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Dr. John R. Christopher at Complete Writings
The pancreas is an organ of the body that offers one of the best examples we can give on the principle of “working on the cause” of sickness and not on “the effect” only. The following description comes from Nathaniel Kleitman, Bibliog.-B. P. Babkin, “Secretory Mechanism of the Digestive Glands” (1944): This is the principle digestive gland, whose secretion contains enzymes capable of hydrolyzing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In function the pancreas is a double glandular organ-digestive and endocrine.
The pancreas is shaped like a fish fillet, the head end at the duodenum, into which its principal duct (or ducts) opens, the body following the lower line of the stomach, and the tail terminating near the spleen. In microscopic structure it is a compound alveolar gland, resembling the salivary glands except for the clumps, or “islands”, of special cells interspersed among the alveoli. These, the “islands of Langerhans,” have no duct system but produce the hormone insulin. The pancreas is innervated by the parasympathetic vagus, and the sympathetic (splanchnic) divisions of the autonomic nervous system.
Pancreatic juice is alkaline in reaction and contains a number of inorganic and organic compounds in solution. Its active principles are the protease (trypsin), the lipase (steapsin), and the amylase (amylopsin) (respectively protein-, fat-, and carbohydrate-splitting enzymes). The composition of pancreatic juice varies with the mode in which the secretion is aroused as well as with the nature of the diet. Man secretes 500-1000 cc, of pancreatic juice per 24 hours.
The fact that the flow of pancreatic juice, as determined by the fistula method, coincides with the passage of chyme from the stomach suggested the existence of a nervous or humoral control of the secretary activity of the pancreas. In 1902 Bayliss and Starling, working on the supposition that the acidity of the chyme is the causative agent, made an HCI extract of the duodenal mucous membrane and, after neutralizing it, injected it into the blood stream of an anesthetized dog, whose pancreatic duct was prepared for collection of the secretion. They obtained a copious flow of pancreatic juice by this method, and named the humoral agent formed in the duodenal wall “secretin.” In this connection they coined the term “hormone” to designate an “arouser”, or chemical messenger, that is formed in one organ, secreted into the circulating blood, and carried to all parts of the body, where it exerts a stimulating (as later shown, sometimes an inhibiting) effect on another organ, group of organs, or the entire body.
The idea of internal secretion, or endocrine control of the body functions, as well known at the time (it was even known that the pancreas itself produced an internal secretion), but the technical term was lacking. In this case, it might seem strange that the signal from the duodenum to its next door neighbor, the pancreas, had to be transmitted in such a roundabout and biologically wasteful way. It has since been shown that secretin is also formed in the portions of the intestines that lie beyond the duodenum, and the humoral effect of secretin is exerted not only on the pancreas but also on the intestinal glands and the liver (in augmenting the secretion of bile).
Stimulation of the nerves leading to the pancreas, especially the vagus, also evokes secretion of pancreatic juice, but, compared to “secretin” juice, “vagus” juice is scanty and very thick. It appears that the humoral and nervous mechanisms of secretion are complementary to each other, the former, designated by Babkin as “hydrolytic”, being largely water and inorganic salts, while the latter, called “echolic”, is rich in organic substances, particularly enzymes. There is even a “psychic” component of pancreatic secretion, as can be shown in dogs by “sham feeding.” Pancreatic juice plays an important part in the digestive activities of the intestine. The adaption of the secretion to the composition of the diet has been found to develop partly through the humoral and partly through the nervous mechanism. (Nathaniel Kleitman, Bibliog.-B.P. Babkin, “Secretory Mechanism of the Digestive Glands,” 1944).
Through this explanation of the well planned mechanism designed by the Creator for preliminary digesting procedure of food in the body, it can be seen why it is so important to keep the body parts in a good clean working condition for perfect health. If the body is loaded with toxic and heavy mucus materials, the nervous system is not doing a good job, and the pancreas is in a weak run down condition, we can see the reason for poor operational procedures. Because of faulty operation, the pancreas can cause low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia), or diabetes (high blood sugar level).
It is at this point when we have to put forth our effort for adjusting a bad condition, by either working on the effect (disease) or getting to the cause by healing the pancreas so it can adjust the problem of high or low blood sugar. To work on the effect (disease) with high blood sugar level, we have been taught for years to use insulin, because the pancreas is not supplying an adequate amount. With the insulin being supplied, the organ created to do the job eventually stops making insulin and becomes dormant.
We can say, “Well, instead of using insulin from the pharmacy, lets use natural herbs such as juniper berries, golden seal root, devil’s claw bark, licorice, etc., etc.” We are still using a crutch to assist the effect, as these are supplying some natural insulin, but they still do not work on the cause, i.e., a lazy inactive pancreas and its associating and participating glands (pineal, pituitary, adrenal, etc.). I had been concerned for years about how to get to the cause, in this condition, and get the pancreas, and other assisting glands, to become healthy and again make its own insulin and control the high or low blood sugar on its own, or as was originally intended.
The breakthrough came a number of years ago by accident (divine providence, I believe). A patient came to me with the problem of “having trouble in voiding his urine.” This was years ago when I would mix my formulas, as needed, in my own herb laboratory. As I was in a hurry that day and did not have time to mix up a regular diuretic formula for him, I told him to use some juniper berries, and, if they were fresh to chew them, or make them into a tea. His response was that he had some growing in his own backyard and would use them.
Weeks later he returned and said the juniper berries were not giving him much help in voiding his urine. Knowing how efficient they really were in doing this, I asked him to let me see the juniper berries he was using. He took some from his pocket (as he carried them around, chewing on them during each day) and showed them to me. I laughed and said those are not what I meant. The true juniper berry I had recommended to him would have five or seven small stones in each berry, but the ones he had been using had only one. It was actually of the juniper family but was a “Utah monostone” cedar berry (Juniperus monosperma). It grows in the West such as in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and in the national cedar forests but entirely different from our regular juniper berry (Juniperus communis; Pinaceae).
When I told him about the “mistake”, I gave him some juniper berries which eventually worked and did the job. I was astounded about his reply because after thanking me, he stated he would continue using the cedar berries anyhow. When I asked him why, he said, “Well, since using what you call cedar berries, I have been able to cut down on my insulin as I am a diabetic.” I wasn’t sure I heard him right (after looking for something like this for years) and asked him to repeat what he had said. Upon his verification of what I hoped he had said, I was very excited and asked him to increase the amount he was using and keep in touch. He did so, and in a few months his pancreas, which had found the right food (cedar berries), was healed and producing its own insulin.
I then tried it on a number of my patients, who were diabetic, with great results! One of them was a lady using about eighty-five units of insulin a day. She was put on the mucusless diet, given the lower bowel formula, and told to use at least six cedar berries three or more times a day. She was instructed to continue on using her insulin but to watch the litmus paper carefully and taper her insulin intake gradually as the litmus paper would act as a gauge. So she had gradually tapered off her insulin and by the end of the year was not using any more. Her own body (pancreas) was supplying it as she required its use. She had no reoccurrence, but of course she stayed on the mucusless diet, because a faulty diet is the cause of pancreas malfunction.
We have had remarkable success over the years with diabetes, using this system. One day a middle-aged man and his sister came in to see me. They were from a family with a “weak pancreas background.” He had advanced low-blood-sugar (hypoglycemia) and she had high blood sugar (diabetes). They were both put on the same program and within six months his blood sugar, because of having a “healed” pancreas (a malfunctioning one is the cause) was adjusted and he went to his family physician, had a glucose tolerance test and passed with a clean bill of health. His sister within the year had dropped from around ninety units of insulin a day to none. Both were on the same program-using the herbs to rebuild the faulty pancreas (the cause) instead of working only on the effect (disease) (using a crutch such as insulin).
As time went on, we found that some of our ailing pancreas patients, though the sugar and insulin problem was adjusted, would have problems with the pituitary, pineal or adrenal glands. We had not, at this time, taken the thought into our mind that the pancreas doesn’t work alone, but is assisted by other glands. When the pancreas was healed, toxic burdens centered more, now, into the other glands. This was the time we added additional herbs to take care of these other glands-and since then they all are rejuvenated and healed together. The formula we have used for years, with success in all age groups from children to old aged patients is as follows: Cedar berries sixteen parts and one part of each of the following-golden seal root, uva ursi, cayenne, licorice root and mullein. The mullein is a specific herb for the glandular system and cleans and rebuilds all the glands mentioned in this article. Mullein is high in chlorophyll, a free phosphoric acid uncrystallizable sugar, mineral salts composed of potassium phosphate, calcium phosphate and a mucilaginous saponitic substance, an anodyne principle and other beneficial ingredients.
Another great glandular aid is the herb golden seal. It is also noted for its ability to clear up infection. An alterative for the mucous membranes and glands, an antiseptic a deobstruent, for glandular system and many other attributes. Uva ursi or bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: Ericaceae) is an excellent herb for the adrenal, for diabetes, Bright’s disease, and assists in controlling kidney and bladder congestion.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra). This herb was used from before the time of Hippocrates, prescribed by early physicians in cases of dropsy and diabetes, to prevent thirst. This herb is another glandular food and cleanser, being an emollient, demulcent, pectoral and laxative. Licorice root has 6-8 percent glycyrrhizin; a sweet white crystalline powder, consisting of the calcium and potassium salts of glycyrrhizic acid, sugar, starch, gum, protein, fat, resin, asparagine, and etc. All of the glands can be cleansed and nourished with this herb.
The cedar berry is a food to the pancreas as is cascara sagrada a food to build the peristaltic muscles in the intestines, or the hawthorn berry a specific food to rebuild the heart. This is an herb of many attributes, but yet has not been listed in any herbal catalogue we have ever found, up until the time we have used it as a pancreatic help.
Cayenne is a great herb in aiding the digestive system, pancreas, etc., to have smoother performance and working in cooperation with the other organs and the circulatory system. Cayenne (Capsicum minimum; C. fastigiatum) has the following therapeutic action: stimulant, tonic, carminative, sialagogue, stomachic, rubefacient, pungent, alterative, astringent, sudorific, emetic, antiseptic, condiment, antirheumatic.
Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb. It is the purest and most certain stimulant. This herb is a great food for the circulatory system in that it feeds the necessary elements into the cell structure of the arteries, veins and capillaries so that these regain the elasticity of youth again and the blood pressure adjusts itself to normal. It rebuilds the tissues in the stomach and heals stomach and intestinal ulcers; in equalizing the blood circulation, cayenne produces natural warmth; and in stimulating the peristaltic motion of the intestines, it aids in assimilation and elimination.
When the venous structure becomes loaded with sticky mucus, the blood has a harder time circulating; therefore, higher pressure forces the liquid through. Cayenne regulates the flow of blood from the head to the feet so that it is equalized; it influences the heart immediately, then gradually extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries, and nerves (the frequency of the pulse is not increased, but is given more power).
We have a group of herbs, then, in this formula that works well together and accomplishes what it is intended to do-go to the cause and heal-not work on the effect alone to just pacify and give temporary relief from discomfort. It is becoming increasingly certain that dietary manganese deficiency is one of the causes of pancreas problems. Although a new idea to medical science, it is one well known to folk medicine. The use of “wholesome” (unprocessed) foods high in manganese has been a fact known and used in our field for a long time. Using such foods high in this element (manganese) such as blueberries, onions, cabbage, whole wheat, oatmeal, buckwheat and rye (these grains yield three to five milligrams per one hundred grams), dried peas, lentils and beans (one or two milligrams per 100 milligrams), nuts, etc.
Sulfur: No one is exactly sure of all the functions performed by sulfur in the body, but we do know that it is contained in certain hormones-that is, substances given off by body glands-such as insulin, the hormone of the pancreas, and the anti-pituitary hormone. This lets us know that we do need good “organic” assimilable sulfur for this, as well as to help keep infection down in the body. The following are foods rich in sulfur: cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, dried beans, grains, garlic, onions, horse radish, dry mustard, nuts, peas (dried), swiss chard and watercress.
We take the following from “The Complete Book of Minerals for Health” (Rodale Books, Inc., Emmaus, Pennsylvania 18049):
“Now a note from the lore of folk medicine: For centuries, all over the world, innumerable vegetable substances, often in the form of powders or teas, have been used as a popular remedy for diabetes. As recounted in an article in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” (November 5, 1927), two professors from the University of Vienna were so impressed by the benefits of one such decoction made from blueberry leaves by the Alpine peasantry that they analyzed the chemistry of the foliage and isolated the anti-glycemic agent, a substance they dubbed myrtillin. Myrtillin is found in all green plants but most abundantly in blueberry or huckleberry leaves and various myrtles. It is also present in yeast and oatmeal.”
Here’s how the JAMA article, by Dr. Frederick M. Allen, describes mystillin’s beneficial role: “Mystillin was found to reduce alimentary glycosuria and hyperglycemia in normal dogs, to reduce glycosuria and prolong life in depancreatized patients … Our experiments to date indicate that myrtillin tends to stabilize the blood sugar, which otherwise fluctuates widely, and that it spares insulin … It never causes hypoglycemia; in other words, unlike injected insulin, this plant product presents no threat of lowering the blood sugar to dangerous levels.”
It is surely significant that the American Indians, who brewed decoctions from countless green plants which they drank to treat and prevent a variety of ailments, are believed to have been completely free of diabetes in the days before European contact (American Indian Medicine, University of Oklahoma Press). Because the disease was unknown to them, they may have insured their protection against diabetes through the mystillin they ingested. Here is a pointer not only for diabetics but for everyone seeking a healthful beverage in place of coffee-tea made from blueberry or huckleberry leaves, gathered from your own garden or fields or purchased in dry form from your health store.
Despite all the research that has been done on diabetes over the past half century, scientists are still confounded by the mystery of the disease. It almost seems that the more we learn, the deeper the puzzle. Certainly it is obvious from so-called “degenerative complications” of diabetes that when carbohydrates metabolism goes wrong, so does the body’s handling of fats. In diabetics, blood fat level tends to be high with consequent vascular damage, and from this stems damage to the small vessels of the kidneys and retina (diabetic retinitis, often causing blindness), poor circulation, gangrene and death from heart disease. Such “complications”, it is now suspected by many investigators, may actually be as basic to the diabetic condition as elevated sugar level itself. Thus the oral antidiabetic drugs, which seem so wonderful at first because they indeed bring down blood sugar levels, were nevertheless completely useless in reducing the death rate from vascular degeneration, and in fact seemed to promote this fatal development.
Just to round out the whole dismal picture of our diabetic-inducing diet, the eating of fresh green vegetables has plummeted as carbohydrate intake has soared. So, along with stripped vitamins and trace minerals, the American public has also lost the protection of myrtillin, nature’s anti-diabetic agent so rich in blueberry leaves but also present is green plants everywhere. Can we wonder that the American public is diabetes prone? Or that this often fatal disease now afflicts some 8,000,000 men, women and children?
As we have said before, “We dig our graves with our teeth!” If you use the amazing formula we have given you here in this article, and yet still counteract it with a foolishly planned “taste-bud-teasing-carbohydrate” diet, the results will not be as good as if the formula is used with a proper diet and you follow the advice given in the booklet “Three Day Cleanse and Mucusless Diet” (Dr. J. R. Christopher, Christopher Distributing, Box 352, Provo, Utah 84601). When starting on this program, the first three days are on juices (fresh raw juice, no sugar). This of course frightens most diabetics and hypoglycemics because of their fear of “sugar-reaction”. There is no need to be alarmed for the principle is to hold each mouthful of “fresh” juice in the mouth, swish it back and forth, mix it thoroughly with saliva and the juice can be easily assimilated without any bad reaction. After the three days you now follow our mucusless diet, which gives you fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds. By following this program, you will find that extra weight can be eliminated (overweight is an “aid” in causing or aiding the development of diabetes).