Chapter 1-4 of Healing Foods by Walter Last

Discover and overcome your food allergies and chemical sensitivities.


Usually we are addicted to any daily-used food or substance to which we are also allergic and vice versa. Initially when we eat allergenic food we experience stimulation due to the release of adrenal stress hormones. However, eventually the adrenal glands become exhausted and we develop a chronic degenerative disease and lack energy. In this book, the term 'food allergy' is used in a rather general way to include not only genuine immunological reactions but also food intolerances and chemical sensitivities.

Hans Selye was the first to describe the ALLERGY-STRESS MECHANISM. Initially an environmental challenge such as an incompatible food or emotional stress causes an ALARM REACTION. The adrenal glands release inflammatory hormones and the sympathetic nervous system is over-stimulated. This may result in an acute allergic reaction or a general inflammatory condition, hyper-excitability, increased blood pressure, palpitation, aggressiveness, anxiety or anger and poor digestion. This is the basis for the connection between junk food and criminality.

If we continue eating the same problem food nearly every day or continue to be plagued by stressful memories or conditions, then the stress becomes permanent and the body adapts by releasing anti-inflammatory hormones. The symptoms of the alarm reaction with its inflammatory tendency subside. This is the RESISTANCE PHASE, a state of adaptation with a hidden or masked allergy. Commonly the alarm reaction occurs in early childhood when we are first introduced to wheat or cows' milk, maize or soymilk and then settles down to several decades of hidden allergies with minimal symptoms.

However, eventually the capacity of the adrenal glands to produce sufficient anti-inflammatory hormones becomes exhausted and we enter the EXHAUSTION PHASE. Now we have a maladaptation to allergens and emotional stress with chronic and generalized inflammations. These may manifest as arthritis, cancer, heart disease and any of the other diseases typical in our society. Finally even this chronic inflammatory condition subsides, and we have the stage of advanced old age with senility, debility and the final insensitive stages of degenerative diseases.

This shows us the requirements for genuine health improvement. By permanently removing the offending problem food or emotional stress and at the same time supporting the body with high-quality nutrition we slowly begin climbing back. We leave the exhaustion phase and re-enter the resistance phase with a period of quiet recovery and finally move back into the alarm phase with a series of acute healing crises. At the end of this long healing process we may have re-acquired the adrenal functions and disease-resistance that we had as a small child before we started getting colds, allergic reactions and digestive upsets due to problem foods.

Hans Selye was a professor of experimental medicine and surgery when he found this stress mechanism in 1936. His pioneering book is called The Stress of Life (McGraw-Hill). So far the medical profession has not yet grasped the importance of his fundamental discovery for understanding the diseases of our society, I assume because it is not profitable to do so. However, we know now what we need to do to heal ourselves.

Sometimes energetic individuals, often males with blue-white irises who cannot relax, experience a prolonged period of lethargy when avoiding wheat or gluten products. During this time the adrenal glands have time to recover. Others who are already closer to adrenal exhaustion feel much stronger as soon as they avoid allergenic food.

Addictions and allergies are part of the stress syndrome. Prolonged severe stress of any kind leads to adrenal exhaustion in the same way as an addictive allergy. The only real solution lies in avoiding excessive stress factors such as allergenic food, work pressures and so forth.

Discovering your allergies and addictions is an essential step in your healing process. You may do this by adopting a five-day water fast or rice diet as described in the following pages.

After complete avoidance of an allergenic food and while reducing the overall allergenic load from other influences at the same time one usually becomes hypersensitive to that food for a period lasting from a few weeks to several months. After this the sensitivity to the offending food gradually declines. If during the hypersensitive period you are occasionally exposed to the allergenic food then an immediate strong reaction may be triggered resulting in pain, weakness, a rash or whatever its characteristic effect is on your body. If this is done repeatedly but separated by at least four days between exposures, this may delay the complete recovery but is not likely to result in serious internal damage. However, such permanent damage will result if you use this food so frequently that you do not get an immediate reaction any more or only a much weaker reaction than initially.

Generally, however, it is essential to avoid the offending food as much as possible for an extended period in order to heal yourself completely. Depending on the severity of your initial symptoms or degenerative disease this may be from a few months up to several years. However, how soon you can overcome your allergic tendencies depends mainly on the overall effort that you put into a comprehensive health improvement program.


Depending on its severity and mode of manifestation, we may distinguish between four types of allergy: addictive, cyclic, fixed and multiple allergies.

An addictive allergy induces us to eat our favorite food every day or we are threatened with withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, we have a craving for a certain food and eating or drinking it makes us feel better. The user usually is not aware of his or her addiction and for this reason this type of allergy is also called hidden or masked allergy, corresponding to the period of adaptation.

In a cyclic allergy we have a reaction to a specific food only if it is eaten in excess, either by eating large quantities of it at any one time or by eating it on several successive days. In addition, a reaction to a cyclic allergen may be triggered by other adverse factors, especially by stress as from emotional and mental problems or from environmental agents such as fumes, tobacco smoke and so on. Combining two different cyclic allergens in the same meal may also cause a reaction due to the joint effects of both. Poor food combining or a generally acid body condition may be further contributing factors.

If you realize that you have a cyclic allergy - the food agrees with you sometimes but not always - then eat it only on a rotation basis, not more often than once every four or five days. Fruits and the lactose content of dairy products often belong to this category. They may not cause immediate reactions, but eating fruits on successive days may cause an increasing degree of overacidity and skin problems in sensitive individuals, while an oversupply of lactose may lead to a build-up of mucus. Both, in turn, can trigger secondary symptoms such as arthritic pains.

With a fixed allergy one reacts every time the offending food is eaten, no matter how small the quantity. Fixed allergies, therefore, are non-adapted allergies and thus easy to recognize. One soon becomes very efficient in avoiding offending items. Fortunately, only a small percentage of all allergies are of the fixed variety, most of them are addictive or cyclic in nature.

With multiple allergies we react to a wide range of foods and chemicals and quickly become allergic to any replacement foods. This is sometimes called 'being allergic to the twentieth century'. The main causes may be deficiencies of zinc, digestive enzymes and gastric acid, weak liver functions and bacterial overgrowth of the digestive tract, often with systemic Candida infestation. The solution is intestinal sanitation, a raw-food diet and a high intake of zinc and sulfur compounds. Before testing for allergies by elimination sanitize the intestines and correct indicated deficiencies by using multi-vitamins and minerals.

We may also speak of a trigger allergy. Attacks of asthma or hay fever are often triggered by inhaled substances such as pollen or house dust with residues of the house-mite. However, such reactions would not occur if the mucous membranes were not already hypersensitive because of underlying food allergies, mucus congestion and antioxidant deficiencies. In a similar way food chemicals may act as triggers for hyperactivity if the blood-sugar regulation is weak. A hypersensitive skin reacts very strongly to insect bites because of its high histamine levels due to underlying food allergy and overacidity. Removing the triggers will help to some degree but the underlying health deterioration continues and a new trigger may readily be adopted.


There are various forms of allergy testing, some more technical, others a simple skin scratch method, muscle testing or pulse testing; none of these, however, is as reliable as proper elimination testing, sometimes also called the elimination diet.

For five days or longer you abstain from all commonly eaten food. During this time you also try to minimize any other possible allergic influences such as solvent or car exhaust fumes, house dust, molds, gas, cigarette smoke, basically anything with strong or unusual smells.

Starting on the second day there may be more or less troublesome withdrawal symptoms with cravings for the food or stimulant to which one is addicted, be it alcohol, nicotine or other drugs. There may be headaches, dizziness, weakness and other problems. On the fourth day these symptoms usually subside and one begins to feel much better. Often symptoms of long-standing diseases such as arthritis, heart pain or schizophrenia disappear as well.

If you still feel not right on the fifth day, it may be better to extend the fast until you feel well. Chemicals and drugs, be they medical or recreational, take much longer to clear from the body. It will greatly speed up the elimination and lessen discomfort during the fast if you take a strong laxative on the first morning of the fast, either an isotonic flush, a herbal laxative or a tablespoon of Epsom salts in water. In addition drink a lot.

The most reliable fast is on pure water only, unchlorinated and unfluoridated and not stored in plastic containers. In a less strict form it should be all right to use diluted grass juice or weak, unsweetened herb tea of a variety not habitually used. Insensitive individuals can become more balanced by having a fast on diluted lemon juice, while sensitive individuals may use cooked white or brown rice only, best unflavored, otherwise with a small amount of olive oil, herbs and possibly salt. If rice has been habitually eaten before, then cooked millet may be used instead. Eat as much as you like and drink about 2 quarts of fluid daily.

If you fast on fluids, use another laxative on the last day of the fast, normally the fifth day. On the morning of the sixth day eat cooked rice as the first test meal, possibly lightly salted but with no other additions. Check your pulse rate for a full minute before and 30 and 60 minutes after the meal. Always test sitting in the same position and when the pulse rate is not increased from previous activity.

Before and after each test meal make the pulse tests and any other relevant tests. If there is a reaction involving a combination of newly tested foods, repeat testing with the individual food components at a later date. If the pulse after a test meal is significantly higher than after the first test meal of rice, then this indicates a possible allergy or incompatibility; the higher the pulse rises after the meal the more likely is it that it is allergenic.

In addition make other tests relevant for your condition. If you have weak eyesight you may check your reading ability with a wall chart; school children may be tested for clarity of writing and speech. Check the range and pain level of impaired joints or muscles, and watch out for any sign of bodily or emotional discomfort. Keep a detailed diary of the pulse rates, measurements and any unusual happenings, feelings, discomfort and so on. Those with diabetes should also test their blood-sugar level and those with hypertension preferably check their blood pressure (you can easily buy a sphygmomanometer).

With each subsequent meal expand the basic rice meal with one or more additions, such as oil and various vegetables. Test a sprout salad and then other basic foods. You may have four or five small meals a day. In the beginning test mainly foods that you expect to be safe. Test suspected allergenic foods at the last meal of the day so that you can sleep off any prolonged reactions. Use such suspect foods only individually or with previously tested foods.

You may stop a strong reaction by taking 1 level teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or, better, 2 parts of baking soda with 1 part of potassium bicarbonate. Also take 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts or milk of magnesia as a laxative if the reaction occurs soon after the meal. On a normal diet, however, reactions may be delayed and manifest up to two days later.

Reactions can also be stopped using homeopathy. Liquefy a sample of the allergenic food, dilute 1 part of it with 9 parts of water and shake in a bottle or jar about 40 times with a strong downward movement. Take again 1 part of this with 9 parts of water and so forth until the dilution process has been done four times in all. Then keep 1 teaspoonful of the last dilution for a few minutes in the mouth before swallowing. Then make 2 more dilutions and also keep a teaspoonful of each of these in the mouth. Possibly take additional teaspoonfuls of all or just the last dilution some time later if still required.

Test offending foods again three to six months later. Commonly small infrequent amounts are then tolerated. Eat suspect or problem foods not more than once a week. If conditions deteriorate again after some time, return to testing or adopt a safe low-allergy diet. The body can be made less sensitive to allergic reactions by regularly using alkalizers (e.g. fruit acids neutralized with dolomite powder), MSM, a high intake of bioflavonoids and carotenes and possibly digestive enzymes.


        The Road Towards Disease

        The Road Towards Health

        Intestinal Sanitation

        Fasting and Cleansing

        Allergy Testing

        General Diet Rules