Russell Thacher Trall

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Russell Thacher Trall
Russell Trall 1860s.png
BornAugust 5, 1812
DiedSeptember 23, 1877
OccupationHydropathic physician, writer

Russell Thacher Trall (August 5, 1812 – September 23, 1877)[1] was an American physician and proponent of hydrotherapy, natural hygiene and vegetarianism. Trall authored the first American vegan cookbook in 1874.

Biography[edit]

Trall was born in Vernon, Connecticut. He trained in medicine and obtained his M.D. in 1835 from Albany Medical College but broke away from conventional medical methods.[2] Trall practiced alternative medicine in New York City from 1840. He was influenced by the water cure movement and established his own water-cure institution in New York in 1844.[3][2] In 1849, Trall founded the American Hydropathic Society with Joel Shew and Samuel R. Wells.[4][5] Trall and Wells also established the American Anti-Tobacco Society in 1849.[4][6] In 1850, he organized a convention for the American Hydropathic Society in New York City and during this year the Society became the American Hygienic and Hydropathic Association of Physicians and Surgeons.[6]

Trall authored the two volume Hydropathic Encyclopedia in 1851.[7] He recommended daily bathing and using cool or cold water.[7] In 1853, Trall founded the New York Hydropathic and Physiological School that issued diplomas. It became known as the New York Hygeio-Therapeutic College in 1857.[8] He transferred operations to New Jersey in 1867, with his Hygeian Home. He edited The Water-Cure journal, which he later renamed The Herald of Health.[2] Trall was an advocate of a system known as "hygeiotherapy", a mixture of hydrotherapy with diet and exercise treatment regimes that included fresh air, hygiene and massage.[9] It almost disappeared by his death in 1877 but was revived by Sebastian Kneipp in the 1890s.[9]

Vegetarianism[edit]

He was an influential promoter of vegetarianism and was Vice-President of the American Vegetarian Society.[10] Trall's The Hygeian Home Cook-Book published in 1874 is the first known vegan cookbook in America.[11] The book contains recipes "without the employment of milk, sugar, salt, yeast, acids, alkalies, grease, or condiments of any kind."[11] Trall opposed the consumption of alcohol, coffee, meat, tea and the use of salt, sugar, pepper and vinegar.[7] He believed that spices were dangerous to health.[7]

In 1910, physician David Allyn Gorton noted that Trall's diet was "most simple and abstemious, consisting chiefly of Graham bread, hard Graham crackers, fruits, and nuts—two meals a day, without salt."[12]

Selected publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donegan, J. (2000, February). "Trall, Russell Thacher (1812-1877), hydropathic physician and health reformer". American National Biography. Ed. Retrieved 5 Feb. 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Whorton, James C. (2002). Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America. Oxford University Press. pp. 90-91. ISBN 0-19-514071-0
  3. ^ Engs, Ruth Clifford. (2000). Clean Living Movements: American Cycles of Health Reform. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 96. ISBN 0-275-97541-X
  4. ^ a b Nissenbaum, Stephen. (1980). Sex, Diet, and Debility in Jacksonian America: Sylvester Graham and Health Reform. Greenwood Press. pp. 149-150. ISBN 978-0313214158
  5. ^ Green, Harvey. (1986). Fit For America: Health, Fitness Sport and American Society. Doubleday. p. 63
  6. ^ a b Brodie, Janet Farrell. (1994). Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth-century America. Cornell University Press. pp. 147-148. ISBN 0-8014-8433-2
  7. ^ a b c d Agnew, Jeremy. (2019). Healing Waters: A History of Victorian Spas. McFarland. pp. 71-72. ISBN 978-1-4766-7459-9
  8. ^ Weiss, Harry Bischoff; Kemble, Howard R. (1967). The Great American Water-Cure Craze: A History of Hydropathy in the United States. The Past Times Press. p. 37
  9. ^ a b Baer, Hans A. (2001). Biomedicine and Alternative Healing Systems in America: Issues of Class, Race, Ethnicity and Gender. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-299-16694-5
  10. ^ Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-313-37556-9
  11. ^ a b Smith, Andrew F. (2015). Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City. Oxford University Press. p. 617. ISBN 978-0-19-939702-0
  12. ^ Gorton, David Allyn. (1910). The History of Medicine: Philosophical and Critical, From Its Origin to the Twentieth Century, Volume 2. G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 192

External links[edit]