There is a little natural remedy bottle without which I could not have brought up my children and step-children: Rescue Remedy! Whenever there was a fall, bump or scare, out would come the rescue remedy to ease the shock and calm the spirit. Not to mention the times I was frazzled and took the ‘magic’ potion myself.
What is this rescue remedy? A mix of flower essences. What exactly are flower essences? Well let’s go back in time and look at where flower essences began and how they developed.
Ancient cultures have used the essences of flowers in healing. However, in the 1930s a doctor and homoeopath, Dr Edward Bach, became interested in the psychological conditions behind physical illness. He began to study and use flower remedies. In herbal medicine we can see that the plants have what we call a ‘signature’—meaning that they look like certain body organs, therefore can be useful to that part of the body in illness. Flower essences have similar signatures, in that growth patterns of the plant or shapes of the flower can represent certain behaviours in people. Dr Bach began to see that the remedies he made from collecting flowers and soaking them in the sunshine then preserving with brandy certainly helped with many of his patients and Bach Flower Remedies were born.
In my practice now as a naturopath, I use flower essences every day. Since Dr Bach’s time, other essence remedies have been made, other flower remedies, gem essences, even essences made from star and planet lights. I use Dr Bach’s remedies and the Australian Bush Flower range. There are 38 remedies in the Bach range and 69 in the Australian range—each range having various combination mixes.
These remedies are extremely easy to use at home and very easy to self prescribe. As mothers and fathers, you are the ones able to see the underlying emotional or mental state going on in a child that may lie beneath a physical problem. Even though sometimes to discuss the problem with a friend or practitioner can help you see from a less attached stance.
The parents often need to take the remedies as well. You can use one remedy at a time or a mix of up to around five to seven remedies. Always look for the remedy that meets the underlying ‘root’ cause of the situation. Asking what is really going on in the mental emotional world of the person you are prescribing for. I mix both Bush and Bach and see great results from both.
You can purchase kits and put your own mixes together, maybe even make your own stock bottles yourself with your children. Look on the internet for ways to prepare the flowers.
Throughout life we move through many life changes, some mini and some major rites of passage. First tooth, pre-school, new school, childhood illnesses, puberty, new job, loss—any time we have a change from one rhythm to another. I find flower essences are excellent in easing these transitions that may cause worry, concern and physical symptoms of stress.
Some common scenarios where you may use the remedies:
The arrival of a new baby – We need to look at how the child is behaving. There may be fear that a new baby will get more attention, or just not wanting any one else to be in the family. These states may be from fear or selfishness. The symptoms that appear may be varied, from upset tummy to disruptive behaviour. If it is the case of fear, is the fear from a known cause or unknown?
In the above case the fear is known, the coming baby; however, the child probably does not know why they are fearful so giving both the essences of aspen and mimulus is a good idea. If in the above case the child is expressing jealousy and selfishness, then try the remedy holly. In the Bach range it is walnut—the remedy often called ‘the link breaker’. It is a great remedy for changes and protects the individual from outside influences when life is unsettled. This would be a good remedy to put in this mix. The Bush range has bottlebrush for bonding and feeling overwhelmed by changes, another good one for the mix.
Bed wetting – Look at possible stress associated with toilet training. Sometimes the child may have had a fright while dreaming. Or the child may have an ongoing fear or grief, especially if there is disharmony in the home. Remedies like stuart dessert pea, crowea or angelsword may be selected. In the Bach range, rock rose, aspen, larch, and walnut could be considered.
Puberty and adolescence – The bush range has a preparation called adolescent essence, which I have seen be supportive at these times. There is also a ‘study blend’ and ‘women’s essence’ that are great for this time. However, I always feel individual selections of remedies are best.
To make up the mix, in a 15 or 30ml bottle you would place 1/3 brandy or apple cider vinegar to 2/3 water. Put three drops of the Bach flowers selected and seven drops of the Bush flowers, add to the brandy water, mix and shake. The patient then takes five drops of this mix, three to four times/day or every 15 minutes (if symptoms are extreme) until symptoms settle.
Family pets too – Dogs, cats and horses respond amazingly to flower essences. Remedies help fear of storms, nervousness, fear of being left alone and grumpy old pets.
Being able to select or even make your own mixes of these lovely flower remedies is fun. Get the whole family involved. An awareness of each person’s emotions, beliefs, and health patterns will grow, as you all learn to choose the remedies, leading to an empowered involvement in your own health.
Published in Kindred, Issue 28