There’s something about flowers that just feels deeply healing.
A bouquet of bright blossoms can do so much to lighten the mood, and a walk in nature during spring, when the scent of wildflowers is on the wind, can restore even the most life-weary souls.
It turns out, flowers might have even more healing properties than we think, at least according to flower essence practitioners. There are many devoted flower followers who find the pocket-sized dropper bottles filled with essences of elm, cherry plum, beech, and more pack a potent punch of healing medicine. Plus, they’re gentle and safe to use.
The grandfather of this movement is Edward Bach, an eccentric yet highly regarded doctor of his time who followed his intuitive knowing to pioneer this healing approach. In this article, you’ll learn how Bach flower remedies were developed, how they can help you, and how you can incorporate them into your own wellness practice.
The Blossoming of Bach Remedies
The name Bach Remedies comes from their creator Edward Bach himself, who was a renowned physician in the early twentieth century.
Bach dedicated his life to healing. He was a talented physician and surgeon who earned fame and success in both orthodox and homeopathic medicine before he left to explore flower remedies in the countryside. He would die in 1936, one year after announcing the final flower remedy and completing the life purpose he said kept him alive after being diagnosed with cancer and given three months to live in 1917.
He grew up in Birmingham, a city that’s considered the birthplace of the industrial revolution, where he witnessed widespread illness and fear of illness while working in factories. When he became a physician, he studied bacteria and pathogens, developing life-saving vaccines to treat soldiers coming back from war. But Bach felt there was something missing from mainstream medicine in that it didn’t consider root causes of illness or the whole person. This led him to become one of the foremost leaders in homeopathy.
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Eventually, Bach felt drawn to working with plants for healing, and he chose flowers — the most advanced part of the plant. His discovery drew him away from a lucrative private practice in London and took him to Wales, where he would walk the countryside tuning into what he called the “vibrations” of different flowers.
This unorthodox approach led to 38 different remedies for 38 different emotional states, which he experienced himself and sought medicine for. So, Bach’s discovery and development of flower remedies was a labor of love. Only one year after naming the final essence, he passed away peacefully, decades after the prognosis of three months to live.
The Role of Emotions in Flower Essence Healing
Health can seem like a very complicated subject at times. The interplay between hereditary or inherited disease and the environment via epigenetics, the influence of environmental toxicity, the impact of high stress and a chronically overactivated nervous system, all play a role in the development of illness, whether it’s the common cold or a life-threatening disease.
But Bach had a more streamlined, even simplistic view of how illness proliferates; he identified emotions as the root cause of most diseases. This isn’t far off from today’s holistic healing perspective, which holds that the mind, body, emotions, and spirit are all interconnected.
We know now that emotions do impact the systems of the body. Chronic fear activates the sympathetic nervous system, which suppresses the immune system, which makes the body more susceptible to all sorts of disease. Treating the emotions that impact the body, mind, and spirit gets to the root of many issues.
Flower Power: How Essences Heal
They fall under the category of vibrational medicine. Much like crystals, they work through the electromagnetic frequency they emit, not through their chemical constituents. This is in contrast to flower essential oils or herbal medicine. Oils and plant matter do have specific, measurable properties that affect you on a biological level in addition to a vibrational level.
Just as you would wear a crystal like amethyst to absorb its specific vibrational properties, you consume flower essences to absorb their unique frequency. Flower essences work on the subtle body or what yogis, healers, mystics, and indigenous healers around the world might call prana, chi, or shakti. Many traditions consider the electromagnetic field to be a blueprint for physical matter, with blockages and stagnation (which can include built up emotions) eventually forming into physical diseases.
Since it’s affecting the energy body, you won’t be able to see the same tangible (and scientifically measurable) results that you would with something like herbs. It’s a largely subjective science, and only you can determine if you feel and believe it’s working. That said, Bach remedies have a huge following, and plenty of people swear by them.
They’re also extremely safe and gentle, since you’re not consuming actual plant matter. The only real risk with them is a lack of taking additional actions to support mental illnesses that can be dangerous when untreated, like depression. If you struggle with chronic emotional instability, it’s worth seeing a mental health provider. However, if you find that flowers relieve your depression, more flower power to you.
The Bach Flower Remedies Chart
Bach developed 38 essences for 38 types of emotions. They fell under seven major categories.
- Lack of interest in present circumstances
- Oversensitivity to influences and ideas
- Sadness or despair
- Cares for others at the expense of self
These categories have been modernized:
Fear Face Your Fears
Uncertainty Know Your Own Mind
Insufficient interest in life circumstances Live The Day
Loneliness Reach Out to Others
Oversensitivity to influences and ideas Stand Your Ground
Despondency and despair Find Joy and Hope
Overcare for welfare of others Live and Let Live
All essences fall under these categories. So while researching for the right one for you, you’ll first select one of the major categories. Essences under each category are very specific. For example, Face Your Fear includes five remedies for five types of fear.
Unknown Fear, Anxious — Aspen: Creates security and inner peace
Lack of Control, Temper — Cherry Plum: Creates clarity, rationality
Specific Fear, Shyness — Mimulus: Brings courage
Fear for Loved Ones — Red Chestnut: Creates compassion without worry
Panic, Terror — Rock Rose: Encourages courage, especially in emergencies
How to Use Bach Flower Remedies
To find the right remedy, take some time to reflect on your emotional state and what you most need help with. Bach remedies aren’t complicated. They don’t require mystical knowledge or an understanding of flower properties. They do require some degree of self-awareness and the ability to be honest about how you’re feeling. Start with simply identifying how you‘re feeling, then take a look at the remedy list and pick which one works for you.
If you’re feeling nervous about having an important discussion with your partner, you might try Agrimony, which encourages positive communication. If you struggle with a victim mindset and are wallowing in self-pity about an ex, lean on Willow, which encourages releasing resentment and letting go of the past. Loners who are feeling isolated in new social situations might try Water Violet to safely and calmly come out of their shell.
You can also use essences to treat the more troublesome aspects of your personality. If you tend to be aggressive when you’re feeling out of balance, look to Vine, which supports motivation without domination. If you’re prone to spaciness and wandering attention, use Clematis, which is grounding and grants pleasure in achieving daily tasks.
You can make your own blends of up to a recommended seven maximum essences. Take a bottle of spring water and fill it three quarters full, then add two drops of each remedy. Take four drops of this blend four times a day. Or, take individual remedies by dropping two drops into the mouth or in water and sip at intervals as needed.
There are pre-blended tinctures too. Rescue Remedy is one of the most common and is a lifesaver for people experiencing panic, shock, or other overwhelming emotions. It’s meant to be for immediate use. Those who are working through deeper emotional issues would do well to find a personal blend to use every day.
Rescue remedy comes in multiple forms, including tinctures, sprays, tablets. There are even formulas for pets! If you’re unsure of how effective flower remedies are, try giving it to your pet Rescue Remedy the next time they’re cowering from fireworks or freaked out by travel, then see how they respond.
Immerse Yourself In The Beauty of Flower Essences
The world of flower essences has proliferated since Bach’s discovery. Today, flower essence practitioners have identified even more flowers whose vibrational frequencies can assist our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Using the essences is also a way to connect more deeply to these beautiful beings. If you’re so inclined, you can even learn to make flower essences yourself.
It’s quite amazing how much support we actually have from nature itself. Whether it’s the lifesaving Lion’s Mane mushrooms that thrive in old growth forests or the beautiful botanicals like Yarrow, Rose, and Violet, which heal our emotional wounds, nature provides for us. The next time you buy yourself or a loved one a bouquet of flowers, consider purchasing their essence too.
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