You may already be familiar with Bach Flower Essences in particular Bach’s Rescue Remedy, a blend of plant essences to help you find calm in times of stress. At Archeus we now have our own range of Plant Essences & Elixirs available.
Plant essences work at an emotional and energetic level. Sometimes I like to think of them as the ‘breath of Nature’, or as a ‘hug in a bottle’. Edward Bach was a doctor and bacteriologist in the UK in the first half of the 20th Century. He started to see patterns between illnesses and emotional states and wondered if he could find a natural way of helping to calm and allay the emotions he saw in his patients. He started to look closely at how and where plants grew and their relationship to each other and how this may help the emotional states in people, and he gradually built up his repertoire of plant essences.
I like to think of them as the ‘breath of Nature’, or as a ‘hug in a bottle’
When I lived in the UK I was lucky enough to study at the Bach Centre and have been using his essences for many years. But over time my own relationship with medicinal plants, especially those growing on my property in Hawke’s Bay, has deepened and evolved into a very loving and respectful communion with Nature. Now, not only do I understand the therapeutic benefits of many plants, I also see their energetic aspects and their own unique characters shining through and so it became inevitable that I would start to develop my own library of essences.
Edward Bach created essences from the plants and trees that grew around his cottage in Oxfordshire. Likewise, I have created the Archeus Plant Essences & Elixirs from plants and trees growing on my five-acre property near Napier. They are all plants I have come to know on a variety of levels: their physical presence and their attributes of form, scent, fruit, leaf, beauty, taste, medicine; their place in healing texts and wise women advice going back through the centuries; their response to the seasons and their energetic characters. Most of the essences I have collected are introduced species and most all have been recognised for their beneficial therapeutic properties – from the salicylic acid in Oak from which Asprin is derived, to the soothing and lump reducing properties of violet (currently being studied in Europe for its possibility as an anti-tumour drug).
There are a couple of reasons for my decision to focus mainly on introduced species. Firstly there is the practical reason in that we only have a few native species on our land at present. The second reason is more personal. I was born in England and until the age of 8 grew up in the Cotswolds and went to school in Dorset. I grew up seeing standing stones, roman ruins in gardens, Stonehenge and ancient woodland. I returned to the UK in the 1990s and lived there for many years, including working for Kew Gardens. I believe my place as a healer is deeply rooted in that landscape - its history, its plants and trees. It is quite literally in my veins. However, since finding myself placed into the New Zealand landscape as a child, I also feel a deep connection to the visceral power of these hills. It is like England provided the knowledge and New Zealand provides the power! I feel like I stand with one healer’s foot in each place. Over time I have developed a beautiful relationship with the energetic aspects of Kowhai, Tōtora and Kawakawa and the trees on our property seem happy to come to the aid of those who use their essences.
Many of the Plant Essences I have made available have a distinctly womanly quality to them.
You will also see that many of the Plant Essences I have made available have a distinctly womanly quality to them. Proud Evening Primrose who is not afraid to stand out in the crowd, gracious and elegant Silver Birch who is also known in traditional lore as the Lady of the Woods, the big hug of the ‘grandmother’ Hawthorn tree and the power and attitude of Motherwort. This is intentional as well.
I see so many of my female friends and customers juggling families, caring for loved ones, coping with illness, grieving for things or people they have lost, feeling amazing, feeling terrible, having hearts broken, finding love, going under the knife, recovering from surgery, mourning the decline or demise of a parent, building a business, holding down a job, holding down two jobs. I see so many women having medical interventions that strike right at the heart of what makes us female. I know how powerful it can be living with a sense of oneness with Nature and so I wanted to help women have some of that connection so that Nature can help them, help you, as you journey through life and the transitions you will encounter along the way. This does not exclude men from using them though as they may find it helpful to nurture the feminine aspects of themselves, or may gain comfort from having the helping hand of these female essences.
Plant Essences are not about cure and they are not about numbing yourself from pain. Their subtlety or strength largely depends on the user. They connect us energetically to the plant, or plants, they are made from. I find they create a space in which we can literally commune with Nature. Taking time to think about the physical, therapeutic and energetic aspects of a plant and how that may in turn help and support you, can be a powerful meditation or visualisation.
As an example, I have a customer who came to see me for an energy medicine session (I always use the plant essences in these sessions) and she had some very challenging business meetings and negotiations coming up. One of the essences I gave her was Motherwort, because to be honest, Motherwort doesn’t take any s*** from anyone! She told me later that knowing that motherwort energy was working with her gave her an added sense of strength and determination. We called it her ‘bitch juice’!
I have another customer who is using the essences as they enter palliative care. They are finding comfort in connecting to Nature to help them at a soul level after so much clinical intervention.
To take an Essence or Elixir just add a few drops to water or juice and sip as needed.
Because I find myself drawn to working in the places of transition I found it only natural to develop some Elixir blends that could help people at certain times. Acceptance, Forgiveness, Letting Go are all things that can be so, so hard, especially as we face things like illness, the end of a relationship, or the end of a life. Intense Grief and Loss won’t take the pain away, but may help you 'be' within that pain. And then there are journeys that challenge our own sense of who we are, and so Loving Me, I Can Do This and Goddess provide links to the plants and trees that can help you find strength and beauty within yourself.
Over the course of the next twelve months, the range will expand a little as there are some plants I want to add to the collection, but I have to wait until they are flowering. You can purchase them as single essences or as Elixir blend. I will be running workshops on how to use them and would love to train people to use the Archeus Plant Essences & Elixirs in the same way that the Edward Bach Centre taught me. If you have any questions about the essences and how to use them please do get in touch. You can email me here.
I’m going to leave the last word of this blog to Edward Bach himself who said:
“The action of these remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of the Spiritual Self; to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need, and wash out from us the fault that is causing the harm. They are able, like beautiful music or any glorious uplifting thing which gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures, and bring us nearer to our souls and by that very act to bring us peace and relieve our sufferings, They cure, not by attacking the problem, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of Higher Nature. There is no healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind and inner happiness.” Edward Bach 1886-1936