In the pink of health

Say Homeopathy and most of us conjure up images of tiny white pills doused in medicated solutions that were a much more palatable alternative to bitter allopathic medicines as children. But do you know that a branch of homeopathy believes in healing through flower tinctures exclusively and it is proven to help in a variety of mental conditions such as stress and depression?

Flower Therapy, as it is known, was developed by a British physician Edward Bach in the 1930s. He believed that diseases of the body and mind were a result of ‘conflicts of the purpose of soul and differing personality and outlook’ and could be corrected with the help of the healing properties of flowers.

Dismissed for long as a weak and alternative mode of medicine, flower therapy is now becoming popular again, thanks to growing disenchantment with allopathic drugs. And driving this popularity is a woman who holds no degree in medicine but derives her motivation solely from faith in the power of flowers.

Dr Malti Khaitan, a product of Delhi University, was a regular homemaker taking care of her husband and children when her husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure in 1990. Looking for different modes of treatment, besides the allopathic, the couple stumbled on flower therapy. Dr Khaitan says, “I was surprised. Without any drugs, and the attendant side-effects or surgical intervention, my husband had been cured in a few months. I was truly impressed.”

Dr Khaitan then decided to take her curiosity forward and moved to London, the birthplace of flower therapy to take up studies in this discipline. But failing to do that for some reasons, she educated herself by reading several books, including the Vedas, on the subject. She then did a PhD from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, Kolkata, and today, is a registered healer as well as trainer in flower therapy practising in Delhi.

She informs, “In flower therapy, we preserve flowers in clean water and ample sunlight so that their essence and medicinal properties are suffused in the water. This liquid is then used to prepare tinctu­res. Each flower has the ability to alleviate a certain negative personality trait. Rock Rose, for example, reduces frightfulness, Star of Bethlehem eases shock, Mustard buds are for deep gloom, Pine for guilt, Larch for lack of confidence and Holly for hatred.”

“I also realised that Dr Bach had studied European flowers mainly and these were difficu­lt to procure in India. So I res­earched on Indian flowers and came up with 81 indigeno­us flowers that can be used thus.”

Today, her residence garden in Chanakyapuri is a herb­al paradise growing at least 60 such flowers which are then used in her tinctures. Dr Khaitan has also authored two boo­ks which sell today as authoritative works on the subject.

The mother of two says, “Initially, people would come to me through word of mouth. They would not be serious about the treatment and leave the course halfway not finding instant results. But today, people are taking a lot of interest in flower therapy. I have also trained a number of youngsters so far who, I hope, will now take it forward.”

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