by Dr. Bernard Jensen
When the iris reveals bowel disturbances, and when
there are other clear indications of bowel problems from other diagnostic
methods, the health practitioner is faced with one of the most common,
serious and difficult situations to correct.
In fifty years of sanitarium practice, I have had the opportunity to work
with over 350,000 patients. Of all these people, not one of them was free
from some form of bowel mismanagement.
All sick people have bowel trouble. All sick people are tired, worn out
and toxin laden. I can't think of any better, more effective way to stay
healthy and avoid sickness and disease than to do what is necessary to
take good care of the bowels.
In working with a patient, I spend the major part of the time in an effort
to get the bowels back into proper functioning condition. Without this
prerequisite, all other therapies, treatments, vitamins or other aids fall
far short of their potential good. Proper bowel function is an essential
precondition for staying healthy, and if ill, to overcome sickness and disease.
The "sewer system" must work properly or the body remains soaking in its own
putrid waste, encouraging disease processes and forever eluding health-building
and vitality-producing forces.
Over the years, the idea has taken hold that we need not pay any attention to
the bowel. "Leave it alone and it will I take care of itself. It is dirty and
not nice to talk about." Nothing could be further from the truth. This attitude
has promoted a misconception about bowel function and hygiene that is now having
serious consequences across our land. Many people are in bowel trouble. I don't
know anyone who doesn't have bowel disturbances and could not benefit from having
better bowel function.
Degenerative conditions of the colon are rapidly gaining in frequency, intensity
and severity. At the turn of the century, diverticulitis was unknown. It is the
uncommon condition in natives of Africa, for instance. Today, it is increasingly
common and deadly in our civilization. Cancer of the colon is now taking over
I,000,000 lives a year. We have an army of colon specialists, colonic irrigators
and surgeons. Laxative sales are booming as thousands of tons of colon stimulators
are being consumed to force under active bowels to function. Constipation is so
common that, for many people, it is a way of life.
At the source of all these troubles is a faulty and mismanaged dietary intake that
is the direct consequence of the way we are now growing and marketing the food
supply. Food quality has been sacrificed to quantity, ability to be harvested
mechanically, long shelf life and, most of all, to selfish indulgence in profit
taking following destructive and devitalizing chemical processing. The result is
foodless food promoted and bought and sold at the expense of the health and vitality
of the American public.
When the body's sewer backs up, every cell feels the result in the form of an
encumbering accumulation of toxic waste. The body begins to sink into a morass of
failing health that is the immediate result of our greatest health enemy
It is becoming increasingly clear that bowel troubles have a reflex effect upon
specific organs in the body.
For example, Sir Arbuthnot Lane, who was a surgeon for the King of England, spent
many years specializing in bowel problems. He was an expert at removing sections
of the bowel and stitching it back together. He taught this work to other doctors
and gained an international reputation for his efficiency. During the years of
this work, he began to notice a peculiar phenomenon. During the course of recovery
from colonic surgery, some of his patients experienced remarkable cures of diseases
that had no apparent connection with his surgery.
For instance, a young boy, who had arthritis for many years, was in a wheelchair
at the time of surgery. Six months later, this boy had recovered entirely from
Another case involved a woman with a goiter. When a specific section of the bowel
was removed in surgery, there ensued a definite remission of the goiter within six
These and similar experiences impressed him so much because he saw the relationship
between the toxic bowel and the functioning of various organs in the body. After
much thought about this relationship, he became very interested in changing the bowel
through dietetic methods and spent the last 25 years of his life teaching people how
to care for the bowel through nutrition and not surgery.
Sir Lane has said, "All maladies are due to the lack of certain food principles, such
as mineral salts or vitamins, or to the absence of the nor al defenses of the body,
such as the natural protective flora. When this occurs, toxic bacteria invade the
lower alimentary canal, and the poisons thus generated pollute the bloodstream and
gradually deteriorate and destroy every tissue, gland and organ of the body."
I am absolutely sure that what Dr. Lane discovered through his surgical explorations
is indeed an accurate description of how the bowel functions in relation to the other
organs in the body. We know that every organ and tissue is dependent upon the healthy
well-being of every other organ and tissue in order for there to be total well-being.
When one tissue or organ fails, it affects the whole body. If there is faulty
functioning in the bowel, this deficiency is passed along to the rest of the body.
We could call this the intestinal domino effect. We literally poison ourselves into
illness in this manner. Many years of productive life are stolen as the body slowly
succumbs to a subtle, cumulative under activity.
At the Battle Creek Sanitarium, I heard Dr. John Harvey Kellogg say he knew of many
cases in which operations were prevented by cleansing and revitalizing the bowel.
He maintained that 90% of the diseases of civilization are due to improper functioning
of the colon.
Sir Arbuthnot Lane (MD) of London has shown the relation between bowel stasis and
disease. He left no doubt as to how seriously he regarded the effects of intestinal
intoxication when he said, "The lower end of the intestine is of the size that requires
emptying every six hours, but by habit, we retain its contents twenty four hours.
The result is ulcers and cancer.
Besides these world-renowned exponents of intestinal sanitation, other authorities
have given recognition to the belief that cleanliness of the colon is necessary to
good health. It is believed that disorders such as appendicitis, infected tonsils,
liver and gallbladder infections, dysfunction of the heart and blood vessels, sinusitis,
arthritis and rheumatism, etc., no doubt have their origin in a sluggish colon.
There is also an increasing number of morbid conditions in the various parts of the
colon, involving the flexures, the rectum and the anus. Consider the amount of surgery
and various therapies for hemorrhoids, fistulas, prostate disturbances and malignancies.
Recently, Dr. Denis P. Burkitt has been lecturing to surgeons around the world about
his 20 years of experience with East African natives. A surgeon himself, who has been
honored with discovering Burkitt's Lymphoma, Burkitt has been emphasizing the role of
indigestible fiber, specifically bran, as a preventative of such major diseases as
appendicitis, diabetes, hernias and colonic polyps. The surgeons he has been lecturing
to have been, by and large, uninformed about the quality of food people consume. At
first skeptical, his audiences have become impressed with his scientific findings.
Burkitt shows that the contrast between diets including indigestible grain fiber, and
those replacing it with a low residue diet high in refined flours and sugars, is
dramatically illustrated by studying Africans and Westerners. Appendicitis and major
colon diseases are almost totally absent in primitive African regions, but as these
natives move to more developed countries, these diseases rapidly increase.
Burkitt has discovered that the intestinal transit time for evacuation of feces varies
from 35 hours in the Bantu consuming coarse grain fiber to 77-100 hours in the Englishman
who lacks it. Burkitt appears to be following Sir Arbuthnot Lane's footsteps with these
Long ago, Lane pointed out that the longer cells languish in waste evacuations and toxins,
the more enfeebled and degenerative they become. Along with slowed transit due to absence
of fiber, the increased use of white bread and white sugar have altered the bacterial
nature of intestinal flora. In consequence, intestinal pressure increases along with
colon diseases. Everyone should avoid white flour and sugar and include bran in the
daily diet. Many of the major diseases troubling modern society could be prevented in
In an effort to discover the most effective method of restoring proper bowel function,
I have traveled all over the world, asking questions and tracking down any good ideas or
methods. I have been working out many ways of coping with this problem. In the last few
years, my colleagues and I have developed a system of bowel cleansing treatment that has
given consistently good results. We have seen amazingly positive affirmations of what
detoxification of the colon can do.
Dr. Alexis Carrell Experiments
In 1911, living tissue cells were successfully grown on microscope
slides for the first time by Dr. Alexis Carrell of the Rockefeller Institute. Receiving
the Nobel Prize for this and his other research work, Dr. Carrell was able to keep
tissue cells alive through daily nutritious feedings.
By washing away the tissue evacuations, the cells grew and thrived; however, he found
that if the evacuations were left for three days, the cells became languid and feeble.
If left longer than three days, the tissue cells died. In spite of daily feedings,
moderate saturation of the tissue cells by their digestive evacuations resulted in lowered
vitality. Prolonged unsanitary conditions brought consequential death to the cells.
An infective process and constipation are associated with stagnation of the contents of
the large bowel. As matter collects and stagnates, an excessive number of microorganisms,
which normally tend to assume an unusually virulent type, begin to permeate and infect
the wall of the bowel. These, and other more dangerous microorganisms that may develop
in the decomposed material, cause irritation and inflammation of the mucus membranes,
resulting in painful spasms of the muscle wall. This inflammatory process readily affects
the appendix, which is part of the lymphatic system. Inflammation of the appendix is one
of the first serious effects of constipation.
Escaping the large bowel, via the ileocecal valve, these microorganisms readily enter
the small intestine, rapidly growing in this sterile environment. As the level of
infectious material in the small intestines rise, the bloodstream and lymphatic system
pick up a proportionately larger amount of microorganisms and noxious matter, more than
the liver is able to control.
Consequently, the circulatory system delivers this contaminated blood to every cell in
the body, irritating the tissue cells of the kidneys where the toxins and poisons are
eliminated. The surface membrane lining of the bladder is also irritated by contact with
the toxic material.
Chronic and degenerative conditions are the inevitable results.
In order to stimulate the tissues required to deal with these waste by-products, the
thyroid and other ductless glands become overactive. The thyroid gland, which regulates
the functions of the body, frequently becomes enlarged because of the unusual demands
this low-grade infection produces, and the tissue cells of the thyroid undergo various
stages of degeneration.
Just as in Dr. Carrell's experiment with living tissue cells, the tissue cells of the
human body, if supplied with impure blood, result in lowered vitality and resisting power.
Disease and degeneration begin to flourish in tissue cells that are invaded and affected
by the insidious behavior of microorganisms and their poisonous toxins.
Medical autopsies have occasionally revealed colons over 9 inches in diameter with no
more than a pencil's width opening for fecal elimination.
Old, decayed accumulations of years and years of putrid body waste materials had
encrusted the colon wall. Could this backed-up sewer material be the primary cause
of disease and illness in the body?
With the encrustation and old mucus lining removed, the cellular functions begin to
return and the body is on its way to renewed health and vitality. This process is vividly
seen in the following pictures as healing begins and chronic conditions are reversed as
we proclaim in correcting practically all body ailments.
The following clipping is from the Daily News Service, 1981:
"A new study by University of San Francisco medical researchers
has revived a turn-of-the-century idea that toxic substances produced in the bowel
can have damaging health effects. The study's findings also support recent suggestions
of a link between a diet high in fat and low in fiber and an increased risk of developing
breast cancer. The study of 1481 non-nursing women showed that those who are severely
constipated tend to have abnormal cells in the fluid extracted from their breasts.
Such cells have been found in women with breast cancer and, the researchers suggested,
may indicate that the women face an increased risk of developing cancer. The cellular
abnormalities occurred five times as often in women who moved their bowels fewer than
three times a week than in women who did so more than once a day."
Chronic constipation is often the result of a diet high in protein,
fat and refined carbohydrates (sugars and refined flour) but low in such fibrous foods
as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
See Also: Intestinal Health