Today in this article, I have outlined…
- What the Bach Flower Remedies are
- How they are made
- How to apply and dose them properly
- A brief overview of the Remedies themselves
The Bach Flower System
The Bach Flower Remedies, also known as Bach Flower Essences, are made of wildflowers, free of side effects and can be found in form of a tincture at your local health food store.
The remedies address mental and emotional imbalances as they work to raise self awareness, transform fear and bring about joy, peace, happiness, productivity, prosperity, health and love to our lives. Bach Flower Remedies can be used on adults, children, pets, and even plants. They have been used for the last century, discovered by Dr. Edward Bach in England, and have been featured on the Dr. Oz Show, countless publications and in many scientific studies.
The Bach Flower Remedies are a complementary therapy. This means that they complement and can be used alongside other modalities. They can be used to assist a cancer patient through treatment or a woman through her pregnancy, they are completely safe. The remedies are unique in that they work directly on the mental-emotional state of a person while most other therapies work on the physical.
The remedies are made in two different ways- the sun method and the boiling method. Most of the more delicate flowers are prepared using the sun method. This involves picking the flowers when they are in full bloom. The freshly picked flowers are then placed in a glass bowl with spring water and left for three hours, in direct sunlight.
Woodier plants, and those that bloom when the sun is weak, are generally prepared by the boiling method. The flowering parts of the plant are boiled for half an hour in pure spring water.
In both cases, once heat has transferred the essence of the flowers to the water, the water is then mixed with an equal amount of brandy. This mix is then called the ‘mother tincture’.
The mother tincture is then further diluted into brandy (at a ratio of two drops of mother tincture to 30 ml of brandy) to make the stock bottles that you see in the shops.
How to Apply and Dose the Remedies
The Bach Flower Remedies can be applied in two different ways- sublingually and topically.
I usually recommend my patients to take the remedies sublingually because most people are used to taking herbs and medications in this way.
However if I am working with a pregnant woman or nursing mother, I often recommend that they apply the remedies to the wrist crease or spray the remedies on the wrist or temporal region. Some patients, depending on their circumstances, are more comfortable applying the remedies in this way. This method is just as effective and in some cases, even more.
You can apply the remedies in any place you see fit, I just happen to have a preference for these locations because of my background in eastern medicine and knowledge of the acupuncture points.
As a guideline, the remedies should be dosed in this way:
- Personal Remedy: 4 drops, 4 times a day
- Single Remedy stock bottle: 2 drops, 4 times a day
- Rescue Remedy stock bottle: 4 drops, 4 times a day
In an acute and immediate situation like in an emergency or high stress circumstance, placing 4 drops in every 8 ounces of water and sipping every 2 minutes is also extremely effective way of taking the remedies. For more chronic situations and longterm issues, I strongly advise you to work with a trained Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, who can get to the root of the issues you are experiencing and create a personalized remedy tailored to you.
Above all, if I could offer just one piece of advice while taking the remedies it would be this. Take it with intention! The Bach Flower Remedies alone work on the emotional aspects of the person, but taken with intention, the remedies work on the mental as well, because in this way you consciously working on and placing light onto the challenges at hand, and it is this awareness that is key.
In my practice, I pair each personal remedy that I take or create for a patient with an affirmation. This way, I know I am focused on healing the unresolved issues at hand and in doing so I also amplify the effects of the remedy.
Overview of the 38 Remedies
- Agrimony: helps you communicate your true feelings rather than hide behind a cheerful face, these people avoid confrontation & may escape from pain with alcohol, drugs or food
- Aspen: replaces apprehension, vague fears and unexplainable anxiety with a sense of security & peace of mind
- Beech: helps you to be more tolerant and see the positive in yourself and others despite imperfections
- Centaury: helps you take care of your own needs and assert yourself if you find it hard to say no to others
- Cerato: instills decisiveness when you question your own judgement and have the need to ask others for advice
- Cherry Plum: helps you act rationally and think clearly with a calm and balanced mind when you fear losing control
- Chestnut Bud: helps you observe your mistakes objectively so you can learn from them and move on
- Chicory: helps you let go of those you care for, allowing them to lead their own lives
- Clematis: helps you live more actively in the present rather than in the future or in your own dream world
- Crab Apple: helps you accept your physical imperfections and feel better about the way you are
- Elm: restores your normal strength and optimism when you are temporarily overwhelmed or burdened by responsibility
- Gentian: inspires a positive attitude when you feel discouraged or despondent due to setbacks
- Gorse: encourages a brighter, more positive perspective when you feel there is no hope left
- Heather: helps you listen to and empathize with others rather than being overly concerned and talkative about your own affairs
- Holly: encourages a more generous nature when you feel jealous, envious, vengeful or suspicious
- Honeysuckle: helps you put memories of the past into proper perspective if you are feeling homesick or overly nostalgic
- Hornbeam: restores energy when you are mentally weary, procrastinate and doubt your ability to face the task ahead
- Impatiens: helps you deal with slow situations or people with good humor rather than impatience or irritability
- Larch: instills a greater sense of self-esteem when you feel inferior, fear failure or lack confidence
- Mimulus: give you courage to face things that frighten or worry you, also aids the shy and timid
- Mustard: brings back joy and cheerfulness when gloom descends for no obvious reason
- Oak: allows the naturally strong to take a break rather than struggle on without rest
- Olive: restores energy when you are physically and mentally exhausted
- Pine: allows you to accept yourself and your actions as they are rather than feel guilty or blame yourself for the mistakes of others
- Red Chestnut: allows you to love without anxiety or fear for the wellbeing of your loved ones
- Rock Rose: brings in courage and presence in the face of terror or extreme fear
- Rock Water: helps you enjoy life’s pleasures rather than stick to rigidly to your ideals or personal habits
- Scleranthus: allows you to make decisions more easily when you cannot choose between two options
- Star of Bethlehem: softens the impact of shock, grief and fright
- Sweet Chestnut: brings optimism and peace of mind when anguish overwhelms you and you feel as if there is no way out
- Vervain: helps you to relax when you are over enthusiastic or strongly driven
- Vine: allows you to develop your natural leadership skills without being domineering or inflexible
- Walnut: allows you to make or adapt to major life changes and to fulfill your ambitions free from the influence of others
- Water Violet: helps you to develop warmer relationships with others when your pride or independence makes you appear aloof
- White Chestnut: encourages a peaceful and calm mind when thoughts and worries go around and around in your head
- Wild Oat: helps you to determine what to do with your life, when you are undecided about which path to take
- Wild Rose: helps you feel interest and joy in life when you feel apathetic and resigned to the situation you are in
- Willow: helps you forgive past injustices and move on when you feel resentful and bitter
- Rescue Remedy (contains Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, and Rock Rose): helps to relieve stress and the emotional after effects of emergencies such as shock and trauma, upsets, anxiety, panic, terror
My favorite part of the Bach Flower System is the objectivity of it all. I love how you can take a strong emotion like jealousy or hatred and call it by the name of a flower. Just bringing in this objective perspective is a healing experience. So today, I challenge you to take a moment and think about where you are right now and what you would like to work on, and then jot down the name of the remedies that you think may be able to help you. As you do this, stay as objective as possible, be the observer and choose the remedies that you resonate the most with.