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Very few persons use reason about sickness; either doctors or other people. The best thing for cholera is no medicine at all. The vomiting, purging, and cramps are what cure it, whenever it is cured... In the kindred diseases of cholera and dysentery, no one ever dies from the discharges. The, disease is inside, and never seen. The discharges are good; if they were not just what they are the patient could never recover. Nothing whatever should be given to check them. If the patient runs down very weak, so much the better for him. He ought to; the weakness is a necessary provision of Nature. No sick person can die of weakness. The straining of the bowels when the discharges take place helps to cure the disease, Nothing could be worse for cholera than the medicines commonly given, and which we see recommended in the newspapers, such as laudanum, calomel, stimulants, tonics, astringents, &c. Recovery after taking them, is not by help of them, but in spite of them. Opium stops the healing efforts of Nature. In the discharges of cholera and dysentery it checks the straining of the bowels, thereby doing injury. When used in health it prevents any good digestion; when given to ease pain it does harm, for pain is necessary until the cause is removed. In all, or nearly all, diseases, opium makes recovery more difficult, and often impossible. As to calomel, no rational, well-informed, and prudent man would give a particle of of it in any disease whatever. Its consequences are horrible. Medicine has killed many in cholera, but it is not likely it has ever helped Nature to cure one.
In sudden and violent disorders 1ike cholera and dysentery, which are seated on the stomach and bowels, there can be no digestion, of course. The stomach, therefore, needs to be kept empty and free, both of food, stimulus, and medicine, that Nature may have a chance to throw off the disease. It is a mistake and fatal opinion of many physicians, that. the danger is from "prostration," as they call it, and that the strength must be kept up by food, brandy, laudanum, tonics, &c. The danger is not from "prostration," it is from disease on the stomach and bowels. The food, stimulus, and medicine are more dangerous than the disease, and have carried off great numbers. Disease is cured by the opposite of what caused it. A great cause of cholera and dysentery is too much food.
The good effect of spontaneous purging from the bowels, is seen in the case of a woman who had a running sore on her left side, supposed to come from her lungs. At last dysentery set in, which restored her health, and caused her sore to heal. Another woman hall dropsy, and was bloated very large. She ate of unripe garden vegetables, which brought on a dysentery that carried the bloat entirely off.
Nobody can get sick, and nobody can die, when Nature can take its course and accomplish its aim. The aim of Nature is health and life. In disease, its course and its means are the symptoms. In sickness, and in old age, we see that the efforts of Nature to restore health and prevent death are constant till the last breath. When, from the strength of a disease or from an opposing medicine, Nature is unable to accomplish its aim, then of course the person must die. Nature kills nobody. Every rational person knows that medicine never cures diseases—it only sometimes makes it easier for Nature to cure. In all diseases, the cases that need medicine are very few. As a general thing, a doctor's medicine can do no good in any kind of fever. Fever is no disease—it is what cures the disease. Nobody ever died of fever. We see that everybody dies of coldness.
Immense numbers of children, in canker-rash, have been killed by the "regular" or "scientific" doctors, of whom I am one. The practice of many of them has been to give a powerful cathartic and calomel at first. The consequence is, the rash cannot come out, the child sinks away, and dies. Very few ever die who have no physicians, and take only a little herb-drink. In many of the country towns as many as sixty children have died of canker-rash in one winter, and nearly all of them undoubtedly from medicine given them by physicians. It is shocking to think how many soldiers in the late war were killed, or their constitutions ruined, by the army doctors. The irrational use of medicine by physicians sweeps off the people as fast as war could. It has a serious effect upon the census.
The French Canadians and the Irish are more rational and enlightened about sickness than our own country born people. They don't believe in taking medicine. A brother of mine, of strong judgment and finished medical and surgical education, practised his profession several years in Mexico. At Tuspan, on the coast, called one of the most unhealthy places in the word, he had yellow fever of the worst kind. All the medicine he took through his sickness was one glass of beer and one dose of castor oil. He got along well, and recovered. Two or three years ago, while the writer of this was residing at Enosburgh Falls, Vt., dysentery made its appearance to a considerable extent among the village people. Five or six died. All of them had physicians and took medicines. Several had no physicians, took no medicine, and they all recovered. The writer of this was one of the latter. He was very sick, but gradually recovered without a particle of medicine, depending upon Nature with perfect confidence and reverence. Confidence in Nature is the all-important principle, not only in disease, but in social welfare as affected by government. Artificial law causes the diseases of society, and has made the world a bad one.