Flower remedies for emotional distress are liquid extracts made from carefully selected flowers. These emotional remedies have been used for several decades to help with emotional well-being.
Learn more about each of these flower essences which have been formulated specifically for grief and trauma:
How Nature’s Sunshine’s New Flower Essence Blends Can Help Your Emotional Wellbeing
Written By: Steven Horne
It’s no secret that people in our modern world are facing a lot of stress. As we hear about the economy, wars, natural disasters and other troublesome news, it’s natural for us to feel negative emotions like sadness, fear, anger or even depression. In addition, we all face everyday problems that bring up negative emotional responses, such as conflicts in relationships, unexpected bills, struggles with health and other challenges. In fact, who in this world doesn’t need help from time to time with their emotions?
That’s why flower essences are such an important tool for helping people to heal. Flower essences are vibrational (homeopathic-like) remedies made from the flowers of plants. They are used to help a person heal on an emotional, rather than a physical or mental level.
Dr. Edward Bach, an English medical doctor and homeopath, discovered how to use flowers for emotional healing and created the first 38 flower essence remedies, known collectively as Bach Flower Essences. He also created an “emotional first-aid” blend of five flower essences called Rescue Remedy, which is the most widely used flower essence product.
Dr. Bach was frustrated by the symptomatic approach of modern medicine. He felt that medical doctors focused too much on the pathology (the disease symptoms) and not enough on the patient. Bach was a pioneer in understanding gut microflora. He developed homeopathic “vaccines” called Bach nosodes to adjust the friendly flora of the gut to improve health. He was also an advocate of healthy diet and detoxification of the GI tract as a route to good health.
Bach wanted to create a system of healing that wouldn’t destroy living things and that would be gentle and effective in nature. It is believed that he created flower essences after sampling the morning dew on flowers and feeling the energy of the flower in the dew. He matched the vibration or energy of the plant with the emotional vibration of the person.
Bach made his original flower essences by placing fresh flowers in pure spring water in the sunlight, although the tree-flower essences were made by boiling the flowers. Today, most flower essences are made using the first method, although some night blooming plants may be collected and extracted under a full moon.
Once the flowers have soaked in the water for a couple of hours, the flowers are then removed and the energetically charged “flower water” is preserved with brandy to make a mother tincture. The mother tincture is then diluted homeopathically into stock bottles, which are, in turn, used to make dosage bottles. As with homeopathic remedies, the dilution is so great that it is likely that none of the original substance is found in the remedy, only the “vibration” of the flower. In fact, the final remedy contains only one part in approximately 1.8 million parts of the original mother tincture.
How Flower Essences Work
To understand how flower essences work, we need to understand that plants have to overcome challenges in their environment, just like we do. They may encounter harsh weather conditions such as extremes of temperature, moisture or wind. They may also have to deal with rocky soil and attacks by insects and animals. Plants, like people, have an energy or characteristics that help them rise above these challenges. This energy can be likened to a person’s personality, which allows a person to cope in a positive way with the challenges they encounter in life.
Just as associating with a person with positive personality traits can help you learn how to meet life’s challenges in a constructive way, so can associating with the right plant energies. A flower essence captures the vibration of the plant’s personality, which helps your own emotional energy “learn” how to acquire that same personality trait.
As Matthew Wood says in his book, Seven Herbs: Plants as Teachers, every healing plant is the embodiment of a conflict in the environment that the plant has successfully overcome. When we take the energy of that plant internally, it can “teach” us how to cope with what we are facing.
When we take a flower essence it can break through blocks in our heart, where we are in denial about what we really feel (and think). It can help us face feelings we aren’t acknowledging or are simply blaming on others. This increased awareness helps us make constructive changes in our thoughts and behaviors, which guides us back to a more centered or emotionally-balanced place, leading to increased feelings of peace, calm, love and happiness.
Seven Flower Essence Blends
Nature’s Sunshine recently introduced seven flower essence blends, which I formulated with input from Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz of The Flower Essence Society. They are also the authors of my favorite flower essence book the Flower Essence Repertory. These seven flower essence blends correspond with the seven basic emotional states, which are discussed in my book, The Heart’s Key to Health, Happiness and Success. Here is a quick overview of each of these remedies.
Distress Remedy is the basic remedy for helping us to be more emotionally centered. It uses the same five flower essences in Bach’s Rescue Remedy, plus two additional essences. Distress Remedy promotes presence and awareness in traumatic situations, eases stress and promotes self-awareness or enlightenment. It is a good remedy to use whenever someone feels emotionally off balance, and would be the remedy to choose if you are unsure about what blend is best for a particular situation.
The Keep Cool blend helps to ease feelings of anger and irritability. It helps a person learn to control their temper and to work through problems by communicating rather than fighting.
When a person lacks the ability to get in touch with their anger and stand up to abuse, Find Strength can help rebuild their energy. It promotes healthy personal boundaries, the ability to stand one’s ground and say “no” to unreasonable expectations and demands and the ability to fight back when one is being taken advantage of or abused.
When a person is grieving any loss, Release It can help them move through their grief, release what they have lost and find comfort and healing. It helps a person let go of the past and find inner strength to carry on. It is also good for people who feel like they are victims in life.
People who have been so deeply wounded that they have a difficult time trusting others or feeling sensitivity or compassion will benefit from Open Heart. It helps a person face past hurts and emotional wounds and open their heart again to love and intimacy.
Courage helps us face our fears and the Be Courageous flower essence aids a person’s feelings of courage, self-confidence and self-reliance. It helps people overcome their fears and aids decision-making by helping a person have more trust in their own judgment.
Many times people dodge their pain and the difficult decisions of life by engaging in self-defeating behaviors. It takes self-awareness and a sense of responsibility to overcome addictive, compulsive or self-defeating behaviors. Be Response-Able helps a person get in touch with the emotions that are driving their dysfunctional behavior so they can start to make better decisions.
Using Flower Essences
The normal way to take a flower essence is to place 4-10 drops under the tongue and hold it there for a few seconds, then swallow. Use smaller doses for children and pets, and larger doses for adults. This can be repeated several times each day. It is best to separate flower essences from other remedies by 10-15 minutes to give them time to work. Flower essences can also be applied topically, added to drinking water or used in baths.
In acute or crisis situations you can take 4-10 drops every 1-2 hours. For instance, after an accident or news of a death in the family it may be helpful to take Distress Remedy or Release It frequently for the first few days. Generally speaking, people will notice a difference within 10-15 minutes of taking the first dose.
When working on long-term problems, people typically start noticing a difference within the first few days. However, it may take months or years to solve really deep-seated issues, and one may still need counseling, nutritional supplementation, detoxification and other remedies to restore complete wellness.
When using more than one flower remedy take them at different times of the day, at least an hour or two apart. Taking them at the same time will tend to lessen their effectiveness or may cause too dramatic of a shift in a person’s emotional state. If a person does experience too many emotions taking flower essences, slow down. Stick to one essence and take a smaller dose (2-4 drops).
Flower Essence Safety and Efficacy
Flower essences are gentle, safe remedies that can be used by children of all ages (including infants), adults of all ages (including the elderly) and pets. They are completely non-toxic. They can also be used in conjunction with other supplements and medications, but should be taken 10-15 minutes apart from other remedies for maximum effectiveness.
There are some things flower essences cannot do, however. For starters, they cannot directly cure any disease. Flower essences don’t work on diseases, but they work on emotional issues that may be contributing to illness or interfering with a person’s healing. Also, flower essences cannot take the place of medications or appropriate supplements in serious mental or emotional illnesses, such as clinical depression or anxiety disorders. They can, however, be used as an adjunct to other therapies in these cases.
Remember that flower essences aren’t a cure-all. They don’t replace the need for physical methods of healing such as nutritional supplements, bodywork, exercise and adequate sleep. They also don’t replace counseling, spiritual guidance, positive thinking, prayer or meditation, although they will enhance the effectiveness all of these other emotional healing tools. They will also enhance the effectiveness of herbal and nutritional programs, including helping people to make positive lifestyle changes. Best of all, everybody needs them, so you don’t need to wait for people to get sick to introduce them to natural healing.”
Sue Hasker, MS
Certified Grief Recovery® Specialist &
New Life Story® Wellness Coach