The healing power of flowers is more than a pretty sight and a divine smell. Flowers also hold ‘homeopathic’ healing power, and that’s what I want to talk about today.
As I am working more and more with Bach Flower Remedies, for personal use as well as for clients, I came up with the idea to introduce them on the blog here over the duration of a week. I want to introduce you with a couple of new flower remedies (also called ‘essences’) each day, for you to look at and consider. I believe that becoming familiar with new flower essences will encourage you to explore their benefits for yourself.
Bach flower remedies can be very useful and effective for emotional and mental healing. The effect of Bach Flower Remedies are instant. Sometimes these effects are strong, sometimes they are subtle. Bach Flower Remedies are suitable for adults, children, pets and even plants.
You will find Bach Flower Remedies particularly soothing and naturally helpful to heal emotional or mental imbalances and at life’s major transitions.
You can use them to heal all emotional imbalances such as, anger, anxiety, bullying, issues with adjustment to change, depression, nightmares, separation anxiety, stress, trauma, and more. Bach flower remedies help you through minor or major transitions such as terrible twos, teenage years, homesickness, divorce, death or menopause.
The Bach Flower Remedies are considered homeopathic by some. However, practitioners of Bach flower therapy would say point out that that this healing method is not exactly a herbal therapy or homeopathy. This is because the basic principle of homeopathy is that “like cures like.” However, the basis of the Bach Flower Therapy is just the opposite: it is opposites that bring about the desired effect in your life.
Bach flower essences are made by infusion of wild plants & flowers from a certain area in England. Bach Flower Essences are made 100% naturally from spring water infused with wild flowers, either by the sun steeping method or by boiling. The Essences are hand produced exclusively in England without the aid of mechanical devices. They are produced at one location after old directions from Dr. Edward Bach, who was VERY specific with the directions on how & when to make the Essences. So, who was Dr. Bach?
About Dr Edward Bach
Dr. Edward Bach, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, DPH, was a well-known bacteriologist, pathologist and homeopath whose career took him from University College Hospital to the London Homoeopathic Hospital and a successful Harley Street practice. His orthodox researches culminated in a series of oral vaccines that are still known as the seven Bach nosodes, but even though this work received great acclaim Bach himself was not satisfied. He wanted to replace the vaccines with plant material which he felt would be more effective. To this end he began experimenting in 1928 with medicines made from flowers.
Bach had always been more interested in the people suffering disease than in the diseases themselves – a fact that made him unusual at that time. But his work with the flower remedies convinced him that true health could only be maintained by treating the individual personality instead of concentrating exclusively on the diseases of the body. He found that by selecting flower remedies according to the personality and emotional states of individuals he was able to resolve these imbalances, and that well-balanced people got better physically because their bodies were quite literally free to heal themselves. He believed that attitude of mind plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness.
He identified 38 basic negative states of mind and created a plant or flower based remedy for each one. Each remedy aids a specific emotion. You can take them individually or mix them together to match the way you feel. Recent research into the links between emotions and the immune system supports the view that emotional and physical health are linked. More and ore medical experts now agree that a healthy mind really does ensure a healthy body. Bach Flower Essences can help you take control of the way you feel and get more out of life.
The Bach Centre
After leaving London in 1930, Dr Bach explored the countryside in search of the essences for several years. In 1934 he decided to settle down and create a centre for his work, and chose Mount Vernon, a small cottage in Sotwell, Oxfordshire. He spent the last years of his life at Mount Vernon and where he completed his research. Nowadays, Mount Vernon is known as The Bach Centre. The present custodians continue to prepare the mother tinctures (first process in making the essences), often using the same locations that Dr Bach identified in the 1930’s. Only the Bach signature guarantees that you receive the original Bach Flower Essences, prepared as they have been since Dr. Bach’s time with tinctures made exclusively by the Bach Centre at Mount Vernon.
(btw. You can actually visit this cute little cottage. It will be an inspirational visit, as you’ll get to sit in Bach’s chair and walk in Bach’s garden. The whole environment will imbue you with delight.)
By the time Dr. Bach died in 1936 he had discovered the 38 remedies that were needed to treat every possible emotional state, with each individual remedy being aimed at a particular emotion or characteristic. This limited number of remedies can deal with all emotional or mental issues. This becomes reasonable when you consider that these 38 ”primary” remedies can be used in combination with each other.
Which Bach Flower Remedies Are Right for You
It is common to use up to three different flowers (out of the 38) into one serum of Bach Flower Remedies.
There are several ways to determine which three Bach flower essences will help you most at any given time:
1. As it is hard for us to honestly and objectively diagnose where and how we’re emotionally out of balance, rational self-diagnosis is of little use. Instead, you can use a technique called dowsing (using a pendulum or muscle testing) to determine yourself which remedies are best for you. Also, this Bach Flower Questionnaire will be helpful. Use these techniques in combination, and you’ll get it right.
2. Or, you can ask an intuitive to determine for you which are best today for you.
3. Or, you can ask a homeopath or Bach flower remedy specialist, who will consult with you, who may be intuitive, who may give you the Bach flower questionnaire and perhaps as well, use a dowsing technique to complement their professional observations.
When using the Bach Flower Remedies it is essential to ignore as far as possible any physical symptoms or disease. This can be a hard to do, but the physical side of disease can of course be treated using any other appropriate system of healing, whether orthodox or complementary.
The Bach Flower Remedies themselves are selected according to the personality of the person being treated. For example, a kind gentle person who found it hard to say ‘no’ to other people would be given Centaury, while someone who always tries to laugh things off even when he is undergoing torture inside would need Agrimony. In addition, the current mental state is taken into account so that someone who was worrying all the time would need White Chestnut while someone who was feeling a bit despondent after a setback would be given Gentian.
The effect of the remedies is to transform negative thoughts and behavior into positive ones. They do not of course alter the personality or bring instant nirvana or bring back your past lives – instead they bring you gently back to yourself so that you can go on learning from the life that you are living now. So taking Centaury would not turn a kind person into a bossy tyrant; she would still be gentle and kind; but in addition she would be better able to draw the line and as a result wouldn’t suffer from exploitation by more ruthless characters. And the White Chestnut worrier would be able to think more constructively about problems instead of circling endlessly around them and never reaching a rational conclusion.
How to Take Bach Flowers – Determining Dosage
Dr Bach once gave nine remedies to one of his patients at a single time, but in practice it is possible in almost all cases to limit the number given to six or seven.
There are two main ways to take them. One is to put two drops of each selected remedy into a glass of water and sip from this at least four times a day – more if necessary – or until the problem has passed.
Alternatively the two drops can be put into a clean empty 30ml dropper bottle which is then topped up with mineral water. From this bottle – known as a treatment bottle – four drops are taken four times a day. Kept in the fridge and used regularly a treatment bottle will last up to three weeks.
Traditionally the 4 drops are taken under the tongue, 4x per day. The Bach Flower Remedies work best over a period of time.
The treatment bottle dose is the minimum needed for the remedies to work effectively. You can take them more frequently for moments of crisis, because they are completely safe: it is impossible to overdose on them or become addicted or build up tolerance. In addition the Bach Flower Remedies do not affect the actions of other medicines or therapies, nor are they affected by them. This and the fact that they are free of side effects free makes them an ideal complement to other courses of treatment.
The Bach Flower Remedies
Let me begin describing the various Bach flower remedies with the one best-known and called ‘Rescue Remedy’.This remedy actually contains seven of the below flower essences. Rescue remedy is excellent for all kinds of ‘emergencies’ and would be a great addition to any first aid kit, teacher’s or dentist receptionist’s tool box, or a mom’s handbag.
If you wonder what to give a pet owner, this is going to be a welcomed little present. Pets respond very well to Bach flowers and in fact, in some parts of the world, I believe there are more pets than people who benefit from Bach flowers, and rescue remedy in particular.
The List of 38 Individual Flower Remedies
Now for humans, there are Bach Flower remedies for PMS, grief, restless –ness, fatigue, anxiety and the list goes on.
As is neatly explained in the Bach’s books (see book references below), the Bach Flower Remedies consists of 12 Healers, 7 Helpers, and then there are the second 19. Bach’s first set of 12 Healers consisted of Agrimony, Centaury, Cerato, Chicory, Clematis, Gentian, Impatiens, Mimulus, Rock Rose, Scleranthus, Vervain, and Water Violet. The Seven Helpers are Gorse, Heather, Oak, Olive, Rock Water, Vine, and Wild Oat.
In summary, the Emotional Healing Help of Individual Bach Flower Remedies can be described as:
1· Agrimony for people who put a brave face on their troubles (click flower name link to learn more about this remedy)
2· Aspen for people who are anxious or afraid but don’t know why
3· Beech for people who are intolerant and critical of others.
4· Centaury for people who allow others to impose on them
5· Cerato for people who doubt their own judgment
6· Cherry Plum for uncontrolled, irrational thoughts and the fear of doing something awful
7· Chestnut Bud for people who repeat mistakes and don’t learn from experience (info on these remedies will be published rest of week)
8· Chicory for over-possessive, selfish people who cling to their loved ones
9· Clematis for day-dreamers
10· Crab Apple for those who dislike something about the way they look and as a general cleanser
11· Elm for responsible, capable people who in a crisis doubt their ability to cope
12· Gentian for people disheartened when something goes wrong
13· Gorse for people who have lost hope, often without cause
14· Heather for talkative types who are obsessed with their own problems
15· Holly for negative feelings of hatred, envy, jealousy and suspicion
16· Honeysuckle for people who live in the past
17· Hornbeam for mental tiredness at the thought of a coming task
18· Impatiens for impatience and irritation at other people’s slowness
19· Larch for fear of failure and lack of confidence
20· Mimulus for people who are afraid of something real that they can name
21· Mustard for gloom and depression with no known cause
22· Oak for strong, indefatigable people who can over-extend themselves by trying too hard
23· Olive for people physically drained by exertion or illness
24· Pine for those who blame themselves when things go wrong
25· Red Chestnut for excessive worry about the welfare of loved ones
26· Rock Rose for extreme fright and terror
27· Rock Water for people whose self-discipline and high standards are carried to excess
28· Scleranthus for people who find it hard to choose between possible courses of action
29· Star of Bethlehem for sudden frights and shock
30· Sweet Chestnut for utter despair and anguish
31· Vervain for enthusiastic people who are always on the go
32· Vine for domineering people
33· Walnut to help protect against outside influences and the effects of change
34· Water Violet for private, reserved people who can appear proud and arrogant
35· White Chestnut for persistent worrying thoughts
36· Wild Oat for people unable to find a direction for their lives
37· Wild Rose for people who resign themselves without complaint or effort to everything life throws at them
38· Willow for people who are full of self-pity, resentment and bitterness
For a detailed explanation of how each Bach flower remedy works and how it can help you, click on the flower essence name (link) above, and/or first consult the questionnaire.
Bach Flower Affirmations
I have written an affirmation for each of the Bach flower remedies, and this is how I’d like you to use them.
First, it’s good to be aware of the positive & negative qualities of each of the flower essences which you ingest. Flower essences will work regardless of your mental support, but they will certainly work more effectively if you work with them in your mind. Consider the negative quality or imbalance, without dwelling on it. Only unattached awareness is needed of the nature of your emotional problems or mental conflicts.
Then focus on and absorb the positive qualities related to the flower essence. Affirm to yourself that as you take the remedy, you are being infused with these positive qualities. Use the affirmation for this purpose. You may adjust them affirmation to better suit you. When you say the affirmation to yourself, feel and visualize yourself in that reality. In this way, affirmations become very useful tools to use in conjunction with flower essences.
The awareness and affirmations will greatly enhance your healing process.
Final Note on Alcohol
Bach flower remedies are entirely safe. You can freely experiment with them as they are harmless. Nothing happens when you take a remedy you don’t need, but great things can and do happen when you take a remedy you do need.
Note that the remedies are preserved in neat brandy. So: use caution when giving them to people who are recovering from alcoholism, to people who are allergic to alcohol, or to those who object to its use on religious or moral grounds.
Books on Bach Flower Remedies
|The Essential Writings of Dr. Edward Bach: The Twelve Healers and Heal Thyself