Introduction to the Bach Flowers
By Elizabeth Keller
Greetings, once again, to all of you who have an interest in holistic healing and a commitment to making natural, inexpensive modalities accessible to all.
I am continuing this column to acquaint you with 38 of my dearest friends, the Bach Flower Essences. They were originally developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s as homeopathic derivatives of flowers from his native Wales. The essences address emotional pain and are completely safe and non-addictive. Up to 10 or even 12 essences may be combined in one dosing bottle. Dosing is usually 4 drops 4 times a day, under the tongue. The dose may be increased to every 5-15 minutes in times of great need. The drops may also be diluted with water, in which case they last longer. I choose not to dilute them.
Over the twenty years that I have taken the Bach flowers, I have begun to notice a curious phenomenon. Over a period of time, the effect of the flowers becomes stronger, deeper, with longer duration. Rather than taking a “medicine”, using the Bach Flower is more like memorizing a vibration into your subconscious mind. Have you ever gotten a musical tune stuck in your head? I am sure you have noticed how annoyingly persistent it can become! The flowers are like a tune that gets stuck in your head. After a while, all you have to do is hum a few bars and the entire melody pops up, intact, sometimes many years after you first learned it. I have noticed that it takes fewer administrations of the drops which I usually need to have the effect I am seeking. I use Holly all the time for a serious Italian temper problem. In a shorter and shorter period of time, the anger is dissolved. You will simply have to try it for yourself and see.
I am actually getting to the point where all I have to do is think of the WORD “Holly”, and the effect begins. Talk about the placebo effect! Of course the effect is not quite as pronounced, but this is a very convenient and money-saving possibility!! I don’t always have the flowers with me when I lose my temper, and it doesn’t cost me anything to THINK about them.
Now that I have mentioned that interesting experience, let’s get back to the topic at hand. I will review briefly. In the first article we began with a summary of The Rescue Remedy and Holly. The June article focused on Walnut and Honeysuckle. This month, I would like to introduce you to two more of the flowers:
Agrimony and Mimulus
Agrimony is the Bach flower for people in the process of overcoming addictions. This obviously applies to folks struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, and it also applies to the more subtle addictions. Nearly everyone is addicted to something. Overeating is a, pardon the pun, huge problem. People can be addicted to television, or sex, or gambling or caffeine (my personal favorite) or chocolate. People also get addicted to different emotional states: like angry person or whiny complainer or broken hearted victim. When a certain emotion has BECOME you, it is time for Agrimony, to break away, to detach, to let go. Of course you would also add the flower for that particular emotional condition, e.g., Holly for the anger; Beech for the complaining.)
One of the classic definitions of an Agrimony person is someone who experiences “mental torment behind a brave face.” They try to avoid the dark side of life and unfortunately, resistance causes persistence. The dark side pursues them. They attempt to keep up a cheery front, to hide what is really going on inside. They often crave harmony and will cave in and avoid confrontations for the sake of peace. They are often the life of the party, popular with others, avoid being alone, cover their inner pain with anything available. Denial is a chief weapon.
The virtue that Agrimony imparts is perspective on the relative nature of all problems, develops the wisdom to take the “good with the bad” and adjust accordingly. The radiant joyful state that was “faked” on the outside” now becomes a reality on the inside. Whew! What a relief: authenticity and wisdom and joy: the gifts of Agrimony.
Mimulus is for worry warts the way Agrimony is for addicts. It is indicated for people having anxiety for a reason they understand and can explain. (Unreasonable anxiety, without a known origin responds to Aspen). Mimulus is for people who have taken up worry as a hobby. Even when there is little cause for concern, a Mimulus person can explore the possibilities for disaster ad infinitum. “What if..then, what if..then, what if…” Mimulus people tend to be sensitive, peaceable, and frail or prone to illness.
Mimulus works on phobias and also for fears of public speaking. Even if you are not prone to chronic worry, if you are currently overly preoccupied and anxious for a period, Mimulus is your remedy. If however, your worry or concern is for another person, Red Chestnut is the better remedy.
The virtue that Mimulus imparts is courage and confidence and a positive outlook on life. It helps people overcome their fears. Who doesn’t need that every once in a while?
If you have any particular questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]; 210 473-1619; or review my website at www.lifemotivationssa.com.
References for this article available for your further study are: Bach Flower Therapy by Mechthild Scheffer and Bach Flower Essences for the Family by Wigmore Publications, Ltd., London.