While researching Smallpox to add to HerbalLegacy, we repeatedly found conflicting information.  Some sources said that smallpox is not a contagious disease, and other sources said it was a highly contagious disease.  All sources expressed concern about the safety of the smallpox vaccine.

For those who are worried about the possibility of exposure to smallpox due to the recent terrorist acts against the United States, there is some good news.  Unlike pulmonary anthrax, which is fatal, the majority of smallpox patients survive.  When smallpox cases were rampant, knowledge of disease and medical treatment was dramatically different than today.  A number of eruptive diseases such as measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever etc. were regarded as smallpox before Dr. Sydenham differentiated between the various symptom-complexes.  We do not have accurate numbers as to how many cases were actually smallpox!  In addition, how diseases were treated in those days compared to how disease is treated today is astounding.  Under the conventional medical treatment at the time, patients were drugged heroically, bled profusely, were smothered in blankets, wallowed in dirty linen, were allowed no water or fresh air.  While we might have to agree that patients continue to be “drugged heroically” today, patients are no longer bled, they have fresh bedding, and we give them fluids and fresh air.  In addition to these treatments, the patients were often given milk, brandy or wine. They were given Antimony and Mercury in large doses. We have since learned that Mercury is toxic to the body.  Perhaps the cure killed off more patients than the disease did!  Fever patients were put into vapor bath chambers in order to sweat the impurities out of the system, but they were given no fluids!  Anyone who has studied the Dr. Christopher Method knows that hot baths can do wonders, but you must give the patient fluids!  You must replace what is removed!  When these poor souls would cry for water, they weren't given any, and when they were gasping for air they were carried to a dry-hot room and after a while were returned to the steam torture. Many must have died of Heat Stroke.  Remember, “a wet fever heals, a dry fever kills.”

Smallpox appears to have originated after the collapse of the Greek and Roman Empires.  These empires were well known for their high standards of health and cleanliness.  A disease resembling smallpox devastated Africa and Asia, but the great “pagan” civilizations were spared.  Why?  Perhaps it had to do with their public baths, gymnasia, solaria, athletic stadiums, municipal water supply, drainage, toilet facilities, well-aired, sunny, spacious and clean living quarters, garbage disposal, simple, natural and unspoiled foods.  The sanitary conditions of the towns and cities of Europe were nowhere near as high as that of the Roman and Greek Empires.  According to Montgomery's English History, the streets of London and other cities were rarely more than twelve to fifteen feet wide and were neither paved nor lighted. There were pools of stagnant water accumulating everywhere, heaps of garbage piled everywhere, and only removed when it began to obstruct the traffic. There was no sewage and dead dogs, cats, rubbish, rotten vegetable and fruit refuse, human and animal excreta, and slops from the kitchen were all thrown into the streets. This sounds like prime breeding ground for a variety of diseases.  These were the conditions in which the bubonic plague thrived!  The cities were surrounded by high walls, and could not expand so people were forced to live in a slum-like manner. There were holes for windows, which provided little or no ventilation.  Entire families slept in one room - often in one bed - and hundreds of people would live in one building!  The people rarely washed, they had no bathtubs, seldom had underwear and wore the same clothes day and night. They lived in utter poverty, working long slave-like hours (even the children), drank heavily of alcohol, ate spoiled, unnatural food and suffered from malnutrition.  The wealthier classes fared only slightly better. 

With time, these conditions changed.  Sewage systems were developed, bathing became more popular, and people stopped dumping their trash in the streets.  Dr. John Tilden said “There is no question but that perfect sanitation has almost obliterated this disease, and sooner or later will dispose of it entirely. Of course, when that time comes, in all probability the credit will be given to vaccination."  This came to pass in 1977, when the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been eradicated from the earth.  This statement, however, is misleading.

The last naturally occurring case of smallpox occurred October 26, 1977 in Somalia.  All cases since then have been caused by laboratory exposure, or vaccination.  WHO should have said that there have been no l naturally occurring cases of smallpox since 1977.  They cannot claim it has been eradicated because it exists in laboratories! Also, the monkeypox virus differs from smallpox by only a slight difference in the protein structure.  And, as has been done before, there is a suspicious discrepancy in the number of smallpox cases.  Many more deaths have been attributed to the measles and chickenpox in the years of the smallpox decline.  There have been several cases of diseases that were most likely smallpox, but were listed as eczema.  This could be an attempt to cover up the fact that smallpox was not eradicated, as the World Health Organization claimed.  This does not mean that WHO is trying to cover anything up - it just looks a little suspicious.


Initial symptoms include high fever, fatigue, and head and back aches. A characteristic rash, most prominent on the face, arms, and legs, follows in 2-3 days. The rash starts with flat red lesions that evolve at the same rate. Lesions become pus-filled and begin to crust early in the second week. Scabs develop and then separate and fall off after about 3-4 weeks.  The majority of patients with smallpox recover, but death occurs in up to 30% of cases.


Smallpox is caused by the variola virus.  The incubation period is about 12 days (range: 7 to 17 days) following exposure.  Smallpox is spread from one person to another by infected saliva droplets that expose a susceptible person having face-to-face contact with the ill person. Persons with smallpox are most infectious during the first week of illness, because that is when the largest amount of virus is present in saliva. However, some risk of transmission lasts until all scabs have fallen off.

Walene James: "Dr Campbell discovered smallpox was caused by the bite of a bedbug...and the degree of severity of the disease was directly proportional to the cachexia (general ill health and malnutrition) of the patient...He spoke of "scorbutic cachexia" relating it to scurvy, "the disease caused by lack of green food" and said "the removal of this perversion of nutrition will so mitigate the virulence of this malady as positively to prevent the pitting or pocking of smallpox." (Immunization p54.  Bacteria Inc by Cash Asher 1949).

"There is no question but that perfect sanitation has almost obliterated this disease, and sooner or later will dispose of it entirely. Of course, when that time comes, in all probability the credit will be given to vaccination." -- John Tilden, MD

" a filth disease, that its microzymas grow in morbid soil only and that the smallpox eruptions are a sign of rapid elimination of hereditary and acquired disease traits. " -- Henry Lindlahr M.D.

"Noticing the class of people among whom the disease is most fatal, I was led to the conclusion that the cause in most cases was dirt, and that vaccination was powerless to prevent it. I found that where there was most overcrowding there smallpox was most prevalent. The worst case I have ever seen occurred three weeks after re-vaccination." -- Dr Allinson

"I am myself perfectly convinced that all zymotic diseases arise from and are intensified by unsanitary conditions and surroundings; that the abolition of the latter is the only radical method of stamping out this class of disease, that to put out one by a special prophylactic, while the conditions which produce all abound, is as illogical as it is impracticable; and that further, when that prophylactic is fraught with risk which, though it may be small, is yet not certainly avoidable, compulsory vaccination becomes cruel as well as ineffectual." -- Dr Collins


Many of the sources we checked while researching smallpox said that there is no treatment.  They said that all you can do is administer the smallpox vaccine and treat the secondary infections, such as gangrene.  Dr. Christopher said “There are no incurable diseases, there are only incurable people.”  So we checked to see what Dr. Christopher would do for smallpox.  In his books, School of Natural Healing and Herbal Home Health Care, Dr. Christopher mentioned several herbs that would help with smallpox.  These herbs are: Garlic, Bistort, Black Cohosh, Goldenseal, Hyssop, Lobelia, Pennyroyal, Tansy, Tormentil, and Yarrow.  In addition, the Super Garlic Immune formula would be an excellent formula to use, as it boosts the immune system and has anti-viral properties.  In addition, the lower bowel tonic would play a big part in the program in that keeping the bowel moving is extremely important in all health issues.

Herbal Aids:

Tansy: Use the infusion or decoction as a wash, etc. [SNH p.123] Infusion of tansy:  See formula using tansy and distilled water. [SNH p.124]

Natural Cleansing of the Body: It is alarming to hear a mother say, "When my child was breaking out with chicken pox (measles, or some other childhood disease), he was given some suppressive medication, and only two or three small spots broke out on his body."  Here, unknowingly, the parents have gone against nature's procedure for cleaning out the toxins of the body.  They have locked in the harmful condition, which may give the body trouble, perhaps many years later. [HHH p.21]

General Instructions: Give the child a warm catnip tea enema. Herbal teas such as catnip and peppermint, pleurisy root and catnip, red raspberry leaf, and yarrow or pennyroyal, elder flowers and peppermint with vinegar and water will relieve the itching. Also, bathe or sponge skin with tea made of burdock root, golden seal and yellow dock root in case of severe itching. [HHH p.50]

More General Instructions: The proper program is to cleanse the body and to follow the program of moist heat and bring out a good showing of the pox. Use the following instruction for all types of high fever diseases. (See aids to fevers and their causes, appendix D.) [HHH p.170] If the child is slow in breaking out, give him a good hot (warm) bath. Have him drink lots of liquids throughout the day -- fruit and vegetable juices, lemonade sweetened with honey (no sugars), and fruits. If this program is followed, the disease should follow a mild course with little discomfort.  [HHH p.50]

Skin Eruptions: When rashes and pus eruptions of disease break out on the body, do not stop them. This is poison in the body that should be released. Keeping the skin from breaking out is again defeating nature's efforts for a complete healing and housecleaning. The larger the breakout of rashes (chicken pox, measles, etc.) the better off the child! If the body is in a fairly clean condition and you follow these suggestions of natural therapy you may see that the rash is not as heavy as you might expect -- because there was not that amount of toxic waste to eliminate. In other cases the body can be well covered with the dermal or dermatitis breakout.
There is nothing to fear as long as you are willing to work with nature. [There is much more information about skin eruptions in the appendix on p. 174.] [HHH p.174]

Yarrow: If you give the tea to children during the early stages of eruptive diseases, such as measles, chicken pox, smallpox, etc., the tea will help the disease to break out more quickly and thus shorten the time. Dr. Christopher recommended a mixture of Yarrow, pleurisy root and lady's slipper (or skullcap) for the measles.

Anytime there is a fever, no matter what the disease, Yarrow can help break it and bring the disease to a speedier ending. [UW-Yarrow]

Vinegar: A child suffering from the itch of chicken pox or measles can be sponged with a solution of 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 distilled water. [NL 4-7]

General Instructions: This disease must be brought to the surface through the skin as   rapidly as possible. Diaphoretic herbs such as yarrow and raspberry leaf are excellent. Use vapor baths (such as ginger, mustard and cayenne), which bring the toxic wastes to a head quickly. Moisture is required or the organic calcium will turn into inorganic calcium because of the feverish dry body heat, which causes further tissue damage. Rheumatic fever is often the aftermath of diseases such as chicken pox and measles. Take care of the bronchi and the eyes. Avoid bright light, since the eyes are weak at this time. The bowels should be kept open with the lower bowel tonic Lower Bowel. A catnip enema is soothing and beneficial. Ripe fruits will assist in the cleansing process. [SNH p.36]

General Instructions Especially for Children: If the child is slow in breaking out, give a good hot bath. It is important to clean out the bowels, so give the patient a warm    catnip (tea) enema each day. Put him to bed and give a tea made of equal parts of yarrow, pleurisy root and lady's slipper (use valerian root or catnip if lady's slipper is unavailable). Give this tea freely to produce perspiration which will also lower the fever. (Red sage, red raspberry leaf or chamomile teas are also excellent for a patient with measles.) Also, a pleasant herbal tea made of equal parts catnip, raspberry leaf, peppermint leaf, can be given freely throughout the day. It is best to keep the room dark so that the eyes will not become irritated. In the event the child's eyes do become sore, bathe them two or three times a day with a solution (tea) made of equal parts of eyebright, raspberry leaf, and golden seal. If the child complains of itching, bathe or sponge the skin with a tea made of yellow dock and burdock root and/or golden seal. Adding a little apple cider vinegar to a tub of bath water is also helpful. Guard the patient against bronchial troubles and earache and have him drink plenty of liquids (distilled water, herbal teas, as recommended, and fruit juices). The diet should be simple--plenty of fresh ripe fruit, fruit juices and fresh vegetable juice. One very good combination is carrot juice with celery, spinach and parsley juice added to taste. [HHH p.105]

Bistort: Bistort decoction, powder, etc., is very cleansing, astringing and toning; also combine equal parts with red raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus). [SNH p.162]

European Pennyroyal: Give the infusion in teacupful doses, repeated frequently (every 1-2 hours), and when the herb is unavailable, 1-3 drops of the oil in warm water is excellent. Pennyroyal has an agreeable and warming influence on the stomach, and its diaphoretic and stimulative action recommends it highly for feverish conditions, bronchial congestion, eruptive diseases (measles, smallpox, etc.). [SNH p.283]

Golden Seal Wash: Use as a wash the formula using golden seal and linseed oil.  [SNH p.439]


Vaccination against smallpox is not recommended to prevent the disease in the general public and therefore is not available.  Routine vaccination for smallpox was discontinued in 1972.  Read on for more information concerning the smallpox vaccine:

"There is no question but that perfect sanitation has almost obliterated this disease, and sooner or later will dispose of it entirely.  Of course, when that time comes, in all probability the credit will be given to vaccination." -- John Tilden MD

"I well remember, some years ago, listening to a knighted medical researcher as he spoke, on the radio, about vaccines. He told two classical stories form the history books. The first concerned Edward Jenner who, according to history, watched as the milkmaid caught cowpox and this protected her from smallpox. So Jenner got some of the 'cowpox' and inoculated it into someone's arm - it fostered and the pus was then inoculated into someone else - 100% success was claimed. 100%!! How absurd - complete with all sorts of germs including hepatitis, syphilis and whatever. If one did that today, without antibiotics, the death rate would be huge."-- Dr Kalokerinos, M.D.

"The lymph used was of unknown origin, kept in capillary glass tubes, from whence it was blown into a cup into which the lancet was dipped. No pretence of cleaning the lancet was made; it drew blood in very many instances, and it was used upon as many as 276 during the first day (on board ship). one can estimate the number of healthy, innocent children, as well as adults, who are inoculated with syphilis or other foul disease." -- William Tebb 1884 (Compulsory Vaccination in England by William Tebb)

"The doctor, dipping his lancet in the bottle of mystery, wiped it on a spot on the arm, and cut and cross-cut the skin, and then, after rapidly stretching and closing the incisions with his thumbs, gave the wretch his ticket and passed him on.    Such was the ordinance of Vaccination-a sight not to be forgotten." -- F. SCRIMSHAW 1883

"HUMAN AND Bovine Tuberculosis.-At a meeting of the National Veterinary Association, on May 8, in a paper written by Mr. J. K. Cox, of the Army Veterinary Department, several cases were cited where the milk from "wasting cows " was used for food, and those using the milk were attacked with phthisia and died. Apparently there is no question among veterinarians that tuberculosis is communicable in the milk and flesh of animals to man; and if thus communicable in the process of digestion, how much more must it be communicable when the products of disease from tuberculosis animals are inoculated in the blood under the euphemism of "pure lymph from the calf!" . (Vaccination Inquirer 1883 Vol5 p114)

"I should be sorry to see a leper cook, and I go further than that.   In vaccinating, I think hardly a medical man would take vaccine lymph from the arm of a leper infant.  I know it has been our practice for the last twenty years not to do so." -- 1883 Dr Henry Ebden, President of the (South African) Medical Board (Leprosy & Vaccination by William Tebb)

"The chief of the Public Health Department was clearly not aware that until a comparatively recent period arm-to-arm vaccination was practically the only method in vogue; and at the time Mr. Ritchie's declaration was made, to the effect that none of the lymph in use had passed through the human body, at least three-fourths of the lymph in use in the United Kingdom was the variety known as arm-to-arm vaccination virus." -- William Tebb 1893

"LYMPH, a colourless nutritive fluid in animal bodies" (Chambers' Dictionary). How misleading to apply this term to a product of disease, used to produce another disease, and now admitted to be capable of transmitting some of the most horrible diseases which afflict mankind-syphilis and leprosy!" -- Alfred Wallace

"Perhaps the greatest evil of immunization lies in its diversion of public attention from true methods of disease prevention. It encourages public authorities to permit all kinds of sanitary defects and social problems to remain undressed, particularly in schools. It ignores the part played by food and sunlight and many other factors in the maintenance of health. It exaggerates the risk of diphtheria and works upon the fear of parents. The more it is supported by public authorities, the more will its dangers and disadvantages be concealed or denied." -- M. Meadow Bayly, M.R.C.S., 1944

To test the effectiveness of natural immunity versus vaccination, the nonvaccinated Kingston Clinic staff challenged six vaccinated doctors to join them, in 1936, in a smallpox isolation unit. The doctors had the very good sense not to accept the offer.
"Smallpox is considered one of the most virulent of contagious diseases, and it is generally believed that persons exposed are almost invariably attacked, unless protected by vaccination. This is one of the most stupendous exaggerations to be found in medical literature. My experience has been that very few people take it when exposed to it." -- John Tilden MD

Severity of Smallpox:

Many people are panicking about the possibility of a smallpox outbreak due to biological warfare.  These people need to be reminded about the conditions in which smallpox thrived in the 1700's, and how the majority of the population no longer live that way.  We no longer throw our trash and sewage into the street.  We have indoor plumbing, we live clean lives, and the care that our patients receive is a lot better than it was back then.  Our patients are clean, they get clean sheets, and they are not crammed into sickrooms with tons of other patients. Nor are they bled or given mercury, both of which will kill you.  Read on for further information regarding the severity of the smallpox disease:

"Dr. Bridges, in his Report, observes that "of 796 visitors who paid 1118 visits, only 3 were afterwards admitted into the hospital with small-pox."  Mr. Sweeting, of the Fulham Hospital, writes :-" 33 patients were visited by 48 persons, who made altogether 76 visits; only one of the visitors was afterwards admitted with small-pox." ...Dr. Bernard, of the Stockwell Hospital, writes :-" 1056 visits were paid into the wards of the hospital. It is interesting to be able to say that, as far as I have heard, no one caught small-pox thereby;" -- The Fable of the Smallpox Nurses and Revaccination

"As a matter of fact, perhaps it is safe to say that not more than 10 per cent of the people ever would take smallpox if sleeping in the same bed with an infected smallpox victim." -- Dr Hay

"Both Press and Radio continue to preach that smallpox is a terribly infectious and deadly scourge. They never tell us that " - . - provided no mischief be done either by physician or nurse, it is the most safe and slight of all diseases". (Dr. Thomas Sydenham, 1688). -- Lionel Dole

"For years Dr. Matthew J. Rodermund, MD of Wisconsin, USA, offered $10,000 to anyone who could prove scientifically that smallpox is contagious. Nobody ever claimed the money.  Dr Charles A.A. Campbell, MD of San Antonio, USA, who was for years in charge of an isolation hospital made exhaustive experiments in order to demonstrate that smallpox is contagious, but found that this is not the case." -- Keki Sidhwa ND

"Dr Rodermund, a physician in the state of Wisconsin, created a sensation by smearing his body with the exudate of smallpox sores in order to demonstrate to his medical colleagues that a healthy body could not be infected with the disease.  He was arrested and quarantined in jail, but not before he had come into contact with many people.  Not a single case of smallpox developed through this "exposure"....I have ...handled intimately thousands of cases of contagious diseases, and I do not remember a single instance where any of us was the least affected by such contact." -- Henry Lindlahr MD (Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics p 39).

An Obstinate Baby -- At a public meeting held in the Town Hall, Derby, March 2, 1871, a working man caused much amusement by asking Dr Greaves how it was that when four out five of his children were down with smallpox, the fifth, unvaccinated, would not take the disease, although placed between two of the others in bed.

"In a recent number of the Leicester Free Press, it is said :" So far as we are concerned in Leicester, a town containing 120,000 inhabitants, with many thousands of unvaccinated children, smallpox seems to be about the least dangerous of all diseases, and is not to be named by the side of scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, diarrhea, or even consumption. If a case of small-pox is discovered, instant isolation is adopted, and during the last five years we have hardly had five deaths. That being the state of the case, one need not wonder that the fear of the disease should disappear, or that resistance to vaccination should increase." -- William Tebb 1881

"Dr. Russell T. Trall, the eminent Natural Hygienist, considered smallpox "as essentially . . . not a dangerous disease." He cared for large numbers of patients afflicted with smallpox and never lost a case. Under conventional medical treatment, patients were drugged heroically, bled profusely, were smothered in blankets, wallowed in dirty linen, were allowed no water, fresh air and stuffed with milk, brandy or wine. Antimony and Mercury were medicated in large doses. Physicians kept their patients bundled up warm in bed, with the room heated and doors and windows carefully closed, so that not a breath of fresh air could get in, and given freely large doses of drugs to induce sweating (Sudorifics), plus wine and aromatized liquors. Fever patients were put into vapor bath chambers in order to sweat the impurities out of the system. Given no water when they cried for it and when gasping for air were carried to a dry-hot room and after a while were returned to the steam torture. Many must have died of Heat Stroke!" -- Dr Shelton DC

"During the Brighton smallpox outbreak (1950-51), the usual BBC encephalitis campaign opened with an anonymous doctor assuring the world, with authoritative emphasis, that "smallpox is the most infectious disease known to Man"! The BBC had evidently never heard of influenza. During the smallpox outbreak of 1961-2, on the other hand, we heard medical officers of health saying on the radio such things as, "After all, smallpox is not such a very infectious disease." This would have been held to be pure blasphemy only a few years ago. May the good work go on!" -- Lionel Dole

Herbal Formulas:

Super Garlic Immune: Dr. Christopher's Immune System Support Formula
Echinacea with Goldenseal

See Also:

Dr. John R. Christopher's "Cold Sheet Treatment"
Dr. John R. Christopher's "Super Garlic Immune Formula"

"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"