Dr. Shelton says, “Nothing enables the alcoholic, the drug fiend, the tobacco addict, to overcome his ‘desire’ for his accustomed poison and to return to a state of good health, as does fasting.”
It becomes easy to understand how and why fasting may be of service in these conditions. It is a period of rest during which the abused organism undergoes needed adjustments and repairs and recuperates its energies. When the fast is ended, the system has been freed of its accumulated toxins, and the nervous system has been restored to health.
Alcoholism is an illness involving structural abnormalities. The thickening and toughening of the membranes of the mouth, throat, and stomach are necessary defensive expediences. Fatty degeneration of the liver or sclerosis of the liver are later developments. When the alcoholic fasts, the thickening membranes are removed and new membranes are formed. The new membrane of the mouth, tongue, throat, and stomach will not be a thickened, seared one, impervious to foods and poisons, but a thin, delicate and sensitive one that permits full appreciation of the fine delicate flavors of foods.
Glands and nerves that have been lashed into impotency by overstimulation, rest into full functional power when given an opportunity. Renewal of their power can come in no other way. The abused organism will heal itself through rest as the broken bone will knit through rest.
When the alcoholic has fully recovered from his illness and hunger has returned, no form of alcoholic drink will tempt him.
Fasting also makes discontinuing the tobacco habit easy. In a few days, the very taste of this poison becomes repulsive. Fasting results in an improved nervous system, and in the regenerated membranes of the smoker’s mouth and nose.
Dr. Shelton quotes MacFadden’s Encyclopedia of Physical Culture: “Fasting is the most valuable of all forms of treatment for overcoming the pathologic conditions of the body brought about by the habitual use of poison. Fasting gives the body an opportunity to readjust itself in a normal way and also hastens the elimination of any poison remaining in the system. The drug fiend has lost his appetite anyway, and by means of a fast will regain a normal condition of the alimentary canal in a fraction of the time that would otherwise be consumed in the process. Especially the mind will clear and gain strength, and he will much sooner find himself in possession of the moral impulse and the will to fight his habit.”
Rest—physical, mental and physiological—is the great need. In a remarkably short time, the fasting individual finds his supposed “craving” for drugs or other poisons, has disappeared.
Violent reactions often follow the withdrawal of the drug. For this reason, it is essential to take great care of the individual. Mania following the withdrawal of morphine or opium, or delirium tremens following the withdrawal of alcohol are similar developments. They indicate the gravity of the injury to the nervous system and reveal how important and urgent is the need to get away from the use of the poison.
Violent reactions soon cease as the patient fasts. With the gradual recovery of energy, repair of his damaged nervous system, and regeneration of his membranes, he will soon recover.
Enervation is the basic fact in all addiction. To avoid recultivation of a drug addiction, it is essential that the individual live so that he does not enervate himself. All sources of enervation should be avoided. A well-nourished body, the energies of which are conserved by first-class habits, will not feel the “need” for stimulants and will not “need” to be “relieved” from discomforts and pains.
Dr. James C. Jackson says (How To Treat the Sick Without Medicine): “A simple nutrient diet, the use of pure cold water for a drink, and personal cleanliness, with ‘abundant sleep, will prove to be the only securities to the reformed drunkard … Tea, coffee, tobacco, pepper, mustard, salt, and flesh meat will create such a condition of the organic nerves, and of the mucous lining of his stomach, as to reestablish the desire for liquor, and then he will drink, come what may to his pledges or his social position.”
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Stimulation Effects
- 3. An Illusion
- 4. Foods Must Not Contain Toxins
- 5. Idealfoods
- 6. Overeating
- 7. Fasting
- 8. Vital Force
- 9. Beaware
- 10. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Coffee, Tea, And Cocoa By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Effects Of Stimulants By Sylvester Graham, M.D.
- Article #3: The Great Delusion By Dr. Robert Walter
- Article #4: Drug Addiction By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton