DR. BERNARD. JENSEN, DC, ND. —PIONEERING NATUROPATH AND IRIDOLOGIST
In my early studies of natural healing I was blessed to discover and study with Dr. Bernard Jensen. He was one of a group of early to mid 1900’s Naturopaths who pioneered, practiced and anticipated much of the natural healing/medicine movement as we know it today. At this time important aspects of their knowledge and teaching is being lost. Dr. Jensen published several books during his lifetime about diet, nutrition and lifestyle as well as writing THE defining book on Iris Analysis or Iridology (I will explore Iridology in this lecture series later on). Here, I would like to summarize his philosophy and teachings in the hopes of preserving his approach and making it contemporary to today’s thinking.
Dr. Jensen began practice in 1929 and in 1955 established Hidden Valley Ranch in Escondido , California. This ranch served as a health and healing retreat center where people came to learn his nutritional principles, to have their health issues diagnosed and treated through natural foods, cleansing diets and fasting. He taught a healthy life style including daily dry skin brushing, the use of a slant board, color healing, Iris Analysis and spiritual awareness.
He died in 2001 in Escondido , California.
“To disobey the just laws of Nature willingly or ignorantly always results in definite consequences.” Dr Jensen was a big believer in living according to the laws of nature in order to be healthy and happy. He saw the human organism as an integral part of the natural world both physically and spiritually and as being supported by nature in all of its complexity. He viewed nature as protective and nurturing and wrote, “Nature is constantly working
for the preservation of life and the maintenance of health.” He was a proponent of a simple life and living according to the laws of nature.
He saw healthy blood as the key to maintaining and regaining health. The blood feeds all tissues and organs and must be healthy in ordered to build a strong body. Blood loaded with environmental toxins, waste products of metabolism and the harmful byproducts of an improper diet can deliver the seeds of disease to the tissues and organs rather than the building blocks of a strong and healthy body. Our blood carries nutrients from the digestive tract and oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body as well as bringing the waste products of CO2 and toxic end-products of metabolism to the organs of elimination where they are purged from the body. Whatever we eat will be taken into our digestive systems, broken down and distributed to all the cells and tissues via the blood. Healthy blood comes from introducing only natural, organic food devoid of unnatural chemicals such as colorings, preservatives, stabilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc . The blood cannot help but pick up these toxic chemicals from the foods we eat during digestion and transport them throughout the body along with the calcium, iron, potassium, protein, carbohydrates, etc that we need to function on a daily basis. The more unnatural chemicals that the blood takes up the fewer nutrients it can carry —— thus our diet can become more a source of toxic overload then a source of the nutrition we need for maintenance and repair. The blood also transports the factors of our immune system that fight viruses, bacteria and cancer. It carries the secretions from our glands to the target organs such as the thyroid gland, kidneys, ovaries, testicles, etc which enables them to function correctly. The blood is controlled by natural laws and has evolved with the human organism over millennia to take necessary nutrients from healthy soil, air, sunshine and water and deliver those nutrients to the cells
so that the tissues and organs can function optimally. Dr. Jensen maintained that healthy blood is the foundation of a healthy body.
He was an early proponent of a natural foods and an organic diet. It is hard to understand how radical this thinking was in the mid 1900”s in this country. From the 1960’s until now the natural foods movement has
gradually grown and spread to become the huge industry that it is now. Today it is easy to get whole and organic foods in most of the United States, where in the 1950’s natural food stores where few and far between. He states that if you buy natural, organic foods grown in rich soil fertilized with natural ingredients you do not need to worry about the foods containing enough minerals and vitamins to satisfy your nutritional needs. Eat a variety of these foods and consume lots of fresh vegetables (raw and steamed), fruits, nuts, whole grains and beans. Dr Jensen did not believe that human’s system of digestion and
elimination were designed to eat meat — our teeth are not fangs but grinders, our digestive tract is 30 - 40 feet long rather than 6 feet long as in carnivores. The digestive system of the carnivore is short so that the meat they eat is rapidly eliminated from the body and does not remain in the digestive system for prolonged periods of time where is will putrefy and release toxins into the blood and lymph.
Dr Jensen considered SUNLIGHT to be an equally important aspect of good nutrition. No life would be possible on the planet without sunlight. Sunlight stimulates the building and maintenance of healthy bones (via sunlight’s interaction with vitamin D in the skin) and healthy blood. Through the action of chlorophyll in plants (interesting note: the hemoglobin in our blood has almost the identical chemical structure to chlorophyll in plants) the energy of the sunlight is locked into the structure of the plant. When we eat plants that life force from the sun nourishes us and gives us vitality and life. As we know too much sun can be damaging to the skin, but too little sun can be damaging to the rest of our tissues — moderate sun exposure in the early part of the day, little by little, is the best way to satisfy our physiological need for sunlight.
He stressed the importance of eating foods grown in healthy, nutrient rich, chemical free soil. The only way I know to guarantee the quality of the soil is to purchase organic foods, in which case the certified organic
growers are not allowed to use anything but natural source fertilizers and soil enrichers.
Our body’s systems of elimination must be kept in good health and functioning optimally in order to insure that all toxins and waste products are purged from the body as quickly as possible and that there is no back up or accumulation in the tissues. The organs of elimination are the kidneys, the colon, the lymphatic system, the lungs and the skin. He believed in daily air and sun bathes and dry skin brushing (daily brushing of the skin with a natural bristle dry brush) to invigorate the skin and improve circulation. Hot bathes and sweating exercise helps the skin in it’s job of detoxifying the body as well. He was a big fan of FASTING as were many of the naturopaths of
his time. They recommended several different types of fasting and cleansing diets to regain and maintain health. Fasting is a vast and important enough subject that I will address it in a future lecture.