Friday, July 30, 2010

Liver and Gallbladder Surgery

by Nelson - Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

It seems today that a huge number of people are getting their gallbladders removed. The cause can be anywhere from gallstones to a just-in-case prevention. Today it feels like taking out a gallbladder is about as popular as getting ones tonsils removed.

Major surgeries usually require a very aggressive herbal program, but oddly enough, preventing gallbladder surgery is usually not very difficult at all. It breaks my heart to constantly work with people who would like to know what they can do now that they have had their gallbladder removed.

Earlier in the week a woman I knew brought up her gallbladder surgery. Looking back, she was wondering if it was really necessary. It was hard for me to say anything. How do you tell a person that they had the possibility of avoiding incredibly costly surgery, and doing it with something that she likely already had in her kitchen? It isn't that surgery doesn't have its place. Gallstones pose a serious health risk. The bothersome part of the whole affair is that often the entire thing can be taken care of in under two weeks with nothing more than fruit juice and olive oil.

Most often this approach works. We have received many calls in the store where a surgery is scheduled in as soon as a ten day period of time. Normally, you can't wait until the last minute to avoid an event like this, but with this problem we've seen it work. I'm glad to hear many of my other friends that work at other health food stores report similar experiences.

We have seen the juice of half a lemon followed by a tablespoon of olive oil, taken twice a day prevent this surgery. That's it. That is not the most complete and aggressive program, but it is enough to achieve results often enough to be worthwhile. A complete program could not be contained in this newsletter, but there is an excellent book called The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse, by Andreas Moritz. It demonstrates a more intensive gallbladder flush for effectively removing stones. This is a very inexpensive thing to try, and someone has very little to lose, even if it does nothing for them.

Your liver and gallbladder are part of the process of breaking down and metabolizing fat. I would encourage you to keep them. When a Master Herbalist friend of mine was approached by someone who had their gallbladder removed and asked what to do, she gave her a bottle of digestive enzymes for fats and said 'This is your gallbladder now. Keep it in your purse.'

Although you will always have effective remedies for healing yourself when sick, do yourself a favor and don't get sick! None of the frying oil or refined food is helping anyone's liver. The minerals our food is often fortified with (such as calcium carbonate) is ground up dirt. It can say it's providing 100% of your RDV nutrition, but if you can only use 2% of it and are forced to store the rest of it in your arteries, is it really that great? Your body can accept it, but not assimilate or get rid of it. We believe that this ground up dirt (not organically bound with a carbon atom, like the minerals found in plants) is largely responsible for the stones that are so common today. At the very least, if you are eating three meals a day, ensure that you are having 2-3 bowel movements a day so that the liver is not forced to store this toxic material until your organs shut down.

You likely will have a loved one that will be advised to have this surgery. Please remember this and see if they can get rid of the stones before their date for surgery arrives.

Herbs and formulas available at

Friday, July 23, 2010

Green Smoothies

This week we have a guest article about Green Smoothies.

In addition, the Herb Shop is offering a free seminar on Wednesday, August 11 with Robyn - she will be teaching you how to make green smoothies and discussing the health benefits of having a green smoothie daily. Details about the class are below the article.

Green Smoothies
by Robyn Openshaw, The Green Smoothie Girl

Hello friends,

In my effort to teach people how to convert to a whole-foods, 60-80% raw, mostly plant-based diet, I've found one habit that I consider to be the highest and best use of your kitchen time.

Making a blenderful of green smoothie takes only 10 minutes a day. I recommend doing it first thing in the morning, before the day gets away from you. Then put it in quart or pint jars, in the fridge. Take your quart (my daily recommendation) and a straw to work with you, or running errands.

A 96-oz. blenderful makes a quart for me, and a pint for each of my four children. That's 15 servings of greens and fruit for me, and 7.5 servings for them. Wow!

I prefer drinking my green smoothie at lunch, because that's the meal people typically have no time to prepare. Consequently, it's the meal where we are most likely to eat "fast food" that lacks nutrition and fiber. The foods most Americans eat cause a big energy drain because the body has to work so hard to manufacture enzymes and break down heavy processed foods and animal proteins.

Even if you want something not particularly good for you at lunch, if you've filled your stomach up FIRST with high-nutrition greens and fruit (400 calories in a quart), you'll eat less of the inferior foods. And your blended greens provide external enzymes to break down other food.

Furthermore, you're going to see a stabilization of your energy and mood in the late afternoon. That's when many working people find that they need their productivity most--right as it fails them! Many turn to caffeine or other stimulants just to get through the day.

If your lunch nutrition includes large amounts of the highest-micronutrient foods on earth (greens), you will likely achieve radically improved energy. That may happen immediately. Or it may happen after giving the "cleansing reactions" a chance to subside, if you're new to green smoothies. (Eighteen percent of the 175 people in my study experienced temporary reactions such as headache or diarrhea. That's normal as your body recognizes excellent building materials coming in, and uses that opportunity to "clean house.")

In my research, 95.4% said green smoothies noticeably improved their health or quality of life! 84 percent were so excited, they taught others the habit! And the top benefits reported were more energy (85%), improved digestion (80%), fewer cravings for sweets and processed foods (65%), and weight loss (50%, with an average loss of 18 lbs.).

Search "green smoothie" on YouTube and see the phenomenon of well over 1,000 demos there--it's a hot topic! Mine is the top-viewed demo, and it takes only 3 minutes to watch.

To Your Health!

Robyn Openshaw

Robyn's Template Green Smoothie Recipe

Yield: 3 quarts

· 2 ¾ cup water and ice

· ¼ cup raw, organic stevia

Greens blended until smooth up to the 6-cup mark in the blender (VitaMix or BlendTec are best)

Fruit blended up to 9+ cups

Greens can be spinach, collards, kale, chard, greens from turnips/beets, weeds like dandelion or purslane, or lettuces.

Fruit can be anything, though my favorites are 1-2 bananas, 2+ cups frozen mixed berries, and then whatever fruit I have on hand.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting over a sore throat in 24 hours for pennies

By Nelson - Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

Every now and then we come across an herbal remedy that seems to be able to work remarkably well for everybody, regardless of the intensity of illness. After seeing such a remedy work, it seems even more remarkable that not everybody knows about it.

That is the subject of this newsletter, namely a phenomenal support for people with sore throats. I am constantly surprised that it is not better known. There are no shortage of herbs that can be used for a sore throat (cherry bark, slippery elm, etc.), but with how many of these do people report themselves completely better only a day later?

We have seen this combination at work many times, and have received much feedback on it shortly afterwards. I have consulted with several other herbalists from different areas about its effectiveness, and they all say the same thing: You get better in a day. Two days, tops.

Keep in mind that if the colon is in poor health, illnesses such as a sore throat may continue to manifest periodically until the root problem is addressed.

The recipe is a simple combination of honey, cayenne pepper and garlic. All of these are among the most affordable herbs available. The idea is to make healing syrup out of these materials, and coat the throat with a tablespoon of the mixture every one or two waking hours. Taking multiple dosages may be annoying, but when you are in a situation where you need to get to work the next day, or just want to feel better, it is a godsend.

After taking the tablespoon of syrup, it is important not to drink water immediately afterwards, or wash the mixture away, as the idea is to get the soothing aspect of the honey, and disinfecting action of the garlic to stick to the sore area.

To make the syrup, mix 1 part honey with 1 part minced garlic, and add as much cayenne pepper as you are comfortable taking (usually 1/8 of a teaspoon of 40,000 H.U cayenne to the tablespoon for most people).

If you are concerned about the odor of garlic, there is an effective way to get around it. We at the herb shop understand this more than we care to admit! If you have some whole clove buds that have not been stored too long or irradiated, you may chew or suck on these as you would a breath mint. Nothing gets past the pleasant aromatics of the clove bud.

We have had people almost lose their jobs because they reeked of garlic. We are happy to report that those who followed this advice do not have that problem anymore. I once had a customer ask me what could be done for garlic odor. I had literally chewed and swallowed an elephant garlic clove less than two minutes before, and asked her if my breath was okay. After she said it was fine, I explained how to use clove buds. This is more effective than chlorophyll or parsley.

With this knowledge, no one has any need to remain sick needlessly.

Herbs and formulas available at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Women's Health

by Nelson - Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

In our society it is considered normal for a woman to have cramps and heavy bleeding with her monthly cycle. Many women do not know how little bleeding their bodies actually need to experience if it is in a balanced state.

Major swings in hormones are handled by the liver. It is the liver's job to break down the excess hormones. When there is a huge spike in estrogen with the woman's monthly cycle or with menopause, the liver may have to release the other hormones it was dealing with to handle this more critical issue. This is only if the liver had too much toxic material to break down (refined foods, exposure to chemicals in cosmetics, etc.)

Most of the success came from his mucus-less diet. Our herb shop has seen people with lifelong cramping and bleeding have no trouble at all in a matter of months. Dr. Christopher taught that even these problems would be over within 120 days with the mucus-less diet and proper herbal formulas.

The program used the hormonal changease formula and wheat germ oil (it is very important to take both together, as the wheat germ oil provides the building blocks for hormones) If the woman was going through menopause, or had cysts, tumors, polyps, or another problem with the organs, the female reproductive formula was added to that as well.

Those that took Dr. Christopher's advice didn't have problems with hot flashes. In fact, many women on his program went through menopause without even realizing it until several months went by.

Today we see many people using progesterone creams. These have benefited many people. Often, they are quite expensive, and the same results can be achieved with simple herbs. What one would pay for an ounce of these creams, a pound of Red Raspberry leaves could be bought. Not only would the Red Raspberry balance the hormones, it would provide iron, calcium, and other nutrition often missing after menstruation or birth.

  • Liver & Gallbladder formula: Toning the liver often prevents hormonal imbalances from even occurring.
  • Hormonal Changease formula: An incredibly effective herbal blend
  • Wheat Germ oil: Provides phytosterols (pre-cursors to hormones)
  • Female Reproductive Formula: Specifically for ovaries, uterus, and other female organs.
  • Red Raspberry: Hormone balancer and nutritional powerhouse.
  • Fenugreek: Hormone balancer, mucus cleanser, increases lactation and enlarges breasts.

Herbs and formulas available at

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hair Loss

by Nelson - Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

The hair loss problems we work with are usually from high stress. Managing stress will always play a role in such a case, and we always advocate a healthy change in lifestyle or perception. However, herbal support is often enough to put the body in a place where it can manage the stress and have the building blocks for thick, voluptuous hair.

Silica is considered the ultimate beauty mineral. It is used to perfectly form hair, skin and nails. We have used many herbs and a variety of hair supplements with great success in the past, and our greatest success has always been with the most silica rich herb, horsetail. Actually, we later discovered that our best supplements turned out to be nothing but horsetail in a fancy bottle.

Combining this with a food source of B vitamins (such as nutritional yeast, which also has minerals to support hair health) will provide the necessary building blocks for the formation of beautiful hair.

It is also incredibly helpful to bring circulation to the scalp. Some are able to stimulate hair growth by doing nothing but massaging the area. Dr. Christopher used the following procedure with success:

"To help restimulate hair growth, for two evenings massage scalp deeply with warm castor oil, apply hot, wet towel over head thirty minutes or more. Leave oil on all night. Next morning wash hair with pine tar soap or a good biodegradable soap and rinse. Wash again and rinse with tea made from this combination which contains equal parts of sagebrush, chaparral and yarrow. Massage well and leave tea in hair. The next two evenings do same procedure but use olive oil instead of castor oil and the next two evenings use wheat germ oil. Rest one night and repeat six days a week as needed. Use shoulder stands. Take one or two tablespoons of wheat germ oil morning and night, and also drink a cup of this tea made with distilled water, two times a day." (School of Natural Healing by John R. Christopher, pg. 542)

An overnight application of cayenne pepper over the scalp (and covering with a cap or plastic) will also bring considerable circulation to the area.

Herbal Calcium Formula:

Contains mostly Horsetail and Oatstraw, a very beautifying formula.

Herbs and formulas available at