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April 9, 2009
Even sick people and those who are seriously ill can relieve their frame of mind and, in so doing, ease their suffering by adopting a positive attitude. Why should your disturbed condition of health dominate the whole spectrum of your life and emotions?
Should a sick person not be happy because at least some of his organs still function well? Could he not think up ways of how he may contribute to a quicker recovery by taking the proper measures? An illness that is properly treated and cured can, in fact, help to eliminate wastes from the body and thus improve one’s general well-being. However, if a morose attitude is taken and the pain is dulled by means of chemical drugs instead of proper treatment leading to cleansing and a cure, you should not be surprised to see your hopes of success vanish. Gratitude and contentment during an illness are the best basis for recovery. Often, when you think you have good reason to give free rein to sadness and despair, why not remind yourself of the dangerous times of war or the millions of refugees who lost, and continue to lose, their homes and possessions. These thoughts would awaken gratitude in you for what blessings you have and make all your little sorrows disappear. For is it not wonderful to have a roof over your head that protects you from the rain and cold, and to live in a reasonably orderly environment and land? Gratitude and appreciation for all the many things we take for granted, that embellish our daily life, can cheer us up and dispel any feelings of depression. Try it out and you will see that it works.
The blood pressure and the pulse rate also react adversely to nicotine, as has been proved in extensive tests undertaken by the Americans Mathers, Patterson and Levy, who investigated the link between circulatory disturbances and smoking. It was found that the average rise in blood pressure after inhaling one cigarette was 15 mm, while the pulse rate increased by fifteen beats per minute, and in cases of special sensitivity to nicotine, by twenty-five beats. The results of the tests varied according to the nicotine content of the respective cigarette brands and the individual smoker’s sensitivity.
Tobacco smoke can also damage plants, as a simple experiment will prove. Put some cress seeds in two small dishes and when they begin to sprout, place a clear glass cover or jar over them. When the plants are about 2Vz cm (1 inch) high, under one of the glass covers blow cigarette or cigar smoke; repeat two days later. Within a week the smoked plants will be dead, completely shrivelled up, while the ones in the unpolluted dish will be perfectly healthy.
Any gardener will tell you that tobacco extract kills insect life and that he uses it to destroy aphids. This particular use of tobacco can be recommended, but you must watch that the plants are sprayed when the fruits have not yet developed or are very small, so that the rain can wash away the extract.
How can we solve the problem of obtaining enough salt without overloading the body with too much common or table salt? We can take advantage of the vegetables that contain plenty of it, for example leeks and onions. All plants contain salt, for when we talk about salt we mean sodium chloride, which is found in plants. Nevertheless, the fact that fresh, raw vegetables are a source of salt is frequently overlooked and many believe they must use ordinary salt to avoid deficiencies. But doing this puts a strain on the kidneys. Many well-known physicians, such as Gerson, Riedlin, Hermannsdorfer and the noted surgeon Professor Sauerbruch, have discovered that in cases of tuberculosis of the bones, too much salt has a markedly bad effect, whereas a low-salt diet or abstinence from salt improves the general condition and stimulates the healing ability of the body.
Those who suffer from kidney ailments know that little or no salt is one of the important rules of their treatment if they are to recover rapidly. So, even for those in excellent health, it would be sensible to reduce our salt consumption as much as possible so as to avoid overburdening the kidneys. We should definitely give more consideration to these facts, since many other diseases and ailments also require a low-salt or salt-free diet in order to protect the kidneys or effect a cure.
An interesting observation will illustrate this. Make some dough from freshly ground flour and knead it well with your hands. You will notice that the hands become quite red as hyperaemia is produced. It is the active enzymes that are responsible for this phenomenon and these are found especially in the bran and the germ. If you make dough from the same flour after it has been stored for 5-6 weeks, this reaction will no longer occur to the same extent, if at all, because the enzymes will have decreased in effectiveness or died off during the long period of storage. That is why it is better to use a stone mill for grinding – as our forefathers did and certain primitive peoples still do – then prepare and bake the bread immediately. Thus the full value of the enzymes is preserved and the bread will be more nourishing, for it contains the healthy substances of the wholegrain cereal.
Wholewheat or any other wholemeal bread should be prepared in the way just described, and we should make it a point to make or buy bread which is prepared and baked according to this natural method. When we consider the great demands placed on our system today, it is only sensible that we should prefer bread that retains its full nutritional value and reject the less valuable.
In order to show someone how important it is to prevent vitamin Ñ deficiency, we would do well to refer to Captain Cook’s famous experience. Realising the disastrous effect of a lack of vitamin Ñ in the diet, and to guarantee the success of his expeditions, he carried on board whole barrels of sauerkraut. His farsightedness spared him and his crew from falling victim to scurvy. Every 100 g (about ÇÓ2 oz) of sauerkraut contains approximately 20 mg of vitamin C, about the same proportion as in raw potatoes, but the latter, of course, are less palatable when uncooked.
The symptoms and consequences of vitamin Ñ deficiency are muscular weakness, bleeding under the skin, bleeding of the gums and loosening of the teeth, which can even fall out. Resistance to infectious diseases is greatly reduced and susceptibility to catarrh, sore throats and tonsillitis, pneumonia and pleurisy is considerably increased. The capillaries are weakened and damaged, severely affecting the circulation.
April 7, 2009
Next to the liver, the most important organ in our digestive system is the pancreas, yet it weighs only about one-twentieth of that of the liver. This small, elongated gland is located above the navel between the posterior stomach wall and the spine; below it lies the horseshoe-shaped loop of the first part of the small intestine. The left end touches the spleen and the left kidney. Small it may be, but it performs two important functions, producing an external secretion to be poured into the duodenum and an internal one to be poured into the blood.
Neither the bile nor the pancreatic enzymes are fully efficient if the juice in the small intestine and the bacterial flora are not normal. So you can see that the digestive process involves a complicated series of relationships between many individual factors. If everyone understood this fact and fully appreciated the implications, they would no doubt make a greater effort to live more carefully and watch what they eat and drink. Excesses endanger the wonderful interplay of the digestive organs and the glandular functions.
The roundworm, which resembles an earthworm in appearance, reaches a length of 25-40 cm (10-17 inches) and has other detrimental effects besides its poisonous metabolic secretions. The eggs, which are transmitted from vegetables that have been fertilised with liquid manure, develop into small larvae which penetrate the intestinal wall and are carried into the lungs, where they settle and develop further. The patient appears to be suffering from a stubborn case of bronchitis, but the real problem is the infestation with worms. From the lungs the worms migrate through the bronchials and back into the digestive tract again, but eggs emerge in the stool only 70-75 days after the initial infection. Even so, the migration of these worms has not yet ended. When fully mature, they are found not only in the intestines, but sometimes they come down the nose and into the mouth, much to the horror of the victim. At other times they may bore their way into the bile ducts, causing jaundice. Or they may creep through the intestinal wall, which can precipitate peritonitis. Both cases are serious and dangerous. Their number may increase to many hundreds, a bunch of worms actually being able to cause an obstruction of the bowel and endanger the victim’s life. I could go on enumerating the many ways in which worms can pose a danger, but what I have explained already may suffice to convince you that intestinal worms are not harmless. Their elimination must receive our attention.
After breakfast a period of occupational therapy should follow. The purpose is to capture the patient’s interest, concentration and attention by doing something practical. This distraction is an essential part of the treatment, for the patient must not be left alone and to his own thoughts, which have a tendency to become more depressing as he broods. If his attention can be diverted to everyday realities, depressing thoughts and feelings will have less chance to assert their influence on his mind. In the field of emotions an analogy can be drawn with the working of two transmission wheels: while the belt drives only one wheel, no power is transmitted to the other one. Applied to the patient, this means that we must see to it that he continually occupies himself, mentally, spiritually or physically, with the realities of life. If we succeed in this, he will gradually be lifted out of his condition marked by morbid sensitivity and imaginations, unhealthy fantasies and dreams. For those who have an artistic nature, arts and crafts projects are especially indicated as they divert and satisfy the patient without the need for constant encouragement. They also constitute a pleasant bridge between the worlds of fantasy and reality.
The urinary bladder is a hollow organ made up of muscle fibres and lined with mucous membrane. Ordinarily, the bladder has the capacity to hold about 750 ml (almost a quart) of fluid. Since the fibre cells are elastic, like rubber, the bladder is able to expand greatly without suffering any damage. According to the amount of fluid collected, pressure is exerted on the walls of the bladder and, as it mounts, this triggers the feeling of needing to pass water. However, the amount of fluid present in the bladder is not the only force causing the urge for elimination. External influences such as exposure to cold produce it too. Having cold feet or stepping barefoot onto cold tiles or a cement floor cause a contraction of the bladder wall and a strong need to pass water, even if the bladder is only partially filled. A bladder infection creates the same urge, but often the patient is able to produce only a few drops of water while suffering pain and discomfort. The bladder is one of the body’s most sensitive organs, and one that reacts to physical as well as emotional stimuli in an unusually strong way.
The opposite phenomenon, where the heart stops beating before the person is actually dead, has been observed in criminals who have been electrocuted. Being aware of this fact, a doctor was permitted to give a ‘dead’ man an injection in order to ease the spasm, because the doctor had attributed the sudden cardiac arrest to a spasm induced by the electricity. His diagnosis proved to be correct; the executed man who had appeared to be dead came back to life and had to undergo a second time the distressing procedure of the electric chair.
Many other astonishing incidents and facts connected with the functions of the heart could no doubt be cited. New surprises still come to light, some being discovered accidentally and others as a result of medical research.