BACH FLOWER ESSENCES

Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) was a British physician and well known pathologist, immunologist, and bacteriologist. His discoveries in these areas of medicine were pioneering. Despite his medical successes, he still felt unsatisfied. For him an illness was not just a “dysfunction of the human machine” but an effect of disharmony between body and mind. The symptoms of an illness were the external expression, the bodily manifestation, of negative emotional states.

“His postulate was, “Treat The Person, Not The Illness.” He assumed the causes of disease were negative emotional states such as sorrow, fear, dissatisfaction, impatience, sadness, etc. He started looking for soul remedies that could influence the causes of an illness. As a great nature lover, Edward Bach was also extremely sensitive. In his quest for new remedies he would go into the countryside, pick the petal of a single flower, and lay it on his tongue. With the help of his immense sensitivity he was able to feel the effect of a plant on the human body and psyche. In this way he found the plants he thought were useful for the treatment of negative emotional states. He used not only the blossoms of wildflowers but also the flowers of wild shrubs, bushes, and trees.”

—Excerpt from: Dietmar Kraemer, New Bach Flower Therapies,
Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont. ISBN 0-89281-529-9

One by one Dr Bach found the remedies he wanted each aimed at a particular mental state or emotion. He found that when he treated the personalities and feelings of his patients their unhappiness and physical distress would be alleviated as the natural healing potential in their bodies was unblocked and allowed to work once more. He would suffer the emotional state that he needed to cure and then try various plants and flowers until he found the one single plant that could help him. Through great personal suffering and sacrifice he completed his life’s work.

The remedies were identified intuitively and produced by floating freshly picked flower heads in sunlit spring water or by boiling twigs etc in spring water. The essence of the flower, or other species left an ‘imprint’ in the water. It was then mixed with a small proportion of brandy, as a preservative, and bottled.

Dr Bach passed away in November 1936. He was only 50 years old, but he had left behind him several lifetimes’ experience and effort, and a system of medicine that is now used all over the world.

THE SPECIAL SOUL MESSAGE OF THE FLOWER

“It seems natural that flowers should have a healing power for the human soul. After all, we give bouquets of flowers when we want to express our deepest feelings, whether grieving or joyful. We do not give a basket of roots or stems! While many parts of plants can have healing benefits, flowers speak to the soul.

Botanists know that flowers express the unique identity of plant species. But why is this so? Once of the most intriguing scientific explanations of the unique properties of flowers is in the book The Plant Between Sun and Earth by George Adams and Olive Whicher. The earthly forces from below create the convex, expanding forms of the root. The more cosmic forces from above create concave, enveloping forms of the branches and leaves. The flower “fills” this cosmic space with substance, uniquely imbued with soul qualities, which we perceive in the subtle textures, colors and fragrances of plants.

Because the flower represents the “soul” identity of a plant, the more we know about the plant, the deeper will be our understanding of the qualities of the flower essences. Botanists have grouped plants into families based on their similarities of form and this frequently is expressed as related themes in the qualities of the flower essences.

At its core, flower essence therapy represents a relationship between humans and plants that reflects our innate knowledge of the unity of all of creation.”

–Excerpt from Symbiosis: Journal of Ecologically Sustainable Medicine.

TAKING THE ESSENCES

For the treatment of short-term mood or problem the easiest way is to put 2 drops of each selected remedy in a glass of water and sip as required, at least four times a day, until relief is obtained. If using Rescue Remedy, put in 4 drops instead of 2.

For chronic problems you should make up a treatment bottle, as this is more economical and will make the precious stock remedies go a bit further. Get a 30ml bottle with a dropper in the lid and then add 2 drops of each selected remedy (4 drops of Rescue Remedy) to the bottle. Top this up with still mineral water and from this bottle take 4 drops four times a day.

If you keep them in the fridge, treatment bottles will last from 2 to 4 weeks. If you can’t keep your bottle in the fridge but have to keep it in your pocket or handbag then you can add a teaspoon of brandy to the treatment bottle – this will help to keep the water from going off.

A LIST OF THE 38 REMEDIES AND THEIR BASIC INDICATIONS

Agrimony: Mental torture behind a cheerful face

Aspen: Fear of unknown things

Beech: Intolerance

Centaury: Inability to say ‘no’

Cerato: Lack of trust in one’s own decisions

Cherry Plum: Fear of the mind giving way

Chestnut Bud: Failure to learn from mistakes

Chicory: Selfish, possessive love

Clematis: Dreaming of the future without working in the present

Crab Apple: Cleansing remedy, also for self-hatred

Elm: Overwhelmed by responsibility

Gentian: Discouragement after a setback

Gorse: Hopelessness & despair

Heather: Self-centered-ness & self-concern

Holly: Hatred, envy & jealousy

Honeysuckle: Living in the past

Hornbeam: Procrastination, tiredness at the thought of doing something

Impatiens: Impatience

Larch: Lack of confidence

Mimulus: Fear of known things

Mustard: Deep gloom for no reason

Oak: The plodder who keeps going past the point of exhaustion

Olive: Exhaustion following mental or physical effort

Pine: Guilt

Red Chestnut: Over-concern for the welfare of loved ones

Rock Rose: Terror & fright

Rock Water : Self-denial, rigidity & self-repression

Scleranthus: Inability to choose between alternatives

Star of Bethlehem: Shock

Sweet Chestnut: Extreme mental anguish, when everything is tried & there is no light left

Vervain: Over-enthusiasm

Vine: Dominance & inflexibility

Walnut: Protection from change & unwanted influences

Water Violet: Pride & aloofness

White Chestnut: Unwanted thoughts & mental arguments

Wild Oat: Uncertainty over one’s direction in life

Wild Rose: Drifting, resignation, apathy

Willow: Self-pity & resentment

There is a combination remedy called Rescue Remedy which consists of a premixed Flower combination including Star of Bethlehem for shock; Rock Rose for acute fear and panic; Impatiens for inner tension and stress; Cherry Plum for fear of breaking down in despair; Clematis for the feeling of being “not completely here”.

Rescue Remedy is called for when a situation appears threatening to the individual or is indeed life threatening. Shock paralyzes the energetic system and the conscious mind withdraws itself from the body. In such cases the body is left completely on its own and is unable to activate self-healing energy. Rescue Remedy very quickly removes the energetic block and enables the body’s regulatory system to initiate the necessary measures for emergencies.

BACH FLOWER QUESTIONNAIRE

Please check all the situations that apply to you then send to me for analysis of essences.

1) Do you hide worries behind a cheerful smiling face in attempt to conceal your pain from others?
Are you distressed by arguments & quarrels often giving in to avoid any conflict?
When you feel pressure weighing you down, do you turn to drugs/alcohol/other outside influences to help you cope?

2) Do you have feelings of apprehension, anticipation or uneasiness with no known cause?
Do you worry that something bad may happen but you are not sure what?
Do you awaken with a sense of fear & anxiety of what the day will bring?

3) Are you annoyed by the habits & shortcomings of others?
Are you overly-critical & intolerant, usually looking for what someone has done wrong & not right?
Do you prefer to work or be alone as the seeming foolishness of others irritates you?

4) Are you unable to say no to those who constantly impose upon your good nature?
Do you tend to be timid & shy, easily influenced by those stronger than yourself?
Do you often deny your own needs to please others?

5) Do you constantly question your decisions & judgment?
Are you often seeking advice & confirmation from other people, mistrusting your own wisdom?
Do you change direction often, first going one way, then another way because you lack the confidence in yourself to stick with one direction?

6) Do you fear losing control of yourself?
Are you afraid of hurting yourself & others?
Do you have a tendency to act irrationally & violently, exploding into unexplained fits of rage & anger?

7) Do you make the same mistake over & over e.g. choose the wrong partner or stay in a job you dislike?
Do you fail to learn from your experiences?
Does it take longer to advance in your life because you fail to learn from mistakes?

8) Are you possessive & manipulative of those you care for?
Do you need to be needed?
Do you feel unloved & unappreciated by your loved ones “after all you’ve done for them”?

9) Do you often feel spacey & out of touch with the real world?
Do you find yourself preoccupied & dreamy, unable to concentrate for any length of time?
Are you drowsy & listless, sleeping more than necessary?

10) Are you obsessed with cleanliness?
Are you embarrassed & ashamed of yourself physically, finding yourself unattractive?
Do you tend to focus on small, physical conditions like pimples or marks, neglecting more serious problems?

11) Are you often overwhelmed by your responsibilities?
Do you feel inadequate when it comes to dealing with the tasks ahead of you?
Do you become depressed & exhausted when faced with everyday commitments?

12) Do you become discouraged & depressed when things go wrong?
Do you find yourself easily disheartened when faced with difficult situations?
Does your pessimistic attitude often prevent you from making an effort to accomplish something?

13) Do you feel despondent & hopeless, at the end of your rope, both mentally & physically?
Do you lack confidence that things will get better in your life, so make no effort to improve your circumstances?
Do you believe that nothing can be done to relieve your pain & suffering?

14) Are you totally self absorbed, concerned about yourself & your own problems & ailments?
Do you talk incessantly, not interested in what others say?
Do you dislike being alone, always seeking the companionship of others?

15) Are you full of jealousy & hate?
Do you mistrust others intentions, feeling that people have ulterior motives?
Do you feel great anger toward other people?

16) Do you find yourself living in the past, nostalgic for the way it was?
Are you unable to change the present circumstances because you are always looking back & never forward?
Are you dissatisfied with your accomplishments?

17) Do you often feel too tired to face the day ahead?
Do you feel overworked or bored with your life?
Do you lack enthusiasm & therefore tend to procrastinate?

18) Are you impatient & irritable with others who seem to do things too slowly for you?
Do you prefer to work alone?
Do you feel a sense of urgency in everything you do, always rushing to get through things?

19) Do you lack self confidence?
Do you feel inferior & often become discouraged?
Are you so sure that you will fail & therefore do not even attempt things?

20) Do you have fears of known things, i.e. illness, death, pain, heights, darkness, dentists, etc?
Are you shy, overly sensitive & often afraid?
When confronted with a frightening situation, do you become too paralyzed to act?

21) Do you feel deep gloom which seems to quickly descend for no apparent reason & lifts just as suddenly?
Do you feel your moods swinging back & forth?
Do you feel depressed without knowing why?

22) Are you exhausted but feel the need to struggle on against all odds?
Do you have a strong sense of duty & dependability, carrying on no matter what obstacles stand in your way?
Do you neglect you own needs to complete a task?

23) Do you feel utterly & completely exhausted, both physically & mentally?
Are you totally drained of all energy with no reserves left, finding it difficult to carry on?
Is everything an effort, does your life lack zest?

24) Are you full of guilt & self-reproach?
Do you blame yourself for everything that goes wrong, even the mistakes of others?
Do you set overly high standards for yourself, never satisfied with your achievements?

25) Are you excessively concerned & worried for your loved ones?
Do you constantly worry that harm may come to those you care for?
Are you disturbed by other people’s problems?

26) Do you feel terror & panic?
Do you become helpless & frozen in the face of fear?
Do you suffer from nightmares?

27) Are you inflexible in your approach to life, always striving for perfection?
Are you so rigid in your ideals that you deny yourself the simple pleasures of life?
Are you overly concerned with diet, exercise, work & spiritual disciplines?

28) Do you find it difficult to decide when faced with a choice of two possibilities?
Do you lack concentration, always fidgety & nervous?
Do your moods change from one extreme to another: joy to sadness, optimism to pessimism, laughing to crying?

29) Have you suffered a shock in your life such as an accident, loss of a loved one, terrible news or an illness?
Are you numbed or withdrawn as a result of recent traumatic events in your life?
Have you suffered a loss or grief that you have never recovered from?

30) Do you suffer from extreme mental anguish?
Do you feel that you have reached the limits of what you could possibly endure?
Do you feel as though the future holds nothing for you?

31) Do you feel tense & highly strung?
Do you have strong opinions & only yours are the right ones?
Is your over-enthusiasm almost to the point of being fanatical?

32) Do you tend to be domineering & overbearing?
Do you feel the need to always be right?
Are you inflexible & feel you know more than anyone?

33) Are you experiencing any change in your life: a move, new job, loss of someone loved, new relationship, divorce, puberty, menopause, giving up an addiction?
Are you distracted by outside influences?
Do you need to make a break from strong forces or attachments in your life that may be holding you back?

34) Do you appear to others to be aloof & overly proud?
Do you have a tendency to be withdrawn & do you prefer to be alone when faced with too many external distractions?
Do you bear your grief & sorrow in silence?

35) Do you find your head full of persistent, unwanted thoughts that prevent concentration?
Do you relive unhappy events or arguments over & over again?
Are you unable to sleep at times because your mind is cluttered with mental arguments that go round & round?

36) Do you find yourself in a complete state of uncertainty over major life decisions?
Are you displeased with your lifestyle & feel dissatisfied with your achievements?
Do you have ambition but feel that life is passing you by?

37) Are you apathetic & resigned to whatever may happen in your life?
Do you have the attitude, “I will just live with it”?
Do you lack the motivation to improve the quality of your life?

38) Do you feel resentful & bitter?
Do you have difficulty forgiving & forgetting?
Do you feel life is unfair & find yourself taking less & less interest in the things you used to enjoy?