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Sylvester Graham
December 29, 2021
Sylvester Graham


Sylvester Graham is generally considered the founder of the National Hygiene movement. He was America’s first crusader for healthful living in diet, exercise, sleep, bathing, clothing, and sexual, emotional, and mental expression. His mastery of anatomy and physiology guided his advocacy of vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. In 1830, Graham launched the Crusade for Health and Physiological Reform through his lectures and writings. He became a champion of Natural Hygiene and living reform that we see in the National Health Assocation. He boldly asserted that right living is a surer means to health than a resort to physicians and drugs. His great monumental treatise, his Lectures on the Science of Human Life published in 1839, became a leading text on health reform.

It is requisite that the physician should well understand the physiological powers and laws of the body; in the second place, that he should understand the nature of the disease, and in the third place, as a general rule, that he should fully and clearly ascertain the cause of the disease. For, as Hippocrates justly observes, the man who attempts to cure a disorder without knowing the cause is like groping in the dark as a blind man.

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