Journal of New Approaches to Medicine and Health

Namah Journal
Moving Forward
New Issue
About us
Other Publications

Flower remedies

Flower essences from SAIIIHR (II)

Dr. Vandana and Nancy Whitlow

This conversation occurred last year when Vandana was trying very hard to write something on the flower essences she has been working with since 1991. Nancy, a teacher in the International Centre of Education, Pondicherry is now in America. She agreed to help bring out what Vandana wanted to express. More than 20 talks ensued that are in the process of transcription...

V I would love to hear your experiences with the flower remedies…

N Basically they are what they say — it is what I take them for.

V It is strange but I never believed that the flower to which the Mother gave the significance Peace could bring peace. That’s strange, no? I started with total disbelief. I didn’t believe that these remedies would ever work because it’s only water and diluted so many times: 4 drops in 30ml. 1 ml. is 16 drops, so it’s 4 drops in 480 drops. Then 4 drops from here in another 480 drops to make a remedy bottle. From this you are going to take 4 drops 4 times a day! It’s an incredible dilution. You wonder how it is ever going to act, especially if you are an allopathic doctor. Also then I didn’t believe in the fact that a psychological state is something real.

N This is a different Vandana from the one I know.

V You see how far I have come in my belief system.

N How long ago?

V 18 years back. And then the psychological belief system — if there is pain and you think the pain will go away, it will go away, it’s gone, gone. So was it the remedy that made it go or your belief that it will go away? That’s how I was: full of doubts, full of doubts. So I was blocked because of my mind, to some extent I am still blocked because of my mind. It’s really Her Grace that pulled us through — the flower remedies and me. Because if you don’t believe…. For you it’s fine, you have no doubt that they have an effect. I was also not aware of the psychological states at all… if you are a doctor and this is the remedy you are using to help the patient, you have to make the patient get well. And with allopathic medicines, I know how powerful they are…And I thought a flower water so diluted can never have that much power. So I told the Mother I will only use these remedies if they have an effect on the physical level…The physical I can see, I can watch and if the physical responds it is clear that the remedy is working. Anything else on a psychological level is nothing, it is not convincing. Yah, it was like that…

N It makes sense to me…It makes sense for a doctor to want to cure the physical…

V It went on like this for a few years. Actually, I went through the whole list. I made a list from the flower book, a list as to which remedies I should make. And it was with a German doctor that I went to the gardens, the ashram gardens. We walked through the whole place and not a single flower from that list did we find…Not a single one. And he was very tired because it was a very sunny day, he collapsed and went off to sleep on the veranda of Kaderland (An ashram garden). I was sitting there wondering, “Oh my God, now what are we going to do?” That is when I started enjoying the place. And as I was sitting there I realised I was sitting in a bed of tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) which I had pruned the week before or no, it was the year before. I had come here and had a very concrete sense of Her presence in this tulasi bed. So I was there, sitting quietly. And again I started feeling Her presence. And around the tulasi there are these little, little bees that make a sound zzzzz. And this sound caught me. Suddenly I realised, “Oh there are flowers! These are also flowers!” I was sitting there, I had nothing else to do and here were some flowers, so I made a remedy. Then I started wandering looking for flowers that were calling me. And I made remedies of these flowers. I made five remedies because I had five bowls. In those days I used to think, you should make remedies in all the bowls. So I did all the bowls. And later when we had them all together, the German doctor discovered that there had been a pattern to it. Because the first remedy had been Devotion (Ocimum sanctum), then Surrender (Rosa L. ‘Edward’light pink), then Spiritual Atmosphere (Azadirachta indica), then Divine Solicitude (Malvaviscus arboreus), then Integral Immortality (Gomphrena globosa).

N Oh, very nice….Devotion, Surrender, Spiritual Atmosphere, Divine Solicitude, Integral immortality.

V And for the next few years I was only taking these remedies and nothing was happening apparently. So you can imagine my total disbelief. I didn’t even manage to give it to Julia, who was so close to me.

N Was it something specific you were trying to use it for or just to see?

V Just to see if they would have any effect. I didn’t have any physical problem and the psychological I didn’t believe in… Also I was only taking them once in a while, so nothing could happen. And then one day I had these mouth ulcers. They used to come off and on since my childhood. I had been stuffed with Vitamin C, oranges and what not for them. They never went. That day, I took Integral Immortality. The mouth ulcers disappeared within 10 minutes. The pain was also gone. I couldn’t believe it! They never came back. So this was my first opening. I thought okay, there is a possibility, the remedies could work. And then I asked Julia if she would like to try, and she tried but there were no reports…But I continued to make flower remedies because it was so easy and I liked to go to the gardens. And I am supposed to do this work, it’s my duty. It was like that, that I was going about it. And I made very simple ones like Psychological Perfection (Plumeria rubra), the three Peace (Ixora thwaitesii, Guettarda speciosa, Calophyllum inophyllum), Quiet Mind (Nerium oleander white)… And it never struck me till today that Quiet Mind could bring a quiet mind. See it’s so foolish, it’s so foolish.

N Well, I didn’t think it is for anything else…

V It didn’t strike me. For me it was like “She has given the significance, okay but I must really test it, is it true…?

N If it’s true for something else?

V No, no. “Will it bring a quiet mind without your knowing it is called Quiet Mind?” And essences like Peace in the Cells: if you have never experienced the cells, how can you know? And for Silence, I had not felt any special agitatation, so I never felt the silence. You see foolish things like this, truly foolish…

And then there were these people who spontaneously had a great faith in this.

One day a lady came and said, “You have to give this person flower remedies.” Like this! This person was an air hostess who would get into a panic whenever she had to fly, or in a lift. So there was this tiny beautiful person standing in front of me and suddenly, a strange thing happened — thuck — “Psychological Perfection!” And I gave it to her without thinking. When such a thing happens, I don’t argue, that’s the only time I don’t argue. And it worked. She is still in her job. Since then, whoever has this problem — claustrophobia, panic, fear of flying — it works, always. So okay, it became a little bit clearer. At that time I had 8-10 remedies and someone was always pushing me, “Make remedies, make remedies” and I would say, “What for?” Yet there were those people who had a lot of faith. Like this man who had angina. He wanted to stop allopathic medicines and he told me, “You give me a flower remedy.” I gave him Divine Solicitude. One day he took it when he had anginal pain. He saw and felt the peacock feather of Sri Krishna clearing his blocked arteries! He saw it but I didn’t believe it. I wouldn’t have believed anything like this in those days. But I recorded it in the notes. This thing disappeared and he stopped his medication and is quite alright.

Then people who were dying were benefited by the remedies. I recorded everything but something in me didn’t fully believe.

And then came Francoise. I started working on the remedies with the Tarot. I started understanding the subtle layers with her. It was like a systematic exploration into the subtle worlds… I also learnt prāṇic healing which reinforced these perceptions… Somehow it was like I believed her. I didn’t believe myself but I believed her. Whatever she said about the flowers through the Tarot I believed. And this made me believe that they work. We did a whole lot of work for hours together. There is a whole database on that. For the first time I was receiving information that I had known inside me but had never shown it to myself. And when I allowed it, I started recognising “Oh yes, this had happened to this person or that person.”

And then there were people who were working with the Tarot and taking flower remedies. So the cards showed how the remedies were affecting their inner states. So then I could accept that the remedies had effects on the inner states. So it was a step beyond the physical. Yet I was only treating physical problems. I was scared, scared, scared to treat psychological states. I think there is some sort of taboo in our culture to go into the psyche of someone. We don’t like it. And so I always maintained this distance carefully.

N You thought it would be dangerous? Or it’s not your business?

V Exactly, it’s not my business. And then… how will they react? And me I had my facade. I would not allow people to go beyond it…If I touch the psyche beyond the facade, will I be able to handle it, because I have also kept myself safely in a box? Then that started dissolving through my own inner exploration, my own understanding of myself, seeing my own dark corners, seeing the light within, working with energies, seeing how there are forces beyond us…I think this was all a process of opening me into something beyond….The frameworks started breaking. And luckily it was like this that people from Auroville started coming. They are more open and they do not have this mask that we have. They were free in speaking about themselves, about their psychological difficulties. Also they had this good sense that they were not here for a physical medicine, they were here for the flower essence and for that they must not speak about the physical only but about their inner states. And so they were talking all about their inner states and it was so shocking for my mask! I didn’t speak a single word, I was so shocked. And then an interesting thing used to happen. They were there talking, and the essence they needed came to me intuitively. Simply, I do not know how, why, without any judgment, nothing…. And somehow it worked for them. It worked. So then I had more confidence with Indian people. And the same thing happened with them. But there was in them an inability to express it. Slowly, slowly I encouraged them to speak. To talk about their dreams, about what is happening inside them….And I started realising that our body is linked to our psychological state. And it is linked to something beyond. And all the things; BP, headaches, asthma, constipation, hernia, knee problems, everything, everything, is linked to our inner state. I made all those records because still in the back of my mind was this idea that the physical should improve. See, even after understanding all this I thought, if the physical does not improve what is the use of my being there? Through repeated case studies it became very clear that the remedies were working on the physical level. There could be no, no doubt that they are not working. And that gave me the courage. OK, now you know that it works! Now I must explore how they work or what they do exactly. That’s when I started taking this seriously. I would sit with a remedy for hours and hours and just be there.

In this I was helped by Barbara. On a level she is totally impersonal. From childhood she could feel the force from above. It works in her body simply. She is spontaneously connected to the work of change in matter. So then with her I started discovering another aspect of the flowers. Like how the effects of a remedy are linked — from the subtle to the physical. A psychological state is still something mental. The energy body is the vital body. But when you are in states of consciousness, when you can identify them, you can shift and understand through a different perception the psychological being, the energy body, the physical and much more. So it was with her that I started working on the effect of flowers on the consciousness.

A big shift occurred in me when I took Divine Love Governing theWorld (Brownea coccinea). This is the flower that broke something in me. All the frameworks that I had carefully erected broke down. It was one flower I had resisted for 10 years. Do you know this flower?

N I don’t remember. Should I get the book? Maybe I shouldn’t be interrupting your flow…

V It’s not such a good photo. The colours are not good. There is one in my office that’s better. I think it was 2000 or 2001, Vijay bhai came into my office. He wanted to talk about something. And I saw the flower next to him. I saw it with open eyes. I was seeing him and I was seeing the flower next to him. It was the first time that I was there with open eyes seeing something in the subtle. We talked, he left. I told him that I would only like to work with the inner work, the work with Mother. I don’t want to be organising conferences, seminars, etc. I only want to be doing this work. I told him that this work of connecting the soul to matter was my deep interest and I wanted to give it my full time. Anyway, the discussion was very peaceful. He left and Julia arrived behind him. She was carrying a whole bunch of Divine Love Governing the World. I knew then that I had now no escape. I had to make this remedy. I asked her from where it came. She told me “Mainland, and I think you should make its remedy.”

And I was so unwell, so unwell, so unwell. The next day was Sunday and my body was aching, I was tired, I had a headache. So I told the Mother, “Look how I am, I don’t think I am worthy of making this remedy. And anyway I don’t know exactly where it is growing. Even if I make it, to whom can I give it? And look, I told Her, the clouds are there.” As I said this, the clouds disappeared… vanished. The sun started shining, brighter and brighter. So there was no way, I had to go.

I went to Mainland (One of the earliest Ashram lands on the lake at Pondicherry..) Mainland as you know is quite big and has many routes. But it was as if something was pushing me — “This is the way you take.” I went along that road. “Now you park.” I parked. “Walk.” I walked. And I walked right up to the tree. And there were these two huge trees full of the flowers of Divine Love Governing the World. They were also full of these wine-coloured ants, you know,.. these ants that make their nests in the leaves? And if they bite you, you get a big swelling. They were all over the flowers, all over the tree. But now I was already there, midway. So I filled the bowl with water. I plucked a leaf to cover the palm of my hand so that my vibrations do not enter the remedy. Then I touched the stem of the flower to pluck it. It just came away in my hand, effortlessly and into the bowl. It was so simple, it took just a second.

In one and a half hours the remedy I had resisted for 10 years was ready. Not a single ant touched me, not a single ant came into the bowl. The process was simple, clear, matter of fact.

So afterwards I said, “ Now you must try the remedy, you must see what it is.” And the result was disastrous! I drank the water. I felt the water entering my body, I felt the water entering my tissues and then I was no more.

There was a very soft, sweet vibration. Just this — this softness. There were no physical boundaries, no physical boundaries anymore. It was like me and the air, we became one. It was simple, simple, so simple. One could call it spaced out, in a good way. People were coming, I was aware of them as part of this wholeness. They were talking to me, I was replying and moving without the awareness of a separate body moving or speaking. All was in that substance. So, it was a very strange feeling. It was like a pulsation was there, not exactly a pulsation; it was as if the earth, the air, everything was different. It was as if everything was made of this vibration. Everything was as usual, yet different. Things were happening because it was a full, normal day. I was seeing patients, they were speaking things, I was mostly quiet, I did not know where I was. It was a very strange state. And then I went home. I didn’t feel like eating so I didn’t eat. I was just lying down. And for 3 days I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I just remained in that soft, sweet energy, so nourishing, fulfilling, which was present everywhere, in every person and so-called objects. It was so close. I was just existing effortlessly. Then slowly I started becoming solid again. But I never became as solid as I was. I am more transparent.

So that’s how the entry into other states of consciousness becomes easier now. I am not the same person anymore. I have fewer doubts. In my ideas, yes, but in my feelings, no. I trust my feelings more. In the domain of sensations, feelings, I have no doubts.

So I can explore different states of consciousness with Barbara. I can see or know the subtle effects of the remedies on my system. I am aware of their qualities, their vibration, the level on which they are working, more clearly. But I have still not reached the stage when I can say with full confidence, “Yes Quiet Mind (Nerium oleander, white) will bring a quiet mind or Silence (Passiflora) will bring silence.” It’s amazing in a way. Like this experience with Divine Love Governing the World. I don’t know….

N Don’t know what?

V I don’t know if that’s the vibration of Divine Love Governing the World. Is this the vibration of Divine Love Governing the World? So I doubt it. I still feel somewhere, “If there were more people who had this experience…or if there is someone who knows what it is Divine Love Governing the World, like Mother, whom I could trust, that would confirm it.”

N Yes, that’s true…You’ll find that person some day. Okay, but if Mother gave that significance…

V Yes, that’s true. But I’m still doing this work on flowers as a research in the traditional way. I think that’s where the problem is. I am trying to work it out through the medical method. And it will not work here perhaps.

N Do you mean testing BP, reports, etc. by the medical model?

V No….It’s like you make a hypothesis: Silence brings silence. You want to prove that.

N Yah , but you can’t prove silence.

V Yes, you sense it or feel it or don’t feel it, it depends on many things…. It also has to be their moment, no? It has to be the right moment when this remedy comes into your life. That’s also another interesting thing. For example this Divine Love Governing the World, I took it many other times after this also but it never had the same effect as the first time. I think it’s only when something in me is ready to receive a re medy or needs the remedy that something happens.

The Bach flower remedies…since they are easily available one can go on drinking the remedies: this for fear, another for impatience, etc. And after some time people leave them because nothing really changes. I have seen people using these essences for years and yet the same problems come up again and again. That is why I was thinking that something must be written about these flowers. They must be presented in a proper context. In the sense that…what is the use, what does it mean to take a flower remedy…well, you can use them to treat something superficially. But if you want to get the best out of a flower essence what should you tune to or look for? All these questions need to be addressed.

The Mother has given significances, tuning into the inner vibration of the flower, the inner significance of the flower. And there are all these people around the world making flower remedies. And some of them are with the same flowers as here. But they have caught something entirely different. Like the Australian Bush flower essences. They have the flower of Eucalyptus that they call the ‘Silver Princess’. And they are using it for very different things than the Abolition of the Ego. And it works for that! But if you use the flower essence as Abolition of the Ego, then what are you looking for? Or what is it? How do you use it?

N You mean what are you looking for other than ‘abolition of the ego’?

V Yah, yah…Do you think by taking Abolition of the Ego your ego will be abolished?

N Yes, don’t you?

V Well if you take Abolition of the Ego for abolition of the ego you will probably be very disappointed because your ego will not disappear. So the questions are: when should you take this flower remedy? Should we make structures about how to take the remedies? I don’t know. These are the doubts and questions that come to me. But definitely there has to be a structure for these essences… structure for these essences, in the sense, that they are not for psychological things only or for outer problems only, though they can help these also. They are really about a soul’s journey. They have to be put in the perspective of the journey of the soul. And at different points of our journey, we might need different essences.

And there is the whole background of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. This too has to be expressed. And I don’t know how. It has to be done in a whole living manner.

N It seems you can’t quantify it for anybody else. It’s like you saw the effect of Divine Love Governing the World but it’s not that you can say, therefore…

V Yes that’s true. After this, I gave it to someone else. Her friend came and told me, “What have you done? She is totally spaced out. She sits among all of us staring at something, not connected to the conversation.” I told him, “Please ask her to stop it.” She stopped it and was fine again. So we know that ‘spaced out’ is a common factor. Regarding this flower I had a dream. In this dream I saw a red ball, a red dot. And with it there was another image in which the red dot split or spread out. And I heard a voice telling me (about the red dot), “This is Divine Love.” And (about the red dot spread out) “This is Divine Love Governing the World.” On waking up the next morning I realised somehow, I don’t know why, that people who are compact, who have an inner fabric that is compact like this (a fist) need Divine Love. And people who have a structure that’s relaxed, easy going, need Divine Love Governing the World.

N I’m very interested to try.

V And you also know when you should stop it.

N I think I’ll take it very carefully.

(To be continued)

Share with us (Comments,contributions,opinions)

When reproducing this feature, please credit NAMAH,and give the byline. Please send us cuttings.

The Mother


Peace in the cells




Spiritual Atmosphere

Divine Solicitude

Integral Immortality

Psychological Perfection


Divine Love Governing the World


Divine Love Governing the World


Divine Love Governing the World


An ant


Quiet mind




Abolition of the Ego


Divine Love