Laurel Alexander (adapted from Women’s Wisdom: Natural Wellness Strategies for Pregnancy published by Findhorn Press)
HOW FLOWER ESSENCES WORK
Flower essences are a form of vibrational medicine and act in a similar way to homeopathic remedies by working with subtle energy in the body. All living things, including our body and mind, are matter that is permeated by, and surrounded by subtle energy. We could define subtle energy as the underpinning source feeding the well-being of our mind and body.
According to the concept of energy medicine, disease manifests in the physical body only after energy flow in the subtle body has been disturbed. Energy medicine has been long been practiced by civilizations such as India and China, and is gradually being integrated into Western healthcare. The energy field model used by these civilizations as part of their eclectic healthcare system, which includes acupuncture, moves away from the main idea that life evolves from a scientific blueprint towards the concept that life circulates via electrical charges of energy known as prana or chi.
In addition to this circulation of energy, there is a force field of energy permeating the human body called the aura, which can influence our well-being. In order to rebalance the subtle body, we must administer energy that vibrates at frequencies beyond the physical plane. Just as we might heal the physical body through medical interventions, we need to heal the subtle body through vibrational interventions such as homeopathy, crystals, or flower essences.
Flower essences work by utilizing the essence’s positive energy to transmute a negative state in living things, whether they are human, animal, or plant. Each flower used in a flower essence conveys a subtle energy pattern that is transferred to water during essence preparation. This preparation is then either used internally or externally for healing purposes.
From a spiritual perspective, flower essences address mental and emotional imbalances that, if left unresolved, could influence the wellness of the physical body. In effect, we “co-create” with the flower essences to alter our subtle energies when we use them for healing purposes. This change permeates our emotional and mental states and can also influence our physical well-being. The belief that we can heal ourselves is the basis of flower essence philosophy.
Essences do not affect us biochemically, as does traditional allopathic medicine. They are water-based products that have no chemical or biological materials present other than water and alcohol preservatives.
BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
Dr Edward Bach studied medicine at University College Hospital, London, qualified in 1912, and became casualty medical officer at the hospital in 1913. He worked in general practice in London’s famed medical sector Harley Street and as a bacteriologist and pathologist working on vaccines. In the course of his work, he came to question some of the tenets of early 20th-century medical practice. Bach believed that the illness-personality link was a product of unbalanced energetic patterns within the subtle body, and that illness was a reflection of disharmony between the physical personality and the Higher Self.
Bach took a post at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (1919), where he noticed the parallels between his work on vaccines and the principles of homeopathy. Although his work up to this point had been with bacteria, he wanted to find healing modalities that would be less toxic and more in tune with the mind-body link. To this end, he began collecting plants in the hope of replacing the nosodes (homeopathic remedies prepared from infected tissues) with a series of gentler remedies.
In 1928, Bach acquired two wildflowers, impatiens and mimulus, which he homeopathically prepared and clinically used with excellent results. He soon understood that there was great healing power in flowers, and he gradually developed his own methods of preparing flower essences. In the early 1930s, Bach left his successful practice and began gathering wildflowers, which he developed into 38 flower remedies.
Instead of scientific methodology, he chose to rely on his intuitive gifts as a healer. He found that he could place the flowers of a particular species on the surface of a bowl of spring water for several hours in sunlight and obtain powerful vibrational tinctures. The subtle effects of sunlight charged the water with an energetic imprint of the flower’s unique signature.
In 1934, Dr Bach moved to Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire, England, and it was here, in the surrounding countryside, that he found the remaining flower remedies he sought, each aimed at a particular mental state or emotion. Bach’s work was in tune with nature’s own annual cycle. In spring and summer, he found the flowers he needed in the countryside and prepared individual flower remedies, then in winter, he helped and advised patients. He found that when he treated the feelings of his patients, their distress and physical discomfort would be alleviated to allow their natural healing to come through.
|Pregnancy State||Recommended Bach Flower Remedy|
|Pregnancy sickness||crab apple, scleranthus|
|Difficulty in accepting pregnancy||willow, walnut|
|Fear; of birthing, pain, becoming a parent||mimulus, rock rose|
|Worry, apprehension||white chestnut, red chestnut, aspen, larch|
|Feeling like an elephant!||crab apple|
|Depression||cherry plum, gentian, gorse, mustard, white chestnut, and wild rose|
|Fuzzy thinking, lack of concentration||crab apple, clematis|
|Indecisive, self-doubting||cerato, scleranthus, wild oat|
|Insomnia||holly, hornbeam, mustard, olive, white chestnut|
|Intolerant, critical, irritable||beech, holly, impatiens, rock water, vervain, vine, crab apple|
|Irrational without knowing why||cherry plum|
|Lack of confidence||centaury, larch, and mimulus|
|Lack of sexual interest||clematis|
|Panic||cherry plum, rock rose|
|Uncomfortable/ashamed of body||crab apple|
|Headache||aspen, vervain, whiteÂ chestnut|
AUSTRALIAN BUSH FLOWER ESSENCES
Since Dr. Bach created his flower essences in the 1930s, the issues we face in our lives have changed. As we came to the end of the 20th century and slipped into the 21st century, there was a growing need for flower essences that help people deal with the issues of today.
While many new flower essences have found their way to the commercial market, some of the most effective new flower essences come from Australian plants as a result of the work of Ian White, a naturopath and fifth-generation Australian herbalist. Ian grew up in the Australian bush. As a young boy his grandmother, like her mother before her, specialized in using Australian plants and would often take him bush walking to learn the healing qualities of plants and flowers. He learned a profound respect for nature through her and went on to become a practitioner and a pioneer working with and researching the rare remedial qualities of Australian native plants. Australia is relatively unpolluted, has some of the world’s oldest plants, and metaphysically has a wise, old energy.
|Pregnancy State||Recommended Australian Bush Flower Essence|
|Apprehensive, anxious||tall mulla mulla, dog rose, illawarra flame tree|
|Shock of unplanned pregnancy||fringed violet|
|Constipation||bauhinia, bottlebrush, flannel flower, bluebell|
|Depression||waratah, tall yellow top|
|Self-doubting||five corners, kapok bush, red grevillea, bush fuchsia|
|Insomnia||boronia, grey spider flower, black-eyed susan, and crowea|
|Intolerant, critical, irritable||yellow cowslip orchid, mountain devil, and black-eyed Susan|
|Lack of confidence||five corners, kapok bush|
|Lack of sexual interest||billy goat plum|
|Managing change||bauhinia, bottlebrush, mint bush, pink mulla mulla, and silver princess|
|Mental and emotional exhaustion||alpine mint bush, banksia, robur, macrocarpa grey spider flower, dog rose of the wild forces|
|Uncomfortable/ashamed of body||billy goat plum, wild potato bush, wisteria, spinifex|
|Tired, drained||old man banksia|
|Bonding with baby||bottlebrush|
|Post-partum overwhelm||bottlebrush, she oak, tall yellow top, dog rose of the wild forces, waratah, illawarra flame tree|
|Anemia||bluebell, five corners, kapok bush, red grevillea, waratah|
|High blood pressure||bluebell, crowea, five corners, hibbertia, little flannel flower, mountain devil, mulla mulla|
|Premature childbirth||fringed violet, sturt desert rose, sunshine wattle,waratah|
|Leg cramps||black-eyed susan, bottlebrush, crowea, grey spider|
|Dizziness||bush fuscia, crowea|
|Sinusitis||bush iris, dagger hakea, fringed violet|
|Pregnancy memory (or lack of it!)||isopogon|
When using flower essences, it’s important to use them in an integrated way. Don’t just take them mindlessly. When I take a remedy, I consider why I’m taking it and what I can do to support myself in other ways. For example, if I’m taking a mixture for anger, I ask myself what or who is my anger is directed at. What can I do to help externalize this feeling? What is it about? I might choose to journal my thoughts and feelings or talk them through with someone, taking the remedies as I consciously work through my issue.
HOW TO MIX AND USE REMEDIES FOR INTERNAL USE
Bach Flower and Australian Bush Flower Essences can be taken orally for acute cases by putting two or three drops of the stock bottle essence under the tongue. They can be taken longer-term by taking six drops from a dropper bottle that contains stock essence plus water. To make up a remedy:
- Fill a 20ml glass dropper bottle with tap or filtered water to a finger width beneath the neck of the bottle.
- Choose your remedy (you can use a mixture of Australian Bush Flower Essences and Bach Flower Remedies for up to six remedies). Drop two drops from the stock bottle into the dropper bottle.
- If you are a Reiki practitioner, you might like to perform Reiki on the bottle.
- Take four drops under the tongue, four times daily. Alternatively you can put the remedies in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, and so on. If you are taking a made-up remedy, you might have four drops, four times daily for a period of one month or lunar cycle. Note: Putting the drops into a hot drink has the advantage of evaporating the alcohol. This is sometimes recommended to people who dislike the alcohol content or who are too sensitive to alcohol to take remedies containing it, such as those with adrenal issues.
Because of the dynamic nature of awakening and going to sleep at night, the most important times to take the remedy is immediately upon waking and before going to sleep. The other two times may be before lunch and around 6pm.
Inhaling: Put two drops of your chosen essence in the palm of your hands, rub them together and inhale from them.
Meditation: One of the most powerful ways to use the essences is to take a few drops just before meditating.
In food: When you make nourishing food for yourself and your baby, add your remedy to the food, either straight from the stock bottle or from your dropper bottle mixture.
HOW TO MIX AND USE REMEDIES FOR EXTERNAL USE
Compress: This can be useful, especially where there is a sore place, such as breasts or lower back, and during birthing. To prepare a flower essence compress, fill a bowl with warm or cold water. Add four drops of each chosen flower essence (and one or two drops of appropriate essential oil if you like) to the water. Soak the washcloth in the water, wring out and lay it on the affected area and repeat until relief is felt.
If your boobs feel tender, sprinkle several drops of she oak on a damp, cool washcloth and place on the sensitive area.
Bathing: Run a bath. The water needs to be at body temperature or a little warmer. Add one or two drops of your chosen flower essence. Essential oils can also be added after the water is run. Get into the bath and relax for 20 minutes (remember this one during your birthing). Rest afterwards. If you don’t want to have a bath, bathing the feet and/or hands is also an effective way to take essences in through the skin.
Body spray: Adding essential oils to a body spray not only brings healing benefits but also a wonderful, uplifting smell. Lighter oils such as lavender or lemongrass work best. To prepare a flower essence spray, fill a 50-125ml glass spray bottle with spring water. Add three or four drops of essential oil. Add three drops of each chosen flower essence. Shake the bottle to activate the essences and spray twice daily, or as required. This would be a good idea for your birthing kit.
Cream/lotion: If what you need is just for now, put some cream in your hand, add the required stock essence drops and mix before applying. To prepare a flower essence cream (think stretch marks), fill a glass jar with 50g cream (you can use your favourite moisturizer as a base, but avoid any strongly scented creams). Add four drops of each chosen flower essence (up to four flower essences). Mix with a wooden stick or stiff drinking straw. One or two drops of an essential oil can be added to the cream to enhance its healing properties. Apply to the area twice daily, or as required.
Massage: Mixing essences in massage oil can greatly enhance your mood. Put four drops of essential oil, one or two drops of relevant flower essence, and 50ml of jojoba oil into a glass bottle. Mix and use immediately. Recommended oils: rose, ylang ylang, neroli or lavender. Ask someone to massage your lower back (another one to remember during birthing).Â
To enhance bodywork: Flower essences are powerful tools when used in conjunction with acupuncture, energy work, massage, craniosacral therapy (this therapy is excellent for the newborn as it helps to heal birth trauma), or chiropractic treatments. Taking a few drops of flower essences before, during, and/or after a treatment helps the body “hold” positive adjustments by assisting the nervous system with repatterning as well as releasing the emotional/mental blocks.
Rooms: You could put a flower essence mixture in a bowl of water on the mantelpiece or table, or add your chosen oils to your burner and drop in four drops of flower essence. Another idea is to make up a spray as in the instructions for creating a body spray above and use on bedding or in a room. TIP: You might like to do this one for baby’s room.