BUSH FLOWER POWER
by Mary O'Malley
Australia has one of the highest number of flowering plants in
the world. Yet rarely appreciated is the vast natural pharmacy that lies
among the tangled trees and shrubs of our mysterious bush. The Aboriginal
people, as with many ancient cultures, understood the simple power of
flowers. Flower essence, often in the form of a dew made potent by the sun,
was used to treat everything from tired eyes to flagging spirits. But it
was not until this century, with the pioneering work of England's Dr Edward
Bach, that the Western world took notice of these subtle healing agents.
Our native flower essences have been readily accessible only in the past 20
years or so through companies such as Australian Bush Flower Essences and
Living Essences. Now they are in demand world-wide. 'In fact, there's more
interest in the essences overseas than there is in Australia,' says Ian
White, creator of the Australian Bush Flower range and author of
'Australian Bush Flower Essences' and 'Australian Bush Flower Healing'
How do they work?
Bach's respected work demonstrated that flowers have a great
ability to correct the negative emotions that lead to physical breakdown.
Precisely how this happens is largely unproved by science, although much
research continues to be conducted into flower essences.
Their mechanism, explains Ian White, is similar to the way radio
waves strike a crystal so it resonates with high frequencies, absorbing
them and transforming them into audio frequencies which can be heard by the
human ear. Essences enter the bloodstream and travel through what the
Chinese call meridiens, the energy pathways used by such systems as
acupuncture to correct blockages to the life force or "qi". From there,
the force of the essence is amplified through the chakras, or main energy
centres, out to what healers would call the subtle energy body. From there,
it bounces back to reach imbalances in the physical body.
How they are used?
An essence is made by placing flowers gently in a bowl of water,
leaving it in the sun for several hours, and then preserving the essence
with a tiny measure of alcohol. From this concentrate (stock) or dilute
(dosage) bottles are made. Flower essences are usually ingested-seven
drops taken under the tongue or in water morning and evening-but they also
can be used in creams and salves or in bath water.
They are used by medical practitioners, naturopaths, pharmacists
and lay people with no known side-effects. Flower essences are best taken
singly or in combination if the essences address the same theme. In
emergency, up to seven remedies can be taken, though more than four at one
time is not recommended.
Flower essence practitioners stress that essences, while
effective on a range of physical and emotional conditions, should never
replace the services of a qualified practitioner. One of the simplest ways
of working with essences is to choose from one of the 12 combination
essences available for common emotional issues-for example, Relationship
Essence or Sexual Essence for matters of the heart; Confid Essence for
self-esteem; Abund Essence for reaping the riches of life. Otherwise, it's
necessary to consult a naturopath, homoeopath or herbalist experienced with
flower essences. Or trust your instinct and consult a repertory of
physical and emotional conditions for each flower. Opt for the most
appropriate for your problem and take the essence for a maximum of two
weeks. Ian White says it's common for people to believe they need every
essence-instantly! To pinpoint the important issue, he suggests asking
yourself, "What do I most want in my life?" Here's a brief A-Z rundown on
some of the Bush Flower essences. Many of those featured here are included
in Combination Essences, available from health food shops and some
A good one for those who meditate-and therefore included in the
Meditation Essence--Angelsword helps amplify one's sense of inner knowing
instead of blindly trusting the guidance of "gurus". It is also given to
help cut the cords that tie us to people detrimental to our lives. Because
of its protective qualities, it is prescribed for the after-effects of
anaesthesia or severe shock, times when we are vulnerable to negative
From the Native Bluebell found in the Olgas, a remedy for opening
the heart in people who are cut off from their feelings. Ian White says it
has been noted on cardiac wards that it's the men who cry and release their
feelings who recover faster from heart surgery and maintain good health
afterwards. It also works on fear of lack, greed and rigidity, enabling a
sense of abundance and willingness to share. Related physical ailments
include back, circulatory and artery problems, high-blood pressure and
Boab works on clearing the emotional baggage we pick up from
family-the limiting, dysfunctional patterns and beliefs passed on from
generation to generation. It is one of the ingredients in the Relationship
Essence for its ability to break family conditioning which affect our
current adult partnerships. Many practitioners also prescribe it for
illnesses which are genetic in nature.
Commonly prescribed for the world's worry warts, Crowea engenders
a feeling of peace and calm and helps overcome that sickening sense that
disaster looms. Known as an excellent remedy for stomach ulcers and
ailments, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it also acts on nausea,
insomnia, dizziness and muscle pain.
A prickly plant from the Proteacea family, recommended for those
with similar natures. It is said to foster forgiveness, allowing feelings
of deep bitterness and resentment to be resolved. It is therefore included
in the combination Relationship Essence. Naturopaths sometimes use to treat
gallstones, which they say can result from blocked emotion.
One of the ingredients in Confid Essence, it addresses issues of
self-esteem and self-acceptance. It encourages love and acceptance,
especially of the physical body. "No other essence has the capacity for
releasing so many negative beliefs," says Ian White, who finds it very
useful for people with skin problems such as acne.
Grey Spider Flower
From a species of Grevillea, this essence promotes faith,
calmness and courage in people who experience great terror, whether that be
witnessing some dreadful event or even the after effects of a nightmare.
Adrenaline-pumping fear stops us in our tracks so it's no surprise that
paralysis is one of the physical conditions it works on.
Workshop junkies who fanatically acquire information may benefit
from this one. It acts on addiction to acquiring knowledge and feelings of
superiority to bring about a balance of mental and emotional aspects.
This flower features in the combination Cognis Essence for its
ability to improve memory and retrieve forgotten skills. It's also
recommended for people who don't learn from past mistakes, and for those
who need to dominate and control others. Amnesia, memory failure, stiffness
and snoring are some of its physical applications.
For changeable scatterbrains who take on a host of projects but
finish only half of them. Even their illnesses are those in which symptoms
change a lot-skin and teeth problems and nervousness, for example. This
essence encourages clear, quick and decisive thinking.
Austin Powers needs an intravenous drip-feed of this one. It's
for social bumblers who need to encourage qualities of kindness,
sensitivity and savoir-faire.
Little Flannel Flower
A joyful remedy to promotes carefree, playful feelings in the
staidly sensible. Spontaneity is often lacking in people with physical
stiffness, such as arthritis, and this help them to loosen up.
A tonic for those wondering whether to stay in a relationship,
leave a job or where their life is going. Bringing clarity, calmness and
the ability to cope, it is for those periods when you feel you are being
tested to the limit.
Old Man Banksia
People who suffer from low thyroid activity which produces
sluggishness, heaviness and obesity often use this one. These are the
reliable, dependable souls upon whom others look to for support and
guidance. It's meant to instill fresh enjoyment and enthusiasm for life.
When trying to make an important decision, many people feel
overwhelmed. This, says Ian, is one of the fastest-acting remedies for
those situations. It's also said to be good for students facing
exam-overload, working on associated physical symptoms such as headaches,
diarrhea and indigestion.
For feeling stuck, oversensitive to criticism and too reliant on
others. Such people often stay in jobs or relationships they don't like out
of fear of moving on. It promotes independence, boldness and the strength
to leave unpleasant situations.
Hormonal imbalance, conception and fertility are the positive
attributes of this remedy. It may clear the emotional blocks that prevent
conception. It is often given naturopathically to rehydrate the uterus,
clear mucous blocks of the Fallopian tubes and regulate the production of
If that award-winning novel remains locked inside you, along with
the screenplay that never gets written, consider this remedy for creative
block. It inspires artistic expression, focus and confidence. Uterine
problems can also stem from an inability to create, and Ian says Turkey
Bush has resolved many such conditions.
Wild Potato Bush
This is often taken by women towards the end of pregnancy when
they feel weighed down and restricted in movement. It promotes freedom,
vitality and the ability to move on in life and is used by overweight and
those with illnesses that restrict the body.
Yellow Cowslip Orchid
Possibly an excellent workplace remedy for its ability to
overcome critical, nit-picking, bureaucratic behaviour. Ian says it is used
to great effect to regulate problems of the pituitary gland, which reacts
to excessive judgement and criticism.
Supplied by: Australian Bush Flower Essences (Bush Biotherapies)