Dr. Herbert Shelton is considered to be the father of the modern day Natural Hygiene Movement. Dr. Shelton is also considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on fasting. His teachings were highly regarded by Mahatma Gandhi, formerly the pre-eminent leader of all India, and assisted the leader in achieving the historical lengthy fasts that were central to the Indian Independence Movement. Gandhi’s doctors stated that his fasts revitalized his health and added years to his life. Scientists today are beginning to recognize Dr. Shelton’s great contributions to science.
Dr. Herbert Shelton, a strict vegetarian, lived a full and accomplished life and was almost ninety years old when he passed away. Although this is a ripe old age for most people, it is believed he would have lived much longer had he rested more from the exhausting work which ultimately made him vulnerable to the effects of prior injuries.
Dr. Shelton had been a boxer earlier in his life and Parkinson’s is a common disease that boxers suffer from. He also suffered from a severe neck injury. However, his most debilitating injury occurred from a horrific blow to the head when he was kicked by his stallion. His teeth were so badly jarred that he began to loose them one at a time over the years. His health suffered much from this incident. Multiple dazing blows to the head can cause traumatic brain injury which commonly results in the declining mental and physical abilities characteristic of Parkinsonism. Add to this the fact that Dr. Shelton’s family had a very strong genetic tendency to Parkinson’s disease which several close family members, including his own father, had suffered with (This inherited weakness may have been compounded by his overly strict vegetarianism. Although strict vegetarians have been shown to be low risk for cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases, without DHA supplementation they seem to suffer from DHA deficiencies which further predispose them to neurological problems such as Parkinson’s). Complicating his health matters even further he was reportedly a workaholic that drove himself relentlessly and slept very little.
Because of decades of overworking and sleep loss Dr. Shelton never completely overcame the effects of his head and spinal injury and he, in his final years of life, developed a spastic nerve disorder believed to have been Parkinson’s. The workaholism of his lifetime had finally taken its toll. His drive to help people and his consistent dedication to the work of Hygiene is believed to have been the central factor that so adversely affected his health and made him vulnerable to this disease. It never affected his mind, however, which remained incredibly sharp to the very end. Neither was his drive affected which was demonstrated from the fact that he continued his work until the end all the while maintaining a positive attitude.
Dr. Curtis D. Ward