Ellen White Topics
Many indulge in unhealthful practices until the physical vitality is undermined, and the mental and moral powers are enfeebled. When they fall a prey to disease they resort to drugs, and if these afford them temporary relief, they seem to be satisfied to continue in transgression. They do not bring their habits and practices in review to see what is wrong, and correct the evils by removing the causes. As the drugs are a mere stimulant, after a time they realise that they are in a worse condition than before they used the remedies. To use drugs while continuing evil habits, is certainly inconsistent, and greatly dishonours God by dishonouring the body which He has made. Yet for all this, stimulants and drugs continue to be prescribed and freely used by human beings, while the hurtful indulgences that produced the disease are not discarded. They use tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, wine, beer, and other stimulants and give to nature a false support. 16MR 058

Some are indulging lustful appetite which wars against the soul and is a constant hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They constantly bear an accusing conscience, and if straight truths are talked they are prepared to be offended. They are self-condemned and feel that subjects have been purposely selected to touch their case. They feel grieved and injured, and withdraw themselves from the assemblies of the saints. They forsake the assembling of themselves together, for then their consciences are not so disturbed. They soon lose their interest in the meetings and their love for the truth, and, unless they entirely reform, will go back and take their position with the rebel host who stand under the black banner of Satan. If these will crucify fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they will get out of the way, where the arrows of truth will pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge lustful appetite, and thus cherish their idols, they make themselves a mark for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all, they must be wounded. Some think that they cannot reform, that health would be sacrificed should they attempt to leave the use of tea, tobacco, and flesh meats. This is the suggestion of Satan. It is these hurtful stimulants that are surely undermining the constitution and preparing the system for acute diseases by impairing Nature's fine machinery and battering down her fortifications erected against disease and premature decay. 1T 548

[ Borrowed Power Results in Depression. ] --Through the intemperance begun at home, the digestive organs first become weakened, and soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea and coffee produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited; and in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated, the imagination more vivid. Because these stimulants produce such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them; but there is always a reaction. 2MCP 484

The brother referred to felt a lack in his system; he was not nourished, and he thought that meat would give him the needed strength. Had he been suitably cared for, his table spread at the right time with food of a nourishing quality, all the demands of nature would have been abundantly supplied. The butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work. 2T 485

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. 3T 487

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. 3T 487

I saw that Brother Morrell was a nervous dyspeptic. Should he adopt the health reform, his health would improve. Everything of a stimulating nature as tea, coffee, or flesh meats, he should avoid. These are all too stimulating, too great a tax to the nervous system. They do not impart strength as he supposes to the nerves, but take the strength from the nerves and use his reserve force, vital force. They have an exhilarating influence at first, but in the end [leave] him just as much below the medium, as through their influence he was raised above the medium. These things are an injury, and he should by degrees leave all stimulating, irritating causes and eat food that will not simulate and draw upon the strength of the nerves, thus having an influence to debilitate the nervous system. He will for a time feel the need of these hurtful brain- and nerve-weakening indulgences, but in time he will recover as much by their disuse as he has lost through their use. Then can the brain think more calmly, sleep will not be so uncertain. . . . 5MR 298

Light has been given showing the injurious effects of tea, coffee, and flesh meats; but this light has been disregarded, even by those who profess to believe the testimonies. They even feel that to deny themselves of these health-destroying indulgences would be a restriction of their liberties. If deprived of their use for a time, they feel the loss, because of former indulgences, and are always pleading to be allowed to use them in some form. Care should be exercised in the case of self-indulgent worldlings who have been accustomed to the use of these stimulants. Enlighten their minds by the means of the talks and the lectures, in regard to the effects of tea, coffee, and flesh meats, and thus lead them to a voluntary correction of their habits. 8MR 382

Tea, coffee, and tobacco, as well as alcoholic drinks, are different degrees in the scale of artificial stimulants. CD 421

Those who resort to tea and coffee for stimulation to labour, will feel the evil effects of this course in trembling nerves and lack of self-control. Tired nerves need rest and quiet. Nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies. But if her forces are goaded on by use of stimulants, there is, whenever this process is repeated, a lessening of real force. For a time more may be accomplished under the unnatural stimulus, but gradually it becomes more difficult to rouse the energies to the desired point, and at last exhausted nature can no longer respond. CD 422

The continued use of these nerve irritants is followed by headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling, and many other evils, for they wear away the life forces. Tired nerves need rest and quiet instead of stimulation and overwork. Nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies. When her forces are goaded on by the use of stimulants, more will be accomplished for a time; but as the system becomes debilitated by their constant use, it gradually becomes more difficult to rouse the energies to the desired point. The demand for stimulants becomes more difficult to control, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving. Stronger and still stronger stimulants are called for, until exhausted nature can no longer respond. CD 424

Tea and coffee drinking is a sin, an injurious indulgence, which, like other evils, injures the soul. These darling idols create an excitement, a morbid action of the nervous system; and after the immediate influence of the stimulants is gone, it lets down below par just to that degree that its stimulating properties elevated above par. (1861) CD 425

Those who are in the habit of using tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, or spirituous liquors, cannot worship God when they are deprived of the accustomed indulgence. Let them, while deprived of these stimulants, engage in the worship of God, and divine grace would be powerless to animate, enliven, or spiritualise their prayers or their testimonies. These professed Christians should consider the means of their enjoyment. Is it from above, or from beneath? CD 426

[ A Losing Battle With Appetite (1875) 3T 487, 488 ] 745. Intemperance commences at our tables, in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons, the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them, and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system, will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger, which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulge, the more frequent will be its demands, and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes, and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. CD 427

[ Persevere, and Nature Will Rally ] In relation to tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcoholic drinks, the only safe course is to touch not, taste not, handle not. The tendency of tea, coffee, and similar drinks is in the same direction as that of alcoholic liquor and tobacco, and in some cases the habit is as difficult to break as it is for the drunkard to give up intoxicants. Those who attempt to leave off these stimulants will for a time feel a loss, and will suffer without them. But by persistence they will overcome the craving, and cease to feel the lack. Nature may require a little time to recover from the abuse she has suffered; but give her a chance, and she will again rally, and perform her work nobly and well. [ (1875) 3T 569 ] CD 430

The use of unnatural stimulants is destructive to health, and has a benumbing influence upon the brain, making it impossible to appreciate eternal things. Those who cherish these idols cannot rightly value the salvation which Christ has wrought out for them by a life of self-denial, continual suffering, and reproach, and by finally yielding His own sinless life to save perishing man from death. CD 431

[ tea and coffee Are Contributing Factors. ] -- Through the intemperance begun at home, the digestive organs first become weakened, and soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea and coffee produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited; and in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated, the imagination more vivid. Because these stimulants produce such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them; but there is always a reaction. The nervous system has borrowed power from its future resources for present use, and all this temporary invigoration is followed by a corresponding depression. The suddenness of the relief obtained from tea and coffee is an evidence that what seems to be strength is only nervous excitement, and consequently must be an injury to the system. CG 403

Tea and coffee do not nourish the system. The relief obtained from them is sudden, before the stomach has time to digest them. This shows that what the users of these stimulants call strength, is only received by exciting the nerves of the stomach, which convey the irritation to the brain, and this in turn is aroused to impart increased action to the heart, and short-lived energy to the entire system. All this is false strength, that we are the worse for having. They do not give a particle of natural strength. The second effect of tea drinking is headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling of the nerves, with many other evils. CH 087

Tea and coffee, condiments, confectionery, and pastries are all active causes of indigestion. Flesh food also is harmful. Its naturally stimulating effect should be a sufficient argument against its use; and the almost universally diseased condition of animals makes it doubly objectionable. It tends to irritate the nerves and to excite the passions, thus giving the balance of power to the lower propensities. ED 203

To a certain extent, tea produces intoxication. It enters into the circulation, and gradually impairs the energy of body and mind. It stimulates, excites, and quickens the motion of the living machinery, forcing it to unnatural action, and thus gives the tea drinker the impression that it is doing him great service, imparting to him strength. This is a mistake. Tea draws upon the strength of the nerves, and leaves them greatly weakened. When its influence is gone and the increased action caused by its use is abated, then what is the result?--Languor and debility corresponding to the artificial vivacity the tea imparted. When the system is already overtaxed and needs rest, the use of tea spurs up nature by stimulation to perform unwonted, unnatural action, and thereby lessens her power to perform, and her ability to endure; and her powers give out long before Heaven designed they should. Tea is poisonous to the system. Christians should let it alone. . . . The second effect of tea drinking is headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling of the nerves, and many other evils.--[t., V. II, pp. 64, 65.] HL 107

860. The influence of coffee is in a degree the same as tea, but the effect upon the system is still worse. Its influence is exciting, and just in the degree that it elevates above par, it will exhaust and bring prostration below par. . . . The relief obtained from them [tea and coffee] is sudden, before the stomach has had time to digest them. This shows that what the users of these stimulants call strength is only received by exciting the nerves of the stomach, which convey the irritation to the brain, and this in turn is aroused to impart increased action to the heart, and short-lived energy to the entire system. All this is false strength, that we are the worse for having.--[t., V. II, p. 65] . HL 201

[ The Use of Drugs in our Institutions. ] 1053. Our institutions are established that the sick may be treated by hygienic methods, discarding almost entirely the use of drugs. There is a terrible account to be rendered to God by men who have so little regard for human life as to treat the body ruthlessly, in dealing out drugs. . . . We are not excusable if, through ignorance, we destroy God's building by taking into the stomach poisonous drugs under a variety of names we do not understand. It is our duty to refuse all such prescriptions. We want sanitariums where maladies may be cured by nature's own provisions, and where the people may be taught how to treat themselves when sick; where they will learn to eat temperately of wholesome food, and to be educated to discard all narcotics, tea, coffee, fermented wines, and stimulants of all kinds, and the flesh of dead animals.-- . HL 246

1055. To use drugs while continuing evil habits is certainly inconsistent, and greatly dishonours God by dishonouring the body which he has made. Yet for all this, stimulants and drugs continue to be prescribed and freely used; while the hurtful indulgences that produce the disease are not discarded. The use of tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, wine, beer, and other stimulants gives nature a false support. Physicians should understand how to treat the sick through the use of nature's remedies. Pure air, pure water, and healthful exercise should be employed in the treatment of the sick.-- . HL 247

Jesus endured the painful fast in our behalf, and conquered Satan in every temptation, thus making it possible for man to conquer in his own behalf, and on his own account, through the strength brought to him by this mighty victory gained as man's substitute and surety. We thank the Lord that a victory was gained upon these points, even here in Basel; and we hope to carry our brethren and sisters up to a still higher standard to sign the pledge to abstain from Java coffee and the herb that comes from China. We see that there are some who need to take this step in reform. There are some who are nervous, and they should abstain from these nerve-weakening narcotics, that they may place themselves in right relation to the laws of life and health. These injurious stimulants are doing great harm to their nervous system. The machinery of nature is aroused to unwonted activity to be followed by reaction, and the coffee and tea must be used by them to keep up their strength and again urge up their powers. Unnatural activity is the result, and by this continual course of indulgence of appetite the natural vigour of the constitution becomes gradually and imperceptibly impaired. If we would preserve a healthy action of all the powers of the system, nature must not be forced to unnatural action. Nature will stand at her post of duty, and do her work wisely and efficiently, if the false props that have been brought in to take the place of nature are expelled. RH APR.19,1887

I have been invited here and there to come and take tea with certain families. I was glad to have an opportunity to talk with these friends; but I could not countenance their hurtful practice of tea-drinking, I could not partake of this beverage with them, or give my influence to encourage this unnecessary and injurious habit. After freely partaking, the effects of tea-drinking may be discovered. The face becomes flushed, the eyes brighten, a new vigour is manifested, and the mind seems unnaturally active. Tea is a stimulant, and its exhilarating effects are neither lasting nor beneficial. The same is true of coffee. I have heard people declare that they could not live without their coffee. They were languid and dispirited, and were unfit to take up the tasks of the day, but after they had had their coffee they felt revived and encouraged; but this feeling of strength was only due to the stimulant they had taken. They were, in reality, just as unfit for their tasks as before and had only spurred up their flagging energies. When the influence of coffee had passed away, they were left as much in need of another cup as before they had taken the first cup. ST FEB.17,1888

--All these nerve irritants are wearing away the life forces; and the restlessness, the impatience, the mental feebleness caused by shattered nerves, become a warring element, ever working against spiritual progress. Shall Christians bring their appetite under the control of reason, or will they continue its indulgence because they fell so "let down" without it, like the drunkard without his stimulant? Shall not those who advocate temperance reform awake in regard to these injurious things also? And shall not the pledge embrace coffee and tea as hurtful stimulants? --Counsels on Health, page 442. TE 081.