Friday, October 29, 2010


by Nelson – Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

Having discussed heart disease and diabetes in past newsletters, it is only appropriate to bring up cancer. These three diseases are the top killers in America, and are the chronic diseases we have the most experience with. It would please the reader to know that Dr. Christopher had a fair share of success with his cancer patients.

In his lectures, Dr. Christopher often would speak of how an emotional state could impact physical health. In his lectures, he taught "The emotional cause of cancer is hate." This approach to health (viewing mind, body and spirit as inseparable) was much less accepted in his time than it is now.

In the early days, he experimented with the natural therapies of his time. Originally, he put his patients on the 'Grape Cure'. He saw this therapy in very extreme cases. One of his more well known cases was a fellow who had skin cancer on his groin. The solution Dr. Christopher proposed was to involve sunlight and 3 months of nothing but grape juice. The results were rather favorable, and the man lived a cancer free life afterwards. Another woman on the program for a few months began to lose weight so rapidly she became a walking skeleton. She continued anyway, despite protests from friends and family, and began to get her weight back until it was at a normal level- all while drinking grape juice!

Well, these programs were pretty intensive, and drinking nothing but juice for months is not usually something someone is willing to do. So Dr. Christopher put together his 'incurables' program, one of the goals being to reduce the amount of time needed to heal from a few months down to a few weeks. In order to accomplish this, he involved a lot of herbs in his program. With the 2-3 weeks of juices, many herbal formulas and fomentations, he claimed to be able to get the results in three weeks that would have otherwise taken him months.

This program was not intended for someone slightly ill or for maintenance, as it put the body into a high mode of cleansing. This can be helpful when you're dealing with a chronic problem, but it can weaken the vitality of a healthy body (a good state of health is more improved upon by building).

The foundation of the incurables program is the mucus-less diet, juice therapy and what is called the 'Extended Herbal Cleanse'. The Extended Herbal Cleanse involved using four herbal formulas (Lower Bowel, Kidney, Liver & Gallbladder, and Bloodstream formulas) to work on the most important eliminative organs of the body, one idea being that if these functioned ideally, the body would not be forced to seal off waste matter in tumors it couldn't get rid of.

There were several other formulas and a lot of superfoods in addition to these four, but quite often we have had pleasing results with these herbs alone. I used to view cancer as a very frightening disease, even though it was part of my philosophy that healthy lifestyles could be enough. Often the protocol suggested called for a strict lifestyIe and massive amounts of supplementation (still cheaper than conventional medicine, at least), and sometimes it took every blasted part of it to get anything done.

But this changed. I had an experience where I got to observe David Christopher talk to someone who approached him with cancer. David picked his brain a bit, found out he was eating healthy, and talked about the extended herbal cleanse and apricot kernals. That was it. He commented on cancer "It's really not that complicated".

And it isn't. When you work closest to the root of the problem, the more effect your efforts will have, and the less work you'll ultimately have to do. Working on these four areas of the body combined with the apricot kernels (containing the vitamin B-17 considered mother nature's chemotherapy by some) can get a lot done by itself.

And I've been surprised since then. I recall a fellow who had stage four cancer. He made no change to his diet, but was willing to drink Essiac tea (a strong blood cleansing tea made mostly of burdock). I would have told him he was going to die if he asked me. He didn't. His cancer completely went away, but he still drinks Essiac tea every day.

Jethro Kloss recalls a case where the postman in his area developed cancer. He got a big bag of red clover blossoms and drank the tea regularly. This was in a time where it was difficult to see if the tumors where completely gone. He lived a natural lifespan, and when he did die, it was not of cancer. Red clover blossoms where the main ingredient of the Blood Stream formula, and was Dr. Christopher's herb of choice when dealing with cancer.

Dr. Schulz recalls a case where a woman with stomach cancer asked for help. She would not change her diet, exercise or take formulas. But she did like teas. So he asked her what herbs grew in her backyard, and she had peppermint. He told her to drink peppermint tea every day. He didn't think it was going to work, and was surprised to hear in six months time that the stomach cancer was completely gone.

There are many such stories, but they are not often talked about, because reinforcing the idea that someone sick needs to make no changes to their life and just needs a magic pill is a mentality natural healers like to get away from. The success rates also plummet, which is why an aggressive program like the incurables was favored by Dr. Christopher and naturopaths who don't like to leave any stones unturned.

It was by no means a guaranteed cure. But even when Dr. Christopher was taken to court by the state when people died on his programs, the families of the deceased came and testified on his behalf with tears in their eyes. They got to see firsthand the difference between dying in a hospital bed in pain on a myriad of medications, and dying at home, for the most part pain free and peacefully.

If his programs had been ineffective, he would have been jailed and his practice shut down permanently. There must be some value in them if they revolutionized the way people look at alternative healing, and balk the full might of an unscrupulous legal system.

So we think the incurables program is at least worth looking at and considering when someone wants natural support for a chronic disease.
The full incurables has been published online at

This is also available as the pamphlet 'Curing the Incurables'

"There are no incurable diseases."
-John R. Christopher

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, October 22, 2010


by Nelson – Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

Now is a wonderful time to be alive. We have never had so much scientific research on the human body or plant chemicals before! It was only last century that hormones were discovered, and that we have gotten the viewpoint of their role on the emotions. But despite all this new knowledge, the herbal approach has not changed all that much.

Back in Medieval medicine, both allopathic practitioners (the philosophy of modern medicine) and herbalists believed that perfect health could be achieved by balancing four humors of the body. This is the approach they would take if a woman complained of symptoms of depression, fatigue and so forth. This would be often diagnosed as ‘melancholy’, a disorder that was considered a purely female disease. Melancholy was also used to describe one of the humors, its name literally meaning ‘black bile’. This bile was supposed to be linked to the liver. The herbalists would address melancholy by using bitter herbs, many of which were considered female herbs, and still are today. These would be herbs such as false unicorn, red raspberry leaves, black cohosh, etc.

Although these are still considered female herbs, the truth is they work well for the male body. Hormone balancing herbs contain phytosterol hormone-precursors. We in our own area have had two men come for help for hot flashes this week (a side effect of chemotherapy). Their medical doctor had told them to get black cohosh and flax seed oil. Combining a plant oil (such as wheat germ oil) with hormonal herbs (such as Hormonal Changease) has been what we have had the greatest success with, and we're glad to see other people having good results in their own practices.

Oddly enough, most of these herbs are liver herbs. The rule of thumb is that the taste of bitter will stimulate the flow of gastric juices, particularly bile in the liver. This is precisely what most of these herbs do. In past newsletters, we have discussed the liver's role in breaking down and removing old hormones, and how the ancient Greeks considered it the seat of the emotions. The liver, along with the bowels and urinary tract, are the places we prefer to work most when there is a hormone issue.

Sometimes it is just a matter of being able to eliminate old hormones from the body, and then people feel the way they would like to. So if the liver is forced to store bile because the urinary tract or bowels are blocked, merely removing the blockage may be all the effort required. It is not often talked about, but we have seen with our own eyes the anxious, depressed or suicidal begin to cope with life after using an herbal formula inducing a bowel movement. We prefer to start with this route first, because it works quickly and is closer to the root of the problem most of the time. This also safeguards against becoming dependent on a calming herb to relax the nerves and give comfort, but do nothing to ultimately heal.

So Dr. Christopher usually used the Lower Bowel Formula and Liver & Gallbladder formula. He was fond of quoting a case where a mother had two children by the neck, trying to keep them from killing each other with their fighting. He did nothing more than put them on the mucus-less diet and Lower Bowel formula and within a few weeks, the feverish anger was replaced with a congenial disposition.

When he needed stronger help, he used the Hormonal Changease formula. His most classic cases with this formula were with hot flashes, mood and fertility. Often, he would require that it be taken with wheat germ oil. This was to provide the necessary building blocks for the body to manage the hormones. Although it is not always necessary, it has happened often here that someone has had no response to the hormonal herbs, and began to heal after adding wheat germ oil into the program.

Many people use expensive synthetic cremes today for estrogen/progesterone balance. Some use expensive herbal cremes derived from wild yam. It is much cheaper and easier to just use wild yam. I once attended a seminar where a knowledgeable woman was lecturing on estrogen and progesterone. She advocated an expensive natural creme. After she left, the next lecturer, rather sheepishly, explained how the same results could be achieved with red raspberry leaves and other herbs. It was a rather enjoyable conclusion, I thought.

Dr. Christopher’s Formulas
  • Lower Bowel Formula
  • Liver & GallBladder Formula
  • Hormonal Changease

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, October 15, 2010


by Nelson, Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

Few health problems get annoying faster than insomnia. After only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night for a few days, you can start to feel grumpy. If this goes on for a few years, then you might really be past the point of annoyed.

The causes of insomnia can be incredibly varied, which can make it challenging to approach with natural therapies. There are many different herbs that are used for this problem, and people have a tendency to respond differently to one and well to another. Using some of the herbs with a stronger action can keep the searching down to a minimum.

Of course, if someone is taking stimulants before sleeping (coffee, cocoa, metabolism boosters, sports drinks) then it should be no mystery. These need to go if they are the cause.

Before listing and discussing some herbal help, let’s have Dr. Christopher give us some simpler, less known but effective approaches:

Dr. Christopher taught:

“Our bodies receive electricity through the top of the head where we used to have soft spots when we were babies. This electricity is essential to our bodies but it must be fresh and free flowing, coming through the top of the head, down the spine, through the body and is grounded out into the earth. When we do not let the electricity out and be grounded into the earth, it becomes static and toxic and builds up so much that new electricity can't come in.

“We can't sleep and we become hard to live with. Each day, therefore, we need to send some time out on the lawn or the ground to get rid of this static electricity in the body. There was an elderly man who was having a lot of trouble sleeping. His insomnia got so bad that he became very difficult to be around. His son knew this principle of walking on the earth to discharge unwanted energy and tried to convince his father to do so, but his father said that no one was going to get him to take off his shoes in public and walk on the lawn barefooted!

“However, one day, the son said, "Dad, I have something I must talk to you about." He sat the old man down, quickly took off his shoes and whisked him outside. They walked around the lawn a few times, talking and then the old man said that he was feeling tired. He went in the house and went to bed--and slept all night! We have noticed that native peoples who walk without shoes or who wear leather soles that let the energy through are much less nervous than those of us who wear synthetic or rubber soles. We spend a good deal of the summer without shoes and although it may not look as proper or civilized as wearing the plastic sandals that are the style now, we feel much less nervous and very harmonious during this time.”

Most of the herbs used to promote restfulness are the nervine herbs. When I was first getting into herbs, I had a friend who was a naturopathic doctor. He taught me some interesting things in the time he was around. I remember he once told me about insomnia trouble he had suffered. In a short period of time, he had gone through a divorce and lost his children and his house (I think he might have been having problems with his job as well). He told me that he had not slept for two weeks, and it was an extract of valerian root gave him the first night of sleep during those times.

Many herbs may be used as singles. Chamomile, lavender, valerian root and passionflower are commonly used with great results. Other nervines such as scullcap, black cohosh and the like are also helpful.

When we have a really stubborn case of insomnia, often someone will respond well to kava kava. This is an herbal tranquilizer (I think this is the closest we've come to doping someone up). I have had some cases where someone with bloodshot eyes has told me that no drugs or pills have been working for them. It makes me happy when they cheerfully tell me two weeks later that they are sleeping restfully. It does not work every time, but with a high enough success rate to be worthwhile. Kava kava can make the lips and tongue go slightly numb for a short while after taking it, but as the Polynesian culture has demonstrated, gallons of this tea can be drunk throughout the week without damage to the body.

One final famous case of Dr. Christopher's to conclude this newsletter:

Dr. Christopher told the story of a high school teacher who had a terrible case of insomnia. She could only sleep in twenty-minute stretches; thereafter, she would pace the floor throughout the night, keeping her family awake and becoming more and more tired herself. During the day she epitomized the "witch" school teacher. Eventually her screaming and irritability, her meanness and nagging, became so intolerable that her family wanted to have her committed to a mental institution. And she was so weary of it all that she would have liked to go herself.

The family called Dr. Christopher, however, who came over and prepared a cup of his nervine tea [Relax-Eze]. As it steeped, he chatted with the family, and then she drank the cup. Soon she yawned and said she might like to go lie down. Her husband commented that Dr. Christopher might just as well stay, because she would be up again in twenty-minutes, but Dr. Christopher took his leave.

The next morning, Dr. Christopher answered the telephone; a man's voice began berating him and calling him all sorts of vulgar names. "You ought to be jailed," the man shouted, "for giving my wife heavy drugs when you said they were herbs!"

Dr. Christopher explained he had only given the woman herbs, so mild that a newborn baby could safely use them. When the man calmed down, he explained that his wife had slept all night and awakened calm and refreshed.

She continued taking this formula, and cleaned up her diet as well. Before long, she was as sweet and cooperative as she could be with her family and her classes, and everyone was grateful that she didn't have to be committed to a mental institution!

Christopher Formulas:
Valerian & Wild Lettuce Tincture

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, October 8, 2010

Arthritis and Heart Problems

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher’s Herb Shop

If Dr. Christopher thoroughly understood anything in his practice, it would be arthritis and heart problems. These were the big health challenges he faced in his life, either one of which he was told he would die from before the age of thirty. Fortunately for him, he judiciously applied many natural therapies that greatly boosted his health and vitality so that this didn't occur.

His arthritis was with him until the end of his life, although by then he was out of the wheelchair and off of the cane. He also didn't have to deal with the crippling pain. When he received a physical in his 40's, he had a clean bill of health, and was told his heart was as healthy as a young man's.

After he became established in his practice, he was able to help his mother rebuild her heart. Heart disease was a hereditary problem in his family. His mother had strokes or heart attacks so frequently that it was table conversation. Usually when someone has a stroke, they can experience lifelong paralysis. This never happened with her. Dr. Christopher attributed the health of his family to the herbs they regularly used and the Mucus-less diet.

Most of Dr. Christopher's success with heart health came from two herbs: cayenne and hawthorn. He was so fond of cayenne he wrote the book Capsicum and suggested everyone take a full tablespoon of it a day! The very potent decoction of fresh hawthorn berries (amazingly enough, available as Hawthorn Heart Syrup to the public) was what he used to strengthen weakened hearts.

Given that heart disease is the number one killer in America, these are often what we resort to. The most important thing with this problem will always, always be diet. Yet cayenne is strong enough to stop a heart attack or stroke in progress (this has happened many times in the School of Natural Healing's history), making it worthwhile to have on hand even if someone is on a destructive diet.

First, we like to cleanse. Hardened arteries have arteriosclerosis that shouldn't be there. Cayenne is our favorite herb for not only equalizing blood pressure and rebuilding the circulatory system, but for assisting the body in removing this harmful substance from the blood vessels. When there is excessive cholesterol, this also needs to go. Garlic may also be used as a clinically proven herb to remove cholesterol.

Calcification of the arteries can also pose a problem. This can be an odd paradox: the arteries are weak and brittle because of a lack of calcium, yet there is calcium build up on the arteries! Dr. Christopher taught that this was due to inorganic minerals in food or water (calcium carbonate, etc.), or the bodies inability to remove excess minerals from the body and thus store it on the miles of arteries available. For this he simply used 1-2 TBS of apple cider vinegar and drank distilled water daily. If the calcium was building up in the body because of a lack of the trace minerals that are needed for it to be used, he used the Herbal Calcium Formula.

Dr. Christopher also put together the Blood Circulation Formula, which contains the garlic, cayenne, and other herbs useful for promoting healthy circulation. We have good case histories with this formula, provided they followed his mucus-less diet.

After cleansing, nourishing is the next step we take to heal. This is where the hawthorn comes into play. Hawthorn is almost a pure cardiac food. In fact, it is one of the few herbs that only has two or three practical uses (another being for edema, provided the kidneys are not in a critical state). Those who have suffered heart attack or stroke have benefited greatly from hawthorn, enough to make a rather long list attesting to its efficacy.

Motherwort is considered by some herbalists to be the ultimate heart tonic. It is a mild herb, so gentle that even large amounts may be safely consumed without ill effect. In older times it got this name because it was considered the 'Mother Herb'. If the heart is also strained due to stress, motherwort is also useful for calming the nerves.

When the heart beats weakly and rapidly, it may be a medical condition called arrhythmia. For this, our goal is to slow down and strengthen the heart. You'd have to make it yourself, but a combination of equal parts Valerian root, Motherwort and Hawthorn has been the best herbal support for this condition we know of yet.

Of course, lest we forget, heart disease is strongly linked to diet. The cholesterol, trans fats and mineral build up that is pulled out of arteries most often comes from the food we eat. Eating a diet composed solely of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds is one of the most heart healthy diets there is. In our own personal case histories, we have seen blood pressure dramatically drop down within four weeks! Doing so for two to six months is often all it takes to get the health to the desired level.

The number one strength of a plant based diet is heart health. Long term vegans may have some health problems to be mindful of when eating solely plants, but heart problems are not one of them. Usually a vegan (who is not eating junk, refined foods or carbonated beverages) will have blood pressure a little below 130/85, where risk for most heart problems is virtually zero. Occasionally you will find a vegan with genetically high cholesterol, but these are rare and still do pretty well.

Either Dr. Christopher's pamphlet The Mucus-less Diet, or Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live will provide the guidelines that we most often work with and see the best results with. These works of literature will provide a solid foundation for anyone serious about having a healthy heart.

You can find the books mentioned in today’s article here:

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, October 1, 2010

Different Respiratory Herbs

One of the challenges someone seeking to apply herbs is finding what works well. It’s easy to find a list of 20 herbs that are useful for some condition, but what can you expect with each one and how do you apply it? This is a problem an herbalist looking at a lung problem can have.

Dr. Christopher has a larger variety of formulas for respiratory ailments than any other problem. He has formulas with herbs used to dry up mucus, expel it, reduce inflammation, curb nicotine habits, etc. His Herbal Cough Syrup is just that- it makes you cough more! That really confused people. But if you want to get mucus out of the lungs, it can be a nice thing.

This is what Dr. Christopher had to say about his formulas:

Sinus Plus
"This is an aid for clearing up the malfunctions of the sinuses. This is a natural aid that works as a decongestant and natural antihistamine to dry up sinuses and expel from the head and broncho-pulmonary tubes and passages the offending stoppage of mucus."

Lung & Bronchial
"This combination of herbs is an aid to relieve irritation in the respiratory tract, lungs and bronchials. This is an aid in emphysema as well as other bronchial and lung congestions such as bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, etc. This formula is extremely valuable in strengthening and healing the entire respiratory tract. It promotes the discharge of mucus secretions from the broncho-pulmonary passages... For additional help in the program, it is good to add three to six drops of tincture of lobelia..."

Cold Season Formula
"This formula acts as an aid to assist in relieving colds, etc. or wherever garlic is needed to help stop infection! The adult amount can vary from...two or more capsules six or more times per day taken with a cup of steam-distilled water."

Sinus & Lung
"This very powerful formula consists...of Brigham tea, horseradish and cayenne. For immediate relief of sinus pressure due to cold or allergies. May be taken every 30 minutes."

Respiratory Syrup
"An excellent asthma syrup- very helpful to expel mucus from the respiratory system. Can be used for sore throats and mucus. Excellent for fighting toxins."

Respiratory Massage Oil
Oil of mullein. May be massaged over back or taken internally to support the lungs in an inflamed or mucus condition. Also a traditional remedy for earache.

Quotes from The School of Natural Healing by John R. Christopher. (Pg 536-552)