Chapter 6 - Good Medicine: The History of the Milk Cure
The idea that fresh milk has the ability to promote good health and is helpful when used in the treatment of some illnesses spans many centuries and cultures. "The milk cure" as some called it in recent history became popular with Russian and German physicians in the mid 1800s. A book called The Milk Cure was first published in Moscow by Dr. Inozemtseff and cited the treatment of over one thousand cases utilizing the exclusive use of raw milk in the diet. This book was later translated into English by Phillip Karell, MD who also claimed to have successfully treated hundreds of cases of asthma, neuralgia, liver diseases, and "conditions of faulty nutrition."
The chapter defines three different meanings of the word cure and the usage of this term in the 19th and early 20th Century. The word "cure" usually referred to a course of prescribed treatment. A treatment which could alleviate symptoms while a proper diet and lifestyle were adhered to.
Three different American doctors, A.S. Donkin, Weir Mitchell, and Charles Sanford Porter, all of which advocated the use of a milk diet, are cited in this chapter. Individual people who successfully lived healthy lives while living exclusively on a milk diet are also noted. This diet was recommended for individuals suffering from diabetes, Bright's disease, gastric disturbances, and obesity by Professor James Tyson in his article in the June 1884 Journal of the American Medical Association.
A section of chapter six touches on the importance in utilizing raw and fermented foods, such as yogurt or kefir, rich in enzymes and beneficial bacteria to combat digestive problems.
J.E. Crewe, MD and one of the founders of the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota published an article in 1929 entitled "Raw Milk Cures Many Diseases." Several parts of the article are quoted in this section, the last of which says, "When sick people are limited to a diet containing an excess of vitamins and all the elements necessary to growth and maintenance, they recover rapidly without the use of drugs and without bringing to bear all the complicated weapons of modern medicine. The treatment of various diseases over a period of eighteen years with a practically exclusive milk diet has convinced me personally that the most important single factor in the cause of disease and the resistance to disease is food. I have seen so many instances of the rapid and marked response to this form of treatment that nothing could make me believe this is not so."
The last section of chapter six covers the importance of grass feeding and enzymes. Bernarr McFadden and his 1923 book The Miracle of the Milk is mentioned along with Dr. Edward Howell born in 1898. Dr. Howell, in 1985, wrote in his book Enzyme Nutrition: "To ignore the health intangibles is inexcusable for anyone concerned with human well-being. The full impact of these intangibles can only be appreciated when a comparison is made between the favorable health benefits of raw milk noted by Dr. Sanford and his predecessors dating back to the time of Hippocrates, and the negative values of today's pasteurized milk. No one would expect health benefits from an exclusive pasteurized milk diet. It has no medical sponsors or curative value. Medical enthusiasm for milk as a therapeutic agent suffered an abrupt ending with the advent of pasteurization, and its killing of milk enzymes. An important conclusion emerges from studying the long history of milk as food and medicine: When one takes enzymes away from milk, it loses some of its health value and most of its curative properties. The virtue of effective foods resides in their possession of all the nutritional factors nature gave them. The status raw milk gained as a remedy for chronic diseases throughout hundreds of years vanished with the coming of pasteurized milk."
Chapter seven, "Enzymes Essential to life" continues with Dr. Francis Pottenger and his famous cat studies along with more details about Dr. Howell's work involving food enzymes and raw foods.