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I just finished reading an online version of this book at [...] and it has greatly changed my outlook on health. Using a common-sense, physiological approach to address the causes of disease, the author presents methods for overcoming various afflictions -- major arthritis, high blood pressure, and even cancers, just to name a few. More importantly, though, she addresses what she believes to be the root cause of disease, a fact that many people do not want to face: unhealthy living.
She argues that standard medical professionals fail to address the true causes of disease, instead opting for prescriptions or even disfiguring surgery to remove what amounts to symptoms of other underlying problems. By treating only the symptoms, the true disease (a toxic body) only gets worse and manifests its internal imbalances in increasingly more serious ways. Part of the cause of this "toxemia" is the declining nutrition in the food that we eat on an everyday basis.
She posits that the only thing capable of healing the body is the body itself, and the best approach for overcoming nearly all ailments is giving the body the opportunity to do that. By discovering minor food allergies, imposing a more healthy diet, fasting, and colon cleansing, she puts forward methods for allowing that process to occur. One gem of advice was that of fasting: food digestion burns 30-50% of the energy in the food we eat. By fasting for even short periods of time, this energy (and the toxin-filtering efforts of the liver) can instead be used for purifying and restoring our bodies. She then points out that when we are sick, we lose our appetites for just this reason: we would be much better off to not eat at all, drink plenty of water, and rest, allowing our body the energy to fight the disease, instead of overworking our bodies by eating, fueling the disease with additional food stores, and introducing poisonous antibiotics into our system. It is against-conventional-wisdom-but-highly-sensible (after all, sick animals don't eat) advice like this that make this book really stand out.
I must say that much of the evidence is not up to "scientific snuff", but that is almost to be expected with a work like this. When the main treatment advocated for serious detoxification (and tremendous benefits of various sorts) is a long-term water fast, there is not much profit to be made in promoting or researching it. She does cite various studies throughout, appeals to common sense and history, and presents a slew of anecdotal evidence from her decades of work running Great Oaks School of Health (an alternative healing clinic, for all intents and purposes) in Oregon. She herself even survived two bouts with breast cancer without ever having a mastectomy, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment.
Most importantly, she presents a balanced, realistic view of hygienic healing and healthy living. She does not "religiously" adhere to any one technique, instead presenting the positives and negatives of various methods. She is not overly-optimistic, but truthful instead, accepting and discussing various cases that she could not help. Her descriptions of food in particular, that organic foods are not necessarily any better (in nutrition) than industrial foods, are particularly enlightening. Even while discussing more healthy ways to eat, she accepts that we will sometimes depart from an otherwise healthy diet, and even relates an instance of doing that herself. It is her down-to-earth, pragmatic, truthful, realistic, case-study-driven approach that makes this book worthwhile, and I highly suggest it to anyone.
If you still aren't convinced, at least read Chapter 2: The Nature and Cause of Disease ([...] It simply makes so much sense that it's really hard to ignore, and this is true of the book in general.