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Bach Flowers ?

Marlene Reid

Bachelor Applied Science in Nursing
Graduate Diploma Midwifery
Diploma Herbal Medicine
Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner

1. What are Bach Flower Remedies?

2. Do they have any side effects?

3. Who discovered them?

4. How are they made?

5. How do they work?

6. How do I choose my remedies?

7. Where can I get them from?

8. How do I take them?

9. How long should I take them for?


How long do they last?

1. What are Bach Flower Remedies?

The 38 Bach Flower Remedies, with one exception, come from
the flowers of plants, trees and bushes around England and the
Welsh countryside. The exception, Rock Water, is made from
the water of a natural healing spring.

Bach Flower Remedies come in liquid form and are taken orally
by drops. They are taken for the negative states of mind
discovered by Doctor Edward Bach

They are not given for physical symptoms, but for the feelings
and emotions experienced because of a physical condition,
changed circumstance or environment.

The Bach Flower Remedies can be used whenever there is
difficulty in your life and when you are feeling negative and

2. Do they have any side effects?

Bach Flower remedies are safe for adults, children and animals.
You can do no harm with them and they are not toxic in any
way. They will also not affect medication you may be taking.

The remedies are entirely positive and cannot under any
circumstances cause the negative state to appear.

If the remedy doesnt fit, it does nothing at all.

Sometimes the emotions that are dealt with have been
repressed for some time and in order to clear them, they have
to be cleansed from the system. On very rare occasions this can
take the form of a rash or unexpected feelings may be aroused.
Where this does occur there may be a need to take extra Bach
Flower remedies as well. Its best not to just stop taking the

3. Who discovered them?

Doctor Edward Bach discovered the remedies.

He was born in 1886 in England and qualified as a Doctor in

1912. He became a Harley Street Physician, Homeopath,
Bacteriologist and Immunologist.

Eighteen years later in 1930 he turned his back on orthodox
research and left London to devote his whole life to the search
for a simple method of treatment that restored emotional

Hed come to believe that a healthy mind could be the key to
recovery and that not everybody reacts the same way to the
same illness and or treatment.

Migraine headaches may be taken as an example. What works
to cure one person of their migraine headache, will not
automatically work for another person with a migraine

Dr Bach identified Seven different Emotional Groups of
People and using his knowledge of homeopathy he perfected a
system of healing and found 38 remedies each of which
relates to a specific emotional state.

He lived and worked at a small cottage called Mount Vernon in
Oxfordshire England until his death. Many years ago I visited
both Mount Vernon and Dr Bachs burial site.

4. How are they made?

There are two methods used to make the Bach Flower Mother
Tincture or Stock bottle, the Sun method and the Boiling

The Sun method involves floating the heads of flowers in a clear
glass bowl, of natural springwater. This is left in bright sunlight
for three hours, then the flowerheads are removed and the
energised water is mixed half and half with brandy (which is
used as a preservative).

The Boiling method involves putting flowering twigs into a pan
of spring water and boiling them for half an hour. The pan is

then left to cool, the plant matter removed and again the water
is mixed half and half with brandy.

A treatment bottle containing remedies specific for the
individual person, can then be made from the stock bottles and
dosage is in droplet form.

5. How do they work?

The 38 remedies work by gently restoring balance to negative
feelings and emotions, providing feelings of well-being.

All living things are made up of positive and negative energy.
For some individuals, the pendulum is swinging too far along
the negative energy spectrum causing an imbalance of negative
feelings and emotions.

The affect of the Bach Flower remedies is not to suppress
negative feelings and emotions, but to transform them into
positive ones, stimulating ones own potential for self healing
and freeing the physical system to engage fully in fighting
disease and /or stress.

If emotional equilibrium can be maintained, the mind and body
can remain in a state of health and balance.

It is the energy in the plant flower remedy that creates this
balancing effect, which is often referred to as vibrational

The German Engineer Dieter Knapp, used a colour plate system
on some of the Bach Flowers, similar to Kirlian photography,
which can give some idea of an individuals energy levels. Each
Bach Flower essence has different colours and energy. You can
view these pictures in the book Mastering Bach Flower
Therapies by Mechthild Scheffer

6. How do I choose my remedies?

Recognising exactly how you feel is the key to choosing the
most appropriate Bach Flower Remedy.

* Dr Bach hoped that individuals could pick their own relevant

* If this doesnt work for you, someone close to you may be able
to help you choose your remedies.
* A Practitioner is the next step if you are still unsure what
remedies to choose.

You could start by looking at the seven emotional groups and
their suggested remedies in the table that follows, then read
the definition for each remedy listed after the table.



Over-sensitive to others.


Over-concern for others.


A lack of interest in the
world around you.

Generally despondent or
in despair.

Hornbeam, Gorse, Gentian,
Scleranthus, Wild Oat, Cerato.
Holly, Centaury, Agrimony
Mimulus, Red Chestnut, Cherry
Plum, Rock Rose, Aspen.
Vine Vervain, Beech, Chicory,
Rock Water.
Heather, Impatiens, Water
Olive, White Chestnut, Wild Rose,
Honeysuckle, Chestnut Bud,
Clematis, Mustard.
Larch, Oak, Crab Apple, Star of
Bethlehem, Willow, Elm, Pine,
Sweet Chestnut.

Using the definitions below, go through the list and pick the
five (you can pick up to seven) most relevant remedies to deal
with how you are feeling now.

Dont pick remedies that would have helped you in the past.
Concentrate on your feelings and emotions now.

I prefer to use no more than five remedies in the treatment
bottles I make.

Procrastination, tiredness at the thought of doing something,
lack of strength to cope with daily tasks.
For those monday morning type feelings which may be
temporary or prolonged

Depression, utter despondency, hoplessness and despair.
This remedy is used when depression is severe and has been
long standing. The terminally ill person, or chronic disease

Pessimism and easily discouraged after a set back, depression
from a known cause.
For example, feeling depressed after applying for a job that you
didnt get.

Inability to choose between alternatives, inbalance.
Not inclined to discuss with others, they fear making the wrong

Uncertainty over ones own direction in life, lack of knowing
what to do.
Dissatisfaction with not having found ones career mission in
life. The person needing this feels life is passing them by and
regret never really being able to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Lack of trust in decisions made, repeatedly seeking the advice of

For people who listen to the advice of others to their own



Feeling hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge.
The person who often says I hate. They have mistrust and
feelings of envy in all aspects.

Inability to say no, easily influenced and exploited by others and
are anxious to please.
Often complain of tiredness and overwork. The eldest daughter
who sacrifices marriage to look after an ill family member.

Tries to hide tormenting thoughts and inner restlessness behind
a cheerful and carefree attitude.
The drunk at the bar, trying to be the centre of attention, but
inside is fearful of not being liked or loved.

At times of great change, sensitive to outside influences.
For periods of uncertainty and being easily influenced during
decisive new phases of life such as puberty, pregnancy,
menopause, starting retirement and during divorce

Fear of known things.
For example, being afraid of heights.

Excessive fear for others, irrational anxiety and depression.
This remedy can be helpful for the parent who is over
concerned for their children or family.

Feeling desperate and suicidal, fear of the mind giving way, fear
of the actions you might take in desperation.
For fear of losing control of your control. Fear of doing
something one will regret. Uncontrolled outbreaks of temper

Extreme fear, panic, terror and fright.
For accidents, sudden illness, natural disasters, the panic
stricken and for sun or heat stroke.

Fear of unknown origin, apprehensive.
Unexplained fears, premonitions, dread, feeling of an
impending disaster. Often afraid to tell their trouble to others.
For the child with fear of the dark.


Desire to dominate others, ruthless and inflexible.
Tries to shout you into submission. Greedy for power with no
respect for others. Evil doers, villains and tyrants

Over enthusiasm, extreme mental energy and anxiety, inability to
relax, poor sleep.
Usually have increased muscle tension. Over enthusiastic in
supporting a good cause. Can be highly strung and even
fanatical. Tend to make lists and irritable if list not finished.
Likes work.

Intolerant, criticising and judgemental.
Finding fault and condemning others without relating to them.
Often seeks perfection.

Demands attention, are overly possessive and expect others to
confirm to their values.

Demanding full support from those around, lapsing into self-

pity if unable to have ones will. For example, a very needy

High self expectations, self denial, martyrdom, rigid and self
The person needing this remedy can be inflexible and sets
themself very high standards. The athlete going for gold or
someone having bad habits that cant be broken.


Over concerned with self, dislike being alone and can be
excessively talkative.
Self centred, obsessed with own troubles and affairs. Crave
company. Talks non-stop, dont care if you listen or not. The
elderly living alone, crying baby, common in children.

Impatient and irritable, having excessive reactions.
Their natural speed is fast. They cram into their lives 200%
more than others. Prefer to work by themself. Have an active
mind, inner restlessness. Act fast and have accidents.

Desire to be alone, proud and aloof.
Fear damage being done to them by others. Very quiet people,
independent, capable, self reliant, aloof. Leave other people
alone and go their own way. Often clever and talented


Complete physical and mental exhaustion following mental or
physical effort.
After physical illness, nursing a sick family member. The last
straw reaction.

Persistent worrying thoughts and mental arguments.

Unwanted thoughts keep going round and round in ones head,

cannot get rid of them, mental arguments and dialogues. May
have sleep problems, chronic frontal headaches. Would like to
escape from thoughts.

Drifting, apathy and resignation.
Make little effort to improve situations. Lazy because of lack of
energy. After phase of intense work on ones own personality,
such as starting again after a failed relationship.

Absorbed in memories of the past, living in the past, feeling
homesick or nostalgic.
May blame current troubles on childhood problems. The
homesick traveller. Wishing to be living back in old home. The
child who doesnt like going to school

Failure to learn from past experiences, repeats the same mistake.
This might be a relationship breakup and then falling in love
with the same sort of person you left. Children forgetting their
school lunch.

Inattention, dreams of the future without working in the present,
the day-dreamer.
Brilliant brains and minds (often labelled ADD). May trip over
because not concentrating. Forgetful. Show little aggression or

Unexplained deep gloom which comes and goes, depression from
unknown cause.
Periods of great sadness come and go for no particular reason.
Sometimes hormonally induced, premenstrual, menopause,
postnatal. Isolating affect. Almost everyone at some stage of
their life.


Lack of confidence, expects to fail, feels inferior.
Before exams, during divorce proceedings, children who wont
venture out on their own. Teenagers, I cant I wish I could

Effects of endurance when under pressure, the plodder who keeps
going past the point of exhaustion.
This individual is usually driven by a strong sense of duty. May
say its no good complaining, its just got to be done. The
overworked mother or father.

Poor self image, self hatred, self condemnation. Embarrassed by
unpleasant physical symptoms or characteristics.
Feeling dirty, unclean, infected, self-disgust. Worry about food
being contaminated.
Obsessive compulsive, hand washing, showers etc

For physical, mental or emotional shock in the past.
Used months or even years after the shock occurred, because
many people react to such an experience by repressing it and
pushing it deep down inside. Everyone might need this remedy
at some time in his or her life.

Self pity and resentment, blaming others for own mistakes.
Feeling bitter and want revenge or to get even. People who are
mid life and realise only a few of their dreams have been

Overwhelmed by responsibilities and feelings of inadequacy.
Temporary feelings of inadequacy. Weak moments in the lives
of the strong. Frequently occurs at specific physical phase, for
example menopause.

Feelings of guilt and self-doubt, blaming yourself for other
peoples mistakes.
Helpless individual, can you carry this for me dear. Affects
other person greatly. Still behaving like child. May want gifts,
always apologising.

Extreme mental anguish when everything has been tried,
reached limit of endurance.
Hides inner despair from others. Teenagers taking drugs,
school holiday blues, compulsive eaters, bored to tears with

An immediate stressful, demanding situation.
This remedy contains five remedies (Cherry Plum for losing
control of control, Clematis for possible loss of consciousness,
Impatiens for speed at which emergency happened, Rock Rose
for panic and Star of Bethlehem for shock affect).
This remedy is best used at the time of the stressful situation,
not some time later, (e.g. months or years later). For the
unconscious person, Rescue Remedy can be rubbed on lips,
temples, back of neck, behind ear or on wrist. It can also be
rubbed on a babys fontanelle after a difficult birth.

7. Where can I get them from?

The 38 Bach Flower remedy stock bottles can be bought at
retail price from a Health Food shop.

An individual treatment bottle, containing several Bach Flower
remedies, can be made up by a Naturopath, Herbalist or Bach
Foundation Registered Practitioner. The Bach Centre has a list
of Bach Foundation Registered Practitioners on their website.

8. How do I take them?

Take four drops at least four times a day, or more often if
required. They can be taken every few minutes if needed. The
drops can also be put in hot or cold drinks or taken with meals.

9. How long should I take them for?

Some work very quickly over minutes, such as Rescue Remedy.
Others may take hours and some might need to be taken for up
to three months. For some people, years of regular dosage may
be needed to deal with deep seated problems.

Some people have stated that after a few months, they just
started to forget to take them. This is a good indication that
they are not needed any more.

10.How long do they last?

The Bach Flower stock bottles have an expiry date on them and
should be stored in a cool place, out of sunlight.

Similarly, an individual treatment mixture should be kept in a
cool place and will last six weeks. By this time, the bottle
should almost be empty, if regular doses have been taken.


BACH Edward. Heal Thyself.

BALL Stefan. Bach Remedies Workbook.

Compilations from the archives of the Dr Edward Bach
Healing Trust, Mount Vernon. The Original Writings of Edward

CHANCELLOR Phillip M. Illustrated Handbook of the Bach
Flower Remedies.

EVANS Jane. An Introduction to the Benefits of the Bach Flower

HALL Dorothy. Diploma of Herbal Medicine Course.

HYNE JONES T.W. Dictionary of the Bach Flower Remedies.

HOWARD Judy. The Bach Flower remedies Step by Step.

HOWARD Judy. Bach Flower Remedies for Women.
HOWARD Judy. Growing up with Bach Flower Remedies.

NELSON A & Co Ltd. Brochure, For a Positive Outlook Help
Yourself with Bach Original Flower Remedies.

RAMSELL John. Questions and Answers.

SCHEFFER Mechthild. Mastering Bach Flower Therapies.

WEEKS Nora. The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach

WEEKS Nora & BULLEN Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies-
Illustrations & Preparations.

WHEELER. F.J. The Bach Remedies Repertory.