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Star of Bethlehem:
A State of Shock

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Star of Bethlehem is one of the Bach Flower Essences which belongs in everyone's alternative medicine kit, for it deals with shock, both acute and as a long-term state. Acute shock is easy to identify. Your son announces that he's going to drop out of college and get married. Your company downsizes. You narrowly miss having an automobile accident. The emotional and often physical result of any of the above can be a kind of numbness. It is as if the mind, refusing to believe what it is experiencing, directs the emotions, and often the body, to shut down.

The physical body, or parts of it, may become literally paralyzed. Sometimes people, upon hearing shocking news, find themselves unable to hear correctly, or at all. Sometimes speech is affected, or the ability to swallow is lessened (giving credibility to the phrase, "Don't expect me to swallow that.")

Long-term shock or trauma often occurs from events, frequently unremembered, which took place in early childhood. Childhood sexual or physical abuse falls into this category. An adult conspiracy of silence often adds to the physical trauma and the state of disbelief that one's safe world has been so violently destroyed.

The abused child may grow into adulthood knowing only that certain sensations and situations cause a reaction of extreme fear. S/he may be afraid to trust others in relationships, especially when sexuality is involved. There can be severe emotional repression and a general withdrawal from life.

Star of Bethlehem is the ideal Essence for either acute or long-term trauma. Many practitioners also recommend it as a preventative measure; for example, it can be given to babies to counteract the trauma of birth.

It is considered to be the essential catalyst in Rescue Essence. By dissolving the paralysis of shock it enables the other four Essences to do their work.

Star of Bethlehem is also one of the Essences (the other two are Holly and Wild Oat) which practitioners recommend either when treatment with Bach Flower Essences doesn't appear to be effective, or when the client seems to need too many Essences to be recommended for one mixture. By helping to dissolve the emotional blockage caused by trauma, it helps the client to become more in touch with his/her emotional needs.

Dr. Bach called Star of Bethlehem "the comforter and soother of pains and sorrows."

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