By Bernarr Macfadden
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an Acres U.S.A. title, The Miracle of Milk, by Bernarr Macfadden. Copyright 2011, softcover, 118 pages. Normal price: $12.95.
One of the most outstanding effects of the full milk diet is the marvelous effect the ingestion of this large amount of fluid has upon the circulation. This is most important, from the standpoint of normal functioning. For many people suffering from chronic diseases are troubled with defective circulation of the blood. Their blood pressure is 30 or 40 degrees below or above what it should be. This condition may manifest itself by cold feet, cold hands, constant chilliness, susceptibility to colds, and numerous other symptoms.
These are the cases that respond very rapidly to the effects of the full milk diet. This is due to the improved circulation and to the increased amount of life-giving fluid in the veins and capillaries. Often within a few hours after commencing the diet their pulse rate will be increased when very low. Inside of 48 hours the heartbeat has frequently gained four or five beats to the minute. The pulse will be full and vigorous and the blood will flow to every cell and tissue in the body with increased force.
The dry, scaly character of the skin will disappear and instead there will be a healthy moistness and glow in its surfaces. The colorless, leathery skin covered with pimples and eruptions becomes rosy and clear, and free from unsightly blemishes.
The prolonged baths taken as part of the treatment, as will be described later, assist in softening up the harsh outer layers of dead skin and facilitating their removal. Perspiration is increased and the pores of the skin are stimulated to throw off dead material that might otherwise accumulate in the deeper tissues of the skin and in the deeper, more vital organs of the body.
Not infrequently when patients first begin the milk diet they will awaken from sleep completely bathed in perspiration — sometimes of a most offensive character. This is not due to any weakness or to a thinning of the blood, as some patients fear, and as occurs in the night sweats of the consumptive, but is due to increased activity of the circulation and increased power of the sweat glands to rid the system of poisonous materials. Often the sweat will be found to have a very unpleasant odor, and that of rheumatic patients will not infrequently have a strong odor of urea.
The large accumulations of water materials when the skin is frictioned, as in massage, prove conclusively the health-giving benefit of this treatment. Even the nails share with the skin in the obvious benefits of the milk diet — their rigid roughness giving way to a smooth, normal condition, showing the improvement in the purity of the blood and the increased alkalinity of the body fluids. All this, remember, while the patient may be perfectly quiet in his room or even while lying in bed, such is the deep effect of a full milk diet.
The benefits of this improvement in the circulation must be conceded by every medical man, for there is nothing in their entire armamentarium of drugs, exercise, massage, baths, oxygen inhalation, electric treatment, or blood transfusion can equal the natural physiological increase in blood circulation that is brought about as a result of increasing the amount of circulatory fluid in the veins and arteries of these debilitated patients.
Also, milk contains leucocyte cells, not unlike the white blood corpuscles of our own blood. There can be little doubt but that these are absorbed into the circulation, to reinforce the white cells already in the blood stream in overcoming disease germs that may have gained entrance through the respiratory passages, or been absorbed from the stomach or bowels into the blood stream.
After the first feeding of milk these cells have been known to increase from five to six times their usual number in a given amount of blood.
Since the various mineral elements, tissue-building elements, and leucocytes are absorbed in considerable numbers, it is easy to account for the rapid subsiding of inflammation, and for the rapid repairing of wounds and injuries, when the full milk diet is supplied.
There is no doubt but that the nutrient material in the milk can be absorbed directly into the lacteal vessels of the intestines, from which it can be taken up at once by the blood.
It is a fact that milk is secreted directly from the blood, and that its serum, or fluid portion, is practically identical with blood serum.
The fat droplets of the milk, it is certain, can be absorbed and utilized at once to become a part of the fatty portion of the blood.
The milk sugar (the carbohydrate portion of the milk) can be absorbed and assimilated without undergoing any further process of digestion (after coagulation) — some maintaining that milk can be completely absorbed from the colon, when given as a nutrient enema. Also, there is a small proportion of fibrin, or coagulating element in milk, identical with that found in the blood. This partially explains why one is less liable to severe hemorrhages after a regular, systematic milk diet.
Therefore, it is obvious that no other dietary article so adequately fills the growth and health requirements of the body as does milk, and that no other dietetic regime can compare in simplicity and yet in effectiveness with the full milk diet.
It is highly probably that if the 5 million American boys and girls whom the Federal Department of Labor reports as suffering from malnutrition in its various forms could only have the proper amount of milk, given in the proper way, their malnutritive condition would be a thing of the past, and abounding health and vitality would replace their present lamentable health deficiency.
In fact, so convinced am I of the value of milk, both as a food and as a medicine, that I am willing to go on record as stating my belief that, without a doubt, 90 percent of all the malnutrition among children everywhere could be cured if 2 quarts of milk a day were supplied to each child. I heartily agree with Dr. Graham Lusk when he states that no family of five can afford to purchase a pound of meat until it has first bought at least 3 quarts of milk.
This is a lesson every man, woman and child in this country should take to heart. It would mean an increase of millions of work-hours, and a longer, healthier and happier life for everybody, if they did.
But when these physical abnormalities have developed or begun to develop, in adult or child, feel assured that the diet that would have been effective in preventing illness and in maintaining health will be effective as a curative agent when taken correctly, after proper preparation, and with the proper adjuncts, as will be described in a later chapter.
Born on August 16, 1868, Macfadden was a small, weak child who lost both his alcoholic father and his sickly mother by the time he was 11. When he overheard a relative predict that he would never live to be an adult, he was spurred to strengthen his constitution and became increasingly fascinated with exercise and a diet of fresh, nutritious foods. He wrote several books on the subject, and when no publisher would accept them, launched his own company to print and distribute them. His first magazine publication, Physical Culture,was launched in 1899 and quickly became a success, with monthly sales of 100,000 by 1903. Macfadden also became a crusader for physical health, opening spa-like hotels and communities at several locations before 1941. Although he did not live to his predicted 150 years, his overcoming of his sickly childhood predisposition and subsequent climb from poverty to power and wealth were nothing short of extraordinary.