"I have always been a naturopath. I just didn't know it had a name." (Emanuel Cheraskin, M.D., D.M.D)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol 2, No 23) October 5, 2002 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.
DAYLIGHT WAS FADING FAST as I wriggled through a weed-covered chink in the metal fence surrounding the old Jackson Sanatorium. No, I was not an AWOL inmate sneaking back before curfew. It was 1979, I was 24, and had been working as a natural health lecturer for only a couple of years. When I was promised a tour of what remained of this old five-floor naturopathic hospital in Dansville, New York, I jumped at it. I had little idea of what to expect. But fortunately Henry, natural hygienest, unofficial caretaker and my guide this late autumn afternoon, was an enthusiastic (if not to say rabid) scholar of the works of James Caleb Jackson, M.D. (1811-1895). He undertook my reeducation immediately. For like most people, I knew nothing of Doctor Jackson, though he was actually one of the most influential natural health practitioners of the 19th century. He was a personal friend of both Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, and was Clara Barton's physician. It was not by mere coincidence that the first chapter of the American Red Cross was founded in Dansville. Jackson's contributions have been largely obscured by his much better known contemporary, John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., of Battle Creek, Michigan.
As we fumbled our way towards a side door into the darkened hospital basement, my guide filled me in. He first explained to me that Jackson, not Kellogg, was the true originator of the first dry breakfast cereal. Jackson's may not have been as successful (it was neither flaked nor mass marketed) but you may well have eaten some: it was called "Granula," known to this day as granola.
We were inside the building now. I looked around and there was just enough light to see that I was standing in what was once a hydrotherapy treatment room. There were assorted tubs, hot water tanks, Sitz baths, and massage tables, some with fomentation towels still hanging silently beside them.
I asked if those towels had been hanging there since Dr. Jackson's day.
"No," Henry said. "The facility was later operated by Bernarr MacFadden and after his death in 1955, was kept open as a health resort and spa until 1971."
Ah, yes. Millionaire publisher of magazines like "True Detective" and "Physical Culture," Bernarr MacFadden was the health nut who personally led a mass health walk every year, all the way from New York City to Dansville. Dansville is close to Rochester: that is quite a hike. The 325-mile health-food-powered marathon was dubbed the "Cracked Wheat Derby." MacFadden, a public relations genius if there ever was one, also parachute jumped out over Paris on his 84th birthday. He landed without injury, possibly due in part to the fact that he also slept on concrete floors and drank carrot juice. A lot of carrot juice. He was 87 when he died.
The image of those old towels, still waiting to be used, remains clearly in my mind to this day.
We climbed upstairs into a large lobby that looked the part of a once-elegant, formal ballroom. I found MacFadden literature and educational packets in a drawer, neatly mimeographed and slightly musty. We moved to the main hallway, at the center of which was a massive cast iron stairway. "It is fireproof," Henry said, "Because the first Jackson Sanatorium burned to the ground. This building was built in 1883, and built to last."
And so it had. Up the grand stairway we went, without so much as a creak to be heard. When we reached the fifth floor, we proceeded down a long, faded turquoise-painted hallway. To either side, you could see that each patient's room had a louvered door, to improve fresh air flow. I stepped into a room, and the first thing I noticed was that it was taller than it was wide, with an enormous window and exceptionally high ceiling. Such high ceilings were to be found on all floors of the hospital, said Henry, because fresh air and sunshine were as much a part of "taking the cure" as were mineral waters and fresh, raw vegetarian foods.
One more flight of stairs upward and we were on the roof. I am no friend of great heights, and being way up top on this unrepaired building gave me the willies. But Henry distracted me with consummate skill. He led me over to what looked like one of several playground merry-go-rounds, you know, like the ones Bill Cosby described from his childhood. But these were different. Each of the round platforms looked as if someone had placed a small wood framed, glass-paned greenhouse on it.
"Patients sat in one of these to sun themselves," Henry explained. "And every hour or so an attendant would rotate the thing so that the patient continually had the sunlight fully on him."
Much of the rest of the roof resembled a cross between a dance floor and a high- school gymnasium.
"There were daily exercises up here, and people stood where these marks are. Over there is a bridge and pathway leading up the hill to a mineral spring, which opened up after a slight earthquake here in 1798. That spring is the reason Dr. Jackson built here in the first place."
There was no way I was going to cross what was left of that incredibly rickety- looking bridge, and fortunately Henry didn't ask me to. It was getting dark now, and time to go.
Henry produced an inadequate flashlight and by its weak yellow beam we managed to make our way back down through a now nearly dark staircase, and out the way we came in.
As we left, I looked up the side of the massive brick building, just barely visible in the twilight. I thought how great it would be today to have a true choice in hospitals like people had a hundred years ago. If there is a true, full-service, public naturopathic hospital somewhere in America, it is news to me. Even a natural-diet nursing home would be a milestone.
Dr. Jackson operated what his grateful patients affectionately called "Our Home on the Hillside" during a time when the American Medical Association and the pharmaceutical industry were just starting to gain the exceptional political influence which they maintain to this day. Between the end of the Civil War and the start of World War I, there was still freedom of choice in health care in America. Homeopathy, herbology naturopathy, hydrotherapy, the brand-new profession of chiropractic, and, of course, all manner of patent medicine men competed openly for your body. It was an ideological open season, when no one delivery system had preeminence. I am not sad to see the passing of the covered wagon medicine-show quack. (Well, maybe he did not so much pass as relocate to television commercials.)
But it is a great loss that America, and most of the countries of the world, have only one politically recognized system of health care: allopathic (drug-and- surgery) medicine. Such a single-party system inhibits a patient's choice and, in my opinion, inhibits a patient's recovery far more.
How different things must have been when the 122-bed "Home on the Hillside" was the health center of the Northeast. The sanatorium had its own rail spur. What made the naturopathic hospital so popular? Perhaps it was the water, or the huge organic vegetable gardens. Perhaps it was Dr. Jackson's personality, which by all accounts was impressive indeed. But perhaps it was simply the sanatorium's success rate that brought in the crowds. Nature cure works. It worked then and it works now.
The times have changed since Jackson and even McFadden's day. But there is nothing stopping you from making your home into your own personal health retreat. Your daily routines can be the same health-boosting program of whole- foods diet and life-affirming exercise that once led thousands to Our Home on the Hillside.
"Founded on rock. For suffering ones and weary, A home, secure from worldly care and strife; Nature, the healing mistress, tends its portals, Beckoning with gentle hand to paths of life." (Dr. Katy J. Jackson)
(For lots of links on natural hygiene: http://www.doctoryourself.com/natural_hygiene.html )
TUTTI FRUTTI I just finished a breakfast of fruit and fruit juice. Wait! Sure, it sounds almost normal, but if you've been a regular reader of this Newsletter, you KNOW there must be a catch. Right you are: The fruit was whole raw green beans, and the fruit juice was from zucchini squash. (That "unsubscribe" link at the top of this page really works, you know. . . )
From time to time, food legalists will tell you that, for whatever reason, you should not eat fruits and vegetables together at the same meal. Doubtless they will be delighted with my choices this morning, but the normal folks out there will be scratching their heads over that "fruit" definition. A fruit is any seed-bearing structure that proceeds from a flower. Pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are all fruits. My point here is that there is not much difference in our common understanding of how "vegetable" and fruit differ.
Nor need we worry. Chimps and gorillas don't, that's for sure. I was watching orangutans eating the other day (no, this is NOT a slam against my daughter's seventh-graders in their school cafeteria). The orangutans ate a delightful variety of natural, garden-grown goodies, lovingly tossed their way by their keepers. Then the zoo staff presumably went off to their McNothing lunches. They all should have had dinner together. . . right there in the primate cage.
NEW, PRINTER-FRIENDLY DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER BACK ISSUES are now being posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/backissues.html . The first 20 issues have been resized and re-margined in order to print out better for most people. We are getting to the rest as time permits. Thank you to all readers who have so nicely nagged me about this.
DR. HOFFER'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION! Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, turns 85 this November the 11th, and the Doctor Yourself Newsletter would like to encourage EVERYONE to send him a birthday card by postal mail.
Dr. Hoffer's office address is: #3A - 2727 Quadra Street Victoria, B.C. V8T 4E5 Canada
(From the USA, postage to Canada is 60 cents. International readers will want to check rates with their local post office.)
Let's let the doctor know how much we appreciate him, and flood his office with greetings.
IN HONOR OF DR. HOFFER, I am going to publish testimonials as to how many, many persons he has helped in his over-50 years of nutritional practice.
Has megavitamin therapy changed your life? If so, please send me an email with your story. ( doctoryourself.com/contact.html ), with "Birthday" in the subject line). I will print a sample of the most interesting letters received. Here's a great gift you can give to Dr Hoffer, whom I consider to be the "Father of Orthomolecular Medicine." And you do not even have to wrap it.
THE DANGERS OF CAFFEINE are such a popular topic at http://www.doctoryourself.com that we are publishing a new paper, below, in its entirety.
Caffeine Induced Anaphylaxis, A Progressive Toxic Dementia by Ruth Whalen, MLT, ASCP
Cerebral allergy is an allergy to a substance, which targets vulnerable brain tissue and alters brain function. Masked cerebral allergy can cause symptoms of mental illness (Walker, 1996; Rippere, 1984; Sheinken et al., 1979). Symptoms range from minimal reactions to severe psychotic states, which may include irrational behavior, disruptions in attention, lack of focus and comprehension, mood changes, lack of organizational skills, abrupt shifting of activities, delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia (Sheinken et al., 1979; McManamy et al., 1936).
An allergic reaction to caffeine manifests as anaphylaxis (Przybilla et al., 1983). During a state of caffeine anaphylaxis, the body enters the fight or flight mode, which may be mistaken as hyperactivity, anxiety, or panic disorder. Caffeine anaphylaxis causes cerebral vasculitis, leads to the breakdown of the blood brain barrier, and generates toxic dementia.
Toxic dementia induced by a stimulant or other toxin affects function of all brain areas (Jacques, 1992). Several signs of toxic dementia are memory impairment, deterioration of social and intellectual behavior, and attention deficits (Allen et al., 2001; Jacques, 1992; Headlee, 1948).
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), assumed to affect children, (though of late, adult onset ADD is grabbing a slice of the pie of psychiatric disorders), is indistinguishable from caffeine allergy. Claudia Miller, M.D. stresses that a chemical sensitivity, which includes caffeine as a chemical capable of inducing sensitivity, can induce attention deficits with hyperactivity (Miller, 1997).
Deteriorating intellect, the first stage of caffeine induced allergic toxicity masquerades as ADD. Inability to concentrate, lack of comprehension, lack of focus, hyperactivity, delusions, and disorganized thought processes are hallmark signs of caffeine allergy. An allergic reaction to caffeine results in poisoning of the prefrontal cortex. Damage to the underside area on the prefrontal cortex, above the eye sockets, generally renders a person absent minded and interferes with the ability to monitor personal activities (Carter, 1998). Injury results in loss of verbal and social inhibition, interferes with focus and memory (Eliot, 1999), and suppresses math skills (Carter, 1998).
In studies involving comprehension skills, as in mathematics and logical reasoning, caffeine has either exhibited no change, or has actually depleted performance (Braun, 1997). Caffeine may jeopardize math skills and detailed projects, which require additional thought (Serafin, 1996; NTP Chemical, 1991).
Caffeine anaphylaxis interferes with the ability to focus. Sitting still becomes a project. Raising the catecholamine level, caffeine produces additional dopamine, which increases locomotive movement. Agitation is associated with excess dopamine (Carter, 1998).
Caffeine causes faster speech and mobility in children (Nehlig et al., 1992). With 80% of the world's population consuming caffeine, most persons have remained stimulated since childhood. Stimulated adults can't detect caffeine-induced changes in themselves or in children. Misjudging a child's natural state, adults assume children should speak and act at the same rate as stimulated adults. People forget that we are born relaxed. Acceleration of speech and action indicates mania (Victor et al., 2001; Restak, 1984), associated with bipolar affective disorder. Manic symptoms affect children. Psychiatrically hospitalized manic children display symptoms of ADD (Carlson et al., 1998).
Complaints of lack of focus, failing memory, and other mental abnormalities, signify hypomania, a lesser degree of mania (Victor, 2001), which accompanies the first stage of ongoing-caffeine-induced-anaphylaxis-induced fight or flight dementia. Unable to correlate the patient's complaints with a textbook disorder, physicians assume ADD.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, which classifies caffeine as a substance, substance intoxication can present with disturbance in thinking, judgment, perception, attention, motor activity, and social functioning (1994). Caffeine toxicity can induce restlessness, agitation, irritability, confusion, and delerium (Steinman, 2001; Fisher Scientific, 1997; Turkington, 1994; Shen et al., 1979). In addition, anaphylaxis can induce delerium (Kaplan, 2000).
Unlike Stephen Cherniske, aware of instinct warning him that caffeine was affecting his behavior (Cherniske, 1998), a child does not know. A youngster can't feel the mild stimulant rush because the underdeveloped body has developed a tolerance. Similarly, a toxic adult loses natural insight and can't recognize caffeine induced intellect and personality changes (Shen, 1979; McManamy, 1936; Crothers, 1902).
During partial withdrawal, the body metabolizes some caffeine, saturating cells. Clarity struggles to return. Symptoms of partial withdrawal can overlap traits of poisoning (Strain et al., 1997) and can mimic depression (Hirsch, 1984). As the noradrenaline level diminishes, symptoms of depression set in (Restak, 1994, Ackerman, 1992). Caffeine induced withdrawal depression can manifest as hyperactivity, lethargy, irritability, confusion, and lack of focus. The glucose level, which rises along with adrenaline (Davidson et al., 1969) and remains elevated during the body's struggle to maintain homeostasis, drops. A decrease in glucose encourages lack of motivation, which may also mimic depression.
As Allbutt and Dixon stressed, in 1909, regarding caffeine, another "dose of the poison" provides minor relief, but continues to jeopardize organs (1909). A return to caffeine intake increases noradrenaline, heightening the fight or flight response. In turn, adrenaline, dopamine, and glucose increase, thus lifting depression. With continued substance exposure, toxins accumulate (Van Winkle, 2000).
Caffeine allergy is a deceptive allergy. Ongoing caffeine anaphylaxis reduces allergic inflammation and maintains organ stimulation. Endogenous glucocorticoids (including cortisol) inhibit inflammation (Claman, 1983). Theophylline is the principle therapy for asthma. All forms of theophylline maintain open bronchial passages, allowing for easier breathing. During ongoing caffeine anaphylaxis, airways remain open. Adrenaline, the drug of choice for anaphylaxis, is always present in a caffeine consumer. By suppressing phosphodiesterase release, caffeine (Davidson, 1969) increases cyclic AMP. Excess amounts of cyclic AMP inhibit histamine production (Dykewicz, 2001; Ernst et al., 1999). Phosphodiesterase inhibitors inhibit histamine release (Raderer et al., 1995).
Cyclic AMP is increased in patients diagnosed as schizophrenic and many individuals diagnosed with affective disorders (Nishino et al., 1993; Erban et al., 1980; Biederman et al., 1977). Histamine is reduced in persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, a late stage of ongoing caffeine anaphylaxis.
Although the histamine level is low in schizophrenics (Malek-Ahmadi et al., 1976; Hoffer et al., 1967), schizophrenic patients exhibit a marked tolerance to histamine (Lea, 1955). This suggests, in the case of caffeine anaphylaxis, that during the onset stage of schizophrenia, when anaphylaxis induced hyperactivity, or anaphylaxis induced panic symptoms were mistaken as ADD, anxiety, or panic, (before continued cerebral poisoning), histamine was increased but the allergy went undetected.
Symptoms of allergic anxiety (Bonner, 2000; Kaplan, 2000; Walsh, 2000) may be mistaken as anxiety neurosis, considered an onset symptom of schizophrenia. When a young person experiencing a first anxiety episode arrives in an emergency room, doctors suspect a developing schizophrenia (Victor, 2001).
Attention and memory deficits accompany schizophrenia (Zuffante et al., 2001; Goldberg et al., 1993). Researchers theorize that prior to the onset of schizophrenia changes in a person's cognition may be subtle (Goldberg, 1993).
Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and other phenothiazine drugs exhibit an anti- histamine effect (Sifton, 1994; Malek-Ahmadi, 1976), similar to diphenhydramine (Benadryl). A person allergic to caffeine, taking a phenothiazine medication, will experience relief of the physical manifestations of ongoing caffeine anaphylaxis. In addition, phenothiazine medications reduce allergic induced abnormal psychological symptoms, including a reduction in paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, and generate a return of partial insight, focus, and comprehension.
Ongoing caffeine allergy induces a progressive toxic dementia (McManamy, 1936). In a caffeine allergic person, each caffeine or theophylline dose increases toxin accumulation. A buildup of caffeine, which may exceed tolerance level, saturates the ability of metabolism (Carrillo et al., 2000; Nehlig, 1999); rate of drug accumulation exceeds rate of elimination. Introducing a stimulant into a caffeine allergic individual's system will further poison the frontal cortex and hypothalamus and continue to mask allergic symptoms of caffeine anaphylaxis. Continued stimulant use increases toxic psychosis, which results in decreased affect and deterioration of mental abilities.
(I have posted all the references cited in the paper above at http://www.doctoryourself.com/caffeine2.html To read another of Ruth's excellent caffeine articles, please go to http://www.doctoryourself.com/caffeine_allergy.html )
Copyright 2002 Ruth Whalen, MLT, ASCP. Reprinted with permission of the author. Email Ms Whalen at Tenpaisleypark@hotmail.com
THE WHITE OF THE COW Reader's Say:
"For the most part I enjoy your articles, but I am very surprised that you have such a pro-dairy stance. In a previous Doctor Yourself Newsletter ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v2n8.txt ) you wrote:
As a former dairyman, I am probably more kind to milk products than some. Milk is better than meat. Furthermore, I advocate cultured milk products (cheese, yogurt) NOT fluid milk, to get calcium. It is undeniably true that retaining your calcium is as important as eating it. Exercise, vitamin D, and a low-protein, near-vegetarian diet all help a lot. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and especially "soft drinks," which are a "hard" source of dietary phosphorous, are also important steps. In a perfect world, I'd say this: to be built like a gorilla, eat like one. But so many people have crummy diets, and such plentiful vices, that I will take refuge with one of the great vegetarian moderates of our time: Mahatma Gandhi. He ate, and recommended, some cheese. This was a necessary nod to reality. (end of quote)
"I disagree with your milk is better than meat comment... 100%. Meat has some hormones, toxins, antibiotics in it... but they do not hold a candle to the concentrated (10,000 pounds of blood to create 55 pounds if milk per day) toxins (up to 200 times the safe levels of dioxins, alone), allergens (casein, lactose and more), up to 52 antibiotics (perhaps 53 with the illegal use of LS-50), a full 59 hormones ONE of which (IGF-1 plug and play cancer fuel) is identical between cow's and humans, up to 20 million live bacteria per liter, a national average of 323 million pus cells per liter, the protein lactalbumin linked to diabetes mellitus, the protein casomorphine linked to behavioral problems... and more.
"As to advocating cheese... it takes 10 pounds of polluted milk to make one pound of cheddar cheese. One goes from 49% of calories from animal fats (despite the fact that milk is 87% expensive water) to 74% of calories from animal fats. Now add to that the cholesterol equivalent of 17 slices of bacon per eight ounce cup of milk... and one major cause of heart disease being (hands down) the biggest US health problem should be most evident.
Sincerely, Dave Rietz
(Thank you for keeping me honest. Dave's excellent website http://www.notmilk.com has over 600 pages of material on why we do not need moo juice. I recommend it.)
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