July 15th, 2015Savory

by: Jo Francks, M.H.

The International Herb Association has named Savory as herb of the year for 2015. The two common varieties of Savory are Summer Savory, Satureia hortensia, and Winter Savory, Satureia montana.


Summer Savory is an annual plant grown from seeds sown in the spring and flowering in mid-summer. The tips can be harvested frequently to ensure a continual supply throughout the season.

Winter Savory is a low growing, shrubby perennial and can be used as a low growing hedge. The plant is propagated by cuttings, layering, division or seed.


The leaves of both plants are used in cooking. The name suggests that it is quite a fragrant plant and historically was planted near beehives. The leaves have a strong, slightly peppery taste resembling that of thyme. Anciently the Romans made a sauce of vinegar and Summer Savory, very much like the mint sauce of today. Beans and peas are greatly enhanced by this herb with which they have a particular affinity.


Medicinally the leaves are used as a carminative to alleviate flatulence. Additionally, it may also help with diarrhea, indigestion, colic, upset stomach and mild sore throats. Externally the leaves can be used to rub on a bee sting to alleviate the pain.


Savory has been used for centuries both as a culinary herb and for its medicinal properties. Culpepper tells us that, “the juice dropped into the eyes removes dimness of sight if it proceeds from thin humours distilled from the brain. The juice heated with oil of roses and dropped in the ears removes noise and singing and deafness.”  It is rich in minerals and vitamins and the leaves contain many essential oils such as carvacrol and thymol. These oils are known to have antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. The tea made from the leaves is considered a powerful antiseptic and can help improve the functioning of the liver and the kidneys.


Consider planting a variety of Savory in your garden this year. Harvest and dry the leaves for use throughout the year.


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

by: David Christopher, M.H.


Controlling blood pressure naturally involves life style changes such as eating whole, live, naturally grown foods, proper exercise and positive thinking.  If this lifestyle is ignored and blood pressure rises, then one would need to cleanse the brain and the arterial system.  If the blood cannot deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells, then these cells will start to malfunction and eventually die. In this deprived state the cells will send off a distress signal.  The central nervous system responds to this signal by sending a life-saving signal to the circulatory system, raising blood pressure to deliver nutrients to these starving cells.  Changing the life style will help correct the problem and negate the need for high blood pressure.  Herbalaids can be used to achieve this goal and a suggested use is outlined in Dr. Christopher’s Three Day Cleanse Program, under the section titled “Extended Herbal Cleanse.” Along with these cleansing formulas, Dr. Christopher formulated an excellent herbal aid which he named simply Blood Circulation Formula.  He was once asked, “Will this formula raise or lower blood pressure?” He answered this question with a simple, “Yes.”  If someone has high blood pressure it will help lower it, however if they have low blood pressure it will help raise it.


Another cause of high blood pressure relates to our emotions.  I realize that positive thinking is easier said than done.  However, our overreactions to situations should be controlled and can be helped. Some helpful actions are counseling, yoga, bio-feedback and Bach Flower remedies.  Dr. Christopher’s Relax-ease tea and Mind Trac formulas are wonderful aids in this scenario.

As far as blood pressure is concerned we were designed, by our Creator, with self- correcting regulators that automatically set blood pressure levels at optimal levels. One of these regulators is nitric oxide, a substance made popular with body builders. Using supplements like this should be done with care so as to not interfere with the body’s natural pathways of correction.  Nitric oxide (N.O.) relaxes and dilates blood vessels, and a lack of N.O. contributes to increased rigidity of the vascular walls. Your body produces nitric oxide from nitrates in foods. These nitrates in foods are converted to nitrites by friendly bacteria residing in the crypts of the tongue. They accomplish this via nitrate reductase enzymes.  When nitrite rich saliva comes in contact with stomach acid it is converted to nitrous acid and then decomposes to nitric oxide. Nitrites consumed in the diet (i.e. nitrites found in cold cuts and bacon) do not convert to nitric oxide and may destroy the pathway, thus contributing to cardiovascular disease. Mouthwashes may also interfere with this pathway by killing the bacteria, instrumental in creating nitric oxide, thus negating blood pressure regulation. If this pathway has been destroyed, there are three foods that can be used to create nitric oxide. The first is beets, nature’s highest source of nitrates. Second, are hawthorn berries which are nature’s highest source of nitrate reductase and third, melons that provide the amino acid catalyst L-Citrulline. 

Therefore, these natural foods contain exactly what the body needs to control blood pressure.  Taking large amounts of body regulators is never a good idea, and doing so can interfere with blood pressure regulation.  Also eating foods that bypass one step in the regulating process (i.e. nitrites instead of nitrates) can also interfere with the pathway, losing regulation capacity. 

High blood pressure doesn’t have to be a concern, if we live our lives naturally and let our bodies self-regulate.

 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.

July 15th, 2015Healthy Recipe

by: Nicodemo Casciato


Greetings! My name is Nico, and I’m a recent graduate of Dr. Christopher’s College of Herbology. I currently live in Denver, Colorado and have been working towards building a future as a health educator and personal consultant.


As I have walked my personal path to better health, I have utilized some simple, nourishing meals that are quick and easy to prepare. The one I’d like to share is a combination of brown rice, mung beans and steamed vegetables that I personally enjoy. Mung beans contain vitamins A, C and E and minerals like folacin, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. They are also a great source of protein, dietary fiber and phytoestrogens. Additionally, brown rice is a great source of manganese and also provides a good amount of selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and niacin (B3). This combination is great for lunch or dinner, but  it could also be enjoyed for breakfast.


Nutritious whole grains (as well as legumes, nuts and seeds) even when properly prepared can inhibit the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc due to the presence of phytic acid.  This acid, a storage form of phosphorus, binds to these minerals making them and the phosphorus unavailable for use in the body while also inhibiting enzymes like pepsin, amylase and trypsin that are needed for digestion. To minimize this effect, we should presoak the rice as well as the mung beans—even though mung beans don’t require it as much as the rice. Presoaking grains, beans, nuts and seeds also diminishes/removes lectins (except in wheat and soy), gluten, tannins, goitrogen and other anti-nutrients, encourages the production of beneficial enzymes, neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, increases nutrient content, breaks down proteins that are hard to digest (making them more bioavailable) and reduces hypersecretion of pancreatic enzymes.


Over 60% of the phytic acid in mung beans is destroyed in cooking, so, many people don’t soak them at all. However, presoaking them ensures an even greater ability to be digested. To presoak the beans, just put the beans in a bowl and cover them with pure water and let them sit for 6-24 hours. An additional quick-soak method consists of bringing the beans to a boil for a few minutes (depending on the bean) taking them off heat and letting them sit for 2-6 hours. Once this is finished, discard the water and add mung beans in a 1:3 ratio with pure water to a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover. Once the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes; don’t remove the lid throughout the whole process. Once you have done this, if desired, you can mash them and add sea salt, pepper or garlic powder.


To prepare the brown rice, soak them in pure water for 24 hours at room temperature. Always store 10% of the soaking water in the fridge to be added to future batches after soaking. This preserved liquid will eventually improve the effectiveness of soaking through continued use until it removes 96% or more of the phytic acid. Discard the remaining 90% and add fresh water in a ratio of 1:2, rice to water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover. Then, remove it from the heat and let the rice sit for 5-10 minutes covered. I normally add a little sea salt and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos once finished.


To steam the vegetables, place them in a metal steamer, put it in a pot, and fill it with pure water until the water level nears the bottom of the steamer. Bring it to a light boil. The time needed to cover and steam will vary according to whatever vegetables you are using. I personally enjoy broccoli, snap peas and cauliflower because they are all very nutritious, tasty, and can cook in about 5 minutes. Once done, you can flavor them with some olive oil, lemon, sea salt, pepper or anything else you might like.


Finally, add them all together and enjoy!

 Nicodemo Casciato is a recent masters graduate from the School of Natural Healing. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

July 15th, 2015Tonsilloliths

by: Tonya Judd, M.H.

A few years ago when one of my children was in high school I heard a loud call for help from the other room.  This child had just discovered tonsil/throat stones also known as Tonsilloliths, and was quite upset not knowing what was going on and why these “hard things” were coming from the throat area.


I could always tell when this child had tonsil/throat stones because there is a distinct offensive smell which is very different than the average case of halitosis. Tonsilloliths or tonsil/throat stones are hardened concretions of mucus, bacteria and food that lodge in the pockets or crypts of the tonsils. When tonsil stones are released from the tonsil it can feel like you swallowed a small hardened piece of food. Tonsil stone symptoms include: feeling as though you have a sore throat, feeling as if something is stuck in the tonsil area, distinct, offensive and putrid breath, swollen tonsil(s), swallowing hardened concretions, and fever. Once the tonsil releases the stone(s), the throat will immediately feel better.   

Tonsil stones are caused from an unclean body system and excessive mucus. This mucus in the system comes from consuming mucus forming foods such as dairy, sugar, meat, soda and processed foods. Also, we often forget that the body is a whole system, and we need to remember to check in with the emotional and spiritual aspects along with the physical. Energetically speaking, tonsil stones have much to do with not speaking up, not feeling like your voice is being heard, swallowed emotional hurts, repressed fear or anger, and not expressing your feelings

Tonsil stones do NOT require the removal of your tonsils. This is only an indication that this area of the body needs a little TLC and cleaning up. It indicates that the tonsils are doing their job as the filter and keeping harmful bacteria from entering the body. Your tonsils are part of your immune system and an important gland that needs to remain in the body. Be thankful that you have been blessed with such an amazing set of glands. Dr. Christopher often stated that, “The tonsils are the first line of defense of the body. Their job is to control the entrance into the body of large armies of germs. They are a ‘filtering system’.”

 The following is the protocol we used to completely eliminate the tonsil stones:


  • Dr. Christopher’s Infection formula


  • Dr. Christopher’s X-Ceptic tincture rubbed on the outside of the throat over the tonsil area


  • A LOT of fresh garlic!  I press the garlic cloves through a garlic press and put it in veggie caps


  • Dr. Christopher’s Mullein/Lobelia formula used as a fomentation on the neck and taken internally


  • 1 Tablespoon honey, 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne and 2-4 cloves of garlic mixed and taken by the spoonful


  • Make sure the bowels are working and flushing everything out


  • Fresh fruit and vegetable juices

    Additional herbal aids:


  • Hydrangea root extract squirted directly on the tonsils.  Whenever using dissolvent herbs a great addition to consider is marshmallow. Marshmallow helps thin out the mucus.


  • Apple cider vinegar wraps on the throat


  • Gargling with salt water made from real or natural salt, can also help loosen Tonsilloliths/throat stones 

     Keep those tonsils where God created them to be…in your throat!


    Tonya Judd is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing and an Emotional Release practitioner.

  • July 15th, 2015Melt In Your Mouth

    by: Melissa Chappell


    Love your treats? I know I do. Here is a great recipe book with 50 plus recipes that we can indulge ourselves in and not feel guilty. This is a dessert cookbook with a healthy AND delicious approach. For the past decade Melissa Chappell has owned a wholesale, healthy dessert company called Raw Melissa. Her desserts have become famous and are sold at a premium price.

    Now Melissa is sharing some of her most precious recipes with you. “I want you to know that as I wrote this cookbook and dreamed up the many recipes inside, I thought of you, a person I will probably never meet, but whom I adore for sharing a piece of pie or a scoop of ice cream with me in your own kitchen, if only through this cookbook.”

    There are many gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free options as well as raw, vegan, and grain-free recipes. She uses whole food ingredients such as sucanat, honey, whole grain flours, real salt, coconut and nut milks, lots of fresh, dried and frozen fruits, nuts, and plant oils like sunflower oil, coconut oil and almond oil.

    Some of my favorite recipes are the Chocolate Covered Macaroons, Toffee Almonds and Chili Lime Popcorn. I have loved everything I have tried and I’m sure you will too.

    by: Joseph Kukucka, M.H.

    We have learned that the best way to deal with many health problems is to cleanse and nourish.  Sometimes the body needs a period to concentrate its efforts to rid itself of toxins. By abstaining from solid food and drinking plain water only, the body can extend all its effort and energy on clean-up and repair. That is what fasting can do for you.


    For centuries man has utilized fasting for cleaning, healing and strengthening, not just physically and mentally, but spiritually as well. Fasting has been practiced by every religion. We can read accounts of fasting in the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments. This was not only done for atonement, but for strengthening, and at times the fasting lasted for 40 days. Almost every Native American tribe incorporated fasting as well. Today fasting is largely viewed as a practice done in the past, and not for modern times. In fact, the very idea of going without food for any extended period terrifies many.

    Stomach grumblings, headaches, nausea and other discomforts that arise a few hours after a meal, are perceived as hunger pangs because they go away after eating something. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, those aren’t the symptoms of true hunger. Rather, when digestion of a meal is complete, the body shifts into a cleansing mode to rid itself of toxins & built-up waste from the typical American diet. This is the real cause of those uncomfortable symptoms.

    Anyone who has worked closely with animals has probably observed that when not feeling right, they will refrain from eating. The animal is following its instincts to work toward wellness.

    Eleven years ago I learned of fasting’s ability to help the body heal. Once, I fasted for 7 days and numerous times I’ve done 2-day and 3-day fasts. But my usual routine is to fast one day a week. Fasting one day a week is easily achievable, but I don’t recommend that anyone should start fasting even one day a week without some preparation. This is because as your body goes into detoxification mode, it shuts down the digestive system. Any food that is in the system will remain in the lower bowel and become hard as the body draws water from it, no matter how much water you drink. Therefore, the best way to fast is to follow Dr. Christopher’s recommendation of the 3-day juice cleanse routine, then continue fasting on water for 1 or 2 days.  Once you have done it a few times you will start looking forward to it.

    Each time you fast it will be different.  Sometimes you will have aches and pains and feel foggy.  Other times you will feel full of energy and quite lucid. You will also learn to strengthen your inner discipline as you control temptations to take a little snack.

    Fasting is not only free but it will save you money as you are eating 3 meals less a week. Also, the time usually spent shopping for, preparing meals and then cleaning up, can now be utilized for other endeavors: yoga, prayer, meditation or simply relaxing.

    When dealing with chronic problems, fasting should be considered as part of the healing regimen. Fasting will make you healthier, detoxify your body and bolster your immune system for resisting disease. It’s like pushing a reset button or rebooting the computer.

    Joe KuKucka is a Master Herbalist Graduate from the School of Natural Healing. He lives and works in Ohio and would be happy to answer questions via email. jkukucka@ford.com andjoseph454@centurytel.net.

    July 14th, 2015Acid Reflux

    by Amy Willis, M.H.



    Acid reflux is very common and affects around 50% of Americans.  The main symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which at times can be severe enough to feel like an heart attack.  Acid reflux  is thought to be caused by excessive amounts of acid, and anti-acids are usually prescribed, yet this actually compounds the problem.


    After food passes through the esophagus to the stomach, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closes, preventing food or acid from moving back up. Acid reflux occurs when the LES relaxes, allowing acid from the stomach to flow backward into the esophagus.  It is important to understand that acid reflux is not caused by excessive acid production in the stomach, but a symptom related to Hiatal Hernia and/or Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.  Hiatal hernia can be adjusted by a skilled chiropractor.   Many who have a Hiatal Hernia, also have H. pylori, which cause a chronic low-level inflammation of the stomach. In the early 1980’s, Dr. Barry Marshall speculated that H. pylori is a major factor in acid reflux.


    Drugs can also cause heartburn.  Common ones include antidepressants, osteoporosis drugs, antibiotics, blood pressure medication, nitroglycerin, and pain relievers.  Drugs are never safe.  It is best to use herbs and natural remedies that produce health, as much as possible.


    Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed for acid reflux/heartburn.  These effectively block acid production in the stomach.  This is extremely detrimental.  There are over 16,000 articles in medical literature showing that suppressing stomach acid does not address the problem. When the amount of acid in the stomach is suppressed, the body’s ability to kill the H. bacteria is decreased, and can make the condition worse.  Furthermore, reducing stomach acid diminishes the primary defense mechanism for food-borne infections, which will increase the risk of food poisoning. PPI drugs also cause serious side effects, such as, pneumonia, bone loss, hip fractures, and infection.


    There are several things that can help heal the body, primarily the stomach and intestinal tract.  The first thing to do is to clean up the diet; get rid of the junk food and eat health producing foods.


    Fermented Foods: kimchi, miso, yoghurt, kefir, Chutneys, etc. This comes at the top of the list.  These foods, among others, are high in probiotics.  If you do not regularly eat these foods, you need to supplement with a good quality probiotic.

    High-quality salt: Himalayan salt is a good choice. The body needs the chloride to make hydrochloric acid.

    Raw apple cider vinegar/ honey: 1 Tbsp. of each mixed in water, taken 3 times a day, has been helpful for those who are trying to increase hydrochloric acid and improve digestion.

    Sauerkraut or cabbage juice: Stimulates the body to produce stomach acid.  Take 1-4 tsp before eating.

    Ginger: Chew on fresh root or make a tea with fresh or powdered.  Shown to suppress H. pylori and prevent formation of ulcers.

    Slippery Elm: Coats and soothes from the mouth all through the whole intestinal tract. Contains antioxidants that can help address inflammatory bowel conditions. Stimulates nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract. This helps increase mucus secretion, which protects against ulcers and excess acidity.  Take 1 tsp. in water 3 x a day.

    Baking Soda: 1/2 - 1 tsp. of baking soda in 8 oz. of water can ease the burn of acid reflux. DO NOT do this on a regular  basis, but  only in an emergency when you are in a lot of pain.


    Amy Willis is a Master Herbalist graduate from the School of Natural Healing. Visit her website,www.herbs4you.org and sign up for her newsletter. She can also be reached via email atamyrwil@msn.com or call 605-254-1437. She is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

    Becky Utley

    There have been times that I just wish my body would talk to me! It could tell me what herbalformulas would help it to heal, how much to take, and whether other healing modalities that are being recommended, are the best thing for my body. I would know what foods would best support me. If I had a headache, it may help me to understand why, so I could do something about it.  



    Well, there is a way; applied kinesiology. Also known as biomechanics and muscle strength testing, applied kinesiology is the study of body movement. It is based on the belief that various muscles are linked to particular organs and glands, and that specific muscle weakness can signal distant internal problems.  In the 28 paged booklet, Doctors Could Be Wrong, Find out for Yourself! , the author Becky Utley takes the reader through 7 basic steps in communicating with your body, and receiving the answers you are looking for. “Muscle testing, at its best, is used as a support tool, a confirmation or second witness to your own intuition…” With the instruction in this booklet, you can learn how to ask your body questions, and learn how it answers back.


    Becky puts everything in simplistic terms so that you are able to; “[take] responsibility to use all that is in our power to take care of our own health. Muscle testing can be a great tool to assist us in knowing what is right for us.”


    If you are ready to begin muscle testing today, this is the booklet for you!


    Now available at Christopher Publications


    September 23rd, 2013What Do I Eat Now

    Yvonne L. Salcido

    Many times as we begin to climb the ladder of truth and learn about nutrition, the effects of what we put into our mouth can become overwhelming. The standard American diet is so far from the whole foods that nature provides for us. Over and over I hear questions like, what can I eat? How can I live eating natural foods? I couldn’t live without____________! Finally when someone truly wants to take responsibility for their health and recognizes the consequences of their actions the question changes to, what do I eat now? Thus, they become proactive.



    I am going to give you some ideas that helped me on my journey. First let me say I love to eat, a lot, and it has to taste good. I also have a large family with seven children so I had to start with setting what I call a “politically correct” table. It is possible to make changes and make it fun and delicious and easy.

    I first started with exchanging white flour for fresh ground whole wheat. My kids still loved the cookies and hot homemade bread with honey is irresistible. I next substituted ½ c. honey for 1 c. of sugar. This works in most recipes. You could also use ½ cup of chopped dates. Once in a while I will use 100% pure maple syrup grade C, or agave.  Both of these are also ½ of the of sugar amount. These are more processed so I use them more for special occasions. I also started using carob instead of chocolate. By the way, giving up sugar and chocolate got rid of my migraine headaches.

    The next change I made was using almond mild, rice milk, or organic soymilk in place of dairy. I began by using ready-made rice milk but now I try to make my own almond milk. Organic soymilk can be used to replace eggs in a recipe; 1T. per. l egg or 1T soy flour and 1T. water. (If the recipe you are using includes baking powder you also double that amount).


    I then got rid of beef and went to organic turkey or chicken. I cut down to only twice a week then to once a week. Next I substituted poultry with wild salmon or organic scaled fish once a week. Then I went to once a month. I now eat meat very sparingly (which by definition means hardly ever) I reserve it for winter or times of famine.


    Other simple changes are brown rice instead of white, whole oats instead of instant, healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil instead of butter or vegetable oils, and sea salt or celtic sea salt in place of regular table salt.


    Wherever your diet is now, start with these changes and eat lots of fresh greens, vegetables and fruits. You can make a big impact on improving your health without a lot of effort.


     (See Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Home Health Care, Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and Fave’s Cookbook by Melissa Chappell)


    Yvonne Lunt Salcido is a Student Advisor for and a Master Herbalist Graduate of the School of Natural Healing. She is a current student at Utah Valley University majoring in Health and Wellness Education.


    September 19th, 2012Voices

    by Mishelle Knuteson MH

    Just recently I was replaced as the president of a women’s group for my church. All along I felt I was doing a good job of serving and helping the women of our congregation, yet an interesting thing happened when I was told of the upcoming change. My self talk changed. The voices within my head kept telling me about all the “wrong” things I had done, where I was “lacking” and how it was a good thing someone new was coming so she could do things “right”. All of the “should haves” started coming to me to weigh me down and negate any good that I may have done.

    Have you ever heard those voices in your head (self talk) that tell you that you aren’t good enough, no one appreciates you, you are all alone, you can never get well, you will never measure up, that will never work so you might as well not try….on and on and on?

    It has been reported that we have around 65,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day and of those thoughts about 72% of them are negative. Thoughts are created from the images that we see and the conversations that are going on around us and in our heads, the self talk.  We live on a planet that is set up with opposites; the north and south poles, day and night, light and dark, summer and winter….etc. Oppositional influences will affect us as well. Our self talk can be influenced by a negative or a positive force.

    The first step in changing the self talk from the negative to the positive is to be aware of it. Start writing down the negative conversations that are going on in your head. If you can see it, you can stop it. Don’t think that you will simply remember it and be able to address it later. Write it down! Bring it to your awareness so you can change it. It’s in your head and by writing it down you get it out of your head and that puts you in a place of power to change it. Once you have written the negative thoughts down, write one positive direct opposite for it plus one more.

    For example: You aren’t good enough

    Direct opposite: I am doing the best I know how with the information I have and that is good enough.

    Here is a simple equation that would be good for you to remember: 


    Don’t allow negative self talk to rule you. You have the power to change the chatter in your head to be 72% (or more) positive and therefore change the results in your life. Bring in the positive. You are a gift to the people around you, so treat yourself as such; be kind in your self talk. It is OK to think you are awesome, because you are!

    Mishelle Knuteson is certified in Rapid Eye Technology (RET) an emotional release therapy, teaches classes in The Art of Feminine Presence and a Master Herbalist ~ graduate of The School of Natural Healing. Mishelle currently works as an Educative Master Herbalist (MH) for The School of Natural Healing and as Office Manager of Christopher Publications.

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