Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management

Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management

by Bernard Dr. Jensen

Paperback(1190th ed.)

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Based on 60 years of patient studies, Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care gives you all the information you need to improve and monitor your gut health.  Inlcuding charts, photos, and Dr. Jensen's decades of expertise, this classic book provides specific dietary guidelines for proper anti-inflammatory bowel maintenance that will enhance your microbiome and address leaky gut, along with a colonic cleansing system and effective exercise program.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780895295842
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/1998
Edition description: 1190th ed.
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range: 18 - 14 Years

About the Author

Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.D., known as the Father of Holistic Health, has practiced natural healing therapies for more than 70 years, lectured in more than two dozen countries, and counseled and taught more than 350,000 patients. He is the recipient of the President's Award by the National Nutritional Foods Association, the Golden Carrot Award by the Center for the Advancement of Cancer Education, and the Pioneer Doctor of the Year Award by the National Health Federation. A true legend in the field of natural health, Dr. Jensen has helped millions achieve a better quality of life in body, mind, and spirit.

Read an Excerpt

What This Book Is About . . .

   • This book shows you how to revolutionize your health and well-being by using a simple, safe, and effective means of bowel cleansing.

I must give foremost credit to Sir Arbuthnot Lane, physician to the British Royal Family, for helping me realize the relationship between the bowel and disease elsewhere in the body. Max Gerson, M.D., opened my eyes to the value of bowel cleansing in ridding the body of chronic and degenerative disease conditions. He proved it could be done. I appreciate John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., of Battle Creek, Michigan, for teaching me the importance of proper bowel flora. I have Drs. Denis P. Burkett and Neil D. Painter to thank for their writings on the importance of dietary fiber, not only to improve bowel health and quicken bowel transit time, but to reduce the incidence of bowel-related diseases elsewhere in the body. I am grateful to the homeopathic physician Constantine Hering for formulating a law of cure that emphasizes that healing takes place “from the inside out.”

I would like to thank William Welles, D.C., for his contributions and research concerning bowel health and proper elimination. Alan Immerman, D.C., has also graciously allowed me to use some of his bowel research. My relationship with Dr. V.E. Irons in bowel-care work goes back many years.

Donald Bodeen, D.C., and his wife, Joyce, made important contributions to this book. Joyce has conducted tissue-cleansing programs on the East Coast. My long-time girl Friday, Sylvia Bell, has helped in many of the tissue-cleansing programs here on the Ranch.

As always, deep appreciation goes to Marie Jensen, my wife, for her faithful support in all my work.

The quote here is from Kurt J. Isselbacher, et al., editors, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, © 1994 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Reproduced with the permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

The original illustrations here, here, here, here, and here are by John Wincek.

The illustrations here, here, and here are used courtesy of Dr. William Welles.

The table here is from E. Lanza and R.R. Butron: “A Critical Review of Food Fiber Analysis and Data.” © 1986 by The American Dietetic Association. Reprinted by permission from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 86 (1986), page 732.

The photographs here were taken by Dr. Bernard Jensen.


My father was a chiropractor. I, too, sought to be a chiropractor, for I knew from my observations that this system of carefully examining and adjusting the spinal vertebrae produces results. Painful conditions are alleviated. Sick people get well, the lame walk, and the bent-over are able to again stand erect.

Upon graduation from chiropractic school, I was anxious to open my office. It wasn’t long before I developed a busy practice. But I soon came to see that something was missing in my work. Although most of my colleagues were satisfied with their office practices, I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied. I noticed that the great majority of people who came to my office seemed to be content with the relief I was able to afford them with spinal adjustments, but that many continually came back with the same conditions. I was administering adjustments to their spines, but I discovered that what these people really needed more than anything were adjustments in their ways of living.

I began to see that people needed to be taught how to improve their lifestyles. Some were in need of mental and spiritual uplifts. Conditions in their lives had pulled them down, driven them to a state of negativity and despair. Some had jobs or careers for which they were physically or mentally ill-suited. Chronic stress and tension had become a way of life for them. Nearly all were in need of adjustments in their diets. Some didn’t have time to eat correctly. They were always in a rush. Most, however, had the time to eat incorrectly, consuming foods prepared according to culinary habits passed down in their families. Nearly all lacked the knowledge of what constituted a health-sustaining diet, much less a health-building one. They were prime candidates for an educational adjustment.

I saw that for a lack of knowing a better way and without the benefit of proper guidance, my patients persisted in the ignorance that promotes chronic ill health. Although I was effecting wonderful relief through chiropractic adjustments, this therapy alone was often not enough to provide long-term changes. Dissatisfied and convinced that neither my patients nor I should continue in this situation, I became determined to make a change.

I opened my first sanitarium in Altadena, California, in the mountains, a spot considered by city dwellers at the time to be “out in the country.” It had clean air and lots of sunshine, essential elements for health. There, I could finally monitor my patients and give them the education they needed to make changes in their lives, an education that was impossible to offer in an office practice. It worked, too!

In subsequent years, I moved to a larger facility. My largest sanitarium was the two-hundred-acre Hidden Valley Ranch in the mountains east of Escondido, California. There, I had everything I needed to help people find the path to health. People from all over the world came to stay for a while to learn the lessons of health, and the sanitarium eventually became quite famous.

Through the years, many different views of bowel care have been presented, creating some confusion about exactly what constitutes proper bowel hygiene. In this book, I give you the most complete information currently available and the wisdom accumulated over a lifetime devoted to natural therapeutics. This book is offered with the understanding that an individual can learn what is necessary for proper bowel management and to show the results that can be obtained by taking care of the bowel properly. No doctor should be without this knowledge. No doctor should practice any system of healing without first considering the five main elimination channels—the bowel, skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, and lungs—the most important of which is the bowel.

The response to the first edition of this book has been wonderful. I have received many suggestions and comments that have prompted me to revise and expand the book to make it more responsive to your needs. I have had many wonderful testimonials from people who successfully applied the lessons of this book!

The following pages give valuable information about the waste-elimination process, focusing on the bowel in particular. I have always made it a practice to check the main elimination channels on a patient’s first visit to my office. Attempting to take care of any symptom in the body without a good elimination system is futile.

I have traveled to the farthest corners of the earth searching for the secrets to health and long life. I want to share my discoveries with you so that you, too, can partake of the increased well-being and enjoyment of life that can result. This book should awaken you to the realization that the greatest healing power comes from within. To this end, I am offering the insights and wisdom I’ve gathered over more than six decades of work in the healing arts and restoration of normal bowel function. In order for you to understand my work, I present a smattering of the anatomy and physiology of the digestive and elimination systems in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, I discuss how digestive malfunction can cause toxins to build up in the intestines, which in turn can make the entire body ill. In Chapter 3, I discuss the bowel disorders that affect so many people that they are today considered common; and in Chapter 4, I explain how a problem in the bowel can cause symptoms in a seemingly unrelated part of the body. The heart and soul of this book are in Chapters 5 and 6, which together present my Ultimate Tissue Cleansing Program. The Seven-Day Cleansing Program, the first phase of the two-part program, is fully explained in Chapter 5; and the Seven-Week Building and Replacement Program, the second of the two phases, is detailed in Chapter 6. In Chapter 7, I outline the nutritional sins and dietary laws that form the base of my cleansing program, as well as my dietary and health beliefs in general. And finally, in Chapter 8, I present a few other dietary techniques for bowel management. This last chapter will be of special interest to those persons who wish to cleanse their bowel, but cannot at this point in their lives devote themselves to the full undertaking.

It often takes an act of resolution and courage to combat the bowel difficulties that so many people experience. There is no better way of resolving these difficulties than by taking positive action. The instructions given in this book will give you the opportunity to take greater responsibility for your level of health and well-being.


How did I ever become involved with the bowel? The bowel was the last thing I wanted to focus on. It was the last thing that came to my mind. I used to think that when the bowel didn’t work well, we should turn to a laxative. I didn’t know there was a lifestyle that produces a healthy body. Today, I have found lifestyle to be the most important thing in the world.

As my attention turned increasingly toward the bowel, I began to look at the deaths of our political leaders and other great people with new eyes. All these people seemed to have complications. Every one of them seemed to have some disorder of the elimination system that contributed to his or her death. Take Frank Sinatra, for example. Mr. Sinatra went to the hospital with the symptoms of a heart attack and ended up with pneumonia. I firmly believe that he would not have come down with pneumonia if he didn’t have an undetected bowel problem. The body is a community of many organs working for the good of one another. Without properly functioning elimination organs, the body dies.

The body is an organization. It digests food, processes oxygen, and undertakes numerous other activities. Every organ contributes something to the body and its activities. As human beings, we need every cell, tissue, and organ that was put into our body. The body is the instrument through which we live, and we should treat it with respect. We cannot take our body, so wonderfully put together, and expect it to function properly if we violate all the natural laws that are necessary for it to be well.

The first natural law is to feed the body natural food. We are meant to have fiber. We are meant to have natural enzymes. We are meant to have food in its raw state. When we begin to obey the natural laws again, it is almost like re-entering the Garden of Eden.

When we return to the Garden of Eden, consuming natural foods and following a more natural way of living, the bowel always responds. I’ve been told by patients so many times, “I am having natural bowel movements for the first time in twenty years.” Some patients also tell me, “I am even having diarrhea. I am having a bowel movement every day instead of once every ten days.” These patients mistake a return to regularity for diarrhea!

Most people don’t understand the bowel. They don’t know how to take care of it or how to meet its needs. We go through life violating the natural laws until we reach the point where the most natural thing left is our nutritional program and even that causes abuse to the bowel.

When the bowel is not taken care of, its responses become sluggish and underactive. It is not able to heal itself and does not have the ability to perform the things it was meant to do.

Food should pass through the body every eighteen hours. Any food that spoils, ferments, forms gas, or causes a disturbance in the bowel also affects the rest of the body. Above all things, it is necessary to have proper bowel movements in order to have a healthy body.

I realized early on in my practice that the bowel has to be taken care of. I started seriously caring for the bowel when I realized the good that an enema can do. I saw what a cleansing can do, and I think that I have probably been the most influential voice promoting the cleansing of the bowel. In fact, every patient I have ever treated with bowel cleansing has improved. Note that I did not say “was cured.” Some did leave their health problems completely behind, but not all did. This is truly something to think about.

In the 1950s, I spent time with Dr. Max Gerson at his sanitarium in New Jersey. People at the time were crying out for medications in order to get relief from their various disorders. Max, an early proponent of bowel cleansing, said, “No, you need an enema, not a drug.” Invariably, Max’s enemas brought relief. Since he often administered enemas day and night to keep his patients’ bowels as clean as possible, he had good success even with degenerative conditions. His book, Fifty Cancer Patients Cured, caused a significant stir in the medical community.

Is it a matter of treating disease? Are we treating the body? No, we are upgrading the ability of the bowel to work better. Are we cleaning out toxic material? Yes, because we have to.

I have always admired and believed in the work of John Tilden, M.D. Dr. Tilden discovered that toxemia is at the root of most health problems and diseases. (For a full discussion of toxemia, see Chapter 2.) He wrote a book entitled Toxemia Explained that made quite an impact at the time of its publication. Dr. Tilden was widely respected, but his work has since been forgotten and neglected.

People demand relief from pain and discomfort. Their primary concern is temporary relief, not taking care of the problem at the root of their symptoms. What do we look back to as a cause?

Toxemia Explained is a book that everybody should have. No doctor should practice without it. I didn’t always believe the bowel had to be taken care of first. But then I read another book, Pandora’s Box: What to Eat and Why by J. Oswald Empringham. This book is about taking care of the bowel.

I also read with great interest the work of Sir W. Arbuthnot Lane, physician to the British Royal Family in the late nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century. Dr. Lane was a master surgeon. One day, he operated on the bowel of an arthritic fourteen-year-old boy. After the surgery, the boy’s arthritis was gone. This made Dr. Lane stop and think. Another of Dr. Lane’s patients, a female, had a toxic thyroid gland. When he operated on the woman’s bowel, her thyroid gland became normal. After many such experiences, Dr. Lane switched from practicing medicine to teaching nutrition and bowel care. During the final twenty-five years of his life, he brought out the fact that the bowel is the most important organ in the body to care for. What a wonderful discovery!

Dr. Lane’s experience had a great influence on me. I said to myself, “Look again here. If there is a problem in the body and you take care of the bowel, every other organ will respond to it.”

If waste cannot be eliminated and accumulates in the body, perhaps suppressed by drugs or extreme tiredness and fatigue, disease walks in. Bacteria accumulates. Worms and germ life develop most often in an underactive bowel. This is a big problem today. Gastrointestinal specialists realize that sulfa drugs and antibiotics destroy all bacteria—the friendly bacteria as well as the bad—in the bowel.

Much has been said by pediatricians about colostrum, the yellow fluid that precedes breastmilk, as the means of getting a new baby’s bowel to function properly. This is most important. The first four days of a child’s life are vital in getting the bowel off to a good start. Many new mothers don’t realize this. They feed their babies formula. They try to replace a normal and natural substance with a factory-made concoction. More and more today, we are seeing the foolishness in this. Nature knows best, but sometimes humans have to find this out the hard way.

In my work, I often have to rehabilitate people and change their minds. Among my greatest experiences was seeing my children learn to take care of their bowel movements the right way. That is, I taught my children that they shouldn’t “hold it.” Holding back bowel movements is what causes diverticula (bowel pockets) to form in the lower segment of the colon. I taught my children that when their dog scratched at the screen door, it meant that he wanted to go out. I told them he was trying to say, “Let me out! I need to have a bowel movement!” Their canary, I showed them, had bowel movements right in its cage, no inhibitions whatsoever. But humans are foolish and often don’t attend to their urges to have bowel movements. Today, people neglect their bowels as a matter of habit, and it’s this neglect that I try to combat in my teachings and writings.

There is so much to learn about the bowel if you are willing to read books on the subject. You would be interested in what William Welles has done, and in what V.E. Irons has done. You would be interested in my visits to Battle Creek Sanitarium, where I went to find out what John Harvey Kellogg had to say about the bowel. Dr. Kellogg developed a method of changing the intestinal flora when it’s not in balance. While I was visiting him, he came up with a culture that he sent to Dr. Allan Roy DaFoe, the doctor in Canada who was taking care of the Dionne quintuplets. Dr. DaFoe had telephoned Dr. Kellogg and said that he would probably lose one or two of the quints if he couldn’t activate their bowels. Dr. Kellogg immediately sent an acidophilus culture to him. A couple of weeks later, Dr. DaFoe reported, “I believe we have saved the life of those infants by taking care of the bowel.”

The rest of the bowel story is a more practical story. V.E. Irons made it practical. Kay Shaffer made it practical. I saw much of the work these two individuals did. Dr. Irons and Ms. Shaffer also worked with nutrition. They helped me see why Dr. V.G. Rocine pushed me into studying proper nutrition for the bowel and for the other parts of the body. Dr. Rocine believed that we can transcend our problems and develop a well body if we take care of our nutrition.

We have to consider diet when we are trying to improve our health. Health is not just a matter of taking an enema. It’s also learning how to live in a healthy style. I believe that my nutritional teachings are among the finest available. Proper nutrition is what I use to rehabilitate people who have gone down the path of bad habits, including bad bowel habits. All nutrition affects the bowel. To find health by improving your nutrition but not using colemas or other bowel care is possible, although it’s difficult.

But you know, there is one thing about using nutrition and natural cures to improve health, and this is the fact that they take too long to bring results. I tell my patients even to this day that it will take a year for their health problems to be solved and their bodies to become well again. It takes time—as much as seven years, they say—to make new bones. It takes just forty-eight hours to build new skin on the palm of the hand, but months to build a new stomach wall. It takes months to renew a kidney. So, we need to be patient while the body rebuilds and renews itself.

It would be convenient if a form of analysis existed for determining inherent weaknesses and toxic deposits in tissues. Colonic technicians cleanse the bowel, but many times they don’t know the condition of the bowel or the composition of the bowel wall. They don’t know its weaknesses or where toxic material has settled. They work blind, so to speak.

Despite this, in most cases colonic treatment brings good results. It would be better if we had a greater knowledge of the bowel, and not only of what is in the bowel, but of what toxic materials have been absorbed into the blood or lymph, and carried to other inherently weak organs in the body. When this happens, it is a form of suppression. We tend to blame medications for suppressing diseases and not allowing proper elimination to take place. But lifestyle can be a form of suppression. An imbalanced diet can be a form of suppression.

We shouldn’t have to use laxatives to take care of the bowel. Many people are dependent upon laxatives. Roughly 18,000 tons of laxatives are sold in the United States every year. This is a lot of constipation and bowel troubles, friends, and it should tell us that we can’t blame our problems only on our bowels. We need to look at our lifestyle habits and nutrition. We need to make changes. I learned a good deal about this from V.E. Irons, and from Kay Shaffer, who gave me my first colema. From my personal experience with bowel cleansing, I could see that I could do much good for my patients by introducing them to colemas. It was at this point that I started developing my own system for taking colemas.

Chronic diseases build up over long periods of time. About 80 percent of the patients who go to doctors have chronic diseases. The American Cancer Society says it takes twenty years to develop cancer. What are you developing in your bowel today? Do you know? Long before we notice any disease symptoms developing, we go blindly along, ignorant of what trouble may be developing in our bowel. We should do better than that. We should follow a preventive program.

I believe people need to be educated about prevention. Doctors can physically locate diverticula and gas by percussing (tapping) the bowel. They then know if the patient does or doesn’t need bowel cleansing. Wherever diverticula are, a lot of putrifaction and fermentation are taking place. These are what caused the gas. These are what need to be eliminated from the bowel.

The bowel must be considered first in the disease-reversal process, according to Hering’s Law of Cure. Constantine Hering was a homeopath who established the first school of homeopathy in the United States, in Philadelphia. His law, however, was never well received because it was never well understood. According to Hering’s Law of Cure, “All cure starts from within out, from the head down, and in the reverse order as the symptoms appeared.” It refers to the source of disease being in the bowel. As we take care of the bowel, we cleanse and purify the body and all its organs. That cleansing and purifying must start with the bowel.

Of course, we also have to consider the cleansing process in connection to the other four elimination channels—the skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, and lungs. The liver also needs to be in good working order because it is a detoxification organ. We have to make sure we have enough red blood cells. An anemic body doesn’t have enough energy and doesn’t eliminate well.

The whole body has to be put in order. But we must always start with cleansing and making sure that there are no toxic materials being absorbed from the bowel and settling in other organs. Doctors of late have been concerned with leaky bowel syndrome. When the bowel is underactive and constipated, whether it has diverticula or not, more toxins, cholesterol, and fats are leaked (forced) into the bloodstream and lymph. This is why we must speed up our bowel transit time, first by cleansing the bowel, then by consuming more high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole cereal grains.

The kidneys are taken care of as the bowel is cleansed. But even so, we must be careful not to give the kidneys too much to do, since if they are inherently weak, they will have problems. The consequences could include swollen ankles and increased blood urea and creatinine. These symptoms should vanish as the bowel becomes cleaner, however.

Doctors today can prevent many deaths by taking care of the bowel first. We have the technology. We have the knowledge. When will doctors open their eyes and see that there is a solution for the 80 percent of patients who have chronic diseases? The common bowel disorders also develop over a period of many years. Many begin with a stomachache. Sometimes an over-the-counter medication is taken to get rid of gas, for instance. Without correcting the diet producing the gas, however, we are playing with our future health. All chronic diseases arise out of neglect of beginning problems.

The other day I had a patient who said, “I would like you to take care of me. How can I get well?” The first thing I noticed was that she was overweight. She was following a food regimen that was providing her with too much fat. But it was the diet on which she had been brought up. Her parents ate the same foods she was eating. She was raised on those foods. Her parents had developed problems, too. This child was the recipient of her mother and father’s neglect in taking care of their own bodies due to a lack of knowledge. Her body’s inherent weaknesses were just added to an already bad condition. It is this kind of situation in which I would like to call a time out and conduct a class on proper nutrition. It is at this point that we have to think about eating properly. The bowel responds to good food within twelve to fifteen hours. Digestion in the small intestine and elimination in the large colon—the body must carry out these functions properly in order for us to have a healthy life. We can’t let problems go until tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late because by then we may be on our way to developing a toxic settlement in the body.

So, to take care of this overweight lady, I first had to look at the condition she was in today and the nutrition that could be used to make changes in that condition. Second, I had to look at the inherent weaknesses that were passed on to her from her mother and father.

One thing that we have to realize is that the human body molds to its environment. The body molds to a salad; it molds to coffee and donuts; it molds to the air we breathe; it molds to the water we drink. We must use our intelligence, our knowledge, and our wisdom to overcome the negative things in our environment and undertake a healthier way of life.

We have to make changes. We have to move away from our thinking of last year or twenty years ago. It may be time now to cut the umbilical cord and stop doing as Mother and Father did. We must realize that sometimes our lifestyle is quite self-destructive. This is because of the foolishness so common in human beings, because of the neglect and the ignorance to which we are prone.

If there is one way that is better than others, it’s the way of nature. The best is not always what science tells us to do, or what a doctor tells us to do. Better than looking toward science or doctors is turning to nature for a new and better understanding.

Chapter 1

Raising Our Bowel Consciousness

As out of dirty mud-beds, gorgeous lilies grow—

so out of bent-old-age, comes vibrant youth!

And youth from age, is not a greater miracle

than pure white lilies growing out of mud!

—“Two Miracles,” Author unknown

In times past, knowledge of the bowel was more common, and people were taught how to care for the bowel. Somehow, bowel wisdom has been lost, and the bowel has become a subject about which no one wants to talk. By hiding the issue in the closet, people have created an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” situation. Thus, many people follow the path of ignorance and improper living, treating the bowel indiscriminately and reaping a sad harvest in their later years. Knowing the methods of keeping the bowel healthy is the best way to avoid the grip of disease and sickness.

The bowel-wise person is the one who is armed with correct information, practices discrimination in eating, and walks the path of a healthier life. His or her days are marked by well-being, vitality, and optimism, all of which result from having a vital, toxin-free body due to the efficient, regular cleansing action of a well-cared-for bowel. If you desire the higher things in life, you must be aware of proper bowel management—what it is, how it works, and what is required. This awareness will help you discover many secrets of life, develop a positive attitude toward yourself, and become the master of your bodily functions.

The bowel responds well to the laws of right living described in this book. You must be aware of these laws and be diligent in following them. The rewards in well-being and freedom from disease are more than worth the effort.

Alvin Toffler, in his book Future Shock, aptly states that mankind’s current and future survival require the ability to adopt new ideas and habits very quickly—in fact, much more quickly than has ever been managed in the past. Is mankind up to it?

I believe that the number-one source of the misery and decay we are witnessing in our society today is autointoxication—self-poisoning caused by microorganisms, metabolic waste, and other toxins in the body. Through autointoxication, the human body becomes the unwitting host of uncleanliness with its entourage of imbalance, derangements, perversions, sickness, and disease. Autointoxication becomes a powerful master over the body, robbing the inhabitant of clear thinking, discrimination, sound judgment, vitality, health, and happiness. The ultimate rewards of autointoxication are disillusionment, bitterness, disappointment, chaos, and failure. Are you willing to make changes and do something about it? Overcoming the effects of autointoxication can be a long and difficult task, one often tragically postponed. However, it is preferable to correct autointoxication at the beginning rather than to struggle with its consequences later in life. I believe in educating, not medicating. A lack of education early on will necessitate medication as time passes.

Through education, we learn that healing takes place in accordance with one of the most important laws I have followed in my sanitarium work. This is Hering’s Law of Cure, which was formulated by the nineteenth-century European homeopathic physician Constantine Hering. As Dr. Hering worked with the natural principles of healing, he came to see a great truth. He expressed it this way: “All cure starts from within out, from the head down, and in the reverse order as the symptoms appeared.” Hering’s Law is a most reliable guide to the natural healing process and worthy of reiteration at appropriate points in this book.

If we begin our search for a cure by using our heads, we come to understand that the bowel is one of the first things that has to be managed in our body-maintenance program. No one has ever had a home, office, or similar facility in which the elimination of wastes was not a consideration. Wastes, whether they be organic or otherwise, are a natural result of the process of living.

Years ago, it was found that many of mankind’s diseases came from the poor handling of wastes or lack of proper sanitation. People would let urine, kitchen wastes, and bowel eliminations just run in the street gutters. This situation played a major role in spreading the many diseases and plagues that were once prevalent in Europe and various places throughout the world. Over the centuries, sanitation has been improved in many ways. In the cities, underground sewers take away the potentially harmful wastes of the population. In rural areas, septic systems have replaced the old outhouses, an improvement in convenience as well as sanitation. Cleansing agents and bactericides are used routinely to disinfect office buildings and homes. In these respects, we’ve come a long way.

We find, however, that to take care of bodily waste elimination, we must start within. We must stop allowing unsanitary conditions and their effects to develop in our bodies through unhealthy food choices and thoughtless lifestyles. We have a sanitation department in the body. We have a cesspool or a sewer, so to speak, and we must keep it clean. We must learn to take proper care of our inner environment so that we can avoid disease and encourage health.

It is ironic that in spite of our modern external sanitation, we give precious little thought to taking care of our personal internal sanitation. We know that Grandma always took care of the bowel. She would use a mixture of sulfur and molasses, one of the old remedies. She would also use enemas to clear a congested bowel. In days past, people were more familiar with bowel problems and the methods of remedying them. We’ve gotten away from doing these things today, and many people are suffering unnecessary sickness and disease because of it.


If we lived correctly, we would have no need to concern ourselves with the bowel. However, most of us do not live correctly. We don’t eat the right foods, we don’t get the right exercise, and we don’t get enough fresh air and sunshine. There are so many things we don’t do correctly, we can’t expect the bowel to function correctly.

When we look at the statistics on disease today and what doctors are doing about the situation, we see that much attention is directed at treating problems and troubles that are the result of bad lifestyle habits. Bad habits are the result of a lack of education. People just do what everyone else does, and few there are who have any other knowledge.

All that is modern is not necessarily good. Bad habits are too often picked up from modern civilization. When I say “modern civilization,” I’m talking about progress. We all like to think of ourselves as progressive people, but it is obvious that a lot of the things we’ve progressed to are not always so good for our health. Air pollution is contributing to increased lung problems. The purity of our drinking water is being compromised by chemicals leaching from the soil or introduced deliberately to kill harmful bacteria. Even the toilet is a modern convenience that is not as good as it should be. (See “Complications of the Modern Toilet” here.) We can do better.

Doctors are not teaching people to live correctly, and they must begin to make changes. After all, the very title “Doctor” is derived from the Latin docere, which means “to teach.” I believe that every doctor should spend half of his or her time teaching patients how to promote good health. Doctors need to take the responsibility for educating patients because knowledge is an essential part of the healing process. When you are hospitalized for a health condition that was created by your lifestyle and dietary habits, as most conditions are, it isn’t enough to be patched up and sent home to make the same mistakes over again. People in hospitals should never be discharged until they are given a full day of education in the management of their kitchens at home, nutrition for their families, and prevention of the recurrence of the trouble that brought them there. Otherwise, they are candidates for return visits.

There are too many people with a coffee-and-doughnut lifestyle who go to the doctor, get a treatment, and then go right back to their caffeine-and-sugar habit. They will be back. You can count on it. The doctor is counting on it, too. He will be counting all the way to the bank! You may think I’m being a little harsh, but every doctor admits that one operation leads to another. Do you know why? Because nothing is done to deal with the problems that lead to the first operation.

Consider the following paraphrase of an article I read in a major daily newspaper: Of the 22,000 people diagnosed yearly as having colon cancer (with cancer also in the lymph nodes), most are treated surgically. Medical experts claim that over half of these patients would benefit from receiving an anticancer medication called 5-fluorouracil, plus a second medication called levamisole, after surgery. You see, the modern answer to these health problems is the utilization of medications.

The American Cancer Society has expressed the idea that it may take twenty years or more for some cancers to develop. With due appreciation of the progress being made with cancer medications and surgical techniques, I’d like to ask where the doctor was twenty years ago when the cancer was starting? Why is our healthcare system placing so much emphasis on treatment and so little on prevention? If we took a survey and asked a million people whether they would prefer to receive treatment for cancer or never get the disease in the first place, what do you think they would say? We need to learn how to take better care of ourselves from the preventive standpoint.

What do government health departments do? Mainly, they watch for and keep records about disease. Their focus is disease. They would more correctly be referred to as “disease departments.” When an epidemic comes along, they try to figure out where it began, how it is spreading, and what the appropriate treatments are. With the possible exception of recommending inoculations, they do little to prevent epidemics.

We give money to organizations and institutions that are concerned with a particular disease condition, but do these groups spend any time trying to find out how to prevent the disease? I see that one organization was given a sizable grant to study diet and nutrition and their effects on cancer. The organization was going to start its research by studying alcohol’s effects on already-established cancers. I believe it is reasonable to ask why the group chose not to conduct research to find out how to help prevent cancer. It goes without saying that the finding will be that alcohol has a detrimental effect. But this is still not going to tell us much about preventing cancer.

If we give money just to cure-oriented research, we will never understand how powerfully effective prevention can be. We must turn around. We must develop a new perspective in the way we look at health. We must make a concentrated effort to examine health strategies from the standpoint of prevention.

It is better to educate than medicate. I repeat this often because it is a fact that the more health education we have, the less medication we will need. We need to know how to become healthy and stay healthy. There are many different kinds of people, and we need to reach all of them at their own levels of understanding. Some people will pay anything to get well after they have become sick. However, we find that no matter how much money we may have, we cannot buy health. It’s not for sale by anyone at any price. The truth is that you have to earn health. You must work for it. But too often, today’s healthcare approach leaves the patient devoid of knowledge, with no change of consciousness, understanding, or behavior. Unless you elevate your mental attitude, your consciousness, you cannot reach a higher plane of health. This is accomplished through education. You can begin your education by learning about the body’s channels for the elimination of waste.


This book deals primarily with what I call the king of all the elimination organs, the bowel. It would be neglectful, however, if we did not give some consideration to the other four. It has been reaffirmed that the body functions as a whole, which requires that each component part do its work. If any of the five main elimination organs functions below par, it places an extra load upon the others in the body’s effort to get rid of its metabolic waste material.

In addition to the bowel, there is the skin, the largest elimination organ. Taking care of the skin and ensuring that it functions well helps to relieve the other elimination organs. Skin brushing (see here) is suggested as a way of removing dead skin cells and the waste material excreted through perspiring.

Next are the kidneys, which are so important to our internal cleanliness that we have been provided with them in duplicate. We have a 100-percent-reserve in the ability to filter our blood of toxic waste and excess water. A person can lose the complete function of one kidney and still live because the other one, if it is functioning well, has the ability to carry the load alone. Perhaps one kidney can do the job because the skin acts as a supplemental filter, removing wastes from the blood. The finest way to aid the kidneys is to drink plenty of clean water. Drinking watermelon juice will also aid the kidneys in their elimination job.

Another main channel of elimination is the lymphatic system. The lymph has the job of picking up intracellular waste and dumping it into the bloodstream, where it is then processed by the liver and filtered by the kidneys. White blood cells in the lymph also destroy harmful bacteria as part of their function in the body’s immune system. Unlike blood, lymph has no pump to force it through its vessels, which extend to every corner of the body. Lymph circulation depends upon movement of the extremities and muscle action. That’s why most of our lymph nodes are concentrated in the places of greatest movement in the body. They are found where the arms and legs meet the torso and in the neck at the spot where nearly constant movement occurs. Is it any wonder, then, that exercise is of the greatest benefit to the lymph?

Last, but not least, are the lungs and bronchioles, considered together as part of the respiratory system. Some of the toxic waste material generated in the body is passed out of the system as a gas through the lungs. Carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen during the process of breathing. Once again, exercise comes into play as a natural way of increasing elimination. The finest exercise for the lungs is sniff breathing (see below). Developed by the late Robert Gaines and described in his book Vitalic Breathing, sniff breathing has been taught to members of the New York City Police Department to enhance their stamina by increasing their lung capacity. Improved exchange of gases results in better oxygenation of the blood and better removal of toxic wastes.

During my many years of sanitarium work, I have found that taking care of the five main elimination systems is the most important thing we can do to gain and maintain health. Nothing is more important than making sure these five systems are working optimally. Neither all the medicines nor all the therapies in the world will help much or provide any lasting relief if these systems are not functioning well. The greatest, and the most abused and neglected, of all of these systems is the bowel.

Sniff Breathing

Sniff breathing is an exercise developed by Robert Gaines, author of the book Vitalic Breathing, which is no longer in print. Mr. Gaines taught the following exercise to members of the New York City Police Department to help increase their vital lung capacity:

1. Walk three steps while sniffing only through the nose using short, rapid inhalations. Sniff deeper with each step.

2. On the fourth step, exhale rapidly and completely.

3. For the next three steps, hold your breath.

4. Exhale completely on the eighth step.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4.

Do this exercise three times daily, for five minutes at a time, for one month. Then increase it to four times daily, for eight minutes at a time.


I ask my patients what operations they’ve had and, almost invariably, the first was a tonsillectomy. The tonsils, a specialized lymphoid tissue, function to eliminate the matter generated during the body’s fight against infection. They aid in the removal of wastes that occur in the body due to infection. An inflammation or enlargement of the tonsils indicates that the body is trying to throw off an overload of waste material. The tonsils excrete this material into the pharynx area, where it is swallowed and then passed out with the regular bowel movement. Removing the tonsils compromises the elimination system in the body because it forces other excretory pathways to do the job the tonsils once did.

Until fairly recently, it was the medical fashion to remove the tonsils routinely because they were believed to be a source of infection. Physicians believed that if the tonsils had a tendency to become inflamed, removing them would prevent them from becoming problematic. Due to the ignorance of the day, it was not realized that cutting out inflamed and enlarged tonsils is like ripping out a ringing fire alarm instead of attending to the fire. Tonsillitis is a sure warning that the body is overwhelmed by the need to eliminate waste materials. Today, some women with a family history of breast cancer are using the same logic. They’re having their healthy breasts, which also contain a lot of lymph tissue, removed. Have we just traded one ignorance for another?

The next-most-common operation is the appendectomy. Considered a vestigial organ by medical authorities, the little wormlike appendix, like the tonsils, is another example of lymphoid tissue. It, too, can become inflamed if it is overburdened and toxic, as is common when the colon is dysfunctional and toxic, because the appendix is attached to the colon.

Toxic-colon problems, including appendicitis, occur when we fail to keep our bodies clean—that is, clean on the inside. The problem is that most people don’t know how to keep clean on the inside. We are bombarded with advertisements for all types of products that clean the outside of the body, but no one tells us how to clean the inside. We do not need to pay more attention to external cleanliness; we need to pay more attention to internal cleanliness, to the body’s internal environment. We can’t put clean food into a dirty body and expect good results. We’re going to get only partial, perhaps even negligible, results. We must go beyond clean food. True cleanliness begins on the inside. It begins with a clean thought, a higher consciousness. Next, we move to the physical plane, remembering that a person will become on the outside what he thinks on the inside. We must cultivate a clean mind and, with it, clean body tissues. Cleanliness of mind is a spiritual effort; the physical job begins with bowel care.

We have been educated to believe that if the bowel doesn’t function correctly, we can turn to laxatives. I read somewhere that more laxatives are sold in the United States than any other medication with the exception of aspirin. Over-the-counter cold remedies are also big sellers, as are tranquilizers, but you will find laxatives in almost every medicine chest. Someone in every family seems to be constipated, seems to have bowel problems. Before commercial laxatives were available, other methods were used to stimulate the bowel.

In times past, when a child got sick, what did a mother do? Give the child an enema, of course. Years ago more than today, people knew the importance of bowel movements and their relationship to good health. If a person had to resort to a laxative, he or she probably used a mixture of sulfur and molasses. But we have found that laxatives are not a lasting or even a healthful solution to constipation. Our knowledge of bowel care needs to go beyond the use of laxatives to relieve constipation. We need to be sufficiently well-informed so that we can avoid chronic bowel troubles. Unattended long enough, such chronic problems may require surgical intervention. Let’s operate on the problem, not the person.

Education should give the mind a new or a greater sensitivity, an appreciation that has been blocked by ignorance. A new sensitivity of mind is needed in order to appreciate and care for the bowel. It is especially worthy of note that the bowel has very few pain sensors, very few nerves that carry sensory information to the brain to be interpreted as pain. Abdominal surgeons will tell you that anesthesia is needed in abdominal surgery mainly to enable a painless incision of the abdominal wall. Once inside the abdominal cavity, surgeons can handle the bowel without causing pain. The near absence of pain-transmitting nerves makes it difficult for us to receive distress calls from the bowel.


Excerpted from "Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care"
by .
Copyright © 1998 Bernard Jensen.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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