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About Dr. Christopher

Dr. Christopher’s Biography

John’s Early Years


As a young man, John R. Christopher told his mother he wanted to become a doctor. His mother laughed because of his squeamishness at watching her kill the farm’s chickens or even prepare them. He declared, “I want to be the kind of doctor that heals people without cutting them.”

A few years later, traditional doctors had given up hope that their medicines and practices would relieve his mother of her pain and suffering from diabetes. Bloated and poisoned by gangrene, her life was limited. A gentle and efficient man came to help, referring to himself as a Naturopathic doctor.

Before John’s mother could tell him what was wrong, the naturopathic doctor silently observed her and them began to give a litany of her ailments. He was completely accurate in his observations. He then told her of changes she needed to make in her eating habits. Before leaving, he gave her some herbs. The recovery was remarkable. John was deeply impressed.

A Battle for his Own Health

John’s own early life was marked by great health frustrations. Shortly after his birth on November 25, 1909, John’s parents left him at an orphanage where Melissa and Leander Christopher discovered him when he crawled over and perched himself on Melissa’s lap. It was a match made by heaven.

As a baby, John developed a type of croup that left him gasping for air and his parents praying for a solution. That night a stranger came to their door, saying that he understood their baby was sick and told them exactly what to do. After following his advice, John was healed. The stranger never returned.

John struggled with advanced rheumatoid arthritis, hardening of the arteries, and other ailments that led doctors to declare he wouldn’t live to thirty.

A Tragic Accident

A good student with a photographic memory, John was accepted to study law. Just days before starting, he was pronounced dead at the scene of a car accident. At the morgue, while his parents were identifying the body, his mother detected a glimmer of life. He was then hospitalized with little hope of recovery. John did regain consciousness from the coma, but after six weeks, he was sill paralyzed. Against John’s wishes, his parents took him to a chiropractor. To his amazement, he was able to return to his job at the lumber mill the following week.

Tragically, the accident had ruined his photographic memory. He had frequent bouts of amnesia, and nothing seemed to help.

New Hope and a New Diet

While studying he came across advice for proper diet that told him he needed to eat meat sparingly, eat fruits, grains, and nuts in their seasons. The words rang true and by 1939 he’d developed a stringent diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. As he changed his diet, he noticed changes in the severity of his ailments. With the full diet, he suffered little from rheumatism. When he used processed flour, he soon had to use a cane. If he ate refined sugars, he had to use a wheel chair. When he included red meats, he’d find himself confined to bed.

The War

Soon he immersed himself in studies of plants and how they could be used by humans for medicinal purposes. In the meantime, he married and began a family of his own. Then came the war, and he was drafted at age 35 into the United States Army. The army sent him to a mid-west infirmary where he tried to help soldiers with his herbal formulas that he’d been creating, but was prohibited by the officer in charge.

One day the officer announced that a young soldier would be discharged because of impetigo, a severe skin condition. John volunteered to help the man, and the major allowed him one week. John treated the soldier with a tincture made from the bark of a black walnut tree. At the end of the one-week timeframe given him by the major, the bandages were removed, and the soldier’s previously scab-covered head was as clean as a baby’s scalp. The Major made John Christopher the only practicing herbalist in the United States Army.

A Pioneer Ahead of his Time

In those days, wholesale herbs were not available, so John had to find his herbs to create his own formulas. Over the years he created more than sixty-six formulas, combining herbs in proper proportions, but never extracting single ingredients. He understood the necessity of using herbs the way nature had intended them – in their whole state.

“Dr. Christopher” as he was known to his friends, graduated from Iowa’s Institute of Drugless Therapy and from the Los Angeles Herbal Institute.

Dr. Christopher’s fame grew rapidly. In 1953 he set up the School of Natural Healing that is still operating today. His five books sold well. Soon he was giving more than 120 lectures and seminars internationally and in the United States. Everyone wanted to hear from this famous man – one of the world’s leading authorities on herbs. Even the prestigious Cambridge University in England had him speak.

John was a pioneer — far ahead of his time. Years after John advocated the use of cruciferous vegetables — particularly cabbage and broccoli for healing and prevention — the American Cancer Society issued as similar recommendation.

John was one of the first to stress a low fat, high fiber diet without processed flour, refined sugars, and sparing use of red meat.

His Legacy Continues

At age 73, John R. Christopher passed away from complications of a traumatic head injury.

Many wondered where he found such true happiness. However, those very close to him knew it was from the people whose lives he touched. It was from the six-month-old blind baby whose sight was restored, and from the elderly asthmatic who was able to sleep in his own bed for the first time in four decades.

“Dr.” Christopher is remembered by so many for his extraordinary happiness, even though he had such a rough childhood. He hid his physical suffering with good cheer, making countless journeys into the blackness of night on his famed “house calls.” Many wondered where he found the energy for the long journeys.

Thousands have credited John R. Christopher’s diet and herbal advice for their health, although John refused credit. He instead gave credit to the efforts of his patients, to the herbs that came forth from the rich soil, and to the Lord. He was a very religious man, and throughout his practice and his writings, he always used the plural “we,” remembering the Lord in all he did.

Today thousands of individuals practice the art of natural healing thanks to the directorship and education provided by John R. Christopher, M.H. and his son David Christopher M.H. His legacy continues in the lives he touched before his death and those his herbal formulas and teachings will aid through the generations to come.

See Dr. Christopher’s Formulas now.