PANCHAKARMA GUIDE » Ayurveda » Faulty food disease

Total Ayurveda, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Total Ayurveda, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Avoid yoghurt, cheese or other heavy foods after sunset as they are best taken in the daytime for optimal digestion!

Latest Articles
Panchakarma Friends
Faulty food disease


 Faulty food disease - The Kronprinz Wilhelm

What happens to healthy men when they are fed on a diet consisting of bread and butter, meat and mashed potatoes, eggs and milk, salt and vinegar, tea and coffee, sugar and condensed milk?

We are relating to an incident that took place during the first world war. The Kronprinz Wilhelm , converted German cruiser, left Hoboken, Germany on 8th AUGUST 1914, and roamed the seas for 255 days, subsisting upon supplies taken from British and French merchantmen (cargo ships) before she sent them to the bottom.

During this time she touched no port, depending entirely for coal and provisions upon her raiding ability and her speed in escaping from enemy warships bent upon her destruction.

She was fairly busy during these 255 days. She sank 14 steamers and seized vast supplies of fine white American and Argentina flour , millions of pounds of the finest of fresh beef, enough to give every one of her CREW OF 500 MEN, three pounds every day for a year- a considerable quantity of fresh pork, hams and bacon, potatoes, canned vegetables, dried peas and beans, cakes, coffee, sugar and condensed milk.

In JANUARY (after four months), the increasing pallor of the members of her crew was noticed by the chief surgeon. He also noticed the dilation of the pupils of their eyes and marked shortness of breath; but these symptoms were not considered significant, nor did anybody dream of connecting them in any way with the "high grade diet" upon which the men were living, it being in every way equal to that eaten daily by the "best people" of the United States. And the men went merrily along, drawing their typical American meals of fresh beef, with occasional rations of ham and bacon, potatoes, canned vegetables cooked in the juices that stood in the can, cheese, fine white bread, margarine, coffee, tea, condensed milk and white sugar, three times every day, with sugar cakes, champagne and beer thrown in between meals.

In FEBRUARY, the Kronprinz Wilhelm sank a steamer loaded with a cargo of wheat- whole ungrounded wheat. The germ and bran of that wheat would have been worth more to the rapidly succumbing Germans than its weight in precious stones, but they did not know that they were sick, nor how badly they needed that whole wheat, with its alkaline calcium and potassium salts. Almost every week they added to their store of red meats, potatoes, canned vegetables and margarine. But little fruit was found upon any of the destroyed vessels, no more than enough to last the crew one day; so the fruit was confined to the officers’ mess, and be it noted, none of the officers were prostrated with the disease that followed.

Also in February, many of the crew complained of swollen ankles, pain in legs and arms. But they continued eating freely of the refined foods of high caloric value, now so extensively relied upon throughout the United States.

In MARCH ( 7 months), alarming conditions developed; symptoms of paralysis, dilated heart, atrophy of muscles, and pain on pressure over nerves, with marked anaemia and constipation. Fifty of the men could not stand, and they were dropping at average rate of two a day.

On 11TH APRIL 1915, ( AFTER 8 MONTHS), she made a dash into James River, and anchored off Newport News (USA), a floating hospital with 500 sick men on board, 110 of them in bed, and the rest coming down at the rate of four every day.

Observe how "contagious" this malady is. From the first victim it seemed to spread to the rest with the rapidity of a prairie fire before a gale. The chief surgeon of the ship, E.Perrenon, M.D., had exhausted all his medical skills in his valiant efforts to check the spreading , devastating work of the "consuming monster". Then he ordered the ship into port and issued a call for help.

Many dignified medical men, including the most famous physicians in New York, came in response to the call. But they found that not one of them had anything in their medical repertoire that would or could relieve the situation.

Then Alfred McCann, a representative of the New York Globe, and a student of nature and health, not of medicine and disease, appeared on the scene. He knew what the matter was without making any examination of the ship or the men. He did not ask to see the men; did not care to look at their tongue, nor feel their pulse, nor listen to their heart. He did not need to examine the men’s sputum, or urine, or blood.

From his knowledge of Nature, McCann knew that when men are forced to live any considerable length of time on strictly denatured and cooked foods, as these men had been forced to do, with no unfired (uncooked) fruits and green leafy vegetables now and then, to counter act and neutralise the destructive work produced on the body by cooked and denatured substances, they are liable to develop but never "catch" from another person, any of the many named acute disorders.

These men were suffering from the evil effects of wrong food. They needed foods that furnished the body with vital elements not found in cooked and denatured substances. Nature makes no errors in her work that must be corrected by man. The foods she produces are perfect for the bodies that must always depend on her for complete sustenance and subsistence.

Alfred MacCann’s study of Nature had told him all these things; and he knew that when this law of Nature is observed and obeyed, the results arising therefrom are and must be favourable, since they are controlled by the same force that regulates all things in life.

Acting in accordance with this knowledge, MacCann gave the ship’s surgeon a list of simple, natural foods, assuring him that the cause at the back of the seemingly "contagious" malady was merely a lack of proper food. The ship’s surgeon did accept and act on MacCann’s advice, not because he wanted to, but because it was his last and only hope.

And what happened? Results most amazing, because of their promptness and positiveness. Within ten days from the time the diet of natural food was begun, 47 of the men were discharged from the hospital, the prevalence of the "deadly disease" at once abated, and no more of the men succumbed to it.

There is nothing mysterious or marvellous about this. Know the law and apply the knowledge correctly, and the results are as certain as the rising of the summer sun. The building of health and the curing of disease are not a matter of drugs and serums, vaccination and inoculation. It is a matter of right living. Wrong living has been followed so long , that it is regarded as the correct way to live, and right living is a thing unknown- except to a few men and to primitive people.

Below is a list of the symptoms from which the crew of the Kronprinz Wilhelm suffered.

Dr. Perrenon made to MacCann this statement:-

"We had many cases of pneumonia, pleurisy, and rheumatism among the men. They seemed to lose all resistance long before the epidemic broke out. We had superficial wounds and cuts to deal with. They usually refused to heal for a long time. We had much haemorrhage. There were a number of accidents aboard, fractures and dislocations. The broken bones were slow to mend. Nature was not doing her duty. Food is indeed the cause of much disease. In nine months we can learn much that is not found in the medical textbooks."

It is just as impossible for nature to build sound bodies with defective materials, as for carpenters to build substantial houses with rotten timbers. Meet nature halfway and see how perfectly she will perform her part.

It is instructive to observe the list of symptoms presented as resulting from the use of a diet of cooked, denatured and refined foods of high caloric value, such as that recommended by the leading physicians and dieticians of the United States.

These symptoms are (1) pallor, (2) dilation of the pupils of the eyes, (3) marked shortness of breath, (4) pains in legs and arms, (6) symptoms of paralysis, (7) dilated heart, (8) atrophy of muscles, (9) pain on pressure over nerves, (10) anaemia, (11) constipation, (12) loss of vital resistance, (13) cuts and wounds refused to heal, (14) haemorrhage, (15) broken bones slow to mend, (16) pneumonia, (17) rheumatism.


Menu of the German sailors

It is instructive to know more in detail about the menu of the Kronprinz Wilhelm which we are able to give from Alfred MacCann’s book ‘SCIENCE OF EATING’ He says;-

"From the ship’s cook, with the chief surgeon’s assistance, I obtained the following chart, showing just what each meal consisted of . Upon inspecting the menu, we find that it included all that civilisation in general believes is necessary to sustain the body in health so far as food is concerned. These things are fed to patients in every allopathic hospital in the country; and if a man were served at a hotel with this variety of food, well prepared and in sufficient quantity, he would consider that his dietetic needs were abundantly and sumptuously provided for. Few men would have the faintest idea that these foods were slowly destroying their body.

The raids never resulted in any large quantity of fresh vegetables or fruits. The fresh vegetables and fruits were reserved for the officers table, which they managed to provide with fair quantities from one raid to another.

All the officers showed symptoms of anaemia and mild acidosis, but none of them was prostrated. From their tissues and blood, the lime, iron and potassium had not been robbed to the degree suffered by the tissues and blood of the crew.

None of the officers were prostrated. They were saved from the fate of the men by eating the small quantity of fruits and fresh vegetables taken from the destroyed ships. Not much to be sure; yet this small quantity was sufficient, as we see, to furnish the body with just enough building material of the proper kind, to prevent the officers from collapsing as the men did.

The menu of the German sailors


Cheese, oatmeal, condensed milk, white bread, butter, margarine,coffee, sugar.

Pea soup, canned vegetables served in juice margarine, coffee, sugar. that stood in the cans, roast beef, boiled potatoes, white bread, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.


Sausage, white bread, margarine, fried potatoes,coffee, condensed milk, sugar.

Potato soup, canned vegetables served in the  juice that stood in cans, pot roast of beef, boiled potatoes, white bread, butter, coffee,condensed milk, sugar.


Corned beef, white bread, margarine, fried potatoes, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.

Beef soup, roast beef, boiled potatoes, white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.


Smoked ham, cheese, white bread, margarine, condensed milk, sugar.

Lentil soup, fried steak, fried potatoes,white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.



Boiled rice, cheese, white bread, margarine, fried beef, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.

Pea soup, salted fish and pot roast, boiled potatoes, canned vegetables served in juice that stood in cans, white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.


Corned beef, cheese, fried potatoes, white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.

Potato soup, roast beef, boiled potatoes,white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, Sugar.


Beef stew, cheese, fried potatoes, white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.

Beef soup, pot roast, canned vegetables served in juice that stood in cans, boiled potatoes, white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk, sugar.


At four o’clock every afternoon, the men were served with a plate of Huntley and Palmer’s fancy biscuits, or sweet Cakes with coffee, condensed milk and sugar.

Evening meal either of
(A) fried steak, cold roast beef, corned beef, beef stew with potatoes or
(B) cold roast beef with white bread, margarine, coffee, condensed milk,sugar.

Menu of the Danes

Although Denmark was not involved in first world war, Denmark’s location was such that it was imperative for extreme caution to be exercised with respect to her food supply. To that end the Danish Government placed the control of the food supply under the supervision of Dr. Hindhede, a prominent physician of that country.

The situation facing Denmark was apparently desperate. Famine, disease, and death seemed to be staring her people in the face. Some drastic action had to be taken and that quickly. So the Danes on the orders of Hindhede killed off four-fifths of their hogs, and 34 per cent of their cows.

If Hindhede had been a flesh- eating advocate, he would not have done this. How fortunate for the people of Denmark that he was not. By killing off this amount of stock, the food that would have been fed to the animals was reserved for the people. And the bran and the middlings of grain which until now was being fed to the stock, was incorporated in the bread, vegetables, cabbage soup, some fruit, a little dairy produce, but no tea, no coffee, no spirits and no beer. On this diet, the favourable effect produced on the health and mortality of the people was truly amazing.

The mortality rate for the whole of Denmark, in the first full year of this sort of rationing, decreased by 17 per cent, resulting in a mortality of 10.4 per 1000 people – the lowest death-rate ever recorded in any civilised country. During the same period, the death rate of Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Holland rose, from 24 per cent increase for Norway, to 46 per cent for Spain.

All this occurred in one short year; and resulted entirely from the non-use of flesh, and the use of whole grains instead of only the starchy portions of grains.

Dr.Hindhede, Director of the Laboratory for Nutrition Research in Copenhagen, reported:

"Denmark was spared participation in the war, but we nevertheless felt its effects acutely. We were put in a very awkward position especially by the complete blockade from February 1917. The situation seemed desperate but the solution of the problem was extremely easy. The fact merely was that both men and pigs could not live In Denmark, so we reduced the number of pigs to one-fifth, and reserved their food, barley and potatoes, for the people. In addition we reduced our cows by 34 per cent; and withheld the wheat bran from the cows and incorporated that in our rye bread. We thus obtained a bread that not only contained all the rye bran, but 12 per cent extra wheat bran as well. It was indeed the coarsest bread ever seen. Moreover, we forbade the production of spirits for consumption, and the English deprived us of coffee and tea. We thus arrived at an impossible diet, according to the old theory, but an ideal diet according to the new theory.

What was the relation of health to this extremely Spartan diet? It was so remarkable that the rate of  mortality for the whole country in the first full rationing year (1stOctober 1917 to 1st October 1918) fell by 17 per cent. We came down to a mortality rate of 10.4 per cent per thousand, the lowest death rate ever seen in any country.

During the last three months of 1918, however, influenza appeared, which quite disturbed the mortality figures, but it is striking to note that Denmark was the only European country which had no higher rate of mortality in 1918 than in the years preceding the war.

There is no reason to doubt that, under normal conditions-influenza, which rages furiously in our midst- would have put up the death rate in Denmark to the same extent as in the neighbouring countries. But we seemed to have saved this 25 per cent by our rationing.

What were the active factors? It is safe to say that a diet consisting mainly of dairy produce, coarse bran bread, barley porridge and potatoes, and coffee substitute, was a healthy diet for the old people; but that it was less fortunate that, when rationing was abandoned, they returned to a heavier meat diet, with ordinary white bread and genuine Mocha coffee.

I have worked for many years to convince my countrymen to return to the simple peasant’s diet, which they lived on in the country 50 years ago. I have maintained that this diet was the most healthy besides being by far the cheapest. During the period of rationing I had the opportunity of helping to introduce the old diet of the peasants again; and the results quite came up to expectations."

The above report was published in - The Practitioner, London, March 1926.

The lessons we learn: Based on this most remarkable report, the impression spread far and wide that the food on which the Danes subsisted (on rationed food) during that time was the ideal food for man. This is a somewhat erroneous impression. The report merely indicates how highly destructive is the habit of eating flesh and foods made of denaturalised grains, processed foods etc., and how quickly the body will regenerate itself and increase its resistance to inimical influences, if given only half a chance.


Published with the kind permission of


Their ‘Understanding Hinduism’ website is an award winning site featuring a whole host of various articles promoting Hinduism. It truly is a wonderful, thoughtful and thought provoking work and a true beacon for the promotion of Hinduism and Vedic culture in the world today.


Please visit their enlightening website at


For more information, please visit this articles web page.
This article was published on Wednesday 27 September, 2006.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Current Comments: 0
Write Review
Tell a friend
Tell a friend about this article:  
Enter an email and spread the word about Panchakarma Guide!
Shreepoorna Ayurveda Panchakarma Chikitsalaya, Mangalore, India
Indian School of Martial Arts (I.S.M.A Kalari), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Nechiyil Ayurveda Vaidyasala, Cherpulassery, Palakkad, Kerala, India
Shri Balahanuman Ayurved Mahavidhyalaya, Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Parmarth Nature Cure & Yoga Centre, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
Government Autonomous Dhanwantari Ayurveda College & Hospital, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College, Thrissur, Kerala
Ayushakti Ayurved Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
The Rama Varier Memorial Hospital, Western Ghats, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu.
Ayurveda Institute of America, California, USA
Ch. Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan, Najafgarh, Delhi, India
Sir, I am very grateful to your website. With out this website Ayurveda would not have become so pop...

Dr.Suresh Kumar Koodur, India
1.Ayurveda Sanctuary, Karnataka, India
2.Atmasantulana Village, Near M.T.D.C., Karla, Maharashtra
3.Jiva Ayurveda Clinic and Panchakarma Centre, Faridabad, Haryana
4.Solai Panchakarma Treatment Centre, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
5.Ayurveda Sanctuary, Udupi, Karnataka, India
6.Ayushakti Ayurved Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
7.Ch. Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan, Najafgarh, Delhi, India
8.Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh
9.The Arya Vaidya Chikitsalayam Clinic & Research Institute (AVC) – Coimbatore, Tamilnadu.
10.Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital, Delhi
1.Solai Panchakarma Treatment Centre, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
2.Ayurveda Sanctuary, Karnataka, India
3.Shreepoorna Ayurveda Panchakarma Chikitsalaya, Mangalore, India
4.Atmasantulana Village, Near M.T.D.C., Karla, Maharashtra
5.Jiva Ayurveda Clinic and Panchakarma Centre, Faridabad, Haryana

You can support this project by writting feedback on Panchakarma centres you have been for treatment.
Contact Us for more details.

Sitemap | Search | What's New | Contact Us | Tell-a-Friend | Links | Products RSS Feed Copyright 2008, Panchakarma Guide | Privacy


Feedback Form
Feedback Form