Jhelum Biswas Bose, author and beauty expert, on the many health benefits of Bach Flower Excert India (from Bangor Mirror)
A family friend who introduced me to Bach flower remedies, Neeta Sabharwal, explained the these were a mix of flower essences - Rescue Remedy and Crab Apple - and advised me to always keep them handy at home. From then on, each time I would have a complaint, she would have a remedy! Olive for when I felt unusually tired, Sclerantus for my vertigo, Honeysuckle to tide over the moments when I mourned my grandmother. I had no idea, though, why these medicines were given for the said situations. I simply took them with water (four drops, four times a a day) because they made me feel exponentially better. It eventually also dawned on me that many months had passed by without me having to take any antibiotics. I decided I wanted to know more about these remedies. I started diligently researching and, over the years. completed three levels of a practitioners course.
What are Bach Flower Remedies?
Bach flower remedies are 38 flower essences that a comprise a complete system of alternative healing. These flower remedies were discovered by Dr Edward Bach in the 1930's in England. Dr Bach was a physician and homeopath. He believed that attitude, mind and emotions played a vital role in health and well-being of an individual, and when a person's emotions were 'balanced' or restored to their positive potential, the health improved and ailments could in true be cured. The principle of flower essences is similar to any other vibrational health therapy. Flower has unique energies, and when the 'essences' of these flowers are taken by us, they affect our vibrations and bring about balance. They are chosen based on the current emotions or personality of the individual. Therefore, you will not be given a remedy for your headache but for your emotional state while experiencing the headache. For instance, if I am having a headache I might get extremely irritable and impatient and, therefore, I may have to take Impatiens Bach flower remedy, while another person when experiencing the headache may suffer silently because she doesn't want to bother others. Such a person may require Agrimony. Yet another individual can get so perturbed by it that she will continue talking about it and disturb others. She would require Heather or Chicory Bach flower remedy.
Tradition of Flower Remedies
Though Bach Flower Remedies are fast gaining popularity, they are neither 'new' nor the only type of flower essences that mankind has seen. The therapeutic use for flower essences dates back to some 10,000 years, to the Aborigines of Australia. It is believed that this ancient tribe not only used flower essences in their ceremonial practices but also in healing 'flower saunas' a tradition in which they dug up a pit, filled it with wild flowers an d then immersed a person into it to heal him or her. This practice is continued till date in the country. A Buddhist tradition of flower essence therapy in Malaysia and Thailand, where temples specialise in flower essences healing, is also still in practice. In Ayurveda, Chinese and Tibetan medicinal systems - in fact in most indigenous cultures across the word have used and continue to use flower waters for healing in some form or another. From the 1980s there was a fresh and renewed interest in flower essences across the globe. The Bush Flower Essences of Australia developed by Ian White, Desert Alchemy of Arizona by Cynthia Athina Kemp (now Kemp-Scherer), Aloha Flower Essences of Hawaii by Penny Medeiros, New Perception Flower Essences of New Zealand by (the now late) Mary Garbely, and Flower Cure of India by the late Der Malti Khaitan are some of the schools of flower remedy that developed in the later twentieth century. Most of them were in some way or the other influenced by Dr Bach's scholarship, and their endeavour has been to localise and, at the same time, expand the possibility of flower water healing.
What's the Remedy for Stress?
That's a question I suppose we all have. But alas! There's not a remedy for stress. It wouldn't be appropriate to suggest a remedy for 'stress' because each individual could be stressed for various reasons, and their way of handling stress would be very different. In fact, each individual's cause for sass and level of stress would be different. Further, some people can get stressed for seemingly good things. For instance, one may get stressed with the workload after getting a promotion. Therefore, to correctly address 'stress', it's important to figure out what exactly is the cause of stress. Hence, the person who is getting stressed with new workload could be given Elm to deal with the situation, whereas someone who has been plodding along with many responsibilities for a considerable amount of time may be in need of Oak. Yet, someone who is stressed because of the sheer physical exhaustion would require Olive. However, if it is a crisis - like someone has an extremely important decision to make, or there is a sudden crises at work, or there has been an accident or an urgent need for surgery - then Rescue Remedy can be taken, though I strongly recommend a consultation with a Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner before taking any remedy.
Flowers have unique energies, and when the 'essences' of these flowers are taken by us, they affect our vibrations and bring in a balance.