I'm surprised by the number of people that have never heard of flower essences, but know about or even use Rescue Remedy. This amazing remedy in the quaint looking brown bottle is a first aid god send, helping a person deal with the shock and trauma of injuries, both physical and emotional.
Rescue Remedy was first created by Dr. Edward Bach as part of the flower essence research he performed before his death in 1936. Dr. Bach discovered the healing properties of 38 plants in this time, as well as studied how to use these flower essences (which now bear his name) to heal physical, emotional and spiritual illnesses. One of his insights was that a combination of essences often proved more effective than one essence alone. This is a marked deviation from the homeopathic principles of his earlier training, since it is practically a law that only one homeopathic remedy should be taken at a time. Of the many combinations he experimented with, one mixture of five separate essences seemed the most useful. This combination (Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Impatiens, Cherry Plum, and Clematis) became known as Rescue Remedy, because of its powerful restorative properties.
When a person is injured, both the physical and the more subtle bodies are jolted or disturbed. If the disturbance is more than can be handled, the person can go into shock, or bcome weak and depleted, or start behaving in an "abnormal" way -- all signs that he or she is disturbed or unbalanced at some level. The life force in the person no longer animates the body in a healthy fashion. Sometimes the trauma is passing and the person recovers quickly. But if the life force in the person is unable to heal the damage on its own, a more chronic or degenerative condition may take hold in the body. In the worst case, the result is death. In each case, however, the changes in health or behavior are an unconscious attempt by the person to heal the injury, an attempt that may need external support to complete properly. This healing requires, first of all, that the person be "taken out of action" awhile, to rest and mend.
When I was thinking about the five essences in Rescue Remedy, it occured to me they have something in common. Each of these flowers describes one common way that people check out of the here-and-now when under stress. In a more positive vein, these flowers also describe the strengths (what Bach called "spiritual virtues") needed to constructively handle the stress. For instance, the Clematis person is dreamy, lost in their thoughts, dreaming of a perfect future. A Clematis person responds to injury by "spacing out" or losing contact with the physical body, in extreme cases, losing consciousness completely. Rock Rose is for fear and panic, a feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation. The Impatiens person becomes tense and irritable, as though annoyed that anything could stand between them and good health. Cherry Plum is for a peculiar kind of panic that issues from within. When faced with emotional tensions or the growth of strange, new potentials, the person can freeze up or resist what they see. They feel a loss of control, that they may do something they'll regret later, even that they are going crazy. Feeling powerless and out of control can make even simple situations very threatening and frightening. Star of Bethlehem reacts to stress by "numbing out." By removing their awareness from the pain, they avoid dealing with it at all. This, unfortunately, means the pain will be waiting for them at some later time. When you take Rescue Remedy, the five flowers slam shut the doors to these escape routes. You receive a little dose of staying power, courage, patience, confidence, and focus that enables the life force to stay engaged with the body, so it can attend to the healing process. The damage must still be repaired, but at least you are calmly present and focused on the work.
Rescue Remedy is good for soothing over all of life's "boo-boos," whether big or small, physical or emotional. It helps adults deal with stress and overwhelm. It's excellent for children, whether they are suffering from a scraped up knee or a frightening nightmare. It also works well with animals, who may need help adjusting to new surroundings or who require support during time of illness or trauma from veterinary procedures. Lord knows just going to the vet's office is trauma enough for some pets! It's also extremely useful for garden and house plants undergoing any "change in life" event, such as planting seeds, transplanting to a new pot, pruning or harvesting. The energy of a flower essence is a natural match for the subtle energy fields surrounding a plant. For instance, I always add some fertilizer and a few drops of Rescue Remedy to the watering can when I transplant, to help avoid transplant shock. The disruption of the delicate interface between root system and the surrounding dirt and water is easier to weather and the plant quickly gets on with life, again. It's very rare to loose a plant during transplant when using this mixture. In short, Rescue Remedy helps any organism through the rough spots, when life dishes out more than you can handle at the time. It works with the life force of the organism, because it is the life force, in pure and concentrated form. It aids anyone to get past the trials of life and get on with their true "business" as a physical being, namely experiencing and expressing the true beauty of the spirit within.
The easiest way to take Rescue Remedy is to simply place a few drops from the bottle right on the tongue. You can also add a few drops to a small glass of water or juice. If the person is passed out, the drops can be placed on the lips or rubbed onto the pulse points of the wrists. Once it touches the person's body in any of these ways, the essences go to work untangling the auric knots that maintain the person in a state of "escape."
There are many flower essences worth trying, each with their own unique virtues. But if you need to start somewhere, let Rescue Remedy be your first one. You'll love what it can do for you!