"A man needs a purpose for real health."

Sherwood Anderson


"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane."

-Kurt Vonnegut


"The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them."



"The seed of health is in illness, for illness contains information."

-Marilyn Ferguson


"Your medicine is in you, and you do not observe it. Your ailment is from yourself and you do not register it."

-Hazrat Ali


"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."

Mark Twain


"Is getting well ever an art, Or art a way to get well?

Robert Lowell


"Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health, and is as friendly to the mind as to the body."

-Joseph Addison


"Health is nothing more than united purpose-if the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, it becomes whole because the mind's purpose is one. Apart from the mind, the body has no purpose at all."

-A Course in Miracles


"A healthy body is the guest chamber of the soul; a sick one, its prison."



"One cannot get closer to the gods than to bring health to one's fellow men."



"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself. Art cannot become manifest. Strength cannot be exerted. Wealth is useless and reason is powerless."

-Hemophiles (300 B.C. )



"Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle."

-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton


"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

-Proverbs 17:22


"And frame your mind to mirth and merriment, which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life."

-Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


"All sorts of bodily diseases are produced by half-used minds."

George Bernard Shaw


"Those obsessed with health are not healthy; the first requisite of good health is a certain calculated carelessness about oneself."

Sydney J. Harris


"Physicians think they are doing something for you by labeling what you have as a disease."

Immanuel Kant


"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."

-Thomas A. Edison


"Contrary to their accepted image and contrary to what the public rightly expects, doctors often know very little about the drugs they are prescribing. Too often all they know is precisely what the drug companies want them to know."

John Pekkanen


"A physician is naturally reluctant to think that his treatment contributes to a patient's disability. It is easier to attribute new symptoms to an extension of an underlying disease than too obvious or occult drug toxicity....Too frequently, laboratory data or new symptoms that do not "fit" into the anticipated course of a disease are ignored."

Kenneth L. Mellon M.D. 


"Health is a great blessing, but the moment you make health one of your main, direct objects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are only likely to get health provided you want other things more-food, games, work, fun, open air."

C.S. Lewis

Letters of C.S. Lewis


-Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.

-If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.

-Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.

-Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social rumble ain't restful.

-Avoid running at all times.

-Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.

   -attributed to Satchel Paige



"The sick are parasites on society. In a certain state it is indecent to go on living. To continue vegetating in cowardly dependence on physicians and machinations once the meaning of life, the right to life, has been lost ought to occasion a deep contempt within society."

-Friedrich Nietzsche


"Among all my patients in the second half of life-that is to say, over thirty-five-there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook."

C.G. Jung


"Take a Walk, despite the colloquialism, is less an injunction to get out of here than a prescription for getting the most out of life. The more you walk, the better you feel, the more relaxed you become, the more you sense, the better you think, the less mental clutter you accumulate. And it's the un-cluttered man who is the happy man."

Aaron Sussman & Ruth Goode

The Magic of Walking


"Your life depends on the private, inner essence of the doctor's function: it depends on the input that enters his brain, and on the processing such input receives from him. What is being thrust now into the equation? It is not only objective medical facts any longer. Today, in one form or another, the following also has to enter that brain: "The DRG administrator (concerned with HMO cost control) will raise hell if I operate, but the malpractice attorney will have a field day if I don't -and my rival down the streets, who heads the local PRO, favors a CAT scan in these cases, I can't afford to antagonize him, but the CON (certificate-of-need) boys disagree and they won't authorize a CAT scanner for our hospital-and besides the FDA prohibits the drug I should be prescribing, even though it is widely used in Europe, and the IRS might not allow the patient a tax deduction for it, anyhow, and I can't get a specialist's advice because the latest Medicare rules prohibit a consultation with this diagnosis, and maybe I shouldn't even take this patient, he's so sick-after all, some doctors are manipulating their slate of patients, they accept only the healthiest ones, so their average costs are coming in lower than mine, and it looks bad for my staff privileges."

Leonard Peikoff (Medicine as practiced in the USA in the 21st Century)


"I firmly believe that if the entire materia medica as now used could be  sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind-and all the worse for the fishes."

Oliver Wendell Holmes


"Thoughtful public discussion of the iatrogenic pandemic, beginning with an insistence upon demystification of all medical matters, will not be dangerous to the commonweal, Indeed, what is dangerous is a passive public: that has come to rely on superficial medical house cleanings."

Ivan Illich



"Among all the discoveries of America by the French and Spaniards, I wonder why none of them was so kind to the world as to have kept a catalog of the illnesses they found the natives able to cure."

John Lawson

History of North Carolina(1714)



"The Indians know how to cure very dangerous and perilous wounds and sores by roots, leaves, and other little things."

Adrian van der Donck (1650)


"These people, although destitute of the lights of science, have discovered the properties of some of the most inestimable medicines with which we are acquainted today."

Dr. Benjamin S. Barton (1798)

U of Pennsylvania professor



"A quite mind cureth all."

Robert Burton (1622)


"The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."



"Let us never forget the true medical miracle of the twentieth century-the sewer pipe."

James F. Dunnigan

Dirty Little Secrets of the twentieth century



"The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality."

Herbert Spencer


"Tis healthy to be sick sometimes."



"A sick animal retires to a secluded place and fasts until its body is restored to normal. During the fast it partakes only of water and the medicinal herbs which inherited intelligence teaches it instinctively to seek. I have watched....self-healing so often."

Juliette de Bairacli Levy, 


"Health of body and mind is a great blessing, if we can bear it."



"Illnesses must be regarded as a madness of the body, indeed as idée's fixes."



"Every sickness is a musical problem; every cure a musical solution."



"nature distributed medicine everywhere."

Pliny the Elder, circa A.D. 77


"Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal your patient with food."

-Hippocrates 5th Century B.C.


"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."

Mark Twain 1897


"According to the Malleus Maleficarum, healing is a crime committed by witches who must be put to death for their deeds. The Malleus Malificarum called for the eradication of the knowledge of herbal healing-mainly on the grounds that reliance on such measures reduces our dependence on God."

Ingrid Naiman

Cancer Salves


"In all creation, trees, plants, animals, and gem stones, there are hidden secret powers which no person can know of unless they are revealed by God."

Hildegard of Bingen (13 century Mystic)


"The quest for healing may even predate our own species. It was once believed that humans were the only species that used medicine. No longer. At Shanidar Cave in Iraq, the skeleton of a Neanderthal was found buried with seven medicinal species of plants placed in a ring around the body. Both chimpanzees and gorillas employ plants for medicinal purposes, which implies that common ancestors we shared over a million years ago probably utilized plants for similar reasons. And we have recently learned that many animals-from dogs to coatimundis, from elephants to lemurs-rely on medicinal species….."

Mark J. Plotkin Ph.D.

Medicine Quest


"What’s wrong with snake oil? It works for me!"

-Nigerian traditional Ibo healer


   "We come to an important subject: medical literature. Medical studies are called literature (Shakespeare might demur) when they're published in a medical journal or as part of the record of a medical conference.

   There is a great deal of this literature. You could wall-paper the world with it and have enough left over to do your kitchen. The notion that physicians know what's contained in the literature is bizarre. But some of them sound like they half believe they do. If you ask a physician a question he can't answer, don't be surprised if he responds, "Nobody knows." Which seems to suggest he has read all the literature and has total recall.

   It's estimated that there are 3,300 medical journals in the world. A poll in seventeen counties of upstate New York (not exactly the boondocks) showed that the average physician subscribed to 4.1 of these journals. Double this figure if you like. Even if he read the 8.2 journals cover to cover, he would still be 3,291.8 journals short. You can see it's impossible to expect the physician to read the medical literature to determine the drugs he should use. That's why, in this day of specialization, this is left to the drug companies and the FDA."

Jack Dreyfus

A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked



Association of American Indian Physicians



"When any one was sick Muhammad used to rub his hands upon the sick person's body, saying, "O Lord of mankind! take away this pain, and give health; for Thou are the giver of health: there is no health but Thine, that health which leaveth no sickness."

              Muhammed (Sayings of Muhammed)


"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry state as are the souls who live under Tyranny."

Thomas Jefferson


"Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an underground dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a republic. The Constitution of this republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom."

Dr. Benjamin Rush (signer of Declaration of Independence & personal physician to George Washington)


"One account tells how physicians treated the final illness of George Washington. Suffering from sore throat, chills, and fever, the man citizens of the United States call "the father of the country" sent for his physicians. They extracted over four pints of blood from his 67-year-old body (enough to send him into acute shock), dosed him with mercury and antimony, gave him a cathartic enema, and blistered his throat and feet. Washington was dead within 24 hours."


"A body is forsaken when it becomes a source of pain and humiliation instead of pleasure and pride. Under these conditions the person refuses to accept or identify with his body....He may ignore it or he may attempt to transform it into a more desirable object by dieting, weight lifting, etc. However , as long as the body remains an object to the ego, it may fulfill the ego's pride, but it will never provide the joy and satisfaction that the 'alive' body offers"

Alexander Lowen


"In the past few years, a number of persons in psychiatry and related fields have been pondering and exploring the problems of wishing and willing. We may assume that this confluence of concern must be in answer to a strong need in our time for a new light on these problems.

   In his penetrating interpretations of literature in its relation to depth psychology, Father William Lynch develops the thesis that it is not wishing which causes illness but lack of wishing. He holds that the problem is to deepen people's capacity to wish, and that one side of our task in therapy is to create the ability to wish. He defines wish as a "positive picturing in imagination," "

Rollo May

Love and Will


   "Current research is turning up medicinal properties in everything from lettuce, used by the ancients as a sedative, to apples and onions. A quick sampling to indicate the scope of these investigations shows that: compounds from daffodils may prove effective in treating myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis; a neuroactive factor in the perennial sweet pea is now being tested on animals; an extract from lady slipper has been found to exert an effect on high blood pressure; derivatives from the common snowdrop relieve some glaucoma patients not responding to other medication; buttercup juice stops the growth of strep, staph, pneumococci, anthrax, and tuberculosis germs, and that of quivering anemones has similar bactericidal qualities. Research at the United States Department of Agriculture, in England, and elsewhere has proved that antibiotic properties exist in so many plants that it would take many pages to list their names. New drugs may come not only from rare jungle vegetation but also from the commonest field and garden flowers and everyday foods. We may have the starting materials for tomorrow's wonder drugs growing in our window boxes!"

Margaret B. Kreig

Green Medicine


"Our citizens....will prepare wheat-meal or barley-meal for baking or kneading. They will serve splendid cakes and loaves on rushes or fresh leaves, and will sit down to feast with their children....They will have a few luxuries. Salt, of course, and olive oil and cheese, and different kinds of vegetables from which to make various country dishes. And we must give them some dessert, figs and peas and beans, and myrtle berries and acorns to roast at the fire as they sip their wine. So they will lead a peaceful and healthy life, and probably die at a ripe old age, bequeathing a similar way of life to their children."


The Republic


                                 EAT DIRT by Constance Garcia-Barrio

"Say you never ate dirt? You're a plain fool.

All the good things dirt got in it. Full of grit. Now, who can't use

some? Don't be making faces at me. I know what I'm talking about.

Dirt got sunshine in it. Years on end of light in a mouthful.

And dead folks is in the dirt, just a talking and a dancing. Swallow

Some, and they'll tell you things. You'll get a old folks mind in a young folks heart. Help you step clear of trouble.

    And moles gone through the dirt so the dark won't feel strange to you

no more.

   Don't look at me funny. Better take your ears out your ass and listen. 

Dirt got God's tears in it.

   Me, I eat dirt regular. Every other day. Dirt grows sweet corn and trees big as houses. Just think what it'll do for you. Better eat you some dirt,

honey, and see what grows in you."

by Constance Garcia-Barrio



Tricks of the Testing Trade by Irene Moosen & Mark Dowe

"Private testing laboratories live and die by the positive results generated on products they test for safety. Your future as a laboratory owner or administrator is in serious jeopardy if you find too many products unsafe. But fortunately, manufacturers rarely run their own audits on tests contracted out to private labs. That way, they can claim ignorance of wrongdoing if protocol is not followed. So here are some tricks you can use to help that drug, chemical or product meet approval standards.

THE HAPPY ENDING. Bureaucrats rarely seem to have time to read more than summaries and conclusions. So you can do your manufacturing client a great service by having the conclusion bear minimal relationship to your findings, particularly if the findings are negative. Remember that statistics are at the service of those that use them.

THE SHRED. Keep a paper shredder near your records at all times. If you hear that a government inspector or auditor is about to visit, use the shredder quickly to rid your files of embarrassing or incriminating data. For fast shredding techniques, call Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories.

THE BENCHBOOK BOOGIE. If you have to create new benchbooks to substantiate your hypothesis, remember to use several different pens and pencils to make it look look as if figures were entered over the duration of the study, not during one fanatic night at home on the kitchen table. If your benchbooks are recording data from animal experiments, a dab or two of rat feces along with a splash or smudge of blood adds to the authenticity of the book. Dr. Ron Smith could give you more hints on creating raw  data from whole cloth, but your guess is as good as ours as to his whereabouts (See box on page 49  for more of Smith's methods.)


THE INCOMPETENT STAFF. There are absolutely no standard professional or licensing qualifications for research lab technicians who do safety testing. So aside from the obvious cost savings gained by hiring untrained technicians, you can always use them as an excuse when the scientific method is inadvertently abused or abandoned. You can contact about any testing lab in the country in your search for uneducated, unqualified, and incompetent staff. Move your staff around the lab constantly throughout experiments. If someone is leaving your firm , have that person sign all the benchbooks. That way the "responsible party" will be absent should an inspection ensue. 

THE SPEEDUP ..OR THE TIME-LINE FUDGE. Many safety tests require long exposure of the product to hostile environments like extreme heat, dryness, cold or wetness. Take semiconductors, for example. Baking different batches of semiconductors for periods from three hours up to ten days is time-consuming and expensive. Why not jut bake them all for three hours and record them at different duration? For complete instructions on time-line fudging, contact the National Semiconductor Company in Santa Clara, California.


THE SCALPEL. There's nothing like the invention of modern microsurgical techniques to "cure" laboratory animals that develop tumors from the chemicals they ingest. Tumors can be excised from live animals and never reported in test summaries submitted to the FDA. (The animals are, after all, by the end of the study, alive and healthy.) For instructions on the creative use of the scalpel contact the G.D. Searle Company and ask about tests it performed on Aldetone, a diuretic prescribed for high blood pressure and fluid retention. Or write to Syntex Corporation and ask about the research it contracted for on the anntiarthritic drug Napowyn.

THE POSTHUMOUS APPEARANCE. Should laboratory animals die, replace them with live, healthy relatives. Again, contact G.D. Searle and Industrial Bio Test Laboratories in Chicago to learn how some of their rats, monkeys, rabbits and dogs, which died during tests, later appeared alive in test data. Animals can also be recorded as gaining weight and recovering from tumors after their death. Use your benchbook creatively.

 THE DATA MASSAGE. Also known as "Graphing," data massaging is probably the most common fudging technique used in labs today. Motivated by what scientists euphemistically call "intentional bias', it is really the easiest way to get the results you want once the experiment is completed. There is no one way to massage data. Just take those long computer reports home with you, spread them out on the kitchen table and gently apply rubber and graphite.

SOME EXTRA ADVICE; If the validity of your study is questioned, do not order any circumstances use the following excuses. The Feds are familiar with them, and the attempt will arouse immediate suspicion: data destroyed in fire (excuse already used three times); data destroyed in flood (three times) data lost in boating accident, also known as the Andrea Doria Syndrome (once) investigator died (twice) records lost due to hospital closing (three times) records lost due to burglary, robbery or vandalism (five times) data dropped in sewer and destroyed because of stench (once) clinical lab technician dead or missing (once) ; office nurse dead or missing (three times) ; nurse or resident did it without my knowledge (14 times),"


                      -The Original Oath of Hippocrates

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant. To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brother in male lineage and to teach them this art, if they desire to learn it, without fee and covenant; to give a share of the precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of  him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else. I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it; nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work. Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all internal injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves. What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about. If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."

-The Original Oath of Hippocrates


Book: "The Assault on Medical Freedom" by Lisa P. Joseph

Book: "The House of God" by Samuel Shem M.D.

Book: "The Cancer Industry: The Classic Expose on the Cancer Establishment

Book: "The Serpent on the Staff: The Unhealthy Politics of the AMA"...Howard Wolinsky, & Tom Bruns

Book: "Confession of a Medical Heretic"

Book: "Medical Nemesis" Ivan Illich

Book: Medicine On Charles B. Inlander & Lowell S. Levin & Ed Weiner

Book: "GREAT FEUDS IN MEDICINE: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever" by Hal Hellman

Book: "Shaker Medicinal" by Amy Bess Miller

Book: "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Medical Resources" by Joan Price

Book: "Severed Trust: Why American Medicine Hasn't Been Fixed" by George D. Lundbefrg & J. Stacey

Book: Divided Legacy: A History of the Schism in Medical Thought" by Harris L. Coulter

Book: "The Conquest of Water" by Jean-Pierre Goubert

Book: "Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America" by James C. Whorton

Book: "Copeland's Cure: The Story of Homeopathy and the war between conventional Medicine" by Natalie Robins

Book: "My Own Medicine" by Geoffrey Kurland

Book: "Heal Thyself: Nicholas Culpepper and the Seventeenth-Century Struggle to Bring Medicine to the People" by Benjamin Woolley

Book: "Nature's Medicine: Plants That Heal" by Joel L. Swerdlow

Book: "His Brother's Keeper: A Story from the Edge of Medicine" by Jonathan Weiner


Book: "The Cornell Illustrated Encyclopedia of Health: The Definitive Home Medical Reference" Ed. by Antonio M. Gotto Jr.

Book: "Ether Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It." by Julie M. Fenster

Book: The Mirage of Health"

Book: "The Discovery of the Germ" by John Waller

Book: The Conquest of Water: The Advent of Health in the Industrial Age" by Jean-Pierre Goubert

Book: "The Calcium Bomb: The Nanobacteria Link to Heart Disease and Cancer" by Douglas Mulhal and Katja Hansen

Book: "Mavericks, Miracles and Medicine" by Julie M. Fenster

Book: "Contracting A Cure: Patients, Healers, and the Law in Early Modern Bologna" by Gianna Pomata

Book: "Prescription For Profits: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Bankrolled the Unholy Marriage Between Science and Business: by Linda Marsa

Book: "$800 million Pill: The Truth Behind the Cost of New Drugs" by Merrill Goozner

Book: "Sickness and Wealth" Ed by Meredith Fort, Mary Anne Mercer, and Oscar Gish

Book: "Mediscams: How to Spot and Avoid Health Care Scams, Medical Frauds, and Quackery from the Local Physician to the Major Health Care Providers" by Chuck Whitlock

Book: "The Brave New World of Health Care" by Richard D. Lamm

© 2001




Back to Chrestomathy             Next Page