For those who are interested in using crystals as a part of a holistic approach to well-being, flower essences may hold a similar appeal. Like crystals, flower essences are considered “vibrational medicine.” Much in the same way that aligning the chakras may help to create positive shifts in the mental/emotional/spiritual planes, many turn to plant spirit to help reset emotional patterns that are out of balance, and in doing so, bring themselves back into tune.
Dr. Edward Bach developed flower essences in England in the 1930s. He claimed that these elixirs could heal a variety of emotional/spiritual disturbances, which he believed were at the root of most illness and suffering. He noted which plants were able to calm these states in himself, and then developed a system which imparted the “signature” (spirit/energy) of the flower to the water in which it sat. This water was then added to an alcohol base and dispensed on a case-by-case basis, helping individuals to deal with their unique psycho-social struggles.
Bach’s Remedies continue to be the most popular flower essences around; you may have seen his Rescue Remedy at your local natural foods shop or pharmacy. My family used Rescue Remedy for years as a way to help settle the anxiety of our poor golden retriever who was otherwise at the mercy of thunderstorms. Maybe it was the brandy, but it did the trick!
The 38 different plant/flower essences are organized into seven different categories of
- Lack of Interest in the Present
- Despondency and Despair
- Over-care for Welfare of Others
While one essence may help you sleep, another can help you overcome resistance to change; one may help to alleviate anxiety, while another assists with confidence-building and decision-making.
If you’re interested in giving them a try, here are a few common complaints and their associated plants that may help to get you started:
- Aspen – Jittery feelings and uneasiness
- Impatiens – Impatience and irritability
- Clematis – Daydreaming and lack of focus
- Gentian – Discouragement and lack of confidence
- Heather – Loneliness and disconnection
- Elm – Weakness and low endurance
- Pine – Low self-esteem, guilt and self-blame
- Wild Oat – Uncertainty and lack of direction
I began taking Wild Oat essence two weeks ago to help with my ongoing career-related uncertainty. I can’t say for sure if it is the flower spirit or a simple placebo effect, but I find myself
devoting a lot more mind power to solving this issue. I’ve made lists and done some research, and notice that a lot of my brain’s down-time seems to drift to this decision, not from a place of
nebulous anxiety as before, but with increased direction and purpose. I’ll take that!
While I may not be able to speak directly to the efficacy of flower essences beyond my own experience (and the relaxation that my dog experienced following his dose of Rescue Remedy), I do know there is great benefit to mindfulness, and understand how the very act of self-care that comes from selecting and taking a remedy for a particular concern could in itself bring about a shift to a more positive state of mind.
Have you ever tried flower essences? Have you experienced any positive results from their usage? We’ve love to hear from you!
Note: While the use of flower essences and other forms of holistic/alternative remedies may be helpful as part of an overall mindfulness/wellness plan, if you are suffering from any psychological disturbance or emotional trauma that is significant or seriously affecting your life, please contact a certified health care professional.4