Join Us This Summer (How to Do a Summer Retreat)

Hi Everyone,

This summer, July 8-12 we will be doing our annual retreat (the third with this same format). We have a high percentage of return attendees because you learn so much, experience personal healing and enjoy the beautiful, mountainous outdoors of Star Valley, Wyoming!

I want to tell you about what is happening and personally invite you to attend with us this summer. I do not think the value for cost can be beaten anywhere!

Early each day we start off with morning Chi Gong exercises, which is like treating yourself to a combination of acupuncture, meditation, deep breathing and trapped energy release. These exercises will be repeated twice more each day in an effort to teach those who wish to do them on their own at home for a much healthier, more vital life!

Next we all go on a morning herb walk and gather something for herbal tea that day. We will be on the beautiful Haderlie Farms again this year where many herbs are available near the gurgling stream or out in the organic farm.

When we return from the morning herb walk, we will start the Low Inflammation Diet each day. This will be a raw, organic smoothie made according to Traci’s recipes (which she always gives us at the end of the retreat to help perpetuate the experience of healing that all of us (including me) need).

Next we have some kind of natural healing class. The classes will be determined after we finish consulting with those who will help us teach this year. Classes we have had in the past and/or may have this year include: reflexology, herbal medicine, humoral medicine and diagnosis, the Low Inflammation Diet, balancing the Autonomic Nervous System, visceral massage, qigong massage, basic blocking for the lay person (spinal rehabilitation and maintenance), specific herbs discussions, boosting the immune system, managing inflammation in today’s world, candida problems (the modern errors and what to do about it), calcium, repair of injuries and burns, cleansing and healing any particular body part. We also always have some Q&A time for the serious student. There will be two blocks for natural healing classes each day. We usually try to do one hands-on class and one herbal/nutritional class each day.

Midday we have lunch  and then go for a longer herb walk, usually up a nearby canyon. One day in the week we will hike up to the unique Afton intermittent spring (which may or may not be intermitting in July but is an amazing, very gentle hike and experience).

The afternoon has the next block of natural healing education.

We finish with dinner and questions and answers at around 6:30. Dr. Kal is available for hands-on personal visits/assessments after that time.

We have four days of about the same schedule.

On the 5th day we travel somewhere interesting. Last year we went to Yellowstone National Park (nearby) and Jackson Hole. This year we may do that again or we may go to Bear Lake with a canoe and swimsuits (a breathtaking experience).

Typically I make arrangements to pick people up at the Salt Lake City, UT international airport on Monday (the 7th).

We have places to camp or other accommodations are the responsibility of each individual. I am happy to help set you up with motels where others have stayed if you like so that you can be easy to pick up each morning. Nice cabins are available to rent in various places in the valley for those wanting higher end accommodations.

I hope you will all join me and have the same amazing experience everyone has had each year. Come planning to learn, heal, get grounded and enjoy some of the most beautiful, pristine mountains on the planet!

The cost is $60 per day. If you choose to have meals with us, those are an additional $40 per day (this is the low inflammation diet, which I strongly recommend you follow exclusively for the week to experience the power of this program and how quickly it can affect healing).

For more information on pricing and other details, feel free to call me: 307 413 9664 or email me through this website (the contact me button).

Thank you all,

Dr. Kal Sellers DC, MH, MT


Green Black Walnut Tincture

Before the nut is mature on the black walnut tree, the husk around the nut is green and soft. It is in its most potent state. The leaves  and inner bark are also very strong in this green state. When the nuts are picked early enough, the seed inside (the actual nut) is not mature and the whole husk and nut can be used together. When these fresh, green nuts, leaves and bark are tinctured in pure alcohol, the tincture is green. The green color is the earmark of this very potent tincture.

Black walnut as medicine (not the nut itself as food) has been used for a very long time. The extract acts like iodine when applied to the skin. Dr. Christopher said that black walnut trees actually contain high levels of iodine by biological transmutation, which happens even when the soil is nearly void of iodine. The extract or the dry powder have been used for parasites, fungal infections, repair of damaged tissue, topical disinfectant action, liver tone and any astringent activity for a very long time. Dr. Christopher became the only medic in the Army permitted to use natural herbal medicines by curing a severe case of dermatosis of the scalp using only topical application of black walnut hull tincture where he kept it saturated for 3 days.

Black walnut has many interesting properties to say the least. It seems to function as one of our plant replacements for a protomorphogen, which is a complex of proteins (usually animal proteins from a the tissue one wishes to affect) that distracts or stops inappropriate immune response to a tissue when it is taken into the gut. This is useful where damage is occurring to a tissue chronically and it will not get well. The immune system is distracted and the tissue is given proper nutrition and it then heals.

Hulda Clark made green (not dried, fresh) black walnut tincture famous with her classic parasite routine for cancer. In addition to killing parasites, black walnut is very anticancer both nutritionally and medicinally.

I keep it around mostly for killing abnormal flora in the upper digestion, stomach, pancreatic duct, sphincter of Oddi and gall bladder. I have the person take a half teaspoon of the tincture in water on an empty stomach first thing each morning. Some have gotten significanly better just doing this alone and I often include it as a key part of healing the whole gut and immune system when the person has been weak and inflamed for a long time.

I am delighted to announce that we have a fresh batch (just one) of black walnut tincture made from the green hulls and leaves, coming off the press in two weeks. We will have one gallon available and if you, as my users, want some, we will be selling two ounce bottles and you can inquire via email or the contact me button to purchase some if you want it.

Green black walnut tincture is about twice as potent as the tincture made from the dried black walnut products. My hope is to bring to you this product if you have need for it since good green black walnut tincture is difficult to obtain and expensive.

Clinical Skills and How to Develop them

When I first took a course from the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism (NAIMH), I was delighted with the different style they had and the emphasis on clinical skill as it relates to humoral herbal medicine. One comment Paul Bergner made was that many of the early herbalists were very practical and had their “sleeves rolled up.” I remember how this impressed me. At that time, I had already been practicing herbal medicine for about a decade and had learned that not every great-sounding idea that was well sold turned out to be true in real life. The studies being published often also did not represent truth or even practical application, but rather theory and distant conjecture.

The good old days may not have been all that good, as the song says, but in one way information from 1950 and earlier is a lot better. The information coming out then on natural healing was from people who were actually practicing in clinical settings where they got to see when an approach did not work. They got to notice when a diagnosis did not appear to be the real problem. They observed when patients did not respond.

Today, what happens far too often is that practitioners are actually just consultants. They tell the patient what to do as they have learned it and then when the patient does not get well, the “practitioner” ends up blaming the patient or throwing out some other untested idea. The amount of conflicting health information today is part of the confusion. In the next few lines, I want to explore what I believe should happen instead.

1. The practitioner is a keen observer of nature and knows when the patient is responding and getting better or is actually getting worse or not responding. This is not easy to develop and there are few places to learn it. It cannot be fully developed unless the practitioner actually has a clinical practice and sees patients over and over. The practitioner has to carefully assess the patient for progress and needs to honestly note it to the best of his or her ability.

Another part of this point is that the practitioner should spend plenty of time out in nature, observing how it works. The practitioner should be congruent with his or her own beliefs, morals and ethics to a meticulous point. This is vital because incongruent living clouds thinking and perception.

The practitioner should learn to notice pulse, voice, facial characteristics, posture, skin luster, tongue diagnosis and any other observable phenomenon that will represent the progression of health of the individual. Massage therapists or at least foot reflexologists and zone therapists have an advantage in that they are able to touch and feel the overall tone and flow of the person. Chiropractors are also able to determine if the body is integrating well.

2. The practitioner is always interested in refining his or her understanding about what is happening with the patient. This involves considering carefully assumed diagnosis as well as subsequent treatment. Does the treatment really work? This is how I first figured out that candida might not be what they said it was. I noticed that I could kill candida–in fact I could do it while feeding the person fruit juice–in a couple days using oak bark or Dr. Christopher’s Yellow Dock Combination. But when the mythical “systemic candida” case came, my own treatment helped minimally and none of the other treatments and diets worked well either! I considered at that point that candida might not be the right diagnosis. While everyone else kept on running on the same bad assumptions, I asked myself some questions based on the first point above. One of them was, “Is it likely that candida would be able to take over all the functions of an otherwise healthy person and ruin their health all by itself?” I had to conclude that such an idea was ludicrous. Now I have the best success treating “systemic candida” of anyone I have ever heard of and I never treat candida. I know it is gut failure and subsequent imbalance and endocrine exhaustion. The candida shows up last, if at all.

One way to look at clinical skills is simply application–can you apply some therapy or idea. The rest of the story is that clinical skills must include the ability to assess what is wrong, how the patient is responding, what is the natural faculty failure that got us to this point, what is the actual need of the body, what part of what is going on is actually adaptation (rather than actual weakness in the body), what current factors are limiting or confounding in the healing process (such as exposure to vast amounts of synthetic estrogen in the environment today, or such as all the EMF exposure today), etc.

I have this conversation again and again in my courses, gradually (I hope) developing in my students a process of critical thought when it comes to clinical application. I teach some basic face diagnosis and reflexology in my retreats each year, hopefully teaching my students how to determine overall health of the patient. I sometimes attack modern ideas that have lost the vision of the body as an intelligent part of nature. In these cases, I may be overzealous but I get the student to consider another perspective.

One key to good clinical skill is to be able to consider multiple perspectives objectively. One has an opinion, of course. What we do not do when faced with a problem is defend our position. Rather we consider what we see and possible ways of looking at it. This is certainly easier for some than others, but some ability to do this is vital. A favorite quote comes from Aristotle, who said, “It is a sign of a trained mind to be able to consider an idea without embracing it.”

The quote is deeper even than it appears at first. The implication, to me at least, is that the ignorant, undisciplined and untrained mind, has only two choices when presented with a new idea: embrace it or reject it. The trained mind has the power to consider an idea for its merits, adopt a change of soul if the idea exposes flaws in the one considering it and then look for the wisdom in the origin of the idea–all without actually either embracing or rejecting the idea.

The individual’s own opinions are viewed honestly as opinions. What the individual actually knows that s/he knows is accepted quietly as a foundation on which to consider all other ideas. A practical approach is just a practical approach, a tool set so to speak, and is never treated as dogma.

Finally, the good clinician is always asking in every situation, “Have I (or my system of thinking) mistaken the end for the means?” This is precisely what happened with two very popular ideas today: candida and pH. The end of a healthy gut, good nutrition and wise behaviors is blood with an alkaline pH. Manipulating pH is no better whatsoever than cutting out a gall bladder that does not work. The cause and the potential cure are ignored completely and the gall bladder is treated like the cause alone. Candida we have already mentioned. It is very like the people who come to a train wreck to scavenge up the usable items. They are not the cause of the mess or wreck! They may slow the cleanup and getting rid of them is not always bad, but they also might help the cleanup!

I do not believe good clinical applications can ever come out of any mistake of the end for the means. We always should be looking for what is the real need of our neighbors and brothers and sisters in the human family. Why are they manifesting disease and how can I help? That is the honest question of the good clinician. The answer is not always forthcoming and the best approach may sometimes prove insufficient, but good clinical skills will produce a culture that is healthier and healthier. That is not what is happening today.



Dr. Kal, who are you and what are these courses like?

This is a real question from a confused visitor to the site. It represents, I suppose, a percentage of those who visit and wonder what to make of this site, which is structured different from any other of its type. This is intentional because I do not wish to be confused with other pop health tabloid literature sites, but my school is not a licensed official school that can grant MH degrees at this time (though we keep hoping we will have the means to do this in the near future). In any case, this woman asked nicely what I was, who I was, why should she listen to me and what will she get from the courses on my site. Here is my short answer to her:
The courses speak for themselves. They are recordings of live classes done here in Star Valley almost each week for two years (we are not done recording the whole series). The idea is to teach individuals how to effectively apply herbal medicine and natural healing strategies to healing themselves or to work professionally. I emphasize clinical expertise, which, to me, seems to be a lost art and science in the wake of too many agendas.
MH is Master Herbalist, which is a masters degree that is unaccredited (there is no accredited herbology degree) in the study of herbal medicine.
DC is Doctor of Chiropractic, which is of course both licensed and accredited. I use chiropractic, but I also use a lot of natural healing and work with people all over the world via skype to help them heal themselves of the most common ailment of our day, which is a major systemic inflammation problem that generates pain, weakness, bloat and fatigue. It is often called systemic candida, but this is a misnomer and continues to lead to treatment that does not really work to get people well. This makes up about 80% of my consulting practice and dealing with just about everything else you can think of makes up the other 20%.
The chiropractic clients are a very different split as you might imagine.
I have been doing natural healing of some kind since I was in Junior High, back in the 1980s.
I hope that helps you know a little about me and decide what you want to do.
Dr. Kal

What are Kidney Herbs?

Kidney herbs are those that strengthen, activate, tone or disinfect the kidneys. In addition, the kidneys require proper nutrition to function properly, mostly trace minerals, certain amino acids and vitamin A and P (bioflavanoids). Common kidney herbs are diuretics like dandelion, plantain, parsley, uva ursi and burdock seed. All sweet carminative herbs (cardamom, caraway, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, fennel) are diuretic when drunk as tea. Plantain and parsley give strength and tone. Uva ursi and juniper berries disinfect the kidneys. Marshmallow root soothes the kidney when it is irritated. Hydrangea root and gravel root both are solvents for stones and deposits of all types in the kidneys.

Candida, Fungus and Flora Imbalances

Hello Everyone,

StarValleyHerbalCollege (SVHC) .com welcomes You!

In this, the first of many blogs, we shall discuss yeast overgrowth and infections. It is exceedingly rare that yeast is the cause of disease. For that, your immune system must be very low, like clinically low as after chemotherapy or with late-stage AIDS. More commonly it is a mild irritant. I work with people all the time with so-called systemic candida. They are very sick and have multiple system failures at a subclinical level (meaning it is not a diagnosible disease, usually, but is ruining their life nonetheless). Of maybe 300 of these cases in the last 4-5 years, only two actually had a serious candida overgrowth even present! The rest of them had some candida present, but it was not significant.

To correctly understand infection, we need to understand that the germ is nothing, the behavior and response of the body is everything. To those who know about Louis Pasteur‘s last words on the subject, this may sound familiar, but it is something very much discovered on my own as it has been rediscovered by natural healers in every age. The behavoir of the body is determined by the internal conditions like chemistry, unusable particles from digestion, weakness of cells and tissues in an area, lymphatic congestion, nerve supply, general tone and hydration levels (which can be excess or deficient) and perhaps other factors of balance, nourishment and elimination.

In one course I took from NAIMH, Dr. Bergner shared information on an Iranian study where individuals with dysentery were given high doses of golden seal. In this study, intestinal flora counts were done before and after to see the effect of the treatment on healthy bacteria. The individuals all got better from the dysentery and the bacteria counts were completely unaffected, including the pathogenic bacteria that caused the dysentery! For those steeped in Western medicine, this may seem totally inconceivable, but to natural healers, this is just stating the obvious. The germ is nothing, the terrain and the subsequent response of the body is everything.

In the case of systemic meltdown attributed to candida, however, even the identification of candida as a trigger is an error. Actually, candida shows up at the end, not the beginning of the illness.

So, I want to distinguish between that discussion about systemic meltdown, which is discussed elsewhere in the courses for sale on this site and also elsewhere in my radio shows and articles all over the internet, and the current discussion which is about actually killing candida and other yeasts and fungal infections.

When this overgrowth occurs in adults in the intestine, an itchy sensation will follow and often spreads to the hair follicles throughout the body since the overgrowth gets into the lymphatic system. Such an infection is simple to kill and is usually quite easy to kill. The remedy we use for thrush and for all intestinal overgrowths of yeast or fungus is white oak bark. My preference is to stir the powder into water, but a decoction is also very good if you happen to have cut (pieces) root. I know of nothing so powerful. To clear the lymphatic system, a combination of black walnut leaves or hulls, pau d’ arco and bayberry works very nicely. Pau d arco is a carrier and a blood alterative in this situation and, in my estimation, is grossly overestimated as a candida killer. It is, however, a splendid blood alterative, changing the disease function of the blood into a state of healing or health. Alone, alteratives rarely heal significant disease, but they do put the body into a state of healing so that other wise choices are effective.

There are many popular articles talking about candida remedies and I have looked at and experimented with most of them. I will be honest, I find most of them so overstated that they are virtually useless or so slow that I would never consider exchanging oak bark for any of them.

For children with thrush, we usually like to give the oak bark powder in a little juice, which actually serves to carry the oak bark to the candida like a Trojan horse and is easier to take. For adults, water is fine. The use of the decoction may require more frequent use since it gets used and then is gone. In that case, I would use 2 ounces 1-10 times per day for 1-14 days. Generally, all fungal infections in the intestines and lymph are destroyed in 3 days. Usually in one day. If, however, it takes longer than 2 weeks, fungus and yeast are not the problem and you have misdiagnosed the situation.

In cases of vaginal or topical yeast, just a douche or application of the decoction of oak bark will do. However, in many cases in my practice I have found that vaginal flora imbalances where a bacteria, not a yeast is the problem, are increasingly common. In these cases, we use a tea made of granulated garlic (only the granulated seems to work) and use that as a douche. Additionally, we stay off all the refined foods that any person wanting to be healthy would avoid: dairy, bread, refined sweeteners (white ones of ANY type), processed and packaged food and all processed meats. Stubborn cases may need additional help to drain the lymphatic system of the lower abdomen to cure vaginal flora imbalances forever.

Finally, it is important to know that if a person has something like invasive aspergillosis, which is a fungal infection of the lungs or other tissues that destroys them, further help is needed to restore the immune system, heal the damaged tissue and kill the infection, which can build a wall around itself to protect itself from normal immune response. Only very toxic tissues give way to this infection, but if it occurs it can be difficult to repair and needs extra help.

Thanks for reading, Dr. Kaly Sellers, DC, MH, Director of SVHC

Creating Healthy Individuals and Successful Practitioners