Principles and Practice of Naturopathy:
A Compendium of Natural Healing (1925)

E.W. Cordingley, A.M., Ph.D.



Dietetics is a subject that has been much abused, and many Naturopaths have been confused with the conflicting theories of "food faddists." For that reason, we want to keep this chapter free from faddism. and instead present only such fundamental principles as are approved by science as the result of impartial investigation and resaearch [sic].

One matter that should never be overlooked in regards to the prescribing- of diet is that a dietetic regime that works out excellently with one person will not agree at all with another. There are great variations in individuals. and there is more than a grain of truth in the old adage that "what is one man's food is another man's poison."

At the outset, We have two well-defined temperaments in human beings, one known as the electric temperament (or ox-type) and the other know as the magnetic temperament (or tiger-type).

Persons of the electric temperament are small-boned, have moderate-sized joints, and have a tendency to become stout and to an accumulation of minerals in the system. Food for persons of this type should be rich in acid fruits and meager in starches.

Persons of the magnetic temperament have a heavy bony structure, large joints, and have a tendency to become thinner with advancing- years and to an accumulation of acids in the system. Food for persons of this temperament should consist principally of vegetebles and non-acid fruits, with a minimum of acid fruits.

The human body is composed of seventeen mineral elements, the chief of which are Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon. To give you an idea of the relative proportions of the various elements, I will append the following table, which shows the approximate amount of each element for a person weighing about 157 pounds:

Oxygen, 89 lbs
Nitrogen, 2 ozs.
Hydrogen, 15 lbs.
Carbon, 45 lbs.
Iron, 2 ozs.
Chlorin, 1 3-4 Ibs.
Calcium, 4 1-2 lbs.
Fluorin, 3 3-4 ozs.
Phosphorus, 2 Ibs.
Sodium, 3 ozs
Potassium, 2 1-2 ozs.
Manganese, 1-2 oz.
Silicon, 1 1-4 ozs.
Iodin, 1-4 oz.
Sulphur, 3 3-4 ozs.
Magnesium, 3 1-2 ozs.
Bromin, (a trace).

Some one, with commercial values in mind, has suggested that in a man there is enough water (hydrogen and oxygen) to wash two blankets, enoug- sulphur to kill the fleas on a good sized dog, enough iron to make a tenpenny nail, enough lime (calcium oxid [sic]) to whitewash a small chicken coop, and that the cost of these would be 98 cents. I understand that it is Dr. C. A. Pierle, Chemist at the West Texas Teachers' College, who made this analysis.


As is well known, some foods contain a larger percentage of the essential elements needed in the body than others. Some of the older physiologists found that wheat, corn and rice came the nearest to being' perfect and complete foods, taken individually, than any others, and for that reason they called them "The Three Staffs of Life." Wheat is considered the more nearly complete of all.

However, it was found that the way in which these foods are often prepared for trade really renders them unfit for food. Thus, the removal of the bran from wheat, and the hull from rice by polishing, seemed to take from them something needed to sustain the body.

It has long been observed that whole wheat flour become" "wormy" with 'age, whereas white (bleached) flour does not. For this reason some people prefer the white flour. However, a better way to look at it is that if white flour is so lacking in sustaining elements that even the worms won't cat it, it surely is not fit for human consumption.

In the Philippine Islands a very prevalent disease is beri-beri, which is a form of multiple neuritis. It was thought that exclusive rice eating was the cause of beri-beri, until some of the natives suffering from the disease were fed on the "polishings" from the rice, when the disease quickly cleared up. It was found that the important sustaining part of the rice was contained in the "hull" which had been polished away.

Therefore, it becomes apparent that to cat wheat or rice just as nature prepared it is the only way in which we can get the life-sustaining qualities from it.

These elements contained in the bran of wheat and in the hull of rice, and, of course, in a great number of other foods, have been named vitamins. Just what vitamins are has not been determined with certainty, but it is evident that, whatever their nature, human life cannot be sustained without them.

For convenience vitamins have been classified as (1) Fat-soluble A; (2) Water-soluble D; and (3) Water-soluble C.

(1) Fat-Soluble A is found mainly in animal fats (except in lard), and in the foliage of plants, It is essential for growth. Milk, butter, cream, lettuce, spinach and other leafy vegetables contain this vitamin, which is also known as the anti-rachitic vitamin because it prevents rickets, Children require Fat-soluble A for growth, and adults require it to maintain strength of bones.

(2) Water-soluble B is the vitamin that is removed from rice when it is polished, and lack of it is the cause of beri-beri, which we dealt with in a preceding paragraph. This vitamin is also necessary for growth, and a lack of it gives rise to nervous diseases. This vitamin is found principally in wheat, corn, rice, peas, beans, cereals, and egg-s. 1t is sometimes called the anti-neuritic vitamin.

(3) Water-soluble C is found in fresh meats, oranges, lemons, tomatoes and the leafy vegetables, It is known also as the anti-scorbutic vitamin, because lack of it will cause scurvy. The reason why scurvy sometimes breaks out among sailors on a long- sea voyage is because food containing this vitamin is lacking- in the diet.


In the foregoing discussion of vitamins it will be noticed that I listed meats along with vegetables as containing vitamins. I do not want to convey the impression that, because I listed meat, I approve of its use by mankind, It is probable that a moderate amount of meat can he eaten by a normal, healthy person without causing much trouble, and it may be true that such meats as chicken and veal are not as harmful as some others, but, nevertheless, the fact cannot be denied that the "internal make-up" of man is more like that of a guinea pig (cavy) than that of any other animal, and the guinea pig is a strict vegetarian. As compared with the digestive tract of a lion, tiger, dog or cat, or meat-eating animal (carnivore), man's intestine is five times too long, and his liver one-third too small for a meat-eater. The meat putrifies and decays in man's long intestine, a/Ill his liver is not large enough to secrete a sufficient quantity of bile to counteract the large amount of uric acid that meat contains. A large part of our diseases can be traced directly to meat eating. The rotten, decayed particles of meat floating in the blood-stream are a prolific source of disease.

Among the people of Egypt cancer is very common, but it has been found that the Mohammedan's of Egypt, whose religion prohibits tile use of meat, practically never have a cancer, while among the Christians and Copts, who are meat eaters, cancer is very common. It is probable that in a hot climate such as Egypt the meat putrifies in the human body even quicker than it does in cooler climates, thereby being' even a greater evil there than it would be in many other localities.


What I have already written will give the reader many practical fU6gestions on the regulation of diet to cure disease. If you will turn to the article on vitamins you will see what foods to advise to combat nervous disorders, rachitic conditions, and scorbutic complaints. You will see that the elimination of meat from the diet will aid in a recovery in many cases, and it will be evident that the first thing to do with a patient who has, say, cancer of the stomach, is to get him away from meat eating. So, I will leave the prescribing of diet to the reader, which he can do along .the general lines I have laid down. I will, however, before passing on to the next phase of this subject, suggest that, as it has been found that the acid in tomatoes exerts a very destructive influence upon cancer, tomatoes should be given to a patient suffering from cancer to as great an extent as he will eat them. The fresh tomatoes are to be preferred, but when fresh ones cannot be had the canned ones will have to do. And then in tuberculosis, silicon, calcium and iron are the three elements most markedly deficient in the body, and if oatmeal (which contains silicon), milk and cheese (which contain calcium), and spinach, lettuce, and dark-colored berries (which contain iron) are eaten, to the exclusion of other foods, a prompt change for the better is usually quickly observed.


Some investigators favor the use of raw fruits and vegetables, rather than cooked ones, as they contain the food elements in a "live" and unaltered form. Dr. George J. Drews is the foremost authority on the use of raw foods. He calls his system of curing disease by raw foods "Trophotherapy," and he has found that:

  1. Raw parsley and carrots, melons and cucumbers will stimulate the kidneys.
  2. Raw dandelions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, egg plant, plantain and Irish potatoes stimulate the liver.
  3. Raw tomatoes (as noted above) are of benefit in combatting cancer. Some pain may be caused at first.
  4. Horse-radish, nasturtiums, and celery will overcome painful urination and eliminate pus.
  5. Roots make the blood alkaline.
  6. Raw pumpkin and squash make rich blood.
  7. A combination of ground pumpkin or squash seeds and chopped yarrow leaves will expel maw worms.


T:1C milk diet, or milk fast, consists in taking no nourishment what-ever but milk for a period of from one to four weeks. In many gastrointestinal diseases the milk diet has accomplished almost the miraculous after many other forms of treatment have failed. Holstein milk is preferred, but any good milk that does not contain too large a percentage of cream will do, If the milk is certified or of known purity it is far to be preferred raw (un-Pasteurized).

The milk is ordinarily taken cool, but in cold weather or in case of weak digestion it can be slightly warmed, but never boiled. One glass every half hour while the patient is awake should be taken. This is the ideal. Occupational, or other circumstances, may necessitate some modification. Moderate exercise with plenty of rest, fresh air, and not too frequent manipulative treatment, should be taken with the milk diet.

The milk diet, or milk fast, like any other fast, should be. Carefully supervised and "broken" gradually at its tremenation [sic]. To get back on "regular" diet two or three days should be required. A little popcorn can first be added, and then, gradually decreasing the quantity of milk, oranges, and then other light foods can he eaten.


In a few cases the milk diet will not agree with the patient. It then should be broken, and the "Fruit Diet" substituted. The Fruit Diet consists in foregoing all food but the following:

For breakfast: two oranges and one apple.
For dinner: two oranges and one apple.
For supper: two two oranges and one apple.

This "fast" should likewise he continued for from one to four weeks, and then been "broken" gradually.

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This page was posted on September 15, 2004.

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