I am not a medical doctor, nor am I advising anyone to take any medication without consulting their physician first.
One of the most amazing legacies of homeopathy is a series of flower essence remedies that were developed by Dr. Edward Bach in England during the 1930’s. Dr. Bach believed that our unbalanced emotions can often be the root of our immune system’s ability to either fight or succumb to pathogens. The flower essences were his answer to rebalancing emotional states.
His most famous one is Rescue Remedy, a combination of five different wildflower essences: rock rose, impatiens, clematis, star-of-Bethlehem, and cherry plum.
In all the years it has been used, it has no documented side effects or interactions with other medications. Its benefits may all be attributable to the placebo effect. However, whether it’s a placebo or not, it helps reduce stress and anxiety for many who use it. (I don’t know about you, but I would love it if all medication worked through the placebo effect and had no bad side effects or drug interactions.)
It can be used either for acute or chronic conditions. In a crisis for shock or daily for ongoing anxiety. You can take it multiple times a day or only as needed. One day, you will notice how quickly and effectively it helps and another day you will not notice any change. Interestingly, even if you don’t notice an obvious reduction in your stress there may be a lessening of your anxiety’s intensity. If you take a Xanax you will definitely feel less anxious and you will typically notice a difference within 20 minutes. If you use Rescue Remedy you are more likely to feel as if your anxiety is less intrusive and disturbing. It makes a difference but you never feel drugged. In addition, it can be an excellent sleep aid.
Rescue Remedy comes in a variety of delivery systems: tincture (drops), spray, sugar free pastilles, tiny capsules called pearls, gum, and cream (for topical use with cuts and scrapes where the person is emotionally thrown by the experience.) I am partial to the drops, which can be taken straight (dropped into the mouth and situated under the tongue so they immediately go into the bloodstream, or by putting a few drops in your water bottle). The spray is also handy, but more expensive. The pastilles (I only suggest the Black Currant flavor) are also a great option if you are avoiding alcohol or want something portable in a tin. As they melt–please resist the urge to chew them–they release the remedy. Each time you dissolve one you reinforce the idea that they are helping you feel more balanced and calmer, which creates its own Bach neural pathway in your brain. You can also create a neural pathway with the other delivery systems, but some people find it more reinforcing to be aware of the remedy as it slowly goes into their system.
Over the decades that I have used and recommended Bach’s Rescue Remedy I have noticed one thing: the more sensitive you are the more likely it will benefit you. That said, it acts differently on every body and differently every time you use it, as your chemistry, mood, environment, etc. are always changing.
In Covid times, I think it’s a really good idea to take Rescue Remedy once a day, if not more frequently. It can’t hurt you, it’s not very expensive, and it can really make a difference.
Note: Since I wrote this piece, I’ve discovered that Bach Rescue Remedy Sleep formula has an extra ingredient that won’t make you sleepy, but stops rumination. Since that discovery, I have been recommending this form of rescue remedy for anyone who has a tendency to worry and overthink.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang