History of The Master Herbalist Tradition
What is a Master Herbalist? A Master Herbalist is someone trained in the physiomedical tradition of herbalism. This means that that the practitioner works according to the principles of Vitalism. Master Herbalists seek to discover and treat the underlying cause, rather than the symptom of the disease. In fact Vitalistic healers treat the person rather than the disease itself.
The patients diet and lifestyle are of utmost importance in the healing protocol of the Master Herbalist. Herbs are used not as drugs to fix a symptom, but rather as tonics which address the body and mind on many levels.The traditions of Master Herbalism are based on the life’s work of the world-renowned herbalist Dr John Ray Christopher. Dr Christopher is perhaps the most respected herbalist of modern times. His extraordinary results with herbal medicine are due in part to his emphasis on dietary detoxification based on a vegan and mostly living food diet.
In his practice, Dr Christopher also placed great importance on the spiritual nature of people and the centrality of emotions and their effect on healing. Dr Christopher’s work embodies the spirit of Physiomedicalists who preceded him.
Christopher was born to European parents. He was left in an orphanage in Salt Lake City, Utah, and adopted by Leander and Melissa Christopher. Born with advanced rheumatoid arthritis, he endured excruciating pain. As a child, he sometimes walked with a cane or used a wheelchair. He also developed hardening of the arteries and a nearly fatal case of croup. Doctors of his day proclaimed that he would never reach the age of 30.
As a child, Ray showed interest in being a doctor who would heal people with nature’s remedies.
In 1945 he was drafted into the military and was stationed at Fort Lewis where he was allowed to experiment with herbs. After his military service he moved to Canada and studied at Dominion Herbal College in Vancouver where he obtained his degree in Naturopathy, then went on to study at the now defunct Iowa’s Institute of Drugless Therapy and the now defunct Los Angeles Herbal Institute.
He spent time practicing in Olympia, Washington, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Evanston, Wyoming. In 1953 he formed the School of Natural Healing and began teaching. In 1979, he began publication of a newsletter about using herbs for healing.
Dr. Christopher created more than 50 herbal formulas including Complete Tissue & Bone, Lower Bowel Formula, Blood Stream Formula, Female Reproductive Formula, Super Garlic Immune Formula, Herbal Tooth and Gum Powder and Hormonal Changes.