is "Natural Hygiene"
Hygiene is that branch of biology which investigates and applies
the conditions upon which life and health depend, and the means
by which health is rebuilt and maintained when it has been lost
or impaired; it is the study of the "science of health".
[And it is the branch of biology that you hear very little about
if anything, and with good reason; restoring health through natural
methods makes plenty of sense, but not plenty of dollars. In fact,
it is at odds with other areas of health that are very financially
may be further defined as being the science and art of restoring
and preserving health by those substances and influences that have
a normal relation to life:
designed to eat
healthy water and proper hydration
strong enough sunshine
appropriate amounts of non-injurious physical activity
toxins, stress, and misinformation avoidance
positive social relationships
It is the
scientific application of the principles of Nature in the restoration
and preservation of health.
covers the total needs of humans, and not merely a few of their
requirements. It is neither a practice of medicine, a healing art,
nor a system of therapeutics. It offers no cures, does not pretend
to cure, and in fact strives to dispel the popular notion of cures.
Instead, Natural Hygiene emphasizes that adherence to its principles,
which are based on the Laws of Nature, permits the body to heal
Is there a Scenario Where Natural Hygiene
is Not Enough?
When a person gets into an unnatural state
of ill health, there may be the need for extraordinary interventions
that go beyond the normal requirements for optimal health
(lifesaving surgery as one example). What is meant by an "unnatural
state of ill health"? If a person has been eating an
unhealthy diet and living an unhealthy lifestyle for many
decades, their immune system cannot and will not be functioning
normally (meaning not as well as it could and should). If
this person were to then be exposed to, for example, a tick
bite that contained the Lyme virus, their body will not likely
be able to deal with this as it would have if it were in robust
health (Lyme is natural, unhealthy immune systems are not).
This can allow the infection to thrive and progress to a point
that it could never have gotten to had the person been in
robust health. Then, when symptoms become serious and noticeable
to the point of not being able to ignore, simply switching
to even the healthiest of diets, and getting enough sleep
for the first time ever, and getting enough sunshine, etc.
may not be enough to deal with this now unnatural state of
ill health; a state of ill health that would have been unlikely
many millennia ago. Therefore, equally unnatural tactics may
be required to allow complete healing (such as the taking
of remedies like herbs and mega-doses of certain vitamins
Purists who contend that anything that can
happen to us is "natural", and therefore the tenets
of Natural Hygiene once applied will always lead the person
to a state of optimal health, are not dealing with reality,
at least not in a rational way.
But even in extraordinary states of ill health,
the tenets of Natural Hygiene, properly understood and applied,
should always be "step one", followed by whatever
other steps, albeit unnatural ones, that are necessary to
allow the body to heal.
The moral of the story: Start adopting the
tenets of Natural Hygiene before you experience
any infectious exposures to give yourself the best odds of
being able to deal with it without having to resort to unnatural
the terms Hygiene and Natural Hygiene come from?
The word "hygiene"
came from the Greek goddess of health, Hygieia, and this
is what the movement was first named in the 1800's. In the 1900's,
Drs. Herbert Shelton and Christopher Gian-Cursio called the revived
movement "Natural Hygiene". The focus then was distinguishing
the modern modalities of managing ill-health via medical and pharmaceutical
approaches from the pursuit of restoring health via nature-based
healthful living practices. The word "natural" was also
added to "hygiene" to help distinguish the original definition
of hygiene (#1 above) from the more common definition, that of "personal
on this website is based on the tenets of Natural Hygiene, i.e.
it respects and is in compliance with (our) nature and with our
In the early 1800's many MDs both in Europe
and America were critical of the medical practices common
at the time. In the USA this movement got the name Hygiene.
All but two of the pioneer Hygienists were medical men who
had become disillusioned with medical practices. Herbert Shelton
had this to say about them, and about the rest who practiced
Not by divine revelation, as so many have
claimed for their "discoveries," but by a close
and careful study of nature did all these men come to their
knowledge. Hygiene represents a return to that pristine mode
of living that emerged with man when he first appeared on
the earth; it is a revival of something precious that had
been all but lost during the course of ages thanks to the
corrupting and perverting influences of shaman, priest, physician,
and trader. These, with their false systems and false teachings,
have led the race astray. When and where ignorance and superstition
have prevailed with all their mind-beclouding and debasing
influences, disease and crime abound. H. Shelton, 1968.
THE GREEK GODDESS HYGIEIA
(The lesser known of the Greek Gods and Goddesses)
When Natural Hygiene is
Sometimes I get bashed by people who consider
themselves Natural Hygienists, and I'm accused of being "anti-hygiene".
Their reason for this is because I recommend nutritional supplements,
and their belief is that Natural Hygiene is against the use
of nutritional supplements because they are unnatural, and
Natural Hygiene is all about being natural, after all, "natural"
is part of its name. This is what happens when something is
As you can see from the above reading of the
tenets of Natural Hygiene, NH says that we need to get all
the things that our body requires for optimal functioning,
and it implies that if we don't get all these things, we can't
have optimal health. No argument there. But some Hygienists
are of the belief that we can get enough of all the nutrients
we need from a raw fruit and greens diet. Why is this belief
so pervasive? Two reasons:
1. There have always been medicine and "snake
oil" salesmen people who claim that this pill
or potion will cure your ills and old time Hygienists
knew this was nonsense, and cautioned against it by saying
that pills offered nothing except a burdening of the body.
And this is true. But today's Hygienists lump all things other
than food into the same category, and this does a disservice
to Natural Hygiene.
2. Some of today's popular health practitioners
misinterpret this aversion to pills to mean that if you eat
a raw diet of fruits and greens you don't have to be concerned
about nutrition. And this is indeed a lovely notion, and therefore
one that is embraced by the people who these health educators
teach. But it turns out not to be true. And since some health
educators are not true researchers, they don't welcome new
information that suggests that something they've believed
to be true, isn't. Scientists and researchers seek to discover
the truth. When they prove something, even if they're happy
about what they've found, they try with equal vigor to disprove
it because, bottom line, they're after the truth. And they
also don't mind being proven wrong by others. Unfortunately,
the same can't be said for some of today's health educators.
In the list above you will see "food
were designed to eat" and "sufficient nutrition".
Because of the way our foods are grown today, just because
we eat the foods of our biological adaptation isn't a guarantee
that we'll get enough of all the nutrients our body requires
for optimal health. So the philosophy of Natural Hygiene is
all about getting enough of what we require, and nowhere does
it preclude augmenting what we eat with a worthwhile nutritional
adjunct to our diet to make sure that we do. And yes, I'm
referring to nutritional supplements... most are a waste of
money, but not all. Some deserve to be part of the diet.
So those who accuse me of being "anti-hygiene"
might want to take a closer look at what Natural Hygiene actually
says, and if they would do this as a researcher employing
the ethos of science instead of as a student, they
could see the useful role that worthwhile nutritional supplements
actually play in health restoration and maintenance.
The ethos of science:
open questioning, no authorities, honesty, transparency,
and reliance on evidence. This can make the world a better
place by burying myth and dogma. And the requisites for
this line of inquiry are respect for rational and honest
discussion, a desire to peer-to-peer, the ability to change
your position when the evidence merits it, an intolerance
of distortion and misrepresentation, and above all, a skeptical
interrogation of accepted notions.
closer look at why our foods aren't as nutritious as they once were
is one of the many "tools" of NH, but doing it right is
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