Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy
"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"
Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
Dr. Christopher's Newsletter 1-5
Page 1  Page 2
by Dr. John R. Christopher

The blood containing these poisons is flowing through the arterial system-nearly a thousand miles of arteries and veins, besides many more thousand miles of capillaries. Wherever blood vessels are, it goes with its poisons--into organs, glands, tissue, brain, etc. The walls of the arteries consist of cells which are subject to the same injury from poisons as the cells in the kidneys. Therefore, the arteries degenerate at the same time as do the kidneys and from the same causes. There are various types of degeneracy, but that does not matter so far as our objectives in this lesson are concerned.

The inner, middle, and outer layers of cells in the artery walls may develop differing pathology, but the point is they are being injured and their ability to function is decreasing.

As the cells degenerate, the walls thicken and harden. Now it is called "hardening of the arteries," or "arteriosclerosis." As they harden they become more brittle--easier to burst under pressure.
As the walls thicken, the passageway through them diminishes in size so that more pressure from the heart is required to maintain the proper circulation. Now it is called "high blood pressure." It is true that an increase in blood pressure can be caused by an accelerated heart-beat, or by anxiety, or by "nerves," but that is not the dangerous type of blood pressure under consideration just now.
As the hole through the arteries grows smaller and the pressure increases and the walls become more brittle, a little extra pressure at some time from any cause may result in the rupture of a blood vessel. The most delicate ones are in the brain and consequently such an accident often happens there. That is called a hemorrhage. A blood clot forms. If it is fatal, it is called apoplexy; if not fatal, a stroke of paralysis. Ninety thousand Americans die that way each year.


The blood which carries the poisons which injure the cells of the kidneys and the arteries is surging through the cavities of the heart which push it on its never-ending journey throughout the body as long as life lasts. But more; the heart has its own circulatory system by which its own muscle and nerve cells are fed, so that the injury to the arteries of the body extends throughout the heart as a part of the body. Sometimes this injury to the arteries becomes pronounced in the heart first; but in either case, the heart is now degenerating.

At the same time it is being weakened, it is required to work harder than normal to maintain normal circulation through a thousand miles of arteries with thick walls and a small opening. This extra work plus the weakened condition of the heart handicap the owner and sooner or later bring disaster - heart failure.

A great flood of light has been shed upon this subject by a notable experiment made in the Rockefeller Institute under the direction of Dr. Alexis Carrel who placed a living section of a chicken's heart in a bottle in 1912. He fed its cells scientifically and removed the wastes, and cells lived and continued to grow for 34 years. Although a chicken does not live over twelve years as a rule. Dr. Carrel said that so far as he can see the cells are "immortal" so long as they receive the proper nourishment and have their wastes removed. The experiment was abandoned in 1946.
If a man would take as good care of his heart from youth up as Dr. Carrel and his associates did with the chicken heart, it would never degenerate; and if the same man would take as good care of his other organs, they would never degenerate, and the heart would not wear out, he would some day quietly die of old age all at once like the Deacon's One-Hoss Shay.


Being so perfectly computerized and scientifically formed, the body should receive more respect than is given it by the average individual today. We should never allow toxic and mucus producing materials to enter the body, whether liquid or solid. All foods should be unprocessed and used in their freshest most wholesome ripened form. Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds should be used either raw or low heated only, well below the hundred and ninety degree point. This can be done be steaming and using double broilers or thermos type containers. The edibles listed above are all of the herb family and the true herbalist who believes in wholistic healing will never use toxic, poison or habit forming food. For more information on the mucusless diet, see The Three Day Cleanse and Mucusless Diet (Dr. J.R. Christopher, P.O. Box 352, Provo, Utah 84601).
We also wish to mention in this article more about the body's need for water which is extremely important. Juice, as an example, is a nutritious liquid, but is not a fast solvent like distilled water. Each day an individual should consume one ounce of distilled water to each pound of body weight. A person of one hundred thirty pounds, for example, would use one hundred thirty ounces or approximately one gallon of water. This person would want to use two quarts in the morning and two quarts in the afternoon. By drinking a glass or two at a time, the water will be gone before you know it. Distilled water leaches out the inorganic salts and minerals that cause hardening of the arteries but this same distilled water will not leach out the live organic assimilable minerals.
To keep the system clear of toxins and mucus, begin by keeping the bowels clean. After a period of strict adherence to the mucusless diet, the bowels will automatically take care of themselves. Up to that point however, the average individual needs an herbal aid to keep the system clear. For this we use the herbal bowel formula given in Volume 1, Number 1 of our Newsletter. Use this formula according to need, starting with one teaspoon of the combined herbs three times each day, or two or three of the capsules or tablets, in either form as you prefer it, three times each day. Increase or decrease the amount according to the initial results. The bowels should be regulated so there are three or more good, free bowel movements each day.


Cayenne is one of the finest foods for the feeding of the heart and for keeping the veins and arteries in good youthful condition. It is best to begin using cayenne in small amounts and increase the volume gradually. For example, start with 1/3 teaspoonful of cayenne in a little water three times a day. Continue taking cayenne in these amounts for three or four days and then add another third of a teaspoonful to the original third each time it is taken. Again after three or four days increase the amount of cayenne by another third of a teaspoonful until you can take at least a teaspoonful three times each day. This herb is not a drug. It is merely an excellent food, high in calcium, Vitamin C, etc. Even though one senses heat and slight discomfort at first, this is due only to a stepping up of the circulation and can do no harm to the body.

The herb cayenne is a great food for the entire circulatory system because it feeds the necessary elements into the cell structures of arteries, veins, and capillaries throughout the body so that these structures regain the elasticity of youth again and blood pressure adjusts itself to normal. Cayenne rebuilds the tissue in the stomach and will heal stomach and intestinal ulcers. By equalizing blood circulation, cayenne produces natural warmth and by stimulating the peristaltic motion of the veins, arteries and intestines it aids in assimilation and elimination.

When the venous structure becomes loaded with sticky mucus, the heart has a harder time circulating the blood and therefore higher blood pressure is required to force the substance through the veins. Cayenne regulates and equalizes the flow of blood from the head to the feet which immediately relieves the heart and gradually extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries and nerves. The frequency of the pulse though not increased is given more power.

Because of my own experiences I must tell you that I am a firm believer in the use of cayenne for the circulatory. I suffered ill health in my youth and from my middle twenties to the middle thirties it was impossible for me to purchase life insurance, even a thousand dollar policy. This was due in part to the hardening of the arteries and a disposition to high blood pressure which I suffered from.
During my middle forties I tried again for a substantially large policy of life insurance. Because of the amount of the insurance I had requested, I was required to see two different doctors, each of whom gave me an examination. After one examination the doctor exclaimed that he was astounded at my blood pressure which resembled that of a healthy teenager though I was forty-five years old. The second doctor measured my blood pressure five times, in each instance shaking his head and repeatedly scrutinizing my case history chart. I was becoming irritated and asked him if his equipment was broken, seeing that he had repeated the reading over and over. He told me that the equipment had been used without trouble for some time, but since my age was forty-five and I had a perfect systolic over diastolic pressure he had to wonder if the reading was correct. I assured him that it was and related what the other doctor had said. I got an O.K. for the policy from both practitioners.

Last year as I neared seventy years of age I told this story to a class I was instructing. One of the pre-medicine students asked if my blood pressure was still as good as it had been then. So I gave him permission to take my blood pressure. Amazingly, the group saw the blood pressure reading of a healthy young man and not the average reading of a seventy-year-old individual. This was very gratifying to me to say the least. The main reason for this good blood pressure of mine, besides my close adherence to the mucusless diet, was the use of cayenne as a food each day. I take one to three teaspoons or more of cayenne every day of my life and the resulting healthy blood pressure is what I call a good pay-off for a total effort.

In more than thirty-five years of practice we have never lost a case when called to help a heart attack victim because we always use cayenne. After propping up the patient and pouring down a cup of hot cayenne tea, which is one teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water, relief comes quickly. One will find a great blessing if this herb is used as a daily food, six days a week, throughout life.

Certainly one of the major causes for the increased incidence of heart problems in the world has been a general change of diet, especially since the turn of the century. In the book Vitamin E: Your Key to a Healthy Heart (Herbert Bailey, New York: Arc Books, Inc.), we find some facts on the subject of the Vitamin E deficiency in our country. According to the author's extensive research, about twelve million Americans are suffering from an outright deficiency of Vitamin E. He says:

There are undoubtedly many more millions of others who do not show an outright deficiency but are on the "borderline" in the so-called pre-clinical stage of deficiency. Remember, we are speaking of deficiencies, not of the amount of Vitamin E it takes to prevent and/or treat heart and circulatory disorders. The 12,000,000 figure is strangely reminiscent of the 12,000,000 heart disease sufferers in the U.S. We must emphasize that there have been no objective clinical tests of this correlation, but there should be.

Thus the findings of our foremost Vitamin E researchers suggest that a good part of our mounting heart disease, particularly as it is manifested in America and other "civilized" countries, is due to the ever increasing processing-out of the all-important Vitamin E which is essential to a healthy heart and circulatory system; heart troubles seem to have advanced in direct proportion to the decrease in Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) in the contemporary diet. In 1896, at approximately the same time that Vitamin E and other vitamins were beginning to be processed out of bread and other cereal grains, an autopsy revealed the first identification of coronary thrombosis, one of the biggest killers among the myriad of troubles afflicting the heart today. (It was not until 1926 that coronary thrombosis was identified as the actual cause of death among persons who were previously considered normal and healthy.)

Very few researchers question the value of exercise, a well-balanced diet, and a fairly relaxed mental attitude. We have shown that cardiovascular disease is not caused by any single factor which can be applied to all societies, to all cultures, or to all individuals. Indeed, we have shown that all current hypotheses which plead "special causes" can be torn asunder. Yet no one would be so rash as to say that any one of the proposed hypotheses is absolutely invalid. For instance, should a deficiency of Vitamin E be recognized as the major factor in the increase of cardiovascular disease in recent years, it would still be necessary to exercise and eat properly and to avoid excessive weight and heavy stress.

There seems to be little doubt that one of the factors which plays a prominent role in the origin and treatment of most forms of heart disease is exercise--properly regulated, of course. Dr. Paul Dudley White, probably the best known heart specialist today because of his successful treatment of former President Eisenhower, is a vigorous proponent of exercise. His latest views were stated in an article in the Atlantic Monthly for October, 1963.

However, neither food (as eaten in the U.S., Great Britain, and other "civilized" countries) nor exercise seems to offer absolutely definitive answers to the riddle of heart disease. We have more heart disease not because there are more people who are old but because it claims more and more victims in the middle-age and younger brackets. It is this rising proportion of deaths among the young and middle-aged persons which has so alarmed the authorities.

All of the Romans mentioned by Pliny who died suddenly were well-born and wealthy; Dr. White thinks that luxurious living was a major factor in their mysterious deaths and that most probably the cause of death was from cardiovascular disease. He points out that almost every case of sudden death today-excluding violent actions--when autopsied, reveals significant degrees of coronary atherosclerosis.

If the thesis advanced by Dr. Shute and others holds true, i.e., that a Vitamin E deficiency is responsible for many coronaries or strokes, we can understand why the rich Romans did not enjoy good health: they ate too much, drank too much, exercised too little; very likely they did not eat the "plebeian" coarse bread which was a major source of Vitamin E. We know with almost certainty that most heart disasters result from atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis. This is true, whether our victim is a citizen of Imperial Rome, a modern American, Briton, or Russian, or whether it is a rat, gorilla, guinea pig, or chicken.

Mr. Bailey goes on to tell us that in many foreign countries like Russia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Austria, etc., Vitamin E has been successfully administered long before we in this country were allowed to do so in the open.

I remember an incident well over twenty years ago when I was called upon to visit a home in Idaho to see a patient who was lying helplessly in a bed with a severe heart condition. He was not even allowed to get out of bed to use the bathroom and how he hated that bedpan! His family had been informed that he would live a few days because of his heart and they were also told that another attack might suddenly take him at any time. This gentlemen was from the old school of eating--a meat, potato and gravy man. He ridiculed the idea of a mucusless diet, a cleanse program and the use of cayenne, saying, "I love eating the way I have always eaten and would rather die early with a belly full of steak than live your way." Knowing that he was a cattle man I asked him what he did for his sick cattle. He explained that experience had taught him that the best medicine for sick cattle was wheat germ oil and he purchased it in large drums to supply his herds. I asked him if there was any reason, seeing that the wheat germ oil was good enough for his prize stock, why he himself could not use the same procedure. He was then instructed to use three to six tablespoons of the wheat germ oil each day.

One day two years later as I was waiting in the lobby of a Salt Lake City hotel I saw a man run up the front steps in great haste and into the lobby where I was sitting. When he saw me he came to a screeching halt, yelled my name, and vigorously extended his hand to me.

"Bet you don't remember me," he said. "I am that 'dying' heart patient in Idaho you saw a couple of years ago. I took that 'cow oil' (wheat germ oil) and in a few days was up and around; in a few weeks I was out on a little business and in six months was out with the cattle, doing a hard day's work. Boy, am I a ball of fire today. Thanks Doc."

His thanks meant much more to me than any money I had been paid to make that house call.
Many people would rather take Vitamin E capsules than the oil as it is more concentrated and much more pleasant to swallow. Depending on whether it is to be used as a preventive or as a remedy after heart attack, one may take from 20 to 50 IU of Vitamin E daily, even up to 300 IU per day if necessary.


For well over 30 years we have seen patients rebuild their hearts and eliminate the pain and misery of a diseased heart with diet, herbs, exercise and especially by changing their attitude. A positive attitude will help the individual abandon the negative and harmful opinion that a malfunctioning heart is incurable.

One of the greatest herbs of all for rebuilding the heart and venous system is the hawthorn berry (Crataegus oxyacantha). Potter's Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations (Potter and Clarke, Ltd., 60 Artillery Lane, London, England) is considered one of the outstanding volumes on herbal information. In this book the value of the hawthorn fruit (berry) is described as a cardiac tonic. I think this term is quite self explanatory.

Moldenke (Plants of the Bible, New York: The Ronald Press Co.) gives information on the hawthorn, stating that it grows in Herman, Bashan, Galilee and also on the tablelands of Palestine. As far back as Biblical days the hawthorn berry has been known and used.
In lesson material from one of my teachers, the renowned Dr. Edward E. Shook, I copy the following:

An herb which has won the admiration of herbalists of the present day, and can be traced back hundreds of years, is hawthorn. It is mentioned in Grieve's articles on folklore; and as Grieve quaintly says, 'This hawthorn is the badge of the Ogilvies and gets one of its commonest popular names from blooming in May (Mayblossom). Many country villagers believe that hawthorn flowers still bear the smell of the Great Plague of London. The tree was formerly regarded as sacred, probably from a tradition that it furnished the crown of thorns. The device of the hawthorne bush was chosen by Henry VII, because a small crown from the helmet of Richard III was discovered hanging on it, after the battle of Bosworth. Hawthorn is called Crataegus Oxyacantha from the Greek, Kratos, meaning hardness (of the wood), oxus (sharp) and akantha (thorn). Throughout all Europe, it is known as a very fine cardiac tonic, curative for organic and functional heart disorders, such as dyspnea, rapid and feeble heart action, hypertrophy, valvular insufficiency, and heart oppression.

Hawthorn berry may be taken as an herbal tea. Use one teaspoon of powdered or granulated herb to a cup of hot water. Steep the mixture for twenty minutes and then strain. One half to one full cup of the tea should be taken in the morning and again in the evening or even three times in a day. If desired two or more capsules or tablets may be taken each day which is the same dosage we have suggested for the tea.

When I graduated from the Dominion Herbal College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Nowell made me a present. It is one of the most valuable presents I have ever received. It was the formula for a hawthorn berry heart tonic that had been given to him by an old English teacher. The man who had given the formula to Dr. Nowell had used it in his practice for over forty years. As he gave it to me Dr. Nowell told me that he had used it in his own practice for about forty years with phenomenal success. He gave it to me in 1946 and I have also used it with great success since that time.

He gave this formula to me with certain stipulations. I could make it up and use it for my patients but I was not to give the formula to anyone until after Dr. Nowell's death and then it was mine to use in any way I saw fit. While he was still alive we made up the formula and aided many patients with both organic and functional heart problems helping them to rebuild a new and healthy structure. Since his death the formula and the instructions for making it have been given to a number of students who in turn have helped many, many people. We would now like to give to you the instructions for making this tonic:

Fill a container (never use aluminum) to within approximately two inches of the top with ripe whole hawthorn berries. If dried berries are used first, reconstitute them with distilled water until they are plumped up to their former natural size. Next, pour distilled water over the berries so that they are covered with one inch of water. Simmer the water and berries for twenty minutes but never boil them. Afterwards set the mixture to one side in a warm place and steep for twenty minutes. Next strain off the liquid and transfer it to a clean container and set it aside. Now mash the simmered and strained berries with a potato masher or some similar utensil. Again cover the mashed berries with fresh steam distilled water covering them with about one inch of water. Simmer these mashed berries and water slowly for twenty minutes, steep the mixture for twenty minutes and again strain off the liquid. Mix this liquid with the liquid from the first straining which was previously set aside. Now measure the amount of liquid you have. This mixture of the liquids from the two strainings must now be simmered down slowly to one fourth of its original amount. One gallon, for example, will be simmered down to one quart.

During the time this liquid is being simmered down, it must be stirred frequently so it will not stick to the bottom of the container and burn. Again please remember not to boil this liquid. Even if hours are required to reduce the liquid to one fourth of the original amount, only simmer slowly to do the job correctly.

When the simmering is finished, measure the now concentrated liquid carefully and then add to it one fourth of its own volume of pure vegetable glycerine and also one fourth of its own volume of a good quality grape brandy (Christian Brothers or some comparable brand name). As an example, if the liquid concentrate after simmering measures one quart, then add one cup of the glycerine and one cup of the brandy. Mix the concentrate, the glycerine and the brandy together and pour it into dark brown or green tinted glass bottles such as prescription or vitamin bottles. Do not use plastic containers if glass is available. When the bottle is tightly sealed or corked, it is a good precaution to turn the bottle upside down and dip the top in melted sealing wax.

This formula does not have to be refrigerated and will keep for years at household temperature. The dosage of this tonic is one half teaspoonful three times a day or more if desired. One half teaspoonful three times per day, however, is adequate for an adult sized heart.

A few years back a lady came to me to have her eyes read (iridology) and was told that among other things she had a heart weakness. It was suggested that she use one half teaspoon of the hawthorn berry formula three times a day. She was told this on a Tuesday morning and began using the tonic that day. Before the week was even over she had experienced a dramatic improvement in her condition.

In another instance, during one of our evening lectures, a young man asked if he could relate an experience of his mother's. The young gentleman stated that his mother had had edema in the ankles and they had been swollen so badly over the last four years that the ankle bones had not been visible. Many remedies prescribed by various doctors had been used but the swelling would not go down. The young man then asked his mother to come up to the front of the lecture hall and to stand on a chair, so the entire audience could see her feet. She now had well defined ankle bones showing after less than a week of the tonic's use. Of course we encouraged the lady to continue using the proper mucusless diet and distilled water as well as the tonic. All of these procedures would help her, as they would anyone else, to maintain general good health.

This heart tonic is a very special food for the heart and circulatory systems. In hundreds of cases we have had wonderful results with this heart formula in people all the way from small infants to youth and to adults of all ages. Let me recall an experience we had with my own father-in-law who was in his sixties at the time and who had had heart trouble since birth. He was born with a leakage of the heart and was carried around on a pillow as an infant. He worked hard all of his life on the farm but never could he take a job where a physical examination was required for he would always be turned down because of the heart condition.

During the years of the Second World War he had been accepted at a large chemical depot. The firm had hired him because of the war-time manpower shortage. They had placed Mr. W. in their construction division without a physical examination when he was sixty-two years of age, and he had worked for them until he was sixty-five years old. He had begun using this heart tonic when he was sixty years old and had used it faithfully from then on because, according to him, 'it tasted good.' Now he was sixty-five years old and the war came to an end. He was called into the company's main office where they complimented his work record and asked him if he would remain there as an employee. First they would have to send him in for a physical examination and, of course, this was what he had feared most. Nonetheless, he agreed to take the examination. You may imagine his surprise when he found that he had been given a clean bill of health. He then asked the doctor, "What about my heart leakage?" The doctor replied, "I wish I had a heart as good as yours. You should never worry about dying from a heart attack; in fact, if you don't get hit by a truck or lightning you will probably die quietly in your sleep from old age and won't even muss up the covers." Mr. W. worked for several more years at the plant, retired and then lived on until he was in his eighties. On a July evening in 1970, he went to the rodeo with his family and enjoyed the evening like a kid as he watched his son ride and perform with the rodeo group. The next morning one of his sons came to his home and found his father lying peacefully in bed. He had passed away with his hands folded over his chest and, just as the doctor had predicted, the covers were 'not mussed up.' No heart attack-just the final sleep of old age.

Good friends, we are hoping that you will always have a good strong heart and a long life and we also hope that you will help others enjoy living in health and happiness.
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