Emotional strength from the floral kingdom

Fiona Hardie educates us on Bach flower remedies and how these natural essences help you grow in wisdom and speak truth about your diagnosis.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/buddiesforlife

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most devastating pieces of news to receive. Often accompanied by powerful and overwhelming emotions, ranging from disbelief, terror and anxiety to sadness, loneliness and being let down, it can be difficult to verbalise these emotions. This can be for many reasons not solely related to an illness alone.

Being honest with yourself and facing the vast wave of emotions you’re experiencing can go a very long way in easing not only your personal journey but also that of caregivers, family members and anybody close to you.

Different emotions can facilitate adaptation so it’s important to not always see them in a negative light. Fear can bring about cognitive, behavioural and physiological changes which can assist in facing the threat of ill health. Sadness can make you introspective and also elicit much-needed sympathy and support from others. Emotions have an adaptive role in that they can help you adjust to new events, your diagnosis and treatment.

However, emotions can also hamper adaptation and progress if they are severe or interfere with normal daily functioning and impact relationships. And, don’t forget that your physical health is influenced by your emotions.

Bach flower remedies

There is a gentle, yet powerful and very effective natural remedy called Bach flower remedies. Perhaps you have used Rescue Remedy before an exam or after a traumatic experience. Rescue Remedy is a combination of five flower remedies all of which combine to help you cope with the immediate feeling of shock or anxiety. It consists of Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis. Each of these remedies individually has a profound effect on an aspect of the feeling associated with the emergency.

However, there are in total 38 remedies, each with its own particular energy for assisting a particular emotion. These remedies, distilled from specific flowers for their specific energies, are still grown, picked and made into essences exactly as Dr Bach did in the early 1930s.

Speak the truth

One of the most important aspects of facing the tumultuous emotions surrounding a diagnosis is to talk about it; openly, honestly and without trying to be brave or hide the truth of the intensity of the feelings.

Developing an emotional wisdom so that you may live fully into your potential is a gift that the Bach flower remedies make possible. Here are the most appropriate remedies to assist with speaking truth about your diagnosis.  

So long as our Souls and personalities are in harmony; all is joy and peace, happiness and health. – Dr Edward Bach


The first essence Gorse is used when you are feeling extreme hopelessness, despair and that there is no end in sight. Gorse gives a sense of hope and faith despite the current circumstances. You’ll feel brighter and happier and will be able to use the illness as a positive experience.


This remedy is for those of you who hide your fears behind a cheerful face and are unwilling to discuss or express them. Use of this essence creates a sense of self-acceptance, an ability to see problems in perspective and to communicate your real feelings openly.


For those who are feeling overwhelmed and unable to deal with what is going on in their lives, Elm essence helps to see problems in perspective as well and promotes a desire to practice self-care and look after your own needs.


Gentian essence is useful for those feelings of despondency when there is a setback in treatment or recovery isn’t progressing as hoped. Taking this fosters a conviction that all difficulties can be overcome.


Two drops in a bottle of water, juice, tea or coffee does the trick. Taken a couple of times a day can bring about much relief. Note, they are distilled in alcohol so do take care if there is a dependency.

Please note, these aren’t drugs and they won’t alter your personality or interfere with medications. However, you should chat to your treating doctor before taking them.

It’s best to consult with a Bach flower remedy practitioner who will ask an extensive list of questions regarding the emotions involved and in doing so be able to put a specific mix together. Bach flower remedies are safe enough for babies, elderly, pregnant women and anyone who needs them.

Fiona Hardie, based in the Western Cape, is a Pilates instructor, reflexologist and has experience in Bowen therapy and ear acupuncture. She is currently doing a breathwork course through Breathwork Africa.

MEET THE EXPERT – Fiona Hardie

Fiona Hardie, based in the Western Cape, is a Pilates instructor, reflexologist and has experience in Bowen therapy and ear acupuncture. She is currently doing a breathwork course through Breathwork Africa.

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