Natural Hygiene is a philosophy and a set of principles and practices based on science, that leads to an extraordinary level of personal health and happiness. ... Natural Hygiene is for people who are looking for the good life, and not just a pretty good life, a very good life. It offers you the opportunity to live the healthiest, happiest life possible.(Health Science)
Hygiene is not an empirical system, nor is it experimental. It is a logical system derived from fundamental biological premises. Nevertheless, it is confirmed and supported by empiricism and experimentalism. (Alec Burton D.O. D.C. 1995)
The wise doctor realizes that he or she may need to take an active role and the patient a more passive role in the early stages of health restoration, but does everything possible to put the power of self care into the patients hands as soon as possible ... ... Above all is conservation of energy and identification of ways in which energy that needs to be directed towards healing is being lost. (Dr. Paul Goldberg, 99)
Although the Hygienic philosophy that "health is the result of healthful living", was considered radical in its day, the world is awakening to it now. In the 1990's we seem to be on the verge of another health revolution. .. The fundamental problem we face is not that medical costs are skyrocketing. The problem is that most medical care is not health care at all; it is disease care. (R. Cridland, M.D., 1994)
- The underlying basis of Natural Hygiene is that the body is self-cleansing, self-healing and self-maintaining. Natural Hygiene is based on the idea that all the healing power of the universe is within the human body; that nature is always correct and can not be improved upon. We experience problems of health (i.e. excess weight, pain, stress) only when we break the natural laws of life. (H. Diamond, 1985)
- It is interesting that the field of Natural Hygiene has existed in this country and been utilized by thousands of people for over a century and a half, and yet very few people have even heard of it.
During my seminars I always ask the audience, how many have heard of Natural Hygiene. Less than 1 % ever raise their hands. (Diamond: Fit for Life 1985)
NATURAL HYGIENE holds that health is the normal state of all living organisms and that health is maintained through natural, self-initiating, self-healing process.
NATURAL HYGIENE maintains that health is the personal responsibility of each individual, and that vibrant health is achieved only by the conscientious application of healthful living practices in all areas of one's life. (Victoria Bidwell 1991)
Greek goddess
Hygeia    noun, Greek mythology The goddess
            of health.
hygiene    noun,The science that deals with the
            preservation & promotion of health.
The goddess of health is clothed head-to-toe in a loose-fitting, traditional gown. She has a snake, the usual attribute of Hygeia, the personification of healing. The egg in her hand is a symbol of her father Asklepios, the god of medicine.
Why does hygiene also mean "cleanliness"?
In the 19th century, this was the situation:
- Cleanliness was utterly disregarded. Physicians not only frowned upon, but opposed bathing. Surgeons performed operations without washing their hands, and operating rooms of hospitals were veritable pig sties. Physicians would go from the post mortem room directly to the delivery room and assist in the birth of a child without washing their hands. Child-bed fever was a very common disease and the death rate from it was very high.
- Since patients were also being dosed heroically, having their veins and arteries emptied of blood, denied water to drink and fresh air to breathe, it is no wonder that otherwise simple diseases were regarded as very malignant and the death rate high.
- Out of the contradictions, confusions, chaos and delusions called the science of medicine, grew a need for new thoughts. In America the crusade for health reform was launched in 1830 by Sylvester Graham through lectures and writings. Actual health care based on "physiology" or "hygiene" had started already in 1822 with Isaac Jennings.
- Colleges in "Hygienic care" opened, the first one in 1852 in New York: the Hygeio-Therapeutic College. Many hygienic practitioners were created during the century, thousands of lectures given, lots of books and magazines spread. People learned to bathe, to eat more fruit and vegetables, to ventilate their homes, to get exercise and sunshine. Hygiene became so popular, that traditional medicine finally had to adopt parts of Hygiene, after having fiercely opposed it until the beginning of the 20th century. This new "hygiene" was incorporated with the drug-usage of Medicine (remember that "Hygiene" was opposed to drugs), and the word hygiene got the meaning it has today.
- When Herbert Shelton and others in the 20th century revived the knowledge of "Hygiene" and modernized it, the word "Natural" was added. Shelton's How-to-Live magazine was started in 1928, his Hygienic Review in 1939, and the American Natural Hygiene Society was founded in 1948. (partly from The Greatest Health Discovery)  
Illness does not develop without cause; there are laws which regulate human life as well as any other system or constitution, and the man who violates any of the laws of his being, ought to know, when he suffers mental and physical distress, that this is a consequence of the transgression. (Herbert Shelton 1968)  
Graham bread and graham crackers
graham Few people realize today that "graham bread" - so popular at one time - and graham crackers were named after Dr. Sylvester Graham, one of the earliest of the 19th century health reformers. His teachings exerted an enormous influence.
- He was born 1794 in Boston, the youngest of 17 children. His frail constitution made him to study anatomy, physiology and general health, and since he was a very gifted orator, he emerged as influential health teacher. His popularity grew. In an era when people had to travel by foot or buggy, he attracted large audiences of thousands of people.
- In those days Americans and Europeans had the idea that fruit and vegetables were to be avoided, especially raw. Health Boards in 1830's sometimes prohibited sale of vegetables, due to the dangers to health. Doctors and newspapers warned that fresh garden produce was known to develop the deadly cholera. People should restrict themselves to meat, potatoes, milk, tea and coffee. Plenty of meat and wine would prevent cholera, it was thought. The medical profession, even into the 20th century, strongly discouraged eating fresh fruit and uncooked vegetables, and pictured it as reeking with disease germs. Especially lettuce was regarded as dangerous. This continued until the discovery of vitamins.
- Graham's first observations of diet on health were made in 1820 in Philadelphia. A small sect of Bible Christians, who were eating only the fruit of the trees of the Garden, had migrated there. They abstained from all animal foods, all condiments and used no tea, coffee, tobacco or alcohol. The death rate in the city from cholera was high, but contrary to the medical teachings, not a single member of Bible Christians had contracted the disease. This made a deep impression on Graham, and made him turn his attention to diet.
- After Graham in 1830 had started to lecture and write articles on health, advocating vegetarianism, he soon had a great following. Books were published explaining the Graham System. Graham restaurants and Graham boarding houses popped up. Grahamites established the world's first health food store.
- Strong opposition also developed immediately. Not only from medical men, but also from butchers, bakers, tobacconists, brewers, distillers, saloon keepers - who saw their business threatened from the new doctrines. Ridicule, slander, distortion and untruth were the chief methods used.
- Graham argued in favor of a vegetarian diet, preferably raw, even a fruitarian diet. He warned against drug remedies, stimulants and overworking, emphasized enough sleep and rest. He was the first to advocate education in sex hygiene. Ironically, today's graham crackers, containing salt and fat, he probably would have disliked.
Quote: "Indeed it seems as if the grand experiment of mankind has ever been to ascertain how far they can transgress the laws of life, how near they can approach the very point of death, and yet not die - at least not so suddenly as to be compelled to know that they have destroyed themselves ..."  (from The Greatest Health Discovery)

Here is how the Natural Hygiene Network in Houston has defined Natural Hygiene:
Harvey formulated the principles below (probably based on Fry). Note: Since Natural Hygiene is under constant evolution, changing with new scientific knowledge, some details may differ from other definitions.
  What is Natural Hygiene?
Hygiene is the Science of Health. Natural Hygiene is the system which helps people live in harmony with the physiological needs of the human body, thereby maximizing health.
By supplying the body with the basic requirements of nature: natural unadulterated food, unpolluted air, pure water, exercise, rest, sleep, mental and emotional poise, wholesome environment, and productive activity, - health is assured, and the self-healing powers resident within the body are given full reign.

  Principles of Natural Hygiene

  2. PURE WATER (distilled)


    Free of poisons & pollutants. Eat a nonpolluting diet (indigestion indicates this principle is lacking).

  5. SLEEP - regenerates nerve energy.

    Eat foods of our biological adaptation.
    There are contradictory views about what this means. Examples:
    Fruit is our primary food. (But danger in too much fruit!!)
    Vegetables, nuts, seeds are secondary.
    Grains, cooked potatoes ... are tertiary.
    Avoid meat.
    STONE AGE   (hunter-gatherer)
    Vegetables and meat is the basis.
    Nuts, seeds, berries are secondary.
    Eat minimal amounts of fruits.
    Avoid grains, cooked potatoes.
    Eat your food as raw as possible.
    Combining foods is important.

  7. EXERCISE - at least 3-4 times per week - preferably 7 times.
    Aerobic (cardiovascular) activity - at least double the breath and pulse.
    Resistance activity - weight training or isometrics.
    You cannot be healthy unless physically fit.

  8. SUNSHINE - an essential of life.
    Minimum of 20-30 minutes daily, or 2-3 hours per week. Before 10 Am or after 4 Pm in summer, anytime in winter. Sunshine is necessary for bone formation.


  10. REST & RELAXATION - Meditation & Cogitation

  11. MENTAL POISE - maintain equilibrium & do not become emotionally upset.



  14. SELF MASTERY - you will lose self esteem if you lose self mastery.

  15. PEER INTERACTION - group interaction


  17. LOVE, APPRECIATION, ESTEEM - both give & receive these.


  19. NEED TO BE INSPIRED & MOTIVATED - must have purpose in life.

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Don't miss visiting the Natural Hygiene Webring

LINK: More about the history of Natural Hygiene can be found at the http://www.soilandhealth.org free library - in Chapter II of this book by Herbert Shelton: Natural Hygiene: Man's Pristine Way Of Life, 1968. (Click Health Library/Alternative Medical Therapies)

Quote from Natural Hygiene: Man's Pristine Way Of Life:
"These three men--Jennings, Graham and Trall--together with Alcott, Taylor and others in this country and Combe and Lamb in England set the world to thinking on Hygiene. They were great men, greater by far than were Napoleon or Alexander. Any man who gives the world valid ideas and elucidates genuine principles is a man whom the world most wants and will come, ultimately, to admire.
All but two of the pioneer Hygienists were medical men who had become disillusioned with medical practices and were honest and courageous enough to seek elsewhere for truth. These two were Sylvester Graham and Mary Gove.
The revolution here described required a complete and radical change in the mode of thinking of the people.
  • They had to be biologically reoriented and had to be weaned away from the supernatural orientation fostered by the priestcraft.
  • They had to learn that life is subject to law and order and is not at the mercy of capricious and whimsical ghosts.
  • They had to learn the truth about the relations between the living organism and the many elements of its environment; especially did they have to learn the true relations of drugs to the organism.
  • They had to learn that health is man's normal state and that disease is abnormal.
  • It was necessary for them to understand that man is the builder of his own diseases and that disease does not come upon them without cause.
  • It became necessary for them to learn that acute disease, instead of being the enemy it had long been regarded, is a remedial process.
  • It was necessary for them to understand that living organisms are self-healing and that all the caretaker can do that is of any constructive value for the sick is to provide wholesome conditions and usable materials,
  • It is especially necessary that they learn that cure and curing represent false ideas and false practices.
    Most of the world still has these facts to learn.

  • - we want to have fun discussing and developing Natural Hygiene theory -
    INHS  -  International Natural Hygiene Society

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