Alternative Therapies

Bach Flower Remedies

The flower remedies were the result of research done by Dr. Edward Bach and in 1930 he gave up his practice to concentrate fully on the development of the remedies. He had noticed the connection between the state of mind and the ability of the body to heal itself, so the remedies are designed specifically for mental and emotional states. They are not dangerous in any way and do not interfere with conventional medicine. I have used different ones myself and noticed an effect. The energy is very subtle, but somehow it does work, and my sister swears by the rescue remedy pastels when she has to drive long distance. There are thirty-eight remedies, each offer healing for a different emotional state. The instructions are on the bottle, but you usually have to put a couple of drops into water and drink it.

The Rescue Remedy is used in emergencies such as sudden faintness, panic or other potentially overwhelming feeling or sensation; you can use it if you have an accident to help the body stay out of shock. It is now available in many forms and contains the following remedies; Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Impatiens, Cherry plum, and Clematis.

Which Remedy?

Agrimony: For the person who comes across as cheerful and happy but inside has to struggle with mental torture and worry. There is an intense dislike of arguments, and they will laugh off any discomfort or stress they have to deal with. Insomnia and restlessness will most likely be present. The positive aspects are the ability to be positive in spite of hardship and being able to laugh at the self. For those who feel they wear a mask.

Aspen: This is for unknown fears and anxiety that are present in the mind. They will often come out of nowhere and be about nothing in particular. If you wake up in the middle of the night with terror this remedy will help. Remember that Aspen is for unknown fears; the feelings of terror and anxiety which have no foundation in truth. The benefits which come from Aspen are faith and losing the fear of the unknown.

Beech: For those who are extremely critical and have to pass judgement on everyone and everything. The slightest thing can irritate to the point of frustration. There will be a genuine difficulty in seeing where the other person is coming from and an inability to understand how circumstances affect us differently. The benefits of Beech are the ability to be tolerant, give positive criticism, and lack of judgement towards those who walk a different path.

Centaury: It is said this remedy has the energy of a soldier. It is used to treat those who are too easily swayed by others and have a problem with saying no even when they need to. They can be timid and tire easily but are usually mentally active. Centaury can give you the strength to find your backbone, but more importantly, it will help you to maintain your individuality if you are in a position that requires you to give yourself in service.

Cerato: Self-doubt is a major problem for those needing this particular remedy; they will take bad advice despite knowing better. In fact, Cerato types have excellent judgement, but the self-doubt overrides the inner voice. The positive benefit of Cerato is self-assurance which enables the person to know their own mind. The Cerato person has a lot of natural wisdom; the goal is to be able to trust it.

Cherry Plum: One of the ingredients in the rescue remedy. It’s supposed to be used when feelings of desperation are present, and there is a fear of doing something awful. If you experience mental torment to do things you would not rationally do, this can help to restore sanity. This remedy has the positive benefit of giving courage, calm, and endurance.

Chestnut Bud: Some people never learn, and this remedy is for those stuck on the hamster wheel unable to see what life is showing them. It’s a lack of attention to detail which causes most of the problems, and the same issues tend to repeat again and again. The positive outcome for Chestnut Bud types is the ability to receive wisdom for any given situation and being fully present in the moment. For those who never learn til it’s too late.

Chicory: For self-pity and possessiveness. If you are constantly moaning that nobody cares or loves you enough, or you nag everyone around you, then you might benefit from this remedy. It’s a good one for those of you who drain other people of their life force and struggle to see the error of your ways. But then, you might not recognise you need this remedy at all. If you’re a spouse or friend of such a person, you could always buy it yourself and slip it into their tea?

Clematis: The daydream remedy for those who find it impossible to concentrate on the tasks at hand; they would much rather be drifting off into lalaland. This type of person will always be preoccupied and will usually sleep heavily. If you have a habit of walking past people you know or maybe never listen to what someone is saying, this could be the remedy for you. A benefit of Clematis is the ability to channel dreaminess into artistic pursuits.

Crab Apple: This cleansing remedy works on despondency and despair. It helps the mind and body get rid of anything that it doesn’t like and helps to balance out the negativity with the positive. It benefits those who concentrate on minor details and those who find it difficult to see the bigger picture. It is claimed this remedy will leave you feeling clean on the inside. If you have a need to broaden your horizons yet get diverted by menial tasks, this is the one for you.

Elm: An excellent remedy for those who are overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and despondency from constantly aiming for perfection. Whilst they may suffer bouts of these feelings there is the ability to recover quickly from such moments. The positive attribute that Elm can bring forward is the inner knowing that there will always be help available when it’s most needed.

Gentian: For those with a negative perspective on life. Doubt is forever putting a dampener on things, and you may give in to bouts of despair. When faced with obstacles you give up and fail to see how your own negative attitude prevents you from achieving happiness. The benefits of Gentian are having the courage of your convictions and a sense that you can overcome any obstacle.

Gorse: This remedy is best used for loss of faith and feelings of uncertainty. It can be useful for those battling long term illness as it helps to keep the spirits up. For those who feel that there is no point in trying, it can help them to have hope again and give the feeling that life is always worth fighting for. The benefits of gorse are self-belief and the ability to ward off influences that are potentially negative. Can help with confidence and a positive attitude towards life in general.

Heather: The “I need to be the centre of attention” remedy. Often we don’t see how we dominate the time of others, and Heather will help us to stop being so self-involved. Heather types drain people differently to the Chicory type as they don’t suffer self-pity. Sometimes we all get desperate to talk about our problems, but others are permanently relentless in their need to share their tales. A positive quality from Heather is being understanding of the suffering of others.

Holly: For those who are afflicted with jealousy, suspicion, and even hatred. They will rarely give without wanting something in return. Insecurity can cause problems in close relationships if the jealousy gets out of control, yet the ability to be loving and trusting can be improved by taking Holly. They can even learn to celebrate the good fortune of others.

Honeysuckle: For homesickness and over-thinking the past. If we are sad, we can dwell on what could have been, and the what I should have done’s, but it’s only a distraction to the present. This remedy can help to give you the strength to face problems so you can enjoy living again. It is said to give the ability to learn from the past and take the lessons forward without regret over past actions.

Hornbeam: For mental and physical tiredness. If you wake up feeling like you haven’t slept and struggle to muster the enthusiasm to start the day, then this is the one for you. There can be the presence of doubt, yet you manage to do what needs to be done. The benefits of this remedy are the inner knowing that you have the energy to achieve your goals.

Impatiens: This is also in the rescue remedy. As the name suggests, it helps with impatience and also extreme mental tension. If you are too impulsive with decision making and get irritated by those that are slower than you, this remedy will help you to be more tolerant of others. It can also aid in building gentleness and soften the razor-sharp edges of the mind.

Larch: For those who give up before they even start because of a severe lack of confidence in everything they do. The mind will always be nagging that they are incapable and will undermine every positive thought they have. The benefits of this remedy are self-confidence and the ability to throw yourself into life without fear of failure instead of being a passive bystander to everyone else’s success.

Mimulus: If you suffer from fear and know the reasons why – this is the remedy for you. It works on common fears such as illness, spiders, and accidents, which give underlying anxiety rather than the terror associated with Rock Rose types. The benefit of Mimulus is an increase in the courage to face the things we do not like. It can also help if you have anxiety associated with performing a speech.

Mustard: The sense of impending doom that accompanies depression and dark moods can be improved significantly by taking this remedy. Whilst these feelings can come without any external trigger they usually originate from taking more than the occasional knockback in life. The positive results of Mustard are the ability to ward off negativity and dark moments. A sense of joy replaces the heavy gloom.

Oak: This helps with feelings of despondency and despair. If you are worn out but refuse to be beaten by life, then oak will help you to stay strong. If you never give up hope and can be relentless under pressure, then oak remedy will help if you are in danger of giving in to the despair after a particularly long time of having to endure. Helps you to realise that it’s not that bad, and somehow takes the edge off the pressure.

Olive: I tried this one and found it worked. It is used for total exhaustion on all levels and feelings of not being able to carry on. If you are struggling to do the basics in life, I recommend this remedy. It’s for the exhaustion which occurs after long periods of hardship rather than tiredness which comes after sudden bursts of intense activity. The benefits of Olive are that it energises the mind and body and reawakens the inner strength and vitality so the faith of knowing you can carry on is ever present.

Pine: This is the remedy to use if you are never satisfied with what you achieve. It’s the feeling of never being good enough and having to put up with guilt as a result. You may have very high ideals, but you’re maybe not so concerned with the spiritual life because you want to do well on the physical level. Humility is usually present in the character. The positive benefits are the ability to carry a responsibility without feeling overburdened and a sense of humbleness that is endearing.

Red Chestnut: This is the classic remedy for those who worry excessively about others. If you have a tendency to fear the worst and turn minor incidents into major disasters, then this is the one for you. The positive benefit of Red Chestnut is the ability to remain balanced and calm when faced with an emergency instead of flapping like a one-winged bird.

Rock Rose: Another one in the rescue remedy; used for extreme panic and shock. It is useful to anyone who has been in a situation of terror or panic; accidents, violence, and even nightmares. This remedy could be useful for those who work in emergency services or armed forces where the person is constantly dealing with extreme situations.

Rock Water: One for the martyrs! If you struggle with self-repression or denial of the self, this remedy can help you to reclaim your power. It benefits those who are rigid in their beliefs and deny themselves the simple pleasures in life. If you’re seen as uptight and too concerned with perfection, take this one. The benefit of this remedy is the ability to modify belief when necessary.

Scleranthus: For indecision or uncertainty. If you can’t make up your mind or have too many options, this remedy can help to bring calm so that you are not running around in circles. It can also be used for emotions that go from one extreme to another. The benefits of Scleranthus are a sense of balance and being able to make decisions quickly under all circumstances.

Star of Bethlehem: This is in the rescue remedy and is useful after a shock has been experienced whether mental or physical. It can be used after accidents to help the energies adjust to normal. It can be used in conjunction with other remedies even if the shock was experienced years ago. You may also find that if you do not respond to other remedies that this one will work for you.

Sweet Chestnut: When you have reached a point of mental torture that you can bear no more, this is the remedy to reach for. Some ongoing situations can invoke so much despair that we get consumed by our thoughts of hopelessness. Sweet Chestnut is said to put an end to the anguish. Could be a useful remedy if you’re in a difficult phase of a relationship.

Vervain: The remedy for those who always overdo things. If you find yourself still performing even when exhausted, then this will help you to redraw boundaries between effort and rest. It is the cure for the fanatic, and the positive benefits of Vervain are the wisdom of knowing when to act and speak and when to remain calm and centred. It can help us to channel enthusiasm positively without overexcitement.

Vine: Is the remedy for those who are strong-willed and domineering. Ambition will be present, and a tendency to boss others around is likely. The Vine type will demand conformity to their ways and ignore or dismiss anyone who doesn’t. The positive qualities of Vine are wisdom and compassion for those who are weaker or less knowledgeable. Strong leadership qualities without the need to dictate are also a gift of the Vine.

Walnut: If you are oversensitive to criticism and have an important job to do, this remedy can help you to cope with those who try to put you down or dampen your enthusiasm. For those who are breaking long-standing cycles to improve the lives of others and themselves, it will help to maintain the courage and discipline needed to overcome resistance so that changes can be made. If you have suffered ridicule, this may help to restore confidence that you are doing the right thing.

Water Violet: Such a soft and gentle sounding name, these people are usually quite serene and peaceful yet can have a tendency to sit in ivory towers away from the rest of humanity. The aloofness can create a barrier between them and those they love, and as such this remedy can help to soften the harshness of reality, so this individual can remain true to themselves but deal with the world at large. They make great therapists because of the sensitivity and sense of tranquility they possess.

White Chestnut: I have used this also, and it is beneficial for dealing with persistent thoughts and an inner dialogue that talks too loudly. Inner conflicts that refuse to compromise can be helped by this remedy, and those who are going around in mental circles will find their thoughts silenced. This remedy can calm thoughts and bring peacefulness so the imagination can become constructive again.

Wild Oak: This remedy is for those who struggle with uncertainty but have a vague idea of what they want or need to do. There is normally a good idea of the general direction they want to take in life, but they need further clarity. There will be a definite sense of ambition, and once a course of action has been decided nothing distracts them. The benefit of Wild Oak is knowing exactly what you want to do and being able to follow through with action.

Wild Rose: For apathy. If you have resigned yourself to an uncomfortable situation or way of being then this is the remedy for you. Apathy tends to make an individual boring as they have no interest in anything, not even themselves. This remedy can bring back the enthusiasm for life itself so that you are both interested and interesting. Monotony can be hard to fight, but Wild Rose will go a long way to restoring the spark needed.

Willow: This is the final remedy in the series, and it’s for bitterness and resentment. Everything gets blamed on anything and everyone else and nothing is ever right. No satisfaction is ever found. We all know of this type, and we all have our moments here, but this remedy can help to transform the emotional state so that the individual finds both faith and optimism. This individual has to learn that until personal responsibility is taken, he will not make progress.

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