What are flower essences, and how can they help people?
Flower essences are botanical medicines made from wildflowers. They were first developed by Dr. Edward Bach, a British bacteriologist, in the 1930s. After many years of research, he discovered 38 flower-based remedies and recommended them for helping patients restore emotional balance. Since that time, further research has been done and hundreds of other flower remedies have been classified.
Flower essences are often used to help people experience subtle emotional shifts that may result in a higher quality of life. They may be recommended to help lift a sad person out of an emotional quagmire or to help an irritated, angry person become calm. They are also used for acute fear and anxiety. Flower essences are usually taken as individual remedies, but they can also be combined.
Many people believe that flower essences work much like homeopathic medicine and acupuncture; the “energetic” properties of the flower – its vital energy, or essence – is captured and delivered to the patient in a way that helps enable an emotional shift to occur. Although there is much we still don’t know about flower essences and much that Western science is unable to explain about them, people have continued to use them for the past 75 years and many doctors, therapists, and patients swear by them.
One of the most popular flower essence therapies is Rescue Remedy. It is often used when people feel acute fear – for example, before seeing a dentist for a surgical procedure or any other anxiety-producing event. It can also be taken after a traumatic experience like a car accident. Rescue Remedy contains five different flower essences. The essences and their recommended uses are:
Star of Bethlehem: for emotional trauma and psychological numbness
Rock Rose: for panic
Impatiens: for irritability and tension
Cherry Plum: for fear of losing control
Clematis: for a tendency to lose consciousness when afraid
Rescue Remedy is available in many health food stores as a cream, liquid or pellet. The recommended dose: every 30 minutes, either apply one-fourth teaspoon of cream to your skin or take five drops of liquid, or three pellets, under your tongue. Flower essences are safe, gentle in their actions, have no known toxic side-effects and can be used by the layperson. To learn more, read Advanced Bach Flower Therapy; A Scientific Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment, by Gotz Blome, M.D.