I read about Alexis Smart and her flower remedies years ago, and ordered several for the kids and me to try. Herbal infusions made from the flowering part of wild plants, bushes or trees, they were discovered as a form of treatment in the 1930’s by Dr. Edward Bach, and address emotional and mental wellness. But unlike aromatherapy or essential oils, flower remedies are scentless and taken internally in the form of liquid drops under the tongue. I’ve been eager to learn more about them for some time, so when I found out that Alexis offered consultations, I ran.
To begin our consultation, Alexis and I spoke at great length. Then, she created a custom blend of the below seven ingredients, formulated in response to the feelings I shared and themes that presented themselves throughout our conversation.
Vervain – for individuals who are overactive and passionate, and thus drain themselves.
Impatiens – for those who can be impatient (also good for back pain)
White Chestnut – to ease the mind.
Oak – for those who carry a lot of responsibility, without the ability to rest.
Crabapple – for over-attention to detail (also good for cleansing).
Heather – to decrease anxiety.
Agrimony – for those happy by nature, but who worry easily.
Alexis was kind enough to share a bit about her experience in flower remedies, and give additional insight into just how they work. I hope you enjoy. XXJKE
R+T: Can you share a bit about you journey in herbal supplements and what led you to flower remedies?
I was raised with natural medicine. My mom was able to cure most of our illnesses with herbal teas, and I was cured of my chronic bronchitis by a homeopath when I was fourteen. But what led me to flower remedies was a health crisis that began while I was traveling in Egypt, in a remote oasis in the Libyan dessert. I contracted a malarial-like illness and had fevers for five years after my return. My health slowly deteriorated and it seemed all I did was go to doctors and work on becoming healthy, to no avail. (I went to both alternative and conventional M.D.’s).
Purely by accident, I met a flower remedy practitioner who made me a formula and claimed that I would feel better in three weeks. It was just as she said, and three weeks later I felt a wellbeing and joy that had eluded me since I’d become ill. This was a revelation, as I had been focusing on my body so much that I had forgotten that I also had a spirit – one that had been dimmed by being ill for so long. The flower remedies made me happy again and then suddenly it seemed less important to find the pathogen that was causing my health problems. I was a convert, and began to study everything I could about flower remedies. After a few years of practicing on friends and family, it became clear that this was my professional calling.
R+T: Tell us about the healing powers of floral essences, and how they differ from traditional forms of medicine…
Flower essences (or flower remedies) are very different from traditional forms of medicine and even many “natural” remedies, in that they are prescribed for the way a person feels, never for their physical complaint. We are so used to thinking our health originates in our bodies, but the philosophy behind flower remedies is the opposite. Flower remedies treat a person’s emotional imbalance and once happiness is restored, the body’s self-healing mechanism begins to work again. The remedies are very powerful. I have seen them heal deep emotional trauma, heartbreak, low self-esteem, lifelong resentments and heal relationships that seemed forever doomed to conflict. The remedies work by replacing a negative feeling with its corresponding positive. For example, if you are suffering from jealousy, the remedy holly is prescribed. Holly makes you feel loved and loving and then the feelings of insecurity and jealousy leave, because the remedy has created an emotional environment where jealousy cannot reside.
R+T: How do you go about formulating your custom blends? Can you share some of the elements that come into consideration during your consultations?
The most important element in prescribing is listening. I learned a lot when I studied homeopathy. In case taking, we were reminded constantly to be an “objective observer” and to let the person speak, in their own words, and never to “lead the witness.” I listen closely to their life story. I listen for themes and the way they experience life, the language and word choices they use. The themes of their life are dictated by the way they feel and by their character, not by the events. As we know, two people can recount the same story and it will be totally different. Do they constantly feel disappointed in life? Are they too forceful in trying to get their way? Are they suffering broken hearts repeatedly because they feel unloved deep down? Over years of listening, I began to hear the language of a certain flower remedy and I know when they are speaking that language.
R+T: What is your go-to flower remedy or set of remedies?
My go-to remedies are my “type remedies.” Out of the 38 remedies in the Bach system, 12 of them are prescribed for your personality and they seem to be remedies you need frequently or over long term. I always come back to Water Violet and Cerato. Water Violet is for people who like to be alone but can feel a sadness about this, as they can feel separate from humanity or appear aloof. It really helps me stay connected to people and not just isolate in my house. Cerato is for people who don’t trust their intuition and can ask everyone else “What do you think I should I do?” They are easily led astray and always say “I knew better!” When I take Cerato, my intuition becomes very strong and I don’t have to over think anything.
R+T: What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Absolutely, one hundred percent when people tell me how much happier they feel. Or how they have overcome an obstacle that they previously would never have been able to face. It feels good to help people but it also reminds me, for my own life, that there is hope and that things can change.
Photos: Brittany Wood