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Diets To Heal The Critically Ill
Category: Diet and Nutrition
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
A critically ill person is someone who could expire at any moment;
therapeutic interventions are racing against death. Can the body
repair itself enough before some essential function ceases
altogether? If there already exists too much damage to vital organs
the person will die. If there remains sufficient organ function to
support life, enough vital force to power those functions, and a
will to live, the body may heal itself if helped by the correct
therapeutic approach. But the therapy does not do the healing; the
body does that by itself--if it can. This reality is also true of
I believe fasting is the therapy that almost invariably gives a
critically ill person their very best chance of recovery. If a
patient dies while fasting they almost certainly would have died
anyway, and if death comes while fasting, it will be more
comfortable, with less pain, and with more mental clarity.
Critically ill people may have, among other things, any of the
following diagnoses: advanced cancer, advanced aids, heart failure,
very high blood pressure, kidney failure, advanced liver disease,
advanced emphysema, pneumonia or other catastrophic infections,
especially those that seem unresponsive to antibiotics, strokes,
emboli, sclerotic vessels as found in arteriosclerosis, severe nerve
degeneration interfering with nerve transmission to vital organs.
Treating the critically ill does not have to be an all or nothing,
ideological choice between holistic medicine and AMA style medicine.
It is important for the critically ill and their families to know
that if they use standard medical treatment such as drugs or
surgery, these measures can and should be combined with natural
healing methods. It is always desirable to quit all addicting
substances, start a whole foods diet, (as light as possible), and
add meganutrition (supplements) to the medical doctor's treatments.
Few medical doctors are so arrogantly partisan as to assert that
natural measures will do any harm as long as the MD is still allowed
to prescribe as they please.
Holistic support will not only lessen the side effects of the
medical treatments but will speed up healing and often reduce the
required dose of prescribed drugs. I have had several clients with
cancer who chose to have surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but
stayed on a raw food diet and took high doses of supplements
throughout the treatment. These people amazed the attending
physician by feeling good with little if any fatigue, no hair loss,
or flu symptoms. The same can be true of other conditions.
Food In The Order Of Digestive Difficulty
Individual digestive weaknesses and allergies are not taken into
account in this list.
Hard To Digest: Meat, fish, chicken, eggs (if cooked), all legumes
including soy products, peanuts and peanut butter, beans, split
peas, lentils, chick peas, dairy products such as cheese, milk,
butter milk, nuts and seeds and their butters.
Intermediate: all grains--quinoa, amaranth, millet, spelt, rye,
wheat, oats, barley.
Fairly Easy: Brussels sprouts, green beans, green peas, broccoli,
cauliflower, raw cultured milk products, asparagus, cabbage, sprouts
especially bean sprouts, kale, other leafy greens.
Very Easy: fruits, vegetable juices, fruit juices, broth (clear).
No Effort: herb tea, water.
Ethyl always comes to my mind when I think of how much healing power
can still be left in a dying body. She (accompanied by her husband
for support) came to Great Oaks School with terminal cancer, heart
failure, advanced diabetes, extreme weakness, and complete inability
to digest. Any food ingested just came back up immediately. Ethyl
had large tumors taking over the breast, sticking out from her
skull, and protruding from her body in general. The largest was the
one in the left breast which was the size of a big man's fist.
She did have one crucial thing going for her, Ethyl was a feisty
Irish red head who still had a will to live, and a reason to do so.
She and her husband, who had just retired, had dreamed their whole
life of touring the US and Canada in their own RV the minute he
retired. The time had finally arrived but Ethyl was too ill to
support her own weight (only 90 pounds) and to top it off was blind
from diabetic retinopathy. The doctors had done everything they
could to her, and now judged her too weak to withstand any more
surgery (she had already had her right breast removed). Radiation or
chemotherapy were also considered impossible due to heart failure.
They sent Ethyl home to die, giving her a few days to a month at
Any sensible hygienist trying to stay out of jail would have refused
to take on this type of case because it was a cancer case where
death was likely. Treatment of this highly lucrative disease is
considered the AMA's exclusive franchise, even when the medical
doctors have given up after having done everything to a body the
family can pay for or owe for. Whenever a person dies under the care
of any person who is not a licensed M.D. there must be an autopsy
and a criminal investigation in search of negligence. If the person
dies under the care of an M.D. the sheriff's assumption is that the
doctor most assuredly did everything he could and should have done
and death was inevitable. By accepting Ethyl I had a reasonable
likelihood of ending up in trouble; but being foolish, brave and
(stupidly) feeling relatively immune to such consequences (I was
under 40 at the time), it seemed important to try to help her. So,
undaunted by the task, regardless of the outcome, I proceeded
logically, one step at a time. Today, with more experience and a
modest net worth I wouldn't want to have to defend in a lawsuit, and
at age 55. possessing no spare five to ten years to give to the
State to "pay" for my bravery, I would probably refuse such a case.
Fortunately I have not been confronted with this problem lately.
Since Ethyl was unable to digest anything given by mouth, she was
fed rectally with wheat grass juice implants three times a day. She
was carried to the colonic table for a daily colonic. Wheat grass
and clay poultices were applied to her tumors three times a day. She
received an acupressure massage and reflexology treatments during
the day, plus a lot of tender loving care. This program continued
for a month during which the tumors were being reabsorbed by the
body, including the large, extremely hard tumor sticking out the
flesh of the right breast.
Ethyl complained of severe pain as the large tumor in her breast
shrank. While it had been getting larger and pressing ever harder on
all the nerves, she had little or no sensation, but as it shrank,
the nerves were reactivated. Most people think that a growing tumor
would cause more pain than a shrinking one. Often the opposite is
true. Pain can be a good sign that the body is winning, an indicator
By the second month, Ethyl, gradually gaining strength, was able to
take wheat grass and carrot juice orally, and gradually eased into
raw foods, mostly sprouts and leafy greens such as sunflower and
buckwheat greens grown in trays. She started to walk with assistance
up and down the halls, no longer experiencing the intense pain
formerly caused by a failing heart, and most surprising of all, her
eyesight returned, at first seeing only outlines, and then details.
The third month Ethyl enlarged her food intake to include raw foods
as well as the carrot and wheat grass juice and sprouts, plus
vitamin and mineral supplements to help support her immune system
and the healing process. All the tumors had been reabsorbed by her
body and were no longer visible, her heart was able to support
normal activity such as walking, and nonstrenuous household chores,
and her diabetes had corrected itself to the point that she no
longer required insulin and was able to control her blood sugar with
Her husband was then instructed in her maintenance and they went
home to continue the program. The last I heard from them they had
made two lengthy trips around the US in their RV and were enjoying
their retirement together after all.
My treatment worked because the most important factor in the healing
of the critically ill person is not give them more nourishment than
their body is able to process. The moment the digestive capacity of
the sick person is exceeded, the condition will be exacerbated and
in a critically illness, the person is likely to die. If the body
still has sufficient organ integrity and vital force to heal itself,
it will do so only if given the least possible nourishment that will
support life--provided no essential organs are hopelessly damaged. If
the liver and kidneys are functional, and the person has done some
previous dietary improvement and/or cleansing, success is likely,
especially if the person wants to live.
A person in critical condition does not have time to ease into
fasting by first spending a month or two on a raw foods diet. This
means that the person who is taking care of the critically ill
person must be experienced enough to adjust the intensity of the
body's healing efforts and accurately assess the ability of the
person to process toxic waste products clamoring for removal so the
ailing body is not drowned in it's own poisons. It is often
necessary to use clear vegetable broth, vegetable and wheat grass
juices, and fruits juices, or whole sprouts to slow down the
cleansing gradient and sometimes, to resupply the tissue's exhausted
I wish all cases of critical illness had such a positive outcome as
Ethyl's, but unfortunately they don't. I had Marge on the same
program at the same time. She also had cancerous tumors all over her
body and had similarly been sent home to die. In some ways Marge's
body was a more likely candidate for survival than Ethyl's. Marge
did not have heart failure or diabetes and was still able on arrival
to at least take small amount of water orally and walk to the
bathroom. Put on a similar program, her tumors also shrunk and were
reabsorbed and she too went home.
But Marge did not really have a strong reason to live. Although her
husband was by her side throughout the treatment program, Marge was
deeply upset because she was estranged from one of her sons who she
had not seen for over 10 years. When she went home from Great Oaks,
the son finally consented to see his mother, went to the effort of
trying to work things out with her, and finally confessed that under
it all he still loved her.
At that point Marge died in peace. She had accomplished the last
thing she wanted to take care of and her will to live did not extend
beyond that point. Had she died several months earlier as predicted
by the medical profession, Marge would have been unable to resolve
this relationship. This was what Marge's life was pivoting on at the
end. I was glad to assist her in doing what she needed to do. Her
husband and other family members found it difficult to understand,
and they were hurt that Marge did not wish to continue her life with
Next: Diet For The Chronically Ill
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