Posted by: colegrove | Sunday 28 December 2008

Ancient Health

plate-of-raw-foodNew Year’s Resolution

I firmly believe that the more healthy one eats, and the more healthy one lives in other ways, is one of the keys to happiness in this world.  I have made a New Year’s resolution.  The first one I have ever made.  I want January to be a month of working more raw foods into my diet.  I have just read Norman W. Walker’s Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body? A chapter in there reminded me the importance to having a large percentage of one’s diet consisting of live foods; foods that still contain enzymes.  Hopefully in the next few months I will have more to say as I continue to read the works of Norman W. Walker, Paul C. Bragg, Gabriel Cousens (Conscious Eating was something I got this Christmas), and David Wolfe.

That aside… I wanted to rant on about the interesting fact that the Ancient world, many millennia ago, may have been smarter than the average school child is taught. Specifically I want to talk about health, since that’s what my mind is geared into right now.

No)

Did primitive man create this? (Hint: No)

Ancient Man

I have just been pondering some amazing aspects of ancient mankind.  Traditional history and science would say that humankind has evolved from ape to primitive cavemen to medieval numb-skulls to today’s “enlightened” modern man.  That our knowledge and intelligence far outweighs our ancestors.   It is true that today, as compared to Medieval Europe, “many…go back and forth, and knowledge [has] increase[d]” [Daniel], but I sometimes wonder if we are only re-discovering what the ancient world knew?

Take the great strides in knowledge of diet, health, medicine, sanitation, and the like, that continue to impress wellness on us today.  It has brought about the end (at least for the last few decades, and mostly in Europe and America) of major epidemics that used to be a constant trouble.  More people are living normal life-spans (70-80 years), and infant mortality is down  (Although, my wife and I just watched The Business of Being Born, a documentary that showed that America actually has the worst infant mortality rate in the industrialized world – because of other reasons however).  Yes, it’s true, the advancements of last 100 plus years have brought a light to a world of darkness when it comes to health.

Back to the point I was trying to get to – that in the ancient world, there may have been darkness in some areas – cave men – but in other areas the light of knowledge was shining, just as it does today.  We are just rediscovering that light.  I want to spend a few moments going through some interesting verses from the Bible dealing with this rediscovered light.

dnaKnowledge of cellular DNA – 3,000 Years Ago!

This may be a stretch, but the Author of Psalm 139, King David, may have knew more about biology than we give him credit for.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”  -Psalm 139:16

This verse seems to take into account the now well-known fact that even the cells in the womb, though not completely a full grown infant at first, still contain all that is needed (the DNA) that makes who we are physically.  They may not have used phrases like “sugar/phosphate human cellular DNA-helix tapes”, but the principle is still there, even if it’s not the purpose of what David is saying.  And that was 3,000 years ago!

rawfood_1Advanced Dietary Guidelines – Plants: the Power of Nature’s Nutrients

As I was speaking of diet at the beginning of this ramble, the Bible has a lot to say about Dietetic Principles that contribute to health.  It has only been in the last 70 years or so that mainstream science has come to the conclusion that fruits, nuts, and green vegetables are the most important sources for what our body needs to sustain good health.   Researchers have come out saying that a woman who eats 7 servings of vegetables per day cuts her risk of Breast Cancer in half!  Take the first real mention of what the Torah says that God gave manking to eat originally:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:29-30

Speaking of “bearing seed”, in raw seeds and kernels there is an amazing storehouse of nutrition. Many believe that the nitrilosides in some fruits seeds are active cancer preventer’s.

zodiac-pig-picHealthy and Unhealthy meats

Elsewhere the Scriptures of the Jews, the Muslims, and the Christians it mentions types of meats that are “clean” and “unclean”; ones that are allowed and those that are not allowed by custom to eat. According to most, after the Great Worldwide flood, mankind was allowed to eat certain types of animals. It is clear from Genesis 1:29-30 and also the first chapter of Daniel that plant-based foods are the most nutritious and ideal food for mankind, but a change happened to allow meat. In the Torah, this happened in Genesis 9. Daniel chapter 1 compares and contrasts the ability of a plant-based diet to bring greater health than that of one that focuses on meats as the main staple.

See Leviticus chapter 11 for details on the types that are clean and unclean. A note on shellfish: Shrimp and other shellfish are bottom-feeders. They eat all the dirt, grime, and contaminants from other sea life and other wastes that collect on the ocean floor. One reason so many people seem to have “allergies” to shellfish is most likely the fact that they are not meant to be eaten, as they are toxic to the body. A note on pigs: even in the wild, they are known to wallow and eat their own dung.

Some scholars have thought these dietary laws were simply either ritual, or that they just represented being clean before God. While this may be quite true, another underlying reason may be that those foods that are listed as “unclean” actually can harm an individual’s health. This was one more way that the God of these faiths protected their followers from disease.

E Coli

E Coli

Contaminated Food

Take Deuteronomy 14:21,

Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

Obviously in one context here, it is speaking of God making his followers peculiar people who are set apart unto Him. However, it also, even today, can refer to this: if one eats a diseased animal, depending on the reason is died or was diseased, its flesh that is consumed by us can spread that same sickness that it got sick of that lead to its death. Even if the creature that died had passed on from natural causes, the carcass could have parasites that may have swarmed to it. This guideline is still important to the meat industry today. At least we all hope so.

And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings… And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof…Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.” – Leviticus 7:14, 19, 26-27

Unclean also encompasses literal un-cleanliness. Think about contaminated meat with Salmonella or E-Coli bacteria. Food poisoning can be dangerous even today. One real purpose of all this seems to be a spiritual principle: keeping one’s temple (body) clean.

Victims of the Black Death

Victims of the Black Death

Quarantine

The first years of the Black Death, which originally struck 1347-1351, killed off over half of Europe’s population – some say nearly two-thirds of it. It’s significant that it wasn’t until the quarantine practices laid out in the Bible were put into place in towns that the plagues of these Dark Ages were brought under control. For centuries Europeans had access to the Scriptures, but the devastation shows just how often they read them. It’s no wonder, for during the time known as the “Dark Ages” (c. 400-c. 1500) the light of knowledge had been dimmer in the world than it ever has been. It was during this time that the Bible was banned from the common people. True, not many could read it, but during the 1100’s thru even into the early 1900’s in some parts of the ‘civilized’ world, to have a Bible in the common language was heresy by Roman Catholicism. Even friars had a severe lack to understanding of the Bible’s text. If they had read Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 earlier, many millions may not have died of the plague.

washSanitation and the Practice of Hygiene

The plagues of Europe continued on and off well into the late 1700’s. One issue that helped abate the spread was washing and cleaning and proper disposal of wastes. The practice of sanitation, washing ones hands, clean ways to “relieve one’s self”, were all contained in the Bible as well. This is in stark contrast to Medieval Europe, where people would chuck the contents of their bed pans out the window into the street, where flies and rodents would spread it back into the houses and bacteria and viruses would be carried by air back into the windows. This is most likely how the Plague always began. Read what we know now, that was re-discovered since the Medieval times:

He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean. And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.” – Numbers 19:11-16, in reference to washing up after touching dead bodies

In reference to how to dispose of bodily wastes, the ancients knew quite a lot:

Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.” – Deuteronomy 23:12-14

There are many more references throughout Leviticus chapters 13, 14, and 15. Interesting that the Hebrews had these guidelines, when the cultures around them, were dark in ignorance.  For example Ancient Egyptian remedies sometimes actually call for the dung of certain animals in their concoctions.

ignaz-semmelweisKnowledge of Germs

Many societies of the ancient world knew of germs, even if only indirectly. For some reason, the loss of knowledge of basic necessities such as hand-washing was lost. As recently as the late 1840’s people had long forgotten why such silly Biblical laws such as hand-washing were important.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, an assistant at an Austrian hospital, noticed that the rate mortality rate in delivery rooms at the hospital were far greater than those women who were delivered by midwives as opposed to med students. He found that the medical students would come straight up to the maternity wards from doing autopsies. Hmmm… Reminiscent of the verses on not touching dead bodies, eh? Well, Dr. Semmelweis suggested they wash their hands before delivering babies. Once he implemented hand-washing, mortality dropped to 1%! Nevertheless, he was ridiculed and reports say, fired for his recommendations that all wash up. Today we take it for granted that doctors know to wash their hands. Thank goodness.

Antisepsis and Sterilization

Here it is shown that people 3400 years ago knew about sterilizing things to kill germs by heating anything that could be safely heated.

And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD commanded Moses; Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.” – Numbers 31:21-23; elsewhere in Leviticus 13 & 14 it mentions this as well.

hyssopus_officinalisWas Penicillin Known to the Ancient World?

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:7.

Centuries before Pasteur, people used certain herbs for their anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-biotic purposes. Just because we give modern names like “Penicillin” to them, doesn’t make us much smarter. Hyssop was one herb that contains penicillin as an active ingredient.

…the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” – Ezekiel 47:12

Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.” – 2 Kings 4:34

Circumcision

Though the Hebrews and other cultures of the Near East practiced circumcision, it’s interesting the Hebrews always did this rite on the 8th day after the child was born. Only in 20th century medicine do we know that we see the reason for it

Lemongrass Tea

being practiced on that very specific day. Recent “discoveries show that a newborn baby has a bleeding tendency, until 5 to 7 days a clotting agent, Vitamin K, is manufactured. The 8th day is the day when another clotting element, Prothrombin, is at its highest level in a human’s entire life – 110% of normal!” [Dead Men’s Secret’s, Jonathan Gray]. Somehow there was some kind of advanced knowledge to know exactly what day to have this circumcision rite!

Please, now that I have ranted, I need more people to tell me what they think of each rant!! Comment me!!  And goodnight, it’s awfully late.  Now, after I finish this Lemongrass Tea, I shall go to bed.

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Responses

  1. hellow, i am noe silva, and i want to learn how make the raw food, do you have courses or books? thanks.

  2. Wow. That was honestly the most enjoyable post/read that i have seen in a long time. An excellent piece of work and many thanks for your efforts.

  3. Very interesting! Thank you:)

  4. If they were really smart, they would just stop cutting up their kids’ penises and there wouldn’t be any bleeding whatsoever.

    • It is a controversial issue for some. I recommend learning the health benefits at http://www.circinfo.net/health-benefits-and-reviews.html.

      Though the article briefly mentions circumcision, the article I posted was not meant to be about circumcision. Its just one point in a long chain of amazing health knowledge some people had that was ahead of their time.

      Here is according to WebMD:

      What are the benefits of circumcision?

      There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including:

      * A decreased risk of urinary tract infections.
      * A reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men.
      * Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.
      * Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
      * Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location).

      Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.


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