Helping the People of Haiti: Using Flower Essences for Earthquake Relief Aid


Based on reports by Ven. Thupten Jinpa,
Julia Graves and Lee Mason; edited for presentation

In March, Ven. Thupten Jinpa traveled to Haiti hoping to evacuate his 85-year-old father, who survived the earthquake with few injuries but severe emotional trauma. He went to the farther outskirts of Port-au-Prince, to his old neighborhood just into the mountains, Peguy-Ville. All houses in the neighborhood but one had collapsed and everyone had to sleep outside. There was no potable water. With the rains coming, there was a real danger of infectious diseases spreading. Food prices of whatever little was still available had skyrocketed. Most people could no longer afford to buy the most basic items. When Jinpa first called his father, he found out that the money he had sent to last for two months was already gone, partially because the prices had risen, and partially because everyone was hungry and they all ate using his money for food. The father asked for money to buy soap and laundry powder: Jinpa was shocked—he had not imagined people not being able to wash themselves. Jinpa was going to an area where no international aid had yet reached. There was no shelter, and no facilities.


“I found that no matter what the symptom (headaches, heart palpitations), this would get better if I just treated them for shock…”

 “We need more of everything…”

Report by Julia Graves and Jinpa on the use of flower essences

A baby’s “light” is restored

Healing pre-existing anger exacerbated by the earthquake experience

Treating grief caused by separation

Ven. Thupten Jinpa

Jinpa spent several weeks in Haiti, trying to straighten out the paperwork for his father to be allowed to leave the country with him. (In the end, when he left, unfortunately, Jinpa was not able to bring his father with him.) In the meantime, he wanted to run a clinic and planned to offer free community meals to the neighborhood. A large amount of essential oils for prevention of epidemics, homeopathic remedies, flower essences and some food money was collected and organized by Julia Graves. It was thought that these kinds of remedies being small and light in weight could go very far.

Jinpa set up a clinic in his father's backyard under tarps for shelter, and his brother organized body guards for protection. Since he is native and speaks fluent Creole, and understands how people think, Jinpa felt it would be easy to accomplish. When word about the clinic spread, people from near and far began to line up for treatment, and he ran quite low on medicaments very quickly. A week later, Julia Graves flew from New York to Haiti, bringing with her additional donations. In the subsequent days after Julia’s arrival, 300 people per day were treated at the clinic, totaling approximately 4,000 in all.

First communication from Jinpa—
“I found that no matter what the symptom (headaches, heart palpitations), this would get better if I just treated them for shock…”

Dear friends,

I arrived safely in Haiti after a delayed travel. Since it was already late, the only thing I could still do was to attend to my father, whom I found depressed and with diarrhea for the past five days. But when the well-indicated homeopathic remedy failed to shift my father's life force, I thought I should probably rather treat him for shock. I gave him rescue drops and FES Post Trauma Stabilizer. This pepped him up, and when we both were awake around 4 AM from our shallow sleep in the make shift tent, my father poured out the whole story of the trauma of the earthquake for over an hour. He told me how when my brother and his family fled from Haiti after the earthquake leaving him behind, he gave up on his life, resigning himself to death and misery. I gave him more of the flower essences, and by breakfast time, he started to crack jokes, bossing everyone around, and behaving like his old self. I also gave him homeopathic Arnica for his back injury, and he felt much better in his body. By the evening, he said all of his life force was back, and the cramps in his muscles that he had had since the quake were gone.

On the first day, I treated the housekeepers and everyone else who was around. I found that no matter what the symptom (headaches, heart palpitations), this would get better if I just treated them for shock: giving them Rescue Remedy/Five-Flower Formula and Post Trauma Stabilizer. We then went to the neighborhood were I was as a child. When we arrived at the house, the four children greeted us with downcast eyes, being very somber and not like children. Especially one of the girls, whom we found out had seen her older sister die when the debris crushed her, and witnessed her other sister have her legs broken. I treated them in the same way – Rescue/Five-Flower in the mouth, and mist with Post Trauma Stabilizer – and by the time we had had lunch, they were running around in the garden shrieking and playing again like children should do. I also gave out some of the essential oils for coughs and colds.

I heard that there is a school nearby, and one of the problems is that the children don't play any more. I want to go there within the next day to treat the children for shock.

So far, the mud is not too bad where my father lives, and it is OK to be in the tent. I think I will run out of flower essences within a few days.

Once I can find a computer, I will send photos.

Please pray – I will meet some high general in a few days who can bypass all the Haitian administration to renew my father's passport, so he can be allowed to leave with me.

More soon!
Love from Jinpa

A short while later, Jinpa sent the following message—
“We need more of everything…”

Dear friends,

I asked a friend to type this and send it out after I spoke on the phone, since email is two hours away, and I can hardly keep up with the flow of sick people. Just by word of mouth, we are seeing about 60 people a day. Everyone is very sick from sleeping outside, with coughs, earaches, fevers. Lot's of skin rashes from scratched-open mosquito bites. There are lots of stress symptoms, like headaches and stomach aches. The remedies work wonders, but we are almost out. When people hear we are coming, they get in line, a huge line, and people are so traumatized, they cannot even make eye contact, The children just sit and stare to the ground, they no longer laugh and play.

First thing, we give everyone a treatment for shock with flower essences. That makes the children laugh and play again. They hug us so tightly and say they never want to let us go. The adults can suddenly look us in the eyes. We have had only enough for one application per person, and we have used the money for some people who are so sick they have to go see a doctor but have no money to pay for it. I will try very hard to send some pictures.

There is malaria and typhoid. People can no longer sleep, they are too traumatized. It seems to be like an ocean of forlorn, suffering people. They are so happy to see us, and just that someone has come to help is already part of the treatment making them feel better. I am working all day long trying to see all the people who line up. We have had to have helpers to welcome people and help them sit down and get in line to avoid chaos. The most heartbreaking cases are those of people who saw all of their loved ones die before their eyes.

We need more of everything. Please do what you can…

Love from Jinpa

Report by Julia Graves and Jinpa on the use of flower essences—

The clinic was a huge success, beyond our wildest dreams. Once I got there and we were two doctors, we were able to see 300 + people per day, many of them very poor children. There is no doubt that the flower essences and sprays were incredibly helpful.

Whenever I found out that a child had been buried in the rubble, had parents or siblings die, or saw people die or be crushed, I used different sprays for them, say Post Trauma Stabilizer, Fear-Less and Grief Relief, asking them to choose which felt best. They were very dignified and certain about which one that they wanted. Being incredibly poor and never having had an adult talk to them respectfully, they were very touched and overawed at the gift of the spray bottle. You could literally see the heart chakras of these dark, depressed souls pop open when dropping it into their mouths. In addition to the flower essences, the Haitian bonesetter who did the massage and osteopathic treatments loved the Benediction oil. He'd rub it on the front and back of the person’s heart and found that this way, he was able to open people's chest again.

Jinpa, who as a native speaker got better feedback than me, says:

“Many people commented on how efficient the essences were.  People were saying that now they could sleep, that they got rid of their tension. People did not talk in terms of shock, but in terms of tension - I never heard people talk about ‘tension’ in Creole before, and I was there just last summer. Many people came back and asked me for more of those drops. We treated everyone for shock, but often at the first visit, they were suffering so much physically, that they did not talk about their emotional suffering, that came at the second visit. Then, they found the drops or spray bottles so effective, they wanted more, because they thought that once the bottle is empty, the symptoms would return (biomedical brainwashing). With symptoms such as tension in the stomach, itching, and heart palpitation, we questioned straight for PTSD and thus dug up the horror stories, and treated all those PTSD physical symptoms with flower essences. Being so busy and treating hundreds of people per day, we did not have time to ask how the essences worked, but many people came back and said, ‘Can you give me that little bottle for headache / hypertension, etc. again?’ Even though I gave other medicine, they came back and asked specifically for the essences calling it ‘the bottle for sleep’ or whatever it had helped with. 

A baby’s “light” is restored

Hundreds of people came back to ask for more; however the most touching case was an eight month old baby who refused to take any medicine. The parents brought the baby, ready to force open its mouth to force the medicine down it's throat. I said, ‘Oh, it's okay, you don't have to do that.’ I looked at the baby, it looked numb, in a bad mood, and drowsy. In the midst of the yelling and pushing crowd, it did not even move. The parents said, ‘You will see - the moment you put something into its mouth, it will yell and scream, you will see its true color.’ So, I took the Five-Flower spray and sprayed its head. He just moved his head a little and opened one eye to see what was going on. Then, I put a few drops of Five-Flower onto his closed lips, and he opened his second eye; his eyes shone brightly, and he sucked the drops from his lips without crying. So, I kept putting the drops onto his lips, and he kept sucking them off. Then, I got the bottle with the Post Trauma drops, and he took the bottle from me and did not want to let it go again.

Healing pre-existing anger exacerbated by the earthquake experience

“When we went to one place and started setting up, there was a grouchy, skinny woman circling us. We ignored her. Eight hours later, when we were done, we were sitting for a moment to chat and relax. One of the patrons who had organized that clinic for us said to someone in the background, ‘Go and tell them, go and tell them!’ So he finally pushed the lady, who stood in front of me with a wrathful look. She stubbornly said, ‘I have a strong headache, and I'm going to pass out.’ I said, ‘Come and sit down.’ That was my first day of clinic, and I had gotten into the routine of giving everyone Five-Flower right at the start. The moment I did, she looked more relaxed, and she started to unwillingly cooperate. She looked me straight in the eyes: ‘I'm angry, I am upset, I am moody, and no one wants to hear it, they just say I am going to hell. I was an angry person before the earthquake, but now it is just all the time.’ By that time, I realized that she was challenging me, having heard that I helped all of her friends, and that she wanted to see how I was going to fix her. I smiled and turned to get the Flower Essence Repertory and made her a special mix. As I prepared the bottle, I gave her a drop of Fireweed straight from the bottle, and she just completely relaxed. I gave her the mixture and she left. She returned five minutes later—‘Wow, it's unbelievable doctor, how do you do this? You just come here and take all of my bad mood away in a few minutes, me, an angry woman.’ The Haitian herbalist, a very Christian man, was shocked to see her transformation, since he had told her she was bound for hell. She had transformed into a sweet, chatting lady. Those were some of the most stunning transformations I saw.

Treating grief caused by separation

“This earthquake has not only destroyed people physically, but also separated families. Many people went off in different directions. Young couples, boyfriends and girlfriends came to me and started to talk about their sadness, how after the earthquake their husband or wife left with the children. So therefore, I also found myself treating those people for grief. Those people returned the next day lighter and happier, then able to smile and eat, and asking, ‘Can I have the same bottle for my partner?’

“I have been working with flower essences for over ten years now. I rarely receive feedback for giving flower essences in the West. There is a level I wanted to reach in treating people with flower essences that I could not reach here [in the West] – due to lack of outside validation from clients.  Working in Haiti with so many people who were so very sick, as if burning in a fire, and being taken out of the fire, they said, ‘Wow, I am sleeping now,’ ‘Wow, I am no longer waking up in the night,’ etc., and they knew that it was due to the flower essences. People in Haiti are more tuned in and psychic than in the West. They called the Post Trauma Stabilizer ‘tension release bottle.’ That's its Haitian name now!

“I would like to thank FES in the name of the Haitian people, because as a monk I would never have been able to afford so many essences and given help to so many people.”

Friends provided Jinpa with a digital camera and a laptop computer, and Andrea Lemon kindly offered to make a web site. In this way, they were able to put together a heart warming, yet heart breaking documentary of their experiences. You will find the website here.

Ven. Thupten Jinpa

Ven. Thupten Jinpa is an herbalist and native Haitian who came to the United States years ago, and took vows as a Buddhist monk. He has lived and studied extensively in India. Until very recently, he was engaged in his second three-year retreat (where one goes into a meditation practice and has no contact with anyone else literally for three years). Someone interrupted the retreat to tell Jinpa of the earthquake; he flew to the US and then to Haiti, hoping to rescue his traumatized eighty-five-year-old father, who was living out of doors.


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