The essence of good scents

By Karen Frye

Flowers have a way of making our hearts feel something sweet and wonderful, but there is a special healing power they can bring to your life, too.

Decades ago a prominent British physician, Dr. Edward Bach, believed disease was the manifestation of negative states of mind, a disharmony between a person’s physical and mental states. He observed that worry, anxiety, impatience and unforgiveness depleted a patient’s vitality so much that the body lost its resistance and became more vulnerable to disease.

Dr. Bach closed his practice, left his home in London and spent the rest of his life traveling throughout England in a search for curative plants. He discovered 38 remedies, one from water, the others from flowering plants and trees. Today, more than ever, the connection of the mind and the body are well recognized and the research continues to grow.

Flower remedies are made simply by transferring the essence of the flower into liquid — usually water — by steeping the petals or leaves. Each flower or plant has a specific healing effect. The essences are subtle but, taken regularly, can have a positive impact on our consciousness. The effect of the remedies is not to suppress negative attitudes but to transform them into positive ones, stimulating the potential for self-healing. There are remedies to help release guilt and shame, increase self-esteem, stimulate creativity, become more balanced and grounded. The purpose of the essences is to support the immune system by relieving depression, anxiety and other trauma that weakens the body. It is important to note that they are not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, but work in conjunction with modern medicine. They are gentle and safe and have no side effects. All ages can use them.

In addition to the 38 individual essences, 39th, is Rescue Remedy, is a combination of five flower essences: impatiens, star-of-Bethlehem, cherry plum, rockrose and clematis. This is the first-aid remedy for sudden shock, an accident, a family upset, a stressful event like an exam or an interview, going on stage or giving a speech. One of the single flower remedies, sweet chestnut, is for agonizing mental anguish, total exhaustion, feeling the future is hopeless. Another flower, honeysuckle, helps the bereaved.

The work of Dr. Bach, who died in his sleep in September 1936 shortly after his 50th birthday, lives on with the help of his friends and family. People all over the world use Bach Flower Remedies. His purpose in life was to find what he knew nature had to offer us. There are now hundreds of remedies identified and studied to assist in just about any mental or emotional condition that hinders health. Healthy mind, healthy body. PS

Karen Frye is the owner and founder of Natures Own and teaches yoga at the Bikram Yoga Studio.

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