Friday, November 11, 2011

Whole Food Nutrition vs. Synthetic Vitamins - A Brief History of Vitamin C

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

In the 1930's, ascorbic acid is discovered. It demonstrates a positive effect on scurvy. The research is published, and educated people say that vitamin C is ascorbic acid, and that it does everything that vitamin C can do. We have everything figured out.

Rutin is later discovered. It turns out to be part of a vitamin C complex. It is needed in order for vitamin C to strengthen the capillary walls, or it doesn't work. We have everything figured out.

J factors are discovered. Vitamin C only will enhance the oxygen carrying capacity of the cells if they are present. We have everything figured out.

Then a copper enzyme is discovered, then it turns out vitamin C will work magnitudes more effectively with vitamin E and A, and... well, it goes on. Oddly enough, this incredibly delicate, fragile balance has always been present organically bound in whole foods, such as an orange.

There is a common pattern where the expert advice is repeatedly demonstrated ineffective within a fairly short period of time. This shouldn't be surprising, because new information will always change our perspectives. However, I find it remarkable that the 'impure' food sources have the necessary co factors already present that we continually discover. I think its a safe bet that it has everything we forgot to discover.

Today we supposedly have more knowledge about nutrition than ever before. Go to a supermarket in America, and you find boxes and boxes of food, all with a nutritional profile. Most of our food has now been fortified. It is not uncommon to find juices, cereals and other foods fortified so that the label displays a beautiful ‘100%’ for your recommended daily value of nutrition. In fact, in comparison, the natural stuff looks pretty ridiculous.

According to the back of the box, the fortified stuff might be 50 times more nutritious than the same amount of fruit!

So why are we so malnourished?

How, with all the wizardry that’s been done to our food, (now to a genetic scale!) are industrialized people still alarmingly malnourished? It certainly isn’t a shortage of food. Somehow we’ve managed to overfeed ourselves yet still manage to starve.

Many nutritionists, Doctors (proclaimed experts in nutrition who received little nutritional training in medical school) and other learned people tell us that there is no difference in the type of vitamins we take, no difference between the sugar in fruit and white sugar, and that everything is a chemical and essentially behaves the same. In fact, these same people will say that it is better to isolate the chemical from all the other ‘impurities’.

The problem is that our microscopes keep getting better. We eventually find that there are other things that are necessary that we couldn't or didn't detect before. This is the reason why much of the 'expert' information is changing and often contradictory.

Most of our food is fortified with ascorbic acid until it can display a proud 100% RDV on the box, but ascorbic acid is only part of vitamin C. In fact, it is merely the protective shell around vitamin C lacking incredibly critical content! That's like having a car with no engine, tires, radiator or other components, but giving it a frame and saying its 100% functional!

One of the most important things I have relied on working with people with varicose veins has been food source vitamin C. Ascorbic acid does not work for them. Most of these people eat lots of food heavily fortified with vitamin C, yet their arteries are missing the crucial factor for keeping the vessels healthy. I tell them that they aren't getting 100% vitamin C, but that they are getting 100% of a part of vitamin C. The bioflavonoids are particularly important here.

I take that seriously. I have had people who were going to have their legs stripped with a painful operation that they would barely be able to afford, and I wouldn't blame them for considering it, given how painful some varicose veins can be. I've seen small varicose veins, and I've seen others that made me question my own confidence with herbs. I've had two people who had been told that they absolutely needed surgery. I gave them an excellent formula made by a brilliant herbalist I know (the V Vein formula) and told them to eat whole foods rich with the vitamin C complex. The results?

One was able to stun her doctors. In a few months, she did not have varicose veins. Surgery was of course unnecessary.The other was kind enough to call me and felt it important to excitedly tell me how happy he was for a full half hour. There have been a good deal more than these two, but those were recent and memorable.

The moral of the story? What we really need are whole foods. We find that most institutions that claim to be the authorities on health and nutrition are too heavily lobbied, and have an agenda that makes it impossible for them to provide objective information. These same authorities will even say that nutrition has nothing to do with disease, or that you can eat all the meat, pizza and dairy you want, as long as you take a multivitamin made from petrochemicals.

I disagree. I consider myself paid in beautiful experiences and stories, and I can't get either with the advice from most of these so called 'experts'. I know that disease is related to diet. I remember a woman who asked for advice for multiple sclerosis. She had a bottle of Complete Tissue & Bone, and she asked if it would help. I told her it wouldn't help her, and told her if she really wanted to use herbal therapy, that she should give up white sugar and white flour first (which she ate copiously). I said "The herbs have a lot of healing potential to offer you, but they work in conjunction with diet. It is a cleansing and nourishing approach, and they are completely ineffective without the rest of the program."

She got the herbs anyway and they did nothing for her. I wasn't surprised. Even though multiple sclerosis is considered an incurable disease, I have known hard working people who overcame it. But every person I've known who has had success did away completely with refined foods and ate whole foods.

There is an excellent documentary called Forks Over Knives that discusses the importance of whole foods and its role with terminal diseases. The information it offers is a beautiful gift to humanity. For those interested or impressed enough with it to support it, feel free to visit For those who have a Netflix Instant Play subscription it is currently available to play as part of your subscription.

-Nelson M.H

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, July 8, 2011

Healthy Sun Exposure and Sunburn

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

In these newsletters we often discuss diet and herbs. A topic I tend to neglect would be the other critical aspects of a healthy lifestyle, such as fresh air, exercise and sunlight. I would like to focus on sunlight in particular. In years past, the public has been told (primarily by dermatologists who received a good amount of funding from the sunscreen industry) to avoid the sun because it promotes skin cancer. This usually hasn’t bothered our industrialized population much, because we are often indoors anyway. Probably the most well known benefit to be derived from sunlight would be the vitamin D our bodies make by interacting with the light. Many medical doctors have recently been strong advocates of vitamin D supplementation (since we’re all indoors working anyway). Years ago, people were told they only needed 400 iu a day. Currently, most suggest taking between 2,000 – 5,000 iu a day. If someone is defficient, a common treatment involves taking 50,000 iu once a week for eight weeks, possibly supplementing with normal doses on other days. A medical doctor I know said to take it “Everyday until the resurrection”. How much will people need to take 10 years from now? I don’t know, but it will probably be a different number or need something else with it in order to work.

Even though many foods are fortified with vitamin D (such as milk), the labels are based on antiquated information. When it says 100%, an M.D would probably tell you that it met closer to 20% of your needs. Instead of 1-3 glasses of milk, a doctor would tell you that it would take more like 10-20 glasses. That’s a heck of a lot of milk, and certainly more than even the healthiest human body could handle in a day!

I would rather go for sunlight myself, at least during the summer when it’s available. I do not fear the sun, but I do respect it. If it is utilized properly, sunlight can provide miraculous health benefits. What makes sunlight dangerous is excessive exposure without building up to it. Dr. Christopher once had a man come to him for help with the skin cancer he was dealing with around his groin. What was the doctor’s solution? Since the fellow was going to be herding sheep isolated in the mountains, Dr. Christopher told him to pack up a 3 month supply of grape juice, and told him to completely expose himself to the sun in such a way as to not burn himself. That would be considered odd today! Exposure to the sun when dealing with skin cancer!

But then again, some of your top experts on the nature of vitamin D will tell you that it is one of the most potent inhibitors of skin cell growth.(1) Probably the strongest advocates I know of for using this kind of nutritional therapy would be Dr. Holick and Dr. DeLucca. These individuals were responsible for first synthesizing vitamin D, and saw first hand what would be considered miraculous results. (I noted with some interest that Dr. Holick discussed how when the body manufactured vitamin D, before it could be used, it needed to be metabolized by going from the bloodstream, to the liver, then the kidneys where it was ‘activated’. Funny how they’re the exact same organs I never shut up about).

Dr. Christopher’s method for building up tolerance to sunlight was based on gradual exposure. When starting, he taught to start with two minutes, front and back, increasing by 1-2 minutes daily, depending on how light of a complexion the person had. With this method, one may safely derive full benefit from the sun without getting sunburn, nor will sunscreen be needed for hours on end. I’m not all that fond of sunscreen. Partly its because I don’t like the chemicals in the stuff, but mostly its because the sunscreen will actually interfere with your bodies ability to produce vitamin D, so much that you can actually wear it during the summer, get copious exposure, and be deficient by the end of summer!(2)

I had known people who have loved the outdoors, and have spent a good amount of their lives outside. They are in their middle years with many freckles and moles on their shoulders from where they have been repeatedly burned. They say “I usually just go outside, burn up, and I’m good to go for the rest of the season”. This kind of procedure is reckless, and will allow for malignancy of the skin that could otherwise be avoided.

Before I knew about this stuff, I used to put on sunscreen, go outside for a few hours and still get burned up. I remember one particularly bad sunburn I had. Aloe vera gel is amazing, but it wasn’t getting the job done fast enough. One of my friends let me know about the burn paste (this was before my herbal education), which consisted of equal parts wheat germ oil, honey, and adding comfrey root until a paste was made. The burn was all over my back, as well as face and shoulders. I did not really know how to work with a large area with a poultice at the time, so I just used the wheat germ oil and honey on my back (not wanting to stain my shirt with the comfrey), and used the rest at night over my face. I was annoyed because the honey made my shirt stick right to my back, but within a day my skin felt so much better I kept using it, and recovered very quickly. Even wheat germ oil used alone gave me quite a bit of relief!

There is no significant plant source of vitamin D. About the richest source you’ll find is watercress, which might give you a measly 2-3 iu of vitamin D if you eat a lot of it. The only true vegan source that we can derive this hormone-nutrient from is sunlight, and it will not always be available. I admire the Swiss: they create simple walled and roofless structures outdoors so they can still sunbathe in the winter The good news is that the liver can store vitamin D. In fact, even accounting for natural atrophy of the stored vitamin in the system (it has a half life of its own), you can usually build up 3-4 months worth of storage. This is practical if you live in an area with four seasons, and you get 30-60 minutes worth of good sun exposure three times a week or so. Otherwise, you are either going to have to get it from a supplement, or from eggs or animal organs. These particular foods have the most to offer those who live in cold climates, such as Ukraine or Northern Canada.

The good news is that the body is self regulating with this nutrient. You cannot produce so much vitamin D that it becomes toxic. You could only harm yourself by taking too much of the synthesized vitamin (and you’d really have to go at it. In some hospitals they were using 100,000 -150,000 iu as treatment for bone disease. It is at these levels where it becomes toxic, although you might get mild symptoms above 50,000 iu), but no matter how much you expose yourself to the sun, even to the point of sunburn, you will not poison yourself with vitamin D.

In short, do not condemn the sun. Let it be a part of your life, and follow some of these simple guidelines so that it helps you feel better instead of doing yourself harm.

1. Most of what I’m citing here either came out of Dr. Holicks own mouth in an interview, or an excellent book that he has written called The Vitamin D Solution (Michael F. Holick) Everything of consequence that he has stated in his lectures and interviews may be found in this book.

2. Dr. Holick made this observation on a group of young girls working with his colleagues in Maine. He stated that if you put a sunscreen on
with an SPF of 8, it reduces your ability to make vitamin D in your skin by more than 95%. His suggestion was to enjoy the sun for 5-10 minutes (plenty of sun exposure if you were Caucasian in the summer) and then apply the sunscreen.

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, July 1, 2011

Minerals for Healthy Hair, Skin, Teeth and Nails

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

There are several choice minerals with beautifying properties. Silica could be considered the most important of all of these. At the herb shop, we often get told by the mothers of Mormon missionaries that their sons are losing their hair, and asked if there is anything that can be done about it. It is fairly obvious that these individuals are stressed out, usually in a foreign country speaking a language they don't know very well. Combined with all other pressures, this seems to be enough to get a 21 year old adult to start balding. Our preferred solution is, of course, lowering the stress levels.

This isn't always going to happen, though. And in the case of the missionaries, they don't have control over what they can eat (minerals in the diet are important with this). So we usually lean towards an organically bound source of silica, such as that found in horsetail, oatstraw, or the herbal calcium formula. This type of therapy seems to work best if you catch the baldness in the beginning stages. We have had people report back that the balding has halted or sometimes reversed. I would say that it only has a mediocre success rate, but often enough that I let people know about it. When it comes to baldness, massaging the scalp for 30 minutes a day has the highest success rate.

There are several other things that may be done nutritionally so that the hair isn't jeopardized. The missionaries are living meagerly off of processed noodles every day. In these instances, some superfoods can do wonders. Nutritional yeast has many B vitamins in it (which assist the nerves managing stress), as well as zinc and other minerals. 1-2 tablespoons of this daily over the denatured food has been enough for some to halt graying, and sometimes hair loss.

The silica can also give superior results with dental health. A few of Dr. Christopher's students once complained to him that his Herbal Calcium formula didn't work. They had been drinking it diligently, and their fillings were falling out! Dr. Christopher told them to look closer, and sure enough, the teeth were regenerating and kicking out the fillings. So far, I've only known two people that have managed to kick out their dental amalgams this way.(1) I did also know a third person who kicked out her silver fillings while using black walnut. Black walnut has a decent amount of silica in it as well, but I have never heard of anyone else healing their teeth with it.

There have been several instances in which I have felt cavities coming on that I have successfully warded off with nettle tea. Nettles are ridiculously loaded with calcium, as well as good amounts of silica and other trace minerals. These trace minerals are incredibly important, so important that isolated calcium supplements can be ineffective without them. When it has been obvious that my body was hurting for lack of these nutrients, I have taken a strong nettle tea made with 2 tablespoons of the leaf. This supposedly provides around 2,000 mg of calcium (what would be considered to be a full adult dose for many). By doing this and avoiding all concentrated sweets (including fruits), I have had tooth pain go away in 1-3 days by catching it in the early stages. To be fair, nettles can stain the teeth a dark color if you drink the tea consistently. This can be avoided by rinsing or brushing afterwords.

Silica is found in alfalfa, beets, brown rice, rice bran, oats, bell peppers, soybeans, leafy green vegetables and whole grains.

Zinc is also a very useful mineral, particularly for the nails. If they ever develop vertical, black lines heading towards the tip of the nail, these can be removed in a few days by eating zinc rich foods. Some of the best sources would be chocolate, nutritional yeast, black-eyed peas and nuts and seeds, especially sesame, peanuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are especially useful for male health. The testes don't function well if there is a zinc deficiency. Not only are pumpkin seeds high in zinc, they also offer some nutritional support for the prostate as well. It is one of the better foods of choice for men.

Sulfur is another beautifying mineral. Sulfur deficiency is rarely a problem, given that it is the fourth most common mineral in the body. Some people will still supplement with it anyway, and I have friends who use MSM (a sulfur supplement) and swear by the good it does them. Regardless of whether or not your worried about deficiency, sulfur rich foods still have beneficial properties for the hair, skin and nails. Some foods containing sulfur are brussels sprouts, dried beans, cabbage, garlic, onions, soybeans and wheat germ. In short, eating whole foods will not only make it easier to feel good, but look good as well!

1. Dr. Christopher enjoyed some success with dental problems, particularly pyorrhea. Those looking for highly successful natural remedies with serious dental problems (such as abscesses) would do well to investigate the work of Dr. Weston Price. Unlike Dr. Christopher, Dr. Price advocated the use of animal product for therapeutic value. He had a very high success rate with his program reversing cavities and abscesses. He wrote an excellent book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that contains his discoveries as he traveled the globe studying cultures with the healthiest teeth.

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, June 24, 2011

Burn Paste & BF&C

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

Before Dr. Christopher developed the Bone Flesh & Cartilage he was using what he called the burn paste. He used this like he used the BF&C in his later practice. It was composed of equal parts comfrey root, wheat germ oil and honey. He had noticeable success with this formula, the most impressive probably being complete recovery with a boy with third degree burns.(1)

Last year, I saw a relative who related to me a story she had picked up when she was in an Amish community. She had heard a fellow lecturing about health. He told about a recent incident in which his son had been badly injured. He was inspired to take a plant he was not familiar with and mix it with honey and wheat germ oil. He was so impressed with how it healed his own sons injury, as well as burns and other injuries that he had set about lecturing about it. The plant was of course comfrey. I think he might be surprised to know that the German's had used this recipe hundreds of years earlier!

Later on in his practice, Dr. Christopher was once approached by the mother of a young girl. Her daughter was being watched over by two adults because she was threatening suicide. This was she had dermatitis so badly that she was ashamed to go into public or school, and was very reclusive. "I had never had such a case presented to me before and my 'back was up against the wall.' This was an emergency and I did not have the time to sit in a laboratory and figure out a combination to try on her. I offered a quick silent prayer for help and a formula came immediately to my mind. As it came I had the lady and her companion write it down. I told them to go to an herb shop or health food store and get the various herbs, mix them, and make a fomentation. She was to foment the legs, arms, neck and face areas, and also to have the daughter drink some of the tea. I felt confident enough to promise good results!

"It was on a Tuesday morning that the mother had come to see me. On Friday the report came back that the scabs and scales had left the afflicted areas and the girl's skin had a good 'healing glow' to it. The next message I received was six months later. The girl was now a choir leader at the school she had returned to, and she was again busy in church and social activities." [Christopher's Newsletter, 1-8]

The formula he used was the Bone, Flesh & Cartilage formula. He used that from then on in his practice with great results. When I lived briefly on a Nez Pierce reservation, I learned that many of the residents of that area (to poor for medical care) used an herbal combination they made called 'People Paste'. It was remarkably similar to the BF&C formula. In short, the basic idea for the formula (which I will soon share with you) has proven itself so many times over such a long period, it has made miracles commonplace.

BF&C is probably the Doctor's most versatile formula. We use it to promote regeneration of the body. There are rare instances in which it doesn't heal, but may be combined with another formula to achieve results. For instance, we had a woman approach us for help with a simple hairline fracture. She had remained injured for over a year, and it wasn't healing. The doctors told her she needed to have it pinned, because it was making no progress. She used the BF&C for two weeks. This is usually plenty of time, but she still made no progress. Fortunaltely, this has happened before, and when she combined it with the Herbal Calcium formula she began to heal within the week.

The only times this formula hasn't worked for me so far is if there is an uncontrolled infection in the injured part of the body (such as a dental abscess), nutritional defficiency of silica (bones won't heal), and if you can't get a nerve impulse to the injured area. As of now, I haven't known any success regenerating a severed spinal cord (if any of you do, please email me immediately! Contact forms are at

This brings us to the recent history of this formula, and the thought of comfrey as a 'dangerous' herb. Dr. Christopher originally used comfrey root as a main ingredient in the BF&C formula. In the U.S.A, it is illegal to suggest comfrey for internal usage, or placed over open sores. This is due to a particular study around 1980, in which allantoin (considered the active principle of comfrey) was injected into rats. At a certain dosage (300 mg/kg), 50% of the rats died from liver cancer.(2,3) Consequently, all formulas today containing comfrey have a label on them explaining them to be dangerous, and not to be used for any of the purposes for which they were originally designed.

You may be interested to know some other details that may be gathered from this study. The rats were injected (not fed) with the pyrolizadine alkaloid allantoin, a chemical which no herbalist would ever use. It was missing natural buffers present in the plant. In this study, the average rat was given the equivalent of 24 times its body weight of comfrey in one dose. This implies that if a 150 pound person were to ingest 3,600 pounds of comfrey in one sitting, they would have a 50% chance of dying from liver cancer.

(contemplative silence)

They could also drink four cups of comfrey tea a day for 140 years, if they want a more realistic way of killing themselves. There are a greater number of contentions with this scientifically asinine study that are beyond the scope of this newsletter, but may be observed here(5).

So we see the same pattern of the FDA again. A chemical is exracted from a plant, given in mass doses to animals until they die, then the herb is dangerous. The same pattern has happened with sassafras, coltsfoot, angelica, ragweed and even alfalfa! Some of these were illegal for a few years, until people realized the unscientific and corrupt approach the studies had taken, and have since then been sanctioned safe. Should kava kava ever become illegal at a future date for similar reasons(6), you may ponder this newsletter.

In any case, the capsules and syrup of the BF&C combination was reformulated in lawful compliance. It now contains lungwort, which is admirably similar to comfrey. I was skeptical how the formula would work without comfrey, but have been impressed with the feedback I've gotten from people who used it while dealing with broken bones, arthritis and other complaints. It also got a new name (like all the Christopher formulas get whenever the FDA says 'jump'). It is now called Complete Tissue & Bone. The bulk formulas, in tea and powder form still contain comfrey root.

The cells must regenerate to heal
Comfrey or Lungwort: Regeneration
This is probably the most important ingredient in the formula. Comfrey has been traditionally used to promote cellular regeneration, respiratory health, as well as many other things. It is mineral rich, containing goodly amounts of calcium, iron and even some proteins. It is mucilagenous, meaning it has a soothing gel (which is part of the immune system of the plant) that can reduce inflammation.

White Oak Bark: Astringent
Astringents tighten and tone the tissues. White oak bark is also one of the most calcium rich herbs that there is. It has also been traditionally used to stop bleeding. Dr. Christopher used it in all of his formulas when someone was complaining of a prolapsed organ. He also used it by itself for a while as his herb of choice for varicose veins, but got sick of the labor involved for using it.

The body must have proper nutrition to heal
Slippery Elm and Marshmallow: Emollient, demulcent, nutritive
These are among the most soothing herbs, much like aloe vera. However, a large portion of their role in this formula is to provide building blocks to create new cells from.

All waste matter and infection must be removed in order to heal
Black Walnut leaves: Anti-parasitic
In his lectures, Dr. Christopher taught that whenever their was an injury in the body, opportunistic scavengers (anywhere from bacteria to worms) would come to either capitalize on the stagnation, or feast on waste matter. He said black walnut was in the formula to kill these parasites.

Gravel Root: Dissolvant
One material that also tends to be present in bad injuries is a mineral build up of some kind. Dr. Christopher said he used this herb in the formula to assist the body in removing this waste material.

There must be a nerve impulse to the injured area to heal
Wormwood: Nervine
The Doctor said that he used wormwood as a painkiller, but it certainly does more than that. It is also antiparasitic, and nervine herbs may be used to assist in nerve repair. If you ever wondered, it is this herb that makes the formula taste horribly bitter.

Scullcap: Nervine
Skullcap is used to promote regeneration of the nerves. It will also kill pain as well.

The glands of the body must be functioning to heal
Mullein: Glandular
Sluggish glands can cause simple wounds to never heal. Mullein is a universal food for the glands, from the adrenals to the glands in the head.

Lobelia: Synergistic effect
The glandular formula (mullein and lobelia) is actually part of the BF&C formula. Dr. Christopher often used mullein and lobelia together when their was a swollen gland or lymph node of some sort. Lobeila's healing effect is well understood, but why it works is still a mystery. It has over and over demonstrated that it seems to have a type of directing effect; synergizing the actions of other herbs in accordance with the constitution of the individual(7). It is also a nervine herb.

1. Dr. Christopher's newsletter [1-8]. This story is also published online at under 'testimonials'.
2. H. Mori Hirono, et al, 'Carcinogenic activity of Symphytum officinale', J. Nat. Cancer Inst., Vol. 61, no. 3 (1978), pp. 469-71
3. T. Furuya and K. Araki (1968) Studies on Constituents of Crude Drugs. (Alkaloids of Symphytum officinale Linn. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 16 1512-2516
4. J. A. Pembery, The Safety of Comfrey. Special report by the Henry Doubleday Research Association, Essex, 1982, cited Whitelegg
6. Kava kava isn't an herb the government has any particular problem with now, but it is a good target since many people would rather use it than anti-depressants or pharmaceutical sleep aid.
7. See 'Swollen Glands Behind Ears and on Backs of Necks' testimonial at

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, June 3, 2011

Stomach Cancer, Ulcers and Acid Reflux

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

“With many of us we have a hydrochloric acid problem. And this hydrochloric acid may be over, it may be under. And we are too smart in the way of telling [how much we need]. …For instance, the average human will take a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day. Take the apple cider vinegar and honey and mix it with a glass of distilled water and drink it down. The body is so computerized that it will take the amount of apple cider vinegar and honey that it needs and it will take it to the lower third of the stomach, and there will revitalize that area so that it will start producing hydrochloric acid in the correct amount. Not too much, not too little. Now the human body will do this!

“...If we go to the store and buy some hydrochloric acid … and we start using this because we don’t have enough hydrochloric acid, we have one little problem. After a period of time the bottom third of the stomach says ‘Nuts to them. They don’t like my hydrochloric acid and won’t work with me. I’ll shrivel up and forget about it.' And atrophication sets in. And it won’t work anymore.
“All right, we have too much acid. So we go buy some Alka-Seltzer, or some alkalization of some kind, and we take whatever it is that we’re using, and the human body isn’t happy, because you’re doing the job. And not letting it supply its own.” 1

- Dr. John R. Christopher

This simple remedy alone can address many stomach problems. When asked if it was advisable to use apple cider vinegar when there is a stomach ulcer present, Dr. Christopher replied “Oh yes, if they chew it.” (Dr. Christopher taught that mixing food with saliva in the mouth was part of digestion. He taught “Drink your foods and chew your liquids.” It is important to rinse the teeth with water after putting straight vinegar in the mouth, or it can cause cavities). He then added “But they should have taken cayenne first, because it would have gotten rid of it.”
In my personal experience, I have advised people to take cayenne pepper along with the apple cider vinegar and honey. This not only helps the stomach rebuild, but will provide support if there is an ulcer present. Cayenne is indeed an odd herb. It may be the only herb that is hot and pungent, but soothing when placed over sores.

My father was once dealing with some digestive troubles. His drugs weren't working the way they used to, and he was desperate enough to try some herbs. I gave him some of the pancreas formula, letting him know that it required a certain lifestyle, or it wouldn't work. And he didn't change anything, so it didn't really help him out.

But something unusual did happen the morning after he took it. He asked me “What is in that formula that makes it burn?” I told him it was cayenne pepper. His eyes got wide and he said “I have a stomach ulcer. I'm not supposed to take cayenne pepper!” I remember laughing a little, and then explaining the soothing nature of cayenne, how it would certainly be true that black pepper or mustard would aggravate his ulcer, but cayenne would do it nothing but good. He then cocked his head and said “You know, now that you mention it, I didn't have to take my drug for my stomach ulcer this morning.”

Even if it’s a really bad stomach ulcer, a little cayenne can go a long way. A single capsule can do wonders! So far, it has managed to do the job with every stomach ulcer I've encountered except for one, and they are by no means in short supply. I would suspect that it is 99.9% effective.

When someone complains of heartburn, cayenne can be used to rebuild the stomach so that the food can be better digested. However, it almost inevitably causes heartburn for 4-5 days after initially taking it. But if it is continuously taken, the individual will enjoy better digestion than they had before they started taking the cayenne.

However, cayenne is not a drug, and it will require that you work with the body to achieve permanent healing. The first way you can work with the body is to stop neutralizing the stomach acid. You can neutralize the stomach acid by taking calcium supplements and antacids. Yet this is professed to be the cure!

But a vicious cycle sets in: you feel the burning of the acid in your esophagus, and you think “Cripes! I have too much acid! I need to get rid of it!” Then you alkalize the stomach, and the burning goes away. Then the body says “Oh no! The stomach isn't acidic anymore! It needs to be acidic to work!” So the body sends in backwash from the intestines to re-acidify the stomach, and it triggers your symptoms. Then you really start taking antacids, and there is a fight as you try to neutralize the stomach faster than it can rebuild itself. Over time it gets progressively worse.

So what happens when the stomach is alkaline? Well, ironically enough, the acid cannot activate the enzymes in the food or supplied by the pancreas, and you can get heartburn. The truth is most people have these problems because they are under acid. If they take the apple cider vinegar and honey, most often the condition improves immediately. If it gets worse, then you probably are genuinely over acid.

And why would the body have these problems in the first place? If the food taken is hard to digest, or depleted of enzymes, all the body can do is make more acid. Stomach acid does not 'melt' the food we eat. It provides an acidic condition to activate digestive enzymes. Meat and dairy takes more work to digest than vegetables, and require a lot of enzymatic activity to break down. Too many starchy foods, such as bread and potatoes may also tax the body. If you don't eat a lot of enzyme rich foods, your pancreas will supply some enzymes, but it can only do this for so long. After a while, the only thing your body can do will be to produce more hydrochloric acid.

The enzymes are important. When the Spanish Conquistadors came to the new world, the marveled at how the natives could eat massive amounts of meat without indigestion. They eventually discovered it was because they ate it with papaya (which is loaded with digestive enzymes, and break down meat very well). They then decided that papaya was the cure for digestive diseases. Personally, I think a mostly plant based diet would provide a more permanent solution.

So what can we do if we want to be forever free of heartburn? Eat a supportive diet. Use dark leafy greens daily in copious amounts. Until the digestion is repaired, use fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds moderately, and use dairy and meat sparingly, or not at all. Use the apple cider vinegar [do not use malt or distilled vinegar] as a test. If you feel better, continue to take it before meals. It may be taken with or without honey. If you feel worse, the herbs marshmallow or slippery elm may be employed. This will not only provide as alkalizing an effect as the body needs, but will also coat and soothe the inflamed tissues damaged by the acid.

In any case, feel free to take cayenne. I know of no better herb to rebuild the stomach. A dear friend of mine once had stomach cancer. She had many health problems at the time. She began to use cayenne. She eventually built up to over 20 capsules a day. She used no other herbs. As she learned more, she stopped drinking the gallon of milk a day she used to. After changing to a vegan diet and using colonics, enemas and cayenne, her stomach cancer went into remission, and completely healed. Since then, she eats mostly raw foods. She no longer weighs several hundred pounds. She is a spritely woman with a glow of health. Even in extreme cases, cayenne may be safely used in a weakened stomach.

1 Dr. Christopher's Herbal Lectures (DVD in the School of Natural Healing's Herbalist program).

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, May 20, 2011


by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

Diabetes means 'honey fountain'. When someone has diabetes, they eliminate a lot of sugar in there urinary tract. Old Chinese herbalists used to diagnose diabetes by having their patient urinate on an anthill. If the ants were attracted to the urine, then they used that to indicate a high blood sugar content. Believe it or not, they would also taste the urine to see if it was sweet, but fortunately more pleasant ways of diagnosing have become available.

The pancreas can be regenerated, and this can be accomplished with herbal therapy. I would like to focus on two particular herbs today. There has been a lot of press on cinnamon, sage and some other herbs for regulating blood sugar. These are wonderful and have helped many people, but we want to actually rebuild the pancreas if we can. Gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre, often called gymnema) has been shown to do this. In several clinical studies with this herb, the islets of Langerhans (the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin) were able to be rebuilt.(1) Some other clinical studies indicated that the beta cells could even be regenerated with extracts of gymnema!

"In the diabetic rats, fasting blood glucose levels returned to normal after 60 days of GS3 and after 20 days of GS4 oral administration. Blood collected during the conduct of oral glucose tolerance tests was used to assay for serum insulin. GS3 and GS4 therapy led to a rise in serum insulin to levels closer to normal fasting levels. In diabetic rat pancreas, both GS3 and GS4 were able to double the islet number and beta cell number. This herbal therapy appears to bring about blood glucose homeostasis through increased serum insulin levels provided by repair/regeneration of the endocrine pancreas."(2) (Emphasis added)

This is miraculous! For years medical research seemed to indicate that beta cells in the pancreas could not heal. This destroyed all hope for type 1 diabetics to ever achieve any level of permanent recovery. I have been impressed with the number of type 1 diabetics that are able to live functional lifestyles with natural protocols such as the raw food diet and herbal therapy. Some of them still need to be incredibly careful how they live, or they will definitely need the insulin, but at least they have a choice to be drug free.

Dr. Christopher most often worked with cedar berries. Most of the time I do too. Cedar is an unusual herb in our times. Most medicinal herbs have recorded use dating hundreds or thousands of years. A lot of them are written in old herbals. Cedar is new. You'll hardly find it in any herbals, and as far as I know, none of them mention its effect on the pancreas. It was used by Native Americans as a natural food preservative and for digestive complaints. You probably wouldn't enjoy it as much, because it makes the food taste like a tree.

Cedar berries work, but nobody seems to understand why they work. There are no scientific studies I could cite telling anyone that it will rebuild the pancreas, but it has a very potent effect nonetheless. The reason I prefer cedar (despite the lack of depth in any scientific studies) is that you may employ it in both cases of hypoglycemia or diabetes. Gymnema is not a good herb to give to hypoglycemics. Gymnema is also called 'sugar destroyer', and hypoglycemics can't have their blood sugar drop any more.

Dr. Christopher was able to see people heal from both diabetes and hypoglycemia using cedar berries. In one interesting case of his, a brother with hypoglycemia and his sister with diabetes both started using cedar with some other cleansing herbs, and both healed in a years time.(3)

Usually within two weeks we see measurable results when the blood sugar is tested. Sometimes even after the first day! Insulin can be reduced and gradually weaned off as the pancreas produces its own insulin. Occasionally someone does not respond to the formula after two weeks. Here are some troubleshooting tips when herbs aren't helping you manage the diabetes.

1. Diet. We always stress diet is a completely necessary component to healing with herbs, but it is never more true than with diabetes. White sugar and white flour spike blood sugar. Meat and dairy are dense sources of 'second hand' protein, which is taxing to the pancreas. These need to be eaten sparingly, or not at all until symptoms are managed. Eating mostly raw foods is advisable, particularly dark, leafy greens. Sugar snap peas can also have a massive impact on stabilizing blood sugar. Some natural healers were able to see reversal in type II diabetes by having their patients drink one cup of string bean juice 5 times a day while they ate 5 small meals a day.(4)

2. Not chewing your food. This can utterly foil any progress you can make sometimes. The mouth pulverizes the food and the saliva has enzymes that break down carbohydrates and proteins. Critical parts of digestion can only take place in the mouth. Dr. Christopher taught to 'chew your liquids and drink your food' for this reason.

3. Side effects of prescription drugs. Certain drugs can cause blood sugar problems. If you are taking any of these, don't be surprised if it takes you longer than other people to see any results.

4. Weak pancreatic function due to a weakness stemming from another part of the endocrine system. The liver, adrenal glands, thyroid and other glands play a role in managing blood sugar. If one of these is breaking down, the pancreas might secrete insulin just to help you manage side effects of another problem until it wears out. Dr. Christopher had his diabetic patients take the Lower Bowel formula and the Kidney formula for at least a week when starting his program. The Lower Bowel formula not only cleansed the bowel, but the liver as well. The liver stores glycogen, which the body can rapidly convert to glucose. The adrenals are closely linked with the health of the kidneys. You can see some impressive results just by working on the liver alone sometimes.

The renowned Dr. Schulz once gave a lecture on diabetes.(5) He must have had this last part in mind, because he was putting his patients on the Lower Bowel , Kidney, Liver & Gallbladder and Bloodstream formulas at the time. He combined this with a double dose (a full 12 capsules) of the Pancreas formula, and 12+ capsules of spirulina. I used to consider these pretty heroic doses at first, but I like the level of healing I've seen with them. Fortunately, Dr. Christopher's formulas are produced in bulk, and taking a tablespoon of the Pancreas formula can give you this same suggested dosage without destroying your bank account.

Even with essential herbs like these, we suggest using them only 6 days a week. This will prevent you from developing possible side effects and will give the bodies receptors a break, making you heal faster in the long run.


1 "Characterisation of the insulinotropic activity of an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre in mouse beta-cells and human islets of Langerhans." Cell Physiol Biochem. 2009;23(1-3):125-32. Epub 2009 Feb 18.

2 "Possible regeneration of the islets of Langerhans in streptozotocin-diabetic rats given Gymnema sylvestre leaf extracts." J Ethnopharmacol. 1990 Oct;30(3):265-79.

3 "Newsletter 6-4" (

4 "Encyclopedia of Healing Juices" by John Heinerman. This book has information on the healing effects of common foods I haven't seen anywhere else.

5 "Herbal Therapies with Richard Schultz" A DVD available to students of the School of Natural healing at level 1600

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, April 22, 2011

Colon Cleansing

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

There are a lot of natural remedies out there. Its good to have so many options, but it is certainly necessary to be discerning about when you will use them. There are natural therapies out there that can and do save lives regularly, but can do harm if used improperly. Let us use the Lower Bowel formula and colonics as an example.

Dr. Christopher taught that you will do more good for the whole body by working on the bowel than you would on any other single system. There is a good reason he said this and why a lot of other people would do the same. I'm sure people would forgive us for being stunned at first when a diabetics blood sugar began to significantly stabilize just after doing a colon cleanse. Or the shock that came when someone reported that the pain in there tooth was helped more with an enema than with handfuls of infection herbs.

So you've probably noticed that we've been pretty zealous in suggesting colon cleansing, but I would like to take a moment to dispel some of the romanticism. I'm sorry to report that you can have a very healthy colon and still be sick. You do want your colon to be in top shape, but it is important not to subject it to excessive purging. Herbs and colonics can be very safe, but they can also be harmful if not used with wisdom and skill. So how do you keep it balanced?

Lets use an extreme example. Earlier in the week we got a call for help from someone with chronic bowel strictures. Her case was a lot like others we've gotten in the past. Images of her colon showed that parts of it were pencil thin, while others were excessively bloated. It was contorted and in great disrepair. It goes without saying that she was incredibly constipated. Fortunately, I've been blessed to know other people who have had her problem, and are now very well off.

In instances like these, herbs will take a long time to get anything done if they are used alone. This is an excellent time to employ enemas or colonics. We usually suggest that enemas not be used unless in emergencies, because they can leave the bowel weak over time and you may end up dependent on them. But they can also be a powerful way to cleanse and nourish.

Sometimes they are better than herbs. Initially, in extreme cases it can take a lot of herbs to do anything. The bowel can be cleansed with cathartic herbs or the lower bowel formula. The woman we worked with earlier was depressed because she was taking 6 caps of an herbal formula without any results. This isn't at all surprising. Sometimes people have had to slowly build up to 12 capsules, sometimes as often as three times a day just to begin to cleanse! Dr. Christopher once had a woman who needed to take 40 capsules before she was able to cleanse. You never start out with doses this high, but gradually build up until you are able to cleanse without harming yourself. This means you discontinue immediately if there is blood in the stools.

In these instances, you are inducing a healing crisis by purging. No more herbs are to be taken for 1-3 days after the initial cleansing. When you are this constipated, you will feel very sick and weak as you cleanse, and you will need to be close to a bathroom during the day. But the good news is after this, you will be able to cleanse using much lower doses of the colon herbs from then on.

You can see that this can be pretty rough on an individual. This is when enemas really shine. They are able to do a lot of cleansing without taxing the individual. They are not able to clean the intestines like the herbs will, but they certainly have advantages in emergencies.

It is not enough to cleanse the bowel when it is that out of shape.

After that, this is where you able to really get some healing done by doing injections. An injection can be done by making a small amount of medicinal tea (such as 8 oz- 16 oz), implanting it like an enema, and retaining it in the bowel for an extended period of time- hours if possible. The individual can go about their normal activities while retaining the implant. If it is not able to be retained, less liquid may be used.

We have used the Yellowdock combination (a.k.a the Iron assimilation formula) or the Complete Tissue and Bone formula as implants when the bowel is misshapen. It may also be used as a douche. I have been impressed with the yellowdock combination when there is a prolapsed uterus, bladder or other organ when properly used.

What we are doing is toning the bowel, promoting the healing of the tissue and healing of any wounds. The colon does have the capacity to return to its original shape. But it will call for reasonable cleansing and nourishing. We caution people not to be too zealous cleansing the colon. Excessive purging over a period of months will end up causing a prolapse, one of the very problems you are trying to avoid. When someone's vitality is greatly lowered from excessive cleansing, you stop all of it and focus on nourishing.

It goes without saying that the pills and potions are no substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Don't eat any constipating foods when you are ill, such as meat or dairy products (especially cheese). Even if you are able to maintain regularity by taking laxatives, you will still eventually have a sagging bowel from an aggravating diet and long term purging.

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, April 15, 2011


by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

A woman from Emmington Wyoming once came to visit Dr. Christopher. She came into his office on 2 canes, because of bad hemorrhoids. She had two hemerrhoidectomies performed on her. Although she was still ill, they wouldn't operate a third time because there wouldn't be 'enough tissue left to crotchet with, let alone sew it back together.'

Her hemorrhoids were hanging out 6 inches. These need to be inserted and held in place. Dr. Christopher took care of this, then told her to take 1 tsp of cayenne three times a day. Every evening she was to use 2 kinds of suppositories before retiring for bed. One was to be a regular garlic clove, inserted as far as possible. The other was a white oak bark suppository.

He told her to mix the white oak bark powder with glycerin, then put into the refrigerator until hardened. It wasn't especially critical to follow a recipe, but to just mix the two until a doughy consistency was achived, then hardened in the refrigerator. These were then to be inserted as well before retiring. She followed through on the program, and within six weeks was healed.

When lecturing, Dr. Christopher often would quote this story:

"The oak bark is astringent. It starts rebuilding the calcium deficiency in that area. As an astringent, it starts pulling it in tighter, and making it up to a firmer area. Within a month to a month in a half, we have had results of these going back up into place, and staying. The garlic moves in and gives healing, because it is a healing herb, but it also kills any infection while the oak bark rebuilds the calcium deficiency." [Dr. Christopher's Herbal Seminars, 1-4]

The cayenne is also a calcium rich herb for promoting healthy arteries. It is not only used to assist the body in rebuilding the arteries, but it also stops the bleeding. Dr. Christopher had another experience while traveling giving his herbal lectures. "I traveled with a man younger than myself several years ago all over the western part of the United States on business. He marveled at the stamina that an older man could have on long drives without displaying the usual fatigue. Each morning I would get up and have my cayenne and my wheat germ oil (I don't pay attention to anyone else, I just take them, regardless). Finally he got curious and said, "What's that stuff?" So I gave him an illustrative lecture, and he responded, "Well, I have hemorrhoids; my mother died of high blood pressure, and I have high blood pressure; and with the hemorrhoids I have to wear a belt, as you probably noticed, to keep my hemorrhoids up in place. Do you think that (meaning cayenne) will help?" "Not unless you take it," I replied. "Well, I will start taking it." Then I added, "I don't think you're man enough; I don't think you are brave enough," and I turned and walked away. Now, he was well-proportioned and a weight lifter, so after I left, he went over and got into my can and started using the cayenne along with the wheat germ oil, and by spring he did not have to wear a belt any longer as his hemorrhoids were cleared. Then he had an amazing surprise when he went to his doctor for a regular check-up; the doctor took his blood pressure three or four times and said, "This is supposed to be progressively worse. I don't know what has happened; your systolic and diastolic are near perfect. You don't need to come back any longer --I don't know what happened!" Well, he did not have to go back, and today this gentleman who lives in the Salt Lake City area has no high blood pressure, for he kept on taking his cayenne." [SNH p.412]

When asked why the cayenne would stop bleeding, Dr Christopher responded "The cayenne equalizes the bloodstream from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet." [Dr. Christopher's Herbal Seminars, 1-4] This prevents the body from increasing the blood pressure in the injured area, which would otherwise result in increased bleeding. If the hemorrhoids are bleeding, it will not be difficult at all to stop it.

To no one's surprise, Dr. Christopher also taught that hemorrhoids could be the result of constipation. In his newsletters he wrote: "Another serious area for leaching (of calcium) is the bowel area, where old fecal matter has accumulated. The body tried to remove the impaction by draining as much fluid from the body as it can. There is generally enough fluid to cause a bowel movement, but the liquid which is left absorbs the sugar. It then feeds into the veins and leaches out the tensile strength of the veins in the lower bowel area. When straining for a bowel movement, the veins have more pressure exerted, and in turn, the weak walls break and result in a varicose condition called piles or hemorrhoids." [NL 2-10]

"In the case of hemorrhoids we suggest the following: Number ONE: eliminate constipation. Use the lower bowel formula along with the mucusless diet and drink plenty of water." [NL 4-2]

There are a lot of different traditional remedies used for hemorrhoids.

Regardless of which ones are used, we recommend the following: Get on a supportive diet (one that won't weaken the bowel area). Cleanse the area with any necessary colon cleansing, disinfecting with appropriate herbs, etc. Finally, rebuild the area with supportive nutrition, toning the area up with the appropriate herbs and heal.

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, March 4, 2011

Natural Protocols for Depression

There are some people who are medicated for depression that would rather do something else. The natural protocols you see employed can vary from using a single herb to manage the symptoms, all the way to massive cleansing and dietary changes. Our next newsletters will discuss both.

Not everyone is either willing or wanting to do a huge program, even if it offers more permanent stability than other protocols. Most people would feel better getting an alternative therapy that does a similar thing compared to what they use now, but without damaging effects. As far as the Christopher formulas go, the Mindtrac formula has the most to offer in these situations.

Doctors will sometimes get upset if you use an herb and drug at the same time. They should. Allopathy and herbalism can be working with completely opposite principles, and taking them together can create a tug o' war on a chemical level.

We have often worked with people who feel sick with their medication, and feel like its so terrible that they want to stop immediately and just take herbs. THIS IS A BAD IDEA! A VERY BAD IDEA! The whole point of getting off of the drugs is to feel healthier, and if you do it unwisely you will cause harm to yourself. These drugs work by supplying a chemical synthetically to the body. When you take them, the body will stop making that chemical, and if you stop taking the drug, you will not have any source of it and will get hurt.

Rather, be loving to yourself. If you have tablets, gradually shave some of it off and take less and less. Some pills can be opened and have little beads that you can take out one at a time. Sure, its work, but you are very much worth it. If the whole point is to be happier, you might as well make it a chemical possibility. During this time, herbs that are safe with the medication may be taken. They should be spaced at least half an hour apart.

If you are wondering which herbs interact with medications, the medical profession states that they all do. It is hard to find out what studies are based off of science and which ones are based off of commercialism or marketing. I find it reasonable that herbs and drugs working to promote mental health may interact with each other, but I can't help wonder whether the concerned drug/herb interaction is mostly how it takes business away from the pharmaceutical industry.

I was really surprised when every single mood herb I looked at seemed to be contraindicated for the situation it seemed best for. But I only experiment when it comes to myself, and it really is gambling. You can either work with your doctor using both therapies, get completely off the drugs and then on an herbal alternative, or you can go about it a different way.

I usually go with the latter. The last few newsletters focused on cleansing to promote good mood, because that is what is considered safe and effective. There are still some other simple things you can do if someone is not willing to do a cleanse. For instance, red raspberry leaves will assist the body in balancing hormones, and has minerals like calcium and iron that are useful when someone is anxious. Catnip contains a B-complex that will calm the nerves, yet catnip is a stimulant. It calms you down and perks you up.

Most of the liver herbs can put you in a good mood right away. I have been very impressed with cramp bark. As you can imagine, it got its name for its traditional usage with female complaints. I remember back to when I was having a really rough week. I got to see how well cramp bark worked by mistake. I was feeling very gloomy and was racking my brains trying to find a way out of it. I was working with some powdered cramp bark at the time. I hadn't ever had it before and wondered what it tasted like. I put about 1/4 of a teaspoon of it in some water and drank it.

And wow! Within seconds I suddenly felt normal and happy again! I got flustered and tried to think of how that could be. Then I remembered that cramp bark was a liver herb and a hormone herb. I then got upset because it worked so quickly after all the mental effort I had been putting in, then got upset that I was upset, etc.

Other effective liver/hormone herbs are squawvine, wild yam and barberry. These herbs may be safely used. In fact, since most of the psychiatric drugs get stored in the liver (Celexa, Haldol, Prozac, etc.) it makes sense to boost your mood this way. I do like to let people know that if they use a liver herb without working on the bowel, that you may go through mood swings while your body balances out. You will be better off when you get through it, but you may spend 30 minute blocks alternating between feeling at peace to depressed and anxious for a few hours.

In any case, the above herbs may be used under medical supervision while weaning off of the drugs, then these other herbs may be used as needed:

St. John's wort- Interacts with SSRI drugs (Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft)

Kava kava- Interacts with Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, Serax)

Valerian- Interacts with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and sleep medications

Mindtrac- Dr. Christopher formulated this for people who wanted a natural alternative to antidepressants and anxiety medications. It contains Valerian root, scullcap, ginkgo, oregon grape, st. John's wort, mullein, gotu kola, sarsaparilla, dandelion, lobelia, rosemary & jurassic greens. It is lightly cleansing and more nourishing than isolated herbs, while providing the calming effect of the common nervine herbs.

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, February 25, 2011

Psychiatric Drugs Part II

In the last newsletter we talked about mental health and some of the problems with SSRI drugs. Natural protocols are available to the depressed that will not cause depression as a side effect nor damage the body. In fact, if certain systems of the body are damaged, you will almost be forced into a depression that positive thought alone can’t pull you out of. This isn’t to say that herbs alone are a cure for the harsh feelings that may come from emotional trauma, divorce or other stressful situations, but the stresses will tax the body, and natural therapies may be used to rebuild the system or manage the stress.

If you wanted to stop taking anti-depressants, don’t do it all at once. A chemical is being supplied to the body artificially, so the body stops producing it. It is important to gradually wean off of them so that the body can begin to be self sufficient. Otherwise you will do more harm than good.

Herbs are useful in a natural program when you are dealing with the physical components of depression. When a person feels suicidal, panicky, depressed or anxious you can get quicker and more permanent results with herbs if you use them in a certain way. These are some tips to consider when someone wants to use herbs while suffering from depression, anxiety or mental disorders such as schizophrenia. In such cases it is best to use the safest yet effective herbs.

In your most severe depressive disorders or mental imbalances there will be a blood sugar problem or some degree of adrenal fatigue. Symptoms will vary depending on the severity, but the major ones will be inability to stand any emotional excitement, whether good or bad, inability to handle stress, nervous breakdown, insanity, total exhaustion, feeling doomed to death, inability to digest food, etc. These are very serious situations, and you will see some diversity on how an herbalist would approach it. Kava kava root is often used as an herbal tranquilizer, which is useful when someone is depressive. Someone feeling suicidal can calm down immensely with the use of the nervine herbs, such as kava kava, valerian, skullcap, lobelia, etc. This works, but it doesn’t reach the cause of the problem. They are best used in an emergency situation to quickly calm someone down.

Fortunately, when a mental disorder becomes severe enough, the individual will find out that diet is related to their mental and emotional well being. It is not uncommon for someone with severe schizophrenia to feel like they are walking on eggshells, as far as their diet goes. This is especially true if the pancreas or adrenal glands are worn out. Such individuals may find themselves forced on a mostly plant based diet, with drastic repercussions for any dietary stresses on these glands. Excessive sugar intake of any kind (even fruits) may throw them into a suicidal state. Excessive proteins (such as meat or dairy) can have the same effect. You can feed someone well with vegetables, lentils, grains and seeds. At the same time, it is important to build the system up so that they will no longer be so fragile. Otherwise even these may be too much.

Dr. Christopher always checked the health of the bowel. If his patient was not having a bowel movement every day for every meal they ate, he used the Lower Bowel formula. Believe it or not, we have seen this calm someone down greatly within the first day. We like to use the Lower Bowel formula and Kidney formula before using the hormone herbs, because if the hormone herbs are used when the bowels or kidneys are overwhelmed, you may get rapid mood swings.

As long as the bowels and kidneys are in good shape or being worked on, we then use the hormone herbs. Most of your hormone herbs are actually liver herbs. This makes sense, because the liver breaks down the old hormones. The liver also stores the bodies main source of fuel, glycogen. Toning the liver up will also has a more permanent healing effect on the blood sugar levels. The herbs in the Liver & Gallbladder formula cleanse the liver and are hormone balancers.

Working on these three parts of the body alone can rapidly stabilize someone, provided diet is in good order. For mild to mid severity, this can be enough. If it is more severe, other systems can be worked on so that the state of mind or mood isn’t so fragile. In the next newsletter we will discuss an extended method for balancing these kinds of problems.

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, February 11, 2011

Psychiatric Drugs Part I

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

Today we live in an age of new medicines. Oddly enough, the most dominant forms of health care, the use of synthetic drugs and psychiatry, are both newborns in the field of medicine. Drugs have been around for less than 100 years. The use of psychiatry as it is now practiced is also pretty new.

It wouldn't be fair to say that mental disorders are something new, although many more people seem to be considered mentally impaired than in times past. Depression, anxiety and other diseases are receiving more attention now. The psychiatric drugs used to treat these conditions are what I consider to have some of the more horrifying side effects, yet they are so commonplace.

This is a topic I tend to get more emotional on. Partly because of the hell the patient goes through, partly because it epitomizes the corruption of the medical establishment in my eyes, and partly because the treatments are crippling. But the part that bothers me the most is that much of the disease is caused by the treatment itself, the damage is catastrophic, and worst of all, the natural protocol is quite simple and effective, making all the horror unnecessary in the first place. So we will have a special two part newsletter discussing how we can bring joy into the lives of those suffering from severe mental disturbances, while avoided the chemical rape of their minds.

That might have all sounded a little to harsh. But it isn't much different from what some of the former higher ups in the pharmaceutical industry had to say. I'll be sure to quote them and let you get it from the horse's mouth.

Let us go back to the recent origins of our psychiatric medications. Sigmund Freud is considered the father of modern psychiatry, and his work made Sweden the forerunner in psychiatric care. During his time, there were really only two widely used drugs- amalgamated mercury compounds and the addictive opium tincture. Some other drugs were later developed, but the need for better psychiatric drugs was still apparent.This little fact became very important when Elli Lily and Co. began to develop a revolutionary drug.

From the beginning, this drug was intended to primarily generate massive profits. That's not such a bad thing, but that was the reasoning for what then followed. Most people do not know that this drug, which is now known as Prozac®, was first intended as a weight loss supplement.(1) The market for weight loss is huge in America, and most health stores have enough supplements to prove it. But that was not good enough for Elli Lily and Co, because only fat people would need Prozac®. Then the idea came to use it for mood. Everybody feels sad now and then. If sadness were a disease, then everyone would need it!

Because it would be marketed as a psychiatric drug, if it got approval from Sweden for the treatment of mental disease, it would pass the strictest standards for a psychiatric drug and could be used worldwide with a glowing rating. And rightly so. The Swedish have relentless standards for psychiatric care and earn their place as No. 1 in the world for the approach they take, if that's the route you want to go.

That turned out to be the biggest obstacle though. Prozac® had a major problem. Perfectly happy people would take it and either become incredibly violent or commit suicide in the clinical trials. Sure, a nasty side effect can happen to one in a million people who take a drug, but it was happening much too often. Furthermore, it was causing depression.(2) None of that looks good for an antidepressant. Particularly when stable people with no history of depression violently murder their spouses then hang themselves.(3)

This was when trying to approve Prozac® in Germany in 1984 it was denied (back when it was called Fluoxetine). A German employee of Lilly and Co. provided this synopsis to his bosses:

"The clinical symptoms of depressive disorder used by Lilly were invalid because it did not correspond to any scientific standard. Furthermore, Fluoxetine was completely unsuitable for the treatment of depression, if you looked at the benefits and risks of the active ingredient. The German Federal Health office found almost no use, whatsoever. Instead they found more and more frequent side effects, some of which were particularly serious: among others, that patients without depression obviously became depressive after taking the drug.”

So how was it finally approved? More clinical studies or a change in the way it was made? No. It was up to a now former pharmaceutical representative named John Virapen to get Sweden's approval. In his autobiography documenting his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Side Effects: Death, Mr. Virapen explains how Prozac® was approved as a drug.

He first called the doctors testing it in Sweden and asked them to approve the drug. He said that they started laughing and said that it didn't work. After some digging, Varapen found out who would ultimately make the decision on whether or not it would be approved. He had a meeting with this individual and asked him what it would take to get Prozac® approved. "Moneys is always useful." was the reply. So after bribing this official with a mere $20,000, the drug was approved.(4)

So this is the foundation of the most common form of treatment for mental disorder in our country. My argument against Prozac® isn't so much the 1 in 4 who will feel suicidal, becoming dangerous to themselves or a group of other people, or that it turns people into zombies, that negative press is buried, or even that it isn't as effective as a natural protocol. My opinion is that it shouldn't be used because from the very beginning it was pronounced inneffective by the experts testing it. It is used now because it is cheap to produce, is sold with astronomical markup, and fraudulently approved with bribery and inflated test statistics.

So maybe you might ask yourself whether or not you want your kid, someone you love or even some person you don't even know using this drug or one of its duplicates. If you want to use a drug to 'cure' your depression, it's probably worth your time to get John Virapen's book and thoughtfully read it, and then make an informed choice. If you feel uncomfortable taking the conventional medical route, maybe something in the next newsletter will appeal to you.

2. arznei-telegramm I/2005
3. (David Healy is a well known psychiatrist and expert on Prozac® who had knowledge of it’s test data. In 1999 he said it would be realistic for 250,000 out of 1,000,000 have tried to commit suicide as a result of taking Prozac.

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, February 4, 2011


This seems to be a common complaint today. Edema (or dropsy) is a condition where fluid is not eliminated but is stored in the soft tissues or cavities of the body. Often the ankles or abdomen will swell. Usually edema is diagnosed along with kidney disfunction. This makes sense, because if the urinary tract becomes compromised it will become difficult to eliminate fluids. Usually a diuretic drug is prescribed in such cases.

Of course we ask ourselves "Why is the body doing this?". Too much salt can aggravate this condition. Wearing out the kidneys with soda also does no good. It can be a side effect of diabetes.

Dr. Christopher taught "Diet is the key to eliminating the cause. Meats, pastries, salt, etc., should be avoided. Eat fruits (grapes and coconut especially), sprouts, leafy and green vegetables, (do not mix fruits and vegetables). Use vapor baths and diaphoretics to open the pores, stimulants to increase and regulate circulation, diuretics for kidneys, and be sure to treat the whole digestive system with tonics. Also rub the body with vinegar and cold water and be sure to keep the bowels cleaned." [SNH p.19]

We have found that working on the kidneys can be very helpful, and sometimes the kidney herbs have offered enough support that nothing else was needed. This has not always been the case, though. Usually we look at three particular areas of the body to make the best use of the herbs.

The first is to tone up the kidneys. Oddly enough, one of herbal medicine's strongest points are its diuretics. I have been surprised, because usually a drug will have a much stronger action than an herb. Yet a mediocre herbal diuretic (such as dandelion) is still more powerful than the drugs on the market now. Maybe that will change, but it still gives you an idea of how well they work.

A diuretic will cause the body to eliminate water through the urinary tract. This especially useful when there is scanty urine. The strongest herbal diuretics we use are juniper and parsley. David Christopher recalls one time when a woman had been diagnosed with kidney failure, and was told that she would die in six hours. She was so swollen with water her entire body was like a balloon. In the hospital, David asked if she had been given a diuretic. The doctors told him 'Of course she has!'. They would not let her have any herbs orally, but had no problem if a fomentation was used. So the herbalists assembled made parsley root fomentations and covered her whole body with them. Soon her pores opened up, and little springs of water came out through the skin. The water was voided and she was saved.

I was surprised when the Kidney formula (which has juniper and parsley in it) wasn't helping at all with some cases of edema while others told me wonderful things like "I can see my ankles again!". I came to learn that if the kidney herbs didn't offer any improvement after 1-2 months, there where two other factors to investigate.

The second is the health of the bowel. Dr. Christopher considered someone regular if they ate three meals a day and had three bowel movements a day. Otherwise the rest of the body had to pick up the slack, and the kidneys are one of the first. The kidneys receive so much focus with this disease while the rest of the digestive system is ignored, yet it can play a critical role. We have had some make better improvement using the Lower Bowel formula when the Kidney formula wasn't enough.

The third would be the health of the endochrine system. This would include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid, thymus, pancreas and adrenal glands. We have found that if someone has adrenal failure or a chronic problem with one of these glands, that they may plateau in their progress, sometimes not making any with the kidney herbs. Naturally a protocol would have to be followed for the endocrine problem before a permanent improvement could be expected.

Some may wonder if water should be drunk when dealing with this problem. We feel that the kidneys need water to function and a reasonable amount should be used. Other people I have consulted with have shared cases where the edema was reversed by gradually drinking more water. Half ones body weight in fluid ounces is a good rule of thumb to go by.

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, January 28, 2011



One common property of medicinal herbs is that they have multiple healing properties. So you can find yourself using one herb for many different ailments. But occasionally you’ll find one single herb that provides support for all the major aspects of a particular problem. I can think of no greater example than the herb lobelia as an aid to smokers.

Last week we had a fellow call us. He was about to leave his house, and saw six capsules on his countertop that he believed be goldenseal. He took them and left. After a while, he realized he forgot something and started back. He then felt nauseas, and like he wanted to die. Shortly after, he felt he was surely going to die. He then coughed, hacked, and began expectorating ‘a pile of black mucus.’. He said he was breathing like he was a kid again. He then learned that they were lobelia capsules. He figured this happened because he had been a smoker when he was younger.

This kind of situation happens when lobelia is taken in large doses when the lungs are in an extremely congested state. For a while lobelia was considered a poisonous herb by the FDA because it acted as an emetic. In that time (much like what we’ve seen with the herbs sassafras and comfrey) one chemical was taken out of lobelia (lobeline) and injected into animals until it killed them. Since lobelia is not just one chemical, it was eventually allowed back on the market. It would take several pounds of the herb injected into the blood to cause the toxic reaction these animals received. Furthermore, since someone vomits after eating a tablespoon of the stuff, it seems to have an excellent safety mechanism built in place.

Fortunately this only happens when lobelia is used in large doses, and someone wanting to clean the lungs gently can do so with lobelia. 1-2 capsules or ¼ - ½ a teaspoon of the herb would be a regular adult dose. People vary in sensitivity to this herb, but most should have no problem with these amounts. Lobelia is an expectorant herb, so it will push waste matter out of the lungs. It contains a chemical that resembles nicotine, but is not addictive. This can help satisfy the craving in a nicotine addiction. Further, many people use cigarettes to help calm down. Lobelia is one of the best nervine herbs there is. It will quite the nerves effectively and even help rebuild them! It is potent enough to use as a mild painkiller, massaged over cuts or scrapes or taken internally. It seems to me to be so well fitted to a smoking problem that there is little else that would be needed herbally.

In a small dosage, lobelia prevents vomiting. In large doses, it acts as an emetic. Dr. Christopher both saw and taught that asthma could be cleared overnight, provided lobelia was used during an asthma attack. This was the point at which the body was trying hardest to clear the lungs and would be most responsive. He would give them a cup of peppermint tea (mostly to settle the stomach so there wouldn’t be pains in the upcoming cleansing) and ½ a teaspoon of lobelia tincture. Every half hour he would give another dose. He said he never went over three ½ teaspoons. Then the person would vomit, and then cough up cups of tar and mucus from the lungs for 2-4 hours. This kind of dramatic healing crisis will only happen when there is an asthma attack or a respiratory emergency. Otherwise what could be done in a day will take a few months with smaller doses.

Cayenne pepper is also useful for cutting the mucus in the lungs. So would fenugreek, though I consider it less effective. Vitamin C supplements are also commonly used to help. Dr. Christopher used a formula containing wild oats, lobelia, cayenne and rose hips. The rose hips contain vitamin C. This formula is still made today, and is called the Smoke Out formula. In any case, lobelia works well by itself.

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, January 7, 2011

Probiotics & Enzymes

Enzymes, probiotics and multivitamins are common things you'll see in any health food store today. People continue to get them because they work and they feel better with them. That's interesting: you have over 400 different types of flora in the intestines, and supplementing with a mere 8 or 9 strains makes a difference in health. They must be really important!

So it’s probably a good idea to be aware of how to make your own probiotics and enzymes. This can be easily accomplished through fermentation. Fermenting food will create the enzymes, probiotics, B vitamins and other nutrition on a massive scale. There is one particular aspect about fermented food I would like to discuss, which are the antioxidant qualities.

After the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, the nuclear radiation alone was destroying lives. There were some people who did much better than the others with the radiation sickness. The common thread was that these individuals ate red miso. The director of St. Francis Hospital in Nagasaki, Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, was so impressed with it that he said: "I believe that miso belongs to the highest class of medicines, those which help prevent disease and strengthen the body through continued usage." Massaging miso over radiation burns became a traditional therapy. And it isn't just miso. It's all fermented food. In the U.S we have had doctors look at the abilities of nutritional yeast (a fermented food) to detox radiation.

We get exposed to a lot of interesting stuff nowadays, from air pollution to chemotherapy. Eating something that can handle radiation poisoning will help you feel better about the air you breathe. Being able to have such an accessible, potent remedy at hand allows us to live free in a polluted world. I can't think of a simpler fermented food than rejuvelac, the sour elixer discovered by Anne Wigmore.

Rejuvelac is made simply by fermenting grains in water for 2 or more days. Variations of this bubbly, cloudy drink can also be made with beans, seeds or nuts, with a different taste for each. It will also make the enzymes specifically for what you're fermenting. For instance, the enzyme amylase is made when wheat is fermented. This makes sense, because the wheat is starchy, and that is the enzyme used to break down starch. Other foods break down with different enzymes. So if you have a hard time digesting garbanzo beans, fermenting them and drinking the liquid will give you the enzymes used to digest them.

A simple recipe would be to fill a jar 1/3 of the way with wheat sprouts, then the rest with water. Cover the jar with a breathable cloth or paper towel, and let it sit for 2 days. After that, drain the liquid off, and drink or refrigerate it. The longer you let it ferment, the more potent it will get. The strongest I've let it ferment was for nine days. I think anything past that would be both unpalatable and hazardous. It does have an odd taste. The closest I could come to describe it would be lemon juice. It does enhance the flavor of other foods, surprisingly. Nut cheeses and the like taste much better made with the sour beverage.

I have done many different kinds of fasts. The most energetic I have ever felt on any of them was with rejuvelac, which doesn't even have maple syrup in it to give you a sugar boost.

The truth is you could really ferment anything safe and organic, and get antioxidants, B vitamins and friendly flora. If you had to, you could ferment the grass on your lawn. From the best days to nuclear fallout, we will always have a simple, potent tonic at hand.