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.

We did it again!

Julia and Michelle in the ocean of suitcases

Each year we wonder how on earth we could ever pull another clinic together, and then, thanks to so many small and great gestures of help from so many, there it is: another free clinic for 3,000 people, bringing our total to 21,000! So many donations arrive with sweet greeting cards and so much love sent along to the Haitian people. We want to also extend special thanks to our friend in Staten Island, who lets us use his apartment each year as a storage warehouse and package area for the 9 suitcases we prepared — thank you, Puntsok!

This year, it seems that even more people than ever streamed to the clinic, the word of our coming spreading so fast, and more people coming from farther away than ever before. People would line up in front of the gates starting at 6 am, and kept on coming even after clinic closing hours into the night. Many of them were seriously sick, so it was hard to turn them away, leaving the clinic staff exhausted. For instance, when we left the gate one morning on our way to hold clinic in one of our mobile locations, we found about 15 very sick people who had traveled for several hours on a very bumpy bus to come see us. They were incredibly disappointed when they heard we would not have clinic in that location that day. We quickly held counsel, and decided to unpack the basics and treat them there first, before going on to our ghetto location.

Old as the Hills

As our accidental large-scale public health study continues, we are finding that the really old people are quite robust and fit — those who are now around 80 years of age. In the meantime, the generation of the now 50 to 60 year olds who have grown up with the blessings of civilization and modern life are quite sick, much worse off by comparison — with diabetes, kidney and liver problems, cysts (a problem new to Haiti), heartburn, low nutritional status due to no longer eating greens from one’s own backyard, and tumors.

The most incredible illustration of that was a very fit 145-year-old lady who walked in, who came from across the island on a bus with her youngest daughter, now 75. Very alert and engaged, she blessed everyone as she went along, and marveled what a blessing it was to receive free natural care at the clinic — a gift from heaven! While some of these numbers may not hold up in modern day linear time count, she did seem as old as the hills, and so did her youngest daughter.

In the same vein, the children have increasingly small and weak teeth inflicted with caries, and we went through our supply of clove oil very fast, giving it out for tooth ache. Such are the blessings of highly refined and processed foods.

This time we did not encounter a new epidemic, but rather a new kind of widespread skin rash. Thanks to all the wonderful donated essential oils we’ve received, we quickly found that lemon oil was most effective at treating the itchy rash. The very special gift of chamomile essential oil was wonderful for massaging the bellies of feverish babies, curing their fever overnight in many instances. The rosemary essential oil instantly treats the typical dizziness from anaemia and low blood pressure due to malnutrition, as well as hypertension-related headaches (which lavender treats as well). The respiratory and digestive blends (topically) are very effective, as are the joint rubs.

Happy children at the orphanage after receiving flower essences

Most remarkably, there was a wave women diagnosed by their doctors as having ovarian cysts. These women do not have the money for the operation, so they come to our clinic for help. We give them a blend of essential oils including thyme, lemon thyme or oregano, and the women report that this rubbed onto their bellies dissolves the cysts. It has been so successful, that many of them send their friends for the same treatment. Why thyme and its botanical relatives? Simply because we heard from many women whom we had given essential oil blends with thyme for their digestion that it dissolved their cysts as a secondary effect. While we cannot confirm the cysts are gone, we have to assume so, as all of their symptoms abide. Some women even told us that they were infertile due to the cysts, and after the treatment, they got pregnant.

Dancing Patients

Pierro making essential oil blends

One night after the clinic had closed for the day, an old lady came by, bent over with stiffness. Michelle agreed to needle her and after the treatment, to her own complete amazement, the lady was able to stand up straight. In good Haitian manner, she exclaimed “This can’t be true! It must be the chair I was sitting on!” She came back the next morning dancing to show us how much better she was.

We have many similar cases of the stiff elders being helped with homeopathic Rhus tox, and they often return to the clinic to dance for us to show off their newly found flexibility. And thanks to the FES flower essence sprays, we also have a lot of smiling children at the clinic. So while life is tough and suffering great, it never gets too gloomy at the clinic.

Giving Life a Second Chance

One of our main motivations in starting the clinic was to give the younger generation a new chance at life after the horrendous trauma of surviving a massive earthquake. Years later, we are very happy to report that this actually happened. For example, there was an 18-year-old girl who came to our clinic, still in shock after having been been raped a few months prior. She was no longer able to pay attention in school, and she kept repeating that she absolutely never ever wanted to get married. She was also suffering from a vaginal infection ever since the rape. We treated her with homeopathic Staphysagria, the flower essence combinations Grief and Fearless, an essential oil blend for vaginal infections, and an Oshadhi essential oil blend for mental focus. She quickly overcame most of her trauma and was able to resume her schoolwork, just in time to accomplish her baccalaureat (A-levels).

Another mother came to the clinic simply to recount all the different times we had treated her daughter, and all the things we had helped her overcome: injuries from the earthquake, a state of shock that made her unable to study, irregular menstrual periods, stomachache and heartburn, and anemia. Her mother ending this list by saying, “and now she is doing great in school and just got her baccalaureat and she is headed for university (free for poor people in Haiti who pass the entrance exams) — thanks to you and the clinic and God bless you and everyone who sent you!”

Hip hip hurrah! We did it again!

Jinpa, Michelle, and Julia

With endless thanks for your support:

  • The Flower Essence Society
  • April Eya of Hahnemann Laboratories, California
  • Ven. Irene Turner
  • Sandra Kong and Neil Jacobs
  • Michael Friedman and family of Restorative Medicines
  • Lora Cantele of Enhancements Aromatherapy
  • Melanie of Aromadelavnice, Slovenia and friends
  • Kate Gildae of Woodland Essence
  • Vivien Williamson of Sun Essences
  • Eva of Oshadhi, Spain
  • Gabriel Mojay of The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London
  • Mihael Kovač of Favn and Maša from Slovenia
  • Bibi Hallam of Tazeka Aromatherapy
  • Dawn Chan, Beyond Aromatherapy, Hong Kong and her friends
  • Wendy Belcourt of Ecole Internationale de Bien-Etre Toulouse and their students
  • Jonathan Hinde of Oshadhi UK
  • Madeleine Knapp-Hayes of Levensboom NL
  • Ann Harman of Circle H Institute
  • Atanas Krachmarov of Ecomaat Bulgaria
  • Cary Caster of 21 Drops
  • Pierre Olanier of Le Comptoir Aroma
  • Isabelle Roux – La Dame au Grand Cru de Ravintsara
  • Amanda Lo from Hong Kong
  • Eliane Zimmermann and her students
  • The vendors at Botanica
  • Guilherme Oberlander of Tunupa Brazil
  • Joe Nasr of Avicenna
  • Terra Flor Aromaterapia Brazil
  • Penny Price
  • Clare Licher of Phibee Aromatics
  • Evelyn et Jackie de Verdon Roses et Aromes
  • Fionna, Jana Eitner, Mara Dojalik
  • Florihana for extending a discount for the oils

Amy Chan, Bink Mak, Bobby Chow, (representing Fonnie, Winky, Dorcas Yu, Krous, Cindy, Chiu Ka Po, Patricia Wong, Helen, Clara and Ada Lai), RositaCares Clinical Aromatherapy and Nursing Services, Sarah Chan, Wynnie Ng, Christopher Horwood, Irmtraut Hoffmann, Lili Chopra and family, Lata Kennedy, Catherine Wing, Alexandra Spadea, Julia Williams, Julia Mandle, Wagner Mello, Marie-Helene Carleton, Nanette Nelms, Leigh Warre, Michael Gordon, Edward Sczudlo, Hector Malacaria, Elizabeth Johnson, Bonu deCaires, Bree Sharp, ALOHA, Bibi Hallam, Julie Mannes, Antony Cestra, Sabine Spanjer, Sarah Hamady, Julia Hengst, Yee Ming Chiu, Alexandre Apparu, Bradley Grossman, Adela-Marie Carter, Gary Schwartz, Joseph Maggio, Sakura Moriya, Rebecca’s Designs and Finds, Theresa Richmond, Jennifer Skoda, Sarah Tomlinson, Laressa Dickey, Grace Sullivan, Elizabeth van der Pas, Rachel Chaput, Andreas Ansmann, Paul Gruen, Rolf Grooten, Alexander Brebner, Julia Williams, Amy Goodman-Kiefer, Miriam Parker, Robert Pike, Susannah Slocum, Barbara Lawrence, John Son, Robert Fitzpatrick, Sarah Heller, Brian Shebairo, Peter Heatley, Jaime Schultz, Amy Hosig, Lusia Wendler, Rosalie Logan, Linda LaDue, Kristen Duff, Lilia Mead and Go Yoga, Richard LaDue, Shannon Roberts, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Geoffrey Gorden, Christine, Elizabeth, Stephanie, Cynthia Siu, Nancy Allen, Julie Tudor, Catherine Yeager, Nina Gage, David Murphy, Steven Stathis, Ken, Donna Mah, Ed Hush, Maria Cutrone, Conrad Carl, Juan, Leah Kreger, Preeti Chawla, Lorraine Thompson, Astrid Prosi Havez, Jeff Lopez, Flavia Cardoso, Mary Ellen Obias, Michael Wick…

…and anyone else we may have missed!

A Fragrant Clinic

Time has come again to raise funds for our naturopathic clinic, which has offered free treatment to 18,000 impoverished Haitians since the catastrophic earthquake to date. All poised for the next trip in May to treat another 3,000, this year will be a special year in that we will have a fragrant clinic!

After Julia gave a presentation about the clinic at Botanica Aromatherapy conference in Dublin, we received a large amount of essential oil donations. Wafts of aromatic scents have always hung over the clinic, but this year will turn out to be truly fragrant! Thus far, we have always had limited supplies of the precious oils, running out of each of them in turn as the clinic trip progressed. Essential oils along with homeopathics have been our saviors in the two epidemics, cholera and chikungunya (thankfully both of them not very active at the moment). This time, we have enough essential oils that we should make it all the way through without running out! Thank you to the very long list of distillers, suppliers, and aromatherapists (see below) for making that happen!

Also unusual is the many different countries which contributed, and we are especially touched to have received some rare and expensive oils which were donated from poorer countries to a terribly poor Haiti, or from very small distillers at a high cost. We will make sure to convey your good wishes and love to the Haitian people!

This year we are mainly raising funds to buy vegetable oil and inexpensive small plastic bottles in Haiti, so we can give patients their own essential oil blends to take home. Essential oils have been a huge part of the clinic from the beginning, as they have been our all-around anti-germ remedies in such a dirt-ridden environment. One oil blend bottle can travel from village to village, spreading its healing magic…

Spreading Healing Magic

As we said in a previous update, our clinic is a kind of accidental large-scale field study of the effectiveness of natural medicine versus conventional medicine. When Jinpa was in Haiti in November for his father’s funeral, he was greeted with an outpouring of success stories. A flood of people pleaded with him and Bernard, “Please do not stop coming!” (they knew that the clinic started in order to rescue their father after the earthquake). “We need you—the clinic is so helpful. Since we are receiving your (naturopathic) medicine, we are so much more healthy that we no longer need to go the doctor!”

Since we return to the same areas at each trip, by now about 40% of the people are just coming back to the clinic to receive a refill of their remedy (just in case!) and maybe for a health check-up. People report that they no longer have the high fevers and diarrhea they used to encounter, and no longer require antibiotics (perceived as expensive and of little use). For instance, one lady had to travel the Dominican Republic on a regular basis to receive special antibiotic shots to keep her respiratory troubles in check. Since we gave her the usual respiratory blend of essential oils to apply to her chest, she never had to return.

We hear from people who put their leftover natural remedies to creative use. For instance, there may be a bit left of their essential oil blend for a cough—which we hear they will later rub on their belly for a stomachache, with success, and then later on their foot for circulatory problems, with equal success. Because these are natural remedies and not pharmaceuticals, this actually works and is not dangerous. Our cough blend typically contains pine, eucalyptus, and thyme—equally useful for the other problems mentioned.

We also heard from a lady in Port-au-Prince who received a blend of essential oils for digestive trouble with acid reflux. We usually give a blend containing fennel, thyme, and rosemary for such problems, since in Haiti the typical digestive culprit is parasitic overgrowths. After she was healed she saved the rest of her 1-oz bottle and later sent it to her friend on the other side of the island (Jeremy). This friend had the same digestive trouble, and was also healed. He in turn sent the bottle to another friend in yet another corner of the island (Jacmel) who had similar stomach trouble—so one small bottle of essential oils (about 1% concentration) healed three people all over Haiti!

We hear many inspiring stories like this one, which make us love natural medicine even more, since this sharing of medicine is not dangerous. It also builds on the remaining local tradition of using aromatic plants for healing. And since humans have used aromatic plants for healing since the dawn of time, we feel that they intuitively grasp how to use them. It also shows how people—in the absence of a biomedical healthcare system—can be empowered to take care of their own health just by using common sense. We have many similar stories for homeopathic remedies.

Please Help Fund the Clinic

Every dollar goes a long way in this beautiful experiment. We estimate that because the non-Haitian crew is entirely volunteer, $3 USD provides each patient with a complete comprehensive treatment that includes natural remedies for their physical and emotional needs, acupuncture, nutritional supplements, cupping, massage, and/or bonesetting as required.


We’re ready to go! Let’s make it happen again.

Lastly, we will greatly miss Jinpa’s and Bernard’s father when the clinic takes place at his house again. We will think of this trip as the Jacques Guiteau Memorial Clinic, dedicated to him and all the good he did by giving out natural remedies to the people of the neighborhood in our absence. The passing of this joyous elder will be felt sorely by all of us.

With special fragrant thanks to:

  • Dawn Chan, Beyond Aromatherapy, Hong Kong and her friends
  • Wendy Belcourt of Ecole Internationale de Bien-Etre Toulouse and their students
  • Jonathan Hinde of Oshadhi UK
  • Madeleine Knapp-Hayes of Levensboom NL
  • Ann Harman of Circle H Institute
  • Atanas Krachmarov of Ecomaat Bulgaria
  • Cary Caster of 21 Drops
  • Gabriel Mojay
  • Pierre Olanier of Le Comptoir Aroma
  • Isabelle Roux – La Dame au Grand Cru de Ravintsara
  • Amanda Lo from Hong Kong
  • Eliane Zimmermann and her students
  • Eva of Oshadhi Spain
  • The vendors at Botanica
  • Guilherme Oberlander of Tunupa Brazil
  • Joe Nasr of Avicenna
  • Terra Flor Aromaterapia Brazil
  • Penny Price
  • Clare Licher of PhiBee Aromatics
  • Fionna, Jana Eitner, Mara Dojalik
  • Florihana for extending a discount for the oils
  • Michael Friedman and family of Restorative Medicines
  • Irmtraut Hoffmann

Thanks also to Amy Chan, Bink Mak, Bobby Chow, (representing Fonnie, Winky, Dorcas Yu, Krous, Cindy, Chiu Ka Po, Patricia Wong, Helen, Clara and Ada Lai), RositaCares Clinical Aromatherapy and Nursing Services, Sarah Chan, and Wynnie Ng.

An Unscheduled Visit

Dear Friends,

On the occasion of Jackie’s/Jinpa’s father’s sudden and peaceful passing two weeks ago, we had the possibility to already send some of the donated essential oils to Haiti. When Jackie reached Port-au-Prince, hundreds of people came by the house crying, because they thought that his father’s death meant the end of the Haiti Clinic. This was a very heart-warming occasion for us—in the heat of the moment, there is often more shoving and bickering in line at the clinic, than people pouring out their gratitude.

So at this time, people were expressing just how much they have appreciated the clinic. Also, at least half of the neighborhood patients—about 200 people—came to the family house to pay their respects to Jackie’s late father, who had always hosted and helped organise the clinic, as well been one of our lone outposts when we where gone. So many people said how he had helped them by giving them medicine which we had left with him while we where gone—uch as Gabrielle’s famous Andrographis pills from Thailand! It was also the time to hear many success stories of healing that we had not heard before.

Here are some of the highlights:

We always hold the clinic at Jackie’s father’s house on several days. So we have treated the entire neighborhood there for almost five years now, including a large tent camp of people rendered homeless by the earthquake. People were saying how much they love and appreciate the clinic, because not only does what we give them works (they recover!), but it keeps them in good health thereafter. Some of the parents told us “while we bring our children to you, and they get better and stay strong and healthy thereafter, the other parents bring theirs to a doctor (where they receive non-naturopathic care). Those children get sick again and again, and the parents have to bring them back to the doctor/emergency room again and again—they are just in and out of the doctor’s office or hospital all the time!”

We typically give mothers of young children a vial of homeopathic chamomile to give to the little ones for all ills such as teething, diarrhea, fevers, coughs and colds, etc. These mothers told us “Our children just are so strong and healthy. These little sugar pills are all they need now. The other mothers are still taking their children in and out of the doctor’s all the time!”

The warden of the tent camp told us that all of the people we had given Arnica to last spring for exhaustion related to self-diagnosed “anemia” had recovered. (Thanks again to the generous donation by April Eya of Hahnemann Labs!) Not only had they recovered their physical strength, but actually started to put on weight! Not a desirable outcome in our countries, but a very positive result in a starving population.

Of course none of us homeopaths have ever heard of Arnica curing anemia. So what happened? The Haitian folk diagnosis of “anemia” means looking pale, feeling weak and cold, and having weak, rubbery nails and hair loss. So it is closer to the traditional diagnosis of “poor/deficient blood” than that of a lack of red blood cells per se. Arnica of course treats exhaustion, as well as having a profound action on the blood. It seems that in a starving population, it can help recover from blood deficiency too.

Another surprising feedback—not the first time we heard this, so finally we are really paying attention—is digestive essential oils having cured “hernia”. This folk/self-diagnosis means there is something painfully bulging out of your belly which is somewhat movable and soft, yielding to pressure, mostly in the groin, or for women just below the navel. This sounds very much like the biomedical idea of a hernia. I think we have ignored the feedback thus far, because none of us has ever heard of a hernia being cured by essential oils! We do not keep client records (there is just no time and staff for this), and our “digestive aid” mix varies depending on what we have, or have not yet run out of. Generally, it contains some or all of the essential oils of rosemary, fennel, thyme, and peppermint. A total of about 10 drops of those in about 30 ml of a vegetable oil is given, with the instruction to apply it on the belly twice a day “when you are getting in and out of your clothes”, as well as before and after eating. The repeated feedback we are receiving is that this entirely cures the “hernia”. In some of these cases, the hernia was even diagnosed as such by a medical doctor.

So how would this be explained? The chosen essential oils not only improve digestion in a variety of ways, they are also antiseptic. Not many people realise that other gut conditions such as hemorrhoids can be due to pathogens irritating the gut lining—another condition where parts of the gut lining protrudes. I am wondering if the effect is due to these essential oils reducing the sheer amount of pathogens enough for the gut to calm down, return to its natural dwelling place in the abdominal cavity, giving the abdominal wall a chance to heal over the weak spot it broke through. We hear that the person heals before their bottle is empty, and they send it to other friends or relatives in some other place in Haiti who also have “hernia”, and they, too, get cured! So the bottle just keeps traveling, bestowing its healing magic, until empty.

There have been several cases of women with unexplained strong pains in the womb in pregnancy, undiagnosable and untreatable by biomedicine, and who were told hey might loose the child. Whatever we gave them (such as homeopathic Sepia and acupuncture for instance), it cured the pain on the spot, and the women gave birth to healthy, happy babies. One of the mothers whom we helped in this way in the spring approached Jackie, asking him to hold her baby. This is a custom done to thank the person who helped save the child’s life, and regarded as a blessing. She like other patients of our free clinic insisted on helping with the funeral preparations and ceremonies in order to repay the kindness.

The Chikungunya epidemic seems to have abated some, possibly because most people have had it by now and have built up natural immunity. We were also asking people if they go more to the local herbalist now (another one than the clinic’s late Oliama). We were surprised about the answer—people said they did not like going to the local traditional herbalist “because his methods and herbs are rougher.” This is a nice testimony to the naturopathic care we are offering being part of medicine douce as it is called in France, or “gentle medicine”. Homeopathy is reputed for its gentleness in action if well applied.

With love,

Jackie/Jinpa, Julia, Michelle, and Bernard

The Tale of an Epidemic

This particular trip to Haiti had quite a dramatic note. With the rapid spreading of the African mosquito-born chikungunya virus in the Caribbean, the clinic was flooded daily with cases of this severe high fever with excruciating body pains, which leaves victims with a feeling of paralysis. Seeing a flood of people as large as on our very first trip right after the earthquake, the clinic treated over 3,000 people. Based on the naturopathic paradigm we are working with, we quickly matched the symptom picture to the right remedies, and people started to recover without the typical lingering symptoms overnight.

On the second day, patients started arriving with this mysterious fever. Some of them collapsed, including babies, and “the fever” was spreading like wildfire. We heard that chikungunya can kill babies and the elderly. A friend of Jinpa’s sent the message, “Please send me medicine, I am dying of this fever!” We sent him essential oils of lavender and lemon, along with homeopathic Boneset. He called three hours later “thank you, you saved my life!” The next morning he came over to chat, and we were amazed at the quick recovery without lasting symptoms. Typically, it will take a person three days in bed with one week to two months of body aches, stiffness, and difficulty moving. From this and other cases we learned that we were on the right track.

At first, many of the babies collapsed as they were being treated, because the time it took to find the remedy was too long. It only takes three minutes, but the line of mothers carrying their babies was so long that they could not wait that long. We quickly changed the running order of the clinic, allowing mothers with babies to jump the line and be seen immediately.

Jinpa had the idea to put lavender and lemon oils into an FES mister bottle of Fear combination—there was a lot of fear in the air—and spray the baby that had collapsed on his lap with it. Within a few moments, the baby revived and its eyes, which were rolled upwards and backwards (a sign of imminent death), came back to normal. It also started crying again from the unbearable body pains, which it no longer had the life force to do before. From then on, we kept such a mister bottle at hand to mist the babies first thing to prevent them from collapsing.

Bernard giving water with essential oils to a baby that had collapsed in line while waiting.

The treatments helped prevent all the typical long-term after-effects, such as skin lesions and inability to move. Special thanks to various international homeopathic friends for helping us find the right remedies within a day, especially to Prakash for repertorizing what we had and to Kay for identifying the best essential oils! We used up every last drop of essential oil before the clinic ended, so when Jinpa himself got sick he couldn’t treat himself until he returned to New York!

The most effective remedies are essential oils of lavender and lemon, and either homeopathic Eupatorium perf. (mostly with body aches), Aconitum, or Belladonna (mostly with headache), Arsenicum (mostly with vomiting, diarrhea and digestive symptoms). Our impression was that the essential oils stopped the proliferation of the virus, while the homeopathic remedy healed the symptoms, especially that of paralysis.

As mentioned before, our clinic is an accidental large-scale field study on the effectiveness of naturopathic care. The incredible success in treating chikungunya is a testimony of that. We wanted to teach people to chew lemon zest, but lemons have become hard to find and are quite expensive. Since most places we serve are locations we visited on previous trips, we can gauge the effectiveness of the treatment by the number of return visitors. And indeed, 70-80% of patients who bother to wait for their turn in line are indeed return patients.

As usual having great success with pain relief through acupuncture.

This is not just because the clinic is mobile, local, and free. They tell us they return because what we do is extremely efficient, long-lasting, and without side effects. About a quarter of those who have stopped by for their yearly visit say they no longer need to see a doctor. Also, we routinely ask adult if they still have the nightmares, heart palpitations and fear-related sweat episodes so typical for the post-traumatic stress after the earthquake. Most of them say “No, the drops (flower essences) you gave me last time (or the time before last) took care of that.” We are ourselves surprised that the effect holds up so long.

And by now we have taught our return patients to eat the leaves of the local moringa trees, the greens with the highest nutritional value of all plant matter known to man. Our trick was to tell them how popular and expensive moringa leaf powder is in New York City, where it’s considered a “green superfood.” That was enough to motivate our Haitian patients—the thought of eating what only the millionaires of America can afford!

The locals joke that either Jinpa or Bernard (as Haitians) must run in the next Haitian presidential elections, since they do what the late Haitian dictator Papa Doc did to win the elections: heal the impoverished masses!

Heartfelt thanks to all of our sponsors, great and small!

Jinpa, Michelle, Whitney, Bernard, and Julia

With infinite thanks to:

  • Irmtraut Hoffmann
  • Michael Friedman and family of Restorative Medicines
  • Flower Essence Services
  • April Eya of Hahnemann Labs
  • Vivien Williamson of Sun Essences
  • Neil Jacobs and Sandra Kong
  • Ven. Irene Turner
  • Kyle Fischer
  • Antony Cestra
  • Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
  • Lena and the Tai Sophia Institute of Acupuncture
  • Lata of Flower Power
  • Jao Inc. for the donations of natural hand sanitizers
  • Robin Rose Bennett and her students
  • Kate Gilday of Woodland Essence
  • Ven. Andreas Ansmann
  • Thupten Puntsok and his students
  • Lili Chopra

Thanks also to Sandra Lory and family, Pascale Barthelemy for her help, Rolf Grooten, Robyn Brentano, Laressa Dickey, Martha Navas, Bree Sharp, Paul Conroy, Bradley Grossman, Andrea and Michael Gordon, Kimberley Veenhof, UJM Services, Sarah Hamady, Leza Lowitz, Grace Sullivan, Sarah Heller, Julia Hengst, Rebecca Hall, Glendy Yeung, Michelle Judge, Janine Coover, Matthew Wood, Sarah Tomlinson, Mary Smith, Maria Cutrona, Heather Stevenson, Yee Ming Chiu, Paul Gruen, Richard LaDue, Maryellen Obias, Sue, Linda LaDue, Bonu deCaires, Linda Caufield, Sandra, Terry Richmond, Astrid Prosi Havez, Shirley & Father Green, John & Joanne Stillwell, Trish, Lorraine Thompson, Karla Williams, Andrea Boyd (Jivamukti), Shannon, Leah Kreger, Jaime Schultz, Julie Tutor, Suvi Asch, Ersellia Ferron, the New York meditators, students of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Lili’s basement, and everyone else who we may have missed.