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Cherry Plum…a Testimonial

by Linda Cohen 1/28/2009

Cherry Plum Prunus cerasifera

Positive qualities: Spiritual surrender and trust,
feeling guided and protected by a Higher Power;
balance and equanimity despite
extreme stress or adversity

Patterns of imbalance: Fear of losing control,
mental and emotional breakdown; desperate
or destructive impulses; acute
tension and rigidity

I’ve been taking FES flower essences for more than twenty years and became a Certified Flower Essence Therapist in 2001. My experience with the original Bach essence Cherry Plum, the Healing Herb brand by Julian Barnard, is a great example of how flower essences have helped determine and navigate the fast-current course and tone of my life.

Having suffered from low-grade depression through much of my childhood and young adulthood, I began to “self-medicate” with both prescription and non-prescription drugs (mainly psychedelics) in my late twenties. After five years of spinning out of control, with two young children and a divorce recently behind me, I entered a year-long drug rehab program. Coming out of that program more than twenty years ago, I decided to study food and healing for two reasons. Firstly, I needed the knowledge of how to eat and use nutritional supplements correctly for myself and my children; and secondly as a possible career path. Two years out of rehab, I began studying with holistic health guru Gary Null. I eventually received my Certification as a Holistic Health Counselor in 1991 and began my practice.

Of course, I learned a great deal about healing foods and positive life-style practices. I began a love affair with yoga. I became interested in Tibetan Buddhism. I started studying Karate too. Perhaps, for me, the most important discovery, based on my emotional make-up and challenges, was the FES flower essences, so specific in their healing “virtues” and covering such a wide range of emotional issues I felt, and still to some degree feel, I am challenged by. The remedies that have made such an impact on my well-being are too numerous to list. However, my most recent experience with Cherry Plum once again reminded me of how one essence could change “my emotional temperature” and outlook so fast and so positively.

Cherry Plum has always been the main flower essence I have used to treat my own feelings of depression, as often the predominant feeling I have in this area is “feeing out of control” of my own thoughts. Feeling out of control, leads me to spiraling into negative thoughts that have little or nothing to do with my reality and often stem from some negative experience, or trauma, in the past.

This year when Christmas Eve rolled around I realized I had no firm plans for New Years Eve. I had never been in this situation before. I began scrambling to make a plan, with the thought running, galloping, round in my mind, “what ever you do on New Year’s Eve” will be mainly what you’re doing for the rest of the year.” I don’t know where I heard first that thought, but it had always compelled me to make sure I had a party (though not always all that much fun), a date, a dinner, a musical event…something! to attend that created great happiness and blessings for the coming year.

Well, I couldn’t shake the feeling of impending loneliness and the fear of what not having a date might bring for ‘09. Every place I called, restaurants/clubs/music, was crazily expensive and many of my friends had already resolved to stay at home. The day after Christmas, and a big party I always celebrate with my best friend Diane and her Puerto Rican family, I was determined to address my unfounded fears, save my bucks, work with myself to heal all hurtful misconceptions… so I pulled out my one ounce bottle of Cherry Plum, placed it on my altar and affirmed, “all I need and want always comes to me easily and naturally, all is well in my world.” I am forever grateful to Louise Hay for her teachings and wisdom about positive affirmations. Within twenty-four hours, my consciousness spun around from fear to gratitude. I took Cherry Plum four times a day, especially upon waking and before bed, three drops under my tongue orally. I really focused on my intention to find joy within myself and appreciate my wonderful life. I didn’t succumb to wantonly throwing out money on a New Year’s Eve plan I felt was reactionary. I did stay home to enjoy mySelf, telephone calls with friends I hadn’t spoken with for a long time, watching the sparkling ball (with Hillary and Bill Clinton center stage) drop on TV in Times Square, which I’d never done…just enjoying a cozy, “normal” evening at home where the temperature in Times Square was seventeen degrees.

I thought to myself entering 2009, “I imagine this will be a happy year for me. I’m happy now and feel really good about my personal pilgrimage into the new year.” Well, I still have not been able to let go of taking Cherry Plum, it’s so comforting and foundational a remedy for me. As the planet Mercury is soon to go direct, after three weeks of retrograde, I’m just about ready for new essences (maybe simply The Range of Light essence Cherry). Though Cherry Plum remains a treasured ally in a topsy turvey world.