This month’s seasonal task is to collect an amount of horse chestnut/sticky buds and make a flower essence using the heating method. This is the first time I have used the heating method, usually infusing flowers in the sun. I have used Sarah’s recipe from a great Horse Chestnut article on the Herb Society web site.
“To make the flower remedy, pick 6-8 sticky buds. Place them in a stainless steel or glass saucepan and cover with spring or distilled water. Place a tightly fitting lid on the saucepan, place on the heat and bring to the boil slowly. Simmer for about twenty minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool. When the infusion is completely cool, remove 50ml and place in a sterilized glass bottle (dark glass is best). Add 50ml brandy to the infusion to help preservation.
This is your mother essence. It can be taken as it is using 4 drops under the tongue or in water or fruit juice 3-4 times a day or every half hour in a crisis. The mother essence can be diluted further with distilled water in a 1:10 dilution if you are comfortable with making homeopathic remedies.”
Sam and I collected sticky buds from the tree where I had gathered my bark from for my salve last month; it is a grand old tree, very giving with hundreds of branches. I have simmered for 20 minutes and added brandy as in the instructions. The sticky resin is apparently part of the remedy but I’m not sure that my milk pan will ever be the same again! I was surprised to see that my sticky bud infused water was as dark as the brandy, maybe a little redder. Whilst I was cleaning up my mess it struck me as being odd that something so sticky is used as something releasing, to help us break free from a cycle of troubling thoughts or repetitive behaviour. Perhaps this will become clearer to me in time and after trying it.
|Sticky buds after simmering in well water|
This flower remedy or essence from the Horse Chestnut or Aesculus Hippocastanum, to use the Latin name, is known as Chestnut bud when the buds are used and White Chestnut when the flowers are used.
White chestnut is used to be able to focus thoughts more clearly, stopping mental chatter by taking attention away from annoying or distressful thoughts and helping them to turn to more positive thoughts. It could help someone who can’t sleep because their mind is full of negative thoughts which won’t settle down. Sometimes it’s hard to forget or let go of upsetting events from the past and they keep playing again in our thoughts. Dr Bach called this the “gramophone record remedy” as the sufferer is unable to stop thoughts going round and round leading to exhaustion and an inability to concentrate.
Chestnut Bud essence is, according to Dr Bach, for those who cannot learn the lessons of life, making the same repeated mistakes without drawing on the experience of the first incident. This could be due to error of judgement or at a deeper level, problems with personality. Sometimes people do not recognise that they have made the same mistake before. Chestnut bud helps people observe the lessons of past experiences to save the distress of repeating the same mistake again and to enable them to move on in life.