General Health Articles

History of Medicine

What you are about to read is not intended as an attack on any particular food, product, medication, medical system or procedure. It is intended to stimulate your thought process and to enlighten you as a consumer to the reality as to how, through-out history, we as individuals have been exposed to, and exploited by POLITICS, POWER AND PROFIT!!

It is my hope that with this knowledge and understanding you will take personal responsibility for your life, your health and your well-being. Be informed, ask questions, and you make the decisions on how your health and healthcare will be handled. Do not leave that choice to anyone else.

History has shown us that the world’s great discoveries were initially rejected by the scientific leaders of the times and those pioneers who made the discoveries were often condemned as quacks.

Columbus was attacked for believing the Earth was round. Bruno was burned at the stake for claiming the earth was not the center of the Universe. Galileo was imprisoned for teaching that the Earth moved around the Sun.

In the field of medicine, in 130 C.E. the physician Galen suggested certain anatomic theories which later proved to be correct, but at the time he was bitterly opposed and force to flee from Rome. The sixteenth Century, physician Andreas Vesalius was denounced because of his discoveries in the field of human anatomy. His theories were accepted after his death but, at the time, his career was ruined. William Harvey was disgraced as a physician for believing that blood was pumped by the heart and actually moved around the body through arteries. William Roentgen, who discovered the X-ray, was called a quack and then condemned out of fear his “ray” would invade the privacy of the bedroom. Edward Jenner, when he first developed a vaccine against smallpox, also was called a quack and was strongly criticized as a physician. At the time over 400,000 people a year were dying of smallpox.

In 1535 the French explorer Jacques Cartier found his ships frozen in the ice of St. Lawrence River, scurvy had killed 25 of his crew of 110 men, and most of the others were so ill they weren’t expected to recover. Then some local Indians showed them how to make a tea from white pine bark and needles, which is rich in vitamin C, and the sailors quickly recovered. Upon returning to Europe Cartier reported the incident to medical authorities who did nothing to follow-up because they felt ignorant savages had nothing to contribute.

Scurvy was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of sailors of the time. And now a cure for scurvy was known. But, because of scientific arrogance, it took over two hundred more years and the cost of hundreds of thousands more lives before the medical experts began to accept and apply this knowledge.

Finally, in 1747, John Lind, a young surgeon in the British Navy discovered that oranges and lemons treated and prevented scurvy. It took 48 more years before his recommendation was put into effect. When it was, the British were able to surpass all other sea-faring nations, and the “Limeys” (so-called because they carried limes aboard ship) soon became the rulers of the Seven Seas. The British Empire in large measure was the direct result of overcoming scientific prejudice against vitamin therapy. It took 260 years from the time the cure was known until it was put into practice.

In 1789 Dr. Edward Jenner (1749-1823) found a vaccination for smallpox, a disease that had killed literally millions of people at a rate of over 400,000 per year. Dr. Jenner’s work was subjected to fierce criticism by the medical profession. Some physicians were opposed to any new ideas, while others had financial interests in less-effective forms of smallpox treatment. In today’s regulated legal environment, Jenner almost certainly would have been jailed for practicing “unapproved” medicine. Millions died of smallpox while medical authorities suppressed Jenner’s lifesaving discovery.

In the 19th century, tens of thousands of women died every year from childbed fever. The reason for this epidemic was that doctors were performing autopsies and then conducting vaginal exams with their hands covered with decomposing dead tissue. In 1841 Dr. Ignatz Semmelweis (1818-1865) observed that women who used midwives instead of doctors had low rates of childbed fever. Semmelweis then implemented a policy in his department that required doctors to wash their hands with disinfectant prior to attending patients. Mortality rates from childbed fever immediately declined from 18.3% to 1.3%.

When Semmelweis published his findings about the importance of hand washing, the medical community reacted with hostility. The prevailing belief at the time was that childbed fever was caused by bad air. After attempting to persuade skeptics, Semmelweis was relieved of his duties and committed to an insane asylum where he died in 1865 at the age of 42.

Years later Joseph Lister (1827-1912) insisted that those doctors who worked for him wash their hands in calcium chloride after an operation and before visiting a new patient. Lister also established that wounds and surgical incisions be thoroughly cleaned and covered with bandages treated with carbolic acid. He became known as the “Father of Antiseptic Surgery.”

Regrettably, the same situation exists today with our current lethal diseases. Doctors routinely overlook novel therapies that have shown efficacy in published scientific studies. The result is that people die while potentially effective therapies wait to be accepted by the medical establishment or the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

POLITICS, POWER AND PROFIT! Take a look at the pharmaceutical industry today, while we all acknowledge there are wonderful, lifesaving medications, the reality is most drugs are designed to treat symptoms, not to prevent illness or to cure diseases. There is absolutely no incentive for the pharmaceutical companies to cure anything.

Most health conditions could have been prevented with proper nutrition and lifestyle, and most can be cured by changing to healthy lifestyle habits.

High blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and many other diseases are typical examples; 70% to 90% of these diseases are caused as a direct result of poor nutrition and lifestyle choices. Are there low cost, effective, non-invasive treatments for these major diseases? READ ON and decide what’s right for you.

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By Richard Smithee

To educate, motivate and empower the individual to take charge of their own health. To attain vitality and a strong immune system using, exercise, proper nutrients and healthy lifestyles.

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