General Introductory Principles
Every disease, no matter what name it is known by medical science, is
It is a clogging up of the entire pipe system of the human body.[i] Any special symptom is therefore merely an extraordinary local constipation by more accumulated mucus at this particular place.[ii] Special accumulation points are the tongue, the stomach, and particularly the entire digestive tract. This last is the real and deeper cause of bowel constipation. The average person has as much as 10 pounds of uneliminated feces in the bowels, continually poisoning the bloodstream in the entire system.[iii] Think of it!
Every sick person has a more or less mucus-clogged system, such mucus being derived from undigested, uneliminated, and unnatural food substances accumulated from childhood on. Details regarding this fact may be learned by reading my Rational Fasting and Regeneration Diet.
My “Mucus Theory” and Mucusless Diet Healing System stand unshaken; it has proven the most successful “Compensation Action” so-called cure against every kind of disease.[iv] By its systematic application, thousands of declared-incurable patients could be saved.
The mucusless diet consists of all kinds of raw and cooked fruits, starchless vegetables, and cooked or raw mostly green-leaf vegetables.[v] The Mucusless Diet Healing System is a combination of individually advised, long or short fasts with progressively changing menus of non-Mucus-Forming Foods. This diet alone can heal every case of “disease” without fasting, although such a cure requires longer time.[vi] The system itself will be expounded in later lessons.
However, to learn how to apply this system and understand how and why it works, it is necessary to free your mind of medical errors, partly taken by naturopathy.[vii] In other words, I must teach you a new physiology, free from medical errors; a new method of diagnosis; a correction of the fundamental errors of metabolism, high protein foods, blood circulation, blood composition, and last but not least, you must be taught:
What Vitality Really Is
[i] Many people assume that Ehret is referring only to bowel constipation. However, his use of the word is much broader in scope, referring to constitutional encumbrances on the cellular level that have been obstructing one’s organism since birth. Although Ehret does assert that the foundation of cellular constipation is bowel constipation, which is the definite result of eating pus- and mucus-forming foods, Ehret’s concept of the term extends beyond the bowel.
[ii] The word “mucus” is from the Latin mucus which means “slime, mold, snot, etc.” Mucus refers to a thick, viscous, slippery discharge that is comprised of dead cells, mucin, inorganic salts, water, and exfoliated cells. It also refers to the slimy, sticky, viscous substance left behind by mucus-forming foods in the body after ingestion.
[iii] This fact may be hard to believe at first. Later in this book, Ehret will discuss cases where he helped people eliminate a lot more than 10 pounds of fecal matter from the bowels. Also, since the time of Ehret, other naturopaths have observed and documented the elimination of pounds of mucoid plaque (rubber-like strings of rotting mucus found in the intestines), feces, decades-old feces stones, and other toxemias. To look at some compelling pictorial examples of such waste, see Bernard Jensen’s Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management. Keep in mind that most of the dietary prescriptions in the book are problematic, and I do not recommend using them. However, the real pictures of the kind of internal waste that humans harbor are profound.
[iv] “Mucusless” refers to foods that are not mucus-forming. Such foods digest without leaving behind a thick, viscous, slimy substance called mucus. These foods include all kinds of fat-free and starchless fruits and vegetables.
[v] The word “fruit” refers to the ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant, together with accessory parts containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms. Ehret is specifically referring to mucusless fruits: fat-free and starchless fruits that leave behind no mucus residue. An unripe banana is an example of a starchy fruit, while an avocado is a fatty one. “Green leafy vegetables” refers to various mucusless leafy plants or their leaves and stems that may be eaten as vegetables.
[vi] The word “fast” means to abstain from the intake of food and drink for a period of time. It may also refer to various forms of dietary restriction, which include abstaining from solid foods (juice or liquid fasting), mucus-forming foods (mucusless diet), animal products, and so forth. Fasting may also refer more broadly to abstaining from modern conveniences or unnatural additions, for example, a fast from electricity or the use of electronics for a period of time.
“Mucus-forming” refers to foods that create or leave behind uneliminated mucus in the human body. Such foods include meats, dairy, grains, starches, and fats.
Ehret periodically uses the term “disease” to refer to human illness. Yet, Ehret suggests that the word is inherently problematic, hence appearing in quotations. With that said, Ehret does not ever purport to “treat” diseases, but to naturally heal human illness through a change in diet toward mucusless foods and short-term fasting. Since the initial publication of the Mucusless Diet, the use of the word “disease” by non-medical professionals has been vigorously contested. In many countries, people face legal consequences for diagnosing, or claiming to cure, what the medical profession refers to as “disease.”
To gain insight into the meaning of the word disease, we must consider its etymology (historical origins). The term “disease” can be traced back to the early fourteenth century, when it meant “discomfort” or “inconvenience.” It derives from the Old French “desaise” meaning “lack, want; discomfort, distress, trouble, misfortune, or sickness.” Literally ‘des (dis)’ meaning “without, away” and “aise” or ease meaning comfort, pleasure, or well-being. The word was still commonly used in its literal sense until the early part of the seventeenth century, and has been revived in modern usage with the spelling dis-ease.
By the seventeenth century, the word “disease” was also being used to identify specific conditions of the body, or of some body part or organ, in which its functions are disturbed or deranged. Over time the word came to be used to identify a species of disorder or ailment, in which they exhibit special symptoms or affect a specific organ. Customarily the defining words of the “disease” either indicate its symptomatic nature, were derived from the surname of a person who has suffered from it, or the surname of the physician who first diagnosed it. For instance “Bright’s Disease,” the disease Ehret was diagnosed with, and which he cured himself of, was first described in 1827 by the English physician Richard Bright.
Ehret tends to use the term “disease” in its original sense, which is to refer to a distressing or uncomfortable condition of the body. Yet, he identifies the express purpose of this condition to be “an effort of the body to eliminate waste, mucus, and toxemias.” This is a significant definition of disease because it is one of the foundational concepts for the mucusless diet—that we eat for the purpose of cleansing and not to obtain nutritional sustenance. Yet, in subsequent lessons, Ehret does critique the medical notion of diseases, and shows how a mucusless diet expert can interpret and use medical diagnoses to determine what type of transition diet and fasting protocols to suggest to their patients.
[vii] The term naturopathy was coined in 1895 by John Scheel and made famous in the United States by one of Ehret’s students named Benedict Lust, who founded the first school of naturopathy in 1902. Naturopathic medicine favors a holistic and drugless approach to healing and seeks to find the least invasive measures necessary to relieve symptoms and heal human illness. “Natural Hygiene,” or orthopathy, is a healing philosophy derived from naturopathy that advocates plant-based diets and periods of intermittent fasting. Although many prominent naturopaths and natural hygienic practitioners were, and continue to be, greatly influenced by Ehret’s works, their healing practices and philosophies about nutrition usually greatly differ from Ehret’s.