Natural Hygiene

Natural Hygiene is an extremely effective system of achieving overall human health and happiness. The name comes from two words: Natural - in harmony with Nature, and Hygiene - the science of excellent health.

Natural Hygiene recognizes that the human body is a fully self-sufficient organism that is self-directing, self-constructing, self-preserving and self-healing; and that it is capable of maintaining itself in superb functioning order, completely free of disease, if its basic needs are properly met.

Natural Hygiene is the only systematic and logical study of what it takes for people to achieve health and excellence in the many different spheres of life. Through discerning observation and careful study of nature, and of mankind's harmonious place in it, Natural Hygiene has come to encompass all that serves to support and encourage health and personal growth for everyone.

Natural Hygiene teaches us to trust ourselves and our bodies, to observe the body and its vital signs, and to a live simple, natural lifestyle to recover from disease and to maintain health. The focus is on the factors of health - water, food, sunshine, sleep, exercise, etc. - that will enable you to truly get well; to reach and maintain a high state of health. Our bodies can heal themselves, if we learn how to cooperate with it properly. Self-study and self-reliance is encouraged.

“The underlying basis of Natural Hygiene is that the body is self-cleansing, self-healing and self-maintaining. Natural Hygiene is based on the idea that all the healing power of the universe is within the human body; that nature is always correct and can not be improved upon. We experience problems of health (i.e. excess weight, pain, stress, disease) only when we break the natural laws of life.”
- Harvey Diamond, Fit for Life, 1985

Some History of Natural Hygiene

In the early 1800's many medical doctors both in Europe and America were critical of the medical practices common at the time. Various alternative methods of health care were proposed and attempted. One particular system of natural-oriented care in the USA got the name Hygiene.

“Hygiene represents a return to that pristine mode of living that emerged with man when he first appeared on the earth; it is a revival of something precious that had been all but lost during the course of ages...” H. Shelton, 1968.

Sylvester Graham sought to revolutionize the diet and health practices of the country in the 1830s and 1840s. He taught the benefits of vegetarianism when the American diet was based largely on meat and white bread as fruit and vegetables were not considered nutritious. He became a well known and controversial lecturer on what became know as the Grahamite philosophy. His views on food led to riots in Boston. He lectured in New York City in 1832 on the Hygienic means of preventing and treating cholera. Phenomenal results were achieved for cholera patients in applying the simple Hygienic rules for all acute disease: rest in bed, stay warm and abstain from all food until health returns.

Herbert M. Shelton (1895–1985) was a prominent pacifist, Naturopathic Doctor, and champion of the original Natural Hygiene ideas from the 1830s to 1970s. Despite ongoing legal battles with the medical field throughout his career which led to lawsuits, financial ruin, fines, and imprisonment, he tirelessly devoted his entire life to the cause of Natural Hygiene.  He wrote many books and other teaching materials to bring Natural Hygiene to the public. He opened schools in Natural Hygiene and founded the American Society of Natural Hygienists. Shelton had many admirers, some saw him as a great inspirational leader and a natural healer. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have relied on Dr. Shelton's writing on fasting, and before the outbreak of World War II had invited Dr. Shelton to visit him in India. Ghandi had referred to Volume III of The Hygienic System throughout his fasting career.



Quotes from Herbert Shelton:

"We expect to see the sun rise and set, a seed to sprout and grow, water to run downhill, chemical reactions to take place, all in accord with exact law. We do not expect to gather grapes from rose bushes nor figs from thistles. Is there less reason to expect that man should obey the laws of his being? Shall we not expect him to have health in precise ratio to his obedience? Man is not in charge of his own destiny, despite his proud boasting to the contrary. He is still in the grip of natural processes; he is still subject to natural law."

"Since the time of Stahl (1600's) ... the healing power of nature ... has often been denied by medical theoreticians. ... Too many admissions of the intrinsic power of self-healing would prove incompatible with current orthodoxy, both in thought and practice. If the body heals itself, what need is there for cures?"

"The Hygienist wants to know the why and wherefore of each thing that he does; the devotee of drugging shuts his eyes and swallows his medicine. Whereas, in medicine, the patient must have confidence; in Hygiene, the first step towards health is that of enlightening the mind."

"Hygienic means health preserving. Practically, it implies the observance of the laws of life."

"Hygienists have no secret compound to offer, no panacea to sell at a dollar a bottle and no wonder drugs to produce health in spite of the existence of every reason in the earth why health should not exist. They can only point to the laws of nature, by obedience to which we are able to attain and maintain the most glorious health.”

"We tend towards health as far as we and others become aware of the evils that exist. But if my neighbor poisons the air with the fumes of tobacco, if he pollutes the water with the exhaust from his factory, if he radiates evil wherever he goes, he makes me suffer with him. There is a unity in the race that makes the crimes of one man rebound to the hurt of another."

"The full Hygienic life must await that broader social revolution that will liberate man from age-old slaveries ..."

T.C. Fry met Shelton in 1970 and carried the torch of Natural Hygiene until his death in 1996. He was a great educator, writer and health counselor who introduced many to Natural Hygiene. He used bulk mail to send millions of leaflets and publications across America. An eighth grade dropout, T. C. Fry was entirely self-taught, with Dr. Shelton's works as his foundation. He had overcome many long standing health problems through Natural Hygiene and with devoted fervor made it his calling to spread the message. He usually worked for little or no compensation, and what profits he did earn went back into the printing and mailing out his literature to health seekers. Among T.C. Fry's enterprises were a hygienic fasting center in Texas, his Healthful Living magazine which flourished in the 1980s to the tune of 30,000 subscribers at its peak.

T. C. Fry's greatest contribution was the 108-lesson Life Science/Natural Hygiene course he masterminded in 1982. The T.I. Essential Natural Hygiene Course is distilled from these writings. Among his students were "Fit for Life" authors Marilyn and Harvey Diamond, and the world-renowned motivational teacher author, Anthony Robbins. Fit for Life, published in 1985, became the all-time best seller in diet and nutrition in history and made "Natural Hygiene" a recognized term across America and around the world.