Ms. S. is a 20 years old and has had recurrent cystitis. Conventional methods of treatment to remove the bacteria have so far failed, so the clinic decided to try a complementary approach. Ms. S. was in obvious pain and anxiety. The frequency of urination was high and she had developed an irritation in the vaginal mucosa. One of the first steps was to assess the effects of her diet on the condition. We decided to alter or delete certain foods. The main priority was to boost her immune system. So her diet had to consist mostly of nutrient-rich, very fresh, unprocessed foods: steamed vegetables, salads, with celery and parsley, natural whole grains, beans and pulses and a major reduction of meats which stresses the kidneys.

We ensured she was drinking sufficient fluid 1.5-2 litres water per day, plus herb teas like sage, rosehip and golden rod infusion. We also instructed her to use a bottle washing programmed [Shreeve] and to swab the genital area with the infused waters from Calendula officinalis [1 heaped teaspoon of flowers to a cup full of boiling water. Infuse and allow to cool, the strain. Apply after each visit to the toilet.] In addition, to the area around the bladder Ms. S. was to apply formula consisting of 1 drop Thymus satureiodies, 1 drop ginger, 1 drop manuka in 60 mls of calendula cream once per day for 10 days [dermal application]. A heat pad was placed over the application for ten minutes, at heat setting number 2. She also took a course of acidophilus tablets, one tablet threes times a day. We use the Bach flower remedies on almost all our clients a d so we did in Ms. S.’s case. I recommend them wholeheartedly as the results so far have been very good.

Since embarking on this course of treatments, and in a relatively short time, the severity of Mrs. S.’s cystitis has come under control and her general health has dramatically improved.

A 60 year old lady, Mrs. K., came to us with severe rheumatoid arthritis. She was having great difficulty walking with inflamed knee joints and lower back.

We started by assessing her diet and introduced some basic changes to redress the acid/alkaline balance of the body, eliminating those foods that were aggravating and contributing to the inflammation. We increased her liquid intake to one and a half litres a day. We also devised a formula to be applied locally to her knees and lower back. This was administered by Mrs. K. at the clinic once a week. She had a heat pad put over these areas, on a low setting, so as to increase the absorption of the cream (do be careful with heat and rheumatoid arthritis; in some cases this is not appropriate to the condition).

The cream prescription was: 1 drop Thymus vulgaris, 1 drop coriander seed, 1 drop green pepper (milder and less irritating than black pepper) in 100 mls base cream consisting of 50% comfrey (Symphytum officinale) cream and 50% calendula cream. A choice of Bach flower remedies was also used. This treatment was aimed at enhancing Mrs. K.’s quality of life rather than curing her condition. Her movement has improved greatly and her dependency on pain killers has been reduced form six aspirins to one or two a day.

Aromatherapy Quarterly, Summer 1997 Article by Alan Baker, a clinical aromatologist.