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Title: The Healthy Life, Vol. V, Nos. 24-28
       The Independent Health Magazine

Author: Various

Editor: Charles William Daniel

Release Date: February 5, 2006 [EBook #17682]

Language: English

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The Independent
Health Magazine

July-December 1913



Vol. V
No. 24
The Independent Health Magazine
3 Amen Corner London E.C.

There will come a day when physiologists, poets, and philosophers will all speak the same language and understand one another.Claude Bernard.


Some laymen are very fond of deprecating the work of specialists, holding that specialisation tends to narrowness, to inability to see more than one side of a question.

It is, of course, true that the specialist tends to “go off at a tangent” on his particular subject, and even to treat with contempt or opposition the views of other specialists who differ from him. But all work that is worth doing is attended by its own peculiar dangers. It is here that the work of the non-specialist comes in. It is for him to compare the opposing views of the specialists, to reveal one in the light thrown by the other, to help into existence the new truth waiting to be born of the meeting of opposites.

Specialisation spells division of labour, and apart from division of labour certain great work can never be done. To do away with such division, supposing an impossibility to be possible, would simply mean primitive savage. But we have no call to attempt the abolition of even the minutest division of labour. What is necessary is to understand and guard against its dangers.

Specialisation may lead to madness, as electricity may lead to death. But no specialist need go far astray who, once in a while, will make an honest attempt to come to an understanding with the man whose views are diametrically opposed to his own. For thus he will retain elasticity of brain, and gain renewed energy for, and perhaps fresh light on, his own problems.—[Eds.]


IV. The Five-Foot Sausage.

The question of blankets and mattresses may be taken as settled. We can now sleep quite comfortably, take our fresh air sleeping and waking, and find shelter when it rains. But that same fresh air brings appetite and we must see how that appetite is to be appeased.

Take a frying-pan. It should be of aluminium for lightness; though a good stout iron one will help you make good girdle-cakes, if you get it hot and drop the flour paste on it. You must find some other way of making girdle-cakes, and if you take an iron frying pan with you, don't say that I told you to.

Though it is obviously necessary that a frying-pan should have a handle, I was bound to tell Gertrude that I do not find it convenient to take handled saucepans when I go camping. I take for all boiling purposes, including the making of tea, what is called a camp-kettle. Most ironmongers of any standing seem to keep it, and those who have it not in stock can show you an illustration of it in their wholesale list. It is just like the pot in which painters carry their paint, except that it has an ordinary saucepan lid. You should have a “nest” of these—that is, three in diminishing sizes going one inside the other. The big lid then fits on the outer one and the two other lids have to be carried separately.

The Five-Foot Sausage

The Five-Foot Sausage

You hang these camp-kettles over the fire by their bucket handles, from the tripod or other means of getting over the fire. Sometimes the bough of a tree high out of the reach of the flames will do. Sometimes a stick or oar thrust into the bank or in a crevice of the wall behind the fire is more convenient than a tripod. Again, you can do without any hanging at all, making a little fireplace of bricks or stones and standing the saucepans “on the hob.”

It is a simple thing to tie the tops of three sticks together and make a tripod. Then from the place where they join you dangle a piece of string, pass it through the handle of the kettle and tie it to itself, in a knot that can be adjusted up or down to raise or lower the kettle from the fire. This knot is our old friend the two half-hitches. Pass the loose end round the down cord, letting it come back under the up cord, then round again with the same finish, and lo! the up cord makes two half-hitches round the down cord. You can slip, them up and put them where you like and they will hold, but you have to undo them to take the kettle clean away from the fire. So we add to our equipment a few pot-hooks or pieces of steel wire shaped like an S. Their use will be obvious. If we have three of them it is quite easy to keep three kettles going over one fire. They swing cheek by jowl when they all want the same amount of fire, but each can be raised or lowered an inch or several inches to let them respectively boil, simmer or just keep warm.

These are the cooking utensils. A biscuit tin would make an oven and Gertrude says she must have an oven. For my part I would not attempt baking when camping out and I will say no more about ovens, except that all the biscuit tins in the world won't beat a hole in the ground first filled with blazing sticks and then with the things to be baked and covered with turves till they are done.

I had great difficulty in persuading Gertrude to feed out of tin dishes like those which we use sometimes for making shallow round cakes or setting the toffee in. They are ever so much better than plates, being deep enough for soup-plates and not easy to upset when you use them on your lap. Any number of the same size will go into one another and a dozen scarcely take up more room than one.

It was worse still when it came to a still more useful substitute, the camp equivalent of the teacup. In the first place we abolish the saucer, for the simple reason that we have no earthly use for it in camp. We take tin mugs with sloping sides and wire bucket handles. They fit into one another in the same accommodating way as the eating dishes. Gertrude was nearly put off this device altogether by Basil's remark that he had only seen them in use in poulterers' shops, where they are put under hares' noses....

“Basil, you, you monster,” cried Gertrude, and I had to push those tin mugs as though I had been a traveller interested in the sale of them.

The drinking of hot tea out of these mugs is quite a beautiful art. You hold the wire handle between finger and thumb and put the little finger at the edge of the bottom rim. It is thus able to tilt the mug to the exact angle which is most convenient for drinking. When Gertrude had learnt the trick, she became perfectly enamoured of the mugs. She sometimes brings one out at ordinary afternoon tea and insists that the tea is ever so much better drunk thus than out of spode.

Smaller mugs of the same shape do for egg-cups, and the egg-spoons I take to camp are the bone ones, seldom asked for but easy to get in most oil-and-colour shops. Dessert spoons and forks and table knives are of the usual pattern, but the former can be had in aluminium and therefore much lighter than Britannia metal.

The camping-out valise is by all means the rucksack. Never the knapsack. I am almost ashamed to say this, because as far as my knowledge goes the knapsack is now obsolete. It may be, however, that it lingers here and there. If you see one, buy it for a museum if you like but not for use. The bundle should be allowed to fit itself to the back, as it does in a canvas bag. Suppose now that you fix the V point of a pair of braces somewhere near the top of the sack and bringing the webs over your shoulders, fix them, nicely adjusted, to the lower corners of the sack, it will ride quite comfortably upon your back—that is, you have made it from a plain sack into a rucksack or back-sack. Get or make as many good large strong ones as you have shoulders in the party to carry them. Have them made of a waterproof canvas, green or brown, to reeve up tight with strong cord passed through a series of eyelet-holes and, if you would be quite certain of keeping out the rain, with a little hood to cover the reeved bag end.

The great bulk of your luggage you will generally find it best to carry by wheeling it on a bicycle. Spread your ground-sheet on the floor. On that lay your blankets, doubled so as to make a smaller square, tent, mattress cover and bed suits on that, then your camping utensils and all other paraphernalia and roll the whole up into a sausage about five feet long, when the loose ends of the ground-sheet have been tucked over as in a brown-paper parcel. Tie it well with whipcord and fasten it to the top bar of your bicycle frame, leaving freedom of course for the handles and the front wheel to move and steer. Push the tent-poles through the lashings and start for your camp at a comfortable four or five miles an hour. You will find it easy to move camp at the rate of twenty miles a day and will see a great deal of country in the course of a fortnight.

The sausage on the bicycle shown in the illustration may be taken to contain all the gear and a little food. The rucksacks will take the rest and each man's most precious personal belongings. There is a small parcel tied to the handle-bar, scarcely to be seen because it is smaller than the end of the sausage. It is a complete tent tied up in its ground-sheet.

C.R. Freeman.


This article, by one of the pioneers of modern dietetics, is in the nature of a challenge, and is certain to arouse discussion among all who have studied the food question closely.—[Eds.]

When men lived on their natural food, quantities settled themselves. When a healthy natural appetite had been sated the correct quantity of natural food had been taken.

To-day all this is upside down, there is no natural food and only too often no natural healthy appetite either. Thus the question of quantity is often asked and many go wrong over it. The all-sufficient answer to this question is: “Go back to the foods natural to the human animal and this, as well as a countless number of other problems, will settle themselves.”

But supposing that this cannot be done, suppose, as is often the case, that the animal fed for years on unnatural food has become so pathological that it can no longer take or digest its natural food?

Those who take foods which are stimulants are very likely to overeat, and when they leave off their stimulants they are equally likely to underfeed themselves. Flesh foods are such stimulants, for it is possible to intoxicate those quite unaccustomed to them with a large ration of meat just as well as with a large ration of alcohol. The one leads to the other, meat leads to alcohol, alcohol to meat. Taking any stimulant eventually leads to a call for other stimulants.

How are we to tell when a given person is getting enough food, either natural or partly natural? Medically speaking, there is no difficulty; there are plenty of guides to the required knowledge, some of them of great delicacy and extreme accuracy. The trouble generally is that these guides are not made use of, as the cause of the disaster is not suspected. A physiologist is not consulted till too late, perhaps till the disorder in the machinery of life is beyond repair.

Diminishing energy and power, decreasing endurance, slowing circulation, lessening blood colour, falling temperature, altered blood pressure, enlarging heart and liver, are some of the most obvious signs with which the physician is brought into contact in such cases. But every one of these may, and very often does, pass unnoticed for quite a long time by those who have had no scientific training. The public are extremely ignorant on such matters because the natural sciences have been more neglected in this country in the last fifty years than anywhere else in Europe, and that is saying a good deal. Hence diet quacks and all those who trade on the ignorance and prejudices of the public are having a good time and often employ it in writing the most appalling rubbish in reference to the important subject of nutrition.

Being themselves ignorant and without having studied physiology, even in its rudiments, they do not appear to consider that they should at least abstain from teaching others till they have got something certain for themselves.

If the public were less ignorant they would soon see through their pretensions; but, as it is, things go from bad to worse, and it is not too much to say that hundreds of lives have been lost down this sordid by-path of human avarice.

On one single day a few weeks ago the writer heard of three men, two of whom had been so seriously ill that their lives were in danger, and one of whom had died. The certified cause of death in this case might not have led the uninitiated to suspect chronic starvation, but those who were behind the scenes knew that this was its real cause. A further extraordinary fact was that two out of these three men were members of the medical profession, whose training in physiology ought, one would have thought, to have saved them from such errors.

The conclusion seems to be that they did not use their knowledge because at first they had no suspicion of the real cause of their illness. In other words, chronic starvation is insidious and, if no accurate scientific measurements are made, its results, being attributed to other causes, are often allowed to become serious before they are properly treated.

These three men went wrong by following a layman quite destitute of physiological training, who appeared to have produced some wonderful results in himself and others on extraordinarily small quantities of food.

If the above tests had been made at once by a trained hand the error involved in such results could not have escaped detection, and none of these men would have endangered their lives. I myself examined the layman in question and finding him not up to standard refused to follow him. The writer has no difficulty in recalling at least a dozen cases similar to those above mentioned which have been under his care in the last twelve months, and the three above mentioned were none of them under his care at the time of their danger.

What, then, must be our conclusions in reference to these and similar facts of which it is only possible to give a mere outline here? I suggest that they are:—

  1. Food quantities are of extreme importance.
  2. These quantities were settled by physiologists many years ago, and no good reasons have since been adduced for altering them.
  3. The required quantity is approximately nine or ten grains of proteid per day for each pound of bone and muscle in the body weight.
  4. Any considerable departure from this quantity continued over months and years leads to disaster.
  5. The nature of this disaster may appear to be very various and its real cause is thus frequently overlooked.

I will say a few words about each of these except the first, which is already obvious. The layman above mentioned asserted that he could live on but little more than half this quantity, but the food quantity really required is that which will keep up normal strength, normal circulation, normal colour, normal temperature and normal mental power. As we have got perfectly definite standards of all these normal conditions, serious danger can only be run into by neglecting to measure them.

It is also possible to tell fairly accurately the quantity of food a man is taking in a day, and then, by collecting and estimating his excreta, the quantity also out of this food which he is utilising completely and burning up in his body.

You would say that no danger should be possible with all these safeguards, and yet the above case history shows that of two trained physiologists, members of the medical profession, one died at least twenty years before his time, and the other was in great danger and only recovered slowly and with difficulty. Another similar case came to the writer suffering from increasing debility and what appeared to be some form of dyspepsia. He was quite unable to pass any of the above-named tests as to physiological standards, and an investigation of his excreta showed that his food was at least one-fifth or one-sixth below its proper quantity and had probably been so for many months past. Some of his doctors had been giving his “disease” a more or less long list of names and yet had not noted the one essential fact of chronic defective nutrition and its cause—underfeeding. Naturally their treatment was of no avail, but when he had been sent to a nursing home and had put back the 20 lbs. of weight he had lost he came slowly back to more normal standards and is now out of danger. In this case there was marked loss of weight, and few people, one would think, would overlook such a sign of under nutrition. But loss of weight is not always present in these cases, at least not at first. Some people tend to grow stout on deficient proteid, and then the fact that some of the essential tissues of the body (the muscles, the heart and the blood) are being dangerously impoverished is very likely to be overlooked. In the case last mentioned the loss of weight was put down to the dyspepsia, whereas the real fact was that the “dyspepsia” and loss of weight were both results of a chronic deficiency in food.

It is evident that some care about food quantities must be taken by all those who do not live on natural foods. For physiologists there is no difficulty in settling the question of quantity in accordance with the signs of the physiology of a normal body. That all, even physiologists, may run into danger if, while living on unnatural or partly unnatural foods, or while making any change of food, they do not consider the question of quantity with sufficient care.

That the question of nutrition should be considered in relation to every illness even though it may appear on the surface to have no direct connection with foods or quantities. As a matter of fact, the nature of the food and its quantity controls all the phenomena of life. Some twenty years ago most people lived fairly close to the old physiological quantities, now they have been cut adrift from these and completely unsettled and are floundering out of their depth. A most unsatisfactory, even dangerous, condition of affairs.

For the public it will now probably suffice if they insist on raising the question of quantity whenever they suffer in any way. If they are unable to answer the question themselves let them go to a trained physiologist who can do so, and not to a diet quack. But muscular strength, endurance, mental and bodily energy, skin circulation, temperature and blood colour are all things which the public can see for themselves and from which they should in all cases be able to get sufficient warning to save them from the worst forms of disaster.

Some people imagine that they eat very little, when as a matter of fact they have good healthy appetites. Others again think they are eating a great deal, when as a matter of fact they take very little. In both cases a physiological test of the excreta will give accurate information. I once had a medical patient who imagined that he produced great amounts of force and performed feats of endurance on wonderfully small quantities of food. His excreta showed, however, that he was merely under-estimating the food he took. A fat man may seem to be living on very little, but fat does not require to be fed, and his real bone and muscle weight is not large. A thin man may seem to require a large quantity of food, but he is really very heavy in bone and muscle, the tissues that have to be nourished. In all these ways appearances are apt to be deceptive for those who are ignorant of science and who do not go down to the root of the matter.

It is not necessary to follow the given quantity of grains per pound slavishly and without regard to consequences. It is necessary to see that the required physiological results are obtained.

If a patient says he can live on less than I ordered for him and if he can pass the physiological tests satisfactorily I know that his bone and muscle weight has been over-estimated. On the other hand, if a patient falls below the physiological tests, though taking and digesting the quantities ordered for him, I conclude that his bone and muscle weight has been under-estimated.

In all cases it is possible to obtain the best physiological results and to say when quantities are just right, neither too much nor too little.

The evil effects of too much are not serious; they entail perhaps a little “gout” or some temporary loss of freedom from waste products.

The evil effects of too little, if persevered in and continued, especially if some of these effects are attributed to causes which have no real existence, are deadly and dangerous, for they bring on an insidious deterioration both of function and structure which leads by several avenues, often miscalled “diseases,” to death itself.



Comparatively few health enthusiasts or food reformers realise the necessity for mental, as distinct from bodily, hygiene, yet all real health has its roots in the mind. Moreover, it is only by studying the hygiene of mind that we are enabled to do work in greater quantity and of better quality than we should otherwise be capable of, and to do this without risk of strain on the nerves or injury to health. The articles under this heading put forward some of the elementary laws of mental hygiene.—[Eds.]

Imagination in Use.

To some people any talk about the importance of training the imagination of children through their toys, games and studies seems fantastic and trivial. They compare it to feeding them on sweetmeats; they think it means substituting story books for real life and encouraging the easy exercise of fancy for the careful study of fact.

But imagination is not a mere ornament to a life-work; it is rather one of its most valuable and necessary tools. If it did no more than sweeten and adorn the world, it would be well worth having, well worth making considerable sacrifices to attain. But it does more than this. It bears much fruit as well as flowers; fruit that, if it ripens in suitable weather, endures and can be used for the service of man.

There is a wonderful palm-tree, called the Tal or Palmyra palm, which in India and Ceylon supports six or seven millions of people, and “works” also in West Africa, where it is probably native. It gives its young shoots and unripe seeds as food; its trunk makes a whole boat, or a drum or a walking-stick, according to size; hats, mats, thread and baskets—in fact, almost all kinds of clothing and utensils—are made from the split and plaited leaves; gum comes from it, and certain medicines, jaggery sugar too and an intoxicating drink for those who desire it. In one of the museums at Kew—a wet day brings always something besides disappointment—there is a book made up of the very leaves of the palm, containing a Tamil poem enumerating more than eight hundred human uses to which this marvellous single plant can be put.

Now the imagination is like a Palmyra palm. We stand a long way off and, looking up, say “What a graceful tree! But what a pity it produces that intoxicating ‘toddy’ and nothing else!” Yet all the while food and clothing and shelter and travel and learning are all wrapped up in it, if only we were not too ignorant to guess, or too idle to seek.

We talk as if the poet and painter had need of imagination, but not the student, the doctor, the philanthropist, the business man, whereas none of these can do work at a really human standard without imagination that is living, penetrating, active and yet trained and disciplined.

A recent illuminating address to a body of students pointed out that Germany's immense industrial strides have been made possible by an education which draws men's minds out of narrow old grooves, and helps them to see and grasp wider possibilities. But the same speaker went on to point out that the English worker has far more real initiative and imagination than the German, and that in our own country we have not even to make elaborate plans for developing these qualities, but rather to release them in our administrators so far as to prevent actually checking them in the children now growing up.

Imagination in business, for instance, means new possibilities, fresh sources of supply and fresh markets to demand, economy of working and better adjustment of work to worker, so as to have less waste of our greatest capital, human time and power. America has taught us something in these respects; what we must do is to take what new light she has developed, while keeping our long-grown, well-earned skill which she has not had the chance to make.

In research work, again, we need perpetually the synthetic and constructive imagination if individual work is not to become narrowly specialised and shut off from other divergent or parallel lines which would illuminate it. The other day I was told of a great surgeon who not only has six or seven assistants to help him in his immediate tasks, but also, since he is too busy in the service of humanity to have time for reading, has eight trained assistants whose business it is to read in many languages what is being done all over the civilised world in his own line, and keep him informed as to the development of experience. A wonderful advance on the crystallisation of individual method, this, and yet it needed but the imaginative projection upon scientific work of what every business firm and every political unit has long done.

To transfer to our own concerns a method developed elsewhere is one of the most valuable services imagination can render. Almost all educational reform comes about thus, most mechanical inventions, a great part of economy and comfort in individual homes. Also, besides these particular advantages, the incessant coming and going between the different fields of activity, the circulation of attention which this use of the imagination involves, tends to vitalise and enrich not only the individuals who carry it out, but the whole social organism of which they form part.

Upon the moral side not much need be said. “Put yourself in his place” is a very old and respectable recipe for growing justice in one's conduct, consideration in one's speech, sympathy in one's heart. As employer or magistrate, as teacher or nurse, as customer or shopman, as parent or husband or child we must all deal somehow with our fellow-men: honestly and truthfully, we mean, kindly and helpfully, we hope. But is it not the more or the less of our imagination that makes such dealings possible? Without it, we are cruel because of something we do not feel, unjust because there is something we do not know, unwittingly deceitful because there is something we do not understand. With it, our justice will support, our kindness uplift, our attempt at help will not be barren, but will awake response and raise the whole level of our human intercourse into a region of higher possibilities.

E.M. Cobham.


To-Morrow's Flowers.

These three months of July, August and September are the second seed-time. I think they must be the most proper sowing-time, for is it not clear that Nature sows seed, not in spring, but in autumn? At any rate, now we can do more towards making a perpetually beautiful flower garden than in any other season. The biennials, those that blossom in their second year of life and those jolly perennials that come up year after year and always stronger than before, without any trouble on our part, are best started in life not too long before the winter. Spring-sown seed sometimes forgets that it is biennial and blossoms rather futilely the same summer, and at other times it grows so lush and large by winter that it cannot stand the frost.

Now we see the flowers in blossom in the vineyards of our friend Naboth and we know which we should most like in our own garden. There is an exquisite joy in begging or stealing a few seeds and bringing them home to blossom for us as they did for Naboth. I carry at this time a few small envelopes bought for a few pence a hundred at Straker's, and whenever I see something nice in seed I bag it. In another week it would drop beneath the plant it grew on and, not being cared for by a gardener, would be smothered or hoed up. In a nice little seed-bed all to itself it can unfold all manner of pleasure for its abductor.

Plant your flower seeds on a nice ripe, rich bed—that is, one compounded of old and even half-used manure. Keep the seedlings watered as they grow and by judicious pricking-out give them the room they need. About October you can plant the best of them in the place where you want a good bush next year, and, if it is a perennial, you have for many years to come a beautiful plant with a personal history. Even if you have bought your penn'orth of seed there may be a pleasant anecdote connected with it. My garden is at present amazingly blue with Dropmore Alkanet (Anchusa). Three years ago I bought three seeds for a penny. Two of them came up. I slashed up the plants and now I have half-a-dozen clumps as well as a similar number left in the old garden whence I have removed.

If you asked me what kinds of seed in particular you ought to plant for perennial flowers just now, I might want many more pages to tell you in. Let me give you a very short list of those that most appeal to me on the spur of the moment. It will be enough to go on with:—

This list is representative because it includes some species, such as Eremurus, Trollius and Tritoma, that are not usually grown from seed by the amateur. To raise these rather expensive monsters from pennyworths of seed is a floral adventure which brings its own abundant reward.

I should be very proud of a garden that consisted entirely of plants that I had raised from seed. It might be one that had never had anything else in or the seedlings might gradually oust the bulbs and corms and grown plants with which the garden began. There would be many things there intrinsically as well as extrinsically valuable. Carnation seed, for example, is constantly producing new varieties, and to grow rose seedlings is even to court fortune. It is a long time before you see your rose. The seed takes sometimes two years to germinate, and then you have to wait a year or two before you get a typical blossom. The growers hurry matters by cutting a very tiny bud from the first sprout and splicing that on to an older stock. One of the advantages of having your roses grown from seed and on their own stocks would be that they could not produce wild suckers.

I have just seen a wonderful grove of Aquilegias, the glorified columbine which has the centre of one colour and the outside petals of another—sulphur with mauve or yellow with pink, and many other varieties. The nucleus was grown from shop seed and the rest from the seed of the first-comers. The only thing to choose between them is that the new ones have produced a least one variety not represented in the first batch. You may be sure that I am going to get some seed from here and raise some Aquilegias for myself. Good reader, go thou and do likewise.

G.G. Desmond.


We had come, “3.7” and I, to the Boundary, a white, unpaved road which winds across the full width of Wimbledon Common, from the old Roman camp to the windmill. Simultaneously we cried a halt, I because I never cross that road without some hesitation, he because he wanted to get out of the folding go-cart in which he had been riding and turn it, with the aid of a small piece of string and a big piece of imagination, into a 40-horse-power motor car.

On the map the road is not called the Boundary. If you want to know why I call it so I can only say that once you have crossed it things are different; I do not mean a difference merely of country or scenery, but a difference of atmosphere; better, and more literally, a change of spirit. To put it bluntly, I never knew the reality of fairyland until I blundered across that road one grey gusty evening ten years ago, and heard the tall grasses whistling in the wind. Since then the road has always been a frontier, not to be crossed without preparation.

As “3.7” tumbled out of his go-cart I looked at my watch and saw it lacked but a few minutes to noon. It was just such a cloudless June day as must have inspired Shelley's Hymn of Apollo. No smallest cloud to break the dazzling blue; and, high above our heads, Apollo, standing “at noon upon the peak of heaven.”

If it had been Midsummer Day I should have thought twice about crossing the Boundary. As it was, we were quite near enough to the 24th of June to make it risky. So, as “3.7” bent a tangled head over the bonnet of his Daimler, I flung myself down on the level turf beside him and stared across the road.

Behind us and on either side were clumps of gorse bushes, and beyond them the immense level expanse of the open heath. Immediately in front was the road, sunk a foot beneath the turf, which comes right up to it, both on this side and that.

“Another piece of string, please,” said “3.7,” rummaging in my pockets without waiting for an answer, “and a pencil, and——”

And then I saw it. On the farther side of the road there is a stretch of short turf, some hundred yards wide; and beyond that an irregular line of silver birches; and beyond that the blue of distant hills, for the Common slopes down where the trees begin. Between the silvery wood and the road, through the midst of the wide belt of turf, and parallel with the Boundary, ran a river. There was nothing to be much surprised at, for it was just the kind of river you would expect to see running through the fields of fairyland. It was a river of grass.

It was the slender-stalked, tufted, not very tall, grey-headed grass that grows quite generally in open country and wild places. But the wind and the sun now turned it into a river which ran fast between its banks of green, its waves silvery grey, quick-flowing waves, gleaming and dappled, an endless succession. It flowed from somewhere out of sight in the west, and disappeared to the east over the edge of the great slope that brings you down to the woods, vanishing, to all intents and purposes, over the edge of the world.

Without taking my eyes off this astonishing spectacle I stretched out a hand and, catching “3.7” by the edge of his white smock, told him to run across the road to the grass and—paddle in it. I said it was better than motor cars. He made no comment on this but, after glancing warily up and down the road (for he has been brought up in wholesome awe of the entire tribe of automobiles), he crossed the Boundary, ran across the turf and plunged up to his knees in the river.

I cannot be certain, but it is my considered opinion that Apollo stopped his golden chariot for the space of a whole minute to look down at the golden-haired boy wading in that noiseless, fast-flowing river.

In another minute “3.7” was back at my side, both hands full of the tufted grass he had pulled. I regret to say he tickled my ear with it.

Honest, solemn reader, ardent food reformer, keen educationist, clear-headed moralist, practical-minded housewife, I tell you frankly there is no moral to this little episode. It throws no light on what to eat, or on the purchasing power of an English shilling, or on the ethical training of young children, or on the nature of neurasthenia. Fairyland, of course, is a childish fiction, Apollo a solar myth, a road is a road, grass is grass and heaven is a state of mind. I quite agree with you. But let me whisper something in your ear. If you should ever blunder across your Boundary, don't be surprised if things look queer on the other side; above all, whatever you do, don't let any strange river you may find flowing there carry you away, or it may bring you, spite of all your protests, through one of the gates of pearl into the City of God.

Edgar J. Saxon.


There is a vast amount of loose talk, and innumerable assertions from irresponsible individuals concerning the wonders that have been achieved by Mental Healing, but naturally the scientist and physician, when dealing with such a question as this, has to put aside, not all enthusiasm, but certainly all emotionalism, and then, most carefully sift the evidence laid before him. The scientist here wants hard, dry, irrefutable facts; the responsible physician requires to know—by his own careful diagnosis or by an array of tabulated facts—the condition of the patient before and after treatment—that is, of the one who claims to have been cured by mental means. Innumerable claims are thus being made by patients and others, so that it is imperative for the unbiased physician at all events to consider the above question; this in order to give a reason for the faith that is in him, when he is known to be one of those who favour the metaphysical means of healing. Even the sciolist in the matter knows that in the case, say, of blushing, or blanching of the face, the action of mind over matter—of the body—is palpable; all admit that the quality of joy, for instance, will prove a splendid tonic; that despair, on the other hand, will pull down the bodily condition. But all this, we shall be told, is unconscious action; true, but fortunately we are now aware that by a forceful action of the will we can consciously direct or derivate, as the case may be, currents of nerve-force to any part of the body. Occultists have known this for many centuries. Joy, hope, faith: these are very potent factors in improving the health conditions—simply because they act upon the sympathetic nervous system, and this latter acts upon the circulation. Happiness dilates the blood-vessels. Fear contracts them. Thus, unbounded faith; renewed hope; sudden joy; enforced will-power; all have a marked effect upon bringing about an equilibriated condition of the circulation—just the same as a hot bath does, though not so rapidly or so perceptibly. Further, we must remember that all disease more or less is a stasis, a congestion, somewhere; we have only to dissipate this; to separate the cells; to expand the part, as it were, and “resolution,” as we call it in congestion of the lungs, takes place. So that it seems to me that we can fairly claim a strictly scientific basis for Mental Healing. I have always, however, maintained that the attitude of the patient's own mind has much to do with the result: in his consciousness there must be faith and hope in order to get the best effect.

Judging, then, of the very remarkable and palpable changes which anyone can see occur on such superficial parts as the face and extremities, I can see no reason that, by an enforced mental action, the deeper parts—including any hidden diseased part—should not be altered for good. I am very confident that it is upon these lines, coupled, as they can always be, with advice as to clean feeding and right living generally, the physician of the future will largely depend for his cures. Thus we are fully justified in not only trying the system on “functional,” but also for “organic,” cases.

J. Stenson Hooker, M.D.


Account of a Fast, undertaken for the Cure of a Profound Blood Disease.

The following account of a fast is worthy of attention. It is rigidly accurate in principle, as far as I could make it so, and I am responsible for its truthfulness. But the subject of it, feeling that he is engaged in a duty and “labour of love,” as he expresses it, is yet naturally anxious to prevent his identity from being discovered; and so, while the facts of the narrative are true in principle they have been varied in a few details for the purpose of preventing the recognition of the subject of them.

They occurred in the history of a man of about 40 years of age, who fell ill of an infectious disease some 20 years ago, while living abroad. The exact time of the infection is not known. The patient was treated by qualified doctors living in the same country as himself, and there is no reason to believe that he was not properly and skilfully treated. He had, however, for years buoyed himself up with the hope that he should be able to come to England for the best treatment, and recently he found himself in this country for that purpose. It goes without saying that the eminent men consulted treated him after the most modern and approved methods, which were also, so far as knowledge goes, the most likely to benefit him. Not only as to treatment must it be assumed that the best was done, but the diagnosis also is supported by the authority of the doctors seen, and was confirmed by physiological and pathological investigation. This would be recognised if it were possible to publish names, places and dates which are withheld from the courteous reader for the reason already given. I can only say that I entirely concur in the diagnosis and in the suitability of the treatment.

The man came under my care on a Sunday, the fast, which is the subject matter of this communication, having been commenced on the Friday six weeks before that day, the last food having been taken on the Thursday at 5 p.m. I saw him, therefore, on the forty-fifth day of the fast. His pulse was 59, soft, steady, regular. Temp. 96.8 degrees, about 11 a.m. He was able to be up, and walked actively, all his bodily movements being active and his mind quite clear and rational. His weight on the day after I first saw him was, in the same clothes as when weighed at the beginning of the fast, 129½ lbs. He said he weighed 171 lbs. on the machine at the commencement, and therefore the loss of bodily weight up to that time was 41.5 lbs. The average loss of weight during the 46 days of the fast was about nine-tenths of a pound daily if the 41.5 lbs. loss is divided by the 46 days of the continuance of the fast up to that time—41.5/46 = .9 lbs. almost exactly.

When he came to my consulting room on the forty-sixth day, about 2.15 p.m., the pulse was 64, temp. 95.6 degrees (thermometer 3 minutes under tongue). He was much troubled with a nasty expectoration of mucus. His breath was very offensive. No enlarged glands could be felt in either groin—perhaps a trifling enlargement in the right. In middle of front border of right tibia a little irregularity is felt, and a small hollow, which he thinks is filling up; but it might be that the exudation on the bone immediately above and below the hollow is somewhat reduced, as this would equally give the suggestion that the hollow is filling up. There is a similar but rather smaller irregularity on the left tibia also. He felt rather weak that day, which he attributed to not having had his usual walk the day before. The nasal cavity consists of a large grey septumless cavern showing dry crusts. The issuing breath is most offensive. Patient had drunk freely of water, he said, to the extent of 4 or 5 quarts a day during the fast but when I said—do you mean that you have been taking over a gallon of water daily?—he rather hesitated, and did not think it was so much as that. He had not measured it and had taken it cold usually, though occasionally hot, and had taken it without stint as he wanted it. On the forty-eighth day of the fast he complained of being weak but worst of all, he said, his breath was very offensive to himself. It was so to me also—faint, fetid, putrid. His sense of smell was greatly impaired, so much so that he could not smell the offensiveness of the bowel-excreta which came away every day on using the gravitation-enema, and which were horrible to by-standers. It would seem from this as if his distress at the bad smell of his breath was probably due to a perversion of the sense of smell, which can be easily understood if we reflect that the disease-process was going on in the region where the smell-apparatus is specially located. The temperature was 96.2 degrees that morning the patient said. At 2 p.m. when I saw him the pulse was 68, regular, even, steady. He says he was feverish last night. I suppose he felt hot. He sleeps well, but says he hears the clogs of the mill-hands as they go to their work in the mornings. Has lost 2 lbs. weight in last 2 days. Temp. 93.6 degrees to my observation 2.30 p.m. Says he feels “done at the stomach.” His voice is poor. Expectorates somewhat freely. A small blob of green thickish mucus in ordinary white mucus came away in my presence. Urine acid 1010. No glucose. Faint trace of albumin to heat and picric acid: also to nitric acid. The right lachrymal punctum is blocked; the tears run down the cheek; and I failed to get even a hair-thick wire into it. Evening, pulse 65, temp. 97.2 degrees in bed with hot-water bottle. Fæces most offensive, no bowel-excreta coming away except to enema. Forty-ninth day. In bed, temp. 97.2 degrees, pulse 65, soft, steady, regular. No great emaciation of limbs. Showed me some green expectoration. He says it is from Salvarsan as it is exactly like what he was injected with! The motion to the enema as offensive as before, but the breath is less offensive to me: not so fetid.

On this day patient completed 7 weeks of fasting. Feels sick and as if he would vomit. About midday he did vomit about a teaspoonful of dark green stuff, very bitter and acid (bile, I should call it, though he calls it “pure citric acid”) and immediately after that he got rid of a motion without the use of the enema, brown, dark and very offensive still. I think the breath, however, is rather less offensive; and so I thought also two days ago. Temp. 97, pulse 67, soft, steady, regular; about 1.30 p.m. In bed since fiftieth day of fast. Not feeling very ill and not specially emaciated, though the buttocks are thinning; but legs and thighs and arms and forearms not specially thin. He came to me to be weighed on the forty-ninth day and weighed 127½ lbs. Fifty-second day of fast. Still in bed. Condition much the same as to pulse, temperature, etc., and as to emaciation so far as observation goes. Remained in bed, not because unable to be up, but because he thought it would be better for him to be resting. On the fifty-fourth day, as he still felt sick, I gave him, at his request, an emetic in the form of 10 grains of copper-sulphate. This was followed by sickness after about an hour, when he got rid of a very little of the same green stuff as before. Bile? But the difficulty is to understand how, after all this time of fasting, he should still feel sick and with inclination to vomit. On the fifty-fifth and fifty-sixth days of the fast he remained in bed, the condition being much the same. On Thursday, the fifty-sixth day, he broke the fast at 5 p.m., just 8 weeks after beginning it. He had meant to go on for 60 days, and I did not think that there would have been any danger in his doing so; but I did not press him to continue any longer. He took 3 oranges on that day; and on the Friday he took 5 more. I advised him not to increase the quantity of food too quickly. The breath has been quite sweet during the last two days. He has been too weak to take enemata, so we cannot say if motions would still have been offensive. And as there is no weighing machine in his room, we don't know the exact loss of weight sustained during the fast, though there is no reason to think that it has averaged more than .9 lb. a day. Up to the time of stopping the enemata, pieces of mucous membrane and mucus itself came away from the bowel, and the motions were very offensive. He seems to have a mucous enteritis without fever.

On the fourth day after breaking the fast, patient took 6 oranges, 4 apples and a banana; and he ordered much more food, which, however, I advised him not to take. On this day his bowels were opened naturally, with a very offensive motion. But the breath was much sweeter, in fact not offensive at all.

On the sixth day he came to my consulting-room and weighed 128 lbs. Pulse 80, soft, steady, regular. He had not slept all night and had had to be up no fewer than 6 times to have his bowels opened. No diarrhœa, he said, but full motions, the first 3 very offensive. Breath not offensive. Has dry pharyngitis and is complaining of sore throat.

Next day. Weight 133 lbs. Bowels acted again, 1 a.m., 3 a.m., 6 a.m., 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Large motions. I told him I thought he was taking too much food. Pulse 104. Not sleeping well. Complained of sore throat.

Eighth day. Weight 138 lbs., a gain of 5 lbs. a day for 2 days. Pulse 80 at 7 a.m. (his own statement), at 2.30 p.m. pulse 100, temp. 99.4 degrees. Bowels acted at 12 midnight, 3.30 a.m. and about 11 a.m. Went that day to have his photograph taken. The throat was better. Tongue dry and leathery. It was plain to me that he was taking too much food. He was having a mixed diet and taking much and often. He said his “mouth was coming to pieces,” and in fact the mucous membrane was glazed and peeling; also the lips. On the ninth day he returned home.

The loss of weight can be seen from the following statement. On commencing the fast the weight was 171 lbs.

First day weight was 171 lbs.
Sixth day " " 165½ "
Seventh day " " 163½ "
Twelfth day " " 158 "
Fifteenth day " " 155½ "
Eighteenth day " " 150½ "
Twenty-fifth day " " 142½ "
Forty-seventh day " " 129½ "
Forty-ninth day " " 127½ "

Fast ended on fifty-sixth day. On the sixth day after breaking the fast the weight was 128 lbs. On the next day it had risen to 133 lbs. and on the following day to 138 lbs. In the first 47 days of the fast the loss of weight was 43.5 lbs., or an average loss of .888 lbs. daily (43.5/49 = .888 lbs.) The loss of weight for the last 8 days before the fast was broken is not known as patient was in bed, though it probably was at much the same rate as during the other times of the fast when the weight was taken on the scales.

The following comparative measurements are interesting. Of course he had been eating for a week after the termination of his fast, so that the measurements taken on that day would be higher probably than if they had been taken seven days before, when he broke the fast.

Bodily Measurements.
At Commencement
of Fast.
At Termination
of Fast.
Forearm 11 inches 9⅝inches
Arm 11½ " "
Hips 38 " 32½ "
Thigh 21¼ " 16 "
Pelvis 37½ " 30½ "
Calf[1] 15¼ " 13½ "
Neck 14½ " 12½ "
Chest 38 " 31¼ to 34½ "

[1] There was a bundle of varicose veins behind right calf.

Patient kept a diary during his fast, but it does not seem necessary to reproduce its statements here. It shows that he walked about during the time, notes the state of the weather as foggy or very foggy or freezing, mentions that water was taken, sometimes hot apparently, as on 15th March, “after glass of hot water, pulse 70, temperature 98½ degrees.” No doubt drinking the hot water had elevated temporarily the mouth-temperature, as it does. The diary also notes that he felt weak, had a bath, or did not have a bath, notes the pulse-rate, etc., as also the effects of the daily enemata. On the twenty-ninth day of the fast he took a bottle of Apenta Water. Such are samples of statements from the diary.

A. Rabagliati, M.A., M.D.

The remainder of this article deals with conclusions of great interest and value, and will appear in our next issue.—[Eds.]


Salads and Salad Dressings.

For salads it is not necessary to depend entirely upon the usual salad vegetables such as lettuce, watercress, mustard and cress.

The very finely shredded hearts of raw brussel sprouts are excellent, and even the heart of a savoy cabbage. Then the finely chopped inside sticks of a tender head of celery are very good; also young spinach leaves, dandelion leaves, endive, sorrel and young nasturtium leaves.

Then there are the onion family (for those who can take them), the tender kinds, such as spring onion, chive and shallot being very good when chopped finely and used as a minor ingredient in any salad.

The root vegetables should also be added in their season, raw carrot, turnip, beet, artichoke and leek, all finely grated.

A taste for all the above-mentioned vegetables, eaten raw, is not acquired all at once. It is best to begin by making the salad of the ingredients usually preferred and mixing in a small quantity of one or two of the new ingredients.

For those who find salads very difficult to digest, it is best to begin with French or cabbage lettuce and skinned tomatoes only, or, as an alternative, a saucerful of watercress chopped very finely, as one chops parsley.

Any salad, however made up, should be served in as dainty and pleasing a fashion as possible. It is, perhaps, usually best to serve it ready chopped and shredded, and to allow each person at the table to take his or her own helping of “dressing.”

English people seldom serve salad in the French fashion—that is, quite dry, save that the dressing is well mixed in an hour before the meal. Readers who have been to France may have seen French peasant women whirling a wire salad-basket round their heads in order to dry the materials after the cleansing has been done. When dry, the green-stuff is torn with the hands, the dressing (and the French know all about salad dressings) is added and the whole allowed to stand some little time, so that by the time the meal is served there is a complete blending of all flavours.

Not everyone likes this method; but it is certainly better than the customary method here, which too often leaves a little puddle of water at the bottom of the bowl.

There are many ways of preparing good salad dressing without resort to vinegar, salt and pepper. The two prime necessities are (1) really good oil and (2) some kind of fresh fruit juice. Most people prefer lemon juice or the juice of fresh West Indian limes, well mixed into either olive oil, nut oil or a blended oil such as the “Protoid Fruit Oil” or Mapleton's Salad Oil. The ordinary “salad oils” obtainable at grocers are seldom to be recommended; they almost invariably contain chemical preservatives and other adulterants. It is better to have the best oil and use it sparingly if need be, than take any faked product just because it is cheap.

With most people the addition of pure oil assists the digestion of the salad, as well as serving other purposes in the body.

Many excellent salad recipes and suggestions for novel yet simple “dressings” will be found in Unfired Food in Practice, by Stanley Gibbon.[2]

[2] 1s. net; 1s. 1½d. post paid, from the office of The Healthy Life, 3 Amen Corner, London, E.C.


This, which is a regular feature of THE HEALTHY LIFE, is not intended as a household guide or home-notes column, but rather as an inconsequent commentary on current thought.—[Eds.]

An interesting booklet by Raymond Blathwayt with samples of Bath Mustard will be sent free on application to J. & J. Colman, Ltd. (Dept. 49) Norwich.—Advt. in Punch.

Rumours are also afloat that G.K. Chesterton has written a brilliant booklet on Eiffel Tower Lemonade, and that the Attorney General has been commissioned to write a highly interesting brochure on American macaroni.

“I enclose you a photo of my baby, Willie, aged fifteen months. He was given up by two doctors, and then I consulted another, who advised me to try ——'s Food, which I did, and he is still having it. You can see what a fine healthy boy he is now, and his flesh is as hard as iron.”—From an advt. in Lady's Companion.

Evidently a case of advanced arterio-sclerosis.

HEALTH BISCUITS. Nice and Tasty, handled by our 55 salesmen daily.—Advt. in Montreal Daily Star.

One reason, perhaps, why both the public and the sales have declined.

Is 3d. too much?
Many perfect skins to-day are traced to a single sample.

—Advt. in Lady's Companion.

The price is reasonable; but I think I would rather see a sample first, wouldn't you?

OUR SPECIAL FILLING FAST—Headline in Daily News.

The correct antidote for the well-known “starvation of over-repletion.”

Cold Anniversary Raised Pie and New Potato Salad.—From the Seventh Anniversary Menu of The Eustace Miles Restaurant.

I am told that one old gentleman, misled by the chef's quite innocent use of adjectives, protested to a waitress that the day was really very warm; also that a youthful wag obliterated the initial C from his menu with a pen-knife and then inquired which was the better vintage, '06 or '09.

But to contend that there is no difference between a good yellow man and a good white man is like saying that a vegetarian chop of minced peas is like a chop of the chump variety.—New Witness.

Chop-chop—as the good yellow man might be tempted to say if he came upon this specimen of white wisdom.

Canvassers can make a very good profit by selling a patent ladies' folding handbag, also wristlet watches.—Advt. in Daily Mail.

Nevertheless, the only place for a patent lady is a registry office.

CAKEOMA PUDDING? You cannot know how delicious they are until you have tasted them.—Advt. in Lady's Companion.

One of the things that would never have occurred to you if you hadn't seen it expressed so clearly.

Saxon.—How cruel of you. Although I have not the honour of cap and gown, I do possess a Classical Dictionary. If I can help further, write again. Regarding the recipe, it depends upon its nature. Perhaps Vera is the lady to whom you should address your question—Lady's Companion.

My colleague, Mr Edgar J. Saxon, denies all knowledge of this affair. But I do wish he would be a little more careful in future.

Peter Piper.


Under this heading Dr Knaggs deals briefly month by month, and according as space permits, with questions of general interest.

Correspondents are earnestly requested to write on one side only of the paper, giving full name and address, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. When an answer is required by post a stamped addressed envelope must be enclosed.—[Eds.]


A. de L. (Lisbon) writes:—For five months I have been a strict “fruitarian,” and as I am obliged now to go to Mozambique (Portuguese East Africa) to remain there five rears, I should be much obliged to you if you kindly let me know what I must do to prevent the African fever and biliousness which seem to afflict all Europeans in that part of the world. Any hints you could give me as to maintaining health in such a climate would be most gratefully acknowledged.

I do not think that it is possible for any European, whether he adopts fruitarian or ordinary diet, to entirely escape malaria, since it is caused by a minute parasite which is forced into the blood by a certain form of biting mosquito.

The parasite will, however, surely gain less hold on one whose blood is clean and pure and whose vital force is strong, than on one who dissipates his strength by partaking of meat, alcohol, tea, coffee and other stimulants, or who otherwise gets his blood into a bad state by faulty diet generally.

Therefore, the thing this correspondent should do is to live as much as possible upon the simple frugal fare of the natives. He can take raw coker-nut freely and eat the fresh fruits which grow in this part of Africa. If he can obtain pineapple or papaw he will find these excellent to help him to retain his health and strength in this country.


Mrs L.B.F. writes:—My husband and I are much interested in The Healthy Life, deriving much benefit and good advice from its pages. It is the only magazine, we find, which answers questions that we have long been puzzling over. Reading a work of the “Montessori Method” of training children last night I was disturbed to find I had, according to that book, been feeding my little boy, aged three years, all wrong. It says: “Raw vegetables should not be given to a child and not many cooked ones. Nuts, dates, figs and all dried fruits should be withheld. Soups made with bread, oil, bread and butter, milk, eggs, etc., are the principal foods Dr Montessori recommends. She also advocates the use of sugar.”

Our boy has nuts, ground and whole, all the fresh fruits and dried ones, salads, brown bread and nut butter, sometimes dairy butter, no milk, his food mostly uncooked, as we ourselves believe in. If Dr Valentine Knaggs would give us his opinion on this I should be very grateful. The boy is healthy, but I notice a slight puffiness below the eyes of late in the morning. Also his temper does not improve as he gets older. Will he be having too much proteid (nuts) for one of his years, or is the temper natural as a result of bad discipline. His father is away all day, and mothers are, as a rule, soft marks, are they not?

It is difficult to answer fully a question of this sort, as so much depends on the child's temperament and environment. A frail, delicate child with the promise of high mental development requires a finer and softer grade of nutriment than one of a coarse animal nature with strong, well-developed digestive organs.

All healthy children, especially boys (as Mr Saxon will attest!), are full of mischief and restlessness, which it is the duty of a mother or a nurse to divert into right channels.[3] The display of temper is probably an indication of this not being done, though it may be due in part to the raw diet not suiting the child.

[3] This correspondent, and all mothers of difficult children, should study the works of Mary Everest Boole, published by C.W. Daniel, Ltd.; also The Children All Day Long, by E.M. Cobham.—[Eds.]

The advice I would give would be to alter the diet and make it lighter.

From my point of view, Dr Montessori has not given sufficient attention to the other side of the diet question, preferring to remain more on the side of orthodoxy. Moreover, her own work has been done in Italy, where a climate prevails which does not call for so free a use of vegetables and salads as is the case in our own cooler and bleaker clime.

I suggest, as a beginning, the following diet might be tried, but it is necessarily impossible to guarantee good results unless the cause of the puffy eyes and temper have been definitely located by personal examination:—

On rising.—A raw ripe apple, finely grated, or simply scraped out with a silver spoon.

Breakfast at 8.—A scrambled egg on a Granose biscuit with a little finely chopped salad or finely grated; raw roots appetisingly served with a dressing of oil, lemon juice and a little honey. This to be followed by an “Ixion” or “P.R.” biscuit, with fresh butter.

Dinner at 2.—Home-made cottage cheese, or cream cheese, or a nut meat (served cold out of the tin, or, better still, home-made). Two casserole-cooked vegetables, done with a little fruit juice and lemon to retain colour. This to be followed by a baked apple with cream and a little home-made, unfired pudding made of dried fruits.

Supper at 5.—A slice of “Maltweat” bread, and butter, and a cupful of clear vegetable soup, or some hot water with some lemon juice added, and slightly sweetened with a little honey.


Mrs L.B.F. also writes:—I sometimes think I must make dietetic mistakes. My husband thinks I am perfectly healthy, so I do not say anything of the giddiness in the morning and after eating, a drowsiness and slight pain at the back of the head and underneath one of my ears. Also under my eyes is on some mornings quite swollen and puffed up. It is not so marked, but I am quite conscious of it. Our diet consists mostly of a salad, with bread or baked potato and cheese or ground nuts or cooked brussels sprouts and a nut meat pie, apple pie and cream, with brown bread and butter, or a raw fruit meal, nuts, apples, grapes, figs, dates and no bread.

Two meals a day, first in the morning at eight o'clock, second at two or three in the afternoon. A glass of hot water with lemon at nine p.m., and the same in the morning. I do some exercises night and morning and am out in the fresh air often through the day. We live in the country and I have every chance of keeping myself healthy. Perhaps I should say I do not eat many nuts, finding them rather difficult to digest. Should I use an enema when I feel like this, or wait for natural results?

The symptoms of which L.B.F. complains are in all probability due to flatulence and to general disturbances of the digestive process.

Perhaps it would be a good plan to make the diet lighter. The nuts could be omitted and cheese or eggs substituted. An evening meal would be helpful.

As to the bowels, some senna and camomile tea at bedtime would help to clear them. Unless there is distinct evidence of fæcal retention in the colon it is better not to use the enema as a regular thing.

On rising.—A tumblerful of Sanum Tonic Tea made with hot, preferably distilled, water.

Breakfast.—An all-fruit meal consisting of nothing but apples, bananas, grapes, or orange, or any fresh ripe fruit that is in season.

Dinner at 12.30.—A cooked meal consisting of two casserole-cooked vegetables, with grated cheese as a sauce dressing, with some twice-baked or well toasted bakers' bread, followed by a baked apple and cream. (Omit nut meat pie and apple pie.)

Tea meal at 5.—2 oz. of cottage cheese or cream cheese, wholemeal bread and butter, small plateful of finely grated raw roots with an appetising dressing containing some “Protoid Fruit-Oil.”

Bedtime.—Tumblerful of hot water (preferably distilled) to which senna leaves and German camomile flowers (very little) have been steeped to infuse; or a cupful of dandelion coffee could be taken if the bowels are regularly acting.


W.T. writes:—Having tried a diet, recommended in The Healthy Life, for a month I find the nuts and cheese are far too heavy for the apparent weak condition of my stomach, also that the salads and casserole-baked vegetables are too irritating to the membrane of the stomach. I have no desire to return to flesh food and ordinary feeding, which I feel would not be good for me. From eggs I cannot obtain any good results. The continuance of loss of weight is worrying me, being down to eight stone from eleven stone in twelve months. I feel satisfied it is only a question of diet, if I could only strike the correct one. I am naturally most anxious to regain some of my lost strength and weight. I am at present taking bread and butter, cooked fruit, and occasionally an egg, boiled rice, vegetables and a little dried fruit. No matter how light I make my diet I still suffer after every meal with dilated stomach and irregular working of the heart. Blood circulation is still bad and constipation is gradually getting worse. As before stated, I am anxious to succeed with the reformed diet, but I am really at a loss to know which way to proceed to make any progress. As I was in South Africa twenty years, and only returned to England just before this catarrh set in, is the climate here against my progress, do you think? I am so sorry to take up so much of your time, but shall be grateful for any help you can give me which will be greatly appreciated.

It is difficult to advise how best to proceed in this case as our correspondent really ought to seek medical advice. Only in this way can he obtain really satisfactory guidance. For without knowing the state of his blood and the organs generally it is impossible to advise correctly. Speaking generally, until salads and casserole-cooked vegetables can be taken freely there can be no possible permanent cure.

In many such cases the best way to train the digestive organs into a healthy state is to keep to a diet consisting chiefly of dextrinised cereals, which must be eaten dry, with some vegetables and as little fresh fruit as possible. This to be continued until little by little the raw salad vegetables are found to agree; then the rest is easy.

A diet on the following lines would probably be a good temporary measure:—

Breakfast.—One egg lightly boiled, poached or baked, with two Granose biscuits and fresh butter, eaten dry.

Dinner.—Brusson Jeune bread (one or two rolls) with butter, and small helping of vegetables, cooked at first in the orthodox way.

Supper.—Plateful of boiled rice (cooked dry in the Indian fashion[4]) with a tablespoonful of good malt extract.

No sugar, honey, stewed fruit, or dried fruit should be taken until improvement has set in. As little fluid as possible should be taken until the stomach has regained more tone and become more normal in size.

[4] See The Healthy Life Cook Book. 1s. net (post free, 1s. 1½d.).


Miss S.L.P. writes:—I should like a little help as to diet. I have just had an attack of epidemic influenza with throat trouble, so that I feel very much run down and unfit for a diet too depleting in character. For over four years I have adopted a non-flesh diet on account of a tendency to chronic catarrh of the whole alimentary tract, due to rheumatic tendencies which affect me internally rather than externally. The continuous damp weather has produced much gastric irritation, and frequent acidity.

I cannot discover a diet that is convenient and at the same time sufficiently nourishing. I lose flesh on what I take, and I have none to spare, though at one time I was inclined to be stout. My age is forty-eight.

I take three meals a day. A light breakfast either of “Maltweat” bread or “P.R.” Cracker biscuits and butter, with tomato or fresh fruit or occasionally an egg. For midday meal an egg or milled cheese, or nuts or cream cheese, with a baked potato and a conservatively cooked vegetable. Occasionally I have a little salad and grated carrot, but unless I am better than usual I cannot digest these. The evening meal consists of “Maltweat” bread or “P.R.” Cracker biscuits or Granose flakes, with cream cheese. As a child I suffered constantly from colds in the head, but now my troubles are oftener internal.

The action of the bowels is irregular. I depend chiefly upon an enema of warm water when constipation is present.

I never drink tea, only hot water, or Emprote and water, or occasionally vegetable juices or fruit juices. I find I am better without much fluid.

So far as it is possible to judge from this letter, this correspondent is suffering not only from stomach and bowel catarrh, but her condition as a whole is unsatisfactory. The vital force is depleted and the nervous system is not doing efficient work.

She needs suitable treatment to remove the acid and toxins with which the system is evidently clogged. This is not an easy task, for as soon as elimination begins trouble arises in the form of influenza or other similar derangements. These are probably little else but attempts on the part of nature to rouse the vital force of the body into action with a view to clearing out the clogging poisons.

Waste clearing should be done gradually. The skin should be made to act better by means of home Turkish baths, or by wet-sheet packs. Then mustard poultices can be applied along the course of the spine and massage with suitable manipulations can be applied to the muscles and bones which make up the spine. The daily practising of the excellent and simple breathing and bending exercises described in Müller's My System for Ladies[5] will be very helpful. By means such as these the body will be gradually cleared of its poisons, and so the nervous system will be made to do better work.

The diet specified can be continued.

H. Valentine Knaggs.

[5] 2s. 8d. post free from the office of The Healthy Life, 3 Amen Corner, London, E.C.

May we ask the co-operation of all our readers during the holiday season in the following way. On holidays you are bound to meet fresh people, and make new acquaintances, and even friends. We suggest you purchase a few extra copies of The Healthy Life before you start and hand them on to any likely to be interested. People tell us the magazine is its own recommendation. This does not mean that you need not add your own. The circulation grows steadily, but it is far short of what it might easily be if every reader were to gain one fresh reader every month.—[Eds.]


I want to say how very interesting and helpful I find The Healthy Life, and it is always a pleasure to buy an extra copy to give to friends, for I always feel it will do them good to read it, and perhaps make regular subscribers of them.

H. Bartholomew, Knebworth.

Vol. V
No. 25
The Independent Health Magazine
3 Amen Corner London E.C.

There will come a day when physiologists, poets, and philosophers will all speak the same language and understand one another.Claude Bernard.


The pursuit of health, considered from the negative standpoint, is the flight from pain.

And pain is the great mystery of life.

James Hinton, himself a well-known physician of his time, attempted to solve the mystery of pain by showing that it is the accompaniment of imperfection. That what is now experienced as pain might be exquisite pleasure given a higher stage of human development.

But this, after all, only shifts the mystery one step farther. Instead of the mystery of pain we have the mystery of imperfection. Yet to image perfection is always to image something incapable of growth or further development.

Take, for example, a perfect circle. So long as it remains unbroken, flawless, the line (or infinite number of lines) composing it cannot be continued or extended. But given a break in the line and it may be continued round and round, up and up (or down and down) into an infinitely ascending spiral. This possibility of extension depends on a break, on an imperfection.

It does not follow, of course, that every flaw in human nature is always the starting-point of new growth, every failure a stepping-stone to greater knowledge, but the possibility is there. It is for men to see that they do not neglect their opportunities.—[Eds.]


Regular readers will recognise in this wonderfully simple and suggestive article a continuation of the series previously entitled “Healthy Brains.” The author of “The Children All Day Long” is an intimate disciple of one of the greatest living psychologists, and she has a message of the first importance to all who realise that true health depends as much on poise of mind as on physical fitness.—[Eds.]

The fruit of imagination ripens into deeds actually done in the service of man: its flower brightens the whole of life and makes it fragrant, from the budding-time of children's play and laughter to the developed blossoms of the creative imagination which we call painting or poetry or music.

Play and art have this in common, that they are activities pursued for the sake of the activity itself, not as a means to any other object, not aiming at any material usefulness. Actually, of course, there is nothing more useful, on every scale of usefulness, than the development of the individual in art or play, but these would never be really themselves while an ulterior purpose formed a background to them in consciousness.

Physical exercises devised for the sake of health are a more or less pleasant form of work; they do not take the place of play. Our ordinary work is usually more or less one-sided and unbalanced in the demands it makes upon us; we therefore try to find what other set of movements will undo this unbalancement and give us back unbiased bodies. When that is done, and not till then, we get freedom, and it is at that moment that real “play” begins—the use of the freed muscles according to our own will and pleasure.

The same thing is perhaps true in connection with our minds. We all see the fallacy of the old-fashioned hustlers' cry, “Make your work your hobby; think of nothing else; let every moment be subordinated to the dominating idea of your career; put aside all sentimentalism, all laziness and self-will, all enthusiasm about things not in your own line of work.”

We have come to see that this kind of effort leads often to nervous breakdown and early death; always to a certain narrowing of sympathy and hardening of method even in the career itself. So we conscientiously “take up” a hobby or a sport and set aside some hour or day for indulgence in it. We make it a duty to lay aside for the time being all idea of duties; part of our work is to learn to rest.

So far so good. But does all this go far enough?

Work imposed by any set of outer needs puts the whole being under a certain strain. The aim of remedial exercises, prescribed rest-times and legal holidays is to undo this strain, to unwind us from our coil by twisting us the other way.

When this has been satisfactorily done, too often the person responsible thinks that this is enough. But it is really and truly at this moment that one is beginning one's real life.

When the body is freed from strain and weariness is the time to leap and dance and sing and wrestle.

When the mind is free from prejudice and weariness is the time for its original activity to begin; new thoughts spring up unbidden and the creative imagination lives and grows.

(In the sphere of will, many great sages have said that an analogous sequence holds good. When the whole emotional and moral nature has thrown itself in a particular direction, and then an unwinding has taken place, the moment of completed renunciation has been said to be the dawn of some great new spiritual light.)

Who does not know the peaceful activity of a Sunday evening, the fruitful quiet of a long railway journey or sea-voyage at the end of a holiday? Two friends walk slowly home together after an exciting expedition or debate; two girls give each other their confidence while brushing their hair after a dance.

Why is this so? Nowadays people are very ready to answer the question by refusing the fact. It is waste of time not to be doing something strenuously. Rest is almost as strenuous as everything else; it is to be thorough while it is the duty on hand and is to fit exactly on to the work time, without overlapping but without interspace.

In this way too often the imagination, the really individual part of the mind, is starved and atrophied. Especially in childhood there ought to be a space left between useful work and ordered play for the individually invented games, the pursuits that are not for any definite end, for dreams and lived-out tales, when the child may make what he likes, do what he likes, and in imagination be what he likes. If we scrupulously respected this growing-time we should soon have a race of sturdier mettle altogether. Just now this particular want is probably most nearly supplied among elementary school children than among those who have more “educational advantages”; they “go out to play” in the streets for hours every day, and one cannot help thinking that it is the vitality thus evolved that keeps most of them healthy and happy in spite of many hardships.

In later life, if we really want to make something of our lives, we shall do well to insist an keeping such a margin of free time to ourselves. It need not be long. Five minutes, if one really sails away in the ship of imagination, will take us to fairyland and back again. But the five minutes (or the day in the country, or the week of quiet, or whatever we take or can get) must really and truly be free; we must have the courage to seek for what we really want, and we shall have the inestimable reward of finding what we really are.

E.M. Cobham.


[6] See July number.

For some years I lived according to the advice given by “M.D.” with regard to the quantity of proteid that should be taken. But experience led me to believe that it was wrong. In recent years my diet has consisted of the following quantities per annum:—

And with these foods rich in proteid, I have taken plenty of raw vegetables and fruit, and three to four gallons of olive oil.

I do not mention this as an ideal, in order to suggest another and better standard than that of “M.D.” I do not think any such thing as a standard really exists or can exist. But I mention it to show how far I have travelled away from where I was.

I take it that all food reformers will agree that the main reason for food reform is to make the body a more harmonious instrument for the true life of man, and that carries with it the belief that there is some correspondence, if we cannot yet see absolute unity, between the physical and the spiritual. Now the law of life, according to Christ, is one of continual progress towards perfection and I do not see how this will harmonise with the teaching of a fixed law for the body. All my experience and observation point to a progressive law for the body, and I do not know of a single fact contrary to it.

My first point, then, is that there is no such thing as a standard of proteid needed by the body. All that can be said is this, that if you take a man who has been fed on a certain quantity for such and such a time and then feed him on a certain other quantity, alterations in the physical condition will appear. But who can say whether these changes are attributable merely to a deficiency or to a previous excess? If “M.D.” and his patients take excessive food they naturally get trouble from stored poisons when they reduce the quantity. But why put all the trouble down to present deficiency instead of to previous excess? To this I can find no satisfactory answer.

If we have got our bodies into so hopeless a condition that we cannot use our God-given instincts, tastes and feelings in the first place, the wisdom of troubling much about the continuance of bodily life would be doubtful; and, in the second place, one would need most overwhelming signs of knowledge to substitute for them. But where are they? There is no agreement between those who have been taught physiology. On the one hand, “M.D.” gives a proteid standard, now impossible to myself, and I believe to many others, for it would involve eating a nauseating quantity; and, on the other hand, another doctor, presumably acquainted with the same physiology, tells me I cannot eat too little, so long as I do not persistently violate true hunger and taste. Then another doctor gives quite a different standard, and a much lower one. If we discard our natural guides, which of the claimants to knowledge is to be followed, and is there any knowledge at all such as is claimed?

Imagine what a mockery it would have been to give such a standard as that of “M.D.” to the agricultural labourer about the middle of last century, a typical one with a large family, and one who worked as men do not work to-day, and had to rear his family on a few shillings a week. How could such a one have provided more than a fraction of what “M.D.” says is necessary, either for himself or his children?

The broad fact is, that all the hardest work of the world has always been done by those who get the least food. As one who has had some experience of labour, I doubt if the workers could have done so much if it had not been for a spare diet. Certain it is, that since they have more to eat, they are much less inclined to work.

My contention, then, is that there is no fixed standard of proteid needed by the body, but that the quantity depends on the development that is in progress and is only discoverable by the natural guides of appetite and taste, ruled by reason and love of others. Moreover, I contend that even if there were such a standard as “M.D.” says physiology has found, it obviously is not known.

I cannot help recognising in “M.D.” one whom I gratefully love and respect. He helped me on the road, and now that I differ from him I do not forget it, and I ask his forgiveness if I seem to be arrogant. He thinks I cannot see what he sees because I am underfed, and I think he cannot see what I see because he is overfed. In a sense we are both right, and we form a beautiful illustration of the different states of mind that belong to different physical conditions. I urge the laymen like myself not to be afraid of that musty old ill-shaped monster called Science[7] when he is up against the eternal truths that belong to every simple untutored man. Shun the monster as you would a priest, to whom he has a great likeness, and unite with me in a long strong pull to get “M.D.” out of the rut in which the monster holds him, so that we may have him with us on the road, for he carries much treasure and we cannot do without him.

A.A. Voysey.

[7] I do not wish to be misunderstood. No sane man despises real science, but when the mixture of science and ignorance, which usually stalks about in the name of science, wants to usurp our heaven-born instincts we cannot but notice his ugly and monstrous shape. It is the function of science, or a true knowledge of details, to fill in the mosaic of the temple of wisdom, but the mosaic can never be the structure itself and is only useful and good when it is subservient to that structure and harmonious with it.


Food Questions.

“We have to consider,” I said, “the question of what food to take and how to cook it.”

“Camping out,” said Sylvia, “ought to be a complete holiday from the food bother. Why not live on unfired food, such as tinned tongue, sardines and bottled shrimps?”

Thereupon Felix laughed a great laugh, and said: “Just try and do a thousand miles on sardines.”

Felix is Sylvia's brother, who has spent some twenty years in America, travelling for weeks through country that contained no people, and spending nearly two years in a single journey to Dawson City and home again. He plainly knows far more about bed-rock camping than anyone else in the family and we allowed him to take the floor for a time.

“The first thing is bread.” said Felix, “because you can't do without bread. You must take some yeast or else some baking-powder with you to make it rise, or you must bake it very quickly so that the steam aerates it. You might take a Dutch oven with you, but it's nothing like the Dutch oven that you know in this country. It is an iron pot on three legs, with an iron lid. You stand it in the fire and cover the lid with hot brands and you can cook anything inside it—ducks and chunks of venison, and bread of course.”

“But Mr Freeman has barred the oven,” said Sylvia, “and if we are not going a thousand miles from home perhaps we can do without it.”

“As you like,” answered Felix. “I only mention it so that you can get hold of the general principle. You can make very good bread in a frying-pan. You must mix the dough up stiff so that when the pan is nearly upright it won't tumble out. You fix the pan up with a prop behind it so that the dough faces the fire, quite close, and you draw some more fire behind it so that the back is warmed as well. When it burns a good crust on both sides it is done.”

“What are flap-jacks,” I asked.

“Just pan-cakes made without eggs or milk,” said Felix. “You mix a quart of flour with a tablespoonful of baking-powder and put in water till it is just so thin that when you take up a spoonful and let it drop back you can see the shape of it for a few seconds before it melts into the rest. You fry the batter in bacon fat or butter just like pan-cakes, and the cakes are very good.”

A Summer Idyll

A Summer Idyll

“That's a good tip for us,” I said, “and another good thing to take is cuddy biscuits, a kind of captain's biscuit. Soak them a few minutes in water or milk and fry them. They're nice with tomatoes or anything, or by themselves.”

“Mebbe,” said Felix, and his tone said, “Mebbe not.” “I'm only discussing general principles, and you've got to work your own way out in the light of them. I've known an outfit come away without a frying-pan. How do you make bread then?”

We had to give it up, and Felix went on: “Open your flour sack, turn down the edge like it is in a baker's shop, make a little hole in the flour and pour in water to make a pond. Mix in what flour you want to use and get your dough into the shape of a snake, wind it round a stick and cook it like that. You've got your bread then like a French roll, and very good it is.”

We all liked the idea of making bread every day and eating it hot. Here was something to be had in camp that you could not get at home. And we liked the idea of learning our cooking by means of first principles. Whether we liked it or not, Felix liked talking about it, and he began to grow anecdotal.

“Once,” he said, “I met a whole lot of men, ten of them I should think, camped on a cold frosty night with nothing to eat. They were trying to do a journey of thirty miles on rough prairie and their horses were tired and they could not get on. They had brought their lunch and eaten it long ago, and they told me they were starving. They had nothing to eat, nothing to do any cooking with and no wood to make a fire with. I never saw such hungry people. They were new settlers just out from England and it was up to me to do something for them.

“‘What have you got in that great waggon?’ I asked. They told me they had some sacks of flour and two frozen quarters of beef, but there was nothing to cook it in and no wood to make a fire.

“There was any amount of cow-dung on the prairie, and it was dry as chips. I set them collecting that and soon enough had a fire. I filled a bucket with water and put it on to boil. I chopped off some meat and put it in. Then I made some dumplings and put them in. You just put them into boiling water, you know, and then they cook at once on the outside and don't come to pieces. If they boil too much they get pappy, and if not done through they're not good. Most dumplings you eat in England are not done, but mine were just right and those ten hungry men had just as good a supper as anyone could wish for.”

“Tell us about the coffee you used to make,” said Sylvia. “What horrible stuff it must have been.”

“The very best coffee ever I drank,” said Felix.

“We used to make it in a pot that was nearly a yard high. We never turned out the grounds, but let them settle and put in a little more every time we made coffee, till the pot was so full that it wouldn't hold any more water.”

“I don't see anything against it,” I said, when Sylvia and Gertrude were both expressing their horror. “There is no tannin or other bad principle in coffee and you never get anything worse out of it than you do at the first soaking.”

“The fellows that work the logs on the river have their own kind of coffee that they call drip coffee,” said Felix. “They have a tall pot like ours was and they tie the coffee in a sack above the water, so that the water never touches it, but the steam goes up and fetches it out in drops. They don't change the sack every time, but keep adding coffee till it won't hold any more.”

“The moral of which is?” said Basil, who had for some time been growing impatient.

“That there are plenty of ways of cooking an egg besides frying it,” said Felix, “and that a bit of common-sense is about the best article you can take with you out camping. Take your food as raw as you can get it and know how to cook it. Also know a good herb when you see it, and never overlook a chance of getting a meal from the country that will save your stores.”

C.R. Freeman.

Food reformers will have their own opinion about a diet of shrimps, sardines, tinned tongue and stale coffee when camping out: the most important part of the outfit is doubtless an adequate supply of common-sense.—[Eds.]


In the April and May numbers of the present year we published an article by Mr Hereward Carrington entitled “Seasickness: How Caused, How Cured.” The following supplementary suggestions by the same well-known writer will be useful to many readers.—[Eds.]

A very good plan, when you think of undertaking a voyage, is to begin to prepare for it several days in advance. For three or four days, before embarking, eat only very simple and somewhat laxative foods—such as fruits—so as to open the bowels well and tone up the system. This simple diet should be followed for the first two or three days aboard—of course not so rigidly, but taking care not to indulge in many heavy, greasy dishes. Unfortunately, the food on board is usually very rich and plentiful, and tempts one to eat. If one suffers from seasickness, there is not this same temptation, to be sure; but the malady may certainly be warded off, in the majority of cases, if only reasonable care be taken of the diet before and during the voyage, and if instructions herein laid down be followed.

As before stated, drugs are as a rule useless for the cure of seasickness; but on occasion a “seasick cure” of some kind may prove effective. The harm which results from the drug may perhaps be more than counterbalanced by the benefits which the system derives from the cessation of seasickness. A preparation of this kind which is very highly recommended by many travellers is known as “Antimermal,” and though none of these remedies are to be recommended with assurance, this one—and perhaps one or two others—might at least be tried, in cases of dire necessity, when seasickness has already supervened.

It is hardly necessary to say that the patient should remain in the open air continuously, until all symptoms of seasickness have paused. Live in your deck chair until you feel quite well and able to get up and walk round. Do not attempt to go downstairs into the dining-saloon to meals, if you feel in the slightest “squirmish.” Rather have some hot soup or broth of some kind sent up to you, and drink it sitting in your chair. Do not be afraid to drink water at all times, even if you feel ill—as the water is easily returned, and it is less strain on the stomach to be able to bring up something than to find nothing in the stomach when an effort is made to eject what is not there. Water will serve to allay this strain, and thus serve a useful purpose.

In very severe cases of seasickness, the stomach of the patient should be emptied and washed out at once. This is usually an easy matter. Have the patient drink one or two glasses of water, warm or cold, with a little salt or bi-carbonate of soda added—say a teaspoonful to a pint of water. This will have the desired result! In extreme cases of seasickness, dry cold, such as ice-bags, placed behind and about the ears, will sooth the patient, and help to allay his suffering. Cold cloths to the forehead will also prove helpful. Full baths had best be omitted, until the attack has worn off, as they are injudicious on account of the reactions they induce.

In prolonged cases of seasickness, there is often a craving for acids and fruit juices. The continued absence or diminution of the acid contents of the stomach, and the privation from normal food, accounts in part for this, and it is highly proper to satisfy such a craving—providing due care is taken not to add to the stomach's distress by taking too much juice, or the juice of unripe fruit, or by swallowing the fibre of the fruit, which is allowable only when recovery is complete.

Hereward Carrington.


If readers who possess copies of the first number of The Healthy Life (August 1911) will send them to the Editors, they will receive, in exchange, booklets to the value of threepence for each copy.


In the November number we published a letter from a reader containing the excellent suggestion that readers who had experimented to any fair extent with unfired diet should be invited to contribute to a conference on the subject in The Healthy Life, and that the symposium should be gathered round the following points:—

Two letters were published in the January number. Two more in February. Others will appear in future issues. We are anxious to receive a large number of personal experiences, but they must be brief, and classified under the above heads as far as possible.—[Eds.]

St Albans.

In response to your invitation I am sending you my experience with vegetarian dietary. Although, as you will see, this has not been altogether “unfired,” I think it should be of interest to many.

(1) I became a vegetarian at the time of my marriage, nearly three years ago, my husband being already a vegetarian of eleven years. I considered this a good opportunity to commence. Previous to this I had for some time suffered from indigestion, which continued for a few months after marriage. I attribute the cure to the change of diet, and drinking hot water after meals.

(2) We have one child eighteen months old, totally breast fed for twelve months, and another four months: on breast and Ixion Food and some fruit juice.

She has never had any disease whatever, and so far her teeth are perfect and she has cut them quite easily. She is a bonny, sturdy little girl, and very intelligent.

(3) With regard to childbirth, I previously followed the advice of Dr Alice Stockholme in “Tokology,” avoiding flesh meats and bone-making food and adopting a diet of fruit (chiefly lemons) and rice, brown bread and nut butter, wearing no corsets and taking frequent baths. The effect during pregnancy was highly satisfactory. I enjoyed perfect health the whole time, free from the usual discomforts, and at childbirth I received similar results: a speedy and safe delivery. Indeed, since marriage, my husband, baby and myself, have been singularly free from even minor complaints.

(4) As we do not have the specially prepared, expensive vegetarian foods (supposed to substitute meat), but mainly the simple foods, I consider the diet less costly than the meat diet.

(5) We are honestly quite free from the craving for meat or meat foods.

(6) In the summer-time we live principally on salads, cheese, rissoles, etc., made from beans, peas, lentils, etc., fresh fruits, brown bread and nut butter. In the very cold weather we seem to need rather warmer stuffs, such as porridge (carefully cooked) and cooked vegetables, etc.

D. Godman.


I have read with the greatest interest the correspondence in The Healthy Life on the unfired diet. As the majority of your correspondents have not been living exclusively on unfired food, or have only done so for short periods, may I suggest that some of your correspondents or contributors live on an entirely unfired diet, excluding dairy produce, for a period of six or twelve months and then relate their experiences. In this way some valuable evidence would be obtained. At any rate I am prepared to do this myself.

With reference to living on the unfired diet on 4d. a day, I have often had two unfired meals for less than 4d., and two meals a day are sufficient for anyone. Of course to do this one has to buy the food which is in season and therefore cheap. Dried fruit and nuts, followed by a cress salad with oil and lemon dressing, does not cost more than 2d. An unfired rissole made from grated carrot and flaked peanuts cost at most a penny, and if followed by dates or figs would be a sufficient meal, and 2d. would cover the cost.

In conclusion, I have no difficulty in producing a “two course” unfired meal for 2d.—but perhaps I should have left the subject of cost for Dr Bell to deal with. Yours faithfully,

Alfred le Huray.


With reference to my article, “Two Meals a Day,” which appeared in the May issue of The Healthy Life, several correspondents have asked me to give more particulars about my life and diet. I do so gladly; but I must be brief, as the demand upon space in this magazine is now very great.

Resolved into a single sentence, what all my correspondents wish to know is this: Is a two-meal dietary best for all?

To this question, however, a definite answer cannot be given, for the simple reason that scientific experimentation with respect to food quantities and times of meals, etc., has gone such a little way, so that it would be presumptuous to set a limit in regard to meals and food reduction. To my mind, apart from the question of the quantity of food to be taken, there is a great and important field of inquiry open with respect to the effect of rest upon the stomach and the intestines, upon the digestive and assimilative powers of the body.

Now the whole purpose of my article was to show that a reduction of one's dietary was a matter of training, of gradual adaptation, but also—and this is the important fact-of gradual strengthening. My theory is that the two-meal plan is possible owing to the immense economy in digestive energy that is effected through giving the stomach adequate rest, and also through keeping the blood stream pure and unclogged, almost absolutely free from surfeit matter. A rested stomach will get more nutriment out of a small amount of food-stuff than an overworked stomach will get out of a much larger quantity. But experimentation which is sudden and covers a few weeks only, is worse than useless, as it tends to disprove the very principles that a saner method of experimentation would probably establish. And if I can impress this fact upon the reader I shall have performed a good service.

Carefully undertaken, and properly graduated, I believe there are few people in these days who would not greatly benefit by a reduction in the number of meals and in the quantity of food they take. By means of a healthy and cheerful habit of introspection—not morbid and feverish—I am firmly convinced that by cutting down their meals most people would not only greatly improve their health, but their mental and spiritual condition as well, and also greatly increase their capacity for work ... And if in this way we can effect such an improvement in our life and condition it does not really matter whether we get to the two or even one meal basis or not.

As to myself, my work is chiefly literary and my life moderately sedentary. But the fact is that I now have two moderate meals a day whereas I used to have four pretty good ones. But I have many friends whose work is mechanical, and demands much muscular energy, who are two-mealists. One lady I know, who is one of the healthiest, strongest and best physically developed persons I have ever met, is a two-mealist, and not only does she work at a mechanical occupation for ten hours a day, but on several evenings each week conducts a ladies gymnastics class as well. But in her case, as in mine, the two meal was an ideal that was gradually and slowly attained, and not a sudden reform. Indeed, the main thing to remember is that it is all a matter of training, it being quite impossible to say where the limit is. For of one thing I am quite sure—viz. that most people, were they to adopt a slow process of food and meals reduction, on the lines I suggested in my article, would be astonished at the result. The number of people one meets, chiefly among those whose life is more or less sedentary, who say they can't work as they should, are subject to pains and heaviness in the head, constipation and indigestion, is simply appalling; and on questioning such people I come to the conclusion that in the majority of cases it is because they eat too much or too often.

My meals are very simple, and the simpler they are the better I like them. I like a cold lunch about noon, and a hot meal about six. I have tried a wholly uncooked diet, but as yet my body does not seem ready for it: perhaps it will be after a little while. The first meal usually consists of wholemeal bread and fruit, green or vegetable salads, just according to my needs at the time. In winter I take a more liberal supply of dried fruits and nuts. Pulses I eschew altogether. My second meal consists of a substantial entrée with one or two conservatively cooked vegetables—occasionally I have a soup and a sweet in addition. But of course it is for everyone to find out his or her own ideal diet; and let me say that it is worth while to do so, even though it involves much confusion and perplexity during the period of experimentation.

Wilfred Wellock.


Ye whom bonds of the city chain,
Yet whose heart must with Nature's be;
Ye who, bound to a bed of pain,
Dream there of torrent and tower and tree,
Here behold them—the magic key,
Turned by a thought in yon gates of blue,
Even now has revealed to me
Alps and Mediterranean too.
Why of the bondage of earth complain?
Wide as heaven is our liberty!
Where are the streets and their smoke and stain
When to the land of the lark we flee?
Where is the sight that we may not see,
Cloudland's citadel passing through?
Switzerland beckons with Sicily,
Alps and Mediterranean too.
Here, 'twixt walls with the marble's vein,
Oared on a river of gold are we;
There we watch, on a sapphire main,
White fleets voyage to victory.
Day unto day flashes grief or glee;
Night to night utters speech anew,
Figuring forest and lane and lea—
Alps and Mediterranean too.


Prince whose course through the world is free,
Fare you better than dreamers do?
Here are the mountains and here the sea—
Alps and Mediterranean too.

S. Gertrude Ford.

From Lyric Leaves, by S. Gertrude Ford. Cloth, 2s. 6d. net; 2s. 8d. post free from The Healthy Life, 3 Amen Corner, E.C. This charmingly bound book makes an excellent holiday companion, for it contains many beautiful lyrics, all characterised by serious thought, generous human sympathies and a delicate imaginative quality.


Once upon a time there was a little boy whose parents took things very seriously. They answered all his questions with painstaking precision. At a comparatively early age he could prove that fairies were non-existent. At the same time his toys were marvels of mechanical perfection.

At the age of seven he was sent to a very efficient school, where, being naturally a bright boy, he gained high marks every term and passed all the examinations, for he had a wonderful and well-trained faculty for remembering exactly what his teachers had told him.

When he left school he entered a London merchant's office, where his knowledge of arithmetic was of the greatest assistance in bringing him to the front. Moreover, he could argue very tellingly with all the clerks and warehousemen, and always knew what the morning papers were saving about health, neck-ties or religion.

In course of time he grew a moustache, joined the Territorials, was made a partner in the firm, married a well-educated young lady and became a strong supporter of the local Liberal Club, where his opinions were so well known that it was unnecessary for anyone seriously to combat them. He was never known to vote for the Conservative candidate or to lose his head. His concluding speech in the historic debate on The National Health Insurance Act will always be remembered, by those who heard it, for its earnest defence of the medical profession. In fact, the Mayor, who was in the chair, and was a doctor himself, warmly congratulated the speaker, who was evidently very pleased.

Ten years later he became a Town Councillor, opened several Institutes for the Care of the Poor, and sent his second son to join the eldest at the same kind of school at which he (the father) had been so well trained. About the same date he bought a new edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica and carefully compiled a list of facts and figures showing that idealists and all new-fangled ideas were the greatest danger to the increasing trade and expansion of the Empire.

At the age of fifty he took a house at Surbiton and was continually congratulated on his hale and hearty appearance. His opinions were known and respected by all who met him. His sons were models of what the children of such a father should be, and they supported him in every argument.

At the age of fifty-two he retired from business. A month later he had an idea; and it so interfered with all his opinions, and so affected his general health, that he died.

Edgar J. Saxon.


He stopped smoking tobacco on the second day, and does not mean to resume its use. Of course he had no alcohol in any form during the fast, but he never has taken much alcohol, although he was not a pledged abstainer. The temperature was taken many times and seems to have been almost always subnormal, about 97 degrees Fahr., but this is not so unusual a condition as to call for comment. The chief cause of a subnormal temperature, in my opinion, is blocking of the body with too much food. No doubt in prolonged fasting the temperature may fall also; but sometimes a fast will be the cause of raising a subnormal bodily temperature, as happened in a case of mine in which on the twenty-eighth day of the fast there was a large elimination of urates by the kidneys and a rise of temperature from 96 degrees to 98.4 degrees. Subnormal bodily temperature has not received the attention which it deserves. It is usually one of the forerunners, or prodromata as they are called, of the onset of incurable diseases like cancer, Bright's disease or apoplexy. The commonly accepted view that the heat of the body depends upon the food, and that people eat blubber in the Arctic and Antarctic regions to keep the bodily heat up, is one of the chief causes for neglect of the study of subnormal temperature. And it is quite surprising that physiologists have not thought it necessary to explain why nature has provided sugar and palm oil and cocoa-nut oil and ground-nut oil in the tropical regions, as well as abundance of olive oil in the warm temperate regions of the earth if these foods keep the bodily heat up. They ought to have been more abundantly supplied in the Arctic and Antarctic regions if the accepted view is correct. Besides, if we must eat blubber to keep bodily heat up in the Arctic regions when the outside temperature is 50 or 100 or more degrees lower than that of the body, what ought we to eat in the tropics to keep bodily heat down when the outside temperature is 50 or even 80 degrees above that of the body? Physiologists have not explained this, although assuredly an explanation is wanted. But the true explanation, the correct explanation, would have demolished the doctrine that bodily heat is due to the food, and so it has not been given. It is too simple to imagine that the bodily heat is, like the body itself and all its functions, the effect of the life-force that inhabits the body and builds up the body so that the body shall be a fit dwelling-place for itself—this explanation is too simple and too idealistic for modern science, which is less and less disposed, we are told, to invoke the aid of a force of life to account for vital phenomena, although it assumes an attracting force to account for gravitating phenomena, and an electric and chemic force to account for electric and chemic phenomena. Modern science (and ancient science, too, apparently) which sees well enough that an idealistic or a materialistic explanation would equally account for the nexus of the phenomena of the universe, deliberately and almost invariably prefers the materialistic explanation. She is anxious that we should be kept free of superstition. But the superstition that forces are the effects of things does not seem to distress her at all. And so we are told that gravitation is a property of matter, and are forbidden to think that perhaps gravitation, a force, procreates matter, a thing, in order that the effects of the fore may be perceived by dull sense. We are told that the function of the liver and the brain depends on the structure of the liver and the brain respectively and we are not allowed to think that perhaps the force of animal life, feeling the need of an instrument to secrete bile, on the one hand, and to secrete cerebral lymph to act as a vehicle for the conveyance of thought and emotion and higher things, on the other, introduces the liver with its elaborate structure and the brain with its still more complicated structure, in order that both the one function and the other may be well performed. And so, although all forms of kinetic energy (and among them zoo-dynamic, or the force of animal life) manifest warmth and luminosity as qualities, science attributes animal heat to chemic force and refuses to consider that perhaps zoo-dynamic uses chemico-dynamic for its own purposes, even if these purposes are unconscious, because the higher force always dominates the lower. Properly speaking, science is out of her sphere, though she does not seem to know it, in making these suggestions. When she keeps herself to the investigation of facts, their exposition, their sequence and their laws, in her painstaking and accurate manner, we accept her revelations thankfully, and beg her to allow us to make our own philosophic and other explanations in attempting to account for the existence, sequences and relations of the facts of life.

After his return home, patient continued to gain weight, as might have been expected. On the seventeenth day after ending the fast he weighed 140 lbs. and on the nineteenth day 144 lbs. On that day he received from a hospital a report that the reaction of the physiologico-pathological test was negative. This has naturally had a great effect on the patient; and it is worthy of very careful consideration. Of course one negative result may not be conclusive although it was positive before the fast. But if the result should be repeated, and especially if it should prove to be permanent, the importance of the fact can hardly be exaggerated, since the suggestion arises in our minds that perhaps we may be able to cure profound blood-poisoning by fasting, neither the usual treatment nor the use of Salvarsan enabling the investigator to say that the result of the pathological reaction was negative; but this has followed after a heroic fast of 56 days. The result if confirmed would not be unique. Quite recently I saw a specific ulcer close to the ankle-joint for which operation had been recommended. It seemed to me that operation would be likely to open the joint, and that therefore it was a risky proceeding. But under a restriction of the diet, putting the young man on barley-water for a few days and then advising him to eat once a day only, the ulcer became very much smaller, and no operation has had to be performed. Blood-poisoning of this nature, of course, is not caused by improper nutrition, but it may readily be believed to be aggravated by the ordinary conventional over-feeding to which, so far as I can see, we are all subjecting ourselves, especially as persons who put themselves in the way of contracting blood-poisoning do not generally belong to the class of those who are attracted by the suggestion that it is noble to keep the body under, and that if we do not strive to keep the body under, it will be very likely to keep us under. Although we shall be liable to be infected, however we live, still we may believe that we shall be more likely to be badly infected (if we put ourselves in the way of contracting disease) if we have been previously subjected to the bad effects of over-feeding. This consideration renders a possible cure by fasting, a not impossible suggestion. And if, therefore, we have in fasting the suggestion of a remedy which offers us the hope of eradicating such a fearful disease from the human system, it certainly behoves us to make use of it.

As a rule it seems to me that bad forms of blood-poisoning of this nature are incurable. In three or four generations they destroy the strain affected by it, do what we will. Meantime it shows all the signs and symptoms of a hereditary disease, for the children are born suffering, showing a coppery rash, and old before they are young. And when they get a little older they have no bridges to their noses, their teeth are ill-formed, their vision is imperfect, their intellects dull. It seems as if nature could not forgive crimes of this nature. She seems to treat them as the unpardonable sin. If we find cancer appearing in a family at 55 years of age in 3 or 4 successive generations, there is no proof of heredity in that. Inquire and see if like causes acting on like organisms in 3 or 4 successive generations have not produced the disease each time. The children are not born cancerous, and our efforts to prevent the disease may succeed. But children often are born with specific disease, and there is no doubt at all about its being a hereditary disease. Even now I should not like to sanction marriage in the case of this man who has heroically fasted for 56 days, although he seems for the present to have got rid of his disease. But the outlook is hopeful, more hopeful than I thought, and in the hope that the suggestion may convey a message of hope to those who are willing to do penance for crimes against the body, I send out these remarks. The opinion expressed by the patient that he was getting rid of the Salvarsan which had been injected into his blood to cure his disease is, of course, his own only. I offer no opinion upon it. But I think the whole case very instructive, and it will be deeply interesting to follow it up with special regard to the inquiry whether the pathological test remains negative. The reflective reader of these remarks will need no hint from me to suggest how a study of questions of this sort raises in our minds all sorts of other questions, physical, metaphysical, philosophical, social, religious; what are laws of nature, how they come to be what they are, whether they can be disregarded without paying the penalty, and whether we men are bond or free. Each of us will settle these questions for ourselves, for each of us is responsible for his own conclusion. But as to the inevitableness with which such questions do rise in our minds, I take it there can be no difference of opinion.

A. Rabagliati.


For the benefit of new readers it seems well to explain that this series of articles is not intended for the instruction of experienced housewives. It was started at the special request of a reader who asked for “a little book on housekeeping, for those of us who know nothing at all about it; and put in all the little details that are presumably regarded as too trivial or too obvious to be mentioned in the ordinary books on domestic economy.”

XXI. Hired Help.

It does not seem proper to conclude the present series of articles without touching upon the “servant problem,” but I do not pretend to be able to solve it. It is a problem usually very difficult of solution by the homemaker of small means. If she has but few persons to cater for, and is not the mother of a young family, she is often very much better off without hired help, except for a periodical charwoman. But it is not always indispensable to the woman who has other duties besides housekeeping.

I am not here concerned with the housewife who can afford to keep more than one efficient servant. Indeed, I am hardly concerned with one who can employ a really good “general” at from £20 to £25 per annum. The person I am concerned with is the homemaker who can afford at most to employ an inexperienced young girl at from £10 to £14 per annum.

I will draw the worst side of the picture first, for although it is the worst side it is true enough, as so many harassed housewives know.

The young “general” often comes straight from a council school where domestic economy had no place in the curriculum, and from a home in name only. Such an one is usually slatternly and careless in all her ways, has no idea of personal cleanliness, and regards her “mistress” as, more or less, her natural enemy! She is “in service” only under compulsion, and envies those of her schoolmates whose more fortunate circumstances have enabled them to become “young lady” shop assistants, typists and even elementary school teachers. If she had her choice she would prefer labour in a factory to domestic work; but either a factory is not available, or the girl's parents consider “service” more “respectable” in spite of its hardships. Its hardships? Yes, it is its hardships that account for its peculiar unpopularity. For there are hardships connected with domestic service in small households that do not apply to other forms of much harder labour.

Everyone who is familiar with the small lower middle-class household knows how often the life of the little “general” resembles that of an animal rather than a human being. All day long she drudges in a muddling, inefficient way, continually scolded for her inefficiency yet never really taught how to do anything properly. Her work is never done, for she is always at the beck and call of her employers; yet she lives apart in social isolation, is referred to contemptuously as the “slavey,” and even her food is dispensed to her grudgingly and minus the special dainties bought for Sundays and holidays. This is domestic service at its worst, of course, but the prevalence of such “places” in actual fact is undoubtedly at the root of the young girl's objection to it. How can she help gleaning the impression that such work is “menial,” when her employers more or less openly despise her? Being human, how can she but envy those of her old friends who have their evenings to themselves? What contentment can she find in a life of drudgery unenlightened by intelligent interest in learning how to do something well? What wonder that all her hopes and ambitions become centred in the possession of a “young man,” and that reason—stunted from its birth for lack of room to grow—being entirely absent from her choice, she marries badly and too young, and becomes the mother of a numerous progeny as helpless, hopeless, stunted and inefficient as herself?

Some conscientious women try to remedy this state of things by treating the girls they take into their homes as “one of the family.” This may answer well sometimes, but it has its drawbacks, both for the girl and the “family.” Husband and wife, brother and sister, inevitably find the constant presence of a stranger with whom they have little in common very irksome. While the girl herself is equally conscious of restraint when forced to spend her leisure time with her employers. She would usually infinitely prefer the solitude of the kitchen, if combined with a good fire, a comfortable chair and a story book.

Among the girls I have spoken to on the subject I have not found “socialist” households popular. One girl I met refused to stay in such a place for longer than three days, because she “never had the kitchen to herself.” Another told me that she found it intensely boring to take meals with the family, because she was not interested in the things they talked about.

I think that the ultimate solution of the “servant problem” will not be that every woman will do all her own housework, but that domestic work will become, on the one hand, very much simplified and, on the other, will be put on the same footing as teaching, nursing or secretarial work. That we are beginning to move in this direction is evidenced by the coming into existence of schools of domestic economy, to which “ladies” do not disdain to resort for training. This will undoubtedly result in domestic labour becoming a much higher-priced commodity than it is now, the housewife will have to pay at least as much for three hours help per day as she now does for nine hours, but the fact that the help will be skilled, combined with the greater simplicity of housework, will surely more than compensate for this.

But what is the homemaker of limited means, who must have some help, to do under present conditions? This we must consider next month.

Florence Daniel.


Under this heading Dr Knaggs deals briefly month by month, and according as space permits, with questions of general interest.

Correspondents are earnestly requested to write on one side only of the paper, giving full name and address, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. When an answer is required by post a stamped addressed envelope must be enclosed.—[Eds.]


Miss L.C. writes:—I should be deeply indebted to you if you would advise me in the following matter. I have been suffering from a recurrence of boils on different parts of my body during the last six months. I have consulted a local doctor, but he can find no reason for their appearance, but suggested I should try a mixed diet, to include some animal food, rather than adhere to vegetarianism as I have done for some two years past.

My diet is about as follows:—

On rising.—Tumblerful of hot water.

Breakfast (eight o'clock).—One egg, toasted bread (wholemeal) and butter, with either a little lettuce or marmalade and either weak tea or cocoa.

Lunch (one o'clock).—Steamed green or root vegetable, with cheese sauce or macaroni cheese or similar savoury, or nuts. Boiled or baked pudding or stewed fruit with custard or blanc mange.

Tea (four o'clock).—Tea or cocoa, with or without a little bread and butter and cake.

Supper (7 o'clock).—Vegetable soup, milk pudding and a little cheese, butter and salad and wholemeal bread.

I am forty-nine years of age, lead a fairly active life, frequently taking walking exercise. I am very tall and weigh twelve stone. Have had no serious illness, but been more or less anæmic all my life.

If you can tell me whether there is anything wrong in connection with my diet and suggest the cause of, and treatment for, the boils I shall be exceedingly obliged.

In order to help this correspondent to permanently get rid of these boils, we must first ascertain what those troublesome manifestations are and look to the causes which produce them.

A boil is a small, tense, painful, inflammatory swelling appearing in or upon the skin, and is due to the local death or gangrene of a small portion of the skin's surface. This eventually comes away in the form of a core, and, until this has cleared away, the boil will not heal or cease to be painful.

Boils occur chiefly on the neck, arms or buttocks. If very large they are known as carbuncles, and if they occur on the fingers or toes they are described as whitlows. It is often the friction of a frayed-out collar or cuff, of tight waist clothing, or, in the case of whitlows, the introduction of some irritant or poison between the nail and the skin that determines the precise site at which they will come.

Boils, although rarely dangerous to life, are usually accompanied by pain severe out of all proportion to the extent of surface involved. This gives rise to much broken rest and loss of vitality, which at once ceases when the boil has finished its course. Boils usually occur in series or crops.

Now large numbers of people wear collars and cuffs with frayed edges, or handle irritants with their fingers, but they do not necessarily contract boils or whitlows. Therefore, we see that there must be other factors to be taken into consideration to account for their presence. The orthodox germ-loving practitioner may tell you that a boil is a purely local disorder and that a certain form of microbe, known as the Staphylococcus pyogenes, is the cause of it. This germ, he asserts, lives normally on the surface of the skin and, when this surface becomes broken, it enters the part and infects it, thereby starting the boil.

If this is true every person who wears old collars or dabbles his hands in dirt should without exception contract boils. This is obviously untrue.

The factor to be considered, then, is this. What is it that induces boils in one person and not in another under identical circumstances? The answer is obvious. The boil is not a local disease at all, but is a manifestation of some constitutional defect, or of some impurity of the blood stream, which enables this microbe to find a congenial breeding ground.

The people who suffer most from boils are young or middle-aged adults, and we usually find the two extremes among sufferers. There is the full-blooded, often overfed, individual and there is the pale, debilitated and emaciated person whose constitution is broken down by worry, overwork, sexual troubles, unhealthy surroundings or badly selected foods.

If we inquire into the constitutional history of these cases we shall almost invariably discover that the digestive or assimilative processes of the body are not working smoothly. This may be due to the worry or overwork, or to unhealthy surroundings which dis-harmonise the digestive and nutritive functions, or to nervous exhaustion from one cause or another, or it may be due to the wrong diet, which is filling the colon (or large bowel) with fermenting poisons.

When the body is clogged in this manner nature often proceeds to get rid of the accumulating waste through the skin. By a vigorous effort on the part of the life-force the impurity is thrown outwards to the surface. Looked at in this light a boil is really a most salutary cleansing agent, and the Nature-Cure practitioner, who calls it a “Crisis,” often does everything in his power to produce boils when treating chronic diseases.

The alternative is often some more deeply seated form of elimination, resulting in serious organic disease of the organs or tissues. One of the first signs of improvement in disorders like diabetes, consumption, arthritis, Bright's disease, or even cancer, is the appearance of boils, showing that the vitality has improved to an extent sufficient to enable the foreign matter to be expelled by means of relatively harmless boils. The hydropathic expert also tries to induce this condition by means of his mustard and water packs.

If our correspondent wants to rid herself of her boils she must adopt all means to improve her vitality and to cleanse her body of its impurities. She can do this along many lines. She can take a holiday and rest from her work; or by positive thinking she can set to work to get rid of her worries. She can learn to laugh as often as possible, and to breathe deeply, slowly and fully. If her house is unsanitary she should make it sanitary, or move elsewhere.

Then she must restrict her diet and take only those forms of food which create a minimum amount of poison in the system. She must cleanse the colon daily with warm water enemas, and encourage the action of the kidneys in doing their rightful part in the elimination of poisons by the drinking of distilled water or a good herbal tea on rising, and of clear vegetable broth at night.

Clay packs, applied cold, are the best form of treatment for application to the boils themselves. They should never be cut or squeezed, as this only intensifies the trouble. Hot applications, as poultices, are bad, because they induce the boil to mature prematurely, and also are conducive to reinfection of the skin in other parts. Drugs or medicines are of very little use in the treatment of boils, because they do not go to the root of the trouble. The only remedy that I have found of any avail is yeast. In former times this was taken in the form of fresh or dried brewers' yeast, and it was, if unpleasant, a very effectual remedy. Yeast yields a free supply of what is called nuclein and nucleinic acid. These, chemically, are identical with the same substances found in the human cells. Nuclein is a powerful antiseptic. It has been found that the toxins or emanations from diphtheria and other deadly germs are precipitated and destroyed by nucleinic acid.

It is for this reason that yeast extracts, such as Marmite, often have a beneficial effect in disorders accompanied by the formation of pus matter.

Our correspondent's diet should be amended as follows:—

On rising.—A cupful of unseasoned Marmite.

Breakfast.—One scrambled or lightly poached egg with stale, yeast-made, wholemeal bread and nut butter, with lettuce or other salad food. No marmalade; no tea or coffee.

Lunch.—1 to 2 oz. of grated cheese or flaked pine kernels, finely shredded raw cabbage, or grated radishes, or grated raw roots with oil and lemon dressing. No cooked savouries, no puddings, nor stewed fruit with custard or blanc mange should be taken.

Tea Meal.—Cupful of Marmite, only.

Supper.—Clear, unseasoned, vegetable broth, with Veda or wholemeal bread, or Granose biscuits, with nut butter and some fresh fruit.

At bedtime.—A cupful of Marmite.

Note.—The unseasoned Marmite should be used, as the ordinary kind is rather heavily salted.


Mrs H.W. writes:—I should be very glad if you would give me enlightenment on one or two points about my diet. I am suffering from a somewhat dilated stomach, also a catarrhal condition of nose, throat and alimentary canal, with constipation and much flatulence in the bowels. My teeth are decaying quickly, my nails have got softer, and I have become anæmic and generally debilitated, being unable to properly assimilate my food. All my joints crack when moved, and the knee joints creak as well. Is this a uric acid condition, or do you think it merely due to a lack of nourishment, causing a lack of synovial fluid? The joints are not swollen and not painful, they merely crack. My whole system seems to be over-acid, and my mouth gets sore and ulcerated. I have got very thin, having lost a stone in twelve months.

I notice that you always advise for dilated stomach greatly restricting the liquid part of the diet. Will you tell me just how much one may drink in a day, because when I go without drinking my constipation and other troubles are worse and the urine gets thick and muddy.

You also deprecate milk. This puzzled me until you explained to a correspondent last month in The Healthy Life. Will you tell me if the same applies to dried milk—will it tend to increase intestinal trouble? I am anxious to know this because I have been relying somewhat on Emprote and Hygiama lately, for I had got so that I could scarcely digest anything.

Do you consider it better to use the enema than to take a mild aperient? I do not want to start with the enema again if I can possibly manage to do without, because I found that my bowels depended upon it. And that is why I want to ask if it is absolutely necessary when on an antiseptic diet to entirely avoid fruit. I find it so necessary to keep the bowels working naturally.

I do want you to answer me these questions, because I have got so worried and fearful (people's theories are so varied) that I scarcely dare eat any food at all. I am at present taking only two meals daily (I like the two-meal plan best): at eleven a.m. and 6 p.m. I take a cup of weak coffee on rising, without milk or sugar—this warm drink seems to start the peristaltic action and I then get bowel action. I think of changing the coffee for Sanum Tonic Tea or Dandelion Coffee.

At eleven o'clock I have an egg with Winter's “Maltweat” bread and almond butter, and some conservatively cooked vegetable (celery or carrot or spinach).

At six p.m. I have one or two baked apples, a teaspoonful or two of malted nuts, or Emprote, and more “Maltweat” bread and butter.

At four p.m. I take a cup of barley water or carrot water, and at bedtime another cup of barley water.

Do you think that if I went on to a milk diet for a time it would do good?

This correspondent seems to be suffering from auto-toxæmia, or self-poisoning in a severe form, and a condition of what is termed arterio-sclerosis or premature old age. Associated with it are evidently symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which is affecting her joints and teeth. It is not one of ordinary gout or uric acid poisoning. The trouble no doubt has been caused by past errors of diet, so that the present efforts at reform have come too late to be of service to her. Something more than diet is now needed to clear the acids and toxins from the system. It is not a simple case of digestive catarrh, for the whole body is affected. The present diet will answer very well as it stands.

The first thing to do is to obtain a well-fitting dilatation belt. This must have leg straps and firmly support the lower half of the abdomen. The next thing is to promote skin action so as to encourage the clearing out of poisons along this line of elimination. Vapour baths, wet-sheet packs or alkaline hot baths can effect this purpose. An alkaline hot bath should be of a temperature of 105 degrees Fahr. or more, and to the bath should be added ¼ lb. of bicarbonate of soda and ¼ lb. packet of “Robin” starch. She should remain as long as possible in this so as to well clear the acids from the skin and induce as much skin action or perspiration as possible. The first baths must be of very short duration, and she should be careful to avoid chill after the bath; it is best to lie prone and completely relaxed for half-an-hour at least after the bath. Finally massage and Swedish movements directed to the entire back will help to disencumber the central nervous system, which is evidently very badly depleted of its vital force. It is, of course, a pity the correspondent cannot get away to a properly organised Nature-Cure home and have the continuous attention and treatment which her condition really necessitates.

H. Valentine Knaggs.


Amanzimtoti, Natal.

To the Editors.


You will see that your little magazine finds its way even to this out-of-the-way corner of the globe, and you may be sure that it is appreciated. I am specially interested in Dr V. Knaggs' contributions and should like to ask him a few questions. May I say that I have some knowledge of chemistry and that I try and take an interest in the scientific aspects of food reform.

(1) P. 237. What grounds has Dr Knaggs for speaking so definitely about human magnetism and that of vegetables? How would he recognise or test for either, and where can I get further information (scientific) on the question of food magnetism.

(2) Same page. Dr Knaggs says salt added to cooking vegetables converts organic salts into inorganic. I cannot follow that. What organic salts are so converted? One or two examples would suffice.

(3) I have been reading Dr Rabagliati's Conversations with Women Concerning their Health and that of their Children.[8] In it he says that food is not the source (cause) of body energy, but is used merely to replace waste material. Elsewhere I read that “Professor Atwater's investigations into nutrition have shown in a most convincing manner that the body derives all its energy from the food consumed. This may be regarded as established.” Which of these definite and contradictory assertions does Dr Knaggs support, and why? Where can I get information re Professor Atwater's experiments and other recent works on similar subjects?

To me the questions involved are intensely interesting, hence my queries. I hope they do not read as if I were hypercritical or sceptical.

With all good wishes for the success of your healthy little magazine. I am, yours, etc.,

W. Blewett.

[8] 5s. net. C.W. Daniel, Ltd., 3 Amen Corner, London.

We handed the above interesting letter to our contributor, Dr H. Valentine Knaggs, and append his reply:—

Human Magnetism.

There is very little information available from ordinary scientific sources anent the question of the life-force or of the animal magnetism which animates our bodies and is the motive force common to all organic structures whether animal or vegetable. We do know that fresh fruits and vegetables are strongly magnetic because the magnetism which they emit can be gauged by means of delicate galvanometers. It has been found that leaves, flowers and seeds are positively, and roots negatively, charged. We also know that the same conditions are found in the human subject, since Dr Baraduc, who is a celebrated French Psycho-Therapeutist, in his book, “The Vibrations of Human Vitality,” tells us that he has invented a machine called a biometer to test these very vibrations. I have had one of these machines myself and have experimented with it a great deal. By its aid we can make the machine work differently with different persons, and by careful tabulation of records Dr Baraduc has been able to elicit some very remarkable information about the magnetic currents which are constantly flowing into and out of the human body. If our correspondent really wants to know more about the wonders of human magnetism he should read some of the voluminous literature upon the subject published by the Theosophical Society. Just recently also a Dr Kilner has invented a form of coloured screen by which he and others who have some psychic sight can actually see the magnetic emanations which flow through a person placed in a darkened room.

Salt-cooked Vegetables.

The one object of the vegetable kingdom is to build up, for the use of the animal or organic realm, the constituents found in the mineral or inorganic kingdom. These mineral constituents are dissolved, sorted out and built up in the right proportions for the use of animals when taken as foods. Whenever these foods are not so eaten they are sent back again to the earth by the aid of microbes during the process of decay, to be again available for plant use. Cooking is a process invented by man which is analogous to that of decay, for it dissolves and disintegrates the structures which Nature has built up. When man eats food that is partially disintegrated he does not obtain from it the right sort of nutriment which Nature intended him to have. To intensify the wrong-doings of the cook, man further hastens the disintegrating process by adding to the things that he cooks a due proportion of a common and very stable mineral, called salt. It is powerful, because it is not easily disintegrated. The salt greatly expedites the process of decay, whether in the natural form of fermentation, or whether by the application of heat, as in cooking. Salt is used in Nature to promote the flow of those electric and magnetic currents which are a manifestation of the universal life-force which pervades all things seen and unseen. It is an essential constituent of the sea because the ocean is the life-blood of the earth. It is an essential constituent of our own blood, because it is needed to make the blood stream a good conductor of magnetic currents. When you put this salt into water and then proceed to boil vegetables in it, it quickly sucks out all the life-force from them, and if persisted in reduces them to the state of minerals from which they were originally constructed.

Food and the Source of Bodily Energy.

Dr Rabagliati and Professor Atwater are, I believe, both right, but the former does not always explain himself clearly to the lay mind. The life-force or animal magnetism is the real source of bodily energy, and it manifests itself only when it has something that resists or regulates its flow.

It does this just as certain forms of wire, or other materials, which possess indifferent conducting power, resist the flow of electricity through them.

Electricity cannot manifest as light in the usual electric lights used in our houses, as heat in the electric culinary appliances or stoves, or even as power in the motors which run our trams and trains, unless it be given the requisite apparatus to bring about the manifestation required.

In exactly the same way life cannot manifest itself as consciousness, with its flow of thoughts, emotions and bodily activities, without the food which is daily supplied to the body.

It consequently depends considerably upon how we select our daily rations as to how this vital force will manifest within us.

H. Valentine Knaggs.


A Sun Bath needs no Soap.

Man was made for the Weather, not the Weather for man.

A long drink often makes a short walk.

You may bring a man to the Sea, but you cannot make him think.

A tanned face doesn't make a healthy body.

Dew paddling should be done in the dark.

The only things that bathing machines make are cowards.

It is better to board yourself than let others be bored by you.

“A bore is one who thinks his opinions of greater importance than your own.”

People who throw pebbles into the sea shouldn't dive near shore.

A toothbrush is what many forget but few should need.

Scotland Yard is not in the Grampians.

Cheap food is often dearly bought.

Lyons have no depôts in Skye.

Orange-trees never yet sprang from scattered peel.

A pear in the hand is worth two in the can.

Peter Piper.

Vol. V
No. 26
The Independent Health Magazine
3 Amen Corner London E.C.

There will come a day when physiologists, poets, and philosophers will all speak the same language and understand one another.Claude Bernard.


Food reformers sometimes forget that “man does not live by bread alone,” not even when supplemented by an ample supply of fresh air and physical exercise.

It has been pointed out by psychologists that the more highly organised and highly developed the creature, the less it depends on nervous energy obtained via the stomach and the more it depends on energy generated by the brain. True, the brain must be healthy for this, and one poisoned by impure blood, due to wrong feeding, cannot be healthy. But something more than clean blood is necessary. For, as change of physical posture is necessary to avoid cramped limbs, so periodic reversal of mental attitude (consideration from other than the one view-point) is necessary to the brain's health.

Again, change of air is often prescribed when the patient's real need is a change of the personalities surrounding him. While for the lonely country dweller a bath in the magnetism of a city crowd may be a far more efficacious remedy than the medicinal baths prescribed by his physician.

For man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.—[Eds.]


Regular readers will recognise in this article a continuation of the series previously entitled “Healthy Brains.” The author of “The Children All Day Long,” is an intimate disciple of one of the greatest living psychologists, and she has a message of the first importance to all who realise that true health depends as much on poise of mind as on physical fitness. We regret that in the previous article, “Imagination in Play,” the following misprints occurred:—P. 475, line 4 from top, “movement” should be “moment”; p. 475, line 5 from bottom, “admiration” should be “imagination.”—[Eds.]

Some people are given to excusing their own uncharitable thoughts by saying, “I suppose I ought not to have minded her rudeness; I am afraid I am too sensitive.” In the same way, people say, “Oh, I couldn't sleep in the house alone” (or let a child go on a water-picnic, or nurse a case of delirium or do some other thing that suggested itself), “I have too much imagination.” In both cases the claim, though put in deprecating form, is made complacently enough. The correlative is: “You are so sensible, dear; I know you won't mind,” which is a formula under cover of which many kindnesses may be shirked and many unpleasant duties passed on.

The sensible, practical people who listen to these sayings sometimes attach importance to them, so that a habit has grown up of describing morbidly neurotic people as “over-sensitive” and cowardly ones as “too quick of imagination.” Ultimately, this leads to the thought that both sensitiveness and imagination are mental luxuries too costly for ordinary folk to grow, and that it is safest to check, crush or uproot them when we discover them springing up in others or in ourselves.

Is not this attitude of mind due to a misunderstanding? Imagination is an organ of activity; it can be kept in the highest possible condition of health by having plenty of exercise; it should be working continually against resistance. A rabbit's gnawing tooth, if the opposing tooth be broken, may grow inwards and cause the creature's death, but the same activity of growth, if working under suitable conditions, enables him to go on living and gnawing at his food year after year without wearing his tools away.

The problem, then, in economy of effort is: How shall we use whatever force of sensitiveness and imagination we have, so as to get its maximum efficiency of usefulness and its minimum pain and inconvenience?

For many ages man has been dominated by fear. His way to freedom, now, is to step out through his cobweb chains and go right forward with courage and in faith. So we are told with relentless and almost tiresome reiteration. It is the fashion, one might almost say, to have cast off fear, and the one thing an honest “modern thinker” is afraid of is being afraid. (To less honest ones it is the thought of being thought afraid that is a very real and present fear.)

But, if this standpoint is right, is not fear at least a vestigial organ, a survival of a mental activity which served its purpose in times gone by? Is it not even truer to go further still and say, as each particular fear serves its purpose it may safely be discarded, but that, as far as our present knowledge goes, other grades of sensitiveness, finer shades of imagination of the type we have called fear, must take its place, to be discarded in their turn for yet other apprehensions?

For if we lost the kind of perception that we associate with fear, if our imagination closed itself automatically to the suggestion of all sorts of ugly possibilities, should we not find ourselves soon in the midst of difficulties akin to those of the hero of the German tale of the man who felt no pain? We accept the evidence of pain as a guide to action; when we have decided on action we proceed to get rid of the pain as expeditiously, safely and permanently as we can.

The same thing seems true of fear. Over and over again we laugh at ourselves for fearing something that either never happened at all or happened in such a way as to be softened out of all likeness to the monstrous terror we had created. On the other hand, when misfortune falls heavily because of our lack of imagination in not foreseeing possible consequences of particular actions or events, we lament and complain: “If I could only have guessed! If I had only known!”

Fear pure and simple—the imagination of possible trouble—is a stage we can hardly yet afford to do without. But when it has roused our attention to a danger, its work is done. Let us practise turning it into action; taking due precautions against accident, guarding against hurting a neighbour's feelings, watching some possibility of evil tendency in ourselves. Then, and not till then, may we let it drop. It may pass; it has done its work. It is no longer our responsibility to foresee, it is our privilege to lay down the fear and live happily and at peace.

Even the dread perceptions of eternal laws come under the same method. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” the beginning: the end is faith and love.

E.M. Cobham.

To Our Readers.

Readers who appreciate the independence and all-round nature of The Healthy Life can materially assist the extension of its circulation by tactfully urging their local newsagent to have the magazine regularly displayed for sale. An attractive monthly poster can always be had free from the Publishers, 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.


The article (signed “M.D.”) with the above title which we published in the July number has, as we anticipated, aroused considerable discussion. One interesting criticism appeared in the August number. We now publish two further contributions, to be followed, in our next issue, by two further articles by Dr Rabagliati and Mr Ernest Starr.—[Eds.]


As one who has tried the low proteid diet, and came to grief on it, I desire to set my experience against that of Mr Voysey,[9] and to assert that, if it is true for him, it certainly is not true for me. Mr Voysey indulges in many loose and generalised statements which do not help the average man or woman in the least. I imagine it is these that “M.D.” has in mind when he advises a certain standard of diet, below which it is not safe to go. If Mr Voysey can, as Horace Fletcher can, exist on a very low proteid diet, that does not prove that all men and women can do the same and be healthily active; it only shows that he and Fletcher are exceptions to the average person, and that it may be dangerous to follow their example. For most men, “M.D.'s” proteid standard is not so nauseating as he finds it. Here is a specimen dietary for a day, for a man of ten stone, following, as most of us do, a sedentary occupation:—

Will any average person say that that quantity, divided into three meals, would be nauseating to him? And is that diet so very expensive that it would be beyond the means of an agricultural labourer in any country? It is certainly no mockery. The cost to such a labourer would probably not exceed 3d. or 4d. Of course the diet can be made as expensive as one chooses, and widely varied.

[9] See August number.

Who amongst ordinary men and women has a reliable natural taste that would be an infallible guide in all matters of food? And what a misleading statement that is which asserts “that all the hardest work of the world has always been done by those who get the least food.” Put it to the test on the average person and see where it leads to.

My contention is that the average person, throwing over his or her accustomed meat diet, requires some definite guidance as to the quantity of proteid, such as Dr Haig's wide experience and much patient research have proved needful, or at least advisable, for the continuance of a healthy and vigorous life; and I will say that it does not help this average person in the least to put before him the misty statement that “the quantity depends on the development that is in progress, and is only discoverable by the natural guides of appetite and taste, ruled by reason and love of others.” All very noble and very well in another place, but hardly meeting the case of the ordinary person who is seeking a healthy diet. Nor can you “make the body a more harmonious instrument for the true life of man” by habitually underfeeding it. I thought that was a mediæval notion that had been knocked on the head long ago.

Is there any man, lay or scientific, Mr Voysey notwithstanding, who can claim to have as wide an experience of diet in its relation to health and disease as “M.D.,” to say nothing of the trained mind and long years of patient thought that have been exerted in dealing with the facts of this wide experience. For myself, I have come to see that, if “M.D.” does not hold in his grasp the absolute truth in the matter of diet, he is nearer to it, and is a safer guide, than all your low proteid advisers, lay or otherwise, where they come much below “M.D.'s” standard.

So, using Mr Voysey's phrases, I would urge laymen like myself to shun that weak-kneed manikin, the low proteid diet, and unite with me in a long strong pull to get him and others like him out of the rut in which that sorry weakling holds him.

Hy. Bartholomew.


The Editors were quite right in saying that the article under this heading in the July issue would arouse discussion. My wife and I, having discussed “M.D.” and many others with the title, feel constrained to put forth a warning against blind faith in anything which the faculty have to say on dietetics.

There are of course brilliant exceptions, such as Dr Rabagliati, Dr Knaggs, Dr Haig, the late Dr Keith and others, who give chapter and verse for every statement made; but when we consider the excellent work of laymen such as Albert Broadbent, Joseph Wallace, Horace Fletcher, Alice Braithwaite, Eustace Miles, Hereward Carrington, Edgar J. Saxon, Bernarr MacFadden, Arnold Eiloart, ordinary folks like ourselves may be excused if we venture to give our experience as against that of “qualified” men.

With your permission, then, we reply to “M.D.'s” five suggestions in the order he gives them:—

1. Food qualities are not of extreme importance.

2. Quantity tables may have been “settled” by physiologists to their own satisfaction many years ago; but very good reasons have since been given for altering, or even ignoring, them.

3. The particular number of grains of proteid to be consumed per day is not of serious moment.

4. That departure from the quantity specified has not led to disaster is proved by the fact that the human race still persists, in spite of the very varying eating customs found in different nations. The great majority being poor or ignorant, or both, know neither “tables” nor the need for them.

5. There can be no reply to such a general statement as: “The nature of this disaster may appear to be very various, and its real cause is thus frequently overlooked.”

In such matters an ounce of personal experience is worth a pound of cut-and-dried theory. We—my wife and I—have been reared in an atmosphere suspicious of doctors, both sets of grandparents having relied rather on herbs, water treatment, goodness of heart and faith in God; and their children have had too many evidences of medical ignorance to accept any dogmas. We are anti-vaccinators, nearly vegetarian, and, to come to the point, we have four children who will persist in thriving on a basis of always too little rather than too much of food. The respective ages are girl 13, boy 10, girl 6, boy 2.

All have been brought up on these lines: never pressed to eat, but continually asked to chew thoroughly. Foods “rich in proteid” put sparingly before them. Milk has been well watered; and eggs, bacon and other tempting and rich foods only on rare occasions given to them.

We would ask readers who can to make the following experiment: Let your children have a good drink to start the day, and then run and play; don't offer food till asked for. You will almost to a certainty find, if you start this plan immediately after weaning, that day by day and year after year it is twelve to one o'clock before they inquire for “something to eat.” We have done this for twelve years, with children of entirely different temperament and of both sexes. They go to school, poor things! breakfastless. During these twelve years light breakfast for father has been on the table—he goes without lunch—and not once in fifty do they ask to join him. Nor, if invited, will they after three or four years of age.

The have never had a fever which lasted more than a day or two, and they are all above average height and weight.

They get fruit in season just as asked for, and as much to drink as they like, but not at meal-times.

Our experience is over a period of twelve years, and we have come to the conclusion that the infectious diseases so prevalent and death-dealing amongst children of all classes, rich or poor, are, in the main, the result of over-feeding. We find it wise to keep highly nutritious foods (like eggs, cheese, meat, etc.) away from children—that is, for regular consumption; a little occasionally may do no harm.

You will have it borne in on our minds year by year, as your children grow up under such a plan, that Dr Rabagliati, Hereward Carrington and others are quite right. We do not get our strength, nor heat, from food. Let the force of animal life (zoo-dynamic, I believe Dr Rabagliati calls it) have free play, and your children can't help growing up well and strong.

In to-day's London Daily Chronicle I see a special article by Dr Saleeby, under this heading: World's Doctors versus Disease. 5000 Medical Men Meet To-day. The Triumphs of Three Decades. We know how much this wonderful faculty knew thirty years ago about, e.g., fresh air for consumptives. There is not a word said in this article (which is a sort of programme of the weighty matters for discussion) on the relation of food to the body. That question probably 4950 of them believe was settled by the eminent physiologists who compiled those “food-tables” years ago—and in so doing went far to pave the way for the modern frightful increase of cancer, Bright's disease, etc., as well as for “scientific” horrors like anti-toxin, tuberculin—not to mention compulsory eugenics!

J. Methuen.


Do many people consider reading from the point of view of health of mind and body—of refreshment in times of struggle—of recuperation after knock-down blows of sorrow, disappointment or misfortune?

Let us begin by saying that some of the greatest books are not to be read by everybody at all seasons. When one's heart or ankles are weak, one does not start to climb mountains, or one may end as a corpse or a cripple. So with one's soul under shock or stress. Personally, I can imagine nothing more cruel than the action of two women, one a story-teller of great repute among the “goody,” who, to a specially stricken and lonely young widow, tendered as “bed-side books,” Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Browning's poignant The Ring and the Book. If they had wished to make her realise to the bitterest depths the awfulness of the world wherein she was left alone, and the blackest depravity of the human nature around her, they could not have done differently. Les Miserables she read till she reached the dreadful scene where a vicious cad hurls snowballs at the helpless Fantine. Then the strong instinct of self-preservation made her put the book aside—not to touch it again for nearly thirty years. With The Ring and the Book her mind was too wrung and too weary to wrestle—all it could receive was a picture of wronged innocence, and especially of the rampant forces of evil with which she was left to contend. With the same want of tact and judgment, if with unconscious cruelty, the gloomy, fateful Bride of Lammermoor was selected out of all Scott's novels for the reading of a very homesick youth, solitary in a strange country!

Yet we must always remember that, as in affairs of the body so of the spirit, “what is one man's meat may be another man's poison.” Some of the wisest and most successful nurses or doctors will occasionally permit an invalid to indulge in a longed-for diet which would certainly never be prescribed. They know that idiosyncrasy follows no exactly known rule. So we could tell of one who, amid the dry agnosticism of the later half of last century, had felt her faith, not indeed extinguished, but obscured and darkened. From the perusal of certain writers she had shrunk, perhaps with cowardice. They were put on such a pinnacle that she feared she would find no arguments fit to oppose to theirs. Weakly, she locked the skeleton cupboard. Then she was attacked by a malady which, while leaving her mind free and strong, she knew might be very speedily fatal. Straightway she said to her husband: “In two or three days I shall probably ‘know’—or cease from all knowing. There will not be long to wait. Therefore bring me three books,” which she named, works of authors of extreme agnostic views. Rather reluctantly he complied with her wish. She went steadily through the joyless pages, turned the last with the significant remark: “If this is all they can say, well!—” The skeleton cupboard, once opened, was speedily swept out. She quickly recovered, but never forgot her experience. Yet it must be remembered that this was the patient's own prescription, and was permitted by one who thoroughly understood her temperament. Therefore, though one would never wish to overrule a strong personal desire, that is quite different from offering counsel and furtherance—or proving experiments upon oneself.

A celebrated woman writer of the middle of last century was of opinion that young people of both sexes should not indulge in reading “minor poetry.” “Let them keep to the great poets, made of granite,” was her graphic phrase. A woman of singularly self-controlled nature has confessed that the only time in her whole life that she experienced an unwholesome moral and emotional disturbance, after reading a book, was when, at about twenty-two years of age, she read Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. She dared not finish it: and when, some time later, a copy was presented to her, she caused it to be exchanged for another book, not wishing it even to be in the house with her. Years afterwards, she read it again, quite unmoved. It may be added that her first reading was made in the course of a systematic study of English literature, which had already led her through the works of Chaucer and Fielding. She has herself asked: “Is it possible that the strong and unpleasant effect was produced because the book was the production of another young woman, perhaps of somewhat ‘sympathetic’ temperament?”

Taken as a whole, probably most fiction and all highly emotional work of any sort should be indulged in sparingly by those in the danger-zone of life, or by any under special mental or moral stress. History, philosophy (with sustained chains of reasoning) and biographies (best, autobiographies) of active and strenuous lives, should be resorted to by those temporarily doomed to spells of suspense and involuntary inaction. Invalids should be encouraged to read Plutarch's Lives rather than the Memorials of other sufferers, however saintly!

It may be broadly stated that, during the tragic episodes which seem to occur in all lives, the most wholesome reading is to be found in the books of the great World-Religions—the Bible, and the teachings of Buddha, Confucius and Mahomet. The Bible is of course a library in itself, and many of its books are suited to very widely different circumstances and temperaments. The Psalms, the Gospels, the Epistle of St James, and parts of those great poems known as the “prophetical books” and the more personal and less doctrinal portions of Paul's epistles are perhaps of widest application. From the words of Buddha, Confucius and Mahomet there are many admirable selections—and one remembers a wonderful compilation of more than thirty years ago, called The Sacred Anthology, and wonders if it be out of print. It does not follow that these works should not be studied at other times than “tragic episodes.” If this were more often the case, perhaps there would be fewer “tragic episodes”!

Next to these come such wonderful books of spiritual experience as À Kempis's Imitation of Christ, the Pilgrim's Progress, the Devout Life of Francis of Sales and others which will occur to the memory.

Allusion to the Pilgrim's Progress brings us to the remark that no books are more truly wholesome than some that can be enjoyed by those of all ages, and of very varied types of “culture”: in which the children can delight, and which refresh the aged and weary. Like Nature herself, they have hedgerows where the little ones can gather flowers, little witting of the farther horizons of earth and sky lifted up for the eyes of the elders. Let the children read the Pilgrim's Progress simply as “a story,” its eternal verities will sink into their souls to reappear when they too are in Vanity Fair or in bitter conflict with Apollyon.

For the same reason, the Book of Proverbs should be commended to youthful study. Under wise supervision—or rather, in mutual study—it becomes at once a series of vivid pictures of primitive Eastern life—for all allusions should be explained, where possible, pictorially—while at the same time the memory will be insensibly stored with shrewd common sense and knowledge of the world, to be turned to, and drawn upon, as needed.

And then, while the children revel in the fun and the fancy of Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales, let the sorrowful or sore or wounded heart turn to them for solace, soothing or healing. Hans Andersen enjoys a very special “popularity” and yet some, who have learned to love and value him, doubt whether justice has yet been done to his work. Because it is matchless for the young, it may be easily forgotten that it can be so, only by some quality which makes it matchless for all others. Perhaps some of his most popular stories are not his most wonderful, but have simply caught the popular fancy, because of some artist's illustration, or some personal application to the writer's own history, as in the case of his Ugly Duckling. How many—or rather, how few!—can readily recall the pathos and wit of his Portuguese Duck or the deep philosophy of his Girl Who Trod on a Loaf?

It is told of Hans Andersen, a gentle soul in a homely exterior, which attracted the snubs and neglect which “patient merit of the unworthy takes,” on some such occasion was once heard to murmur: “And yet I am the greatest man now in the world!” It was very naive of him to say so, even in a whisper, probably wrung from him only in self-defence, but perhaps he might have thought it, in solemn silence—and—not been so very wrong! It may have been part of the very transparency of his inspired genius that he could not keep the secret to himself!

There is at least one reader who declares that she finds the seeds of all vital philosophy—ancient or modern—in his stories. How much he derived from those who went before him, it is not for us to say, but this disciple, herself a devoted student and admirer of the world's latest teacher, Leo Tolstoy, yet puts Hans Andersen above him, as having attained in practically all his work what Tolstoy attained only occasionally—i.e. Tolstoy's own ideal of what Art should be and do.

In such a paper as this little can be done beyond indicating on the broadest lines the kind of reading which tends to preserve or to restore mental health. Away with your “problem” novels and “realistic” poems stated in the filthy material of moral gutters! Hans Andersen will take some birds, some flowers, some toys, and will state the same problems, and get the same eternal solutions, without making the inquirer run any risk of meanwhile catching moral malaria. Isaiah will help us to build “castles” for the human race and for our own future, but he will take care that we shall remember that righteousness and unceasing vigilance and unflagging repair must go into the laying of foundations and the upholding of walls. David, even in his “cursing psalms,” will exemplify for you the power of hate and vengeance in your own heart, and as he holds it up before you, you will see how small a thing it is, how mean, how ludicrous!

As a man eats and drinks, so is his body: if he is a gross feeder, his body will be gross and sensual; if his food lacks nourishment, he will pine and fade. So it is with our minds and our morals. With whatever original “spiritual body” we may start, it needs spiritual sustenance, spiritual discipline, spiritual sufficiency and spiritual abstinence. Too often we ill-use it, as bodies are ill-used, goading its weakness with fiery excitement, or gorging its greed with sickly sentiment, or emasculating it by empty frivolity.

All who desire spiritual health must find out what books best promote it in themselves: and sometimes they are found, like wholesome herbs, in very lowly places. One good rule is never to recommend what we have not seen proved in ourselves, or on others.

Isabella Fyvie Mayo.


This fine sonnet is from Lyric Leaves, poems by S. Gertrude Ford. 2s. 6d. net (postage 2d.). (C.W. Daniel, Ltd., 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.)

Sing out thy swan-song with full throat, September,
From a full heart, with golden notes and clear!
No rose will wreathe thee; yet the harebell's here,
And still thy crown of heath the hills remember.
Bright burns thy fire, e'en to its latest ember,
The sunset fire that lights thee to thy bier,
Flaming and failing not, albeit so near
Dun-robed October waits, and grey November.
And though, at sight of thee, a chill change passes
Through wood and wold, on leaves and flowers and grasses,
Thy beauty wanes not; thou hast ne'er grown old;
Death-crowned as Cleopatra, lovely lying
Even to the end; magnificently dying
In pomp of purple and in glare of gold.

S. Gertrude Ford.


If you have travelled at all frequently on certain of the London “tube” railways you may occasionally have noticed, facing you in the carriage, a small framed poster which for beauty and imaginative power has, I should think, never been surpassed in advertising art. If the first sight of it did not make you catch your breath you will not, I am afraid, be interested in this article.

The poster represents a rich landscape, in which noble tree-forms show sombre against a tumultuous sky—the latter an architectural mass of pale cloud, spanned by a vivid rainbow. Across the lower part of the picture is a scroll, on which are written, in musical notation, two bars from Chopin's Twentieth Prelude. At the top are the words, Studies in Harmony: it is an advertisement of Somebody & Co.'s wall-papers.

In both colour and design this poster is very beautiful. It would be scarcely less so without the rainbow; but “the dazzling prism of the sky” not only intensifies the subtle harmony of colour throughout the picture: it turns the poster into a symbol. And the artist might well have stopped there; only, you see, he had an inspiration. When he wrote across the picture those eight descending chords from the immortal Largo he made of the poster—a poem.

I do not know anything about the artist who conceived this advertisement of wall-papers. I do not even know his name. But I believe him to be the herald of an invasion.

The invasion of life by beauty.

Do you think it a degradation of art that it should be enlisted by the makers of wall-papers? Are there not too many ugly and discordant posters? Do you consider trade and manufacture so sordid that they are beneath the ministrations of beauty? It doesn't matter a new penny whether you answer such questions with a nod or a no: the invasion has begun. It is irresistible. Beauty is stooping—stooping to conquer.

Your ardent social reformer is too often obsessed with one idea. Across his mental firmament he sees only one blazing word: Injustice. And, fine fellow though he often is, he is inclined to be impatient with any talk of art or beauty. “How can beauty grow in these vile cities?” he cries. “What is the use of your music, your statuary, your fine pictures, your poetry, to the starving and the oppressed?” And he does not see that his passionate desire for justice is at root the quest for beauty, for fullness and harmony of life. His stormy sky shows no rainbow: yet it is there. And so is the stately music, the transmutation of colour into sound. And if his eyes could be opened to one and his ears to the other, there would be more power to his elbow. For beauty is inspiration and courage—

“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky....”

And there is more than that in it. The cultivation of a sense of beauty, of harmony, makes reformers less harsh in their judgments, broadens their sympathies and helps to save them from becoming mere doctrinaires. If you have any love for the beautiful you simply cannot be happy about most Utopias, though they be Justice itself in civic form; and, when our “scientific” Fabian has demonstrated to you how to organise the national life in all its parts into one vast smoothly working State mechanism you will shudder, and then laugh. And then, without any rudeness, you will say: “Hang mechanism and a minimum wage! Live men and women want living crafts, liberty and a maximum beauty!”

And really, I am coming to see that there are a great many health-culture enthusiasts (not to mention food reformers) who see no rainbow in the sky and hear no music in the wind; and even if they did, ten to one they would see no connection between the two. I verily believe there are some poor souls who have studied food questions so closely that they cannot see the sun for proteid nor the sea for salts. In all meekness, and knowing the frailty of the human mind (I have written dozens of articles on diet!), I would prescribe for them a course of artistic wall-paper advertisements, combined with the letters of Robert Louis Stevenson. He, poor fellow, had to battle against disease all his short life; but he managed to end one of his letters something like this (I quote from memory): “Sursum Corda! Heave ahead! Art and blue heaven! April and God's larks! A stately music.... Enter God.”

A somewhat ecstatic utterance. A trifle too exclamatory. Perhaps. You and I don't end our letters like that. (Or do you?) More likely we say something about the weather down here being miserably cold (or damp, or dull, or changeable, or hot) and brave out the lie with “yours truly.” But O for one little spark from the fire that shone in the soul of R.L.S. Better to die young with a broken heart, if it were a heart as brave and gay as his, than beat Methuselah by means of a mincing, calculating, cold-blooded attention to irritating self-made little rules.

Oh yes, I know well the value of little rules. And I know also that Nature offers us only two alternatives—obedience or death (either sudden or slow). But then Nature is something more than Mistress and Lawgiver. She is Beauty. And in that aspect, as in all other aspects, Nature is unescapable. We turn our backs on her only to find her awaiting us at the next turn in the road. Looking at the matter all round, I don't think we can come to any other conclusion than that Nature (or whatever you like to call It, Her or Him) is aiming at beauty all the time. So that we who are literally, if not figuratively, the children of Nature, had best do likewise.

Some mystic or other has said that man's search for God is God's search for man. If he was right—and I think he was—it follows that man's quest for beauty is Beauty invading life; and that the only healthy life worth the having is that which begins with “Lift up your hearts!” and issues in “a stately music. Enter God.”

Edgar J. Saxon.


Do two things worth doing, every day.
Be scrupulously polite and kind, rather than witty or entertaining.
Cherish cleanliness, sobriety, frugality and contentment.
Cultivate sweetness of disposition and tranquillity of mind.
Think before speaking, and so reduce your causes of regret.
Seek peace and be peaceable for lis litem generat.
Begin at home, let home always find you faithfully on duty.
Care carefully for those whom Providence has entrusted to your care.
And the reward of the faithful will abundantly yours,
And your heaven will go with you wherever you go.



Two's company, three's fun.

Levity is the bane of wit.

Braggers mustn't be losers.

Never put on to-day what you can't put on to-morrow.

It's an ill mind that finds no one any good.

It's no use crying over spilt milk: you're better without it.

Look before you sleep.

Never put an excursion ticket in the mouth.

Long hair never made true poets.

Obesity always carries weight.

Look after your manners and your friends will look after themselves.

Cranks of a feather fight together.

All is not toil that blisters.

To Sea Anglers:

A live catch is no better than a dead fish.

Better a place in the sun than a plaice on a hook.

Peter Piper.


XXI. Hired Help (continued).

What is the homemaker of limited means, who must have some help, to do under present conditions? Well, meantime, there is only the young “general” for her, either the “daily girl” or one who “lives in.” Of the two I prefer the “daily girl,” when she can be obtained. And the younger she can be obtained, other things equal, the better. She will have fewer bad habits to overcome. Some housewives object to the daily girl on the score that she may bring dirt or infection from her home, and also because she can seldom arrive early enough to help get breakfast. But a little management overnight can reduce the labour of breakfast getting to a minimum, and if the “outings” of the girl who lives in are as frequent as they ought to be the risk of her carrying infection, etc., will always apply.

The “daily girl” has definitely fixed hours of work and the same chance of enjoying a measure of home life, of keeping her friends and individual interests, as the typist or factory worker whose lot the domestic servant so often envies; while her employers are not faced with the alternatives of condemning a young fellow-creature to a solitary existence or forcing an unreal companionship which is equally irksome on both sides. It is true that the wages of the “daily girl” do not equal, in actual money, those of the factory worker, neither does she obtain the Saturday half-holiday or the whole of Sunday free. But to set against this she receives her entire board and, with a kindly mistress, is not tied down to staying her full time on days when she is “forward” with her work.

The life of the young “daily girl,” if her employer is a conscientious woman, need not be hard nor unpleasant; very little harder and no more unpleasant than the lot of the young “lady” who is paying from £60 to £80 per annum to learn cookery, laundry and housework at a school of domestic economy. Properly conducted, the relations between employer and employee, “mistress” and “servant,” are those of mutual aid. Such relations may be, and too often are, those of an inefficient little drudge for a “mistress” almost equally ignorant and inefficient. But when the employer is an intelligent woman with a sense of justice (I prefer a sense of justice to sentimental theories about sisterhood—people do not always treat their sisters justly) the weekly money payment and food will be but a small part of the girl's wage. In addition she will receive a training that will equip her for the “higher” branches of domestic service, or for homemaking on her own account. Not every girl has the sense to appreciate this when she gets it, nor the intelligence to profit by it; while it is certainly rather trying to the employer when the girl is “all agog” to “better herself” as soon as she has gained a bare smattering of how to do certain things properly. But all this is “the fortune of war.” Some girls never cease to be grateful to their first teachers and leave them reluctantly, while other girls never realise that they have anything to be grateful for. When gratitude and affection come they are pleasant to receive. But the motive power of the really conscientious woman is not the expectation of gratitude or affection.

A word to the unconventional homemaker. The young “general” is a bird of passage. Age and experience bring with them the necessity of earning more, and if her first employer cannot periodically raise the girl's wages the latter must in time seek better paid employment, probably with a mistress who is not unconventional. It is unkind, therefore, to refrain from teaching the girl how she will be expected to do things in the ordinary conventional house. I do not mean that the employer ought to slavishly run her home on conventional lines for the instruction of her “help.” But it is kinder, for instance, to help a girl regard a cap and apron with good-humoured indifference, or as on a par with a nurse's uniform, rather than as “a badge of servitude.” It is kinder, too, to show her that it is not only “servants” who are expected to address their employers as “Sir” and “Ma'am,” but that well-mannered young people in all conditions of life can be found who use this form of address to persons older than themselves. I do not suggest for one moment that any attempt should be made to delude a girl into the belief that she will not be expected, in conventional households, to behave with equal deference to persons younger than herself. Such deception would be unpardonable. But it is anything but kind to allow a young girl to drift into careless and familiar habits of speech bound to lead to dismissal for “impudence” in her next “place.” There is a type of person, for example, who seems to believe that, in order to show that he is “as good as anybody else,” it is necessary to be rude and familiar. But good manners are not necessarily associated with servility. And it is no kindness to help to unfit a girl for getting her living in the world as it is.

It may seem that, in this article, I am more concerned for the “hired help” than the homemaker for whom I am ostensibly writing. But the points I have touched on are just those about which I know many thoughtful women are puzzled. I cannot solve their individual problems for them, of course, I can only just barely indicate some of the thoughts that have come to me on a subject that is so intimately bound up with the whole of our present unsatisfactory social and economic conditions that it cannot be adequately discussed in a little tract upon domestic economy.

Florence Daniel.

The Care Of Cupboards.

There are three methods in general use of caring for cupboards. Some housewives prefer their cupboard shelves of bare wood, to be well scrubbed with soap and water at the periodical “turn-out.” Others cover all shelves with white American cloth, which only needs wiping over with a wet house-flannel; while still others prefer to dispense with the necessity for wetting the shelves and line them with white kitchen paper, or even clean newspaper, which is periodically renewed.

Of the three methods I prefer the last, with the addition of a good scrubbing at the spring clean. The weekly or fortnightly scrubbing is apt to result in permanently damp cupboards, unless they can be left empty to dry for a longer time than is usually convenient. The use of American cloth is perhaps the easiest, most labour-saving method, but the cloth soon gets superficially marked and worn long before its real usefulness is impaired, so that the cupboard shelves never look quite so neat as after scrubbing or relining with white paper.

The larder should be thoroughly “turned out” once a week. Once a fortnight is enough for the store-cupboard and for china cupboards in daily use. While cupboards in which superfluous china and other non-perishable goods are stored, and that are seldom opened, need not be touched oftener than once or twice a year.

In very small houses one cupboard often must house both china and groceries, thus combining the offices of storeroom and china cupboard. The larder, strictly speaking, is for the food consumed daily. But when larder and store-cupboard have to be combined, the groceries may be packed away on the upper shelves, which can be tidied once a fortnight; but the shelves doing duty for the larder proper should never be left for longer than a week.

Nothing betrays the careless housewife like an ill-smelling larder. All food should be examined daily and kept well covered. Hot food should be allowed to cool before storing in the larder. In the summer time special precautions must be taken against flies, all receptacles for food which are minus well-fitting lids being covered with wire-gauze covers or clean butter muslin. If the shelves are lined with paper, care should be taken at the weekly change to examine the wood for stains caused by spilt food that has penetrated through the paper. These should not be just left and covered over, but well washed off. With ordinary carefulness, however, they need not occur.



The New Suggestion Treatment. By J. Stenson Hooker, M.D. Cloth 1s. net (postage 1½d.) C.W. Daniel, Ltd., 3 Tudor Street, E.C.

This book is a striking example of the new synthetic movement in the medical profession. It is an exposition for the general reader of certain basic principles of mental treatment and of the author's methods of applying these; it is also, in reality, an appeal to doctors generally to put aside prejudice and examine the immense potentialities of rational “suggestion” healing methods.

After examining the main features and disadvantages of mere hypnotic treatment and passing under review present-day “mental science,” the author explains wherein his method of mental treatment both avoids the dangers of hypnotism and reinforces ordinary self-suggestion. Throughout there is the frank recognition that few forms of dis-ease are curable by one means alone; on the other hand, it is contended that most disorders, both mental and physical, are remarkably amenable to a rightly directed course of the new suggestion treatment, supplemented by other natural means.

The narrowness of view that too often characterises the specialist is entirely absent from this book. It is throughout thoroughly broad, refreshingly sensible and profoundly convincing.

The Cottage Farm Month by Month (illustrated with original photographs). By F.E. Green. Cloth, 1s. net (postage 2d.). C.W. Daniel, Ltd., 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.

Here is a book of immediate social interest, of great practical value, and of uncommon literary quality.

In the course of twelve chapters, bearing the titles of the months of the year, it reveals a welding together of two things which in many minds have unfortunately become divorced: the practical problems and arduous labour which no tiller of the soil can escape and—the keen delight of a poetical temperament in the ever-changing, yet annually renewed, beauties of earth and sky and running water.

It escapes the dry technicalities of the agricultural text-book, while at the same time conveying innumerable valuable hints on practically every branch of “small farming”—advice which springs from the author's thorough knowledge based on long and often hard experience.

On the other hand, while entirely free from that all too common defect of “nature-books”—hot-house enthusiasm—it will delight the most incurable townsman (providing his sense of beauty is not withered) by its joyous yet restrained pictures of open-air things.

Simple Rules of Health. By Philip Oyler, M.A. (2nd ed.). 3d. net. Post free from the author, Morshin School, Headley, Hants.

An admirable epitome of what might be called “advanced health culture without crankiness.” The author is an ardent advocate of simplicity in all things and—practises what he preaches. Moreover, he is one of those who sees health from all points of view: he is as much concerned with what the English Bible calls “a right spirit” as with a fit body and a responsive mind. It is a little book deserving of a wide circulation.



To the Editors


Would you care to publish the following experience of a cure for sleeplessness:—

I had no difficulty in going to sleep, but usually awoke again at about two a.m. with palpitation, and it often took me two or three hours to go to sleep again.

I cured myself in the following way: I left off supper and reduced my tea meal by half, and the result was continuous sleep; the symptoms, however, began to come back again after a time, so I gradually cut the tea meal right away, and half of the midday meal as well. The cure was then permanent and after a time I found that I could resume the tea meal again. At the present time I am having a tea meal of fruit only.

In addition I should advise those who suffer from this complaint to keep cheerful, and to avoid excessive physical or mental fatigue and worry. Yours faithfully,

“A Six Months' Reader.”


The Editors have received the following letter from Messrs Rowntree & Co., Ltd.:—

“We note in your issue of July 1913 under the heading of ‘Lemon or Orange Squash’ a note to the effect that bottled lemon squashes and lime cordials ‘are not pure in the strict sense of the term, since they are bound to contain 10 per cent. alcoholic pure spirit by Government regulations.’ We should be glad to know what is your authority for this statement. Possibly it is a misprint, because obviously the Government does not require anything of the kind. Our own lemon squash and lime juice cordial are entirely free from any form of preservative, including alcohol. They are made up from pure lemon juice and lime juice respectively, with sugar, and contain no foreign ingredient.”

The statement complained of was based on an article entitled “Fortified Lime Juice” which appeared in The Chemist and Druggist, 13th May 1911 (page 51). On again referring to this article we find that the Government regulation applies only to exported Lime Juice.

We regret having made this error, and are genuinely glad to have Messrs Rowntree's assurance that their own “Lime Juice Cordial” and “Lemon Squash” are “entirely free from any form of preservative, including alcohol.”

Nevertheless, we think our suspicions regarding the presence of preservatives in such articles are justifiable in view of the following authoritative statements made by The Chemist and Druggist in the article referred to:—

“The British Revenue authorities have drawn the line a little tighter in the discharge of their responsibility respecting the soundness of lime-juice intended for exportation or for use on board ship. The new rule henceforth is to grant a ‘pass’ certificate for unfortified lime-juice to last for fourteen days only, at the end of which time another certificate must be obtained. As this new regulation affects lime-juice in its natural condition before rum or any other spirit is added to it, only lime-juice manufacturers or importers are concerned in the matter.... With such rapidly deteriorating liquid as lime or lemon juice the addition of the preservative spirit is a necessity, hence the sooner it is fortified the better. The Revenue authorities permit duty-free spirit to be used for this purpose, but in order that lime-juice manufacturers shall have this advantage of not paying duty on the spirit used the Revenue authorities insist on approval of the juice and its subsequent fortification in bond under supervision of the Crown.... In reference to the proportion of spirit used, previously the regulation was expressed in a permissive sense, but now the emphatic “must” is used. In the last Government Laboratory report it was stated that 396 samples were examined, most of which were lime-juice, representing nearly 50,000 gallons. Even the fortified article is re-tested if more than three months old in cask or two years old in bottle, and this re-testing resulted last year in a condemnation of several hundred gallons owing to deterioration during storage. This juice is principally for use in the Mercantile Marine to combat scurvy.”

From which it would appear that the use of some kind of preservative is essential with such a rapidly deteriorating liquid as lime or lemon juice; and if not alcohol, there are innumerable chemical preservatives available. We wish we could rely on receiving assurances from other “Lime Juice” importers and manufacturers similar to that we have received from Messrs Rowntree.

To People with Strong Convictions:

A holiday is the best of all opportunities for appreciating the opposite point of view to our own: this is why everyone needs a day's holiday once a week.


Under this heading our contributor, Dr Valentine Knaggs, deals briefly month by month, and according as space permits, with questions of general interest to health seekers and others.

In all Queries relating to health difficulties it is essential that full details of the correspondent's customary diet should be clearly given.

Correspondents are earnestly requested to write on one side only of the paper, giving full name and address, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. When an answer is required by post a stamped addressed envelope must be enclosed.—[Eds.]


H.E.H. writes.—I should like your opinion of the statement of the late Mr A. Broadbent, that fruit when taken with starchy food by dyspeptics delays digestion, and that the digestion of starchy foods and vegetables occupied only one-third of the time needed for the digestion of starch with fruit. I have lived on a strict vegetarian diet and observed the laws of hygiene for two and a half years, to rid myself of dyspepsia, with great success, having increased my weight by thirty-six pounds; for the last nine months of this time I have lived on a largely “unfired” diet, but am still troubled with acid risings and flatulence and cannot account for it. Will you kindly enlighten me on the subject?

I am a carpenter by trade and get eight hours in the open air every day. I take a tumbler of distilled water hot with the juice of one orange at 6 a.m., breakfast at 7.30 a.m., dinner at 12 noon and tea at 6 p.m., all consisting of Wallace unfermented bread and biscuits, various fruits (mostly apples, bananas and tomatoes) and nuts, about ½oz. at a meal; also a little cheese, about 1 oz. at a meal.

The late Mr A. Broadbent was quite right, in my opinion, when he asserted that fruit taken with starchy foods delayed digestion.

To reap the true benefit from fruit it must be taken alone.

The dominant element in fruit is oxygen and the feature of oxygen is its power to start the process of oxidation in decomposing and disintegrating substances. It follows that when the stomach is filled with fermenting food-stuffs, or the tissues are clogged with the products derived from such, the oxidising action of fruit will be correspondingly intense.

The Naturist who applies the Schroth Cure for the purpose of curing chronic diseases uses fruit as his chief eliminating agent. The reader will remember that the peasant healer, Schroth, made his patients take dry stale rolls alone for three whole days, with nothing whatever to drink, and on the fourth day, he gave them a full bottle of white wine, which then caused intense oxidation, with marked elimination of poisons. His methods, if successful, were drastic and weakening, and so the latter-day exponents of Schrothism have modified this and give their patients zweiback or twice-baked bread instead of rolls, and on the third or fourth day make the patient partake freely of fresh fruit. This process of alternate dry days and fluid days is continued for some weeks until the cure is complete.

I have merely referred to this matter to show the part played by fruit in the body. To a healthy person fruit is in truth a splendid regenerating food, but it should, whenever possible, be eaten alone. To a dyspeptic, fruit is often equally good, if taken by itself.

The case of vegetables is different, and I hold with Broadbent that salad or properly cooked vegetables do go well with cereals, because they contain, not oxygen and oxygen acids, but mineral elements like soda, lime and magnesia, which neutralise the acids and toxins which form in the body as a result of its work. The vegetable is just as active as the fruit as an eliminant, but it works on different lines. Cereal foods, if eaten slowly in a dry condition are made alkaline by the saliva, so that the vegetables, which are also naturally alkaline, would harmonise well with cereals if eaten with them.

Our correspondent should modify his diet as follows, and then, I anticipate, he will cease to be troubled with his acid dyspepsia and flatulence. He should take his fruit alone, and take any of the crisp unsweetened Wallace “P.R.” Biscuits in preference to the unfermented bread, which latter is often difficult to digest:—

On rising.—A tumblerful of hot distilled water.

Breakfast (at 7.30).—Fresh fruit only.

Lunch (at 12).—1 to 2 oz. of cheese, preferably home-made curd cheese; salad of green leaf vegetables; “P.R.” or Ixion biscuits with fresh butter, or nut butter.

Dinner (at 6).—1 to 2 oz. of flaked pine kernels, finely grated raw roots or tomatoes, with pure olive oil; Granose biscuits, or Shredded Wheat biscuits, and fresh butter.

At bedtime.—Cupful of dandelion coffee or hot distilled water.


E.M.A. writes.—At the age of five years I had an attack of rheumatic fever through taking a severe cold, and have been troubled more or less with pains since that time, which I feel sure are caused through rheumatism of the nerves. I am now fifty-eight years of age and have been a vegetarian for six years.

My diet is:—8 a.m., cup of Sanum Tonic Tea; 9 a.m., Cup of dried milk; 10 a.m., half of an apple and a little crust of wholemeal bread; 1 p.m. conservatively cooked vegetable, using “Emprote” for sauce; 4 p.m., cup of dried milk; 6 p.m., a little green salad with St Ivel lactic cheese (size of one large walnut); 9 p.m., cup of dried milk. Do you think dried milk is harmful to me? I should miss it very much were I to leave it off. I must mention how great a help The Healthy Life magazine is to me in many ways.

Neuritis is a painful and wearying form of nerve trouble which mostly affects the arms and legs. It can, however, originate in any other part of the body through the spinal nerve centres. It may sometimes be due to injury, but the usual cause is some form of thickening or misplacement of the spinal structures, which induces pressure upon the nerves as they emerge through the apertures between the spinal bones. A careful examination of the back will show the site, and often the nature, of the thickening or encumbrance which is present.

In our correspondent's case the thickening process doubtless occurred as an after effect of the attack of rheumatic fever.

The best remedy is suitable osteopathic treatment for the spine, supplemented by either very hot or quite cold spinal sitz baths, by acetic acid skin treatment, or by any other means which will have the effect of disencumbering the spine. By means of our treatment we free the painful nerves from harmful pressure and promote an increased blood circulation in the parts affected. In this way the cause of the disorder is removed.

A diet along the following lines would be better than the present one:—

8 a.m.—Tumblerful of hot distilled water.

9.30.—One raw egg beaten up with cream and vegetable juice or clear vegetable soup made without salt. Wholemeal bread with plenty of butter and some celery or watercress.

1.30 p.m.—Two conservatively cooked vegetables done without salt, with grated cheese as sauce and a Granose biscuit with butter.

4.—Tumblerful of hot distilled water only.

6.30.—2 oz. of cottage cheese or cream cheese, salad and Granose biscuits, or “P.R.” crackers, with butter.

9.30.—A raw egg beaten up with cream and vegetable juice or soup.

I think dried milk preparations are inadvisable in such cases as these (especially when taken as beverages, as the “milk sugars” present are very prone to ferment and to hinder the cleansing of the digestive tract), and that the required proteid is best obtained from eggs and curd cheese. Fat is very necessary in nervous troubles; hence plenty of cream, fresh butter and cream cheese should be taken; also pure oil with the salad.


L.F.H. writes.—Is malt extract a good thing to take daily with an ordinary non-flesh diet, two teaspoonfuls or so at breakfast? And is the desiccated or dry malt extract to be preferred to the ordinary sticky article?

Malt extract of good quality, containing an active form of diastase, is a good form of relish to take with meals. The diastase promotes starch digestion and makes a good addition to foods of the cereal order. The thick sticky form is the best because the diastase is then in an active condition. Dried malt usually will have this diastase destroyed, hence, although much more convenient to handle, it is not so good dietetically as the sticky original extract.


C.T. writes.—I have read the article on sugar with considerable interest. I have noted nervous disorders, etc., manifest in cases of excessive consumption of manufactured sugar. I have been an abstainer from cane sugar (all commercial sugars, though I do not know of any objection to milk, sugar) for many years, regarding it as an unnatural excitant and stimulant as well as being inimical to digestion. As a physiologist I have taken immense interest in longevity, feeling that an active life past the age of ninety-five or a hundred, and upwards, carries with it, in evidence of right living, the force of demonstration, and more conclusively, in direct ratio to the advance of years. I firmly believe that all anomalies will ultimately admit of resolution. In this connection I could mention a number of strange and paradoxical cases for which, as yet, I have obtained no solution. I know of centenarians who began using “sugar” freely late in life. In one case, when past eighty, a new set of teeth (not odd “supernumeraries”) appeared all round! How is it, again, that the natives of the West Indies, when living on sugar (in its crude state, I suppose) have excellent teeth and perfect health? Is not raw sugar better the less manufactured it is? On the other side, Captain Diamond, at 114, attributes his health in great measure to abstinence from sugar.

Most of these queries are answered in the completed book[10] published this year. The point about “milk sugar” not being injurious he will find answered on page 72.

[10] The Truth about Sugar, 1s. net. (C.W. Daniel, Ltd.)

“Milk sugars” taken to excess with a mixed diet, or in the form of milk as a beverage, break down into lactic, butyric and other destructive acids under the influence of intestinal germs and thus do harm to the body.

The natives of the West Indies (page 39) take the sugar cane in its natural state as a living vegetable food—a very different thing from the isolated and chemicalised sugar on our tables at home. Moreover, the chewing required helps digestion. This is very different to the drinking rapidly of sugared beverages, which do not receive this necessary mouth preparation.

One is quite prepared to admit that paradoxical cases do occur where sugar seems to agree well even with octogenarians, but they are, in my opinion, the exceptions, and I am constantly coming across cases where the free consumption of table sugars has proved very harmful to both old and young.


A.L.M. writes.—Our domestic servant, a girl aged twenty-four, is suffering from ulceration of the stomach and has had periodical attacks for the past six years. She has apparently, until she came to us, eaten and drunk very unwisely. She has been with us seven months and has been fed on a non-flesh diet since she came. For the last four weeks tea, coffee and cocoa have been forbidden, and as little sugar is consumed as possible. She had a very bad attack in August and we had to call in a doctor is we did not like the responsibility. He strongly recommended the hospital and an operation, which would ensure that there would be no repetition of the complaint. She decided to go and was there six weeks. After much experimenting there, inoculating and wondering whether it was tuberculosis, they operated and in due course she came back. We went to the sea for three weeks and shortly after our return the vomiting of blood and pains recommenced. After four days in bed she returned to light dishes, and a fortnight after another slighter attack came on, which in twenty-four hours. She takes hot boiled water five times a day. She suffers also from a horny skin on the palms of her hands, with deep cracks where the natural lines are. These periodically bleed. This skin exists also on her heels and the soles of her feet. Before and after, an attack this skin seems to be worse than ever.

I mentioned the fact of the recurring attacks since the operation to the doctor and he seemed surprised and said the matter must be constitutional and there was no hope for her.

My own opinion is that pure food will put her right eventually, and that these attacks will recur in diminishing force until the poisons are eliminated front the system.

Her diet is at present as follows:—

On rising.—Half-pint of boiled water (hot).

Breakfast.—Either Shredded Wheat softened in hot milk or breakfast flakes and cold milk: followed by either bananas or apples. Half-pint boiled water (hot).

Lunch.—Ordinary vegetarian cooked dishes, vegetables conservatively cooked, some fruit. Half-pint boiled water (hot).

Tea meal.—Wholemeal bread (Artox flour), usually non-yeast, nut butter. Lettuces and radishes when obtainable. Half-pint boiled water (hot).

Before retiring.—Half-pint of boiled water (hot).

It has been shown by Brandl and other investigators that ulceration of the stomach can always be produced in animals by feeding them with an excess of sugar foods. The same thing applies to human beings, who, if fed with an excess of sweetmeats, sugar, milk or soft mushy cereals, will first contract catarrh of the stomach, which will ultimately deepen into a condition of ulceration.

The rationale of the process is this: Fermentation and putrefaction of the foods eaten to excess produce in the stomach various acids and toxins. These become absorbed and pass into the liver. Then the liver becomes clogged, its flow of blood is obstructed and this naturally retards the flow of food from the stomach. That organ becomes congested and inflamed and, when the lower end, or pylorus, is obstructed, this congested state may easily deepen into ulceration. We also nearly always find a tender spine, showing that the nervous system has equally participated in the conditions produced, and this nervous factor intensifies the trouble by retarding the due working of the digestive functions.

What we have to do to cure a case of ulcerated stomach is to withhold the foods which create fermentation. Then the liver will be allowed time to work off the poisons which are clogging its substance and when this has come about the stomach will slowly return to its normal condition.

The diet which our correspondent cites is badly arranged. It is a mistake to give fluid with the meals, and the mushy food at breakfast and the soft food at dinner should be changed to drier and crisper forms of nutriment.

The following diet would be a distinct improvement:—

On rising.—Half-pint of boiled hot water, sipped slowly; or quarter-pint Sanum Tonic Tea, taken hot.

Breakfast.—A Shredded Wheat biscuit eaten dry and well buttered; a lightly boiled egg and some finely grated raw roots, especially carrots and turnips.

In a case of this sort it is best not to mix cereals with fruits.

An alternative breakfast would consist of fruit alone such as two apples, finely grated at first, or two bananas mashed and mixed with pure olive oil and sprinkled with flaked nuts but care must be taken that the pulped banana is well chewed.

Lunch.—Grated cheese, or cream cheese, with some finely chopped salad, or grated raw roots, or conservatively cooked vegetables (preferably roots or onions baked fairly dry by the casserole method) can be taken at this repast. Follow with a slice or two of cold ordinary toast or rusks with butter.

Tea meal.—Half-pint of hot boiled water with a little lemon or orange juice added to it for flavouring.

Supper (about 6.30).—Stale standard bread with butter and curd cheese or an egg. The non-yeast bread should be avoided as in the weak state of the stomach it will not be properly digested; besides, the bran may irritate the lining in the present condition of the stomach. As soon as the stomach has regained its power of digesting food, and the ulcers have healed, then fine wholemeal biscuits of the Wallace or Ixion kind can be taken, but the unfermented bread had better be avoided.

At bedtime.—A half-pint of hot water.


W.O.C. writes.—As a bachelor who (not believing in, and therefore doing without domestic help) is anxious to reduce time spent on cooking to a minimum, I shall be glad if Dr Knaggs will tell me whether the use of the oven, pan and kettle are necessary to healthy diet. For instance (1) would a diet of bread and butter, biscuits, cheese, fruit (fresh and dried), ordinary cold water and cold milk, be as healthy as a diet of hot vegetables, puddings, cocoashell, etc.? (2) Are cooked lentils, butter-beans, macaroni, etc., more beneficial taken hot than after they have cooled? (3) Could uncooked vegetables of sufficient nutriment be substituted for these? I shall be glad if it is quite safe to live entirely on raw foods, whether fresh or “prepared.”

The use of the oven, pan and kettle is not essential to a healthy diet, but few people in this changeable, and often cold, depressing climate are willing to forgo their occasional use. One cannot get hot water for a drink without a kettle or a small saucepan and a gas ring, and hot water is often a very comforting and useful drink, especially where an effort is being made to break off the tea and coffee habit.

A diet of bread and butter, biscuits, cheese, fresh and dried fruits is excellent, provided our correspondent also includes grated raw roots and salads as the medicinal part of the regimen, and keeps the fresh fruit to itself as one meal of the day. Cold water or cold milk could also be taken in the place of hot water or hot milk, although I deprecate the use of milk as a beverage unless a person is willing to live entirely on milk like a baby does. The hot vegetables are uncalled for, provided the raw vegetables are substituted for them. The puddings can well be discarded. Cocoashell beverages are useful in very many cases.

Beans or lentils can be eaten sparingly in a raw state if first soaked, then flaked in a Dana machine, and afterwards flavoured with herbs or parsley. I certainly think that, if they are to be cooked, the taste is better if eaten hot; but there is no reason why cold cooked lentils should not be eaten any more than is the case with an other form of cooked food. Uncooked vegetables will not take the place of lentils, because they are of a different order of food-stuff. The uncooked vegetable would go well with the lentils as neutralising agents of the acids into which all nitrogenous foods break down in the body. Most people will find that nuts, cheese and eggs are better sources of proteid than lentils or other “pulse foods.”

H. Valentine Knaggs.

Vol. V
No. 27
The Independent Health Magazine
3 Amen Corner London E.C.

There will come a day when physiologists, poets, and philosophers will all speak the same language and understand one another.Claude Bernard.


Just as there is a pride that apes humility, so there is an egotism that apes selfishness, a cowardice that apes stoicism and an indolence that apes effort. This is especially apparent in matters pertaining to health.

How often, on the plea of not causing worry or expense to others, does a man or woman not put off taking necessary rest, or consulting a doctor, until a slight ailment that once would have yielded to treatment becomes an irreparable injury.

Such conduct is often admired as unselfish, but for unselfishness and stoicism a psychologist would read fear, indolence and egotism. Fear of being thought hypochondriacal and fear of facing facts; shrinking from the exertion involved in the effort to become healthy and from the pain involved in witnessing the possible distress and anxiety of friends should the complaint prove serious—regardless of the fact that its neglect and resultant incurability would cause infinitely more distress; above all, that mental egotism which breeds in its victim an unreadiness to acknowledge that he does not know what may be wrong and to take prompt steps to remedy his ignorance.

It is not fair, of course, to attach too much blame to the patient. Such faults as those cited above are in themselves symptoms of nervous disease. Body and mind act and react upon one another. Nevertheless, the practice of the virtues loses its meaning when there is no pull in the opposite direction.—[Eds.]


Regular readers will recognise in this article a continuation of the series previously entitled “Healthy Brains.” The author of “The Children All Day Long” is an intimate disciple of one of the greatest living psychologists, and she has a message of the first importance to all who realise that true health depends as much on poise of mind as on physical fitness.

It is an unpleasant subject, but have you ever faced the fact that your widow might be left in poverty?

We all know the phrases that come so glibly from the lips of the insurance agent. Perhaps the very fact that it pays companies to spend thousands a year on the salaries of agents, and other thousands on broadcast eye-catching advertisements, shows that there are many things which our imagination only accepts “against the grain.” Fire, storm, loss by theft or burglary, sickness, disablement and death we do not, by choice, dwell on these things in thought.

Now some people are inclined to pet this impulse of turning away. “Do not think dark thoughts,” they tell us, “the best insurance is unconsciousness, insouciance, denial. Misfortune will pass you by if you do not look for it.”

Perhaps there is something to be said for this method when it comes with absolute spontaneity from the innermost nature. But if for the radiant apprehension of beauty and health we substitute an effort to cling to the picture of good when our very bodies and nerves are warning us with suggestions of evil, we run grave risks. By adopting someone else's sense of freedom from danger and repressing our own conviction that for us a certain danger, more or less remote, exists, we are putting great pressure upon ourselves. At times of ill-health or accidental worry, a sleepless night may bring us an agonising succession of imaginative pictures, those very pictures which we have attempted to banish from our daily life. If we have still greater power of repression these grim images, forbidden throughout every moment of waking life, may reappear in dreams.

(Of the still more serious dangers of repression and of its relation to various forms of insanity, this is hardly the place to speak.[11] It ought not to be necessary to appeal to alarming instances in order to make us attend to a suggested warning.)

[11] See Bernard Hart's illuminating treatment of the whole subject in The Psychology of Insanity, Cambridge Manuals of Science.

Now if we decide to regard all fear as a suggestion of precaution, the emotional part of it to be laid aside as soon as it has fulfilled its function of arousing interest and directing action, it is easy to see the psychological justification for insurance.

Of course pecuniary insurance is but one instance of such sequences of action, though it happens to be a rather obvious one. In a different field, most of us know the delightful feeling of relief experienced after consulting a doctor about some symptom that has perhaps been troubling us for a long time. “May I safely do this? Ought I to refrain from that?” and such perpetually recurring irritations to the attention are replaced by the knowledge that it is now the doctor's business to decide whether this or that is “serious,” and that as long as we carry out his orders we may lay aside all worry about the matter.

So in the case of fire insurance, what we are really buying with our annual premium is freedom from haunting questions as to the loss that would ensue if our house or shop or office were burnt down or damaged. Whenever the thought comes, it may, as far as the money loss is concerned, be dismissed.

We see then that instead of keeping the suggestion of such misfortunes before us, as some people might allege, the act of insurance substitutes for vague and recurrent fears a formal and periodical recognition of possibilities, a recognition, too, that contains within itself a precaution against some of the results of the misfortune should it ever occur. What we buy, at the cost of a fixed number of pounds or shillings of money and a few minutes of time once a year, is the right to put the dangers out of our consciousness altogether and yet leave no residuum of repressed fear to split up our personality or give us indigestion.

If we choose, for some reason or other, to let our imagination dwell on the objective side of the possibility we have insured against, we shall find a pleasure in thinking of what can be done by many people working together. If we need help to meet some misfortune, it is ours as a right, not doled out to us through others' pity. And every year that we have made no claim we have the delight of knowing that we are helping those who need.

The art of working together is yet in its infancy. But if even the present standard of method devised for money insurance were to be adopted in the deeper matters which we so often allow to trouble us, what an advance in mental development we should have made and what new possibilities of safe action would be opened up!

E.M. Cobham.

Every youth should learn to do something finely and thoroughly with his hands.—Ruskin.


This article has been translated from the French of Prof. H. Labbé, the head of the laboratoire à la Faculté de Médecine, in Paris. It reflects a rather characteristic aloofness to any considerations other than scientific or economic. But it will well repay careful study.—[Eds.]


Vegetarianism has been the object of many attacks, and has also been warmly defended. Most of its adepts have sought to give the value of a dogma to its practice.

For quite a number of people “vegetarianism” is a kind of religion, requiring of its votaries a sort of baptism, and the sacrifice of many pleasures. It is this which justifies the infatuation of some, and the systematic disparagement of others.

“Vegetalism”[12] cannot pretend to play a similar part, or to lend itself to ambiguity. To be a “vegetalist” is to choose in the vegetable kingdom, with a justified preference, foods susceptible of filling the energy-producing needs, and the needs of the reparation of the human system.

“Vegetalism” is a chapter of dietetic physiology which must utilise the precise methods and recent discoveries of the science of nutrition.

[12] The word “Vegetarianism” implies a judgment of the qualities which such a diet entails. This word is derived, in fact, from the Latin adjective “Vegetus” (strong). The word “Vegetalism,” which we oppose to the preceding one, admits only the establishing of a fact, that of the choice—exclusive or preferred—of the nutritious matters in the vegetable kingdom.


Before putting “vegetalism” into practice the first point is to know whether the foods of “vegetal” origin contain, and are susceptible of producing regularly, the divers nutritive principles indispensable to the organisation of an alimentary diet. The principles are the following:—Proteid or albuminoid substances; hydrocarbonated and sweet substances fatty substances; mineral matters, alkalis, lime, magnesia, phosphates and chlorides, etc. In most compound foods, no matter of what origin, mineral materials almost always exist in sufficient quantities. The most important amongst them, at all events, are found combined in liberal, even superabundant, portions in dishes of vegetal origin. The analysis of the ashes of our most common table vegetables fixes us immediately to this subject: Leguminous plants supply from about three to six per cent. of ashes, rich in alkalis, lime and phosphates. Potatoes, green vegetables and fruit as a whole absorbing considerable quantities of mineral elements. These are the elements of a nature to allow a precise reply to this question which we propose to expound briefly.


In order to examine a food thoroughly, for the purpose of ascertaining if it can be advantageously introduced for consumption, whether albumins, fats, hydrate of carbon, or sugar, etc., or again an association of these principles in a composite article of food are in question, divers researches must be carried out before giving a final judgment.

If a more or less complex article of food is in question, before considering it as a good nutriment, its centesimal composition, or its immediate composition, should be established; its theoretic calorific power should be known, and it should be measured if this has not yet been done.

Besides the calorific yield thus estimated in vitro, the real utilisation in the human organism of articles of food alone or mixed with other foods should be determined, taking simultaneously into account their effects, whether tonic, stimulating or depressing.

From a different point of view it is no longer allowable to neglect before judging whether such and such a nutritive substance is advantageous, the valuation of what we have called, with Prof. Landouzy, the economic yield—that is to say, the price of the energy, provided by the unity of weight of the article of food.

It is only in reviewing “vegetal” substances, taking these divers titles into consideration, that we shall be justified in attributing to the practice of “vegetalism,” integral or mitigated, its definite value.


Only a few years ago, when Schützenberger, emulator and forerunner of Fischer, Armand Gautier, Kossel, first disjointed the albuminoid molecule, to examine one by one its divers parts, the composition of the various albumins was very little known. Whether, therefore, albumins of the blood, or those of meat or eggs, were in question, these bodies were hardly ever separated, except through physical circumstances, amongst others by constant quantities of different coagulation. As to the centesimal formula and the intimate structure of the different protoid substances, they could be considered as closely brought together.

From this fact, the physiological problem of the utilisation of albumin was simpler. No matter which article of food contained this albumin, its nutritive power by unity of weight remained the same. At the present time the number of albumins is no longer limited. It is not now physical characteristics founded difficult separations which arbitrarily distinguish those bodies from each other. The individuality of each of the albumins results from its formula of deterioration, under the influence of digestive ferments, or of chemical bodies acting in a similar way, as do mineral acids and alkalis. For want of constituary formula this methodical deterioration makes known the number of molecules (acids or other bodies) which are responsible for the structure of each albumin. These deleterious formula of proteid matter are not less suggestive than composition ones. They reveal notable differences between “vegetal” and animal albumins.

To be sure, animal albumins (beef, veal, mutton, pork, etc.) which we are offered in an alimentary flesh diet, resemble more nearly the structure of our own bodily albumins than do the gluten of bread or the albumin of vegetables. This fact seems actually the best support of the theory which affirms the superiority of the flesh over the vegetable diet. Such a remark is therefore well worth discussing by showing that the consequences which can be deduced from it are paradoxical, and rest upon hypothesis which, not very acceptable in theory, are hardly verified in practice.

Admitting that albumin plays in alimentary diet only the plastic part of reconstruction of used-up corporal matter, it might be advantageous to ingest but one albumin the composition of which is very similar to our own. By virtue of the law of least effort such a one in equal weights ought to be of more service than a foreign albumin, as it requires less organic work. For man, albumin of animal origin ought to be more profitable in equal weight than vegetable albumin. In the organism, indeed, albumin passes through a double labour. After the intestinal deterioration, followed by a passage through the digestive mucus membrane, a re-welding of the liberated acids takes place, with a formation of new albumin.

If, therefore, alimentary albumin's mission is, not to be definitely burnt up in the organism, but to help in the plastication of the individual, the more its initial formula approaches the definite one to which it must attain, the more profitable it becomes, giving out less useless fragments and waste. Animal albumin approaching more nearly to human albumin, is also the one whose introduction into the daily alimentary diet is most rational. This statement seems to be the defeat of vegetal albumin. But let there be no mistake. It consecrates at the same time the triumph of anthropophagy, for there could not be for man a more profitable albumin than his own, or that of his fellow-man! This should make us pause and reflect, before allowing this deduction to be accepted.

Besides, these arguments ad hominem do not appear to us necessary for repelling such an interpretation of facts. Modern works have shown us that the greater proportion of ingested albumin played, in fact, a calorific, and not a plastic, part. Under these conditions one is justified in doubting whether there takes place with regard to the total albumins ingested a work of reconstruction thus complicated in the organism, after their first deterioration. Evidently one may come to believe that this complicated labour applies only to the more or less feeble portion of albumin really integrated.

Practically speaking, the best criterion for judging the utilisation of an ingested albumin lies in the persistence of the corporal weight, allied to the ascertained fact of a stable equilibrium in the total azotized balance-sheet which is provided by the comparison of the “Ingesta” with the “Excreta.” From this point of view there exists the closest similitude between the albumins of animal and those of vegetable origin; both, in fact, are capable of assuring good health and corporal and cellular equilibrium.

However, the digestibility of vegetable albumins seems to remain slightly inferior to that of animal albumins. 97 per cent. of the animal fibrine given in a meal are digested, where 88 to 90 per cent. only of vegetable albumins are absorbed and utilised. It is a small difference, but not one to be overlooked. We must say, however, that the method one employs in determining these digestibilities takes from them a part of their value, and renders difficult the comparison of results obtained. Sensibly pure albumins are too often compared in an artificial diet. One deviates thus from the conditions of practical physiology. In fact, in ordinary meals, all varieties of foods are mixed together, acting and reacting upon each other, reciprocally modifying their digestibility. If one conforms to this way of acting towards alimentary albumins, the results change sensibly. In the presence of an excess of starch, under the shape of bread, for example, vegetable albumin seems to be absorbed in about the same proportions as animal albumin.

If, in a flesh diet, animal albumins are always consumed nearly pure (lean meat containing hardly anything but albumin, besides a little fat, and an inferior quantity of glycogen) vegetable albumin is always, on the contrary, mixed with a number of other substances. This is doubtless one of the reasons which causes the digestibility of vegetable albumins to vary, the foreign nutritive matters being able to bring about, under certain circumstances, and in cases of superabundant ingestions, a real albuminous “saving” in the newest sense of the word.

Besides, a prejudicial question makes the debate almost vain. When it was admitted by such physiologists as Voit, Rubner and their school that from 140 to 150 grammes of albumin in the minimum were daily necessaries in the human diet, a variation of a few units in the digestive power presented some importance. Nowadays the real utility of albumins is differently appreciated. The need of them seems to have been singularly exaggerated; first lowered to about 75 gr. by A. Gautier, it has dropped successively with Lapicque, Chittenden, Landergreen, Morchoisne and Labbé, by virtue of considerations both ethnological and physiological, to 50 grs., 30 grs. and even to 25 or 20 grammes. The “nutritive relation”—that is to say, the yield from albuminoid matters to the total nutritive matters of diet—is thus brought down from 1/3 its primitive value to 1/15 or 1/20 at most. It follows that the slight inferiority found in the digestive powers of vegetable albumin appears unimportant. It is sufficient to add 2 or 3 more grammes of albumin to a ration already superabundant of from 40 to 50 grammes of vegetable proteins to bring back a complete equilibrium in the use of vegetable and animal varieties. The theoretical inferiority of vegetable albumin thus almost completely disappears.

H. Labbé.

(To be continued.)

If your system has become clogged, go slow—and fast.


O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill
Wild Spirit which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!
Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: Oh hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers
So sweet the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: Oh, hear!
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! if even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision,—I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own?
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like withered leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Percy Bysshe Shelley.


What is it makes a holiday? Some people want Paris, some Monte Carlo, one man cannot be satisfied without big game to hunt, another must have a grouse moor. The student has his sailing boat, the young wage-earner his bicycle, three girl friends look forward to their week in a Hastings boarding-house. Almost anything may be “a change”; most things, to someone or other, are “a holiday.” What does it all mean?

The sands of West Sussex are wide and free, firm and smooth for walking with bare feet, lovely with little shells and sea-worm curves and ripple marks and the pits of razor-shells. Above them are the slopes of shingle, gleaming with all colours in the September sun. Farther up again, the low, brown crumbling cliffs crowned with green wreaths of tamarisk. The sea comes creeping up, or else the wind raises great white breakers; if the waves are quiet, old breakwaters, long ago broken themselves, smashed fragments here and there of concrete protections put by man, gaps in the cliff and changes in the coast-line, remind us of the vast force behind the gentle and persistent lap of water. The beach itself reminds us of it; there a flint and here a rounded pebble made out of brick or glass, worn down from man's rubbish to sea's proof of power.

Over it all are the children, brown-legged and bare-headed. (Is it something in the weather this year that has given us the particular red-brown, suggestive of shrimp and lobster, that is the colour-vintage of 1913?) Babies with oilskin waders, bathers, girls in vividly coloured coats walking along the sands; all make up the picture and give us once again the thrill of holiday.

Inland, the Sussex lanes are green and the trees are broad and shady. Thatched cottages are everywhere, and barns with heavy brows; yesterday I saw some pots put for shelter from the sun under the far-projecting thatch of a farmhouse. The gardens are full of sun-flowers and hollyhocks, fuchsia and golden rod; the walls are covered with jasmine and passion-flowers. Old, old churches make us feel like day-flies. The yew in the churchyard five minutes' walk from here is said to be 900 years old; the church itself is thirteenth century, but into its walls were built fragments of a former church, far older, on the same site. It carries us more than half-way back to the foundation of Christianity. Dim tales of heathen earls and Norman kings hang around the villages, and the very floor of the sea beyond the land is richly laden with stores of half-forgotten memories.

Which of all these things makes these days my holiday?

All of them, perhaps. Present moving life, and long-past history, the mighty movement of nature and the changes of geologic time: sheer beauty too and the gaiety of amusements and excursions; do not all have their place in unwinding us from the tight coils we make for our working days?

Freedom to take from the world whatever is there of beauty and of interest—it really hardly matters what or where; freedom enhanced by sympathy, perhaps, for we seem to need some comrade in our play; so many days and nights following each other—no matter exactly how many—for letting ourselves go, and letting the world and all its power and wonder flow into us; that, whatever be place, time and conditions, is the making of a holiday.


To Our Readers.

Readers who appreciate the independence and all-round nature of The Healthy Life can materially assist the extension of its circulation by tactfully urging their local newsagent to have the magazine regularly displayed for sale. An attractive monthly poster can always be had free from the Publishers, 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.



A New Definition of Neurasthenia.

We cull the following definition of neurasthenia from our French contemporary: Neurasthenia is discouragement of the soul. Being in a state of discouragement the soul ceases to take care of the body and allows it to become encumbered with waste products. The body in its turn becomes so defective that the soul is incapable of repairing the enfeebled organs and throws the body away into the water or leaves it somewhere to be crushed or abandons it by some other means. Neurasthenia may be compared to an indolent mechanic. He neglects to oil his engine. It runs off the rails and is smashed.

Fresh Departures.

The Vegetarian Society of France has introduced three new sections into its organisation. The first is documentary, and aims at the collection, centralisation and classification of all information bearing on food reform. The second deals with domestic economy and hygiene. A number of ladies willing to devote themselves to the popularisation of the leading ideas of vegetarianism have joined this section. They offer advice and instruction to all who wish to familiarise themselves with food reform principles. The third section is concerned with physical training and outdoor games, with special reference to the relationship between these things and a non-flesh regimen.

“Vegetarische Warte.”

Nietzsche as Fruitarian.

“A simple life,” wrote Nietzsche in 1879, “is very difficult at the present time,” and went on to explain its difficulties and to suggest that even the most determined would be obliged to leave the discovery of the way to a wiser generation. He himself, however, took some steps upon the way during his stay in Genoa, when he lived on bread and fruit and spent but a few shillings a week. Eggs were occasionally included, and artichokes—and the little cookery he needed was done by himself over a spirit lamp. His winter in Genoa, he declares, was the happiest in his life and saw the production of his “Twilight of the Gods.”

Food Reform in Russia.

The movement goes ahead rapidly in Russia. Hardly a town of any size but has now its vegetarian restaurant. This year the first Russian Vegetarian Congress has been held. It seems to have been a very successful gathering. “Seldom,” writes one who was present, “have I experienced such a strong impression as was made upon me by this first vegetarian congress in Moscow.” Unity seems to have been the prevailing note. Papers were read on the general significance and the various aspects of vegetarianism, followed by discussions. Amongst the various excursions undertaken was a pilgrimage to Yasnaya Polyana, including a visit to Tolstoy's grave.

A Vegetarian Exhibition has also been held in Moscow. It included a fine show of fruits and vegetables, exhibits of various substitutes for leather, soaps made of vegetable oils, an abundance of Russian and foreign vegetarian literature of all sorts, from the noblest reaches of theory to the most invaluable details of practice. The next Congress is arranged for Easter 1914, at Kiev.

A Hopeful Sign.

Fifteen years ago the Berlin municipal authorities stoutly refused Professor Baron's offer to found an orphanage which should be conducted on vegetarian principles. At the present moment it is being arranged that all school children shall be taught the value of vegetables and leguminous preparations and the wholesomeness of a diet that is relatively non-stimulating and practically meatless.

D.M. Richardson.


In George Macdonald's Phantastes: a Faery Romance for Men and Women it is told how a man found himself in the midst of a great circular hall built entirely of black marble. On every side and at regular intervals there were archways, all heavily curtained. Hearing a faint sound of music proceeding from one of these hidden doorways he went towards it and, drawing aside the hangings, found a large room crowded with statuary, but no sign of an living creature. Yet he was certain the music had proceeded from that particular archway. Greatly puzzled, he let the curtain fall and stepped back a few paces. At once the music continued. Stepping stealthily and quickly to the curtain, he again lifted it, and received a vivid impression of a crowd of dancing forms suddenly arrested: something told him beyond dispute that at the moment he had drawn the hangings aside what were now lovely but motionless statues had sprung each to its pedestal out of the mazes of an intricate dance. Sound and movement had been frozen, in a flash of time, into a crowd of beautiful forms—in stone. No statue but seemed to tremble into immobility as the intruder's gaze turned this way and that no marble face but seemed to be aglow with the music that had died with his entry; no white limb but seemed to be tremulous with the rhythm of the dance that had ceased so suddenly.

If the subtlety and imaginative truth of this story should lead you to read the whole book, I shall have had the privilege of introducing you to what is surely one of the finest and most delicately wrought fantasies in the English language, a fantasy so permeated with beauty and truth that you will neither wish nor need to look for the “moral”.

But whether you read Phantastes or not, I may be allowed to suggest that the incident I have attempted to describe conveys one of the secrets of healthy living.

It is a trite saying, that health is harmony. But I plead for a much wider and fuller interpretation of harmony than is customary. Mens sana in corpore sano—a sane mind in a healthy body—does not fill all the requirements of a healthy life. It is but an excellent theme, wanting orchestration.

It is good to aim at a harmonious working of one's internal arrangements if one has had the misfortune or the folly to break that harmony. The physical basis of life must be attended to if we would be well. Only, you cannot stop there without imperilling the whole scheme.

Again, it is good to train the body by means of exercise, play, singing and handicraft; all these things react both upwards and downwards, outwards and inwards. For example, one of the special virtues of tennis, if it be played at all keenly, is the necessity for making one's feet (those neglected members!) quick and responsive to the messages of eye and brain. In an increasingly sedentary age the rapidly growing popularity of tennis is, for this one reason alone, a good omen. But if you play tennis, or any other healthy outdoor sport, or learn how to sing, or how to breathe, or if you do Müller's exercises daily, for the sole purpose of benefiting your liver or developing your muscles, or of “keeping fit,” you will miss the real prize.

It is good, also, to train the mind to be logical, critical and balanced: it is good to cultivate a retentive memory and to store up useful facts. But if while you are aiming at intellectual fitness and alertness you allow these good things to obscure other and better things, if, in short, you let means become ends, you will never be healthy, because you will miss half the joys of living.

There are many very skilful performers on musical instruments. They have set themselves, or their parents have set them, to gain certain prizes, distinctions or qualifications. No music is now too difficult for them to execute. But that is exactly what they do—they execute it: destroy its head and heart by sheer mechanical perfection. They have mastered the piano, or the organ, or the violin, or their own voice; but music eludes them.

You see why I began with that tale of the curtained doors, the mysterious music, and the quivering statuary. There is an elusive, haunting quality about life and all living things which, if we look for it and listen to it, imparts a glamour, a rhythm, a beauty to everything that is worth doing. The great danger is that in the pressure of work, the hurry of play, the pursuit of health, or the training of the mind we miss the very thing which can give meaning and value to all these things. The severely matter-of-fact people don't go near the curtained doors, and if they did, would discover only a lot of cold, lifeless statues. Whoever heard of statues dancing? Whoever heard of music without instruments? And yet this very sense of a lyrical movement imperfectly seen, and of a temporarily frozen music, is not only the very secret of all art: it is a slender guiding clue to the centre of everything....

And in the house of every man, and of every woman, are the curtained doorways.

Edgar J. Saxon.


This discussion arose out of the article with above title, by “M.D.,” which was published in our July number.—[Eds.]


I lift my hat to M.D. and trust that, as I don't know him, the somewhat jarring difference that I have with his views will not be put down to personal feeling. A.A. Voysey has put my first objection quite well from the layman's point of view. He says “there is no agreement between those who have been taught physiology.” This is true. Playfair's full diet is different from Voit's. Voit's is different from Atwater's. Atwater's is different from Chittenden's.

The custom of reducing the diets to calories, inasmuch as it introduces a false theory, has had a disastrous effect on progress, and has been a great hindrance to the attainment of knowledge. If the coal in the fireplace were the cause of the heat of the fire (but is it?), there is no analogy between the elevation of the heat by hundreds and even thousands of degrees when the fire is lighted, and the elevation of half-a-degree or a degree which occurs when food is taken into the body, especially when we remember that a similar elevation of temperature occurs when work is performed by means of the body without eating or drinking at all.

It is quite evident to every clear seer, or it ought to be, that the force of animal life or zoo-dynamic is the cause of the heat of the body, just as the electric force is the cause of the liberation of heat through the battery, and the chemic force is the cause of the heat of the fire, and that zoo-dynamic and electro-dynamic and chemico-dynamic are forms or species or varieties of the one omnipotent and eternal energy by which all things in this universe consist. The aggregate of all the particular forces makes up the eternal energy which is one. They are all species of the one, but it is convenient and even necessary for our limited intellects to consider them separately, for the indefinite number of the facts and also their intricacy and complexity stagger and overwhelm us unless we do; and indeed they stagger us even when we try to treat them and take them up separately for consideration and examination. But now for the proof of A.A. Voysey's statement.

Ranke found he required 100 grammes proteid; fat 100 grammes; carbo-hydrate 240 grammes to keep him going. These he could have got from 9 oz. of lean meat or 250 grammes, 18 oz. of bread or 500 grammes, 12 oz. or 55 grammes of butter and 1 oz of fat (I do not, of course, suggest that it would have been wise for him to get them so). Moleschott's demands are: proteid 120 grammes, fat 90 grammes, carbo-hydrate 333 grammes. Voit demands for hard work: proteid 145 grammes, fat 100 grammes, carbo-hydrate 450 grammes. Atwater demands for hard work the following:—proteid 177 grammes, fat 250 grammes, carbo-hydrate 650 grammes. Horace Fletcher, we are told by Professor Chittenden, took for a time, when everything was accurately measured and weighed: proteid 44.9 grammes, fat 38 grammes, carbo-hydrate 253 grammes. Cornaro lived on 12 oz. of solid food and 14 oz. of red wine a day for a period of something like 60 years, from 38 years of age to about 97, and had vigorous health during the time except when he transgressed his rule. Of course, he was not a hard physical worker—i.e. he did not do the work of a navvy. But how, in view of these differences, can M.D. say: “These quantities were settled by physiologists many years ago, and no good reasons have since been adduced for altering them”? It is amazing to me to read such a statement. It reminds me of a statement by a distinguished physician in London during last year to the effect that we could not give a growing schoolboy too much food—we could not over-feed him. My opinion, on the other hand, after a long experience, during which time my eyes have not been shut, is that the large majority of the diseases of humanity are due to mal-nutrition and that the form of that mal-nutrition is over-feeding—not under-feeding. This opinion should be taken for what it is worth. But to test it we should ask ourselves: What is the reason for the necessity to take food into the body? Is it to give strength and heat to the body? Or is it to restore the waste of the body sustained by the action on it of the force of life or zoo-dynamic which inhabits it? The demands for food will vary and vary much according to the way in which we answer this question. As you allowed me to discuss this question in Healthy Life in July and August of last year I must not take up your space by discussing it again. But the answer we give determines the amounts of food that we require to take, since, obviously, if the strength and heat of the body depend upon the food, the more food we take the more strength and heat shall we have; while, if the function of food in the adult or grown body is only to restore the waste of the body, the question is how much is the waste. There are various ways in which this question can be answered and I cannot go into them now; but I say, in my opinion, the waste is very much less than is commonly supposed. The body, I take it, is made by zoo-dynamic or the life-force to be a fit habitation for itself. The body must waste when the life-force acts through it, and that waste must be restored by food and sleep, or the body will die; since things (the body) cannot act as the medium of conveying forces (zoo-dynamic or the life-force) without wasting under their action. But so beautifully has the body been made by zoo-dynamic that it wastes very little, much less than is commonly supposed, by the action of zoo-dynamic through it. Not seeing this, we ingest into the body far more than is required to restore its waste, and so we fall ill, for, obviously, if we ingest more than the quantity necessary for this purpose we choke the body up and render it inefficient for its purpose as an instrument for work.

Now this is precisely what seems to me to happen in life. As we are all under the double delusion that the strength of the body and its heat come from the food, we all with one accord put far too much food into the body, and when we find that we die, all of us, generation after generation, at from 50 to 70 years of age, we make up little proverbs to justify our unphysiological conduct and say that three score years and ten are the measure of the duration of life. M.D. says that “some twenty years ago most people lived fairly close to the old physiological quantities” (but what are these? for we have seen how they vary), “now they have been cut adrift from these and are floundering out of their depth.” May I remind M.D. that people are now living longer than they did twenty years ago. How does he account for that? No doubt some of the increase in the length of life is due to the diminution of the birth rate, but still I suppose M.D. would admit that there is an increase in the duration of life over and above what can be accounted for in this way. If so, how does he account for it?

M.D. says, further: “For the public it will now probably suffice if they insist on raising (or considering, A.R.) the question of quantity” (of food, A.R.) “wherever they suffer in any way.” I agree with all my heart. But M.D. implies, if I read him aright, that the public should increase the quantity of their food when they suffer in any way. I, on the other hand, and rather unhappily for myself, am convinced that the raising of this question implies that it should be answered in the exact opposite way to that of M.D. and that we should diminish our food if we “suffer in any way.” And I can point to Nature's own plan as a corroboration of the truth of my view, for her plan when we suffer in any way is to fling us into bed and take away our appetite, or at least to diminish our appetite if we are not so ill as to require to remain in bed.

The whole question of medical practice depends on the answer we give to this question, and therefore one might go on indefinitely with its discussion. Neither the Editors' space and patience nor my time allow of this; but I should like to ask M.D., with all respect, if he remembers what Dr King Chambers said of the starvation that comes of over-repletion? Dr King Chambers occupied one of the most prominent places as a consultant in London (very probably, I suppose) when M.D. was a very young man. My late lamented friend, Dr Dewey of Meadville, Pennsylvania, used the phrase “starvation from over-feeding,” not knowing that Dr King Chambers had used practically the same expression before him. That I made the same discovery myself, and independently, is not, I take it, a sign of acuteness of intellect or of observation. The amazing thing is that every practitioner is not compelled to make the same discovery. But if it is a true discovery, then it follows that all the signs of lowered vitality referred to by M.D., while they may be caused by under-feeding, may also be caused by over-feeding and may therefore require for proper treatment, not increase of the diet, but diminution of it. A low temperature, therefore, a slow pulse, languor, pallor, inanition, fatigue, good-for-nothingness, inefficiency, anorexia, anæmia, neurasthenia, etc., etc., may all be due to blocking of the body with too much food as well as to supplying it with too little. Fires may be put out by heaping up too much coal on them. To make them burn briskly we ought to push the poker in and gently lift the coal so as to admit of the entrance of air. Then in a while our fire will become brisk and bright. And so it may be in the body. Nay, my opinion is that almost always these marks of depression are caused by blocking up of the body and that therefore the proper treatment is, as a rule, not increase but diminution of the diet. The place in the body in which the blocking first occurs is the connective tissues or the tissues that connect every part with every other. It is here that the lymph is secreted, and as the lymph joins the thoracic duct which conveys the products of digestion to the blood, it is obvious that lymph-secretion is a complementary digestive process and it is also obvious how blocking up of the connective tissues, which is the immediate cause of anorexia and inanition, usually comes to exist in the body.

M.D. talks of “natural food.” He seems to be a vegetarian? Good. But is not the question of how much food we ought to eat equally urgent whether we are vegetarian or omnivorous? I think it is. I do not think that the chief cause of our illnesses to-day is taking wrong or unsuitable food. In my opinion we are ill mainly because we take suitable food too often and because we take too much of it. My answer to the question, therefore—“How Much Should We Eat?—A Warning”—turns on the previous question: What is the Function performed by Food in the Body? As I think that this function in the grown body is only to restore the waste, the warning in my mind is far rather that we should take less than that we should (as M.D. advises us) take more. I agree with him in the view that “chronic starvation is insidious.” But, as I believe that “chronic starvation” is usually a form of Dr King Chambers's “starvation from over-repletion” and of Dr Dewey's “starvation from over-feeding,” I am bound to be of the consequent opinion that it is to be met, not by increase, but by diminution of the diet. This is one of my reasons for thinking that none of us ought ever to eat oftener than twice a day, under fifty years of age, and that after that we would do well to eat once a day only. I feel sure that if we altered our habits in these ways, we should add very much both to the duration and to the efficiency of life. This is not a question of dietetics only. The issue is of the most practical character. What an addition of five or ten or fifteen or twenty or twenty-five years to the average duration of life might mean to this people and still more to the people of the whole globe is unpredictable by mortal man. But it is evident that it would be of the very greatest import to humanity. This is the great issue of the discussion of this subject. It seems to me that illness might be enormously diminished and health and efficiency and happiness immensely increased. But I think that these boons might be obtained, not by indulging the body and its appetites, but only by the exercise of a wise restraint and government over it. It is at least very much to be desired that more agreement might be manifested in the opinions and practice of qualified physiologists so that the public might have clear guidance, and not as at present, be advised in ways so conflicting that they do not know what or whom to believe.

A. Rabagliati, M.D.

To Tourists:

Every little village has a little shop where you can buy nasty little sweets.


He was a native of Liverpool, but had liver for many years in the Isle of Wight—Edmonton (Canada) Journal.

Funny he didn't go to Poole and leave his liver behind him.

—From an advt. in daily papers.

Evidently we have all been vegetarians and knew it not.

Nothing can replace salt.—From an advt. in Punch.

Many food reformers advantageously replace salt with nothing.

The golf craze has been greater this autumn than in any previous year. Nobody is quite safe from the fever. It seizes those who mocked at it, and pays no respect to sex or age.—British Weekly.

By the time the next Medical Congress comes round it is expected that at least three distinguished bacteriologists will have discovered the golf-fever microbe. They will probably agree to call it Mashilococcus Caddes.

Between lunch and dinner take another tumbler of water cold. Take a glass of cold water half-an-hour after lunch, half-an-hour after tea, half-an-hour after dinner, and before going to bed at night. Never drink between meals.—Woman's Life.

All other methods failing, try putting your watch half-an-hour on after each meal.

I once got a circular from a man who grew potatoes containing his photograph, and, I think, an autobiography.—Musical Standard.

Not nearly so convenient as one of those automatic egg-stamping hens.

Stop-Press News.

A “pocket clipper” has been invented (according to a certain catalogue) which can be used for the beard or hair at back of neck.

But surely people who can do anything so clever as grow a beard on the back of the neck ought not to be tempted to clip it off.

Peter Piper.


More Egg Dishes.

In our issue of May 1912 we published a number of special recipes for eggs. These were much appreciated. And even now this and other back numbers are asked for. We now give some further recipes.

It should be remembered that eggs are a simple form of animal food and much purer than meat. They are also easily digested by most people. They therefore form a very useful substitute for flesh-foods, especially where the latter have only recently been discarded.

The normal progress towards a more or less ideal diet involves, of course, the elimination of eggs as well as of other dairy products. But wise food reform proceeds always by steps.

Savoury Baked Eggs.

Melt a little butter, or vegetable fat, in an open earthenware baking dish; break into this as many eggs as required. Cover thinly with grated cheese; add a knob of butter and bake till set. The dish can be placed direct on the table.

Egg on Tomato.[13]

One egg, two medium-sized tomatoes, butter.

Skin the tomatoes; cut in halves and put them, with a small piece of butter, into a small stewpan. Close lightly, and cook slowly until reduced to a pulp. Break the egg into a cup, and slide it gently on to the tomato. Replace the pan lid and the egg will poach in the steam rising from the tomato.

[13] This recipe is from The Healthy Life Cook Book, a new and revised edition of which is in contemplation.

Savoury Egg Fritters.

Six eggs, two large tomatoes, half-teaspoon mixed dried herbs, about three tablespoons ground biscuits (“Ixion” or any of the unsweetened “P.R.” kinds).

Hard boil three of the eggs and chop them finely. Skin the tomatoes, mash them and add to the chopped eggs with the remaining eggs (well beaten), herbs and biscuit powder. Should the mixture be too moist to mould add more biscuit powder; if too dry add a little water. Cut and shape into finger shapes and either fry in olive oil or bake on buttered tin or open earthenware baking dish. (The last-mentioned is the best method, as the baking dish can be brought to the table as it is, and there is only one dish instead of two to wash up afterwards.)

Savoury Egg Patties.

The above Egg Fritter mixture made rather moist may be used as a filling for savoury patties.

Make for these a short crust with ½ lb. of Artox meal, 3 oz. of Nutter and water. Slightly bake the shells of pastry (made thin) before adding the filling, and finish to a golden brown.

Serve these and the fritters with either brown gravy or white sauce.

Sweet Egg Soufflé.

Five eggs, ¾ lb. soft cane sugar, 1 oz. ground rice, 2 oz. of butter, rind of half a lemon.

Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Beat up the yolks and sift in the ground rice, sugar and grated rind of the lemon. To this batter add the well-whisked whites. Well heat the butter in a frying pan, turn in the batter and fry over gentle heat till set. Fold over the edges and place on well-greased flat dish and bake for barely a quarter of an hour. Sift over some soft cane sugar and serve very hot.

Snow Eggs.

Three eggs, one and a quarter pints of milk, a teaspoon of soft cane sugar, vanilla flavouring.

Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs and whisk the whites to a very stiff froth with the sugar. Put the milk into a saucepan and when it boils drop in whites of eggs in small pieces shaped between two dessert spoons. Only a little should be cooked at a time in this way, and each should be allowed to poach for two minutes, and when done should be taken out with a slice and put on a sieve to drain. When all the whites are used in this way, strain the milk and add it to the well-beaten yolks. Pour into a double saucepan and stir over the fire till the custard thickens; flavour with vanilla to taste.

When cold pour into a dish and lay the snow eggs on top.

(Kindly supplied by Mrs Edith Wilkinson.)

Egg-raised Cherry Cake.

9 oz. good “standard” flour, 5 oz. Nutter (or other nut fat), 5 oz. cane castor sugar, 2 oz. preserved cherries (glacé), 2 oz. well-washed sultanas, 2 oz. ground almonds, four eggs, outer rind of lemon (grated).

Beat Nutter and sugar to a cream; add eggs one by one, beating all the time; have ready the flour, with the fruit, grated lemon rind and ground almonds mixed in, and add gradually to the above mixture, beating all the time, and until of even consistency throughout. Line a cake tin with double thickness of buttered paper, pour in the mixture and bake in moderate oven about one and a half hours.

Any housewife who doubts the possibility of making light and dainty cakes without the now customary baking powder and baking soda, etc., should try the above recipe. No one could wish for a more excellent cake.

Note On Casseroles.

Now that casserole cookery (i.e. cooking in earthenware dishes, both open and covered) is becoming more widely known and practised, readers will be glad to know that many housewives believe in boiling new earthenware before using it, as this effectually toughens and hardens it. This is particularly efficacious in the case of ordinary brown kitchenware, the articles being placed in a large pan of cold water which is then brought slowly to the boil. After being allowed to boil for ten minutes remove the pan and allow the water to cool before taking out the ware.


Under this heading our contributor, Dr Valentine Knaggs, deals briefly month by month, and according as space permits, with questions of general interest to health seekers and others.

In all Queries relating to health difficulties it is essential that full details of the correspondent's customary diet should be clearly given.

Correspondents are earnestly requested to write on one side only of the paper, giving full name and address, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. When an answer is required by post a stamped addressed envelope must be enclosed.—[Eds.]


Miss R.E.N. writes.—I am troubled with excessive perspiration. I neither eat meat nor drink tea. I have a cold sponge bath down to my waist every morning, and I change all my clothes when I go to bed. My diet is, roughly, as follows:

Breakfast.—Oatmeal porridge with toast or bread and jam or golden syrup. Hot water.

Lunch.—Peas, beans or lentils, eggs, cheese. Vegetables: potatoes and onions, or carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips. Puddings, fruit or milk wholemeal bread, not much sugar except for sweetening fruits, etc.

Tea meal.—Wholemeal bread and butter, nuts, jam, cake, pastry; hot water.

At bedtime.—Hot water or coffee.

If our correspondent wishes to remedy this excessive perspiration she must get a hot towel-bath daily (all over),[14] wearing porous linen-mesh underclothing next the skin. She should also discontinue the soft sugary and starchy foods, and not mix fruit with other foods (it is best taken by itself, say, for breakfast). She needs more of the cooling salad vegetables. The following diet would be a great improvement:—

On rising.—Half-pint of hot boiled water, sipped slowly.

Breakfast.—Wholemeal bread or biscuits and butter (all made without salt), with salad or grated raw roots. Stop porridge, jam and golden syrup. Avoid drinking at meals.

Lunch.—Two eggs, or 2 oz. of curd cheese. Two vegetables cooked in casserole without salt; wholemeal bread or biscuits and butter; a few figs, prunes, dried bananas, or raisins, washed but not cooked. Avoid milk puddings or stewed fruits as too fermentative and heating.

Supper meal.—1 to 2 oz. flaked nuts, some crisp “P.R.” or “Ixion” biscuits with nut butter. Some fresh salad or grated roots. Stop jam, cake and pastry.

At bedtime.—Half-pint of hot boiled water, or clear vegetable soup, sipped slowly.

[14] The Sanum Oxygen Baths are also excellent in a case of this kind.


Mrs L.B. writes.—Do you think it would be wise for a person suffering from ulcers in the throat and on other mucous membranes to adopt a diet devoid of meat, yeast and salt?

It would certainly be wise to discard meat and salt in a case of this kind, but yeast is sometimes useful taken as “unflavoured Marmite.” The chief cause of ulcers is the abuse of the soft cereal and sugary foods. In a case of this sort I should advise a diet consisting exclusively of well-dextrinised cereals—e.g. Granose, Melarvi, etc.—with plenty of grated raw roots and finely chopped salads and tomatoes. This can be combined with curd cheese, raw or lightly cooked eggs, flaked nuts or Brusson Jeune bread as the proteid part of the diet.


Mrs A.C.B. writes.—For two months my husband, who leads an active open-air life, has had severe pain all down the back of his left leg. It is like neuralgia, and comes on worse when sitting. He has been a farmer all his life, but is anything but strong and constantly taking cold. Are these pains likely to be due to wrong food?

This pain is evidence of sciatica. Chills alone will not produce sciatica, which has its real cause in the system being choked up with acids and toxins of various kinds. In such a case as this, warm water enemas should be taken freely to clear the colon well; sugar, milk and all starchy mushy foods should be strictly avoided; vegetables should be taken either as baked roots or as fresh salads; eggs and cheese should be substituted for meat; and plenty of fresh butter should be taken. Boiled water, between meals, will be good, but nothing should be given to drink with food. Salt, pickles, and greasy or highly flavoured foods should be avoided.


Miss E. would like to know what kind of diet is suitable for one who has been suffering from Bright's Disease following a serious illness. Why should meat have any bad effect upon the kidneys? She does not take it, although her medical man advises the use of it at once.

It is not an uncommon thing for people who have suffered from an acute septic fever to find albumen temporarily present in the urine. This is due to the irritant action of the toxins and other poisons (which the fever is the means of ejecting) upon the structure of the kidneys. The kidneys are filters and they remove the bulk of the soluble waste of the body.

The practitioner frequently finds albumenuria in cases of scarlet fever, typhoid fever, diphtheria, etc., and the object of his treatment is to prevent this condition of kidney irritation from becoming an established disease (Bright's disease).

Flesh foods, and especially meat extracts and meat soups, are the worst possible wherewith to feed these fever cases, because they throw so much extra work upon the kidneys. Meat is composed mainly of proteids. It also contains the urinary wastes and the toxins (due to fear) which were in the animal's body and on the way to elimination when it was killed.

This sufferer should take one meal per day consisting of fresh fruit only; the rest of the diet should consist of salad vegetables and finely grated raw roots, home-made curd cheese, dextrinised cereals (such as Melarvi biscuits, Shredded Wheat, “P.R.” crackers, Granose biscuits, Grape-Nuts, twice-baked standard bread, etc.) and fresh or nut butter.


W.H.H. writes:—I should be very grateful if Dr Knaggs could help me with any information or hints regarding phosphaturia. I suffer much from this troublesome complaint.

We have to remember that the nervous system is two-fold. The one, or conscious portion, consists of the brain and spinal cord, from which all the nerves or branches travel to all parts of the body and give us dominion over them. The other, or subconscious, called the sympathetic nervous system, lies on either side of the front of the spine as two long chains with centres, or ganglia, at intervals. This second system is not within our control and has to do with the regulation of our vegetative functions, including the bulk of the digestive process.

All nerves, whether they come from the brain or from the sympathetic system, ranging to their smallest terminals, are built alike of cells, and these cells secrete a complex fatty substance, called lecithin, whose dominant element is phosphorus. This phosphorus has to be supplied to the body with food, and as food, and it cannot be properly utilised or assimilated by the body or used by the nerves to build up their lecithin unless it is eaten in the form of organic compounds.

The tissues of the body are continually dying, as a result of work done, and are continually being replaced by fresh young tissues as needed. It is the function of the nerves to manage this work for us as well as to similarly arrange for reproduction.

In order to control the functions of the various organs and tissues and to regulate the rate at which they reproduce themselves, the nerves extend their terminal branches, not only into every tissue, but into every microscopical unit of such tissue, and the part of the cell which represents the nerve terminal is the inner structure called the nucleus.

Now it will be obvious that the more the two nervous systems are worked the greater will be their depletion of lecithin and the more need there will be for fresh supplies of phosphorus in the daily food rations.

The person who works hard, whether it be manual labour or brain work, needs food and rest at intervals in order that the nerves may recuperate and replenish their stocks of lecithin.

A goodly proportion of uncooked foods rich in phosphorus must be supplied to make good the wear and tear, and the digestion must equally be efficient if these food-stuffs are to become assimilated.

Cooking of food to a large extent breaks down the organic phosphorus salts and makes them inorganic. In this state they are of but little use to the body. Poor digestion associated with putrefactive fermentation equally converts the organic salts into inorganic ones. These pass into the blood and are promptly eliminated by the kidneys as waste (phosphaturia) and thus they never reach the nerves at all.

We must remember that phosphorus is usually found in natural foods bound up with the proteid and especially with that proteid which has to do with the reproduction of the species. For this reason man instinctively resorts to the use of egg-yolks, and to the various seeds (such as nuts, wheat, barley, etc.) because of their rich phosphorus content.

These proteid-bound phosphorus salts can only be properly utilised when the hydrochloric acid of the stomach juice is well formed, for it converts them into acid salts which are readily absorbed. Therefore to ensure free absorption we must always remember to give the phosphorus-containing foods with such meals as will cause free secretion of the gastric acid.

When fermentation is active and the stomach juices are weakened the germs of the intestines rapidly break up the phosphorus constituents of the proteids and make them inorganic. Therefore the first thing to do when a person is found to be suffering from phosphaturia is to stop the intestinal fermentation by a right diet, clear the bowels of their accumulated waste poisons and give the nerves plenty of rest. Another consideration to bear in mind is that the nerves need fat wherewith to build up the lecithin. An excessive fermentative sourness of the stomach makes the food so acid when sent into the bowels that the bile, pancreatic and other intestinal juices cannot neutralise them, and so the fats themselves are not emulsified and digested, which fully accounts for the mental depression and debility of which these patients complain.

People who are suffering from “nerves” in any form need plenty of pure fat (fresh dairy butter, cream, nut butter, fruit-oils, etc.) and an abundance of natural fresh vegetable products at once rich in phosphorus and iron and in organic alkaline acid-neutralising earthy salts. These arrest fermentation and so enable the phosphorus and the fat to become duly assimilated.


R.B., Lincoln, would like to know if there is very much difference, as regards food value, between the Jamaica and Canary banana. “I have heard it said that the Jamaica is only fit for the dust-heap. Well, I cannot very easily think it is so useless, and at the same time I have an idea that the Canary is the better of the two. I should be very pleased to know if you think there is much difference between them.”

The difference between Jamaica and Canary bananas is due to the length of time necessary for them to reach us from their place of growth. It takes, I believe, nearly twice as long for a ship to travel from Jamaica as from the Canary Islands. Hence the fruit imported from the latter place can be picked in a much riper condition than would be the case with the Jamaica article. This probably accounts for the better quality and flavour of the Canary banana. Besides this the climate may have some determining influence. To say that the Jamaica bananas should be discarded because they are of a less satisfactory food value or because their flavour is less developed is uncalled for. The disparity in price is also very marked, so that the poor can readily procure the Jamaica banana where they would not be in a position to afford the better class of fruit coming from the Canaries. I have discussed this subject in p.34 of my book, The Truth about Sugar.

H. Valentine Knaggs.



To the Editors.


Enclosed please find P.O. for a copy of The Healthy Life to be sent to Carnegie Public Library, close to Midland Station, Leytonstone, also to The Alexandra Holiday Home, Y.W.C.A., Alexandra Road, Southend-on-Sea. At the latter home there are something like 500 to 600 visitors every year, many of whom are semi-invalids. No doubt the magazine will be scorned by many, yet I am quite certain that there are others amongst the number there who will gladly welcome the truths it teaches, and if only one or two are helped to live a more healthy and therefore more happy life, it will be quite worth while. Please do not mention my name in either case. Yours, etc., X.

There is every reason why The Healthy Life should be known and read in every public library in the United Kingdom. In this we are entirely dependent upon those readers who are ready to follow the excellent example of the above correspondent. A year's subscription—2s.—is a very small price to pay for bringing the message of this magazine before the public in this way. We should like to hear from readers in all parts.—[Eds.]

Back Numbers

If readers who possess copies of the first number of The Healthy Life (August 1911) will send them to the Editors, they will receive, in exchange, booklets to the value of threepence for each copy.

Vol. V
No. 28
The Independent Health Magazine
3 Amen Corner London E.C.

There will come a day when physiologists, poets, and philosophers will all speak the same language and understand one another.Claude Bernard.


It was the slave-woman who laid her child under a bush that she might spare herself the pain of seeing it die!

One of the commonest sources of mental and moral confusion is to mistake the egotistic shrinking from the sight of suffering with the altruistic shrinking from causing it and desire to relieve it.

The so-called sensitive person is too often only sensitive to his or her own pain and, therefore, finds it difficult in the presence of another's suffering to do what is needed to relieve it.

The healer, the health-bringer, the truly sympathetic person, does not even hesitate to inflict pain when to do so means to restore health.—[Eds.]


Regular readers will recognise in this wonderfully simple and suggestive article a continuation of the series previously entitled “Healthy Brains.” The author of “The Children All Day Long” is an intimate disciple of one of the greatest living psychologists, and she has a message of the first importance to all who realise that true health depends as much on poise of mind as on physical fitness.—[Eds.]

Of all the occupations which imagination gives us, surely none is more popular or more delightful than the planning out of future days. Pleasure and fame and honour, work and rest, comfort and adventure: all things take their turn in our romances.

Not all the castles are for ourselves alone. In childhood it is our school, our club, our town that is to be the centre of great events. The young man's castle is a nest to which he hopes to bring a mate. The mother sees the future coronet or laurel-wreath round the soft hair of her baby's head. And we all build castles for the world sometimes—at least for our own country or our own race. Sometimes we knock them down and rebuild again in rather different shape—Mr Wells has taught us what a fascinating game it is.

Sometimes, especially perhaps in little, unimportant things, our imagination does centre chiefly around our own activities. What we mean to do, what we might do, what we would like to do: there must be something else besides selfishness and waste of time in the constantly recurring thoughts.

Who does not know the charm of looking down the theatre-list of the morning paper? One may be too busy or two poor to go often to the play, but the very suggestion of all the colour and interest is pleasant. Who does not like looking over prospectuses of lectures and classes at the beginning of the winter session? “I should like to go to that course on Greek Art. Oh, it is on Mondays, then that is no good. German, elementary and conversation. How useful that would be! Gymnasium and physical culture; how I wish I had another evening in the week to spare!”

Railway books, again, and guides and travel bills—how delightful they are! It is easy to plan out tours for one's holidays up to the age of 100. “Brittany; oh yes, I must go there one day. And Norway, that must really be my next trip.” The Rockies, the cities of the East, coral islands of the Pacific—they all seem to enrich our lives by the very thought of their possibilities.

Again, who does not love a library catalogue? To go through with a pencil, noting down the names of books one wants to read is a form of castle-building by no means to be despised.

Some people get the same pleasure out of house-hunting; they see an empty house and go and get the key in order to see over it. The chances of their ever living there are practically none, but the view gives a stimulus to their inventive activity: they plan out how they would furnish the rooms and fill the empty hearths with dreams.

Is not the same thing the explanation of shop-gazing? The woman who has bought her winter coat and hat does not as a rule refrain from looking any more into shop windows till the spring; instead, she clothes herself in imagination in all the beautiful stuffs she sees displayed, and if some of the things demand ballroom, racecourse, golf links or perhaps the Alps for the background, why, so much the better, the suggestion puts, as it were, a view from the windows of her castle in the air.

A garden—a dozen square yards or reckoned in acres—is full of material for our imagination; indeed, a seedsman's catalogue or a copy of “Amateur Gardening” will often be enough to start us; long lines of greenhouses will build themselves for us, or rockeries, or wild glens with streams in them, and the world will blossom round about us.

Sometimes it is ambition that calls us, personal or professional; we get beforehand the sweet taste of power upon the tongue. It may perhaps be sometimes the rewards of work, riches and honour and so on, but more often, I think, the dreams of youth circle round the work itself. We will be of use in the world, we will find new paths and make them safe for those coming after us to walk in, we will get rid of that evil and set up a ladder towards that good; we will heal, teach, feed, amuse, uplift or cherish the other human beings round about us. We will store only for the sake of distributing; we will climb only to be better able to give a helping hand.

Well, there are some danger signals at cross-roads of our dream-way, some precautions to be observed if we would not let romance obscure and hinder us in our search after reality. But none of these “castles” are bad in themselves. In so far as they quicken our attention power, deepen our thoughtfulness, make our activities more elastic and keep us from carelessness or sloth, they are surely all to the good as episodes in our development.

E.M. Cobham.


This article, the earlier part of which appeared in the October number, is from the French of Prof. H. Labbé, the head of the laboratoire à la Faculté de Médecine, in Paris. It reflects a characteristic aloofness to a any considerations other than scientific or economic. But it will well repay careful study.—[Eds.]


Though the consumption of vegetable foods seems to offer a slight disadvantage from the point of view of albuminoid matters, this is not the case touching hydro-carbonated matters and sugars. The vegetable kingdom constitutes the almost exclusive source of these alimentary principles. One cannot indeed take much account of the consumption of the .5-.6 per cent, of glycogen which exists in the animal muscle partaken of under the shape of butcher's meat. There is hardly enough in this for a large eater of between 200 and 250 grammes of meat, to find in hydrocarbonated matters the 1/300 or the 1/400 of the daily ration. Hydrocarbons are necessarily borrowed from the vegetable foods. This is also the case with sugars which do not exist in the animal kingdom in appreciable quantities. It is the same thing with alcohol which is obtained only from the vegetable kingdom.


As to fatty matters, animal foods, like vegetable products, are abundantly provided with them. Moreover, from the point of view of digestibility and capability of assimilating, one may say that there is a quasi-absolute identity between animal and vegetable fats. The reason which would induce us to prefer either would not seem to be of a physiological nature. The economics, which we shall see further on, take this upon themselves, as the most serious reproach which can be made against the use of animal dishes is doubtless their dearness, and the reason which militates most in favour of the predominance of a vegetable diet is to a certainty its cheapness.


Such are, briefly expounded and refuted, the fundamental objections which can be brought against the vegetarian diet and the “vegetalian” customs. There exists, in fact, no serious physiological or chemical reason for not satisfying our needs solely with foods of vegetable origin. It may be interesting to note that, in reality, the most confirmed flesh eaters support their energy-producing needs mainly with vegetable products. In the mixed diet universally practised meat plays but a small part.

In meat the waste in preparation and consecutive waste at table is considerable. To really introduce 200 grammes of meat into the stomach, nearly 400 grammes must be purchased, and expensively put into use. What do these 200 grammes really bring in nutritive elements?

200 gr. (mod. fat.) at 18%albumin = 36 gr. album., about.
""5% fat = 10 gr. fat, about.
46 gr.

These 46 grs. constitute barely the 8 per cent. of the total weight of a ration, averaged in nutritive elements, calculated as follows:—

Albumin 80
Fatty matters 70
Hydrates of carbon 350

This is a very feeble proportion.

If one turns to the calorific point of view, in order to estimate the share of energy useful to the organism, we arrive at much the same conclusion. The 46 grs. of nutritive animal elements barely provide 230 thermal units which can be utilised, while the total diet which we are considering brings a power of disposal of nearly 2,350 thermal units. It is, even then, barely 10 per cent. of the total energy. The most convinced flesh eaters, those who buy 400 grs. of meat a day for their consumption, must learn, willingly or unwillingly, that the animal element enters only in an infinitesimal part into their real substance and reparation.


Beyond this very feeble nutritive help is there, then, in meat, anything else which makes the use of this article of food necessary, agreeable or particularly strengthening? It is incontestible that meat contains stimulating substances, which, as Prof. Armand Gautier has said, play the part of nerve tonics, and have perhaps a direct action on the circulation.

These special meat matters are found concentrated in the gravy. Meat gravy, in fact, beside a feeble proportion of albuminoid matters, or solubly derived quantities, polypeptides, etc., in notable proportion of liberated acids, contains a certain quantity of matters, qualified by the generic name of extractives; a notable quantity of these extractive matters being creatine and creatinine, as well as substances of which the fundamental nucleus is the puric grouping. These purins, by the name which E. Fischer attributes to them, derive from a special grouping which it would be supposed exists in a hypothetic body, but which is not known in a state of liberty, purin. This first term gives rise to a series of bodies in lateral groups, of which the most interesting are caffeine and theobromine. Amongst these substances the one which has the maximum of oxidation is no other than uric acid. Caffeine and theobromine enjoy nervine properties and energetic vascular actions. These properties minutely studied are utilised every day for therapeutic purposes. It is probable that the other bodies of the series which are met with in the extract of meat enjoy analogous physiological properties. These substances are ingested without discernment, often in great excess, and daily, by people who consume meat.

Amongst these latter, many would not dare to drug themselves with a centigramme of pharmaceutic caffeine, whereas they absorb each day 0 gr. 5 and more, of its homologous constituents.

Therefore, in the same way as chocolate, tea and coffee, meat has a stimulating effect on the system. He who is accidentally deprived of it finds that he experiences a passing depression. This obviously proves that by the exaggerated use of meat, one drugs and doctors oneself without discernment. However this may be, the judicious part played by meat must apparently be reduced to that of a condiment food destined to produce in a measure the whipping-up which is useful, and sometimes indispensable to the system. We cannot here discuss the expediency of action and the harmlessness of the dose of substances reputed stimulating. But one can ask oneself whether, to attain this object of stimulation, carnivorous feeding is indispensable, and if vegetarianism could not supply the need.

The reply is easy: the vegetable kingdom disposes of a variety of stimulating articles, such as tea, coffee, kola and cocoa. Through their active substances these foods are nerve tonics of the first order, less dangerous in their use than meat, because more easily assimilated, of far more continuous effects, less mixed with other substances, sometimes noxious, and consequently more measurable. Besides, in pulse food, quantities of purins are found as important as in meat. If the part they play has not been systematically studied from the point of view of their effects on the nervous organism, they still give rise to the same terminal products, such as uric acid. One can quite well argue that the pulse purins have physiological effects comparable to those of meat purins. On the other hand, vegetable purins have the considerable advantage of being less easily precipitated in the urine, after the human interorganic metabolism, than those resulting from the metabolism of flesh material.

This explains why a frequent use of a vegetable diet offers appreciable advantages in the amelioration of arthritic diatheses so common amongst us. Certain effects observed in these diatheses arise from the purins, from their localisation in the system, and their vitiated metabolism. The use of a moderate vegetable diet is the best means of treatment in order to relieve, to ameliorate, even to cure, arthritic diathesis.


Such are the certain physiological advantages which the predominant use of vegetable products are capable of offering. If one takes the pure energy-producing point of view, the superiority of the vegetarian diet becomes greater still. From the fine works of A. Chauveau, modern physiology has shown us that muscle, in working, consumes sugary materials. These are provided by ingestions of sugar in a natural state, of dextrine or of starch; for a less important part, the glycogen of the system may also arise from hydrocarbonated cords existing in the molecule of certain albumins. Therefore it is only in an infinitesimal part, due to the fibrine of meat, and to the small proportions of glycogen which it contains, that flesh diet intervenes in the direct production of kinetic energy.

The demonstrations which have been essayed, touching the muscular superiority of vegetarians, appear superfluous to us. Such experiments could only have a positive value if they were made on both series of antagonistic subjects, with alimentary powers of energy-producing equality.

It should be distinctly understood that the vegetarian does not profit by any mysterious forces. The habit of preferring to nourish oneself with vegetable foods, can, at most, or at least, favour the physiological integrity of the subject, shield him against disease and assure his revictualment with foods recognised as active and easily measurable.

One cannot leave alcohol out of the list of advantageous vegetable foods. In fact, provided one keeps to strictly limited doses, it may be included among the alimentary foods, on a footing comparable to that of sugar. If one knew how to use without misusing it, alcohol might become a daily food.


Another order of ideas which one cannot pass by in silence at the present time militates in favour of vegetable alimentation. Dietetics cannot neglect economic problems. A flesh diet is very costly. In large towns, like Paris, at a time when everything is increasing in cost, one must be favoured by fortune to be able to indulge in the real luxury of consuming the calories of meat. As we said in 1905, with Prof. Landouzy and M. Labbé, in our inquiry into popular Parisian alimentation, the calorific energy of meat comes, on an average, to between 15 to 20 times dearer than that of bread or pulse foods.

The diet with a vegetable predominance may therefore, by those who adopt it, be considered as much less costly than a mixed one. Does not this fact, then, deserve to be taken into consideration and compared—startlingly illustrative—to the ingenious calculation recently made by Lefèvre in his examination of vegetarianism? One acre of land planted for the purpose of breeding cattle produces three times less living strength than an acre planted with wheat!

Is it not criminal, or at any rate ill-judged, for the richness and health of the country to have, by the laws of a draconian protectionism, spurred the French agricultural population along the road to the breeding of cattle, thus turning it away from cultivation? These laws are the cause, on the one hand, of the high price of wheat, owing to the abandonment of its culture and the barriers opposed to its entrance, and on the other, of the dearness of meat, owing to the stock and the land which the cattle require.

Under these facts economists have indeed a direct responsibility, as for more than fifty years economic orthodoxy has presented meat as a necessity, whereas it is the least advantageous particle amongst so many others.

In conclusion, let us hope that future distinctions of “Vegetalists,” vegetarians or flesh eaters may be completely abolished. In medio stat virtus. The dietetic regimen, the general adoption of which must henceforth be desired, must reject all preconceived and hereditary ideas, and unite in one harmonious use all foods with a hygienic end in view. The place of each one amongst them and its predominance over the others should be determined only by conforming to reasons at the same time physiological and economic.

H. Labbé.

To Our Readers.

Readers who appreciate the independence and all-round nature of The Healthy Life can materially assist the extension of its circulation by tactfully urging their local newsagent to have the magazine regularly displayed for sale. An attractive monthly poster can always be had free from the Publishers, 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.


This article gains additional interest from the fact that it has been written by one who works her own loom and teaches others the ancient and healthy art of hand-weaving.—[Eds.]

Hand-weaving is an art, a handicraft, one aspect of which we are apt to forget—namely, that it is a splendid health-giver. Indeed, all who have felt the rhythm of the loom, as they throw the shuttle to and fro, and in blending colours and seeing the material grow thread by thread, can witness to the power of the work to banish both the large and small worries that eat away our health of mind and body. The hand-weaver learns to look upon his (or her) loom as a very good friend.

The possibilities in weaving are immense, and the great difficulty that always confronts the weaver is the impossibility of letting gussets into the day: the end of the week comes all too soon.

One very satisfactory thing about weaving is the fact that from the very first we can use the things woven, even those we learn on.

First, there is plain weaving, with which we can make dress materials and many things for household use. Then come fancy and striped materials, which require more knowledge and ingenuity.

There are endless varieties in bands of different patterns thrown in with the shuttle, or shuttles, sometimes as many as a dozen of which may be in use at a time. These can be used for the purpose of ornamentation. In weaving these no end of play of colour can be made, by using many colours in rotation, either as the groundwork of plain material, under the patterns, or as the pattern itself.

Metal threads can also be used of various kinds, either as an entire texture, or to enrich the fancy bands.

Lastly, there is inlay weaving, by which we can put in by hand, with little separate bobbins, as we go along, any cross-stitch design, lettering, monograms, figures and designs of every description.

Anyone with a knowledge of carpentry can make his own loom, the construction being of a very simple nature. In fact, the Orientals erect a few sticks, dig a hole in the ground to sit in, tie their warp up to a tree, and then produce the most charming work, both in texture and colour.

The warp can also be made as these people often make theirs, by fixing it to sticks stuck into the ground, and walking backwards and forwards with the thread, singing as they go. Yes, singing! I think we English folk might learn from them to put more joy into our work, that fountainhead of life and health. We are apt to take such a serious view of ourselves and of all we do. So often, too, we only feel the dull and quiet colours, instead of using the many brilliant ones that nature loves so well. Once we begin working in, and appreciating, these we realise the exhilarating effect on our spirits. Indeed, I think we are only beginning to realise what a great influence colour has upon us, and all that colour signifies, each colour having various meanings of its own.

Many people are now realising that we are surrounded by a halo of colour woven by our character—the most highly developed people being surrounded by clear, bright colours. It is strictly true that we are all weavers, every day of our lives. By following the laws of nature we make the finest texture composed of all the most glorious colours or qualities in the Universe, so by degrees bringing ourselves, and others, into perfect harmony and peace.

Minnie Brown.


This discussion arose out of the article with above title, by “M.D.,” which was published in our July number.—[Eds.]


In dealing with this vitally important question, we shall most of us, I take it, agree upon certain points. In the light of recent knowledge upon, and extended experience of the subject, one such point which now appears incontrovertible is that there are thousands die annually—directly or indirectly—through overfeeding where one dies through insufficient nourishment. And it may at once be said that, as regards these thousands, the death certificates are practically valueless as data in relation to erroneous dieting, so that in this way we can never get at a correct estimate as to the actual number of deaths due to overfeeding. Bright's disease, gastric and intestinal affections, growths of various kinds, cancer, etc., are each in their turn certified as the “Cause of Death.” Most often, however, the initial cause is the overloading of the system with an amount of food beyond that which is necessary or healthful—and thereby clogging up the tissues, the organs and smaller bloodvessels.

But it may be said: “How can you substantiate such a general and sweeping statement?” In the first place—and this is profoundly significant—other things being equal, it must be acknowledged by all unbiased people that the small and moderate feeders do not contract disease in anything like the proportion that big feeders do, and as a natural consequence live longer lives.

Further, it must surely be quite evident by this time that there is a sufficiently large enough number of people who are thus existing in good health—and steadily regaining it where it has been lost—on the lines of moderate feeding. And the number is accumulating at a rapid pace; more and more are coming into line with those of us who, having thus found health in themselves, their patients and friends, are preaching the practice of two meals a day, and sometimes only one where there is serious organic disease to combat—thus defying the dicta of those eminent physiologists who “settled” the question years ago.

Now I quite admit—it would be impertinence to do otherwise—that “M.D.'s” statements and views must not be ignored, must indeed be respected. And he tells us that he “heard of,” in one day, three cases which “went wrong” through underfeeding; well, for those three cases we can point to hundreds who are going right through eating just enough and not too much. I am prepared, on the other hand, to admit the danger of a continued semi-starvation diet; our difficulty is to define in each individual case what exactly would be a semi-starvation, and what a sufficient diet. It is impossible to have a fixed standard for everybody. After all, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”; often it is a matter of experimenting for some little time, and in this way we could judge largely of the result of our dieting by our state of general health.

On some main points of the question I am now absolutely convinced—viz.:

1. Excessive bulk is always dangerous, often disastrous, causing sudden death in a large number of cases.

2. Starchy foods are best strictly limited as we get along towards middle age and beyond.

3. A life which is largely mental or sedentary will be healthier and longer on a strictly moderate diet.

4. A life largely of physical labour must be dealt with on its own particular conditions.

5. At all times due regard, of course, must be paid to age, weight, etc.

6. On the whole, “eminent physiologists” have erred on the side of excess of proteid being advised.

7. Middle age is the critical time of life in respect to a man's diet in other words, I would say in axiomatic form that as a man feeds at or about middle age, so will he be for the rest of his life.

J. Stenson Hooker, M.D.


As a very interested reader of this discussion I should be very glad to know exactly what “M.D.” means by each pound of bone and muscle in the body weight? What proportion (approximately) is it to total body weight? I have been trying to keep up to Dr Haig's 9 grains per lb. of “body weight” and find that it is too much for my digestive powers, which are very weak owing to chronic nervous dyspepsia. If I take 15 per cent. or 20 per cent. less proteid my troubles are so greatly lessened that I feel that to continue to take the lower amount would mean perpetual relief. But there have been so many warnings, including M.D.'s, of the dangers of under-nutrition, that I am in a quandary; and others of your readers too.

If M.D. means grains per lb. of something less than total body weight, a lesser amount of proteid than I try to take may have his sanction, and be safe for me.

Jno. A. Cookson.

There appears to be a sincere attempt in “M.D.'s” article to prove that a physiologist is the best guide in diet. But, as one can get the degree of M.D. without any scientific knowledge of dietetics, the inference that one would be likely to make from such an alarming article is erroneous. I say “alarming” because vague statements are made as to patients who were rescued just in time to be stimulated by over-feeding into a semblance of health, and we are treated to a list of very alarming symptoms in the last paragraph on p. 443.

“M.D.” says, “Suppose that the animal fed for years on unnatural food has become so pathological that it can no longer take or digest its natural food.” How grateful to M.D. for this statement will be those who long for an excuse to cling to the spoiled, boiled and unnatural dishes of which the popular diet mainly consists! And how they will continue to overeat themselves, content to avoid the truth regarding food quantities.

Living on a right and natural diet, a man or woman will correct the effects of wrong living. This will bring crises, and unless they know that this is Nature's attempt to rid the body of unwanted and effete matter they may be duped into returning to their high feeding, either by those whom “M.D.” calls diet quacks or by qualified quacks.

I do not believe it possible for anyone to die for lack of indication that they were eating too little.

The opposite is what people die of. If we carefully read Dr Rabagliati's article in the same issue we shall rightly ask what would be the results of analyses and measurements in such a case.

About a year ago we had a young woman under our care who had suffered with deafness and other troubles for years. She had tried dietetic treatments, “uric-acid-free” and otherwise, and had at last been told that her deafness was incurable, being due to heredity and deficiency in the organs of hearing. She was extremely thin when she came to us, but we did not measure her, nor analyse unclean excreta, nor weigh her.

She saw an M.D. who was in sympathy with the philosophy of fasting, and she fasted (taking water only) for 28 days. She then had four days of fruit juice, and was so disappointed at having broken her fast prematurely that she continued it for another 12 days, making 44 in all—40 days actual fasting.

[During this period she was living an almost complete out-door life.Eds.]

During the fast many interesting phenomena were witnessed, chief among which was the discharge from ears and nose—significant indeed to all who study Nature's ways. Result: normal hearing restored. This was nearly twelve months ago; and, having heard of her recently, we find that, though she had had a cold, there has been no recurrence of deafness. I wonder what assistance measurements would have been in this true cure. The patient (an adult) weighed 4st. 8 lbs. at the end of her fast and could then walk short distances.

The way in which “M.D.” dismisses “a little gout” in his last paragraph but one almost leads one to think that he is unaware of the failure of the natural defences of the body that must have gone on in a very serious degree before the manifestation of gout became possible.

I respectfully submit this problem to “M.D.”:—If a very thin patient can go without food entirely for 40 days, with only benefit accruing, how many centuries will it take for a fairly fat person to die through slightly under-eating?

As Dr Haddon has said, the proteid myth will die hard, but there are physiologists who, with their faces to the light, are finding the truth of man's requirements in food and who know that absolute purity and simplicity are the ideals to be sought and that all food we eat more than is absolutely necessary is a diversion of energy to carnal channels.

Ernest Starr.


In opposing vaccination I am aware that it is a thankless task to brave the abuse and antagonism which everyone who attempts to move forward in the work of medical progress is sure to encounter.

In order that I may not be regarded as prejudiced against the dogma of vaccination, I will preface my remarks with the confession that I was at one time myself a confiding dupe of the “tradition of the dairymaids.” While attending medical college I was told that inoculation with cow pox virus was a certain preventive of small-pox, and like most other medical students I accepted with childlike faith and credulity the dictum of my teachers as so much infallible wisdom. After an experience derived from treating a number of cases of post-vaccinal small-pox in patients who gave evidence of having been recently and successfully vaccinated, I awoke to a realisation of the unpleasant fact that “protective vaccination” was not all that was claimed for it. I thereupon began a study of the vaccination problem in all its bearings. After several years of reading, observation and experience I became fully convinced that “successful” vaccination not only fails to protect its subjects from small-pox, but that, in reality, it renders them more susceptible to this disease by impairing their health and vitality, and by diminishing their power of resistance.

Personally, I have known of recently vaccinated patients dying from small-pox while having the plainest foveated vaccine marks upon their bodies, and I have seen other individuals who had never submitted to vaccine inoculation have variola in its mildest and most benign type.

In view of such experience I refused to ignore the evidence of my own senses, and determined to follow the dictates of reason instead of the dogmas of faith, and have, consequently, for the past fifteen years refused to pollute the blood of a single person with vaccine virus.

I oppose vaccination because I believe that health is always preferable to disease. The principle and practice of vaccination involves the introduction of the contagion of disease at least twice, and, according to numerous authorities, many times, into the human organism. The disease conveyed by vaccination causes an undeniable impairment of health and vitality, it being a distinctly vaccine “lymph,” is taken from a lesion on the body of a diseased beast, and inserted by the vaccinator into the circulation of healthy children. The performance of such an insanitary operation, in the very nature of the case, is a violation of the cardinal principles of hygiene and of sanitary science.... Moreover, this operation is in direct controversion of the basic principles of aseptic surgery, the legitimate aim of which is to remove from the organism the products of disease, but never to introduce them.

The prime aim of the modern surgeon is to make every wound aseptic and to keep it so. The careful operator employs every means at his command to clear the field of operations of all bacteria. He utilises every particle of the marvellously minute and intricate technique of asepsis to prevent the entrance through the wounded tissues of any disease elements before, during or after the operation. He fears sepsis equally with death, and yet, under the blighting and blinding influence of an ancient and venerated myth inherited from his ignorant and superstitious forbears of a pre-scientific age, he will deliberately inoculate the virulent infective products of diseased animal tissues into the circulation of a healthy person. And as if to cap the climax of his stupidity and inconsistency, he performs the operation under “aseptic precautions.”

The poisonous matter which nature wisely eliminates from the body of a diseased calf in an effort to save its life and restore it to health is seized upon by the vaccinator and implanted into the wholesome body of a helpless child. Think of the unparalleled absurdity of purposely infecting the body of a healthy person in this era of sanitary science with the poison from a diseased beast, under the senseless pretext of protecting the victim of the ingrafted disease from the contagion of another disease! Can inconsistency go further?

I oppose the practice of vaccination because it is not known what vaccine virus is, except that it is a mixed contagion of disease. We hear much these days about “pure” virus and “pure calf lymph.” Nothing could be more absurd and meaningless than the flippant talk indulged in by vaccinators and the purveyors of vaccine virus about “pure calf lymph,” a hybrid product of diseased animal tissues. “Pure virus” translated into plain English is pure “animal poison.” The phrase “pure calf lymph” is applied to an brand of vaccine virus now in use is a misnomer for two reasons. It is not “pure” and it is not “calf lymph.”

Calf lymph is the normal nutrient fluid which circulates in the lymphatic vessels of the calf. Lymph is described by physiologists as a “transparent, colourless, nutrient alkaline fluid which circulates in the lymphatic vessels and thoracic ducts of animal bodies.” Lymph is a physiological product, while the so-called “pure calf lymph” used by vaccinators is a pathological product, derived from a lesion on a diseased calf. The difference between calf lymph and so-called “pure calf lymph” is as great as is the difference between a food and a poison. The vaccine mixture now most generally used by the medical profession is known under the name of “glycerinized vaccine lymph,” but it is not lymph at all. It is made by utilising practically the entire lesion or pock on the heifer when it is in the vesicular stage. Such a lesion is broken open and scraped with a Volkmann spoon until the whole of the tissue is forcibly and roughly curetted away, consisting of pus, morbid serum, epithelium, fibrous tissue of the skin, and any foreign matter on or in it, constituting what is called “pulp.” This pulp is then passed between glass rollers for trituration and afterwards mixed with a definite amount of glycerine and distilled water. This complex pathologic product of unknown origin is injected into the wholesome bodies of helpless children under the false but plausible name of “pure calf lymph.” ...

I oppose the practice of vaccination because under whatever pretext performed the implantation of disease elements into the healthy human organism is irrational and injurious. It is subversive of the fundamental principles of sanitary science, while the attainment of health as a prophylactic measure is rational and in harmony with the ascertained laws of hygiene and consistent with the canons of common-sense. I am firmly convinced that the absurd and unreasonable dogma which assumes to conserve health by propagating disease should receive the open condemnation of every scientific sanitarian. That this health-blighting delusion conceived in the ignorance of a past generation should find lodgment in the minds of intelligent people enjoying the light of the world's highest civilisation is to my mind inexplicable....

Sanitation and isolation of the infected offer the only rational and effective antidote for these disorders. Away, then, with the abominable and filthy subterfuge! Give us health instead of disease. Health is the great prophylactic.

No man in perfect health can be truly said to be susceptible to the infection of small-pox, nor to that of any other zymotic disease. Vigorous health confers immunity from disease-producing agents as nothing else can. It is usually after the vital functions have become impaired by the effects of vaccination or some other injurious cause that individuals become susceptible to small-pox infection.

J.W. Hodge, M.D.

[The above article can be obtained in pamphlet form from the publisher. Wm. J. Furnival, Stone. Staffs.Eds.]


(Specially written for The Healthy Life.)

A new race on the ruins of the old
Build we: a temple of the human form
Fairer than marble, since with life-blood warm,
Well crowned with its appointed crown of gold,
Russet or ebony; lines clear and bold
Beneath—a citadel no ills can storm,
Buttressed with health; a type to be the norm
In that great age the world shall yet behold.
For now the laws of Health and Heaven are seen
In their identity, life's body and soul;
Though, like divorce, disease may come between
What God hath joined; but at the human goal,
Where the New Race rules, splendid and serene,
Sit Health and Holiness, made one and whole.

S. Gertrude Ford.


We all long for reality. Most of the amusements in the world are imitations of the reality for which we long. They promise a satisfaction they are unable to give. Drink, mechanical love-making, all snatched gratification of the senses, religious excitement, revivalist meetings, and so forth, most theatre-going and sports, all simulate the real glory of life. They bring an illusion of well-being. They produce a glow in the nervous system. They cause the outlines of everyday life as we know it to grow suffused. They give us a momentary sense of heightened power and freedom. We float easily in a happy world. A sort of relaxation has been achieved. The less common forms of amusement bring us nearer to the gateway of reality. For some, they have been the rivers leading to the ocean of truth itself.

Art, for instance, the interpretation of life in terms of beauty; the “artist,” the man in whom sensuous perception is supreme, offers us a sublime aspect of reality. He dwells in the universe constructed for him by his senses and tells us of its glories. He achieves “freedom.” The veil covering reality is woven for him far thinner than for common men. He sees life moving eternally behind the forms he separates and “creates.” And to those of us who are akin to him, who are temperamentally artistic, he offers freedom of a kind. The contemplation of a work of art releases the tension of the nerves. To use the language of psychology it “arrests” us, suspends the functions of our everyday surface personality, abolishes for a moment time and space, allows the “free,” generally suppressed subconscious self to come up and flood the surface intelligence, allows us for a moment to be ourselves. But, still, this momentary relaxation, this momentary “play,” this holiday from the surface “I,” remains an affair dependent upon suggestive symbols coming from “without.” The supreme artist achieves freedom. We, who in matters of art are the imitative mass, can only have “change,” a new heaven and earth, a fresh “culture.”

Then there is love. That promises, at the outset, complete escape into freedom and reality. And supreme lovers, both of individuals and of “Humanity,” have indeed found freedom and the pathway to reality in love. But ordinary everyday people rushing idolatrously out to find themselves in others find in the end only another I. The religions perhaps work best and longest. But even here average humanity, where the mystical sense is feeble, are thrown back in the end upon ethics—and go somewhat grimly through life doing their duty, living upon the husks of doctrine, the notions and reports of other men.

If the play spirit within us, that longing for the real joy of life, for real relaxation and re-creation, fares so poorly for most of us in the amusements large and small that life offers to our leisure moments, is it any better in the “games” the individual chooses for himself—hobbies, for instance? Can these generally “instructive” and “useful,” generally also solitary, occupations be called play? Are they not merely a reversal of life's engine, rather than an unmaking and a remaking. They are merely a variant of life. They are very truly called a “change of occupation.” They are led and dominated, commonly, by the intelligence. They contain no element of freedom. The same defect is found in all organised “games.”

Real play, like every other reality, comes from what our mechanical and practical intelligences have called “within.”

Real play arises when the “I” is in direct contact with the myself, with Life, with God, with the actuality moving beneath all symbolic representations.

It is only when “I,” the practical, intelligent, abstract-making, idealising, generalising, clever, separated “I,” the “I” which has a past, a present and a future, renounces its usurpation of the steering apparatus, that play can be. “I,” to play or to pray or to love, must be born again. “I” must relinquish all. “I” must have neither experience nor knowledge, neither loves nor hates, neither “thought” nor “feeling” nor “will”—nor anything that can arrest the action of the inner life. When this complete relaxation, which has its physical as well as its mental aspect, is achieved, then and then only can “I” rise up and play. Then “I” shall rediscover all the plays in the world in their origin. “I” shall understand the war-dance of the “savage.” “I” shall know something about the physical convulsions of primitive “conversion.” The arts may begin to be open doors to me. “I” shall have stood “under,” understood my universe, in the brief moment when “I” abandoned myself to the inner reality. The words of the great “teachers” will grow full of meaning. My own “experiences” will be re-read. I shall see more clearly with my surface intelligence what I must do. I shall be personal in everything, personal in my play. Surface self-consciousness which holds me back from all spontaneous activity will disappear in proportion as “I” am immersed in the greater “me.”

Look at that woman walking primly down the lane to the sea with her bathing-dress. She is a worker on a holiday. But she cannot play. She goes down every day to bathe in the Cornish sea, the sea that on a calm sunny day is like liquid Venetian glass and flings at you, under the least breeze, long, green, foam-crested billows that carry you off our feet if you stand even waist-high. She potters in the shallows and splashes herself to avoid taking cold. Her intelligent “I” is uppermost. Her world of every day never leaves her. She will go back to it as she came, unchanged. Her wistful face betrays the seeker lost amidst unrealities. If the “I” were a little more intelligent, she might try to defy the surrounding ocean, to pit her powers against it, to swim. She would learn a most practical and useful and withal invigorating accomplishment. If her busy, watchful “I” could be arrested she might “see” the billows, the sky and the headlands reared on either side of her bay. She might dance into the water, and see her world dance back. She would fling herself amongst the wavelets where she stands and splashes. She might give herself up and know nothing but the beauty and strength around her. It would not teach her to swim, but she would have taken a step towards the great game of walking upon the waters.

D.M. Richardson.


One is often tempted to suspect that in some schools there is a deep-laid plot to destroy in the bud any love for poetry which children may possess. Otherwise how is it that little boys and girls are made to commit to memory William Blake at his highest reach of mystical fire, as in Tiger, Tiger, burning bright, or William Wordsworth at his lowest ebb of uninspired simplicity, as in We are seven? These are very popular, apparently, as poems for children to recite; yet in the one case it is beyond any teacher's power to show children the unearthly flaming beauty which alone gives the poem its peculiar quality and undefinable power; and in the other the maudlin sentimentalism and almost priggish piety of the verses are positively dangerous to the child's health of mind. Both types of recitation work out in the end to this—that when the child attains adolescence, and the great world of literature dawns on the hungry mind, an evil association of ideas has been established—the association of poetry, the highest of all arts, either with the saying of lines without meaning, or with the learning of “poems” devoid of what wholesome youth really desires or enjoys.

People may wrangle all night as to whether the normal healthy child is at heart a mystic or a realist; whether he likes fairy tales because they show him a magical world where flowers can talk and umbrellas are turned into black geese, or because they tell of strange romantic things happening to a real human boy like himself; but there can be no shadow of doubt that much of the verse intended for children is either too clever in its humour to make them laugh, or too bald in its matter or tone to stir the romance that is never quite asleep in their hearts. There are really surprisingly few versifiers who have altogether avoided these errors. Some of George Macdonald's Poems for Children are almost perfect, both as regards lyrical form, simplicity of language and in the unobtrusiveness of the inner truth they convey. For example,

“The lightning and thunder
They go and they come;
But the stars and the stillness
Are always at home.”

But others come perilously near mere versified moralising. Lewis Carroll's nonsense verses in the two famous Alice books are supreme among their kind; but are they not sometimes just a shade too ingenious, or too adult in wit? Probably Stevenson, in those seemingly artless poems in A Child's Book of Verse, comes nearest to a level perfection. Who has ever approached him in his power to understand and express the small child's world, desires and delights, without a trace of the grown-up's condescension or self-consciousness?

Well, these great ones are no longer in the world; yet, with the recognition of their genius, there is the usual danger of bemoaning the lack of worthy successors. Not but what there is some excuse for such lamentation; for this reason that every Christmas there is a veritable flood of children's verse, a great deal of which is either painfully didactic, painfully sentimental, painfully funny or painfully foolish.

What I wish to do at the moment is to call attention to the fact that there is one man alive in England—one of many, I do not doubt: but one at a time!—who is doing “nonsense verses” for children which are guiltless of all the faults I have indicated above.

Jack Goring is known among some of his friends as “The Jolly Rhymster.” He writes his verses first for his own children, and then publishes them from time to time for the pleasure of other children. The secret of his success is partly that he knows that even small children like a story to be an adventure; partly that he understands how their own romances, the things they picture or hum to themselves when well-meaning adults are not worrying them, or rather, trying to amuse them, begin—wherever they may end!—with a perfectly tangible object, such as a pillar-box, a rag-doll or a toy locomotive. One of “The Jolly Rhymster's” best things begins—

“Finger-post, finger-post, why do you stand
Pointing all day with your silly flat hand?”

—which is exactly the sort of question that a very small child in all probability does really ask itself when it has seen a finger-post day after day at a cross-roads. How the poem continues and where it ends you must find out for yourself. It's all in a book called The Ballad of Lake Laloo.

In the recently published volume[15] that now lies before me, this telling of a tale of wonder which begins with an ordinary thing is again evident. Nip and Flip, aged six and four respectively, are the adventurers; and they make three voyages in this little book. In the first, The Fourpenny-Ha'penny Ship, they circumnavigate the world. Now please note how Mr Goring strikes the right note at the very outset:

“Nip and Flip
Took a holiday trip
On a beautiful fourpenny-ha'penny ship
With a dear little handkerchief sail;
And they sang, ‘Yo ho!
We shall certainly go
To the end of the world and back, you know,
And capture the great Seakale.’”

[15] Nip and Flip. By Jack Goring. Illustrated by Caterina Patricchio. 1s. net (postage 1½d.). C.W. Daniel, Ltd., 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.

And there follows a picture (in black and gold) of this strange monster, just to make sure that no one will suppose they were out after a vegetable.

The tale moves along, as such stories should, very rapidly. Thus—

“And when they came to the end of the world,
Their dear little handkerchief sail they furled
And put on the kettle for tea.”

But you have only just time to look at the tea things when—

“But alas! and alack
About six o'clock
The good ship strack
On the Almond Rock
And split like a little split pea.”

So the story goes on, through divers adventures,

“From Timbuctoo to Timbucthree”

and so at last home again.

The next voyage is to the land of Make-Believe on a Christmas Eve, “in a long, long train of thought.” In the course of this tale we are given a little picture of Flip herself, and here it is for you to look at. A girl wearing a dress, with a ribbon in her hair. Only, in the book her shoes and stockings, the inside of her skirt, and the squiggly things on the top of her head are a bright golden colour.

The third voyage is all the fault of a toy monkey—“six three-farthings and cheap at the price”—and takes them among whales, mermaids, sea-serpents and other deep-sea creatures.

Here, then, are delightful little pictures on every page, which even a two-year-old will enjoy. And here are verses which most boys and girls under seven or eight will like to learn. And the best of it is that it doesn't matter a bit if they do “sing-song” them, for they are the kind of verses which only sound right from the lips of quite small children who have never been taught elocution.

Edgar J. Saxon


SOUP.—Oxtail from 10 a.m.—From a Restaurant Menu.

What it was in the early morning it would be indiscreet to inquire.

I learn that a serum for mumps is now being made at the Pasteur Institute. “A number of monkeys were inoculated with the serum,” says The Times (30th July), “and a mild form of the disease was produced.” It is an age of scientific progress, so we may expect news shortly of sera for toothache, hiccough, and the hump. It will not be necessary to inoculate camels for the last.

You will say—with Mr Arnold Bennett, the distinguished playwright and novelist—“the tonic effect of ********* on me is simply wonderful.”—From an advt. in Punch.

You may join in the chorus if you like, but you mustn't all expect to be simply wonderful playwrights and testimonialists.

A Strange Shampoo.... “I make my chemist get the stallax for me,” said she. “It comes only in sealed packages, enough to make up twenty-five or thirty individual shampoos, and it smells so good I could almost eat it.”—Secrets of Beauty column in The Daily Sketch.

Which only shows how careful one has to be.

In the days to come every army will fight on bloodless food.—Herald of the Golden Age.

When every army fights on bloodless food, we may be just as far from the Golden Age as we are now.

I am told that an obscure practitioner who sent up an account of some interesting discoveries, addressed to


has had his communication returned by the Post Office, marked Not Known.

There is no truth, it is said, in the rumour that a secret meeting was held during the Congress to discuss the proposed raising of the rate of commission payable by surgeons to physicians.

Peter Piper.


Some “Emprote” Recipes.

Exaggeration is popularly regarded as one of the vices of food reformers; but it is certainly no exaggeration whatever to say that Mr Eustace Miles and the restaurant associated with his name have had a large share in bringing about the more sympathetic attitude towards “food reform” noticeable on all sides to-day.

Mr Miles is no amateur in the gentle art of self-advertisement: he would be the first to admit it. But the advertisements have resulted undoubtedly in a very large number of people taking the first steps towards food reform, people who are repelled by the out-and-out “vegetarian” propaganda.

There are those who view with disfavour the introduction of manufactured or artificial foods into the health movement; they think it hinders simplicity. There is a truth in this; but, on the other hand, it must be recognised that the great majority cannot be reached save by meeting them half-way. This applies to the flavours of foods, the digestibility of foods and the convenience of foods. Few can go straight from beef to nuts. After generations of abuse the human digestive system has to be humoured if the ideal is to be approached. And in this invaluable work of meeting people half-way and of humouring their tastes and digestions, the restaurant in Chandos Street, London, the specially prepared foods made and sold there and the strongly individual, thoroughly sane and pleasantly straightforward advocacy of Mr. Eustace Miles have been a very important factor.

The idea behind “Emprote”—the Eustace Miles Proteid Food—is that, being a blend, in powder form, of various kinds of proteid (the proteids of milk, of wheat, and so forth) it supplies the right kind of substitute for flesh foods not only because it is so easily assimilated, but because it is in a very convenient and easily kept form.

We believe such foods have a very definite and necessary part in the progress of the individual from the customary unhealthy diet to the better ways of feeding. The following recipes illustrate some of the methods of using “Emprote.” They are taken from the booklet 45 Quick and Easy Recipes for Healthy, Meatless Meals, to be obtained for 2½d. post free from 40 Chandos Street, London, W.C.—

Savoury Cheese Sandwiches.

NOTE.—These Savoury Sandwiches can form a complete meal with a little salad (dressed with oil and lemon juice), or celery or lettuce or watercress or other salad material.

3 oz. of cheddar cheese; 1 oz. of “Emprote”; the juice of half a lemon; two tablespoonfuls of fresh tomato pulp or tomato chutney; a pinch of celery salt.

Prepare some slices of not too new bread and butter. Mill the cheese, add to it the “Emprote” and the celery salt, then add the tomato pulp or chutney and the lemon juice. Mix all well together into a smooth stiff paste, and spread upon the slices, and form sandwiches, which may be eaten with watercress or lettuce or cucumber. If the material is too moist, mix in a little more “Emprote,” or else “Procrums.”

Macaroni Cheese.

One teacupful of macaroni; two tablespoonfuls of milled cheese one tablespoonful of butter; one dessertspoonful of flour; one tablespoonful of “Emprote”; one large cupful of milk.

Boil the macaroni for half-an-hour in a little water. Strain the macaroni and put it in the bottom of a buttered dish. (Put the liquid in the stock-pot, to thicken a soup.) Mill the cheese, and put half of it over the macaroni. In the small saucepan make a sauce of the butter, flour, milk and “Emprote.” Pour this over the macaroni and cheese, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top, put in the pan to brown, then serve.

Stuffed Vegetable Marrow.

Mince two large onions very fine, and fry in 1 oz. of butter; add 3 oz. of “Proto-Savoury,” one dessertspoonful of Nutril, 1 oz. of breadcrumbs (or “Procrums”), and one egg. Scoop the seeds from one large vegetable marrow, fill with the mixture, and bake for one hour. Serve with Apple Sauce.

NOTE.—“Proto-Savoury,” “Nutril,” and “Procrums” are special “E.M.” products and are readily obtainable from health Food Stores, etc.

A Nourishing Gravy Ready In A Minute.

When cutlets or croquettes are heated up, or when macaroni or vegetables or a vegetable stew (none of which are really adequate substitutes for meat) are to be made nourishing, mix some of the E.M. Savoury (or Mulligatawny, or Blended) Gravy Powder, with hot water, to the thickness of gravy, and add to the dish.


In cold weather fruit is often cold, and if heated in an oven may be injured partially or wholly. Here is, perhaps, a new way of warming fruit which has been tried and proves satisfactory. Wash the apples, pears, oranges, bananas and wipe them and place on a dish on the dinner-table. Also place a jug of boiling water and a bowl upon the table. Then when the fruit is required pour the hot water into the bowl and place the fruit in it and cover with a plate until warm enough to eat comfortably. Bananas should be peeled before placing in hot water.



Under this heading our contributor, Dr Valentine Knaggs, deals briefly month by month, and according as space permits, with questions of general interest to health seekers and others.

In all Queries relating to health difficulties it is essential that full details of the correspondent's customary diet should be clearly given.

Correspondents are earnestly requested to write on one side only of the paper, giving full name and address, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. When an answer is required by post a stamped addressed envelope must be enclosed.—[Eds.]


Mrs M.K. writes:—Until the last few years I have been subject to sciatica and a certain amount of dry eczema. About a year ago my health greatly improved, with the exception of the eczema, which has much increased the last year, coming out in large angry spots which irritate. I am 69, small, spare and white, have never been strong until a year ago, have led a sedentary life, being an artist. Three years ago I left off eating meat. My diet at present is:

On rising.—Cup of hot rain-water.

Breakfast (8 a.m.)—Unfired Bread with butter and pine nuts; cup of weak tea, no sugar.

At 11.—One raw apple.

Dinner (1 p.m.)—One lightly boiled egg or an omelette, with “Artox” home-made bread, and butter conservatively cooked celery or broccoli; stiff milk pudding with eggs in it, or “Artox” pastry.

Tea (5 p.m.).—Weak China tea “Artox” bread, and butter, and home-made plain cake.

Supper (8.30).—Slice of bread and butter; tumblerful of hot rain-water sipped at bedtime.

I have not been able to digest uncooked vegetables, excepting lettuce; nor do I eat other fruit than apples; any sweet things cause acidity. I do not suffer with constipation.

In this case it will be noted that the skin disease occurred simultaneously with a marked improvement in health. This shows that Nature was adopting her usual plan of forcing the impurities outwards to the surface and that the change of diet made this possible. With her body less encumbered with waste a return of health became possible.

The plan now to adopt is not to check this skin trouble but to cure it along safe lines by amending the diet and purifying the skin itself by means of warm alkaline baths.

These baths, which should be taken twice a week at first, are made by adding a ¼lb. of bicarbonate of soda and a ¼lb. of “Robin” starch to an ordinary hot bath at a temperature of 105 degrees, which can be gradually increased to 110 degrees as the correspondent can bear it. In this the bather stays for from ten to twenty minutes to well soak out the acids and the oily greasy waste from the surface. The starch is added because it moderates the action of the alkali and leaves a comfortable gloss on the skin after the bath is finished. The bath gradually clears the poisons from the skin and encourages the free action of perspiration, thus promoting the further elimination of waste acid poisons and at the same time clearing the skin and making it healthy.

The next thing to do is to amend the diet so that as little waste as possible shall be formed. Rice is the cereal that contains the least amount of waste of any kind and this should therefore be the cereal selected. The wholemeal, although good for most people, is not suited to this case. A strict salt-free diet is also necessary, as it is often the retention of salt in the system that leads to the presence of eczema. The following amended diet should suit the case, and it should be continued until the skin has quite cleared itself:—

On rising.—Cup of filtered boiled rain-water.

Breakfast.—Cottage cheese, 2 oz.; rice, boiled or steamed without salt (large plateful), with Granose biscuits or toasted “Maltweat” bread.

At 11 a.m.—More rain-water (not fruit).

Lunch.—The same as breakfast.

Tea.—Hot rain-water only.

Supper, 6.30.—The same as breakfast.

When the skin is quite clear the correspondent can return to the wholemeal bread (but biscuits made with “Artox” would be better than the yeastless bread), and also to a more varied diet generally, as at present.


J.G. writes:—My hearing got bad about twenty years ago, caused I think by a cold in the head. When in bed I can hear the tick of a watch with the left ear but the other is almost stone deaf. I am not much at a loss in ordinary conversation, but in trying to hear people speak I lose much of what is said. Although I have no real pain, my head is rarely clear, feeling full and congested. I have now and again a slight sensation of giddiness or reeling. The right ear runs some offensive matter, and there is always a hissing sound. I live what is, I think, a simple life, but I must confess to a little smoking. My general health is good. I am a working farmer and fairly active for one of my age (69). My diet is generally as follows:

On rising.—One or two cups of warm water, sometimes with lemon juice.

Breakfast.—An apple or orange, oatcake and dairy butter. Baker's bread and one cup of tea.

Lunch.—Nil, or perhaps I should say that I eat an apple or orange before each meal or a bit of turnip or even cabbage.

Supper.—Potatoes with fish, and milk pudding. On some days it may be broth with meat cooked in it.

Before retiring.—Nothing but water, or at other times oatcake and one cup of milk.

There does not seem to be much prospect of this correspondent recovering the hearing of his right ear, as the conditions have lasted so long. He might, however, certainly try by diet and hygiene to get rid of the unpleasant discharge and the noises. To effect this he should carefully syringe the ear once or twice a day with a weak solution (1 grain to the ounce) of permanganate of potash, using an all-rubber ear-syringe.

Then he should get someone to well stretch the upper bones of the spine and to massage well the muscles at the back of the neck to induce, thereby, a better circulation in the nerves and blood-vessels which proceed from that part of the spine into the ears. In this way he will be able to ensure a removal of the clogging poisons which are lurking in the bad ear and thus promote less noises and a better health state of the ears generally. The diet should be amended as follows:—

On rising.—One or two cups of warm water, with lemon juice added.

At 8. Breakfast.—Apples, oranges or other fruit only. Take plenty of fruit at this meal and eat it at no other time.

At 12. Lunch.—One boiled egg or some cream cheese: Oatcakes and butter or good wholemeal biscuits (“P.R.” or “Ixion” kinds) and butter, and a plateful of finely grated raw roots (carrots, turnip, etc.).

Tea meal.—One cupful of Hygiama, using water in place of milk.

Dinner.—Cheddar cheese or cottage cheese (the latter is best); potatoes and a green vegetable, cooked by baking or steaming, without salt. No broth or meat. (Meat and especially meat broths are very undesirable in this case.)

Before retiring.—Hot water only.


J.A.B. writes:—I have been a reader of The Healthy Life for the last six months, and am suffering from a complaint since I was three years old. When three years old I was attacked by scarlet fever and on getting better I had a discharge from my right ear. This continued for several years, then it would disappear and reappear at short intervals of say a few weeks. This last few years the discharge has disappeared for six months, only to reappear again for a week with severe pains in back over right shoulder and right side of neck. I always feel weak and tired when discharge reappears and sometimes experience pains in the head and cannot remember anything for a few minutes.

This correspondent needs a suitable diet in order to purify his blood stream and to promote elimination of bodily poisons which are evidently affecting his ears. He also needs suitable massage and stretching movements applied to the upper part of the spine, which is functioning badly. Then he can supplement this by taking Turkish baths or wet sheet packs to promote a free action of the skin and thus clear away poisonous waste from the system. The same diet as recommended to the previous correspondent should be tried.


Mrs C.E.J. writes:—I have been making cottage cheese curdling the milk with lemon juice, as recommended in The Healthy Life. Suppose the milk contains disease germs, would not this cheese be injurious, as the milk is not sterilised by being brought to boiling point? I have also been drinking the whey from the same, as it as given in The Healthy Life Beverage Book. I notice in a reply given in this month's issue that Dr Knaggs states that the whey of the milk is the dangerous element. Since reading this answer I have been somewhat in doubt as to drinking the whey. I should like to know if it can be taken without harmful effects.

Ordinary unboiled milk, free from preservatives, is far less dangerous to health than boiled milk, because Nature inserts in the raw milk certain germs known as the lactic-acid-producing bacilli, which protect us from the injurious germs. These lactic germs cause the milk to go sour and produce in this way the much-extolled soured or curdled milk. They convert the sugar of the whey into lactic acid by a process of fermentation. If milk is boiled it cannot go sour because the germs natural to it have been destroyed by the heat and it becomes necessary to introduce fresh lactic germs into the boiled milk as is done in the artificial production of curdled milk. Failing this, milk will undergo, not lactic fermentation, but putrefaction, and thereby develop highly dangerous qualities.

When a person takes soured milk its lactic acid acts as a powerful germ destroyer and in a certain concentration it actually kills the lactic germs as well. It also keeps down the disease-producing germs of putrefaction which work in an alkaline medium (opposite to acid) by depriving them of the sugar of the whey.

Boiled milk, if set on one side, in warm weather, speedily becomes alkaline and putrid or putrefactive. It is in this condition that, when babies take it, they are made dreadfully ill with diarrhœa and inflammation of the stomach and bowels. Hence it is the chief cause of the appalling mortality among infants in hot weather.

Mrs F.K.J. need have no fear of any harm coming to her as a result of eating cottage cheese, but she should not take the whey unless she has decided to undergo a whey cure and take nothing but whey; in this latter case, there being no other foods taken, there will be no germs to act harmfully upon it. If there is much flatulence and stomach or bowel trouble sweet milk or whey will simply feed the germs which are the cause of the digestive trouble, or self-poisoning, and are thus far better discarded.


Miss N.S. writes:—For the last three weeks I have been troubled with a very bad cough It started in the first place with a cold in the head and then it got on my chest, and do what will I cannot get rid of it. I have been having honey and lemon juice, and also each morning have taken olive oil and lemon juice beaten up together, but without (apparently) any effect. I have bad coughing fits in the night and the next morning I do not feel up to much.

I may say that I have not taken meat for about six years, and I try to follow the kind of diet advocated in The Healthy Life.

I am 23 years of age and a typist in an office, which is about 4 miles from my home. I try to get out in the fresh air as much as possible to counteract any bad effects which may arise from my work. My people at home are very much opposed to my food reform sympathies and efforts.

This correspondent should consult a sensible doctor about this cough and thus be on the safe side. It is unwise to allow a cough to become chronic without ascertaining the cause of it. Coughs are often due to stomach and liver trouble, as distinguished from lung trouble. In either case a salt-free diet will greatly help. Thus

Breakfast.—All fresh fruit, nothing else but fruit. Apples best. (Not stewed fruit).

Lunch.—Boiled or steamed rice, done without salt; about 2 oz. cottage cheese or a poached egg; a little raw carrot, turnip or artichoke, finely grated, with dressing of fruit-oil beaten up with a raw egg. The grated roots must be well chewed; as a change they may be cut up and cooked in a casserole with very little water.

Dinner.—Potato baked in skin, with fresh butter, a little cheese, or flaked nuts, and a few plain rusks, or a saucer of P.R. Breakfast Food, dry, with cream. The honey and lemon juice should be disgarded in favour of liquorice (little bits being sucked at intervals) or of linseed tea. I have often found an obstinate cough yield to a diet which contains lactic acid buttermilk, combined with the use of the new oxygen baths. The lactic acid buttermilk can be obtained from any good dairy and should be taken in the morning fasting and at bedtime.


W.G.B. writes:—Referring to article in January number entitled “Grape juice for all,” I think perhaps it would interest others besides myself if Dr Knaggs would give us his opinion on the value of what are commonly termed “Water Grapes,” as compared with more expensive kinds.

On the Continent the grape cure is a popular method of treatment. It is especially good for those who are anæmic and underfed as well as for those who suffer in the opposite way from over-feeding. It depends upon which condition is present as to the kind of grapes selected for the cure.

Fully ripe grapes with but little acidity (water grapes) are best suited for persons suffering from anæmia and malnutrition. The unripe or sour grapes answer best for cases of over-eating associated with constipation, gout and allied disorders of nutrition. The excess of acid and cellulose helps the bowels and promotes elimination of the gouty poisons.

Our correspondent will note that for thin people who are pale and deficient in vitality the water grapes will be found most salutary. They are best taken alone at breakfast without the addition of any other form of food.


E.J.H. writes:—A friend of mine who is suffering from an attack of neuritis (not badly) is desirous of trying the diet of twice-baked standard bread as recommended by Dr Knaggs in an answer to a query in The Healthy Life some months since. She has asked me if Dr Knaggs would limit the quantity of this bread taken in the course of the day. If Dr Knaggs will very kindly tell me this I shall be greatly obliged.

Neuritis is a form of rheumatism or gout which involves the nerves. Its usual starting centre is the spine itself, from which all the nerves of the body spring. The diet needs to be greatly restricted so that the poisons can be eliminated. The most important foods to cut down are the cereals because they are very slow to digest and are apt to cause constipation with its attendant self-poisoning of the system with uric and other acids. Horses and animals suffer from neuritis from over-feeding with cereals and beans, and the stockbreeder or horse expert usually restricts these foods and gives plenty of grass, hay, chaff and green clover, which corrects the trouble.

The same thing applies equally to man. He should take his cereals in the form they are the most easily assimilated—namely, twice-baked or dextrinised. Thus “pulled” or twice-baked bread, Granose or Melarvi biscuits, or rusks, or toasted “Maltweat” bread are the best form of cereal for people suffering from neuritis. Other treatment besides diet restriction is, of course, needed to cure neuritis, because we have to clear the clogged tissues of the poisons which are interfering with right nerve action. Thus we can resort hot alkaline baths, Turkish baths, massage and Osteopathic stretching movements to help in this respect.

H. Valentine Knaggs.

Back Numbers

If readers who possess copies of the first number of The Healthy Life (August 1911) will send them to the Editors, they will receive, in exchange, booklets to the value of threepence for each copy.

Vol. V
No. 29
The Independent Health Magazine
3 Amen Corner London E.C.

There will come a day when physiologists, poets, and Philosophers will all speak the same language and understand one another.Claude Bernard.


There are some statements, the very simplicity and truth of which create a shock—for some people. For instance, there are certain seekers after health who ignore and are shocked by the very obvious truth that “brain is flesh.” A brain poisoned by impure blood is no fit instrument for the spirit to manifest through, and “mental suggestion” must inevitably prove of no avail as a cure if the origin of the impure blood be purely material.

It is just as futile, on the other hand, to treat the chronic indigestion that arises from persistent worry, or indulgence in passion, by one change after another in the dietary. The founder of homœopathy insisted that there was no such thing as a physical “symptom” without corresponding mental and moral symptoms. “Not soul helps flesh more than flesh helps soul.” Thus the Scientist and the Poet come to the same truth, albeit by different ways.—[Eds.]


While most of us would at first sight find fault with Mr G.K. Chesterton's sweeping advice—

“And don't believe in anything
That can't be told in coloured pictures,”

many would probably end by endorsing it. But we should do so only because we were able to give a very wide and varied meaning to “coloured pictures.”

No one ever made a coloured picture of the “wild west wind”; but there are plenty of coloured pictures in which there is no mistaking its presence. We all believe in wireless telegraphy (now that it is an accomplished fact) which is, in itself, untranslatable into colour or line; but its mechanism can be photographed, and its results in the world of men and ships are in all the illustrated papers. Music, which is pure sound, is to some the surest path to the Reality behind this outward show things; yet to some at least of such music is indeed form and colour, even though the colours be beyond the rainbow. For in truth, everything worth believing in, all those things, those ideas, which renew the springs of our life, have form and they have colour. Even to the colour-blind one word differeth from another in glory.

This is no idle fancy, no mere subject for academic debate: it is the most practical subject in the world. For even as the body is fed not by food alone but by the living air, so is the spirit nourished not alone by right action but by inspiring ideas. Ideas are pictures; and the best ideas are coloured pictures.

Hence the great value of words. It is idle to speak of “words, idle words,” as though they were the transient froth on the permanent ocean of thought. They are the vehicle, the body of thought. If the thought be shallow or silly, the words will indeed be “idle.” But if the idea be inspiring the words will be the channel of that inspiration.

The greater part of this power in words is lost to us to-day. Everything tempts us to hurry over words. We talk too quickly to be able to pay that respect to words which they deserve; and we read the newspaper, the magazine, the novel, the play, the poem, with the same disastrous haste. We devour the words but lose their essence. Hence there is a grave danger that through this neglect we shut out one of the main streams by which our life must be fed if it is not to shrink into mere fretful existence.

There is a curious idea in some minds that fine language consists of long words difficult to understand. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most of the great words—the words of power, as the old Kabalists called them—are short words, words in common use. And how common is the sound of them in the mouth of the preacher! Not long ago I heard an intelligent and cultured man reading one of the many beautiful passages from the English Bible:—

“Ye dragons, and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and vapour;
Stormy wind fulfilling his word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars, ...”

and he read it as though it were a draper's sale bill. And yet it needs but a very little imagination for such a passage to become a series of vivid pictures. Fire, hail, snow, vapour, hills, mountains, cedars, dragons and deeps—every word is “a word of power” if only there is no hurry, if only each word as it comes is given time to call up the picture of the real thing before the inward eye.

And you may hear children of fourteen and fifteen who have passed examinations in “English” recite line after line of, say, Matthew Arnold's The Forsaken Merman with a glib self-assured colourlessness due solely to the fact that no teacher has ever taught them respect for simple words. And what simpler words could there be than these, for example—

“Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
Round the world, for ever and aye”?

Simple, common words; yet if there is that leisurely attention to each one as it comes what an exhilarating picture arises of the great sea-beasts, and of “the round ocean and the living air.”

I am not pleading for the stylist's concentration on words which exalts them above the things they body forth. The most vivid and beautiful description of dawn in the English language—

“Night's candles are burned out, and jocund morn
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops”

though spoken by the most sensitively vibrant voice in the world, can never come near the real dawn breaking across real mountains. But the point is that those two lines composed of simple English words have power, if we pay them respect, to create the dawn within the mind, and to supply the spirit with that beauty which is its very breath.

If this patience with words, this respect for the familiar fine things of our native tongue, this desire to make them yield up their strength and beauty, if this has nothing to do with healthy living I don't know what has. William Wordsworth's—

“And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height”

is only a metrical expression of a great and practical truth. You do not need to be a “Christian Scientist” to know that ideas and emotions can affect the stoop of the shoulders or the lines of the mouth. Other people besides “Eugenists” have observed that ugly or mean-spirited parents seldom have beautiful children.

But though the power of ideas is a commonplace, and though psychologists tell us how much we may improve mental concentration by letting the words of any sentence call up each its own picture, what they a omit to do is to recognise the need of the human spirit for beauty. You can concentrate your thought on the list of pickles in a grocer's price list: it is doubtless a good exercise. But the same exercise directed to some great phrase, such as Emerson's Trust thyself: ever' heart vibrates to that iron string; or some vivid lyrical image such as All the trees of the field shall clap their hands, or even a complete poem of simple words but permanent beauty, such as that one of Wordsworth's beginning I wandered lonely as a Cloud; this will not only improve concentration and sharpen memory: it will enrich the mind with ever-available sources of inspiration, courage and joy.

Edgar J. Saxon.


Tell me, thou star, whose wings of light
Speed thee in thy fiery flight,
In what cavern of the night
Will thy pinions close now?
Tell me, moon, thou pale and grey
Pilgrim of heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of night or day.
Seekest thou repose now?
Weary wind, who wanderest
Like the world's rejected guest,
Hast thou still some secret nest
On the tree or billow?

Percy Bysshe Shelley.


Building castles in the air has always been one of the favourite amusements of mankind. To it we owe much, not only of the zest of life, but also of motive power for overcoming difficulties and reaching out towards new possibilities. Yet all literature, and tradition that is earlier than any written literature, is full of a deep note of warning; over and over again we see in the dim past the shadow of a tower that was built in vain, of walls that were piled too high and toppled into ruin, of crests that tapped the thunder-clouds and drew down lightning to their own destruction. Evidently man has seen danger in his own desire! The castle must be built with wisdom as well as with industry and boldness if it is to escape disaster and to become a storehouse, a safe defence or a vantage-ground for surveying earth and sky.

There is one obvious precaution we should observe in building our castles, and that is to realise that all which we imagine and think about tends sooner or later to externalise itself and pass into action. Every idea tends to glide into an ideal. Nearly all thinkers have recognised this, and have seen that morality lies much farther back than action, farther back than conscious will. Banquo had dreams of ambition, as had Macbeth, but they dealt differently with them; while Macbeth allowed his visions to lead him on to treachery and murder, Banquo prayed against the temptations that came to him in sleep. To most of us imagination, sleeping or waking, comes in less dramatic form, but we should all think more sanely and act more wisely if we interposed a definite revision by the conscious mind and will of all our plans and ideals between their (perhaps quite automatic) formation in our imagination and their translation into fact. Slack muscle should go with the daydream or picture of the future; we should not strike or clench or lift until we have decided that the action is right and just and wise. The girl who counted her chickens and broke the eggs is a true enough example: every doctor and coroner knows many instances of results far more tragic.

But sometimes the vision has nothing in it but what is pure and good and noble. Are there any dangers even here?

There is this danger always, that we find the picture so lovely and so satisfying that we cannot summon up courage and energy to turn away from it towards the serious work which it suggests. The castle in the air is radiant and tall, but it is generally meant as a model for a tougher building made out of common earth, by toil and pain, amidst mud and dust. It is so much easier, as Sordello knew, to imagine than to do. Actual circumstances, real life, other people all this that lies round us is sterner stuff than our easily moulded material of dreams. Who has not at some time or other lain sleepily in bed of a morning and gone through in thought the processes of getting up, until a louder call or an alarum bell has awakened the realisation that the task is not yet begun? Who has not been tempted to shirk practice of some sort in thinking of a prize? Who has not sometimes built expectation higher and higher until his demands of fate have become so great that, in despair of making good, he has let the whole plan slip away into the valley of forgotten dreams?

These dangers, the almost involuntary carrying out of unworthy aims that have been cherished in thought and the loss of vigour for real achievement, due to too easy an indulgence in blameless aspiration, are fairly obvious and have long been recognised.

There is another that has been seen from time to time and occasionally expressed.[16] We have seen that too loose a dream-world may make the world in which we live seem dull and ordinary. But is not the converse at least as often true? If our thought-world is too narrow, too selfish or too weak, all our ordinary work, sound and compact though it may be, is stultified, misdirected, often wasted. We all know how in the industrial world something more than industry is needed; in the emotional world something more than a clumsy and unapprehending goodwill. We need a certain insight to turn these solid qualities of labour and feeling to the best account. “A man's reach should exceed his grasp,” a great poet tells us, and even the birds or beavers do not go on quite blindly with their building, but, when effort on effort has been destroyed by wind and water or man's interference, they at last accommodate their instinct to circumstances so as to give themselves a better chance of fulfilling their deeper purpose. In many ways we have hardly outgrown the beaver stage: wars, accidents, disease, disputes—how many times must we try over again the same path which has led us before into trouble and disaster before we put our imagination seriously to work on the problem and try to find some more complete solution?

Of all the dangers of the use of the imagination, perhaps the greatest of all is the neglect to use it, the denial of it and its consequent starvation.

E.M. Cobham.

[16] Mrs Book sees an allusion to this danger, as well as to the first, in the warnings against covetousness in the Tenth Commandment.


[17] See the article, “The Play Spirit,” in the November issue.

With your contributor's description of the play spirit, that happy leisure from self and its responsibilities in order that time and thought and heart may be filled with wider inspiration, most of your readers will, I think, entirely agree, and all of us will be grateful for the spirited claim on behalf of “play.”

The one criticism that occurs to the mind is that a touch of professionalism, of patronage towards the ordinary person, has crept into the author's thought and peeps out through many of the sentences.

“Common men” ... “ordinary everyday people” ... “average humanity,” ... “a worker” who ... “cannot play”; does the writer of the Play Spirit really show us what is in their hearts? He is an artist in words, he is a keen admirer of other arts, he is interested in thinking; it seems all but impossible to him that anyone can have “freedom” without the power of expressing it, without even the consciousness of its possession.

We are all too apt, I think, to imagine that our own discoveries of the mystery and magic of life are peculiar to ourselves, or shared only with a sympathetic few, passed on sometimes (by the very few who have both will and power to do so) to such of the outsiders as are interested enough to enter into that enchanted garden and take gifts from it. But has not the supreme discovery of the greatest artists, philosophers and teachers been that the “everyday people” do live as deeply and broadly as the thinkers and artists? They are inarticulate and cannot tell what they see, but to them life is made amusing, or interesting, or consecrated according to their temperament.

Who can say what the Cornish sea means to that tired worker? At least it seems a boldness that is almost insolence to decide what it did not mean to her!

Has not every life its revelations? Is it not because we do not see as God does that some one particular life which strikes across our path cannot reveal its revelation over again to us?

Surely “the commonplace is the highest place.” Or rather, there are no hierarchies of the soul. Artist or seamstress or carpenter, we live by the glory that flows to us through whatever curtains of environment are round us.

I have not a word of criticism for the writer's ideal. All that I would suggest is that the ideal is really present in the world, “common” as the “everyday” flowers at his feet. Not all can sing or paint or write, but many more can laugh or run and all, perhaps, can love and pray.

L.E. Hawks.


[18] This is article has been specially written as a preface for Health Through Breathing, by Olga Lazarus, shortly to be published (1s. net).

To breathe correctly and sufficiently is to live more healthily. This dictum is incontrovertible, and it becomes my pleasant duty herein to demonstrate its truthfulness. And, after a careful perusal of the hundred exercises which the authoress has so clearly and succinctly described, I am still more convinced of the very great, one might almost say of the tremendous, importance of deep-breathing exercises. What has struck me so forcibly in this little book is the fact that there is no undue enthusiasm evident; no embellishment of the subject; no extravagant claims for the system advocated; just a plain sane, sober and intelligent description of procedures of immense value to all who would either keep, or improve, their health. The authoress has, as it were, laid before the reader a feast of good things in the way of physical culture, and leaves it at that. She seems to have brought into purview a splendid variation of the exercises, and indeed every mode of breathing and exercise likely to be beneficial—to those in health as out of it.

Reverting for a moment to the supreme importance of the subject, I may say that it has of late years come home to me more than ever, and with greater insistency, that innumerable ills of to-day are due to faulty breathing and lack of correct physical exercises generally. I wonder how many of us could conscientiously say that we devote fifteen or twenty minutes regularly every day to the system? And yet such a great deal could be done for health in that time! No, we “haven't time,” or we “oversleep ourselves so often,” or we make some such other flimsy excuse; but of course we ought to “make time,” we ought not to “oversleep ourselves.” The fact is, rather, that most of us are too lazy to go through the exercises, even though we may know of their transcendent benefit. In the words of the poet: “Let us, then, be up and doing”—that is, up in time in the morning in order to be going through exercises such as described in this little volume.

It is within my personal knowledge, and must be within the personal knowledge of every actively engaged physician, that but very few of us yet have any idea, in spite of all the teaching and the advocacy of it, of really deep and scientific breathing. If the system could be made quite general and enforced upon us—especially when young or adolescent—we should not see, as we do now, thousands walking about the streets whose nostrils are too narrow through insufficient breathing, whose lungs are not properly inflated as they inspire; and, as a consequence, who have neither the bloom nor the carriage of health.

Perhaps if I show here how vastly important it is for us to have our blood well oxygenated, it may be some sort of encouragement for Mrs Lazarus's readers to persevere with and work into their lives the system she advocates and describes.

If we did not renew the oxygen in our lungs to a sufficient extent, we should die in a few minutes. We can do without food for many days; without water for less days, but only for a few minutes without oxygen. Anything which tends to increase the intake of this vitally important element, whether deeper breathing or exercises, will have a very pronounced effect upon our general health. Now deep breathing is, par excellence, the way to bring about this desirable condition. It may interest the readers of this little book if I remind them that in the ordinary way the total capacity of the lungs is about 340 cubic inches; as a rule, the amount of air breathed amounts only to some 20 or 30 cubic inches, but this, by special effort, can be increased by some 110 cubic inches. Thus it is demonstrated how much more air we could take into the lungs by better and deeper breathing, thereby securing, sooner or later, a greater natural expansion of the lungs, with the result, of course, of improved health generally.

It would surprise most people if they tested their breathing capacity by the aid of the spirometer, to discover how inefficiently they did breathe; in other words, how much below the normal was the amount of air they were usually inspiring. Encouragement might also be found in the matter—incentive, that is, to learn how to breathe and exercise correctly and scientifically—if mention were here made categorically of the very profound influences upon certain physiological processes of our organisation which are brought about if we would but mend our ways in this respect. Space will only allow of a few such to be detailed.

1. The circulation is improved and equalised. This implies much more than appears on the surface: it means that the blood is made to flow from any congested internal organ (such as the liver, stomach, etc.) towards the peripheries—that is, the extremities and everywhere where there is the capillary system—the changing-place between the venous and the arterial blood; thus we at the same time warm our extremities and relieve internal congestion. In other words, “to bring the blood to the surface” in many conditions of ill-health is of paramount importance.

2. It will strengthen the action of the heart and lungs. For lack of proper breathing exercises the heart's walls get thin, the expansive power of the lungs' tissue gets less, and as a consequence, when any little extra strain is thrown upon either, permanent damage is often the result.

3. In any tendency to constipation, indigestion and similar conditions, such exercises are especially beneficial, and that both by flushing the system with more oxygen and by mechanically exerting pressure on the different organs—thus giving those latter what is actually a good massaging!

4. Indirectly, such exercises must of necessity be splendid for “nerves,” as we thus get these supplied with a larger amount of purified blood, and of course this must result in better and heightened nerve and brain action.

And all this—and much more which we have not space enough to deal with—being so, it might now be well asked, who and what class of individuals would benefit by these exercises. The list is a long one, and would include practically all growing children and adolescents—in order that adenoids, narrow chests, debility in general, malnutrition and a host of other abnormal states might be either cured or prevented. Innumerable adults would also benefit by such exercises: those who are in health, in order to keep so; those who are depressed mentally, or who are suffering from constipation, dyspepsia, anæmia, obesity, debility, etc.

Even those who are “getting on” in years could, with care and caution, go through such exercises to advantage, providing, that is, that their heart, lungs and blood vessels are fairly normal; it is only where there is serious organic disease such exercises must be withheld.

Thus we have a big field for such a system which Mrs Lazarus has described so fully in this little work of hers; it deserves wide recognition, and my final word to the reader is not only to keep the book as a “boon companion,” but to encourage others to purchase it and to carry out its most excellent teachings.

J. Stenson Hooker, M.D.


1.—Doctors and Health.

Medicine is a progressive science—and art, if we judge by the statistics given of the fall in the rate of mortality. Even this, however, must be carefully analysed, because a good deal of the fall of mortality is due to the great reduction in the birthrate which has taken place in the last twenty years. Still, after this has been allowed for, there is probably a balance in the doctors' favour—something to the good of the science and art of medicine. Doubtless the science is improved and the practical advice offered by medical men is better and more effectual than it used to be.

A layman, nevertheless, may be forgiven if, with all due deference, he is tempted to believe that many of the benefits attributed to medicine have been achieved through attention to sanitation—cleanliness and ventilation. Of course this is due to the work of science, which necessarily includes the members of the medical profession, but it is not due to medical science qua medical science.

The terms ‘sanitation’ and ‘sanitary’ nearly always connote only ideas associated with cleanliness, free ventilation, etc. They scarcely connote ideas of food management, or, if they do, it is only to the extent of inferring that food shall not be adulterated or of bad quality—and perhaps that there shall be enough of it.

Such questions as what food shall we eat, and how much; what are the real reasons for taking food into the body, whether it is to give strength and heat to the body or only to supply the body's waste, as Dr Rabagliati contends—these and other relevant questions are usually left to unorthodox members of the medical profession to declare upon. They seem to be very important questions, but we do not find that they were discussed—or ever mentioned—at the thirty-fourth International Medical Congress, which completed its sittings several months ago.

Obviously, the practical questions of food supply are answered very differently, according as one believes they must be answered one way or another, as, for instance, in Dr Rabagliati's or Dr Haig's way. But that they are questions not worthy of consideration by doctors in congress may be taken as an ominous sign.

It must not be forgotten that we owe many valuable discoveries of medical science to qualified members of the profession, just as discoveries of mechanical science are made by men working at their respective trades. We have sorrowfully to admit, however, that nearly all the great achievements upon which medicine plumes herself are in the direction of increasing the doctors' power over his patient, and seldom of giving his patient power over disease. It is also true that the advocacy by unorthodox members of the profession of simple and natural remedies often involves them in a charge of charlatanism, and subjects them to persecution by medical associations.

If the medical profession were all that it is supposed to be, it might be good that the reformer should suffer in solitude while his experiments and methods were subjected to adequate tests and criticism. If the associated physicians and surgeons jealously guarded the public from quackery while they impartially investigated every fresh discovery, the true reformer would welcome the protection afforded him from the “counter-currents of senseless clamour” within the doctors' own ranks, occasioned by party and vested interests.

It may be true that “loneliness tends to save the Seer from becoming a charlatan and to make of him a true Reformer.” But it is not that peculiar loneliness of the Seer that the medical trade unions afford the reforming physician. That is inevitably and sufficiently accorded him by the “unwillingness of the masses to enter into the thoughts of the Seers.”[19] An ignorant and inert people will always follow a charlatan, because they like to do things which are mysterious and involve no trouble on their part.

[19] The reason “Why the Prophet should be lonely” is perfectly elaborated in a chapter under that title in Logic Taught by Love, from which I have quoted.

The Seer among doctors is boycotted by his fellow medicos after he and his co-workers have tested their experiments for themselves, weeded out what is false from what is true, and proved their methods to be right. Not only that, but too often it turns out that it is proper food selection, cleanliness, personal effort and restraint advocated by doctors as substitutes for serums and drugs, which excites the opprobrium of medical coteries. Whereas, the misguided Serum Specialist, who ought to be saved from himself, and from whom the public ought to be protected, is given full medical honours—and facilities to become that most dangerous type of charlatan, the licensed one.

There are doubtless many abstract questions of health and disease which orthodox and unorthodox doctors alike are unable satisfactorily to settle. But if that be admitted, then it is certainly not in the public interest that serum treatments should be accepted as almost the last words in medical science. More anti-social still is it to attempt to justify the compulsory orders of Parliament that expensive sanatoria shall be built to cope with disease that might be more economically and more satisfactorily treated.

Is there not too little consideration given to theoretical issues underlying practical experience of disease? Is there not too great an anxiety to force remedies at the public expense before all the bearings of the different questions and their phases have been considered? All new methods savour too much of compulsion. They all require the provision of large armies of officials to carry them out. It is interesting to note that the successors of the men who told us how grievously the Church has failed because she is established, should be so anxious to more firmly establish the medical priesthood.

Modern statecraft calls out to us: ‘we will appoint officials to inquire into and decide upon what is to be done, but we will make no inquiries into the real nature of this disease and that: we will find out remedies which, in the form of serums to be injected into the blood, shall counteract the effects of disease: we will also appoint, at your expense, doctors to perform these operations: we will force the man whose family may have the misfortune to contract a disease, which the doctors have not told him how to prevent, to submit them to such treatment.’ But nothing is said about the desirability of exercising government over oneself, one's body and one's mind! And nothing is said either, but it is suggested, that, if one accepts meekly coercive treatment by official doctors, one may probably be able to ignore the laws of life and health without having to pay the penalty.

No sane and properly instructed citizens would be satisfied to have State officials compel them to do what they ought to do for themselves. It is because of this and because the suggestions and compulsions of modern medicine are in keeping with the prevailing philosophy that accumulates knowledge without wisdom, that we need such counteracting influences as are afforded by journals like The Healthy Life.



“I charge that whereas the first duty of a physician is to instruct the people in the laws of health and thus prevent disease, the tendency has ever been towards a conspiracy of mystery, humbug, and silence.”

“I charge that the general tendency of the profession has been to depreciate the importance of personal and municipal cleanliness, and to inculcate a reliance on drug medicines, vaccination, and other unscientific expedients.”

Alexander Ross, M.D., F.R.S.

To Our Readers.

Readers who appreciate the independence and all-round advocacy of The Healthy Life can materially assist the extension of its circulation by tactfully urging their local newsagent to have the magazine regularly displayed for sale. An attractive monthly poster can always be had free from the Publishers, 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.


Under the sensational heading, Doomed to Carry Germs: Woman Typhoid Victim for Life, the following account appeared recently in News of the World:—

Almost unique in medical history is the case of a woman typhoid carrier, who, it is said, will carry the bacilli with her through life. The case is described by Dr Barbara Cunningham in a report of the Manchester Medical Officer of Health. In order that the woman shall cease to be a source of danger—as she has been keeping lodgers—the health authorities are giving her 7s. a week, and that, with her old-age pension of 5s., will be sufficient to keep her without lodgers. The case has aroused much interest in Manchester. The principal restrictions on the part of the Health Department are that she must not cook or wash for anyone. Anyone can, however, cook for her. In discussing the case Dr Martin, who for 25 years was Medical Officer of Health for Gorton, remarked that in some cases of typhoid carriers the infection ceased to exist for a time, but it was unusual for it to exist year after year. “The reason for the woman referred to carrying the typhoid bacilli with her through life is,” he added, “because of a peculiarity of constitution. There is no remedy to be found for it at present, and no means of freeing her from the germs, hence the reward offered by an American to anyone who can find a remedy for such cases. The germs themselves are proof against remedies, and they go on multiplying. The woman is incurable, and you cannot kill the germs without killing the woman. It is the first case, to my knowledge, where the health authorities have taken such measures to prevent a spread of the infection.” The history of the affair is interesting. The woman's case had been reported to the authorities, and when her lodger became ill with typhus she was suspected, and was found to be giving off large numbers of typhoid bacilli. She was placed in Monsall Hospital for two months, during which time she was treated with gradually increasing doses of vaccine prepared in the Public Health Laboratory, York Place. When discharged, three separate tests were made as regards the typhoid bacilli. For one week after her discharge the organisms did not reappear, but during the second week a few colonies were grown, and in the third and fourth weeks the number increased. Shortly after that her lodger developed enteric fever.

This case is instructive, because it shows very clearly the utter futility of the modern method of treating infectious diseases by means of drugs and vaccines.

It is well known that the infecting agent or microbe found in cases of typhoid fever originates in man himself, that, in fact, it is essentially a man-made disorder. Dr Budd, who was the first to fully investigate this important subject, brought together the most convincing considerations to show this.

We know further that impure water and milk, shellfish and certain foods which are contaminated with sewage are capable of giving rise to epidemics of this complaint.

This was shown in Paris in May last, when a plumber carelessly connected a pipe along which Seine water flowed to a drinking-water pipe. The typhoid germ is always present in Seine water and this mistake cost the lives of twenty people.

Dr Freeman, an American doctor, who has studied the habits of the typhoid germ, tells us that it does not survive so well outside the human body as does the tubercle microbe, but it can, nevertheless, do an incalculable amount of mischief when the local authorities are careless about the matter of sewage disposal.

A great deal has been heard of late of what are termed Typhoid Carriers. There are apparently numbers of people who, while they appear to be in good health, yet harbour these germs and are thus liable to infect others with them; and the problem is what to do with them.

The orthodox authorities, as happened in the case cited above, would like to isolate them indefinitely and even to pension them off for life, but this seems to be a hopeless way out of the difficulty.

The remedy seems obvious to me. Let us stop the drugs and serums and use common-sense hygiene of the body instead. This must be patent to anyone who has any knowledge of the subject; but why the authorities do not put it into execution I am at a loss to imagine. Surely the right thing to do is to clear away the impurities in which the typhoid germs live. By depriving them of the material or soil in which they grow and propagate we should practically starve them out of existence.

Moreover, this seems to me to be a perfectly easy procedure. If this woman were handed over to me for treatment I should at once place her on an antiseptic diet consisting solely of salads, grated roots, fresh fruits, sour buttermilk and dextrinised cereals. The effect of this diet would be to cleanse and sterilise the entire digestive tract, and thus break up and clear away the soil in which the microbes are living. Supplementary to this cleansing diet other means could be adopted to effect a general purification of the whole body. Thus vapour baths could be used to promote skin action; beverages could be taken morning and night, consisting of distilled water with lemon juice or suitable herbal “teas” to promote free action of the kidneys; and colon-flushing treatment could be used to fully cleanse the colon, or large bowel.

By combined treatment of this rational order, I am convinced that this woman would speedily become freed from her unpleasant visitors and would be enabled to return to her relations without, as it were, a stain upon her character.

H. Valentine Knaggs.


The Editors of The Healthy Life are convinced that there are many men and women who can write well and interestingly on subjects relating to health in its many aspects; and they wish to unearth this talent.

They therefore offer a First Prize of Two Guineas, a Second Prize of One Guinea, and a Third Prize of Books (published at The Healthy Life Office) to the value of Half-a-Guinea, for the best ESSAY, SKETCH or SHORT STORY appropriate to the pages of The Healthy Life.

Please read the following Conditions carefully:—


  1. Each Essay, Short Story, or Sketch must contain not less than 1000 words, and not more than 2000 words.
  2. Each Essay, Short Story, or Sketch must be written (or typed) on one side of the paper only, leaving at least one inch of margin on which each 100 words must be indicated in figures.
  3. Each attempt must be accompanied by the front cover (or top part of cover showing date) of either the December or January numbers. (Where more than one MS. is sent in by one contributor, extra covers in proportion must be enclosed.)
  4. The full name and address of the competitor must be written at the foot of last page, in addition to the competitor's nom de plume (if any).
  5. All Essays, Short Stories or Sketches must be sent in not later than the 31st of January 1914, addressed Buried Talent, The Healthy Life, 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.
  6. No one who is at present, or has ever been, a regular contributor to The Healthy Life is eligible for a prize.
  7. The Editors reserve the right to publish any contribution sent in under this Competition.
  8. The decision of the Editors will be final and no correspondence can be entered into with unsuccessful competitors.

Competitors are asked to note that legibility of handwriting will carry weight as well as intrinsic merit.



Many cases of ill-health demand that the meals should be as dry as possible. Having granted this, it will be admitted that there is quite a proper place for soups in ordinary everyday food reform catering.

The chief objection to ordinary soups is that they are made on a basis of meat stock and flavoured with one of various “meat extract” preparations. Meat stock, meat gravy and meat extract all alike represent the least desirable elements in flesh food, namely, the acids and tissue-wastes of the living animal at the moment of its death—acids and tissue-debris which were on their way to normal excretion via the lymph channels, veins, etc.

It is therefore only common-sense to avoid such soup-bases, especially as the most excellent soups can be made without recourse to any animal product.

The juices of vegetables, being rich in alkaline “salts” and other organic elements, are the natural cleansing agents in a rational diet. Hence to obtain a maximum remedial effect, vegetable soup should be taken in the form of a clear, unflavoured broth, quite apart from the solid meals, and preferably on retiring. But for the dinner or supper soup, some richness of flavour and creaminess of substance are pleasing and legitimate.

The following recipes explain, first, how to prepare vegetable “stock,” and then how to make rich, creamy nourishing soups, on the basis of that “stock.” Each recipe will, of course, suggest variations.

How To Make Vegetable Stock.

Put any fresh vegetables in season in a large stewpot—being careful not to include overmuch cabbage or other coarse green leaves, as these give a rather strong flavour—with a quart or more of water, cover, and simmer gently for at least two hours. The outer leaves discarded when preparing vegetables for the table, the stalks and stems, and the peelings of apples, potatoes, etc., should all be used for stock, care being taken, of course, to cleanse them well first, cutting out any insect-eaten or decayed parts.

Almond Cream Soup.

Mix two tablespoonfuls of fine wholemeal or good “standard” flour into a smooth paste with a little water, add this to the hot stock (as above), and stir till soup is thickened. Just before serving stir in a tablespoonful of Almond Cream (either “P.R.” or Mapleton's).

The addition of the almond cream gives the above a nutritive value, apart from the tonic and cleansing elements in the stock.

Nourishing Artichoke Soup.

Pare, scrub and cut into small pieces, 1 lb. of artichokes and put immediately into a pan with a pint of water or milk and water. Boil till soft, then rub through a wire sieve, using a wooden spoon. Put back in pan, add a little more water, a little chopped parsley, and a small piece of butter (or nut butter). Bring to the boil, stirring well; stir in a tablespoonful of Pinekernel Cream (“P.R.” or Mapleton's), and serve at once.

Leek And Celery Soup.

Put four well-cleansed medium-sized leeks (cut up small), the outer parts of a head of celery (chopped), a quart of water and 2 oz. unpolished Japan rice, into a pan and simmer for two hours. Rub through wire sieve, return to pan, bring to the boil, and serve.

This soup is not so much nutritive as cleansing and antiseptic.


Fruit and the Oxalic Acid Bogey.

Many and varied are the creeds of Health Reformers, but all may be included within two main camps. And the opposing battle-cries are Instinct versus Intellect, Taste versus Theory, à priori versus à posteriori, Motives versus Purposes. Some overlapping and confusion of creed may be found in both camps, but in the main one is filled with lovers of Nature, the other with devotees of Science.

“We believe in simplicity,” cries the Nature-lover from the meadow where he is taking a sun-bath; “you are so complex, so artificial.”

“We believe in being ‘sensible,’” retorts the devotee of Science from the cabinet where he is taking an electric light bath, “you are so extreme.”

“Not extreme—consistent. Your treatment varies every month as the decrees of ‘Science’ change.”

“But your treatment varies every minute as the wind and clouds change. I can keep mine constant with mathematical accuracy, or vary the light to a nicety by pressing a button.”

And so also is it with regard to diet. The person who talks learnedly about germs and calories (though he never saw a germ or measured a calorie in his life) will be found in the same camp with the electric light advocate, while this other who cultivates a taste in harmony with Nature by consuming what he likes best of her unaltered products, he is found arm in arm with the sun-bather. But Science will by no means allow him to eat his uncooked food in peace. “If we all adopt that diet,” her pseudo-disciples cry, “what is to become of the potatoes?”

Now, with regard to uncooked foods, it would seem that as little fault can be found with ripe fruit in its natural state as with any article of diet. Yet even here “Science” holds up a warning hand and is succeeding in scaring people away from one of the most harmless, most wholesome and most neglected of foods.

Leaving generalities, let us come to a specific case, an actual difficulty propounded to me by a sufferer, one who had spent her substance till she could spend no more in having various parts of herself examined and in learned prescriptions and processes of cure, but who found herself as far from health as ever. Obsessed by certain theories of “Science,” this lady had acquired a dread of sugar in every form. Hence her query addressed to me: “In your book, No Rheumatism, you say that sugar is to be avoided. Why, then, do you recommend fruit, which is mostly sugar?”

I replied as follows: “The reason I recommend ripe uncooked fruit—in spite of its containing a certain quantity of sugar—is that it contains also purifying salts, and that for most people it is the pleasantest form in which these salts can be taken. Moreover, fruit sugar appears to be more wholesome than that formed from starch. When you say that ‘fruit is mostly sugar,’ are you not leaving the water of the fruit out of account? As the water often amounts to 90 per cent. this makes all the difference. Taking the fruits generally grown in this country the average proportion of sugar is seven per cent.

[This statement is based on the following figures given in Goodale's Physiological Botany:—

Apples contain 7.73 per cent. sugar
Pears " 8.26 " "
Plums " 3.56 " "
Strawberries 6.28 " "
Gooseberries 7.03 " "

Grapes are stated to contain 24.36 per cent, but often contain much less and sometimes even more.]

“Now a person eating fruit ad lib., but allowed other foods, will hardly ever eat more than a pound or two a day (generally less). But suppose him to eat two pounds. Seven per cent. of this is 2¼ oz. If he eats only 1 lb. he takes 1⅛ oz. sugar. Now compare this with the amount he gets from starchy foods, say, bread, which contains fifty per cent. of starch and sugar. As the starch, if it is to be assimilated, must be (and as a general rule practically all is) converted into sugar during digestion, we get from 1 lb. of bread 8 oz. of sugar (to be exact, nearly 9 oz., because starch forms rather more than its own weight of sugar). But the weight of bread allowed for daily food, if no other starchy or sugary food is taken, is—according to orthodox physiology books—1 lb., 11 oz., yielding over 14 oz. of sugar. Now I reduce the starchy food to 8 oz. or less (No Rheumatism, p. 34), yielding at most about 4½ oz. of sugar. You see, then, that the patient can now afford to take even 2 lbs. of fruit, because this will bring his total of sugar up to only 6¾ oz., as against 14 oz. allowed by the orthodox. And if, as I recommend (p. 33), fruits containing but little sugar (especially cucumbers) are taken, his total sugar under my regime will be even less than 6¾ oz.

“As so many people fail to distinguish between fruit sugar occurring naturally in fruit and ordinary separated and concentrated cane sugar, or even beet sugar separated by various chemicals—‘shop sugar,’ in fact—I translate for you a passage from Dr Carton's Trois Aliments Meurtriers[20]:—

[20] Some Popular Foodstuffs Exposed, translated by D.M. Richardson. 1s. net. Daniel.

“‘Let us proceed now to the study of the third deadly food. The sugar contained in vegetables and raw fruits is a living aliment, physiologically combined with the protoplasm of the vegetable cells, associated with ferments and with vitalised chemical salts. The absorption of this natural sugar is effected by a harmonious contact, by an exchange of energy between the living vegetable cells and our living digestive cells.

“‘The sugar of commerce, on the contrary, is a dead food which has lost all association with vegetable protoplasm, with vitalised mineral salts and with oxidising ferments which would render it physiological. It is nothing more than a drug, a dangerous chemical, because Nature has nowhere presented it to us in this form.... Its absorption involves an anti-physiological irritation which over-excites the viscera, and when repeated ends by profoundly altering them.’”

“This is all very well,” cries Pseudo-Science, “but people may eat too much fruit.”

“Certainly, but then I warn them at once,” quoth Taste.

“But they have an idea it is good for them, and they disregard your warnings.”

“If they ‘have an idea’ which runs counter to my warnings and my penalties, to say nothing of my promises and my rewards, then they can only get that idea from you, Mr Pseudo-Science, with your theories and your figures and your long words.”

“Why not from your relative, Unnatural Taste? Anyhow, it is my duty to warn them.”

“If they don't heed my warning, they certainly won't heed yours,” says Taste.

“But I can paint such a picture of the trouble they store up for the future if they persist in excessive fruit eating!”

“Never mind about persisting and storing up for the future. I punish excess in fruit eating as in everything else by prompt discomfort and pain.”

“But what do you know about oxalic acid?”

“Enough to avoid it. Like every other poison it is repugnant to me.”

“Yet fruit which is so nice in the mouth may ferment in the intestines and form that very poison. Then what are you going to do about it?”

“Take care that not too much fruit is eaten another time.”

“But in the meantime the oxalic acid already formed must be neutralised at once.”

“No, no! It would be a pity to do that. Oxalic acid is the latest fashion. What would your patients do without it? And what would you do without your patients?”

“It must be neutralised at once. It can only be neutralised at the cost of abstracting lime from the system. Result: oxalate of lime, forming calculus, or ‘stone,’ which you don't want, and tissues depleted of lime which you do want.”

“So you get your patients after all. In fact, having ‘neutralised their oxalic acid’ to escape you, they come back to you with two diseases instead of one. It seems to me you are a very profitable investment, Mr Pseudo-Science.”

“Really, Mr Taste, you would not, I presume, have me suppress the truth simply because it happens to be profitable?”

“But is it the truth? What proof have you?”

“I presume you are ignorant of the fact that animals have died with all the symptoms of oxalic acid poisoning, simply through taking too much sugar.”

“What kind of animals? You chose such as are used to taking shop sugar as part of their ordinary food, of course?”

“Well—no; not in that form. The subjects of the experiment were rabbits.”

“Ah! And from these you draw deductions about man who has been eating artificial sugar for ages. How like a vivisectionist! But what doses of sugar did the rabbits get?”

“About one-fortieth of the body-weight.”

“That would be as if a man of 150 lbs. weight should take 3¾ lbs. sugar at a meal! And since it is excessive fruit you are warning us against, can you tell me how many pounds of fruit—say, apples—one must take in order to get that amount of sugar in a day? No less than sixty pounds. Really your warning seems a little superfluous.”

“It is all very well for you to scoff, Mr Taste, but if it were not for me you would know nothing about the latest diseases. I really believe you would be content to go right through life without knowing that you had a duodenum or an appendix.”

“Quite” assented Taste cheerfully.

Arnold Eiloart, B.Sc.


In November, 1912, we published a letter from a reader containing the excellent suggestion that readers who had experimented to any fair extent with unfired diet should be invited to contribute to a conference on the subject in The Healthy Life, and that the symposium should be gathered round the following points:—

(1) The effect of the diet in curing chronic disease.

(2) Its effect on children so brought up—e.g. do they get the so-called “inevitable” diseases of chicken-pox, measles, etc., and especially have they good (i.e. perfect) teeth?

(3) The effect of the diet in childbirth.

(4) The cost of maintaining a household in this way, as compared with the cost under ordinary conditions.

(5) Is the diet satisfying, or is there a longing for conventional dietary (often found amongst food reformers)?

(6) Is the diet quite satisfactory in winter?

A number of interesting letters have been published this year, and we shall be glad to receive a large number of personal experiences, but they must be brief, and classified under the above heads as far as possible. The following is a striking piece of personal evidence.—[Eds.]

Buckhurst Hill, Essex,
28th April 1913.

To the Editors of The Healthy Life.

Dear Sirs,

As a slight contribution to the interesting discussion which is taking place in your magazine, will you allow me to give you a short summary of nearly sixty years experience of the effects, in my own case, of flesh eating, vegetarianism and the uncooked food diet.

This is not a fairy tale, as some may be inclined to think, but a plain unvarnished statement of facts.

The flesh-eating period lasted for seventeen years. When three months old I was the unfortunate victim of vaccination poisoning, and for years afterwards was continually in the doctor's hands. The best medical men in this country and America were consulted; for months daily visits were paid to a noted Chicago specialist in the hope that he might be able to effect a cure, but it was a case of “love's labour lost,” and, instead of improving, my condition grew steadily worse.

During all these years, drugging was constantly going on, the pills and potions ordered were religiously swallowed, and, strange as it may seem, the ordeal was survived. Flesh meat was eaten daily, and, of all the members of the medical profession consulted, not one of them ever hinted that a change of diet might be beneficial.

When 17 years of age my attention was drawn to an article in The Phonetic Journal on the advantages of a non-flesh diet. By this time, being thoroughly tired of taking endless quantities of useless, poisonous and expensive drugs, I decided, there and then, to throw “physic to the dogs,” making up my mind that if death did come, and it seemed to be staring me in the face, I would, at any rate, die a vegetarian.

Within six months the most dangerous symptom had completely disappeared and has never recurred, but, although greatly benefitting by the new diet, and enjoying on the whole fairly good health, yet there were frequent attacks of rheumatism, lumbago and neuralgia; dyspepsia, with its attendant pain and flatulence, often made life miserable; now and again the liver would rise up in rebellion, bringing in its train vertigo, blurred vision and severe headaches; constipation, that bane of modern life, was a source of endless trouble, in fact, for many years the enema had to be used once or twice a week, and last, but worst of all, came those sharp, shooting, lancinating pains, one of the premonitory symptoms of cancer.

Obviously, there was still something radically wrong somewhere, and on retiring from practice, a great deal of time and attention was devoted to the subject, innumerable experiments were made, and, ultimately, results obtained, the value of which cannot be exaggerated.

Five years ago the uncooked food diet was commenced, and from the very first week a steady improvement took place. The constipation vanished as if by magic; there has not been the slightest touch of rheumatism or neuralgia for at least three years the liver is now an unknown quantity, the dyspepsia is a thing of the past, and, most important of all, the cancer symptoms are entirely gone, and in their place has come an abounding health, vigour and vitality that is marvellous. The years seem to have “rolled back in their flight”; all the centres of life are rejuvenated; and the hopes, feelings and aspirations of youth sway me now as they did nearly half-a-century ago. Work, mental or physical, is a perfect pleasure, and to feel fatigue is almost unknown.

What a glorious gift life really is has never been realised till now, and the wealth of the Indies would not induce me to go back to the flesh-pots, or live on cooked foods again. This diet gives two important advantages: firstly, the elimination of all excess of starchy matter prevents the formation of needless fat, and, secondly, the entire absence of artificially sweetened food removes one of the main causes of over-eating.

Will people ever learn that fat, instead of being a sign of health, is the very reverse, that every ounce of superfluous adipose tissue means more work for the heart, diminished vitality, lessened energy, and, when excessive, is not only a distinct menace to longevity, but to life itself?

I never take more than two meals a day and very often only one, which consists of raw vegetables, nuts, olive oil and unfired bread; the second meal, when required, is a simple fruit salad.

When a vegetarian the writer lived for years on a shilling a week; it costs rather more now, the oil, nuts, fruit and bread being more expensive than beans, rice, meal, etc., but the difference is so trifling that it is not worth talking about.

Whilst “Fletcherising,” deep breathing, distilled water, olive oil, fasting, saltless food, the open-air life, regular exercise, etc., were valuable allies, it was not until the powerful aid of uncooked food was invoked that the real benefits began to appear and life became a real joy. Yours, etc.,

John Reid, M.B., C.M.


Under this heading our contributor, Dr Valentine Knaggs, deals briefly month by month, and according as space permits, with questions of general interest to health seekers and others.

In all Queries relating to health difficulties it is essential that full details of the correspondent's customary diet should be clearly given.

Correspondents are earnestly requested to write on one side only of the paper, giving full name and address, not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. When an answer is required by post a stamped addressed envelope must be enclosed.—[Eds.]

Every inquiry must be accompanied by the front cover (or upper part of same showing date) of a recent number of The Healthy Life.


Mrs M. McC. writes:—In your book, Onions and Cress,[21] on p. 49, it is stated that the juice of onions mixed with honey will change the colour of hair from grey to black. Will you be kind enough to tell me in what proportion these should be mixed, as, of course, if not in a proper mixture, the hair would become so clogged. And will you also kindly tell me how one is to extract the juice from the onions, whether they are to be boiled or squeezed when raw.

With regard to the use of a mixture of onion juice and honey as a hair restorative the reader of my little book must remember that it is largely a compilation of quotations from old herbal books, and it gives the history, use and folklore of these interesting edibles. I am not responsible for this recipe and cannot therefore vouch for its utility. We know, however, that onions contain a wonderful sulphured oil and that sulphur in one form or another is an important ingredient of most hair preparations which restore colour. The raw juice evidently should be used, and this can be extracted either by pounding and grating and then extracting the juice under pressure, or it can be readily obtained in any quantity by putting onions through the Enterprise Juice Press. The amount of honey, I think, to be added to this juice should be very small, otherwise, as our correspondent surmises, the preparation would be very sticky and objectionable. Would any reader care to try this and report upon it?

[21] Onions and Cress, 6d. net (postage 1d).


Mrs M.G. writes:—My husband is a sufferer from sciatica; has had it for some years, on and off, but just lately he seems is to get it constantly—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. He has been taking some salicylate of soda, and I have tried to persuade him to give it up. His age is 42. For his meals he takes, on rising, an apple or a cup of apple tea; an hour afterwards his breakfast, which consists of two tablespoonfuls of a proteid food mixed with distilled water, and a hard biscuit, two slices of whole meal brown bread, nut butter, and watercress or lettuce. During the morning he drinks barley water. For dinner, a salad and a few ground nuts and hard biscuits and an apple; sometimes home-made nut meat and spinach, hard biscuits and dried or fresh fruit. For tea, a salad or lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cress, and Shredded Wheat and wholemeal bread. Last thing at night, a few steamed onions and distilled water. His bowels are in good condition, very regular, but he has this constant gnawing pain. If you can help me in any way as to a change in his diet, it will be a relief to me. I do not mind the trouble of preparing things for him. It is about two months ago that he has taken to drinking distilled water, which I make myself. His occupation is very sedentary, with long hours, sometimes from six in the morning till nine at night. He has a bicycle, and gets as much exercise as possible.

From the description given one would assume that the sedentary occupation and long hours of work have caused this correspondent to fall into bad postural habits of sitting and standing, coupled with excessive depletion of his nervous energy. The diet given is on good lines and, with the addition of home-made curd cheese and eggs as proteid, might certainly be continued as it stands, especially as the bowel action is regular. What the correspondent does need is less hours of work; more physical exercises of a brisk back-stretching nature, and certain spinal stretching manipulations of an Osteopathic nature. Full deep breathing in fresh air will also be beneficial. The lower part of the spine, from which the sciatic nerves originate, needs the most attention.


Mr E.H. writes:—Will Dr Knaggs very kindly say whether Refined Paraffin, now being given so generally for the relief of constipation, may be regarded as a harmless method of overcoming this trouble or whether its use might lead to harmful results. I am told that this preparation of oil is not assimilated, and is therefore harmless, but I should much appreciate Dr Knaggs' opinion on this matter.

The use of refined paraffin as a remedy for constipation is just now all the rage with the orthodox medical profession. There is nothing really to be said against its right use, provided it is made to serve as one of the means to an end. It has been proved that this paraffin, which is quite tasteless, odourless and easy to swallow, is not absorbed by the system but passes unchanged and unaltered through it. It acts therefore as a mere mechanical lubricant. The one thing to remember is that its use should be combined with a curative diet, so that it need not be taken indefinitely.


Mr L.S. writes:—I have read The Healthy Life from the appearance of the first number, and I have studied the Answers to Correspondents, but have not observed a case identical with my own, hence my reason for troubling you.

(1) The back part of mouth next throat has a curious glazed appearance—no cough or expectoration. I am inclined to think it extends to and includes the stomach. I have always a good appetite, but am not well nourished; much under weight. Age 44 years; school officer; cycle 25 miles a week.

Eat meat sparingly, not a pound a week. Live principally upon eggs and bread and butter—(three eggs a day): “Digestive Tea” two and three times a day.

2. Is saccharine less harmful than sugar for sweetening?

3. As the result of a nervous breakdown I had five years ago I suffer from a dilated heart, consequently—I suppose—I have palpitation occasionally, oftener when in bed. I don't think my heart is really normal since my breakdown five years ago.

4. Would bathing myself with cold water over the region of the heart strengthen the muscles? Would you please suggest anything for strengthening heart. Are lemons or eggs injurious to the heart?

1. The throat symptoms indicate a dry, irritable, heated condition of the mouth and throat which, as the correspondent surmises, equally affects the stomach and the rest of the digestive organs. He should have a breakfast of fresh fruit only, take salads and grated raw roots with his meals and stop tea altogether. He can drink distilled water and vegetable or lemon drinks (unsweetened) instead.

2. Saccharine is a mineral substance, a fossilised product of putrefactive action in the coal age. It is closely analogous to carbolic acid, which equally originates from microbic action. By leaving off sugar and replacing it by saccharine our correspondent gains nothing. He is simply leaping from the frying pan into the fire. It is best for him to cultivate a taste for unsweetened or even acid drinks.

3. A dilated heart is usually an after effect of a dilated stomach, which strains it, just as it does every other organ, whether in the chest or the abdomen.

4. Bathing the chest with cold water is not desirable. What is needed is that the correspondent should drink as little fluid as possible and pay close attention to the condition of his digestive mechanism. If the organs are dilated or misplaced he should wear a belt and take suitable gentle Osteopathic exercises.


A.M.D. writes:—Could you kindly give in The Healthy Life magazine some suggestions as to the best method to follow in a case of stammering (slight) in a boy of ten or eleven years who has been rather left to himself, the hesitancy in speech being regarded as incurable?

This boy should be trained by someone who understands how to cure stammering. The correspondent would do well to consult Miss Behncke of 18 Earl's Court Square, S.W., who makes a speciality of treating such cases.


A.M.D. writes:—Is there any way, independent of diet, of increasing the red corpuscles in the blood? I have tried walking nine miles a day, thus getting up free perspirations. What of this method? I did imagine that this resulted in a better condition of the skin, the latter losing in a measure the white and parched appearance.

A deficiency of red corpuscles in the blood, which shows in anæmia, is usually caused by self-poisoning. When food ferments or putrifies in the colon, owing to faulty diet and other causes, certain toxins are created. These become absorbed into the blood and there destroy the red corpuscles. Walking is a good form of exercise, but it will not suffice alone to remedy this type of anæmia unless the diet and general habits of the patient are so arranged that the unsanitary condition of the colon is also remedied. The correspondent will find, if she studies the replies to others in this magazine, many details as to diet, etc., for rectifying bad conditions in the bowels.


T.B.W. writes:—Is it inadvisable for a dyspeptic (and sufferer from constipation) to eat salad, or cooked vegetables, and stewed fruit at the same meal; also, do I do right in eating bread and butter (preferably crust) or hard biscuits with stewed fruit or soft vegetables, etc.? Would you please inform me the best Still that I can obtain—preferably one that does not require much attention, and is fairly portable, and that does not cost much to work?

I do not believe that it is right to mix salads or cooked vegetables with stewed fruits. It is better to take them at separate meals.

It is, in my view, equally bad to take cereals (i.e. bread, biscuits, etc.) with stewed fruits. The reason is that cereals call for an alkaline form of digestion in the mouth which the acid fruits or the added sugar greatly retard.

I believe strongly in the all-fruit breakfast or all-fruit supper, when fresh, dried, or even stewed dried fruits (possibly with some fresh cream) can be taken alone, without either cereals or vegetables.

Cereals go best with salads and cooked vegetables, because of the alkalinity of the latter which harmonises with the salivary secretion intended for the digestion of grains.

The Gem Still is the best to buy. It is well made and does not need much attention. The large automatic commercial size is, however, the best if any quantity is needed, as it works throughout the day with practically no attention when properly adjusted.


F.C.W. writes:—I shall be glad if you will inform me from your experience whether, after one has broken from the customary meat diet and adopted a “reform” diet, there is any real difficulty in reverting to the former state. I have seen it stated that vegetarian diet did not call into action all the natural powers of the digestive organs, and, this being so, the tendency was for them to become weakened so that the food reformer eventually found himself unable to digest meat. I believe some health culturists make practice of taking meat twice a week. I have been about seven or eight weeks on reform diet, and though better in some ways have to confess to a feeling of deficient energy and nerve power. I was once told by a doctor that I could not afford to do without the stimulating effect derived from meat. I propose making a test of the two methods, but should like to hear from you in reply to the above query. Another new feature I have noticed on the new diet is a thinness of the teeth and a feeling of weakness in them generally.

This correspondent omitted to supply his amended diet, so this was asked for and is as follows:—

On rising (6.40).—Cup of cold water.

Breakfast (8 a.m.).—Porridge, boiled egg or white fish done in oven. Turog brown bread and butter; a banana; cup of coffee.

Lunch (12.45, at The Home Restaurant)—Nut or cheese savoury and one vegetable, a sweet dish, a few dates or a nut and fruit cake.

Tea meal (in office at 5).—Bread and butter, piece of cake, large cup of cocoa.

Supper.—One of following:—

(a) “Force” with stewed prunes and junket; small piece of cheese with wholemeal biscuit.

(b) Milk pudding and stewed fruit; small piece of cheese and biscuit.

(c) Vegetable soup with toast.

(d) Bread and milk and fruit cake.

On retiring (10 p.m.).—Cup of hot milk.

The correspondent adds further:—

I have only been about eight weeks on food reform and the general result, so far, is less susceptibility to draughts and ability to sleep with windows open top and bottom, which I could not do before, and a feeling of lightness and freshness. On the other hand, I have not the same nerve force or power. I am of a highly sensitive nervous disposition, and the latest trouble is with my teeth. I was told yesterday by a dentist that a non-flesh diet is harmful to them and that were one to eat meat only, there would be no trouble! Perhaps it is owing to the dates and nut-and-fruit cakes which I have been eating, or to a general weakened condition due to want of finding my natural diet. I have a friend who is a fine specimen of physical development, and on his going on to food reform he had to have his teeth seen to. I suppose it would not be the softer diet giving his teeth less to do. I am at a disadvantage as I can get nothing specially prepared at home and can only add to my diet articles which I can prepare myself. I like my liquids fairly sweet and I like liquid foods. I am a catarrhal subject and when this starts at the back of the nose the hearing is affected.

Whenever a person changes from a meat diet to one that is of the non-flesh order the digestive organs have to learn how to adjust their secretions to the altered diet. This applies just as forcibly when a food reformer wishes to return to the “flesh-pots.” After a long course of abstinence from meat the food reformer does find it difficult to return to it. This is due not so much to the difficulty in digesting it as to the violent stimulation and grossening of the body which it induces.

I have never heard of any food reformer who discarded meat for ethical or humane reasons who willingly returned to meat so that he could if necessary be in a position to digest it.

With regard to the loss of energy and nerve power the correspondent must distinguish between real weakness and absence of stimulation. The first effects of discarding meat show a deficient energy due to the absence of stimulation. When this has passed it gives place to a feeling of buoyancy and energy which is permanent.

The dental weakness is aggravated, if indeed it is not actually caused, by the milk puddings, porridge, cake and sugared beverages which are a feature of this correspondent's diet, and to the absence of salad vegetables. If he amended his diet somewhat as follows he should make steady progress in energy and general fitness:—

On rising.—Tumblerful of cold water.

Breakfast (7.15).—One lightly boiled, baked or poached egg; Veda bread and butter, a little watercress or other salad. A small cup of Hygiama in place of the sugared cocoa.

Lunch (12.45).—Nut or cheese savoury and one vegetable; baked pudding by preference for second course, or simply a nut and fruit cake; no dates.

Or salad with grated cheese or cream cheese, or flaked pine nuts; followed by a piece of the excellent wholemeal cake supplied at the restaurant this correspondent frequents.

Tea meal.—One cup of Salfon cocoa (unsweetened), preferably without other food.

Supper (6 to 7) (This meal is at present far too mushy).—Cream cheese, Veda bread with fresh butter or nut butter, salad, tomatoes, cucumber, etc., with dressing of pure oil and lemon juice.

Or simply fresh ripe fruit, with dried fruit and cream; no cereals.

On retiring.—Cupful of hot unsweetened lemon water, or weak barley water; no milk.

H. Valentine Knaggs.


All Correspondence should be addressed (and all contributions submitted) to the Editors, The Healthy Life, 3 Tudor Street, London, E.C.


Wilderton, Bournemouth.

To the Editors,

Dear Sirs,

Re Mrs C.E.J.'s letter and the reply thereto: I should be inclined to doubt the wisdom of making this from unboiled or uncooked milk unless one had it from one's own cows and could supervise the dairy oneself. The average milk that comes into towns from country farms is—well, it's unthinkable. There's a saying that what the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over, but that doesn't alter the fact that the average cow is none too clean, the average milker's hands and clothes (to say nothing of his face, hat and head) none too clean, the milking-place none too clean, and the circumstances of transit such as don't make for cleanliness. I have put it very moderately, as those who know country dairy farms will admit. Those who particularly want clean cheese from uncooked milk should buy it from a County Council dairy farm or similar institution. Yours truly,

B.C. Forder.


Mrs E. Bumpus writes (7th October 1913):—

I am ordering two copies each month from my local newsagent.... I thought he might be induced to show copies of your publication in his window.

[An attractive blue poster is supplied each month free by the Publishers to all genuine agents who apply for the same.—Eds.]


Mr C.H. Grinling writes (25th October 1913):—

I note the suggestion on p. 580 of the October number of The Healthy Life. A friend enables me to ask you to send The Healthy Life regularly for one year to the Woolwich Public Library, William Street, Woolwich. I enclose 2s. The librarian will see that it appears on the magazine-room table regularly.

[There is every reason why The Healthy Life should be known and read in every public library in the United Kingdom. In this we are entirely dependent upon those readers who are ready to follow the excellent example of the above and other correspondents. A year's subscription—2s.—is a very small price to pay for bringing the message of this magazine before the public in this way. We should like to hear from readers in all parts.—Eds.]


Westcliff-on-Sea, 22nd Oct. 1913.

To the Editors,


With reference to the last paragraph of “Phosphorus and the Nerves” on p. 579 of the October number, I should be obliged if I could be informed through your correspondence columns (1) what are the “fruit oils” recommended therein and (2) how they are to be taken. (3) Is olive oil good to take? (4) Is it good for children? If so how is it to be administered? (5) What nuts are richest in phosphorus? I enclose my card, and remain, yours truly,


(1) Any olive oil that bears a thorough guarantee of purity (such as “Minerva” Olive Oil, “Crême d'Or” Olive Oil, etc.); also any pure nut oil (such as supplied by Mapleton's or The London Nut Food Co.); also the pure blended oil sold as “Protoid Fruit Oil.” Our advertisement pages should be studied for further details.

(2) Suggestions were given on pp. xxxiii and xxxv of the November number.

(3) Yes, excellent.

(4) Yes, they usually take it more readily than adults, for the latters' palates are generally spoilt. For its use see Right Diet for Children, by Edgar J. Saxon, 1s. net.

(5) Almonds and walnuts. If the nuts are found difficult to digest try them in a finely prepared form, as in Mapleton's Almond Cream, “P.R.” Walnut Butter, or “Protoid” Almond Butter.—[Eds.]


Lady Cheylesmore was wearing a magnificent cock pheasant's plume. The eagle eye of the customs official caught sight of it and handed her a pair of scissors to help her detach it.—Daily News.

Now we know what a really well-trained eagle eye can do.

Perhaps the only remnant of the awful sameness characteristic of the typically English kitchen is the bacon and egg breakfast to which the average Briton clings with wonderful tenacity. The mere possibility of infidelity to that national dish is enough to make one shudder. No one could be such an iconoclast as to suggest a variant from the traditional breakfast; it would be table-treason of the worst kind.—Daily Telegraph.

A middle-aged Briton named Leary,
Of bacon and eggs got so weary,
That for no other reason
He committed high treason—
But whether he shuddered's a query.

Silver-fox furs are rapidly becoming more and more rare, and this fact lends a special interest to the wonderful collection of these skins now being shown this week by Revillon Frères at 180 Regent Street. These beautiful silver foxes, to the number of over a hundred, are grouped in eight large showcases on the ground floor, and represent the latest arrivals from Revillon's Canadian outposts, where they have special facilities for securing these rare skins.—Daily Chronicle.

A ninth large showcase containing specimens of the steel traps in which “these beautiful silver foxes” are caught, and in which they remain till “collected,” would give added interest to the collection at 180 Regent Street.

Sixty-six persons banqueted at Gorleston on a single “sea-pie,” which weighed 200 lbs. Prepared by an old smack skipper, it was built in three stories. The foundation consisted of beef bones, and inside were six large rabbits, half-a-dozen kidneys, thirty pounds of beef steak.—Daily Chronicle.

Not to be confused with the Gorleston Mausoleum.

Peter Piper.

End of Project Gutenberg's The Healthy Life, Vol. V, Nos. 24-28, by Various


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