For National Tree Week earlier in December, I met with several other practitioners who, like me, work together with trees for health-boosting purposes.
Ros Thompson has been a qualified Bach Flower Practitioner since 2013 and a holistic therapist since 2005 (she’s also a Reiki Master and Kinesiologist!). Since the pandemic hit, she has been working full time helping children, adults and even animals with their stress, anxieties, fears and negative emotions.
What are Bach Flower Remedies?
Dr Bach was born in 1886 and died at the age of 50 in 1936. He was a physician and practising GP in his early life but was very aware of the fact that people health was often linked to their personality and attitudes. He decided to leave medicine and look into the alternatives.
Following refusal for service in WW1, he started to look at finding remedies from flowers and nature. His short book Heal Thyself is a message about physical disease being overcome with attitude.
He moved to Wallingford in Oxfordshire – this is the Bach Centre to this very day – and worked on the 38 remedies until he died. A group of trustees now preserve the centre to ensure the continuation of his work. The preparation of the mother tinctures always takes place around Mount Vernon and this is also the centre of education.
Each remedy covers a specific negative state of mind and underlying illness. Ros blends up to 7 remedies together to target a specific problem, following a 1-1 consultation by zoom.
She posts her lovingly prepared remedies all around the country and even into Europe. Ros says that after 3-4 weeks of taking the drops daily, her customers report noticing positive changes.
How do Bach Flower Remedies help?
Ros’s first personal experience of Bach Flower Remedies came in 2000 when she was in desperate need of something to help control a very frightened, but much-loved pony called Moonbeam. He would charge at the gate to get out into the field all day, clearly in distress and fearful.
After much searching, she was guided to a Bach Flower Practitioner in her village. She was given a remedy that contained Aspen for Fear of the Unknown, Mimulus for fear of the Known, Star of Bethlehem for Shock, Rock Rose for Terror, Vervain for Over-Enthusiasm, and Larch to overcome Lack of Confidence (quite the delightful sounding mix!).
After 3 days of taking the remedy, the gate-charging stopped. This habit never returned, and they enjoyed a happy and relaxed Moonbeam for another 17 years until his death 3 years ago. She was convinced that it was no placebo and the rest, as they say, is history!
More recently she helped a lady who lost her husband to Covid related illness in a care home back in April.
“After the death of my husband during lockdown I have been riddled by feelings of total despair and guilt about not being there for him, of not being able to comfort him in the last days of his life, about having left him in the care home and not bringing him home.”
She was, understandably, completely devastated. Together with some non-tree flower remedies (Star of Bethlehem for shock, Sweet Chestnut to settle her anxieties, Mimulus for her fear of being alone and Holly for her anger that she hadn’t been able to be with him), Ros gave her Pine for the guilt and self-reproach and Elm for the overwhelm and to help her see things more clearly.
The Pine enabled her to accept the situation and to be kinder to herself and the Elm helped her see what she could do to move forward. She has told Ros she is much happier and free from her despair.
Trees used in Bach Flower Remedies
Of the 38 Bach Flower Remedies available, 16 are made from the flowers from trees (all but one are native), and they have a huge range of different properties.
Here are 6 of Ros’s favourites:
Aspen – Populus tremula
The Aspen used within the remedies is the European Aspen, also known as quaking aspen, a beautiful tree with shimmering foliage. The leaves on this tree often appear to move when there is no wind – hence the term Whispering Tree – and the remedy from Aspen is for fears of an unknown origin.
This is often used to help children manage their night terrors and can leave the recipient with a sense of inner peace.
Oak – Quercus robur
The wise old Oak has an incredibly special place in our English history. It supports more life than any other native tree species in the UK and even its fallen leaves support biodiversity.
This is the Bach flower remedy for the person driven by a sense of duty but who is exhausted and struggling on, often to the detriment of their health. A little Oak promotes feelings of strength and an ability to see the benefit in regular relaxation.
Larch – Larix decidua
The European Larch is a conifer full of surprises with beautiful pinky cones in spring which darken through the summer. It is a favourite with squirrels and birds.
This is the Bach Group’s solution for lack of confidence and helps those who have given up before they have even tried. The Larch remedy will give them the strength and courage to carry on.
Walnut – Juglans regia
The English Walnut is said to be the food of the Gods, the medicine for the people. Introduced by the Romans, this is Bach’s remedy for support during change.
It is prescribed for puberty, for the menopause, for those suffering sudden bereavement, job changes, moving home…. anything involving a change in environment. When taking the remedy, the recipient feels more able to cope with the transformation.
Sweet Chestnut – Castanea sativa
This tree differs greatly from the Horse Chestnut – the nuts from the Sweet Chestnut are the ones that we can eat – and I often do at Christmas!
The Sweet Chestnut remedies help with extreme mental anguish, often the patient needing this remedy can be at the end of their tether. The result is a relief from the despair and a sense of acceptance.
Olive – Olea europaea
The plants used in this remedy are grown not in the UK but Spain. The olive tree can live for many years and can grow up to 7m. The flowers are off-white and fragrant, and the fruit can be eaten either in the green or black state.
This remedy is for lack of energy – the sufferers find themselves needing a lot of sleep. The positive side of this is a restoration of strength, vitality and an interest in life.
Find out more about Bach Flower Remedies with Ros Thompson
Ros feels very strongly about the preservation of ancient woodland because of way they can help heal and calm the human mind.
I hope you found this closer look into Bach Flower Remedies interesting and useful.