Arthritis and Folk Medicine

About The Usefulness of Iodine

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Arthritis and Folk Medicine
Dr. Jarvis' Unpublished Notebook
-147 hand written pages of advice to correspondents-
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Increasing of the Bacterial Content of the Body
Dr. D. C. Jarvis

ONE SPRING my farmer friend planted peas and oats his six-acre field which had been created by fencing it off  with electrified wire. Since it was a new field there were no bushes or trees growing around the edge. It was fertilized with hen  manure, which I had learned by testing would make very alkaline anything that grew in the soil.

During the summer my friend planned to turn his herd of fifty-four dairy cows into this field, with the expectation that a great deal of milk would be produced. I asked if  I  might have the privilege of extracting the juices from the peas and oats and testing their reaction before he turned the herd loose. With no bushes or trees at hand it was certain the cows would eat only the oats and peas.

When I extracted the juices I found them alkaline in reaction, as I had expected, and consequently exactly opposite to what dairy cows sought when they were on pasture, obeying their natural instincts. I asked myself whether the die: of alkaline vegetation would so change the chemistry in the cows' bodies that their tissues would become suitable soil for the growth of harmful germs. Further, I wondered whether the alkaline diet would produce swelling of one or more quarters of the udder in cows with sensitive udders, and produce streptococci germs in the milk.

If these things happened, the indication for treatment, according to Vermont folk medicine, would be to shift the chemistry of the cows' bodies by frequent doses of apple cider vinegar, and to give the cows iodine in the form of Lugol's solution of iodine, which every druggist carries in stock.

At the time the herd was turned into the field all the cows in it were free from mastitis in their udders, and no apple cider vinegar was being used in their feed at the time. But soon, as a result of eating the alkaline peas and oats, seventeen of the fifty-four cows promptly developed mastitis.

On July 5th the bacteriologist at the local creamery reported that the milk delivered there from the herd showed the presence of streptococci germs. The farmer thought a change in pasture, where the cows could get acid vegetation, would clear up the mastitis. It did, in all but eight cows. A bacteriological examination of the milk from these cows showed the presence of streptococci in proportions ranging all the way from one-quarter to the entire udder.

On July 15th, ten days after mastitis was first discovered, the eight remaining afflicted cows were kept in the barn so they could be treated. The first treatment indication was to shift the body chemistry of each of these cows so their tissues would no longer be suitable soil for streptococci germs to grow.

The second treatment was to give each cow Lugol's solution of iodine. I had learned that three drops of iodine in two ounces of apple cider, poured over the ration of each cow, reduced the bacterial content of the pasteurized milk to such an extent that in one herd which had been given the treatment the owner was paid twenty-five cents more for each hundred pounds of milk because of the unusually low baccterial count.

Most of the iodine in a cow's body is held by the thyroid gland. Lugol's solution enables this gland to reduce the virulence of micro-organisms, and eventually to destroy harmful germs every time the blood passes through the gland. Iodine is absorbed so rapidly that the concentration of it in the blood rises to a peak in ninety minutes.

In cows, iodine appears in the milk. Iodine in the blood and iodine eliminated from the cow's body in the milk makes it difficult for streptococci germs to remain.

After we had taken the first two steps in treating the cows there was still a third treatment: lowering the amount of protein intake, a customary procedure in mastitis. All three treatments were applied without delay so that the cows could be cured and returned to the herd as soon as possible.

A timetable for the first two treatments will indicate how they were carried out:

6 A.M. -Each cow was given six ounces of apple cider vinegar and six ounces of water by mouth from a bottle.

8 A.M:. -Each cow was given by mouth from a bottle a teaspoonful of Lugol's solution of iodine, plus six ounces of apple cider vinegar and six ounces of water.

10 A.M. -A repetition of the vinegar-and-water dose. 12 NOON-Repeat the dose of vinegar and water.
12 Noon- Repeat the dose of vinegar and water.
2 P.M. -A teaspoonful of iodine, and the same dose of vinegar and water.

4 P.M:. -Another dose of vinegar and water, same proportions. 7 P.M. -A final dose for the day of vinegar and water.
7 P.M.- A final dose for the day of vinegar and water.
In addition, two ounces of vinegar were poured over the ration of each cow at the twice daily feedings.

Treatment was begun on July 15th and continued. Every clay samples of milk from each affected quarter of the udder were examined by the creamery bacteriologist. On July 18th. after three days of this program, the bacteriologist reported that the milk from all eight cows was free from streptococci in all four quarters of each udder.

In this experiment the entire herd of fifty-four was first used as a group. Later, each cow that did not respond to a change in pasture served as an experimental animal. N utterly, the question we confronted was simply what had been done that should not have been done, and vice versa. How were the dairy cows in this herd forced to rebel against nature and desert the animal kingdom? I asked myself what lessons we could learn from this experiment that would help us to understand better how arthritis is produced, and how it might be made less severe and eventually controlled.

First, let us consider the error of commission. Obviously the soil in the field should not have been fertilized with hen manure, insuring that all the vegetation growing there would be alkaline and unsuitable for the cows.

If a dairy cow secretes enough acid in her digestive tract she may overcome the kind of alkaline reaction this herd accquired from eating the peas and oats and so may avoid mastitis. Some of the cows did just that. But if the acid secretion does not occur in a sufficient amount, then the COlV'S blood becomes more alkaline, with the result that her milk, which is modified blood, loses its normal weakly acid reaction and becomes alkaline. Consequently it is suitable soil for the growth of micro-organisms, and harmful germs make their appearance. In an increased alkaline reaction of the cow's blood calcium will be precipitated, which makes her meat tough and tasteless.

By limiting the food intake of the herd to alkaline reaction vegetation the cows had been forced temporarily to rebel against nature and desert the animal kingdom.

That brings us to the error of omission. Acid intake could have been increased by giving the herd vinegar with their feed for a week before turning them into a new pasture which had vegetation not proven safe. It would have been wise to add three drops of iodine to each two ounces of vinegar in the feed. In this way the cows could have been fortified against possible harm from the untried vegetation.

In brucellosis the abortion of calves is promptly stopped by pouring two ounces of apple cider vinegar containing three drops of iodine over the ration of pregnant cows at each feeding twice a day after the ration is placed in the trough. This shows the effect of iodine and vinegar upon harmful germs present in the blood.

The effect of iodine is also shown by a very low bacterial count of the milk. Because we want to eliminate streptococci germs from the milk we use iodine for its effect on both the blood and the milk.

What lesson, then, can we learn from all this that will help us to understand better how arthritis is produced, and how it may be made less severe? \Vell, we know that it is a valuable use of time to test the reaction of our food before it enters our mouths, to make a record of the reaction of each one so we can study it and use it for future reference. That study should teach us to eliminate foods that are found to be alkaline in reaction, otherwise we rebel against nature. \Ve need to remember that boiling water makes it alkaline in reaction, and this may change the reaction of food from what it was before it was boiled.

We should remember, too, that the human body is an acid-consuming, acid-manufacturing, and acid-eliminating machine, and that the blood is always alkaline because of the presence in it of sodium bicarbonate, commonly called baking soda. The blood may be more alkaline (hyperalkaline) or it may be less (hypoalkaline). The normal reaction is faintly alkaline.

There is a slight difference between the alkaline reaction of the blood that flows in the veins and in the arteries. Blood in the veins is a little less alkaline because it contains carbonic acid, resulting from cell activity, which it is carrying to the lungs. The blood in the arteries is a little more alkaline because the carbonic acid leaves the blood as it passes through the lungs.

The reaction of the blood remains remarkably constant in spite of the fact that the activity of the body cells is constantly adding acid to it. Cell activity produces carbonic acid, which produces blood acidity. Use of our muscles results in lactic acid, which also increases acidity as it enters the blood. Scientists estimate that in severe muscular activity lasting only a few minutes as much as ninety grams of lactic acid may be produced. In addition, sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid are the result of cell activity.

In spite of all the carbonic acid, lactic acid, sui ph uric acid, and phosphoric acid brought to the blood every day, it remains constantly alkaline in reaction. This is because of the constant pressure of sodium bicarbonate, and the ability of the lungs, kidneys, and skin to remove promptly from the blood any excess of acid that may be present.

'Vhen lactic acid, resulting from muscular activity, or phosphoric or sulphuric acid enter the blood they are met at once by the blood's sodium bicarbonate, which is alkaline in reaction. This alkaline sodium bicarbonate is the opposite of the acids represented by lactic, phosphoric, and sulphuric. The sodium bicarbonate converts these into weaker acids, and in this way the effect they would ordinarily have in raising the acidity of the blood is greatly weakened.

The acid chiefly added to the blood as the result of the food burning of body cells is carbonic. Any increase in blood acidity, like that resulting from cell activity, stimulates the breathing center and causes more rapid breathing, with an increased elimination of carbonic acid from the lungs. The kidneys also act as regulators of the balance between alkaline and acid elements in the blood. They play an important part in maintaining the normal alkaline-acid balance of the blood by removing from it any excess acid that may be present.

The skin is another helper in removing acid. When human sweat is produced in an amount sufficient to be collected, it is usually distinctly acid in reaction. This acidity is due mainly to lactic acid and volatile acids. The amount of carbonic acid given off from a man's skin during a twentyyfour-hour period varies greatly, but the amount is small unless there is marked sweating, in which case it is noticeably increased.

""Ve can thus readily appreciate that the daily job of the body is to get rid of the acid which results from muscle activity, and the burning of food. At the same time the body must also manufacture acid, and if it does not do so properly there is little work for the sodium bicarbonate in the blood to do in neutralizing acid. The result is that sodium bicarbonate increases in the blood, which then becomes more alkaline than it should.

As a result of this increase the urine becomes alkaline in reaction. The skin changes from its normal acid reaction to alkaline. Even the breath becomes less acid. In that way the stage is set for the appearance of sickness, because the disease producing germs grow on an alkaline soil.

Wheat foods, white sugar, milk as a beverage, muscle meats like beef, lamb, and pork, citrus fruits and their juices-all these raise the alkalinity of the blood in the majority of people I have observed in Vermont. This is shown by their ability to shift the urine reaction from acid to alkaline and to produce an alkaline skin reaction. 'Weather changes toward the cold side and emotional upsets also increase the alkalinity of the blood.

Once an individual understands that he gets sick because he has permitted his body to rebel against nature and become alkaline rather than acid, thus providing the soil for disease, he will shift his food selection. He will take two teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoonfuls of honey in a glass of water at each meal, and also eat sour

relishes at mealtime in order to lower the increased alkalinity of the blood, shift the urine, skin, and exhaled breath reaction to the acid side, and in doing so change the body soil so that it no longer is favorable for the development of sickness.

Every twenty-four hours the lungs get rid of the equivalent of twenty to forty liters of normal carbonic acid which, as it leaves, prevents the growth of micro-organisms capable of producing illness in the lungs and upper respiratory tract. In that same twenty~four-hour period the kidneys get rid of fifty to a hundred and fifty cubic centimeters of chloride, sulfate, and phosphate, which are all acid. This acid prevents the growth of harmful germs in the urinary tract.

In order to estimate whether the daily job of manufacturing acid by the body cells is properly done and whether there is work for the sodium bicarbonate in the blood to do, the reactions of the urine and skin are taken .

Urine reaction is measured in the morning, on rising, with the aid of nitrazine paper. Then the urine is acid in reaction the paper will turn various shades of yellow; when it is alkaline the paper will be blue. If the body cells are doing properly their daily job of manufacturing acid the kidneys will do their share in removing from the blood any excess acid that may be present, so that when the urine is acid in reaction it is evidence that the cells are working correctly.

But if the urine reaction is alkaline we can be sure the cells are not making enough acid to lower the sodium bicarbonate content of the blood, and that the blood is more alkaline than it should be normally. Since calcium is not held in solution in an alkaline medium, this suggests that free calcium is present in the blood to be deposited in blood vessel walls, bursae, and joints, and may also form stones in the kidney and bladder.

By taking two teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and two of honey in a glass of water several times every day this acid drink substitutes for the acid the body cells should make but do not. It may be taken on rising in the morning and at bedtime, or at a morning coffee break and at tea time in the afternoon. Another way is to take it during each meal.

The vinegar-and-honey drink lowers the sodium bicarbonate in the blood, and the urine reaction will serve as a guide as to how many times a day it should be taken.

I should warn you that it is not always easy to change the urine reaction from alkaline to the normal acid. The body seems to develop chemical habits in much the same manner as it does other habits. Often it takes time to change urine reaction, and it may be a month or six weeks before the alkaline reactions become fewer and the acid reactions increase. Sometimes an even longer period may be necessary. But the vinegar-and-honey treatment is the effort that must be made if we want to return to solution the calcium deposited in unusual places in the body.

In addition to urine reaction, skin reaction should also be taken. To do this, first test water from the cold tap with nitrazine paper. If the paper does not change color the water may be considered neutral in reaction and is suitable to use in taking skin reaction. Next, make an applicator by winding some absorbent cotton around one end of a toothpick. Dip this in the water from the cold tap and apply it to the skin three times so that it makes a wet place large enough to moisten the strip of nitrazine paper. Apply the strip and pat it into place with the unwound end of the toothpick. Allow it to remain in place until it is thoroughly moistened, then remove and examine the color. It will be yellow, showing that the skin is acid, or else some shade of blue, showing that it is alkaline.

If the skin is acid in reaction it demonstrates that it is doing its part in removing acid from the blood. If it is alkaline it shows that not enough acid is coming into the blood to lower its sodium bicarbonate. This is another indication that the vinegar-and-honey drink should be taken with every meal, or at other times during the day.
One note of warning to these tests: If the urine reaction is taken after eating food it will generally be alkaline.

Also by Dr. Jarvis
The Treatment of Arthritis