Flower Power

2010/02/09 P. SELVARANI

Forget paracetamol. The next time you want relief for your headache, reach for a flower instead, writes P. SELVARANI.

WHAT is it about fresh flowers that just brighten up our days? Apart from the profusion of colours that only nature can create, the fragrance they impart is also generally very comforting. But aside from looking pretty and smelling nice, flowers, it appears, also serve a more therapeutic role as elixirs for emotional health.

While they may be a relatively new phenomenon here, flower essences have been used to treat maladies ranging from anxiety to over-enthusiasm in Europe, the United States and Australia, for more than 70 years following the discovery of the healing properties of flowers by English physician and homeopath Dr Edward Bach (see accompanying story).

“Flower essences can be used to treat almost any problem that affects one’s emotional state — whether its depression, fear, coping with grief, tension, lack of confidence or even for sexual health,” says Chim Li Yen of The Violet Flame holistic shop in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.


Chim says the flower remedies can be mixed with water and sipped throughout the day.

Flower remedies are a form of homeopathic therapy which heal the body by correcting the emotional and spiritual imbalances within. “It has healing properties which give us the lift to help us overcome our fears. The flower essences work on our emotions because the state of our physical body is a reflection of the state of our emotions. If we work at the level of our emotions, then the physical problems go away,” says Chim.

As the “life force” of a plant is concentrated in the flower, the essence is extracted from a variety of flowers such as daisies, elder, holythorn, hazel and cherry blossom. The flowers collected in their purest form are left to soak in natural spring water in the sun. Flower remedies, Chim says, can be used by almost everyone including children.

While the original Bach flower remedies had 38 essences for specific ailments, many other producers of flower essences such as Findhorn of Scotland have developed a combination of essences as remedies for various emotional ailments.

Chim, 29, a pharmacist by profession, ventured into the benefits of flower remedies more than a year ago after spending almost five years dispensing and marketing pharmaceutical drugs. “I didn’t like what I saw happening in the industry and I discovered that taking drugs was not really the solution to our ailments.

The range of Findhorn flower essences for a variety of ailments.

Through my own experience I realised that there is a connection between our body, mind and spirit.

“Good health is not about taking medicines. Good health is when a person’s mind, emotion, body and spirit are in total alignment,” she adds.

Flower remedies can be used for almost any situation such as to boost one’s confidence, overcome a phobia, nurture intimacy, cope with changes in life such as the transition into adulthood or taking on a new job. They also help with post-natal depression or speaking with confidence and even children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can benefit from them.

“We have a client who bought a bottle of the Voice Confidence essence to overcome her fear of public speaking. She was so pleased with the results that she came back for a bottle for her 15-year-old nephew who also gets tongue-tied.”

Even actors and singers have been buying this remedy to help them in their profession. There is also a remedy in times of crisis or trauma at any level called First Aid, which is similar to Bach’s Rescue Remedy.

“This is one of the more popular ones as it can be used for any situation such as anxiety, panic attacks and pain. It helps people feel supported during times of need.”

Chim says flower remedies can also be used on pets and animals that display symptoms of stress. The essences can be taken either by placing several drops under the tongue, or mixed with water as a drink. They can also be added to bath water, creams and lotions and applied topically. They can even be sprayed around the home. The essences are most effective when used frequently in small amounts.

“Ideally, they should be used three times a day for the first two weeks. But they can be used more frequently in times of crisis. You can also take them with your regular medication because there are no contraindications.”

Psychic connections to plants

EDWARD Bach, a British surgeon, developed the Bach flower remedies, a form of alternative medicine inspired by the classical homeopathic traditions. In 1917, Bach had a malignant tumour removed from his spleen. It was predicted that he had only three months left to live, but instead he recovered. Bach died in his sleep on Nov 27, 1936 at the age of 50.

In 1930, at 43, he decided to search for a new healing technique. He spent the spring and summer discovering and preparing new flower remedies — which include no part of the plant but simply what Bach claimed to be the pattern of energy of the flower. In the winter, he treated patients free of charge.

Rather than being based on medical research, using the scientific method, Bach’s flower remedies were intuitively derived and based on his perceived psychic connections to the plants.If he felt a negative emotion, he would hold his hand over different plants, and if one alleviated the emotion, he would ascribe the power to heal that emotional problem to that plant.

He believed that early morning sunlight passing through dew-drops on flower petals transferred the healing power of the flower onto the water so he would collect the dew drops from the plants and preserve the dew with an equal amount of brandy to produce a mother tincture which would be further diluted before use. Later, he found that the amount of dew he could collect was not sufficient, so he would suspend flowers in spring water and allow the sun’s rays to pass through them.

Rather than recognising the role of germ theory of disease, defective organs and/or tissue, and other known and demonstrable sources of disease, Bach thought that of illness as the result of “a contradiction between the purposes of the soul and the personality’s point of view”. This internal war, according to Bach, leads to negative moods and energy blocking, which causes a lack of “harmony”, thus leading to physical diseases. — Source: wikipedia

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