Most people only appreciate flowers for their visual aesthetics and aroma. Who knew these works of perfection would have a third dimension to offer? Well, M.D. and bacteriologist Edward Bach who is the mastermind and originator of flower remedies had a hunch. How did one man singlehandedly tap into this healing method that is now a respected healing art around the world? It’s a good story, so I’ll tell it. One day in the year 1930, Bach decided to abandon his lucrative medicine practice in London. One of the main reasons was his dissatisfaction with the way that doctors within orthodox medicine were trained to treat the disease rather than the individual. Mr. Bach’s past experience with homeopathy had taught him that there were effective, subtler options to the invasive practices that were being taught by the medical industry at the time. Relying on his natural healing abilities and guided by his intuition, Bach set out to find a set of remedies that targeted the patient’s soul. Over the next five years Bach found each remedy by using himself as the guinea pig. According to www.bachcentre.com, “Bach would suffer the emotional state that he needed to cure and then try various plants and flowers until he found the one single plant that could help him. In this way, through great personal suffering and sacrifice, he completed his life’s work.” He ended up with 38 individual flower essences and these are the same 38 that are still in use to this day.

Flower therapy focuses not on the disease itself but looks deeper and aims at the psychic causes of illness. It is this approach that sets flower essences apart from homeopathic remedies, but the two can work synergistically. When choosing the correct flowers to try it can help to seek out a specialist, however this is not always necessary. It is very possible to familiarize yourself with the 38 flower essences and then experiment with different combinations or a single remedy. In store we even have questionnaire forms designed to help narrow the possibilities down to the essences from which the individual will benefit most. The questionnaire asks three personal questions relating to each of the 38 flower remedies. An example of one of the questions that relates to the Impatiens essence asks the following question: “Do you feel a sense of urgency in everything you do, always rushing to get through things?” These are the types of in-depth questions that make this system of relief so unique. The applicant will usually identify strongly with several different essences. They can then try the essence individually or make a unique blend. So be encouraged to stop in and acquaint yourself with some of these soul-specific flower powers. You can also take the Bach quiz at bachquiz.com to develop your own personal remedy.

Practical applications

While studying the Bach flower essences chart I noticed that each of the single remedies falls into one of seven different emotional categories. The seven categories are fear, uncertainty, lack of interest in present circumstances, loneliness, oversensitivity, despondency/despair, and over care for others’ welfare. I chose a couple of the more popular essences as examples of the different situations they can be used in. Aspen, which falls under the “fear” category is used for helping with apprehension and unknown or vague fears. The taker of Aspen can experience results manifesting as fearlessness and faith to face experience and adventure. The essence of Olive is in the “lack of interest in present circumstances” section of the flower chart. The negative aspects it pertains to are complete exhaustion, drained of energy and when daily work becomes a chore (wonder why this one is so popular). Taking Olive flower essence can result in peace of mind and not being drained or overcome by pressures.

Rescue Remedy/Rescue Sleep

I know what you’re thinking— “Those wacky flower essences sound way too subtle to have any effect on me.” Well, if that’s what you believe, there is still a flower remedy for even the most desensitized of individuals. We all get overstressed and/or overanxious at some time; enter Rescue Remedy. This five-flower combination of the essences of Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatiens, Cherry Plum and Star of Bethlehem was formulated just for the following types of unexpected, stressful situations: traffic jams, sudden bad news, air travel, car accidents, giving birth, arguments, and the list of situations where Rescue Remedy can be applied goes on and on. Take your pick; this effective stress-relieving tool comes in liquid drops, a spray or a cream. Plus Bach has recently come out with Rescue Sleep, which is a slightly different formulation that is a non-narcotic, non-habit forming sleep aid.

Rescue Remedy is great for pets too! Many veterinarians recommend it as an effective option for dealing with slightly neurotic or frightened animals. Pets also have emotions and Rescue Remedy acts on pets the same way as it does with humans. Vet visits, moves, prior abuse and many more situations call for the use of this calming combination with your pet. The single remedies can also be used on animals as well. For example, try Vervain if your pet is high-strung and tense, or Mimulus if they’re afraid of lightning.

Stop and smell the roses

Just because an herb or prescription drug is super-strong does not always mean that it’s going to be more effective. Realizing the healing subtleties that nature has to offer can be a blessing. So the next time you stop and smell the flowers just remember, there’s more than meets the eye—and the nose for that matter.