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Dr. Felix Oswald – Publications


Macfadden, Bernarr. Oswald, Felix L. (1900). Macfadden’s Fasting, Hydropathy and Exercise: Nature’s Wonderful Remedies for the Cure of all Chronic and Acute Diseases. London: Bernarr Macfadden. 234 pages. 

  • This book is broken into three major parts:
    • Part 1: Fasting (physiological data, the one meal plan, dietetic, restrictions, protracted, fast, and an experience of a seven-day fast)
    • Part 2: Hydropathy (physiological data, the cold, water cure, air baths, climatic, sanitaria, ventilation). 
    • Part 3 Exercise (physiological, data, outdoor and indoor exercise, gymnastics, and free movement cures). 

Oswald, F. L. (1877). The Climatic Influence of Vegetation — A Plea for Our Forests. Popular Science Monthly 11: 385–390.

  • This 5-page article discusses rivers that have shrunk, decreased annual rainfall, and failed crops, all due to forest destruction. He shares that a country destitute of trees is avoided by birds and left to the ravages of locusts and other insects. To restore a forest is slow and laborious. He proposes legislation to protect the woods.

Oswald, Felix L. (1882). Physical Education; or The Health-Laws of Nature. New York: Appleton. 276 pages.

  • In this book, Dr. Oswald covers diet (a vegetable diet), indoor and outdoor life, gymnastics, clothing, sleep, recreation, remedial education, hygienic precautions, and popular fallacies.

Oswald, Felix L. (1883). The Remedies of Nature. Dyspepsia. The Popular Science Monthly, (July) 1883, 23, 303–317. (a). Page 10 -22.

  • In this article, Oswald discusses how the human body is self-regulating. The body’s automatic agencies generally suffice to counteract the disturbing cause. Drugs can rarely do more than change the form of the disease or postpone its crisis. Alcohol kills thousands each year. He shares how wide-open windows and being out in nature are excellent remedies. He includes keeping windows open to allow fresh air to come in. Diet should be nutritious but not stimulating. The first full meal should be taken after morning exercise.

Oswald, Felix L. (1886). Household Remedies for the Prevalent Disorders of the Human Organism. New York, Fowler & Wells Co. 229 pages.

  • As the title suggests, this book focuses on health issues humanity deals with. Dr. Oswald discusses consumption, dyspepsia, climatic fevers, asthma, alcohol and enteric disorders, nervous maladies, Catarrh, pleurisy, croup, and other miscellaneous remedies.

Oswald, Felix. (1886). “Remedies of Nature – Enteric Disorders.Popular Science Monthly, vol. 24 (DEC), no. No II, 1866, pp. 196-207,. Accessed 15 Mar. 24.

  • In this article, Dr. Oswald shared that Asclepiades, a Greek Philosopher, created a unique course of exercise for every disorder of the human organism. He rejected medicines as a cure and stated that we risk mistaking the suppression of symptoms for the suppression of the disease. For example, chronic overeating produces a sick headache, so they applied a blister to the head.
  • From this, we learned that numerous enteric disorders, or bowel complaints, are thus artificially developed.
  • He discusses how to treat with a vegetable diet, thorough chewing, passive exercise, cold sponge and air baths, diarrhea, and fasting.
  • He shares that adults should have two meals a day, drink cold spring water only, and strictly abstain from indigestible foods (e.g., cheese, rye, bread, sauerkraut, sausages, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, etc.). An occasional day of fasting will ensure the elimination of undigested food deposits.

Oswald, Felix L. (1887). The Poison Problem, or The Cause and Cure of Intemperance. New York: Appleton. 154 pages.

  • In Great Britain, the consumption of fermented and distilled liquors has increased at an average rate of three percent since 1850; in France, two percent; in Switzerland, five and a half percent; in northern Germany, the manufacture of malt liquors has doubled since 1866; and even in the United States, the consumption of intoxicating drinks of all kinds has advanced at a rate exceeding that of our rapid population growth by one fifth.
  • Dr. Oswald notes that “temperate use” of alcohol is but the first stage of a progressive disease and that, with moderation failing, we must adopt the motto of ” Eradication.” A truce means defeat in the struggle against an evil that will reproduce its seed from the basis of any compromise. Removing (the cause) is easier than suppressing the symptoms, just as much as abstinence is easier than temperance.
  • In this book, he covers the Secret of the alcohol habit, the causes of intemperance, the physiological effects of the poison habit, the cost of intemperance, alcohol, drugs, prohibition, and subjective remedies.

Oswald, Felix L. (1901). Vaccination a Crime: with Comments on Other Sanitary Superstitions. New York: Physical Culture Publishing Company. 195 pages. 

Oswald, Felix L. (1905). Vitality: How to Acquire And Conserve It: a Symposium of the World’s Greatest Authorities On Hygiene, Physical Development, Breathing, Diet Hydropathy, And All the Forces That Tend to Promote And Preserve Vitality. New York: Health Pub. Co., 1905. Pg 148 – 155.

  • Dr. Oswald presents a chapter in this book entitled Gymnastics and Recreation. He shares that happiness is the normal condition of every living creature, for in Nature, every normal function is connected with a pleasurable sensation.
  • In this article, he focuses on children, citing the importance of making your children happy and letting them live in harmony with nature. 

Popular Science Monthly. (1881). Physical Education. Volume 20/December 1881/Physical Education XII.

He discussed in this article:

  • 1. The Leading-Strings Fallacy: From the moment a child is born, he is treated on the principle that all his instincts are essentially wrong and that Nature must be thwarted and counteracted in every possible way.
  • 2. The Nostrum Fallacy: When a child complains of headache, lassitude, or lack of appetite, the nurse concludes that he must “take something.” If a young lady’s complexion grows paler and pastier daily, her mother will insist that she “get something” to purify her blood. If the baby squeals day and night, a doctor is sent for and is expected to “prescribe something.” 
  • 3. The Stimulant Fallacy: Eight hours of healthy sleep are sufficient to restore the energy expended in an ordinary day’s work. The stimulant habit in all its forms—”exhilarating beverages,” “tonic medicines,” “prophylactic bitters,” etc.—is a dire delusion. A healthy man needs no artificial excitants; the vital principle in its normal vigor is an all-sufficient stimulus.
  • 4. The Cold-Air Fallacy: Cold air is the general scapegoat of all sinners against Nature. When the knee-joints of the young debauchee begin to weaken, he suspects that he has “taken cold.” 
  • The bracing influence of fresh air revives the drooping vitality. Nature avails herself of the chance to begin repairs; the lungs reveal their diseased condition and proceed to rid themselves of the accumulated impurities. 
  • 5. The Fever Fallacy: Fevers are caused by the folly of aggravating the influence of the summer heat by superfluous clothing and calorific food (meat, greasy-made dishes, and ardent spirits) and not by fruit or cold water.
  • 6. The Spa Fallacy: Mineral springs spas, impregnated with sufficient iron or sulfur to make one shockingly nauseous, must, therefore, be highly salubrious. Solitary mountain regions afflicted with such spas become the favorite resort of invalids; dyspeptics travel thousands of miles to reach a spring that tastes like a mixture of rotten eggs and turpentine.
  • 7. The Ascetic Fallacy: A man of simple habits may be both happier and healthier than the lover of artificial luxuries, but the anti-naturalists make war upon earthly enjoyments as such; they try to suppress harmless as well as vicious pleasures; their aim is not the reduction hut the destruction of our natural desires.

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