Arnold Ehret was born July 29, 1866, at Georgen (Black Forest), Baden, near Freiburg, Germany. His grandfather was a veterinary surgeon who healed both animals and people with natural remedies. His father was a farmer who made all his own farming tools,and was a genius of a technologist who happened to be active in every sphere of human knowledge.
The most influential person in Ehret’s childhood was a family friend named Frank. The tallest man in the village, Frank had a great wit, the best tended orchard, and was a shrewd, wise, original type of an altogether natural being.
Frank had a fabulous memory, and at 88 still had all his teeth and could read the newspaper without glasses. Arnold called Frank the apple tree because he always had an apple for him in his pocket.
Ehret’s interests were physics, chemistry, drawing and painting. He spoke German, French, Italian and English.
At age 21 he took a special academic course and graduated a professor of drawing for high schools and college. Later he was drafted for military service, but was discharged after nine months because of neurasthenic heart trouble, then resuming his vocation as a teacher.
At age 31 he was diagnosed with Bright’s disease (inflamation of the kidneys), and was pronounced in courable by the 24 doctors that he sought help from.
He explored natural treatments, visiting seven sanitariums in all, with some relief but no complete cure.
He went to Berlin in about 1899 to study vegetarianism, since there were over 20 vegetarian restaurants there. He visited the lebensreform co-operative colony at Eden and was impressed at how they had transformed a sandy plot into a little paradise (p. 51).
Ehret visited a school of naturopathy, studied mental healing, Christian Science, magnetic healing, antio-medicine, reform movements, physical culture, etc. Then a trip to Algiers, North Africa, with fruit diet and fasting, produced such dramatic results that he felt he was on the right track.
Arnold later took a bicycle trip of 800 miles from Algiers to Tunis with a fruit and fasting regime now part of his healing program. Then he took a hiking trip through northern Italy, walking 56 hours continuously.
All of this helped to formulate the belief that nature’s supreme remedy for healing the human body is fasting and fruit diet.
Ehret then opened a sanitarium in Ascona, Switzerland for treating sick people with a fasting and fruit diet, noting: “For over 10 years I wrote articles for health journals, lectured in the large cities of Europe, discussing the merits of the system with medical men and professionals, and treating thousands of patients at my fruit and fasting sanitarium.”
He undertook public fasts, watched and controlled by Notaries of State: 21 days, 24 days, 32 days and a record 49 days fast.
For about 15 years Ehret operated his sanitarium in Switzerland, then he came to California in 1914 and was forced to stay here because of the war. But his influence in California was and still is very substantial.
He worked and lectured mostly in the Los Angeles area, and even famed horticulturist Luther Burbank was quoted as saying: “I have no doubt that Professor Ehret has found the fundamental cause of all disease.”
His 5 main books have never been out of print in over 75 years.
- Mucusless Diet Healing System
- Rational Fasting
- Thus Speaketh the Stomach
- Physical Fitness Thru a Superior Diet
- Definite Cure of Chronic Constipation
Dr. Benedict Lust believed: “Professor Ehret will get the largest following a diet expert could have. His system is the only genuine solution of the dietetic problem. He has given us more information than all the experts combined.”
A philosopher’s quote that Ehret liked to repeat was: “Education of man must begin 100 years before his birth.” Since it is now 100 years since Professor Ehret began to formulate his ideas, let’s see if the world is ready yet.
Some quotes from the pages of Ehret’s classic health literature:
“Life is a tragedy of nutrition.”
“Almost all individuals living today –and this includes the most leaned and highly educated college professors, scientists, doctors, lawyers, artists, politicians and business leaders and many others live in the darkest ignorance about the most important thing in life –i.e., there health.”
“The real physiological cause of all evils, especially the physical ailments of mankind, can be traced directly to the present day accepted diet of civilization.”
“In the biological order, for a dietetic and physiological standpoint, we have been out on a level with the swine-in order to justify the modern diet.”
“The tragedy of nutrition remains a mystery to all those who refuse to believe that the nutritive and curative values of fresh fruits and starchless vegetables are far superior to all other foods. They not only furnish the blood with the best nutrient elements and dissolvent; but starchless green vegetables contain high mineral –salt contents and also enjoy valuable vitamins”.
“Disease is internal uncleanliness, and this message is deepened and glorified as the infallible truth thru my conception of physiological religion.”
“The garden of Eden was a fruit orchard – and man has been tricked thru a wrong civilization into unconscious suicide, reduced to slavery thru producing wrong foods.”
“Man is the sickest animal on earth in that no other animal has violated the laws of eating as much as man, and no other animal eats as wrongly as man.” .
“Overeating makes a man lazy and consequently he has to pep himself up with stimulants.”
“We have unfortunately become unable either hygienically or aesthetically to experience or observe the ideal beauty and health of man living under perfectly natural conditions.”
“Out of a single fig you will get more nutritive value than out of one pound of bread, rice or potatoes.”
“The curse of civilization is the feverish struggle for the possession of money, so that we might enjoy the so-called privilege of sitting around a well spread table 3 times a day; while we do not realize that by doing so we undermine our health and step into an untimely grave.”
“Naturapathy deserves full credit for having proven that disease is within you — a foreign matter which has weight, and which must be eliminated.”
“The fundamental fact and truth of why the grown-up man does not need so much protein as the old physiology claims, is shown in the combination of mothers milk, which does not contain over 2 1/2 to 3% protein, and natural builds up with that the foundation of a new body.”
“Is it necessary that a cow must drink milk to produce milk?”
“The error of high protein foods as a necessity of health, taught and suggested by medical doctrines to mankind is in its consequences and in its effect just the opposite of what it should be, it is one of the main and general causes of all disease; it is the most tragical phenomena of Western degeneration.”
“It is beyond possibility to express in words what the error of high protein foods means.”
“The confusion and ignorance regarding what to eat is in fact so great it must necessarily be called the “missing link” of the human mind.”
“The clothing of civilization has made it impossible for man to secure his proper quota of the life-giving power of fresh air and sunshine, so essential to health and happiness. The direct rays of the sun on the naked body supply the electricity, energy and vitality to the human storage battery renewing it in vigor, strength and virility.”
“The classic age of Greek civilization, which we consider the highest in history, was due to and based upon a highly developed body thru physical culture, fasting, dietetics and eugenics.”
“We start the resurrection of man by reconstructing the paradise, planting fruit trees, vineyards and gardens as our new residence. We bring not only a scientific system of healing based on natural laws, but a regeneration a complete resurrection of the flesh by water, air “spirit” and by the divine foods of God, i.e., fruits.”
Ehret’s philosophy and books found a very receptive audience in California, and they are still more popular there than anywhere else in the world. Innerclean Herbal Laxative, an Ehret recipe for serious mucus conditions, still sells in health food stores.
Int he 1960′s and 70′s Ehret’s books were very poplar within the surf cultures of California adn Hawaii.
On October 9, 1922, at the age of only 56, Arnold Ehret suffered a most unfortunate accident – a basal fracture of the skull. He died in Los Angeles, where his ashes are contained in a bronze acorn at Coleus Terrace, Forest Lawn, in Glendale, California.
In 1994 the illustrated German magazine, Stern, published an article about a book by Helmut Wandmaker, which has sold 70,000 copies. “If you wish to be healthy forget about cooking. God created man, the devil created cooks” says Wandmaker. Helmut “came upon the healing qualities of fruit in 1978. In American a 60 year old book of the vegetarian and fasting apostle Arnold Ehret fell in his hands which now has been published here (Germany) also.”
So at long last, Germany’s lost son and prophet has come home in the end.