In the early twentieth century, a German professor named Arnold Ehret pronounced he had a cure to every ailment that plagued modern man. He proposed that every disease, no matter what name given by medical science, is at its root a form of constipation, and therefore the cure to any disease is found by removing obstruction in the body.
Ehret said that through years of eating the standard Western diet, i.e., dairy, bread, meat, and processed foods, the majority of us have accumulated toxic amounts of mucus, pus, acid, and undigested food in our digestive tract. These particles form a glue-like substance that sticks to the folds of our intestinal walls, called mucoid plaque, resulting in absorption issues, digestive problems, and an overall toxic, disease-ridden system.
Our bodies are so clogged, Ehret says, that the average person has as much as ten pounds of uneliminated feces in the bowels, continually poisoning the blood stream and entire system. In his famous book, The Mucusless Diet Healing System, Ehret states that every disease, such as psoriasis or the common cold, is the body’s effort to eliminate the buildup of mucus, and that if given the right environment our body will eliminate all toxins, mucus, and pus and return to healthy status.
The Mucusless Diet Protocol
Ehret’s protocols involve periods of fasting along with eating raw and some cooked fruits and vegetables. The central idea in The Mucusless Diet isn’t so much about listing what you “can” or “cannot” eat, but rather it is about evolving eating habits and staying away from foods that produce mucus and albumin in the digestive tract.
According to Ehret, life begins when we remove these sticky obstructions from the body, and that when we start relying on fruits and vegetables, we begin to shed these “poisons” at our own pace, rebuilding our cellular tissues to fend away illness forever.
In 1922, Ehret published his case studies and research in his book, The Mucusless Diet Healing System, and today people from all walks of life still follow and promote the incredible knowledge written within its pages.
What’s going on inside your digestive tract?
The intestines, which include the small and large intestines and the rectum, are a long tube running from the stomach to the anus. This is where most of the nutrients are absorbed in our body.
The small intestine is about 20 feet long and about an inch in diameter. It’s responsible for absorbing nutrients from the things you eat and drink. The large intestine, or colon, is about as long as you are tall, and roughly as wide as your wrist. The colon absorbs water from waste, creating feces.
For every foot of colon, the body can store between 5 and 10 pounds of partially digested, putrefying matter. “Some intestines, when autopsied, have weighed up to 40 pounds and were distended to a diameter of 12 inches, with only a pencil-thin channel through which the feces could move,” says Richard Anderson, N.D., N.M.D., founder of Juice Plus.
“That 40 pounds was due to caked layers of encrusted mucus, mixed with fecal matter, resembling hardened blackish-green truck tire rubber or an old piece of dried rawhide.”
Most would be utterly appalled to see the images of mucoid plaque taken from the colon. It acts as a mirror into our past, from infancy to adulthood, of all the choices around food we were faced with or made which led to the symptoms of disease we experience today. (Check out 7:08 in the video below to see the colon of a breast cancer patient.)
“The average man or woman has not the slightest idea what the necessary eliminative process is,” Ehret writes in his book. “What time it requires; how and how often their diet must be changed, what it means to cleanse the body of the terrible quantities of waste that they have accumulated over their lives.”
He claims that his system is not a cure or a remedy, but that it is a regeneration, “an acquisition of such clean and perfect health as we never knew before.”
The value of fasting
Ehret claims the general principles of healing are simple and few—the fundamental cause of disease is the presence of foreign material in the human body. If overeating and eating obstructive foods is the main cause of a patient’s disease, then Ehret proposes the countering remedy is to incorporate the power of intermittent fasting.
Fasting has been a practice that dates far back into our ancient history, and today we see a revival of this practice in such health programs as the ketogenic diet. The studied benefits of fasting are far and wide, including increased metabolism, increased insulin sensitivity, improved brain function and immune system, and the list goes on.
According to Ehret, “our very lack of appetite which occurs when we are sick is nature’s method of teaching her children.” He discusses how the animal kingdom, living in their natural environment, instinctively heal themselves through fasting, and that giving our body a break from digestion is essential in removing obstruction. Humans used to have the same instinct, until the advances of civilization replaced it with readily available food and medicine, and culture took over to dictate when and what we eat.
Within the Mucusless Diet protocol, Ehret recommends daily intermittent dry fasting, after which the fast is broken with fruit and later vegetables. The cessation of both external food and water creates a special kind of stress in the body, Ehret writes in his book, Rational Fasting, prompting it urgently to come up with both nutrients and water, initiating the process of making both internally.
During a dry fast, the body survives on so-called endogenous or metabolic water, produced internally as a result of metabolizing fat tissue. Unlike any exogenous water, this metabolic water is of superb quality, produced by the hard work of our own cells. It literally erases any negative information imprint which the body had before the fast, allowing cells to experience a kind of a rebirth, as a result.
Under dry fasting conditions, even the skin changes its function, from being an organ of elimination to serving as an organ of absorption, taking in any available water from the air and supplying it to healthy cells. Besides water, the body during a dry fast absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrogen to manufacture its own amino acids. Since there is no water to flush out the endogenous toxins, these are eliminated by means of a unique mechanism, dormant during less rigorous modes of fasting: Each cell, in effect, becomes the furnace that burns up its own waste.
Cellular Detoxification Through Dry Fasting
Inflammation cannot exist without water. Microorganisms need water to survive. These facts taken together make dry fasting a highly effective tool to address acute health issues and degenerative conditions. Such a fast stimulates the immune system, activates the body’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms, purifies the blood and clears the blood vessels, as well as cleanses the GI tract and renews its mucosal lining.
Dry fasting also eliminates parasites and promotes regeneration of healthy tissues. And this isn’t even a complete list of benefits. Every cell of the body literally cleans house. Only the strongest and healthiest of cells survive in such extreme conditions, while cysts and benign tumours dissolve as a result of autolysis, a process by which the body sacrifices its sickest cells for its own survival.
Ehret cautions that people who are highly obstructed and toxic will often experience ill-side effects when fasting and eating mucus-free foods for the first time. He recommends a transition diet to ease into the detoxification process.
“Everything is perfectly performed by Nature thru evolutional, progressive changes…nothing is more incorrect than the mistaken idea that a decades old chronic disease can be healed thru a very long fast, or a radically extended strict fruit diet.”
The transition diet is also known as a mucus-lean diet, which is detailed below.
List of pus, acid, and mucus-forming foods
Mucus refers to a thick, viscous, slippery discharge that is comprised of dead cells, mucin, inorganic salts, water, and exfoliated cells. It also refers to the slimy, sticky, viscous substance left behind by mucus-forming foods in the body after ingestion.
Pus often refers to a thick white, yellowish, or greenish opaque liquid produced in infected tissue, consisting of dead white blood cells, bacteria, tissue debris, and serum. According to Ehret, it also refers to the substance that dead animal flesh is chemically changed to after being consumed or while rotting in one’s digestive tract. The ingestion of meat and dairy products create pus residue in the body, while starchy and fatty foods are mucus-forming.
From a mucusless perspective, pus and mucus-forming foods are understood to be “acid-forming” inside the human body. Such foods create an acidic internal environment that is detrimental to wellness.
The word “mucusless,” or mucus-free, refers to foods that are not mucus-forming. Such foods digest without leaving behind a thick, viscous, slimy substance called mucus. These foods include all kinds of fat-free, and starchless, fruits and vegetables.
Below is a list of acid, mucus, and pus forming foods, as well as mucus-lean and mucus-free foods.
- Blood of Animals
- Eggs (All Kinds)
- Meat (Beef, Chicken, Horse, Dog, Mutton/Lamb, Turkey, Veal, Pork:
- Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Gammon, Chitterlings, Pig Feet; Wild Game: Bison, Buffalo, Ostrich, Rabbit, Venison, etc.)
- Margarine (Made with Animal Fat)
- Crustacean (Crab, Crawfish, Lobster, Shrimp)
- Fish (All Types)
- Mollusks (Clam, Oysters, Mussels, Snail, etc.)
- Roe (Caviar)
- Shell Fish
DAIRY PRODUCTS (PUS-FORMING)
- Butter, Cow
- Cheese (All Kinds)
- Crème fraîche
- Milk (All Animals and Kinds; Raw Organic, Skim, 1 or 2 %, etc.)
PROCESSED FOODS (PUS AND/OR VERY MUCUS-FORMING)
- Dried Convenience Foods
- Fast Foods
- Frozen Convenience Foods
- Packaged Convenience Foods
- Processed Meat
CONFECTIONARIES/CANDY/SWEETS (PUS AND/OR VERY MUCUS-FORMING)
- Baked Goods (All kinds including pies, cakes, pastries, etc.)
- Candy (All Types; Bars, Caramels, Chocolate, Fudge, Jelly candies, Rock
- Candy, Taffy
- Gelatin (Jello)
- Ice Cream (Dairy and Non-Dairy)
ACIDIC, FERMENTED, OR DISTILLED DRINKS/SYRUPS (ACID-FORMING STIMULANTS)
- Alcoholic Beverages (All Kinds; Ale, Beer, Brandy, Champagne, Hard)
- Cider, Liqueur, Mead, Porter, Rum, Sake/Rice Wine, Gin, Herbal Wine, Lager, Fruit Wine, Vodka Whisky, Tequila, etc.)
- Syrups (Brown Rice, Barley Malt, Chocolate, Corn, Artificially Flavored)
- Kombucha Tea
- Soft Drink (Soda Pop)
- Vinegar (White, Apple Cider)
FERMENTED FOODS AND SAUCES (ACID-FORMING STIMULANTS)
- Fish Sauce
- Fermented Vegetables (All; Kimchi/cabbage and other veggies, Olives)
- Pickles/cucumbers. Sauerkraut/cabbage, etc.)
- Sauces with Vinegar (Hot Sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Relish,
- Tartar, Barbecue, Salad Dressings, Salsa, etc.)
- Soy Sauce
- Breads (All Kinds; Barley, Black, Rye, White, Graham, Pumpernickel,
- Zwieback, etc.)
- Cereal Grains (All Kinds; Maize, Farina, Kamut, Millet,
- Oats, Quinoa, Spelt, White Rice, Brown Rice, Whole or Refined Wheat, etc.)
- Pseudocereals (All Kinds; Amaranth, Buckwheat, Chia, Cockscomb, Kañiwa, Quinoa, etc.)
- Beans (All Kinds and Forms; Black Beans, Black-eyed peas, Fava Beans, Butter Beans, Cannellini Beans, Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, Edamame, Great Northern Beans, Italian Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Soy Beans, Split Peas, String Beans (Green Beans), White Beans, etc.)
NUTS AND SEEDS (MUCUS-LEAN)
- Nuts (All Kinds; Acorns, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachios’, Walnuts, etc.)
- Seeds (All Kinds; Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp, Seasame, etc.)
STARCHY OR FATTY VEGETABLES AND FRUITS (MUCUS LEAN)
- Cauliflower (Raw)
- Coconut Meat
- Fungus (Mushrooms)
- Green Peas
- Peas (Raw)
- Raw or Baked White Potatoes
- Raw Squashes (Winter, Acorn, Butternut, etc.)
- Raw Sweet Potatoes
- Unripe Banana
ACID-BINDING, NON-MUCUS-FORMING, OR MUCUSLESS FOODS
- Black Cherries
- Blood Orange
- Honeybell Tangelos
- Sweet Cherries
DRIED OR BAKED FRUITS (MUCUS FREE)
- Bananas (my favorite fruit to bake)
- Dates, (Dried)
- Figs (Dried)
VEGTABLES (MUCUS FREE)
- Dandelion Leaf
- Leafy Herbs (parsley, dill, basil, thyme)
- Lettuce (green, red, romaine, boston bibb)
- Mustard Greens
- Green Onions
- Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, or Orange)
- Red Beets
- Sea Vegetables (Dulse, Kelp)
- Sprouts (Alfalfa)
BAKED OR STEAMED VEGETABLES ROOT, STEM, FRUIT (ALL OR RELATIVELY STARCHLESS/MUCUSLESS)
- Acorn Squash (baked)
- Brussel sprouts
- Butternut Squash (baked)
- Carrots (steamed and eaten with raw salad)
- Green peas
- Peppers (green, red, yellow, or orange)
- Spaghetti Squash (baked)
- Sweet Potato (baked)
- Zucchini (steamed or baked)
Reclaiming your health through the Mucus-free diet
Has Dr. Ehret discovered the ultimate healing system, one that reconnects us with our god-given vitality?
While many health gurus and diet programs have made similar claims of physical transformation, Ehret’s system seems to go deeper, diving deep into our cultural stories around health, digestion, and food, offering the potential to renew not just our physical body, but our emotional and spiritual bodies as well.
At their core, Ehret’s teachings and findings are based on the theory that we can relish the pleasures of life and great health by living in “utter accord with the laws of nature,” and it seems, from the thousands of men and women who have reclaimed their vibrance and health through his system, that reconnecting with these natural laws is what our bodies have been asking for since day one.