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

4: So—say I want to try them?

Child with Bach remedy bottle

How to take the remedies? Oh yes, it really is that simple! Although I wouldn’t recommend letting a child loose with a stock bottle, which is nearly all brandy in order to preserve the essences.

You can take the drops direct from the stock bottle—2 drops, or 4 if it’s Rescue Remedy you’re taking—or dilute them in a glass of water, in which case each sip is an effective dose. For longer-term treatment it’s best to make up a mixture in a 30ml dropper bottle: 2 drops of each remedy required (not more than 6 or 7 at a time) in still mineral water, and add a drop of brandy or cider vinegar as preservative. The minimum dosage is 4 drops from the treatment bottle 4 times daily, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and the bottle should last 2-3 weeks. Take care not to contaminate the dropper by letting it touch anything.

You might need just a one-off dose of, say, Hornbeam, if you find it hard to get going in the morning or to get round to starting a project. Or if you feel low for no particular reason, water with Mustard in it, to sip over an hour or two until the mood goes away.

Chicory flowers

Children tend to respond very quickly and often only need one or two doses. To manage tantrums in a two-year-old, for example, I’ve used Cherry Plum for the loss of self-control, Chestnut Bud (for failure to learn from mistakes) to convey the message that a tantrum doesn’t achieve anything, Vine to lessen the desire to control others, and Chicory for over-possessive love and attention-seeking. Chicory is a useful remedy in many family relationships; for instance for a dog who feels ousted by the arrival of a new baby (it’d work for a husband, too, but I’ve not actually tried that one yet).

Speaking of babies, even very young ones can be treated, but just dab the diluted drops on wrists and temples. In cases such as colic or skin rashes the effect can be amazing, if you’re clever enough to guess the mood you’re treating correctly!

At times it may be necessary to take the drops for several weeks. This is if you’re working on eradicating a particular mental state. Starting by treating the mood that’s uppermost, you may find that, as those negative feelings disappear, others come in their place—often an old trauma, grudge or upset will resurface in your memory—and the remedy selection can then be altered to deal with this. The technical term for this is “peeling the onion”, and by persevering in taking the remedies it is possible to clear away a lot of past emotional baggage and to come to know and understand yourself better.

Chicory photo courtesy of Nicola Hanefeld