Skip to content
Dr. Thomas Low Nichols – Publications


Nichols, Thomas. (1840). Journal in Jail, Kept During a Four Months’ Imprisonment for Libel. Buffalo: A. Dinsmore.

  • In 1837, Thomas wrote for the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser and the Bennett’s Herald. He helped establish The Buffalonian. He wrote an article about B. Rathbun. He published the facts which he knew about Rathbun. The public knew them to be accurate, and three successive attempts to indict him failed. The fourth time was successful. He was convicted and imprisoned. He wrote about his experience from the trial to his time in prison.

The Water-Cure Journal and Herald of Reforms. Devoted to Physiology, Hydropathy, and the Laws of Life. New York: Fowlers and Wells. 1845. Repository Harvard University Library. Accessed 16 Jan 2024.

1845: Thomas began the Water-Cure Journal and Herald of Reforms, Devoted to Physiology, Hydropathy, and the Laws of Life. He edited it, and together they both wrote. It was the first significant project they did together. These journals were devoted to physiology, hydropathy, and the Laws of Life. It included articles about individual and social health, education, hydrotherapy, women’s rights, the water cure, hygiene, dietetics, and dress reform. 

  • During the mid-1800s, there was a great interest in the “water cure,” a means of curing and preventing disease without using drugs. The Water-Cure Journal was one of the most successful periodicals dealing with this subject. In addition to articles on various water treatments and the uses of water, it was concerned with physiology, pathology, and physical, moral, and intellectual development. It gave information on cleanliness, clothing, ventilation, diet, pregnancy, and disease prevention.
  • When it became the Herald of Health in 1863, the space previously devoted to the “water cure” began to be filled with more varied contents while emphasizing physical, moral, and intellectual development was maintained. Articles dealt with hygiene, the rearing of children, care of the sick and various cures for illness, and the evils of alcohol; there were recipes, poetry, notices of new publications, and answers to readers’ questions. 

Nichols, Thomas. (1850). An Introduction to the Water-Cure. New York: Fowlers and Wells.

  • A Concise Exposition of the Human Constitution, The Conditions of Health, The Nature and Causes of Disease, The Leading System of Medicine, And the Principles, Practice, Adaptations, and Results of Hydropathy or the Water Cures showing it to be scientific. Available on Forgotten Books
    • He shares: “Every day, I saw and heard of the triumphs of water cure. Taking charge of the male patients of our establishment, I saw the practice. At the same time, I diligently read the theory in the works of the best writers, including The Experience in Water Cure, written by Mrs. Nichols and recently published.

Nichols, T., Nichols, M. (1850). Marriage: its History, Character, and Results. New York: T. L. Nichols.

  • This book is broken into three parts.
    • Thomas writes part one, and this section is historical. It starts with marriage, as discussed in the New and Old Testament, followed by the history and facts of marriage and marriage as a form of slavery. Also discussed are monogamy, polygamy, omnigamy, women’s rights, and the doctrines of free love.
    • Part two is a narrative by Mary that discusses the woman as an individual, as well as the law, fidelity, faith, and love.
    • Part three is the science written by Thomas. He discusses human rights, love, jealousy, children, morality vs. immorality, and love in the future.

Nichols, Thomas. (1853). Esoteric Anthropology (the Mysteries of Man): a Comprehensive and Confidential Treatise on the Structure, Functions, Passional Attractions, Perversions, True and False Physical and Social Conditions, and the Most Intimate Relations of Men and Women. London: Nichols.

  • It is a book for the prevention of disease, the preservation of health, and restoration. It starts with an overview of the human body and its various systems. Then, it goes into the disease’s symptoms, conditions, and causes. The next focus is on treatment within the specific organs.

Nichols, Thomas. (1854). “Curative Agencies.” Eternal Health Truths of a Century Ago, no. June, 1960, pp. 64-73. Out of print. Edited by Christopher Gian-Cursio.

  • Dr. Nichols discusses how disease can be prevented. Simply in two ways: by living, as far as possible, in accordance with all the conditions of health; and by avoiding, in a manner, every cause of disease; keeping up the strength and purity of the system; by avoiding all excess, in every means of exhaustion; and by living in such a manner as to keep free from all matter of disease. He goes on to say that the cure for disease is not accomplished by treatments in the current medical system. Nature does her own work.
  • He believed that nature provides the cure when the vital force is sufficient in the body. When there is more disease than the vital force can overcome, nature sinks under the effort, and the patient dies. When nature is left alone to cope with disease, the struggle is brief in proportion to its violence.

Nichols, Thomas., Nichols, Mary. (1855). Nichols’ Monthly: a Magazine of Social Science and Progressive Literature / edited by T.L. Nichols and Mary S. Gove Nichols. Cincinnati, Ohio: H. Watkin & Valentine Nicholson.

  • The Nichol’s Monthly is a collection of their stories, writings, and communications.

Nichols, Thomas. (1860). Esperanza: My Journey Thither and What I Found There. Cincinnati: Valentine Nicholson.

  • In Nichols’ Monthly, he partially published an epistolary Utopian story infused with his beliefs about free love, universal suffrage, and libertarianism; it was later published in novel form as Esperanza: My Journey Thither and What I Found There in 1860.
    • Esperanza signifies the land of Hope. Thomas was an advocate of free love, a supporter of universal suffrage (Feminism), and a libertarian. These points are central to the Utopia at the heart of this story. 
    • The story is written in a series of letters by a young gentleman from New York on a journey to the Far West. He wants to find a future home for himself and his intended. He reaches Esperanza (Utopia) and describes the members of society as living in great harmony and happiness. He describes them as being intimate in relation to love with others and then sharing the responsibility of offspring with more than one.

Nichols, Thomas. (1864). Forty years of American Life. London: J. Maxwell and Co.

  • The wisest man Thomas Nichols ever knew said to him: “I have lived through the best years this country has ever seen or ever will see.” That crushing pronouncement embodies the very mood and intention of Forty Years of American Life. 1821-1861. Thomas Low Nichols, journalist, reformer, and expatriate, published this in London in 1864.

Nichols, Thomas. (1872). Human Physiology, the Basis of Sanitary and Social Science. London: Nichols.

  • In this book, Dr. T. L. Nichols defines the confusion and differences of views regarding the cause of disease among the Hygienists. He points out that some regarded disease as the result of a diminution of the nervous power or vital force (Jennings and Gove), while another group held that the blood is life and the impurity in the blood is the cause of all disease action (Trall). Nichols himself, anticipating Tilden by several years, adds: “But good blood cannot be formed without sufficient vital or nervous power, and good blood is necessary to the healthy action of the brain and nervous system. Here is reciprocal action, each depending upon the other. Waste matter, retained in the human system, is a materies morbid, and there are many kinds of blood poisoning.”

Nichols, Thomas. (1873). How to Live on Sixpence A-Day. London: Nichols.

  • It is also titled How to Live on a Dime and a Half a-Day. New York: J.S. Redfield.
  • The Penny Vegetarian Cookery lists some of the more famous vegetarians of the time. He explains why you should become a vegetarian and the nutritional value of grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. He discusses when, what, how often, how much to eat, and what to drink.
  • He also suggests learning to prepare a dozen recipes and teaches you how to prepare bread, porridge, soups, potatoes, salads, sauces, pies, and other simple dishes.

Nichols, Thomas. (1873). How to Cook: The Theory in Practice with 500 Recipes. London: Longmans, Green & Co., Paternoster Row.

  • Nichols explains the general principles of cookery, the economics of food, and its relation to health. He shares recipes for sauces, vegetables, soups, fruits, salads, and more.
  • Available on Amazon.

Nichols, Thomas. (1873). How to Behave: a Manual of Manners and Morals. London, Longmans, Green, and Co.

  • Nichols discusses how to behave. From clothing to etiquette on how to converse to dealing with family, friends, community, and much more.

Nichols, Thomas. (1874). Social Life: A Manual of Morals and Good Behavior. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.

  • He believed that humankind could coexist harmoniously if they understood good behavior. 

Nichols, Thomas. (1877). The Herald of Health [electronic resource]: papers on sanitary and social science. London: Nichols.

  • This is an eclectic collection of the writings of Thomas and Mary Nichols on health, diet, clean air, water, the water cure, alcohol, disease, treatments, women’s clothing, children, and so much more.

Nichols, Thomas. (1881). The Diet Cure. New York: Holbrook.

  • Thomas shares in this book that humans are best when they follow nature. That is the simple rule of health. Every creature on Earth has its own natural food. Man naturally eats, lives, and thrives upon fruit, vegetables, seeds, or the bread he can make. Man is at his best when he eats the food best adapted for nourishment. When he departs from that, his body becomes disordered and diseased. He discusses quantity, quality, when, and what to eat. He explains the importance of water for health and the water cure for treatment, air, and exercise.

Nichols, Thomas. (1885). The Health Almanack. London: Franks & Co., Nichols & Co.

  • An annual publication focused on health, disease, treatment, and cure, Nichols also advertised products he sold while living in England (e.g., soap, a grain mix called Food of Health, health biscuits, baking powder, a portable water bath, a hot air vapor bath, etc.)

Nichols, Thomas. (1887). Nichols’ Health Manual: Being also a Memorial of the Life and Work of Mrs. Mary S. Gove Nichols. London: E.W. Allen.

  • He intended it to be a handbook of health and a tribute to the woman he married and her life’s work, especially for women’s health. He begins with a memorial to Mary’s life and work. He then discusses social conditions, marriage, human physiology, disease in general (especially female diseases), diet, digestion, and treatment. He explains hydropathy and discusses various hydropathic processes. Chapters on pregnancy, birth, and raising children were also included. 

Nichols, Thomas. (1888). Dr. Nichols’ Penny Vegetarian Cookery: The Science and the Art of Selecting and Preparing a Pure, Healthful, and Sufficient Diet. London: Franks & Co.

  • Thomas starts by sharing vegetarianism through the ages and portraits of distinguished vegetarians. He shares that he adopted a vegetarian diet (and followed his principles) at 19 after hearing Sylvester Graham’s lecture on “Diet in its Relations to Health” and that he was never ill throughout his life. He also shares how to prepare bread, porridge, beans, lentils, soups, potatoes, salads, and sauces. He focuses on when, what, how often, and how much food and water to consume. He shares simple recipes (e.g., soups, pies, puddings, etc).
Welcome to the new home of the National Health Association!
If you are an existing member, you will need to reset your password in order to log in and take advantage of all the great benefits being a member provides—which now includes the ability to update your own contact information (address, phone number, email, upload a picture and much more). Please start by clicking the Register/Log In button and follow the instructions on that page. Once your password is reset, you will use your email address as your username. You no longer have or need a Member Number. Please contact us if you have questions—and thanks for your support!