For this week's blog, we spoke with Russell Richardson, Roland's brother, who credits his health and longevity to herbal medicine and other natural remedies.
Erin: How old are you?
Erin: And you live in South Carolina. Is that right?
Russell: Yes, in Charleston.
Erin: So it sounds like a lot of the stuff that you are doing has contributed to your longevity. Have you had any major health problems over the years that you've had to overcome at all, or have you had pretty good health over your life?
Russell: I also take CBD. About five years ago, I had prostate cancer. I had it removed, and, of course, the medication that the doctor gave me because I didn't want to continue to wear underwear to keep the leakage from coming through. The doctor gave me was quite expensive, so I didn't really do it fully. But I started taking CBD.
Erin: Okay, so you said about five years ago, and what difference have you seen from using CBD?
Russell: I usually take CBD two or three times a day and I have no problem.
Erin: Oh, wow. Did it take you a while to start to see the effects of that, or was it pretty soon after you started?
Russell: Because I was taking the medication and the CBD, really within a day or two I saw the change. There was no leakage or anything. So I got off the medication just start taking CBD oil, and I use that almost like you will take your medication.
Erin: Yeah, I hear a lot of good things about CBD. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I hear it's really helpful for a lot of different things. I wonder if you can give me another rundown of all the herbs that you take. And if you could tell me if they're in pill form, in teas, and different ways that you take the herbs that are helpful to you. So could you give me a list?
Russell: Sure. Energy AM, ancient C minerals and honey bee pollen. I usually associate with a company right here in South Carolina. I am a member, so I usually get it at a discount.
One of the interesting minerals is honey bee pollen. I have several other vitamins but I don't take them all daily. We we have a whole list of vitamins that we take and it's all herbal vitamins.
Erin: Do you take any other medications? Are you only on herbal and natural supplements?
Russell: Only on herbal vitamins. I think about probably it was about 10 years ago when I went to the doctor, who said that the way your cholesterol is, I need to give you cholesterol medication. And my cholesterol was under 200, so I asked the doc, "Well, can I just get on a diet?" He said, "no." He said, "You will take this and now you take this one for the rest of your life. When he said that, I never got it.
This was 10-12 years ago. So I just went to natural herbal vitamins. Whatever it takes, because the the alkaline water machine helps a lot also. The alkaline water machine keeps you regular. So that helps a lot.
Erin: You mentioned changing your your diet. I did want to ask you about the secret to your success when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet because I'm sure that's a huge part of maintaining longevity.
Russell: My wife says, "You eat anything and don't gain weight." I really watch my diet and then I do gain weight. But I usually eat regularly, I still eat sweets every now and then. I still eat fried food - not too often. When I eat it, like fried fish or chicken, once I take it out of the oil - because we use nothing now but olive oil - once I take it out of the olive oil, what I'll do is wrap it in pieces of paper towel and heat it in the microwave to get more of the grease out. I still try to not eat fried foods every day, maybe just once or twice a week.
Erin: And do you stick mostly to seafood and that kind of thing or do you eat a lot of chicken and meat as well?
Russell: I eat chicken, beef, and pork, but not really all the time. I just I tried to watch my diet.
Erin: So you try to keep it balanced, enjoying things in moderation, it sounds like.
Erin: Well, Hi Dr. Kristal. I just wanted to say hello, and to introduce you to the the listeners.
I also wanted to know Russell, if you could give us a rundown of a day in your life. Give us your routine to let readers and listeners know what kinds of daily habits keep you in good health. So could you give us kind of a rundown of what an average day is like for you?
Russell: Well, before the Corona started, I was still working. I had a communication business, okay, which I did the manual work for myself. So I'd crawl through attic, crawl under the house, crawl wherever they will pull cable. That's what I did.
But what really helped me when I would come home sore and all that, was to just run a tub full of warm water as hot as I can get it, and just lay in it. And so once I get out of the water, I feel so much better.
Erin: And you don't put anything in the water like Epsom salts or anything? Just hot water?
Russell: Just hot water and whatever soap or body wash but I'm gonna use. That's all that I use. But once I get out of the water, I just sort of relax.
But now that my wife - she had a beauty shop - when the COVID started, we both retired. So our main thing now is redoing the house. We just did a new kitchen. That has taken a lot of time because a lot of the work I'm doing myself.
Erin: Yeah. So even even though you've retired from doing all that manual labor, you're still staying physically active with doing projects around the house.
Russell: Yeah. Here I'm still crawling underneath the house, working on the electrical outlets and everything. Climbing ladders, spending a lot of time painting rooms.
Erin: So you have good balance and all that. That's awesome. Do you do any exercises at all other than just staying active with manual labor or stretches or anything?
Russell: Believe it or not, I just started doing some exercises about two weeks ago.
Erin: Better late than never!
Russell: I've been lifting weights and walking in the backyard and down the street, but I just run in place inside the sunroom or wherever I can find a place for about five minutes.
Erin: Kristal, I also wondered if you wanted to weigh in with any questions about herbal supplements that can help with longevity. So if you have anything you want to add...
Dr. Kristal: I was just curious about what herbs you were taking, like you mentioned like the bee pollen, and the ancient sea minerals. Are there any herbal blends that you take?
Russell: The company I'm a member of makes the herbal vitamins. The gentleman who started the business is Dr. Holt.
Erin: Is there anything that you wanted to take note of that it seems like your uncle is doing right when it comes to taking care of himself, either with supplements or activities or anything like that?
Dr. Kristal: I feel like everything, but one thing that I did like was that, when you're done with your day at work, you go home and you get in hot water and relax. A lot of people, first of all, don't go home and relax. Just adding water therapy, which is known as hydrotherapy, to your day, that really balances out the body. That's really really good.
He also mentioned how he eats everything. Nowadays, it's like everybody has a specific diet routine that they do. But you shouldn't be unable to eat everything unless you have like allergies or allergic reactions to it. But he did mention how he does it in moderation, which is very important. Those are the two things that stuck out to me which I thought were great for longevity.
Erin: Yeah, that really makes a lot of sense to me too because there are so many diets that are very restrictive now that people are so into. I think that just makes you kind of overdo it when you do go back to eating normally, so it's nice to just treat yourself every once in a while.
Russell, another thing I wanted to ask is if you could give our readers and our listeners one piece of advice about how to take care of themselves in the new year, what would it be?
Russell: A lot of your listeners may not be a believer or Christian. I am a believer and I am a deacon in my church. Okay. So my main thing is you always put God first in whatever you're about to do. I had a lot of problems 15-20 years ago; I had a lot of physical problems. So I got on my knees and I prayed to God saying "I know, Lord, that you have something. You direct my path." And it led me to the vitamins. Because within a week, once I started some of the vitamins, I started taking within a week, I was feeling so much better.
So the number one thing for me now is that I put God first. Although you put God first, you still got to be obedient to the Word of God. You have to do what God asks of you.
Matthew 16 says He gives you the key to the kingdom of heaven. And what thanks whatsoever you find on Earth, you find in Heaven. And whatsoever you loosed on Earth will be loosed in Heaven. God give me that authority and gives you that authority, the belief that you can go and find what things you find. You can find sickness, disease. And you also can claim finance. That is the God we serve. So that's number one.
The other thing is that you put good vitamins in your body because, whatever sickness you have, or whatever problem you have, if you put the right vitamin in your body, your body will rebuild itself.
Erin: So you really believe in the ability of the body to reset and repair.
Russell: Yeah, but you have to put the right substance in your body to repair it. Sure, because I recall when I first started taking these, I also had knee problems, and within a month or two after I started taking these vitamins, [I saw improvement]. I had to suffer with it for 15 years. So you have to put in your body what your body needs. The body will rebuild.
And another thing I take is collagen. So it's all a little expensive financially to keep all this up. The water machine which I have is made in Japan. And that machine when I bought it about 13 years ago was $3,600. And it's been it's really just a little machine set on the counter. It not only filters the water, it also puts an electrical charge to make the molecules smaller so it can get into your system quicker. They don't recommend that you take it with your medication, but you can take it with vitamins because the vitamins absorb so much quicker than the regular water.
Erin: Okay, you said that's the alkalized water filter?
Russell: It filters out the chlorine and everything in the water and put electrical charges. As I said, it's a little expensive because when I'm looking online is went from about $36 to about $49.
Erin: What you're doing to keep yourself healthy is a little expensive, but I think it's cheaper than buying these medications. Or if you have to be put in the hospital and other preventatives. Yeah, that makes sense. And Dr. Kristal, what about you? Do you have any advice about things that people can do in general if they want to reset their health for the new year?
Dr. Kristal: I think the important things to reset their health are basically looking at their day to day, things that they can control. You can control your hydration level, control your sleep level, you can also control the environment that you're around. When I say the environment that you're around, I mean surrounding yourself with positive people that help boost you and make you a better person. I mean, the world is literally crumbling around us and so many people get caught up in the negativity, and that also plays a toll on your health and increases your anxiety and your stress. Also, taking time to focus on yourself, like rebuilding yourself and figuring out what you need to restore. I also am a big believer in your spiritualism, your religion, being a connection within your mind, body and spirit being a part of your health. And those are really the things that I like to encourage people to do - things that they can control within their environment.