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 www.DrChristophersHerbShop.com).
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.
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
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.
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
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 http://www.herballegacy.com/Burns_Sunburns.html 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 http://www.herballegacy.com/Mullein.html
Find Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Formulas, single herbs, essential oils, books and more at Dr. Christopher’s Original Herb Shop: www.drchristophersherbshop.com.
NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.