Our little clinic is still running, despite all the odds, continually adapting to new challenges. It has by now rendered free service under dangerous conditions to over 90 000 desperately poor people, who otherwise have no access to healthcare.
The political situation in Haiti is completely out of control, or rather in the control of randomly shooting gangs. Kidnapping is rampant. People are so demoralised, they are wishing for a strong foreign military power to invade and restore law and order. We were lucky to manage sending supplies via boat when the harbour was not shut down. The vitamins donated by Restorative Medicines, the essential oils and herbal supplies arrived, but were held at Port-au-Prince port, because it was too dangerous to deliver them to the city area. The staff had to wait for a day when someone somehow heard the the gangs were going to shoot some place else that day, so they rushed to pick them up. On the way back, they had to drive zig-zag around all the shootings in their way, only narrowly avoiding getting shot at. So we had to treat the entire staff for shock! The gangs control the country by announcing where they will be fighting which day, and people can only leave their homes to shop or to the clinic wherever they do not.
Clinical Success Documented: Cases of High Blood Pressure
We have known for a long time that one of the easiest things to do with naturopathic remedies is to drop high blood pressure. The last shipment contained blood pressure measuring cuffs, and now staff and patients can see how the blood pressure drops from up to 240 (24), which is life threatening, to something like 140 (14) within 10 minutes after the right remedy, while the patient sits on the bench waiting. Most useful remedies are homeopathic Belladonna, Glonoinum, and Aconite. Many patients come feeling at the verge of passing out and already struggling to speak because of confused mind, the back of the neck feels really heavy, and they have laboured breathing. In certain cases, the right remedy clearly averts a stroke.
Clinical Support Long-Distance
Jinpa helped Camio in a case of a young woman who presented with intolerable itching of the skin worse before and during menses. The disease was of two year standing. It was ameliorated by bathing the skin and accompanied by strong pain in the right ovary. Nothing had been helping. Upon inquiry, Jinpa found out that she was very jealous since her husband had abandoned her. He directed Camio to give her a dose of Apis mellifica 200 C. This remedy exactly matched all of her symptoms and cured them all within a week. Her jealousy was also gone. She said ‘I do not care about my husband any more, all I care about now is my own life.’ All that was left was a bit of remaining roughness of the skin.
Local Herbs at Work: Nutmeg and Aloe Leaf
One well-loved locally available herb is nutmeg. It is the go-to herbal remedy for epileptic fits and paralyses. Years ago in a dramatic case of a newborn at the verge of dying from yellow fever, the local herbalist applied ground nutmeg to the scalp among other things, and the infant lived. Nutmeg, Nux moschata in Latin, is also an important homeopathic remedy for the head.
For instance, a lady came with a blood pressure of 220 over 170. She was very tense, already talking unintelligible and her face started to be paralysed. She received one dose of Belladonna 30 C. (This potency was too low, but all there was.) After five minutes the blood pressure only dropped to 210 over 160. She relaxed and was able to talk normally again, however the face was still a bit paralysed. Marie-Lucie gave her some nutmeg powder to put into the mouth several times a day. This is traditional Haitian herbalism. Two days later, she returned and her BP was 160 over 140. Marie-Lucie advised her to continue taking nutmeg. A few days later, she came back to thank the clinic staff saying: ‘Thank you, everything is back to normal now.’
Nutmeg is also used for cold liver as a compress and for bronchitis.
Another well-loved local herbal remedy is whole powdered aloe leaf on wounds. Traditionally, they use it for almost everything. A 20 year old man had a motor bike accident, came with his hands wounded. We used the calendula tincture to wash his wound and then sprinkled on the powder. It dried and closed very fast. ‘Any wound which has not been treated for a long time and the flesh is starting turn malignant, the powder will suck out the infection and make it heal perfectly well,’ says Marie Lucie.
Also, for people with stomach pain, bloating and constipation, 1/2 teaspoon in a little water brings on stool effectively and cures all ills.
Another young man had a wound of scraped off skin on his head after he fell off his motor bike. It was treated with Calendula 200 C orally. Two days later, it was half was healed over. The treatment was repeated. After one week, the entire wound was closed with no infection and no scarring.
Finally a garden!
All attempts to have a garden failed to date, because of hungry animals. Marie-Lucie managed to secure some second hand corrugated tin, very rare and precious in Haiti. This is the new chicken and goat proof garden enclosure! We had sent seeds and live tumeric roots. They arrived almost dead after months in transit, but sprouted willingly. Tumeric is the clinics go-to for painful haemorrhoids and digestive disturbances, mostly caused by tropical bacteria such as giardia. We are hoping to cultivate enough over time to supply the clinic with all it needs. This is a big dream! First is the idea of compost. Special thanks to all who donated seeds, and please send more if you have! If anyone knows of a book in French about permaculture or how to make a compost in the tropics, please let us know the title!
By now, the garden has basil, borage, mint, lemongrass, chilli, papaya, sour orange, corrosol, aloe, lemon balm, and tumeric. Next will be hibiscus, passionflower, vetiver, and liane molle, a local expectorant, as well as a compost heap.
Covid in Haiti
Haiti continues to not see a lot of Covid cases, and most of them are benign. The Haitian intelligencia is wondering out loud why the rich countries are spending such immense sums on studying everything about the virus, except why it is not wreaking havoc in this desperately poor country. We heard that a first scientific study is underway.
Progress for the Clinic
Josephine is almost done with her nursing studies. Her final year is longer than expected, as the school had to skip a lot of lessons and internships due to Corona as well as the shoot-outs. She will hopefully graduate in the fall.
We are – as always – looking for donations of essential oils for the clinic, fresh or expired, unopened or opened, as well as dried herbs and seeds or other supplies and cash!
With gratitude from the Haitian people
and Michelle, Jinpa and Julia
Our latest donors are
Michael Friedman of Restorative Medicines and family
Ven. Robina Courtin
April Eya of Hahnemann Labs
Sarah Wright for a large donation of essential oils and herbal supplies
Lola King of Be Kind Botanicals
Alliance of International Aromatherapists
Jao natural hand sanitizers
Jonathan Hinde of Oshadhi UK
Ven. Tenzin Lhamo, Kat Maier, Andrea Lemon, Sacred Plant Traditions, Paula S. Begel for connecting us, Judith Biehler, Tamia McCormick for Zoom, Irnst Norgaisse, Meredith Goldman, Briana Gomez, Alix Pierre, Annette Podsuz for the chillies, and thanks to Roseau Shipping for risking his life to get the boxes to Haiti!