Natural Hygiene

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This has been the common way to look at disease for millennia, and is still very popular:

Disease is the problem - and the way to get rid of the disease is to stop the disease symptoms. The cause is mysterious. Fear of inexplicably being struck by disease is typical.


  • a cold is "cured" when the cold-symptoms, sneezing and fever, have been stopped by some concoct. Mysterious cause - perhaps a cold originates from getting too cold, perhaps from bacteria, or what?

  • cancer is "cured" by attacking the growths with chemo & radiation & operations. The cause is mysterious. A billion dollar industry is built around "cancer research".

Definitions of Natural Hygiene?

Natural Hygiene is a philosophy and a set of principles and practices based on science, that leads to an extraordinary level of personal health and happiness.

The underlying basis of Natural Hygiene is that the body is self-cleansing, self-healing and self-maintaining.

".....Natural Hygiene is based on the idea that all the healing power of the universe is within the human body; that nature is always correct and can not be improved upon. We experience problems of health (i.e. excess weight, pain, stress) only when we break the natural laws of life....." (H. Diamond, 1985)

It is interesting that the field of Natural Hygiene has existed and had been utilized by thousands of people for over a century and a half, and yet very few people have even heard of it.

".....Natural Hygiene holds that health is the normal state of all living organisms and that health is maintained through natural, self-initiating, self-healing process.

Natural Hygiene maintains that health is the personal responsibility of each individual, and that vibrant health is achieved only by the conscientious application of healthful living practices in all areas of one's life....." (Victoria Bidwell 1991)

The secret of maximum health?

"The last resort", this is what Natural Hygiene has been called. - Why? - Because so many people, who are sick or overweight, and have tried everything else without success, - finally end up here, and usually manage to solve their problems.

The secret? - trust the body, let the body heal without interfering. Plus an optimal environment: the best food, sleep and exercise.

Hygiene on the inside of the body

What is Natural Hygiene? Is it strict rules about what foods to eat? -- No, when it comes to food there are many adequate choices....

But Natural Hygiene can teach you about detoxification, how drugs and toxins cause disease, about avoiding deficiencies (e.g. of sun shine or sleep), about maximizing your energy.

The major healing methods in Natural Hygiene

The methods in Natural Hygiene are very simple, so simple that it may be hard to believe that they will work. But usually they are far superior to any other methods. Very cheap, but very powerful. (Note: in physical trauma there may also be need for manipulation/surgery.)

One method is the same as used for a sick houseplant: provide the best environment, the best soil, nutrition, water, sunshine - and it will recover.

The key is to know what environment and food is optimal for humans, but here we can study primitive peoples more than 10,000 years ago - how they lived and what they ate.

Another method is the same as what an animal in nature would use if it ate something poisonous, or broke a leg; just lie down, rest and sleep, don't eat, until the damage is healed - a method called "fasting".

There is always hope

Natural Hygiene teaches us to trust ourselves and our bodies, to observe the body and its vital signs and use simple natural living to overcome just about all diseases (except on occasion diseases that have been allowed to go too far).

Our bodies have amazing powers to recover - if we just stop standing in the way. Self-reliance is regarded as better than relying on authorities. Remember that there is always hope, no matter what you have heard.

Natural Hygienic doctors are teachers, teaching you about the factors of health - water, food, sunshine, rest & sleep, exercise, etc. - that will enable you to get truly well, and allow you to reach a high state of health. No drugs are necessary, or even acceptable (unless serious doctor-caused drug-dependency). Food supplements are inferior to fresh natural foods.

E.g. FOOD is an important factor of health - and here there are 2 major healing methods:


".....From consistent and convincing clinical experience, we know that this diet results not only in weight loss, but also purifies and strengthens body tissues and our natural defenses against disease. We have repeatedly observed people with a wide range or disorders - including cellulite or diet-resistant fat - get better after strictly following this program. Skin tone improves, circulation becomes more efficient, hormonal outputs are balanced, vigor increases.

As the body's vitality is enhanced and its capacities are improved, the cleansing or detoxifying of its tissues follows as a natural by-product - it simply happens.

Scientists can't fully explain why, but some believe it works on the principle of self-immunization: Foods themselves neither cleanse nor pollute our bodies. But rather, the proper ones eaten in a non-stressful sequence help create a highly favorable internal environment, in which the body can simply maintain or regenerate itself and correct its own imbalances....." C. Gian-Cursio, 1979, Preventing Cellulite - The Diet Solution.

(Note that the other factors of health - sunshine, water, rest, sleep, exercise, joy & peace, etc. are equally important.)


"Fasting affords the organs of the body the closest possible approach to a complete physiological rest.

Many organs are overworked and over stimulated, and hence weakened, rough the constant use of defective foods and excessive quantities of foods. - Thus the organs are given a chance to recuperate and restore their vital powers.

Repair of damaged structures may take place. Broken bones, wounds and open sores heal much more rapidly. If inflammation is present it tends to subside. The body undergoes a general healing process.

Associated with physiological rest of an organ is increased elimination. This, according to some observers, is the most important advantage of fasting. - The surplus material on hand is utilized first.

".....The effusions, dropsical swellings, fat, infiltrations, etc., are absorbed with great rapidity on a fast. The body thus gradually releases itself from a former burden of superfluous and waste material.

A marked improvement in nervous and mental function occurs on the fast. Max Nordau declared that "Pessimism has a physiological basis;' and it may also be said that even the most severe forms of mental aberration usually have a physiological basis. ... While fasting, all enervating influences are discontinued and the entire nervous system and brain undergoes the same physiological rest that the balance of the body experiences.

Nerve forces are restored and mental powers are improved. The ability to reason is increased. The powers of attention and association are quickened while memory of past events is often recovered.... " Arnold DeVries: Therapeutic Fasting

What is Orthopathy?

Another word for Natural Hygiene is orthopathy.

Dr Herbert Shelton, who wrote several books on orthopathy, says: "......orthopathy comes from the Greek, Orthos, erect, regular, right, correct; and Pathos, to suffer".

The word means Right or Correct Suffering, and is intended to convey the thought that when one is sick, his condition is governed by law as truly as when he is well.".

Where does the term Hygiene came from?

The Greek goddess Hygieia (Hygeia) gave the name to "Hygiene", as the movement was first named in the 1800's.

Western medicine really began in ancient Greece. The earliest mythical doctor was the god Asclepios (Lat. Aesculapius), father of the goddess Hygieia.

The goddess of health is clothed head-to-toe in a loose-fitting, traditional gown. She has a snake, the usual attribute of Hygeia, the personification of healing. The egg in her hand is a symbol of her father Asklepios, the god of medicine

Various diseases were treated by 'incubation" or temple sleeping. The patient made a request of the god, usually for cure, and; while the patient slept within the confines of the temple, probably aided by an opiate, the god visited in a dream.

The snakes would crawl over the patient during the night and the patient would wake in the morning cured."

Why does hygiene also mean "cleanliness"?

In the 19th century, this was the situation:

Cleanliness was utterly disregarded. Physicians not only frowned upon, but opposed bathing.  Surgeons performed operations without washing their hands, and operating rooms of hospitals were veritable pig sties.  Physicians would go from the post mortem room directly to the delivery room and assist in the birth of a child without washing their hands.  Child-bed fever was a very common disease and the death rate from it was very high.  Since patients were also being dosed heroically, having their veins and arteries emptied of blood, denied water to drink and fresh air to breathe, it is no wonder that otherwise simple diseases were regarded as very malignant and the death rate high.

Out of the contradictions, confusions, chaos and delusions called the science of medicine, grew a need for new thoughts.

When did Hygiene get started?

"Hygiene" became very popular in the 1800's, both among healing practitioners and the public. 

In the 1800's there was some side-tracking by hydropathy, and in the 1900's diet became a major topic, e.g. the dangers/benefits of veganism.

In America the crusade for health reform was launched in 1830 by Sylvester Graham through lectures and writings.

Actual health care based on "physiology" or "hygiene" had started already in 1822 with Isaac Jennings.

Colleges in "Hygienic care" opened, the first one in 1852 in New York: the Hygeio-Therapeutic College. Many hygienic practitioners were created during the century, thousands of lectures given, lots of books and magazines spread.

People learned to bathe, to eat more fruit and vegetables, to ventilate their homes, to get exercise and sunshine.

Hygiene became so popular, that traditional medicine finally had to adopt parts of Hygiene, after having fiercely opposed it until the beginning of the 20th century.

This new "hygiene" was incorporated with the drug-usage of Medicine (remember that "Hygiene" was opposed to drugs), and the word hygiene got the meaning it has today.

The medical system gradually did adopt the sanitation-part of Hygiene, while rejecting its no-drugs philosophy. When "sanitation" and "hygiene" as a consequence became synonymous, the prefix Natural was added to Hygiene.

When Herbert Shelton and others revived the knowledge of "Hygiene" and modernized it, the word "Natural" was added.

".....Illness does not develop without cause; there are laws which regulate human life as well as any other system or constitution, and the man who violates any of the laws of his being, ought to know, when he suffers mental and physical distress, that this is a consequence of the transgression.....". Herbert Shelton 1968

In the 1930's a dietary concept know as "Natural Hygiene" was proposed, but due to politics, the "four food groups" won out and began a century of digestive problems.  It had lost ground to the medical (allopathic, drugging) system, that had gotten a powerful ally in the Rockefeller drug & oil empire.

What is Natural Hygiene?

"....One of the first fallacies that the Hygienist had to overcome was the belief that life was subject to chance and haphazard or to the whims of a capricious Providence and was not governed or controlled like all else in nature, by immutable law....." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.6

The basis of Natural Hygiene - the laws of life

".....Hygienists declared that the principles of nature, the laws of science and the truths of the universe, are just as fixed and certain in their relation to the human organization, in relation to life, to health, to happiness, to disease and suffering, as they are in relation to all things else. To ascertain and understand the natural laws, or the regularity or uniformity with which everything occurs, and thus to found on a sure basis a system of mind-body care, was the aim of Hygienists...." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.6

The more obedience to the laws - the more health

".....We expect to see the sun rise and set, a seed to sprout and grow, water to run downhill, chemical reactions to take place, all in accord with exact law. We do not expect to gather grapes from rose bushes nor figs from thistles. Is there less reason to expect that man should obey the laws of his being? Shall we not expect him to have health in precise ratio to his obedience?"

"Man is not in charge of his own destiny, despite his proud boasting to the contrary. He is still in the grip of natural processes; he is still subject to natural law....." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.6

No man is an exception to the laws

".....Hygienists have no secret compound to offer, no panacea to sell at a dollar a bottle and no wonder drugs to produce health in spite of the existence of every reason in the earth why health should not exist.

They can only point to the laws of nature, by obedience to which we are able to attain and maintain the most glorious health. ... The laws of nature form a unique, harmonious system and no man is exempt from them."

"No man thinks he is an exception to the law of gravity, but he may think that he is an exception to the rule that poisons tend to kill. ... Natural laws make no allowance for man's ignorance. A poison will kill the man of genius as quickly as it will kill the fool;....." H. Shelton, 1968, ch.6

Natural Hygiene is the system which helps people live in harmony with the physiological needs of the human body, thereby maximizing health.

By supplying the body with the basic requirements of nature:

natural unadulterated food, unpolluted air, pure water, exercise, rest, sleep, mental and emotional poise, wholesome environment, and productive activity, ....... health is assured, and the self-healing powers resident within the body are given full reign.

Principles of Natural Hygiene


  • PURE WATER - Preferably distilled



    • Free of poisons & pollutants.

    • Eat a nonpolluting diet (indigestion indicates this principle is lacking).

  • SLEEP - Regenerates nerve energy.


    • Eat foods of our biological adaptation.There are contradictory views about what this means. Examples

      • Vegetarian

        • Fruit is our primary food. (But danger in too much fruit!!)

        • Vegetables, nuts, seeds are secondary.

        • Grains, cooked potatoes ... are tertiary.

        • Avoid meat.

      • Stone Age (hunter-gatherer)

        • Vegetables and meat is the basis.

        • Nuts, seeds, berries are secondary.

        • Eat minimal amounts of fruits.

        • Avoid grains, cooked potatoes

    • Eat your food as raw as possible.

    • Combining foods is important.

  • EXERCISE - at least 3-4 times per week - preferably 7 times.

    • Aerobic (cardiovascular) activity - at least double the breath and pulse.

    • Resistance activity - weight training or isometrics.

    • You cannot be healthy unless physically fit.

  • SUNSHINE - an essential of life.

    • Minimum of 20-30 minutes daily, or 2-3 hours per week.

    • Before 10 Am or after 4 Pm in summer, anytime in winter.

    • Sunshine is necessary for bone formation.


  • REST & RELAXATION - Meditation & Cogitation

  • MENTAL POISE - Maintain equilibrium & do not become emotionally upset.



  • SELF MASTERY - You will lose self esteem if you lose self mastery.

  • PEER INTERACTION - Group interaction


  • LOVE, APPRECIATION, ESTEEM - Both give & receive these.


  • NEED TO BE INSPIRED & MOTIVATED - Must have purpose in life.

Food Combination Diet

Food Combining" was first proposed in the early 1900's. Had it won out over the "four food groups," chronic health problems, that plague our society today, might have been the exception.

Americans that suffer from chronic health conditions brought on by years of use of tobacco have filed and won class actions suits against tobacco companies.

Perhaps the food industry, especially processed, refined, convenient and fast foods should consider these class actions suits and change their ways!

Altruistic concern for the welfare of the consumer will be the wave of the future. With America getting fatter every decade, the fast food industry will be directly responsible for this outcome and liable for chronic illnesses caused by consuming their "foods."

Anyone complaining of recurrent bowel problems especially gas, bloating, stomach upset, or those who routinely use digestive aides have been helped by food combining. This "natural hygiene" is a paradigm shift, a growth spurt, a trek unto the non-traditional.

In fact according to Harvey & Marilyn Diamond, In Fit For Life II:, "the archaic notion that we need to eat from each of the four basic food groups at every meal is probably responsible for more digestive difficulties than any other dietary habit we have."

It is only too clear, that when we eat food, we use different enzymes in the stomach to digest each food.

Some foods are "acidic" and some foods are "basic - alkaline."

When more than one food is eaten together; like meat and potatoes, the meat needs an acid enzyme to digest, while the potatoes need a basic enzyme.

Together these acid and base enzymes CANCEL one another out! Nothing gets digested!....and all that food in your stomach ROTS......rotting food causes gas!!....and all those digestive problems.

The Basic Food Combining Principles are as follows:

  • Fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach, not with anything or immediately following anything.  Wait 30 minutes then eat the rest of your breakfast following the food combining principles.

    • This means eat fruits first thing in the morning or wait at least 2 hours after a meal.

    • Why? Fruit is a natural product and does not require the stomach's gastric acids to break it down, unlike other food, therefore it will go straight through the stomach to your digestive tract.

    • If however, you have eaten other food, lets say a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, and then follow that up with watermelon, the watermelon will sit in your stomach - while it works at breaking down the roast - because it can't get through.

    • By the time the stomach has digested the food - and it can take up to eight hours to digest meat - the watermelon has fermented and rotted and this leaves you feeling bloated and heavy stomached because it has spoilt everything in your stomach.

    • The effects are not the same if you have just eaten veggies and then eat fruit, as veggies require little if any gastric acid for digestion.

    • If you want to eat fruit any other time during the day, you must have been using the food combining principles and have not eaten within the last three hours.

    • Then eating the fruit, you must wait thirty minutes before you eat any other food.

  • Meats and starches are NOT to be eaten together. You may have all the "meats and vegetables" you want. You may also have all the "starches and vegetables" you want. You just can't mix them all.

  • Meats are NOT to be mixed. This means you can only eat one meat at a time. You cannot have steak and lobster. You either have to have just the steak or just the lobster!

  • Starches may be mixed....breads and pasta are allowed.  An exception is beans and rice, they may be eaten together.

  • Therefore, lunch may be a garden salad with bread, but no cheese or meat.

  • Dinner may be a piece of meat, with veggies (except potato and corn) or salad but no bread.

  • Vegetables can accompany all types of eating.

This is more of a plan than diet, it is based on the principals of 'natural hygiene' and properly combining foods during a meal.

By eating this way, you will have more energy, better health and lose weight because your digestive system will run more effectively.

This eating plan also says the body goes through three cycles a day and if they are followed properly, by eating the correct foods at the correct time of the day, you will  gain health and lose weight .

  • From noon to 8pm is our "appropriation" cycle

     - when eating should take place.

  • From 8pm to 4am is our "assimilation" cycle

- for absorption of previously eaten food.

  • From 4am to noon is the "elimination" cycle

    - when the body gets rid of the waste.

Fit for Life are also advocates for vegetarianism, but do not make you feel guilty if you do eat meat. They do however suggest you stick to fish and white meat.

Graham bread and graham crackers

Few people realize today that "graham bread" - so popular at one time - and graham crackers were named after Dr. Sylvester Graham, one of the earliest of the 19th century health reformers. His teachings exerted an enormous influence.

In those days Americans and Europeans had the idea that fruit and vegetables were to be avoided, especially raw.

People should restrict themselves to meat, potatoes, milk, tea and coffee.  Plenty of meat and wine would prevent cholera, it was thought.

The medical profession, even into the 20th century, strongly discouraged eating fresh fruit and uncooked vegetables, and pictured it as reeking with disease germs. Especially lettuce was regarded as dangerous. This continued until the discovery of vitamins.

Graham's first observations of diet on health were made in 1820 in Philadelphia. A small sect of Bible Christians, who were eating only the fruit of the trees of the Garden, had migrated there. They abstained from all animal foods, all condiments and used no tea, coffee, tobacco or alcohol.

The death rate in the city from cholera was high, but contrary to the medical teachings, not a single member of Bible Christians had contracted the disease. This made a deep impression on Graham, and made him turn his attention to diet.

Graham argued in favor of a vegetarian diet, preferably raw, even a fruitarian diet. He warned against drug remedies, stimulants and overworking, emphasized enough sleep and rest.  He was the first to advocate education in sex hygiene.

Ironically, today's graham crackers, containing salt and fat, he probably would have disliked.

Quote: ".....Indeed it seems as if the grand experiment of mankind has ever been to ascertain how far they can transgress the laws of life, how near they can approach the very point of death, and yet not die - at least not so suddenly as to be compelled to know that they have destroyed themselves ....." (from The Greatest Health Discovery)

The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions 

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