Flower essences are a gentle and entirely benevolent method of easing emotional states. Originally developed in the 1930s in Britain by Dr. Edward Bach, their use has become more and more popular and widespread over time. There are now many other flower essences available but for the moment I'm just going to talk about the ones that are most readily available - the original Bach Flower Remedies and the Australian Bush Flowers (which were developed in the 1980s).
Anyone who has tried the essences on small children or animals will have seen first hand an effectiveness that can't be attributed to the placebo effect alone, even if there is as yet no scientific evidence for their action.
The effect of these remedies is in no way similar to that of a pharmaceutical drug. The action of drugs is, in comparison, more like a sledgehammer, or sometimes perhaps like putting a lid on your symptoms, whilst the action of flower essences is more like gently releasing or washing away the negative states of mind that are underlying the symptoms.
In the more intense anxiety states, flower essences may not appear to touch your symptoms at all at first, but they can help you to stop fighting your symptoms, and this is one of the vital first steps to getting better. Also they are extremely supportive during the process of recovery, helping you deal with all the typical issues that occur along the way such as doubt, exhaustion, unwanted thoughts and so on. If you are patient and regular with their use, these essences are invaluable in speeding up recovery.
These remedies are quite safe to self prescribe and cannot be overdosed. They tend to work best when used in a combination of no more than five essences and particularly when used singly. I have also found it very effective to choose a few remedies which address fundamental issues of long standing and take this mix on a regular basis, adding other remedies to this basic mix from time to time as required.
Outlined on the following pages are those essences which I have found to be particularly helpful in anxiety states and a detailed explanation of how to prepare and take the remedies, plus some useful combinations for typical situations you may experience during your recovery.
(As with all treatments, whether medical or complementary, it is very important to have at least begun to understand the role the mind is playing in maintaining the anxious state. Anxiety states can break through even strong drugs like Valium if we give them too much of our attention.)