Principles and practice of nature cure

Principles and Practice of Nature Cure
Nature Cures, not the Physician.
- Hippocrates
Nature cure is a constructive method of treatment which aims at removing the basic cause of
disease through the rational use of the elements freely available in nature. It is not only a system
of healing, but also a way of life, in tune with the internal vital forces or natural elements
comprising the human body. It is a complete revolution in the art and science of living.
Although the term ‘ naturopathy’ is of relatively recent origin, the philosophical basis and several
of the methods of nature cure treatments are ancient. It was practised in ancient Egypt, Greece
and Rome. Hippocrates, the father of medicine ( 460-357 B.C.) strongly advocated it. India, it
appears, was much further advanced in older days in natural healing system than other
countries of the world. There are references in India’s ancient sacred books about the extensive
use of nature’s excellent healing agents such as air, earth, water and sun. The Great Baths of
the Indus Valley civilisation as discovered at Mohenjodaro in old Sind testifies to the use of water
for curative purposes in ancient India.
The modern methods of nature cure originated in Germany in 1822, when Vincent Priessnitz
established the first hydropathic establishment there. With his great success in water cure, the
idea of drugless healing spread throughout the civilised world and many medical practitioners
throughout the civilised world and many medical practitioners from America and other countries
became his enthusiastic students and disciples. These students subsequently enlarged and
developed the various methods of natural healing in their own way. The whole mass of
knowledge was later collected under one name, Naturopathy. The credit for the name
Naturopathy goes to Dr. Benedict Lust ( 1872 - 1945), and hence he is called the Father of
Nature cure is based on the realisation that man is born healthy and strong and that he can stay
as such as living in accordance with the laws of nature. Even if born with some inherited
affliction, the individual can eliminate it by putting to the best use the natural agents of healing.
Fresh air, sunshine, a proper diet, exercise, scientific relaxation, constructive thinking and the
right mental attitude, along with prayer and meditation all play their part in keeping a sound mind
in a sound body.
Nature cure believes that disease is an abnormal condition of the body resulting from the
violation of the natural laws. Every such violation has repercussions on the human system in the
shape of lowered vitality, irregularities of the blood and lymph and the accumulation of waste
matter and toxins. Thus, through a faulty diet it is not the digestive system alone which is
adversely affected. When toxins accumulate, other organs such as the bowels, kidneys, skin and
lungs are overworked and cannot get rid of these harmful substances as quickly as they are
Besides this, mental and emotional disturbances cause imbalances of the vital electric field
within which cell metabolism takes place, producing toxins. When the soil of this electric filed is
undisturbed, disease-causing germs can live in it without multiplying or producing toxins. It is
only when it is disturbed or when the blood is polluted with toxic waste that the germs multiply
and become harmful.
Basic Principles
The whole philosophy and practice of nature cure is built on three basic principles. These
principles are based on the conclu sions reached from over a century of effective naturopathic
treatment of diseases in Germany, America and Great Britain. They have been tested and
proved over and over again by the results obtained.

The first and most basic principle of nature cure is that all forms of disease are due to the same
cause, namely, the accumulations of waste materials and bodily refuse in the system. These
waste materials in the healthy individual are removed from the system through the organs of
elimination. But in the diseased person, they are steadily piling up in the body through years of
faulty habits of living such as wrong feeding, improper care of the body and habits contributing to
enervation and nervous exhaustion such as worry, overwork and excesses of all kinds. It follows
from this basic principle that the only way to cure disease is to employ methods which will
enable the system to throw off these toxic accumulations. All natural treatments are actually
directed towards this end.
The second basic principle of nature cure is that all acute diseases such as fevers, colds,
inflammations, digestive disturbances and skin eruptions are nothing more than self-initiated
efforts on the part of the body to throw off the accumulated waste materials and that all chronic
diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, rheumatism, asthma, kidney disorders, are the results
of continued suppression of the acute diseases through harmful methods such as drugs,
vaccines, narcotics and gland extracts.
The third principle of nature cure is that the body contains an eleborate healing mechanism
which has the power to bring about a return to normal condition of health, provided right
methods are employed to enable it to do so. In other words, the power to cure disease lies within
the body itself and not in the hands of the doctor.
Nature Cure vs Modern System
The modern medical system treats the symptoms and suppresses the disease but does little to
ascertain the real cause. Toxic drugs which may suppress or relieve some ailments usually have
harmful side-effects. Drugs usually hinder the self-healing efforts of the body and make recovery
more difficult. According to the late Sir William Osler, an eminent physician and surgeon, when
drugs are used, the patient has to recover twice - once from the illness, and once from the drug.
Drugs cannot cure diseases; disease continues. It is only its pattern that changes. Drugs also
produce dietary deficiencies by destroying nutrients, using them up, and preventing their
absorption. Moreover, the toxicity they produce occurs at a time when the body is least capable
of coping with it. The power to restore health thus lies not in drugs,but in nature.
The approach of modern system is more on combative lines after the disease has set in,
whereas nature cure system lays greater emphasis on preventive method and adopts measures
to attain and maintain health and prevent disease. The modern medical system treats each
disease as a separate entity, requiring specific drug for its cure, whereas the nature cure system
treats the organism as a whole and seeks to restore harmony to the whole of the patient’s being.
Methods of Nature Cure
The nature cure system aims at the readjustment of the human system from abnormal to normal
conditions and functions, and adopts methods of cure which are in conformity with the
constructive principles of nature. Such methods remove from the system the accumulation of
toxic matter and poisons without in any way injuring the vital organs of the body. They also
stimulate the organs of elimination and purification to better functioning.
To cure disease, the first and foremost requirement is to regulate the diet. To get rid of
accumulated toxins and restore the equilibrium of the system, it is desirable to completely
exclude acid-forming foods, including proteins, starches and fats, for a week or more and to
confine the diet to fresh fruits which will disinfect the stomach and alimentary canal. If the body is
overloaded with morbid matter, as in acute disease, a complete fast for a few days may be
necessary for the elimination of toxins. Fruit juice may, however, be taken during a fast. A simple
rule is : do not eat when you are sick, stick to a light diet of fresh fruits. Wait for the return of the
usual healthy appetite. Loss of appetite is Nature’s warning that no burden should be placed on
the digestive organs. Alkaline foods such as raw vegetables and sprouted whole grain cereals
may be added after a week of a fruits-only diet.
Another important factor in the cure of diseases by natural methods is to stimulate the vitality of
the body. This can be achieved by using water in various ways and at varying temperatures in
the form of packs or baths. The application of cold water, especially to the abdomen, the seat of
most diseases, and to the sexual organs, through a cold sitting ( hip) bath immediately lowers
body heat and stimulates the nervous system. In the form of wet packs, hydrotherapy offers a

simple natural method of abating fevers and reducing pain and inflammation without any harmful
side-effects. Warm water applications, on the other hand, are relaxing.
Other natural methods useful in the cure of diseases are air and sunbaths, exercise and
massage. Air and sunbaths revive dead skin and help maintain it in a normal condition. Exercise,
especially yogic asanas,promotes inner health and harmony and helps eliminate all tension :
physical, mental and emotional. Massage tones up the nervous system and quickens blood
circulation and the metabolic process.
Thus a well-balanced diet, sufficient physical exercise, the observation of the other laws of
well-being such as fresh air, plenty of sunlight, pure drinking water,scrupulous cleanliness,
adequate rest and right mental attitude can ensure proper health and prevent disease.

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