I knew Professor Arnold Ehret first as an author, later as a sanitarium proprietor and lecturer, and now esteem him highly as a friend and the pioneer of the most complete, natural and scientific system or cult for the Cure and Prevention of Disease known. I have no hesitancy in stating that he has evolved and developed what now seems to be the “last word” in regard to health and longevity.
He was born July 29, 1866, near Freiburg, in Baden, Germany and lived to be 56 years of age, and was endowed by his father with a natural bent or extraordinary desire for delving into the causes and reasons for occurrence and results. Ehret’s education was obtained at a college where the long walk added to the other work on the farm, on an ordinary diet, brought on a severe attack of bronchial catarrh. In spite of this handicap he graduated with honors. His greatest interest being for physics, chemistry, drawing and painting, he took a special academic course and graduated as professor of drawing for high schools and colleges, at 21 years of age. He taught at a college until drafted for military service, but was released after nine months’ service because of “neurasthenic heart trouble,” resuming his vocation as a teacher. At 31 years of age he was quite fleshy and “looked well,” as others said, but was suffering from kidney trouble, Bright’s disease, consumptive tendency. In his own words:
“Five times I took vacations to recuperate, but finally was pronounced ‘incurable’ and resigned. Then for five years I 'suffered much from many physicians' (24 in all) and part of the suffering was to pay the bills of about $6,000, but with the result pronounced 'incurable.' Physically and nearly mentally bankrupt, I thought of suicide, but accidentally heard of naturopathy and was treated at Kneipp Sanitarium three different times, getting some relief and a desire to live, but not cured, was treated at five or six other Nature Cure sanitariums and tried all other methods known in Europe, expending more thousands, with the result that while not down sick, neither was I healthy. I learned something from the experiences, though; the main symptoms were mucus or pus and albumin in the urine end pain in the kidneys. The doctors, on the presumption that a clear urine indicated health, tried to stop these eliminations with drugs and to replace the albumin by a meat, egg, and milk diet, but it only increased the disastrous results. I reasoned out from these methods what seemed like a great light on the subject; that the right diet should be free from mucus and albumin. My naturopathic treatment drew out some of the mucus by baths, exercise, etc., but fed it back by wrong diet.
I resolved to face what seemed a tragedy for me (and does now for chronically sick persons after getting no relief from doctors), and try for myself that which I had learned from past experience; that wrong eating was the cause and right eating might be the cure. There was vegetarianism, fruit and nut diet, numerous food ”cures” and a few hints that fasting would help.
I went to Berlin to study vegetarianism, as there were over twenty vegetarian restaurants there at that time. My first observation was vegetarians were not much more healthy than meat eaters, for many looked sickly and pale. With the starchy food and milk I grew slowly worse, but started a course of study at the University of medicine, physiology, and chemistry. I visited a school of naturopathy, learned something of mental healing, Christian Science, magnetic healing, etc., etc,, all to try to find out the real and fundamental truths of perfect health. Was more or less disappointed and went to Nice, in southern France, and tried a radical fruit diet with the exception of one pint of milk a day, thinking then that I needed the albumin. I made no special application of the fruit diet to my condition, as most others did not, and received but little benefit. Some days I felt well and on others felt very bad, so I soon went back home, returning to the so-called ‘good eating,’ as lived and suggested by well-meaning friends, relatives, and physicians. I had learned something about fasting, but it was opposed by all friends and relatives; even my former naturopathic doctor told my sister that to a person with Bright’s disease a few days’ fast would prove fatal.
The next winter I went to Algiers, in northern Africa. The mild climate and the wonderful fruits improved my condition and gave me more faith in Nature’s methods and an understanding of them, and I gained courage to try short fasts to assist the cleansing properties of fruit and climate, with such results that one morning of a well feeling day I chanced to notice in my mirror that my face had taken on an entirely new look; that of a younger and healthy looking person. But on the next bad feeling day the old and sickly-looking face returned, yet it did not last long and these alternating changes in my face impressed me as a ‘revelation’ from Nature
that I had found out her methods in part and was on the right track, and I resolved to study them more and live them closer in my future life.
An indescribable feeling never known before of better health, more vital energy, better efficiency, and more endurance and strength came to me and gave me great joy and happiness just to be alive. This was not only of the physical, but there was a great change in my mental ability to perceive, to remember, greater courage and hope, and above all an insight into the spiritual which became like a sunrise, throwing light on all higher and spiritual problems. All my faculties were improved, far surpassing their best during my healthiest and best youth. My physical efficiency and endurance became wonderfully increased.
I took a bicycle trip of about 800 miles, from Algiers to Tunis, accompanied by a trained bicyclist who lived on ordinary diet. I was never behind him but often ahead toward night when endurance became the test. Keep in mind that I was formerly a candidate for death, so declared by doctors, but now jubilant that I could surpass the most efficient, and a constant joy of exhilaration having escaped the ‘slaughter house’ of mankind called ‘Scientific Medical Clinics.’ Arriving home again, I demonstrated my ability and endurance to perform the hardest farm labor and in tests of strength superior to those in good training on the ordinary diet. But being surrounded by friends and relatives who were living in the ordinary way and coming in contact with professional men who were excited by fear that my discoveries were of true principles and would eventually succeed and surpass those they were practicing, I gradually took up the ordinary diet.
Fasting was then very unpopular and living in the family of my sister who threatened to prevent it should I attempt one, I could not take up again what I firmly believed and had proven by actual experience, that fasting (simply eating less) was Nature’s Omnipotent Method of cleansing the body from the effects of wrong and too much eating. I had also found it the ”Master Key” to mental and spiritual unfoldment and evolution. I had not neglected the study of the scientific reasons why fruit and mucusless foods were so efficient, and had found that they developed during the process of digestion what was known as Grape Sugar, and from what was termed carbohydrates by analysis. My experience, tests, and experiments, as well as cures, all showed that grape sugar of fruits was the essential material of human food, giving the highest efficiency and endurance, and at the same time was the best eliminator of debris and the most efficient healing agent known for the human body. This was in direct contradiction of the nitrogenous-albumin theory of the doctors and scientists and all of the more modern theory of ‘mineral salts.’
In 1909 I wrote an article denouncing the Metabolic theory and in 1912 learned that Dr. Thomas Powell of Los Angeles had made the same discovery and was making remarkable cures by using foods containing what he called ‘organic carbon,’ which is the same food ingredients that develop into grape sugar during digestion.
With the embryo of these discoveries in mind and my experiences I left my friends and relatives, who would have shortened my life by their well-meaning kindness, and, accompanied by a young man who was won by my experience to try with me experimental diet and fasting for his ailments, the principal one being stuttering, went to southern France. Here, during several months of experiments, I renewed my experiences in Africa and won a firmer belief than ever that fruit diet and fasting were Nature’s infallible factors for regaining and maintaining a superior health than is enjoyed by most of civilized mankind.
The results obtained were often called miraculous, but were only marvelous because of their rareness. The knowledge I had gained of the wonderful methods by which Nature carried on the cleansing from the impurities from wrong food, and then the regenerating, repairing and strengthening, by the right food, was the marvel, but not a miracle.
Especially important were the results on this comparatively young man - ten years younger than I. We made tests with all the general foods of civilization after cleansing fasts. Our now more sensitive organs revolted at once against their undesirable elements and especially against combinations, giving the most convincing evidence that modern cooking, with its mixtures, with but little knowledge of their qualities, was the fundamental cause of all diseases.
It is impossible to know what food really is and its effects until the body has been cleansed by Nature’s own method, a fast. I have never known of such experiments ever being made by anyone, and the facts gained have now been so abundantly proven during many years of the most searching and difficult practice that they have raised my knowledge above all doubts or arguments about the dietetic opinions of others.
To test our efficiency at exhaustive labor, we took a trip through northen Italy, walking for 56 hours continuously without sleep or rest or food, only drink. This after a seven day fast and then only one meal of two pounds of cherries. This was called by the professional minds that knew of it a most marvelous test, from their viewpoint. From what came the energy for this efficiency? From nitrogen, albumin, organic salts, fats, vitamins, or from what? After a 16 hour walk I made a test of knee bendings and arm extendings, 360 times in a few minutes, and later numerous strength tests with athletic competitors, showing superior results. These after being pronounced incurable and my father and brother having died of consumption.
During our trip through Italy we were often subjects of interesting comments by ladies on our ruddy and healthy complexion and inquiries of how we brought it about, etc. As a completely transformed. man, I desired higher experiences as they were not only physical, but mental and spiritual. The same with my young companion. He was wonderfully improved in many ways, but his stuttering showed no change. I had the idea that even that was caused by a physical encumbrance of debris. We proceeded to a secluded place on the island of Capri and there took longer fasts and daily sunbaths, with heat around 120 degrees, of four to six hours. We were so well cleansed that we did not sweat. On the eighteenth day my young friend became quite hoarse, and fearing he would lose his voice - not then knowing what caused it - ended his fast with about three pounds of figs, at my suggestion, the result that for nearly an hour he raised a very large quantity of mucus from his throat and his body cleansed itself in other directions. His voice soon being restored and his stuttering disappeared and has never returned. We had accomplished what his rich father had in vain tried to do by employing every known treatment for him, without the slightest permanent improvement.
Fasting, Nature's Supreme Remedy, has been so crudely practiced, and is so generally misunderstood, that it is very important that it be rightly explained. From my long experience in curing myself by fasting and mucusless diet, and in conducting fasts for many hundreds in my sanitarium in Switzerland during a period of over ten years, I can state with certainty of its wonderful potency and benefits when rightly conducted. My first experience brought such beneficial results that I desired to perfect and verify the methods employed, so I continued my observations and investigations of and into all phases of life. I made many and very extensive experiments, and then my fully restored young friend and myself started on a long trip. First through southern Italy, walking and living on an almost exclusive grape diet; then by boat to Egypt Palestine, Turkey, Rumania and Austria, home.
On this trip we learned much of the diet habits, mentality and health of the different peoples, and especially in the Orient, and with the result that my belief in the superiority of European civilization received a severe shock, and my belief strengthened that I was on the right track for a knowledge of a much superior health with a better mental development, and a more active and longer life.
In Egypt, we saw a race of people of extraordinary strength and endurance, living on a scanty vegetarian diet mostly, but with two supposedly bad habits - cigarette smoking and drinking strong coffee; yet we saw not a single nervous or toxemic person. To see how few kinds and how little food they ate, to learn that they are about the same kinds of foods that their ancestors ate, gives one a reason for the superior qualities of old Egyptian civilization.
In Palestine we stayed several months, studying local customs, records and history of past conditions, with the result that my conception of the real meaning of the New Testament gospels was changed very much. I learned that Christ’s life and teachings were in strict accord with now well known natural laws, which brought him superior intelligence and superior health, but that when written up from current hearsay some 150 years after, was colored by oriental forms of expression and metaphors, and their incomplete knowledge of natural phenomena, what was marvelous was thought miraculous. His ”forerunners,” his fastings, his diet and manner of living, and that of his associates, all reveal the natural living which brought him superior health with no need of special divine assistance. He verified this by stating that future generations would 'do greater works' than he did, as they would get a better knowledge of natural - God’s - 'unchangeable' laws and methods. My coming book will state, with convincing proof, that Christ’s parentage, so called miracles of healing, and apparent changes of natural law, his resurrection and ascension into ‘Heaven,’ were in accord with natural law, but not then, and not wholly now, understood.
The present ignorance of the laws underlying normal health is now, in this century, the greatest of all the past centuries, and is evidenced by the deterioration of the so-called civilized people, health-wise, although advanced far, in many ways. What I have learned by my researches and experiences, and the possibilities of restoring humanity to a superior health, with the advance of modern times, is like opening a ‘Book of Seven Seals.’ To show Christ’s life in the sunlight and really natural and scientific laws, therefore eternal and really divine, identical with those of our own nature, is an inspiration and an aspiration which many are now enjoying and no one should miss.
The other countries visited revealed phases and facts of natural health principles, and I took up with more confidence and enthusiasm than ever before the perfection of my own health by fasting experiments and an improved diet. I instinctively felt and soon proved that certain natural foods, prepared in the right way, had a superior energy producing power, and also a superior cleansing power, when rightly used, and in connection with an intelligent abstinence from any food, for the prevention as well as curing of diseases of all kinds. That when used in accordance with the individual’s encumbrance with disease debris - not germs - and his age, occupation, climate, season of the year, etc., that even the then so-called incurable diseases were helped in a uniform and orderly manner, and a cure certain, if not too much encumbered by habits and age. The right kinds and less food as a preparation for short and longer fasts as the condition indicated, gives the digestive organs a rest or 'vacation' from overwork, and then the resuming of eating by a selection of the right kinds, (this being very important) brings wonderfully surprising and beneficial results.
I fasted for twenty-four days with such marvelously pleasing results, not only to my physical condition, but to my mental and my aspirations spiritually, that my enthusiasm increased to tell my friends and others of my discoveries, experiences and conclusive results. I could not describe my feelings, but told them they must experience them for themselves, which some took up at once.
I commenced my educational work by public fasts and lectures, fasting twice in large German cities, and twice in Switzerland. I was sealed in a room by Notaries of State and strictly watched and controlled by physicians, and with no outside interference or communications. One fast of 21 days, one of 24, one of 32, one of 49 days in Cologne, all within a period of 14 months. Between these fasts, and after, my work was lecturing, giving tests of physical and mental efficiency, proving the value of what I had learned and experienced, and these forced me to teaching and advising others, writing articles, and starting a sanitarium in Switzerland, and advising by correspondence.
My first written article was after my forty-nine day fast in Cologne, and published in Vegetarian Magazine, stating quite a new experience from fasting, diet and healing of disease; in fact, of life itself and its enjoyment and prolongation. It had a sensational and revolutionizing effect. It brought me letters of inquiry from all parts of the world, and in Europe particularly, health seekers, reformers and medical men were soon divided into opposers and enthusiastic followers. These writings brought on a scientific controversy or fight over the new principles I had brought to light, that in Europe the two opposing combinations were known as 'Ehretists' and 'Non-Ehretists.' My mucus theory--afterwards a proven fact--as the fundamental cause of all diseases, was more and more recognized and consequently my system of healing, too. It has stood the test and brought what one writer has expressed as ‘enormous success,’ and today has a platform that: Natural Treatment and Diet Is the Most Perfect and Successful System of Healing Known. It has automatically named itself ’Nutro-Therapy’ and its resulting cult ‘Naturopathy.’
For over ten years I wrote articles for health journals, lectured in the large cities of Europe, discussing the merits of the system with medical men and processionals, and treating thousands of patients at my 'Fruit and. Fasting Sanitarium' and by correspondence, and without changing the fundamental principles, but strengthening them by better knowledge of their details and how to apply them for best results. From all these was evolved what is now becoming well known in this country - the name, ‘Mucusless Diet.’
I came to the United States just before World War I to visit the Panama Expedition, and to examine the fruits raised here and particularly of California, and my enforced remaining here by the war has seemed providential in finding those here who had similar advances, discoveries and experiences, and we are now advocating and bringing to public knowledge the same principles that were so successful in Europe in relieving suffering humanity and preventing disease, and developing an improved race of people that will not know what diseased conditions are, and bring about a better civilized humanity.”
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTRODUCTION TO “THE MUCUSLESS DIET HEALING SYSTEM”
Introduction by Fred S. Hirsch, D.N.S.
Professor Arnold Ehret, Originator and teacher of the Mucusless-Diet Healing System, was born July 29, 1866. On October 9 1922, while still in the very prime of life, enjoying a superior state of health known to but few men of present day civilization, he met with an unfortunate accident, suffering a basal fracture of the skull which caused almost instant death. The fatal accident occurred on a “side-walk-drive-in” to a public garage! He evidently slipped on the oil-soaked driveway, and in falling backwards, he landed on the back of his head with sufficient force to cause a ”basal fracture of the skull.” He was immediately taken to a branch office of the Los Angeles Receiving Hospital and the medical doctor in charge pronounced him dead upon arrival. An autopsy was requested and performed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, and cause of death was verified by them as having resulted from a “basal fracture of the skull.” If further details are desired write the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office, Hall of Records, Los Angeles, California.
He was destined from early manhood to fulfill the humanitarian mission of physician. Suffering from a sickness pronounced incurable by eminent physicians of that day, and with a sentence of death staring him in the face, it only served to awaken the indomitable spirit that was later proven to be the outstanding characteristic of this remarkable man, and his resolution to cure himself resulted so successfully that he was practically forced by unfortunate fellow sufferers to aid them to regain their health.
One might state that even by inheritance Professor Ehret should rightfully become a physician, for his father was a veterinarian and so successful was he in this field of healing that neighbors often sought his aid for their personal ailments. His grandfather was also a physician, and fate decreed that Arnold Ehret was to follow in their footsteps. The vast knowledge of health subjects shown in the following lessons was gained by him through actual contact with thousands of sufferers who became healed at his Switzerland sanitarium, most of them from so-called incurable ailments. His clearness of expression, the forceful, logical array of facts in his easily recognizable, convincing manner, is sufficient proof that his mind was not obstructed by any mechanical disturbances. His work was always his ideal. No thoughts of any monetary consideration were uppermost in his mind for his wants were exceptionally few. Here was a Master actually practicing what he preached, so that his extremely frugal method of living caused him no financial worry. Fearless in speech and writing and recognizing in Nature his final Judge, Arnold Ehret moved among men, distinctly separate from the majority, yet bearing only good will and love for his fellow man. To know him was to honor and respect him - to become intimately acquainted was to love him.
The essence of his healing knowledge is contained in his “Mucusless Diet Healing System,” and while condensed to a considerable degree, the work is thorough in every respect. The hitherto “veil of mystery” is lifted in the characteristically clear and concise manner of Professor Ehret!
All text is excerpted from the preface and introduction to The Mucusless Diet Healing System,
written by Professor Ehret in 1922, just two weeks before he died in an tragic accident.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
PROFESSOR ARNOLD EHRET
Author of "Rational Fasting" and originator of "The Mucusless-Diet Healing System."
Teacher of Dietetics, Faster and Lecturer.
By Prof. B. W. Child
The following article gives insight into the life and teachings of the great Fruitarian healer and Fasting authority, Professor Arnold Ehret. Ehret's most famous and important book, The Mucusless Diet Healing System, was the first book I ever read on diet and health, and it changed my life.
PROFESSOR ARNOLD EHRET
Today we have outlined the science of fruitarian or frugivore nutrition more accurately than Ehret was able to describe in his day, but the basics of his teachings were correct.
Ehret's dietary adventure and story of healing represent the true, classic healing and transformation that a fruit based diet can bring.