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Flower Essences by Dr. Bach


Dr. Edward Bach was a bacteriologist and homeopath who practiced in the prestigious Harley Street in London. In the 1930’s he left London and moved to the countryside to study plants. Apparently he lived like a “saint” there by asking for charity and living “under shelters in the woods and fields” where he became very close to nature itself. Then that is when he formulated the 38-remedies made from flowers which was called “Bach Flower Essences”(2). Dr. Bach teaches that all healing must come from the spiritual level first then down to the physical. He said when there is harmony between the spirit and the body, “life is a joy, an adventure of absorbing interest; a journey yielding happiness, health and knowledge.”

The Bach flower remedies are targeted to a particular negative state of mind or emotion (3). This is how “diagnosis” of illness if you might call it that way, done. Before you prepare a flower essence, say a short prayer for the person you are preparing it for and for the entire world if you like. For example, “May this positive energy be fully dedicated for the greatest good of (name) and of all living beings.” The remedy is prepared by the flower being infused in water with a preservative (brandy or a non-alcoholic one like sunflower glycerin) and is taken by drinking in drops. The 38 flower essences compiled by Dr. Bach and its corresponding negative thinking is as follows” (3)(1):

1. Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) - For hidden worries; outwardly cheerful

2. Aspen (Populus tremula) - For nervousness, vagueness, and nonspecific worries or fears

3. Beech (Fagus sylvatica) - For being critical, lacking tolerance and empathy

4. Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum) - For weakness, being easily influenced, overly willing to be a servant

5. Cerato (Ceratostigma willmottiana) - For indecision; and asking of advice and opinions of others too much

6. Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) - For fear of insanity, of the mind giving away

7. Chestnut Bud (Aesculus hippocastanum) - For always repeating the same mistake; not learning from experience

8. Chicory (Cichorium intybus) - For overprotectiveness, mothering, smothering

9. Clematis (Clemantis vitalba) - For being dreamy, sleepy, forgetful, always thinking about the future

10. Crab Apple (Malus pumila) - For feeling dirty and unclean

11. Elm (Ulmus procera) - For being overwhelmed by responsibility

12. Gentian - discouragement after a setback

13. Gorse - hopelessness and despair

14. Heather - self-centeredness and self-concern

15. Holly - hatred, envy, and jealousy

16. Honeysuckle - living in the past

17. Hornbeam - tiredness at the thought of doing something

18. Impatiens - Impatience

19. Larch - lack of confidence

20. Mimulus - fear of known things

21. Mustard - deep gloom for no reason

22. Oak - the plodder who keeps going past the point of exhaustion

23. Olive - exhaustion following mental or physical effort

24. Pine - guilt

25. Red chestnut - over-concern for the welfare of loved ones

26. Rock rose - terror and fright

27. Rock water- self-denial , rigidity, self-repression

28. Scleranthus- inability to choose between alternatives

29. Star of Bethlehem - shock

30. Sweet chestnut - extreme mental anguish, when everything has been tried and there is no light left

31. Vervain - over-enthusiasm

32. Vine- dominance and inflexibility

33. Walnut- protection from change and unwanted influences

34. Water Violet - pride and aloofness

35. White Chestnut - unwanted thoughts and mental arguments

36. Wild Oat - uncertainty over one’s direction in life

37. Wild Rose - drifting, resignation, apathy

38. Willow - self-pity and resentment

The ones above which are in bold are combined together to form the Rescue Remedies, used for emergencies or stress.


(1) The Bach Centre (n.d.) Guide to the remedies. Retrieved from

(2) Wood, M. (2005). Vitalism: The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences. California: North Atlantic Books

(3) Vennels, D. (2004). Bach Flower Remedies for Beginners.India: B.Jain Publishers Ltd.