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cleansed, and to allay irritation and relieve pain, it is the most simple, harmless and effectual remedy.
As an enema to remove obstructions in, wash out, cleanse and relieve pain and congestion in the intestines, it is of great importance. For these purposes it should be used cold, tepid, warm or hot, according to conditions. This form of the internal bath does what the late eminent Prof. Armour often advised to have done—it flushes the sluiceways of the body.
As a diuretic, to increase the depurative and cleansing action of the kidneys, the drinking of large quantities of distilled water produces a wonderful effect, and without the slightest harm to the kidneys or the system generally.
In a torpid condition of the liver, constipation, inactivity of the skin, etc., the free use of distilled water is highly beneficial.
It is of great service in nervous affections. Dr. Charles L. Dana, professor of nervous diseases in the New York Post Graduate Medical School, says:
“American neurotics do not drink water enough. They have half-desiccated nerves, and desiccation increases nervous irritability.”
On account of its powerful solvent properties it is a valuable aid to digestion, assimilation and nutrition, especially when the food is cooked in it, and in removing from the system the causes of rheumatic and gouty affections.
I, in common with many other physicians, prescribe the free use of distilled water to my patients, and always with good results.
There is one subject to which I wish to call your particular attention in its relation to health, comfort, and the prolongation of life, and, to illustrate, I will give a little of my own Personal Experience.
In the natural course of life, as ordinarily lived, the muscles, with their tendons and the ligaments that bind the bones together at the joints, gradually contract and become stiff and inelastic, and, in many cases, rheumatic. Why does this occur? Simply from the gradual accumulation of lime and other mineral salts from the water we drink and from that which is used in the preparation of our food. As a rule, people take more organic minerals, the only ones which can be assimilated, into their systems with their food
than are required, especially after youth has passed, and these | should be kept in solution by the free .se of distilled water and · quickly washed out of the body. , I have used distilled water for drinking, as before stated, for nearly twenty years, and most of the time during the past year I have used it much more freely, drinking from two to three quarts per day, and using it entirely for all cooking purposes. During that time I have improved greatly in health and strength, and especially in the flexibility and elasticity of the joints and muscles. From twenty-one to twenty-five years of age I was actively engaged in teaching physical culture in public and private classes, schools, colleges and gymnasiums in New England and New York, and within the past six months I have been able, without any special effort, to accomplish things in the way of flexibility of joints and muscles which were simply impossible for me to do with the greatest amount of training and exertion at any time during the previous fifty years. I will state here that I was never one of the loose-jointed kind who can tie themselves up into knots, but was firmly knit together.
Elasticity and Flexibility. As you see, I can easily bend the wrist backward until the fingers are nearly parallel with the forearm. Then, again, a few months since I discovered that I could perform a common baby trick with ease, whereas I hitherto completely failed, though I had tried it hundreds of times. I refer to the baby practice of putting its toes in its mouth. I do not care to illustrate that in public, but will do so privately, if necessary to satisfy doubters.
I will now give an illustration of flexibility which few young people even, unless they are of the loose-jointed variety, can equal. I know I could not do it, even when in constant physical training, 40 years ago. It is simply this. I stand erect with the feet together, and, not bending the knees, stretch forward and downward till the fingers of both hands touch the floor directly in front of the toes. Now this is very easy, but few of you can do it. Now I close my hands and touch my fists to the floor. That you will find much harder. Again, I will place the palms of the hands upon the floor, still not bending the knees. I can stand on a box six inches in height and still touch the floor.
If the free use of distilled water has not made this change in me at my time of life, nearly sixty-two, what has done it? I would very much like to know. I can see no other cause, and I firmly believe it is the only one. If you wish to retain, or, if lost, to regain as far as possible, the conditions of youth, then I earnestly advise you to give this matter your serious consideration.
When you get home to-night, and before you forget it, I wish
you would all try the last simple exercise I illustrated, which, by the way, is one of the most valuable of all exercises for daily practice, and see how well you can do it. Remember, you must not bend the knees. There are doubtless many present who cannot come within a foot of the floor.
If you will drink two or three quarts of distilled water a day, and use it for cooking, for the next six months, most of you can easily do what I have done.
You may ask, “What good will it do?" It will do what it has done for me. It will make you stronger, healthier and more active, both physically and mentally; more flexible and elastic in body; it will improve your digestion and give you purer blood and a better circulation, consequently, a more active skin and a clearer, fresher complexion; it will eliminate the excess of earthy salts and mineral substances which makes young people old and old people stiff, rheumatic and helpless; and it will add many long years of health, happiness and activity to your lives. Is it not worth a trial?
All waters, except distilled, whether plain, filtered, boiled, pasteurized, or electrically treated, including all spring waters, are more or less impure and unwholesome for all drinking and cooking purposes. The purer the water the better for all uses, and, as proved from chemical analysis by the chief chemist of the Brooklyn Board of Health, and others, the double distilled water is the purest of all. It is also perfect in taste and appearance.
Distilled Water for Cooking.
The injurious effects of bad water are the same, whether taken into the system in the form of drink or in food.
For cooking, distilled water is a delightful luxury, as it gives a specially clean and delicate flavor to all foods and drinks prepared with it.
For health and longevity it is more important to use the purest water for the preparation of all foods and drinks by cooking or simple admixture than for drinking, for the reason that more water is usually taken into the system in that way. Distilled water has been freed from all animal, vegetable, mineral and gaseous substances by the modern processes of double distillation, and is odorless and colorless, as absolutely pure water always is. All foods and drinks prepared with it are superior in delicate quality and taste, as well as healthfulness. This is especially true of all breakfast cereals, tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, soups, meats, breads,
fruits and vegetables. The color, texture and keeping qualities of breads, fruit ices, etc., are noticeably improved by it, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by bakers and caterers who have tested it in comparison with other waters.
Water containing impurities has a defined taste produced by them, which is intensified in all articles made with or cooked in it just to the extent the water used in baking and cooking has been
evaporated. The water which in cooking passes off as vapor, is · pure, all impurities being left in the food. The pollutions in a
gallon of water used in making bread, for example, will all be retained in about one quart left after baking, consequently, the bread will contain all the defilements of the original gallon, and the water left in it be four times as impure as before. The darker color and impaired taste imparted to foods by impure water are due to the bacteria and other animal and vegetable organisms with which it is packed. The greater coarseness of texture and harsher quality are owing to lime and other earthy salts and minerals. The quicker drying and shorter keeping properties of bread, etc., are due to the same causes.
All foods cook quicker and are made more tender in distilled water than in other waters, especially in those that contain much mineral matter, like the Ridgewood.
It is the great solvent property of distilled water that makes all foods cooked in it more delicate and tender, particularly when soaked in it for a time before cooking. The mineral substances contained in all other waters have the opposite effect.
The dead and decomposing animalculæ and bacteria in city waters supply the germs of putrefaction that make the food stale and unfit for use much quicker than when prepared with an absolutely pure water, and certainly these millions of putrefying animal and vegetable bodies do not improve the appearance, taste, quality or healthfulness of food. Quite the contrary.
In conclusion, I will say that this subject of the use of pure water is the most vitally important one that can engage the attention, not only of those who desire great length of days, but of all who wish to make their earth lives as healthy, happy and useful as possible, as a preparation for the better and higher life "beyond the veil.”
SIR HENRY THOMPSON ON DIET. Sir Henry Thompson, who until he relinquished active practice was the foremost genito-urinary surgeon in Great Britain and worked contemporaneously with Bigelow, is now hale and hearty at the age of eighty-two. He is not only a great authority on his own branch of surgery, but also on dietetics. He also interests himself in the subject of cremation and is president of the English Cremation Society, whose objects he has done much to further with his pen. He has just published a remarkable book on “Diet in Relation to Health,” in which his personal experience is a striking object lesson. Thirty years ago, at the age of fifty-two, he gave up alcohol. For the sake of experiment five or six years back he tried the effect of a claret glass of good wine at dinner every day for two months. Then the sick headaches and pains in the joints from which he had suffered in early life came back until he abstained again. Moreover, “after abandoning alcohol, the joints gradually lost their stiffness and ultimately became as supple and mobile as they were in youth, and continue absolutely so to this ray.” He adds: “It may be fairly said that one example does not prove a case. But it is not a single example, and really designates a very large class of active men possessing a more or less similar temperament of which a type is here described.” Half our bodily ills are due, he believes, to improper feeding. The necessity for diminishing the amount of nourishment taken as one grow's older is not appreciated. “The extra glass of cordial, the superlatively strong extract of meat” are mistakes. Sir Henry draws an alarming picture of the head of the family sinking to decay because his affectionate spouse plies him with dainties he cannot digest—the egg whipped up with sherry, the insidious calves' foot jelly, the inopportune cup of cocoa. She urges him to try patent foods which are so “nutritious” that his stomach cannot stand them, and she imagines that even his drinks must have nutriment, forgetting that the primary object of drink is to satisfy thirst, and that to take milk, for example, with meat is one of the greatest dietic blunders that can be perpetrated. Even the den. tist shares in his condemnation. He gives the patient a set of masticators as efficacious as the originals, but he does not warn the patient that the body needs less food than in the heyday of life. Though not a vegetarian, Sir Henry maintains that three-fourths of our food should be vegetable. This insures a lighter and more active brain. The light feeder, after his meal, has fresher wit and more cheerful temper. He does not snore in the armchair. Dyspepsia is unknown to him.