Do you have any case studies done with Alzheimer's patients, especially in the late stages? Are there any particular essences that would be indicated?Do you try to address issues that caused the disease or would you focus more on how to put them at ease in their present situation?

May 23, 2002

Our research involving flower essence therapy and Alzheimer's is not as fully developed as other aspects of flower essence therapy. Part of the reason may be social demographics since many people and institutions that care for older people have not yet had significant cultural exposure to flower essence therapy and its remarkable benefits. We must also strongly emphasize that the disease itself involves nutritional deficiencies and other lifestyle choices that need to be addressed beyond the scope of flower essence therapy itself.

However, we do have many noteworthy reports or general comments from practitioners working in this field both in the United States and in other countries. Generally, flower essence therapy for Alzheimer's patients has been administered when the disease is already in an advanced stage. While we do not have credible reports of flower essences that can prevent Alzheimer's, or reverse it after it has already been diagnosed, we have found that flower essence therapy can have a beneficial impact on the quality of life of Alzheimer's patients.

Within this context, we suggest the following flower essences for Alzheimer's cases. These flower essences are most successfully employed within a context that recognizes and encourages the activity of the soul and the dignity of the human being as integral to the overall therapeutic strategy.

Rosemary: To stimulate enhanced forces of wakefulness in the mental field, and to assist circulation — a major factor in the aging of the brain. To facilitate greater communication between the physical body and the emotional soul, especially through the bridge of warmth as both a physical reality and a soul impulse of social outreach.

Honeysuckle: It is well documented that as Alzheimer's progresses, the patient feels increasingly comfortable living in the past, and can remember past episodes of life more readily than contemporaneous ones. While this is viewed merely as a failure of the memory, it also has to do with a disposition of the soul that can no longer find interest and meaning in present circumstances.

California Wild Rose: Used in combination with Honeysuckle to bring more vigor and interest in life, and to counteract states of boredom, listlessness and apathy.

Iris: To stimulate the soul's creative impulses. This is especially important because many institutional approaches tend to deaden the soul life of the Alzheimer's patient with drugs, television and monotonous routines. Obviously this remedy needs to be used in tandem with other therapeutic measures that introduce and sustain the creative expression of the patient.

Milkweed: To counteract states of over-dependency or childlike behavior, to help the patient be as capable and as independent as possible even as the disease progresses.

Bleeding Heart and Golden Ear Drops: These two flower essences are close botanical cousins and can be used in tandem to help the heartbreak, emotional confusion, memory lapses and bouts of crying that occur easily for Alzheimer's patients. Even though the mind cannot readily articulate the impact of the disease, the emotional part of the self feels deep grief, heartbreak and isolation.

Chamomile: For bouts of crying, angry outbursts, or other forms of emotional moodiness that can beset the Alzheimer's patient.

Holly: A generally good flower essence to consider to help the heart stay open to love and connected to others socially no matter what the outer condition. To help the patient feel and respond to love as the greatest healer and universal bond between two human beings, no matter what the outer conditions.

For the caretaker:

Although your question was directed to the needs of the Alzheimer's patient, essences for the caretaker(s) are also critical. The following essences can give support to those taking care of Alzheimer's patients.

Cosmos: To help bridge communication gaps so that we can begin to imagine, think and "fill in the gaps" that the Alzheimer's patient intends to communicate. Ultimately it is the capacity to communicate telepathically with the higher mental field of another, even when language cannot be brought through the physical vehicle of the brain.

Yellow Star Tulip: For developing forces of empathy, especially the ability to see the other whom we are caring for from within their state of soul, rather than our own. It is the soul capacity to feel what another's suffering may be like, even though it may be totally unlike our own.

Beech: To help release any hidden judgments, negative feelings or hidden agendas - especially as the family member becomes increasingly unavailable, or displays difficult behaviors that are challenging to accept.

Impatiens: To help cope with the long and seemingly drawn-out stages of Alzheimer's that often test the patience and good will of family members.

Holly: A generally good remedy to keep the heart open to the unseen forces of love that can permeate any relationship between two sentient beings for spiritual good. To remember that all disease and suffering, no matter what the outer condition or outcome, is ultimately an initiation of the heart for those involved.

Patricia Kaminski

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