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What are Bach Flower Remedies?

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The Bach Flower Remedies™ (BFR) is a simple, safe and natural method of treating the negative emotive state using the essences of plants and flowers. Each remedy encourages a balance of the negative aspect into its opposite or positive outlook.

Dr Edward Bach (pronounced Batch) (1886–1936) was a bacteriologist, immunologist and homeopathic physician with a successful Harley Street practice. In 1930, then aged 43, he left London to continue his search for the plants and flowers whose essences would form the 38 BFR that are now used worldwide to balance emotions and treat negative mental states. A deeply spiritual man, he firmly believed that physical disease had its roots in disharmony within the mind and soul. He knew that worry, anxiety and fear after a period of time and left unaddressed would manifest itself in some form of depletion of vitality, lowering of immunity and eventually illness.

Dr Bach categorised his 38 remedies into 7 sections covering a broad spectrum of feelings of:

1. FEAR for which you could try:

Rock Rose: for terror and panic
Mimulus: for fear of known things and shyness
Cherry Plum: for fear of losing behaviour control
Aspen: for unexplained fears and for a nervous disposition
Red Chestnut: for fearful thoughts for others

2. UNCERTAINTY for which you could try:

Cerato: for doubting your own ability
Scleranthus: for indecision
Gentian: for when easily discouraged after a set back
Gorse: for pessimism and feelings of despair
Hornbeam: for "Monday morning" feeling
Wild Oat: for when you have reached a crossroads

3. INSUFFICIENT INTEREST IN PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES for which you could try:

Clematis: for feeling dreamy and unfocussed
Honeysuckle: when you are living in the past
Wild Rose: for feelings of apathy
Olive: when you feel exhausted
White Chestnut: when you have unwanted cluttered thoughts
Mustard: for intermittent gloominess
Chestnut Bud: for when you makes repeated mistakes

4. LONELINESS for which you could try:

Water Violet: for when you prefer to be alone, or are aloof/proud
Impatiens: when you are irritable and impatient
Heather: for feelings of self-absorption & dislike being alone

5. FOR THOSE OVER-SENSITIVE TO INFLUENCE AND IDEAS for which you could try:

Agrimony: when you put on a cheerful face to hide problems
Centaury: when you have difficulty saying no
Walnut: when you need protection from outside influences
Holly: when you feel jealous, envious, or suspicious

6. DESPONDENCY AND DESPAIR for which you could try:

Larch: when you lack self confidence and feel inferior
Pine: when you are full of self reproach and guilt
Elm: when you are overwhelmed by responsibility
Sweet Chestnut: when you are at the limits of endurance and despair
Star of Bethlehem: when you have experienced terror & feel helpless
Willow: when you feel resentful and full of self pity
Oak: when you are driven by a strong sense of duty
Crab Apple: for when you have a poor self image

7. OVER-CARE FOR THE WELFARE OF OTHERS for which you could try:

Chicory: when you feel overly clingy and expect others to conform to your values
Vervain: when you are over enthusiastic with fixed principles
Vine: when you have a tendency to dominate or be inflexible
Beech: when you are unduly critical and intolerant of others
Rock Water: when you are inflexible, setting yourself high standards

Each can be taken by using two drops of a selected remedy in a glass of water and sipped throughout the day for short term conditions. For more long term issues, a 30ml dropper bottle can be made up with still mineral water and two drops of up to 6 remedies.

Many people have heard of "Rescue Remedy", a combination of 5 remedies to help people cope with short term trauma such as news of a bereavement, pre-interview/exam nerves, fear of flying/dentist. Rescue Remedy can be taken directly on the tongue until the symptoms subside or 4 drops in water or in a bottle.

They can be used from the very young to the elderly with no harmful side effects. They can be bought directly from chemists and health food shops or a BFM Practitioner can help you make an objective choice.

You may wonder whether the BFR are as relevant today as they were in the 1930's. Since then we have progressed so rapidly in the technical world, satellites whiz around our orbit, we communicate by email and text messages. The vital link between the two periods of time is that we still experience feelings of grief, intolerance and irritability. We still suffer periods where we lack confidence and some of us will always be terrified of spiders. Under stressful circumstances we exhibit forms of negativity which prevent us from living a contented and healthy life. These subtle yet powerful remedies are as effective in the 21st century as they were in the less complicated era before the Second World War gently dissolving our fears and changing our outlook.



By Pam Smith MBSR, ITEC Dip., CAT Dip., BFRP, MIGPP, MDYTA, MAR (Assoc), CIHM
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

Author: MBSR, ITEC Dip., CAT Dip., BFRP, MIGPP, MDYTA, MAR (Assoc), CIHM

Biography: Pam has been a Bach Flower Remedies (BFR) Practitioner since 1999. She uses the remedies both as a stand alone treatment or together with any one of her practical therapies. From 2004, Pam will be running Level 1 BFR courses in Harrogate and District. The course is ideal for both potential practitioners or for the public as a general interest.

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