A Haitian monk brings home the gift of healing

Venerable Thupten Jinpa, a Haitian-born Tibetan Buddhist monk, was in meditation retreat in France on January 12, 2010, when his caretakers interrupted him with news of the terrible earthquake that devastated his native country.

Ven. Jinpa's first priority was to contact his father and make sure he was all right. This phone call, though heartbreaking, was the first step in an incredible journey of compassion, love and service.

Successful Training at the Haiti Clinic

Thank you to all the donors!!! Jinpa has returned from Haiti after a very successful training for the clinic staff.

In November the island experienced the worst phase of politically-motivated street violence ever, because of which the tiny island country made world headlines for one sad day. Gang violence has also become extreme – until now, shootings never took place before all children were in school, but since Jinpa returned, even children on their way to school are being shot dead.

Anti-corruption protests in Haiti

A Dangerous Journey

The car that picked up Jinpa at the airport broke down at the very crossroads most dreaded for daily shootings, in a spot between ocean and high mountains where everyone has to pass. They spent a few harrowing moments waiting to get shot at any moment, when miraculously a rich man in a jeep stopped to pick him and Camio up – a crazily dangerous thing to do in such a spot. The stranger told them he had heard a voice in his head telling him God wanted him to pick up those people and bring them to safety, as he dropped them at the clinic gate.

After Jinpa’s departure, the situation degraded further and the clinic had to stay closed for two weeks due to the riots. This was the first time the political violence also reached the neighborhood where the clinic is. It is open again now. Meanwhile, some senators have been arrested for paying people to start violent rioting in otherwise peaceful demonstrations. 

Jinpa reports “My experience of going to Haiti, my home country, was very different this year. I would not encourage others to do this, but I can now understand people who talk about how special it feels when you risk your life to go and help others.” Thank you for everyone’s prayers to keep him safe!

Training Holistic Healers

Marie-Lucie learning to use the iPad and materia medica.

Jinpa supervised Camio and Marie-Lucie at work, as planned. This proved extremely fruitful, as he was able to spot their weaknesses and teach them new special skills. Thanks to some of you donating used laptops and iPads, Jinpa was able to set them each up with a laptop containing all the training videos we have done thus far (thanks to Kaia for compressing them!). They had great difficulties watching them on YouTube before, because this cost so much (data to watch videos on a smartphone) and because of electricity constantly breaking down. Now they can reload the computers from the solar panel and slowly study all the videos independently of the internet, taking notes and asking questions. This will save the clinic about USD $250 a year, which now can go to medicines.

The Miracle of True Holistic Case Taking

Jinpa also brought them a homeopathic materia medica and a repertory, and he trained them how to look up and study individual remedies as well as highly specific symptom pictures. This greatly helped them understand holistic case-taking and individualizing the cases, causing a true quantum leap in their understanding. “Wow, now we really understand what homeopathy and holistic healing is!” they said.

Jinpa showed them how to apply this to the case-taking interviews. One of the patients was a 45 year-old ex-military. He complained about pain from kidney stones, gassiness, and shoulder pain from right to left. Not surprisingly, Camio and Marie-Lucie thought of Lycopodium (Club Moss) which covers those symptoms, but Jinpa encouraged them to look deeper. Teaching them to ask what makes the symptoms worse and what better, checking for desires and aversion etc., they discovered that he could not stand a tight collar around his neck. This is a red flag sign for another remedy, Lachesis, and Jinpa taught them to ask confirming questions “Do you ever feel jealous?” in this case.

To Marie-Lucie’s and Camio’s great surprise, the man answered “OK, forget about all those other pains. They are annoying, but jealousy is the worst of all of my troubles – I am jealous of everyone for everything, so bad that my wife is about to divorce me for that! Drop everything else, just please give me a medicine for jealousy if you have!” This was a perfect teaching example for the remedy (Lachesis) not only to match some, but all of the physical symptoms and also totally match his mental state. The man received a single dose of the remedy and came back a few days later, reporting that all of his pain was gone and that he had passed the kidney stones, something a well-chosen remedy will bring about. Most importantly, his jealousy was also greatly diminished.

Miraculous Essential Oils

Donations arrive at the clinic.

What’s interesting for the practitioner in Haiti is the severity of cases, because most people do not have the money to see a doctor or have surgery. Here are a few things we learned. We had already seen that diluted Yarrow essential oil works miracles for vaginal infections so bad that the discharge is blood-stained. Now we discovered that uterine fibroids (fibroid tumors) can be healed by external application of diluted Yarrow essential oil (about 1%, applied twice or three times a day on the spot where the belly bulges). Thank you so much to Atanas Krachmarov of Ecomaat in Bulgaria for this very precious donation!

US herbalists know to use yarrow tea, tincture or sitz bath for fibroids. The application of the essential oil will bring on the missing period flow, so the body can bleed out the tumor.  Just in case you are wondering, a lot of these women come to the clinic with a “uterine fibroma” diagnosis from the doctor, and they are asking for a palliative treatment for the secondary problems only. The complete cure of the fibroids comes as a great surprise. The bottle Yarrow oil is now reserved for those extreme cases!

Another case is that of a 36 year-old woman who had seen multiple doctors in vain for the extremely bad stench of her period flow. It was so bad, she explained, that as soon as her blood came, everyone else had to flee from the house. This had gone on for 20 years and greatly impacted her social situation. At a loss for what to do, Camio gave her our tried-and-true diluted Tea Tree/Lavender essential oil (one drop in water for a vaginal wash). One week later, the lady returned to the clinic, crying with gratitude, because she was entirely healed. We assume the stink was caused by a bad vaginal infection.

Patient register

We are presently looking for a donation of oil of Palmarosa and Patchouli for skin infections, which are the only oils effective for a severe condition locally called “leprosy,” which forces people to live in colonies separate from others. It is not what we call leprosy and we are trying to figure out the medical name of this disease, which includes pus oozing out from the pores. Please contact us if you have some of these oils to spare!

Holistic Medicine Heals more than One Condition 

We see it confirmed daily that not only do natural remedies not cause side-effects if used correctly, they heal more than one condition at a time. For instance, the very bitter Wormwood tea given to children not only expels worms, but also stops their hair loss and helps regrow hair. Marie-Lucie tells us they now give Wormwood tea whenever a child has hair loss even if there are no typical worm symptoms, and it will cure the hair loss. We think this is, because Wormwood dispels obvious or hidden worms, which interfere with appetite and cause insufficient absorption of nutrients, which can lead to hair loss. Wormwood tea also strengthens the digestive mucosa against all kinds of parasites and increases its ability for nutrient absorption, all of which would help healthy hair growth.

Healing Damage from Hormone Therapy

A lot of women in Haiti become infertile from the expensive birth control shots with artificial hormones. These shots are supposed to protect from unwanted pregnancy for three months at a time. As with the traditional “pill”, their period does not always return when they stop the treatment, often for years. We confirmed countless times that a single dose of Pulsatilla or Sepia 30 C well-matched to the case brings back the bleeding within three days.

We are happy that despite all the danger, this was a very successful trip, and that the clinic has reached the state we wanted it to reach: thanks to all of your contributions, the Haitian practitioners are well-trained and independent, doing excellent work! 

Much love from Jinpa, Julia, and Michelle

And a huge thanks again to all the donors who have made this year’s clinic a success!

  • Ven. Irene Turner
  • April Eya of Hahnemann Labs in California
  • Karen Williams of Aromatics International
  • Michael Friedman of Restorative Medicine
  • Atanas Krachmarov of Ecomaat, Bulgaria
  • Anna Doxie of the Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy
  • Julie Duffy of Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • John Schlottig and Hyland’s Homeopathics
  • Solar Energy International (SEI)
  • The students at Thupten Jinpa’s fundraising retreat, Thupten Puntsok, Sandra Lory and friends, Megan Mook, Leigh Warre, Michelle LaDue, Heidi Whooler, Ben Parker, Inaya Ahmed, Ileana Diaz, Paul Green, Tracy Chiu, Lucienne Villeneuve, Noga Shefi, Eugene Massey, Ani Tenzin Palmo, Kaia Fischer, Ben Parker,  Laressa Dickey, Nancy Allen, Gary Schwartz, Michael Royall, Fusae Noda, Andrea Lemon, Sheila Hollister, Lauren Holloway Digital LLC, Anupama Kulkarni,   Kelsey Reinke, Paul Kite , Ven. Robina Courtin, Paula Dear, Amy Hosig, Ann Tracy, Maria Cutrona, and anyone else who escaped.

The Naturopathic Relief Clinic in Haiti as needed as ever

Dear friends, 

Our free clinic is still there after almost nine year, in an average neighborhood of Port-au-Prince where 90% of the people cannot afford medical care, having offered free treatment to about 70,000 people!!!

This is more important than ever. Since the government hospitals continue to be on strike on and off during which the staff is not paid, most have left to work for expensive private hospitals. Until recently, most people could afford the small government hospital fees which have gone up a lot and have become unaffordable. This is why offering our free clinic remains a lifeline for tens of thousands every year.  And those patients who can continue to give donation in cash or kind to keep “their” clinic going.

Every year when the anniversary of the earthquake comes, we are reminded of why we started – people still go into states of panic as they remember what they went through, and the clinic fills with people who tremble uncontrollably and have racing hearts.

Jinpa is presently in New York City preparing to fly to further train the clinic staff. Unknown attackers opened gunfire onto the unpopular Haitian president last week, and while only his bodyguards were injured, this sparked riots anew. For safety, we chose not to have anyone who is not Haitian to go to Haiti. 

Jinpa and students at the fundraising retreat in Long Island organized by Megan

A Exploitation-Ridden Country

Many of you have asked about the current political situation in Haiti. Here is a little update: Haiti continues to be one of the planet’s poorest countries, named as being amongst those with the greatest levels of starvation. The north was hit by another devastating earthquake. Fuel prices recently increased by up to 51%, sparking days of violent protests and looting. While the local currency is rapidly losing value, there are many huge corruption scandals, such as that of Dominican Republic Senator Felix Bautista who embezzled millions of US dollars from the US destined to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake.

Photos such as this spread via social media spark riots: Where did the PetroCaribe money go?

Rampant corruption amongst local politicians is sparking more civil unrest in the PetroCaribe money corruption scandal, with millions more of public funds having gone missing. All of these crimes have majorly contributed to the unspeakable poverty of the common people.

Not Even the Most Basic Infrastructure

If we thought the water was dirty and causing widespread infectious disease last year, it became even worse and now is slimy. Thanks to the donated water filter, the clinic continues to give out clean water for free. Also, there is practically no public electricity in Haiti any more, and the clinic’s solar panel needed a charge controller and battery to be able to provide electricity also when there is no sun. The charge controller was kindly donated by Solar Energy International.  Thanks to lax French postal service not checking international safety rules, we were able to send a big bicycle battery to Haiti for the clinic – which is not allowed. Finally, our clinic ladies Camio and Marie-Lucie can recharge their phones in the long weeks when there is no electricity to stay in touch with us about treatment questions.

The Miracle Clinic

A few years ago, we were dubbed the “miracle doctors” – the neighborhood now calls us as the the “miracle clinic,” because they are amazed that the natural remedies can heal conditions which seem untreatable. We had many cases of first or second stage cancer which entirely disappeared with poke root tincture, both disease and cure diagnosed by a local medical doctor.

Children marked by chronic malnutrition

Here are a few other stories: A 6-year-old girl came to the clinic with eruptions on the scalp which itched so extremely, that she could no longer attend school. It has also caused all her hair to fall out. She received homeopathic Histaminium and Silica to heal itching and eruption and diluted Rosemary essential oil to help restore her hair. Her family was totally surprised when it regrew beautifully. She is now a happy little girl and back in school. The entire treatment probably cost about $1 USD.

Camio’s 88 year old mother fell walking and injured her hip. We treated her homeopathically first for a soft tissue inury, then for the swelling of her leg, and finally, once she received an x-ray 10 days after she fell, for a broken femur head (Arnica, Natrium mur., and Eupatorium perf., which is Boneset). She was x-rayed again a few days later in preparation for possible surgery at the hospital, when the examining doctor confronted Camio, “What did you do? She has no swelling, no pain, and the x-rays show that her that her bone set itself and is already starting to heal. She came into the hospital walking, yet people her age cannot with a broken femur head. What is going on?!?”

Camio explained that she is studying homeopathy and had treated her. The doctor then called all the interns to present them this case, saying “This is what I have been trying to teach you: this is what natural medicine can do!” Camio felt very proud for being asked to explain what she did in front of so many doctors, and we thought it was great that the x-rays showed that the Native American Indians were not wrong in calling Boneset a plant which sets bone. The natural treatment cost a few cents. This shows how naturopathic treatment is not only effective, but also economical.

The clinic’s dispensary shelf

The vitamin powder donated by Restorative Medicines have been very helpful for people with dizziness, anemia, general weakness, wasting, as well as amenorrhea from malnutrition. They come back saying that they are healed and — a nice bonus! — their sexual energy is back stronger than ever before. Well, that’s a nice measure of nutritional status… The side effect of this is that now, the clinic is flooded by young men wishing to receive the miracle medicine for sexual power! Of course we do not give the vitamins to them, but to those we think are the most malnourished and deprived. Such as the little girl on the photo above: She used to cry incessantly because her head was aching, so she could no longer attend school and ate cardboard, mud and stones off of the house walls, and pulled out her hair. This all can be the sign of extreme mineral deficiency. Since she received the multi-vitamin, all of those symptoms vanished and she is now back in school.

We have also managed to build up the clinic’s homeopathic remedies to a complete pharmacy. Special thanks to Hahnemann Labs in California for giving so generously to the clinic!

This clinic cannot continue without your help, so please donate via Paypal naturopathicreliefclinic@gmail.com or see http://haiti.citronica.com/help for an address to send remedies to.

Thank you once again for all of your support,
Love from Julia, Jinpa, and Michelle

With special thanks to our most recent donors:

  • Ven. Irene Turner
  • April Eya of Hahnemann Labs in California
  • Karen Williams of Aromatics International
  • Michael Friedman of Restorative Medicines
  • Anna Doxie of the Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy
  • Julie Duffy of Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Solar Energy International (SEI)
  • The students at Thupten Jinpa’s  fundraising retreat, Thupten Puntsok, Sandra Lory and friends, Megan Mook, Leigh Warre, Michelle LaDue, Heidi Whooler, Ben Parker, Inaya Ahmed, Ileana Diaz, Paul Green, Tracy Chiu, Lucienne Villeneuve, Noga Shefi, Eugene Massey, Ani Tenzin Palmo, Kyle, and anyone else who escaped our attention…

Celebrating One Year Permanent Haiti Clinic

Dear Friends,

Severe skin afflictions due to contaminated water respond well to treatment with diluted essential oils

Hard to imagine but true, since we started running the clinic permanently one year ago, it has offered free service to an incredible 28,500 people! This brings the clinic’s total patient count up to almost 50,000! Marie-Lucie and Camio run clinic in two locations in Port-au-Prince area three days a week, as well as taking trips to an orphanage, going to the town of Léogane, as well as servicing another ghetto about 20 minutes by bus from where they usually work. Patients also come from the far reaches of the island by bus. Clinics were very needed as the government hospitals were on strike from December up to July, and all water is still contaminated leading to the most horrible skin afflictions. Many children are covered head to toe with skin sores.

While the political situation seemed to calm down over the summer, there are new severe political riots since September making Haiti quite dangerous, so our dreams of returning to the clinic is on hold again. The corrupt government increased taxes on all basic goods so much that the general population can no longer afford to run a small business or buy food, so now there is a general strike with all small businesses closed, no public transportation such as tabtabs, and wild street riots.

Training our Helpers

We are really impressed with how well it has worked to train Camio and Marie-Lucie, our former helpers, via video and whatsapp. It was easy for them to grasp the concept of holistic diagnosis and prescribing as it is very close to the traditional way of Haitian thinking. Camio says “I feel like I am living a dream. I always wanted to be a nurse, but did not have enough school education to do so. Thank you to all of you and the clinic, here I am now treating the sick which is something I love, and people even call me ‘doctor,’” she laughs. But when expressing their gratitude to all of you for being given the chance to work in such a meaningful way healing others, they both shed tears of gratitude.

People continue to stop by Camio’s house outside of clinic hours for medical emergency service, and we had to ask both to not work more than three days a week (which means seeing about 300 people) so they would not burn out. They were both very surprised when we gave them the total number of how many people they had already seen in the year which passed (28 500 to date), not having noticed the enormity of their work.

Marie-Lucie and Camio

Leaf Doctors

Amongst all the good natural remedies we send, homeopathy and essential oils are very popular, and also the dried herbs receive special attention. Haitians call herbalists “docteurs feuilles,” leaf doctors. For them, plant leaves mean medicine. They usually receive a small amount of dried herbs for tea at the clinic and return after some time, saying “please could I have some more of those leaves – they are really efficient! My symptoms are much better/gone.” One such example is Wormwood, a very bitter aromatic tea, for indigestion and intestinal parasites. Julia gave a detailed account of the use of essential oils at the clinic at the IFPA conference in London in September.

The Locals own “Their Clinic” 

It is not all bad that we, the “magical,” “rich” people from America and Europe cannot be at the clinic. When we were there, the Haitians liked to be the victims. Since we are no longer present, they are taking responsibility themselves so that the clinic so precious and important to them can continue. For instance, the people at the main post office intercept the parcels we mail from France, put them into their personal bags and thus sneak them by customs when leaving work. This saves the clinic an incredible amount of customs payments – and the post office workers come for free treatment in turn.

The Haitians Chip In

We have always been careful not to create and foster more dependence on foreign help than necessary. Since the clinic has been open three days a week for the last year, more and more locals asked why all service was free? They started to bring gallons of vegetable oil for the aromatherapy blends out of gratitude and some insisted to pay. “I would pay if I saw the doctor – the doctor does not help me and you cured my condition. I should pay you!” So we decided to put up a donation box. The clinic receives all kinds of donations now of those who can afford to offer something, from cash for supplies such as surgical gloves to alcohol for the homeopathic preparations, clean bottled water for the herbs, honey, molasses, and even living chicken. We are very pleased to see that the patients so appreciate the service that they are happy to participate in small ways to keep the project going. These donations help us reduce costs for clinic supplies. At the same time, we have continued to reach out to the desperately poor and street children (these two groups represent 80% of the patients), making it clear that they are seen for free. The street children have the worst of all cases of skin disease, as they have no home, bath, or parents to take care of them. We are grateful to Marie-Lucie and Camio, two compassionate women, who enjoy taking care of these children otherwise so badly neglected.

Jinpa supporting Camio and Marie-Lucie via Whatsapp from France

Seeing more Chronic Diseases

The clinic’s permanence has also shifted the kind of diseases we see – it is increasingly also becoming a clinic for chronic diseases also. As patients with acute disease such as eczema, heart palpitations or insomnia heal, they return to ask for help with their stomach ulcers, liver disease or cancer. Due to junk food, hormonal birth control and environmental toxins, cancer and especially breast caner is now quite widespread. People react very well to the natural remedies we provide, and thanks to the Youtube training videos we continue to make, Camio and Marie-Lucie learning to treat solid tumors, as well. External application of diluted essential oils works very well to combat the wound infections when tumors break through the skin, herbal Pokeroot and various homeopathics helps to shrink the tumors.

Fighting the Lack of the Most Basic Infrastructure

We were very happy to be able to add a small solar panel to the clinic’s minimal equipment, as the constant power-outs made phone contact next to impossible. This is still very much needed, as Julia and Jinpa continue to provide medical advice in difficult cases almost on a daily basis. A very good water filter is on its way (thank you, John!), as tap water is highly contaminated and most bottled water a fraud – that is, it is not clean spring water but contaminated tap water sold as bottled spring water.

Drying Artemisia annua for malaria treatment to send to Haiti

Outlook – an Herb Garden!

We have made three attempts before to establish an herb garden, the last of which was destroyed by the neighbor’s scratching hens. We have now found a small piece of safer land (chicken-free!) in which we will try again. Our hope is that the clinic can grow its own supply of those herbs which will grow in a tropical country, such as Calendula. And of course we will continue the video training for our two ladies!

This clinic cannot continue without your help, so please donate via Paypal naturopathicreliefclinic@gmail.com or see http://haiti.citronica.com/help for an address to send remedies to.

Thank you once again to all the donors as well as to Michelle who has worked very hard packing and shipping mountains of boxes over the last months to keep the clinic well supplied!

Love from Julia, Jinpa, and Michelle

Plastic rice and plastic chicken

By now, the Naturopathic Clinic has been running permanently for almost four months, being open two days a week or more as needed in one of the poor neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince. The women are seeing about 160 people per week, bringing the total of people treated for free up to 24,500 patients to date!

Also, after 1-1/2 years of boycott by the losing opposition, the elected new president has finally been inaugurated. Whether or not this will stop the street riots fed by the corrupt opposition remains to be seen. Haiti has seen an unabated series of disasters since the hurricane, and we have to figure out a new problem every week. The problems are compounded by the fact that the government hospitals have been on strike for the last two months and more people than ever are flocking to our clinic.

Plastic rice and plastic chicken

End of December, we started receiving the oddest of videos from Haiti with a call for help – everyone was sick from eating plastic rice. Not new to China, contraband rice made from melted white and clear plastic bags has flooded Haiti. Impossible to tell apart from real rice, it cooks slightly more sticky, tastes normal enough, and leaves the victim nauseated, bloated, and constipated. We were not able to figure out a homeopathic remedy for “sick from eating plastic”, however a laxative helped instantaneously.

Since we could not afford the rare and now expensive castor oil, we told people to resort to the old Haitian home remedy for constipation: drinking soap water, the poor man’s laxative. The crew figured out that using digestive essential oils in a 1 % blend rubbed on the belly, immediately made people belch a lot and brought on stool, much to the relief of the sufferers. Thank you again to Madeleine from Levensboom for those oils!!!

Within a week, there were plastic vermicelli in Haiti and were people asked to light their noodles before cooking them, for if they burnt easily and released toxic fumes, they were the criminal stuff and dangerous. Try to imagine if you are extremely hungry already and finally manage to buy one meager meal for your family, only to find out some Chinese bandits made it out of plastic…

About a week after that, the market got flooded with plastic chicken breast pieces, and videos went around teaching people how to identify the fake stuff from the real. The last we heard is that they found plastic lettuce.

People have asked us, “Who on earth would do such a thing?” Well, people with no ethics whatsoever. I heard that if those criminals manage to market just one batch of the contraband fake food, they gain so much money that it makes the risk of getting caught worthwhile.

We think that Haiti is somewhat of a testing ground for these things right now, because the country has had no functioning system of governance nor justice for a long time. Haiti is also so small, it cannot defend itself on an international level.

A special thanks to ERO Charitable Foundation for their grant to the clinic, which includes a budget for castor oil! Their contribution will cover the clinic until end of March.

Mysterious epidemic

As if all of this were not enough, in the aftermath of hurricane Matthew most chicken died from a mysterious disease. Hungry as people are, many ate the dead birds in spite of warnings not to. Since then, many of them suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and very severe rashes and infected skin eruptions. Even the local authorities do not know what it is, and as it is contagious, it spreads within the families.

Since it seems to be a bacterial infection, we are now treating it with cautious internal doses of essential oils of tea tree, palmarosa, and rosalina (thanks to expert aromatherapist Rhiannon Harris for helping with this, and again to Madeleine for the oils!) along with homeopathic Silica. As a result, all symptoms vanish within a few days. Homeopathic Silica is a real hit for pus-filled skin sores especially on the head (thank you, Hahnemann Labs!).

“They call us doctors!”

Jinpa and Julia have been making a series of training videos on emergency homeopathy in French-Créole for the staff, as phone lines always break down after a few minutes, not allowing for in-depth explanation of anything. Camio and Marie-Lucie have been working with us for the past 7 years, learning the basics from watching us do. They are now seeing patients, and sending us text messages when they get stuck with a difficult case.

The neighborhood has fully embraced their work, knocking on their doors in the middle of the night to call them to an emergency, or lining up in front of the clinic door in the mornings to say thank you and report how much better they feel. “They call me ‘doctor’ now!” Camio exclaimed a bit embarrassed.

Maybe I can sneak off with the last milk powder…

In one case, she saw a little boy with severe dizziness, nausea, and weakness. Through good case-taking, she understood he was just much too hungry to function, and went to buy a little bottle of Ovomaltine nutritional powder for him from her own money. When she walked down the road a little later, she heard him call “Doctor, doctor, I’m all better, see, I’m playing soccer now!”

Another time when she walked home, she hear a voice call “Miss, miss!” It was a woman. “Do you see the child playing there? You saved her life last week, when she almost died!” Nothing better than restoring a child’s desire to run and play! The very beneficial work has greatly increased the self-esteem and social status of these formerly unemployed women.

What’s new? Helping the Haitians to help themselves

Grateful for the treatment they have received, and for the effectiveness of the natural remedies, people are increasingly offering whatever little money they can spare to contribute to the clinic’s running costs. “The doctor and the antibiotics did not help me, and you did, and it was even for free!” many have said.

We decided to put up a donation box, allowing everyone to contribute as they wish or can. We also feel that this is a good step towards the clinic being more of a community-supported effort, rather than something that some other rich country makes happen for them. We will use this cash to help buy the plastic bottles and vegetable base oil we use to dispense remedies. One very grateful patient returned with a gallon of oil! This is real grassroots work – encouraging the Haitians to help themselves, rather than staying victims.

In the consultation chair

Here is our favorite selection of cute children’s photos for this time – again heart-breaking to see how starved many look:

The clinic is making a huge difference. Camio told us “although the children are still not eating, the clinic makes such a difference in their lives that they are healthy and do well in school. We hear the same from the orphanage, where the teachers are surprised that thanks to the remedies, the hungry children are still learning and playing. Meci bon dié, thank you God and bless the people who are sending help!”

Please help us keep the clinic alive and going, any donations are greatly welcome, as always via Paypal or directly through one of us. We are really looking for a donation of lavender essential oil!

—Julia, Jinpa, and Michelle (our shipping heroine!)

Jinpa and Julia teaching homeopathy in French-Créole to the staff

Winter update

We are pleased to announce that since Hurricane Matthew, the clinic has treated more than 1,800 people for free.

The marketplace in Petionville, Port-au-Prince, was set on fire by the losing political parties, forcing us to temporarily discontinue our mobile clinic in the Petionville ghetto.

Before giving you more clinic updates, allow us to explain a bit about the political situation in Haiti. The island has been without proper government for more than a year, because the election results were said to be fraudulent. So after a full year of political chaos and street riots, Haiti finally voted two weeks ago, the results having been proclaimed last week. Jovenel Moïse who won one year ago won again with a strong majority of 56%.

His political opponents had already called to riots before the election results were published, and those riots continue right now. They are expected to last through mid-January, when Mr. Moïse finally gets sworn in. He succeeds the former president, first in a long time to neither be corrupt nor hold on to power, and is seen as a man of the people. We think this is why his opponents-generally corrupt-caused such an uproar about his election.

In general, the clinic has been open almost every day, though it was closed more than we would have liked through these turbulent times. Jinpa’s assessment of the situation is that “it’s so cheap in Haiti to pay a few people to start a riot in your favor.” Everyone is hungry and out of work. So why not get paid to help cause a riot?

Michelle preparing thousands of Arnica capsules to be sent; Julia labeling bottles in Créole.

In the meantime, many donations of medicine have arrived in New York and France. We already have sent some and are preparing the rest to be shipped. Thank you for all the wonderful contributions!

Making the clinic permanent

Jinpa receiving a box of essential oil donations to ship.

As for the clinic, our team of three women will be able to continue working for the weeks to come. Keelan, a male nurse from Canada will join them for two weeks in mid-January. Camio, Marie-Lucie, and Nelia have now experienced the joy of saving lives and are very dedicated to the task. They all know aromatherapy very well, and we have given them some Skype classes on homeopathy to advance their skills—a real challenge with ever-failing electricity and phone lines.

More supplies are in the mail as the clinic has run out of essential oils. This is a good exercise for the team to find a homeopathic remedy for the same condition they usually treat with essential oils. For instance, we helped them work out that Pulsatilla and Aconite work well for the kind of palpitations in the highly stressed poor women fighting to make a few pennies to keep their children alive. (I can’t say “fed”, because that sounds like full meals.) They also report great success treating head colds, pain, etc.

The team at Woodland Essence not only sent fabulous herbs and herbal salves, but also toys for the children.

What is most remarkable is that people say again and again that the natural treatments not only eliminate their symptoms, but actually strengthens them so that they do not relapse for several months afterwards. This goes from colds and flu to worms and vaginal infections. We are thrilled by this confirmation that natural remedies strengthen our life force rather than weakening it.

Administering homeopathic cina for worms in water.

Our goal is to keep the clinic running two days a week, always at the same time, so people know when it is open and can travel there to get treatment. We are also hoping to revive the mobile clinic, once the streets are safe enough for the team to go into other parts of town.

It is really a gift of hope

While the clinic has a very good track record of healing, what is almost more important is that it offers a beacon hope. It breaks our hearts to receive the photos and see the hopelessness written all over people’s faces, and to see how skinny and hungry people look.

The photo on the left betrays that, in order for the parents be able to afford sending their children to school, they have to starve them. The photo on the right shows people waiting in line to be seen at the Petionville clinic (inside a church).

People often ask us, “Why does this always happen in Haiti?” The simple answer is that Haiti is quite capable of sustaining itself, but repeated foreign invasions have broken down that ability (such as France, Germany, and the United States repeatedly stealing Haiti’s gold reserves by force).

Children come to the clinic after school.

Furthermore, Haiti is in the main path of hurricanes, and with climate change the storms are now more frequent and more severe. The island is also situated on a major fault line running all the way to Mexico, so earthquakes are to be expected. But because it’s such a poor country, everything is built with inferior construction materials, which makes buildings in Haiti more vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricane winds than buildings in richer countries.

Lastly, Haiti used to be able to sustain itself with its own agricultural production, but foreign aid has changed the market in a way that makes it impossible for local farmers to compete, leaving them impoverished. Food from industrial agriculture made in USA has flooded the market, pushing out local goods such as rice and lemons. See “The Curse of Charity in Haiti” for more about this problem.

Once again, thank you to all our donors! Learn more about how you can help us bring the gift of healing to this beautiful country.

Camio making an essential oil blend—we ask patients who live nearby to bring a bottle with a little vegetable oil for their blends. Right: It takes some explaining for people to understand how the tiny homeopathic granules can be powerful enough to heal.