In 1822 Jennings put away his lancet, stopped the bloodletting and
discontinued the use of drugs altogether.

Shelton points out the irrationality of these types of medical treatments.   
He says:

“If a physician was called to see a nervous, feeble, irritable, sick man,
prostrated by over-excitement, enervating habits, depressing fears and loss of
blood, he sought to help him by producing further loss of blood and by more

It was even common to bleed in pregnancy to relieve symptoms.  Bleeding
was resorted to in cases of apparent death from a fall and in other injuries.”
Jennings was beginning to realize that the medical profession was mistaken,
and that using the popular treatments of that day, bleeding, leeching,
cupping, blistering, purging, poulticing, and narcotic drugs were weakening
the patient rather than having the intended effect of cleansing, purifying and
strengthening them.
Original Coca Cola Contained
Cocaine as a Medication.
Jennings, without telling his patients, began to give them small placebo
water-colored bread pills and instructed them in the science of healthful

Having observed how animals go off their food and rest when they are ill,
Jennings told his patients not to eat anything for a few days or the pills
would not work.  

When the fever or pain disappeared he broke their fast by putting them on a
simple fruit and vegetable diet.
Doctor Jennings wrote three influential books on the subject of natural
hygienics in which he conveys how he gradually formulated his cause of
disease theory.  He said:

"Disease, fever, inflammation, coughs, etc., is entirely true to the laws of life,
which cannot be aided by any system of medication or any medication
whatever; but, relying solely upon the healing powers of the body and placing
the patient in the best possible conditions for the operation of the body's own
healing processes, by means of rest, fasting, diet, pure air and other Hygienic
factors.”   Jennings

He referred to his revolutionary approach to healthcare as his “do nothing"
mode of treating disease.

In one of his books Jennings writes about an incident where he was
summoned to examine an acutely ill child.

He was not afraid to let the little girl go without nourishment for several days.

His only prescription was pure water and complete bed rest; he was an early
advocate of fasting for health.
Dr. Jennings said of his young patient:

"There is now little action of the system generally, and consequently, there
is but little wear and tear of machinery; and like the dormouse, it might
subsist for months on its own internal resources, if that were necessary,
and everything else favored.

The bowels too have been quiet for a number of days, and they might
remain as they are for weeks and months to come without danger, if this
were essential to the prolongation of life.

The muscles of voluntary motion are at rest and cost nothing for their
maintenance, save a slight expenditure of safekeeping forces to hold them
in readiness for action at any future time if their services are needed.

So of all the other parts and departments; the most perfect economy is
everywhere exercised in the appropriation and use of the vital energies."  

He claims to have had a 100 percent recovery rate when his patients were
treated with only water and his gentle bedside manner.  
Shelton was greatly influenced by the ground breaking discoveries made by
Jennings and recognized him as the originator of the drugless movement in

From the benefit of over a hundred years of hindsight Shelton corroborated
Jennings disdain for medications.  Shelton said:

“The practice of poisoning a person because he is ill is based on erroneous
notions of the essential nature of disease.

In all the teachings of the medical schools, disease is regarded as something
foreign to the system, as an attacking entity, and poisons are administered to
war upon, drive out or destroy the enemy.

But, as the truth is the exact contrary to this ancient notion, all poisoning
practice is exactly wrong; it is nothing more nor less than a blind war upon
the human constitution.”   Shelton
Jennings was essentially pushing back against the encroaching new wave
of potent drugs that were beginning to invade America.

They were replacing the harmless herbal home remedy tonics that were
fashionable in the Colonial period when there were no medical schools and
very few European doctors of medicine.

Shelton comments:

“Many of the patent medicines amounted to little more than cheap whiskey.  
Alcohol was a foundation of the many bitters that were sold to the people as

They even sold remedies for alcoholism that were chiefly alcohol.”   Shelton

Folk medicine was rapidly becoming obsolete and was being replaced by a
new school of healing called the medical profession.
Greek and Latin terminologies were used at the new Medical Colleges that
sprang up around the country to teach young students how to diagnose a
particular disease.

The school officials conferred the title of Doctor of Medicine upon their
graduates so they could legally go out into the world and prescribe
medication to treat the various diseases they had identified and labeled.
Shelton comments:

“Naming diseases in two ancient languages is but a camouflage for

Writing prescriptions in a language which their patients cannot read serves
to confuse the minds of the people.

When the medical colleges contribute to and give countenance to these
mysteries, they do not serve the cause of science and human advancement.

So long as they continue to mystify disease and to teach that it can be
cured by poisons, they not only reject science, but they aid and abet the
patent medicine industry.”   Shelton

Today we are all aware of the extremely harmful effects of injecting
Mercury into our bloodstream, yet this poisonous mineral was regularly
used as a healing medication.  
Shelton tells us that the new medicines of today are no better than they
were a hundred years ago.

In fact drugs used as medication still carry potentially dangerous side
effects and for this reason should never be prescribed to anyone.

Shelton was perplexed as to why the medical profession could not
understand that a deadly drug substance is harmful to the healthy and sick

Shelton says:

“What the body does not need and cannot use in health is equally
unneeded and unusable in disease.  

For example, a drug that was as popular in Jennings time, as penicillin is
today and was used for a variety of diseases was Mercury.

Mercury is not usable in the performance of any of the body's functions.

It is equally as unusable in a state of illness as in health.  Only those things
that are useful in health can be useful in disease.

The proper care of the sick organism is therefore not a collection of
treatments with exotic substances, but the adjustment of the normal means
of life to the needs and capacities of the sick.”   Shelton  

It was a financial symbiotic relationship between the industrial chemists
and their healthcare distributors.  

Any type of healthcare practice that deviated from their medicinal drug
philosophy was labeled quackery.
The medical profession still had no idea where disease came from.

They were dispensing harmful minerals like arsenic and venom from
poisonous snakes, well before Pasteur’s explanation of the germ theory.  

In essence the doctors of medicine in the early part of the nineteenth
century were clueless as to what they were treating or why they were giving
their patients poison and narcotic bromides concealed as curative
How did fever, inflammation and skin eruptions develop?

Was it some kind of evil demon invading the body and had to be driven out
or exorcised with a special concoction?
Or is fever, pain and inflammation a symptom that the body is overloaded
with something very disagreeable and is trying to cleanse itself of those

Irrational drugging was the mind-set of the medical profession in the early
part of the nineteenth century when Jennings started practicing natural
The medical profession of the 21st century continues to offer a similar
erroneous rationale for disease.  

Modern medicine has adopted the 19th century theory that germs and

viruses are the cause of all sickness and disease.
Medial doctors then as now do not take into consideration personal
harmful lifestyle habits as a major contributory factor to illness.  

According to the philosophy of the medical profession there is only one
cause for every disease and that is germs.

Contemplating any other possible cause is unscientific and a complete
waste of time.  

The newly established pharmaceutical industry at long last had a more
definitive purpose, a specific enemy to go after, bolstered by the latest
European discovery that germs and viruses are the cause of disease.  

Microscopic germs invisible to the human eye had to be identified and a
method for killing them had to be developed.  

Once an antibiotic capable of destroying the invading germs was
discovered, it then had to be manufactured and administered by pill or
injection to the patient.  

Thanks to Louis Pasteur and his disciples, the germ theory of disease
became the accepted standard of the medical profession starting in the
latter part of the nineteenth century.
Louis Pasteur
Physicians could now ignore the personal eating and drinking habits of
their patients and exonerate them from any responsibility in their illness.
Doctors informed their patients that the cause of their disease had
absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what they ate or drank; they
were just the unfortunate victims of an invasive germ.
The detoxification symptoms brought on by faulty living habits and
overindulgence was now attributed to a specific germ that randomly
invaded the body.
Shelton bemoans the medical profession for adhering to such a
misguided philosophy.  He states:

"How foolish, then, to look for the infectious agent and ignore the
circumstances which disarm the body against microbic invasion.

It is difficult to understand why a whole profession has gone insane on
the subject of germs, to the utter neglect of those states of metabolism
and nutrition which when vitiated, constitute the open sesame to germ

The belief that germs can be killed inside the body is untenable, for any
chemical that destroys microorganisms also destroys the body.

Medical men are still trying to kill germs with drugs, the fact still remains
that they damage their patients more than they do the germs.”   Shelton

Basically Shelton is telling us that the microbe hunters of today are not
having any more success with their patients than the earlier drug

It was only through his constant failure while using harsh invasive
medicinal procedures that Jennings, back in the early 1800’s, was finally
able to comprehend the truth.
It became obvious to him that his drugging and bleeding treatments were
not having a positive effect on his patients.  

He had to admit to himself that he believed his patients got well despite his
drug treatment and not because of the medication.

Jennings was finally beginning to realize that the drugs were not curing
anything but were in fact actually hampering and impairing full recovery.
He discovered that among his older colleagues, they too were starting to
trust more to nature and fresh fruits and vegetables, than to medicine.

Jennings began treating his patients without drugs and their ailments
were vanishing before his eyes with a promptness he had never known

His reputation for healing began to spread throughout the states of
Connecticut and Ohio; his services were suddenly in great demand.

After 15 years of deceiving his patients with placebo bread pills and pure
water he finally revealed his healthcare secret and published his
treatment for disease, openly criticizing the use of prescribed

The reaction from the community was varied.

His colleagues in the medical profession condemned his ideas and some
newspapers denounced him as an impostor unworthy of patronage
because of his deception.

However, many people embraced what Jennings had to say and were
happy to learn they could deal with illness and disease naturally and
avoid being subjected to painful injections or expensive and potentially
harmful chemical prescriptions.
Jennings was revolutionary as a healthcare reformer believing that
disease was not something you caught but nature’s way of slowing
down and purifying the body.

He now realized that a patient developed a fever or some other type of
symptom only when he or she disrupted the body’s alkaline balance and
overindulged in a variety of unhealthy foods including excessive candy
and ice cream treats.
Regardless of the type of debilitating symptom that manifested itself,
Jennings instructed his patients to stop eating for a few days and drink
only pure water when thirsty.  

Jennings reassured and calmed his sick patients telling them to rest
comfortably so their bodies could begin the repair work.  He quietly
nurtured them back to health without the use of any medication.  

He realized that his patients were healing faster without drugs because
their defense system was no longer overburdened by the invasion of a
poisonous substance.

Jennings now understood that drugging a patient only further
complicated their normal cleansing process and hampered their

Through his momentous healthcare books Jennings passed the torch of
his drugless
"do nothing" treatment along to the next generation of
open-minded doctors.  

As noted, most people believed then as they do now that disease was
something contracted from an outside source and had nothing to do
with their lifestyle or eating habits.

However, thanks to doctors like Jennings an alternative healthcare
philosophy was beginning to emerge in America where prevention of
disease through proper nutrition and exercise was the main focus.
Hygienists reasoned that the immune system of a strong well-nourished
body will fight off germs naturally and powerful drugs will only interfere
with that process.

They held that the discomfort or dis-ease their patients were
experiencing were purifying symptoms and had nothing to do with
invading microorganisms.  

The debilitating illness is merely a symptom, a physical sign that the
body has reached a saturation point and is now in panic mode and
struggling to cleanse itself of impurities.  

Thanks in great part to Jennings, hundreds of doctors and educators
were adopting and practicing natural hygiene at the turn of the
nineteenth century.
One doctor in particular stands out from the rest, Russell Thacher Trall, M.D.,
grabbed the baton from Jennings and became the most influential and
outspoken proponent of the drugless, Natural Hygienic vegetarian
movement during that era.  
Russell Thacher Trall, M.D.
Dr. Trall was also born in Connecticut, educated by the medical
profession and was taught the standard bleeding and drugging

Shelton wrote of that period:

“So common was the bleeding practice that Trall used to refer to the
allopathic physicians of his time as our bleeding friends of the blistering

For hundreds of years a profession, hung like vampires about the
bedsides of the sick with their cups and lancets.”   Shelton

I think everyone now recognizes that these types of irrational procedures
did more harm than good and should be relegated to ancient history
belonging to medieval times.
Alchemists Looking For Magic Potions
However, for those who believe that modern medicine has greatly
advanced since the dark ages and is more worthy of trust today, Shelton
tells us that not much has really changed.
Shelton said:
“Physicians used to bleed, blister, puke and purge; Now they inject,
transfuse, cut and vaccinate to cure disease; Hygiene supplies food, air,
water, sunshine, activity, rest, sleep and cleanliness, in a word,
physiological wants.

Medical education is largely education in fallacy proved by the
uncertainties and changeability of the system.  It is forever changing its
practices and modifying its theories.

What was considered superlative wisdom yesterday is denounced today
as false and absurd.  

What is now held to be absolutely curative is being daily proved to be just
as certainly destructive.”

Trall, like Jennings, before him soon discovered the benefits of natural
care.  He abandoned what he was taught in medical school and began
treating his patients hygienically; with fruits and vegetables.  

In 1852 Trall made a clean break from the medical profession and
established the Hygieo-Therapeutic College in New York, the first
healthcare school to admit women and men on equal terms.

In 1854 Trall wrote:

"It was the good fortune of my patients that I had the good sense to
discover the falsity of many medical doctrines, and the benevolence to
repudiate the practice of many of the most destructive of the drug-shop
appliances.”   Trall

In his book The True Healing Art, Trall states:

"Disease is not, as is commonly supposed, an entity at war with the vital
powers, but a remedial effort-a process of purification and reparation, it is
not a thing to be destroyed, subdued or suppressed.

The effect of drug-curing or drug-killing, as the case may be-is to lock up,
as it were, the causes of the disease within the system, and to induce
chronic and worse diseases.”   Trall
Trall began to realize how unsafe and dangerous prescribed drug
treatments were and became irritated with his former colleagues who
were still blindly medicating their patients.  

He wrote about a gentleman who came to him after being treated for
months with a variety of drugs by the medical profession without any
success and nearly poisoned him to death.  Trall wrote in 1860:

"Last year a patient came to me with both arms paralyzed.

Three months before he had, acute rheumatism-a disease I have treated
scores of cases of, and never failed to cure within two weeks-for which
his physician prescribed mercury, antimony, colchicum, and potassium
The drugs had cured the rheumatism, but ruined the patient.  And what
do you suppose his physician proposed to try next?

Why, Strychnine, of course!”   Trall
Shelton describes the common use of that toxic drug:

“For at least a century Strychnine was the best remedy the profession had
for palsy, paralysis and paralytic affections.

It was used to kill cats and dogs; it was deadly to hogs and cattle and,
when given as a poison, slaughtered human beings.

But when given as a medicine, it was a tonic, a nervine, a remedy for our
palsied fellow men.”  Shelton
Those enlightened about the Hygienic System were incensed by the
misguided and dangerous treatments being given to ailing patients by
the medical and drug industry.

It was a battle for the hearts and minds of the public and it appeared that
the medical profession, with its simplistic pill and injection treatments
was easily winning the contest.

Doctors dispensing drugs made no demands on their patients to change
harmful lifestyle habits.

People were willing to attribute their physiological problems to an outside
source and blame infectious influences rather than fault debilitating
habits as a contributory factor to illness or disease.  

Patients demanded a quick no sacrifice solution to get rid of their pain
and discomfort; and medical doctors offered swift temporary relief with
narcotic painkillers or surgery to remove the offending organ.
Throughout the 19th century, opium and morphine were legal opiates
easily available and readily used for recreational and medicinal purposes.

A popular painkiller in those days was a product called Laudanum, a
combination of alcohol and opium.  
A more natural healthy lifestyle to relieve symptoms and deal with the
cause of physiological problems was never recommended by the
medicinal doctors nor did they ever explain to their patients the
deleterious side effects of toxic drugs.
Trall talks about how he treated disease, in 1860 he wrote:

"I have myself, through Natural Hygiene, over 16 years, treated all forms
and hundreds of cases of typhus and typhoid fevers, pneumonia's,
measles and dysentery's, and have not lost a single patient.

The same is true of scarlet and other fevers.  No medicine whatever was
given".  Trall
Trall fasted his patients until their fever broke or their discomfort
receded, he gave them only pure water when thirsty.  

When the cleansing crisis was over he put them on an easy to digest fruit
and vegetable diet to maintain their new found health.