Dr Bach’s Mustard Flower Essence and the Winter Blues
Here in Albuquerque over the last week or so we’ve been inundated with a series of winter storms bringing in snow and dense cloud cover. We average 278 days of sun each year, so being socked in with heavy clouds is not a common occurrence. In addition, these storms appeared suddenly and in sharp contrast to the warm sunny days of Fall we had been experiencing. This recent weather has me thinking of Bach’s Mustard Flower Essence.
Bach writes of Mustard, it’s for “Those who are liable to times of gloom, or even despair, as though a cold, dark cloud overshadowed them and hid the light and the joy of life. It may not be possible to give any reason or explanation for such attacks. Under these conditions it is almost impossible to appear happy or cheerful”. The Mustard state is characterized by a gloomy depression which descends suddenly out of the clear blue sky. This feeling surrounds you like a dark cloud and seems to arise from no known source (for depression with a known cause, try Gentian).
The beautiful Mustard flower (Sinapis arvensis) brings us medicine which can lift depressive moods, melancholy, lack of enthusiasm, grouchiness, joylessness, and pessimism. The bright qualities of this special flower have a stimulating effect and can help promote a more open and optimistic world view. It can have a decidedly positive effect on illnesses that accompany depression and can help prevent a worsening of such conditions. Mustard is also known as The Light Flower.
The Key to understanding the energy of Mustard may lie in an observation made by Johns in his Flowers of the Field where he describes her as ‘a common weed in cornfields, sometimes springing up in profusion from recently disturbed ground, though previously unknown there’. It was not uncommon, in times before herbicides, for a patch of wild Mustard to spring up in a newly ploughed field. This sudden, unexpected invasion is akin to the type of depression that Mustard Flower Essence treats.
What causes this invasion, this sudden, unexplained onset of depression? Wherein lies the “seed” of this imbalance? In Nature, each Mustard plant may carry as many as 4,000 tiny seeds. In a field, this can result in millions of seeds lying just under the surface of the soil. Research shows the depth of the plough has the biggest effect on the germination
of the seeds. Where the blade of the plough pulls deep, more seeds are brought up to the surface. As an emotional state, we see that Mustard is a type of depression which waits, in the unseen depths, for an opportunity to surface.
The origins of the Mustard type of depression may come from the past, buried deep in the soil of the subconscious, often deeper than memory. This darkness, which clouds ‘the light and joy of life’ comes from the depths of Earth and is oft borne out of past experiences (perhaps even stored karmas) which are carried unknowingly until conditions are ripe for germination. The Mustard state can arise when these fields are ploughed or otherwise disturbed. This can occur just prior to a decisive step being taken towards personal development (the ploughed field).
Psyche can protect us by burying deep impressions, emotions and traumas until such a time arises when we are able to see their deeper meaning. This allows us to process only what we are ready for, while the rest recedes into the subconscious. At some point our Vital Force spurs these deeper truths up to the surface to help us better our lives. If we don’t allow this to enter our conscious awareness and we are unable to see things for what they truly are, then depression may result.
The experience of taking Mustard is like waking from a deep, dark dream. The clouds begin to part and a feeling of joyful serenity begins to shine outward. You begin to feel carried by the stream of life, enjoying the ebb and flow, cloudy days followed eventually by sun, transforming your traumas in the clear light of day.
Useful Mustard Combos:
Mustard and Aspen for anxious depression
Mustard and Chicory for depression resulting from unrequited love
Mustard and Gentian for bad moods and depression
Mustard and Honeysuckle for depression cause by loss
Mustard and Red Chestnut for depression and worry
Mustard and Scleranthus for frequent mood swings
Mustard and Wild Oat for depression caused by a feeling of the meaninglessness of life
As with all flower essences, it may be beneficial to add the Robert Steven’s buffers: Jasmine, Tea Tree, Be Still, and Plumeria.