by David Christopher M.H.

One hundred years ago, Vitamin B-1 was discovered in discarded rice husks and called the anti-beriberi factor.  Vitamin B-2 was discovered by accident when “that yellow substance kept showing up in research.” The yellow substance was riboflavin, an essential enzyme in the B-complex family.  Nicotinic acid was discovered in 1873 and was labeled the “anti-pellagra substance” so people would not be confused and think that tobacco had significant nutrients. Scientists derived the name Niacin from letters in each of the following words; Nicotinic acid vitamin.  The latter discoveries of B-5, B-6, Folic acid, B-12, B-15 and even the controversial B-17 demonstrate the life-saving aspect of these substances.  Choline, the newest “recognized” element in the B-complex vitamins, wasn’t accepted by the National Academy of Science as essential until 1998.  An essential nutrient studied for 150 years, Choline by itself, without the other B-complex, cures nothing. But when it is missing, it contributes to or causes coronary heart disease, fatigue, insomnia, kidney and liver dysfunction, impaired growth, lack of red blood cell formation, lack of bone growth, infertility, respiratory distress and failure to thrive in newborns.  A lot can be said about each of these B-complex nutrients and for that matter all of the Vitamins, minerals, and phyto-chemicals, known.

At any point in the history of nutrition we could have been critically deficient in a multitude of essential substances if we consumed only the nutrients known at that given time and in supplement form.  We will never know all the elements that are essential for good health, but we will get all of the essentials for good health if we eat a variety of wholesome (nothing taken out and nothing put back in) natural (as nature intended) and live fresh food (in its season).

We are made from the dust of the earth and this essential dust (elements) is continually renewed in our bodies from the plants that we consume.

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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