Ellen White Topics
AS THEY STRIVE TO KNOW AND FOLLOW GOD'S WILL, NOT A FEW TODAY ARE MAKING INQUIRIES SIMILAR TO ONE EXPRESSED IN THE WORDS OF A MEDICAL STUDENT WHO IN 1893 WROTE TO MRS. WHITE TO ASK HER ABOUT THE USE OF DRUGS. IN HIS LETTER HE SAID:

"FROM OUR STUDY OF THE TESTIMONIES AND THE LITTLE WORK, WE CAN SEE THAT THE LORD IS STRONGLY OPPOSED TO THE USE OF DRUGS IN OUR MEDICAL WORK. . . .SEVERAL OF THE STUDENTS ARE IN DOUBT AS TO THE MEANING OF THE WORD 'DRUG' AS MENTIONED IN HOW TO LIVE DOES IT REFER ONLY TO THE STRONGER MEDICINES AS MERCURY, STRYCHNINE, ARSENIC, AND SUCH POISONS, THE THINGS WE MEDICAL STUDENTS CALL 'DRUGS,' OR DOES IT ALSO INCLUDE THE SIMPLER REMEDIES, AS POTASSIUM, IODINE, SQUILLS, ETC.? WE KNOW THAT OUR SUCCESS WILL BE PROPORTIONATE TO OUR ADHERENCE TO GOD'S METHODS. FOR THIS REASON I HAVE ASKED THE ABOVE QUESTION."

Your questions, I will say, are answered largely, if not definitely, in How to Live . Drug poisons mean the articles which you have mentioned. The simpler remedies are less harmful in proportion to their simplicity; but in very many cases these are used when not at all necessary. There are simple herbs and roots that every family may use for themselves and need not call a physician any sooner than they would call a lawyer. I do not think that I can give you any definite line of medicines compounded and dealt out by doctors, that are perfectly harmless. And yet it would not be wisdom to engage in controversy over this subject.

The practitioners are very much in earnest in using their dangerous concoctions, and I am decidedly opposed to resorting to such things. They never cure; they may change the difficulty to create a worse one. Many of those who practice the prescribing of drugs, would not take the same or give them to their children. If they have an intelligent knowledge of the human body, if they understand the delicate, wonderful human machinery, they must know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that not a particle of these strong drugs should be introduced into this human living organism.

As the matter was laid open before me, and the sad burden of the result of drug medication, the light was given me that Seventh-day Adventists should establish health institutions discarding all these health-destroying inventions, and physicians should treat the sick upon hygienic principles. The great burden should be to have well-trained nurses, and well-trained medical practitioners to educate "precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little" (Isa. 28:10)

. Train the people to correct habits and healthful practices, remembering that an ounce of preventive is of more value than a pound of cure. Lectures and studies in this line will prove of the highest value.--Letter 17a, 1893. 2SM 278,279

[ Remedies in the Natural World ] [ Water Treatments and Simple Herbs. ] --The Lord has taught us that great efficacy for healing lies in a proper use of water. These treatments should be given skilfully. We have been instructed that in our treatment of the sick we should discard the use of drugs. There are simple herbs that can be used for the recovery of the sick, whose effect upon the system is very different from that of those drugs that poison the blood and endanger life.--Manuscript 73, 1908 (Manuscript entitled "Counsels Repeated").

2SM 288 (PH144 15)

[ When Asked for Counsel, Simple Remedies Advised ] There are many simple herbs which, if our nurses would learn the value of, they could use in the place of drugs, and find very effective. Many times I have been applied to for advice as to what should be done in cases of sickness or accident, and I have mentioned some of these simple remedies, and they have proved helpful. 2SM 295 (PH144 16)

A cup of tea made from catnip herb will quiet the nerves. 2SM 297

[ Charcoal and Flaxseed. ] --We need a hospital so much. On Thursday Sister Sara McEnterfer was called to see if she could do anything for Brother B's little son, who is eighteen months old. For several days he has had a painful swelling on the knee, supposed to be from the bite of some poisonous insect. Pulverised charcoal, mixed with flaxseed, was placed upon the swelling, and this poultice gave relief at once. The child had screamed with pain all night, but when this was applied, he slept. Today she has been to see the little one twice. She opened the swelling in two places, and a large amount of yellow matter and blood was discharged freely. The child was relieved of its great suffering. We thank the Lord that we may become intelligent in using the simple things within our reach to alleviate pain, and successfully remove its cause.--Manuscript 68, 1899 (General Manuscript). 2SM 299

[ Other Remedies Mentioned ] [ A Poultice of Figs for Hezekiah. ] --When Hezekiah was sick, the prophet of God brought him the message that he should die. The king cried to the Lord, and the Lord heard him, and sent the promise that fifteen years should be added to his life. One word from God, one touch of the divine finger, would have been enough to cure Hezekiah instantly. But instead, he was given directions to make a poultice of figs, and lay it upon the part affected. This was done, and Hezekiah was restored to health. It would be well to treasure this prescription which the Lord ordered to be used, more than we do.--Manuscript 29, 1911 (General Manuscript). 2SM 300

[ The Value of Eucalyptus Oil. ] --I am very sorry to learn that Sister C is not well. I cannot advise any remedy for her cough better than eucalyptus and honey. Into a tumbler of honey put a few drops of the eucalyptus, stir it up well, and take whenever the cough comes on. I have had considerable trouble with my throat, but whenever I use this I overcome the difficulty very quickly. I have to use it only a few times, and the cough is removed. If you will use this prescription, you may be your own physician. If the first trial does not effect a cure, try it again. The best time to take it is before retiring.--Letter 348, 1908 (To a worker). 2SM 300

I have already told you the remedy I use when suffering from difficulties with my throat. I take a glass of boiled honey, and into this I put a few drops of eucalyptus oil, stirring it in well. When the cough comes on, I take a teaspoonful of this mixture, and relief comes almost immediately. I have always used this with the best of results. I ask you to use the same remedy when you are troubled with the cough. This prescription may seem so simple that you feel no confidence in it, but I have tried it for a number of years and can highly recommend it. 2SM 301

Again, take warm footbaths into which have been put the leaves from the eucalyptus tree. There is great virtue in these leaves, and if you will try this, you will prove my words to be true. The oil of the eucalyptus is especially beneficial in cases of cough and pains in the chest and lungs. I want you to make a trial of this remedy which is so simple, and which costs you nothing.--Letter 20, 1909 (To the worker addressed in the preceding item). 2SM 301

[ "My herb drink." ] --We need not go to China for our tea, or to Java for our coffee. Some have said: "Sister White uses tea, she keeps it in her house;" and that she has placed it before them to drink. They have not told the truth because I do not use it, neither do I keep it in my house. Once when crossing the waters I was sick and could retain nothing on my stomach and I did take a little weak tea as a medicine, but I don't want any of you again to make the remark that "Sister White uses tea." If you will come to my house I will show you the bag that contains my herb drink. I send to Michigan, across the mountains, and get the red-clover top. In regard to coffee, I never could drink it, so those who reported that Sister White drinks coffee made a mistake.-- Manuscript 3, 1888 (Sermon, Oakland, California). 2SM 301

In a certain place, preparations were being made to clear the land for the erection of a sanitarium. Light was given that there is health in the fragrance of the pine, the cedar, and the fir. And there are several other kinds of trees that have medicinal properties that are health promoting. Let not such trees be ruthlessly cut down.... Let them live.-- Letter 95, 1902 (To workers in the South). 2SM 301 (PH144 25)

[ Clover Blossoms--First Crop. ] --I have a request to make. Will these children please gather me as much clover or even more than they did last year? If they can do this, they will do me a great favour. I cannot do it here. We have no clover on our ground. The first crop is preferable, but if this comes too late, the second crop had better be secured. --Letter 1, 1872 (To a family in Michigan). 2SM 302

[ Tea Used as a Medicine, but Not as a Beverage. ] --I do not use tea, either green or black. Not a spoonful has passed my lips for many years except when crossing the ocean, and once since on this side I took it as a medicine when I was sick and vomiting. In such circumstances it may prove a present relief. 2SM 302

[ Coffee as Medicine. ] --I have not knowingly drunk a cup of genuine coffee for twenty years, only, as I stated, during my sickness--for a medicine--I drank a cup of coffee, very strong, with a raw egg broken into it.--Letter 20, 1882 (To friends). 2SM 302

The use of certain herbs that the Lord has made to grow for the good of man, is in harmony with the exercise of faith, --MS 31, 1911 (written June 3, 1888) PH144 04

Hop tea will induce sleep. Hop poultices over the stomach will relieve pain. PH144 06 (2SM 297)

When the head is congested, if the feet and limbs are put in a bath with a little mustard, relief will be obtained. PH144 06 (2SM 297)

God has caused to grow out of the ground, herbs for the use of man, and if we understand the nature of those roots and herbs, and make a right use of them, there would not be a necessity of running for the doctor so frequently, and people would be in much better health than they are today. I believe in calling upon the Great Physician when we have used the remedies I have mentioned.--Letter 35, 1890 (To a worker in an overseas field). PH144 07 (2SM 297)

There are simple herbs and roots that every family may use for themselves, and need not call in a physician any sooner than they would call a lawyer. PH144 08

The Lord has given some simple herbs of the field that at times are beneficial; and if every family were educated in how to use these herbs in case of sickness, much suffering might be prevented, and no doctor need be called. These old-fashioned, simple herbs, used intelligently, would have recovered many sick who have died under drug medication. PH144 09 (2SM 294)

Those who make a practice of taking drugs sin against their intelligence and endanger their whole afterlife. There are herbs that are harmless, the use of which will tide over many apparently serious difficulties. But if all would seek to become intelligent in regard to their bodily necessities, sickness would be rare instead of common. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.--Manuscript 86, 1897 (General Manuscript, "Health Reform Principles," written from Cooranbong, Australia). PH144 10 (2SM 290)

This is God's method. The herbs that grow for the benefit of man, and the little handful of herbs kept and steeped and used for sudden ailments, have served tenfold, yes, one hundred fold better purposes, than all the drugs hidden under mysterious names and dealt out to the sick. PH144 12

The true method for healing the sick is to tell them of the herbs that grow for the benefit of man. Scientists have attached large names to these simplest preparations, but true education will lead us to teach the sick that they need not call in a doctor any more than they would call in a lawyer. They can themselves administer the simple herbs if necessary. PH144 13

Our Saviour is the restorer of the moral image of God in man. He has supplied in the natural world remedies for the ills of man, that His followers may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. We can with safety discard the concoctions which man has used in the past. The Lord has provided antidotes for disease in simple plants, and these can be used by faith, with no denial of faith; for by using the blessings provided by God for our benefit we are co-operating with Him. We can use water and sunshine and the herbs which He has caused to grow for healing maladies brought on by indiscretion or accident. --MS 65, 1899 (written April 25, 1899) PH144 14

It would have been better if, from the first, all drugs had been kept out of our sanitariums, and use had been made of such simple remedies as are found in pure water, pure air, sunlight, and some of the simple herbs growing in the field. These would be just as efficacious as the drugs used under mysterious names, and concocted by human science. And they would leave no injurious effects in the system. PH144 15 (2SM 291)

By His own working agencies He has created material which will restore the sick to health. If men would use aright the wisdom God has given them, this world would be a place resembling heaven.--MS 63, 1899. PH144 16

When the Lord told Hezekiah that He would spare his life for fifteen years, and as a sign that He would fulfil His promise, caused the sun to go back ten degrees, why did He not put His direct, restoring power upon the King? He told him to apply a bunch of figs to his sore, and that natural remedy, blessed by God, healed him. The God of nature directs the human agent to use natural remedies now. --Letter 182, 1899. PH144 16

One of the most beneficial remedies is pulverised charcoal, placed in a bag and used in fomentations. This is a most successful remedy. If wet in smartweed boiled, it is still better. I have ordered this in cases where the sick were suffering great pain, and when it has been confided to me by the physician that he thought it was the last before the close of life. Then I suggested the charcoal, and the patient slept, the turning point came, and recovery was the result. To students when injured with bruised hands and suffering with inflammation, I have prescribed this simple remedy, with perfect success. The poison of inflammation was overcome, the pain removed, and healing went on rapidly. The most severe inflammation of the eyes will be relieved by a poultice of charcoal, put in a bag, and dipped in hot or cold water, as will best suit the case. This works like a charm. PH144 24 (2SM 294)