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Herbal Medicine

Emotional Healing with Bach Flower Remedies

by Sheryl Normandeau RSS

If you lack confidence and have digestive problems, you might want to try Bach walnut flower remedy

If you lack confidence and have digestive problems, you might want to try Bach walnut flower remedy

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We are all aware of the stresses of our daily lives and how they can cause both psychological and physical damage within our bodies, occasionally leading to illness. While most treatments, by necessity, focus on ridding the body and mind of the symptoms of illness once it has already occurred, Bach Flower Remedies are used to achieve emotional well-being at every stage in life, preemptively combating stress. Created by an English physician named Edward Bach in the early twentieth century, Bach Flower Remedies are still used today in conjunction with homeopathy to promote good emotional health.

Bach believed that personality type was the most influential factor in determining a person’s reaction to stress, and he created extensive and detailed profiles for each type, with consideration of the physical manifestations of the stress-reaction on each type. For example, a person who is exceedingly self-centred and constantly seeking attention might be plagued with hay fever and allergies, or a person who is indecisive and moody may suffer from vertigo or insomnia. To each of these personality types, Bach prescribed a specific floral tonic, designed to balance the more negative aspects of each personality and bring about a more harmonious emotional state (and thus eliminate the physical symptoms). While Bach’s original tonics usually consisted of flowers carefully picked at a specific time of day and season, either boiled or allowed to steep in the sun and then mixed with alcohol, modern practitioners use more sophisticated homeopathic equivalents with the same goal in mind. Tinctures produced today are usually created without alcohol, sometimes using flavoured vinegars as a carrier, but more often used on their own and taken with water, fruit juice, or tea. External use of the tonics is also effective: remedies may be used in bathwater for a soothing soak, or skin creams can be applied to certain areas of the body. Because Bach Flower Remedies are used to harmonize the emotional state, and not to treat specific physical symptoms, there is little chance of experiencing unwelcome side effects or negating other types of treatment. (As always, consultation with an expert and performing thorough – and thoughtful – research before undertaking any new method of healing is essential). 

Bach also created combination tonics that he called the Seven Groups, made up of several different flowers that addressed common stress reactions: a person beset with loneliness, for example, might be prescribed a tincture of water violet, impatiens and heather to level out the negative emotion. Bach also produced a “Rescue Remedy,” a formulation of flowers that, unlike his previous tonics, is not meant to be taken preventatively. The Rescue Remedy is used only when a person has experienced sudden physical or emotional stress, such as a traumatic or fearful event, or cuts, sprains or rashes. It is usually manufactured as a cream.

Commonly Used Bach Flower Remedies

PT = Personality Type
PS = Physical Symptoms
FR = Flower Remedy Recommended

PT – Self-pitying, bitter, eager to lay blame upon others    
PS – Joint pain, unstable blood pressure
FR – Willow

PT – Overworked, reliable (at cost to self)
PS – Joint pain, heart disease
FR – Oak

PT – Constantly apologetic, troubled conscience
PS – Depression, chronic fatigue syndrome
FR – Pine

PT – Inferiority complex, hesitation
PS – Acne, digestive problems
FR – Larch

PT – Lingering sorrow with no defined cause
PR – Depression, mood swings
FR – Mustard

PT – Constantly pressured, impatient, quick to anger
PS – Fatigue, headaches, low blood sugar
FR – Impatiens

PR – Nostalgic, wistful
PS – Overweight, insomnia
FR – Honeysuckle

PR – Dreamy, sleepy, poor memory
PS – Asthma, lung problems
FR – Clematis

PR – Scared to talk about feeling or open up to others
PS – Migraines, allergies
FR – Cherry Plum

PR – Easily offended, critical of others
PS – Nail biting, rheumatism
FR – Chicory

PR – Fearful of germs and illness, always consumed by details
PS – Migraines, acne
FR – Crab apple

PR – Constantly overwhelmed,  always multi-tasking
PS – Chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety attacks
FR – Elm

PR – Easily influenced, lacking confidence
PS – Digestive problems, hormonal imbalance
FR – Walnut
 
PR – Fearful, possessing vivid imagination
PS – Cardiac disorders, headaches
FR – Aspen

PR – Takes oneself too seriously, unmotivated
PS – Hip and leg problems
FR – Wild rose

References

Detailed information about homeopathic remedies closely associated with Bach Flower Remedies can be found in Vinton McCabe’s book The Healing Bouquet: Exploring Bach Flower Remedies (2007: Basic Health Publications, Inc., California).

German advocate Mechthild Scheffer has also written extensively about Bach Flower Remedies. Her book The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy (2001: Healing Arts Press, Vermont) is a good study of the subject.

For information regarding practice and use of Bach Flower Remedies, see the following websites:
The Bach Centre, www.bachcentre.com
The Bach Flower Research Programme, www.edwardbach.org

Article Tags: vitality, vitality magazine, bach flower remedies, emotional healing

About the Author

More Articles by Sheryl Normandeau

Sheryl Normandeau is a valued Vitality contributor.