Bach Flowers: the Remedies

Adhering to his idea of plant-based remedies, Bach developed the first three of his flower essences. He used the flowers of impatiens (for impatience), mimulus (for fear of known things) and clematis (for people living more in the future than the present) and prepared them in the same way he had prepared his vaccines. These remedies were prescribed to patients who fitted the personality picture. Bach had outstanding success with these three remedies. He began treating patients based purely on their personality types and published a paper in The Homoeopathic World in February 1930 entitled ‘Some new remedies and their uses’ documenting his cases.

Based on the excellent results he achieved in the treatment of chronic disease, using plant-based remedies and prescribing to a patient’s personality state, Bach decided to give up all other methods of treatment and begin developing more flower essences. He knew he had started on the path to a radically different system of medicine from the prevailing medical thought of the time. He handed over his practice and the work on the bacterial nosodes to his colleagues and prepared to start his work over again along very different lines.

In 1930 Bach left London and settled in a small village in Wales. At his doorstep were a vast variety of plants that became the foundation of his search for more remedies. He knew that the new remedies had to be gentle in their action, pleasant to take and result in a healing of the mind and the body. Bach spent each day examining and studying the different plants. He noted where and how they grew, the conditions where they grew best and their botanical characteristics. By this time he had become very sensitive to subtle energies and the ‘vibrations’ of plants. The development of the flower essences was based very much on intuition and what Bach ‘felt’ when he held a plant in his hands. Sometimes he was intuitively drawn to a plant for certain personality states. At other times he became overwhelmed with the emotion that would be treated by the particular plant.

In August and September of 1930 Bach found and prepared six new remedies which he added to the initial three. All, bar one, were wildflowers common to the English countryside. From 1931 to 1932 three more remedies were developed. Bach thoroughly tested each remedy and carefully documented his results. With twelve remedies completed, he wrote and published The Twelve Healers (), a book describing each remedy, its indications, preparation and dosage instructions. The next two years saw Bach add another seven remedies.

From March to September in 1935 Bach developed a further nineteen remedies. Unlike the first series of remedies, where he had been intuitively drawn to and able to feel the vibrations of a plant, this second series resulted from him intensely feeling the state of mind that would benefit most from the new remedy. He suffered great mental anguish and accompanying physical symptoms until each new remedy had been discovered.

These 3 8 remedies became the Bach Flower Remedies we know today. Although each remedy addresses a specific emotional state, Bach categorised the remedies under seven headings, corresponding to the initial seven bacterial nosodes ():

  • • fear;
  • • uncertainty;
  • • insufficient interest in present circumstances;
  • • loneliness;
  • • oversensitivity to influences and ideas;
  • • despondency and despair; and
  • • overcare for the welfare of others.

In addition, a 39th remedy for emergencies was developed and named Rescue Remedy. Probably the best known of the Bach Flower Essences, Rescue Remedy is made up of five individual remedies:

Cherry plum — for the fear of losing control

Clematis — to bring a person back into the present

Rock rose — the emergency remedy when there is extreme fear or terror

Star of Bethlehem — for great distress and shock

Impatiens — for impatience and stress

Rescue Remedy is a good general remedy indicated for any emergency, shock or stress. An accident or injury, receiving bad news, nervousness and anxiety are all instances where Rescue Remedy can be used. It can be taken every few minutes if necessary until the person feels calmer. Rescue Remedy is also incorporated into a cream, which is especially beneficial for children.