November 24th, 2014Purposeful Pumpkin


David Christopher, M.H.


‘Tis the season! Which means it is a great time to enjoy a mineral dense super food that is a virtual medicine cabinet. Pumpkin not only has the color of carrots, but it is also tremendously good tasting, low in calories, and contains many specific nutrients for the eyes. In fact a slice of pumpkin pie contains 200% of the required daily intake of Vitamin A, which is so desperately needed by your eyes. It also contains a cornucopia of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which is converted by the liver to, yep, you guessed it! Vitamin A…in case the 200% in that pie wasn’t enough.


The Zeaxanthin found in pumpkin is a powerful anti-oxidant and specifically helps filter UV light, protecting the eyes and lessening the incidence of macular degeneration. It is also high in lutein which is beneficial to the health of the macula lutea of the eyes. High amounts of Vitamin C in pumpkin is great for tissue integrity, strengthening the vascular system and helping to keep skin firm and youthful. It is also loaded with the B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin, and Vitamins B-1, 2 and 6. It contains ample amounts of Vitamin K and a wide range of tocopherols, making the Vitamin E content exceptional as well. Pumpkin is also high in Zinc (one of the best anti-oxidants), Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, Copper, Selenium and Sodium.


Pumpkin seeds, like all seeds, help prevent cancer. They are also high in the amino-acid Tryptophan, which we have all heard is the substance in turkey that triggers sleep. It is also a pre-curser to Serotonin, a neuro transmitter linked to feelings of wellbeing. Pumpkin seeds promote good cholesterol levels, a healthy prostate, and are one of the best food remedies for ridding the body of parasites.


Enjoy the Holidays by eating more pumpkin and its accompanying spices. It will help you with weight loss, getting plenty of sleep, and feeling better for the New Year.


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.  

October 14th, 2014Natural Anti-Oxidants

David Christopher M.H.

The plant kingdom produces anti-oxidants to counter the oxygen and probable oxidative damage which is created in its production of carbon from CO2. Scientists have observed that people, who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants, are less likely to develop cardio vascular disease and cancer than those eating less of those foods. It has also been noted that Green Tea, which is unprocessed, is extremely high in anti-oxidants where black tea which is the same plant, but processed, is high in hydrogen peroxide which is reactive oxygen.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have shown that one of the causes of heart disease is the free radical oxygen damage to LDLs, lipid and protein substances that deliver fatty acids to cells. Free radical oxygen also plays a role in diseases as diverse as diabetes, dementia and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Even though supplements neutralize free radical oxygen in test tubes it hasn’t translated to usefulness in the body. Unfortunately, supplements of anti-oxidants have proven worthless if not harmful. The best example of this failure is beta-carotene. It was observed in the 1970’s that people who ate a lot of carrots, which are high in beta-carotenes, had protection against cancer. In 1992 researchers at the National Cancer Institute recruited 18,000 participants who were at high risk of developing cancer because of smoking or asbestos exposure. Half were given beta-carotene and half a placebo. The trial was supposed to last for six years but was halted two years early after discovering that those taking the supplement were developing cancer 28% more than the controls who were receiving a placebo.

The famed nurses’ study that tracked the health of 87,000 female nurses showed a 47% decrease, in cancer rates, for those consuming vitamin E rich foods. However Vitamin E supplements have not shown similar positive results. For positive results, we should get our anti-oxidants from foods, not supplements. Fresh Juicing of fruits and vegetables is natures’ way of supplementation.

Here is a list of anti-oxidant foods:

Blue and red berries and grapes

All nuts especially walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts

Beans especially pinto and red beans

Cherries, plums and apples

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.

November 11th, 2013Pumpkin Panacea

David Christopher M.H.

When Europeans discovered America they found a plethora of new flora. We have mentioned the importance of the discovery of the capsicum family in previous issues, and everyone knows about the discovery of corn and how it has benefited mankind. Another great find was the discovery of the family of squash. Pumpkin is a Native American squash that is so popular that it is now grown on all continents except Antarctica. Many consider it as a super food withwonderful medicinal qualities. Just one cup supplies 245% of the daily required value for Vitamin A. It also contains good amounts of the B complex, Vitamin C, K, and with the seeds it contains the full spectrum of vitamin E (alpha, delta and gama-Tocopherols plus the newly discovered Tocomonoenols). It is also a good source of Copper (14%), Iron (10%), and contains Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium and Zinc. The seeds also contain Zinc at the rate of 10 mg. per 3.5 oz. Just the color of pumpkins would indicate a high Carotene content, having both Carotene A (amounting to 515 mcg.) and Carotene B (3100 mcg.) Other phyto-nutrients include Crypto-xanthin B (2145 mcg.) and Lutein-zeaxanthin (1500mcg.) All excellent for good eyesight, a healthy heart and wrinkle free skin.

Pumpkins are high in nutrients and also high in fiber but low in calories, making them a good food for weight loss. While losing weight with pumpkin one might also notice a reduction in hay fever symptoms, migraines and earaches. The cold mashed up pulp has been used to counter burns and the leaves have been used to reduce the swelling in sprains, lower fevers, cure diarrhea, and ward off cancer.

The seeds are remarkable. The consumption of the seeds reduces prostate enlargement and reduces the possibility of prostate cancer. The seeds have been used for kidney problems, including kidney stones, for gout, edema and even getting rid of tape worms. Another miracle: the seed oil reduces symptoms of female hormone insufficiency.
We would all benefit by eating more of this wonderful squash. Pumpkins aren’t just for carving and smashing.

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.  

November 11th, 2013Vitalerbs

Mishelle Knuteson MH

I was recently talking with a friend and she was telling me that she was taking iodine tablets and liking the results that she was receiving from them. My concern for her was that these tablets are chemically based and I didn’t want her to suffer any side effects that may result.  I was thinking up an herbal formula that may assist her naturally rather than chemically, when I was reminded of how complete and wonderful Dr. Christopher’s Vitalerbs formula is. It contains just the right blend of vitamins and minerals that are easy to assimilate.


Most whole foods contain a varied list of nutritional and medicinal properties. Listed are just a few benefits the herbs give to the Vitalerbs formula;


Alfalfa ~ a rich reservoir of nutrients and primarily works as a detoxifier of the blood and reducer of inflammation. High in beta-carotene, chlorophyllins, Vitamins A & C.

Dandelion ~ abundance of minerals, commonly used for the liver and as a diuretic because of its bitter properties. High in iron, manganese, phosphorus, and electrolytes sodium and potassium.

Kelp ~ works on the metabolic rate, thyroid activity and detoxifying the body. High in iodine, calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, selenium, sodium.

Purple Dulse ~ most mineral rich plant. Alkalizes and cools the blood to help reduce congestion. Contains iodine, amino acids, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, fluorine, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium.

Spirulina ~ also known as blue-green algae. It is a concentrated food source that can act as an appetite suppressant. Good source of protein, manganese, riboflavin, thiamine, iron, chromium, magnesium, zinc.

Irish Moss ~ balances hormonal deficiency especially in the thyroid and metabolism. Very good for the digestive system and source for electrolytes. High in calcium, magnesium, sodium and iodine.

Rose hips ~ great source for bioflavonoids and vitamin C. Strengthens the circulatory system, capillaries and connective tissue. The astringent properties help to reduce inflamed tissue

Beet ~ perfect for cardiovascular health. Rich in Vitamin C, betaine, magnesium, iron, potassium.

Nutritional Yeast ~ complete protein and good source for complex B vitamins. Helps your body to convert food into energy.

Cayenne~ One of the best stimulants for all body systems. Increases blood circulation and perspiration, reduces blood pressure, increases production of digestive fluids and fights infection. High in Vitamin C , Vitamin A, B complex vitamins, flavonoid anti-oxidants.

Blue Violet ~ effective expectorant that works to clear the upper respiratory system, cleanses the blood and calms the nerves. Improves the body’s resistance to disease and infection. High in vitamin A and C.

Oat Straw ~ aids calcium absorption. Helps prevent osteoporosis and assists the urinary tract. Excellent source of the major mineral including magnesium and calcium.

Carrot ~ rich source of carotenes and vitamin A which is a powerful natural anti-oxident. Contains healthy levels of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.

Ginger ~ a very effective digestive stimulant. The phenolic oleo resins and volatile oils in this herb give it amazing antimicrobial properties.

Barley grass juice ~ High in chromium and thiamine which helps the process of metabolizing carbohydrates and produce glucose. High in potassium, the principal catalyst in intracellular fluids and digestive enzyme function.

Wheat grass juice ~ nutrient packed. Enhances the immune system destroys bacteria, and removes toxins. Contains protein forming amino acids that the body needs to digest food.


Vitalerbs are made from whole plants giving you all the healthful benefits without the side effects common with a chemically isolated supplement. They are a great addition to even the healthiest diet.


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.

October 3rd, 2013Gluten-Free

Tara Pierce, Herbalist

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine. It is a reaction to gluten which causes inflammation and damages the villi of the small intestine. This in turn can cause vitamin deficiencies due to the reduced ability to properly absorb nutrients, resulting in fatigue and anemia in some suffers. Other symptoms can include pain and discomfort in the digestive tract, chronic constipation and diarrhea and failure to thrive (in children).


Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). The most popular treatment for celiac is a gluten-free diet. Here are some general “Do’s” and “Don’ts” when going gluten-free.



Beans, seeds, and nuts; natural and unprocessed.

Fresh eggs

Fish and poultry (avoid breading and marinades)

Fruits and vegetables

Gluten-free grains; amaranth,  arrowroot, buckwheat, corn (hominy), flax, millet, quinoa, rice, sorgum, soy, tapioca, teff and gluten-free flours made of rice, soy, corn, potato or bean (Don’t confuse gram flour made from chickpeas for graham flour which is made from wheat).



As well as the grains listed above, avoid wheat products that can go by other names including bulgur, durum flour, farina, graham flour and semolina.

Also avoid these products unless labeled gluten-free; Beer, breads, cakes and pies, candies, cereals, cookies and crackers, croutons, french fries, gravies, imitation meat or seafood, matzo, pastas, processed luncheon meats, salad dressings, sauces (including soy sauce), seasoned rice mixes, seasoned snack foods, self-basting poultry, soups and soup bases, vegetables in sauce, food additives such as malt flavoring, modified food starch etc., and medications/vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent.


The biggest “if” in the gluten-free world is oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free but the problem comes in the field or in the processing facility. Crops of oats are often rotated with crops of wheat making it impossible to separate them entirely and if the facility that processes the oats also processes wheat products there will be cross contamination. For this reason it is generally recommended to avoid oats unless they are labeled gluten-free and come from a source you can trust. (Check with your local Health Food stores to find the best gluten-free companies).


Here at the School of Natural Healing we recommend using Dr. Christopher’s Soothing Digestion formula to reduce inflammation and help heal the villi and lesions in the small intestine, the Immucalm formula to help keep the immune system in check and the mucusless diet (without the gluten grains of course). In doing this you can be assured of the best nutrient absorption to avoid vitamin deficiencies while adjusting to your new diet.


Tara Pierce is a Certified Herbalist and Master Herbalist Student at The School of Natural Healing.


October 3rd, 2013Summer Sun

Jo Francks MH

Humans have had to put up with living in the sun for all time. It’s amazing that we survived this far and didn’t all die from skin cancer considering that sunscreen has only been around for a small percentage of the time humans have been on the earth under the sun. With summer upon us we may want to go outdoors and be subject to the sun’s rays. Too much exposure all at once will result in painful sunburn. It is recommended by Dr. Christopher that gradual sun exposure is the best. Start with 5 to 10 minutes at a time and increase the amount of time every few days.


Our skin produces vitamin D from the suns UVB rays. SPF 8 sunscreen blocks 95% of UVB rays but does not block the UVA rays which some studies have shown may cause melanoma skin cancer. Interestingly vitamin D helps prevent melanoma cancer. Keep in mind that after the skin starts to turn pink it no longer manufactures vitamin D. Therefore it is not possible to overdose on vitamin D when it’s produced by the skin or from a natural food source. Most individuals are actually deficient in Vitamin D so a little bit of sun is beneficial. A little bit of sun sounds great, but what if someone is planning a day at the beach, pool or lake? Skin that is already tanned is the best protection, but if that is not possible or a person has skin that just won’t tan, then some precaution must be used. It may be necessary for some people to use sunscreen. There are natural sunscreens which use minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as a barrier on the skin to block the sun’s rays (it is recommended that your own research be done on the safety of these products). Some of the chemicals in regular sunscreen have been shown to be carcinogenic.


This article is not intended to encourage you to stay out of the sun. On the contrary! Please go out in the sun and enjoy it. Walk barefoot on the grass. Breathe deeply. Swim in fresh water. Work in the garden. Connect with the earth and get grounded. Have fun! Chill out! Drink some herbal tea and relax. It’s summer!

What if one does get sunburned? That’s the time to use the wonderful gifts provided by nature. Here are a few suggestions on what to do for mild sunburn.

1. Apply Aloe Vera Gel

2. Use a fomentation of a tea made with comfrey or calendula or both and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to each cup of tea.

3. Apply Complete Tissue and Bone oil or ointment.

4. Apply Beauty Facial Cream.

5. Use Dr. Christopher’s Burn Paste (equal parts wheat germ oil, raw liquid honey, and comfrey leaf or root powder or Complete Tissue and Bone powder)

A few people have told me that when they changed their diets to the Mucusless Diet, taught at The School of Natural Healing, they didn’t experience sunburn as much as they did before the dietary changes.

This is a wonderful time of year and there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available. Hopefully they are growing organically in your own garden. Have a happy healthy summer!


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

Alice Gowans, MH

My first introduction to Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), also known as Holy Basil or Sacred Basil, came while attending the Master Herbalist Certification Seminar at the School of Natural Healing in 2012. My sister and I took advantage of the herb garden outside the School in the morning and at lunch, exploring the collection of plants there. We came upon one we did not recognize; it appeared to be of the mint family, had an intriguing spicy scent and nice little blossoms. David Christopher told us it was Tulsi, and I scribbled the name down in my notebook in the middle of my chemistry lecture notes to remind me to investigate it later. Thus began my captivation with this nice little herb.


I came to discover that Tulsi has been appreciated for centuries in Ayurveda for its many beneficial effects. Its historic uses are many, and include reducing inflammation, lowering fevers and cholesterol, enhancing periodontal health, preventing and easing insect stings and bites, lowering and normalizing high blood pressure, as well as being antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral. As with our other medicinal herbs, its effects are obtained by using the herb in its natural state, its properties being lost when its compounds are isolated or extracted.

According to Rosemary Gladstar in Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide (Storey Publishing,

2012) Tulsi has more than 3,000 years of recorded medicinal use. It is classified in Ayurveda as an herb that “nourishes a person’s growth to perfect health and promotes long life. The daily use of this herb is believed to help maintain the balance of chakras, or energy centers in the body, and to bring out the goodness, virtue, and joy in humans.” Given the state of the world today, perhaps we should encourage everyone the world over to keep a pot of Tulsi growing in the kitchen.

I find its use as an adaptogen intriguing. Adaptogenic herbs help boost the body’s vitality, aiding it to adapt to and defend against the effects of environmental stress. David Hoffman tells us in Medical Herbalism (Healing Arts Press, 2003) that adaptogens “do not block the stress response, but instead smooth out the associated highs and lows”. I like the idea of normalizing the response rather than blocking it, achieving results through a gentle action which is a quality common to many of our favorite herbs. Given the stress most people seem to find themselves facing today, including an adaptogen in their routines would seem beneficial. Tulsi fits the bill, and is a surprisingly tasty option. I have started including Tulsi in my everyday tea blend, and have found it to be quite refreshing in a blend used for iced tea. I would be inclined to include it in my tea just for the taste.

Tulsi is also said to increase the body’s efficient use of oxygen, supplying antioxidants and other nutrients including vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, zinc and chlorophyll. It contains no stimulants and yet is considered a general vitalizer, increasing physical endurance, enhancing stamina, boosting the immune system and sharpening memory.

Tulsi has definitely found a place among my list of favorite herbs, and I hope more people will familiarize themselves with this spicy little powerhouse.


Alice Gowans is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing and a Reiki Master, and currently practices in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

September 30th, 2013Dandelion-Wonderful Weed

 David Christopher, MH


Dandelions should be used, not cursed.  Many foods we cultivate do not even come close in nutrient content to the lowly dandelion, and they are free.  You do not have to plant them or cultivate them or expend any effort on them, they just come up.  In Dr. Christopher’s Herb Syllabus, he informs us that 100 grams of Dandelions are packed with 14,000 Mg. of Vitamin A, 187 Mg. of Calcium, 397 Mg. of Potassium, and many other nutrients including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.  You could probably live on Dandelions, if you had to.  When I leave for work I pick the flowers that have just opened with the sunlight, pop them in my mouth, and enjoy the bitter sweet flavor.  I kind of get a kick out of imagining what the neighbors are thinking about my breakfast munchies.

Dandelions grow so abundantly almost everywhere that it seems logical to think that they are a native flora, but they are not.  These aliens were brought over from Europe and spread rapidly.  The native populations, who were true naturalists and naturopaths, quickly adopted Dandelion into their healing modalities.  The Pillager and Meskwakis used the root for chest pains, Ojibwas for heartburn, and the blossoms were used as a heart tonic.  The leaves were used as a tonic for bruises and the Tewas used them for bone fractures.  The plant was also widely used as a food source.

The name Dandelion comes from the jagged leaves which must have reminded people of lion’s teeth. They are called Dent de Lion in French, Dens Leonis in Latin and Leontodon in Greek.  Dandelion has been used for hundreds of years with recorded uses by the Arabians and Welch of the tenth and thirteenth centuries up through the present. It was in the United States Pharmacopeia until 1965 and is still accepted in Chinese Medicine today.

Dandelion has the highest plant source of Iron and of course is used for Anemia.  It is very effective for liver and gallbladder congestion and has also been used effectively for sluggish spleen and has mild diuretic qualities.  Inflammation of the liver is cared for by using one part Dandelion to three parts Marshmallow as a tea. This is consumed every waking hour of the day.  There is no toxic level for Dandelion so use it in any quantity that is effective.

Dandelion is an excellent food that can also be used medicinally, so enjoy.

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.  

February 15th, 2012Rose

By: Jo Franks, MH

The International Herb Association has named Rose the herb of the year for 2012. Rose is one of the herbs on the School of Natural Healing’s 100 herb list.

Rose petals have long been used as an infusion, used for the cooling and astringent properties, in the relief of uterine and other hemorrhages, and as an application to ulcers affecting the mouth, ears, anus, etc. The fresh bruised petals were applied to inflammations of the eyes. Rose buds are said to be one of the safest and most widely used eyewashes, acting as a mild astringent, giving tone to the tissues and shrinking capillary inflammations and redness. The petals are mildly astringent and slightly laxative; they are considered a good nightly antidote to take for sluggish bowels.

Rose hips are a good source of vitamin C. They are said to have twenty five percent more vitamin C than an orange. They help to fight infection and have a diuretic effect. When gathering rose hips, it is best to wait until after the first frost. The vitamin C content rises considerably after that first nip. Refrigerate them unless you plan to process them immediately.  If you wish to dry them, do so in a dehydrator below 135 degrees. Don’t let them dry too slowly or you will lose the C content, but don’t let them get hot or the “C will flee” away.

In the book Herb Syllabus by Dr. John R. Christopher, it tells us that the Rose is a symbol of love. The bridal rose is the symbol of wedded bliss. The cabbage rose is the ambassador of love, and a rose sent daily to a person communicates that you aspire to his/her smile. The damask rose communicates admiration for a beautiful complexion. A deep red rose lets someone know that you are embarrassed about something you did. A single rose communicates simple love. A thorn-less rose means that you began to love someone early in your relationship. A withered rose means that your love is decreasing or that you are jealous. White and red roses given together suggest that you wish to enhance unity. A rosebud when red means that you think someone is pure and lovely, while a white one communicates girlhood love and a moss-colored rosebud means that you are confessing your love.

Looking over that list, I hope none of you sent the wrong message with the roses you sent for Valentine’s Day.

by Doreen Spackman M.H., M.G.

We want you to know of our wonderful website that many of our readers are unaware of - This site has a list of Dr. Christopher’s formulas, a list of ailments and programs to help with those ailments, single herbs, recipes, herbal education information and more. I’m going to walk you through the site to help you find the information you’re looking for

Some easy ways of accessing the site:

  1. At the bottom of your newsletter there is a section of Herbal Resource Links. Click on the second link that says “Herbal Legacy.”
  2. Go to On the left hand side in blue click on “Herbal Reference Links”, and then click on the “Herbal Legacy” link.
  3. Type into your browser bar.

Home page
We get many calls where readers want to give information from the newsletter to their family and friends. This is where you can direct them to sign up for the newsletter. They only need to type in their first name and email address, then click the submit button.

Tabs on the site:

  1. Articles - Here is a list of previous newsletters with their name and the date the article came out. There are articles for everything from “Natural Protocol for systemic Yeast overgrowth & leaky gut syndrome” on May 5, 2010 to “Preparing a fomentation for injuries” on March 30, 2011 and everything in between.
  2. Dr. Christopher formulas - Click here for a list of Dr. Christopher’s original formulas and the herbs in them.  Some let you know what each herb in that product does, and some will tell how many parts of the herb is contained in the product. It also tells different ways to use the products and testimonials of people who have used them and their results.
  3. Ailment & Programs - Here you can learn about the difference between the 3 day juice cleanse,  the extended cleanse program, the incurables program, as well as a list of ailments from A-Z and the way Dr. Christopher taught how to take care of that problem.
  4. Single Herbs - We have place School of Natural Healing graduates Thesis papers here so you can have more information on single herbs. Each thesis will tell the history, location, chemical constituent, medicinal qualities, contra-indications, some herbal formulas using that herb, dosages and applications, and personal experiences with those herbs.
  5. Recipes -Everyone loves recipes and here is a great resource from breakfast and main dishes to snack, soups and of course desserts. Yummy!!
  6. About Us - gives you some information about Dr. John R. Christopher and David Christopher.
  7. Herbal Education -This gives you information about the School of Natural Healing and the times the general public can call and talk to a Master Herbalist for answers to health questions.

I love it has so much information on one site and so convenient to use. Have fun on the site and let us know what helped you most or send us some of your testimonials.

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!!!

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