Back to Eden
By Paula Schneider

Frequently when I go into a book store, in particular a used book store, I allow my intuition to guide me right to the book I need to read at that time. It is amazing how many times I’ve walked in, with no clue as to what I was looking for, only to go straight over to a book that turns out to be a fabulous fit for me. Such was the case on a trip to Sisters, Oregon.

My friend and I were strolling down the streets, window shopping, when we spied a used book store. My heart will never let me pass up such an opportunity, so in we went. My friend and I searched different areas of the store, so she had no idea what I had picked to buy until we checked out. A classic from 1939, Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, leapt from the shelf into my waiting hand. As many of you know, I collect old medical and health books, and this one intrigued me. When we got to the counter, my friend said she knew of the book and, in fact, owns a paperback copy. She said she had never seen one in hardback. The proprietor told me this copy was a first edition. Boy was I ever thrilled!

The book is engaging, filled with many tidbits that are every bit as relevant and accurate today as they were in 1939. I’d like to share some quotes with my readers:

• Walking increases the inhalation of oxygen threefold. Regular exercise in the open air is one of the most important factors for preservation of health and prolongation of life.
• If we eat food as God has made it with all the vitamins and mineral salts, as they are now called, we do not get nervous, irritable, unreasonable, and out of sorts. When the minerals and vitamins, which would keep the body symmetrical, are removed from the food, we grow all out of shape and proportion, and it makes us subject to all kinds of diseases.
• There is so much written about foods today that it becomes confusing. So much about calories, acid-forming foods, alkaline foods, etc., and one writer says this and one that, and I have heard people say many times they did not know what to eat any more.
• Oatmeal water should be more frequently used than it is. It is a very good medicine for the sick. Take the finely flaked oats and put two heaping tablespoonfuls to a quart of water. Let it simmer for half an hour and then beat it up with a spoon or egg beater, and strain it through a fine sieve. This makes an excellent drink for anybody and especially the sick.
• Slippery elm is an old-fashioned remedy which has many wonderful uses. It is highly nourishing and very soothing to the stomach as a tea. I have used it for many years with wonderful results. It is soothing and healing wherever it is used (diarrhea, bowel, stomach, bladder, and kidney troubles).

These are just a few excerpts from this fascinating book. As I go through it, I take into consideration that it was written in the 1930’s and that science has improved on some of the areas he addresses. However, there are pearls of wisdom contained in the book and it’s an interesting read!