Flower Essences to the Rescue

bachby Beth O’Boyle

The holidays can be a time of joy, gathering with friends and family, sharing good food and an opportunity for quiet reflection. If however, the thought of the approaching festivities brings up feelings of being overwhelmed, worried, depressed or just wanting to flee to a remote island, it might be time to consider what’s out of balance.

The Bach Flower Remedies are a safe and natural system of healing developed by the British Homeopath Dr. Edward Bach. As a traditional physician, Bach believed health to be the full union of body, mind and soul. The way to achieve harmony, he believed, was to be found in nature, and in 1926 set out on what would become a 10-year journey to discover the solution.

The result was the Bach Flower Remedies, a simple, straightforward, gentle, yet remarkably effective method of balancing the moods and emotions. No extensive training or complicated measurements are needed. There’s no worry of causing harm, because the remedies don’t treat physical conditions, nor do they interact with medications or supplements.

A flower remedy, or flower essence, is vibrational or energetic in nature. It addresses the emotional state and the personality of the individual. Unlike an essential oil, it has no taste or scent. The energy of the plant is infused by the effect of the light and heat of the sun on the flower blooms into a carrier base of spring water and then mixed with brandy (traditionally) as a preservative. They’re taken orally in the form of drops from a treatment bottle or mixed in a glass of water and sipped.

The energy from the flowers floods our energy system with what Bach called the “opposing virtue”, or positive potential. Rather than treating the symptoms of disease, they address the underlying emotional imbalances. This helps to relieve the stressors on the person’s energy system and restores a sense of harmony and well-being. Unlike many herbal preparations, there’s never an altered or unnatural feeling; just a feeling of being more at ease in the world. Here are a few examples.

Beech: The remedy for intolerance, beech helps us be more accepting of other people and their habits. It’s well suited for family get-togethers.

Centaury: This remedy is for those kind-hearted folks that just can’t say no, often putting other people’s happiness ahead of their own needs and desires. It restores the ability to listen to and honor oneself.

Elm: When feeling overwhelmed, as if we don’t even know where to begin, this remedy helps the mind become calmer so that we can think more clearly, and it restores confidence that was lost.

Honeysuckle: If the holiday season brings up feelings of nostalgia for past times or remembrances of difficult times that are hard to let go, Honeysuckle helps to put the past in perspective and be in the present moment.

Impatiens: For the irritability that comes when people or events just aren’t moving fast enough, Impatiens helps release the internal tension created by trying to push against the speed of life. Think traffic jams and crowded stores.

Mustard: If this season finds us feeling sad or melancholy for no particular reason, this remedy helps lift the dark cloud and restore optimism.

Scleranthus: This remedy is ideal for people that just can’t make up their mind, wavering between, “Should I choose this one or that one?” It’s a great one to take when considering whether to accept an invitation or when shopping for gifts.

Although it can take time to feel their positive effects, the Bach Remedies have been helping adults, children and pets to feel happier and less stressed for almost 80 years. This system is intended for self-help, although it can be quite helpful to work with a registered practitioner at first.

With 38 individual remedies to choose from, there are bound to be several that tap into whatever feelings the holiday season stirs up. From impatience to intolerance, disappointment, pervasive sadness, worrying or feeling overwhelmed, there’s a remedy to cover the full range of emotions. Although we might not be able to change the behavior of a relative that drives us crazy, make traffic move along faster or escape to a peaceful island, we do have the power to help change the way we’re responding to the world around us with the help of flower essences.

Beth O’Boyle is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, student mentor and the director of Hudson Healing Arts, in Hoboken , NJ. For more information, call 201-653-7700 ext.1 or visit HudsonHealingArts.com.

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