Restore Inner Harmony With Bach Flower Remedies
Labeled as “vibrational medicine”, the Bach Flower Remedies were created to heal the emotions and harmonize the Spirit.
They are categorized within seven emotional conditions. Fear and loneliness are two of them. Rescue Remedy is the most widely known and used of the remedies.
The 38 original remedies are categorized within seven emotional conditions. Fear and loneliness are two of them. Rescue Remedy is the most widely known and used of the remedies.
Edward Bach, MD, the originator of the remedies, saw the connection between emotional stress and the development of disease.
He explained that the efficacy of the remedies was due to elevating the consciousness of the patient such that the body would repulse “dis-ease”and return to health.
TOPIC: Bach Flower Remedies
Over 80 years ago, Edward Bach, MD, developed a vibrational healing system. With his flower remedies, he planted seeds that give hope, peace, courage, joy, health, happiness and more. His legacy is uplifting to all life – and indeed to the entire planet. From Gudrun Penselin Healing Spirituality: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Working with Bach Flowers 2016
The Back Flower Remedies
• Who Was Edward Bach?
• What Are The Flower Remedies?
• How Do They Affect Well Being?
• Why Would You Try Them?
Restore Inner Harmony With 38 Flower Essences.
The Back Flower Remedies
“…it is our fears, our cares, our anxieties, and other such emotions that open the path to the invasion of illness …. To bring oneself back into harmony requires the development of a positive loving nature.” — Edward Bach, M.D.
Bach, a deeply spiritual person, believed that the primary cause of all illness, whether emotional, psychological or physical, “grows out of a conflict between our personality and our Soul.”
Edward Bach was a British bacteriologist, homeopath, and spiritual philosopher. A pioneering medical thinker, Bach discerned a relationship between stress, emotions, and illness. After years of a successful practice, he realized a pattern among his patients: Personality type seemed to dictate a different reaction of one person or another to the same condition. He determined that treating the personality of the patient was far more effective than attacking a specific illness.
About the same time, Bach turned to herbal and homeopathic treatments and found them more successful than drugs. In 1936, he died at the age of 50. He had devoted the last seven years of his life to the testing and development of his 38 liquid flower essences. Now universally referred to as the “Bach Flower Remedies”, together the flower essences address a range of emotional states. They are a form of alternative medicine inspired by classical homeopathic traditions.1
In an indirect way, Bach’s work has been substantiated. Beginning in the early 1990s, medical researchers became interested in the connection between negative emotions and the body’s decreasing resistance to disease. The stress of emotional factors causes the disruption of nervous system functions, hormone levels, and the immune response. This field of knowledge is called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI).
Bach’s discovery of the flower remedies is described in the excellent Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber, MD. Gerber writes that Bach took long walks in the countryside searching for nature’s healers. He notes, “Bach’s sensitivity to subtle energies was such that he could touch the morning dew from a flower to his lips and experience the potential therapeutic effects of the plant.” In this way he developed the 38 remedies.
Bach prepared the remedies by floating the distinct flowers on the surface of a bowl of spring water, leaving them in sunlight for several hours. This has the effect of charging the water with an imprint of the flowers’ vibration. The Dr. Edward Bach Healing Centre in England continues to prepare the flower essences using this method.
How is it possible for flower water to alleviate negative emotions and restore wellness? In his book, Gerber calls on theories of vibrational medicine which relate directly to current theories of physics. And, the late Leslie J. Kaslof, who popularized the Bach Flower Remedies in North America, drew a correlation between Bach’s work and the development of psychoneuroimmunology. As with the many useful and efficacious homeopathic remedies, there is as yet no completely satisfactory scientific explanation for the healing benefits of these modalities.
In 1934, Bach explained the action of the flower essences in this way: “The action of these remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of the Spiritual Self; to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need. They [the flower essences] are able – like beautiful music or any glorious uplifting thing which gives us inspiration – to bring peace to our sufferings. They cure, not by attacking the disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature, in the presence of which, disease melts away as snow in the sunshine.”
Descriptions of the 38 remedies follow. 2 They are categorized within each of seven emotional conditions. As you read, you can make notes in the margins concerning which remedies refer to you or to your circle of influence.
ROCK ROSE: This remedy relates to the qualities of courage and steadfastness. Its symptoms are nightmares, a tendency toward panic and hysteria, and extreme terror. Victims of accidents, sudden illness, or natural disasters also need rock rose.
MIMULUS: Promotes courage and confidence in the face of one’s personal fears such as riding escalators, going to the dentist, and cancer. People with marked mimulus traits may show signs of delicacy or shyness.
CHERRY PLUM: Cherry blossoms correspond to openness and composure. In the negative state, there is a fear of losing self control, of having a nervous breakdown or of not controlling destructive impulses.
ASPEN: Related to fearlessness, overcoming, and resurrection, in the negative state, one is caught up in vague or unconscious fears. The aspen person is very sensitive and thin-skinned with undefined feelings of apprehension and foreboding.
RED CHESTNUT: Brings forth the qualities of solicitude and love of one’s neighbor. Those in the negative state are overly concerned with their loved ones, suffer for those they love, and are unaware of the harm they do themselves by being in this state of emotional distress.
CERATO: This flower relates to the inner voice, certainty, and intuition. Those in need of cerato are unable to trust their own intuition and look to the world for their answers. They lack the
confidence to judge for themselves or to make their own decisions.
SCLERANTHUS: This is the flower that encourages poise and balance. It is the remedy for those who are unable to make up their minds and instead vacillate between two extremes. The negative state may also manifest as mood swings.
GENTIAN: Gentian is associated with faith and is needed by people who are easily disheartened. Here, small delays and hindrances may lead to self-doubt and sometimes depression.
GORSE: Gorse is the promoter of hope. It is for those who have given up all hope, who feel it is useless to seek further help, and who see no light at the end of the tunnel. They are beyond depression and despondency.
HORNBEAM: Defined as the potential for inner vitality and freshness of mind, this remedy applies to the person who is so mentally weary they just don’t think they are up to the task. On the other hand, once they set upon it, they will generally succeed in fulfilling it.
WILD OAT: This remedy relates to vocation and purposefulness. People who need it feel that life is passing them by in spite of their talents and gifts. They can’t define their calling in life and don’t know what to do with themselves to bring satisfaction.
INSUFFICIENT INTEREST IN PRESENT
CLEMATIS: Represents creative idealism and is needed by those who withdraw from life and prefer to live in their imaginations. This is the typical day dreamer, the absent-minded professor; those persons who are off in a world of their own.
HONEYSUCKLE: This remedy influences the capacity for adapting and making change. These are people who have never accepted that life is a state of constant flux. They yearn for their past and see it as preferable to the present. A key symptom is the wish to live their lives over again.
WILD ROSE: Evokes the potentials of devotion and inner motivation. Those in need of this remedy live in a state of apathetic resignation for which there doesn’t appear to be sufficient reason. They make little effort to improve things or find joy.
OLIVE: As you would expect, the olive relates to peace. It also promotes regeneration and restored balance. This remedy is needed by people who have expended a great deal of energy over time and feel extreme mental and/or physical exhaustion. They feel they are holding “the last straw.”
WHITE CHESTNUT: Bringing forth the qualities of tranquility and discernment, white chestnut is for those who are obsessed by their thoughts, who live in their heads. This is not clematis who escapes into imagination but instead the person who would give anything to escape their thoughts and instead attend to matters at hand with a clear mind.
MUSTARD: Evocative of cheerfulness and serenity, those who need mustard experience marked periods of gloom and melancholia. They fall into black depressions seemingly from out of nowhere and which then lift just as suddenly.
CHESTNUT BUD: Here the buds of the chestnut are used rather than the flowers. Their qualities are learning and motivation. The remedy helps persons who do not learn from their mistakes. They may have some condition or situation continually recurring in their lives and which they would like to overcome.
WATER VIOLET: Promoting humility and wisdom, this remedy is exemplified by Greta Garbo, a self-reliant personality of aloof reserve who preferred not to interfere nor to be interfered with. However, aloofness is also a prison, keeping the person from the exchange of energies we all need to exist happily in the world.
IMPATIENS: Yes, this remedy relates to the qualities of patience and gentleness. The person in need of impatiens is always in a hurry, always taking care of business. They prefer to do tasks themselves rather than rely on others who may not perform well enough or fast enough for them.
HEATHER: Here is empathy and readiness to help. Heather is a blessing to all because it can soothe the disposition of the person who talks incessantly. Further, these persons speak only of their own problems and concerns, seemingly for the pleasure of hearing their own voice. This type may find it difficult to be alone.
OVER-SENSITIVITY TO INFLUENCE AND IDEAS
AGRIMONY: Agrimony brings joyfulness and the ability to confront. The remedy is needed by those who hide their concerns behind a facade of cheerfulness. They give in to the wishes of others in order to avoid a possible argument, quarrel, or confrontation.
CENTAURY: This remedy evokes the qualities of self- determination and self-realization. The person who needs it is often seen as a doormat, is easily taken advantage of, finds it difficult to say no, and neglects personal needs in meeting the needs of others.
WALNUT: Bach defined walnut as “the remedy for those who have decided to take a great step forward in life, to break old conventions, to leave old limits and restrictions and start on a new way.” The person is especially sensitive to superfluous outside influence at this time. Also useful for physical changes like teething, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
HOLLY: This remedy embodies the principle of love. The need for this remedy is expressed by its opposites: envy, jealousy, spite, and vindictiveness. The person has a degree of hard heartedness acquired through not having received love in infancy.
DESPONDENCY OR DESPAIR
LARCH: Brings self-confidence to those who lack it. The person needing this remedy feels inferior to others and has a distorted perspective of their own abilities which is self-limiting.
PINE: Relates to regret and forgiveness and is needed by persons who carry guilt. They are hard on themselves, blame themselves when it is not appropriate, and never think what they
do is good enough.
ELM: This remedy relates to responsibility. People needing elm are usually in positions of responsibility but find themselves overextended and temporarily unable to cope or make decisions. They may feel overwhelmed by what they have taken on.
SWEET CHESTNUT: The remedy invokes release and is needed by persons who suffer from mental anguish and deep despair. Sweet chestnut relieves the feeling that one has reached the limits of endurance and that life is more than can be borne.
STAR OF BETHLEHEM: Supporting awakening and reorientation, this remedy is indicated for any kind of traumatic experience and can be taken for traumas that happened well into the past (birth trauma) as well as for immediate trauma (falling).
WILLOW: Persons who need willow will blame everyone and everything but themselves. They seem to come consistently from a negative or destructive point of view. They feel that life has been unfair to them. Willow bestows the qualities of personal responsibility and constructive thought.
OAK: Again, the remedy reflects the reputation of the plant. Oak promotes strength and endurance. The person who needs it has these traits to a fault, never says die, and is always dependable. Oak essence restores a playful element, allowing commitments to be met but without so much effort.
CRAB APPLE: This remedy is associated with order, purity and perfection. Of course it is needed by the perfectionist, that person for whom nothing is quite right, including his or her own body. Taken to the extreme, this person may feel ashamed or unclean and be compulsive about cleanliness.
OVER-CONCERN FOR THE WELFARE OF OTHERS
CHICORY: Carries the virtues of motherliness and selfless love. However, in its perverted state, the need for chicory is evidenced in a possessive attitude, a penchant for interfering and manipulating, demanding support, and using self-pity to get one’s way. These behaviors can be observed at all ages.
VERVAIN: This is common verbena and relates to self-discipline and restraint. People who need this remedy are noted for their “missionary zeal”. They are overly enthusiastic about whatever their passion happens to be and try to convince others of it. They are easily incensed about injustices and have a tendency to teach and philosophize.
VINE: Here we have authority and ability to carry conviction. The need for the remedy expresses itself in those who are natural authoritarians, expecting unquestioning obedience from all who surround them to the point of being tyrannical and domineering, and having no respect for the individuality of others.
BEECH: Brings sympathy and tolerance. This is the remedy for picky, overly critical personalities, those who are bothered by other people’s idiosyncrasies, and are intolerant of those who don’t meet their standards.
ROCK WATER: Evokes the attributes of adaptability and inner freedom. Those needing this remedy may lead highly ascetic existences. They adhere rigidly to their concept of perfect behavior be it health routines or religious discipline. They may feel it is important to be an example for others.
Siri Says: A number of years ago, I was gifted with a complete set of the Bach Flower Remedies by a representative of the Bach Flower Centre in the UK. Since then, a further 103 flower essences have been developed, featuring native North American species. The Flower Essence Society provides a free repertory to its members (Membership is $25/year.) At this time, the repertory contains 3200 practitioner commentaries. Especially recommended is the 100 page introductory section.
I was inspired to write the Bach flower issue when I received a delightful new book on the subject in 2016. It is Healing Spirituality: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Working with Bach Flowers by Gudrun Penselin. Penselin brings her extensive experience as a practitioner to her work. She has written a comprehensive handbook on the inherent healing qualities of the Bach Flower Remedies. Her personal insights and deep intuition about the individual remedies enrich the guide.
Other books referenced by me in this issue come from my personal library. They are 1) Vibrational Medicine, Richard Gerber, MD. (Bear & Company, Santa Fe, NM, 1988) This is a classic must-have for all individuals interested in healing. It contains an excellent explanation for the action of the flower remedies. 2) Bach Flower Therapy, Mechthild Scheffer (Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont, 1988) This is a treasure of information with especially valuable discourses on the remedies. 3) The Bach Flower Remedies, FJ Wheeler, editor. (Keats, New Canaan, CT) This book contains the original essays of Edward Bach which are short and easy to read. 4) The Bach Remedies, Leslie Kaslof, (Keats) This very informative booklet contains a useful self-diagnostic questionnaire.
1 For an in depth discussion of two more alternative healing modalities, see Nutrition News “Homeopathy”, “Cell Salts” (12 minerals prepared homeopathically), and “Aromatherapy” (the use of essential oils from plants).
2 Originally, Bach worked with 12 remedies: Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cerato, Scleranthus, Gentian, Clematis, Water Violet, Impatiens, Agrimony, Centaury, Chicory, and Vervain.