When “Old Wisdom” is Still “New Wisdom”—a Health Guru in 1949 Had It Right

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Recently we came across this quote by Edmond Szekely, co-founder of the health resort and spa Rancho La Puerta in Mexico (then known as the “Essene School”), as reported in the San Diego Union in 1949.

At the time, Szekely was thought by some, including the Union’s reporter, to be a “health nut:” on the fringe, at best. But virtually everything he espoused in the 1940s now reads like something written yesterday...

The Professor insists that human health begins with healthy soil, which means good food. Health also depends to a great extent, he emphasizes, on good climate and right thinking. “The soil here at the Essene School is good because no commercial fertilizers and no poison sprays are used,” he explains. “Commercial fertilizers are at best a temporary soil tonic, but in the long run they deplete the soil because they drive out nature’s soil cultivator—the earthworm. As for poison sprays, they are unnecessary if the soil is healthy. Besides, their poison seeps into growing vegetables and fruits by process of osmosis.

Szekely insists that one of the causes of human illness is the eating of devitalized vegetables that have been mass produced for the commercial market. “They lack the minerals essential for health,” he declares. “I am advocating that every family have a miniature garden in which to work a few minutes daily, preferably in a bathing suit. These gardens yield good vegetables and the one who works them gains moderate exercise in the sun. They get the necessary daily dosage of Vitamin D. But I warn my students that 20 minutes of exposure to the sun is all they need...”

For more background on the life and philosophy of Edmond Szekely, see a history of Rancho La Puerta and Wikipedia

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