The world of natural treatment also includes natural emotion-balancing flower preparations. This system of healing was developed by Dr. Edward Bach (1897-1936). Dr. Bach believed that physical problems were secondary to emotional problems, that physical illness was a manifestation of an emotional imbalance. He taught that physical symptoms could be relieved by altering or alleviating destructive emotions. The various remedies he devised are used to treat illness by easing quite specific types of emotional and mental distress.
The Bach Flower Remedies are dilute essences of plants. Unlike chemical mood-altering drugs, the flower remedies-while effective-are gentle and easy to use.
Although beneficial and benign, these natural flower essences have remarkable emotional and mental balancing effects. Because they act quite gently, they can be used whenever you think they may help your child to feel better. When choosing a Bach essence, match your child's overall temperament, personality, and fears, as well as the particular emotional distress he is experiencing. If no single remedy seems to address all of these concerns, you may combine up to three remedies. (Although there is no danger in blending more than three remedies at any one time, their effectiveness can be diminished in a blend that is too complicated.)
Choosing a Remedy
Once you have identified the primary emotional distress your child is experiencing, use the table on pages 31-34 to find an appropriate remedy. Match the child's personality, temperament, fears, and upset with the suitable Bach Flower Remedy. Bach Flower Remedies are available at many health food stores. If you cannot get them at a store near you, you can obtain them through Ellon Bach USA, Inc. (644 Merrick Road, Lynbrook, NY 11563; telephone 516-593-2206) or Homeopathic Educational Services (2124 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, CA 94704; telephone 510-649-0294).
Adminstering Bach Flower Remedies
Bach Flower Remedies are essences of flowers that come in tincture form. The bottled remedy you buy at your health food store is called the mother tincture, and is the most concentrated form available. There are two different ways you can administer a Bach remedy to your child.
- Place a drop of the mother tincture into a small glass of noncarbonated spring water and have your child sip this over a period of a few hours. For added benefit, teach him to swish the mixture around in his mouth before swallowing it.
- If you prefer, you can make a diluted mother tincture. Fill a two-ounce glass bottle with spring water. Add three drops of mother tincture and shake gently to blend. When using a diluted mother tincture, give your child two droppersful, three times daily.
After giving your child a flower remedy, observe his response. As his emotional response and behavior change, the need for a particular remedy may cease to exist. Give a remedy until the situation has been resolved. Once your child's mood and emotions have been gently altered, you may need to select another remedy to complete and sustain the alteration. If your child's destructive emotions have eased sufficiently and his emotional and mental state has come into balance, discontinue the remedy.
Of all the Bach Flower Remedies, the overwhelming favorite of many parents is Rescue Remedy. This is a premixed combination remedy made from the essences of cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose, and star of Bethlehem. It is useful in many crisis situations, such as after hearing bad news, before a test, before going to the dentist, after falling down and getting hurt, or after waking up from a night mare. It helps to restore balance and relieve apprehension. It will help calm a child who is crying, afraid, panicked, or tense. Rescue Remedy is particularly good in acute situations in which the cause of your child's distress is not clear-when a child begins crying and feeling intensely frustrated for no apparent reason and refuses to be consoled. Put two or three drops of this remedy in half a glass of water and give it to your child to sip as needed, or administer as you would any other Bach Flower Remedy.