Imphepho Flower Essence
Balances: Intergenerational Trauma
Supportive Essence: Milkwood
See Also: Imphepho Mystical Mist
Affirmation: I honour the Divinity in me and in you. We are free.
The Imphepho essence was co-created with Helichrysum crispum flowers growing on Platbos Forest’s firebreak on the 21st of December 2020 – the day of the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. An auspicious day in its own right, it was made all the more powerful because of the “Grand Conjunction” formed between Jupiter and Saturn. So close together were these planets that they appeared from Earth as one bright star. Johannes Kepler – a German astronomer, mathematician and astrologer of the 17th-century – noted that a similar conjunction occurred in 7 BCE that could have been the astronomical origin of the Star of Bethlehem that guided the three wise men to the birth place of Jesus Christ. It’s the closest the two planets have appeared in this way for about 800 years, and many astrologers herald this day – the 21st December 2020 – as the official start of the Age of Aquarius / the Golden New Age.
2020 was a year which found the world in “Lock Down” and most of us in social isolation due to the global Covid Pandemic. As a result we were forced to examine aspects of our lives, values, wounds, fears and entrenched behavioural patterns that perpetuate suffering for ourselves and our loved ones.
This flower essence was co-created to heal and clear intergenerational hurt and trauma so that this negative cycle can finally be broken, and humanity thus freed to start afresh in the New Age.
Meditation / Prayer
The following is an ancient blessing which deals with forgiveness, affection, detachment and liberation. It is a beautiful and powerful prayer for ancestral work. The precise author of this traditional prayer is unknown; it has been translated from Nahuatl, a language spoken in Mexico.
“I release my parents from the feeling that they have already failed me.
I release my children from the need to bring pride to me; that they may write their own ways according to their hearts, that whisper all the time in their ears.
I release my partner from the obligation to complete myself. I do not lack anything, I learn with all beings all the time.
I thank my grandparents and forefathers who have gathered so that I can breathe life today.
I release them from past failures and unfulfilled desires, aware that they have done their best to resolve their situations within the consciousness they had at that moment. I honour you, I love you and I recognize you as innocent.
I am transparent before your eyes, so they know that I do not hide or owe anything other than being true to myself and to my very existence, that walking with the wisdom of the heart, I am aware that I fulfil my life project, free from invisible and visible family loyalties that might disturb my Peace and Happiness, which are my only responsibilities.
I renounce the role of saviour, of being one who unites or fulfils the expectations of others.
Learning through, and only through, Love, I bless my essence, my way of expressing, even though somebody may not understand me.
I understand myself, because I alone have lived and experienced my history; because I know myself, I know who I am, what I feel, what I do and why I do it.
I respect and approve myself.
I honour the Divinity in me and in you.
We are free.”
Botanical Name: Helichrysum crispum
Common Names: Imphepho (Xhosa/Zulu), Kooigoed (Afrikaans) Everlastings (English)
Helichrysums – of which there are over 245 different species in Southern Africa – are aromatic, bushy perennials. Typically, they have hairy leaves and long-lasting flower heads. At Platbos, Helichrysum crispum grows amongst the fynbos on the forest edge. Scrambling and sprawling to a height of roughly 600mm, the landscape is lit up with their pale, luminous-golden flower heads in summer. The name “Helicrysum” is derived from the Greek “Helios” meaning Sun and “chrysos” meaning gold. Their small, dense leaves are woolly and soft grey in colour and have a spicy scent when crushed.
The Xhosa and Zulu word “Imphepho” means “air for the spirits”. This specie of plant is perhaps humanities’ most ancient of all the sacred, ritual plants. It is said that Imphepho was our early ancestors’ very first medicinal teacher plant – and through its power and guidance, they were taught of all the other healing plants available to assist humankind.
The burning of this herb, traditionally on a potsherd, is used as a smudge, or sacred incense, to evoke the goodwill of the ancestors, to clear energy, invoke trance states and as a prayer offering.
In addition to the ritualistic powers of Imphepho, Helichrysum species hold an abundance of traditional medicinal properties, making them the most widely used medicinal plant in South Africa.
The medicinal uses of Helichrysum crispum include: the treatment of high blood pressure, heart conditions, kidney ailments and back ache. Its sedative properties calm a racing heart, ease nervous disorders, insomnia and act as a pain reliever. It is said to be effective for coronary thrombosis and hypertension, as well as diabetes, influenza and auto-immune diseases. It is used as a tonic after pregnancy and to treat menstrual pain. The leaves and stems are used as an antiseptic wash for lesions and also as a sterile wound dressing. Imphepho is used as a wash for new born babies – to cleanse and protect them.
The Afrikaans common name – Kooigoed – stems from its traditional use as a popular bedding material: it was found to repel parasites and insects.
References for medicinal and traditional uses of Imphepho:
- Medicinal and Other Uses of Southern Overberg Fynbos Plants – Mathia Schwegler
- Herbal Remedies of Montagu Museum – 1998
- Medicinal Plants of South Africa: Ben-Erik van Wyk.
- People’s Plants: Ben-Erik van Wyk.
- Muthi and Myths from the African Bush – Heather Dugmore.
- Earth Medicine – Imphepho – Africa’s Sacred Herb. (Helicrysum Species (African Sage))