Castanea Sativa is more commonly known as Sweet Chestnut, and a mature tree can live up to 700 years!
Often confused with Horse Chestnut in appearance, this tree bears both male and female flowers, with the female flowers changing form after pollination to the edible chestnuts we traditionally roast in the Winter months. This beautiful, but rather ‘spiky’ looking tree, is the last to flower of the remedy trees and the Sweet Chestnut remedy was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.
I picked Sweet Chestnut as our focus this month as so many of us have left behind a tough period of healing. One which has contained many ‘dark night of the soul’ moments and even left a collective heartbreak as we say goodbye to loved ones, old friendships and patterns that no longer serve us. And for those who haven’t done the work, I’m afraid this is the state you will find yourselves going into when you play catch up.
Sweet Chestnut would be the remedy that surpasses Gentian and Gorse states, and is one that can leave a real darkness that can feel as though we will never come back from. I personally believe this remedy encompasses many other remedies such as Honeysuckle, Cherry Plum, Star of Bethlehem and Mustard as well as the aforementioned Gentian and Gorse, as it’s often a point of no return and a very lonely place to be based on passed failures, loss and actions (from our own personal viewpoint). It is first and foremost a remedy that we utilise on the dark nights of the soul, the times when we send up a flare or send the Morse code (. . . – – – . . .) aka SOS! It’s the overwhelm and accumulation of many missed remedies and those low moods we just haven’t nipped in the bud through successful remedy selection. A pain and longing like no other that makes our hearts break, our stomachs knot and our tears fall hard and fast.
A SC state is a lonely one. It can be the period after a huge amount of ‘inner work’ on a healing journey when the many emotions, traumas, heartbreaks and fears you have suppressed present like a rush of blood to the head, leaving nowhere left to run. When we feel we have exhausted all avenues, started to question our faiths and can no longer see the wood through the trees or the light at the end of the tunnel. We have lost our way in many ways and are praying to be shown our next move. Unlike a Gorse state of darkness, we haven’t quite lost our hope in the early stages of Sweet Chestnut. And like a Cherry Plum state we are unlikely to be so low to the point of suicidal tendencies, as the Sweet Chestnut state is more strong and stable. There is an inner trust that once we come through this period of despair and anguish then we will be stronger for it. We know there is always a lesson in our struggles and we trust the period of surrender in many ways, allowing ourselves to become vulnerable through asking our higher power to step in and lead us back to our salvation. With Sweet Chestnut it isn’t so much about needing others to save us, but needing someone or something to walk alongside us whilst we save ourselves.
In illness a Sweet Chestnut will be justified in their mental state. No doubt fighting many invisible battles, chronic illness and daily fights against their own bodies which often bring about a ‘breaking point’ or deep fear that they can no longer fight this. Feeling as though this is the end of the road for them and becoming a subconscious permission to allow all buried emotions to surface with a vengeance.
On the other side of Sweet Chestnut, we utilise this remedy to soothe our hearts, usually when they’ve broken.
This is where I think the loss and grief of a Star of Bethlehem state and the reminiscing and rehashing of a Honeysuckle frame of mind can come in. It’s that permanent dull ache when you long for your body to be next to the person you love, when every power ballad sounds as if it was singing the song of you and your soulmate and when you wonder if your heart will ever start beating again without the other persons accompanying rhythm. The anguish is so great, it becomes almost unbearable. It’s the knife to the heart feeling and the nights you cry silently, or loudly, into your pillow. It’s the checking your phone for them to text, it’s the seeing their face every time you close your eyes and every time you open them. It’s a state which is nothing short of torture, especially if unrequited.
So why take Sweet Chestnut?
Well basically to bring the opposite to all of these things into your life! The above are just some of the common ways in which a Sweet Chestnut state presents, so taking the remedy in these cases will no doubt be a very restorative and transformational experience. It’s a remedy that has the capability of mending a broken heart, of placing a lighthouse in turbulent emotional waters in order to guide you back home and to be the life-raft when you’re lost at sea. It’s a bridge, it’s a light, it’s clarity. It’s a soother of the soul, a repairer of the heart and should never be overlooked or underestimated in the case of bereavement. I have been utilising Sweet Chestnut as we leave August and come into September, and will be certainly taking it during this 9th month.
It’s a beautiful remedy that removes the darkness and replaces it with light, allowing us to move through our pain with gratitude to those who have broken our hearts as much as those who have mended them. A truly magical remedy that is deeply purifying and supportive in purging old wounds, emotions and loves from our aching hearts. It’s the very thing that transmutes negative energy into positive and leaves us held in a place of greater good, whatever the reason. It’s a real phoenix from the flames moment, when we rise from the embers of our past traumas and belief systems. Helping us to shed what no longer serves us, and leave behind the weight that tethers us.
Sweet Chestnut is nothing short of a miracle cure for the hardest of times.
When the sky seems full of darkness, this remedy will reveal the stars.
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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