How Do We Want Oranges Grown

Dr. George Wood Clapp Discusses


            As almost every dentist knows who has studied the subject, oranges can, under certain conditions, be of great assistance in making his service satisfactory and economical to his patients. As he may have learned from uncomfortable experience, they can, under other conditions, be a serious hindrance to some forms of success. As others have done, he may have found that the more oranges he gives his patients, the sicker they are.

The difference between success and failure in this special form of effort will depend largely on three things, the kind of oranges the patient gets, the kind of patients the oranges get, and how the oranges are taken. If we want the maximum benefit to our reputation, we should learn the fundamentals about a few relatively simple matters, as follows: What kind of oranges will help us? What kind will hinder us? What kind of patients should get oranges, and what kind should not? How should different kinds of patients take oranges?

It is all more important that we learn these things because it appears that no one knows or cares about them except a few physicians and other scientists, and they are most certainly unknown to 99.44% of those who grow and ship oranges. Even if they knew, they wouldn’t care. They couldn’t afford to. Quantity sales must be their objective, quality service ours.

What Kind of Oranges Will Help or Hinder?

This question can be answered in the simplest of terms. Oranges from trees that have had all the food and care they need, and which have been allowed to ripen their fruit in their own time and way, will be very helpful to a large proportion of patients. Oranges from trees which have received less food than they need and/or less care than they need and also oranges picked before the trees have matured them will fail to help in proportion to the deficiency of food and/or care and the pre-matureness of the picking. When the deficiency and/or the prematureness is serious, the oranges may do harm instead of good. The answer to this question is that we need oranges properly grown and ripened on the trees.


What Kind of Patients Should Get Oranges?

Not all patients by any means. If you can find a physician who has a really comprehensive grasp of the fundamentals of nutrition, the matter for any grown patient may well be left to him or settles in consultation with him. But a few observations may help. People noticeably underweight or very nervous may do better on a diet in which there are few oranges.

These are a few healthy people who cannot take oranges, though I cannot find out why. My favorite gasoline station attendant seems perfectly healthy, but oranges distress him so that he cannot eat them.

Aside from these people, practically every one can takes oranges, especially if the suggestions in the next paragraph are followed.

How Oranges Should be Taken

Generally speaking, young people can take them any way they can get them.

But by early middle life stomachic conditions have changed for most people. The orange juice should not be taken with any starchy food, such as cereals or toast. That rules oranges out of the breakfast. The results will be much happier, generally speaking, if the orange juice precedes the breakfast by at least 30 minutes. Orange juice should, if possible, be accompanied by an equal quantity of water, not ice-water. Sensitive people often find benefit from drinking the water first and following immediately with the orange juice.

Orange juice and milk make probably the finest food combination known. They may be mixed or drunk at the same time. The orange juice will curdle the milk, and this relieves the acid of the stomach of some demands. In several cases the results have been much better when certified milk was used than when pasteurized milk was used. Some cases of persistent constipation have been relieved.

People who cannot take orange juice in any other way –and many such people are greatly in need of what it brings –can usually take it at the close of a meal entirely of protein, that is, meal from which all starch has been omitted.

In cases of persistent constipation where there are no constrictions in the intestinal tract and there is no colitis, benefit may result from masticating all the white skin of oranges and swallowing it. This saved my life when everything else had failed. I learned it from watching Percy Howe feed his monkeys. A start should be made with a small quantity, which must be chewed very fine. If it causes distress –stop. If there is no distress and there are signs of benefit, the quantity may be increased to six oranges, during 24 hours.

What May We Expect From Oranges?

Properly grown and ripened oranges, used intelligently as a part of the diet, will help arrest decay, gingivitis and deterioration of alveolar bone –and probably of all bone at the same time. They will help locally and systematically.

Orange juice, running about among the teeth loosens the attachment of mucous plaques to the teeth, so that they are more easily removed by the saliva or toothbrush. Systematically, they help build healthy teeth, and healthy teeth do not decay easily.

Orange juice is a great buffer. It gets into the gingival crevice and prevents the fermentation which is an active irritant to gum tissue. It brings health to the gums from within.

A Word About the Dentist

It has been so long since we have been troubled by fatigue from overwork that suggestions may not be in order. But things are looking up, and we may again be tired from long days at the chair.

For many of us it has proved quite easy to prevent chairside fatigue by taking a glass of orange juice and a glass of water at 10:30 A.M. and another about 3:30 P.M. There is then no noonday  fatigue.  A light lunch is more satisfying than it could otherwise, and there is no heaviness afterward. Following the afternoon glass, closing time comes almost before we know it.

Those of us who are reaching middle age can conserve valuable strength by this simple and inexpensive method.

In case of “cold,” influenza, trench mouth, tonsilitis, pneumonia, before general anesthetics and following general anesthetics or accidents, a diet solely of orange juice for the properly indicated period may prove very helpful.

Getting the Proper Fruit

Much store fruit does not meet our requirements. It was grown in ignorance of them and indifference to them.

There are probably in California and scattered about Florida a few individual growers who do what my son and I are doing, that is, raise their own fruit scientifically, ripen it on the trees and ship it to consumers who want that kind of service. So far as I know, the prices are as reasonable as permit this quality of service. The health value of the service will be worth much more to your patients than any difference there may be in price between such fruit and the competition-growth and competition-picked fruit in the stores.

220 West 42nd St.,

New York City