When it comes to alternative therapies for mental and emotional health, most people know about St. John’s Wort and 5-htp, and while these remedies can be helpful for some people, there are potential side effects and they can’t be given to children. There is, however, an alternative that is not only effective in treating a variety of mood disorders, it is not contraindicated with other medications, and it’s safe enough to give to infants and young children. I’m talking about Bach flower remedies.
There are other flower remedies but this article will focus solely on the original remedies developed by Dr. Edawrd Bach in the early twentieth century.
In my opinion, one of the most appealing aspects of utilizing Bach flower remedies is that they are so simple to use. You don’t have to have specific knowledge of alternative medicine, you don’t have to have a deep understanding of science, and you don’t have to be an expert.
Those trained in Bach flower remedies may disagree but I personally believe that this is one of the easiest self-treatments available.
Dr Bach developed his remedies around 7 basic emotional states: Fear, Uncertainty, Despair, Loneliness, Lack of Interest, Over-concern, Vulnerability to influence and ideas.
There are levels within these states, and it is this granularity that is often better addressed by the flower remedies than by standard pharmaceutical medications. What is behind the despair? Is someone holding anger inside over what they consider a hopeless situation? Is
someone feeling despondent because they feel completely helpless in the face of adversity? The brilliance with which Dr. Bach approached these types of issues helped him produce 38 remedies that can be incredibly effective at restoring mental and emotional equilibrium in a short time.
When our daughter was born, our 2-year old son adored her, but that didn’t keep him from moments of shock and jealousy when he realized we weren’t sending her back. Knowing that reasoning with him was a futile exercise, I added 2 drops of the remedy Holly into his juice in the morning. Within 2 days, I no longer had to worry about him smacking at the baby. Years later, whenever the kids display rivalry based on insecurity, 2 drops of Holly will quickly restore a peaceful household.
When a tree fell on our home during a winter storm, everyone got Rescue Remedy for weeks, along with Mimulus for fear, and Walnut for change. This helped all of us manage stress levels while going through the process of rebuilding.
Flower remedies are easy to administer. You can place 2 drops in a glass of water and sip throughout the day. (I have put the drops in bottles of juice or milk and they work equally well). You can add the drops into bath water. (I advise using 10 drops in bath water). You can also put the drops directly on the skin. (I prefer this to using the cream because in my experience, it’s been more effective). The remedies are incredibly portable. I keep a bottle of Rescue Remedy with me at all times and if we are going on an extended journey, I pack Holly, Mimulus, and White Chestnut.
Holly is for anger and frustration (“Are we there yet?), Mimulus is for known fears (toddlers and auto-flushing toilets don’t mix – so much for rest areas), White Chestnut helps when thoughts won’t stop going around and around in your mind (Okay, so the guy cut me off, what do I care?).
If someone is uncertain about which remedies to use, I advise visiting the Bach Centre website, consulting a book ( Bach Flower Therapy: Theory and Practice by Mechthild Scheffer and Bach Flower Remedies for Children: A Parents’ Guide by Barbara Mazzarella are excellent), or read the label on the large bottles sold at your local health food store.
It can be as simple as that.