Walking through Whole Foods is basically just a test of willpower.
You go in for a kombucha, some organic veggies, maybe a fancy nut butter they don’t have at Trader Joes (and by that we mean organic and biodynamic wine, right?). Don’t even think about picking up those Marcona almonds, you say to yourself. No, you don’t need dairy-free ice cream bars right now. You’re trying to stay focused on Mission: Organic Produce … and then you pass the Whole Body section.
Uhm, hello, non-toxic lipstick and soothing, stress-relieving aromatic bath salts. Hi, schizandra berry beauty tincture. What’s up, all-natural deodorant? Maybe you should try the deodorant crystal again, even though it failed miserably last time. And then you see them—those little yellow bottles with tiny droppers next to the Rescue Remedy. All 38 Bach’s Flower Essences, lined up in rows, with very little description of what they’re supposed to do, other than make you feel better. Can they actually work?
Don’t be embarassed—every millennial woman has gone through this thought process, pacing the aisles of Whole Body, tempted by the idea that switching over to more organic, natural products might be able to cure her acne, or smoothen her wrinkles, or demolish her crippling social anxiety. But it turns out that those flower remedies—the ones you’ve looked at a million times and considered buying only to put back on the shelf—actually can help you.
Before you give me the side eye, you’ve got to understand I was just as skeptical as you of these little bottles until they were recommended to me by an energy healer. (If you want the whole story on that process, click here!) After using the remedies my healer prescribed, I noticed a serious change in my mood and in the way things happened in my life. Honestly, it was incredible, and the only thing I could chock it up to were the Bach’s Flower Remedies.
Intrigued, I started to do more digging into these weird, semi-hippie healing essences. Turns out they’re the real deal—developed in the 1930s by Dr. Edward Bach, a British physician, who saw disease as a physical manifestation of unhappiness, fear, and worry, the 38 remedies are all based in herbal plant medicine.
Each bottle contains a single, specific flower essence, so they have names like Pine, Aspen, Agrimony, Beech. Even learning about the way they make the remedies is a little crazy—made in Europe under strict EU organic standards, each flower is clipped, added to spring water, and set out in the sun in a crystal bowl to infuse. After, the plant material is drained and what’s left is the Mother Tincture, a potent liquid that’s highly energized by the plants and spring water. The Mother Tincture is what’s used to make the Bach’s Flower Essences that you see on the shelves of organic grocery stores.
According to Nancy Buono, director at Bach Flower Education, the remedies don’t treat physical symptoms—they treat the underlying energetic and emotional state of a person. “The remedies help people stay in balance and in control of their lives,” she says. Because they treat energy, the remedies can help with everything in your life from your relationships with others, to stress, to your own self-esteem.
Buono first discovered the remedies 35 years ago, after her birth of her second child. Her oldest, a three-year-old girl, developed a nasty case of shingles. Buono couldn’t figure out what the problem was—most little kids get chicken pox, not shingles. After stumbling upon the remedies, Buono wondered if maybe her oldest was somehow feeling a little jealous of the new baby. She found the appropriate essence to treat symptoms of jealousy, and after a week of giving it to her daughter daily, the little girl’s illness cleared up. According to Buono, “The remedies don’t treat a physical condition. They treat the underlying emotional state. When left unbalanced, that emotional crystallizes in the body, and causes illness.”
It makes sense—the American Medical Association admits that stress is the basic, underlying cause of nearly 60 percent of illness. And if the Bach’s Flower Essences help calm your emotional and energetic state, then why wouldn’t you take them?
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of scientific proof that Bach’s remedies work. But anecdotally, they can be life-changing. For me, the remedies helped me stand up for myself in a situation where I was being pushed around and disrespected. There are 38 remedies, though, and all of them have different indications. One might help you love more openly, while another might help you make up your mind about a job or the work you want to do. Buono says that the remedies aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, “There isn’t a remedy for visiting your mother-in-law or for nailing a job interview because everyone’s reaction to the essences is different.”
That being said, you can make your own remedy and see what works for you. “Take a look at yourself, and say, ‘What’s up with me, what do I want to work on? I’m worried about going to a job interview, or I have an issue in my relationship with my boyfriend, or I’m getting negative feedback from my friend.’ Go to the store and read the labels, take the questionnaire on the website, and select the remedy that’s most helpful for you.” explains Buono.
Take a single remedy daily, or mix up a solution with up to seven remedies by adding two drops of each remedy to spring water. Take four drops of the solution four times per day for three weeks, and see if your energy shifts. Buono warns that the remedies take time to take hold, but once they do the shift is powerful. “The remedies help you become a better version of you—they remedies flood us with virtue.”
So next time you wander through Whole Body, don’t just breeze past the Bach’s Flower Remedies. Try them out for yourself—and notice your energy shift in every aspect of your life.