This is a series of 6 articles by Barbara Murphy BFRP written to explain more about the Bach Flower Remedies

3: So how do the Remedies work?

Box of remedy bottles

These flower essences have such a gentle, subtle effect that you’re often not aware of it happening. They work on feelings, not by suppressing the negative but by bringing out the positive side of a mood. One of the best descriptions I’ve come across is that it’s like listening to music: just as different kinds of music arouse different emotions, so the various remedies can lift you out of a bad mood and help you forget your problems.

Take Sally, for instance: she can never make up her mind; she dithers for ages in shops and often takes her purchases back to change them, can’t decide what to wear in the morning, which job offer to accept … So she takes Scleranthus, the remedy for indecision. She starts to feel more determined, less ‘wobbly’ mentally, and begins to make decisions more quickly and confidently. She may not even realise this is happening, but she does feel less stressed, and seems to have more time and energy to spare.

This may seem like a trivial example, but look at it this way: any kind of mental stress or emotional tension puts a strain on your whole body; it results in physical tension which causes all kinds of aches and pains, and your immune system has to work harder to keep you well. If you are calm and relaxed, your body stands a better chance of healing itself and you feel generally fitter.

So someone like Ben, who makes a terrible patient because he’s always questioning the treatment he’s given and criticising the way other people do things, will get better more quickly if he takes Beech to soothe his irritation and help him feel more tolerant.

White chestnut flowers

Here’s another case: Will doesn’t sleep well. He can’t relax properly because his mind is constantly occupied by a stream of repetitive thoughts—a never-ending replay of work worries, recent events, things to do—which he can’t switch off, and they’re wearing him out. He tries the remedy White Chestnut and says it’s like pouring oil on troubled waters. It stills his mind and calms his nerves. He begins to sleep more soundly at night, feels more alert during the day, and does better at his job. He may also be saving himself from more serious ill-health.

White Chestnut, in fact, is one of the best-selling remedies, along with Olive which helps to relieve tiredness and exhaustion. Their popularity just confirms what we all know about the increasing pressures and anxieties of life—and isn’t it good to know that there’s an antidote?

White Chestnut photo courtesy of Nicola Hanefeld