Review: Alexis Smart’s Unburdened (previously LifeSaver).
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may remember an image of a little blue bottle of LifeSaver (now called Unburdened) on my window ledge, back when the tree limbs were icy and the glass was frost covered. If you don’t, well, it was about 17 weeks ago.
From the end of March until mid-May I was taking the contents of said glass bottle, and even though I had to discontinue use for a little while during my elimination diet (I resumed the remedy at the beginning of this month), I have much to share about this wonder of a remedy. If you suffer from stress, tension, and/or exhaustion, you might benefit from putting your faith in the elixir I am about to introduce.
Disclosure: I purchased Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) direct from Alexis Smart’s website. I took all photos appearing in this post. Links are NOT affiliated and I am in no way being compensated for writing this review. Information provided is simply my experience using this flower remedy and should NOT be considered medical advice. Flower remedies are not meant to replace medications, so please consult your physician or natural practitioner should you have any questions or concerns.
Alexis Smart has a passion for helping people, which explains why, in 2004, she established her own flower remedy practice. After a “profoundly positive and life changing experience” with the flower essences of Dr. Edward Bach (more on him in the next section), she decided to become a student of transformative healing. The oft-ignored link between emotional distress and physical illness has been witnessed first-hand by Ms. Smart over the course of her training in both Bach flower remedies and homeopathy.
I had always been interested in natural medicine, as I was raised, not only with respect for the healing power of plants, but for the power of the individual to heal himself. Whenever we were sick, my mother treated us with homebrewed herbal teas and folk remedies passed on by her Irish grandmother. It wasn’t until I discovered homeopathy and flower remedies, however, that my world opened up and I discovered my passion for healing.
Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal once our emotions are balanced. It is from this spirit that Alexis Smart Flower Remedies was born.
Treating clients one on one and seeing them heal from issues they thought were impossible to overcome, inspired me to create a line of formulas available to the public. Each remedy has a very specific action and was formulated through clinical observation, working with real people and witnessing the powerful effect certain essences have in combination.
In order to support, nourish, and empower a person to heal him or herself, the Alexis Smart line of flower remedies offers 16 Adult Formulas and 6 Children’s Formulas based upon the original 38 flower essences of Dr. Bach.
About the Bach Remedy System
Dr. Edward Bach was a British bacteriologist, physician, and pathologist, who, over the course of the 1920s and 1930s, researched and experimented with plants, and more specifically, flowers, that could be associated with basic human emotions. Visit the Alexis Smart website, as well as the Bach Centre website for more detailed information about Bach and his remedy system. Below is my short overview :)
In 1917, Dr. Bach was taking care of injured soldiers and collapsed from a severe hemorrhage. A tumor was removed during surgery, however he was given a prognosis of 3 months to live. From that point on, he continued his vaccine research and as 3 months came and went, he was no longer on his deathbed, but healthier than ever. He attributed this recovery to his sense of purpose.
Bach did not like how conventional medicine treated only the body, rather than the whole person. Aspiring to a more holistic approach to medicine, he initially worked with bacteria and created seven homeopathic nosodes (a nosode being a preparation of substances secreted in the course of a disease, used to treat that disease). However, he wanted to find remedies that would be gentler on the body, so, he looked to nature and began collecting plants and flowers. He eventually gave up his practice, moved to the countryside, and dedicated himself to cultivating his gift as a natural healer.
Dr. Bach believed that if he could target each of his remedies to a particular mental state or emotion, then he could treat personalities and feelings. Bach was so devoted to his work that he, in Jekyll & Hyde-like fashion, would often suffer the emotional state that he wanted to cure. This allowed him to test the flower essences on himself.
The final 38 flower essences became the Bach Remedy System. The idea is to take one remedy, or a mix of the remedies, to overcome any emotional situation. And, once the body is uninhibited by emotional baggage, it becomes free to heal. A year after Bach completed his life’s work, he passed away. At age 50, he had outlived his 3-month prognosis by almost 20 years.
I was first introduced to the Alexis Smart Flower Remedies via Britanie from Beauty by Britanie. She had posted about her use of Safe and Sound for anxiety and panic attacks. I read every word on every page of Alexis’ website and I liked the idea of healing my emotional state with flowers.
At the time, I was desperate for something to help me with my feelings of overwhelming stress, and Britanie mentioned that she noticed a difference within 2 weeks of using her remedy. Of course, we weren’t suffering from the same ailment, so I didn’t know if I would respond as quickly, or at all (the skeptic in me), but I was willing to give it a try. The worst that could happen? I invested $25 in something that didn’t work.
The Remedy: I chose Unburdened, the remedy formerly known as LifeSaver.
The Directions (adapted from the website listing)
Take 4 drops, 4 times per day under the tongue. This remedy may be taken more frequently if needed (once every hour for severe cases), however taking more than 4 drops per dose does not make the blend more potent. Rather, using the remedy on a regular basis builds its strength.
The Claims (adapted from the website listing)
In conventional medicine, doctors fight illness by prescribing drugs to treat the symptoms of a disease or disorder. With flower remedies, practitioners treat emotional imbalances, in an attempt to cut them off before they are commonplace. Rather than suppressing negative emotions, they encourage and cultivate the positive parts of a personality. Once an emotional balance is restored, you are left with the positive, happy parts of yourself and as a result, your body will no longer react to stressors in the form of physical symptoms.
Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) is indicated for the following symptoms:
- Overwhelmed by responsibility
And the benefits include:
- Lightness in the face of adversity
From Alexis’ website:
The ultimate aim of this system of healing is happiness and peace of mind. By aligning the soul and the personality, the flowers help us to live our lives in the way we were meant to, fulfilling our purpose with love, happiness and freedom from all the limiting influences we may encounter along the way.
The Ingredients (taken from the website)
Note: For all beauty reviews, you will find color-coded product ingredients based upon their ratings on EWG (I build reports for each product). Green ingredients scoring 0-2 are low hazard. Orange ingredients scoring 3-6 are moderate hazard. Red ingredients scoring 7-10 are high hazard. Please visit my Ingredients to Avoid page for further information and potential concerns regarding specific ingredients.
Unburdened (previously LifeSaver): Organic Brandy, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Healingherbs Flower Essences of Cherry Plum, Elm, Oak, Olive, and Vervain.
This remedy is also available in an alcohol-free version. The organic brandy is replaced with organic and non-GMO vegetable glycerine.
The overall EWG score for Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) in both the original and alcohol-free formulas is 0.
To treat complex human emotions and create powerful and lasting results, all of the remedies in the Alexis Smart collection contain multiple flower essences.
Flower remedies should be safe for allergy sufferers because they are so dilute and contain only trace amounts of the original plant material. However, if you have severe allergies or concerns about whether you should use one, I would recommend consulting your doctor. You can also e-mail Alexis if you have questions.
Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) contains organic brandy, which is generally made from the juice or wine of grapes. I e-mailed Alexis to inquire as to the allergy potential of the remedies and she reminded me that one 4-drop dose contains only around 3 drops of brandy. If you are severely allergic to grapes, you can dilute 4 drops in an inch of water and take a sip from that as one dose. This further dilutes the remedy.
An alcohol-free version is also available, which might be preferable for those with anaphylactic response to grapes, unless you are sensitive to vegetable glycerin. This remedy also contains plants essences of cherry plum, elm, oak, olive, and vervain.
Personally, I am highly allergic to grapes, as well as oak, but I do not react to this remedy :) As with any new product, I would definitely suggest trying a drop or two first to see if you react before taking a full dose.
Made using Healingherbs from the English countryside. The flowers to be used are gathered at their peak of bloom. They grow wild, without interference from pollution or environmental disturbances. The best flowers are picked and floated in a crystal bowl filled with stream water. Once the flowers have stood in full sunlight for several hours, the water is imprinted with the power of the plant—this essence is then bottled and preserved in brandy for use in the remedies. Creates an enchanting picture in your mind, doesn’t it?
Packaged in a beautiful blue glass dropper bottle, containing approximately 1 oz of your chosen remedy. The bottle has a brown paper label printed with the remedy’s name, but beware of getting it wet, as it will cause the type to wear off.
Color of the liquid is clear on the skin, but it has a golden tinge while inside the dropper.
Smells like alcohol. I find the scent to be a tad off-putting, but I’m not a huge fan of brandy. It is very strong and potent. If you don’t like the smell of alcohol, you will not like the smell of these remedies. On the flip side, if you are a brandy lover, then you will quite enjoy the scent! I can’t vouch for the smell of the versions with vegetable glycerin, but I would guess it is a bit milder.
Feels like any serum or face oil. I try not to get this liquid anywhere other than in my mouth (except for taking the photo below), but sometimes a drop or two dribbles down my chin. It is easily wiped away and doesn’t cause any adverse skin reactions. The drops have a bit of a drying effect on my gums, but they absorb quickly.
Tastes bitter. Again, if it smells like alcohol, then it generally tastes like alcohol. It took me some time to get used to using this because the taste lingers for a bit after taking the drops. I recommend sipping some water as a chaser.
Within 6 months of starting a new job, I was having a very hard time with a lot of things. I was suffering from horrible stress, had unbearable and debilitating headaches, and picked up some sort of illness every couple of months. I had been dealing with these issues for quite a while prior to switching jobs, but everything seemed to escalate once I changed environments. I was moody, unhappy, bitter, and unable to control these emotions. I’m sure my family, friends, and coworkers found me to be an unpleasant and negative influence.
I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of ingesting something every day, but I needed help. I checked out the blends and although several of them related to my feelings at the time, I ended up picking Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) because it described my emotional state overall, at the moment I was placing my order (overwhelmed by responsibility, workaholic, stress, tension, and exhaustion).
I was skeptical, but let me tell you—this remedy works. If you would have told me a year ago that a bunch of flower essences could “work on the subtle level of the bioenergetic field” in my body and “assist in positively changing mental and emotional patterns,” I would have thought that the concept was interesting. But, I would have also wondered if any positive reaction to the remedies could be attributed to a sort of placebo effect. Of course, now I think the answer to that question is inconsequential.
If something works because it works, or if something works because you believe it will (or a little of both), does it really matter?
I got my tiny blue bottle in the mail and started taking remedy on Thursday, March 20, 2014. On the first day, I mixed 32 drops into my water bottle. This caused my water to smell very alcoholic and had anyone at my office taken a whiff, they would have thought I’d brought brandy to work! The mixture made me feel a little spacey as I sipped it throughout the day, however I should mention that I was coming off of a stomach virus, and hadn’t eaten very much in the previous 72 hours.
On the second day, I decided to take the remedy as originally intended—4 drops, 4 times a day. Immediately after taking the first dose under the tongue, I felt a lump in my throat. I’m not sure if this was an initial reaction to one of the ingredients or a fluke, as this didn’t happen again with subsequent doses. Perhaps it was the vervain, which means I must be a vampire!
By day five, I was in a strange state of awareness. I was unhappy, but I knew why. Coworkers said I was acting unusually quiet and contemplative. On days six and seven, my mood was much more controlled. Things that would normally have upset me and put me on the defensive seemed to roll off my shoulder. And, on day eight, my mom said that I seemed noticeably happier when I came downstairs in the morning humming a song.
On day 26, I wrote an e-mail to Alexis to tell her of my experience with Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) thus far. I’d like to share an excerpt from this e-mail:
The first few days I felt an amplification of all that was causing me stress, which turned out to be extremely helpful (as it helped me pinpoint the true stressors in my life currently). Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been much more calm and centered, so much that those around me (specifically my mother and my coworkers) have mentioned that I seem less stressed and happier overall. I do of course have days where I wonder if I am regressing (I need First Aid Kit!), but then I realize that I need to give my remedy the time it needs to fully work its magic. The biggest change I have noticed is that my [stress-related] migraines have all but disappeared.
Alexis was very happy to hear about my experience. A little bit from her response:
The initial aggravation is common and just like you said, the remedies not only make us feel better, but teach us something about the way we are living and help us to change things. It sounds like this is a deep acting remedy for you, as you may have lucked into having your “type” remedy as one of the ingredients. Type remedies are like constitutional remedies that treat us on a whole being level and correspond to our personality types. I would guess you are a vervain—stressed, excited and passionate but hurting yourself through over effort. This vervain will really help you go with the flow.
Of course, this prompted me to look up the Bach “type” remedies and I found some wonderful pages on the Bach Centre website and the Healingherbs website about all of the personalities. The first sentence on the vervain page threw me for a loop. It said:
Vervain people are perfectionists with a keen sense of justice. They are blessed with extreme mental energy that they willingly throw into the causes they believe in.
I was surprised at the accuracy of this statement. I am, without a doubt, a perfectionist with strong moral drive and fixed principles. I am strong-willed and intense of mind. I do feel the need to persuade others to join my cause. I definitely put myself under a lot of stress, over-exerting myself mentally and physically because I can’t switch my mind off and relax.
And, I can vouch for the fact that this remedy has indeed helped me go with the flow!
I also inquired as to how long I should use this remedy (or how many bottles I should finish) before moving on to a different one. The true answer to this question is that each person is different and you should take a remedy until you feel that you no longer need it. Alexis told me that often a person is done with a remedy when he or she forgets to take it or misplaces the bottle. She also explained that many people take a remedy for around 90 days (or 3 bottles). However, if you feel good on a remedy, you can keep taking it or just keep a bottle around for stressful moments. These remedies work by resonance, so the closer a remedy is to matching your feelings, the more effective it will be.
After about 45 days, I kept forgetting to take my remedy, however I don’t know if that was because I no longer needed it or because I was dealing with some medical issues that focused my mind elsewhere. Regardless, I feel that my effects have been lasting. I would never have been able to get through my doctor’s appointments, medical testing, and a very long elimination diet/reintroduction with minimal stress had I not taken Unburdened (previously LifeSaver).
My personality and will are still intact; the only difference is that I am able to approach situations in my life with a much better perspective.
Most days, I feel as if a lot of the weight I had been carrying has been lifted. I go with the flow when necessary and choose to fight the battles that are most important. I do not hold on to frustration, grudges, or stupid annoyances and I feel much more at peace than ever before. I started taking Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) again this month, and although sometimes I still get angry over things that are beyond my control, for the most part I am able to identify the cause of my stress and take steps to regain my balance and composure. I believe that I will always keep a bottle of Unburdened (previously LifeSaver) on hand, but for fast acting relief in high-stress situations, I plan to pick up a bottle of First Aid Kit :)
Pros & Cons
Pros: safe; non-toxic; non-addictive; good option for those who would rather avoid drugs, chemicals, and harsh herbal treatments; suitable for children and pets, as well as adults; safe for allergy sufferers; will not react with medications; fair price; effects are lasting and you will not regress; 16 blends for adults/6 for children, so there are many options to choose from; custom blend consultations are available in person, or via phone/Skype; fabulous customer service
Cons: tastes and smells like alcohol; may be hard to remember to take 4 doses per day
Eco Eccentric Approved?
Yes! Alexis, by the way, is a wonderfully sweet, friendly, and helpful individual. She graciously answered any question I threw at her, as well as some that I didn’t, and you all know that fabulous customer service and lovely people always get my return business and recommendations!
If you feel as if you are at a breaking point emotionally (and physically) and don’t know what to do, I recommend checking out the Alexis Smart Flower Remedies. The chance of finding a remedy to match your current emotional state is high. Alexis also does custom blend consultations in person or via phone/Skype.
After taking my remedy for just over a week, I started to notice a difference and by the month mark, I no longer felt the burden of hopelessness. I also rid myself of stress-related tension headaches, which is huge for me.
Whether the remedy had an effect on me because it indeed worked on my bioenergetic field (which I believe it did), or because I wanted it to work and therefore it did, the point is that I am a better person having taken this remedy.
Next up: custom consultation!
Check Out Alexis’ Other Remedies
For Confidence: Beauty Formula No8, Ganesh, and Wallflower.
For Focus: Brain Drops, My Personal Assistant, and Soul Purpose.
For Heart: Above It All, In Love, Sunshine, and Wholehearted.
For Calm: I Will, First Aid Kid, Unburdened (previously LifeSaver), Moon River, Peaceful Worrier, and Safe and Sound.
For Kids: Dream Boat, First Aid Kit for Kids, Flower Fixer Elixer (previously Good Grief), Goody Gum Drops, Magic Shield, and SmartyPlants.
Purchase Alexis Smart Flower Remedies
Price: $30.00 (custom blend consultations are $200)
Buy on the Alexis Smart Flower Remedies website
Would you consider taking a flower remedy? If so, which one(s) are of interest to you? Let me know in the comments below!
♥ Link Love: Check out Britanie’s blog, Beauty by Britanie to see the post that inspired me to try an Alexis Smart Flower Remedy.