© New Zealand Doctor
2 July, 1992
Christchurch doctor Wendy Isbell prescribes flowers for her patients. Flower essences aid the healing process, she found, in the same manner that working in the garden can have an uplifting effect on the personality. A medical specialist, Dr Isbell has been practising homoeopathic medicine for six years. After looking at various branches of alternative medicine she finally decided on homoeopathy. "Because homoeopathy would merge with medical practice and has traditionally been practised by doctors," she explained.
The flower essences are a more recent addition to her practice. After using essences from California, Australia and Alaska she began producing and using her own "Christchurch Flower Essences" last September.
They treat a person's well-being by helping to stabilise emotional and psychological stresses, "how they feel about themselves and their life rather than specific illnesses."
Dr Isbell found prescribing the flower essences often halved the number of return visits a patient was expected to make to the doctor. Most of her patients are self referred, though there are a number of local GPs now referring their patients for treatment,
according to Dr Isbell. The essences are liquid preparations which carry an imprint of a specific flower. As well as using the essences in her practice, they are marketed in kit form for people to decide their own treatments.
Her own flower essences use local flowers and come in a Spring or Summer Kit. She also provides a Relief Essence Kit, a combination of five flower essences which has a calming and stabilising effect during crises.
Also available are colour photographs of the flowers, taken by Dr Isbell, which can be used as a reference to the kits or as a meditation aid. A complete Spring or Summer kit of essences is available for $350; relief essence stock costs $20; while the photographs cost $120-$130 per set.
Different essences are believed to treat different problems, and normally only four to six are given at one time. For instance, in the Spring kit, azalea is for a shyness or diffidence in expressing one's own worth; crab-apple to cleanse a sense of shame and unworthiness; plum for those disheartened or discouraged after seemingly futile effort; and snowflake for situations of alienation. In the Summer kit, Christmas Lily will allow a sense of peace, joy and goodwill, and connectedness to others; fuschia is used for a greater awareness and honest expression of emotions; and lilac for a balanced and rounded assessing of sexual energy.
Dr Isbell graduated from Otago University and did her post-graduate training in Christchurch and London. Her specialities are internal and geriatric medicine. She learned homoeopathic medicine through correspondence courses. At present she is the only medical specialist in New Zealand working as a full time homoeopathic doctor.