Article #1: Health Secrets of a Naturopathic Doctor by M.O. Garten
“Cell Cinders” As Causes of Diseases
The European terminology of “cell cinders” as cause of disease most accurately drives home the point. It is generally agreed that civilized eating practices make all of us prone to overeat. It is said that up to the age of twenty, a man can eat as much as he can—up to forty as much as desired and after that he should eat as little as possible. Hippocrates made the statement that “if a sick person is fed—one feeds the disease. On the other hand, if the sufferer is withheld from food the disease is fasted out.” How true, as I have observed in thousands of cases.
The disease process begins most gradually, but insidiously. In metabolism we find two stages, one of building up—the other of tearing down. The latter stage is the guilty one. Foods are not completely torn down and eliminated as formerly mentioned. Uric and carbonic acid remnants may undergo crystallization, obstructing metabolism. Cholesterol may clog lining of vessels and capillaries, where in some cases it may create starvation in the midst of plenty. Calcium carbonate may infuse joints, muscles or vessel structure, bringing on arthritis, rheumatism or hardening of vessels.
The “Towel—Salt Water” Experiment
For best illustration, let us take a small towel. Let us dip this fabric into a solution of salt water. The towel is permitted to dry after which we will find a drastic change in the appearance and “feel” of the material. No longer does the towel feel soft and pliable—it is now rigid like a board and feels hard and brittle. In the immersion, the salt water saturated through the fabric as a liquid but in the drying process changed into crystals. On closer examination we would find the crystals over, under and around every fiber.
Such is the case as so pointedly termed “cinder infusion” by the European experts as bringing on a ravages of disease.
Secondary Changes that Happen
It is axiomatic that Secondary changes usually occur as the result of this cell strangulation. Tissues, organs or glands become diseased and undergo degeneration. Necrosis, (tissue destruction) is frequently observed in post-mortems. This, incidentally, may explain the disagreeable stench given off by some chronic cases during the fast. Putrefactive changes can also be noticed which explains the body odor. The entire disease origin problem gravitates into the symptoms of blockage. Remove the obstruction and the channels and fibers of life throb into renewal activity and good health.
The living organism must maintain its oxidizing mechanism in order to keep from dying. During the fast, the food now must come from within. The body economy now can accomplish chemical changes so perfectly as being unmatched by any other laboratory process. Uric acid can actually be transformed into protein, from whence it came. Cholesterol is reconverted to fat—carbonic acid changed to starch or sugar. It is the great transformation or operation without the knife which takes its course with the greatest of precision.
The Process of Autolysis
The process of autolysis (self consumed) is inaugurated. All tissue components, not essential, are oxidized or burned in order to maintain life. This is the incredible manifestation of higher intelligence taking over command.
Many alterations can now be observed in the entrance to the digestive organs. Most noticeable is the coated tongue and disagreeable mouth odor. This unpleasant emanation does not come from the newly-displayed phlegm but mostly from the lungs. Here we find body chemistry in a noble effort to bring about elimination of hardened infusion, liquified by the fast. This cleansing is carried out predominantly by the blood and lymph stream, using kidneys, bowels and skin as an exit for the dissolved waste products.
The sometimes obnoxious odor could also come from partially-degenerated organs undergoing dissolution. Last, but not least, the odor generally also originates in the colon, the great “sewer pipe” of the body. Sluggish bowel action and impacted fecal material could contribute by the production of noxious gases which in turn reach the lungs through osmosis to be removed to the outside through the breath. While fasting, it is advisable to stay away from people as much as possible. The coating from the tongue should be removed twice daily with a stiff toothbrush.
Action of the Stomach During the Fast
Under a complete fast, where only water is consumed, hydrochloric acid production is greatly reduced. This is the one significant improvement to the juice diet in which stomach acidity is not always retarded. Consequently, hunger sensations may become prolonged, making the juice diet more difficult to withstand.
The first two or three days of the fast are the most trying to go through. After that, most hunger pangs disappear after which the individual seems to “float,” strangely feeling free of many disagreeable sensations in the abdominal region. Buchinger reached this stage only after the fourth day when he stated that “everything became quiet on the Western front.” Rumblings from fermentations lessen; all organs appear to greatly appreciate the new well-deserved rest.
An important change in the stomach is its shrinkage during the fast. The normal healthy stomach in an adult is supposed to equal the size of two fists, holding a little more than one pint. That this is not the case in us “civilized” beings can be attested by all surgeons or morticians. I have seen stomachs in post-mortems measuring several times the normal size. Such distended stomachs have exceedingly thin walls resulting in defective function. In the prolonged fast, the shrinking process of the stomach goes on and stops, whenever the normal size has been regained.
Here we may find drastic reactions to the sudden withdrawal of food. Secretions of gall continue to
accumulate in this reservoir, in some cases in an increased tempo. The solution may often regurgitate into the stomach, giving rise to temporary spells of nausea or vomiting.
In the fast, the pancreas reduces in size. The functional integrity of the digestive portion of the gland is greatly enhanced. The endocrine part (Islands of Langerhans) often becomes so reactivated as to reduce implications of diabetes.
The production of hormones or digestive ferments is somewhat sluggish immediately after the fast. It may take several days to bring about normal secretion, explaining the importance of breaking the fast correctly.
The Small and Large Intestine
The small intestine also shrinks in both length and diameter. The colon, besides shrinking, undergoes a decided reorganization.
About 75%, or three quarters, in the amount of stool is made out of bacteria, dead or alive. It is interesting to learn that the colon may become completely sterile in a ten-day fast. Still more significant is the problem of impacted feces. A British surgeon once made the statement that the average man carries with him such hardened bowel wastes to the extent of between several ounces to as much as fifty pounds. I have seen colons on the marble slab practically being rigidified with uneliminated retained stool. Only a small opening in the center permitted passage of some bowel content.
During the fast, the impactions clinging to the colon wall loosen, and copious stools are passed. This is one of the most perplexing experiences to a faster, when no food has been ingested.
Heart and Blood Vessels
The heart again assumes normal shape in the fast; vessels become freed of their clogging infusions (cholesterol). The average size of a well-fed “civilized” heart is enlarged, which is now being corrected.
The vessels and capillaries of the heart (coronary) receive a most thorough cleansing, restoring normal fluid circulation. It is also possible that the fast could absorb scar tissue formations in cases of rheumatic heart conditions. How else could one explain the amazing improvements achieved by the fast in such cases?
As to abnormal blood pressure, it is amazing how quickly and efficiently the fast comes to the rescue. High pressure ratings lower from day to day—most likely due to the absorption of cholesterol. In the case of abnormal low pressure, the explanation is more difficult. Undoubtedly, the adrenal glands are involved, where functional integrity is brought about by the fast.
The pulse is usually increased at the start, then falls below normal as the fast continues. Rates may vary from forty to one-hundred-twenty beats per minute, which may become erratic from time to time.
Should the pulse remain irregular for longer periods, or when extremely low or high pulse rate prevail, the fast should be broken.
While the quantity of the blood volume is reduced in proportion to loss of body weight, the quality of the blood is greatly improved during the fast. It is amazing to observe the gradual increase in red cells in the blood picture.
Dr. Weger and Dr. Tilden reported cases of pernicious anemia where the red count doubled in periods from one week to twelve days. The abnormal high white count had also been reduced two-and-one-half times during these observations.
The primary reason for anemia accordingly is not nutritional deficiency, but cellular obstruction in organs and glands preventing utilization of the food. The blood-building mechanism in bone marrow, liver, spleen, etc., is put into a higher degree of perfection by the cleansing action of the fast. This does not mean that nutrition is of no consequence to the relative state of the blood. This, however, is always secondary—improper body chemistry coming first. This is why many top European sanatoriums inaugurate dietary reforms with temporary food withholding.
The gradual absorption of mucus from the miles of hair-like tubes in the lungs make deep and effortless breathing a most pleasant experience to the faster. The voice becomes clear and resonant.
The fast does provide an excellent opportunity to practice deep breathing. In some of such experiments it was established that the volume of breath intake (air) doubled. In connection with skin brushing with dry brush, great improvements in the general oxidizing mechanism of the body can be attained.
The skin as well as the teeth are the parts that reveal a true indication of body condition.
With the lowering of metabolic efficiency, the skin becomes pale, then and dry with development of many folds. Secretions of perspiration lessen with an increasing difficulty of keeping warm.
During the fast, the skin resumes more effectively its role of body cleanser. Perspiration may become odoriferous as it may carry dissolved particles of uric acid, decomposed cells, etc.
One of the most gratifying effects of the fast is the observance of changes of the skin. The once shiny cigarette paper appearance, particularly on extremities, changes over to a more velvety texture, the skin loses its shine and many folds, and becomes thicker.
The Kidneys and Bladder
Constituting the great filter apparatus of the body, it can be seen that the kidneys participate greatly in this new effort of body reorientation. At the start of the fast, the urine is invariably dark in color, strongly acid in reaction, and of high specific gravity. Dissolved uric acid, phosphates and bile pigment are making up the ingredients responsible for the relative “thickness” of the urine. The odor may become offensive.
As the fast progresses, the color of the urine becomes lighter, being less odoriferous. This improvement in urinary characteristics is in direct proportion to the amount of cellular waste being “melted” out of the body structures. It must be remembered that next to the colon, the kidneys carry the largest load in the removal of metabolic waste from the body.
To fully appreciate the benefits bestowed by a fast to the urinary system, one should follow a typical case. A male patient came to me, complaining of constant burning sensation in region of bladder. The patient submitted to a twelve-day fast, after which all burning sensations disappeared and the man slept through the entire night.
Buchinger made a thorough study of this kidney-bladder phenomenon and broadly speaks of specific antibodies produced by the body during the fast. Accordingly, the fasting organism in its concentration on worn put or diseased tissues, manufactures certain “medicinal” agents from the diseased organs to be used in the healing or repair of such organs. This protective mechanism partially explains seemingly impossible correction of long-existing disease processes. Other investigators have corroborated Buchinger’s assertions and claim the faster’s urine to be virtually a healing concoction.
Incidentally, Buchinger’s first patient, a woman physician, aborted a handful of kidney stones after an eleven-day fast.
From the book, Health Secrets of a Naturopathic Doctor by M.O. Garten
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Energy Flow, Fasting And Mind Control
- 3. The Hygienic Experience
- 4. What We Have Learned Thus Far
- 5. The Learning Process Can Vary From Person To Person
- 6. Case Studies
- 7. Useful Assigments For Reluctant Fasters
- 8. The Elderly Client And Fasting
- 9. The Learning Experience
- 10. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Health Secrets of a Naturopathic Doctor by M.O. Garten