Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy
"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"
We very seldom give even a second thought to the blood that is coursing through our bodies until we have had an injury and this precious blood flows out before our eyes. Then, as we frantically stop the bleeding, we notice that it is a red color so we figure we are blessed with "good blood."
The blood of each individual is as different from that of another individual as is the iris of the eye or the fingerprint. As we build our lives for better or worse, so do we change and build our blood stream.
For many years we have taught that all disease stems from the blood stream. While I was in the Army I had many soldiers come to me with bad cases of furunculosis (boils). So I would lance, top and drain the boil, as was routine, and I could have said, "Well, I've drained the boils, so you will have no more trouble." Had I said this, the soldier would know I was not telling the truth, because the outbreak of boils often, or usually, recurred! Doesn't one realize that this condition comes from an impure blood stream or some other internal common cause? The impurities and poisonous waste accumulations in a boil are brought to that point by a blood stream loaded with waste and mucus materials, and to work only on lancing the boil is a case of "working on the effect", when one should clean up the blood stream, i.e., "work on the cause".
The same principle applies with tumors, cysts, dermatitis, cancer and most other isolated malfunctions. The weakened or injured areas accumulate toxic waste, because there is not enough vitality to discard this low vibrating material, and here we have evidence of "disease".
Instead of using just an external application, we have recommended to our patients that they also do the most important part of the entire program - that of going into the cause by cleaning up the bowels, the blood stream, and keeping this "cleaning condition" permanent. This is done by following the mucusless diet, as we explain it in "The Three Day Cleanse and Mucusless Diet" booklet, using the three day cleanse each month, or more often, and by strictly following the recommended "fast" each seventh day. (Of course, on the fast, use only steam distilled water in abundance.)
One of the first things we do to improve the circulatory system is to clean out the channels the blood flows through because, over the period of years, due to faulty diet and the use of hard water, the walls of arteries, veins, and capillaries become coated with inorganic waste materials. This waste forms a lining that does not allow the cell structure of the veins and arteries to be fed property, so these originally soft pliable tissues become hard and lose their elasticity. Then, like an "old" rubber hose, they cannot expand or contract with ease and they become, through weakness, ballooned out, or brittle and then break, as in varicosity. The heavy use of breads, pastries and refined sugars leach out the calcium from the veins and arteries and when there is a calcium deficiency we have weakness, which allows malfunction.
One way to build good veins and arteries and to keep them clean, has been the use of cayenne. Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb. It is the purest and most certain stimulant. This herb is a great food for the circulatory system in that it feeds the necessary elements into the cell structure of the arteries, veins and capillaries so that these regain the elasticity of youth again, and the blood pressure adjusts itself to normal. It rebuilds the tissue of the stomach and heals stomach and intestinal ulcers; in equalizing the blood circulation, cayenne produces natural warmth; and in stimulating the peristaltic motion of the intestines, veins and arteries, it aids in assimilation and elimination.
When the venous structure becomes loaded with sticky mucus, the blood has a harder time circulating; therefore, higher pressure forces the liquids through. Cayenne regulates the flow of blood from the head to the feet so that it is equalized; it influences the heart immediately, then gradually extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries, and veins (the frequency of the pulse is not increased, but is given more power).
Just to show how great an herb cayenne is, it is listed as having the following therapeutic action: stimulant, tonic, carminative, sialagogue, stomachic, rubefacient, pungent, alterative, astringent, antispasmodic, sudorific, emetic, antiseptic, condiment and antirheumatic.
We have found that one should gradually "build up" the use of cayenne to one teaspoon three or more times a day, that is, start with the use of this herb in small amounts and then increase. As an example: Start using 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne mixed in a little water three times a day for three or four days, then add another 1/4 teaspoon each time three or four days until one is using a teaspoon or more three times or more per day. Note -- this is a food and not a drug, but use with prudence.
Another great herbal food used to get the blood stream moving freely and also for aiding the heart, is the hawthorn berry. This excellent heart food (as described by many of the old Herbalists), knows as "Haws" -- Hawthorn berry or Mayblossom (Crataegus Oxyacantha), fresh or dried haws or fruits; specific for organic and or functional heart disorders (dyspnea, rapid and feeble heart action, hypertrophy, valvular insufficiency, heart oppression).
The blood stream, or "river of life" is so important, but we must have a good strong heart to keep the flow in motion. Another excellent herb for cleansing the veins is Sassafras (Sassafras Officinale). Therapeutic action: Rootbark: alterative, aromatic, diuretic, diaphoretic, stimulant, emmenagogue, anti-rheumatic, arterial depressant (when taken in large doses over too long a period).
This is a fine tea for cleaning and strengthening the arteries and veins, but we recommend that it be used for a six week period and then switch to another tea, such as Hawthorn berry for six weeks before using it again for a six week period. When Sassafras is used too long at a time, it thins the blood stream in some cases a bit too much. It is good herbal tea, but should not be "overused"--in other words "use with prudence".
One might say, the principle of cleansing the blood stream, is to use alterative herbs. The herbal concept provides the reader with the keys to vital energy and a healthy body through proper cleansing and correct diet. There are more than one hundred specialized plants which are concentrated to assist in cleaning the blood and the vital eliminative tissues and organs. The correct knowledge and use of these agents will greatly strengthen the individual's power and usefulness as a botanic physician in providing healing. Dr. Nowell provides us with the following valuable information concerning these potent healing aids:
Alteratives, or, as they are sometimes called, Antiscorbutics, are remedies which gradually alter and correct impure conditions of the blood. It is because of this that many of these agents are commonly called "blood purifiers" or "blood sweeteners".
They alter the character of the blood stream because of being possessed of certain properties which the Vital Force can use in stimulating or strengthening the organs of nutrition and secretion, building up so that waste materials may be carried and a supply of helpful pabulum may be provided for the organism.
Removing impurities from the blood stream is only part of the work of the rational physician. All such conditions arise because of the improper functioning of one or more organs--most frequently the secretory organs--which fail to carry out the impurities of the blood. It is, however, possible that impurities may arise from improper food or impure air. Whatever the cause, the only means of cleansing the blood stream that would satisfy the nature-cure physician would be one that would attend also to removing the cause while seeking to purify the blood.
To a very large extent a great number of agents may be classed as Alteratives, as they are of service in promoting the elimination of impurities. There are agents which will promote a speedy action on a given organ which may merely relieve an engorgement.
Such an agent we would scarcely call an Alterative. The true Alterative is an agent which slowly but surely cleans and purifies the blood stream and, at the same time, steadily tones up the organ or organs which may not be able to secrete impurities from the blood.
When it is understood that the liver, kidneys and skin are the chief organs for carrying off impurities and waste matter, it is readily seen what the last paragraph means. If the liver is torpid, and bile retained in the system, we may find in one case the retained bile has affected the digestion. In another case we may find a skin eruption. If the kidneys fail to secrete as they should, the bloodstream is polluted. The skin may be retaining impurities, or the lungs may be unable to oxygenize the blood due to impure air being breathed.
It is therefore necessary to know what organ is at fault when prescribing Alteratives. Merely to class an agent as an Alterative is not enough. There are stimulating and toning Alteratives and there are relaxing Alteratives. Food, air, and other essential factors must be considered in addition to the administration of remedies, or the blood stream may never be cleansed.
Prescribing Alteratives without an intelligent idea as to the cause of the impurities would be foolish. The physician must at all times seek to give such aid to the Vital Force as can be used to restore normal functioning wherever necessary.
An individual who has gone along with a good mucusless diet and the regular three day cleanses, and who also has observed the one day a week fast, is well along the path to gaining ground and finding better health. When one also works along with the bowel to get it cleaned out, it is good to use a blood purifier to speed up the health process.
Dr. Shook, my teacher in herbal pharmacy, in his textbook says:
An excellent blood purifier is Burdock (Arctium Lappa), as a blood purifier we use the root. Nature has not produced for us many herbs whose food and medicinal value equal this one. Its ancient history as a reliable remedy for bad blood, ulcers, tumors and many skin diseases such as what we today call Eczema, Pityriasis, Psoriasis, Furunculosis (Boils), Acne, Lupus, etc., to say nothing of internal disorders such as Syphilis, Scrofula, Leprosy, Cancer, etc., and the modern proofs of its marvelous efficacy in the treatment of humanity's most fearsome and loathsome diseases is proof positive that very few if any herbs are more virtuous or possess more curative powers.
Constituents -- Inulin (takes place of starch, and in the spring and fall, is frequently present to the extent of 45%). a bitter principle, resin, fat (9 percent), mucilage, sugar, wax, tannin (phlobophane, lappin [crystalline gluceside]). Ash 3 to 4 percent. The inulin, a major part of the root, also called Atlantin, is very important. It was first found in Elecampane (Inula Helenium) to the extent of 24%, but in Burdock, it often reaches 40% or more.
It is upon this remarkable substance, we believe that much of the curative action of Burdock depends because it has the above-named effects upon the system and is most remarkable in its beneficial action on the lungs.
The antiscorbutic properties of the root make the decoction very useful for scurvy, rheumatic and arthritic affections. The following formula, a decoction, is for syphilis, scrofula, skin diseases, furunculosis, tumors, abscesses, acne, and a general cachectic condition of the system.
Put 4 ounces of the dried cut herb into three pints of distilled water. Soak four hours or more and then simmer 30 minutes slowly. Strain, cool and keep in a cool place.
Dose for adults. A wineglassful (2 oz) 3 or 4 times a day. For children, less according to age.
If it is desired to make up more of this decoction, and it is desired to keep it for any length of time, it should be boiled down to 1/3 of its original amount and add to the finished amount of tea 1/2 vegetable glycerine. In other words to one pint of tea add 8 oz. or to a quart add one pint, etc.
When we have a case of blood poisoning in a specific area of the body resulting from the sting of an insect, bee, hornet, or black widow spider, the bite of a "mad" dog, or infection from a cut or sliver, we need a powerful blood purifier that will give immediate relief to that area. Plantain (Plantago Major), Lily of the Valley leaves (Convallaria Majalis), and the common Lilac leaves have this power of purifying the blood stream in such an isolated area.
Because the Plantain is so common and grows the world over, it has become one of our favorite herbs for this infectious condition. In our own practice over the years we have seen many miraculous healings occur after using plantain. We have seen arms, legs, etc., saved from serious infection by using this amazing herb, i.e., a man with a badly swollen arm with a "red stream" from the infected hand, and who had a lump under the armpit; a girl who, after stepping on a poisonous shell, "passed out" because of the intense pain resulting from a swollen leg with the usual "red streak", etc. But let us give an example taken from Dr. Shook's works which we reprinted in our lesson material. Many other old-time Herbalists such as Dr. Nowell, Jethro Kloss, etc., tell amazing stories, but here is one I like:
A woman with only one arm came to me in great distress. She had been stung by a bee on the only hand she had left. Several years previously, she had been similarly stung by a bee. That time she had gone to a Doctor because the whole arm was swollen and she was in grave danger.
The Doctor lanced and drained the pus from the infected hand, but still the arm had continued to swell. Ultimately, the arm was amputated. This lady was in abject despair, believing she would lose her other arm.
Outside my door there was some Plantain (Plantago Major) growing. I picked some of the leaves and gave them to the woman, telling her to wash and crush them, make a poultice and apply to the part where she had been stung. Next day this lady returned to thank me and pay for my advice. The hand was entirely well. No sign of poison or inflammation was to be seen, where, but twenty-four hours before there was swelling, inflammation and risk of amputation.
The word "Alterative" is intended to mean that certain herbs gradually alter and correct a bad condition of the blood, without necessarily producing evacuations of the bowels beyond normal evacuation.
They change the process of nutrition and excretion and restore the morbid organs of the system to healthy action. They promote absorption of inflammatory deposits chiefly by stimulating the lymphatic glands, though this is not all. The purification of the entire blood stream, by means of better digestion and regular secretion requires the maintenance of a mild alterative influence to be continued for some time. Therefore, it follows that the term "Alterative" is property applied to those agents, which slowly, moderately and steadily expend their influence upon badly functioning organs, thus bettering the condition of the blood.
Over the years we have used a very unusual Alterative -- a combination of herbs that has the ability of aiding many people who have found nothing else to help them in advanced diseases caused by bad blood. We have had hundreds of people express gratitude for the remarkable results they have received from following this program of a mucusless diet and the use of herbal aids.
In listing these herbs in the formula I am going to give the therapeutic action of each herb. You can then see how the major amount of the combination is Alterative in power, but accompanied with this principle are additional helps for the liver, diuretic system, bowels, heart, lungs, glandular system, etc. This creates, not only a generalized blood purifier, but also includes a group of herbs that aid in building strength and cleaning out the entire body, by breaking loose toxic deposits and flushing them out, and also acting as a food for the organs.
The herbs for the formula of our blood purifying combination, which we call "Blood Stream Formula", are as follows:
Blood Stream Formula
1. Two or more parts of Red Clover Blossoms (Trifolium Pratense). Therapeutic action: Alterative, mild stimulant, sedative, deobstruent, nutritive, somewhat antispasmodic, depurative, detergent.
2. Chaparral (Larrea Tridentata). Therapeutic action: Alterative, diuretic, tonic, depurative, astringent, anti-scrofulous, anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, anti-venomous.
3. Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra). Therapeutic action: Laxative, demulcent, pectoral, nourishing and emollient.
4. Poke Root (Phytolacca Decandra). Therapeutic action: Relaxant, alterative, cathartic, resolvent, deobstruent, detergent, antisyphilitic, antiscorbutic, anodyne, cardiac depressant.
5. Peach Bark (Amygdalus Persica). Sedative, bitter, aromatic, and laxative.
6. Oregon Grape Root (Berberis Aquifolium). Alterative, depurant, tonic, hepatic, laxative, antisyphilitic, antiperiodic, nerve tonic, slight stimulant, diuretic, antiscorbutic, antiscrofulous.
7. Stillingia (Stillingia sylvatica). Alterative.
8. Prickly Ash Bark (Zanthoxylum Frarineum). General stimulant, cardiac stimulant, tonic, alterative, pungent, deobstruent, diuretic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, sialogogue, nervine.
9. Burdock Root (Arctium Lappa). Alterative, tonic, diuretic, diaphoretic, stomachic, aperient, depurative, antiscorbutic.
10. Buckthorn Bark (Rhamnus Frangula). Bitter, purgative, diuretic, emetic.
The Blood Stream: "River of Life"
exerpt from Newsletter 1-2
by Dr. John R. Christopher
Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved.