What are Bach Flower Essences?
They’re gentle natural extracts from flowers and trees, preserved in a little brandy, safe enough for children and dogs.
The original 38 remedies were developed in the 1920’s and 30’s by Dr Edward Bach who noted their power to help with emotions.
Bach Flower Essences are energy remedies. They work to disrupt negative energy states or vibrations. They are non-toxic and have no nasty side effects.
Today I’m sharing a summary sheet of when to use them in the hope they might help you out too!
Who was Dr Bach?
Dr Edward Bach was a British physician, bacteriologist, homeopath who devoted his life to the discovery of 38 remedies that correspond to 38 negative emotional states. These remedies were inspired by classical homeopathic traditions.
How are flower essences made?
Dr Bach insisted that only wild grown flowers be used. Dr Bach had 2 methods – the sun method and the boiling method.
In the sun method, fully opened flower heads still fresh with dew are floated on the surface of pure spring water in a glass bowl and left for a few hours in the sunshine, whereas in the boiling method, used for trees and bushes, the branches and leaves are boiled in water for half an hour.
In both methods, the plant matter is removed, and, according to Bach, the water retains the vibrations or energy of the flower. The liquid, called the mother tincture, is filtered and mixed with brandy, which acts as a preservative.
The remedies can be taken orally diluted in a glass of water, or applied directly to pulse points such as the wrists, temples and behind the ears.
They can be used individually or in combination with up to seven other tinctures.
BFRs do not contain pharmacologically relevant remnants of the original flowers and are considered safe to use in combination with other medications, as well as by pregnant women, children, babies and the elderly.
However, it has been suggested that BFRs could be dangerous for recovering alcoholics due to their alcohol content.
When can you use Bach Flower Remedies
Anytime. I’ve used them safely through pre-conception, pregnancy, labour and breast feeding.
They’re safe for children and pets.
I use them now in my perimenopause, another emotional time when hormones are changing.
They’re so practical. Let’s say you’re moving house and feeling frustrated and impatient, try Impatiens. After you move, try Walnut to help you adapt to your new neighbourhood
Got a new baby? Try Olive and Rescue-Remedy. These help new moms cope with unrelenting tasks and sleep disruption.
How to take Bach Flower Essences:
Simply add 2 drops from the pipette to a glass of plain water and sip.
Take up to four times a day this way.
For immediate use, you can take the drops undiluted, they contain brandy as a natural preservative so you’ll taste that.
What about alcohol inside Bach Remedies?
Brandy is added to the remedy as a natural preservative.
If you’re against taking alcohol (religion, addiction, allergy, etc) then get rid of teh alcohol by adding your drops to a small mug of boiling water. The brandy will evaporate rapidly.
Or apply the drops to your wrist.
(See the section on multiple flower essences for a non-alcohol tip.)
How to give flower essences to a baby or toddler
Ok so you don’t want to be popping that glass pipette near the mouth of a wiggly youngster. More so if you’re feeling sleep deprived. Instead add the drops to drinking water or drop onto your child’s wrist. Remember these work energetically on the electromagnetic field in and around the body so they don’t need to be swallowed.
Rescue Remedy comes in a glass-free sprayer too…ideal for babies, bedtimes, road trips, school journeys, doctor and dentist visits, first aid, out and about… keep one in your pocket/diaper bag. A spray stops tears rapidly! And defrazzles mom too :)
How to take multiple flower essences
If you are taking multiple essences, add two drops of each to an empty 30ml dropper bottle, add 2 teaspoons of brandy or organic unpasteurised apple cider vinegar as a preservative and fill the rest with mineral water.
Take four drops four times a day.
Remember to label your bottle with the mixing date. Use it quickly. Make up small amounts as you need them. Anything with added water has a limited shelf life. Be sensible.
How to Choose your Bach Flower Essence?
The simplest is way is reading through either the alphabetical or the situational list.
Pick the Bach Flower Essences that fit your situation.
You may need 5 or more! A good all rounder is the Rescue Remedy.
There are no side-effects if you choose the wrong one. You simply keep the bottle in the cool and dark for when you do need it.
Another useful way to check whether it is for you or not is through muscle testing or asking a kineseologist.
Or, consult a Bach Flower expert.
Alphabetical List of Remedies/Essences and their indications
|Agrimony||mental torture behind a cheerful face|
|Aspen||fear of unknown things|
|Centazry||the inability to say ‘no’|
|Cerato||lack of trust in one’s own decisions|
|Cherry Plum||fear of the mind giving way, fear of losing control|
|Chestnut Bud||failure to learn from mistakes|
|Chicory||selfish, possessive love, needs the appreciation of others|
|Clematis||dreaming of the future without working in the present, absentminded|
|Crab Apple||the cleansing remedy, also for self-hatred, poor body image|
|Elm||overwhelmed by responsibility, pressures of work|
|Gentian||discouragement after a setback, pessimism|
|Gorse||hopelessness and despair|
|Heather||self-centredness and self-concern|
|Holly||hatred, envy and jealousy, feels victimized|
|Honeysuckle||living in the past, overwhelming nostalgia for the past|
|Hornbeam||procrastination, tiredness at the thought of doing something|
|Larch||lack of confidence, competent but fear failure|
|Mimulus||fear of known things, shy, nervous personality|
|Mustard||deep gloom for no reason|
|Oak||the plodder who keeps going past the point of exhaustion|
|Olive||exhaustion following mental or physical effort|
|Red Chestnut||over-concern for the welfare of loved ones|
|Rock Rose||terror and fright, useful for nightmares|
|Rock Water||self-denial, rigidity and self-repression|
|Scleranthus||inability to choose between alternatives|
|Star of Bethlehem||Shock, loss, bereavement, trauma|
|Sweet Chestnut||Extreme mental anguish, when everything has been tried and there is no light left|
|Vine||dominance and inflexibility|
|Walnut||protection from change and unwanted influences, birth, puberty, divorce|
|Water Violet||pride and aloofness|
|White Chestnut||unwanted thoughts and mental arguments, unwanted thoughts, unable to concentrate|
|Wild Oat||uncertainty over one’s direction in life|
|Wild Rose||drifting, resignation, apathy|
|Willow||self-pity and resentment|
|Rescue Remedy||For emergencies to combat fear, panic, shock and fear of losing control|
Dr Bach’s list of 7 situations:
Face your fears
Mimulus- You’re shy or feel anxious about something specific
Aspen – You’re anxious, but can’t say why
Rock Rose – You feel an extreme terror about something
Red Chestnut – You feel anxious about somebody else’s safety
Cherry Plum – You fear you might lose control
Live the day
Honeysuckle – Your mind is on the past instead of the present
Clematis – You’re in a dream
Chestnut Bud – You find yourself repeating the same mistakes
White Chestnut – Your mind is running over the same thing
Wild Rose – You really can’t be bothered
Mustard – You feel down in the dumps and don’t know why
Olive – You feel tired after making an effort
Reach out to others
Heather – Your talkativeness leads to loneliness
Impatiens – You feel impatient with the slow pace of people or things
Water Violet – You like your own company but sometimes feel lonely
Know your own mind
Hornbeam, – You put things off, feeling tired at the thought of starting work
Gentian – You feel a bit down after a setback
Gorse – You give up when things go wrong
Scleranthus – You can’t make your mind up
Wild Oat – You want to do something worthwhile, but can’t find your vocation
Cerato – You know what you want to do, but doubt your judgement
Find joy and hope
Star of Bethlehem – You’re suffering from shock or grief
Willow – You feel resentful and sorry for yourself
Elm – You feel overwhelmed by your many responsibilities
Pine – You feel guilty or blame yourself
Sweet Chestnut – You feel despair when there is no hope left
Larch – You expect to fail and lack confidence in your skills
Oak – You’re a strong person who struggles on past the limits of strength
Crab Apple – You feel unclean or dislike something about yourself
Live and let live
Vine – sometimes you’re a tyrant when you want to lead
Vervain – Your enthusiasm leads you to burn yourself out
Beech – You feel critical or intolerant towards others
Chicory – Your love for your family makes it hard to let them go
Rock Water – You drive yourself hard, trying to set an example
Stand your ground
Centaury – You can’t easily say ‘no’ to other people
Walnut – Other people’s ideas knock you off course, you’re unsettled at times of change
Holly – You feel wounded, jealous, spiteful or want revenge
Agrimony – You hide your troubles behind a smile
What is Rescue Remedy?
It’s a combination made by Dr Bach for first aid, shock and stress
It’s called the Five Flower remedy whan made by companies other than Dr Bach. It is made from the same five flowers Dr Bach used.
What’s inside Rescue Remedy?
Rescue Remedy(Five Flowers) is Dr Bach’s mix of five essences –
- Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum),
- Rock rose (Helianthemum nummularium),
- Impatiens (Impatiens glandulifera),
- Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera), and
- Clematis (Clematis vitalba).
Can you overdose on Rescue Remedy?
If you use the alcoholic spary and have alcohol addiction is is not good- get the Rescue Remedy pastilles or use extremely diluted drops in a lot of water.
With normal use you cannot over do it. The spray version does taste yummy!
Where can I buy the Bach Flower Remedy Kit or Spray?
In your local health or whole foods store or online.
Many pharmacies and supermarkets stock Rescue Remedy.
Otherwise order online. Scroll down for links.
How long does it take for a Bach Flower Remedy to work?
The Rescue Remedy starts working in minutes.
The more sensitive a person you are the quicker it will have an influence.
For long standing issues it can take longer.
Stress, Bach flowers and the pandemic
A final tip, get a bottle of Rescue Remedy which contains a combination of five flower essences.
It’s an all purpose stress buster, calmer etc which would help before interviews, podcasts, exams, first day of term, moving home, Christmas, travel by air……
There’s one in our car, ready for unseen emergencies.
If you have children, try it for tantrums, nightmares, hurt knees, teething, to calm them before going into school, and to keep calm on days you just want to run screaming into the hills.
And now during the pandemic, when we are all suffering from stress and anxiety, I consider it an essential item!
Is your pet anxious or stressed? Dr Bach Flower Essences are safe for pets too.. add a few drops to a separate bowl of drinking water.
You must always provide plain drinking water alongside the water infused with Bach remedy.
That way they can self-medicate when desired and not go thirsty.
Rescue remedy can be used for cats, dogs, birds, horses.. always diluted though, with plain water available.
Dr Bach remedies for dogs
You can use Bach flowers for hard to treat behavioural problems. :
- Not housetrained
- Excessive barking
- Separation anxiety
- Overenthusiastic dogs that pee on the spot
- Rebalance a fearful dog that is either too humble or tough/aggressive
- Aggressive behaviour towards other dogs or even other people.
- Adjusting to a new environment
- Overly sexual behaviour (“leg riding”)
- Treating a trauma
Free advice and personalised remedies for dogs:
And if you’d like to speak to an expert in dog behavior and Bach Remedies, contact [email protected] who will give you free advice on how Bach flowers can help your dog. He creates personalised combinations that suit your dog’s personality and behavioural problem.
More ways to feel better – learn EFT
Balinski AA. Use of Western Australian flower essences in the management of pain and stress in the hospital setting. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 1998;4:111–117. doi: 10.1016/S1353-6117(98)80048-6.
And if your hands need TLC from all the hand washing, this is probably the most nutritious and silky hand cream on the market.
(prebiotic hand cream – made by Wendy – available in the Shop)