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Who is Dr. Christopher?

Dr. John R. Christopher, known popularly as "Dr. Christopher" was one of very few nationally prominent doctors of herbal medicine of the middle third of the 20th century, a "dark ages" of herbalism and was responsible for the herbal renaissance of the 1960s.

He was born November 25, 1909 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jean Ramone and Lorena Roth Raymond who put him in an orphanage where he was adopted by Leander and Melissa Ann Craig Christopher. He was called Raymond, and nearly died of the croup, when a stranger appeared at the door and gave his father instructions on dealing with the phlegm, announcing that Raymond would have an important mission in life. The father believed this to be a vision and the family took heed.

Raymond suffered from Rheumatoid arthritis and was not expected by his doctors to last past the age of 30. His adoptive mother suffered from diabetes and dropsy and Raymond decided to become a doctor, preferably one that did not cut people open since he disliked the sight of blood. A chance meeting with a doctor who diagnosed using iridology and treated with herbs inspired him to learn naturopathic medicine.

An automobile accident nearly killed him, although chiropractic treatment provided relief. During his painful recovery he picked up the Mormon scripture The Doctrine and Covenants and read Section 89, commonly known as "The Word of Wisdom," a health code for the church. This referred to eating meat sparingly and called grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables wholesome. He changed his diet to fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds and experienced dramatic improvements in his health.

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. During World War 2 he obtained Concientious Objector status and worked at North Fort at Washington's Fort Lewis, where he was assigned to supervise a medical dispensary. Here Raymond Christopher, a buck private, gave orders to pharmacists and therapists, all of whom outranked him. But he observed orthodox medicine and realized that the natural cures he had been using could help people who were not being helped.

He was widely ridiculed by his commanding officer Major Shumate until he cured a soldier, upon a dare, of serious impetigo by using black walnt hulls tinctured in rubbing alcohol. Upon the visible evidence of his success Major Shumate allowed him to set up a laboratory on the base and he became the became the only practicing herbalist in the United States Army during World War II. His black walnut tincture was also used for fungus infection and jungle rot. When soldiers learned that Private Christopher could cure jungle rot, his patient load multiplied. Eventually this tincture was successful in curing scrofula, eczema, ringworm, shingles and chronic boils.

John Raymond Christopher, did not die before the age of thirty-five, as the squadrons of physicians had predicted. His gentle practice of natural healing helped him overcome the chronic conditions he was born with, as well as the life-threatening injuries he sustained as a young adult. He succumbed instead at the age of seventy-three due to complications of a severe head injury. He had slipped on the treacherous ice outside his beloved Covered Bridge Canyon home, nestled in the mountains outside Spanish Fork, Utah.

The above information is taken from "An Herbal Legacy of Courage" by Dr. Christopher's son, David Christopher.  You can read the entire text free online at

Dr. Christopher's legacy is preserved at Herbal Legacy.  On you will find a great deal of information on all of Dr. Christopher's Formulas, Cleansing Programs, Recipes to ensure your good health, and various writings by him.  Visit

Dr. Christopher also started The School of Natural Healing in 1953 as a way of teaching natural healing principles.  The School is now directed by David Christopher and has expanded to teach you how to handle most health problems at home using natural healing principles.  Visit

Be sure to sign up for the Herbal Legacy Newsletter, sponsored by The School of Natural Healing.  Each week you will receive an article from a master herbalist (or other expert in their field) and a healthy recipe.  Sign up today on the home page of Herbal Legacy at