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Saturday, April 15, 2006
Scouring the bush for flowers with power to heal
By ANGELA JEFFS
Special to The Japan Times
Upon mailing Australian Bush Flower Essences last year for help with a nauseous pregnant daughter, the speed of reply, kindness and concern was impressive. It was so impressive that it seemed a good idea to seek out the company's founder, Ian White, who said he would be coming to Japan in the spring, and would be more than happy to meet up.
So here he is, in central Tokyo, coming to the end of a daylong lecture on numerology and how it can be applied to the diagnosis and prescription of bush flower essences (in the form of drops, mists or creams) to resolve physical and emotional problems.
White looks like one of the flowers he is introducing by slide projector onto a screen. His shirt is whiter than white. His suit is lavender. His face is tanned, and his hair long and bleached in hippie surfer fashion. (When later, ready to leave, he puts on a creamy coat and a pink scarf, he looks nearly good enough to eat.)
He laughs when asked if this is how he dresses normally for work. "No, no, only when traveling to teach. Normally, it's everyday stuff, and when I go into the outback to find the flowers, I dress for bush-walking; you have to be practical."
It comes as a surprise to hear that he himself picks every flower that goes into his business. I had somehow imagined acres of farmed plants, harvested by machinery. The reality is very different, as he describes in his book "Australian Bush Flower Essences," dedicated to "Paracelus and Edward Bach, the modern founders of flower essences."
"I look for flowers that have grown far away from any form of pollution and power lines that emit radiation. I pick with care, never touching a flower directly, placing them in a bowl of purified water, which is left in the sunlight for a few hours. Not only must these conditions be right, but I must be feeling positively attuned."
He removes the flower or flowers with a twig and preserves this "mother essence water" with an equal amount of brandy. He then creates a concentrate, or stock bottle, from which products are made.
White is the fifth generation in his family to be interested in healing. "My great-great English-Norwegian paternal grandmother was part of the Australian gold rush in the 1850s, and a famed herbalist.
Her daughter, my great-grandmother was also an herbalist, but in New Zealand before she moved to Australia. As for my father, he was a pharmacist, but with a strong preference for herbal remedies."
As a child growing up in the Terrey Hills, north of Sydney, White used to walk with his grandmother as she gathered herbs. "Her respect for nature rubbed off on me."
Sadly, she died without having recorded her knowledge or recipes. But this meant little to White at the time. "I chose to study science and psychology, and during vacations, did what everyone else was doing in the 1970s; traveled to India."
Returning with dysentery, White's family found they couldn't help him. This is when he decided to take responsibility for his own health. "Combining therapies with psychology to complete my degree, I really liked the concept of homeopathy: Anyone can use flower essences."
After creating a healing circle that practiced yoga, meditation and reiki exchange to help a friend with cancer, White began to receive messages -- channeled images and information -- about bush flowers. He began to verify the information, and after two years began publishing.
Today, White has a staff of 40, and at 10 every morning they gather for an attunement session before starting work "to maintain integrity."
White first came to Japan to teach in 2001, which makes this his fourth stay in Japan. There was a bit of a gap when he changed his Japanese distributor. "Natureworld really understands the potency of our products, with essences to treat every condition and problem.
"For infertility, for example, we have a doctor in Sydney with a success rate of 90 percent with she oak and/or turkey bush. In my clinic it is about a 70 percent success rate."
Taking the "Woman Essence," which contains bottlebrush, she oak, ilawara flame tree, bush fuchsia and or peach-flowered tea-tree, a woman does not have to fear any side-effects from taking HRT for menopause.
While pollen allergies -- a big problem in Japan -- can be treated with bush iris, dagger hakea and fringed violet.
Spending several months a year teaching and lecturing, White takes the combination essence, Travel, whenever he flies -- and says he never suffers jet lag. Also he is taking yellow cowslip orchid to counteract his current overly critical and judgmental handling of his 17-year-old daughter.
White is especially interested in children, stating that the prescribed drug Ritlin may be effective short-term in getting a handle on learning problems but can lead to retarded emotional development and amphetamine dependence.
"We can do a lot to help. Also we supply kits to orphanages in Brazil that help the children release the grief of abandonment and loss.
Chile seems especially accepting of our work; In 2005, I facilitated a four-day workshop with over 200 people, mostly doctors and health practitioners."
For the next four days, White will be fully occupied with two-day workshops: a Level 2, for those people already familiar with his work, and White Light, based on especially powerful essences gathered from sacred sites around the world.
The Aborigines have always used flower remedies, as did the ancient Egyptians. But Australia is even more ancient, still relatively unpolluted, and with a deep metaphysical power. Its flower essences are safe and powerful catalysts for anyone to use.
"Used with an accepting and positive attitude, they really do help bring about harmony, health and well-being."