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.