Health-Healing Health Studies Vegetable Diet - A System of Vegetable Cookery

Vegetable Diet - A System of Vegetable Cookery

Vegetable Diet - A System of Vegetable Cookery
Catalog # SKU3246
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name William A. Alcott
ISBN 10: 1610336062
ISBN 13: 9781610336062


Vegetable Diet

A System of
Vegetable Cookery

As Sanctioned By
Medical Men And By
Experience In All Ages

Large Print

William A. Alcott

The following volume embraces the testimony, direct or indirect, of more than a HUNDRED individuals-besides that of societies and communities-on the subject of vegetable diet. Most of this one hundred persons are, or were, persons of considerable distinction in society; and more than FIFTY of them were either medical men, or such as have made physiology, hygiene, anatomy, pathology, medicine, or surgery a leading or favorite study. -- Large Print 15 point font.



Twenty-three years ago, the present season, I was in the first stage of tuberculous consumption, and evidently advancing rapidly to the second. The most judicious physicians were consulted, and their advice at length followed. I commenced the practice of medicine, traveling chiefly on horseback; and, though unable to do but little at first, I soon gained strength enough to perform a moderate business, and to combine with it a little gardening and farming. At the time, or nearly at the time, of commencing the practice of medicine, I laid aside my feather bed, and slept on straw; and in December, of the same year, I abandoned spirits, and most kinds of stimulating food.

It was not, however, until nineteen years ago, the present season, that I abandoned all drinks but water, and all flesh, fish, and other highly stimulating and concentrated aliments, and confined myself to a diet of milk, fruits, and vegetables. In the meantime, the duties of my profession, and the nature of my studies led me to prosecute, more diligently than ever, a subject which I had been studying, more or less, from my very childhood-the laws of Human Health. Among other things, I collected facts on this subject from books which came in my way; so that when I went to Boston, in January, 1832, I had already obtained, from various writers, on materia medica, physiology, disease, and dietetics, quite a large parcel. The results of my reflections on these, and of my own observation and experience, were, in part-but in part only-developed in July, of the same year, in an anonymous pamphlet, entitled, "Rational View of the Spasmodic Cholera;" published by Messrs. Clapp & Hull, of Boston.

In the summer of 1833, the Boylston Medical Committee of Harvard University offered a prize of fifty dollars, or a gold medal of that value, to the author of the best dissertation on the following question: "What diet can be selected which will ensure the greatest health and strength to the laborer in the climate of New England-quality and quantity, and the time and manner of taking it, to be considered?" At first, I had thoughts of attempting an essay on the subject; for it seemed to me an important one. Circumstances, however, did not permit me to prosecute the undertaking; though I was excited by the question of the Boylston Medical Committee to renewed efforts to increase my stock of information and of facts.

In 1834, I accidentally learned that Dr. Milo L. North, a distinguished practitioner of medicine in Hartford, Connecticut, was pursuing a course of inquiry not unlike my own, and collecting facts and materials for a similar purpose. In correspondence with Dr. North, a proposition was made to unite our stock of materials; but nothing for the present was actually done. However, I agreed to furnish Dr. North with a statement of my own experience, and such other important facts as came within the range of my own observations; and a statement of my experience was subsequently intrusted to his care, as will be seen in its place, in the body of this work.

In February, 1835, Dr. North, in the prosecution of his efforts, addressed the following circular, or LETTER and QUESTIONS, to the editor of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, which were accordingly inserted in a subsequent number of that work. They were also published in the American Journal of Medical Science, of Philadelphia, and copied into numerous papers, so that they were pretty generally circulated throughout our country.

"To the Editor of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.

"SIR,-Reports not unfrequently reach us of certain individuals who have fallen victims to a prescribed course of regimen. Those persons are said, by gentlemen who are entitled to the fullest confidence, to have pertinaciously followed the course, till they reached a point of reduction from which there was no recovery. If these are facts, they ought to be collected and published. And I beg leave, through your Journal, to request my medical brethren, if they have been called to advise in such cases, that they will have the kindness to answer, briefly, the following interrogatories, by mail, as early as convenient. "Should the substance of their replies ever be embodied in a small volume, they will not only receive a copy and the thanks of the author, but will have the pleasure to know they are assisting in the settlement of a question of great interest to the country. If it should appear probable that their patient was laboring under a decline at the commencement of the change of diet, this ought, in candor, to be fully disclosed.

"It will be perceived, by the tenor of the questions, that they are designed to embrace not only unfortunate results of a change of diet, but such as are favorable. There are, in our community, considerable numbers who have entirely excluded animal food from their diet. It is exceedingly desirable that the results of such experiments, so difficult to be found in this land of plenty, should be ascertained and thrown before the profession and the community. Will physicians, then, have the kindness, if they know of any persons in their vicinity who have excluded animal food from their diet for a year or over, to lend them this number of the Journal, and ask them to forward to Milo L. North, Hartford, Connecticut, as early as convenient, the result of this change of diet on their health and constitution, in accordance with the following inquiries?

"1. Was your bodily strength either increased or diminished by excluding all animal food from your diet?

"2. Were the animal sensations, connected with the process of digestion, more-or less agreeable?

"3. Was the mind clearer; and could it continue a laborious investigation longer than when you subsisted on mixed diet?

"4. What constitutional infirmities were aggravated or removed?

"5. Had you fewer colds or other febrile attacks-or the reverse?

"6. What length of time, the trial?

"7. Was the change to a vegetable diet, in your case, preceded by the use of an uncommon proportion of animal food, or of high seasoning, or of stimulants?

"8. Was this change accompanied by a substitution of cold water for tea and coffee, during the experiment?

"9. Is a vegetable diet more-or less aperient than mixed?

"10. Do you believe, from your experience, that the health of either laborers or students would be promoted by the exclusion of animal food from their diet?

"11. Have you selected, from your own observation, any articles in the vegetable kingdom, as particularly healthy, or otherwise?

"N.B.-Short answers to these inquiries are all that is necessary; and as a copy of the latter is retained by the writer, it will be sufficient to refer to them numerically, without the trouble of transcribing each question.

"HARTFORD, February 25, 1835."

This circular, or letter, drew forth numerous replies from various parts of the United States, and chiefly from medical men. In the meantime, the prize of the Boylston Medical Committee was awarded to Luther V. Bell, M.D., of Derry, New Hampshire, and was published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, and elsewhere, and read with considerable interest.

264 pages - 8½ x 11 softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336062
ISBN-13: 9781610336062

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