This month we bring our attention to remedy number 11, Elm.
This restorative remedy is sourced from the infamous Elm tree and was first prepared by Dr Bach in 1935 using trees growing near Sotwell.
Mature Elm trees can live for up to 100 years. Although a rarer sight in the UK since the 1960’s sweep of Dutch Elm disease, Elm trees are largely found growing in English countrysides.
I am often asked what is the remedy for ‘stress’ and the answer is that there isn’t one, because the beauty of the Bach system is that we find a personal concoction that speaks to our individual traits and distress.
However, I do believe that Elm is the remedy that should definitely be considered when you are experiencing any form of stress, for I believe that stress often comes from having too much on our plate, too much to deal with and often not knowing where to start for the task in hand is too great. This is why it can be a calming remedy for revising students, struggling toddlers or during any heightened emotional state.
This is personally my ‘go to’ remedy in times of stress.
We live in a world with so much choice now. Whether that choice is a basic decision such as what to eat or which broadband provider to pick, or whether it’s a huge succession of choices that come with the fight against chronic illness for example; most of the states of stress will come from their just being ‘too much’ in varying forms.
Take any new venture in life. Whether that be a new healthy eating regime, a new job, moving house (in my case) or even adjusting to a health diagnosis. We often think of Walnut in these times of transition, but all too often we are just feeling overwhelmed, with a temporary loss of confidence in our own abilities as a result.
I could talk about Elm forever, as personally I have gone on a tremendous journey with it, particularly through ill health and spiritual practice. Overwhelm is a huge trigger for me and something that can take me from being a fiercely independent woman to a quivering wreck with impostor syndrome! And it always stems from not utilising Elm enough or recognising when life has just got too much to handle and I am not in flow. As an empath I often find energy and interactions in social situations draining due to the constant stream of messages I receive as I never switch my guidance ‘off’. This means that Elm has been my saviour on many an occasion, and stopped me from becoming a total recluse during times of requiring long periods of solitude.
Elm is the remedy for the days when that straw just breaks the camels back! It’s the final bill when all our money is spent, it’s that extra thing on the daily ‘to do’ list and it’s the end of the line on the ‘shitty-day’ express!
It’s those multiple plates we have spinning and we try not to drop. It’s the crying over spilt milk. It’s the end of our tether and it’s often the end of the line in a long battle of effort. It even prevents ‘burnout’ if taken at the right time and can be great for over-thinkers who tend to magnify tasks rather than simplify them.
However, the important thing to remember is that an Elm state tends to be temporary. We utilise it when we are usually people able to flow, keep up with the ever changing demands of life or illness and are confident in our abilities. Elms will have temporary crisis of confidence, perhaps presenting with tears or heightened emotion as the situation or problem reaches a head. There can be so many similar presenting characteristics to that of other remedies with an Elm and that’s why it’s a remedy that can be a strong contender when we are going through change, low self-esteem or feeling down.
The beauty of the remedy is that it takes the pressure out of the cooker! Often in such a subtle way that we rarely give the remedy the credit it deserves and we can tend to put it down to the motivational book we read, the pep talk we had, the holiday we took, or the early night we got. But 9/10 I find that when someone has taken Elm, particularly for a period of time, they not only experience a pretty instant change in attitude but they develop deep rooted coping mechanisms that help them find stress busting strategies for life!
Elm gives us that natural ability to cope. To find ways around problems but with kinder self talk, an ease to problem solving and a quiet confidence that we will get there. It breaks things down into bite size chunks. It restores our capability and keeps us moving forward.
I often find when working with clients, that Elm can be behind a lot of missed remedy selection. Often people will read up and self-diagnose, which is great, but they will take as many remedies as possible when perhaps Elm could have been all they needed. When we’re in an Elm state then even remedy selection becomes overwhelming! Healing is overwhelming! Working with the remedy at the appropriate time of presenting gives us an inner strength and helps us to limit revisiting this situation in the future. It helps us to limit what we take on and to safely manage what we have already taken on.
There are many beautiful and intricate layers to Elm and just when you think you have nailed the remedy or believe it’s your ‘type’, you will find more and more subtle ways in which it presents in your life. It’s a remedy that can be worked with for years, yet still teach you new things each time.
One of my personal favourites, one of my personal saviours.
Yours in love and flowery light,
PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system. Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively. These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive. Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.
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