Bach flower remedies

Last updated August 2023 | Next review due February 2025

We are all aware of the healing power of nature. The health benefits of spending time in nature have been well documented when it comes to supporting our mood, reducing stress and helping us to feel calmer. Here, holistic therapist Hayley Merrick explores the benefits of Bach flower remedies and how they work. 

What are Bach flower remedies? 

A beautifully subtle, delicate, yet powerful way to affect our physical and emotional well-being is to work with Bach flower remedies. Bach flower remedies are a natural and simple complementary therapy system of 38 remedies, used for emotional healing. An example of a Bach flower remedy that you’re likely to have heard of is the popular ‘Rescue Remedy’. 

Each individual remedy works on a different emotion and can help us to overcome emotional disharmony, such as feeling fear, anxiety, frustration, confidence issues, anger or any emotions we may be experiencing. The idea behind Bach flower remedies is similar to homeopathy, but they focus more on the emotions rather than the physical symptoms the body is experiencing. 

Flowers remind us to slow down, enjoy the present moment, and appreciate their beauty. They symbolise growth, transformation, and resilience, teaching us to embrace the cycles of life and can help to raise our vibration, even in the most difficult times.

Beyond their physical beauty and intoxicating fragrance, flowers possess an energetic and emotional blueprint that carries innate healing and wisdom. They hold the vibrational qualities of nature, offering us a way to reconnect with our own true nature and to heal our hearts and soul.

The origin of Bach flower remedies

Bach flower remedies were created by Dr Edward Bach during 1920-30. Dr Bach was a physician, bacteriologist, pathologist and natural healer who trained in medicine at Birmingham University. He realised that he wanted a way of treating the whole person, holistically and without needing needles or invasive treatments. 

The Bach flower remedies were created following the testing of thousands of plants and, gradually, Dr Bach found the remedies he wanted, each aimed at a particular mental state or emotion.

Dr Bach believed that all illness originated from our emotions and by becoming disconnected from our soul, due to our personality. He believed that wellness depended upon realigning with our soul and that the vibration of flowers was the key to achieving soul harmony.

How do Bach flower remedies work? 

Each Bach flower remedy relates to a particular emotion. It’s possible to treat every human emotion with Bach flower remedies, either by using individual remedies, or a blend of several. For example, ‘Rescue Remedy’ uses a combination of five remedies for shock and stress. This is handy to use in an emergency but does not allow for an individualised selection of remedies based on our personality and current emotions.

Bach flower remedies are created by adding the intended flower to water and placing it out in the sun. It is best to pick the flower first thing in the morning as this also captures the dew.

Adding to water captures the energetic essence of the flowers. The water takes on the vibration of the flower and it is bottled along with an alcohol preservative. We can then take the flower essence internally by adding a couple of drops to water.

Unlike essential oils, flower remedies are flavourless and do not have an aroma, instead, their healing capacity comes from the energetic vibration of the flower.

Flower essences and their uses 

As mentioned, there are 38 remedies, each targeting a specific emotion. Here are just a few examples of flower essences and their perceived benefits:

  • Aspen – used for fear of the unknown.
  • Elm – combat feelings of overwhelm. 
  • Holly – envy and jealousy. 
  • Oak – used if you’ve gone beyond the point of exhaustion. 
  • Rock rose – combat nightmares (feeling terror, or experiencing a fright).
  • White chestnut - improved concentration (and peace of mind). 
  • Larch - fear of failure (and improved confidence).

How to take Bach flower remedies

It is possible to select appropriate Bach flower remedies by using an online guide and selecting the emotions and personality traits that are impacting on your current circumstance. However, it’s strongly recommended to work with a professional, particularly if you are new to Bach flowers. 

You can take up to six or seven remedies together, though it can be best to start with the most pressing emotion and then add additional remedies, in order to see the best overall results.

Once you have selected your remedies:

  • Add four drops to a glass of water, if using a single remedy.
  • Alternatively, add two drops from each remedy if using a blend.
  • Take up to four times per day, or ideally sip frequently from a glass or bottle of water throughout the day.
  • Alternatively, you can add two drops of a remedy directly under your tongue.

It is expected that the remedies and blends you use will change over time as our emotions are not static and ebb and flow as we progress through our life.

Bach flower remedies are safe, but they can contain small amounts of alcohol. It’s best to double-check their contents if you want to avoid this. It’s recommended to consult your doctor if taking Bach flowers alongside other medications and/or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Bach realised that by supporting ourselves when we feel negative emotions, we support our mental health and reduce the strain on our physical bodies, thus restoring the body’s equilibrium as a whole.

Find out more about Bach flower remedies for mental wellness.

Working with a Bach flower remedies practitioner

Sometimes it can be difficult to have full conscious awareness of our emotions, as we often have blind spots about ourselves. It can, therefore, be helpful to work with a practitioner, who will be skilled at guiding you to examine your emotions and current feelings.

What can I expect from a Bach flower session? 

Sessions may take place in person, or online via a video call and usually last around an hour. During your appointment, there will be time to explore what’s troubling you and how you feel about the circumstances or situations that are impacting your life. You’ll also talk about how you are managing day-to-day, taking time to “get to the heart of the matter” and discover the emotions that are behind what you are experiencing.

Suitable remedies will be discussed and a bespoke blend created by the practitioner, as well as an explanation of how to take the remedies. A follow-up appointment may be offered to assess how the remedies have supported you.

Some practitioners, including myself, may incorporate Bach flower remedies as part of a healing programme or package, along with other natural health modalities, such as hypnotherapy, energy healing or aromatherapy.

If your emotional situation is long-standing, or you have several situations impacting on you, a course of sessions may be helpful to support you emotionally as you navigate this phase of your life.

I encourage you to explore and experience the potential of Bach flower remedies to support your own well-being and bring the beautiful healing resonance of flowers into your life.

This page was written and reviewed by holistic therapist, Hayley Merrick in July 2023. 

Hayley is a Flowertherapist™ and Womb Wise Woman®. She weaves Hypnotherapy, Bach Flower Essences, Reflexology, Energy Healing, Aromatherapy and Menstrual Cycle Awareness to support her clients to heal the mind, body, heart and soul.

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