The best-known flower remedies are the 38 essences developed in the early 1900s by Edward Bach, MRCS, LRCP, a physician and homeopath. They are prepared by infusing the flowers of bushes, trees, and other plants in water, then individually bottling and preserving them in water or alcohol. Each is designed to treat certain emotional symptoms, and they may be taken safely by adults, children, and pets.
Today there are far more than 38 essences, available from a number of sources, and numerous combinations that address aspects of the human condition ranging from feelings of abandonment to a quest for wisdom, based on flowers both familiar and exotic. But the way they work remains the same: each flower has a specific healing quality, carried in its vibration. The subtle vibrational quality of each plant has its foundation in physics—the idea that “energy fields surround and affect matter,” according to Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, authors of Flower Essence Reportory.
Don’t hesitate to mix and match these lovely remedies, coming up with your own special combinations. Then put a few drops in water, juice, or tea.
The Survival Kit
First off, no one, mother or otherwise, should be without the comfort and support of Rescue Remedy, a five-flower combo that’s your go-to solution in times of sudden stress or accidents. Keep a bottle at home, and carry a small emergency stash with you—the mix of Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis is useful in any stressful situation.
Calm Chamomile: This sunny flower essence that restores emotional balance, releases emotional tension, and encourages relaxation. Also useful if stressed or easily irritated. Imparts quiet calm; soothing after crying. Also try Lavender to calm overstimulated nerves; White Chestnut to ease repetitive thoughts.
Compassionate Mariposa Lily: This essence’s wonderful mothering quality warmly nurtures while revealing the nurturing quality of your own heart. Encourages warmth toward self and others, and imparts maternal forces of protection and comfort. Also try Sunflower to promote sunny, radiant compassion.
Patient Impatiens: This remedy helps calm a fiery nature that flares into irritation, intolerance, and anger. Encourages patience and a go-with-the-flow acceptance and helps bring out a sense of joy in life. Also try Cosmos to focus and articulate thoughts, to calm speech, and to create clarity.
Joyful Zinnia: Take this to recapture your inner child and encourage a sense of playfulness, joy, and humor. Helps overcome heavy somberness. Also try Borage to promote a buoyant heart filled with cheerful courage.
Balanced Oak: Try this essence when you feel stretched beyond your limit. Brings about a gentle surrender and an ability to recognize the limits of one’s endurance. Also try Pink Yarrow when absorbing too much emotion from others; Cosmos for sifting through excessive thoughts.
Relaxed Lavender: This remedy can sedate and soothe the wound-up individual prone to headaches and neck and shoulder tension. Promotes calm and inner peace. Also try Elm to let go of needless worries, or when feeling overwhelmed; Red Chestnut when revved up or anxious about others, or when experiencing insomnia.
Stress-free Indian Pink: Take this when you’d like to be the calm in the center of the storm, remaining balanced in the midst of intense activity. For quiet and inner stillness.