Blood is quite literally the river of life. Your vitality is greatly influenced by your blood purity and whether or not your organs and tissues can get a constant sufficient supply of blood. Blood is composed of plasma, red and white blood cells and platelets with its major role to regulate the body’s systems and maintain homeostasis. Blood keeps you alive by transporting nutrients and oxygen to your cells while also removing metabolic waste products away from those same cells. In addition to the need of clean blood, another need are clean channels that blood flows through. Similar to your home, it is not only important to have pure water to drink, but also to have clean, strong pipes to transport the water.
Blood makes up around 7-8% of the weight of a human body with pregnant women having approximately 50% more blood by week 20 than they did at time of conception. The tiny vessels that transport blood throughout the body would cover a distance of roughly 100,000 miles and one red blood cell can complete a circuit around your entire body in 30 seconds. And did you know that in times of emergency coconut water can actually be used as a substitute for blood plasma? (1) Crazy! (I still prefer drinking my coconut water).
Dr. Christopher’s Blood Stream Formula includes various herbs with the intent to clean and purify, help remove cholesterol, kill infection and to strengthen the veins and artery walls. It is the last herbal formula included on the Extended Herbal Cleanse. This herbal formula includes the organic and wildcrafted herbs of red clover blossoms, chaparral, licorice root, poke root, peach leaves, Oregon grape root, stillingia, prickly ash bark, burdock root and buckthorn bark.
Red Clover Blossoms
Red Clover is unusually high in phytoestrogens, particularly isoflavones, making it a great herb for women going through menopause or while on their period. But this is not why red clover is in the blood stream formula. Red Clover also has shown the ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL cholesterol levels, improve blood circulation and maintain flexibility in arterial walls. Red Clover’s alterative properties help in removing metabolic waste products (blood cleanser) and is why it is often used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Chaparral is a desert shrub found growing mostly in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Some refer to the plant as greasewood due to its unique tar-like fragrance. Native Americans would make a tea out of the herb to treat a number of ailments. Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants and strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It has been used for centuries as a blood purifier and heavy metal detoxifier. It is also a good expectorant, helping to alleviate respiratory difficulties.
Licorice Root is obtained from the small shrubs grown typically in Europe and south west Asia. Similar to Red Clover, Licorice Root contains various isoflavones (powerful antioxidants) that help protect LDL cholesterol from being oxidized, thus reducing plaque formation in arteries. Licorice is also a good blood cleanser. Surprisingly, Licorice Root is a very effective anti-depressant and can often be used as an alternative to St. John’s Wart. Licorice is mostly known for its demulcent, pectoral and emollient properties and is a great digestive soother and anti-inflammatory. We love taking licorice and slippery elm together when we feel our digestive system/bowels could use some soothing.
Poke root is a powerful cleansing herb, especially used to clear and move congested lymph. Many will find Poke Root as a great headache remedy and the root is also believed to strongly support the reproductive organs. It has been used to help treat mastitis and even cancer of the breast. Too much of the herb can cause an emetic or purgative effect, so this is one herb that really should be taken in small quantities.
When picking fruit from trees you usually don’t give much thought to the leaves; this is one fruit tree though you might want to gather some leaves as well. Peach Leaf is good depurative, helping the body to detoxify and supports the elimination channels of the body. Peach leaf can also act as a demulcent, mild laxative, sedative, diuretic and expectorant.
Oregon Grape Root
Oregon Grape Root is most renowned for its ability to stimulate the liver and increase bile flow, but also possesses powerful blood cleansing properties as well. Oregon grape root, much like Golden Seal, contains berberine and therefor exhibits antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic characteristics while simultaneously boosting the immune system. If you ever run out of Golden Seal or can’t afford the high price tag, Oregon Grape Root is an excellent alternative.
Stillingia, also known as Queen’s Root, is another good alterative herb and similar to Poke Root, is great at clearing and moving congested lymph. It is an exceptional depurative herb, helping the body to detoxify and cleanse the blood. Stillingia also possesses laxative, expectorant and diaphoretic qualities. As a depurative, Stillingia works great when combined with other depurative herbs to clear up skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
Prickly Ash Bark
If any of you suffer from Raynaud’s disease, like myself, this is one herb you won’t want to overlook. Prickly Ash Bark is great at improving blood circulation and would work great along with other stimulatory herbs like cayenne, ginger and garlic. Prickly Ash finds itself in the Blood Stream Formula as blood circulation is critical to detoxification. Prickly Ash also has diaphoretic and antibacterial properties. Native Americans used to chew the bark to help relieve toothaches.
Burdock Root is renowned as a liver tonic and also helps to clean and build the blood. Like the other herbs in the formula, Burdock is a great depurative, assisting the body in eliminating toxins and waste. Burdock also possesses diuretic properties, supporting the kidneys in waste elimination. Interestingly, this medicinal herb is actually often eaten as food in many cultures and is rich in various vitamins and minerals. Burdock root contains reltively high amounts of fiber, vitamin B6 and the minerals iron, magnesium and manganese.
Cascara Sagrada Bark (Rhamnus Purshianus)
It isn’t a surprise why this herb with laxative effects was given the name Cascara Sagrada by Spanish conquerors, or Sacred Bark in English. If one day goes by and I don’t have at least one elimination, I can develop a pretty sour mood indeed. For those who have experienced days of constipation (unfortunately, I am a member of this group), a good bowel movement is like a gift from God, relieving tension, pressure, irritation, frustration, anxiety and even depression. The active constituents in Cascara Sagrada are anthraquinone derivatives and their action is to stimulate peristalsis. The good thing about Cascara Sagrada, when taken as a whole herb as opposed to a tea or a decoction, is that the herb not only stimulates peristalsis, but also heals and strengthens the colon muscles. Proper elimination is key when detoxifying, and Cascara Sagrada helps support the digestive elimination channel.
Buckthorn Bark (Rhamnus Frangula)
Very similar to its cousin, Cascara Sagrada, Frangula bark is also a laxative. Frangula bark is more gentle and slower acting than Cascara Sagrada, making it a great herb for those suffering from chronic constipation, but perhaps not strong enough for those with acute constipation. Frangula bark will help re-educate the bowels to function properly. The bark needs to be aged (dried) for one to two years as fresh Frangula bark acts as an irritating poison on the intestines. Again, Dr. Christopher wants to make sure all elimination channels are working properly when the blood is being cleaned and purified.
Sarsaparilla Root is native to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. It has been used medicinally for millennia. Sarsaparilla Root is a great depurative, promoting detoxification and blood purification through its alterative, diaphoretic and sudorific properties.
For more information on the Extended Herbal Cleanse, click here!
The average adult is approximately 50-65% water. Lean muscle contains more water than fatty tissue, thus as body fat percentage increases, water percentage decreases. Roughly 2/3 of the body’s water is in the intracellular fluid while the remaining 1/3 is in the extracellular fluid. Crazy to think that more than half of your body weight is simply water!
It is important to keep all of this water clean; and the kidney’s do just that. The body has two kidneys and are extremely sophisticated filters, each roughly the size of your fist and bean shaped. Kidneys do much more than just remove excess fluid, waste products and toxins from the body as urine. They play critical roles in balancing the body’s fluids, releasing blood pressure regulating hormones and controlling the production of red blood cells. In a 24 hour period your kidneys receive, filter and return to the body approximately 200L of fluid and in that same time period the entire blood in your body will get filtered around 400 times!
The herbal kidney formula was created by Dr. Christopher to help clean, detoxify, support and strengthen these precious life sustaining organs. It is our favorite herbal kidney formula to date. Considering that 1/10 adults suffer from some kind of kidney impairment, this kidney formula is a much needed herbal support.
What’s In It???
Juniper Berries are not actually berries at all, but rather a cone with a berry-like appearance. Juniper Berries are a natural diuretic, increasing the rate of kidney filtration and thus urinary flow. They are also a natural antiseptic, helping remove waste and acidic toxins from the body while supporting the fight against bacterial and yeast infections, especially in the urinary tract, bladder, kidneys, and prostate. Juniper Berries also have antispasmodic, carminative, depurative, stimulant and stomachic benefits.
Parsley Root’s nutritional value alone is enough to warrant the eating of this herb. Just one cup of parsley contains 1200% of the recommended amount of vitamin K, 100% of vitamin A and 130% of vitamin C. It is also a significant source of folate and iron. Medicinally, Parsley is no slouch either, with the root proving to be more beneficial than the leafy greens. Especially known for it’s diuretic properties – thus explaining the inclusion of the herb in the kidney formula – Parsley also displays carminative, tonic and aperient qualities. So while the herb’s main effect is supporting kidney function, filtration and detoxification, parsley also plays a secondary role in aiding the bowels as well, reducing gas and toning and strengthening the entire colon itself.
Marshmallow Root, or more accurately written as “marsh mallow”, is an herb belonging to the mallow family and the commonly used herb is found growing in marshes. A primary constituent of marshmallow root is mucilage, thus like Slippery Elm, it is a gentle demulcent and emollient. Marshmallow Root treats inflammation and irritation of not only the entire digestive system, but also urinary and respiratory organs. Marshmallow Root has been linked to help repair the gut lining and prevent leaky gut syndrome.
Golden Seal Root
Golden Seal is quite possibly the “golden” herb for health. Golden Seal is a known stomachic, tonic, detergent, alterative, antiseptic and even antineoplastic! Golden Seal is a key component in the Kidney Formula not only for its cleaning, toning and strengthening abilities of the bowels, blood and urinary tract, but also because it is a natural antibiotic and immune system booster (maybe only outdone by the well-known echinacea). This herb is especially great for getting over those irritating UTI’s (urinary tract infections). The fact that Golden Seal has been shown to literally help your body fight cancer is just an added bonus 🙂 (1,2)
Uva Ursi Leaf
Uva Ursi leaves, also know as Bearberry, are in fact the only part of the plant used in medicine and are very astringent by nature. Bearberry is great at strengthening and toning the bladder and kidneys. Uva Ursi leaves also act as a great diuretic, due to the glucoside Arbutin, which is excreted by the kidneys. During excretion, arbutin displays antiseptic qualities on the urinary tract, killing bacteria (like the much dreaded E.coli) and washing them out. Coupled with Golden Seal, this makes a powerful UTI-fighting kidney strengthening combination.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I was little and had a tummy ache, my grandma would always get me some ginger ale to drink. It has been well known that ginger is a fantastic digestive aid, helping relieve feelings of nausea, motion sickness, upset stomach and bloating. Ginger is also a diaphoretic, stimulating the body to sweat. Try drinking ginger tea on a cold day to help warm you up. Ginger is also a great anti-inflammatory, especially for the digestive tract.
For more information on the Extended Herbal Cleanse, click here!
This internal herbal cleanse combines both Dr. Christopher’s Extended Herbal Cleanse and Dr. Christophers’s Mucousless Diet. Dr. Christopher was a pioneering master herbalist in Utah and developed an herbal cleanse and diet to help treat more chronic conditions that short three day cleansing routines have difficulty addressing. The Extended Herbal Cleanse is especially suited for anyone with longstanding health issues and is new to cleansing. This herbal cleanse is less drastic and easier to follow than many other detox programs, such as the Master Cleanse (lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper), juice or water fasting. We want you to know however, that we are definite advocates of periodic fasting, whether it be a water or juice fast.
Extended Herbal Cleanse Pro’s
- Solid food is eaten throughout the cleanse
- Herbs not only help detoxify, but also help build and strengthen digestive organs
- Specifically targets the bowels, kidneys, liver, gall bladder and blood stream.
- Slip ups are more easily tolerated
- All common allergenic foods are eliminated
- No calorie restriction or counting
- Healthy weight loss is typical
- Cravings tend to disappear
- Increased bowel elimination
- Better moods
Extended Herbal Cleanse Con’s
- Requires minimum of 6 weeks
- Difficult to coordinate the timing of all the herbs taken during the day
- Possibly more expensive than other cleanses (~$140)
The Extended Herbal Cleanse uses four herbal formulas created by Dr. Christopher. The Lower Bowel formula, the Liver and Gallbladder formula, the Kidney formula and the Blood Stream formula. Each formula should be taken on an empty stomach.
First thing in the morning take 2 capsules of the Lower Bowel Formula along with a glass of warm lemon water. Take 2 capsules again one hour before lunch. Take another 2 capsules prior to going to bed. Sometimes we like to take the capsules along with a Slippery Elm Latte, especially recommended if you suffer from digestive upset. Increase your Lower Bowel dosage by 1 capsule per day until you are having three regular bowel movements a day.
Also, at mid-morning and mid afternoon 3 capsules of the Kidney Formula should be taken. Continue taking lower bowel and kidney for six days, then rest on the seventh.
On the second week, continue with the lower bowel and kidney while also adding 2 capsules of Liver and Gallbladder formula 30 minutes before each meal (assuming you eat three meals a day. If you only eat two meals a day, then take three capsules before meals). Continue taking these three cleansing herbs for all of week 2 and 3, always resting on the seventh day.
On the fourth week add 2 capsules of the Blood Stream Formula one hour after each meal (assuming you eat three meals per day. If you only eat two meals per day, then take 3 capsules. Continue taking all four herbal formulas all of week 4, 5 and 6, always resting on the seventh day.
**Below are links to calendars for weeks 1-6 outlining what herbs to take and when throughout the day.
Week 1 Schedule [click here]
Week 2-3 Schedule [click here]
Week 4-6 Schedule [click here]
We strongly believe that health and vitality comes mainly from eating whole and living plant food. Animal products should be strictly avoided while on the Extended Herbal Cleanse (and by all means after the cleanse too if vegan eating resonates with you) . While some cooked food is okay, strive to eat at least 80% raw and 20% cooked. This not only applies while on the Extended Herbal Cleanse, but should potentially become the “norm” for you.
- Eat mostly vegetables, along with some fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy oils and pseudo grains (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.)
- If you want to eat grains, eat only SPROUTED, WHOLE grains in limited quantities.
- NO DAIRY
- NO PROCESSED FOODS
- NO MEAT
- NO EGGS
- NO SALT
- NO SUGAR
“But where will I get my protein?” you may ask. Society’s concern for protein intake has really developed almost entirely as a result of marketing and advertisements. We’ve been convinced by diet fads, the meat and dairy industry and supplement companies that we need to increase our protein intake and choose high-protein containing foods. Have you stopped and considered that the USDA recommended daily amount of protein is only 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight? That’s it. Compare that to the 1.0 gram per pound recommended by many high-protein diets and supplement companies. An individual weighing 150 lbs only needs 55 grams of protein to grow and function and maintain health, not 150 grams! Getting 55 grams of protein per day from vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and pseudo grains is easy.
Also, on day seven of each week, we suggest you do a water fast or a fresh juice fast. If you choose to water fast, then after dinner on day six, you will continue to only drink water for approximately 24 hours, ending the water fast with dinner on day seven. If you choose to juice fast, then day seven for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will only have fresh vegetable/fruit juice. And please do your body a favor and don’t “stock up” on calories the night before the fast. The whole purpose of the fast is to give your body a brief break from digesting solid food.
Our bodies were meant to move! Sitting at a desk and driving in a car all day is not normal. For good health and especially while following the Extended Herbal Cleanse, everyone should move their bodies continuously for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day. This could be as simple as walking or gardening, to more intense exercises like yoga, running, swimming, weight-lifting or hiking. The point is to MOVE. We strongly suggest incorporating yoga into your life, and practice it at least once per week, as yoga not only helps strengthen and lengthen muscles, but also helps relieve stress and detoxify through deep breathing and meditation.
Ever heard of a “slant board routine.”? As humans we are always walking, sitting or laying down. We are never inverted. Over time our bowels fill with fecal matter and droop and our other organs start to “sag” as well. Give those organs of yours a lift and put them back in there place at least once a day by either using an inversion table or the more economical way of putting 2 folded pillows under your hips. Your hips should be higher than your head and your feet higher than your hips, possibly up against the wall. Deep breath in the position for 5-10 minutes and feel your organs start to shift and the fresh blood rush to your head.
Also, our bodies were meant to be outside! Seeing the sun only on our way from our car to the office is not normal. Most of us are completely disconnected from nature. While on the Extended Herbal Cleanse, strive to be outside for at least 30 minutes each day. And don’t be afraid of the sun! A little sunlight each day is paramount to one’s health, helping the body produce vitamin D and release the mood elevating hormone serotonin.
After 6 weeks
After 6 weeks on the program you will rest for one entire week. It is advised to repeat the 6-week program at least once more and even better would be to repeat the 6-week program a total of four times (6 months in total of days taking the herbs). After which you would rest for an entire month. Typically, for most people, 6 months on the program is sufficient to thoroughly cleanse the body from the inside out. Many of the ills, pains and symptoms experienced prior to starting the Extended Herbal Cleanse will be greatly diminished if not entirely eliminated!