Some people may think that flower therapy as a holistic healing system should really fall under herbalism, but we believe that the work that Dr. Bach did warrants a page of its own, and the fact that the flower essences are so diluted that they do not work on a biological but rather on a vibration or energy pattern.
Flower remedies, or flower essences, were developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930's. He worked in general practice with rooms in Harley Street, as well as a bacteriologist and working on vaccines and a set of homeopathic nosodes.
He left his lucrative practice and developed by means of his natural healing gift and intuition the system of medicine that now carries his name.
Dr. Bach identified and developed through observation 38 remedies corresponding to different negative moods or states of mind.
On this page, we have a short summary of each of the remedies:
It works on the premise that the remedies contain certain aspects of the plants' energy which in turn affects the energy field of the patient and by doing so helps people integrate their emotions.
The essences are taken by placing 2 - 4 drops on/under the tongue or putting 2 drops in a glass of spring water and sipping this water throughout the day.
Up to seven remedies can be used together, and it has been found that a few well chosen ones work far better than making a complicated cocktail of all of them.
Although this treatment may be subjective, it has proved to be successful on children in which subjectivity would be negated to some degree, it has no toxic effects and does not interact with any other medicine.
When you hide your worries and troubles under a mask of cheerfulness, and dull the pain of worry through drink and drugs, you may benefit from agrimony. It also helps us to accept the darker side of life and our personality and life in totality.
When you have a vague fear of the unknown and have a sense of foreboding or an uneasy anxiety that something bad is going to happen, then you may benefit from aspen.
If you are intolerant, and need to understand and have compassion, to see that all people work towards their own destiny, then you may benefit from beech.
If you are the kind person that becomes the servant of others because you cannot ever say 'no' to them, and in so doing become exploited because of your over-gentle nature, then centaury may be of benefit.
When you constantly lack the faith to trust your own judgment and decisions, and constantly turn to other people for their advice and guidance, you may benefit from cerato.
When you fear that you will lose control, do something dreadful or are plagued by irrational thoughts then cherry plum may be of benefit. If you already have lost control it may also be of benefit.
When you fail to learn the lessons of life, and repeat mistakes without learning the essence of what was to be taught by such lesson, then chestnut bud may be of benefit.
When you are plagued by possessive love of others, and require love to be returned while you like to control and correct and in so doing stifle the development of other people you may benefit from chicory.
When you spend more time rooted in fantasy and daydreaming, without being properly rooted in the reality of now, and think more of future success and altered reality than spending time to build your "castles" then clematis may be of benefit.
When you suffer from feeling unclean, tainted or poisonous and dislike some aspect of your physical appearance or personality, and have a tendency for obsessive behavior, then crab apple may be of benefit. It is seen as a "cleansing" remedy.
When you are overloaded with work, or the face enormity of a task ahead, and suffer a loss of self-confidence and feeling of impending failure, when you are normally successful and "in charge" then elm may be of benefit.
When things go wrong and you feel despondent or downhearted because of it, and when life's little stumbling blocks become too regular an incidence, then you may benefit from gentian.
When you think that nothing can go right again, and no amount of encouragement is helpful, and when you suffer from a sense of uncertainty and hopelessness then gorse may be of benefit.
When you constantly need people to be around you, to listen to your problems, illnesses and concerns, then you may benefit from heather.
When you feel hatred, envy, jealousy, suspicion and a feeling of being cut off from love and have strong negative feelings towards others then holly may be of benefit to encourage "openness" and a generosity of spirit.
When living in the past, or suffering from homesickness and nostalgia honeysuckle may be of benefit and help the person to live in the present and accept that all of the past did not come to bear.
If you feel exhausted even before you have started, and you feel that it would be easier to cover your head with the duvet and forget all, yet if you start the weariness will dissipate like fog before the sun, then hornbeam may be of benefit to you.
When you are plagued by impatience, frustration and irritability the impatiens flower remedy may help you to be less hasty and more relaxed and patient with those around you.
When you lack confidence and feel that you do not measure up against others and for that reason rather do nothing, lest you fail, larch may be of help to let you go ahead with living, take the risks you need to take and start living without always considering failure.
When you suffer from fears that you can name - like that of dogs, poverty, the dark, public speaking etc as well as phobias such as those for snakes, birds, spiders etc. (together with Rock Rose) then you may benefit by taking mimulus and it may also help you if you are extremely timid, shy and generally nervous.
When the dark clouds of gloom and depression seem to gather when things are generally good and positive, and despair seems to drape itself around you for no apparent reason, then mustard may be of help.
When you are one of those over-achieving people that will carry on, under great strain and adversity, past the point of exhaustion but frustrated by illness, but still stubbornly refusing to rest, then oak can be of benefit for you to remain strong and not to crack under strain, yet helping to achieve wisdom and balance.
When you are exhausted by mental or physical effort, or even illness, then olive can be of benefit to help you regain the feeling of strength and the pleasure and faith to carry on.
This is a remedy for the person blaming themselves for everything, but although they have done their best, still believe they could have done better and by doing so, have feelings of guilt, self-reproach, the inability to accept themselves which can then lead to despondency and despair, then pine may be of benefit.
When your natural concern for those close to you - your child, wife, husband, mother, father etc is taken out of context and it becomes a fear, and you start to overcompensate for this by undermining the confidence of the person you feel concerned about, then red chestnut is for you, to help you turn your worried anxious thoughts to those of being a tower of strength.
When your fear has turned to terror and your panicky state of mind makes conscious thought and decision impossible, then rock rose may be of benefit.
When you are seeking perfection in yourself but do so in the extreme, which leads to setting such high targets and being unkind to yourself if you fail your own rules, then rock water may benefit you. It will not decrease your high ideals but may help to ease the excesses, so that you are kinder to yourself.
If you constantly cannot make up your mind, and carry this burden on your own, then scleranthus may be of benefit to you.
When you have experienced any shock, be that bad news or an unwelcome event then star of Bethlehem can be of use, and can also help to comfort you when a loved one dies or moves away and you experience a sense of loss.
When you experience the dark side of the soul, where only unbearable emptiness reigns and you cannot see a way out from your problems and you have reached your utmost limit of endurance and end of the line, then sweet chestnut may be for you. It helps to renew hope and strength.
When you are driven by near fanaticism in your quest or cause, vervain may help you to step back and relax a bit and in so doing give your body and mind a break.
When you are always right and capable, and force your will onto others with rigid discipline and a tyrannical attitude then vine may be of benefit to you to help you become a more gentle guide to others without resorting to force.
When the unasked opinions of others and other outside influences start to impact on your destiny, then walnut may be of benefit. It is a good remedy to use in periods of transition like going to school, during puberty, getting married, retirement etc and can be helpful to break the link with the past in order to move forward with confidence.
When self-reliance becomes overbearing and you become aloof, proud and disdainful of others it may lead to you cutting yourself off from all outside contact, and in so doing becoming alone and out-of-touch with others then water violet may be of benefit to you.
When you are plagued by persistent unwanted thoughts, internal worries and arguments that go nowhere, and unable to concentrate on the here and now then white chestnut may be of value to help you deal calmly and rationally with your problems.
If you are like a rolling stone, looking for your life's mission and direction, and keep on changing direction and work, then wild oat may be of help to assist you in defining your goals and purpose in life and in so doing showing the way forward.
If you do not even struggle against the daily worries and uncomplainingly accept what hand life has dealt you, without trying to better your lot in life, then wild rose may be for you. It would help you to get rid of apathy and bring a sense of purpose with happiness and enjoyment as a bonus.
When you constantly bemoan your life, even when it is a good one, and begrudge others their good fortune with bitter resentment and with general dissatisfaction with life, then willow may be for you. It may help you lose your resentment, self-pity and may encourage the rebirth of optimism and faith.
Recommended books on Bach flower remedies
Should you be interested to read more about Dr Bach's flower remedies, we could recommend the following book from Amazon.com: