DeForest Clinton “D.C.” Jarvis

DeForest Clinton “D.C.” Jarvis

Birth
Plattsburgh, Clinton County, New York, USA
Death 18 Aug 1966 (aged 85)
South Barre, Washington County, Vermont, USA
Burial Barre, Washington County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 61104067 View Source
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DeForest Clinton Jarvis (March 15, 1881 – August 18, 1966) was an American physician from Vermont. He is best known for his writings on the subject of folk medicine. He recommended a mixture of whole apple cider vinegar and honey that have variously been called switchel or honegar, as a health tonic. He also promoted an alkaline diet; both practices which are still promulgated by various naturopaths. He also advocated the consumption of kelp, fish, corn, and apples, and warned against white flour, white sugar, and processed foods. Jarvis was born in Plattsburg, New York into a fifth-generation Vermont family and grew up in Burlington, Vermont. His parents were George Jarvis and Abbie Vincent. He graduated from the University of Vermont Medical College in 1904, and began practicing medicine in Barre, Vermont in 1909. Jarvis's wife was named Pearl Macomber, and they had a daughter, Sylvia Jarvis Smith (b. June 29, 1914), who graduated from the University of Vermont in 1936. His hobbies included making jewelry and playing the cello, and he managed a children's orchestra for 22 years. Jarvis's 1958 book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health. The book was on the New York Times Best Seller list for two years, ultimately selling over one million copies, more than 245,000 copies in a single year, and was still in print as of 2002. Wrote one reviewer, "Pliny, the ancient Roman originator of the doctrine of signatures, used honey and vinegar to cleanse the system and promote good health. D. C. Jarvis, M.D. in Folk Medicine has re-popularized the use of honey and apple cider vinegar in modern times." More recently, modern science has begun to revisit some of his claims about vinegar, particularly with respect to diabetes, weight loss and insulin resistance. He died at the Girouard Nursing Home in South Barre, Vermont, at the age of 85. The cause of death was a chronic kidney infection, coupled with cerebral thrombosis and arteriosclerosis. After his death in 1966, Jarvis's office was dismantled and shipped to the Shelburne Museum, where it was reconstructed and is still displayed, as an example of a small-town Vermont doctor's office.


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