I. How I got in contact with Aromatherapy – a report

For almost ten years I have been employed at the withdrawal and suicide station IG 3 of the "Medizinische Klink II" at Ludwigsburg (clinic for internal medicine).
Because of the extreme situations at that station I often thought about new possibilities for the patients to make their bad physical and mental situation some bearably.
There were and there still are a lot of coma patients at our station. You have to handle with a lot of liver cirrhosis patients, pancreases inflammations, acute withdrawal symptoms and mostly psychiatric nonesuch, but a less of "normal" cases.
The further education of the clinic offers a lot of courses, which offer an alternative to the normal care. The Aromatherapy belongs to the basal stimulation, which I have been already interested in since I have got my education because I visited the "Komazentrum" at Burgau (Coma Centre) at that time and could see the treatment methods there.
That is why I visited a course for Aromatherapy in the year 1995 at the clinic in Ludwigsburg.
Privately and officially I already was interested in Aromatherapy but I handled it like a hobby and more or less intuitively. The station also smelled something unpleasantly and colleagues always said: "You can recognize this station just by the smell!" Therefore I often cooked Yogi-Tea at my night service. Not only for drinking it but as the whole third floor (inclusive the x-ray room!) was flavoured delightfully. The wording of the colleagues changed unexpectedly: "Mhh, what does here smell so well?"
So I was looking forward to this further education. I was very surprised what you can do with aromas.
Then Mrs Lang, the manager of the further education, gave me a program about roses and the possibility to join an Aromatherapy course arranged by Prof. Dr. Dr. Wabner at the "Bodensee-Akademie"! I took this chance immediately, because working in the garden is another ardour of mine! This course strengthened my enthusiasm to learn more about the Aromatherapy; I got books from the library and ordered oils for our station. So I amateurishly begun to mix oils for massage, oils for humidifiers and bath salts – today I know that those mixtures were dosed to high but it didn’t harm anyone.
Moreover I had to write small reports, which have risen to a Homepage, for my colleagues at the station because I visited PC courses at the same time. I also wanted to train the things, which I had learned.
At Pentecost I worked five days to write such a report for my colleagues and it was a great success! But they only wanted to use the Aromatherapy if I prepared them finished lyses.
I was fascinated by the essence of roses because it was often used in obstetrics and for dying patients. So I mixed oil for dying patients, which would be needed at our station for sure. The contents were: Rose bulg., Clary sage, Grapefruit and other oils.

My first patient was a dying man who was in coma and he showed no more reactions.

Patient Mr S. was 66 years old and he attempted suicide with poison tree weeks ago without a reason (acc to relatives). As he had been found in the cellar he was not responsive anymore and had to be kept breathing artificially. After he had been extubated he kept breathing spontaneously but showed no more reactions. So he lay at our station and I washed him with the bath salt (the recipe I mentioned before). Afterwards I oiled his body with this mixture. Moreover he got a hand massage. Then I looked after his gavage and other machines. After that I looked at his data. As I turned to him to check some discharge bags he raised his right hand to his nose and smelled – I frightened vehemently because he never had showed such a reaction although his relatives always have been sitting on his bed holding his hands! As I was responsible for him I cared him the same way the whole week. Aroma washing (basal stimulation) and hand massages with this rose oil mixture.
At the second day he lifted up his eyes and wept – the tears ran permanently. His wife mentioned that he never has been weeping since their marriage. After one week he sat in a wheelchair and his relatives drove him around. The doctors and his relatives said you had to help him to overbear his depressions. So the doctor prescribed him antidepressive medicaments (Aurorix).
But I immediately thought of the rose and its results, which Prof. Dr. Dr. Wabner has described as an opening aroma, also the midwifes, who used it for births.
That patient made a rehabilitation, in which he tried to attempt suicide as he jumped down the balcony – further information we did not get.
Mr S. was the first who gave me a great interest in Aromatherapy.

In the following, the second case which has convinced me. Of course there were still doubts; above all I was in the technical and scientific care.

Mr J. was a 27 year old American addict, who senselessly lay in his flat for a little while after an overdose of heroin. So he had to be kept breathing artificially for a long time. But after he had been extubated he was responsive again – in a heavy withdrawal and with a temperature of 41°C, which could not be cured even with heavy intravenously febrifugal medicaments! Either he did it or he had to die – that was the therapy. He got everything but his body had to keep it up!
Those patients are very difficult to handle because the only wish is: "Please give me something against my withdrawal! I suffer pain, please, please!!!" I thought of the basal stimulation and of aromas, which he could like, but he did not want to talk very much.
Then I remembered spearmint, which works as a fever reducer. I did compresses for the sura in a period of four hours and as he liked the aroma I did an ablution with a bath salt mixture of 15 drops of spearmint. As I wanted to clear up the washbasin at nightfall he said if I could please left the basin at his bed as he liked it so much!
In the morning he welcomed me in an enthusiastic manner; he had slept the whole night he said, with his nose close to the basin. He thanked me a lot and commended my enthusiasm for my job. I was very irritated, because the only way to get thanks from persons in withdrawal is to give them medicaments.
Moreover the night nurse told me that he had not called for extra medicaments. His temperature decreased to 38,5°C and after one week he was sent to a psychiatry for his rehabilitation! Unfortunately, I never heard something about him after that.

Another reason for my conviction for Aromatherapy was a dying person.

Mr W. was over 80 years old and he was brought to the clinic, in which he should die, by his relatives. He suffered from an inoperable tumour and he was very weak. Just before his dead he became heavy fever because of the tumour; and so he suffered from confusedness and restlessness.
Right before closing time – everyone thought that he would die that night – I washed him and as he had sweat a lot I washed him with a solution of peppermint oil (salt water) for cooling. Furthermore I made a compress for his abdomen and so he felt asleep five minutes later. In the night his temperature felt to a bearable measure. Thus he had a sound mind when he was speaking to us next morning. He died quietly and peacefully the following afternoon - unaffected by the fever. Afterwards my chef smirkingly said I should not disturb dead with my Aromatherapy! Certainly in a positive meaning for the patient!

So I was allowed to experience a lot – also on the initiative of the doctors, who often asked if I had aromas for their patients. Thus some wounds could be cured without surgery under anaesthesia – and above all the psychic successes which have confirmed me in the belief of Aromatherapy.
Therefore I often chose problematic patients or relatives. In that way I gained every needed support (purchase, time exposure etc.) in the case of Aromatherapy from my colleagues and the doctors.

Below two important cases of the last years:

In summer 2001 the management of the UC 17 (private emergency ward) called me that they had an extremely difficult case. The doctor and the psychiatrist had agreed to order me because they did not know what they should do anymore.

Mr H. was 47 years old and was an owner of a carpenter company. He had fallen from the roof while he was working on it. So he received severe injury: pelvis fracture, complex fractures of the legs and arms. He already was surgically operated many times and supplied with fixtures. Now he should get physiotherapeutic care to get mobilized. He was strongly fixed on analgesic and soporific and because of his heavy anxiety state he also got psychopharmacologic drugs. In his dreams he always fell from the roof, he said, and that is why he did not want to do therapy without the drugs. I asked him what kind of aroma he would like and he said he liked dung because he would therefore think of his happy childhood.
At first I gave him a vial of "anti-pain-oil", which is usually given before operations in the clinic at Luebeck. With the help of a cotton roll I put a drop of this oil in his left nostril and so he slept without drugs. And he did not need them anyone! However he did not take the cotton roll out of his nose for a long time (in this way I have also used it for my family as an anxiolytic medicine before flights or a visit at the dentist).
For his therapy he received a hemp oil, which has a heavy aroma. He liked it very much and it also relieved him from pain. So he voluntarily went to the physiotherapy with his massage mixture and the cotton roll in his nose.
He was disproportionately grateful and so he always wanted to give me money. Finally he could go without any problems into therapy.

Mrs W., a former nurse, was 66 years old and has been suffering from a tumour since 20 years. This tumour was now in an acute state. Thus she came for chemotherapy to the private station of our clinic. She also had a heavy elephantitis at her right leg, which became worse because of false treatment. The whole leg was inflamed including the popliteus and the wrinkles between the torso and the hip. I washed her leg with an ablution including lavender. Afterwards I gave her the vial with the lavender solution in it so she could drip it on her leg herself if she had aches and pains. The success could be seen after two days and so she could sleep the whole night through for the first time! She was very surprised and happy. She was released after one week. The leg did not show any red spots and she took the lavender oil along to her home. As a precaution, she said.

With such experiences, which I also wrote in the patient's files, I could fill up books.

The power of oils works every time – sometimes gently sometimes fast and another time it is almost unseeable but effective!