Emotional cleansing with Crab Apple

Individuals in need of Crab Apple take purification and order to the extreme. They become overly stressed by flaws that to others are not worth the energy it takes to fuss about.

by Linda Crider — 

Most of us would agree that our once relatively safe environment is now a questionable one. Radiation leaks, genetically modified foods, mysterious bacterial infections and a host of other negative energies threaten our sense of well-being. Some of us might even feel contaminated by simply breathing.

We are all grasping to establish some sense of order and control over the fate of our bodies and the world we live in. For some, however, this need gets a bit out of balance and they go to great lengths to purify themselves and their surroundings. For those who are overly obsessed with such matters, there is the Bach flower remedy Crab Apple.

It is not surprising that Bach scholar Mechthild Scheffer refers to this essence as “the cleansing flower.” Individuals in need of Crab Apple take purification and order to the extreme. They are the ones who become overly stressed by flaws that to others are not worth the energy it takes to fuss about. If they walk into a room and see a crooked picture on the wall, they will not rest until it is straight. At the same time, such folks will dwell on every last speck of dirt and any piece of paper out of place.

Hygiene, cleanliness and order are important of course, but these individuals have become fanatical. For those familiar with the recently popular television show, “Monk,” the main character, who was aptly named Monk, is a good example of the extremely compulsive Crab Apple personality. Although the character’s obsession with details made him a brilliant detective, poor Monk was constantly tormented by a preoccupation with real or imagined pathogens and imperfections.

This imbalance also can manifest as an obsession with one’s self-image. Dr. Edward Bach himself describes people in the negative Crab Apple state as those who “feel as if they had something not quite clean about themselves.” This may be a passing, short-term issue or a more acute problem.

People in need of Crab Apple may suffer from self-loathing during or following an illness because they feel contaminated by real or imagined germs. This remedy may also be given to those who harbor unrealistic expectations about how they look and, thus, resort to extreme behavior.

This might include the teenager who refuses to attend any social events because she is overweight or those who focus too much on their appearance. Taken to another extreme, there is the individual who spends a fortune on repeat plastic surgeries, only to uncover yet another thing she perceives as a defect that needs to be corrected.

As with many of Bach’s 38 flower remedies, Crab Apple also is beneficial to the animal kingdom. It can help calm a dog or cat that obsessively cleans itself or its environment, or a bird that is constantly biting at its feathers. Along a similar line, this remedy can also be used on plants that have been infested with parasites.

Dr. Bach thought to add Crab Apple to the topical version of his popular stress-relief formula, Rescue Remedy®. This cream can relieve stress or trauma to the skin, such as insect bites, burns and mysterious skin afflictions.

Using this soothing cream or taking Crab Apple by itself allows those who are troubled by these afflictions and issues to become more at peace with their own flaws and those that are inherent in the imperfect world around them.


Linda Crider, BFRP, has been a promoter and educator of botanical healing practices for 15 years. She specializes in flower essence therapy and is a Bach Foundation registered practitioner and founder of Blooming Vibrations, LLC. 602-774-2382 or www.bloomingvibrations.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 4, August/September 2012.

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