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Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review


Dr. Herbert M. Shelton

Editor & Publisher ·San Antonio, Texas



By Dr. H.M. Shelton & Edited by Victoria

Recently, there came to my desk an article entitled "Metaphysical Aspects of Natural Hygiene," the author of which discusses not hygiene but vegetarianism. After discussing what is called the "spiritual approach to vegetarianism," he says: "There are vegetarians not for the animal's sake but for the 'body's sake,' because they were sick, and nature forced them to give up meat. These people are called "Natural Hygienists," and what they are practicing is called 'natural hygiene'."

That all "spiritual vegetarians" suffer with a marked inferiority complex is manifest by their constant boasting about their superiority over all other types of vegetarians! But I am not interested in this article in a discussion of the many types of vegetarians. What I do desire to do is to make clear this: "No type of vegetarianism or raw foodism is natural hygiene! And natural hygiene is not vegetarianism or raw foodism!"

Natural hygiene is a broad and comprehensive way of life, not merely a mode of eating no animal products not merely eating raw food. Natural Hygiene is a plan of caring for men, women, and children both in health and in sickness not as bodies, not as disembodied spirits, but as unitary and social beings. Whatever man or woman may be, in addition to what is commonly referred to as the "physical man" or "the physical woman," each man and each woman is a unit and is to be handled as such. The hygienist does not accept the hypothesis that there are "natural laws," that govern the body, and "spiritual laws" that are separate from, superior to, and in opposition to "natural laws" that govern the spirit. The NATURAL HYGIENIST knows only law; and this knowing governs the whole man, the whole woman, the whole child. There is no conflict in law.

A Baptist evangelist who was recently a patient at the Health School, asked me why he had never heard of "hygiene and hygienists" before. He knew of the other schools of thought. He did not think much of the medical man with his bag of pills and his squirt gun loaded with deadly poisons. But where had hygiene been hiding? It does seem to me that many of our friends and a great number of our professed hygienists emphasize their vegetarianism or their diets so much and forget to present hygiene. We tend to talk too much of food or of fasting and too often fail to emphasize the need for an integrated way of life that encompasses all of the normal needs of life, which you know as "The 10 Energy Enhancers." So long as we continue to do this, so long as we do not talk of all 10 Energy Enhancers, we cannot justly blame half-informed authors and editors if they fail to present natural hygiene to their readers in a pure light, tinted by vegetarianism or raw foodism.

A new edition of my first book, originally published (1922) under the title Fundamentals of Nature Cure, is being issued by another publisher. In a new introduction prepared for this new edition, I have this to say of natural hygiene:

"In natural hygiene alone are the primordia of an enduring system of mind-body care, both in health and in illth. The purpose of natural hygiene, as an art and a science, is the ascertainment and application of The Laws of Life to the end that man, woman, and child may be made and kept healthy and happy, kept well if healthy, restored to health if ill. This is the first and highest application of its resources. The hygienic system is simply the application of all the primordial requirements of life, brought to bear upon the well and the sick in due proportion and according to the needs and capacities of the living organism under any particular set of circumstances. Rightly interpreted, this means that hygiene restores health with the causes of health The 10 Energy Enhancers rather than with just a vegetarian diet or just a raw food diet, as proponents of these 2 movements claim to do, or with just the causes of disease, as the old school proponents of drugging profess to do.

"Our practice rests squarely upon the principle that there must always be a normal connection between the

living organism, whether in its normal or its abnormal activities, and the material things that contribute more or less perfectly to sustain biological and physiological phenomena. We hold that no substance or process that is not a normal factor-element in physiology can have any value to the living structure under any circumstance of life. That which is not useful in health is equally non-usable in sickness. There are times and circumstances when the body cannot, temporarily, make use of some one or more of the normal needs of life. But there never comes a time when it can, even temporarily, make use of those things are not normal needs of life! (Dr. Shelton is speaking of all the Exogenous Poisons here that people ingest on a daily basis, the protoplasmic poisons of SAD food and recreational drugs, the poisons of conventional medicine, etc.) If, under many conditions of disease, the body cannot digest and assimilate food, it does not, thereby, become capable of using mercury and cortisone! If the body is too weak to exercise in typhoid or pneumonia, and must rest, it does not, under these circumstances, need, nor can it make use of penicillin and cough syrup!

"All processes of recovery or healing are but extensions and modifications of the processes that preserve health. And the materials and influences or processes employed in caring for the sick, must be in consonance with physiology and compatible with any and all other useful measures. By adding together and coordinating all of the elements of natural hygiene, we are bale to produce a system of caring for the sick that is intelligent, rational, scientific, without mystery or poison, and with a real gain to suffering humanity. Hygienic care comprehends not only a regulation of the plant food or animal food, not only a regulation of the raw food or cooked food, that enters our systems. Rather, Natural Hygiene also gives attention to drinking, breathing, temperature, exercise, rest, sleep, and indeed all of the influences and circumstances which constitute the conditions of health."

The reader will note that there is not an emphasis on vegetarianism or raw foodism in the teachings of NATURAL HYGIENE. There is presented in the teachings of NATURAL HYGIENE, a broad and comprehensive approach to the problems of life, one that includes the intellectual and emotional of human life, as well as the physical. If there is a spiritual side of man that is not encompassed in his intellectual and emotional life, the definition of "natural hygiene" here presented, which is the definition of "hygiene" that has been understood since 1823, is sufficiently broad to encompass this also. Natural hygiene is constituted of all the normal things of life. It is not a narrow system. It does not stop with promoting simply vegetarianism or simply raw food. NATURAL HYGIENE does not intend to overlook or exclude a single one of The 10 Energy Enhancers, The Basic Requisites of Life, The Essentials of Life.

Victoria's Note: Dear Health Seekers, this was originally an article on "Natural Hygiene VS. Vegetarianism." Everywhere in this article, however, you see references to "raw food" and "raw foodism." I have added those references. Dr. Shelton did not live to see RAW FOODISM become a movement, at least not the movement it has become today with the advent of the Internet and all the raw food and living food websites and all the raw food recipe books out there today! So, I took the liberty of adding "raw foodism" to the "vegetarianism" around which this "debate article" was originally written.

I had the opportunity to speak with a few GetWell Friends who attended a recent raw food convention. They commented that the raw fooders that are not also NATURAL HYGIENISTS do not have "the whole story" and that some of them were openly antagonistic toward the few NATURAL HYGIENE speakers at the gathering. One NATURAL HYGIENE speaker at the convention told me that which I had speculated already from reading the raw food recipe authors' works and from my limited contacts with raw fooders who had forsaken NATURAL HYGIENE or who were "on the fence." He related that at this convention, he had occasion to see some of the raw foodist gourmandizing on watermelon at 4:00 A.M. and then again at 11:00 P.M. He related that food combining and quantities and toxic foodstuffs and eating schedules were seldom a consideration of the well-intentioned, but sometimes misguided, and non-HYGIENE educated, raw foodists. Their concern, as their movement title suggests, is "RAW FOOD."

Of course, the raw food diet is superior to The SAD Diet at its worst. Of course. But, Dear Health Seekers and GetWell Friends, make no mistake about it. Raw foodism is not "The Superlative, Alternative Health Care System." Raw foodism is based on the idea that the body is self-healing, to be sure. But raw foodism as it is promoted by various educators/authors today is not dropped into the paradigm of a total and the superlative health care system. When that happens and its leaders/authors do this and do this correctly, then they will be teaching NATURAL HYGIENE, whether they give it that name or not. In all likelihood, they will not. And, in all likelihood, they will give their health care system a twist, slightly away from NATURAL HYGIENE on some minor point so that they can name their teachings to fit their egos or their rhetoric. In time, they will run across NATURAL HYGIENE. Whether they give it their serious consideration or not remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the encounter is inevitable. I thank you all, Dear GetWell Friends, for helping make that encounter inevitable. We shine our beacon of truth at...


PART I: "How Can I GetWell & StayWell via Hygienic Care?"