Friday, August 27, 2010

Adrenal Health: Part II

Feeding the Adrenals with Herbs
by Nelson – Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

Last week we talked about the impact of diet and blood sugar of adrenal health, particularly the pancreas. When using herbs to feed any of the adrenal glands, we want to avoid using stimulants that will cause these organs to work harder, only to be more worn out in the end. It is much better to feed and rebuild over a period of time.

There are certain herbs that will feed the entire system. Licorice root is such an herb. Although it is very, very sweet tasting, it does not aggravate blood sugar, but instead helps balance it. It is excellent for an energy boost and stamina. Alexander the great loved it so much, he would supply his armies with it as they marched. As long as a periodic break is used with it (one full week off after six weeks), no side effects are experienced with standard dosage. If you continue to use it beyond six weeks, you may experience raised blood pressure. Despite this, it is one of the most valuable herbs to support the body in a case of adrenal failure, as it will encourage the adrenal glands to manufacture their own chemicals, and strengthen them over time.

Mullein is a universal food for all glands. Dr. Christopher often combined mullein with lobelia (3:1 ratio) as a simple remedy for thyroid problems, or to provide a more aggressive therapy in conjunction with another herbal formula. It was the foundation for several of the formulas, and it is in all of Dr. Christopher's formulas specifically for the adrenal glands.

Astragalus will provide a large, long-lasting boost of energy and feed the adrenals. In my opinion, this is the herb to replace the stimulant drinks that body builders use. Apart from being pure food for the adrenal glands, it is one of the top herbs for boosting the immune system. Some people want to exercise, but are literally physically worn out even when sedentary. This herb has been the key for people to have the means to exercise again. It is a safe herb, widely used with no reported safety problems.

Cedar berry is the savior of the pancreas. Within a week’s use a diabetic can greatly reduce the amount of insulin they take, or eliminate insulin dependency altogether. No other herb as yet can compare to the cedar berry in cases of severe blood sugar problems.

Dandelion is a useful liver cleanser. As the liver stores the main fuel for the body, it is wise to keep it in good shape. It also contains natural inulin, which makes it an herb that can also be used for pancreas problems.

Before we had insulin or cedar berries, the best medicine most people could get was chromium. Chromium is quite useful for a blood sugar problem, although by itself it doesn't accomplish too much. The fact that it is highly concentrated in juniper berries is a cause to celebrate. The adrenal glands rest on the kidneys, which literally provide a foundation for the adrenal glands. Juniper berries are arguably the best kidney plants on the planet. Being able to strengthen the kidneys while feeding the adrenals is excellent.

None of these herbs will bring the highs and lows that damage the adrenals. Most conventional stimulants will make the already exhausted organs work harder. These herbs will actually feed them properly, so that the fatigue can go away and the body remains stronger.

Although the herbs are potent, make sure you get to the cause. Major stress calls for a shift of perspective. The adrenals breaking down is Mother Nature’s way of saying you need a break. If you will not take a break she will break you so that you do. If life has become something that you don't have time to enjoy, it may be a good time to question whether all the activities you're engaged in are really serving you.

Detailed information of herbal formulas on

  • Adrenal Formula
  • Pancreas Formula
  • Herbal Thyroid
  • Thyroid Maintenance
  • Kidney Formula
  • Liver & Gallbladder Formulas

Find Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Formulas, single herbs, essential oils, books and more at Dr. Christopher’s Original Herb Shop:

NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Adrenal Health: Part I

Blood Sugar
by Nelson – Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

The most common and noticeable symptom when health declines is fatigue.

Right now adrenal fatigue, particularly thyroid health, is getting a lot of press. I get many people with diagnosed hypothyroidism. And it is true that adrenal fatigue is very prevalent in industrialized society.

Yes, stress and overwork will aggravate this condition, and that it is often the hardest working people who are labeled with this condition.

But when someone wants help with a thyroid problem, the thyroid isn't necessarily always the best place to start. The thyroid is a part of the adrenal system, and is very 'high up' there, founded on several other adrenal glands. From one point of view, if anything that the thyroid is built on goes out of order, it is then the thyroid's job to pick up the slack. If this is the case, you can supplement for the thyroid, and you will feel better, but you will become dependent on supplementation.

Until the other systems of the body are able to do their job independently, you will be running on emergency fuel for typical tasks.

Your thyroid supplies adrenaline. This emergency fuel was not intended to be the primary source of energy. The pancreas will usually use its reserve enzymes before the thyroid is called on, and it is actually the liver that stores the body’s main fuel, glucose. The kidneys then form the foundation of the adrenal system.

Often, it doesn't take much digging to find out someone has a blood sugar imbalance (hypoglycemia, diabetes, etc.) along with their thyroid problem. What this means is that such a person can achieve much better relief the symptoms working closer to the cause, not even working directly on the thyroid.

When the pancreas doesn't work, you can run into similar symptoms. Fatigue, inability to digest food, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal tendencies and even insanity can be experienced in blood sugar problems. Usually, when a person feels this fatigue, they take a stimulant like coffee, or eat something sugary or high in carbs (probably because they are a very active person with little time) giving them a boost to get them by for a few hours, only to crash later. Eventually this person can feel tired 100% of the time, as this only aggravates the problem.

The liver also has a heck of a lot to do. It is responsible for managing all toxins in the body, breaking down hormones and storing fuel. If it has to work cleaning up more because of a junk diet, it will not be able to focus on storing energy, so refined foods need to be avoided. If there is a problem, eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds until you can get things under wraps.

The first key here is to look at the diet. If the pancreas is out, concentrated sweets, including fruit juice and agave need to go. They will wear you out, to the point where you feel tired eating them, yet crave them for energy. Complex proteins, such as dairy or meat foods, are much more difficult to break down than plant amino acids, and wear more on the adrenals.

Focus on using low glycemic foods. Sprouted grains will provide fuel longer than simple sugars, and won't spike the blood sugar. These still need to be taken moderately with prudence. Vegetables are always great (not large amounts of potatoes or starch veggies).

Avocados are an excellent calorie source, will help you feel full and are almost a specific for blood sugar complaints. Sugar snap peas or green beans are almost perfect foods for helping the pancreas heal, if eaten daily and not overcooked or canned. Dandelion greens not only cleanse the liver, but contain a natural source of the valuable inulin. These three foods are potent healers, and it isn't uncommon to get a large energy boost merely by adding these to the daily diet. In fact, string beans alone have been the key for many type II diabetics for full recovery (5 small meals a day with 1 cup of string bean juice at each meal).

If the problem is caught early enough, diet may be the only needed therapy. If it is more severe, herbs can provide an immediate restoration of energy, and over time, support the body in toning up the adrenals to proper health. Next week we will discuss the effective use of herbs for this purpose.

Find Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Formulas, single herbs, essential oils, books and more at Dr. Christopher’s Original Herb Shop:

NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tonic Herbs

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

Everyone loves excellent health, and being able to achieve it with simplicity. Most people today have a routine they follow for their health (taking supplements, prescriptions, exercise, superfoods, etc.) When using herb-talk, the herbs that may be taken for extended periods of time without building up toxicity or causing side effects are called ‘tonic’ herbs. These are the best family to draw from for general maintenance and well being.

If you decide that you would like to use herbs regularly, be aware that some may cause side effects if used over an extended period of time. Licorice root, for instance, is a phenomenal anti-viral, soothing plant that is an excellent food for the adrenals. It gives a very noticeable energy boost and tastes wonderful, so people are quite fond of it. If it is taken in dosages of 2-3 grams over a period of six weeks, it can cause high blood pressure by interfering with the body’s ability to regulate sodium and potassium.

The simple solution is to take a week off every month and a half, then resume. Actually, that is taught in Vitalist (herbal) schools for all herbs, just because the body’s receptors get tired of uptaking the same chemical over and over, and become inefficient after a while. Dr. Christopher wondered why those students most diligent in taking their formulas healed slower than those who missed an occasional day or week, and then discovered this wonderful fact. So he counseled to take the formulas six days a week for six weeks, with a week of rest. Over extended periods of time, he taught to take 1 month off for every six months, and a year for every six years in chronic conditions. This also explained to him why every 7th year of his life, he found himself in a wheelchair or using a cane with severe rheumatoid arthritis when he was able to walk fine before.

I had a friend who was quite depressed because his level of health massively dropped within a few weeks. He didn’t know why and felt bad because he thought he was doing so well. I asked him ‘Are you in your seventh year?’ He stopped and thought for a moment, and then said ‘I am. This makes a lot of sense now.’ I told him I had just hit my seventh year, and a few weeks after my birthday I was bedridden with health problems I thought I had resolved a while back. Fortunately it gets less and less severe as time goes on if you take care of yourself.

So here are some wonderful herbal tonics that may be made into large batches of tea, mixing powders with fluid, or taken as is for general health.

  • Parsley: Kidney health
  • Dandelion: Liver cleanser (therefore a possible mood lifter), blood builder, nutritive.
  • Red Raspberry: Calcium, Iron, Hormone health
  • Cayenne Pepper: Cleanser, digestive health, circulatory health.
  • Nettle, Alfalfa or wheatgrass: Plant multivitamin
  • Vitalerbs: Herbal blend designed to be a whole food multivitamin
  • Peppermint: Respiratory and digestive tonic
  • Kelp: Iodine, thyroid health
  • Echinacea: Blood purifier, immune system booster
  • Garlic: King of herbs. Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, heavy metal detox, immune system booster
  • Coriander: Heavy metal detoxer

Herbs and formulas available at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Three Oil Massage and Baldness

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

Another common issue people seem to be struggling with nowadays is baldness. This is probably one problem that has some of the widest varieties of remedies for, but most seem to have a very low success rate. Yes, there are many herbs and supplements that encourage hair growth, but none of them will work if you don’t get circulation to the scalp.

Dr. Christopher suggested that in addition to the usage of certain herbs, that it was important to massage the scalp. He suggested using the three oil massage and the Desert Herb Combination.

“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 from distilled water, two times a day” [School of Natural Healing, pg.546].

This should be enough to achieve results on its own. If you would like additional support, the mineral silica is the ultimate beauty mineral for hair, skin, teeth and nails. The herbs horsetail and oatstraw are the richest natural sources of this mineral, and are both found in abundance in the Herbal Calcium Formula.

If you are incredibly brave, before retiring to bed you may apply cayenne pepper over bald spots, as an ointment or a paste, preferably made with carrier oil such as olive oil. You will definitely want to cover the scalp with a swimmers cap, skullcap or plastic to prevent the cayenne from staining any sheets or getting in your eyes. The mere presence of the cayenne pepper on the skin will draw circulation to the area the entire night. Carefully rinse the scalp in the morning, taking special care not to get any cayenne in the mucous membranes.

The three oil massage is a very powerful remedy. The castor oil is used as a cleanser. It draws unneeded or harmful material through the skin. Warm castor oil fomentations have proved very useful for herbalists for many ailments, as it is a very mild yet potent way of approaching harmful diseases, such as an inflamed liver.

The olive oil is a perfect food for many of the bodies needs. Dr. Christopher was fond of quoting a case where a young man had his jaw blown off in an accident, and was kept alive for years by having olive oil massaged over his skin from head to toe. We have several such cases as this. Needless to say, it provides good nutrition for hair as well.

Wheat germ oil is a perfect food for skin. It is particularly valuable for its content of vitamin E and phytosterols. Many women can also attest to the state of vibrancy it has provided them in overcoming heavy cramps, bleeding or hormonal disorders. It is truly one of the best maintenance foods in existence.

This three oil massage may be used to provide relief for many complaints, or as a general beautifying routine. I have personally had women cheerfully report clearer complexion after following this advice of using the three oil massage 6 days a week.

Herbs and formulas available at