The Cause & Cure For All Disease
                                                        By: Mario Bello


                                              This article is essentially a tribute to a man that I
                                               believe revolutionized our understanding of how
                                               our body functions and how to optimize our health.

Dr. Herbert M. Shelton PhD, N.D., D.C., resurrected an historic but dying
healthcare philosophy that basically advocates a natural approach to
strengthening the body’s immune system to combat germs and disease.



Herbert M. Shelton, 1895-1985

His prolific in-depth writing about the Natural Hygienic movement, which he
helped to re-establish in the early part of the twentieth century, clarified and
revived a healthcare practice that was slowly being marginalized by the more
popular medical profession.

I discovered the compelling and fascinating books written by Shelton over 30
years ago.  

Any serious researcher on the subject of health will inevitably come across
the controversial and copious writings of Dr. Herbert M. Shelton.  

Although at times I find his writing to be a bit contentious and angry toward
his adversaries in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, nevertheless he
does offer the definitive truth on the subject of healthcare.  

Perhaps his bitterness toward medicinal doctors is the result of numerous
court battles he was forced to endure when pharmaceutical companies and
physicians dispensing their products turned their lawyers against him for
supposedly violating New York’s Medical Practice Act:  
"Treating and offering
to treat a human being without a state medical license".

Shelton’s radical hands-off natural approach to healthcare was a major
departure from conventional medical practice.

In the 1920’s New York officials were requested to place Dr. Shelton under
arrest and bring him to a Manhattan courtroom.

The pharmaceutical industry wanted to stop him from practicing and teaching
his drug-free Natural Hygienic methodology for recuperating and attaining

The medical profession convinced legislatures that their approach to
healthcare was the only true method of treating people and all other practices
should be considered a violation of the law.  

Shelton professed that drugs and medication of any type, with the exception
of anesthetics for surgery, did more harm than good and were a severe
impediment to recovering perfect health.  

Shelton in his own defense spoke out to the court of public opinion.

He said:

“What is a medicine?

The body wants and can make use of only such substances as it can
assimilate and use as food.

There are no substances that can be so used in disease that cannot be used in

This is to say; anything that is to be used remediably must bear a normal or
physiological relation to the living organism and must be useful and needed in
a state of health.

Can a logical reason be provided why a person should swallow or permit to be
sent into his blood and tissues by injection, a nauseous, noxious substance
because he is sick?

It is everywhere admitted that drugs are poisons, that they are always poisons
to persons in health.

All of us are very careful to exclude them from our food and drink; we are well
aware that if we take them into the body while we are well, we will become sick
as a consequence.

What person would dare to take an ordinary dose of penicillin, streptomycin or
cortisone while in health?

Yet, let him become sick and he swallows them, not only without fear, but as
the essential condition of safety and recovery.

It should be obvious that there is a terrible delusion abroad on this subject.

When the public learns the truth, it will see the absurdity of talking about the
physiological influence of drugs on the human body and will understand that
no drug can have a physiological effect or influence.

Its influence is always and invariably pathological and that no man who
understands the nature of disease or the so-called modus operandi of drugs
will ever apply the term physiological to any disease-causing substance.

Then the public will abandon the nonsensical and frankly contradictory facts of
the medical profession and the practices built thereon.”   Shelton

Whether the medical profession’s primary interest was protecting the public
from a potentially dangerous charlatan or concern about the sale of
prescription drugs plummeting is unclear.

They obviously wanted to discredit and stop this unorthodox advocate of
medication-free perfect health, before the nation started embracing his ideas
and perhaps jeopardizing their business.  

Shelton was found guilty of practicing without a medical license and forced to
serve 30 days at Rikers Island Prison, where he fasted for health reasons and
caught up on his writing.

Shelton was not discouraged and actually felt emboldened by the intimidation
directed against him from what he believed were businessmen trying to
suppress competition and free speech.  

He knew he was right and thought his jail sentence was outrageous and

Shelton’s court appearance reminded him of when Galileo was forced to
stand trail and deny the truth of his written words and recant his claim that the
earth rotated around the sun.  

                                                         Trial of Galileo

The church insisted that God made Earth, and not the Sun, the center of the

A few years before Galileo’s trial the Roman inquisition had astronomer
Giordano Bruno publicly burned at the stake in 1600 for saying that the sun
was the center of the universe.  

Bruno had violated church doctrine and embraced Copernicus’ heliocentric
theory that the earth orbited the sun.

Galileo knew he would either have to lie about his notes on celestial
observations or be condemned to a fiery death like Bruno.  

Because of Galileo's popularity he was spared execution and sentenced to
house arrest for life.  

Suppression of new ideas or refusal to accept the truth for one reason or
another has been a characteristic of the human race for centuries.

Doctor Shelton knew unequivocally that the truth would eventually prevail and
the hygienic philosophy would be accepted as the conventional science for

He had no illusions about the difficulty of his task but took sustenance from
innovative thinkers like Columbus, Galileo and Darwin who also had trouble
convincing people of the truth and accuracy of their position but were
ultimately vindicated.  Shelton said:

“The vital truths of Natural Hygiene will be accepted as certainly as was the
truth that the earth is round and not flat and that the earth turns on its axis and
that the sun does not go around the earth.

The principles of Hygiene are perhaps as representative of our modern era as
the theories of Copernicus and Galileo were of their own time.

We need not be discouraged, although we may be excused our impatience with
the slowness of progress.”   Shelton

The irony of the charge against Shelton, practicing without a medical license,
was that he treated his patients naturally, giving them only pure water, never
prescribing medication and always adamantly preaching against their use,
which is undoubtedly what infuriated the pharmaceutical industry.  

The subpoenas and attorney harassment continued throughout the rest of his
life, by those who believed that medication and preventive vaccinations were
the only solutions for dealing with illness and combating disease.

Fortunately for mankind they were never able to stop the good natured
resilient Dr. Shelton from saying exactly what he wanted to say through
lectures, articles, numerous books and radio broadcasts.

Shelton was an obstinate, feisty, conscientious, inexhaustible writer and an
excellent public motivational speaker.  

He believed he had the absolute truth on his side and he was not about to
allow what he thought were a group of legal drug promoters with pecuniary
interests, and a different healthcare philosophy from his, silence him.  

Not in America, not even if they raised an army of lawyers to build a wall of
legal barriers could they stop him from conveying the mountain of knowledge
he accumulated from studying the subject of healthcare since he was a young

Shelton was bursting at the seams ready to communicate and practice all that
he had learned from a lifetime dedicated to studying the human anatomy.

His wide range of reading was comprehensive; he absorbed books from
anthropology to zoology to better understand the dietary evolution of the
human primate.

He read extensively about healthcare practitioners from the earliest Greek
physician, Hippocrates, to the founders of the Mayo Clinic and modern day

Shelton amassed a huge library consisting of rare books from all over the
world on the subject of health.  

His acquired knowledge and philosophy on the topic of healthcare would not
be silenced or suppressed no matter how many times his opponents brought
him to court.

He was ready to stand up for his first amendment rights voice his opinions
and let the public decide for themselves.

The insightful truisms resonating throughout Shelton’s countless articles and
books astound and captivate the reader’s attention.  

When Shelton is not admonishing his antagonists, he substantiates his
natural healthcare advice patiently, scientifically, logically and at times

He makes it very difficult to dispute the recommendations he espouses for
achieving perfect health.  

He is not trying to sell his audience some type of carnival magic elixir or herbal
vitamin mineral supplement that will restore their health.  

Shelton is offering an education in natural solutions for illness.  

Shelton gives this explanation:

“Hygienists have no secret compound to offer, no panacea to sell at a dollar a
bottle and no wonder drugs to produce health.  

They can only point to the laws of nature, by obedience to which we are able to
attain and maintain the most glorious health.”   Shelton

He is essentially in pursuit of intellectual knowledge and honest evaluation to
prove his position.

He is essentially in pursuit of intellectual knowledge and honest evaluation to
prove his position.  

Shelton was, of course, also concerned about protecting his reputation from
unfounded smear tactics.   

Basically he strongly believed in the virtue of helping others restore and
maintain their health naturally without resorting to unnecessary surgery,
harmful radiation or toxic chemotherapy prescriptions.

Dr. Herbert Shelton was an energetic young man and ready to take on the

Like Don Quixote the dreamer he sets out on an impossible quest to joust with
the drug purveyors and bring truth to the people.

                                                         Herbert M. Shelton

He decided to leave the hassles of New York City and move his clinic to San
Antonio,Texas, his home State, where he was brought up by devoted
Christian parents, who made sure he studied his Bible, which is probably why
Shelton frequently quotes pertinent sensible medical advice from the
scriptures to further emphasize his point.

Shelton was feeling confined in the overcrowded urban environment of NYC
and was longing to return to his roots and rural country life.  He said:

“I was born on a farm in a small Texas town and I had spent practically all of
my life in the open.

The woods and prairie had been my background.

All the Back to Nature people seemed to live in Chicago and New York.  I went
to both these two cities. I was amazed at the advocates of back to nature.

I said of them, after watching for a few months: they go back to nature for three
days and back to the city for life."   Shelton

                             Dr. Shelton’s Health Clinic, San Antonio, Texas

Upon returning to Texas he immediately began practicing in San Antonio
where he achieved extraordinarily results, successfully treating thousands of
patients with chronic illness by carefully following his Natural Laws of Health.

                                              Natural Hygienic Laws

Shelton would continue using the term Natural Hygiene as a description of his

He was a student of ancient Greece and thought the mythological goddess
Hygeia was the perfect symbol for the natural science of healthcare.  

He decided to use a painting of Hygeia’s image on the cover of every issue of
his monthly magazine
Hygienic Review.

                                   Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review Magazine

The Greek goddess, Hygeia, was the daughter of the god of Health, Asclepius
who was the son of Apollo.  

While her father Asclepius, was celebrated for Healing the sick, Hygeia was
more associated with the Prevention of disease and personified the epitome
of physical and mental health.  


The phenomenal success Shelton was having at his new clinic did not
surprise him.  

He was confident he could accomplish predictable beneficial results by
following what he learned from the experience of the early drug-free

Shelton incorporated the vegetarian diet and natural health laws established
by hygienic doctors more than a century ago, and through his endless study
discovered new laws pertaining to Fasting that allowed his patients to recover
more efficiently.  

                             Fasting Can Save Your Life, By: Herbert M. Shelton

Shelton says:

Nobody thought that Hygiene had burst forth in full flower with no errors to be
corrected and no further developments to be made.”   Shelton

In the interest of full disclosure I must admit that like all writers I inevitably
bring a certain amount of bias to the subject whatever it might be.  

But in the interest of Truth I give the reader my assurance that I will not allow
my partiality to interfere with my sincere search for the facts wherever it may
take us.

I will also try to avoid rubber-stamping what scientists have to say without
verifying their statements.  

Too many newspapers, magazines and media news outlets simply print or
broadcast whatever press release doctors give them without ever checking
the accuracy of their claims.  

I am not always impressed with credentialed experts and will not allow
diploma authority to be my truth, but instead I will let truth be my authority.  

As Shelton wrote each month on the cover of his magazine the

“Let us have the Truth though the heavens may fall”.

I will also try to refrain from calling every doctor and author who agrees with
Shelton, a genius in his field, and try to judge their position solely on the
merits and common sense logic of their argument.

My personal journey toward understanding the secrets of healthful living and
ultimately a vegan lifestyle began about 30 years ago when I was filming a
travelogue in East Africa for Kodak.  

My former wife and I spent about 2 years in the region visiting the beautiful
National Parks and the magnificent wildlife tourist lodges.

I was brought up in a typical large Italian family in the Bronx.  Like most
American families we had enormous gastronomical feasts during the holidays
and a daily menu of sumptuous omnivorous meals throughout the rest of the

So subsisting on a vegetarian diet was never a consideration for me.  I loved
my omnivorous way of life and had no intention of ever deviating from that

However, one day while filming in Tanzania I had this sudden “bleeding-heart”
epiphany that I no longer desired to eat animals.

I was filming the Wildebeest and Zebra migration on the Serengeti Plains and
getting some nice close up shots of baby Zebras and their family.
These magnificent animals can run like the wind when they suspect danger.  

The Serengeti is an expansive endless Wildlife range, and to avoid making
the Zebras nervous and frightening them off, we drove very slowly following
a comfortable distance behind as they meandered and grazed.
Gradually they grew accustomed to our Land Rover and they no longer
bolted every time we attempted to get a little closer.
When you spend an entire day pursuing these beautiful striped horses and
get close enough to look into their inquisitive brown eyes through the lens of
a camera, an intimacy and respect begins to develop.  

These powerful sociable mammals are very similar to the American Wild
The strongest mature Stallions gather together their small harem of Mares
and approximately 340 days later the Mares give birth to a Foal.
It was an exhilarating experience, driving on the vast undulating African
plains in the midst of a sea of endless diverse Wildlife.  

We started our photo game drive at sunrise and the sun was slowly moving
toward the horizon.  

It was a long, hot, but productive filming day.  

We had to wear shirts with long sleeves and wrap a bandana around our
face for protection from the thousands of flies swarming around the open
roof hatch of our Land Rover.  
We were persistently brushing off massive amounts of flying insects that
seem to follow the colossal herd.

The closer you get to the bulk of the herd the more intense the fly

Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed being out on this pristine huge open
Savannah and getting very close to large numbers of free roaming wildlife.
When we finally got back to the comfort of the lodge in time for dinner, to our
astonishment they had Zebra Steak on the menu.
Serengeti Plains
I could not bring myself to eat the lovable equine creatures I was just
photographing and admiring.  

It would be like violating and betraying the newly formed friendship and trust
I just established with these very special animals, less than an hour ago.
This incident over 30 years ago was the influential mechanism that
precipitated my sudden epiphany and fundamentally changed my lifestyle
and eating habits.

At times adhering to a vegan diet can be a social inconvenience, but overall,
the long-term effects of this physiological change and ethical awakening
have had a very positive affect on my emotional and physical well-being.

So, what was this meat eating, dairy consuming, egg aficionado, typical
American male supposed to eat now that I was giving up what I thought
were essential proteins?  See:
Recipe Section.

So began a lifelong methodical search for nutritional advice and

My hope in writing this article is to clearly convey and summarize the
incredible life-saving information Shelton has given to the world.  

I hope the reader will keep an open mind and try to enjoy this amazing and
extremely rewarding journey toward understanding and obtaining ideal

After years of reading tons of inconsistent mediocre opinions from so-called
nutritional experts and medical professionals offering confusing and
conflicting advice on what constitutes a healthy diet, my quest eventually led
me to the inspiring work of Dr. Herbert M. Shelton.

The discovery of Dr. Shelton’s books and his incontrovertible, scientifically
supported, natural rules for attaining optimum health, was for me, better than
finding a treasure chest filled with Spanish Gold Doubloons.  Well maybe?  
It all depends upon the value we are willing to place on learning the secrets to
staying healthy and preventing disease without medication?  

From my perspective being healthy and physically active is a priceless asset.  

Good health can certainly be more valuable than gold, especially if we are
chronically ill and suffering in pain.  

If we cannot restore our failing health with gold then what good is it?  

The lessons I have learned from 30 years of reading the experiences of
countless professional practitioners and knowledgeable authors has made
me understand one important fact; that I am indisputably in charge of my own

I no longer believe that I am at the mercy of happenstance or “deadly” germs.  

I now understand the inter-connective parts of my anatomy and how to avoid
over stressing vital internal organs.  

Only when I adhere to the laws of nature will my body reward me by
functioning like a well-tuned Ferrari.

Shelton adds:

“One of the first fallacies that the Hygienist had to overcome was the belief that
life was subject to chance or to the whims of a capricious Providence and was
not governed or controlled like all else in nature, by immutable law.

The laws of life and health were not taught in the medical schools of the past
as, indeed, they are not taught in the medical schools of the present.

It was no easy task to bring the conception of law and order to the people and
it was not uncommon to denounce Hygienists as infidels because of their
insistence upon the reign of law in the realm of life.”  Shelton
An individual does not have to be wealthy to afford the finest healthcare in
the world.  

The best healthcare is attainable without spending a fortune in gold to
obtain it.  

Optimum health is achievable free of charge simply by following the Natural
Laws of Health, a discovery made over a century ago and proven to be as
true as Newton’s Law of Gravity.

Although this article is basically a tribute to Dr. Shelton, it is not intended as
a complete biography of his personal and professional life.

Rather I am attempting to put together the basic principles of his philosophy
and bring a fresh look to the subject of Disease, its Causes, and Treatments.  

Dr. Shelton is merely the principle player in this treatise, since among his
piers he was the most respected and prolific writer on the subject of natural
hygiene and I think perhaps the best informed and the most successful
practitioner in the field.   

I intend to present not only Dr. Shelton’s various points of view but also the
opinion of his detractors  and to fully debate all sides of the issue.
Let us begin our exciting exploration for the truth and see if we can
determine which scientific philosophy offers the best approach to perfect

Essentially the basic difference between the two main opposing camps is
whether to medicate or not to medicate?  

In essence the subject of how professional healthcare providers treat illness
and prevent disease is an issue involving life and death consequences for
those following their advice.

This article is not meant to be a cultist deification of Shelton but rather an
expression of admiration and awe for a well-educated intellectual
compassionate humanitarian.  

Shelton was a pacifist like his hero Henry David Thoreau and named his
second son Walden in honor of the American icon’s literary masterpiece
and wilderness Pond retreat.
Henry David Thoreau
Like Thoreau, who was imprisoned for refusing to pay his taxes as a protest
against the Mexican-American War, Shelton went to jail in 1917 for civil
disobedience when he protested the draft for World War I.  

In 1956 Shelton was nominated as a third party candidate for President of the
United States at the American Vegetarian Party convention in New York.

For me this article is a tribute to a man who has humbled me with his vast
scientific knowledge and superb writing skills.

His reassuring sage advice is like having an inspirational mentor by your
side carefully guiding you toward total understanding of how to avoid illness
and maintain a strong healthy happy body.  

I have acquired this respect and esteem for Shelton after spending many
years reading his hundreds of articles and over 30 books, learning a
multitude of discerning revelations.  

Following his learned advice has always produced predictable positive
results for me whenever my body broke down because I violated one or two
of nature’s rules for preventing and avoiding illness.

I realize it will take some time to overcome the prevalent chemotherapy and
radiation philosophy of today’s medical profession, but I believe it is
inevitable that Shelton will be recognized as one of the towering giants
advancing human knowledge in the field of healthcare.  Shelton said:

“We are not to despair of the ultimate triumph of truth, for truth is a part of the
universe and must prevail.”

Personally I believe he should be inducted into the pantheon of great
thinkers to honor his incredible written body of work and the scientific life-
saving advice he has given to the world.  

In my estimation Shelton will eventually replace Louis Pasteur and Jonas
Salk in the hallowed halls of free independent thinkers, when the obvious
truth is finally accepted that the germ theory of disease and drug intervention
to cure disease is not only completely wrong, but dangerous.

The reader will have to make the final determination as to which of these
dueling philosophies has the truth on their side?  

Whether Shelton should be venerated as a hero of science or castigated as a
well-meaning but misguided quack?

A brief history of the Hygienic movement may help put this heated dispute
between these contradictory healthcare factions into proper perspective.  

Paraphrasing the words of that illustrious actress Bette Davis:

“Fasten your seat belts its going to be a bumpy ride”.
Shelton was obviously standing on the shoulders of the early 19th century
Natural Hygienic pioneers when he began to write about his remarkable
healthcare discoveries.

Through constant hard work and continuous research Shelton made
significant contributions to the laws of physiology.  

He developed a greater scientific understanding of fasting and the predictable
cleansing effect it has on the human anatomy during a detoxification crisis.  

Shelton was enormously influenced by the early Hygiene innovators; he was
very impressed with their originality and their courage to break away from the
drug treatment practice they were taught in medical school.
Isaac Jennings, MD
Russell T. Trall, MD
Sylvester Graham
John Tilden, MD
In the mid 1800’s there were some medical doctors scattered throughout
Europe who shunned drugs as a treatment for illness.

In Britain, Andrew Combe, M.D., and William Lamb, M.D, guided their patients
toward natural healing without medication, but they never gained a large
following or rallied their colleagues to organize into a solid movement.

Basically the revolution of Natural Hygienics was predominantly an
American phenomenon.

The movement took solid root in America only because a handful of
determined hygienic doctors collaborated and established a national
organization to promote their drugless philosophy.  

The movement took solid root in America only because a handful of
determined hygienic doctors collaborated and established a national
organization to promote their drugless philosophy.  

It is fair to say however, that the natural hygienists in America in the mid 19th
century were in essence organizing as a response against new
controversial ideas being advocated by European scientists.  

They rejected the philosophy of Louis Pasteur, who was promoting and
exporting to the United States his germ theory of disease and the use of
chemical intervention to kill the germs causing disease.  
Louis Pasteur
With the advent of more powerful microscopes the bacteriologist and germ
hunters were quickly establishing new medical rules.
It was determined that there was a specific germ for a specific disease and a
drug or a poison had to be found to destroy the germ that was causing the
illness and harming the patient.  

This still remains the dominant theory and practice of modern day medicine.

Isaac Jennings, M.D., is considered the founder of the Natural Hygienic
Movement in America.  

Jennings was a traditional medical doctor practicing in the state of
Connecticut in the early part of the 19th century.
Isaac Jennings, M.D. 1788 - 1874
Jennings was educated as a physician at Yale University.

After spending 20 years as a medical doctor, bleeding and drugging his
patients, he was growing very skeptical of these procedures.