Healing in Life and Death Plant Essence Support Set
This set of Archeus plant and flower essences has arisen out of my own personal experiences of being with loved ones when they die. I have made this set to help nature support you at this time. They offer a way that we can contribute at the time of a loved one’s passing. They can help remove the sense of helplessness and they can help create connection between you, your loved one and the natural world.
We birth into life and we birth into death - I never fully understood that expression until being present when someone dies. There is comfort in counting breath in…. and out. We each get through these moments as best we can. This is a time for kindness and compassion, not perfection.
I’ve called on nature to help people dying and those being left behind, to help us all through this transition. I did this because in nature we can find allies to help and support us in times of need. We can connect with the energy, the Archeus, that flows through all things. From nature we came and to nature we go and thus calling on the energies of plants to be present during and following this transition can help us feel a little less afraid, a little less alone.
Plant and flower essences make use of the life force of the plant – its essential energy and ‘character’ and their power is at an energetic level – a kind of meeting of minds. A few drops of these essences can be added to water to sip or swab. You can put drops into the palm of your hand and then anoint the third eye and pulse points of your loved one. Gently describing the plants to them can become like a prayer, a meditation and if you are in a medicalised environment it can help bring nature into the room.
Here’s an example of how you can use these essences:
Mallow is a beautiful plant that represents the cycle of life. Infants would be given the peeled root to suck on when they were teething – the root would soothe their gums. The mallow flower has that same soothing energy during palliative care and at the end of life. It helps soothe passage, from the care of infants to the end of life, mallow shows us that the circle of life and death is not to be afraid of. It brings calm. It helps us find a comfortable breath. It is lovely to include in water and visualise its energy connecting at a soul level.
Quintessence elixir is a blend of essences that can be very helpful for everyone in the room as a loved one is nearing death. These plants: cleavers, self-heal, mallow, willow and totara provide a calm courage. When my own father was very close to death, I anointed his and my third eye with this elixir. It was very soothing for both of us and seemed to help ease our own fears and anxieties.
The days after death can be very hard for those left behind to navigate and so I have added Rosemary essence to this offering. Rosemary is a plant of remembrance and focus. It can help you find your centre, to find focus amid the turmoil and to remember your loved one well. You may find that all three of these essences will step up for you at different times. Let them, as they are there as your allies.
In the last days, hours, minutes of someone’s life we can learn more about love than we have ever learned before. And after the life has ended we can find comfort in knowing we did all we could for that person and for ourselves to soothe the journey, help with clear passage and help bring both of us closer to the sense of the divine that flows through all things. This plant essence support set can be part of helping you find that comfort.
The Plant Essences in this set are:
(Botanical name: Althea officinalis)
Beautiful mallow is used in herbal medicine to soothe, particularly the digestive tract, or babies’ gums as they are teething. Energetically, mallow flower essence can help you find calm and recover after a shock. We use this beautiful essence with people in palliative care to help calm them and their loved ones. From the teething babe to the departing - this is a plant for the circle of life. Its gentle energy attracts love and helps us look at life with fondness and warm remembrance. Used at the end of life it can have a calming effect and remind us of the natural cycles of life and our connection to each other and to nature.
(Contains: Cleavers (Galium aparine), Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), Mallow (Althea officinalis), Willow (Salix nigra), Totara (Podocarpus totara)
I used these plants to create an elixir to help us find strength, protection and calm when it comes to having to let go. Cleavers is a traditional remedy for the lymphatic system and energetically I see it as helping us release our fears, grief and make room for acceptance. Willow is a key protective tree of the druids and also helps ease pain (asprin is made from salicytes found in its bark). Totara provides deep protection and helps us feel connected to this land. As a favoured tree for making canoes (waka) I also see its support in soul journeys. Self-heal’s name says it all, and mallow is listed above.
(Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is a plant of remembrance and focus. It can help you find your centre, to find focus amid the turmoil and to remember your loved one well. Traditionally rosemary is drunk as an infusion to help with tension headaches. It is said to support the brain and nervous system. Even its beautiful little flowers give us hints to this as they are shades of blue, the colours of the throat, third eye and crown chakras. Its origins on the hot dry shores of the mediterranean and its botanic name rosmarinus, also tells us that it is a blend of heat, fire and water - when the emotions and nerves are stressed, rosemary will help with cool respite.
Back in the early 1500s, Paracelsus said, “The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore, the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”
I believe we can offer healing in life and in death and, like Paracelsus, I place nature at the heart of everything I do. I may draw upon different ideas from herbalism to energy work, but the constant in all this is how we can use this wisdom to deepen our connection to the natural world and in turn, find a sense of healing rising out of that connection. When we place nature in our approach to dying it can help make it less frightening.
If you’d like further tips on ways to bring nature into compassionate care at the end of life and to support your own healing after your loved one has passed, visit my website archeus.co.nz.
The services I offer work to integrate your whole being, mind body and soul, with the natural world in which we all live: the earth, plants, animals, landscape and the stars. I have immersed myself in the wisdom of ancient physicians, healers and philosophers and reworked it for our modern age. By blending herbalism, nutrition, astrology, shamanism, reiki with a healthy dose of practicality, my work supports you to weave the personal, ecological and cosmological aspects of your being into one fluid whole.
I’m passionate about supporting people through key life transitions. In essence, my work connecting you to nature can help you to live, and die, well. All of my services can take place alongside other modalities, including western medicine.
Other products and services I offer for nature-based compassionate care at the end of life include:
Plant essences and elixirs
Energy medicine sessions
Botanically infused shrouds
In this audioclip I describe the essences and how I used them as my father was passing: