Bach Flower Remedies


What is it?

The term 'Flower Remedy' refers to the products developed by Dr Edward Bach, a London bacteriologist and homoeopath. 'Flower Essences' are products devised by various people following on from Dr Bach's work.

Dr Bach became disillusioned with the side effects of drug therapies and turned his research to the healing power of nature. He believed that illness was a result of mental or emotional balance and that the unique energetic property of a plant could be used to rectify an imbalance and restore the awareness of 'wholeness'. Using the homoeopathic law of potentisation, he reasoned that the healing effects of plants might also be contained in the morning dew found on their flowers.

Dr Bach believed that harmful emotions were the main cause of disease and he classified the various emotions into seven main categories. These seven categories were then divided further into 38 negative feelings. Each negative emotion is associated with a particular plant. He also developed a compound of five flowers called Rescue Remedy to be used in emergency situations or for trauma.

The Seven Emotional Categories and Sub-Categories



  • Terror and nightmares
  • Known fears and shyness
  • Uncontrollable rage and impulses
  • Vague fears and apprehension
  • Excessive fear on behalf of family and friends


  • Lack of confidence in decision making
  • Indecision and mood swings
  • Hesitation and past disappointments
  • Despair and hopelessness
  • Tiredness and procrastination
  • Dissatisfaction and lack of motivation

Lack of interest in present circumstances

  • Lack of concentration and escapism
  • Nostalgia and homesickness
  • Apathy and resignation
  • Lack of vitality and exhaustion
  • Worry
  • Melancholy
  • Failure to learn from mistakes


  • Aloofness and reserve
  • Impatience
  • Self-obsession, self-absorption and excessive desire for companionship


  • Concealed problems
  • Anxiety to please
  • Periods of transition
  • Negative feelings such as hatred or envy

Despondence and despair

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Guilt and self-reproach
  • Sense of overwhelming responsibility
  • Unbearable anguish
  • Shock and grief
  • Resentment and bitterness
  • Losing the strength to fight
  • Feeling ashamed or unclean

Over-concern for welfare of others

  • Possessiveness, selfishness, self-pity and over-protectiveness towards others
  • Argumentative and overbearing
  • Ruthless and dictatorial
  • Critical and intolerant
  • Self-denial and narrow-mindedness

Flower Remedies and Essences are liquid preparations created by boiling parts of plants in spring water or by placing the flowers onto the surface of spring water and leaving them to infuse by natural sunlight for a period of time. After these processes, the water is preserved in brandy. Bach Flower Remedies are made of flowers found mostly in Britain.

The Remedies are intended for self-help use, although many practitioners from other disciplines also prescribe their use. The Remedies are sold in concentrated form and the method of use is either by placing drops directly on the tongue, or by diluting them in liquid.

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