Kloss was a devout Seventh-day Adventist and was influenced by the writings of Ellen G. White. He is most well known for his book Back to Eden, first published in 1935, expanded by him in 1939, and also expanded poshumously. The book became popular in the 1960s and 1970s amongst alternative medicine cranks and woo-meisters. It argues that God has provided remedies for all diseases in plants and minerals. Primitive herbal remedies are said to cure practically every disease or ill on the planet including lethal dog and snake bites.
The book has been dismissed as quackery by medical experts. Nutritionist Kurt Butler wrote that "most of the remedies suggested are archaic, discredited and potentially dangerous." Despite this the book has been re-printed many times and remains displayed for sale at alternative health stores. The potentially dangerous herbs include comfrey and coltsfoot, but the real danger for most people will be avoiding effective actual medicine. For example, the 1973 edition of the book continued to recommend treatment of both gonorrhea and syphilis with ineffective herbs, potentially promoting the spread of the very same diseases that the book is purporting to treat. The effective treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea with antibiotics was proven in the 1940s.
- Jethro Kloss and Back to Eden: Work with Soyfoods
- Butler, Kurt. (1999). Lying for Fun and Profit: The Truth about the Media : Exposes the Corrupt Symbiosis Between Media Giants and the Health Fraud Industries. Health Wise Productions. p. 77. ISBN 978-0967328102
- Back to Eden: Classic Guide to Herbal Medicine, Natural Food and Home Remedies Since 1939. Over 5 million copies have been sold, the latest re-print was in 1998 by Lotus Press.
- Back to Eden: American herbs for pleasure and health; natural nutrition with recipes and instruction for living the Edenic life by Jethro Kloss (1973) Lifeline Books. ISBN 0912800011.
- Dayan, L; Ooi, C (October 2005). "Syphilis treatment: old and new". Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 6 (13): 2271–80. doi:10.1517/14656522.214.171.1241. PMID 16218887.