The Nature and Purpose of Disease – Part 13

The following is part 13 of a 14-part post series on the nature and purpose of disease. If you prefer to watch a video on the subject see our presentation “The Seven Stages of Disease” available at the bottom of the page.

T.C Fry on the nature and purpose of disease:



Just as there is one universal cause of disease there is one universal panacea! In mythology Asclepius had two daughters. Both were goddesses. One was the goddess of health and she was called Hygeia. The other daughter was Panacea. She was the goddess of healing. The name itself, in Greek, means all-healing or universal healing.

While these goddesses are mythological, they do represent valid concepts. Panacea can be achieved by a return to natural practices. Fasting is the quickest way to invoke the universal panacea. Just as the universal disease is a toxic-laden body, the universal panacea is establishing the most ideal conditions under which the body can cleanse itself of the toxicity and repair the damages suffered. Fasting is the answer. It works in all cases of constructive disease, that is, disease where organic damage of an irremediable nature has not occurred.

Some great luminaries have long since rediscovered the Grecian panacea. Dr. Jennings first employed it until Dr. John Tilden elaborated on it in his scholarly book, Toxemia Explained. Dr. Hereward Carrington wrote a few very illuminating volumes about Natural Hygiene. But Dr. Shelton probed deeper and farther afield than did all those before him. He built upon the shoulders of all who went before him and added a touch of his own genius. In our text section some observations of Dr. Carrington are presented. Here is a quote from Dr. Herbert M. Shelton about the nature of disease:


“The Hygienic system teaches that disease is a remedial effort, a struggle of the vital powers to purify the system and recover the normal state. This effort should be aided, directed, and regulated if need be, but never suppressed. What is this mysterious thing called disease? It is simply an effort to remove obstructing material which we call toxic materials from the organic domain and to repair damages. Disease is a process of purification and repair. It is remedial action. It is a power struggle to overcome obstruction and to keep the channels of circulation free.”

Actually disease is really more than this if we view it in all aspects. Dr. Carrington has simplified Dr. Shelton’s presentation somewhat. He says the following:

“Disease is an attempt of the body to free its cells and circulatory system of clogging and toxic materi­als. It is a desperate body rallying its remaining re­sources to the task of purgation and restoration.”

We have many illustrious forebears in the elaboration and creation of what we call Natural Hygiene or Life Science. Most notable among our forebears have been some truly great women. While women were spurned in the medical profession, the Hygienic movement was truly an enlightened and unfettered one. It welcomed women with open arms and, if we leave the renegade M.D.’s aside, their numbers almost equal those of male Hygienic professionals.

How many of you have heard of Louisa May Alcott? Yes, all of you have. But how many of you know that she was a Hygienist? That her father was a Hygienist? That her brother William Alcott was a professional Hygienist and was also a brilliant writer?

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Florence Nightingale, who gave new dignity and direction to the profession of nursing. She was a Hygienist.

How many of you have heard of Ellen White? She was a Hygienist who founded the religion we know today as the Seventh Day Adventists.

There are many unsung heroines among women who were Hygienic professionals. Mary Gove, Susan Nichols, Linda Burfield Hazzard and others were a credit to both the profession of Hygiene and to womanhood.

Perhaps the most famous Hygienist of the fair sex was Florence Nightingale. Her daring on the battle fields of eastern Europe still draws our admiration for the courage of her convictions. The British were fighting the Russians and more soldiers were dying behind the battle lines than on them. The physicians and their treatments were killing off the wounded and ailing faster than the Russians.

When Florence Nightingale arrived on the battle scene she really took charge despite the physicians. What she did was a very simple thing: she went to the rooms of the wounded and ailing and opened the windows for fresh air. She would not permit drugs. She gave the patients water which was against medical policy at the time. She rejected heavy feeding and, in fact, for many, any feeding at all. Being confined to a battlefield hospital had been a death sentence before. Now almost all the wounded and sick became well speedily. It’s all history and Florence Night­ingale became famous because of her tremendous success employing the mere rudiments of Hygienic methods. This is all the more phenomenal when you consider that Ms. Nightingale lived in a medical age and in a man’s world. She defied the medics and won. She was truly a pioneer Hygienist. The world, despite its poverty on the health scene, is still richer for her having been amongst our forebears.

Excerpt from:

Life Science Course LESSON 2 – The Nature and Purpose of Disease – Download the full PDF of this lesson

Have more questions? Want to get answers about your specific health issues or concerns? We offer consultations here:

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30-Day Terrain Model Diet Support and Education Group: New Groups start on the 1st of every month!

Eat fruit, get rest, and be well my friends. 

Go back to the beginning of the series: Part 1 or go forward to read Part 14, or watch a presentation on the subject here:

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