These chapters are written in order to introduce the reader to this most
important branch of therapeutics and tell him how I have made use of these
methods in my own life. the subject has been touched upon in the foregoing
chapters. It will be dealt with in some detail here. The science of natural
therapeutics is based on a use, in the treatment of disease, of the same
five elements which constitute the human body. To refresh the reader’s
memory, these are earth, water, ether, sunlight and air. It is my effort
to point out how they can be utilized for health purposes.
Up till the year 1901, although I did not rush to doctors whenever I happened
to get ill, I did use their remedies to a certain extent. I used to take
fruit salt of constipation. The late Dr. Pranjivan Mehta who had come
to Natal introduced me to certain drugs to remove general lassitude. This
led me to read literature on the uses of drugs. Add to this a little more
knowledge I gained by a certain amount of work I had put in at a cottage
hospital In Natal. This enabled me to carry on for some time, but none
of the drugs did me any good in the end. Headaches and loss of a sense
of general wellbeing persisted. I was very dissatisfied with this state
of things and what little faith I had in medicines began to fade.
All through this interval my experiments in dietetics were continued.
I had great faith in nature cure methods, but there was nobody to help
me with practical guidance in their use. With the help of whatever knowledge
I could gather by reading a little of nature cure literature, I tried
to teat myself by diet regulation. My habit of going out for long walks
also stood me in good stead, and thanks to that habit I did not have actually
to take to bed. While I was thus managing to keep going somehow, Mr. Polak
handed me Just’s book, called Return to Nature. He did not follow
Just instructions himself, except that he tried to regulate his diet more
or less according to Just’s teaching. But knowing me as he did, he
thought I would like the book. Just lays great emphasis on the use of
earth. I felt that I ought to give it a trial. For constipation, Just
advises cold mud poultice on the lower abdomen. I made a mud poultice
by mixing clean dry earth with water, packed it in a piece of thin cloth
and kept it on the abdomen throughout the night. The result was most satisfactory.
I had a natural well-formed motion the next morning and from that day
onwards I have hardly ever touched fruitsalt. Occasionally, I feel the
need of a purgative and take less than a dessert-spoonful of castor oil
early in the morning. The mud poultice should be 3 inches broad, 6 inches
long and 1 inch thick. Just claims that mud can cure man bitten by a poisonous
Just writes that clean earth may be eaten in order to over-come constipation.
Five to ten grams is the maximum dose. The rationale is said to be this.
Earth is not digested. It acts as roughage and must pass out. The peristalsis
thus stimulated pushes out the fecal matter as well. I have not tried
it myself. Therefore those who wish to do so, should try it on their own
responsibility. I am inclined to think that a trial or two is not likely
to harm anyone.