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Seven Herbalists Speak

  Elisa Adams

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  Cheryl Kelly

  Jeanne Polcari

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  Muscle Testing



The Making of a Naturopathic Doctor: Cheryl Kelly

In 1973, studying at Grossmont College, in California, to become a gymnastics coach, Cheryl Kelly fractured her skull in a gymnastics accident. The fracture cut through her spinal sac, olfactory nerves, and the nerves at the front of her face, leaving her with spinal fluid dripping down her throat and no sense of smell. Because she couldn’t chew, she had to have liquefied food. And she had a severe vision problem, because her pupils wouldn’t dilate.

“The doctors really didn’t have a good prognosis for me,” recalls Kelly, now pursuing a doctor of naturopathy degree. “They wanted to cut my face all the way across and roll my skin back and go in and just do exploratory surgery. But if they did that, there was a good chance I could get spinal meningitis, and if I got that, I would have a very small chance of living.”

Another problem was her inability to eat animal protein. “I would throw protein right back up, so I had nothing to rebuild with. The doctors said that with the severity of my concussion, it would be about a year before I’d be able to eat proteins.” Her doctors also told her that once the nerves were severed, they couldn’t be rebuilt. And because of the vision problem, “I couldn’t even go out, except for at night, with sunglasses,” Kelly says.

Kelly felt that medicine didn’t have anything to offer, even with the operation, so she left the hospital. Because of her vision problem, she had to stay in most of the time. But, she says, “I’d heard that people in health-food stores had alternative methods in terms of using proteins — they were vegetarians, and somehow or other they were existing. That’s how I got into the health field.”

“I went to some health conventions and started drinking a lot of live vegetable juices,” Kelly says. She “found out about herbs and started taking different herbs, and within a year I rebuilt the nerve structure to be able to smell. I was rather surprised that I was able to reestablish something they told me was impossible to reestablish, but it seemed like other animals were able to grow things back, and other parts of your body naturally redevelop, so to me it seemed more natural that it was a possibility.”

After Kelly regained her sense of smell and stopped the spinal fluid drainage, she decided to become an herbalist. She enrolled at Sonoma State College to study herbs with the botany teachers, because she didn’t know anyplace else to go. Back in college, “I tried to work with their botanists, and they wouldn’t even let me write my papers on herbs. They told me I was reversing medicine, and they gave lectures to me, pounding on the pulpit and pointing their fingers at me and screaming at me. They refused at all to work with me or to let me do any individual studies, so I didn’t get far with that.”

Kelly decided to continue on her own. In looking into holistic health options in the San Diego area, she had learned of Dr. Bernard Jensen, a pioneer American herbalist and an accomplished practitioner of iridology. Iridology is a technique of evaluating the condition of the internal organs by examining the irises of the eyes, based on the concept that each part of the iris corresponds to a particular organ or system.

Kelly asked Jensen if she could study with him. “Bernard Jensen gave me his book and an iridology chart and a magnifying glass and told me if I read the book three times and then I came back, he’d teach me,” she says. He also told her to look at as many eyes as she could.

She did, and he did. “In learning iridology, I was able to see the continual breakdowns through generations. I would look at whole families — old people, middle-aged people, young people, and their whole family lines” — as long a chain as she could get. “If I could get four generations, I’d get that. I would watch the breakdown in the eyes, so I became convinced that iridology was a solid science that definitely showed the hyper- or hypoactivity of the organ structures.

“I was amazed at how broken down the American eye was, in comparison to someone who came over from Europe or from some of the older schools of dietary approaches. Bernard Jensen studied centenarians throughout the world, trying to understand what their diet had to do with their longevity, so I was kind of trained according to that, to notice that diet does have some sort of an impact on peoples’ health.

“Realizing it only takes four generations to completely break down the body, one of the things that fascinated me was seeing you could reverse it, and having my children all have stronger iris structures. I had really very poor iris structure in terms of what I inherited. I’ve knitted all the fibers back together, but you never regain the constitutional integrity — you’ll still have pockets that are just knitted together. So I don’t have deep, dark pockets in my iris structure, but I have an inherently very poor constitution. In almost every eye I saw when I was studying iridology, everybody would always be continually getting worse, and that was a very depressing sight, but it was nice being able to see the reversal of it — to see that a weak-constitution person can actually have a stronger constitution if they apply the correct methodologies of healing themselves and providing nutrients for their children.”

After her studies in iridology, Kelly began studying herbology with the late Dr. John Christopher, “one of the people who brought herbology back into the country.” Dr. Christopher had studied in Canada, then returned to the U.S. and subsequently started a school of natural healing. He taught that herbs were the original medicines and that science had learned to extract what seemed to be the active ingredients, Kelly says. Although this could relieve symptoms, the herbs in their intact form “not only have the elements that help with the symptoms, they also have the elements that rebuild that particular system. So by removing the element that just gives you the symptomatic change and eliminating all of the elements that give you the rebuilding capacity, you lose the tremendous benefit that the herbs have.

“Dr. Christopher’s combinations I find to be the most effective of just about anybody I’ve worked with,” Kelly says. For a problem with the colon, for example, he “would work in a way that would stop spasms, that would create the peristalsis that would help the liver lubricate the colon correctly, that would help the stomach digest the food — he worked with the whole system.”

Dr. Jensen, she says, “always trained us to recognize when there was, for example, a potassium deficiency or a sodium deficiency or a calcium deficiency — he worked primarily with mineral deficiencies. I never was as attracted to using separated-out minerals in comparison to herbs, so I mainly used herbs to correct conditions and kept in mind using things like potassium and calcium and trying to get them more from juices and foods. After Dr. Mark Pedersen did his work on the nutrients contained in each herb, I could use herbs more specifically related to particular nutritional deficiencies to help resolve those deficiencies.”

Both Dr. Jensen and Dr. Christopher taught that the body typically breaks down for three reasons: nutritional deficiencies, toxic overload, and stress. The problem in correcting deficiencies was ascertaining which nutrients a person needed. From iridology, Kelly had learned that “people’s bodies were breaking down at a pretty significant rate in America, and there were so many body systems to work on with a person that it overwhelmed me. It became very frustrating, realizing that they have so many things wrong with them or so many organs that were broken down and trying to figure out what, specifically, you could do for them. Then when you look at the herbal field, for every organ that’s broken down, there’s a multiplicity of herbs that will go with that particular organ.

“So my big question to both Bernard Jensen and to Dr. Christopher as I studied with them was, ‘How do you pinpoint and pick, most appropriately, which herbs to work with a particular system, with a particular body type?’

“Dr. Christopher’s reaction was, basically, ‘One herb will many times do a multiplicity of things. It won’t just work on one organ structure — it might work on three or four. So you try to find ones that are most appropriate to do all the types of things you’re trying to work on with that particular person.’”

Although this partially answered her question about how to determine which herbs to use in a particular case, she still wasn’t satisfied. As it happened, a chiropractor for whom she was working asked if she would do patient exams for him. “He asked me if I would go and learn kinesiology, which I didn’t know existed at the time.”

By “kinesiology,” Kelly is referring to a group of techniques that use muscle testing to evaluate the body’s imbalances and assess its needs. Kelly learned Touch for Health, which taught that substances could be tested for their effect on the body by placing them in the mouth. She found that putting certain foods or supplements in the mouth of a person who was being tested would remedy an imbalance and allow a muscle that tested weak to test strong. In a moment of insight, she found “it was really the thing I was looking for, to tie together the most appropriate way to select herbs for a person. When I learned kinesiology, I realized it was not only something that could be used for chiropractic, to understand the muscular imbalances of the body, but also something that could help show when there’s an imbalance in one of the organs or the meridians — because any time there’s a blockage in either the lymphatic system or the circulatory system or the meridians, it creates an inability to communicate to particular muscles. So I was able to start to pinpoint what it was that people needed.” Understandably, this came as a revelation. “It was really exciting — I was pretty amazed!”

Aside from the information it provided, muscle testing allowed Kelly to confirm her evaluation of the body’s condition derived from other techniques. “Being scientific-minded, I like consistency,” she says, “and I’m not convinced of anything unless I find really strong consistencies across the board — the same problems in the iris, the musculature, and the dietary things, all confirming each other.” 

As Touch for Health became known, Kelly says, “people grabbed it and found out that it worked well for them, that it gave them some information they didn’t have any other method of obtaining. Everybody was sharing information with everybody else and networking all over the country.” She found books by the Biokinesiology Institute, in Oregon, which had done extensive work with muscle testing. Their procedure was to test substances externally, by putting them on the navel (when the person was lying down) or on a cheek. “I decided to try it and find out if I get the same results as I do with putting things in the mouth, because I don’t like to take anybody’s word for anything,” Kelly says. “I always check everything out for myself, and I’m cautious about everything until I’m thoroughly convinced.” She experimented extensively and confirmed for herself that using the cheek or navel worked but that using other locations on the body didn’t work.

Kelly combined the two forms of muscle testing she had learned into a style of her own. “I was getting much faster results with the more difficult cases,” she says. She also began muscle testing not only for what herbs made a person strong but what foods made him or her weak.

For some people, Kelly says, milk has an adverse effect on an organ or system — like constricting blood vessels or causing colon problems — without producing a full allergy reaction. “I usually want to know why it’s creating that type of reaction in the body, and with kinesiology that’s used by Touch for Health, you can go through and muscle test things like the gallbladder, the liver, the stomach, the large intestine, to find out if it’s creating an adverse hormonal reaction. Is it because of the high estrogen? Is it because of the fats?”

Testing for food allergies has allowed Kelly to find herbs or supplements to counter the effect of a food to which a client is intolerant. In cases where nothing is available, a client may have to stay off the food — sometimes indefinitely, sometimes for a certain period, also determined by muscle testing—until the problem is resolved. “I’ve seen incredible success with being able to get rid of food allergies. Just about anything, including milk intolerances, I’ve seen people turn around — which is pretty amazing to me, because that was one of the hardest ones.

“The problem I find most often is a potassium deficiency,” Kelly says, which can create intolerance to the calcium in dairy. “When you bring up the potassium levels, generally people can tolerate dairy. Before, I used to try lactase. That would help them tolerate it to a degree, but you couldn’t stop the reactions, and they had to take it with the dairy product every single time.” Once the potassium deficiency is resolved, however, “people who would double up in pain and would have a lot of mucus no longer had any kind of reaction.”

As to whether milk intolerance results from the milk itself or from the antibiotics, growth hormones, and fertilizer and pesticide residues cows consume, Kelly says she thinks several factors are involved. She’s investigating hormone-related intolerances “not only in milk but also in meat. A lot of people are amino-acid intolerant and oil intolerant, so I’ve been trying to understand why. I’ve been getting different types of meat — organic meat, kosher meat, hallal meat [slaughtered according to Muslim ritual], and some regular meat from the stores. People across the board test very poorly on regular meat and the hallal meat, if it’s high in fat. Kosher is actually the best, and organic generally is okay, but sometimes it doesn’t test well. I’m not really sure why.”

For those with difficulty digesting animal protein, vegetable protein is a possibility. “Soy products, if they’re predigested, work,” Kelly says, “but soy has a very long amino-acid chain, and our bodies can’t break down the amino-acid chain short enough when it’s in just a bean form or in a powdered form. We can only break it down to a seventeen-length chain, and we need to be able to break it down smaller than that.” Curding or culturing it, as in tofu or tempeh, “breaks down the amino-acid structure, so in that form it’s very digestible.” Other types of beans have elements in them that hinder their breakdown, but these elements can be removed by sprouting or appropriate cooking. “Other beans don’t have as long an amino-acid chain as the soybeans, but soybeans have a more complete amino-acid base.”

“We’ve pretty much lost all dietary standards,” Kelly observes. “People used to have standard diets — specific combinations of grains and beans or meat and particular grains, to give them that balance between amino acids and carbohydrates. In our society, people pretty much eat whatever they want, and they’ve gone to a very high-carbohydrate diet — and unfortunately, not only a high-carbohydrate diet but a high-glycemic diet. The types of carbohydrates they’re eating raise the glycemic levels very quickly,” she says, potatoes and refined wheat products being the most common. This “raises the insulin levels and creates inflammatory prostaglandins,” causing problems like “poor circulation, poor fueling.

“I’m finding most people to be hypoglycemic, and their blood-sugar levels are all over the place,” Kelly says. “I’m trying to work with people to bring them back to more normal homeostasis in terms of their protein levels,” because protein helps restabilize blood-sugar levels. It “makes all your enzymes, rebuilds all your tissue. I’m finding that in terms of their body structure, people are displacing their protein with fat — they’re displacing muscle and basically consuming their own body, becoming fatter and fatter. I’m trying to understand and reverse that process and reestablish muscle tissue instead of fat.”

Kelly has found that people who are intolerant to amino acids and oils also have a problem with hormonal imbalances, particularly their progesterone and estrogen levels. Muscle testing indicates that estrogen levels are “much higher, because of the estrogen that’s going into all the animals. Hormonally, we’re causing ourselves to do the very things that our body shouldn’t be doing, and we’re eating foods that are extremely high in fat.” Improving the uptake of amino acids helps relieve the hormonal imbalances.

“Most people, because of the high estrogen, need to reestablish their progesterone levels,” Kelly says. With women, she uses progesterone supplements. “With men, I’m mainly trying to reestablish their protein-to-carbohydrate balance.” When this balance is upset in men from eating too many refined carbohydrates and sweets, “their testosterone starts to turn to estrogen, so then they have a double estrogen problem.” When this balance is upset in women, their estrogen starts to turn to testosterone.

“What you find in the health field,” Kelly says, “is that most people talk mainly about elimination in terms of the colon and don’t talk much about elimination in terms of the kidneys, which actually eliminate 90 percent of the waste. When the colon is toxic it’s a major problem, but the kidneys I’m finding equally to be the problem.

“The thing that got me interested in the kidneys was that when I would get people so all their meridians would come into balance, sometimes they would still have an overactive central meridian, and I couldn’t figure out why.” Testing indicated that “in ninety-nine percent of the people, the kidneys were overactive. I couldn’t understand why everybody had these overactive kidneys or what the problem was with the kidneys. I tried to use kidney herbs and things like that — it didn’t really correct the problem, so something else was involved.”

Kelly continued to investigate and, while reading a book titled Your Health, Your Choice for her naturopathic studies, found a point “that Bernard Jensen always talked about, that very much confused me, because there was conflicting information in our society — and that was the sodium issue.” Jensen himself had written a book several decades earlier, titled The Sodium Story. “I had read it way back then but was young in the field, and it was in the recesses of my mind. I always knew sodium was important, but I also knew sodium was something to which many people tested intolerant, and a lot of people had too much sodium. I didn’t understand the difference — why sodium was so important and yet people had so much of it and still couldn’t be well.”

“Your Health, Your Choice discussed the difference between organic sodium and inorganic sodium — the difference between sodium you get in foods, like celery and romaine lettuce and spinach, and the sodium you get in salt, which is sodium combined with chloride. And understanding chemistry, I knew that once the sodium and the chloride got hooked together, they just didn’t want to separate. They’re a perfect match chemically, they fill each other’s outer electron shells, and they don’t want to hook up to anything else.

“This was the first book that ever really explained why the sodium is used in the body as a cleansing source. What it talked about was the fact that when we eat food, we basically burn it at the cellular level. When fruits and vegetables burn at the cellular level, they leave what’s called an alkaline ash, which can be eliminated through the lungs. When you burn carbohydrates and proteins at the cellular level, they leave an acid ash, which has to be eliminated via the kidneys. The acid ash is eliminated through a hookup with either sodium, potassium, calcium, or magnesium. Those are the four alkalinizing elements inside your body. They help keep the acids neutral, so they can flow through your bloodstream and be eliminated through the kidneys. If those levels become low, you start to have troubles with the gallbladder — you start stripping the sodium from the gallbladder, because sodium is your number one choice for that eliminative process.”

Sodium in the form of salt — sodium bonded with chlorine — is not available for this eliminative function, Kelly says, because even though it separates from the chlorine in body fluids, it bonds with it again in preference to the acid ash. This raises a person’s blood pressure and water content. “Then I understood the difference between why people tested bad on salt and yet were still sodium deficient. Even sea salt is a problem — it’s still hooked up to the chlorine.

“Norman Walker, who was a raw-juice therapist, would use specific foods for specific disease conditions or specific abnormalities within particular organs.” For example, Kelly says, he would use lettuce for one condition, string beans for another, carrots and beets for others. “There was only one juice he used across the board, and I never could understand why he used that one juice for everybody: carrot-spinach juice. Until I read that book, I never completely understood the sodium connection with it, because sodium used in other ways, or sodium used as sea salt, doesn’t give you the same results. But spinach happens to be one of the highest sodium foods there is. Most herbs aren’t high in sodium — they’re usually higher in potassium and the other elements, but they’re not high in sodium.

Although Kelly often recommended spinach juice in the early years of her practice, spinach is the subject of some controversy, because it has a high level of oxalic acid, which has been implicated in the formation of kidney stones, and more sodium than potassium. “Gerson’s work, in cases where the sodium levels would rise above the potassium, showed a typical cancer-type situation. They were always trying to raise the potassium above the sodium, so I kind of veered away from using sodium foods.” Subsequently, she began to wonder why, once a client’s major or minor issues were cleared up, certain major organs were “out more often than not, usually from gallbladder and liver problems and kidney problems.

“I kept trying to rebuild particular organs, and then I finally got frustrated and said, ‘Why are these organs breaking down to begin with? What have we done to cause it?’” This led her to think “about the sodium levels and understand that as we strip that sodium from the gallbladder, the bile starts to solidify, because sodium wants to hold onto liquid.” 

Another book Kelly used in her studies was The Ultimate Healing System, by Donald LePore, N.D., which groups allergies in categories according to the nutritional deficiency they represent and the herbs that can supply the required nutrients. “I found that those groups definitely correlated with people.” Kelly says. The book also pointed out “that sodium was the critical issue, and once the sodium levels go off — which starts to strip the potassium levels and the calcium levels and the magnesium levels—as you lose each level in the body, what that particular element is supposed to do is no longer functioning.

“So if the magnesium isn’t keeping the calcium moving around inside the body, then you’re going to end up having troubles with the calcium settling out, and then you’ll have an allergy reaction or an intolerant reaction as the calcium starts to settle out. Or if you don’t have the sodium, you can’t utilize your potassium correctly, and then you if don’t have potassium, you can’t utilize the calcium, so it’s this hierarchy that showed me what I was finding was true.” Although she had stopped recommending sodium foods “in my concern about not creating another condition trying to help one condition, I found that by adding the sodium foods back in, people who were having severe food intolerances — where no matter what they ate, they would have a severe reaction — were fine.” She now frequently recommends carrot-spinach juice. The oxalic acid is not a problem in this case, Norman Walker has pointed out, because it binds to calcium as a result of cooking, not when consumed raw.

Although muscle testing is based on energy, Kelly is interested in physiological mechanisms. One reason is an affinity for the subject, dating from her college days. “We had a very tough anatomy and physiology teacher in our college. This guy wanted me to become a doctor. He was always on my case — he really liked me. I would look like I was sleeping through the class, because I was always lying there like this [pantomimes her head down nearly flat on her arm] with my back to him, writing my notes, but I aced all my tests, and I knew everything he talked about. I’m fascinated by chemistry and anatomy and physiology.

“But I was so frustrated as I read the books and would find out what the doctors actually did, and I was so unimpressed by what happened with me when I was hurt and they had no answers, and when I tried to talk to them: ‘Okay, you’re telling me I can’t eat protein — now I know, from the little bit of health classes I’ve had, that if you don’t eat protein you can’t rebuild. So how am I going to rebuild this tissue that’s broken down in my body when you’re telling me I can’t utilize protein for a year?’ I would throw it right back up. And I said, ‘How are you going to heal me? How are you going to help me?’

“They had no idea. They could only remove symptoms and try to tie things back together, but they didn’t really understand the concepts of energy flow, balance, and how to restore body functioning without drugs, and that frustrated me. As I learned that the medical field spends very little time in that — that it’s mainly symptom removal and altering the body externally or cutting out organs — it didn’t intellectually or logically make sense to me. My logical mind kind of veered me away from that field, and yet they had to have fairly logical minds because it’s such technical knowledge. So once they do actually grasp the idea of holistic body functioning, they’re usually the ones I’ve found have been able to promote really good information. I like studying with the ones that have branched off in that area.”

For the nearly three decades she’s been involved in this field, Kelly says, “I’ve just watched the continual breakdown in people’s health, and the chronic illnesses have become magnified drastically — almost on a logarithmic scale, it seems, with every generation. So what I used to find simple to deal with is now more difficult — a lot more people with allergies, chronic ADD, children who have severe eczema, psoriasis, other chronic illnesses that are very difficult to turn around. I find that even simple foods they can react to, that should be normal, wholesome things.

“The breakdown is becoming so severe in terms of the allergies of children being brought up now that it’s difficult to find many things to work with — they react to almost everything you put in them. Until you get the normal homeostasis, so the energy currents function normally, improvement is hard to see. You can tell it just by the amount of ADD kids and Ritalin and Prozac and things that are being put out on the market.”

The degradation of the environment and our food supply, Kelly says, is “becoming such a problem that eventually it’s going to have to be addressed — that’s why most people seek me out. They’ve tried everything they can with the doctors, and it gets to the point where they can’t get results even with that — they’re barely maintaining their own. I see children now — eczema almost on their entire body. You can’t ignore that. Their children are so hyper they can’t even go to school — they can’t focus. But people are switching, because they’re forced into it. And I’m finding that people are willing to change.”

From 1974–76, Kelly studied at the Hippocrates Health Institute, in Boston. “During the time I was at Hippocrates,” she says, “I became involved with both macrobiotic-diet people and Hippocrates-diet people.” Macrobiotics advocates a grain- centered diet of whole foods, mostly cooked, selected according to the energy in them; the Hippocrates diet advocates consuming primarily wheatgrass juice, sprouts, and raw foods.

One of the high points of her time at Hippocrates was when “Dr. Jensen came out and did a week-long seminar, and there were about six hundred people at it. Quite a few of them were doctors, but more than the doctors- versus-the-laymen issue there was the macrobiotics-versus- the-raw-foods, especially being in Boston” — at the time, one of the centers of macrobiotic activity in the United States, in addition to being the home of the Hippocrates Institute.

“The way Bernard Jensen works is, he had a huge screen, and he went around the audience and just picked out people’s irises. Through the iris you can tell both the genetic breakdown of that person’s body from existing lesions and the type of healing” that has occurred from healed lesions that have knitted back together.

“So they sent people around the audience and picked out people to bring up. And Bernard Jensen had no idea — he’s from California, and he’s standing onstage with his marker, pointing at all the places on somebody’s iris — he doesn’t even know who they are. He has them sitting in the back, under a camera, and it transfers the picture onto the screen, and he would just sit there and talk about what their constitution was like and what they were probably doing in terms of diet that would create the types of things he was seeing inside the iris. Then he would have the person come up, and he would have them speak about what their diet was like and what they’d been doing.

“So basically, what ended up happening is that all the people who were on raw foods and had been on a lot of greens and sprouts and things like that actually had more healing signs in their irises than the macrobiotics, and the macrobiotics had more healing signs than the people who were on the regular American diet. But there was a definite hierarchy, which impressed me. A lot of the macrobiotics started coming over and discussing things with Hippocrates Health Institute people. A lot of people from Hippocrates actually had some of the weaker conditions in their eyes — they had a worse constitution to work with, and they’d gotten stronger results than the people who were on the macrobiotic diet.

“And the only thing I can ascertain in terms of why that would be so was that the Hippocrates diet was very high in amino acids, because people who followed it ate so many sprouts, and high in chlorophyll, which has a significant capacity to heal and cleanse tissues. So Hippocrates people had both the capacity to cleanse and the capacity to bring up the amino acids, which is what I’m finding to be the lowest with everybody — that everybody is pretty much amino-acid deficient.” A lot vegetarians now, Kelly says, “are really carbotarians, I term them, because they eat mostly carbohydrates. They lack protein, and they don’t really have the balanced macrobiotic diet.

“The macrobiotic diet is better than not being on a particular diet,” Kelly says, but because beans are the primary source of protein in this diet, “unless beans are cooked correctly, by sprouting them before cooking, and a person has the digestive capacity to be able break down the beans correctly or has a good intrinsic factor [an inherent ability to digest beans] functioning in the digestive system,” they may find beans hard to digest. Therefore, she thinks the Hippocrates diet had an advantage over macrobiotics in this respect. “That’s why it had faster healing signs — it was just because it had more available nutrients.”

“I’m not a high promoter of raw foods in and of themselves,” Kelly says. “There are people I find we can’t put on raw foods, because raw foods are too active for their system. I worked and lived at Hippocrates for a while, and watching some of those people try to go through their healings was traumatic. They’d have mucus coming out of their mouth, their nose, their eyes, their ears — they were going into major destructive cleanses. It was, in the end, good for their bodies, but they were all spacy — it’s not an easy way to heal. I think there needs to be a balance between the two. Many people say that when you have a broken-down system, it’s easier if you use more cooked foods, because cooking breaks down the cellulose, and you can get more of the amino acids, whereas when you’re eating raw food, if you don’t have the digestive capacity, you can’t break down the roughage.”

Nevertheless, Kelly says, it’s inadvisable to avoid raw foods entirely, “because then you’re losing the enzyme capacity. You want to get enzymes, so you can get the protein that enzymes help break down, so you can start to make your own enzymes to break things down correctly and cleanse your system. I think there needs to be a balance between the two.”

Cheryl Kelly

Shirley, MA 01464