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Biography of Dr John Raymond Christopher

Biography of Dr John Raymond Christopher

With Stories of How He Developed Many of his Herbal Remedies
Adapted from An Herbal Legacy of Courage by David Christopher, M.H.


Black Walnut Hulls Remedy
Blood Pressure Herbs -Cayenne, Ginger, Garlic, etc
Plantain Remedy
Bone, Flesh and Cartilage Remedy
Herbs for Burns - Comfrey, etc
Anti-Infection Herbs
Blood Cleansing Herbs - Red Clover, Chaparral, etc
Herbs For Weight Control
Herbs For The Nervous System -Skullcap and others
Burdock - Arthritis Fighter
Colon Cleansing Herbs
Garlic, Rosehips and Parsley For Colds and Flu
Herbs For Hay Fever
Anti-Stress Herbs
Herbs For Kidneys, Bladder and Prostate
Herbs For Eyes

The quality that I remember most when thinking of my famous father, Dr. John R. Christopher, was his extraordinary positive attitude. This positive outlook was reflected in a cheerfulness that never quit. Even when he suffered physically or even through endless persecution from the medical establishment, because of his herbal treatments, he maintained his love of life and deep concern for those in need.

Living in an era when natural remedies are much the fashion, we may often forget what a pioneer Dr. Christopher was, and what he sacrificed and suffered to help bring about the renaissance of herbal healing in North America. Appreciation for his singular struggle comes when you see his life's path in the following biography.

He was born November 25, 1909 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jean Ramone and Lorena Roth Raymond. Both were emigrants to the United States, and for some unknown reason, they left their infant son and an older sister at the Salt Lake City Orphanage. When prospective parents came to that orphanage, the children would be lined up so the couple could make their choice. On one such day, Leander and Melissa Ann Craig Christopher visited the orphanage, looking for a son. Suddenly, without invitation, a baby, dressed only in a diaper and thin undershirt, toddled up, crawled into Melissa's lap, and snuggled into her shoulder. She exclaimed softly, "This is our son!"

The original parents had stipulated that both children remain together, so now Raymond (often called "Ray") and his sister Ruby had a new family. They lived in Salt Lake City in the Avenues district, which was then a semi-rural neighborhood. The first glimpse the Christophers had of Raymond's unusual future came one winter's night when young Ray lay critically ill with croup. The parents were pacing the floor with him, distressed because of the high fever and labored breathing, wondering if he would have the strength to catch another breath. Suddenly a knock came at the door. Leander, startled because of the late hour, answered.

Standing on the porch was a bearded man in short sleeves, with no coat in the bitter cold. He announced to Leander that their young child was ill but would not die; that he had an important mission to perform. Leander listened to the stranger give explicit directions on how to cut the phlegm and stop the croup.

Leander started into the house to follow these instructions, but then turned to thank the visitor and invite him into the house to get warm. But the man was gone without a trace. There were no footprints in the deep snow. Ray's Parents followed the man's instructions, and he recovered. The Christophers never forgot this experience, and Ray always remembered that his life had an important purpose because of it.

That Ray became a healer is appropriate and also ironic, because he had been born with advanced rheumatoid arthritis, walking with a cane even as a child, or often confined to a wheelchair. Along with the arthritis, he developed hardening of the arteries. Despite the constant pain and suffering, young Ray was cheerful and optimistic. Doctors at the time predicted that he would never reach the age of thirty.

Raymond's adopted mother suffered from a lifetime affliction of diabetes and dropsy, which left her exhausted and debilitated. As Ray, just a little boy, observed her suffering from his own wheelchair, he resolved one day to be a doctor. His mother laughed a little, commenting that he couldn't even stand the sight of blood, that he couldn't bear to see chickens or other animals killed for the evening meal. What kind of doctor could such a person be?

Raymond answered, "Mother, I will be able to heal people without cutting them up. There will be natural ways of doing it." This answer from a young child became a charter for his life's mission. When Raymond was sixteen years old, such a doctor visited the Christopher home: an Iridologist who could ascertain a person's condition from examining the iris of the eye. This doctor, seeing in her irises the very conditions she had been treated for over the years, recommended dietary changes and gave Mrs. Christopher some herbs. As the doctor left, Ray said, "That's the kind of doctor I'm going to be when I grow up." Several months later, Raymond tried to locate the doctor, but he had been arrested for practicing medicine without a license, and put into jail-a foreshadowing of Ray's own future.

After he graduated from high school, he heard of another natural doctor in Canada, who massaged people's feet to heal them. He was in such demand that people lined up to see him, even pitching tents for weeks at a time as they waited. Ray wanted to see this man, not only to have his rheumatoid arthritis healed but to study under him. He prepared to make the trip.. His parents tried to discourage him, since they had no money at that time in the middle of the Depression. Nevertheless, Ray continued to prepare for the trip, till he heard that this man, too, had been arrested.

Ray worked during the days at his father's lumber mill, and at night he played with a dance band to save for college. He graduated with honors from Henager's Business College in Salt Lake City. Because he had a photographic memory and a way with words, he wanted to go to law school. He was accepted at the University of Utah School of Law.

The day before classes began, Ray was riding in the car of a friend and they were hit by another vehicle. Ray was pronounced dead at the scene. His grief-stricken parents arrived at the morgue to identify the body-when his mother suddenly screamed! She had seen the faintest flicker of an eyelash! The mortician bent over Ray, and he too saw the slightest motion of life in him. He was rushed to the hospital, where he lay in a coma for several days, and then, after drifting into consciousness, lay helpless only able to speak. Nurses had to feed him, shave him, and carry him to the bathroom.

One afternoon, a driver from the lumber company came to visit him. He tried to cajole him into coming back to work. Ray just laughed, knowing he couldn't even move his hand. The driver suggested a chiropractor. But when Ray mentioned this possibility to the four doctors who were treating him, they scoffed at him. Nevertheless, this driver convinced Ray's parents to take him to a chiropractor. Ray resisted with all he had, but they carried him out, and to the chiropractor they went.

Several days after his chiropractic treatment, Ray was working again at the office. He was still bandaged about the head, but he regained his strength and could work as he used to. However, his injuries had damaged his photographic memory and given him trouble with his short-term memory. One day he went to the bank to deposit company funds, and his mind went completely blank. He located some police officers, asking them for help. They found his identification and took him back to the office, and his memory finally returned.

During this recuperation period, he would suffer periodic pain in the head and back from the injuries of his accident. At times the pain was so severe he couldn't sleep. And at the same time he was helplessly watching his mother die from complications of diabetes and Bright's Disease. Her condition stopped responding to even the highest doses of insulin, and her arms were purple from constant needles. She began to die, slowly poisoned with gangrene. As Ray watched her painful death, helpless to do anything for her, he prayed that he could learn how to stop such suffering.

His own pain caused him to experience many sleepless nights. To help pass through these he would study and read. In addition to many good books, he chose to read from the scriptures. One night, confined to a chair with arthritis, he picked up The Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture from ... his religion. It fell open to Section 89, commonly known as "The Word of Wisdom," a health code for the church. Ray had read this many times before, but this time he gained some unique impressions. The words sparingly referring to meats-and wholesome-referring to grains and vegetables-deeply moved him. He vowed to follow the health code strictly, and developed for himself a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.

He was astonished to see his health improve immediately and dramatically. Within a few months, he gained weight, began sleeping soundly at night, and had enough energy for a full day's work. In 1939 he wrote Just What is the Word of Wisdom?, a booklet that described this experience and outlined his ideas about diet and health.

Ray began to ...distribute his booklet at the urging of Dr. John A. Widtsoe, talking to as many people as would listen about his ideas on health. Many of them responded with derision and ridicule. With typical good humor, he often retold one particular story. He was still working at the lumber mill, and at lunchtime, one of the workers told him he was wanted at his office. There lay a sumptuous meal, set with a fine tablecloth and beautiful china: fresh green alfalfa ("common cow hay," as he later described it), dried wheat and rolled oats, and an elegant decanter of apple juice. The workers waited to see what he would do. With characteristic good grace, he pulled out his chair and plucked up the fancy cloth napkin. "How nice of you! This is really wonderful!" he exclaimed, and ate every bite. They never kidded him again, but he lived lonely among his peers, since vegetarianism was not understood at the time

....

A PRESCRIPTION FOR THE MESS SERGEANT

When World War II broke out, and just a few months after... he ... married, Ray received a draft notice on his doorstep summoning him to active duty. A 35-year-old man, divorced and newly married, with two families to support, he reported for service but requested status as a conscientious objector, presenting his Word of Wisdom booklet as evidence of his firm beliefs.

I'll serve my country with pride on the front lines, he said, "I'll carry stretchers that can save people. But I will not carry a gun. I cannot kill another human being." During basic training, he was told to carry a gun on night watch, but he refused. The officer thrust a night stick at him, but he shook his head, and refused to carry a night stick, too, because you could kill people with a night stick. The officer ordered Ray to be confined to quarters under guard till next morning, when he was tried for his rebellion. The officer hearing the case slapped his palm sharply on the table and shouted, "This is ridiculous! A conscientious objector that won't carry a nightstick? What if everyone in the world felt as you do?"

Then there would be no war Ray answered.

That's the answer I needed, the officer responded. "Take this card. It shows that you are a conscientious objector, and no one will challenge you again."

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From Fort Douglas, Utah, Ray traveled to North Fort at Washington's Fort Lewis, where he was assigned to supervise a medical dispensary. Here was more irony- Raymond Christopher, a buck private, gave orders to pharmacists and therapists, all of whom outranked him. Even the cleaning boy outranked him. Ray, in charge of the entire operation, served under a Major Shumate.

At first Ray felt frustrated and angry. Having learned and seen so much healing using natural methods and nutrition (he had all ready helped many people), here he was confined to use standard medical treatments. He knew that there are better ways. He saw cases among the soldiers that he knew would quickly respond to natural treatments. However, Major Shumate was firmly against any such treatments. So he spent his time observing the effects of orthodox medications, seeing firsthand the futility of the treatment. He saw that standard medicine only treats symptoms instead of the cause of disease. But one day a soldier came to the dispensary with a supposedly incurable condition, and this changed the course of his life.

At a staff meeting, composed of the heads of eight dispensaries, Major Shumate, a private dermatologist in civilian life, said he had never seen a case of contagious impetigo so severe. The soldier had been hospitalized nine times, where his case had cleared up temporarily, but it always flared up when he was released. S pecialists from the eastern U.S. had been called in, but nothing had worked.

Major Shumate brought the soldier in, and' except for Ray, they all gasped with horror. The soldier's head had been shaved as much as possible, but wherever the stubble of hair grew, the scalp was covered with a crusty scab nearly an inch thick.

What a beautiful case of impetigo! exclaimed Ray (who had never seen one quite that bad).

You must be a born doctor, said Shumate, slapping him on the shoulder, "It's one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, too. But unfortunately, we have to release this man from the army."

I object to that! cried the soldier, "I came into this army a clean man. I caught this thing while I was here, and now you're asking me to take this filth home to my wife and children. I won't do it."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing more we can do, responded Shumate, "We've done everything possible. We've used every cure medical science has to offer, and nothing has worked. We have to give you a release, and it will be an honorable discharge."

Wait, Ray said. "That man can be healed."

Shumate whirled to face him. "None of your blasted herbs!" The other officers rolled their eyes and guffawed.

The soldier spoke up. "I should have something to say about this. I don't care if he puts horse manure on my head, as long as he heals me."

Shumate paused, and then said, "All right. If you sign papers releasing the government and the army from any liability, you can try this treatment."

The papers were signed, and the soldier was placed under twenty-four hour military police surveillance to prevent escape. As the meeting broke up, one of the officers jeered, "When will the big unveiling be?"

Monday morning! Ray snapped back, without really thinking. Then he realized-he just had one week. Here, far from home without the herbs that he generally used, he had to treat the worst case of impetigo he had ever seen. Immediately he called a Salt Lake friend who had a black walnut tree in his backyard. He explained his dilemma, and his friend agreed to gather the black walnut husks, even though the ground was covered with snow. They were transported overnight to Fort Lewis. Ray picked them up in the morning-sopping wet, which could weaken their potency. Not only that, but Ray only had rubbing alcohol, not grain alcohol, which was not available through the army medical system. And instead of fourteen days to macerate the tincture, he figured he could take only two days. He carried the tincture with him, shaking it vigorously all the time.

At last he strained the tincture and made a compress to fit over the soldier's head like a football helmet. He left instructions that the compress should be kept wet with the tincture for the rest of the week. He also wrote a prescription to the mess sergeant, for wholesome foods for the soldier to eat.

All too soon Monday morning arrived, and the dispensary heads all met, ready to ridicule Ray for his herbal treatments. "Everybody ready?" asked Shumate in a mocking tone. "Private Christopher, are you ready to show us your miracle?"

I'm ready, responded Ray, feeling nervous but determined. "I haven't seen him yet, but we'll take a look."

The guards ushered the soldier in, and Ray skillfully cut away the adhesive tape. As he lifted the compress off, the scab came off with it, and the soldier's scalp was as clean and pure as a baby's. The impetigo was gone, with no scarring.

The officers all gasped. Shumate shouted; "I've never seen anything like this in all my medical practice!" He took Ray aside. "I've misjudged you, Private Christopher," he admitted. "From this day on you have full permission to practice with herbs. Set yourself up a laboratory here. Do whatever you like as long as you're under my jurisdiction at Fort Lewis."

And with that Ray became the only practicing herbalist in the United States Army during World War II. His black walnut tincture became famous, not only to cure impetigo, but for fungus infection and jungle rot. When soldiers learned that Private Christopher could cure jungle rot, his patient load multiplied tenfold. Eventually this tincture was successful in curing scrofula, eczema, ringworm, shingles, and chronic boils.

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BLOOD PRESSURE HERBS (CAYENNE, GINGER, GARLIC, ETC.)

During his time at the dispensary, Ray started his personal search for an herb that could relieve his own serious health problem, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which he had suffered since adolescence. He began working with cayenne, which is high in calcium and vitamin C. He found that cayenne is one of the best remedies for the heart. He saw that it restores and retains the elasticity of the blood vessels, correcting or preventing hardening of the arteries and preserving the health of the circulatory system. Ray also found that cayenne equalized blood circulation and brought blood pressure to normal. He even found that cayenne was powerful enough to stop a heart attack in progress. In later years, carrying cayenne in his herbal doctor's bag, he never lost a person to a heart attack. He remembered one woman who had suffered from heart problems for eighteen years. She had taken powerful heart medication for more than seven years. After starting cayenne, she was able to stop this medication within months. Her varicose veins also completely cleared.

Soon Ray added ginger, parsley, golden seal, garlic and Siberian ginseng root to cayenne to create a formula called BPE, which equalizes blood pressure and builds the health of the circulatory system. This formula, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, prolonged Ray's own life many years after the doctors' predictions. At age 45, ten years after the doctors predicted he would die, Ray had a full physical examination. The doctors were astounded to see that he had the blood pressure of a healthy teenager. Just before his death, Ray's blood pressure at seventy years was that of a young man in his twenties.

During World War II, racial prejudice was still rampant. Ray began to understand and feel the distress of the black soldiers who were treated so negatively at the dispensaries. Black soldiers often suffered physical agony in silence rather than go there. But soon word spread that the dispensary head at Fort Lewis was different; within months he was seeing dozens of black soldiers every day. They received kindness as well as the superior care from herbal treatments.

At Fort Lewis dispensary, Ray had the chance to experiment with different herbs that he had only studied about previously. There he began to develop his own herbal formulas, which remain to this day a singular contribution to herbal medicine.

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HARVESTING WEEDS AT DAWN

When Ray's military obligation was over, Major Shumate invited him to spend another tour of duty in the dispensary and let the Army pay for his medical education. But Ray preferred to go home to Olympia, Washington, home to his wife. Now he was ready to become a natural doctor, his childhood dream. Coming home with the knowledge and first-hand experience of using herbs in the army, he wanted to expand his skills and help others.

He and his wife agreed that he should travel to Canada to study under Dr. H. Nowell at Dominion Herbal College. There he earned his Master Herbalist Degree. He returned home to Olympia to set up his first practice. But during those final war years and their aftermath, Ray found it difficult to practice as an herbalist.

First of all, it was hard to build enough of a practice to support his small family. In those post-war years, jobs were scarce, and most people had little money to pay for treatment. And unlike today, it was impossible to order herbs through wholesale houses. There were few enough of these businesses, and most of these were forced to close their doors in those lean years. But Ray figured out what to do and did it with typical vigor: he secured a job weeding gardens each morning for ready cash, and then took the medicinal varieties home in large burlap bags

He would spread his morning's harvest across the counter tops of their small kitchen. Then he would wash each weed, rinsing out the soil carefully. He sorted them carefully into categories and then prepared them to use for his patients that afternoon. Ray turned a difficulty into a blessing: he had cash to sustain his family, and also had the freshest herbs one could desire. But he never withheld any knowledge to line his wallet; he taught his patients to harvest their own herbs from their own backyards and treat themselves.

One of the most successful "weeds" he used was plantain. Ray knew that Galen and Pliny, ancient herbalists, had used it as a powerful blood purifier to kill infection rapidly. He also knew that it would relieve blood poisoning that can result from cuts, slivers, bites, and stings. In one astonishing case, Ray treated a man who had slipped at work and drove a chisel deep into his palm. The man couldn't afford to take time off, nor to pay any doctors' fees, so he wrapped the hand with a dirty rag and finished his day's work. He even worked for a few additional days.

By the time he arrived at Ray's office, his hand was swollen and hot and a red streak ran from the badly infected hand up the arm. A painful lump the size of a baseball in his armpit prevented the man from dropping his arm to his side. The man was frantic with pain and fear. Ray asked him why he hadn't sought medical treatment when the condition became so severe, but the man was afraid that his arm would have been amputated. Ray taught him how to dig up plantain plants, wash and crush them, put them on the wound and bandage them in place. He was to add fresh herb to the poultice every time it dried out. He was also to drink at least three cups a day of the tea. The man wanted to come back for a checkup, but Ray assured him that he would be healed completely by the next day.

The man did return in three days, but only to report what seemed to him a miracle. On the first day, the red streak had disappeared within a few hours and the swelling in the armpit had reduced. By evening, the wound was much better, and within a day or two, the condition was completely healed. The man had full use of his hand and arm and was able to earn a living for his family.

In a similar case, a young girl had cut her foot on a shell while clam hunting at the beach. She had continued to run and play for the afternoon, but by the next morning her foot and leg were swollen and feverish. She also had a red streak forming toward her groin. Ray gave her similar instructions as he had for the man with the chisel wound. The wound healed quickly, and the next day the child skipped into Ray's office to pay him. He protested that the pay was too much, but the child said, "Mama told me to bring you this much because my foot healed so quickly." As it turned out, the Christopher's were paid many times over for this assistance, because this girl's family owned a smorgasbord in Spokane, and were some of the few people in the area who were able to get butter and fresh produce because of wartime rationing. Throughout the remainder of the war, they saw to it that the Christopher's had a little butter and some fresh fruits and vegetables as a token of their appreciation.

Because plantain and other herbs are only available during the summer, Ray began to concoct concentrates, tinctures, and ointments to use year-round. Once a mother called Ray about her ten-year-old son who had been stung by a wasp. His hand was severely swollen and he had passed out from the pain.

Ray tucked a jar of plantain ointment into his bag and went on the house call. When he arrived, the child was still unconscious and his hand swollen to twice its size. Ray quickly spread a thick layer of plantain ointment over the bite about the size of a silver dollar, covered the ointment with gauze, and used a gauze bandage to hold the patch in place.

Is that all you're going to do? the mother asked. "That's all that needs to be done," Ray smiled and told her that the ointment would draw the poison from the sting and relieve the pain and swelling. The boy soon regained consciousness and sat up. Within a half hour, the pain was much relieved, and by next day he was out playing baseball with his friends.

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BONE, FLESH AND CARTILAGE (BF&C)

Building on his early experiences with black walnut tincture, Dr. Christopher developed the Bone, Flesh and Cartilage formula for skin trouble. The additional herbs made a wonderfully effective remedy for minor burns, infection, cuts, abrasions, bruises, hemorrhages, sore gums, bunions and corns. It also removes calcium deposits that exacerbate arthritis. A nurse in California used it to dissolve a bone spur on her heel. It has healed skin cancers. And it works, as the black walnut tincture does, for eczema, psoriasis, and other chronic skin conditions.

The beloved story of how Dr. Christopher came by the Bone, Flesh and Cartilage formula begins when a woman came to his office early one morning, panicky and desperate. Hours earlier, her fourteen-year-old daughter had attempted suicide. She left the daughter in the care of several neighbors to find help from Dr. Christopher. The girl had developed' almost three years before, a severe case of dermatitis, with heavy scales on her face, neck, arms and hands, legs and feet. No physician or specialist had been able to identify her condition, much less find a cure. She began to gorge herself, became extremely overweight, and eventually decided to end her life. As Ray listened to this desperate mother, he offered a silent prayer for help and "a formula came immediately to my mind" as he related it. He jotted the herbs down and gave the mother complete instructions on how to make and apply the fomentation and tea, and sent her to an herb shop to get them.

Four days after this mother had come to his office, she called to report that the scabs and scales were gone, and the girl's skin began to show what the mother termed' "a healing glow." Six months later she was a cheerleader at school and enjoying all the social activities of girls of her age.

Bone, Flesh and Cartilage formula has been known to heal wounds, even surgical incisions that have failed to heal. One California woman had an abdominal surgical wound that had been draining for more than three years. She applied the ointment to the wound and took the capsules internally. Within seven days, the wound was entirely healed.

Bone, Flesh and Cartilage formula has even been known to regenerate tissue. Ray's nephew was a passenger in a car accident, and although relatives held onto him so that he wasn't thrown from the car, he was dragged for some distance along the hot asphalt, and his small fingers were scraped to stubs as far as his first knuckles. Ray gave the child capsules of BF&C and told the parents to mix the powder with honey and wheat germ oil. Within two months, the fingers had healed, complete with perfectly formed fingernails. When Ray next saw his nephew, the child ran toward him and threw his arms around him. "Look, Uncle Ray!" he shouted. "My fingers grew back!"

In a similar story, a young woman came to Ray and said, "How do you like my fingers?" He said he thought they were beautiful, clean, and well manicured. "Can you tell which finger was cut off?" she asked him. He couldn't tell, even when he looked close. She told him her story: her finger had been amputated below the knuckle. She had used Bone, Flesh and Cartilage formula, and the knuckle had regenerated. Gradually, all the bone and flesh filled in, and even the fingernail grew back perfectly formed.

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HERBS FOR BURNS (COMFREY, WHEAT GERM OIL, ETC.)

One of Dr. Christopher's most dramatic cases of skin regeneration involved two ten- year-old boys who were playing with matches and gasoline, when the gas burst into flame. Both boys were severely burned. The surgeon at the hospital said that the hands would either have to be amputated at the wrist and iron claws attached to both arms, or the boys could endure several years of painful skin graft surgeries. After years of such surgery, the boys would have nothing better than mummified claws which could never move like fingers.

One set of parents told the surgeon to begin operations; the other set of parents took their child to Dr. Christopher. He cringed at the badly scarred skin, tendons, muscles and nerves. He gave the parents a salve made of comfrey, honey, and wheat germ oil. He told the parents to keep a thick layer of this burn ointment on the area.

Within a week, the parents took their son to see the surgeon, who was dumbfounded. The burns had healed from third-degree to first-degree. "What on earth have you been using?" he asked. The parents just said, "An old-fashioned remedy." "Whatever it is, keep on using it. I don't think there's need for surgery now. I can't believe it. But these hands are going to heal without scar tissue."

A year after the burn, the first boy remained in the hospital. The parents had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on the surgery and skin grafting, but the boy ended up with stiff, unbending claws that the boy hid with gloves.

The other boy, whose parents had applied the herbal salve, healed completely. The tendons, nerves, muscles and flesh were all renewed, with no scar tissue. Even the fingernails grew back. The family's total investment was less than twenty dollars for the herbal salve.

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ANTI-INFECTION HERBS (PLANTAIN, BLACK WALNUT HULLS, GOLDEN SEAL, ETC.)

From his experiences with plantain, Ray developed INF, a formula to kill infection. He began with plantain; then added black walnut hulls, which kill infection, destroy worms and parasites, and relieve infection of poisonous snake bite or rabid animal bites. He added calendula flowers, marshmallow root, golden seal root, and bugleweed, herbs that kill infection and clear toxins from the lymphatic system.

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BLOOD CLEANSING HERBS (RED CLOVER, CHAPARRAL, ETC.)

Soon Ray hoped to team INF with a formula to purify the bloodstream and remove infection that circulated throughout the body. He came up with the famed Red Clover Combination, a purifying formula of red clover blossoms, chaparral, licorice root, peach bark, Oregon grape or barberry root bark, poke, and stillingia or echinacea, cascara sagrada bark, sarsaparilla root, prickly ash bark, burdock root, and buckthorn bark. Ray chose each ingredient carefully, after much herbal study about each herb's characteristics.

He began with red clover blossoms, an alterative herb which gradually purifies and cleanses the bloodstream and corrects any deficiencies in the circulatory system. It also removes obstructions in this system while it nourishes and builds the tissues reducing, any spasms or irritability in the blood vessels.

He added chaparral for its ability to clear up all infections, even stubborn ones. He had seen it heal boils, abscesses, carbuncles and other sever infections by purifying the bloodstream. He had used it to clear up several severe cases of acne within six weeks because of its power to purify the bloodstream.

He chose echinacea because in those days it was famous for clearing blood poisoning. It is now known also for its supreme action to enhance the immune response. Dr. Christopher used echinacea with success in clearing up infection associated with gangrene, ulcers and cancers. He saw it clear staph infections in the bloodstream. To complete the formula, Dr. Christopher added two of nature's most powerful blood purifiers, burdock root and buckthorn bark.

Ray began trying out the Red Clover Combination, and it worked fast and well. One of the most dramatic cases was a forty-five-year-old man who had developed severe sepsis throughout his system. He had lost his hair and fingernails. His eyes were ulcerated and he had even developed some of the symptoms of leprosy. He had lost so much weight that he looked like a skeleton. Ray gave him the Red Clover Combination, together with nutritional guidelines, and within six weeks he had regained weight and had no signs of infection.

A middle-aged woman had been diagnosed with cancer so advanced that her doctor had sent her home, with no further treatment, to die. Ray started her on the Red Clover Combination, as well as a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts, and he also advised her to avoid hard water, processed foods, sugars, and cholesterol-containing foods. He also started her on the three-day cleanse once a month. Several months later, after following these directions, she had a checkup with her doctor, and the cancer was gone. She was cured.

As Ray used the Red Clover Combination for various conditions, he was amazed at its powers. A baby was born to an Rh-negative mother and an Rh-positive father which usually necessitates draining the baby's blood followed by total blood transfusion. Sometimes the treatment is successful, but sometimes the baby develops complications or even dies. The mother had previously borne three children who had to have the transfusion. When she had to have open-heart surgery a few years later, the doctor warned her not to get pregnant again, or she and the baby could lose their lives. However, she wanted a large family and went to Ray for help. He put her on the three-day cleanse, the Red Clover Combination, and the mucusless diet, including at least a gallon of distilled water and a quart of red raspberry tea each day. She followed the program and eventually became pregnant. She maintained the program throughout the pregnancy, and when the baby was born, he had no Rh factor. The family eventually had two more Rh-free babies.

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HERBS FOR WEIGHT CONTROL

During his practice in Olympia, Ray developed many of his formulas in response to particular needs. One woman had come to him in despair, having gained a hundred pounds in the years since she had married. Ray put her on the mucusless diet, as well as the three-day cleanse once a month. He promised her that if she would follow the program, she would lose the weight naturally and permanently. Several months later, she called him and invited him to a celebration-she had lost all the weight! After a wonderful vegetarian dinner, she led Ray and the family to the back yard. He was puzzled as he sat in one of the chairs surrounding a freshly-dug grave which was scattered with bright wildflowers. He thought they must be planning to bury a well- beloved pet.

Then the children began carrying from the house aluminum pots and pans, putting them inside the grave. They marched to the outside cellar, hauling up slabs of bacon and large smoked hams, adding them to the aluminum pans. At a time of rationing and severe economic depression, Ray saw this as a significant sacrifice-and an inspiration for another of his formulas.

He put together CSK Plus, to be used in weight loss. He combined chickweed, safflower flowers, burdock root, parsley, Norwegian kelp, licorice root, fennel seed, echinacea, black walnut hulls, papaya leaves, and hawthorn berries. Throughout the years, he saw people experience astonishing results with the formula. The licorice root and fennel seed curb the appetite and relieve cravings. Historically, the ancient Greeks nibbled on fennel seeds to control hunger during fasting. Knowing that the body holds on to fat reserves if it is missing essential trace elements, he included the powerful nutritional herbs such as kelp and parsley. He added the papaya leaves to help with metabolism and absorption. The other herbs help cleanse the blood and regulate the adrenal and thyroid glands.

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HERBS FOR THE NERVOUS SYSTEM (SKULLCAP AND OTHERS)

Ray, or as he was coming to be known by this time, Dr. Christopher, developed other formulas for those who were suffering. A family brought in a fifteen-year old boy who had constant epileptic seizures, as many as twenty-five in one day! He could not be left unattended, and the family had hired nurses to watch him day and night. The epilepsy created roaring noise inside his head, and in an attempt to stop it, the boy pounded his head against the walls until blood poured from his ears, nose, and mouth. No doctors throughout the state could help in the condition. The boy could not talk and had never attended school. He was diagnosed as severely retarded and doctors recommended institutionalization. Instead, the family came to Dr. Christopher in a last attempt for help.

Ray recommended the mucusless diet and therapeutic massage. Then he came up with two herbal combinations to build and strengthen the nervous system. He showed the parents how to make the teas and give them to the boy. Within six months, this boy, who had been thought retarded, was speaking, and had tutors brought in twice a week to keep up with him in his learning! Instead of being handicapped, he was actually brilliant! Within a few months, he was at the normal level for his age. He enrolled in school, seizure-free from then on.

Dr. Christopher developed and used formulas that came to be known as B&B, MEM, and Relax-Eze. MEM heals the nervous system tissue, restores memory, and strengthens thought processes. Relax-Eze also feeds and rebuilds the nerves and reduces irritation of the nervous system, soothes spasms and tics, and relieves pain.

Relax-Eze is based on skullcap, a nervine herb without the side effects of pharmaceutical nerve medications. It is naturally calming for those who are troubled by worry or emotional distress. Dr. Christopher often used it to help with insomnia. One woman who had been troubled throughout her life with chronic insomnia had never slept more than thirty minutes at a time. After one cup of Relax-Eze tea, she slept soundly throughout the night.

During his practice in Olympia, Dr. Christopher developed two career trademarks: his famous house calls and his success with incurable diseases. He would sometimes travel more than fifty miles one way in the middle of the night to patients he had never even met. On one of these house calls, he found a man who was in the throes of pain and paralysis of arthritis. From his wheelchair, he said, "Please, help me. No one has been able to help me yet. I have tried every doctor, but nothing has worked. My money is gone. I have nothing left."

Don't worry, said Ray, stroking the man's gnarled hand. "You don't need money to pay me. Let's see what we can do for you." From his bag, Ray took his morning's harvest of burdock root, firm and fresh. He chopped the roots and brewed burdock tea, telling the man to drink as many cups a day as he could tolerate. Then he made poultices from the tender burdock leaves, placing them over the painful joints. He taught the man how to make his own poultices, how to eat properly and take quarts of fresh juices.

Within weeks, the man's joints began to loosen, and he could stand for the first time in years. Soon he could walk-and then run! Eventually he was completely healed. Only a few months after he first saw Dr. Christopher, he was back on the job as a night watchman, without pain or difficulty.

Dr. Christopher had special understanding and empathy for arthritic conditions since he had suffered from the same ailment early in his life. His knowledge came first- hand: if he stayed on the mucusless diet, with olive oil or wheat germ oil, he scarcely noticed his arthritis. But if he ate breads or pastries, he needed a cane to walk. If he ate sugar, he became crippled. And if he ate red meat, he was back to his wheelchair within two days.

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BURDOCK- ARTHRITIS FIGHTER

He knew first-hand the healing benefits of burdock root, which works a chemical reaction on calcified joints of arthritis. He used it as the basis of AR- 1, his arthritis and rheumatism formula. He added yucca stalk, wild yam root, hydrangea, Brigham tea, chaparral, black walnut hulls, black cohosh root, wild lettuce leaves, sarsaparilla root, valerian root, and cayenne; herbs that detoxify and cleanse the condition, remove calcium deposits, relieve pain and kill infection. He saw this formula work miracles in even the most advanced cases. He always warned patients not to expect healing to take place all at once. In arthritis there is much rebuilding and healing to do. To the AR-1 formula, he added hot fomentations over extremely painful joints, a quart or two of kidney bean pod tea daily, the mucusless diet, and daily use of the BF&C formula.

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COLON CLEANSING HERBS (BARBERRY, CASCARA SAGRADA, GINGER, ETC.)

Dr. Christopher usually found that people with incurable conditions were willing to try herbs, even if they had disdained them before. One veterinarian doctor had contracted undulant fever fourteen years earlier in the packing houses where he had inspected meats for the federal government. No matter what advanced treatments were tried, his condition worsened. By the time Ray arrived at the house, the man was completely helpless. Attendants had to roll him over to prevent bedsores, and he couldn't even feed himself. He said, "I've never tried herbs, but I'm at the end of my rope! They only give me a few days to live I want to live!"

Ray knew that the man needed a thorough cleansing, and quickly. He gave blood cleansing herbs and juices. And then he prescribed what became one of his most famous formulas, to clean the bowels and colon. Dr. Christopher knew that more than ninety percent of all disease is caused by congestion in the colon. Processed foods weaken the bowel, creating pockets and balloons filled with old fecal matter, a perfect place for germs to proliferate. And the hard material absorbs moisture, spreading the toxins back into the body.

Fen-LB works not only as a laxative to clean the bowel, but as a food to tone, rebuild and strengthen the colon at the same time. He began with barberry bark, which stimulates the flow of bile and acts as a non-habit-forming laxative. He added cascara sagrada bark, a famed laxative herb that strengthens the peristaltic muscle. Then he included cayenne to stimulate the cells of the bowel and stop bleeding; ginger to relive gas and stop cramping and pain; lobelia which acts as a catalyst as well as stopping pain and cramping; red rhubarb root, a laxative that also relieves nausea; turkey rhubarb, another gentle, pure laxative; fennel which relieves gas; and golden seal to heal, rebuild and prevent infection. This formula works on both the small and large intestine.

Within six weeks, the veterinarian, who had been so near to death, was out mowing the lawn. Passing neighbors were astonished: "I thought you were dead!" they called out to him. "No sir! I've turned to herbs. And if you want to feel this great, you should see Dr. Christopher yourself!" Cases like this eventually filled the waiting room of Dr. Christopher's office each morning.

One case in particular was a woman who came because of severe pain in her shoulders, so intense that she could not even lift her arms. After examining her briefly, Ray determined she had a large pocket of fecal matter trapped at the ascending transverse junction of her colon. Toxic waste had drained through her bloodstream, irritating the nerves of her shoulder and eventually causing this excruciating pain. Ray began by massaging the reflexology point on her foot that corresponded to the point of congestion. She screamed with pain as he kneaded the spot. This eased the pain in her shoulders. By taking the Fen-LB formula, she had no more pain again.

Though his practice continued to flourish, Ray and his family were becoming homesick for their former mountain home and for their friends and relatives in Utah. They decided to close his practice in Olympia, Washington and return to Salt Lake City.

HOME TO UTAH

In the early days of Utah history, herbalism had been well-accepted; the early church leaders had been committed to herbal healing. But things had changed in Utah, it was now a center of orthodox medical healing, unready for natural healing. During this time, he completed a naturopathy degree from Iowa's Institute of Drugless Therapy and an herbal pharmacist degree from the Los Angeles Herbal Institute.

Ray couldn't make enough in his practice to make ends meet, so he started work as a salesman, often traveling out of state. As he traveled he seemed drawn to people who needed his help, and he always offered it freely. He recalled the phone call he had from a family with eight children in a tiny frame house in Great Falls, Montana; people he had met selling encyclopedias. The mother was frantic. An intestinal flu was running through the community, and two of her eight had come home with it. Dr. Christopher knew that the family only had one bathroom-a disaster if all should come down sick with intestinal flu! Remembering a thick patch of red raspberries along the family's back fence, he told her to gather the leaves, only stripping a third from any one bush. She was to brew a tea of the leaves.

Give the sick children nothing but raspberry tea, he advised. "Give them all they can drink, and nothing else. Give the others tea, too. That's all they should eat or drink till the flu has cleared up." He told her that the family should be fine by morning if they followed these instructions.

A few days later, she called to tell him that the children were indeed fine by morning, instead of suffering for weeks, as had their classmates. No one else in the family got the flu. The mother had borne and raised sixteen children, and later graduated from Brigham Young University as a registered nurse. At graduation, she was honored by the university president and her classmates with a standing ovation. Over the years, as she practiced nursing, she also helped patients with herbal remedies.

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GARLIC, ROSEHIPS AND PARSLEY FOR COLDS AND FLU

Dr. Christopher knew that raspberry leaves could cure a viral infection of a cold or the flu. He knew other herbs worked as well, and combined some of these remedies in a formula for colds and flu. He started with garlic, proven to kill both bacteria and viruses. He added rose hips, parsley, watercress and rosemary leaves. He made this into tablets and capsules and advised patients to take these with a cup of steam- distilled water. For faster action, the capsules could be opened and made into tea.

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HERBS FOR HAY FEVER (MARSHMALLOW ROOT, BURDOCK, CAYENNE, LOBELIA, ETC.)

Just as medical doctors could not do much for colds and flu, hay fever presented a similar problem. Wanting to avoid chemical remedies, Dr. Christopher developed SHA, a combination based on a natural plant extract of pseudoephedrine, with Brigham tea, marshmallow root, burdock root, parsley, cayenne, chaparral, golden seal root, and lobelia. Used together with the mucusless diet, it feeds and strengthen the pulmonary organs to ease nasal and respiratory congestion, working as a natural decongestant and antihistamine. For stubborn hay fever, Dr. Christopher advised patients to thoroughly chew and swallow a thick pulp of grated horseradish root and apple cider vinegar three times a day.

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ANTI-STRESS HERBS (MULLEIN, LICORICE ROOT, ETC.)

Often Dr. Christopher was called upon to help patients whose bodies were worn out by stress. He developed Adrenetone to rebuild the adrenal glands, which are always exhausted when there is stress. He began with mullein leaves, the perfect "gland food." He added licorice root, famed for directly supplying the adrenal glands with needed nutrients. He added gotu kola to relieve fatigue and stimulate the adrenal glands; cayenne which brings oxygen and other nutrients to the glands, and ginger which flushes out congested capillaries. He finished with Siberian ginseng, famed for easing stress and boosting endurance among Soviet athletes, and hawthorn berries which tone the heart and reduce its load during stress.

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HERBS FOR KIDNEYS, BLADDER AND PROSTATE (JUNIPER, UVA-URSI, GRAVEL ROOT, ETC.)

In response to a patient's distress, Dr. Christopher developed Prospallate, to dissolve kidney stones, kill infection, and clear sedimentation in the prostate gland. Dr. Christopher discovered that this was also an effective formula for gonorrhea. The formula consisted of cayenne, uva-ursi parsley, golden seal root, gravel root, juniper berries, marshmallow root, ginger root and Siberian ginseng, to be taken with parsley tea.

To help patients with incontinence, bed wetting, kidney stones, or bladder/urinary infection, Dr. Christopher developed Juni-pars for the kidneys and bladder. As a base he used two of the most effective and fastest-acting natural diuretics- juniper berries and parsley. Juniper also corrects problems in voiding urine, and parsley is one of the best-known herbs for rebuilding urinary tissues. One woman in Chicago lay dying with edema. After only four days of parsley tea and parsley fomentations, she was healed. To those two herbs, he added ginger root, to help the herbs work together; uva ursi leaves which dissolve kidney stones and other inorganic calcification; marshmallow root which acts as a soothing and healing emollient to ease the flow of urine; cramp bark which relives spasms; and golden seal root which kills infection and heals tissues. Numerous patients who took this formula were able to overcome incontinence and chronic urinary tract conditions.

Despite his success in developing these formulas, and his family's joy in being together with extended family in Utah, Ray was becoming increasingly frustrated. He could not be licensed in the state of Utah. One of the city's naturopaths, suggested that he become licensed in Wyoming and then return to Utah. Dr. Christopher decided to follow his advice. On the trip out, the family realized how hard their financial situation had actually been. They ran out of gas twenty miles out of Evanston. With no money to buy more, Ray walked to the nearest farmhouse. The farmer gave Ray gasoline from the tank of his tractor. On borrowed fuel, the Christopher's arrived in Evanston.

EVANSTON

The family found a place to live with a spacious office in front for Ray. With nothing to live on but a few boxes of food they'd packed in the car, they hung out a sign announcing their arrival and waited for patients. Local people had a hard time with this new arrival-many of them didn't even know what a naturopath was. All they had experience with was orthodox physicians.

Just when Ray was afraid they'd have to starve, a few patients started trickling in, most for minor ailments like athlete's foot or a sprained ankle. These few didn't provide enough of a living for the Christopher family to pay their bills and put food on the table. When circumstances were the worst, the Christophers received a phone call from Della's sister Jane. She told them she wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She knew that her father couldn't afford to support her financially, and she hoped to find someone who could. Ray offered to support her on a mission for the two full years. When he hung up the phone, he and his wife looked at each other. What had he done? Sometimes there was hardly enough food; the adults would scant themselves so the children could have their fill. But they shared a faith in the Lord and gratitude for what they had. As Jane prepared to enter the mission home, she asked Ray where he might like to see her serve as a missionary. He said, "My father was from Paris, and my mother was from Switzerland. I would love to see you serve in the French-Swiss mission! But tell them to send you where they need you the most."

With such success, Dr. Christopher's practice in Evanston grew steadily. Each day the small waiting room was filled to capacity, all day long. Some cases were simple, some complex, and some involved mental illness.

One such woman came into the office with her sixteen-year-old daughter. The girl had Down's Syndrome, and had been institutionalized in Lander, Wyoming. The girl could not speak. The woman wanted to keep her daughter home with her. Dr. Christopher recommended a complete program, and within three months, the girl was quicker and brighter, more responsive, and was even speaking simple sentences! The officials were so amazed that they allowed the child to stay at home with her family.

One night there came a pounding at the door; when Dr. Christopher opened it, there were two young men, supporting a wizened old man who was struggling for every breath of air. Dr. Christopher recognized the wheezing sounds of asthma. "Please!" cried one of the young men. "Our regular doctor is out of town and we can't find his assistant. Can you help keep Pap alive?" Dr. Christopher settled the old man in a chair and gave him a cup of peppermint tea. The man had been sick with asthma for twenty- six years. For twenty of those it had been so severe that he could not hold a job. He could not lie down in bed because he choked up so much that he risked death. His sons built him a special chair to sleep in at night. The sons both worked to support the family's needs, including the high medical bills from this condition. The man required shots, respiratory therapy, and oxygen treatments, often more than twice a week.

Dr. Christopher helped the man sip the peppermint tea. Ten minutes later, he gave him a teaspoonful of lobelia tincture. Ten minutes later, as the four of them talked, Dr. Christopher spooned in another dose, and ten minutes later, another. Dr. Christopher began to quietly gather pots, pans and buckets. Suddenly the man began vomiting. From two till five in the morning he vomited the thick, sticky, blackened phlegm that had choked his airways. Because of the peppermint tea, his muscles were relaxed and he suffered no soreness from the hours of heaving.

Just after five o'clock, well before dawn, Dr. Christopher said, "You can take your father home now; he is finished with the treatment. He is fine now." The two rushed to their father's side to take him home, but he said, "You don't have to help me, boys. I'll walk." Dr. Christopher settled into bed for an hour's rest before starting the next day's work. The boys took the man home to his chair but he said, "Put me to bed, boys. I'm going to sleep in a bed tonight."

You can't, Pap. It will kill you!

But the father insisted and went to bed. He fell into a heavy sleep for thirty hours. When he woke up, after sleeping soundly for the first time in twenty years, he said, "I'm healed. I'm going out to get a job." He got a job as a gardener, and he never lost a day's work. He slept in a bed every night thereafter.

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HERBS FOR RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (MARSHMALLOW ROOT, MULLEIN, LOBELIA, ETC.)

For all respiratory complaints, Dr. Christopher developed Resp-Free, a natural plant extract of ephedrine in an herbal base of chickweed, marshmallow root, mullein leaves, comfrey leaves and lobelia. This formula would expel thick mucus secretion and rebuild the lungs. It would also soothe inflammation, relieve pain, and heal hemorrhage in the lungs. This would be used in addition to the mucusless diet, distilled water, oil massage, and BF&C applied externally.

HERBAL EYEBRIGHT

Formulated around the herb eyebright, this formula feeds the cell structures around the eyes. Dr. Christopher used it in many instances to help restore sight. It would be brewed into a tea for use as an eyewash, as well as taken internally. It could relieve the pressure of glaucoma, remove scar tissue on the cornea caused by infection, and remove cataracts. An elderly man in Fort Worth, Texas, suffered from both glaucoma and cataracts-and was healed completely with the formula. A Michigan woman used it for ten days and removed cataracts on both eyes. A woman in Kentucky, who had lost 80 percent of her sight due to a sub retinal hemorrhage, had her sight completely restored. A California woman had the beginnings of cataracts when the gel broke in both her eyes. Her vision failed) and her eyes were so dry that she had to lift her eyelids with her fingers each morning. With Herbal Eyebright, both eyes healed and the cataracts dissolved.

And, most dramatically, an elderly woman had lived in blindness for many years; with the formula, her sight was restored. A young man who had suffered an eye injury and had gone without sight for ten years was able to see again. Two young adults, blind since birth, used the formula and were able to see!

One Missouri baby had been born with Coloboma; one eye was smaller than the other. Three leading specialists proclaimed the blindness to be permanent. The mother began patiently using Herbal Eyebright with a dropper in each of his eyes. Within three months, this supposedly blind baby was reaching for objects. By the age of three, he ran freely, his vision perfect.

Another couple had a baby born without optic nerves. Dr. Christopher knew that giving sight to such a child was almost impossible. But he knew that the formula could cause no harm, so he recommended Herbal Eyebright in the eyes and given internally, and B&B tincture dropped in the ears and given internally. Six months later, the same couple brought the child to a lecture. He chased balls across the room and picked them up; he had normal sight.

Dr. Christopher often laughed about an experience he had in Evanston. He was called to a farmhouse forty miles away in Woodruff, Utah. The rancher and his whole family were very sick from an undiagnosed sickness. The farm work and housework were all close to a standstill, because the family was so weak. "What are you eating?" Ray asked.

Oh, we eat well, said the rancher. "I just stored up a thousand pounds of white flour, and we have plenty of canned goods to see us through the winter."

Have you ever considered whole wheat? Ray asked

You could never force that down me, the rancher jeered. "I don't believe in it. There's no sense in it at all."

Now, you're a rancher, said Ray, "and you've got some prize horses and cattle out there. Do you feed them carrots?"

You bet, the rancher smiled, "I've got about half a ton of carrots out there."

Do you ever eat them?

Naw. . .they're just for the horses-you know, to keep them in good condition.

What about grains?

I've got coarse-ground grains in the shed for the cattle.

You bring in from the shed a thousand pounds of those coarse-ground grains. Prepare it over low heat till it is soft and chewy, stir in a little honey or some fresh diced fruit. You eat that. And take your thousand pounds of white flour, and give it to the cattle.

What? the man said angrily, "That would kill my prize cattle!" Then the man's face reddened as he realized what he had said. "You caught me," he admitted. "All right. I'll do it your way."

Within a few weeks, the family had received good health and vitality once again.

HOME TO SALT LAKE AND TROUBLE

The Christophers finally prepared to return to Utah, to family, friends and a familiar setting. Once they returned, he set up an office similar to the one he'd had in Evanston. But even though he had been licensed in Wyoming, he could not receive similar licensing in Utah. Some of the people in the area were adamant against herbs and vowed to prosecute anyone who prescribed their use. Even the few patients that made their way to Dr. Christopher were considered suspect.

One day, a young man and his sister called Dr. Christopher to their home. Lying in bed was their mother, in terrible pain, almost at death's door. The children explained that she was riddled with cancer and had been given only hours to live. They wanted to fulfill her wish of dying at home and wanted something to ease her pain during her last hours. Ray had been warned against visiting the woman because of legal ramifications. But he could not turn his back when there was pain. He leaned close to her and said, "I don't know how long you'll be with us, but if you will follow this program for a few days, you will be free of pain. And I believe you will enjoy ease until your time comes." She nodded weakly, with a smile. He left the family with dietary instructions and a handful of herbal formulas.

As he left the house, he noticed neighbors peering from behind heavy lace curtains. He visited her several times, and soon she was able to get out of bed, to talk walks among her beloved gardens, to smile, to associate with her children. One morning a few months later, she gathered her children around her and bid them goodbye, telling each how she loved them. She closed her eyes and died, without pain. The children phoned Ray with the news, expressing their gratitude for her final few months of joy and companionship.

A few days later, the police came to Ray's house, handcuffed him, and arrested him for murder, and took him to jail. The neighbors had noted his license plate and filed charges against him when the woman died. She had been sentenced to die within a few hours and Dr. Christopher had prolonged her life by a few weeks, and eased her pain. Yet he paid the price, because he was, in the words of the prosecuting attorney, an "unorthodox physician." Ray's defense wasn't sure that they could avoid a prison term.

The children of the deceased offered Ray's greatest defense. The young son passionately told how Ray's treatments had taken away his mother's pain and allowed her to live much longer than expected. He told how she got out of bed, walked around, and was happy. The judge rapped his gavel, saying, "Case dismissed." Ray always believed that the Lord was in court with him that day.

Unfortunately, there were many more times that Dr. Christopher felt handcuffs slapped around his wrists, when his family had to post bail to free him from unfair imprisonment. His wife always supported him through arrests, trials, and imprisonments. As he'd leave the house each day to attend the sick, he'd called back over his shoulder, "I'll phone you when I get to jail tonight!" and they'd both smile and wave goodbye

Unfortunately, this prediction often proved true. There were so many arrests and trials-although, at his funeral, National Health Federation official Clinton Miller pointed out that Ray never showed bitterness or retaliation, with "no anguish in his face, no concern, no bitterness, just beauty." Eventually legislation was passed aimed specifically against Dr. Christopher, so that he could not practice natural healing anymore. But as distressing as this was, it opened a door to Dr. Christopher.

When he could no longer treat patients, he began to lecture and teach. At his peak, he lectured in more than 120 cities a year. The halls were filled to capacity; eager students stood in the aisles and lined the walls in an effort to learn from him. In 1979, he began a newsletter, which, together with his books, reached tens of thousands of more people than his Practice could ever have done.

His work did not stop there, however. Starting from his service at Fort Lewis, continuing in Evanston, and then on through Salt Lake, many of his patients became herbalists. Even the rancher in Woodruff who refused to feed his prize cattle white flour bought a fruit farm, learned reflexology and works as a full-time herbalist.

Dr. Christopher practiced open-heartedly, without guile, with selfless concern for his patients and later for all his students. He never held back information on his formulas to gain more money; he freely shared any information he thought could help someone else. He took people into their yards and taught them to use the "weeds," when he could have easily bottled them himself for profit. He shared the ingredients of his formulas freely.

Throughout his life, Dr. Christopher maintained a wonderful sense of humor. He loved to tell the story about a man who was hospitalized' with doctor's orders for an enema. A nurse administered it, and then was called away on an emergency before recording the treatment. Soon a second nurse appeared, and gave him a second enema. But she, too, failed to record the treatment. Then a third nurse did the same. When the man heard a knock on his door, he called out, "Who goes there? Friend or enema?"

The press was sympathetic to Dr. Christopher's troubles. The San Francisco Recorder published an editorial commenting on Ray's arrests and the accompanying $50,000 bond' saying, "Where hardened criminals, guilty of crimes of violence and threats to society, are given low bail, some members of the legal profession are requesting that an investigation be made to determine what prompted such an excessive bail in this case. Could this be a ploy to take the heat off the doctors in the current malpractice mess by making it unpleasant for acupuncturists, herbal, and natural healers? Just asking!"

Dr. Christopher continued to teach until the last of his life, when in 1983, he had slipped on the treacherous ice outside his home in Covered Bridge Canyon, Utah, and suffered what became a fatal accident. He was seventy-three years old, and through trials and suffering through his long life, he blazed the path to a way of life we take for granted today, with natural foods, healthy lifestyles, and healing with herbs. This volume remains a landmark in herbal healing, and as you read it, remember the man who sacrificed to make it possible.

HERBAL FORMULAS: To obtain herbal formulas inspired by the works of Dr. Christopher, his students and other great natural healers, please click here or here for herbal teas and poultices.

 


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