Exploring the Essences: White Chestnut

Happy Memorial Day! Today is the second installment in our new series, Exploring the Essences. Today we’re going to look at another essence that is near and dear to my own heart: White Chestnut, which comes from the flowers of the Horse Chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum).
The negative White Chestnut state is characterized by worry, specifically worrying thoughts that we just can’t leave alone, like a scab we won’t allow to heal.  An individual in a negative White Chestnut state is often consumed by these racing–even obsessive–thoughts, plagued by them to the point of interfering with their enjoyment of life. This state is often characterized by insomnia and sleeplessness–the vicious cycle of worry whirls around in their head all night. Stefan Ball, Director of the Bach Foundation, describes it as being stuck in “a groove” with no seeming way out. 1
White Chestnut has a very hard time living and staying in the present moment. They very often find themselves revisiting the past (remembering something bad that happened, how things went awry, or replaying events or conversations in their head) or in the future (worrying that the bad thing will happen again or that something tomorrow, next week, or next year will go wrong). Someone with a White Chestnut imbalance may either express these worries to excess or hold them in and torture themselves alone, depending on the individual and what other imbalances are at play.
There are certainly people who are White Chestnut “types.” We probably all know at least one…or are one ourself! But it’s very easy for anyone to slip into a White Chestnut state during a  period of stress, imbalance, or strife, and a White Chestnut imbalance often intensifies any other issues we may be experiencing.
Working with the White Chestnut remedy helps us keep our concerns in perspective. We’re not oblivious to potential dangers or obstacles, but neither are we ruled by them and the anticipation that they may at some point come our way. With the White Chestnut remedy we can finally break the cycle and at last get off the gerbil wheel of worry that exhausts us and drains the energy that could be put to much better use. We can finally find the still point inside of ourselves, cultivate a sense of calm, and be present and engaged in this moment.
In the words of Hafiz:
All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better
Job. 2
The words here are my own interpretations of the remedies after 20+ years experience working intimately with them. They are not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment. To read the description of this remedy as set down by Dr. Edward Bach himself, go to: http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/38/whiteche.htm
For more information or to schedule a private session, email frogmoonhollow@gmail.com
1 Ball, Stefan. Bloom: Using flower essences for personal development and spiritual growth. London: Vermillion, 2006), 100.
2 Hafiz. “Find a Better Job” in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master. Trans. Daniel Ladinsky (New York: Penguin, 1999), 234.
gerbil wheel

Get off that wheel of worry!