When you are feeling stressed, worried, preoccupied, anxious, tired or just not 100% yourself, Bach Original Flower Remedies can help get you back on track. The remedies were formulated in the 1930’s by Dr Edward Bach, who saw that emotional well-being was the key to general good health. For more than 85 years, the Bach Original Flower Remedies have helped millions live emotionally balanced lives.
How to Take the Remedies
You make a Bach Flower treatment bottle by adding 2 drops of each of the selected Bach Flower Remedies to a 30 ml/1 oz mixing bottle. You can combine up to 6 or 7 Remedies in a treatment bottle.
As a preservative (optional) you can add 1-2 teaspoons of brandy, apple cider vinegar, or vegetable glycerin.
You then fill the bottle to the top with water. From this mixture, you take 4 drops (or 2 sprays), 4 times a day until you feel better.
If you wake up one day feeling a bit out of sort, you can add 1-2 drops of a remedy or more, to a drink and take small sips throughout the day until you feel better.
Rescue Remedy can be taken as often as needed, either by adding 4 drops directly in your mouth or adding 2-4 drops in a glass of water and drink it slowly over a period of time.
From a wonderful website that is no longer on the internet rainbowcrystal.com:
There is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind, and inner happiness. Dr. Edward Bach, 1934
Edward Bach, medical doctor, bacteriologist, and homeopathic physician, dedicated his life to discovering a system of healing which would go beyond the diagnosis and treatment of physical symptoms to address the emotional and mental roots of disease. He came to realize that when people were treated on the basis of distinctive personality characteristics, rather than according to their disease, true healing could occur. Convinced that he would discover what he sought in nature, he began to explore the fields and forests of England in search of Essences which would be effective, pure, and inexpensive.
One day, the sight of dewdrops glistening on flower petals inspired him with the idea that the heat of the sun, acting through the dew, must draw out the healing essence of each flower Through the development of a method for extracting this essence and self-experimentation with the resulting essences he isolated flowers which addressed a broad range of psychological conditions. These became known as the Bach Flower Essences.
How They Heal
Dr. Bach believed that the source of all illness is conflict between one’s higher self, which wishes to realize its full potential, and the personality (or ego) which may obstruct this realization through limiting beliefs and actions. This obstruction expresses itself through blockages which prevent the wishes of the higher self from being heard, as illustrated in this case history.
Susan deeply wishes to do volunteer work at a local animal shelter in order to deepen her bonds with animals and to be of service to them. Her mother, bored and lonely, demands all of Susan’s free time. Susan, feeling obliged to meet her mother’s needs, blocks the energy of the impulses which come from her higher self. She thus both prevents herself from using this energy for her personal growth and uses additional energy in trying to avoid recognition of her feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction.
The Bach Flower Essence Centuary is for those who (in Bach’s words) “become more servants than willing helpers,” thus neglecting their own purpose in being. Willow would be helpful if Susan feels resentful; Pine could alleviate guilt about living her own life; while Chicory would be useful in helping Susan’s mother let go of her daughter.
Because each essence has the same energy as that of the desire the higher self wishes to fulfill it is able to make direct contact with this energy, strengthening the higher self to dissolve the energy blockages.
Which Ones Are For You?
A useful way to begin is to make a list of the feelings or issues which worry you most. For example:
- Whenever I think of starting something new I get discouraged.
- I worry about my children all the time
- I’m trying to lose weight, but the urge to raid the refrigerator overcomes me all the time.
Keep your list to no more than five items (preferably three). Then read the descriptions in the next section to see which most closely correspond to your issues. You may find that you need to refine the problem. For example, the problem, “Whenever I think of starting something new I get discouraged” may have several emotional sources.
If someone doesn’t feel competent enough to start the project the appropriate essence would be Larch.
For the feeling that one is already overwhelmed with work, Elm would be appropriate.
If one is simply afraid to try something new Mimulus would be ideal for the fear.
The Essences for the other two problems posed would be 2. Red Chestnut, and 3. Cherry Plum.
An important thing to remember as you read the descriptions of the flower Essences in the next section is that a condition need not be one which is habitual. For example, maybe you used to have more self-confidence, but lately it seems to be missing. Flower essences work for both longstanding and temporary states.
We recommend choosing Bach Flower Essences for general issues. For example, Hornbeam is recommended for the general issue of being reluctant to face a new day.
Similarly, if you are generally critical of others Beech is a good choice. We recommend the FES essence Filaree for those who are critical in a picky way or over small things (although “small” isn’t an objective word).
However, we aren’t the ultimate authorities. If a description of a flower essence feels intuitively right to you choose it.
Because flower essences are non-addictive and physically harmless they are an ideal form of self-treatment for you, your children, even your pets. You may find that your explorations yield you more vivid dreams, a deepened sense of intuition, and greater excitement about being alive. Enjoy these gifts of the flowers.
Dr. Edward Bach is known as the discoverer and developer of the Bach Flower Remedies. Less well-known, but equally important, is the philosophy of health and healing which is the foundation of his work.
Every time I read the pamphlet, “Free Thyself,” which contains the essence of his beliefs I find myself re-examining my life. I pay more attention to the quality of my relationships; I look at possessions and beliefs (which are also possessions) which clutter my path; I examine the path itself.
Part of my path is to share ideas which have made a difference to me; hence, this article, which I’ve written with gratitude, both to Dr. Bach for the gift of his gentle wisdom and Remedies, and to you, for allowing me to share what I’ve learned.
Follow Your Path
“If we follow our own instincts, our own wishes, our own thoughts, our own desires, we should never know anything but joy and health.”
This is the heart of Dr. Bach’s philosophy. He believed that each of us come into physical world with a purpose, a way of being and doing and a direction which is uniquely ours. It is not to be judged by the world (which prefers brain surgeons to dogwalkers); and it isn’t about suffering or sacrifice (“I’d rather raise flowers, but my duty is to do this job I hate which helps others because I’m a good person.”)
It is that way of living which calls to you above all others, which makes you happy, which makes your life worth living.
It is a vision of fulfillment which many of us weren’t taught to attain.
Coloring Outside the Lines
Imagine a child coloring. He pays no attention to the lines in his coloring books; each page is a launching pad for explosions of brilliant streaks, bobs, and zigzags.
Then one of his parents come along and say, “No, no, you’ve got to color inside the lines,” perhaps even guiding his hand to do so.
Thus a war inside him begins. That energy within him which longs to feel orange and yellow and blue dancing wildly on the paper, which intuitively senses of the rightness of his choices, will resist for a while, but it will most likely lose out–for the people who are saying, “No, no,” and showing him what they want him to do are the givers of love, of food, of security, and he is learning that their love and protection depends on their approval of him. He is also learning what he has to do to win their approval: color inside the lines, shrink himself until he fits into their expectations.
If he is well-trained he will learn the habit of monitoring himself, suppressing every intuitive desire in favor of approval. He will learn to choose the good opinion of others over his needs, and in time he may lose his intuitive sense altogether, and find decision-making difficult.
He may, instead, become a rebel. By this, I don’t mean that, in following his intuitive sense of what’s right for him he chooses a path of which society may disapprove. A rebel may know that (s)he has a purpose beyond unthinking obedience to the norm, but by choosing to do the opposite of what (s)he’s expected to do (s)he is still being directed by the opinions of others.
A child may also seek approval (and this is usually unconscious) by adopting his/her parents’ fears. I had a client whose father had wanted to become a minister. He’d grown up in the Depression, though, and had been afraid to give up his secure job. He died in his early sixties, a bitter and resentful man. Years later, my client faced a similar dilemma. “I feel that not living the life he wanted killed him,” she said, “and I feel the same thing happening to me.”
When we habitually ignore and suppress that voice which is uniquely ours the divine spark which is ours at birth becomes all but extinguished. Then we wonder why we are unhappy, bored, frustrated, worried. And sick.
Where Health Begins
When we’re in contact with the divine aspect of ourselves (called by many Soul) we’re able to use the spiritual energy which flows from that source. (In the practice of Reiki this energy is called Universal Life Force Energy). If we resist that energy by following instead the commands of others, energetic blockages occur which cause us to be unbalanced and out of touch with our intuitive wisdom. These blockages, by preventing the natural flow of healing energy, can also cause physical disorders.
Stress, for example, is often caused by the mind being burdened by worry, which in turn is caused by a lack of trust in one’s ability to guide oneself through life. Worry involves thoughts (I have so much to do; how will I ever get it all done) which create doubt (I can’t), with accompanying feelings (the sensation of fear, panic, etc.) which produce emotional blockages. These can lead to bodily tightening and tension, which can create the conditions for pain and/or illness. Medical, surgical, or pharmaceutical solutions may relieve the physical symptoms, but they or a new set of symptoms will occur if the basic imbalance remains.
Our little stifled artist might develop the following disorders: (we’ve indicated the corresponding Bach Flower Remedies in parentheses)
Having been impressed with the importance of doing things exactly right, he may make very strict rules for himself, and this mental/emotional rigidity may lead to a corresponding skeletal and/or muscular stiffness (Rock Water).
He may become fearful of anything unknown, which can lead to being afraid to go to sleep at night, thus causing insomnia and a general condition of physical debilitation (Aspen).
He may become afraid of any spontaneity, including the expression of his feelings, and keep his fears, worries, and physical pain to himself. Feelings held in eventually become unbearable, and the unwillingness to experience them is often the root of various addictions which mask pain and unhappiness (Agrimony).
He may learn to be resentful and bitter (I could have been a great artist if it weren’t for my parents) and feel like a victim. Keeping such emotions inside can cause a range of digestive disorders and worse (Willow).
Self versus Selfish
As adults, when we attempt to re-connect with our intuitive, spontaneous selves, the learned habit of worrying about others’ opinions may stop us. Many of us learned that to follow our deepest desires is to be selfish, despite Shakespeare’s observation that we’re true to ourselves we will be false to no one else.
In Dr. Bach’s view selfishness consists, not in honoring our own desires, but in interfering with the desires of others.
Consider the following phrases:
- I only want what’s best for you.
- This is for your own good.
Probably most of us have used them at one time or more in our lives, but how do they sound in the light of Bach’s ideas. If we are each born with our unique spark of divinity how can we know what’s best for anyone but ourselves?
When we say, “This is for your own good” we really mean “This is for my own good.” We’re saying, “I’m right, and you’re wrong.” We are practicing intolerance. And just as we may become eventually ill if we allow other people to interfere with our path, disease may also develop when we interfere with others.
When we’re busy directing others onto the paths on which we think they should travel we aren’t paying much attention to our own. When we’re unwilling to acknowledge that each person has a higher self who guides them we deaden our connection to the wisdom of our own higher selves.
The Road Back Home . . .
begins with small steps. If there are young children in your life let them teach you and direct you in the games and activities which you share.
Go to a playground and swing and climb the jungle gym and go down the slides.
Learn something which is fun and has absolutely no social value (i.e., it has no connection to your job, and it won’t make people think you’re a better person).
Play with crystals. Pick them up and look at them (without trying to remember what each is for). Roll them in your hands. Enjoy their light, colors, and textures.
Begin to consciously open up to your intuition. Small steps lead to larger ones. If you have an urge to eat banana-mocha ice cream instead of vanilla do it. Read the book by that author you never heard of. Go to Nova Scotia instead of Cape Cod.
Get interested in your dreams. This doesn’t necessarily mean analyzing them, but remembering them, and with appreciation. We are all creative and spontaneous in our dreams.
Be alert for so-called coincidences, which may actually be signposts on your path. A friend tells you she took a great class on unlocking your creative potential; then another friend tells you about the class; then you see an ad for it. Find out more about this class.
Get a coloring book and color outside the lines.
A creative partnership with crystals and flower essences can be a very playful experience. In choosing them it’s most helpful for you to figure out the particular areas where you’re stuck (as in the examples given above for the small frustrated artist). Here are some other examples for crystals:
- Self-judgment or lack of self-esteem: Citrine, smoky quartz, peridot.
- Rigidity (inability to flow): Carnelian, aquamarine.
- Creative blockages: malachite, turquoise.
- Resentment: Sugilite
- Fear or self-expression: Amazonite
Clear quartz is a lovely, playful stone which belongs on anyone’s journey of self-discovery.
Larch (Bach) helps to elevate self-esteem.
Walnut (Bach) is useful for all transitions.
Agrimony (related to Sagittarius)
Aspen (related to Taurus)
Centaury (related to Virgo)
Cerato (related to Gemini)
Chicory (related to Scorpio)
Clematis (related to Pisces)
Gentian (related to Capricorn)
Impatiens (related to Aries)
Red Chestnut (related to Cancer)
Scleranthus (related to Libra)
Star of Bethlehem
Vervain (related to Leo)
Water Violet (related to Aquarius)
* Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated. Bach Original Flower Remedies brand products are a homeopathic dilution