Deputy editor Jo Wheatley found her stress solution at the bottom of a bottle (of flower essence). The Bach flower remedies, which are prepared from wild plants, can improve your mental state.
What’s it all about?
Back in 1915, UK physician Dr Edward Bach became dissatisfied with orthodox medicine. He went on to develop a complete system of 38 flower remedies, each of them prepared from the flowers of different wild plants, trees or bushes.
They work by treating the individual’s specific emotional and mental state, rather than the disease itself. The remedies are so gentle that anyone can take them, even babies, and they don’t interfere with medication. The remedies aren’t a substitute for medication, but function as ‘supportive friends’.
How do the essences work?
Our physical health works in tandem with our emotional state. ‘Each of our organs focuses on a different emotion,’ says Bach practitioner Liliana Bellini. ‘For instance, we feel grief and pain in the chest, deep where the heart is – and flower essences can help release that pain. Skin problems are often stress related, so will benefit from the essences.’
You can buy Bach flower remedies from health shops or online, but Bellini recommends a session with a qualified practitioner. ‘I encourage my clients to open up and share their problems and fears,’ she says. ‘Then I will suggest the flower remedies that might suit them.’
Is there research behind it?
Can a few drops of flower essence really help to heal your mind and body? There is little hard evidence, and many people cite the placebo effect. One study* found participants taking the remedies experienced relief from negative emotions, and had positive thoughts.
Bellini tells me how flower essences, such as larch, helped a footballer’s low confidence to improve his goal scoring. She’s even attended the labour and birth of some of her clients – replacing drugs with just a few drops of flower essence, including olive (for exhaustion) and rock rose (for those moments of sheer terror).