Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF SCLERODERMA
[NOTE: The following commentary by William A. McGarey,
M.D. is a general overview of the Cayce approach to scleroderma.
The treatment recommendations discussed in the Cayce readings for
this condition are diverse and reflect the tremendous variability
in how scleroderma can manifest for each unique individual.
This overview should be viewed as one perspective on how to apply
the Cayce approach.]
Scleroderma is a disease process
which is more technically known as progressive systemic sclerosis.
It involves the collagenous connective tissues and may cause widespread,
symmetrical, leathery induration of the skin, followed by atrophy
and pigmentation. The cutaneous lesions are believed to be the
external manifestation of a systemic disease, and the muscles, bones,
mucous membranes, heart, lungs, intestinal tract and other internal
organs may be involved by the same process, resulting in functional
impairment such as heart failure or pulmonary insufficiency.
The reader is invited to review this disease process in Cecil's Textbook
of Medicine for a more thorough understanding of what modern medical
opinions are at the present time concerning Scleroderma.
I. Physiological Considerations
Scleroderma, as it is seen in the readings, affects
not only the skin but the blood forming structural areas such as the bone
and the lung tissue itself in a process which produces a hardening or
a clotting of the blood, mainly as a result of the blood itself attempting
to bring about what is called coagulation - that creative process within
the body which is the building up of new tissue as old tissue normally
dies. This is seen most graphically in the skin where the superficial
circulation to the various layers of the skin itself is involved in this
process. Then nerves ending in these areas become deadened because
of the involvement in the process, which in turn results in acute pain
and also reflexes to the autonomic nervous system which then becomes involved
itself. In this manner the organs themselves become disturbed throughout
There are glands within the body - in the case of
Scleroderma these being principally the thyroid, the adrenals, and the
liver - which become deficient in supplying elements which normally would
keep all portions of the epidermis normal. These glandular elements
are necessary in the formation of structure out of energy as Cayce has
described many times in his readings. With these hormones absent,
the effect of the influences of the glands is to produce, apparently,
a tubercle bacillus or germ in the lymphatics of the skin itself as a
direct result of the skin being destroyed and becoming hardened more rapidly
than it can be rebuilt. This becomes a "consumptive" condition with
an inflammation of the lymph in that area that consumes the circulation
between the outer, the inner, and the most inner portions of the skin
Another way of understanding the process or course
of events - the glandular deficiency creates a lack of nutrition in the
circulation of the skin itself which in turn causes a checking of the
flow of the lymph circulation. As the disease progresses, conditions
in the circulation become more disturbed and areas develop of a hardening
where the lymph or emunctory flow is destroyed. The nerves in these
areas become involved as described earlier - causing organic involvement
on the part of the body to bring about better conditions. As the
lymph flow is destroyed, the lymphatics themselves become inflamed, creating
the germ or the tubercle bacillus, which consumes the circulation of the
skin creating a malformation. In the more advanced cases of Scleroderma,
the perspiration of the skin of course becomes involved, destroying the
sweat glands. And without this normal breathing of the skin, a gradual
increase in acidosis within the body comes into being. This makes
the body more susceptible to colds and to intercurrent infections.
Far advances cases of course have nearly all portions
of the body involved. Thus there is little of the oxygen needs of
the body that can be met by a malfunctioning respiratory system, and the
entire body is put thus upon a greater strain. As these conditions
progress assimilation becomes more difficult and less capable, and the
lack of reconstructive activities in the body becomes progressively more
Review of the above information points up the fact
that the endocrine glands of the body, in their disturbed functioning,
become the primary cause of this disease process. with the collagenous
changes being secondary to the inadequate restoration of circulatory structures
with the skin itself.
II. Rationale of Therapy
In approaching therapy, we should remember that the
body has a capability of normal function.
Thus, - we would administer those activities which
would bring a normal reaction through these portions, stimulating
them to an activity from the body itself, rather than the body becoming
dependent upon supplies that are robbing portions of the system
to produce activity in other portions, or the system receiving elements
or chemical reactions being supplied without arousing the activity
of the system itself for a more normal condition.
A primary therapy in Scleroderma certainly should
be to eliminate the basic cause of the disease, which has already been
described as a malfunction of the glands of the body. However, emphasis
should be placed upon the need for persistence in gradually reestablishing
a normal function throughout all those area of the body which have been
disturbed. Thus, the primary aim of therapy would be the gradual
redirecting of the forces and energies of the body itself back toward
what we know and consider to be a normal function.
Therapy should be directed at achieving certain goals
which might be enumerated in order to establish a clear-cut direction.
All these goals should be kept in mind as attempts are made to restore
the functioning of the body step by step. The following are self-explanatory:
- Cleanse and purify the glandular system of the body. This
will aid in the blood building forces as well as bringing more
normal activity to the circulatory system of the skin and the
other tissues which need rebuilding.
- Promote a more adequate assimilation of food substances.
Attention needs to be paid to the diet and to the functioning
of the digestive organs and assimilative tissues.
- Correct the functioning of the superficial circulation and the lymphatic
circulation of the skin. Local therapy should be considered as well
as those influences which are brought about through the other
goals which are listed here.
- Add to the system that which will purify the blood; set into
motion those parts which have become so disturbed; and build
up the necessary forces to bring a nearer to normal reaction.
This would imply the use of the Wet Cell Appliance which apparently
brings into the body influences that have been rejected by the
functioning of the body in assimilation in the whole process of the
establishment of Scleroderma.
- Improve the oxygen intake where it is needed and stimulate a more
normal functioning of the lung tissues. Insure adequate
eliminations and maintain a balance of the nervous systems of
The use of any of the applications in a condition
as chronic and deep-set as Scleroderma requires a persistence that often
taxes the patience of anyone faced with this particular disease whether
it is the one who suffers or the one who applies therapy. The necessity
of a consistent application, however, is there and Cayce emphasizes it
in a variety of means. One of the best examples of his emphasis
is as follows:
Do not make the applications merely as a routine,
- either the rubs, the diets, or the appliance. Let these
be done with the continuous spiritual purpose to be healed of the
disturbances FOR a definite purpose, that is to be constructive
and helpful to others.
Keep optimistic. Pray often; seeing, feeling,
asking, desiring, expecting help - from Him, who is the way, the
truth, the light. He faileth not those who keep His purposes.
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regime
Therapy for Scleroderma must be initiated according
to the severity of the individual case. Among those cases given readings
contained in this file,  obviously is the most critically ill. Thus,
the basic therapy used in all cases of Scleroderma is closely joined to
procedures designed to control and reverse some of the most distressing
complications in her particular instance.
In this 28 year old woman, the Atomidine either by
mouth or through the Wet Cell Appliance is designed to cleanse and purify
the glandular system as well as "supplying to the system those forces
or influences that will add to the blood stream in such a way and manner
as to give that resistance in the hemoglobin and the effluvia of the blood
itself, those abilities to destroy or throw off the conditions." (528-3,
par. 4). These were not used at first. Rather  was kept
at bed rest; given fresh air or allowed to breathe oil of pine or eucalyptus
and benzoin burning in her room; her eliminations were insured to be adequate
through the use of enemas - not cathartics; her assimilations were improved
through the use of ventriculin without iron (see attached note about ventriculin),
beef juice frequently (see attached note about beef juice), and egg occasionally
mixed with whiskey which has been burned to remove the toxic portion of
the alcohol, and a diet which includes no starches whatsoever, designed
to bring an alkaline condition to the body; and hot castor oil packs daily
over the abdomen and also the back extending from the level of the diaphragm
down to the sacrum portion, as a factor to disseminate energies to the
body - this preceded by a thorough sponging off of the body with a saturated
bicarbonate of soda solution. The soda would remove from the skin
substances that otherwise would apparently be disseminated through the
system and create unfavorable results. A review of readings 528-3,
4, and 5 would be instructive and helpful in understanding those changes
that were needed in this particular case.
Later on enemas were suggested with two tablespoons
of Glycothymoline added to 1 1/2 quarts of water at body temperature to
prevent "reinfection from the tendency of the system to exhume this disturbed
circulation through the alimentary canal." (528-5). Also at this
time,  was given instructions to use the pure apple brandy in a charred
oak keg. The keg was to be at least a gallon or a gallon and a half
in size with one half to one gallon of the brandy added. It was to be
kept close to the radiator or warmth of some sort, so gasses could be
inhaled from the charred oak as well as from the brandy. She was
instructed to inhale once a day at first, but when aching or feeling shaky,
two or three times a day, "for this will assist the circulation in healing
tissue that has been impaired by the effect of the condition as given."
Further strengthening of the body was sought through
the use of red wine taken with some black bread or rye crisp some time
in the late afternoon. In other references through the readings
this apparently strengthened the blood and corrected to some extent anemia.
Alcohol rubs were also designed as a strengthening factor, if grain alcohol
were used and not rubbing alcohol. These were especially to be used
on the limbs and across the shoulders and "this will also tend to make
for a better lymph circulation." (528-5)
Primary therapy however, in all cases that have been
reviewed, is directed at bringing iodine into the system in the form of
Atomidine, designed to bring about a better functioning of the glandular
system through a cleansing and purifying action. In  and 
the Atomidine was given by mouth first and then the Wet Cell Appliance
was used thereafter.  did not use Atomidine by mouth until
much later in her recovery period. Instead she was given the Wet
Cell Appliance at the first.
Still another variation is seen where  was given
Atomidine by mouth, one drop daily for five days and then off five days;
then one drop daily for five days, then off, etc.; at the same time
she was to use the Wet Cell Appliance with only gold chloride in the solution
jar. At the beginning of her therapy however, she used Atomidine
one drop daily for two days, then two drops daily for two days, then three
for two days, four, and then five. At the end of this ten-day period
she was to stop the Atomidine and then take an Epsom salts bath in 30
gallons of tepid water with 15 pounds of Epsom salts in it for 30 minutes,
while massaging the body thoroughly over the lower limbs. Following this,
a peanut oil massage was directed from the base of the head downward,
especially around the thyroid, then down the spine and particularly over
the lower part of the spinal system; the whole of the sacral area
and down the limbs both the under side and the over side as Cayce described
it. As much oil was to be massaged in as the body would absorb.
This procedure was to be repeated once with a slightly warmer bath, and
then the Wet Cell was to be begun.
The Wet Cell Battery and its application was part
of the therapy in every instance. For  a double charge was
suggested, except for the willow charcoal. Thus, her battery was
charged with 1 1/2 gallons of distilled water, 3 pounds of copper sulphate,
2 ounces of sulphuric acid, 6 drams of zinc, and 1/2 pound of willow charcoal.
Separate solution jars were to be used for the three different substances
that were recommended. The gold was suggested for the nerve energies to
be supplied; the camphor for healing forces; and the Atomidine for cleansing.
Four ounces of each solution was to be used, the Atomidine and spirits
of camphor to be used as usually obtained, and the gold chloride to be
one grain per ounce of water. The three solutions were to be alternated
with the negative electrode attached over the lacteal center, which was
described as being three finger breadths to the right and three up from
the umbilicus. The positive electrode or the small copper electrode,
attached first, was for the gold to be attached at the fourth lumbar vertebra;
the spirits of camphor next at the ninth dorsal vertebra; and the Atomidine
solution at the second and third dorsal area, which would "aid in governing
the assimilative forces from the nerve forces in the body." (2514-1)
The solution jar is always attached to the negative lead.
The diet to be used is always that of an alkaline
forming diet with many leafy vegetables as the main portion. Fish,
fowl, and lamb are alright, but fried foods should never be used.
Vegetable soups and other foods easily assimilated are recommended, vegetables
cooked with patapar paper or the equivalent parchment paper which may
be purchased in most Health Food stores. Meat should not be cooked
with the vegetable soups. Other instructions about diet may be obtained
from the A.R.E. booklets, A Normal Diet or A Diet Recipe Guide.
Stimulation to the superficial circulation and the
lymphatic circulation of the skin is brought about through massages and
fume baths. The massage already described for  is essentially
the same as that used in the other cases. Apparently the sacral
area, the legs and hips, need more massage than other areas. This
may have to do with reflex influences to the glands or to the nerve plexuses
in those areas. A witch hazel fume bath (described in 2526-4) which could
be done at home, was to be followed with peanut oil and olive oil massage.
Local areas of hardening are treated in various ways.
Suggested were castor oil packs over hardened areas every other day over
a long period of time for . Ichthyol was to be used over the
sore places until the area was cleansed and then cuticura after that.
Unguentine was suggested to be massaged in the skin for soreness and pain
through the shoulders. These seem to be palliative measures for
the most part.
A rather comprehensive therapeutic regime then, would
include the Atomidine and the Wet Cell Appliance to work on the glandular
system, the nerves, and the bringing into the body those energies needed;
a dietary regime and care for the organs of assimilation to provide that
which is needed through the alimentary canal; local therapy of the skin
through massages and applications such as castor oil; and those other
factors such as cleansing of the bowels with enemas, and aiding in more
extensive complications of the disease process. it is perhaps of
most vital importance to emphasize that persistent, patient, consistent
adherence to the applications be maintained.
Do these, as we have indicated.....Not as rote,
but knowing that within self must be found that which may be awakened
to the building of that necessary for the body, mentally and physically
and spiritually, to carry its part in this experience. For the application
of any influence must have that which is of the divine awakening
of the activative forces in every atom, every cell of the living
[Note: The preceding overview was written by William A. McGarey, M.D.
and is excerpted from the Physician's Reference Notebook,
Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health