Flower essences for addictions


Case Studies by Dr. Deborahe Prock, N.D.

Holly—resolving addiction to pain medication

John—stopping methamphetamine and Ritalin use

Michele—cessation of self-medication

Drug detoxification

Editor’s note: Problems with addiction represent deep areas of pain and suffering for individuals, their families and friends. Deborahe Prock’s healing work with such people incorporates flower essences to address the emotions underlying the destructive behaviors.

Deborahe has adopted into her practice a multi-level emotional wellness quiz that she administers to her clients: the 1st level identifies external issues, the 2nd level finds “decompensation” issues, the 3rd identifies “compensation” issues, and the 4th indicates communication issues. Based on the responses to the quiz, Deborahe can then determine the corrections—the remedies—that are needed to begin establishing emotional balance.

Reading and answering the quiz questions, Deborahe says, is the first step taken by an alcoholic or addicted person in their recovery process. “Reading and filling out the form, is half of their healing.” It empowers them to take the remedy needed—reading the profile, the reality sinks in:“These are the behaviors that have put me where I am today.”

Following are three case studies that illustrate Deborahe’s general approach to detoxification and healing of drug and alcohol addictions—

Case study 1: Holly—resolving addiction to pain medication

Holly is a 45-year old female who has been addicted to pain killers for a number of years following a back injury. She has just returned from New Mexico and goes to the methadone clinic in Sacramento for pain assistance. She is from a very religious family and went to them in New Mexico for support because of her pain and disability. Her parents were horrified by the methadone use for pain; they told her that she was a drug addict, put her on a bus back to California, and refused any further contact with her.

Participants in the methadone program are required to attend weekly group counseling sessions. Holly was terrified of the people in the support group as many were on methadone to withdraw from heroin, etc. She expressed to her counselor that she did not feel that she belonged with those people and that she was planning to commit suicide rather than have people “group” her into this category. It was suggested that she call and talk to me.

I met with Holly and we talked at great length about addiction—whether it is part of a pain program or part of an unhealthy lifestyle. She is terrified of being in pain and even more terrified of being considered a drug addict. She feels that it is too late for her soul; by taking the medications prescribed to her, she did not trust God to handle the pain and so feels she will go to hell for this.

I immediately gave Holly Rescue Remedy to use, 5 drops under her tongue, 3 times daily. I returned on the 4th day to talk with her once again. At this time, she was in a much more open state of mind about detoxifying and getting her emotions back on track to become the beautiful girl that she is.

I gave her the standard quiz that I use with all of my clients; below are the essences we chose:

Gorse – for hopelessness  

Walnut – to find constancy and protection from outside forces; to move on and break links and old patterns with people and things

Star of Bethlehem – for “peace and comfort”

Sweet Chestnut – for anguish; for feelings of being stretched beyond endurance

Pine – for feelings of blame or self-reproach; for appropriate response and responsibility

– for nostalgia, a sense of regret or loss; to integrate past experiences

– for gloom or deep depression; for faith and hope to keep on going

Star of Bethlehem
Sweet Chestnut

Oak – for pushing on past the limits of endurance; to face the unknown in other directions; to share responsibility

Cherry Plum – for fear of losing control

White Chestnut – for over-active and exhausting mental chatter; for sleeplessness due to worry

Red Chestnut – for fear and anxiety for others; to realize the anxiety is a projection of personal fear

Willow – for bitterness and difficulty accepting injustices; for “mature and natural balance”

Olive – for extreme fatigue of mind, body, or spirit; for “renewal and regeneration”

Chestnut Bud – to be able to learn the lessons of past experience

Cherry Plum
White Chestnut
Red Chestnut
Chestnut Bud

Centaury – for excessive desire to please

Clematis – for “being awake and in the present;” brings clarity and focus

Gentian – for despondency and depression due to circumstances

Scleranthus – for those who are unable to decide, and suffer from hesitation, procrastination, and uncertainness


I prescribe a standard solution of 5 drops of each essence in a 1 ounce bottle filled with spring water. (I generally do not use brandy with drug and alcohol abuse clients.) Dosage of 4 drops under the tongue, 1 – 3 times daily. I suggested using additional doses for high stress days.

Other modalities used with Holly involved doing Ionic Detoxification Footbaths weekly for 3 months. In addition, she used Nutri-West Total Systemic D-Tox, 2 capsules 3 times daily for 3 months. To help break through pain and cravings for the methadone I gave her Passion Flower extract, 30 – 40 drops in a little water every 6 hours as needed.

We actually began to see some emotional changes quickly, as did Holly's close friend. Within three weeks, Holly no longer felt suicidal or that God had deserted her. She continued the above regimen for 5 months. I then gave her the quiz once again, and the remedies were: Walnut, Sweet Chestnut, Pine, Cherry Plum, White Chestnut, Willow, Olive, Centaury, and Gentian.

Holly has continued to use this formula for the past year. She stated during our last visit that she actually uses it only about once every 2 weeks or so because she is feeling pretty good. She continues to use pain medication prescribed by a doctor and we still discuss that her inability to try an alternative treatment means that there is some underlying addiction to the medication. Although we have some work to do in this area, the remedies have made an amazing difference in the way that she perceives herself personally and in her feeling of self-worth. She has regained contact with her family and said that the remedies gave her the confidence to explain the addiction to them without blaming everyone else.


Case Study 2: John—stopping methamphetamine and Ritalin use

John is a 45-year-old male with a history of methamphetamine use. He has been hyperactive all of his life and takes Ritalin for this condition. An interesting aspect of this case is that the methamphetamine does not act as speed, but rather as a “downer” because of his hyperactivity.

His usual pattern of drug use is that he goes many months without drugs. He will then realize that while using methamphetamine, he has started many projects that are now cluttering up his property and he feels he needs the methamphetamine to help him focus enough to complete these tasks. We talked about the fact that this was not a reality, but rather, he was pressuring himself emotionally into believing that the drugs were benefiting his concentration.

We used the standard quiz and identified the following essences for him:

Agrimony – for hiding problems and inner self behind a cheerful face; inner anguish masked by alcohol or drugs

Aspen – apprehension and fear of things unknown

Beech – being overly critical and intolerant

Centaury – for excessive desire to please; to strengthen appreciation for self

Chestnut Bud – for those slow to learn from experience; to learn from life’s lessons.

Chestnut Bud

Holly – for those who are attacked by feelings of hatred, envy, jealousy, suspicion, and revenge; to foster “unconditional expression of affection and love”

Pine – for feelings of blame or self-reproach

Star of Bethlehem – to ameliorate the effects of shock: the shock of bad news, of loss, of an accident; for “peace and comfort”

Vervain – for fixed ideas and principles which are believed to be right

Vine – for domineering behavior that disables other people, gaining authority at the expense of others

White Chestnut – for when the mind is full of unwanted thoughts and ideas, or persistent and worrying mental arguments

Star of
White Chestnut

Helping John to realize the possibility of an underlying condition causing both his addiction and his hyperactivity, caused him to be very excited about using the remedies for help with these problems.

A detoxification footbath showed a great deal of adrenal grit, so a kidney cleanse was used in conjunction with the essences to balance the adrenals. Read Deborahe’s explanation about how the adrenals affect the body.

John’s girlfriend reported a great difference in his personality after his treatment began; in the past, he was prone to angry outbursts, but within two months she sees very rare occurrences of this. We began John on a Krill Oil Supplement—which contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids—and on month 3 decided to wean him off of Ritalin to see how he would do. During the 2 month “weaning” schedule, we added Rescue Remedy, 5 drops under his tongue as needed for anxiety. He reported the first week using this 1 – 2 times daily, the second week a total of 3 times, and only 1 time during the third week.

After his discontinued use of the Ritalin we gave him another emotional quiz and the remedies listed were: Chestnut Bud, Vervain and White Chestnut.

John has been off of Ritalin for close to 1 year now. He had one event where he used methamphetamines for 3 days and realized he hated the way they made him feel. While coming down from the methamphetamine, for the next week, he again used Rescue Remedy 5 drops under his tongue daily to help him.

As of today, John has been drug-free, alcohol-free and Ritalin-free with no problems for 6-1/2 months. His girlfriend says it is like having a new, much nicer, boyfriend.


Case Study 3: Michele—cessation of self-medication

Michele is a 48-year-old woman who was in a serious car accident about 6 years ago, resulting in disability from her job as a lineman for the phone company.

She was diagnosed with bi-polar disease many years ago and is on several medications including Paxil, Valium, Vicodin and Oxycodone. She self-medicates with street barbiturates and smokes marijuana quite frequently during the day. She often enters into severe depression and complains of being tired, so she will use methamphetamine to feel alive. After my initial interview with Michele, she admited to seeing a total of 3 doctors so that she would not run out of her pain meds; in essence, she is taking 3 to 4 times the amount of pain killers prescribed.

It is very difficult to communicate with Michele because she loses her trend of thought easily and goes off on verbal tangents. I actually filled out her quiz half way; she became very upset and asked to do the rest herself later. On the quiz, there are 3 choices for answers: Yes, No, and Sometimes. I saw when I returned later that every single question was marked and remarked, the second sheet was torn up and taped back together, and then all 3 choices for every single question were marked as Yes, No, and Sometimes.

I decided to start Michele on Rescue Remedy, 5 drops, 4 times daily for one week. When we met again, she had sat down with her mother and filled out a new quiz. Since beginning the Rescue Remedy, she has actually realized that the methamphetamines and alcohol are a “stupid choice” along with her meds and has given them up.

The standard quiz identified the following remedies:

Agrimony – for hiding problems and inner self behind a cheerful face; for “self-acceptance and pure joy”

Honeysuckle – for nostalgia, a far away sense of regret or loss, often tinged with a feeling of pessimism; for integrating past experiences

Hornbeam – for feeling the strength to carry out daily tasks

Impatiens – for irritability at hindrance, hesitation, and delay; for impatient blame of others; to accept the natural pace of life rather than trying to live at a speed outside it

Mustard – for gloom or deep depression that comes from nowhere; to give faith and hope to keep on going


Oak – for pushing on past the limits of endurance; to face the unknown in other directions; to share responsibility

Pine – for feelings of blame or self-reproach; for appropriate response and responsibility

Red Chestnut – for fear and anxiety for others; to realize the anxiety is a projection of personal fear

Rock Water – for true self-discipline that does not involve self-denial

Star of Bethlehem
– to ameliorate the effects of shock: the shock of bad news, of loss, of an accident; for “peace and comfort”

Red Chestnut
Rock Water
Star of

Sweet Chestnut – for anguish; for feelings of being stretched beyond endurance

Vervain – for fixed ideas and principles which are believed to be right

Water Violet – for an aloof, live-and-let-live attitude; to foster communication and sharing

Wild Oat – for finding meaningful purpose; harmony between inner and outer calling, spirituality, and making a living

Wild Rose – for feelings of being resigned to all that happens, passivity; to help to interact with all aspects of life

Sweet Chestnut
Water Violet
Wild Oat
Wild Rose

I made her the above remedy to use 5 drops under her tongue, three times daily, and instructed her to use the Rescue Remedy when she was feeling anxious, depressed or angry. Michele is now understanding how her over-medicating may be causing additional pain intolerance, the depression, and the anger. She has decided to use the medication just as prescribed from her primary care doctor.

Treatment Notes:

2/16/07: Michele’s mother called me at 2 AM saying that Michele was planning on killing herself and that she was out of control. She did not want to have her admitted to a psychiatric facility unless it was necessary. I believe that part of Michele’s reaction is actually the withdrawal from all of the additional medications she was using along with the prescriptions. I went to her home with some homeopathic Colloidal Gold, which I often use to purge the drugs from someone’s system when they are trying to “come down.” We used a 200C Aurum metallicum, Colloidal Gold. In addition to this, I took a tincture of Skullcap/Lavender to help with the anger. Skullcap is used in a 2 ounce bottle, with 10CC Lavender and filled with Skullcap. 30-40 drops every 20 minutes until calm.

2/17-20/07: I have been visiting and talking with Michele daily and she has now realized the devastating effect of the overmedication that she was causing herself. She continues with her personal remedies and has been taking the Rescue Remedy, 5 drops 3 times daily. She truly believes that the remedies are making the difference in being able to cope emotionally.

3/1/07: A beautiful vase of flowers was left on my porch this morning with bags of fresh fruit from Joan, Michele’s mother, and a note thanking me that says she feels like she has her daughter back again. She said that Michele was just about out of her remedy and would like a refill; she is so happy with her progress, she does not want her to run out.

3/15/07: Michele, although still scattered in her thoughts, can actually carry on a very pleasant conversation with me these days. She admits to using perhaps 15 of the Vicodin purchased off of the street and still occasionally smokes some pot. She asked if by using the remedies she was replacing one addiction for another; I explained about vibrational medicines. She is very intrigued by this concept, and I am bringing her a book about Bach flower remedies.

4/15/07: Michele reports not using any additional medication other than the prescriptions for pain from her doctor. She is using her remedy and has used Rescue Remedy probably 3 or 4 times since last month. She has decided to quit smoking pot as well as cigarettes; she said that she feels that is but one more addiction in her life. I brought her some Mullein/Peppermint cigarettes that I roll from fresh herbs so that when she occasionally just feels the need to smoke, it would be an herb that would help her detoxify her lungs. To help her out with this a little more I have also brought her a tincture of Lobelia and Licorice root in equal portions to use 15-20 drops in a little water 3 times daily for 2 weeks to detoxify from the nicotine.

3/10/07: I dropped off some more Mullein/Peppermint cigarettes for Michelle. She says that she is doing great and we refilled her remedy as well. She is not smoking cigarettes or pot, not using alcohol and taking only the prescribed medication. Her pain pill prescription allows her to take 10 pills a day and she states that many days she only uses about 6. I referred her to a chiropractor and the adjustments he has been doing are helping a lot with the pain.

7/13/07: I continue to see Michele at least once a month; she occasionally will stop by the house to say hello and refill her remedy bottle. I did suggest that it may be time to do the quiz again but she would like to wait since she has not felt this clear and confident in many years. She went to her doctor a few days ago and told her she would like to wean off of the Paxil. This is a huge, wonderful step, one that she feels is directly a choice made because of the flower essences. The doctor has given her a weaning schedule and we made sure that she had some Rescue Remedy if she should need it.

7/17/07: Michele is feeling some anxiety in the mornings when she normally would take her Paxil; the tension she feels is causing her back pain to worsen. I will give her St. John’s Wort tincture to use as a natural anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory at 30-40 drops 1 - 3 times daily.

9/3/07: Michele is completely off of Paxil and continues with the same Bach remedies; she has also stopped using the St. John's Wort. She keeps the Rescue Remedy around the house but cannot actually recall the last time she needed it. She is seeing the chiropractor for weekly adjustments and has now decided to wean off of the Valium that she has been taking with the two pain medications. We discussed the emotional withdrawal and we are going to be in touch daily by phone to talk and see how she does with this. She states she is smoking some pot, perhaps 3 times per week, but no additional medications other than prescribed.

10/5/07: Michele is doing fabulous; we have decided that for the new year we are going to do a new emotional evaluation and remedy for her. As of today, she has not smoked pot for about 2 weeks and still does not take additional medication. Her mother, Joan, broke down in tears thanking me for giving her daughter back. Michele has started volunteering at the Senior Center two days per week and feels hopeful that she is still a vital, useful person. She states that her aunt, with whom she was very close, died 9/14/07. She went to San Jose for a few days and took the Rescue Remedy with her. She did not need it herself but shared it with her cousins. One of them wanted to call and thank me personally, and she shared my phone number with her.

Final note: I got a call from Michele’s cousin Dara who said that they actually passed around the bottle of Rescue Remedy to about 5 family members to help with their grief. She wanted to thank me for whatever kind of “drug” this was and really could not believe the change in Michele. Because of the behavior to which they had been accustomed, they had been dreading the fact that Michele planned to stay with them for 4 days. However, she could not believe the change in her and is even looking forward now to her coming and staying with them for a week during the Thanksgiving holiday.

About Deborahe Prock, Master Herbologist, PhD. Naturopathic Practitioner

Deborahe Prock began her medical career in allopathic medicine by working in Laboratory and Pathology Medicine for 15 years. In 1993, she began studying natural medicine. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Alternative Scientific Medicine, and one year additional concentrated study in Phytochemical and Botanical Medicine. She has completed the Certification Course as Master Herbalist through the East West School of Herbology. Deborahe completed her PhD. in Naturopathic Medicine and Doctor of Naturopathy through Clayton College of Natural Medicine.

Deborah counsels cancer patients, and is a cancer survivor herself, having been diagnosed with lymphocytic leukemia in 1990. She utilized alternative methods for her treatments. She helps hospice patients and their families with understanding the process of serious illness, and is a trained grief counselor. Additionally, she does work in disaster response for animals with Noah's Wish and South County Large Animal Rescue, and for humans, with the Medical Reserve Corp in El Dorado County.


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