned and packaged foods never display best condition nor live as long as those fed exclusively on raw meat.* Toxins are produced in the body from the best of diets as natural by-products of normal metabolism and are eliminated effortlessly by the organs of elimination without the slightest wear and tear. The toxins that do all the harm leading to premature degeneration and disease are the toxins resultant from eating the wrong food.
The toxins which are products of normal metabolism arise from two sources:
- The unwanted by-products of digestive functions which from natural food are of low potency and easily expelled via the kidneys and urine.
- The waste products of the body's cells which are carried away in the lymph fluid and bloodstream to be expelled via the kidneys (urine), the lungs (carbon dioxide) and the skin (sweat).
The abnormal toxins which cause disease when they overload the liver and kidneys, pollute the blood and body's interior are:
- The unwanted by-products of digestive functions, except in greater quantity and higher potency due to the more complicated molecular structure of COOKED FOOD, EXCESS PROTEIN, etc.
- Incompletely digested substances entering the bloodstream direct from the digestive tract such as fat particles, cholesterol, protein molecules, salt, condiments, etc, which not only cause toxemia but, by making the blood sticky, impede its circulation.
- Toxins from infected teeth; MERCURY from AMALGAM FILLINGS.
- Chemicals contained in food, liquor, smoke and water (FLORIDE and CHLORINE at the levels commonly used in public water supplies are toxic and immuno-supressive, as are minerals such as COPPER and LEAD from pipes.
- Medicine and drugs of any kind.
- Stress-induced hormonal chemicals.
- Last, and probably the most harmful - various acids and toxins produced in the colon by bacterial putrification of improperly digested remnants of COOKED, HIGH-FAT, HIGH-PROTEIN FOOD which enter the bloodstream in the water reabsorbed from the colon back into the circulation.
It can be seen then, that depending mainly on the sort of food eaten from day to day, toxemia within the body can vary over short periods of time from normal safe levels to levels high enough to disrupt bodily functions in many different ways, wearing out its organs and eventually causing death by functional breakdown of the body's life processes. Thus the quality of life and length of its duration may range from zero to perhaps 120 years according to the degree to which toxemia is allowed to exist in the body. The healthiest and longest-lived people in the world are accepted generally to be the Hunzas of northern Pakistan and the people in the Caucasus of Russia, whereas the shortest-lived are the Eskimos and Lapplanders of the Arctic.
Sir Robert McCarrison, Major General, Indian Medical Service, described the Hunzas thus: They eat less meat, mainly goats, their consumption of milk and milk products is low. But they are great FRUIT-EATERS, especially of apricots and mulberries, which they use in both the raw and sun-dried state. The power of endurance of these people is extraordinary. These people are long-lived and vigorous in old age. Among them, the ailments so common in our own people - such as gastro-intestinal disorders, colitis, gastro and duodenal ulcer and cancer - are extraordinarily uncommon, and I have no doubt whatever in my own mind that their freedom from these scourges of modern civilization is due to three things:
- Their use of simple, natural foodstuffs of the right kind;
- Their vigorous outdoor life; and
- Their bracing climate.
With the Hunzas resistance to infection is remarkable ... gastro-intestinal complaints, dyspepsia, ulcers, colitis, and appendicitis are at least as uncommon as they are common elsewhere. Cancer is so rare that in nine years' practice I never came across a single case of it. The Eskimos* by comparison rated this description by Dr Samuel Hutton, who observed them over the period 1902 to 1913, from his book Health Conditions and Disease Incidence Among the Eskimos of Labrador: Old age sets in at fifty and its signs are strongly marked at sixty. In the years beyond sixty the Eskimo is aged and feeble. Comparatively few live beyond sixty and only a very few reach seventy. Those who live to such an age have spent a life of great activity, feeding on Eskimo foods and engaging in characteristically Eskimo pursuits... Careful records have been left by the missionaries for more than a hundred years.
*The word Eskimo is derived from the language of the Cree Indians and means "eater of raw meat". It should be noted that the descriptions given of both the Hunzas and the Eskimos are those made early in the 20th Century before they began to discard their traditional and more primitive way of life. It was also noted that the Eskimos had very low resistance to infectious diseases and suffered severe osteoporosis as they got older. A later study of a small population (about 1000) on the east coast of Greenland by Hoygaard and Pedersen, Copenhagen 1941, showed an average lifespan of only twenty-seven and a half years mainly due to premature degeneration of adults. Their diet was ninety-five per cent flesh food but it was not stated whether the Eskimos had adopted the white man's practice of cooking their food.
There is the comparison. Dr McCarrison attributed the excellence of the Hunzas to their diet, outdoor activity and bracing climate, so in view of the fact the Eskimos also indulged in much outdoor activity in a bracing climate, the distinction in their health status compared to the Hunzas is clearly due to dietary differences. Now the dubious health standards of all "developed" countries are pretty similar to each other and the diseases of civilization occur among them in roughly the same proportions regardless of climate, and only a little influenced by occupation. Clearly diet is the problem, so let us look at a comparison of the typical American diet with that of the Hunzas. On average, Americans consume over four times the amount of fat and twice the amount of protein than that consumed by a Hunza man while at the same time less carbohydrate, most of which is sugar or otherwise refined and fiberless.
PROTEIN AND FAT ARE THE CAUSE OF TOXEMIA
The main sources of protein and fat in the Western diet are of animal origin and thus contain cholesterol in quantities harmful to the human body. However, many pure vegetarians also suffer toxemia to a dangerous extent because their diet is based heavily on grain products and lentils, which are very high in vegetable protein, and in many cases include liberal quantities of concentrated vegetable oils. The by-products of the metabolism of fat and protein which are potentially harmful are chemicals called KETONES from fat, and URIC ACID and AMMONIA from protein. It is mainly these substances in excessive amounts which overtax the kidneys, sometimes to the extent of destroying them. For this reason it is wise for people on the traditional Western diet to drink copious quantities of water to flush out the kidneys. Not only do heavy protein-eaters need to urinate often, their urine is dark in color and odorous.
Apart from the toxins so produced, the condition of the bloodstream can be seriously degraded by particles of fat and cholesterol entering the bloodstream directly from the intestine via the lymph circulation, so much so at times that the blood appears milky red instead of crimson. In this situation the blood\'s red cells stick together in bunches called rouleaux, which block the fine capillary vessels and deprive the tissues of circulation, causing the tingling sensation of "pins and needles". At the same time the blood platelets also adhere to each other and the blood plasma itself becomes sticky, so up goes the blood pressure as the heart works harder. The white cells of the immune system become inhibited in function as well, and the entire scene becomes a set-up for disaster, disaster meaning every disease in the book. No wonder people lack vitality, need a lot of sleep, catch colds and get headaches, but these are only minor signs of the troubles that lie ahead if the toxemia is allowed to persist.
The most poisonous form of toxemia, however, originates in the colon (large bowel) because of constipation, which on the Western diet is unavoidable due to a lack of dietary fiber. It must be understood that a person can be "as regular as clockwork" and still be constipated. On a NATURAL DIET of MAINLY FRUITS and RAW VEGETABLES, low in protein and fat, the indigestible cellulose remnants are quickly processed for elimination on reaching the colon by the normal aerobic bacteria there and are then readily defecated, having made the entire transit of the digestive tract in about twenty-four hours. However, when the undigested remnants of a high-fat, high-protein diet arrive in the colon they are difficult to break down further, and the normal aerobic bacteria must change in form to an anaerobic form which putrefies the remnants and produces different acids and toxic chemicals. Because meat, chicken, fish, dairy products and refined carbohydrates are completely lacking in fiber, the process is slow moving. Thus the "transit time" of the Western diet is about seventy-two hours instead of twenty-four, giving the potent toxins ample time to be absorbed into the body by way of the bile circulation and to set up the irritation which leads to appendicitis and bowel cancer.
A graphic illustration of how auto-intoxication from the colon causes all manner of disease is the experience of Sir William Arbuthnot Lane,* the famous English physician and surgeon. Sir William first realized that the bowel was the source of many health problems when, after surgically removing diseased bowels, he noted that his patients' health rapidly improved and various diseases such as arthritis, gall bladder "involvements", thyroid "difficulties", etc. disappeared in a few days. At first his surgical training influenced him to specialize in removing peoples' colons, until it occurred to him from the biologist, Sir Arthur Keith's, studies of wild apes that the entire problem could be eliminated simply by dietary means.
*The Prevention of The Diseases Peculiar to Civilization by Sir William Arbuthnot Lane (1929).
That the problem of chemicals such as preservatives, coloring agents, etc: in food is one of relatively minor importance compared to body-produced toxemia is illustrated in some interesting comparisons of disease incidence in different countries. Denmark has very strict prohibition against most food additives, while Norway and Sweden do not. Despite this, Denmark has a cancer incidence twenty per cent higher than Norway and Sweden,* which is explainable by the fact that Denmark per capita consumes 20% MORE FAT in the diet. But another comparison, this time between Denmark and Finland, showed that in relation to colon cancer, MEAT WAS THE GREATER DANGER than fat, because the Finns consumed even more fat than the Danes but had only a quarter as much colon cancer. That Denmark suffers four times the bowel cancer rate of Finland is explainable only by the Danes' much heavier meat consumption (from the International Agency for Research on Cancer 1977).
*Cancer Research, Vol. 35, p. 3379, K. Carroll.
When people speak of "cleansing diets", they mean diets which do not cause toxemia. Internal cleansing is performed by the body itself, which of course it is trying to do all the time but can only accomplish properly when freed of constant overloads. The quickest way to achieve inner cleanliness is by not eating anything at all, i.e. fasting, and consuming water only for an indefinite period, but this requires tuition and supervision and will be discussed later. The role of GARLIC and other herbs in improving health when used therapeutically seems to be in emulsifying fat in the blood and lowering blood viscosity, but of course THE REAL ANSWER IS NOT TO PUT THE FAT IN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Most of the medicine prescribed by doctors they have little knowledge about other than the sales pitch given them by the pharmaceutical representatives (have you ever perused a medical journal?), but it is a pretty safe bet that if doctors ever studied the fine print in the drug manuals on the side effects of these drugs they would think twice before taking any themselves. It is also a pretty safe bet that if the patients ever got to read the fine print, they would quickly find the strength to run away.
John H. Tilden, MD, said it all back in 1926. Summing up in his book "Toxemia Explained"-
"In chronic disease, the treatment, first, last and all the time, must be with a view of getting rid of the toxemia. This consists of correcting whatever habits of life are producing enervation, and then gradually building up a normal digestion, assimilation and elimination.It took a long time to evolve out of the one conventional idea of many diseases into the truth that there is but ONE disease, and that the four hundred catalogued so-called diseases are but different manifestations of Toxemia - blood and tissue uncleanliness."