John Harvey Kellogg

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John Harvey Kellogg
John Harvey Kellogg ggbain.15047.jpg
Kellogg circa 1913
Born (1852-02-26)February 26, 1852
Tyrone, Michigan
Died December 14, 1943(1943-12-14) (aged 91)
Battle Creek, Michigan
Alma mater New York University Medical College at Bellevue Hospital (M.D., 1875)
Occupation Physician, nutritionist
Known for Battle Creek Sanitarium
Spouse(s) Ella Ervilla Eaton (1853–1920), married 1879
Children 8 adopted
Relatives Will Keith Kellogg, brother
John Harvey Kellogg - aged about 29 - Project Gutenberg eText 19924.jpg

John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (February 26, 1852 – December 14, 1943) was an American medical doctor in Battle Creek, Michigan, who ran a sanitarium using holistic methods, with a particular focus on nutrition, enemas, and exercise. Kellogg was an advocate of vegetarianism for health and is best known for the invention of the breakfast cereal known as corn flakes with his brother, Will Keith Kellogg.[1]

He led in the establishment of the American Medical Missionary College. The College, founded in 1895, operated until 1910 when it merged with Illinois State University.

Personal life[edit]

Kellogg was born in Tyrone, Michigan,[2] to John Preston Kellogg (1806–1881) and Ann Janette Stanley (1824–1893). John was born in Hadley, Massachusetts and his mother was born in Livingston County, Michigan. Kellogg's ancestry can be traced back to the founding of Hadley, Massachusetts where a great grandfather operated a ferry. Kellogg lived with two sisters during childhood. By 1860, the family had moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where his father established a broom factory. John later worked as a printer's devil in a Battle Creek publishing house.

Kellogg attended the Battle Creek public schools, then attended the Michigan State Normal School (since 1959, Eastern Michigan University), and finally, New York University School of Medicine. He graduated in 1875 with a medical degree. He married Ella Ervilla Eaton (1853–1920) of Alfred Center, New York, on February 22, 1879. They did not have any biological children, but were foster parents to 42 children, legally adopting eight of them, before Ella died in 1920. The adopted children include Agnes Grace, Elizabeth, John William, Ivaline Maud, Paul Alfred, Robert Mofatt, Newell Carey, and Harriett Eleanor.

In 1937, he received an honorary degree in Doctor of Public Service from Oglethorpe University.[3]

Kellogg died on December 14, 1943 in Battle Creek, Michigan.[1] He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Among others buried there are his parents, his brother W.K. Kellogg, his brother's wife, James White, Ellen G. White, C. W. Post, Uriah Smith, and Sojourner Truth.

Theological views[edit]

A member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Kellogg frequently held a prominent role as a speaker at church meetings. He promoted a practical, common sense religion.

Over time, Kellogg began to express panentheistic ideas and some members of the church objected to what he said. At the Seventeenth Annual Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, October 4, 1878, the following action was taken:

"WHEREAS, The impression has gone out from some unknown cause that J. H. Kellogg, M.D., holds infidel sentiments, which does him great injustice, and also endangers his influence as physician-in-chief of the Sanitarium; therefore

"RESOLVED, That in our opinion justice to the doctor and the Institute under his medical charge, demand that he should have the privilege of making his sentiments known, and that he be invited to address those assembled on this ground, upon the harmony of science and the Sacred Scriptures.

"This resolution was unanimously adopted, after which the Conference adjourned to the call of the chair.

"[Note.--In accordance with the foregoing resolution, Dr. Kellogg gave, before a large audience, October 6, an able address on the harmony of science and the Bible, for which the congregation tendered him a vote of thanks.]" [4]

At the start of the 20th century, his views of indwelling divinity seemed like panentheism to many other Adventist leaders. As an example of these controversial ideas, at the 1901 General Conference he said:

"Take the sunflower, for example. It looks straight at the sun. It watches and follows the sun all day long, looking straight at it all the time; and as the sun dips down below the horizon, you see that sunflower still looking at it; and as the sun turns around and comes up in the morning, the flower is looking toward the sun rising. It is God in the sunflower that makes it do this…

"Some of you have watched a flower winding up a string, a morning glory winding around a string. Perhaps you have seen a vine climbing up a lattice, and you have watched the end coming out, and turning in, back and forth, between the interstices of the lattice. How does the vine know what to do? There is an intelligence that is present in the plant, in all vegetation…

"The heart is a muscle. The heart beats. My arm will contract and cause the fist to beat; but it beats only when my will commands. But here is a muscle in the body that beats when I am asleep. It beats when my will is inactive and I am utterly unconscious. It keeps on beating all the time. What will is it that causes this heart to beat? The heart can not beat once without a command. To me it is a most wonderful thing that a man's heart goes on beating. It does not beat by means of my will; for I can not stop the heart's beating, or make it beat faster or slower by commanding it by my will. But there is a will that controls the heart. It is the divine will that causes it to beat, and in the beating of that heart that you can feel, as you put your hand upon the breast, or as you put your finger against the pulse, an evidence of the divine presence that we have within us, that God is within, that there is an intelligence, a power, a will within, that is commanding the functions of our bodies and controlling them…" [5]

The issues that had been simmering came to a head in February 1902 when the Battle Creek Sanitarium, owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was destroyed by fire. Ellen G. White told Dr. Kellogg not to rebuild it. He decided to ignore her advice, and was able to gain control of the board of directors. He wrote a book titled The Living Temple which he hoped would pay the costs of reconstruction. When the book was published, it was sharply criticized by Ellen G. White for what she considered to be its many statements of panentheism (God is in everything). In 1907, he was "disfellowshipped".

Battle Creek Sanitarium[edit]

Kellogg was a Seventh-day Adventist until mid-life and gained fame while being the chief medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which was owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Sanitarium was operated based on the church's health principles. Adventists believe in a vegetarian diet, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and a regimen of exercise, which Kellogg followed, among other things. He is remembered as an advocate of vegetarianism[6] and wrote in favor of it, even after leaving the Adventist Church.[7] His dietary advice in the late 19th century, which was in part concerned with reducing sexual stimulation, discouraged meat-eating, but not emphatically so.[8]

Kellogg was an especially strong proponent of nuts, which he believed would save mankind in the face of decreasing food supplies. Though mainly renowned nowadays for his development of corn flakes, Kellogg also patented a process for making peanut butter and invented healthy "granose biscuits."

Breathing exercises at Battle Creek Sanitarium (c. 1900).

At the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Kellogg held classes on food preparation for homemakers. Sanitarium visitors engaged in breathing exercises and mealtime marches to promote proper digestion of food throughout the day. Because Kellogg was a staunch supporter of phototherapy, the sanitarium also made use of artificial sunbaths.[citation needed]

Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt—half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema, "thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service." The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky-clean intestine.[9]

Kellogg believed that most disease is alleviated by a change in intestinal flora; that bacteria in the intestines can either help or hinder the body; that pathogenic bacteria produce toxins during the digestion of protein that poison the blood; that a poor diet favors harmful bacteria that can then infect other tissues in the body; that the intestinal flora is changed by diet and is generally changed for the better by a well-balanced vegetarian diet favoring low-protein, laxative, and high-fiber foods; and that this natural change in flora could be sped by enemas seeded with favorable bacteria, or by various regimens of specific foods designed to heal specific ailments.

Kellogg was a skilled surgeon, who often donated his services to indigent patients at his clinic.[10] Although generally against unnecessary surgery to treat diseases,[11][12] in his Plain Facts for Old And Young he advocated circumcision as a remedy for "local uncleanliness" (which he thought could lead to "unchastity"),[13] phimosis,[14] and "in small boys", masturbation.[15]

He had many notable patients, such as former president William Howard Taft, composer and pianist Percy Grainger, arctic explorers Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Roald Amundsen, world travellers Richard Halliburton and Lowell Thomas, aviator Amelia Earhart, economist Irving Fisher, Nobel prize winning playwright George Bernard Shaw, actor and athlete Johnny Weissmuller, founder of the Ford Motor Company Henry Ford, inventor Thomas Edison, African American activist Sojourner Truth and actress Sarah Bernhardt.[16] [17][18]

Patents and inventions[edit]

Early Kellogg's Corn Flakes advertisement

Breakfast cereals[edit]

John Harvey Kellogg is best known for the invention of the famous breakfast cereal, Corn Flakes, in 1878. Originally, he called this cereal Granula, which he later changed to Granola in 1881. However, due to patent rights, he had to once again change the name to Corn Flakes.[19]

These Corn Flakes were invented as part of his health regimen to prevent masturbation. His belief was that bland foods, such as these, would decrease or prevent excitement and arousal.[20] Kellogg was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.

John Kellogg and his brother Will Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company to produce their whole grain cereals around 1897, a time when the standard breakfast for the wealthy was eggs and meat, while the poor ate porridge, farina, gruel, and other boiled grains.[citation needed] John and Will later argued over the recipe for the cereals (Will wanted to add sugar to the flakes). So, in 1906, Will started his own company, the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, which eventually became the Kellogg Company, triggering a decades-long feud. John then formed the Battle Creek Food Company to develop and market soy products.[citation needed]

A patient of John's, C. W. Post, would eventually start his own dry cereal company, Post Cereals, selling a rival brand of corn flakes. Dr. Kellogg later would claim that Charles Post stole the formula for corn flakes from his safe in the Sanitarium office.[citation needed]

Other foods[edit]

Kellogg invented a method for making peanut butter,[21] developed the first acidophilus soy milk,[22] and developed imitation meats variously made from nuts, grains, and soy.[22] Kellogg also sold yogurt, soy flour, and soy bread.[22]

Medical patents[edit]

Radiant heat bath by John H. Kellogg at the USPTO museum, patent no. 558,394; patented April 14, 1896.
  • 1896 Radiant-heat bath (US558394)[23]
  • 1906 Movement-cure apparatus (US835622)[24]
  • 1907 Exercising apparatus (US850938)[25]
  • 1908 Massage apparatus (US881321)[26]

Medical inventions[edit]

Kellogg was not only a physician, surgeon, author, and administrator, but also an inventor. Although less discussed in comparison to his food creations, he designed and improved upon a number of medical devices that aided in his surgical operations and in treatment modalities falling under the term "physiotherapy" that were regularly used at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Dr. Kellogg attempted to popularize these treatment methods, including electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, and motor therapy, in his work The Home Handbook of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine first published in 1881.[27]

As he specialized in certain gynecological surgeries (particularly hemorrhoidectomies and ovariotomies) and gastrointestinal surgeries, he developed various instruments for these operations including specialized hooks and retractors, a heated operating table, and an aseptic drainage tube used in abdominal surgery.[28] Additionally, Kellogg took keen interest in devising instruments for light therapy, mechanical exercising, proper breathing, and pure water. His medical inventions spanned a wide range of applications and included a hot air bath, vibrating chair, oscillomanipulator, window tent for fresh air, pneumograph to graphically represent respiratory habits,[28] loofah mitt, and apparatus for home sterilization of milk.[28] Some of his inventions were even considered fashionable enough to be found in the first class gymnasium of the Titanic.[29]

In the same way he refused to use his surgical skill or food manufacturing business for personal financial gain, Dr. Kellogg did not make concerted efforts to profit from his medical inventions. Kellogg's statement in 1916 about his food company sheds light on his general motivations: "I desire to make clear … that the food business I have been carrying on is a part of my general scheme to propagate the ideas of health and biological living. Otherwise, I should not have engaged in it as a commercial enterprise, but I have carried it on as a part of the general philanthropic work in which I was engaged."[28]

Phototherapeutic inventions[edit]

Partly motivated by the overcast skies of Michigan, Kellogg experimented with and worked to develop light therapies, as he believed in the value of the electric light bulb to provide heat penetration for treating bodily disorders.[28] He constructed his first incandescent light bath in 1891, utilizing it to treat a proclaimed thousands of patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium before exhibiting the bath at the Chicago Exposition in 1893.[30] The invention reportedly aroused little attention there but was brought back to Germany, where it began to be manufactured and sold;[30] spread to Vienna by Kellogg's friend Dr. Wilhelm Winternitz; installed in royal palaces across Europe; and popularly replaced old Turkish steam baths at athletic clubs.[28] Only after this popularization of cabinet baths in Europe did demand within the United States develop, as it was imported from Berlin to New York "as a therapeutic novelty".[30] In 1896, Kellogg patented the radiant-heat bath in the United States (US558394).

In order "to make a record of his work and experience as a pioneer in this branch of physiotherapeutics," Kellogg published his book Light Therapeutics: a practical manual of phototherapy for the student and the practitioner, with special reference to the incandescent electric-light bath in 1910.[31] In the short work, Kellogg describes the application of the arc light to the spine, chest, abdominal region, loins, shoulders, hip and thigh, knees and other joints. Additionally, he goes into detail about combining electrotherapies with hydrotherapies, e.g. the electric light bath with shower and shampoo.[32]

Electrotherapeutic inventions[edit]

Though Kellogg stated that "electricity is not capable of accomplishing half the marvels that are claimed for it by many enthusiastic electrotherapists," he still believed electric currents to be "an extremely valuable therapeutic agent, especially when utilized in connection with hydrotherapy, thermotherapy, and other physiologic methods."[33] As a result, electrotherapy coils were used in the Static Electrical Department of the Battle Creek Sanitarium especially for cases of paresthesias of neurasthenia, insomnia, and certain forms of neuralgia.[33] Devices were also utilized to administer electric shocks to various parts of a patient's body.

Vibrational therapy by way of sinusoidal (high-frequency oscillating) electric current was discovered by Kellogg in 1884 to have medical use for increasing blood circulation and passive exercise.[28] In particular, Kellogg invented a vibrating chair used to stimulate vital organs in the lower abdomen.[28] Even today one can visit the Kellogg Discovery Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, and sit on Kellogg's vibrating chair, which is equipped to mechanically oscillate 20 times per second.[34] Furthermore, Kellogg devised an electrotherapy exercise bed in which a sinusoidal current that produced muscular contraction but no pain could be delivered for twenty minutes and reportedly achieve the stimulation of a brisk four-mile walk.[28]

Mechanical massage devices[edit]

Massage devices included two- or four-person foot vibrators, a mechanical slapping massage device, and a kneading apparatus that was advertised in 1909 to sell for $150.00.[35] Kellogg advocated mechanical massage, a branch of mechanotherapy, for cases of anemia, general debility, and muscular or nervous weakness.[36]


In 1936, Kellogg filed a petition for his invention of improvements to an "irrigating apparatus particularly adaptable for colonic irrigating, but susceptible of use for other irrigation treatments."[37] The improved irrigator included features such as measuring the amount of liquid entering and exiting the colon as well as indicating and regulating the positive pressure of the pumped liquid.[37]

At the Battle Creek Sanitarium, these colonic irrigators were often used to shoot gallons of water up a patient's rectum into their colon, sometimes followed by a half-pint yogurt enema to aid in further cleaning. It has been suggested that multiple people would get this treatment at one time.[29]

Views on sexuality[edit]

As an advocate of sexual abstinence, Kellogg devoted large amounts of his educational and medical work to discouraging sexual activity on the basis of dangers both scientifically understood at the time—as in sexually transmissible diseases—and those taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[38][39][40] He set out his views on such matters in one of his larger books, published in various editions around the start of the 20th century under the title Plain Facts about Sexual Life and later Plain Facts for Old and Young.[8] Some of his work on diet was influenced by his belief that a plain and healthy diet, with only two meals a day, among other things, would reduce sexual feelings. Kellogg was an adherent of the teachings of Sylvester Graham, the inspired the creation of the graham cracker, and advocated keeping the diet plain to prevent sexual arousal.[41] Those experiencing temptation were to avoid stimulating food and drinks, and eat very little meat, if any. Kellogg also advocated hydrotherapy and stressed the importance of keeping the colon clean through yogurt enemas.[42][43]

"Warfare with passion"[edit]

He warned that many types of sexual activity, including many "excesses" that couples could be guilty of within marriage, were against nature, and therefore, extremely unhealthy. He drew on the warnings of William Acton and expressed support for the work of Anthony Comstock. He appears to have followed his own advice; it has been suggested he worked on Plain Facts during his honeymoon.[44]

He was an especially zealous campaigner against masturbation. This was an orthodox view during his lifetime, especially the earlier part. Kellogg was able to draw upon many medical sources' claims such as "neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism," credited to one Dr. Adam Clarke. Kellogg strongly warned against the habit in his own words, claiming of masturbation-related deaths "such a victim literally dies by his own hand," among other condemnations. He felt that masturbation destroyed not only physical and mental health, but the moral health of individuals as well. Kellogg also believed the practice of this "solitary-vice" caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility; "dimness of vision" was only briefly mentioned.

Masturbation prevention[edit]

Kellogg worked on the rehabilitation of masturbators, often employing extreme measures, even mutilation, on both sexes. He was an advocate of circumcising young boys to curb masturbation and applying phenol to a young woman's clitoris. In his Plain Facts for Old and Young,[8] he wrote:

A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.[15]


a method of treatment [to prevent masturbation] ... and we have employed it with entire satisfaction. It consists in the application of one or more silver sutures in such a way as to prevent erection. The prepuce, or foreskin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to which the wire is attached is passed through from one side to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends are twisted together, and cut off close. It is now impossible for an erection to occur, and the slight irritation thus produced acts as a most powerful means of overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice


In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid (phenol) to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement.

He also recommended, to prevent children from this "solitary vice", bandaging or tying their hands, covering their genitals with patented cages and electrical shock.[8]

In his Ladies' Guide in Health and Disease, for nymphomania, he recommended

Cool sitz baths; the cool enema; a spare diet; the application of blisters and other irritants to the sensitive parts of the sexual organs, the removal of the clitoris and nymphae...

Kellogg thought that masturbation was the worst evil one could commit; he often referred to it as "self-abuse". He was a leader of the anti-masturbation movement, and promoted extreme measures to prevent masturbation.[45][46][47] In addition, Kellogg thought that diet played a huge role in masturbation and that a bland diet would decrease excitability and prevent masturbation. Thus, Kellogg invented Corn Flakes breakfast cereal in 1878. He hoped that feeding children this plain cereal every morning would help to combat the urges of "self-abuse".[48][49][50]

Views on health[edit]

Biologic living[edit]

Synthesizing his Adventist beliefs with his scientific and medical knowledge, Kellogg created his idea of 'biologic living.'[51] This was the idea that appropriate diet, exercise, and recreation was required in order to maintain a healthy body, mind, and soul. As such, the policies and therapies at the Battle Creek Sanitarium were very much in line with these principles of biologic living, such as the focus on vegetarianism or drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.[52] In fact, his belief that biologic living would protect his health was so strong that he did not even feel it necessary to get vaccinated against smallpox.[53]

Kellogg's philosophy was presented in seven textbooks that were prepared for Adventist schools and colleges. In these, Kellogg put his main emphasis on the value of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine, and the dangers of alcohol and tobacco.[54] In terms of practice, Kellogg's biologic living was very similar to the methods of Christian physiologists, requiring sexual restraint, total abstinence from drugs, and a vegetarian diet.[55]

Views on tobacco[edit]

Kellogg was a prominent member of the anti-tobacco consumption campaign, speaking out often on the issue.[56] He believed that consumption of tobacco not only caused physiological damage, but also pathological, nutritional, moral, and economic devastation onto society. His belief was that "tobacco has not a single redeeming feature… and is one of the most deadly of all the many poisonous plants known to the botanist."[57] His beliefs were very much in line with the prevailing view of the Adventists, who had become some of the most important supporters of the anti-tobacco movement.

In his 1922 book Tobaccoism, or How Tobacco Kills, Kellogg cited many studies on the negative impacts of smoking, and went so far as to attribute the longer lifespan of women to the observation that they partook in tobacco less than their male counterparts.[57]

Kellogg also served as the president of the Michigan Anti-Cigarette Society, and after the First World War, he served as a member of the Committee of Fifty to Study the Tobacco Problem. This latter group included Henry Ford, George Peabody, and John Burroughs, and ended with the production of one of the first educational motion pictures against smoking.[58] Kellogg's work on several committees against smoking culminated in Utah Senator Reed Smoot introducing a bill to Congress in 1929 that aimed to put tobacco under the purview of the Pure Food and Drug Act. In the end, however, this measure failed to pass.[59]

Views on alcohol and other beverages[edit]

Though alcoholic beverages were commonly used a stimulant by the medical community during the time that Kellogg began his medical practice, he was firm in his opposition to the practice.[53] The usage of alcohol as a remedy to anything was "an evil of stupendous proportions."[60]

Kellogg went against the prevailing notion of the time that alcohol was a stimulant. Citing contemporary research, Kellogg believed that alcohol could not be a stimulant because it lessened vital activity and depressed vital forces.[60] Seeing its effects on plants, animals, and humans, he felt that alcohol was a poison.[60] Kellogg noticed deleterious effects that alcohol had on both the brain, the digestive system, and the liver, among other organs.

In addition to the idea that alcohol was an unsuitable therapeutic tool, Kellogg also considered it to lead to mental and moral bankruptcy.[60] Alcohol was "one of the devil's most efficient agents for destroying the happiness of man, both for the present and the hereafter."[60] Even moderate drinkers were subject to these effects, as Kellogg felt that a poison was a poison in all doses.

Kellogg also opposed tea and coffee due to the caffeine content of those beverages. His view was that caffeine was a poison.[61] Not only did he detail numerous physiological and developmental problems caused by caffeine, but he also suggested that caffeine usage could lead to moral deficiencies. He blamed the prevalence of these beverages not only on the prohibition of alcoholic beverages at the time, but also on the extensive marketing efforts organized by the producers of these products. Kellogg's view was that "nature has supplied us with pure water, with a great variety of fruit juices and wholesome and harmless flavors quite sufficient to meet all our needs."[62]

As early as the 1880s, Kellogg had prepared charts and lectures on the dangers of tobacco and alcohol, which were used widely by lecturers who encouraged temperance in their students.[63] In 1878, John Harvey Kellogg, along with Ellen White, the founder of the Seventh-Day Adventists, and several others, had organized the American Health and Temperance Association.[64] The goal of this organization was to expose the far-reaching dangers of tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee. For the 15 years that the organization persisted, Kellogg remained as its president.[64]


Properties of water[edit]

Kellogg has labeled the various uses of hydropathy as being byproducts of the many properties of water. In his 1867 book, The Uses of Water in Health & Disease, he acknowledges both the chemical composition and physical properties of water. Hydrogen and oxygen, when separate, are two "colorless, transparent, and tasteless" gases, which are explosive when mixed.[65] More importantly, water, he says, has the highest specific heat of any compound. As such, the amount of heat and energy needed to elevate the temperature of water is significantly higher than that of other compounds like mercury. Kellogg addressed water's ability to absorb massive amounts of energies when shifting phases. He also highlighted water's most useful property, its ability to dissolve many other substances.[66]

Remedial properties of water[edit]

According to Kellogg, water provides remedial properties partly because of vital resistance and partly because of its physical properties. For Kellogg, the medical uses of water begin with its function as a refrigerant, a way to lower body heat by way of dissipating its production as well as by conduction. "There is not a drug in the whole materia medica that will diminish the temperature of the body so readily and so efficiently as water."[67] Water can also serve as a sedative. While other substances serve as sedatives by exerting their poisonous influences on the heart and nerves, water is a gentler and more efficient sedative without any of the negative side-effects seen in these other substances. Kellogg states that a cold bath can often reduce one's pulse by twenty to forty beats per minute quickly, in a matter of a few minutes. Additionally, water can function as a tonic, increasing both the speed of circulation and the overall temperature of the body. A hot bath accelerates one's pulse from seventy to one hundred and fifty beats per minute in fifteen minutes. Water is also useful as an anodyne since it can lower nervous sensibility and reduce pain when applied in the form of hot fomentation. Kellogg argues that this procedure will often give one relief where every other drug has failed to do so. He also believed that no other treatment could function as well as an antispasmodic, reducing infantile convulsions and cramps, as water. Water can be an effective astringent as, when applied cold, it can arrest hemorrhages. Moreover, it can be very effective in producing bowel movements. Whereas purgatives would introduce "violent and unpleasant symptoms", water would not. Although it would not have much competition as an emetic at the time, Kellogg believed no other substance could induce vomiting as well as water did. Returning to one of Kellogg's most admired qualities of water, it can function as a "most perfect eliminative". Water can dissolve waste and foreign matter from the blood. These many uses of water led Kellogg to belief that "the aim of the faithful physician should be to accomplish for his patient the greatest amount of good at the least expence of vitality; and it is an indisputable fact that in a large number of cases water is just the agent with which this desirable end can be obtained."[68]

Incorrect uses of the water cure[edit]

Although Kellogg praised hydropathy for its many uses, he did acknowledge its limits. "In nearly all cases, sunlight, pure air, rest, exercise, proper food, and other hygienic agencies are quite as important as water. Electricity, too, is a remedy which should not be ignored; and skillful surgery is absolutely indispensable in not a small number of cases."[69] With this belief, he went on to criticize many medical figures who misused or overestimated hydropathy in the treating of disease. Among these, he criticized what he referred to as "Cold-Water Doctors" who would recommend the same remedy regardless of the type of ailment or temperament of the patient.[70] These doctors would prescribe ice cold baths in unwarmed rooms even during the harshest winters. In his opinion, his prejudicial approach to illness resulted in converting hydropathy a more heroic type of treatment where many became obsessed with taking baths in ice cold baths. He addresses the negative consequences that resulted from this "infatuation," among them tuberculosis and other diseases.[71] This dangerous habit was only exacerbated by physicians who used hydropathy in excess. Kellogg recounts an instance where a patient with a low typhus fever was treated with thirty-five cold packs while in a feeble state and, not to the surprise of Kellogg, died. Kellogg posits this excessive and dangerous use of hydropathy as a return to the "violent processes" of bloodletting, antimony, mercury and purgatives.[72] Kellogg also criticizes the ignorance in "Hydropathic Quacks" as well as in Preissnitz, the founder of modern hydropathy, himself. Kellogg states that the "Quacks" as well as Preissnitz are ignorant for overestimating the hydropathy as a "cure-all" remedy without understanding the true nature of disease.[73]

Later life[edit]

Kellogg would live for over sixty years after writing Plain Facts. Whether he continued to teach the "facts" in it is not entirely clear, although it appears from the later books he wrote that he moved away from this subject matter. One source, taking a positive view of his nutritional and anti-smoking work, suggests he "dropped his obsession with the evils of sex" around 1920,[74] which would be consistent with the last edition of Plain Facts being apparently published in 1917,[75] but another, highly critical source maintains he "never retracted his claims."[76] He did continue to work on healthy eating advice and run the sanitarium, although this was hit by the Great Depression and had to be sold. He ran another institute in Florida, which was popular throughout the rest of his life,[77] although it was a distinct step down from his Battle Creek institute.[78][79]

Seventh-day Adventists and Ellen G. White[edit]

Kellogg took a positive stance toward Seventh-day Adventists and Ellen G. White's prophetic ministry despite earlier struggles. In 1941, in response to critic E. S. Ballenger, Kellogg admonished Ballenger for his critical attitude. "Mrs. White was unquestionably an inspired woman. In spite of this fact, she was human and made many mistakes and probably suffered more from those mistakes than any person ever did. Nevertheless, I knew the woman was sincere and honest and that the influence of her life was immensely helpful to a vast multitude of people, and I have not the slightest desire in any way to weaken in the smallest degree the good influence of her life and work."[80]

Race Betterment Foundation[edit]

Kellogg was outspoken on his beliefs on race and segregation, though he himself raised several black foster children. In 1906, together with Irving Fisher and Charles Davenport, Kellogg founded the Race Betterment Foundation, which became a major center of the new eugenics movement in America. Kellogg was in favor of racial segregation and believed that immigrants and non-whites would damage the gene pool.[81]

Relationship with W. K. Kellogg[edit]

Kellogg had a long personal and business split with his brother after fighting in court for the rights to cereal recipes. The Foundation for Economic Education records that the nonagenarian J.H.K. prepared a letter seeking to reopen the relationship, but that his secretary decided her employer had demeaned himself in it and refused to send it. The younger Kellogg did not see it until after his brother's death.[79]

Selected publications[edit]

  • 1877 Plain Facts for Old and Young. Self Abuse ... After having duly considered the causes and effects of this terrible evil, the question next in order for consideration is, How shall it be cured? When a person has, through ignorance or weakness, brought upon himself the terrible effects described, how shall he find relief from his ills, if restoration is possible? To the answer of these inquiries, most of the remaining pages of this work will be devoted. But before entering upon a description of methods of cure, a brief consideration of the subject of prevention of the habit will be in order. 
  • 1888 Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects. 
  • 1893 Ladies Guide in Health and Disease
  • 1880, 1886, 1899 The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine
  • 1903 Rational Hydrotherapy
  • 1910 Light Therapeutics
  • 1914 Needed -- A New Human Race Official Proceedings: Vol. I, Proceedings of the First National Conference on Race Betterment. Battle Creek, MI: Race Betterment Foundation, 431-450.
  • 1915 "Health and Efficiency" Macmillan M. V. O'Shea and J. H. Kellogg (The Health Series of Physiology and Hygiene)
  • 1915 The Eugenics Registry Official Proceedings: Vol II, Proceedings of the Second National Conference on Race Betterment. Battle Creek, MI: Race Betterment Foundation.
  • 1918 "The Itinerary of a Breakfast" Funk & Wagnalls Company: New York and London
  • 1922 Autointoxication or Intestinal Toxemia
  • 1923 Tobaccoism or How Tobacco Kills
  • 1927 New Dietetics: A Guide to Scientific Feeding in Health and Disease
  • 1929 Art of Massage: A Practical Manual for the Nurse, the Student and the Practitioner[82]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "J. H. Kellogg Dies; Health Expert, 91.". New York Times. December 16, 1943. Retrieved 2007-10-31. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, surgeon, health authority, developer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium and founder of the food business which later became the W. K. Kellogg Company, died here last night at the age of 91, nine years short of the century goal which he had set for himself. 
  2. ^ While the New York Times obituary for Kellogg [1] gives his place of birth as Tyrone, New York, other reliable sources, including the Battle Creek Historical Society [2] and the 1850 US Census indicate that he was born in Tyrone Township, Livingston County, Michigan.
  3. ^ "Honorary Degrees Awarded by Oglethorpe University". Oglethorpe University. Archived from the original on 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-03-22. 
  4. ^ General Conference Committee minutes, October 4, 1878
  5. ^ General Conference Bulletin, 34th Session, 1901, Volume 4, No. 2, April 18, p. 491
  6. ^ "Dr. John Harvey Kellogg". International Vegetarian Union. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  7. ^ The Simple Life in a Nutshell by J. H. Kellogg
  8. ^ a b c d Kellogg, J.H. (1888). "Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects". Plain Facts for Old and Young. Ayer Publishing. pp. 294–296. ISBN 978-0-405-05808-0. 
  9. ^ "Dr. John Harvey Kellogg". 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  10. ^ Biographical sketch.
  11. ^ Kellogg, Dr. John Harvey 1923. Natural Diet of Man
  12. ^ Kellogg, Dr. John Harvey 1923. Autointoxication
  13. ^ Plain Facts for Old And Young, 1910 ed., p. 234
  14. ^ Plain Facts for Old And Young, 1910 ed., p. 355
  15. ^ a b Plain Facts for Old And Young, 1910 ed., p. 325
  16. ^ Rynn Berry, "Famous Vegetarians", Pythagorean Publishers, 2003, pp. 153.
  17. ^ Iacobbo & Iacobbo, "Vegetarian America: A History", Praeger, 2009 pp. 130.
  18. ^ Margeret Washington, Sojourner Truth's America, University of Illinois Press, 2009 pp. 377
  19. ^ Money, John (1985). The Destroying Angel: Sex, fitness, & food in the legacy of degeneracy theory, Graham Crackers, Kellogg's Corn Flakes, & American Health History. New York: Prometheus Books. p. 24. 
  20. ^ Damour, Lisa; Hansell, James (2008). Abnormal Psychology (2nd ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 368. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Battle Creek Foods: Work with Soy by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi
  23. ^ US 558394, Kellogg, John Harvey, "Radiant-heat bath", issued 14 April 1896 
  24. ^ US 835622, Kellogg, John Harvey, "Movement-cure apparatus", issued 13 November 1906 
  25. ^ US 850938, Kellogg, John Harvey, "Exercising apparatus", issued 23 April 1907 
  26. ^ US 881321, Kellogg, John Harvey, "Massage apparatus", issued 10 March 1908 
  27. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey (1881). The Home Handbook of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Health Pub. Co. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schwarz, Richard William (1970). "Products of an Active mind". John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. Nashville, Tennessee: Southern Publishing Association. pp. 116–127. 
  29. ^ a b "The Kellogg Rejuvenators". Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  30. ^ a b c Kellogg, John Harvey (1910). "Preface". Light Therapeutics: a practical manual of phototherapy for the student and the practitioner, with special reference to the incandescent electric-light bath. Battle Creek, Michigan: The Good Health Publishing Co. pp. 2–3. 
  31. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey (1910). Light Therapeutics: a practical manual of phototherapy for the student and the practitioner, with special reference to the incandescent electric-light bath. Battle Creek, Michigan: The Good Health Publishing Co. p. 207. 
  32. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey (1910). Light Therapeutics: a practical manual of phototherapy for the student and the practitioner, with special reference to the incandescent electric-light bath. Battle Creek, Michigan: The Good Health Publishing Co. p. 140. 
  33. ^ a b Kellogg, John Harvey (1908). "Electrical Department". The Battle Creek Sanitarium System. History, Organisation, Methods. Battle Creek, Michigan: Gage Printing Co. pp. 87–91.  Full text at Internet Archive (
  34. ^ Stoltz, Craig. "Kellogg's Snap, Crackle, Pop Culture". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  35. ^ Good Health Publishing Co. (1909), 20th Century Therapeutic Appliances, Battle Creek, MI: Good Health Publishing 
  36. ^ Quinter, John (1993). "The Good Vibrations". Physiotherapy. 79 (6): 370. 
  37. ^ David F. Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D., Zinc (St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981), p. 8. See also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients (New Canaan, Conn.: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), p. 45.
  38. ^ Richard Nies, Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology, UCLA, 1964; equivalent Ph.D. in clinical psychology, including oral exam, but died during dissertation preparation), Lecture, "Give Glory to God," Glendale, Calif., n.d.; Alberta Mazat, M.S.W. (Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif.), Monograph, "Masturbation" (43 pp.), Biblical Research Institute.
  39. ^ Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord: the Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1998), pp. 493, 494
  40. ^ Money, J. (1982). "Sex, Diet, and Debility in Jacksonian America: Sylvester Graham and Health Reform". The Journal of Sex Research. 18 (2): 181–182. doi:10.2307/3812085. 
  41. ^ Numbers, Ronald L, "Sex, Science, and Salvation: The Sexual Advice of Ellen G. White and John Harvey Kellogg," in Right Living: An Anglo-American Tradition of Self-Help Medicine and Hygiene ed. Charles Rosenberg, 2003., pp. 218-220
  42. ^ "John Harvey Kellogg (1852–1943)". CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  43. ^ News of the Odd – John Harvey Kellogg Serves Corn Flakes at the San (March 7, 1897) (Archived December 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.)
  44. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey (1882). Plain Facts For Old & Young. Iowa: I.F. Segner. 
  45. ^ Money, John (1985). The Destroying Angel: Sex, Fitness, & Food in the Legacy of Degeneracy Theory, Graham Crackers, Kellogg's Corn Flakes, & American Health History. New York: Prometheus Books. p. 85. 
  46. ^ Kimmel, Michael (1996). Manhood In America, a cultural history. New York: The Free Press. 
  47. ^ Kimmel, Michael (1996). Manhood in America, a cultural history. New York: The Free Press. pp. 129–130. 
  48. ^ Money, John (1985). The Destroying Angel: Sex, Fitness, & Food in the Legacy of Degeneracy Theory, Graham Crackers, Kellogg's Corn Flakes, & American Health History. New York: Prometheus Books. pp. 24, 95. 
  49. ^ Damour, Lisa; Hansell, James (2008). Abnormal Psychology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 368. 
  50. ^ C., Wilson, Brian (2014-01-01). Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the religion of biologic living. Indiana Univ. Press. pp. xiv. ISBN 0-253-01447-6. OCLC 898929547. 
  51. ^ Fee, Elizabeth; Brown, Theodore M. (2002-06-01). "John Harvey Kellogg, MD: Health Reformer and Antismoking Crusader". American Journal of Public Health. 92 (6): 935–935. ISSN 0090-0036. doi:10.2105/AJPH.92.6.935. 
  52. ^ a b W., Schwarz, Richard (2006-01-01). John Harvey Kellogg, M.D pioneering health reformer. Review and Herald Pub. Association. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-8280-1939-2. OCLC 934033047. 
  53. ^ W., Schwarz, Richard (2006-01-01). John Harvey Kellogg, M.D pioneering health reformer. Review and Herald Pub. Association. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8280-1939-2. OCLC 934033047. 
  54. ^ W., Schwarz, Richard (2006-01-01). John Harvey Kellogg, M.D pioneering health reformer. Review and Herald Pub. Association. p. 44. ISBN 0-8280-1939-8. OCLC 934033047. 
  55. ^ Fee, Elizabeth (2002). "John Harvey Kellogg, MD". American Journal of Public Health. 92: 935 – via EBSCO. 
  56. ^ a b Kellogg, John Harvey (2002-06-01). "Tobaccoism". American Journal of Public Health. 92 (6): 932–934. ISSN 0090-0036. doi:10.2105/AJPH.92.6.932. 
  57. ^ W., Schwarz, Richard (2006-01-01). John Harvey Kellogg, M.D pioneering health reformer. Review and Herald Pub. Association. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-8280-1939-2. OCLC 934033047. 
  58. ^ Marino, Ronald V. (2003-03-01). "Tobaccoism revisited". The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 103 (3): 120–121. ISSN 0098-6151. PMID 12665218. 
  59. ^ a b c d e Kellogg, John Harvey (1902). The Living Temple. Battle Creek, Mich: Good Health Publishing Company. pp. 508–526. 
  60. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey. The new dietetics : a guide to scientific feeding in health and disease. Kessinger Pub. Co. p. 450. ISBN 0-7661-7965-6. OCLC 59818713. 
  61. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey. The new dietetics : a guide to scientific feeding in health and disease. Kessinger Pub. Co. p. 460. ISBN 0-7661-7965-6. OCLC 59818713. 
  62. ^ W., Schwarz, Richard (2006-01-01). John Harvey Kellogg, M.D pioneering health reformer. Review and Herald Pub. Association. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-8280-1939-2. OCLC 934033047. 
  63. ^ a b W., Schwarz, Richard (2006-01-01). John Harvey Kellogg, M.D pioneering health reformer. Review and Herald Pub. Association. p. 107. ISBN 0828019398. OCLC 934033047. 
  64. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey (1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 10. 
  65. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 11.
  66. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 59-60.
  67. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 60-62.
  68. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 78.
  69. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 71.
  70. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 72.
  71. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey(1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 74.
  72. ^ Kellogg, John Harvey (1876). The Uses of Water in Health & Disease. Battle Creek, Mich. : Office of the Health Reformer. p. 76. 
  73. ^ John Harvey Kellogg
  74. ^ Google books listing
  75. ^ Porn Flakes – John Harvey Kellogg, Sylvester Graham
  76. ^ "Kellogg, John Harvey". Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  77. ^ "Battle Creek Sanitarium, Early Health Spa". Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  78. ^ a b "Will Kellogg: King of Corn Flakes". Foundation for Economic Education. April 1998. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 
  79. ^ "J. H. Kellogg to Church Critics". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  80. ^ See Investigation of Race Betterment Foundation by the Attorney General of Michigan; also see, Ruth C. Engs, Progressive Era's Health Reform, 2003, Greenwood Pub. Co., Race Betterment National Conferences, p. 276
  81. ^ John Harvey Kellogg (1996-04-01). Art of Massage: A Practical Manual for the Nurse, the Student and the Practitioner. Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 1-56459-936-1. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]