Sonchus arvensis This remedy is for those who do not love themselves. Often they try to make up for this by trying to please others. This essence relates to the chest area of the body - in Eastern terms the heart centre (Heart Chakra). For many people this is a vulnerable place because it is where they experience fear as well as love. In many ways love and fear are opposites. Fear can suppress love, yet love can overcome fear. Difficulties in this part of the body are often due to blocked-off love of the self and of other people. Typical physical symptoms are a “caved-in” look where the shoulders are pulled forwards and downwards and the breathing is restricted by a pinched-in chest. In such cases it can be very helpful to work with suitable exercises, designed to ease the shoulders back and help the chest-box to expand forwards, outwards and upwards. The “defeated” posture is a fairly sure sign of people who have a poor opinion of themselves - self-love and self-esteem are at a very low level. The patterns may well have been established in early childhood when there has been a perceived lack of close love from the mother. Milk Thistle encourages people to open up to love and let go of the fears that are restricting them. In opening at this level, there may be temporary feelings of pain or increased vulnerability. This is due to positive change taking place. Reassurance and loving help may be needed until sufficient courage has been gained to look the world straight in the face. They will then begin to understand that the world itself is, in reality, a loving environment. A very useful and powerful essence, Milk Thistle is about helping people to bring more light and love into their lives. Early Purple Orchid assists the process when given at the same time.