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Ellen G. White and Dio Lewis, M.D.
Comparative Statements on Health

By Elaine Bowerman

Weak Lungs and How to Make Them Strong, by Dio Lewis, M.D.

Preface by Dr. Dio Lewis,
Weak Lungs and How to Make Them Strong,
1864, 5th Edition

Nearly twenty years ago there came under my professional care a consumptive, for whose recovery I felt the deepest solicitude. Since then I have treated many invalids, of the same class, for whom my tenderest sympathies have been awakened. Twelve years since my wife’s health failed. Obviously, it was a case of consumption. Two sisters had died of the malady. In the persons of my dearest friends I have felt the most intense interest in pulmonary consumption

For many years I employed medicines in the treatment of the malady. During the last ten years, abandoning all drugs, I have depended upon the natural health agents, and more particularly upon exercise. At length I feel impelled to print the results of my observations and experience. It would not be difficult to make a large book. For the present I submit a small one. It is for the people. They will find in it no theories, no technicalities.

I can scarcely hope it will interest my professional brethren but I do fondly hope that thousands who need its advice, will study its pages, not only with interest, but with substantial profit.

This book seeks to guide those with weak lungs, in the most advantageous use of temperance, pure air, sunshine, exercise, and other hygienic agents. Happily for my patients and myself, there can be no controversy over its suggestions.

In preparing this volume, I have been encouraged by the consciousness that I was giving voice to a conviction rapidly maturing among the best physicians. This conviction is frankly expressed by Dr. JAMES BLAKE, in the following words:-

"Now I think we may conscientiously tell our consumptive patients, that when living out in the mountain air, they are doing far more to re-establish their health, than anything we can do for them."

In fact, this work is designed to put into available form the advice which the wisest of my profession constantly give their consumptive patients. It condemns medicines. But, in this it only echoes the voice of nearly every experienced physician, whose pocket permits and unbiased judgment. Every doctor advises exercise. But all exercises are not equally good. The book I offer you, is, in great part, filled with simple directions for the practice of those exercises which possess peculiar value for consumptive invalids. The province of the "Movement Cure" is, in brief, the application of special exercises to special needs.

I may expect too much, but I cherish a profound satisfaction in believing, that many, who have enlisted in the army of consumptives, may, by reading this little work, be induced to seek and honorable discharge.

In the preparation of this work, especially in the description of phthisis, I am indebted to Drs. CLARK, THOMPSON, MORTON, and other excellent authorities, for valuable suggestions.

Note: phthisis means "a wasting or pulmonary tuberculosis." Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

Please note the following:

  1. Dr. Lewis began his study of consumptives "nearly twenty years ago," which would put his commencement date in 1844.
  2. "During the last ten years, abandoning all drugs . . .." places this phase of his work in 1854.

The things that Ellen White recommended for the prevention, treatment and cure of illness – supposedly from her 1863 Ostego vision – were long-since common practices by leading physicians of her time. Add to this the fact that she submitted herself and her family to the care of Drs. Trall and Jackson – well, you get the point.

I find this most interesting in view of the fact that on December 27, 1864, Mrs. White authored an article entitled "THE PREVENTION OF CONSUMPTION." This was listed as Manuscript 4, 1905. However, only the following small fragments have been released at the present time in her published writings. They have been treated as separate documents and used in various places in her books. I have included her full statements below:

Dress, Fashionable, a Cause of Pulmonary Disease.--I am afraid that sufficient instruction is not given regarding the necessity of avoiding the causes that produce consumption. Many suffer from pulmonary disease, not because they have inherited it, but because of some carelessness on their own part. If they would live much in the open air, taking full, deep inspirations of fresh air, and if they would dress and eat in accordance with the principles of health, they would soon improve.

Fashionable dressing is one of the chief causes of coughs and diseased lungs. Those who are threatened with pulmonary diseases should take especial care not to allow the extremities of the body to be chilled. The wrist should be covered with warm wristlets, for if the hands and arms are chilled, the lungs are injuriously affected.

During the cold winter months, soft woolen stockings or socks should be worn, and these should be changed often, perhaps two or three times a week. The feet should never be left damp.

Many mothers show very little wisdom in the way in which they dress their children. They allow the dictates of fashion to rule them, to the great detriment of the health of their children. It would seem almost as if they did not have reasoning powers. They dress their little girls in such a way that the limbs are left unprotected, while those parts of the body nearest the heart, and therefore naturally the warmest, are covered with several thicknesses of clothing. Thus the blood is driven from those parts of the body which need it most, because they are the most remote from the heart, and they are chilled.--Ms 4, 1905. {3MR 319.4}

If the living machinery were properly cared for, there would not be today one-thousandth part of the suffering that there is. We are God's children, and we are to be apt students in studying the philosophy of health. If we are well, we should learn how to keep well by studying to some purpose the principles of health reform. Seventh-day Adventists should not follow the health-destroying customs of the world because it is the fashion to follow these customs.--Ms 4, 1905, p. 2. ("The Prevention of Consumption," Dec. 27, 1904.) {2MR 181.2}

Parents to Help Children to Preserve a Clean Conscience. --I am instructed to say to parents, Do all in your power to help your children to have a pure, clean conscience. Teach them to feed on the Word of God. Teach them that they are the Lord's little children. Do not forget that He has appointed you as their guardians. If you will give them proper food and dress them healthfully, and if you will diligently teach them the Word of the Lord, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, with much prayer to our heavenly Father, your efforts will be richly rewarded.--MS 4, 1905. {1MCP 327.3}

Healing for Consumptives.--Many who are threatened with consumption will be healed through faith. Many others will be healed through proper eating and drinking and through living largely in the open air. To those who are suffering from this disease I would say, Take regular exercise, and keep as cheerful as possible. Keep busy, and live as much as possible out-of-doors. Keep your heart free from all jealousy and evil-surmising, and ask God to help you to improve as fast as possible. Some will overcome the disease; yes, many will, through faith in the mighty Healer. "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me;" the Lord says, "and he shall make peace with Me" (Isaiah 27:5).--Manuscript 4, 1905, pp 3,4. ("The Prevention of Consumption," December 27, 1904.)

Mrs. White was Acquainted with the Writings of Lewis and Met Him in 1871

We visited Dr. Lewis. . . . We think him near insanity. He has a house in which he has put two hundred and thirty thousand dollars and he is yet making improvements. We stepped into apparently a little bedroom, four by six, sat upon a nice sofa, and were hoisted by an elevator up four stories to Dr. Lewis' room; and yet there were four stories above the doctor's rooms. We could look all over Boston. The doctor has been engaged in business so long that he has a diseased brain. He told us frankly all about his condition. I think this statement of his case helped father. It certainly explained things to me I had not before understood. I see that we must all be more careful of our words and actions when father is overwhelmed with care.--Letter 15, 1871. (To Edson and Emma White, November 15, 1871.) {5MR 397.1}

We visited Dio Lewis and found him an overworked man. He is liberal, open-hearted, and frank. The doctor has been overworking his brain. Your father enjoys the change. He resolves now not to confine himself so closely to Battle Creek. We have had excellent meetings.--Letter 15a, 1871. (To Edson and Emma White, November 15, 1871.) {5MR 397.2}

Our land is now full of motorpathic institutions, to which women are sent at a great expense to have hired operators stretch and exercise their inactive muscles. They lie for hours to have their feet twigged, their arms flexed, and all the different muscles of the body worked for them, because they are so flaccid and torpid that the powers of life do not go on. Would it not be quite as cheerful, and a less expensive process, if young girls from early life developed the muscles in sweeping, dusting, starching, ironing, and all the multiplied domestic processes which our grandmothers knew of? A woman who did all these, and diversified the intervals with spinning on the great and little wheel, did not need the gymnastics of Dio Lewis, or the Swedish movement cure, which really are a necessity now. Does it not seem poor economy to pay servants for letting our muscles grow feeble, and then to pay operators to exercise them for us? I will venture to say that our grandmothers went over, in a week, every movement that any gymnast has invented, and went over them with some productive purpose, too. {HR, June 1, 1873 par. 11}

In the vision of June 6, 1863, not only was there opened up to Ellen White the basic principles of healthful living but a solemn commission was given to her that would have a bearing on her work and that of her husband for many years to come. She and James were to be teachers of health reform. Taking up her pen after the vision, she wrote:

I saw that it was a sacred duty to attend to our health, and arouse others to do their duty. . . . We have a duty to speak, to come out against intemperance of every kind--intemperance in working, in eating, in drinking, in drugging--and then point them to God's great medicine, water, pure soft water, for diseases, for health, for cleanliness, and for a luxury. . . . I saw that we should not be silent upon the subject of health, but should wake up minds to the subject.--MS 1, 1863. {2BIO 73.2}

But before they could teach, they must know what to teach. They were adults, and parents; alert, but their knowledge in health lines was but little different from the average--and these were days of general ignorance. The Review and Herald, edited by James White and Uriah Smith, occasionally carried items on rest, fresh air, exercise, et cetera, selected from other journals or from the writings of a Dr. Dio Lewis. Quite often articles and admonitions discouraging the use of tobacco, tea, and coffee were included. But as we have seen in connection with the scourge of diphtheria in the winter of 1862 and 1863, although the obituary notices kept before its readers the death of many children, up to February, 1863, the Review had little to offer to terrified parents but the application of a poultice of "Spanish flies and turpentine." Then there came to the attention of James and Ellen White Dr. James C. Jackson's method of treatment of diphtheria, embodying simple, rational methods in the proper use of water, fresh air, and rest. Earnestly employed, these remedies saved two of the White boys when stricken, and also Moses Hull's boy, but upon the recovery of the children the experience was soon forgotten. Then in the vision of June 6, 1863, among a number of situations and matters opened up to Ellen White, health was an important one. Many of its features were to her so revolutionary that she was for a time bewildered. {2BIO 73.3}

Plans for Health Publications

On this journey, which continued to November 11, James and Ellen White considered how to get the health message across to Seventh-day Adventists generally. A plan emerged to issue five pamphlets (later increased to six) of sixty-four pages each, presenting some phase of what they saw before them along health lines that should be stressed. James White would do some writing, but the pamphlets would feature articles from physicians advocating reforms, and each would contain an article from Ellen White's pen under the general title "Disease and Its Causes." In early September he noted that "the health question is much agitated among our people."--Ibid., Sept. 6, 1864. Articles in the Review from Adventist writers J. N. Andrews, H. S. Gurney, and George Amadon, and selected materials from such physicians and other authors as Dr. Dio Lewis, L. B. Coles, and Horace Mann bore witness to this. The November 1, 1864, issue carried a pointed article from Martha Amadon entitled "How to Use Graham Flour." Ellen White's comprehensive thirty-two-page chapter titled "Health," in Spiritual Gifts, Volume IV, published in August, 1864, was her first published material in the wide range of basic health matters. {2BIO 89.7}

Nimes, Oct. 17, 1886. Sunday afternoon Brother Ings spoke. There was quite a number present, and I had freedom in speaking in the evening. Mr. Gilly, the Evangelical minister, and preceptor of a school as well as an asylum for orphans and fallen women, was present and I was introduced to him. He reminds me of Dr. Lewis in size and features and deportment. Elder Bourdeau is very feeble and he needs much strength for the labor he has to perform. {3MR 62.1}


Note: Joseph Bates was one of the very first of the early Adventists to advocate the use of a vegetarian diet and wrote profusely against the use of tobacco and alcohol. See The Sealing Message, 1849, pps. 67, 68.

 

OUTLINE FROM DIO LEWIS’ BOOK

A. THE SCROFULOUS OR TUBERCULOUS DIATHESIS

Editor’s Note:

Scrofula: (Latin – a breeding sow) A variety of tuberculosis adenitis [inflammation of lymph node or gland] that is most frequently encountered. Most common in childhood.

Diathesis: A constitutional predisposition to disease.
Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
.

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
By this is meant that peculiar morbid condition of the system which gives rise to the desposition of tuberculous matter, under certain exciting causes. This taint is sometimes inherited, but it may be acquired at any time from infancy to old age. Dio Lewis, Weak Lungs and How to Make Them Strong. Page 17. I would not favor, as you regard health and happiness, your connecting with one who is predisposed to consumption. . . It is the worst kind of consumption, and we feel deeply the need of care in this matter of connecting our interest with those whose blood is tainted with this dread destroyer. {Daughters of God, pg. 190.1}

B. CAUSES OF CONSUMPTION

1. Impure Air

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
In discussing the causes of a disease, whose principal expression is in the lungs, nothing can be more legitimate than a consideration of the air we breathe. In full respiration, it penetrates every one of the many millions of air cells. Lewis, Op. Cited, page 30

Other Authorities – Dr. Blacke, Dr. Blakely Brown, Dr. Duncan, and Professor Alison – fully confirm these statements [regarding impure air]: in addition to which we are informed that "defective ventilation may be considered one great cause of all the diseases of the joints which we so frequently meet with, as well as of the diseases of the eye and skin – shingles, lepra, and porrigo, [dandruff], or ringworm. Besides the eye, the ear is injuriously affected by vitiated air, which thus becomes the cause of many cases of deafness. It is a fact, that at least two times more of the children of the laboring classes are affected by the ear-ache and deafness, than of children of the rich and better conditional classes, less exposed to like influences." Lewis, op. cit. Pages 45, 46

Every population throws off insensibly an atmosphere of organic matter excessibely rare in country and towns, but less rare in dense than in open districts. . . matter which has lived, is dead, has left the body, and is undergoing, by oxidation, decomposing into simpler than organic elements. Lewis, op. cited, page 46.

Many families suffer with sore throat, lung diseases, and liver complaint, brought upon them by their own course of action. Their sleeping-rooms are small, unfit to sleep in for one night, but they occupy the small apartments for weeks, and months, and years. . . . They breathe the same air over and over, until it becomes impregnated with the poisonous impurities and waste matter thrown off from their bodies through the lungs and the pores of the skin. . . . Those who thus abuse their health must suffer with disease.--H. to L., Chap. 4, p. 63. {HL 173.2}

If every family realized the beneficial results of thorough cleanliness, they would make special efforts to remove every impurity from their persons and from their houses, and would extend their efforts to their premises. Many suffer decayed vegetable matter to remain about their premises. They are not awake to the influence of these things. There is constantly arising from these decaying substances an effluvium that is poisoning the air. By inhaling the impure air, the blood is poisoned, the lungs become affected, and the whole system is diseased. Disease of almost every description will be caused by inhaling the atmosphere affected by these decaying substances. CH 62.

Note: Effluvium: A flowing out. An invisible emanation or exhalation. Syn. Odor. Taber’s definition.

Impure air is a frequent cause of disease. Above all other places, houses of worship and school buildings should be thoroughly ventilated. In the church congregation and in the crowded school-room are persons affected with scrofula, consumption, and almost every other form of disease. Impurities generated by these disorders are exhaled, and also thrown off by insensible perspiration. Unless there is most thorough ventilation, these impurities will be taken into the lungs, and then into the blood, and thus endanger health and even life. RH, September 22, 1885 par. 14

In the above table, Mrs. White is referring to impure air and lack of ventilation as causes of TB rather than "germs."

2. Ventilation

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

Our school houses are, some of them, so vile in this respect [lack of ventilation], that I would prefer to have my son remain in utter ignorance of books, rather than to breathe during six hours of every day such a poisonous atmosphere. Lewis, op cited, page 42

In 1861 I visited a Legislative Hall. The Legislature was in session. I remained half and hour in the most impure air I ever attempted to breathe. If the laws, which emanated from such an atmosphere, were good, it is a remarkable instance of mental and moral rising above a depraved physical. Lewis, op. cited page 42.

You have complained of headache because of heated rooms. If teachers and scholars are ignorant of the bad effects of these overheated rooms and will close the windows and take into the lungs the impure air, modestly ask the teacher to excuse you, telling them it is the positive request of your mother. If this is not granted, your only alternative is to leave school, and we will be at the expense to employ a private teacher. I feel the necessity of your regarding these matters in their true light. Act up to the knowledge and intelligence you have. Health and life are not to be sacrificed to others' whims.--Letter 15, 1867. (To Edson and Willie White, November 9, 1867.) {5MR 390.1}

There are many suffering from ill health today because they do not pay attention to the laws of health. They do not exercise their reason in caring for the human machinery that God has entrusted to them and thus they present to God a crippled offering. Many persons confine themselves in ill-ventilated rooms, where the air is not charged with its appropriate supply of oxygen. In expiration we are constantly throwing off from the lungs impurities that defile the air, and there is positive necessity of having a constant supply of pure air. Many breathe air that is poisoned, and the blood is not purified in the lungs, and passes into the body without being vitalized by a fresh current of air. The result is that such persons are troubled with giddiness, restlessness, with confused thoughts, and gloomy spirits. The process of digestion is not properly carried forward, the brain is clouded, and the heart depressed. Such persons are suffering for want of exercise in the pure air. If they would have their organs perform their work properly, and be saved from the inroads of disease, they must change their course of action. {ST, September 30, 1897 par. 1}

I was shown that Brethren A, B, and C were in danger of injuring their health by remaining a considerable part of their time in heated rooms not sufficiently ventilated. These brethren need more physical exercise. Their employment is sedentary, and too much of the time they breathe heated, impure air. Their lack of exercise causes a depressed circulation, and they are in danger of injuring their health permanently by neglecting to heed the laws of their being. {1T 588.1}

3. Furnaces and Stoves

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

We all must have observed, that, while the air of a hot kitchen is comfortable, that of a parlor at the same heat, from an air-tight stove, is almost suffocating. . . . If we would avoid these, a dry chapped skin, an irritable nervous system, and a dry hacking cough, we must add the needed humidity by artificial means. Lewis, op. cit., pages 59, 60.

Since the introduction of furnaces and stoves, diseases of the respiratory apparatus have greatly multiplied. The heat from these, dries the life juices out of the throat and lungs. When I am asked to see a Consumptive, and find my patient in such an atmosphere, I begin by saying, "no treatment will save you if you continue to poison your lungs in this air." Lewis, op. cit. Page 61

If parents or children sit long in rooms heated by air-tight stoves, they will be dull, stupid, and irritable. {HR, January 1, 1873 par. 12}

During 1864, when her son Willie was "brought down with lung fever" and coughing up fresh blood, Ellen White had the following dream -- that "an experienced physician" was standing by her son.

I related to him my worn-out condition, my pressure for breath, and the relief obtained by opening the door. Said he, "That which gave you relief will also relieve your child. He needs air. You have kept him too warm. The heated air coming from a stove is injurious, and were it not for the air coming in at the crevices of the windows, would be poisonous, and destroy life. Stove heat destroys the vitality of the air, and weakens the lungs. The child's lungs have been weakened by the room being kept too warm. Sick persons are debilitated by disease, and need all the invigorating air that they can bear to strengthen the vital organs to resist disease. And yet in most cases air and light are excluded from the sickroom at the very time when most needed, as though dangerous enemies."--4aSG, pp. 152, 153.

4. Fires in Bedrooms

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

Most people thing that sleeping in cold rooms is essential to health. This is a mistake. An open fire greatly improves the atmosphere of a bedroom . . . With it, the air of the room is constantly changed. With it, the window will be kept open. With a fire, less bed clothing in needed – an important advantage, -- for a large number of blankets not only interferes with circulation and respiration, but prevents the escape of the gasses which the skin is constantly emitting. Lewis, op. cited, page 63.

I observe in California that many, during the rainy season, are suffering with colds, catarrh, sore throat, lung difficulties, neuralgia, and rheumatism. I can understand the reason of these maladies. The main parts of most of the houses are destitute of fire-places and stoves. In the rainy season dampness must affect rooms that have no fires. These sleeping apartments cannot be dried in continuous wet weather. The bedding must become damp, and will be musty unless dried before a fire. This is seldom done. In addition to this neglect of fires in sleeping apartments, air and light are generally excluded by closed windows and heavy curtains. But few seem to understand that the air in these closed rooms becomes impure and unfit for the lungs. Those who occupy such apartments cannot have health. The emanations from damp, moldy rooms and clothing are poisonous to the system. {HR, February 1, 1874 par. 6}

C. FOOD

1. The Best Rule As regards Quantity of Food

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

BEFORE YOU TAKE THE FIRST MOUTHFUL, PLACE UPON YOUR PLATE ALL YOU ARE TO EAT, AND EAT BUT TWICE A DAY! Lewis, op. cited, page 101 (capital letters used in original)

If we would preserve health and clearness of mind, we should eat temperately of plain, wholesome food. Those who have been accustomed to eat three meals would experience benefit from taking only two meals of simple food, prepared in a simple manner. ST, May 25, 1882

2. Testimony About the Connection Between Food and Consumption

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

Defective food produces that feeble development of the organism which is always associated with the tuberculosis diathesis; but superabundant and exciting food produces an equally morbid condition of the body and derangement of its functions, rapidly wasting the vitality. Lewis, op. cited, page 104

But what should children eat? Is asked. They should eat bread and milk, or coarse bread and cream, with fruit. . . They should eat no gravy, or meat, or buckwheat cakes, or hot bread, nor drink coffee or any other warm drink. Lewis, op. cited, page 108.

Overeating, even of the simplest food, benumbs the sensitive nerves of the brain, and weakens its vitality. Overeating has a worse effect upon the system than overworking; the energies of the soul are more effectually prostrated by intemperate eating than by intemperate working. The digestive organs should never be burdened with the quantity or quality of food which it will tax the system to appropriate. All that is taken into the stomach, above what the system can use to convert into good blood, clogs the machinery; for it cannot be made into either flesh or blood, and its presence burdens the liver, and produces a morbid condition of the system.-- T., V. II, p. 412. {HL 88.4}

Ellen White on the diet of children:

We worked gradually and carefully to change their habit of eating three times a day to two; we also worked cautiously to change their diet from stimulating food, as meat, rich gravies, pies, cakes, butter, spices, etc., to simple, wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains. {HR, May 1, 1877 par. 5}

3. General Advice

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

The physical as well as the spiritual man would be greatly purified by abstinence or extreme abstemiousness during Sunday. If I were asked what I thought would most improve the religious exercises of the Sabbath, I should reply, "Let the people eat almost nothing on that day, and let them have pure air in the church." Note, Italics in original. Lewis, op. cit. Page 117.

If we had bread and water only, we should receive it with thankfulness; but we are not yet compelled to confine ourselves to this restricted diet. I am convinced, however, that very many would find it a great advantage to partake of a much plainer diet on the Sabbath than on the working days of the week.

{ST, May 25, 1882 par. 6}

The want of the circulation of pure air in a church makes many a meeting of no effect; for labor is expended for naught, because the people can not keep awake.--ST Sept. 23, 1897.

4. Diet For Consumptives

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

I think there can be so serious argument in respect to the diet of consumptives. For them, a substantial, nutritious, unstimulating diet – which means one with little or no animal food – is best. Lewis, op. cit. Page 121

I presented the advantages to be obtained in this sanitarium. I showed that meat was never to be placed on the table as an article of food, that the life and health of thousands were being sacrificed at the altars where dead flesh was being offered for consumption. Letter 84, 1898 CD pg. 410.

Tubercular consumption is communicated by the practice of meat eating, and thus disease is extended. 14MR 297

D. COLDS

1. Colds Lead to Consumption if Predisposition is Present

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

While a cold is never the cause of consumption, it frequently rouses into activity tubercles already existing in the lungs. Those who have consumptive taint should protect themselves against colds. Lewis, op. cited, pages 129, 130

The least thing in the world gives them a cold, even going from one room to another; and before they know it they have a cold all the time, and this is nothing more or less than consumption . . . Health Reformer, April 1, 1871

Note: Above Ellen White exceeds the medical authority of the day by stating that colds lead to consumption, and according to the next statement, even death.

It [long skirts] frequently shuts her indoors when her health demands that she should enjoy exercise in the pure, invigorating air of heaven. If she goes in the light snow, or after a shower, or in the dews of the morning or the evening, she bedrabbles her long skirts, chills the sensitive, unprotected ankles, and takes cold, to prevent this she may remain shut up in the house, and become so delicate and feeble that when she is compelled to go out she is sure to take cold, which may result in cough, consumption, and death. {HR, August 1, 1868 par. 13}

E. CONDIMENTS

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
I do not believe that a single one of the articles known as condiments [ listed previously as salt, pepper, spice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves, mustard, and oil], is necessary to health, with, perhaps, the exception of salt. Lewis, op. cit. page 131

It is to be noticed that butter, grease of all kinds, tea, coffee, spice, pepper, ginger, and nutmeg were wholly discarded in the cookery and were not in use on the tables. Salt was provided for those who desired it. {2BIO 327.8}

F. DRINKS

1. Coffee and Tea

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

In this place I desire to call attention to tea and coffee. That both of these injures [sic] the stomach, more or less, cannot be doubted. . . . That tea drinking seriously impairs the health of many women, I know. How exactly alike all strong tea drinkers are – the same black teeth and dry, yellow skin; the same black teeth; the same nervousness and periodical headache . . . The influence of tea and coffee upon the nervous system is too familiar with most people to need description. The effect of this narcotic beverage upon the women of America is painfully obvious. Lewis, op. cit. pps. 134, 135

Prof. Hitchcock declares that the bewitching influence of tea and coffee lies in their narcotic properties. Lewis, op. cit. page 136

Tea is poisonous to the system . . . The influence of coffee is in a degree the same as tea, but the effect upon the system is still worse. Its influence is exciting, and just in the degree that it elevates above par, it will exhaust and bring prostration below par. Tea and coffee drinkers carry the marks upon their faces. The skin becomes sallow, and assumes a lifeless appearance. The glow of health is not seen upon the countenance. {CD 421.1}

It is a most forcible warning against the use of such stimulants and narcotics as tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and morphine. These indulgences may well be classed among the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character. The earlier these hurtful habits are formed, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery to lust, and the more certainly will they lower the standard of spirituality. {RH, January 25, 1881 par. 24}

G. TOBACCO

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

But it remains true that tobacco is a poison – that its excessive use ruins the general health and stultifies the brain . . . I have no doubt that tobacco smoke has developed consumption in thousands. Lewis, op.cit, page 140

Tobacco using is a habit which frequently affects the nervous system in a more powerful manner than does the use of alcohol. It binds the victim in stronger bands of slavery than does the intoxicating cup; the habit is more difficult to overcome. Body and mind are, in many cases, more thoroughly intoxicated with the use of tobacco than with spirituous liquors; for it is a more subtle poison. . . . Tobacco . . . affects the brain and benumbs the sensibilities . . . Tobacco weakens the brain and paralyzes its fine sensibilities. {CG 403, 404)

H. DRUGS

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
That the free use of drugs has, in multitudes of cases, undermined the constitution, and has sewn the seeds of consumption. Lewis, op. cited, p. 143, 144.

Drugs always have a tendency to break down and destroy vital forces, and nature becomes so crippled in her efforts, that the invalid dies, not because he needed to die, but because nature was outraged. Paulsen Collection, p. 23.

Poisonous medicines, or something called a soothing cordial, . . . is poured down the throat of the abused infant. . . . If it recovers, it must bear about more or less in its system the effects of that poisonous drug, and it is liable to spasms, heart disease, dropsy of the brain, or consumption. Some infants are not strong enough to bear even a trifle of drug poisons; and as nature rallies to meet the intruder, the vital forces of the tender infant are too severely taxed, and death ends the scene.--H. to L., Chap. 5, p. 70 (Note: All omissions are in the original text.)

I. DRESS

1. Tight Corsets and Tight Lacing

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

"I shall not argue the proposition, that a reduction of the capacity of the most vital part of the body tends to reduce the vitality, and thus lays the foundation for consumption. Of all maladies, pulmonary consumption is most clearly the result of low vitality. Whatever breaks the tone, may, in this climate, lend to consumption. No habit in which women indulge, tends more directly and irresistibly to cripple the vital forces, than compressing with a hard, inflexible corset, those organs which eliminate the vital forces. Lewis, op. cit, page 150

Dr. Lewis also quoted from another physician on this subject: "The female dress errs in the tightness with which it is made to fit the body, producing disease of the organs of the chest and abdomen, and preventing free and graceful movements, and that oxygenation of the blood so necessary to health, good looks, and long life." Lewis, op. cit, page 151

Strange morbid fancies, dignified with the title of fashions, have been busy in destroying what God made perfect. The most destructive of these fashions if found in a peculiarity of her dress. I refer to the practice of compressing the middle of the body. . . . By this practice the lungs and heart are forced up towards the throat; the stomach, liver, and other organs, jammed down far into the abdomen; labored respirations and numberless abdominal maladies are the consequence. Dr. Lewis, pages 144, 145

It is essential to health that the chest should have room to expand fully, so that the lungs may be enabled to take full inspirations of air. Many who have died of consumption might have lived their allotted term of life had they dressed in accordance with the laws of their being. The strength of the system is, in a great degree, dependent upon the amount of fresh air breathed. If the lungs are restricted, the quantity of oxygen received into them is also limited, the blood becomes vitiated, and disease follows.--H. R. {HL 176.1}

"Almost all the reading public, very possibly all whose eyes fall upon these lines, and have been told again and again how the tightness of clothing about the waist and . . . displaces the yielding viscera within, pressing them upward upon the lungs and downward upon pelvis, and produces directly or indirectly all the female complaints to which the generation is so largely subject. One medical writer declares that 'this influence upon the organs in the lower part of the abdomen is so great that it furnishes to the medical profession nearly half its business,' notwithstanding the fact that many women and young girls from native delicacy keep their sufferings to themselves. The very list of these complaints is alarming, and there is no question but the public at large, and even women themselves, have very little idea how much they suffer in this way from the effects of tight dress." Article copied from The Household: {HR, November 1, 1871}

When the waist is compressed, the circulation of the blood is impeded, and the internal organs, cramped and crowded out of place, cannot perform their work properly. It is impossible, under such circumstances, to take a full inspiration. Thus the pernicious habit of breathing only with the upper part of the lungs is formed, and feebleness and disease are often the result. {CTBH 88.1}1890

Note: In 1897 Ellen White made the following unbelievable statement about the effects of tight lacing:

These fashionably dressed women cannot transmit good constitutions to their children. . . . Wasp waists may have been transmitted to them from their mothers, as the result of their sinful practice of tight lacing, and in consequence of imperfect breathing. Poor children born of these miserable slaves of fashion have diminished vitality, and are predisposed to disease. . . . The impurities retained in the system in consequence of improper breathing are transmitted to their offspring.--H. R. {HL 58.7} 1897
2. Heavy Skirts

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

"The waist should be several inches larger than the woman’s body . . . the bands of the skirts should be much larger than the body; the buttons to be placed on the band of the inside skirt, just as they are on a gentleman’s pants for suspenders, and the same elastic suspenders worn, crossing behind." Lewis, op. cit, page 161

Many females drag down the bowels and hips by hanging heavy skirts upon them. These were not formed to sustain weights. In the first place, heavy quilted skirts should never be worn. They are unnecessary, and a great evil. The female dress should be suspended from the shoulders. {2SM 473.2}

If she goes out in the light snow, or after a shower, or in the dews of the morning or the evening, she bedrabbles her long skirts, chills the sensitive, unprotected ankles, and takes cold. To prevent this, she may remain shut up in the house, and become so delicate and feeble that when she is compelled to go out she is sure to take cold, which may result in cough, consumption, and death. {PH134 5.5}

3. Bare Arms and Legs

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
The practice of exposing the arms and legs bare, or nearly so, is very injurious to the lungs. The blood not being able to make its way into the extremities, accumulates in the chest. Lewis, op. cit, page 153

Another great cause of mortality among infants and youth, is the custom of leaving their arms and shoulders naked. This fashion cannot be too severely censured. It has cost the lives of thousands. The air . . . chills these sensitive portions of the body so near the vitals, hinders the healthy circulation of the blood, and induces disease, especially of the lungs and brain.--H to L., Chap. 5, pp. 67-69.

The arms' being naked exposes the infant to constant cold, and congestion of lungs or brain. These exposures prepare the way for the infant to become sickly and dwarfed.--H. to L., Chap. 5, p. 71. {HL 176.2}

If any part of the body should be favored with extra coverings, it should be the limbs and feet, which are at a distance from the great wheel of life, which sends the blood through the system. The limbs should ever be clothed with a warm covering to protect them from a chill current of air. . . . If the feet are clothed with good-sized, thick-soled, warm boots or shoes, for comfort rather than for fashion, the blood will be induced to circulate freely in the limbs and feet, as well as other portions of the body. H. R. {HL 124.1}

4. Dress of Children

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

The skirt-bands must be very loose. If you would give a baby’s lungs and heart the best chance for development, the dress about the chest and waist should be so loose that if the child be held up by the shoulders, its entire dress, except as sustained by the shoulders, will fall to the floor. With such a dress the blood is so much better oxygenated . . . With such a dress the blood is so much better oxygenated, that, other things being equal, the babe will part with the characteristic dark-red color of its skin much sooner than with a close dress. Lewis, op. cited, p. 162

The Dress of Young Children.--Tight bands or waists hinder the action of the heart and lungs and should be avoided. No part of the body should at any time be made uncomfortable by clothing that compresses any organ or restricts its freedom of movement. The clothing of all children should be loose enough to admit of the freest and fullest respiration, and so arranged that the shoulders will support its weight. {CG 426.1}

5. Dependence of Health Upon Circulation

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation. Lewis, op/ cited, page 166

Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation. Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 89

6. Shoes

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

As the health of the feet has much to do with the health of the lungs, I submit a suggestion or two. Lewis, op. cit, page 173

Congestion of the head, throat, or any of the organs of the chest and abdomen, is relieved by a good circulation in the feet and legs. Lewis, op. cit. page 180

If the feet are clothed with good-sized, thick-soled, warm boots or shoes, for comfort rather than for fashion, the blood will be induced to circulate freely in the limbs and feet, as well as other portions of the body. . . . If we give the lungs and feet ample room to do the work God designed they should, we shall be rewarded with better health and a clearer conscience.-- H. R. {HL 124.1}

J. BATHING AND THE NEED FOR CLEAN SKIN

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

In discussing the treatment of diseases of the lungs, these facts possess great importance. The skin and lungs act and re-act upon each other in a remarkable manner. Whatever impresses one, either mischievously or happily, is immediately felt by the other. In the treatment of consumption, the wise physician gives the most assiduous attention o the conditions of the skin, endeavoring to secure in it a vigorous circulation.

The importance of securing a healthy skin in treating diseases of the lungs, is seen, in the light of the physiological fact, that it and the lungs are the principal excretory organ of the body. A very large proportion of the worn-out matter in the system is climinated by these organs. . . When many of the pores of the skin become closed, and he effete matter cannot find its exit in that way, it must in considerable part, escape through the lungs. Lewis, op. cited, page 183.

Upon rising in the morning, most persons would be benefited by taking a sponge or hand bath. This will remove all impurities from the skin, and keep it moist and supple, thereby aiding the circulation. Persons in health should on no account neglect frequent bathing. Whether a person is sick or well, respiration is rendered more free and full by bathing. The mind and body are alike invigorated. The muscles become more flexible, every faculty of the intellect is made brighter. The bath is a soother of the nerves. Instead of increasing the liability of taking cold, it fortifies against cold, because it improves the circulation; the blood is brought to the surface, and a more easy and regular flow of the vital fluid is obtained. {CTBH 107.1}

They breathe the same air over and over, until it becomes impregnated with the poisonous impurities and waste matter thrown off from their bodies through the lungs and the pores of the skin. . . . Those who thus abuse their health must suffer with disease.--H. to L., Chap. 4, p. 63. {HL 73.2}

The extremities are chilled. . . . The heart fails in its efforts, and the limbs become habitually cold; and the blood, which is chilled away from the extremities, is thrown back upon the lungs and brain, and inflammation and congestion of the lungs or the brain is the result. . . . If the limbs and feet could have the extra coverings usually put upon the shoulders, lungs, and heart, and healthy circulation be induced to the extremities, the vital organs would act their part healthfully, with only their share of clothing. {HL 175.4}

K. POSITION

Dr. Lewis Ellen White
In its relation to the health of the chest organs, this is an important subject. The throat and lungs are prejudicially affected by drooping shoulders. . . The throat and lungs are prejudicially affected by drooping shoulders. . . When the shoulders fall forward, even slightly, the combination of muscular action involved in the process of inspiration and expiration is changed. . . . To illustrate, let me speak of false positions seen in our schools. The desks are so constructed that the pupil must stoop. Lewis, op. cit., page 208

In what contrast to the habits of the active farmer are those of the student who neglects physical exercise. The student sits day after day in a close room, bending over his desk or table, his chest contracted, his lungs crowded. His brain is taxed to the utmost, while his body is inactive. He cannot take full, deep inspirations; his blood moves sluggishly; his feet are cold, his head hot. How can such a person have health? It is not hard study that is destroying the health of students, so much as it is their disregard of nature's laws. Let them take regular exercise that will cause them to breathe deep and full, and they will soon feel that they have a new hold on life. {ST, August 26, 1886 par. 10}

L. IS CONSUMPTION CONTAGIOUS?

Dr. Lewis:

Morgagni and other eminent physicians of former times believed in the contagiousness of consumption. . .

The general opinion now among writers on the subject, in England, France, and the United States, is against the contagiousness of the disease.

These writers have not failed to observe that often an entire family, one after another, ides of pulmonary consumption; but this they think is to be traced to hereditary predisposition, or to some general causes which operate alike on all the family. Often it can be traced to loss of sleep, mental grief etc., in attendance upon the sick. As I have intimated, it is now agreed that phthisis is not contagious, but it is advised that persons who are predisposed to the disease should avoid remaining long in small rooms with phthisical persons, and particularly that they should avoid sleeping with such persons. Lewis, op. cit., page 217.

Conflicting/Confusing EGW Statements about Tuberculosis

These statements make it difficult to believe that the words she wrote were not her own, but those of the Lord.

The practice of secret habits [masturbation] surely destroys the vital forces of the system. All unnecessary vital action will be followed by corresponding depression. Among the young, the vital capital, and the brain, are so severely taxed at an early age, that there is a deficiency and great exhaustion, which leave the system exposed to diseases of various kinds. But the most common of these is consumption. None can live when their vital energies are used up. They must die. God hates everything impure, and his frown is upon all who give themselves up to gradual and sure decay. {SA 74.2} Solemn Appeal to Mothers

Even worse is its uncleanliness. Dragging through the filth of the street, it is a collector of poisonous, deadly germs. Many a death from diphtheria, tuberculosis, or other contagious disease, has been caused by the germs brought into the home on a trailing skirt. {PHJ, May 1, 1905 par. 5}

We are continually breathing in germs. You cannot go on the street, at least in the cities, without breathing in germs of tuberculosis. But we do not all have tuberculosis. We may be exposed to typhoid fever, and yet escape. . . . Why? Because, you say, there was a vitality to resist. {5BIO 284.5}

People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated. {CG 382.3}

Tubercular consumption is communicated by the practice of meat eating, and thus disease is extended. {14MR 297.4}

Deep Breathing--If those who have defects in their manner of utterance will submit to criticism and correction, they may overcome these defects. They should perseveringly practice speaking in a low, distinct tone, exercising the abdominal muscles in deep breathing, and making the throat the channel of communication. Many speak in a rapid way, and in a high, unnatural key. Such a practice will injure the throat and lungs. As a result of continual abuse, the weak, inflamed organs will become diseased, and consumption may result.--CT 239. {VSS 195.2}The Voice in Speech and Song

294. The practice of eating largely of meat is causing diseases of all kinds,--cancers, tumors, scrofula, tuberculosis, and numbers of other like affections.--U. T., Jan. 11, 1897. {HL 67.4}

The chest will become broader, and by educating the voice, the speaker need seldom become hoarse, even by constant speaking. Instead of becoming consumptives by speaking, our ministers may, by care, overcome all tendency to consumption. I would say to my ministering brethren, Unless you educate yourselves to speak according to physical law, you will sacrifice life, and many will mourn the loss of "those martyrs to the cause of truth," when the facts in the case are, that by indulging in wrong habits you did injustice to yourselves and to the truth which you represented, and robbed God and the world of the service you might have rendered. God would have been pleased to have you live, but you slowly committed suicide. {GW92 147.2}

M. CONSUMPTION PREVENTED

This is all covered in previous chapters. Nothing new added by either Dr. Lewis or Mrs. White.

N. IS CONSUMPTION CURABLE?

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

A great number of eminent practitioners, both in Europe and America, declare without reserve, that consumption, even in the third stage, is curable. . . . It is amusing to read the testimony of those medical men who declare that pulmonary consumption is absolutely incurable . . . That consumption is incurable by medicines, I admit. That it is often cured by pure air, exercise, and other similar agencies, no intelligent and candid physician can doubt. Lewis, cited, pp. 221, 222, 223.

Healing for Consumptives.--Many who are threatened with consumption will be healed through faith. Many others will be healed through proper eating and drinking and through living largely in the open air. To those who are suffering from this disease I would say, Take regular exercise, and keep as cheerful as possible. Keep busy, and live as much as possible out-of-doors. Keep your heart free from all jealousy and evil-surmising, and ask God to help you to improve as fast as possible. Some will overcome the disease; yes, many will, through faith in the mighty Healer. "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me;" the Lord says, "and he shall make peace with Me" (Isaiah 27:5).--Manuscript 4, 1905, pp 3,4. ("The Prevention of Consumption," December 27, 1904.)

Many who are suffering from pulmonary disease might be cured if they would live in a climate where they could be out-of-doors most of the year. Many who have died of consumption might have lived if they had breathed more pure air. Fresh outdoor air is as healing as medicine, and leaves no injurious aftereffects.... {2SM 291.1}

"At Middletown we met Sister Bonfoey and our little Henry. My child grew feeble. We had used simple herbs, but they had no effect. The neighbors who came in said we could not keep him long, for he would die with consumption. One advised us to use one medicine, another something else. But it did not affect the child favorably. Finally he could take no nourishment. Townsend's Sarsaparilla was recommended as the last resort. We concluded to try it. We could send by a friend to Hartford that day, and must decide in a few moments. I went before the Lord in my room alone, and while praying obtained the evidence that our only source of help was in the Lord. If he did not bless and heal the child, medicine could not save him. {LS80 253.1}

Drug medication, as it is generally practiced, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God's physician's--pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea, coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used. PHO66, pg 43, 1890

Put no confidence in drug medicine. If every particle of it were buried in the great ocean, I would say Amen. Sp.M, pg. 44

O. RECREATIONS

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

Every consumptive should live as constantly as possible in the open air. (Italics in original) Lewis, op. cit. pg 229

If they [consumptives] live much in the open air, taking full, deep inspirations of fresh air, and if they would dress and eat in accordance with the principles of health, they would soon improve. {3MR 319.1

P. GYMNASTICS

Dr. Lewis Ellen White

In his book, Dr. Lewis covers the use of gymnastic equipment and exercises for the consumptive and well as those with weak lungs. Some of the methods of exercise include: the pangymnastikon (an apparatus with rings, hooks and ropes which the gymnast uses), passive exercises (those which require an assistant), dumb bells, clubs, rings, wands, bean bags, and the Swedish Motion Cure.

I have an advantage over the medicine doctor. When he gives you a drug, it may be the very one which of all the materia medica would most injure you. Medicine is a dangerous tool, and may cut the wrong way. Lewis, op. cited, pg 271.

The drugs administered to the sick do not restore, but destroy. Drugs never cure. Instead, they place in the system seeds which bear a very bitter harvest. . . . {2SM 288.3}

"Our land is now full of motorpathic institutions, to which women are sent at a great expense to have hired operators stretch and exercise their inactive muscles. they lie for hours to have their feet twigged, their arms flexed, and all the different muscles of the body worked for them, because they are so flaccid and torpid that the powers of life do not go on. would it not be quite as cheerful, and a less expensive process, if young girls from early life developed the muscles in sweeping, dusting, starching, ironing, and all the multiplied domestic processes which our grandmothers knew of? A woman who did all these, and diversified the intervals with spinning on the great and little wheel, did not need the gymnastics of Dio Lewis, or the Swedish Movement Cure, which really are a necessity now. Does it not seem poor economy to pay servants for letting our muscles grow feeble, and then to pay operators to exercise them for us? I will venture to say that our grandmothers went over, in a week, every movement that any gymnast has invented, and went over them with some productive purpose, too." {HR, June 1, 1873 par. 11}

Many who depend on the movement cure could accomplish more for themselves by muscular exercise than the movements can do for them.-- T., V. III, p. 78. {HL 129.4}


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