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.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

 

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.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

 

Perhaps the origins of this Bach remedy need no introduction, for it is taken from the infamous Willow tree.

There are around 400 species of this deciduous tree and shrub and they thrive in moist soils, wetlands and cool climates.  The tree will search deeply in its widespread roots for water to feed from, which is unsurprising when we compare that a Willow state will find ways to root deeper in its surroundings to feed from its own problem.

Although the Bach remedy isn’t taken from the species of ‘Weeping Willow’, I find it easier to remember its purpose when we look at it from this point of reference.  For Willows do weep.   Whether physically through crying, or through their self-obsessed behaviours, they have a tendency to see the sadness in life’s lessons and difficulties.  They are self-pitying, self-denying and all consumed, often with a sulky, sullen or miserable disposition.  There’s an air of pessimism about a Willow, though unlike Gorse they often haven’t even tried for a period before losing hope, as they’re more likely to have given up at the first hurdle.  Perhaps as soon as they have been given a diagnosis they have surrendered to the sadness or unfairness of that.  Or perhaps when life just feels too tough they have become all consumed by it and internalised that pain to the point where it’s difficult to escape.  Willows will feel that they have been dealt a tough hand in life, that life is unfair in many ways and they don’t deserve their fate.  They are resigned to their luck, or rather lack of, and often won’t try and make changes to steer their thoughts or paths into a more positive direction as a result.

Willow’s are not only the hosts of a self-administered pity party, but often the only one invited!

Don’t get me wrong, like every Bach remedy, the feelings presenting may well be justified.  Especially in the case of chronic illness, where I believe you have every right to feel sorry for yourself and to not see a way out.  Battling a daily disability of any kind makes life even harder to manoeuvre, and therefore it’s easy to subconsciously slip into a Willow state of mind.  There is a feeling of unfairness, ‘poor me’ or injustice.  But when unbalanced, these feelings grow roots, and they become deep resentment and bitterness, which only feeds into illness and gives it permission to sprout deeper problems and additional metaphorical trees that become harder to chop down!

Living in a Willow state can be based on an unrealistic view of the world around you, almost as if you are working from everyone else’s ‘show reels’ rather than their very unenviable reality.  As listed in Healing Herbs, “Bach inferred that Willow people are concerned by their success in the material world.”  We see ourselves as the victim in a wallowing Willow mindset and it can be a very dark and sad place to be.  Feeling as if everyone else is enjoying life whilst we battle health, demons, addictions or troubles of any kind, magnified if we do not feel that others deserve their good fortune.  Willow is a place of resentment, of bitterness, of darkness and more importantly it’s a place of ego and self-centredness.  Perhaps without meaning to be, a Willow can’t see how their attitude when left unaddressed for too long, can become a bit of an energy hoover to be around or someone who people wish to avoid due to their inability to pull themselves out of it.  It’s not a sympathetic depression, and more of an inability to take personal responsibility, for the Willow is often the one sabotaging their own success, and keeping themselves imprisoned in darkness.

Willows are consumed by their state of mind and can be sulky in nature.  I find its a remedy of self-sabotage and sometimes can come from a fear of success, so we keep ourselves small and consumed by our pain.  Whether that be resentment, bitterness or sadness.  They will be feeding into every negative emotion and nourishing and giving their illness (or potential illness) more and more fuel to take over their lives.  It’s lonely and it’s difficult to admit when we’re in a Willow state, as it’s one of the remedies that often gets given bad press (blog to follow about this!)  But it’s deeply restorative when taken.

When we feel down we tend to think of Gorse, Sweet Chestnut or Gentian (to name but a few) but don’t underestimate what a sad and lonely place willow can be.  When we’ve reached a place of Willow we’re often all consumed by our own negatives, insecurities, demons, health complaints and outlooks.  We are usually at the stage where our self talk is critical and the way we see the world is through a tinge of resentment and unfairness.  We see others getting the opportunities we want and we see life in an unrealistic way, putting ourselves at the centre of that poverty.  It feels like a place of giving up and giving in, as there is a loss of hope that I think can be as strong as the aforementioned remedies.  Because we feel down, sorry for ourselves, fed up and like life has dealt us the crappiest of hands!  What have we done to deserve this fate?  Why are we here nursing our wounds when others seem to breeze through life unaffected and unscathed?  Any question that usually has an undertone of ‘why me’ or ‘poor me’ indicates Willow!  There’s a sense of injustice and it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

When you get to Willow I think it’s because you have often ignored the warning signs to intervene  in the flow, and to balance characteristics and emotions.  You’ve given too much love for example and not nipped it in the bud with Chicory.  You’ve not set clear boundaries or expectations and missed the call of Centaury.  It’s a domino effect and Willow passing moods can often be avoided with continuous, regular and appropriate remedy selection.  Of course with every remedy there are deeper layers, and Willow can sit there for some time, especially when there have been big let downs, heartbreaks, ill health or trauma.

There’s a real anger and frustration with Willow.  But unlike Holly, it feels more of an internalised loathing that comes from the depths of unjust, and I believe it’s often felt before a big energetic breakthrough.  It’s not outwardly angry at others and more of turning this in on oneself and clouding the way we see the rest of the world as a result.

I have picked Willow as the focus this month as I have seen it in a collective, including my own behaviour, perhaps on a much subtler scale than I have mentioned here.  I have seen those who have missed remedies they should have taken and as a result perhaps haven’t set clear boundaries for themselves or their businesses.  Through missing these earlier indications they have slipped into resentment towards those who have unsurprisingly taken advantage of their good natures.  I have seen those who haven’t learnt lessons and therefore become bitter about situations, blaming others and not taking any personal responsibility.  I have seen those consumed by their own limitations in illness and as a result falling into a dark place of injustice, not allowing them to see that those who seemingly do well around them are battling just as much as them…but perhaps aren’t screaming about it quite so much.   I have seen those who speak with venom and bitterness, because they haven’t been able to forgive themselves or others as their past traumas resurface for healing.   It’s a subtle Willow that runs through the air at the moment, and it’s unsurprising whilst we all realign and adjust to the many energetic changes and challenges we’ve had to deal with recently.  Social media, politics and TV are becoming triggers for Willow and whilst we tend to think of Holly for jealousy, there can be a green streak in a Willow, but they will more come from the stance of ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘poor me’.  Linked more to Chicory, Willow is a place of ego and self-centred behaviour as I mentioned before.  It’s all about the Willow state and they struggle to celebrate in others successes or to connect meaningfully with others as a result of being too lost in their own affairs.  It’s a real place of negativity breads negativity and bitterness attracts bitterness.

At this time we are being encouraged to forgive.  To forgive ourselves and to forgive others.  Forgiveness is a fundamental part of healing and Willow is the key.  I link Willow to Holly and Chicory as I feel all three remedies are amazing for the heart chakra by encouraging forgiveness and to invite heartfelt connection to our lives.

Willow really shouldn’t carry the bad press it does.  A lot like the tree, Willow can bend, and it can adapt, finding the positives in its surroundings and own ability.  We all find life too tough to deal with sometimes and we all struggle to move on from past traumas with pure forgiveness in our hearts.  As a result we stay locked inside these triggers and prisons, even when we think we have moved on.  Those battling disabilities need Willow even more, as my darlings life is that much harder for you, and Willow can be such a natural state as a result of your personal fights to survive and be heard.  It’s less about wallowing or weeping with Willow and more about replacing the darkness of that water with light, soaking that up into your roots and very being.

Forgiveness sets you free.  Willow sets you free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

Chicorium Intybus is more commonly known as Chicory and this beautiful perennial is a member of the dandelion family.

Better known for its cultivation in the use of food; with its edible roots being used in salads, as a coffee substitute and even a good source of fibre.  But as always we are not looking at the herbal benefits of the plant or consuming the plant at all.  We harness our wonder-juice from the petal’s energy! Common Chicory flowers are a beautiful cornflower-Blue in appearance and to me present as a rather vintage looking specimen and something you might expect to find growing wildly in a picture-postcard house in the country.

The Chicory remedy is one that I feel carries unjustified bad press, as those who need it are often too proud to admit that they may be exhibiting the negative aspects of this essence.  But personally I believe it’s a remedy that can help absolutely everyone on their path to health and happiness, for learning how to contribute to the world from a pure and unconditional place is the key to unlocking every door.  Utilised by those who have a tendency to control or even manipulate, Chicory’s can be emotionally cunning and even like to play games.  They are types who fuss and over-care in many ways, often with the best of intentions, but nonetheless this can be their downfall and effect their relationships on every level.

Chicory is so relevant in today’s world, for no-one is exempt from giving without wanting to receive somewhere further down the line, whether consciously or subconsciously.  We are yet to fully master the art of unconditional love as a human race.

In the positive aspect a Chicory person is very loving.  When someone is upset they will be first on the scene with the hugs or words of encouragement.  They tend to be kind and thoughtful people who are often highly sensitive, perhaps  with an empathetic or clairsentient skill set.  They may likely have professions that support or care for people, and perhaps even hold space or run groups through paid or voluntary positions that help people to awaken or get back on their feet.

A chicory may often have good intentions, and will be a very loving and caring person in the positive.  They will want others to feel loved, appreciated and supported, and perhaps for this reason tend to be types who give others the love and affection they didn’t receive themselves as children or indeed adults. They may possibly find themselves in relationships where they give the most emotionally, and can unknowingly seek out people who are damaged souls or need ‘saving’ in some way, of course the Chicory feels that they are the one to save them!  A Chicory needs to feel needed.  They like to keep their family and loved ones close and they can often feel lonely if those around them stray too far or can’t be reached easily.  They tend to look for love in all the wrong places and are likely drawn to people who are emotionally cold or have narcissistic tendencies, perhaps enjoying deep down winning them over or the thrill of the chase.  Chicory’s can be manipulative in nature and some of the biggest game players in love, due to prioritising their own needs, validation and ego boosts at the end of the day.  They can be ignorant to others feelings as a result.

In terms of children, chicory infants are likely to be clingy.  They can be the toddlers who constantly seek attention, being very loud until they get it, and often play parents/grandparents off against each other to get what they want.  They may play up at the nursery or school gates, with the aim of leaving parents feeling guilty for not giving them what they want, even if they have unreasonable demands!  They’re clever little sprogs and quite likely to be able to turn on the water works at the drop of a hat, or delay bedtime in some way.  When looking at animals, it can be similar.  Those dogs that bark or whimper on demand until you acknowledge their presence.  Or perhaps pets that suffer from separation anxiety, making it hard for fur baby mums and dads to leave them or put their own needs first.  They might even like to leave you a present on the carpet just to punish you, even when the back door is open!

Chicory’s look for validation in many ways.  They need to feel loved, wanted and important to others and in turn they need to feel that their love and kindness is not taken for granted or rejected in some way.   As always there is a scale and at the end of the scale may well be someone with deeply narcissistic tendencies or someone who goes out of their way to control and manipulate people and situations until they get what they want, but at the beginning of the scale can be the simplest of behaviours that we all do from time to time.  Such as only leaving a review for a service if you get one in return, or following someone on social media until they un-follow you, sending a card with the subtle expectation of getting one back when you celebrate similar successes or even expecting our friends and partners to behave in a certain way.  It’s almost an attitude of ‘well I done this for you so you should do this for me’.

A Chicory will have high expectations of people and relationships, as they will often be people who go above and beyond to support others.  In the positive Chicory’s will be generous with their affection, gifts, time and love.   But what they often fail to see is that it will always be controlled in some way; as if a partner, child or anyone for that matter doesn’t exhibit their love in similar ways when the chicory needs it returned then there will be all hell to pay!  The chicory will feel slighted, hurt and even unloved as a result.  They may even go so far as to punish their loved ones by withholding acts of love or affection to teach them a lesson or just because they find it so hard to forgive and let go.

I believe that the underlying block for many chicory’s is governed by the heart chakra. As a result the remedy can present in everyday common traits that often stem from the recipient seeking some kind of validation or approval, or perhaps from feelings of inadequacy or fear of losing what they love.  Chicory’s will find it hard to let their tribe, family or loved ones fly and grow as this can be seen as a betrayal in some way or a rejection, as though a Chicory isn’t enough on their own.

Not as domineering as say a Vine, a chicory will be controlling.  To over-care is equally as abusive as to under-care and either behaviour calls for a toxic relationship.  Chicory’s fuss, particularly over children (even grown up ones!) and loved ones, and will want to keep asking people if they are alright when ill or will need to be involved in nursing them back to health whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually!  Chicory’s will want to remain in the lives of loved ones, especially children, and even ex-partners by way of influencing their decisions and shaping their paths.   There are so many examples, very simple and common examples, that demonstrate the presence of an unbalanced Chicory in need of the Bach remedy.   That’s because I believe the root cause is a deep desire to feel loved, and mistakenly Chicory’s don’t often know how to give or receive that equally and without condition.

I do believe that Chicory is a real ‘journey’ remedy and it’s one that I have really come to respect…I could talk about it for hours!  It’s one that presents in many subtle ways yet can also be a real ‘break through’ remedy when taken consciously as it helps us to break free from toxic relationships and conditioned behaviours.  It’s one that may take a BFRP to suggest before you even notice you need it, as it’s hard to see past the ego and the negative aspects of the remedy when you are at self-selection stage.  But like all remedies there really is a scale and Chicory is a remedy that will need to be taken for longer periods by some, and occasional use for others.  Either way it’s a hugely empowering and loving remedy.  Perhaps thinking less about whether you resonate with some of the negative aspects (and I have only highlighted some of the more obvious scenarios here), look at the positives that you can get from taking the remedy.  It invites more love into your life.  More openness in relationships and love without restriction.  It allows us to forgive friends and loved ones where we perhaps haven’t been able to before as they didn’t behave in ways we expected.   It opens up dialogue and promotes forgiveness and acceptance.  It supports abundance and freedom.  And above all else it encourages selfless love, which once given out will be returned to you ten fold.  It allows people to grow and fly, and in turn yourself to do the same as you are no longer so consumed by your love and pain for others.

There is a saying that seems fitting for so many Chicory’s in the negative,

“If you have the opportunity to treat them the same way they treated you, do differently”.

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.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

In this edition of Honeysuckle’s Bach flower series we bring our attention to the remedy of Vervain.

This wasn’t the remedy I intended to concentrate on this month, however after witnessing an overwhelming and recent collective need for Vervain, as well as experiencing new layers of the remedy presenting on my own journey, it seemed too hard to ignore!

Verbena officinalis is better known as Vervain, and it tends to grow on dry or stony ground with a chalk presence, where it’s not surrounded by much competition.  It will also nestle amongst hedges and roadside verges, although this is not such a common sighting in the UK today since the introduction of chemical sprays.  Vervain tends to gravitate towards areas that have been recently cleared or left sparse.  It is a tall and slender perennial, which bears pale lilac flowers that surround leafless stems and nobbled spear-like heads.   There are many species of Vervain/Verbena, and the plant itself has been widely used and respected for centuries due to it’s medicinal benefits, including it’s use in tea and Homeopathic tinctures and as a common offering to altars.

However, as always with the Bach remedies, we look at the energy harnessed from the plant to support the emotions of a Vervain type or mood, rather than consuming the plant itself.

Vervain’s can be intense individuals for they will have a strong sense of self and purpose.

Some people might even find them a little intimidating, if they perhaps don’t share the Vervain’s passions.  However, by and large, Vervain’s will be infectiously persuasive and to witness them in action can be very impressive!  They will be sure of what they believe in and what they are willing to fight for, and as a result they will not tolerate injustice of any kind, whether that’s against themselves or others.  They will often be the first to fight the case for others who don’t perhaps feel strong enough to fight for themselves or are more willing to ‘let things go’, they will not be afraid to take on organisations, stand up for the underdog and indeed will remain very loyal.  Animal rights campaigners or eco-activists for example can be strong Vervain types or indeed exhibit Vervain tenancies.

The Vervain remedy links to a feeling of being ‘overworked’, both mentally and physically and although it can be common for people to identify Olive as the remedy for exhaustion, Vervain’s can often reach burnout due to their inability to relax or switch off.  Vervain’s tend to keep going and to keep moving; from one campaign to the next or from one project to the next and they will often adopt other peoples battles along the way.  For this reason, Vervain can be a great remedy for stress or tension, difficulty to sleep, fidgety or restless natures, overactive minds, and for those who like to be doing things all the time.  Vervain’s tend to be perfectionists and can be very methodical, organised, and have a natural mental energy to get things done or to see things through.  They tend to like to work in a group, but naturally adopt the role as team leader due to their noticeable ability to lead and direct, for they are great organisers, motivators and like to get everyone on board and into their way of thinking.   Steering the ship as it were to their chosen destination, with as many people on board as possible.

Vervain’s will often be tolerant in nature, they will tend to stick at a cause or a task long after others may have given up, but often to the point where they will push themselves too far both physically and mentally, and are very susceptible to burnout.  In illness, Vervain’s tend not to listen to their bodies and will push themselves, often too far. I think of a Vervain a bit like the stereotypical Duracell bunny that is relentless in it’s goal, but in it’s haste the batteries eventually deplete and they need to recharge. Or a fancy sports car, which has the ability to reach great speeds and cover more ground than your average Morris Minor, but isn’t so efficient on preserving energy or leaving enough fuel in the tank. Vervain’s can also be like a lifeboat, speeding through the waters, collecting those stranded at sea along the way, eventually realising they have taken on too much water and overloaded their very vessel.

Vervain’s tend to start off very passionately, often with rigid ideas of what they want to achieve and what needs to be done, but they can lose interest as they tend to take on too much at one time.  Although this often isn’t a trait described for a Vervain, it can be one that presents further into the deeper layers of healing, due to their enthusiasm meaning that they take on too many projects and can’t always perhaps give their all to each one.    In the negative aspect of the remedy, a Vervain’s drive, their zest for life and their desire to learn can mean that they will start things and not always finish them.  Perhaps trying many new courses, attending copious events and lectures, without perhaps taking the necessary quiet integration or processing period that’s needed in any successful path of healing or self-development.

Vervain’s find it hard to take advice and to be told what to do, for they have strong views and opinions, which mean they struggle to see the flaws in their plans or to take on others viewpoints.

They aren’t coming from quite the same angle as say a Vine, who would be more domineering and perhaps even controlling in their ways, but Vervain’s will just want to get everyone on board, and can be quite persuasive and even infectious due to their passionate stance.

Vervain’s fight for injustice.  They tend to be those who are compelled to drive change on epic levels!  They will be the platforms and protesters for equality, for human and animal rights, for justice of any kind and will be the strong voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.   They are courageous and restless in many ways, wishing to build communities who share their strong ethics and sense of fairness, and to do what’s ‘right’.  They have many admirable and loyal qualities, but where they fall short is that sometimes they can come across as a little ‘too much’.  Vervain’s are the sorts who will come back from their Bach flower training and need to tell everyone about how amazing the system is (naming no names haha!)  In their plight to win everyone over to their strong way of thinking, they can tend to do the opposite, and can come off as a preacher and teetering on the edge of domineering.

The danger for Vervain’s is that they are at risk of becoming fanatical.  Their strong need to ‘rally everyone up’ and around to their ways of thinking can be obsessive and can be too much for some people to handle.  Vervain’s can be the very cause of their own stresses and strains for they put a lot of pressure on themselves to be the change they want to see in the world so to speak.  They almost see this as their plight, and they will often struggle to switch off or relax, for they naturally ‘buzz’ and thrive on life, with a real zest for living and need to fulfil their destiny’s.

As always, there is a scale with Vervain and many reasons for why you may take it.

Vervain’s do have many wonderful qualities, and like all the remedies, we need Vervain’s in this world.  We need people who want to leave a better world for the next generation, who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and may often foresee things that others can’t, and for this reason

I often associate Vervain with the Indigo children.

This is of course just a general outline of some of the more unbalanced natures of a Vervain, which may be having a knock on effect on their physical or mental health conditions.  Taking the remedy can help us to find a balance, to remain passionate and authentic in our causes, to still be supportive of others, but to also respect the need for individuality, varied viewpoints and to be able to interact on a more equal playing field.  It can allow us to stop and smell the roses (or Vervain in this case) a little, trusting the process and relaxing, without the need to be quite so wired or fidgety.  The remedy carries an air of calmness and an ability to soften our views in order to consider and support others, whilst still respecting ourselves and the need to take downtime.

The world needs you Vervain’s, so take this remedy to check in with those ego’s and to find the balance in all that you do.

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.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

 

Green Lamborghini photo is supplied courtesy of the amazing Motorsport and landscape photographer, Pete Atkins.  To see more of Pete’s portfolio or to request his services, please visit his website or follow him on Twitter 

Ulex Europaeus is better known as Gorse and this beautiful evergreen shrub seeds and propagates itself extensively.

Gorse is a member of the pea family and it is wide-spread, seen anywhere from coastal paths and woodlands to growing wildly along the side of motorways and on golf courses in the UK.

Gorse is a distinctive looking shrub when it commonly flowers from January to June, as it has delicate perfumed Yellow petals which bloom amidst needle-like leaves.  Dr Bach first prepared remedy number 13, Gorse, in 1933 in Buckinghamshire.

Following on from last month’s focus remedy of Agrimony, I again feel like you can tell a lot about why you might take this remedy from studying the plant in which it comes from.  Gorse has many uses and is a great protector of wildlife; providing shelter and food for many insects and birds.  But like Heather, when Gorse grows wildly and is left to its own devises it can quickly become invasive, leaving dense pockets which make it impossible to pass through or enter. Gorse can also flower sporadically, making it often unpredictable to witness its movements.

Gorse is the remedy for when we feel hopeless or in a dark despair.

It is often indicated for an air of pessimism, when we don’t see the point in trying because the situation isn’t going to improve (in our opinion).  Looking at the plant, the remedy can be a lot like this.   A Gorse mood can be unpredictable. I find it comes on sometimes suddenly and subtly, each day getting that much harder to bounce back from, especially for those who are battling long term health conditions, when days can seem relentless and the future can look bleak.  It’s not to be confused with Mustard, for a Gorse state will often hang around a lot longer and be that much more difficult to shift.  Like the plant, a Gorse state can be invasive and difficult to wade through once the feelings of hopelessness settle in.  It’s difficult to see the wood through the trees so to speak when a Gorse mood comes to town and if left untreated it can quickly become a very dark and dense place to reside.

Gorse sits somewhere between Gentian and Sweet Chestnut on the despair-ometer.  Gentian is more for those who tend to bounce back a bit quicker and Sweet Chestnut would tend to supersede Gorse as it’s often referred to as the ‘dark night of the soul’.  Gorse for me can be more common a feeling than we often care to admit.  Like all remedies, everyone will experience Gorse states at multiple times during their lives, but for some, perhaps with good reason, they may need to utilise this remedy alot more.

Gorse haven’t completely lost hope in many ways as they will still be willing to try something, but they will need a lot more support than a Gentian to get there.  Often a Gorse will go along with things just to be able to say ‘I told you so’ or just to keep the peace and an appearance that they are still trying, but this will be more for the benefit of others rather than for the Gorse themselves.  For example, if a friend suggests a Gorse tries a new activity or perhaps a Dr suggests a change to a treatment plan or medication then a Gorse will need an element of hand holding to make the appointment or to even attend.  Gorse’s will just have given up hope in many ways that the situation will get any better, so no longer see the point in trying.  They can feel as though they are just setting themselves up for a fall.

Gorse can be quite a negative mindset and leaning more towards a glass half empty attitude rather than a glass half full.  Expecting the worst results or outcome, just so they won’t be left further disappointed.

In a Gorse state we believe that nothing will improve.

A Gorse is likely to have tried many things before they have got to this state and perhaps have simply, and in some cases quite justifiably, given up.  Gentian is often the remedy that is suggested for those who are battling with long term health complaints, but personally I think Gorse is a much more appropriate tonic.  That’s because chronic conditions can be relentless.  Every day has the same high level of devotion required to ‘keep going’, to stay positive and to always be striving to never completely give up.  Therefore, I think Gorse states are more common with this increased battle of will and can provide a much needed change in outlook when people are bravely fighting never ending wars against physical and mental health.

That’s not to say that Gorse isn’t the remedy for a subtler pessimism or negative outlook, as with all remedies there continues to be a scale.  Gorse may be indicated earlier along the scale when someone exhibits a general ‘mood-hoover’ tendency or assumption of the worst case scenario.  Even expecting it to rain on holiday as it ‘always does at this time of year’, or not seeing the point in making an effort with our appearance as ‘were not going to meet anyone’, or even something as simple as avoiding a certain shop because we know its ‘not going to sell anything we like’.  Gorse negativity, is not limited to those who are fighing permanent low moods, and can be just as effective for a general Mr or Mrs Grumpy who isn’t even willing to try.

There can be a real melancholy to Gorse and they will often voice their concerns, whether subtle or extreme, that there is little point in trying for they know the outcome will bring no relief or success.

What I love about Gorse is it can be a subtle stimulant,

sometimes taking one to two weeks (or more) before we look back and realise just how much our mood has lifted, our outlook has changed or we’ve become more productive.  For this reason poor Gorse often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, as we often forget just how low we were when we first took it or indeed what a lack of optimism we were exhibiting.  Whilst the benefits of Gorse can be experienced quickly, I mention it can take one to two weeks to ‘kick in’ as this can be how long it takes before the penny drops as to why we feel better…it’s almost like a ‘ahhhh, yes, I took Gorse some weeks back!’ realisation.  I have seen an extreme difference both physically, mentally and emotionally in clients who have taken Gorse, yet they will swear it’s because of a change in something else like getting more sleep, a new relationship or their long-prescribed medication finally kicking in.  It can be nothing short of amazing to witness the positive changes, which perhaps to me and those who have taken Gorse for some time, understand is very likely to be as a result of this wonder shrub.

When Gorse is given early in any chronic case, it can be nothing short of a life saver.

Gorse can be seen as a negative remedy by some, and resistance can kick in if we don’t want to admit we are in this state.  But, why wouldn’t you want to feel more positive, hopeful and strong in your convictions that any obstacle in life can be overcome?

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.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

 

Agrimonia Eupatoria is better known as Agrimony and this perennial plant grows tall, bearing small Yellow flowers along its single stems.

Agrimony grows widely and wildly along roadsides and in meadow-land, and the remedy was first prepared by Dr Bach in 1930 in Cromer, Norfolk.

It’s often been said that you can learn a lot about why you might take each Bach remedy by studying the plant that inspired them.  For me this is especially true when looking at Agrimony.  In short, Agrimony is the remedy for those who hide their worries, fears and unhappiness behind a cheerful façade.  The plant grows in a way whereby the Yellow petals reveal themselves in stages, from the bottom up, which to me is what those needing the remedy may well do; try to hide what’s really going on for them, revealing the bare minimum of their struggles when they are perhaps confronted by others or having difficulty hiding them.  Growing in clusters, its bright Yellow appearance creates a visionary carpet of joyous sunshine, which can’t help but make you smile when you are around them.

Agrimony’s will often be the life and soul of the party; the ones first on the dance floor or providing all the laughs when you’re in their company.  The ones who cheer everyone up with a friendly face, a general good nature and funny one liners.

They are often the colourful characters of the group who appear to not take life too seriously with a carefree nature, finding the humour in most situations. Sometimes you may never even be able to tell an Agrimony is feeling stressed or down and whilst they may let you in a little, they will perhaps control how much they share or to the extent of pain they are in.

When I was studying for my practitioner exam we were told to associate each remedy with a celebrity so that we would remember the characteristics of each remedy easily.  Agrimony for me has always been Robin Williams.  A beautiful man who made his fame from making others feel good about themselves by making them laugh.  He was a natural entertainer and it’s clear that he was born to be a comedic star.  Through his cheerful characters and witty public persona, I think most of us were nothing short of shocked when we heard he battled depression and this later contributed to his suicide.  I’m not saying that Agrimony necessarily leads to suicide, but what I am trying to convey is just how much pain an Agrimony can be in, whilst still portraying to the rest of the world that they are a happy go lucky kind of person.  In fact it was Robin Williams who said:

 

“All it takes is a beautiful fake smile and they will never notice how broken you are”

 

Agrimony’s feel the need to put on a brave face and the sad reality is that they will often be lying to themselves in many ways just as much as they are deceiving those around them.  It can be hard for Agrimony’s to do the internal work needed for them to be free from their demons and in turn their addictions.  They often fight such painful and silent battles, which at times can be nothing short of mental torture, not to mention they can feel as though they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.  This living nightmare can understandably be something they wish to escape from or avoid, hence the go-to reaction of fun, humour or addictive tendencies.

The pressure Agrimony’s put on themselves to struggle in silence can mean that they often find equally abusive coping strategies to manage their fears and worries.  Like everyone, Agrimony’s need an outlet to cope with life’s stresses.

It’s not uncommon for Agrimony’s to have addictions such as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sex or food or to use crutches of escapism such as binge TV watching, creating hectic social lives, working longer hours, going from one failed relationship to another without adequate time for reflection in between, or just generally avoiding spending time alone and quiet.

Agrimony’s prefer to be in the company of others and find it hard to be alone for prolonged periods of time, even meditation or relaxation may be difficult for an Agrimony as this will require them to be in their own heads and to break the cycle of self-avoidance.  Agrimony’s may have trouble sleeping, often having periods of insomnia, as they can be kept awake by their worries or struggle to switch them off.  Sometimes this isn’t even conscious, the mental churning can just become such a background white-noise or way of life that they have come to accept, masking it with whatever their chosen coping strategy or addictive weapons of choice may be.

Agrimony’s will keep their cards close to their chest in terms of playing down their struggles to others and often going as far as to add a joke to the proceedings or perhaps downgrading the severity of the issue.  Agrimony’s can find it hard to face up to their troubles.  This isn’t a sign of weakness, and in many ways a sign of their strength, for they will carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, a lot like Atlas in order to ‘cope’.   The problem of course comes when inevitably this mask slips, as no one is invincible and no one can carry such troubles alone all their life without needing some help and support through difficult times.

However, like with every remedy of course there is a scale, and sometimes the Agrimony behaviours may not be quite so extreme and the battles and coping strategies can be less obvious.  You don’t have to tick every box to welcome the positive aspects of the Agrimony remedy, for this  list is just a characteristic summary and by no means exhaustive.  It’s also very ‘English’ to keep a stiff upper lip and to feel the need to deal with things alone, keeping up appearances in a way of not wishing to bring others down or show any sign of weakness.

Humour is a common defence mechanism and a way in which many people deal with pain and difficult situations.  The key to Bach remedies and in this case Agrimony, is to always remember that there is a scale and that you don’t have to experience the extreme end of the scale to benefit from taking it.  The layer effect of the remedies will also mean that you will inevitably have to revisit Agrimony as varying tendencies and characteristics exhibit again.  As the layers of an Agrimony peels, some layers will inevitably be harder to deal with, as this mask may have been worn as far back as childhood.  But as the spiral of healing towards our authentic core continues, there can be many variations of Agrimony indicated and many ways in which it can be the remedy for solace, especially for those who may have this as a ‘type’ remedy.

Taking Agrimony can be a difficult decision to make for some, as the very realisation that we need to journey within in order to get the freedom from behaviours/addictions we crave, can be a daunting one for many of us.

Facing up to the need to break cycles of self abuse, addiction and indeed ‘masking’ problems can be the exact reason why Agrimony’s need this remedy, therefore admitting this need to themselves and in turn finding new ways to cope can be a very frightening prospect.  I find that there can be a real resistance around Agrimony, due to a common fear that their joie de vivre will diminish in some way, leaving them vulnerable and losing their ability to make others smile.    But this isn’t the case.  Like all remedies, Agrimony works subtly with the sole purpose of simply bringing balance to our emotions and characteristics.  Agrimony is there to allow the tears of a clown to sometimes be seen, when appropriate.  It will allow you to share the load a little more, to offload some of the burden in a way in which you are able to work through what’s coming up and generally ask for help before it’s too late.  Not only will it enable you to remove the mask so that humour becomes more organic and less draining, but it will also lessen the need to mask these feelings with unhelpful addictions or destructive behaviours.  There is a level of real liberation and freedom to Agrimony I feel, but I also personally understand how scary the thought of taking this remedy can be.

The real beauty of Agrimony remedy is that it restores the balance.  The necessary need for there to be a happy medium between sharing a problem, seeking help for an addiction or indeed facing up to our demons, whilst still keeping our natural ability to be the social butterflies and jolly beings that we are.  It brings about an inner happiness, allowing us to be vulnerable when needed and to lessen the load so to speak.  Agrimony can help to reduce the reliance on addictions and abusive patterns, but this will vary from person to person and will depend on a commitment to taking this remedy for perhaps a prolonged amount of time.

It’s time to cut yourself some slack now Agrimony’s.  Turn your caring nature and ability to help others to see the funny side of life onto yourself.

This is such a beautiful remedy, which no doubts can be hard to work with, but is so utterly rewarding and freeing when you do.

Yours in love and flowery light,

 

*NB: I would always recommend having a consultation with a Bach Foundation Registered 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 and guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time.