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A Natural Approach to Grieving


Grieving is seen as a natural part of life but that reality doesn't make it any easier.  It is said "time heals" and we must go through the process.  That is true but the intensity and depth of varied emotions at a time of grief and loss can sometimes seem unbearable, yet within nature there is an offer of help and comfort.

Flower remedies are made from plants and flowers and are used to deal with emotions.  They are not herbal preparations so have no contraindications for use with other medications.  Some ancient cultures including Aboriginal have long used flower remedies but the western world first became more aware of their use when the Bach flower remedies were developed by a young Edward Bach in the English countryside during the 1930's.

Edward was a respected young Harley St doctor, who saw the strong connection between emotional and physical health.  He realised that to truly help his patients he needed to consider treating the emotional as well as the physical.  Developing the flower remedies became his life's work.  Other flower remedies are also available such as Australian Bush Flowers, WA Wildflowers and more.



One of the remedies available in the Bach range is called Rescue Remedy.  This combination consists of 5 individual remedies.  It was developed by Edward as an emergency remedy used in a crisis and has a calming effect.  It is especially helpful with the shock of any bad news and may help during the difficult, emotional times that come with losing a loved one.


Rescue Remedy is the main combination remedy available.  Other remedies are used individually for specific states, including times when not grieving.  Sometimes people get 'stuck' in an emotional state for a long time after the situation has passed.  The remedies can help with these 'stuck' states.  (However, they do need to be used for sometime to help in these cases).

A brief overview of some remedies and how they may be helpful in grieving follows...


Is the remedy of comfort.  It is used in shock situations and for times of sadness.  It can also be useful for long term unresolved grief.  It is found in Rescue Remedy.


This remedy is for times of deep despair.  It is the anguish felt when there is 'no light at the end of the tunnel' and we feel so alone.  Deserted by even God.


White Chestnut is for those times of repetitive thoughts where the mind goes over and over, like a hamster in a cage.  This over mental activity is very draining and can be hard to stop.  Use White Chestnut when the same thoughts keep playing over in your mind.


Guilt is not an uncommon emotion associated with loss.  Even when you have no logical reason to feel guilty this emotional state can occur.  People, including children, can blame themselves for situations they had no control over.


Grieving is incredibly draining, both mentally and physically.  Loss may come after a long struggle with illness.  Olive is indicated in states of physical and mental exhaustion.  It can help revitalize the person especially when used with rest and physical care.


In a Red Chestnut state we are fearful of losing loved ones.  If we are already grieving such a loss, our other loved ones become even more precious and anxiety over losing someone else can occur.  Children can become very clingy, not wanting to let the family out of their sight.  Red Chestnut helps alleviate these fears.


Is a valuable remedy at any time of change.  Loss is a major change in anyone's life.  Walnut helps with the readjustment and the ability to move on to the next stage of our life.


Elm is often a temporary state more usually felt by capable people who normally cope well but have become overwhelmed by the situation.  Logically they know they can manage but emotionally they feel it is too much and they can't carry on.


Oak is often indicated after a long struggle and especially for the strong silent plodders who push themselves beyond their own strength.  It helps us to know when to stop and let go and to realise that all humans have limits of endurance.

This is just a sample.  Other remedies might be indicated for different emotional states.  Further reading of these might be helpful.  Useful books are 'The Bach Flower Remedies Step By Step' by Judy Howard; 'Flower Remedies' by Stefan Ball; and 'Bach Flower Therapy' by Metchthild Scheffer.

There are also registered Bach Flower practitioners in all Australian states. Phone Martin and Pleasance (03) 9427 7422 for details.


Bach Flower remedies are available from most health food stores and selected pharmacies.  When purchased the remedy will be in a small brown stock bottle with a dropper, the remedy is preserved in alcohol but only 2 drops are used at a time.  Put 2 drops in a glass of water or drink bottle and sip regularly.  If a number of different remedies are needed they can be combined into a treatment bottle.  Have as often as needed.  For long term emotional states continue taking remedy for some weeks.

"Health depends on being in harmony with our souls" Edward Bach

This site is for information and support only, not a substitute for professional advice.

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