Raw Food - Natural Hygiene

31 May 2012
Author: Lindsay Johnson
Read time: 9 min
Category: Archive

Natural Hygiene was also the inspiration to Harvey Diamond, who later met Marilyn Diamond and co-authored the best-selling diet book “Fit For Life”, released in 1986. “Fit For Life” introduced the concept of Raw Foods to an incredible amount of people, including me in 1987 (I was already a whole foods Vegan).

I delved very deeply into Natural Hygeine, and became as hard-core Natural Hygienist as there was. I learned that Natural Hygeine actually started in my home town of Fairfield, CT (where I lived at the time) Wow, I thought – destiny!. I took the same course on Natural Hygiene that the authors of "Fit For Life" did. I read every work I could get from the founders of the movement including Tilden and Shelton.

I was taught that you could not possibly be deficient in anything on this diet, even if you predominated your diet in fruit. I was completely engrossed and hooked. I experienced an AMAZING transformation in my own health and witnessed this in many others.

Natural Hygiene taught 7 stages of disease:

Enervation. Enervation refers to the body being run down by various means (poor food, sleep, stress, environment, etc). If your body is run down, you set the stage for disease. I still love the terms “enervate” and “enervating,” as I think they describe well practices that suck energy from us. For example, caffeine is enervating, as it gives you outward energy, but robs from your body’s internal reserves. On a related note, Cacao (cooked OR Raw), is enervating.

Toxemia. If you continue to be enervated, you will build up toxins in your body (colon, blood, all organs). The body is not strong enough to eliminate and process the wastes it is burdened with. These wastes included exogenous toxins (originating from outside the body like food, toxic air, toxic water, toxic electromagnetic radiation, etc.) as well as endogenous toxins (the normal by products of metabolism that need to be processed and/or eliminated).

Irritation. Enervation, leading to toxemina, cuases a build up of toxins in your body. These toxins irritate the body and low level inflammation occurs. No overt disease is present yet, but diminished energy is noticed. “Minor” health problems occur.

Inflammation. In this stage, various organs and tissues in the body are definitely inflamed. Usually, a disease condition can be named in this stage. Modern medicine agrees that inflammation sets the stage for worse diseases. In this stage, drugs are usually given that suppress the symptoms yet do not address the cause. These drugs increase Enervation, Toxemia, and Irritation, and contribute to making the problems worse. Physical pain can often be felt at this stage.

Ulceration. Tissues are in such bad condition and filled with toxins that they partially die off. To contain the toxins, the body forms an ulcer. More pain and worsening of symptoms.

Induration. Induration means hardening or scarring of the tissues. Toxins are often encapsulated in a tumor. Surgery is the normal medical approach in this case for any tumors that can be operated on without killing the patient. The body’s flexibility (outward - like stretching, and inward – like blood vessels) is greatly hampered.

Which brings us to stage 7…

Cancer. Too much toxicity for too long and cells become so overburdened that the tissues and organs are dying, and cancerous cells are growing in the body, invading neighboring tissues and eventually leading to organ, tissue, and whole body death.

I saw miracles occur in people observing Natural Hygeine practices. I had no idea that the foods that seemingly everyone ate were making us sick, and by changing the diet radically you could become well.


There was a kind of very rigid and dogmatic approach to health and healing. Anything else was almost “evil.” If you were ill, you would take a “fast,” either on your own or at a fasting center. Meaning distilled water only, not food or juice. The body would heal all on this regime and you needed absolutely nothing outside of Natural Hygiene, or so it was very enthusiastically told to me. The body, in its infinite wisdom, needed no help from us other than to get out of its way to heal. If a fast did not heal you and you died as a result of it (which did happen, it was said that you would have died anyway – which was not always the case).

Problems with Natural Hygiene. Although Natural Hygiene brought many important concepts to the world and is on the right track, it has many downfalls.

Defciencies. A large percentage of Natural Hygienists, become deficient in important nutrients such as B-12, calcium, and protein.   In my experience, Natural Hygienists are the most sickly group of raw fooders.

Teeth and Blood Sugar. Facets of Natural Hygiene recommend Fruitarianism. I have never seen a long term fruitatian who is healthy. Many of them hide the fact that they take B-12 supplements or injections, and eat processed cooked foods. Fruitariansm is notorious for rotting teeth and bones (it did a number on my teeth).

Water Fasting. This has helped very many people. However, I, and most modern raw food teachers agree that Juice and/or Superfood fasting is superior. Water fasting is extremely depleting, extremely acid forming, is NOT as cleansing as, NOT as safe and NOT as healing as a Juice/Superfood fast/cleanse.

From Hygiene to Carnivore. I have seen unbalanced, fringe raw food diets, like Natural Hygeine, turn more vegans to meat eaters than anything else. This is because a large percentage of those who practiced Natural Hygiene would eventually run into problems. Raw was such an emphasis and you were not allowed juice fasts, (many even eschewed juice itself), superfoods, herbs, colon cleansing, salt of any kind, or even whole food cooked Vegan foods. This led many of its followers to just “throw the baby out with the bathwater” and eat flesh, or partake of drugs and surgery, and/or suffer. I personally witnessed this happening rampantly.

A lot of Natural Hygiene leaders were notorious for NOT following the dictates of the diets they preached (including binging on processed foods – not even whole Vegan foods) and eating animal products. Herbert Shelton died with Parkinson’s disease. T.C. Fry died of heart failure when he was only 70.

Conclusion. Natural Hygiene is one of the early forms of raw foodism. It contributed much to our collective knowledge and should be honored for such. It was a prototype for a successful raw food diet. Like many prototypes, it needed updating and evolving. However, like most things in life, most who practiced it did so with blind faith, thinking it was the end all and be all. Few Natural Hygienists are left today. Many have died out, other former leaders have moved on to non-raw and non-Vegan diets due to the deficiencies of Natural Hygiene, others are too ill to be seen in public. I still appreciate its hard-core, purist philosophy, but I interpret and practice these ideals differently. We have evolved from a time when women could not even vote and slaves were kept. So too should Natural Hygiene evolve.

What is needed is the evolution of Natural Hygiene. Many who started as Natural Hygienists (such as myself) have evolved their diets to a more balanced one, such as what was agreed to at the International Living Foods Summit (see page 46), which was held at Hippocrates in 2006 and 2007. This dietary evolution is still 100 percent vegan (the Hygienists had that one right), but is much lower in sugar, much higher in chlorophyll, much higher in minerals, encourages soaking nuts and seeds, includes raw food juices, does juice and superfood cleanses instead of water fasting, allows and encourages unprocessed salts, superfoods like algaes, colon cleansing programs and healing herbs. Whereas strict adherence to Natural Hygiene often caused people to go back to meat and junk foods, the evolution of Natural Hygiene recognizes the vast nutritional superiority of whole food cooked foods over animal products (whether cooked or raw).   The Hippocrates diet is one such dietary evolution.

I wish you great health and happiness always.

Dr. Jameth Sheridan (N.D.) is the co-author of the raw food classic “Uncooking with Jameth and Kim”, which introduced new concepts to the raw foods world, including the use of unprocessed salts and the world’s first flax crackers. He is a raw fooder, an herbalist, a hard-core holistic medicine researcher, and a Vegan of 22 years. He is an outspoken perfectionist on a mission to help heal the world and its inhabitants. He walks his talk and fully embraces as many aspects of holistic health as he can, including clothing, building material, energetics, psychology, and physical fitness. He is releasing his research into a book to be published in June of 2009. He is the owner of and formulator for HealthForce Nutritionals (www.HealthForce.com). He has formulated some of the top superfood products in the world.

Vol 28 Issue 4 Page 40

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