By Jann Garitty
Dr. Leslie Batten found remarkable results helping a 55-year old woman who for decades was clinically diagnosed with depression. Sunflower flower essence was used to help address childhood sexual abuse by the woman’s father.
Leslie Batten has seen that when a part of the body hurts or somehow is bothering patients physically, it almost always revolves around deep-seated emotional issues stemming from a long time in the past; the emotions have been suppressed, and are now bubbling to the surface. These past issues are particularly childhood related and often involve some type of abuse. These issues seemingly are secret, being kept from oneself, until they come out. While speaking with them, often the patients will cry, and then they get to the nitty-gritty of what’s coming up. Leslie asks them to describe with three words or five phrases what is going on with them. She then takes some time, uses the Flower Essence Repertory and develops a formula. Though patients may have similar presentations or complaints, the essences will vary for each individual. The patients appreciate that Leslie takes the time to formulate their unique, special combination of flower essences.
For patients who are not familiar with flower essences, Leslie explains that they are the actual energy of plants, and each plant has special characteristics that can boost or shine more on the strengths needed for their situation. If she feels a patient is open to it, she knows that the flower essences will work, if not, typically they won’t be effective—she explains that “The soul has to be ready for it…” Leslie gives each patient a list of the flower essences in the formula and tells them why she chose each particular flower.
Many patients choose to carry the flower essence formula just for the comfort it brings them. She has heard this comment, “I reached for it and felt so much better.” Typically Leslie continues the initial formula for the patient throughout the treatment until it’s no longer needed and there is some type of resolution with positive results. This is the case for most of her patients. One particular area of interest for Leslie is supporting patients living with cancer, helping them as they experience chemotherapy and radiation.
Sometimes flower essences are simply helpful for an energetic boost. “For many patients flower essences are a wonderful, gentle, but powerful way to support their souls and give strength to face things with which they've struggled. They’re something physical to hold, put in the mouth, and they can have the power with them all the time. Flower essence formulas are different from herbal tinctures, are specific for each person and developed just for them. ‘They’re made with so much love!’ Who’s going to say that to a regular medical doctor? But just carrying around the essences gives them strength.”
Following are written reports which Leslie sent to the Flower Essence Society—
Freeing from depression a sun-radiant personality
Her goal is to get off most of her medications (the list is a single page, single-spaced; the interactions run 6 pages, single-spaced). We're starting slowly. As I do with most of my patients, I have them describe in three to five words or phrases how they're feeling, then sit down with the Flower Essence Repertory to help me create a combination of flower essences.
These are the flowers I chose and why (this is straight from the treatment plan I wrote for her): Penstemon, Sunflower, and Sweet Chestnut. Penstemon supports your inner fortitude despite outer hardships; perseverance; ability to endure and forebear adversity. Sunflower addresses the poor relationship with your father. It also supports a sun-radiant personality, which I see lurking just beneath the surface! And Sweet Chestnut is for extreme anguish, the feeling that one has reached the limit of one's endurance. It teaches one to believe that change is possible, to trust oneself and the benevolence of the universe.
I suggested that she take one to two droppersful three times a day or whenever she was feeling particularly low. She has difficulty in swallowing clear liquids so I suggested that she add it to her flavored coconut water.
She returned three weeks later and was not all that different from her original presentation, although there was a bit more lightness about her (more talkative, wearing brighter clothes). But two months later? She was a changed woman. Seriously! She was laughing, she had just joined a gym and was exercising five days a week, she was so much happier and brighter than any of us in the office had ever seen her. Phenomenal.
A 54-year old woman came to me with previous diagnoses of GERD, MVP, thyroidectomy. She recently lost her job of 30 years and felt directionless. I asked her to use three or four phrases to describe her life. She responded with “what a mess,” “unorganized,” “out of control,” “boring,” “unfulfilling,” and “challenging.”
The essences chosen for her were:
Elm – for all patterns of imbalance as indicated in the Flower Essence Repertory
Zinnia – for a sense of humor; workaholic tendencies
White Chestnut – all patterns of imbalance as indicated in the Flower Essence Repertory
Mustard – to help her find joy in life
I also prescribed supplements, did nutritional counseling, and talked about sleep hygiene.
The patient and the patient’s partner reported after a week that the effects and changes were almost immediate. The patient was calmer, less anxious, and less depressed.
A 29-year old woman came to me with complaints of "feeling sick" for several weeks. She has a 20-plus year history of therapy and depression. She was sexually assaulted as a teen and again the year prior to seeing me. Her house burned down two months prior to seeing me. She stated that she had not “worked through the assault well” and wanted whatever help I could provide. A flower essence, a referral to a skilled psychotherapist, plus several naturopathic modalities were on her treatment plan.
Essences chosen to support her inner strength and search for balance and belonging:
Echinacea for the positive qualities and patterns of imbalance as indicated in the Flower Essence Repertory
Penstemon as indicated for its positive qualities
Sweet Pea for addressing both her need for finding a sense of place and for her commitment to do so
Yerba Santa for positive melancholy and soul depth.
Within a week, the woman was more calm, and also began seeing the recommended psychotherapist.
A 32-year old woman came to me for help with almost paralyzing anxiety due to childhood sexual abuse. She had been seeing a counselor, which was helping, but she really wanted to take control of the emotions rather than allow the emotions to take control of her. She was exercising, meditating, eating well, and taking very positive steps to support her soul.
Essences chosen to both acknowledge her past as well as to honor her strength to rise above her past:
Pink Monkeyflower for feelings of shame, guilt
Golden Ear Drops for feelings of pain, trauma about past events; nourishment, insight from the past.
Star of Bethlehem for bringing soothing, healing qualities
Nutritional counseling was also included in her healing program.
Almost immediately, she was calmer, less anxious, and had fewer incidences of panic attacks. The first thing this patient said when she picked up her flower essence was “It’s as though it was made just for me!” and I could see the joy and comfort it brought to her.
Dr. Leslie Batten is a licensed naturopathic physician who received her naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon - the country's oldest naturopathic college.
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163 fax: 530-265-0584
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