Chickenpox & Measles by Dr Bieler (Food Is Your Best Medicine)


The measles germ, now thought to be a virus thrives on a mucus exudate found in the upper respiratory tract. It may assume epidemic proportions, depending upon the concentration of the toxic waste products being eliminated vicariously through the mucous membranes. Symptoms in the following order appear: First, malaise and fatigue, which indicate liver toxemia; then fever, which is the result of the liver's attempt to oxidize the poison. Next, there are symptoms of a violent cold, with nasal discharges and cough; finally, the skin rash appears. After the liver has failed to oxidize all of the toxins, the thyroid gland helps as a third line of defense, eliminating the poisons through the inside skin or mucous membrane as an irritating catarrhal exudate, and through the outside skin as a rash. If the mucous membrane of the eye (conjuctiva) is involved, redness and photophobia result.

    Sick children seldom cat (sick animals also refuse food), but occasionally they do or are forced to. Complications often follow. Please do not force food on a sick child.

    How to treat measles? It is best treated as a severe cold. Baths or sponges help to reduce fever by enhancing elimination through the skin. Enemas carry away catarrhal bowel excretions as well as toxic bile eliminated by the liver, and should be given once or twice daily during the course of the disease. Nothing at all should be given by mouth except cracked ice, if desired. Later, diluted fruit juices for thirst as long as fever is present. Twenty-four hours after restoration of normal temperature, cooked non-starchy vegetables and cooked and raw fruit may be added. Two or three days later, when the rash has entirely disappeared, normal diet may be resumed.

    It is dangerous to give aspirin or similar anti-pyretic drugs, since they only paralyze the nerve endings, offer a false sense of security and increase the liver toxemia. Other drugs, used to suppress the catarrh or the skin rash, tend to drive the toxins inward and damage internal organs. As the child needs physical rest, bed rest, so do his mucous membranes, skin, liver and kidneys need chemical rest, and this is effected only through fasting.

    It is my belief that measles heads the list of the diseases of childhood which are the result of starch and sugar toxemia. Whooping cough, croup, pneumonia, meningitis, influenza, sinusitis accompanied by a heavy nasal discharge, pink eye, bronchitis and asthma are members of the same group. The natural antidote consists of diluted fruit juices, such as apple, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya and guava.

    A large group of childhood diseases originate, I feel, from protein acids, hereditary or aquired. These acids are not eliminated via the mucous membranes, but through the lymphatic system, which touches the mucous membranes in the nose and throat, such as tonsils and small island patches of lymphatic tissue. Diseases of the tonsils, pharynx, adenoids, middle ear and mastoid, and diphtheria, polio, typhoid, rheumatism and rheumatic heart disease all come from protein acid intoxication. While milk is the best protein for the growing child, please remember that when, besides being pasteurized, it is boiled, dried and powdered, frozen as ice cream or soured, fortified with synthetic vitamins, or mixed with chocolate syrup, it is unfit for food. I cannot stress this too strongly. All of these milk products putrefy in the child's intestine and give rise to harmful protein acids.


The most common acute disease of childhood which results from a fat toxemia is chicken pox, a highly contagious disease--hardly any children escape it. I believe it to be due to the elimination of toxic fat or fatty acids through the hair fat glands, which is the natural food of a virus. The chemical burn from the excretory products of this microorganism causes the characteristic blister of this disease. Smallpox and diphtheria, now both very rare, have long since been cleaned up by the sanitary engineers.

    The medical treatment of childhood diseases can be classified under two headings: anti-pyretic and stimulant. In treatment by anti-pyretics, aspirin tops the list of favorites. Aspirin is related to carbolic acid. Over a hundred years ago, a drop of carbolic acid on a lump of sugar was taken for relief of pain, headache or fever.

    Aspirin is the German chemists' highest synthetic realization. It is a phenol (carbolic acid) derivative, with all the chemical qualities of phenol but without the deadly effect of carbolic acid. If the urine is tested after taking aspirin, a positive test for phenol is present. Aspirin, like phenol, deadens the nerve endings, thereby masking pain. Headache, fatigue or indisposition diminish. Aspirin also diminishes the fever by partially blocking the thyroid and the adrenal glands. But the phenol derivatives interfere with the proper function of the liver and damage liver cells. The use of aspirin, then, is an attempt to drive out one devil (disease toxins) by admitting another devil!

    Fever in a child is a frightening symptom to the mother. Just what is the function of fever? Is it a harmful process, something to suppress and worry about? Or is it the body I s attempt to burn up a poison, thereby helping to dispose of it more quickly?

    In the diseases of childhood, fever begins in the liver. In a very strong, robust child, with properly functioning endocrine glands, the toxin is often completely consumed in the liver. The child does not feel sick or have pain; it just has a fever and if the liver area is carefully palpated, it can be noted that there is an elevation of temperature over that organ. In fact, if the temperature under the tongue is 105 degrees, the internal temperature of the liver may be as high as 110 degrees. But if the liver is unable to oxidize completely the poisons of disease so that some leak through into the blood stream, then, under the action of the endocrine glands, the poisons seek vicarious outlets via the mucous membranes. This may be through the upper respiratory tract, in the form of flu, sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and possibly even pneumonia, which is a complicated kind of bronchitis. All through this process, the whole power of the liver is diverted into neutralizing the toxic wastes of disease, as evidenced by the fever.

    The liver is much too busy to be bothered with the task of the digestion of food. Great strain can be taken off that organ if no food is given. While the fire is burning, nature does not want food. That is why animals and many children refuse food when disease is present. Not only does fasting lower the temperature, relieve the distress and facilitate elimination, but it also lessens the strain on the liver and prevents serious complications, such as middle-ear disease, mastoiditis and meningitis.

    My own observations over half a century of active practice have taught me that the fast (on cracked ice, diluted fruit or vegetable juices) should be continued for twenty-four hours after the temperature has returned to normal.

    A good rule to remember is that the bowel can be cleared of toxins (by physic or enemas) in twenty-four hours; the blood in three days; the liver in five days, providing no food is eaten.

    It appears then, that fever, dreaded because misunderstood, is really nature's attempt to help. It never does harm; never is attended with serious after-effects and never should be suppressed with drugs or fed with food. I have seen many a case of flu pushed into a pneumonia because some anxious grandmother insisted upon something "to give the child strength," such as chicken broth or a thin starchy gruel, both liquids, of course, but protein and starch--just what the liver cannot handle at this point.

    The second classification of treatment of childhood diseases comes under the heading of stimulants--chemical whips which accelerate the action of the thyroid and adrenal glands. In earlier days Abraham Jacobi, considered the father of pediatrics, used as much as a pint of whiskey a day for a child suffering from an attack of pneumonia. It was his chief stimulating drug. Today the sulfas, antibiotics and steroid drugs are the popular glandular whips. And though it may be hard to believe, their aftereffects are distinctly more harmful than Jacobi's alcohol, which the body was able to burn and eliminate quickly. Stimulating an exhausted body by means of drugs is just as nonsensical as whipping a tired horse to make it work. It is far safer to rest the animal, put it in pasture (where it will feed on clean, high-vitamin food) and give it a chance to build up its strength.

    There are no miracles, no short cuts, in medicine. Nature does her work in a slow, methodical way, as a tree grows. Man's attempt to hurry the process too often ends in disaster.