There was an email from a friend whose dog has cancer and he is seeking help to enable the transition. For him and his dear friend. Thats what triggered me to finally complete this blog post pending now for a few years! So here is the story..
Many years ago, I think it was 1992 (Goodness, 22 years!!), I was about to board a flight and was speaking on the phone. In those days there were no cell phones. So just before boarding, there was a public phone booth. A man, came running with his wife and child in arms requested me if he could speak since there there was something critical.
I boarded the flight and guess what, this man with his family came and sat next to me. I don’t always get into a conversation with people who sit next to me on a flight but this time I did. And I discovered a wonderful human being and a holistic health doctor who would touch my life and the lives of my friends and relatives deeply for many years.
Dr. Manik Hiranandani, MD, Cardiology is a dear friend (www.drmanik.com). I was then fascinated with his diagnosis method- Iridology. He would study the Iris of both the eyes for an hour or more which would reveal to him mysteries and details that no other method could. I remember he told me that I was allergic to milk and wheat. And prescribed things like methi water and yes, Bach flower remedies!
I was going through an emotionally difficult patch at that time, a depression of sorts. And he asked me to take these remedies. I was very fascinated that there could be fower essences that could help deal with emotions. I took them and have taken them often since then.
I also discovered an amazing book on the subject, ‘Bach Flower Therapy’ – Mechthild Scheffer. I loved the remedies so much and also the book that I bought a few dozen copies and gifted it to many friends.
20 years later, I have the joy of sharing this with all of you. I am sure some of you must be familiar with it. And may who know may not have deeply dived and experimented with it. I would recommend you do.
The best part is that being natural the worst that can happen is that they will be harmless. Dr. Bach had a vision that these will be a part of every household. Most of us struggle with emotions and it is such a blessing that there is a one more way to deal with them.
I love this description by Dr. Bach himself about how they work:
‘The action of these remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of the Spiritual Self; to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need, and wash out from us the fault that is causing the harm. They are able like beautiful music or any glorious uplifting thing which gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures, and bring us nearer to our souls and by that very act to bring us peace and relieve our sufferings. They cure, not by attacking the disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature, in the presence of which, disease melts away as snow in sunshine.
There is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind, and inner happiness.
– Dr. Edward Bach, 1934
How to take:
They are available at any homeopathy shop though they work very differently. I would recomemnd that you buy one or more of them. Both liquid and pills. 6 to 8 drops in a bottle of water sipped 6 to 8 times a day is very good. Its not so much the quantity that you take but the frequency that increses the impact. When there is an acute emotion, you can take up to 10-12 times a day.
You can take a combination of up to 6 of them at a time. The pills are convenient while travelling/ to carry with you and you can put a few drops of the liquid in the pills once a week!
You will notice that these do not create any dependence and they will stop of their own accord when not needed. They carry an intelligence of their own.
Rescue remedy which is a combination of some 6 bach flowers is a good one to keep handy for everything. Fever, when you get hurt, stress etc. It can be applied on the body and also ingested.
Animals and plants also respond beautifully to them.
One of the many personal stories is that when I was in the corporate world and was contemplating transition ‘Wild Oat’ helped me. Stopped sowing wild oats 😉 and jumped into this work of learning, inner transformation, leadership & life coaching etc.
The 38 Bach flower remedies are classified in 7 broad categories in which we humans experience emotional challenges which also lead to physical illness often. These 7 categories are:
- Insufficient interest in present circumstances
- Over-sensitivity to influences and ideas
- Despondency or despair
- Over-care for others
Within each category the remedies become more specific.
|Mimulus||Fear of known things / Shyness|
|Rock Rose||Terror / Panic|
|Cherry Plum||Fear of mind giving away|
|Aspen||Fears and worries of unknown origin|
|Red Chestnut||Over-concern for others|
|Cerato||Seeks advice and confirmation from others|
|Gentian||Discouragement/despondency with a known reason|
|Gorse||Hopelessness / “Give up from fighting”|
|Hornbeam||“Monday morning” feeling|
|Wild Oat||Uncertainty as to the correct path in life|
INSUFFICIENT INTEREST IN PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES :
|Clematis||Dreaminess / Lack of interest in present|
|Honeysuckle||Lives in the past|
|Wild Rose||Resignation / Apathy|
|Olive||Lack of vital energy|
|White Chestnut||Unwanted thoughts / Mental arguments|
|Chestnut Bud||Failure to learn from past mistakes|
|Mustard||Sadness with no origin|
|Water Violet||Proud / Aloof|
|Heather||Self-centredness / Self-concern|
OVER-SENSITIVITY TO INFLUENCES AND IDEAS :
|Agrimony||Mental torment behind a cheerful face|
|Centaury||Weak-willed and subservient|
|Walnut||Protection from change and outside influences (present and past)|
|Holly||Hatred / Envy / Jealousy|
|Larch||Lack of confidence|
|Elm||Overwhelmed by responsibility|
|Sweet Chestnut||Extreme mental anguish|
|Star of Bethlehem||After-effects of shock (gives comfort)|
|Oak||Exhausted but struggles on|
|Crab Apple||Self-hatred / Sense of uncleanliness|
OVER-CARE FOR THE WELFARE OF OTHERS :
|Chicory||Selfishly / Possessive|
|Vine||Domineering / Inflexible|
|Rock Water||Self-repression / Self-denial|
The below is another summary of the 38 remedies. Of what kind of an emotional disturbance and pattern they help in and what is the state after the healing.
S.NO. BACH FLOWER – The Pain (Persona) – The Joy (Essence)
- AGRIMONY – Concealing torturing thoughts and inner restlessness behind a facade of cheerfulness – Joyfulness and an ability to confront others and carefree behavior.
- ASPEN – Inexplicable, vague fears, apprehensions secret fear of some impending evil – Fearlessness, Overcoming & Resurrection
- BEECH – Critical attitude, arrogance, intolerance – Sympathy & Tolerance
- CENTAURY – Weak willed, over-reaction to wishes of others, good nature easily exploited, can’t say no – Self determination and self realization
- CERATO – Lack of confidence in own decisions – Inner certainty, ‘inner voice’, intuition
- CHERRY PLUM- Fear of letting to inside: fear of losing one’s mind, uncontrolled outbreaks of temper – Openness & Composure
- CHESTNUT BUD- Repeating the same faults over and over again because experiences are not digested – Learning capacity and materialization
- CHICORY – Possessive attitude, excessively interfering andsecretly manipulating – Motherliness and Selfless love
- CLEMATIS – Daydreamer, thoughts always elsewhere – Creative idealism
- CRAB APPLE – Feels unclean, infested, self-disgust – Order, Purity, Perfection
- ELM – Temporary feeling of inadequacy – Responsibility
- GENTIAN – Sceptical, doubting, pessimistic, easily discouraged – Faith
- GORSE – Hopelessness – Hope
- HEATHER – Self-centered, obsessed with own troubles & affairs, constantly needs an audience ‘the needy child’ – Empathy and readiness to help
- HOLLY – Jealousy, distrust, feelings of hatred and envy at all levels – Divine, all-encompassing love that maintains the world & is greater than human reason. Our true life elixir, the greatest healing power, strongest motive force.
- HONEY SUCKLE – Longing for the past, regrets over the past; not living in the present – Capacity to change and ability to establish links.
- HORNBEAM – Weariness, mental exhaustion, either temporary or prolonged procrastination – Inner vitality and freshness
- IMPATIENS – Impatient, irritable, excessive reactions – Patience and gentleness
- LARCH – Expecting to fail due to lack of self-confidence, inferiority complexes- Self confidence
- MIMULUS – Shyness, timidity, afraid of the world – Courage & confidence
- MUSTARD – Periods of deep gloom and melancholia suddenly appear and disappear – Cheerfulness & Serenity
- OAK – The fighter, exhausted and brought to his knees who struggles bravely, never gives up.- Strength & Endurance
- OLIVE – Completely exhausted, extreme physical and mental fatigue – Regeneration, Peace and Restored balance
- PINE – Self-approach, guilt feelings, despondency – Forgiveness
- RED CHESTNUT – Excessive concern and worry over others – Solicitude and love of one’s neighbor.
- ROCK ROSE Extreme acute state of fear, terror & panic – Courage and Steadfastness
- ROCK WATER Having strict rigid views, suppressed inner needs – Adaptability and inner freedom
- SCLERANTHUS – Indecisive, erratic, lacking inner balance, Opinions and moods change very fast – Poise and balance
- STAR OF BETHLEHEM- ‘Comforter and soother of pains and sorrows’ esp. after shocks – Awakening and Reorientation
- SWEET CHESTNUT – Absolute dejection. Think one has reached the limits of endurance – Can Relate back to life with cheerfulness
- VERVAIN – Over-enthusiastic in supporting a good cause – Self discipline & Restraint
- VINE – Dominating, inflexible, striving for power – Authority and ability to carry conviction
- WALNUT – Difficulties of adjusting it transition periods – A new beginning and unaffectedness
- WATER VIOLET- Inner reserve, proud withdrawal, feeling superiority in isolation, less emotional involvement- Humility and wisdom
- WHITE CHESTNUT- Mental arguments and dialogues of unwanted thoughts – Tranquility and Discernment
- WILD OAT – Dissatisfaction as one’s mission in life is not found. Indefinite as to ambitions. – Vocation & Purposefulness.
- WILD ROSE – Apathy; Lack of interest & ambition; Resignation – Devotion and Inner motivation
- WILLOW – Unspoken resentment, bitterness, ‘poor me’ or ‘victim of fate’ attitude – Personal responsibility and constructive thought.
RESCUE REMEDY- This is a combination of a few bach flower remedies and popular – First aid or emergency drops- generally good to keep – like a multi-purpose natural remedy.
The best book on Bach Flowers is
Bach Flower Therapy- Mechthild Scheffer (click the underlined link to go to it). Do have a look and experiment. Dr. Bach wanted it to be a part of every household. With many people grappling with so much emotional stuff.
So my dear friend, I do hope you will take this and also give it to your dog who has cancer. Star of Beth is generally very good. And you will know which is right. Trust your instinct. And you can combine a few!