by: Jo Franks, M.H.

This time of year you will find pomegranates in most grocery stores. There are a lot of interesting facts about this amazing fruit, which dates back thousands of years. The plant is a native of Persia and in the 18th century Spanish sailors introduced the plant to the southern United States. They have long been a symbol of prosperity and abundance. In Greek history it is considered good luck to smash a pomegranate on the ground at weddings and New Year’s. It is said that the number of seeds that fall out of the fruit, will be the number of children the married couple will have.


The Latin name for pomegranate (Punica granatum) means seeded apple. It is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, namely punicalagin. Studies have shown that this is effective in preventing platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots. It is also high in other polyphenols, tannins, quercitin, and anthocyanins which offer heart health and anti-cancer benefits. Pomegranates can also be beneficial for arthritis, increasing oxygen levels to the heart, heart disease, many types of cancer, diarrhea, and mental and emotional health.


Not only is the fruit delicious, very nutrient dense and full of anti-oxidants, but there are parts of the whole plant that are beneficial medicinally. The root bark has been used as a remedy for all kinds of parasites, including tapeworms. The fruit rind and flowers can be made into a tea for a sore throat. If the rind is dried and powdered, it can be used as a tooth powder for brushing the teeth.


We always recommend eating foods in their wholesome form. Enjoy the season of pomegranates! From all of us at The School of Natural Healing, have a Happy and Healthy New Year!


Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner. 


For further study: 

August 25th, 2014Happy Fourth


David Christopher MH

This issue of the newsletter is dedicated to George Washington who is sometimes called thefather of our country. As a youth, I remember hearing miraculous stories of George Washington being preserved in battle, such as, removing his clothes at the end of the day and finding four bullet holes but no wounds. In 1770 a Native American Chief who sided with the French against the British during the 1755 war, related that he fired at Washington 17 times and his warriors also tried to kill this young officer, to no avail. Another Chief related that they were instructed to kill all officers first and had attempted to shoot Washington but could not. During the battle for Fort Duquesne, now the city of Pittsburg, Washington was one of only 1300 soldiers who survived and the only officer of 86 that survived. Another account during the Revolutionary War told of the head of a British marksman squad who was about to shoot an American officer, at close range, but was inspired not to shoot and didn’t, later finding out it was George Washington that he didn’t shoot. These stories are very inspiring, but isn’t it interesting that schools stopped teaching the true accounts of, Divine Providence preserving Washington in battle, to help establish this country? And yet we still hear about the cherry tree myth in school!

Now let’s talk about what killed George Washington at 67 years of age. On December 13th 1799 this hero of the Revolution woke up in the night not feeling very well. He had been soaked by rain the day before and now felt chilled to the bone; labored breathing, feverish, with a sore throat. He probably had the flu and maybe strep throat. Any Herbalist of the day could have treated him with elderberries, garlic, honey, cayenne pepper and onion poultices for his chest and I have no doubt he would have survived. But no, he was treated by standard medical doctors of the day who bled him, doused him with mercury, bled him some more, gave him calomel (a mercury preparation), bled him again with more mercury up the rectum. With no sign of relief of the illness, they then argued amongst themselves whether or not they should do another bleeding. Dr. Elisha Dick was concerned that they had already drawn off 3 pints of blood and thought he was too weak for another bleeding. He felt Washington needed his strength to fight the malady. However he was the younger of the three Doctors, and Dr. James Craik and a Dr. Brown overruled him and drained another thirty two ounces of blood from his veins. After hours of torture George Washington dismissed the doctors and stated that he wanted to die in peace. So 24 hours after getting the flu, these doctors managed to take him out of this life. Two weeks later Dr. Brown wrote to Dr. Craik with misgivings, lamenting that Washington might still be alive if they hadn’t given the last bleeding, but justified their actions because, “It was the best light available”. Ignorance to natural law costs lives and indeed robed this nation of perhaps many more years of a great statesman.


This insane medicine lasted into the late 1800’s. As far as I’m concerned, today’s modern medicine is taking more lives than they’re saving. For more Medical History read Green Pharmacy by Barbara Griggs.


David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer.  

January 31st, 2014HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!

David Christopher MH


I will declare at the end of this article my top list of ways to stay healthy in this New Year.
First I want to acknowledge and thank my dad Dr. John R. Christopher for the health I enjoy today.  His teachings of health principles and application of those principles gave me a head start to wellness.
You see he was a basket case of ill health, mostly genetic. He did not receive any help from modern medicine after being informed that he would not live into his forties, so he turned to his creator for help.  Then through study and prayer he discovered the simple steps to wellness, applied this knowledge and changed his genetics.
He passed these improved genes on to me and my siblings and we do not suffer the effects of these metabolic diseases as he did.  This is in light of the fact that these genetic diseases worsen through each generation.
Even with improved genetics if we had violated the simple principles of health that he taught us we would not enjoy good health.  For the sixty years I can remember I have enjoyed the blessing of fresh juices.  I am thankful for whole grains, nuts and seeds. I am thrilled at the abundant variety of fresh produce that permeates the United States in almost every food market and even has made cameo appearances in fast food establishments.  We can all be thankful for the growth of the organic food industry and what a wonderful blessing that we all enjoy in personal health choices.


5. Do not be a guinea pig, for any one (especially the pharmaceutical industry).
4. Don’t do drugs (recreational or pharmaceutical).
3. Avoid vaccinations like the plague (because they are).
2. If you don’t like the venom stay away from the snake.
1. Enroll in the School of Natural Healing (knowledge trumps fear)



David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer. 

By Sue Monk Kidd

It was the day of the Christmas party at the children’s home but my heart wasn’t in it. In fact, throughout the holidays I’d found myself going through the motions of Christmas - buying gifts, trimming the tree, even listening to the Christmas Story - without much awareness. Once again the holiday had become clouded with shopping, cooking and a host of wearing details.
“Christmas just isn’t what it used to be.” I muttered, remembering the wonder-filled Christmases of my childhood.
“Christmas doesn’t change,” said my husband. “We do.”
I shrugged away his comment, thinking of the party. I was to bring a gift for six-year-old Angela, a new child at the home. I’d bought her a nice sensible sweater. Now I wished I’d chosen something else - a doll or a teddy bear. That’s when I noticed the little manger made of Popsicle sticks lying in a box of our decorations. On impulse I tucked it in the box with the sweater.
Later that day, Angela shook the gift in eager anticipation. Finally she tore off the wrapping and gazed at the manger.
“It’s to remind you that God came to earth as a baby,” I explained.
Her eyes widened. She leaped to her feet, paper and ribbon scattering. “God was the baby?”
“Why, yes,” I said, realizing this must be the first time she’d heard the Christmas message.
Then Angela did what I suppose all of us should do at such stupendous news. She threw her arms in the air and whirled about, joy dancing all over her, and all of a sudden it was as if I had never heard the story before either.
That year I learned that to make Christmas wonderful we must be full of wonder ourselves. My husband was right. Christmas doesn’t change, only people’s ability to capture its mystery and marvel. So if you find it difficult to keep the wonder of Christmas kindled amid the fuss and familiarity of the holidays, maybe you’d like to try these helps. They worked for me.

1.    STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN. When you discover yourself becoming dulled to the joys of the season, STOP. Slow down the pace and grow still, making time to look and listen. Take a winter walk or curl up before the fireplace. Helen Keller once observed, “The seeing see little.” So peel familiarity from the glow of a candle and the red of a poinsettia. Listen anew to laughter and bells, and the whisper of love deep in the Bethlehem story.
2.    FIND WAYS TO ANTICIPATE CHRIST’S COMING. Our family keeps an Advent calendar during December. Sometimes we hang handmade symbols of Christmas onto a tree, counting down the days. One of my favorites is carrying out our “24 ways to celebrate Advent.” Each day we open an envelope on the tree and find a suggestion such as: “Write someone and express your gratitude, forgive an old hurt, tell someone you love them, name your blessings.”
3.    FREE YOUR CHILDLIKE SPIRIT. Jesus held child-likeness as a quality to be cultivated (Mark 10:15). Children dream up simple delights that most of us never experience. There was the year I came upon a little boy singing “Jingle Bells” to a plastic Jesus that was for sale in a department store. And why not? For often Christmas comes in moments such as these, when we enter with spontaneity, with unabashed adoration for the Baby.
4.    BE WILLING TO BE SURPRISED. Recognize that God comes in the least likely ways. A Holy Child born in a village barn, a strangely lit star, angel song in a night sky. Watch for Him to come in equally surprising ways to you. When we live as if God is going to surprise us any time, any place, any way, He usually does.
5.    SHARE THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS WITH SOMEONE ELSE. Nothing multiplies the sense of wonder in your life like giving it away. The more you share, the brighter Christmas grows. Even if all you have to give is a rickety Popsicle stick manger.

Not long after that Christmas, Angela left the children’s home for a foster family. But hardly a year passes that I don’t remember how she woke me to God’s tidings of great joy. And sometimes, too, I smile at the appropriateness of her name.














January 27th, 2014Giving Thanks

 Jo Francks MH

When I signed up for the Master Herbalist course with the School of Natural Healing in 1995 I was a mother with young children. I had been wondering about different health situations and how they would have been handled when there were no doctors around. Little by little I started learning about herbs. Someone talked to me about how black cohosh was helping with hot flashes. Someone else showed me a book on herbs which I bought from them on the spot. Then someone loaned me the book An Herbal Legacy of Courage and I couldn’t stop reading it. I saw the advertisement for the School of Natural Healing in the back of the book and I decided that if I were to learn about herbal medicine and healing I wanted to learn from Dr. Christopher. My husband was very supportive of me learning this but of course we wondered where the money would come from. The money did come through little tender mercies and I was on a journey of becoming a master herbalist. I loved every book, video and assignment and when I finally went to the Master Herbalist Certification Seminar it was one the most fulfilling things I have ever done. I didn’t have a plan to become a master herbalist and make a career out of it. I wanted to be able to help my family and help others if they needed it.  I think the most valuable thing we can obtain in this life is knowledge and understanding. What I gained through my studies has benefitted me and my family and our pets in more ways than I ever could have realized.
When asked the things I am most thankful for I would answer first, my awesome family and then the gift of plants that provide beauty, food and medicine for all of us. It’s the simple things that make life grand. If you’re reading this and are in a similar situation as I was in 1995 consider the School of Natural Healing. It’s the greatest gift you could give your family and yourself. I wish you the best of the Christmas season with love and gratitude.

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner.

January 27th, 2014Holiday Plants

David Christopher MH

The senses are truly enhanced during the holidays with our wonderful plants. Just think of a white and grey landscape in winter and your sight is drawn to the brilliant color of evergreens. The Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Yews and of course pine trees and other evergreens. For millenniums these special plants have given hope for ensuing spring, renewed life and even sparked thoughts of eternal life. The physical manifestations of these “everlasting” plants help Christians remember gospel principles. Living through winter is associated with living beyond this mortal life. The white flower of the Holly reminds of purity. The red berries of the Yew represent the atoning blood and the prickly Holly leaves reminds us of the thorny crown.

The Poinsettia contains the main colors of Christmas. As legend is passed down, a young peasant girl wanted to give the Christ child a gift but had no money, so she gathered a bouquet of weeds from the road side and when presented, it transformed into the beautiful Poinsettia plant. The Mistletoe is an evergreen because of the Oak and other trees. Mistletoe is dependent on these trees for its life; it is a parasite. The tradition of kissing under the Mistletoe started as a Norse custom. I can just imagine an irrepressible Viking invoking his will under this parasite to get that first kiss.

The senses of smell and taste are exhilarated during the Holiday season with Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme. Then think of the wonderful fruits kiwi, oranges, pomegranates, apples, dates, figs, currents, cranberries, blueberries, huckleberries, gooseberries, loganberries, boysenberries and so many more.

What memories are invoked when I smell and then crack open pine nuts. Let’s not forget, chestnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts and Brazil nuts. Isn’t it strange that we use these wonderful foods so infrequently?

All of the aforementioned plants except Poinsettias have medicinal uses. For example, pine needles are high in Vitamin C and the pitch is anti-bacterial. The Mistletoe is used for cancer and the Yew has had worldwide acceptance for curing breast cancer. Cinnamon helps control diabetes, Cloves are a good pain killer and diminish bad breath, Peppermint is a digestive aid, Rosemary will help you remember those on your Christmas list and Thyme will help stop the colds you will likely get from kissing strangers under the Mistletoe.

If plants are not an intricate part of your holiday traditions may I suggest starting some new traditions this year, I guarantee they will be cherished for generations to come.

We wish you and yours the happiest of Holiday Seasons.

David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer. 

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