Good, Natural Bodies

Auerbach says of Rabelais that "pour lui l'homme est bon quand il suit sa nature, de même que la vie naturelle est bonne" (279). But is "natural life" really always good in Pantagruel? Are men always rejoicing in their bodily functions (women certainly aren't!)? And to what extent can we say that activities performed by the body are "natural"? In other words, are bodily functions still "natural" when they're drug-induced (even if the drugs are "natural"), or used for a kind of biological warfare rather than to satisfy a physical need?

Some moments I was thinking of were:

-the fecundity of farts: as others have discussed, Pantagruel's farts give rise to a new race (278-80), but what can we make of the fact that it was an accident (he was just trying to imitate Panurge, whose only fart-accompanying act of creation was linguistic: "Vive tousjours Pantagruel!"), and that his dwarfish, radish-like, choleric creations are hardly in his own image, a continuation of his biological line, or, for that matter, very healthy? Rabelais may rejoice in elevating the degraded lower bodily stratum, but literally elevating it -- putting "le cueur près de la merde" (280) -- might be a bad idea if you want to avoid sepsis. 

-the fetidity of farts: not every "puante exhalation" emanating from Pantagruel propagates Pygmies; sometimes his gaseous emissions cause plagues (332). Is there a difference in value between constipation and indigestion (when substances don't leave the body even though they should) and the kind of triumphant evacuations that can be seen as generative? (We might also remember the "wounded" old woman in Panurge's fable, whose profligate farts don't seem to have much redeeming value.)  

-what happens when Pantagruel's emitting body shifts from an instrument of war -- when Panurge gives him diuretics to flood the city with urine in ch. 28 -- to an object of medical concern, when he has to take diuretics to purge his ailing body (ch. 33)? How is the manipulation of the body different when the goal is an external (military) result vs. an internal (health) result? Do drugs make the body any more or less natural? Are we disappointed when Pantagruel makes the Dipsodes "alterés" by feeding them thirst-inducing food rather than by some supernatural force? 

I don't mean to kill the fun; the "natural" body and its functions definitely do seem to be a fertile source for Rabelais' linguistic play. But I also don't think the book is inviting us to celebrate all parts of bodily existence in the same way. Rabelais seems to accept excrement as a fact of life, or even as something necessary for regeneration, but does he also acknowledge a difference between productive waste and merely wasteful (or dangerous and contaminating) waste, and if so, how is this distinction maintained?