I have used your remedies for years for myself and my grandchildren with much success. I have been trying to find what to use for nail-biting for a fourteen-year old boy. He has been using Sunflower for issues involving his father and this remedy has been great. If you can recommend any remedy or refer me to anyone who has a testimony I would be very grateful.

April 1, 2002

Thanks for your question about nail-biting and appropriate flower essences. The most commonly used flower essences for breaking repetitive patterns like nail-biting are Walnut, Chestnut Bud and Morning Glory.

However, in many cases involving nervous unconscious habits like nail biting, we have to look a little deeper. We may have to treat the underlying anxiety with flower essences like Mimulus or Pink Monkeyflower. Crab Apple is also effective for those who have various rituals for cleaning or grooming the body excessively or compulsively.

It is also necessary to find new options and new behaviors when breaking old habits. The Walnut flower essence helps encourage the soul in this direction, but exploring the behavior with sensitivity and compassion is also very important. Then the nail-biter can begin to identify new "outlets" for their behavior.

For example, I received a report of an interesting case in which a mother massaged Self-Heal Cream onto the nail-bitten fingers of her six-year old child, with Chestnut Bud and Walnut in the topical cream blend. Her approach was to bring more love and nurturing to the child's fingers (scolding or otherwise telling the child to stop the behavior was ineffective). As she treated the area where the nail had been bitten down she explained each time how important the nails were for protecting the skin there. Somehow this quality of bringing the child into connection with her body and its needs, along with the loving care and tender touch from the mother, helped the child to change the habit in a very short time.

Patricia Kaminski

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