An Introduction to Bach Flower Essences Part II - The Seven Helpers
The 12-7-19 Method of Bach Flower Classification
Dr. Edward Bach, developer of flower essence therapy, classified the original 38 essences he used in his practice according to the 12-7-19 method: the Twelve Healers, the Seven Helpers, and the Second Nineteen. In part I of this series, the Twelve Healer flower essences were reviewed, along with the underlying theory of flower essence therapy - here we'll have a look at the rhymes and reasons of the Seven Helpers.
Dr. Bach prescribed one or more of the Seven Helper essences to patients who did not seem to be responding sufficiently to therapy with one of the Twelve Healers. The Twelve Healer flower essences - Impatiens, Gentian, Mimulus, Clematis, Agrimony, Chicory, Vervain, Centaury, Scleranthus, Water Violet, Rock Rose, and Cerato - were developed by Dr. Bach to address what he saw as the imbalances of the twelve archetypal personality types. It is through the vibrational transformation of these imbalances that healing of overlying disease states can, in many cases, be initiated. However, Dr. Bach found there were individuals that did not respond to flower essence therapy with the Twelve Healers; this lead him to the discovery of the Seven Helpers.
The purpose of the Seven Helpers is to address chronically ingrained negative vibrational patterns which may be obscuring the primary personality type. For example, Olive, one of the Seven Helper flower essences, is prescribed for states of exhaustion, where one has been worn out by the struggle of healing or other life event. In this case, it may be difficult to see what the primary personality type of the individual may be, as true fatigue does not let a whole lot else show through - this real weariness may mask other personality traits or patterns.
Or it may be that the chronic state simply prevents progress on the healing path that could otherwise take place. Again, using Olive essence as an example - An individual may clearly be in need of one of the Twelve Healers. Perhaps they live in fear and are in need of Mimulus, and clearing this fear would allow them to heal. However, their fatigue is so great as they do not have the strength to work with these issues - in this case, it may be helpful to use Olive along with Mimulus to offer a more complete support from the flower essence therapy.
The Seven Helper essences can certainly be administered individually as well, particularly if a specific flower essence is strongly indicated. Dr. Bach had also written that if an individual is not responding to other essences, Wild Oat (one of the Seven) may be used: "If ever a case does not respond to treatment, give either Holly or Wild Oat, and it will be obvious which of the other remedies may be required. In all cases where the patient is of the active, intense type, give Holly. In patients who are of the weak, despondent type, give Wild Oat."
Beyond the original works of Dr. Bach, the Flower Essence Repertory from Flower Essence Services offers descriptions of these seven essences beyond what a physician may see. FES broadens the application of the flowers to include their use for those needing change that may or may not be related to a health condition. This is an important point, as one may have tendencies they may wish to transform, but are at no serious risk. This application of flower essence is encouraged, for any support for personal and 'soul' evolution is indeed invaluable. So within the following descriptions of the Seven Helper flower essences, a broad view will be maintained, so that the greatest audience may find a suitable essence.
As always with flower essence therapy, in cases of illness, treatment is not a substitute for proper professional care. It may be the case that an illness may have emotional roots, and that flowers can be of help, but one should not solely rely on self-prescription of flower essences as a cure.
And on to the descriptions?
The Seven Helpers:
Olive - As stated earlier, Olive flower essence is indicated where great fatigue has set in. An individual may be pale, worn out and / or exhausted after excessive worry, illness, grief or other struggle. The individual perhaps feels they do not have the strength to continue; that both their physical energy source has been spent. The Olive remedy allows one to tap into a new source of light, helping one see and feel a rejuvenation that comes from establishing (or re-establishing) a connection to a universal energy. This connection may provide the impetus needed for change in other areas, or may be transformative in and of itself through helping on realize that the etheric 'spirit' body and the physical body are inseparable.
Gorse - This flower essence is used where one has lost will due to discouragement, becoming hopeless and resigned to one's condition. They have perhaps been giving too much energy to the negative possibilities, solidifying this outlook so no progress can be made. This remedy restores hope to such individuals, so they may be able to have a brighter outlook, perhaps more joy, when confronted with life's challenges.
Oak - The remedy for those committed to over-striving, regardless if that striving is having a positive result. Those in need of the Oak flower essence have great determination and strength, which can be true assets. However, at times it is crucial to balance this force with subtlety and grace. The individual may have even become resigned to the inevitable failure of their endeavor or succumbing to an illness, yet they continue with their efforts. Oak helps restore a balance, allowing one the freedom of letting up or resting when that is in fact what is required. An important essence in today's hard-striving world.
Vine - For those who see their way as the 'right' way or the only way, Vine essence allows an opening in one's perception for other points of view. An individual in need of Vine may have a domineering personality, insisting that everyone else follow their lead, including health professionals. Such a point of view can lead to great stress when it is perceived do not share the same ideas, and that harm, or at least lack of healing, may come about. Vine essence may soften this selfish nature, assisting one to understand that other points of view may be entirely valid, and in fact, more complete than one's own. This allows the individual to receive needed support, often a key component in any personal transformation.
Heather - The Heather type appear self-obsessed, talking continually about their own situations and problems. Such persons are in fact truly lonely and often in great emotional pain. They may feel an emptiness or hunger, which they feed from the attention of others. This flower essence helps one make a connection to the Higher Self, finding peace and solace in the unity of all being. This realization helps one overcome the loneliness and disconnection they may feel, drawing on emotional self-sufficiency and true shared relationship with others for assistance.
Rock Water - For those that are too hard on themselves. Being reflective and aware is one thing, to go so far as to limit one's (and one's friends and family) enjoyment of life is another. Flexibility and spontaneity are key components to the 'life well lived'. Further, a rigidity in lifestyle can prevent one from finding joy, an important factor in healing from many illnesses. This essence is sometimes indicated for those beginning flower essence therapy or those who do not see results, as it may assist in opening the soul to the energies of the plant realm.
Wild Oat - Health and happiness are very much connected with one's ability to find one's true vocation. Wandering through life feeling a lack of purpose can lead to distressed states, with addictions or despondency being possible results. Wild Oat flower essence may help align one with their true calling, so that both the individual and the greater environment can benefit. When one finds this sense of meaning, there is a strong inner light that can shine forth, supporting one's own health, and the health of those around them.
These are the Seven Helpers, as categorized per Dr. Edward Bach's 12-7-19 flower essence method. It is said that with the Twelve Healers and the Seven Helpers, one can support transformation of many vibrational/emotional states. At the same time, it is important to keep one's mind open to possibilities; there are a great number of researched flower essences available, one's that may be even more precisely applied to a particular situation. The Healer and Helper essences are however, a fantastic place to start if one is seeking an effective collection of remedies, suitable for the needs of many beings.
Misty is a Naturopath in Boulder, Colorado. She is owner of Ananda Apothecary, a dispensery of www.anandaapothecary.com/essential-oils.html">Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and www.anandaapothecary.com/">Organic Flower Essences. Misty employs www.anandaapothecary.com/bach-flower-essence-remedy.html"> Bach Flower Essences and Remedies in her professional practice, finding them a gentle way to encourage her clients' healing.