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Collectible Treasures August Book Review
 August 3, 2002
This Month's Book Review
Arthritis Can Be Cured by Dr. Bernard Aschner
Published by The Julian Press, Inc., New York
Copyright 1957

To my dear brothers Felix and Carlos Aschner in gratitude.


This book, which might well be entitled Practical Relief for the Arthritic
or Rheumatic  Patient, presents in simple, readily understood language
the results of the author's  experience over more than forty years in the
treatment of literally thousands of cases  of arthritis and such allied
painful conditions as "rheumatism," sciatica, "lumbago,"  neuritis, and
neuralgia.  His sucess in obtaining comparatively prompt and long-
lasting  relief-often for many years--attests to the basic soundness of
his concepts.

The author is an ardent student of the history of medicine; in his search
into the past he has found ancient procedure so fundamentally rational
and effective that it is  difficult to understand why they were discarded
and practically forgotten during the  past hundred years.  By using the
best of these ancient principles and combining them with some of the
physiologically sound of the more recent scientific developments, the
author is convinced that arthritis is one of the most gratifying
conditions to treat, because of the almost universal beneficial results

In a number of encyclopedic scientific volumes on Constitutional
Therapy, the author, Dr.Bernard Aschner, has shared his knowledge
and experience with the medical profession.  In these pages he has
made this infomation available in simple form to the sufferers from
arthritis, not with the idea of advocating self-diagnosis and treatment,
but so that the patient can, to a degree at least, understand his
problem, and seek the help he needs from his doctor.

Many physicians, both in Europe and here in America,  have
familiarized themselves  with Dr. Aschner's methods, and have treated
case after case with the same almost  spectacular prompt improvement,
often with apparently permanent relief.

Every patient suffering from arthritis or "rheumatism" will find in these
pages much  valuable information to help him understand one or more
of the underlying factors causing his condition.  He will learn how to
avoid certain mistakes in his way of life that  contribute to the progress
of his disease.  And he will discover that, with the help of his own
physician in carrying out the suggested therapeutic procedures
recommended by Dr. Aschner and  described in his textbook on
arthritis, he can feel almost assured of  a much more comfortable,
useful, and happy life.

It is because of my own conviction from experience of the value of
the measures advocated by the author--measures that have passed the
test of time--that I have been more than happy to write these brief
introductory comments, in the hope that many of the sufferers from
arthritis will read these pages and benefit as a result.

New York, N.Y.                                                 Lawrence E. Smith, M.D.

Part One
General Discussion

1.  Widespread confusion about the cause and cure of arthritis.

     Incidence of arthritis and allied diseases:

It is public knowledge that we have in the United States today more than
ten million persons suffering from arthritis and its allied rheumatic
disorders.  There seems to have arisen an unfortunate pessimism about
the possibility of  a cure for these unhappy sufferers.  The general
conception is that such victims have no choice but to accept and to
live with their affliction the best way they can.  Modern medicine has
openly stated:
"We do not know what arthritis is.  Therefore we have no effective cure for

But in this very admission lies the fundamental error of current medical
thought.  The  whole history of medical practice reveals that medicine
has often cured long before it has fully understood.  Cardiac treatment,
for example, discloses just such a pattern.  Successful treatment of
heart diseases preceded by many years total understanding of their
cause. Digitalis has been used for a hundred and seventy-five years
and no physician questions that it is,  even today, the best heart
stimulant.  Doctors still have no exact idea as to how it works, however.

Modern methods have made possible many important medical advances,
particularly in the treatment of infectious diseases.  The fact that the
chronic diseases, arthritis among them, have largely continued to defy
the laboratory techniques does not necessarily make them incurable.  
For science to swing violently to this one-sided approach represents
both a dangerous and a wasteful attitude.  Medicine can not afford to
disregard the many successful remedies, now relegated to the
"unscientific" past, which have emerged out of practical experience,
good diagnosis, observation, and even accidental cures.  Scientific
proof may not, as yet, have justified their usefulness.  Nevertheless,
they remain useful.  The fundamental purpose of medicine, we must
remember, is to heal, to heal as  gently, as quickly, and as effectively
as possible with whatever remedies we find successful.

My own more than forty years of experience, both here and in Europe,
with an aggregate of about ten thousand patients suffering from arthritis,
rheumatism, and allied conditions, have led me to an intensive re-
examination of the past.  What I have found has enabled me to cure
thousands of sufferers whom the modern techniques could not, in most
cases, even relieve.  It has also led me to the conviction that medicine
today, if it is to succeed at all with the Number One problem of chronic
diseases, must achieve a synthesis in its understanding and methodology.  
Integration of the practical, empirical ways of the past with the modern,
analytic approach may yet give us the "miracle cures" we are still
searching for in chronic disease treatment.

The "miracles" I present in this book are actual case histories of patients
who came to me suffering from every conceivable kind of arthritis or
related disorder.  I describe them with full details as to clinical symptoms,
specific treatment, and exact therapeutic results.  It is my hope that their
documentation and my explanation of the theories on which I based my
successful treatment will shed new light on the problem of arthritis, both
for the unhappy victim and for the often equally unhappy practitioner
who struggling to help him.

I have said that my purpose in writing this book is to shed some light on
the problem of arthritis, to prove that, contrary to current popular
misconceptions, arthritis can be cured, and to show how a successful cure
can be achieved.  First of all, however, I feel that it is important to clear
up some of the misinformation that is demoralizing and leading to the
exploitation of many arthritis sufferers today.

Over a major network recently a noted radio commentator, discussing
arthritis with the author of a best-selling book on the subject, disposed
of the problem very simply.  "People who have arthritis," he said, "just
have to suffer.  One can do nothing about it."  This, of course, is an
erroneous idea, contributing unnecessarily to the confusion of the
unfortunate arthritis victim and leaving the way open to dangerous
consequences for him.  Panaceas, cure-alls, books, and bottles
extending hope to the hopeless are quick to follow on the heels of such
statements.  From the doctor, the patient turns to the fringes of the
medical profession, to the chiropractors, the osteopaths, the creators
of diets, and writers of best-selling books about diets and other such
unfounded methods of help.

Diet is one of the favorite recommendations.  It is naive, beautifully
oversimplified.  It promises the patient a cure "right in his own home,"  
and without need for either doctor or medication.  How eagerly our
discouraged and disappointed arthritics--some even made neurotic
by their many years of suffering--turn to such a hope!  
A forlorn hope, alas!

One of the recent best-sellers was based on the primitive and artitrary
theory that arthritis is mainly a lack of  lubrication or oil in the joints.  
Consequently, all that the arthritic patient had to do was to provide
himself with the lacking "oils" in the joints through a specific diet
recommended by the author.  "But what," ask I, the humble man of
medicine, "what about the frequent pain and swelling in the
surrounding nerves, capsules, muscles, tendons?"  These the author
of the book neither mentions nor explains.

He urges, instead, that his diet cure should be carried on for about half
a year or perhaps  a year, when results will begin to be seen.  I'm afraid
that very few patients would be satisfied to wait this long while under
medical treatment.  More often, they leave medical care if definite
improvement cannot be felt within the first two to four weeks.

But to go on about this diet.....It permits the patient to eat fairly
regular food but, strangely enough, forbids  olive oil.  On the other
hand, a glass of milk with every one of the three meals is recommended.  
Now milk, we know from medical experience,  disagrees with many
persons, particularly the person with a weak and hyperacid stomach.  
Milk creates gas, more acid, constipation and, according to its chemical
properties, slows  down the whole process of digestion.  Milk is fine
for the baby; it is not always as good for the grown-up.  I will discuss all
this more completely in a later section on diets in  arthritis.   For the
moment, I want to say  only that I have professionally observed patients
who have followed this widely publicized diet conscientiously for more
than a year.  They have lost  strength and weight and have become anemic.  
In spite of the daily intake of cod-liver oil and wheat germ, also
recommended in the book, their arthritis has become worse rather than
better.  So much for the latest popular--and perilous---fad for the cure of

This is close of part one section one of  this  month's book review:

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