Dear Dr. ——-,

You had inquired about the methodology behind the dietary recommend-ations I made for Mr. ——-, and about the hydrotherapy.

Both of these methods were developed by Dr. Otis G. Carroll, one of the major pioneers in my profession. Dr. Carroll was also the mentor of my mentor, and so my methods reflect, in great measure, the work of Dr. Carroll. He practiced in Spokane, Washington, through the early and middle part of the past century, and died in 1968. There is a bit written about him. The best summary is in a book called The Nature Doctors, by Kirshfeld and Boyle, though his methods are more completely described in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy, by Boyle and Saine.

The theory behind the food intolerance testing developed by Dr. Carroll is the identification and removal of a food not well digested. Standard medicine recognizes lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance as true food intolerances. This means that one does not have the genetic basis to generate specific enzymes to digest milk, or wheat. These foods and the ensuing mal-digestion produce symptoms in the intestine, which are eliminated by their removal from the diet. There are other intolerant food possibilities, though the list is rather short, at least based upon 75 years of testing.

Foods that do not digest well ferment and putrefy in the intestines. These processes are driven usually by less-than-optimal bacteria, and result in the generation of many toxic metabolites. (Drasar and Hill, Human Intestinal Flora, 1974) These toxins are absorbed into the blood. They circulate along with nutrients, through the portal circulation into the liver, where they are conjugated by the liver, to the extent that the liver can do this. The greater the level of this “toxemia”, the more persistent will be the level of circulating toxins in the blood. This becomes the basis of chronic inflammatory reactions throughout the body, depending upon where there are stressed tissues, genetic weakness, other pathology or trauma, etc.

The level of circulating toxins can be measured through a variety of methods, though I prefer the Obermayer test for a quick and easy evaluation. (Clinical laboratory Methods, Bauer, et. al., pg. 42, 8th ed., Mosby, 1974.)

This affects Colitis in two ways. First, the dysbiotic activity causes local inflammatory activity in the intestine of the susceptible person. This is complicated and exaggerated by the presence of inflammatory toxins in the blood, which circulates through the intestinal vasculature where it irritates these tissues, rather than simply nourish and help repair these tissues. The toxic load here adds to the inflammatory potential. The identification and amelioration of the cause of these processes will contribute substantially to the amelioration of the inflammation. It is on this basis that I seek to determine the dietary source of the mal-digestive dysbiosis as a fundamental method to reduce the inflammatory potential within the body. This reduces much of the basis of the disease. It allows the healing elements, such as the hydrotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, and the botanical or other substances to do their work in a substantially improved “terrain”. The natural healing tendency of the body directs the process.

The hydrotherapy specifically stimulates and improves blood flow to the intestines and the organs of digestion and elimination. As the blood becomes healthier, as the toxin load lessens, the increased blood flow really drives the healing processes. It utilizes simple circulatory reflex dynamics. Short application of heat increases the diameter of superficial vessels, and constricts the diameter of deeper vessels. The cold application does the opposite, opening up the deeper circulation, relieving congestion and reducing inflammation. Repeated daily, along with the other methods, it creates a dynamic process of pushing the healing process along. The results are reliable, consistent, and obvious.

All of this is basic, “old time”, naturopathic theory, though many modern naturopaths rely more upon the biochemical interventions of nutrient pharmaceuticals and other substances, tending to substitute these into the anti-pathology model familiar to standard medicine. I find the older method more reliable, though we can certainly utilize the more modern discoveries, such as the benefits of glutamine, etc., in our attempts to heal the gut, or which ever systems are damaged or burdened. All of the substances I have recommended for Forest are secondary to the fundamental terrain-altering interventions of the dietary work and the hydrotherapy.

The theoretical basis of the food intolerance concept is simply the genetically- based, enzymatic incapacity of certain individuals to adequately digest specific foods. Eating these foods results in the problems described above. The method devised by Dr. Carroll is a simple method of determining these foods specific to the individual in question. There is a more elaborate explanation of the method on my web site ( in the “Dietary Information” section, though it is not a technical description.

I hope that this answers your questions. I would be happy to discuss this with you further if you like. You can contact me by email:


Jared L. Zeff, ND, LAc

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