The Avoidance of Irritants, Stimulants and Depressants is key to optimal Health.
One of the primary differences between the natural human diet/natural hygiene and many of the promoted raw food and whole food plant-based diets is in the avoidance of irritants on a natural diet.
There are many plant-based substances that humans have incorporated into their diets over many generations which have a drugging effect on the body, either stimulating or depressing. The fact that these substances trigger the body to create these drugged effects when consumed tells us of the harm they are causing the body.
When ideal health is the goal we are seeking to cause no irritation to our cells or our organism as a whole. Disease is dis = lack, ease = comfort, so disease is any state of discomfort or any lack of ease in the operation of our cells. Disease is progressive, starting out with the minor irritations of every day mistakes in eating and building layer upon layer as we continue to injure our cells, “death by a thousand paper cuts”.
A few examples of these types of substances include irritants like spicy peppers, which lead to running nose and watery eyes as the body tries to rapidly protect the sensitive tissues of the mouth and digestive tract with mucus.
Animal secretions, like cow’s milk, which triggers thick mucus to protect the digestive tract.
Honey, which stops cold and flu cleaning symptoms in their tracks, thereby trapping waste inside the body.
Garlic, which burns the tongue and causes indigestion if eaten raw.
Onions which are so irritating that we cry before we even eat them.
Cacao/Cocao which stimulates the body leading to heart palpitations and anxiety.
Salt burns the tongue and raises blood pressure.
These non-foods can also be some of the most difficult to give up because we have become accustomed to the “high” of our bodies in distress. We often seek out these foods when we are feeling dissatisfied or bored, stressed or emotional, because we are trained since birth to associate these painful feelings of bodily discomfort with celebration.
As a society we start feeding cake to babies as young as their first birthday, training them in the addictions we ourselves suffer from before they can even put words to the discomfort. By the time they are old enough to speak, they are already addicted to these drugs and accustomed to the discomfort. This is a lifelong battle which needs to be treated as the drug addiction that it is in order to be overcome.
“Nutrition is an autonomic function, that is, it takes place below the conscious level. Just as digestion, absorption, circulation, glandular secretion and other autonomic functions take place without conscious perception or awareness, so also do the processes of nutrition (at a cellular level) occur without our direction or participation. Everyone will admit that stomach function will only produce symptoms when it is impaired. No one will deny that under ideal conditions we are totally unaware of the functions of our livers, intestines, etc. These are autonomic functions and they do not produce symptoms.
Nutrition is the same way. It is an autonomic function. Just as the digestion of food does not produce symptoms, the appropriation of nutrients, internally, should not produce symptoms. However, when digestion is disrupted symptoms arise and, likewise, when nutrition is disrupted symptoms arise. Russell Thacher Trall stated in 1871 that “Pure and perfect nutrition implies the assimilation of nutriment material to the structure of the body, without the least excitement, disturbance or impression of any kind that can be properly called stimulating.” Here is a profound statement to come from a man who lived over 100 years ago, before the explosion of knowledge about nutrition and biochemistry began at the turn of the century. Yet he realized then what few people realize today, that any specific effects that occur from the ingestion of foods or nutrients are the results of stress and irritation and are not the result of an enhancement of nutrition. If a person is manifesting the symptoms of a cold, and taking vitamin C aborts those symptoms, this effect can no more be regarded as nutritional than can the effects of taking aspirin. The vitamin C is having a pharmacological effect (that is, a drug effect), not a nutritional effect. If a woman has severe menstrual cramps and taking dolomite relieves her symptoms, it is foolish to think that a need for calcium has been satisfied. The calcium is exerting a pharmacological effect. Crude calcium was one of the first drugs used as an anesthetic in surgery because it impairs the conduction of nervous impulses and thereby reduces sensibility. To call this nutrition is a shame, a travesty, an outright lie. Any food or nutrient that “suddenly gives you pep,” “makes you feel warm all over,” “cures your headache,” “helps you sleep” or has any other specific effect should be avoided like the plague. It is obviously irritating, disrupting and enervating.”
The Life Science Course, Lesson 5, Article #3, pgs129-130
As we return our bodies to the natural human diet it is natural to desire to keep some of our previous habits of enervation and stimulation. As the body becomes cleaner and more vital however these stimulating and enervating habits will become more and more uncomfortable and you will naturally find that you gravitate away from these substances.
When choosing your next meal, ask yourself what effect is this meal having on my body? Our natural foods do not create discomfort or disturbance to the body.