Bach Flower Remedies: An Effective Alternative Treatment

Although not a taboo anymore, anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, pain, and other psychological problems need attention and medical support.

However, allopathy itself may not be sufficient in most cases. Using alternative medicine as complementary to conventional treatment has been shown to yield better results.

Bach flower remedies are an example of such alternative treatment for psychological problems and pain.

Bach Flower Remedies

So, what are the bach flower remedies and how can they be traced back to the history, read on to find out!

Dr. Edward Bach

Dr. Edward Bach, a British physician, homeopath, and bacteriologist, developed bach flower remedies using traditional homeopathy treatment.

Homeopathy uses naturally available ingredients such as plants and minerals to treat a disease, whereas bach flower remedies use similar materials but work on emotions rather than the symptoms.

Being a spiritual writer, Dr. Edward Bach believed that mental illness arises from an internal war between a person’s soul and actions. The psychological problems caused due to the conflict will eventually lead to physical illness.

To search for a solution, Dr. Bach used his intuition to feel connections with the plants. Whenever he had a negative emotion, he used to hold various plants, and if any of them seemed to calm his emotions, he would attribute the healing powers of that specific emotion to that plant.

Bach Centre

Dr. Bach carried most of his work at the Bach Center and developed a plant and flower remedies system. He later passed on all his research, studies, and bach flower reference system to his assistants Nora Weeks and Victor Bullen.

Later the center passed on the manufacturing responsibility to a local homeopathic company. Since then, the Bach Center has been the nucleus of manufacturing the 38 Bach remedies.

However, today Bach Center is no longer making medicine commercially, but it takes an interest to teach the principles and research of Dr. Bach to aspiring Bach flower practitioners.

Although, one can consult directly with the center and get suggestions regarding appropriate remedies from their menu for their illness. You can subscribe to their mailing list to get constant updates and find out more about the bach practitioners and remedies.

Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner

Training to practice bach flower remedies is offered by various Bach institutions across the UK and other countries of Europe. The courses benefit therapists who want to include these remedies in their practice or practitioners related to similar fields.

Making Of Bach Remedies and Their Composition

Dr. Bach strongly believed that while the early morning sun rays pass through the dewdrops on the flowers, the healing energy of the flower gets transferred to the dewdrops.

So he would collect all the dewdrops and add equal amounts of brandy as a preservative to the solution. Dr. Bach called this solution the mother tincture.

The mother tincture is further diluted with 25-40% alcohol and is stored as stock remedies in shops. However, the solution loses its scent and taste of the characteristic flower essences due to the dilution and blandness.

In such cases, the essence of the remedy is more likely to be less than one molecule. Regardless of the amount present, it is believed that Bach’s remedy contains the natural energy of the plants, and that can be transferred to the user.

Dropper with flower remedy.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels. Copyright 2021.

When sufficient dewdrops are not available, mother tincture can also be made by other methods such as suspending the flowers in spring water and allowing sun rays to pass through them. If sunlight isn’t available, boiling the flowers in spring water can be done.

This method involves all four elements of nature, the earth that nurtures the plants, the sunlight or fire to transfer its power, the air from which the plant feeds, and the water, which ultimately contains the essence.

By following these methods, Dr. Bach created 38 remedies, each Bach flower remedy has a specific theory and purpose.

Methods of Usage

Bach flower remedies are usually taken orally, they are commonly available as liquids in droppers. You can either add a few drops of the medication in a glass of water and drink it or add a few drops of the medicine directly on the tongue.

The dosage varies from person to person. Hence it is advised to consult a naturopathy practitioner. The remedies are available online on several websites, and in many countries, bach flower remedies are also available as over-the-counter drugs.

Bach flower remedies.
Photo by PicsbyFran. Pixabay. Copyright 2021.

These remedies are equally effective on animals too. They can be given to pets of all kinds and sizes. However, the dosage varies for different animals.

So, they are used for pets that are either dull or show signs of hyperactivity. Pet formulations are alcohol-free and thus are different from human formulations.

Rescue Remedy

Rescue remedy solution is the best known among all the flower remedies. Rescue remedy is marketed under the name of five flower remedy or rescue cream which contains the same remedies in a cream form with an additional ingredient crab apple.

As the rescue remedy is an amalgamation of five different flower essences, a single bottle can treat most problems.


Bach remedies treat emotional and psychological problems and pain. Emotional issues can be:

  • joy
  • fear
  • despair
  • caring for others at the expense of self
  • Anxiety
  • depression
  • lack of self-control
  • Addiction
  • Insomnia
  • Obsession
  • Hyperactivity
  • Stubbornness
  • Guilt
  • Trauma
  • Terror

Whenever you feel depressed, consult with a certified practitioner and use the rescue remedy. This remedy allows the individual to calm down and perform well, it could take time to show its effect.

However, it helps you relax and have a sound sleep. One can also take the rescue remedy in advance if one is having an upcoming stressful event.

Besides emotional problems, bach flower remedies are also used as an alternative medicine for human health problems such as physical trauma and pain, cancer, and HIV.

The rescue remedy maintains the balance between body and mind, which is crucial to control negative thoughts and healing.

Healing properties of Bach Flower essence.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels. Copyright 2021.

Flower Remedies and Their Indications:

Addiction Problems

Agrimony remedy is for people suffering from anxiety or addiction problems. They usually appear brave but mask their anxiety 1with humour and carefree behaviour.


Aspen remedy benefits people with inexplicable or vague fear. They become agitated for no good reason. Mimulus helps one to overcome the fear of unknown things and shyness.

For someone with unwanted thoughts and mental arguments, the white chestnut remedy helps them find peace with themselves.


Beech remedy is for people with intolerance. People lacking compassion towards others can use beech remedy to be more considerate towards others.

As the name implies, the impatiens remedy is used to treat impatience, irritation, and frustration, and willow is for self-pity, lack of faith, and resentment.

Fragile Mentality

When you are way too considerate towards others, it becomes hard for you to say no. Centaury flower remedy is for people who are weak-hearted and are easily bullied by others.

Lack of Confidence

Cerato’s remedy is for people who don’t trust themselves in decision-making and constantly seek advice from others. It boosts your self-confidence and makes you have faith in yourself.

Hornbeam remedy is used to overcome physical or emotional weakness and helps people overcome the nature of doubting themselves. Larch plant remedy helps one to boost their spirits and helps overcome the feeling of inferiority.

Rock water remedies are indicated for hard on themselves and setting high standards, denying events that lead to happiness and joy.

Despair and Depression

When you are in despair and about to lose control, the cherry plum flower essence serves as the best alternative medicine for healing. Gorse is for people with pessimism, the feeling of hopelessness, and despair.

Elm flower essences are used to calm people with depression and overwhelmed by responsibilities. Similar to elm, gentian is for those who are easily depressed and discouraged when faced with difficulties.

Sweet chestnut remedies are used to control extreme anguish and sorrow. Mustard brings cheerfulness to people suffering from depression, and water violet is indicated for lonely and anti-social people.

Honeysuckle serves as a method of treatment for homesickness, nostalgia, and grief. When someone appears to live a monotonous and dull life either due to work or emotional problems, adding wild rose remedies to their menu helps them build interest in their work.


Chestnut bud remedy is for people who don’t review their past mistakes in life. They keep repeating them and have difficulty taking an interest in past events, and they take a long time to learn lessons from daily life.

Dominating Personality

Having a dominating personality can trouble the people around you and affect your relationship without even your knowledge. Chicory 2essence is for such possessive, self-centred people who often try to manipulate their loved ones.

Vine is indicated for people with domineering and inflexible personalities who like to keep others controlled.

Shy and Introverted

Clematis flower essence works well for people who seem detached from the real world and live in their dream world. They are not interested in the world around them and are prone to dangerous events such as accidents.


Crab apple remedy is excellent for cleansing rituals. It can be applied externally on the body and works as a medicine for ringworm, rashes, and warts.

We can also use this remedy to treat people obsessed with cleanliness and constantly feeling that they are not clean. Heather helps attention-seeking individuals, especially those who find it difficult to spend time alone and search for companionship.

Hyperactive Mentality

Vervain is usually indicated in people with a hyperactive mentality and over-enthusiasm. Walnut claims to offer protection from unwanted thoughts and negative energy.

Flower remedies from oak and olive are helpful to people who exhaust themselves by overworking.


Hatred towards others can slowly destroy a relationship. Adding Holly to their regular menu is beneficial for people in need to overcome hatred, envy, and jealousy.

Guilt and Anguish

Guilt kills the natural joy in living. Pine remedy is indicated for people who live with guilt, and shame and feel undeserving for no apparent reason. Red chestnut is for people that are overconcerned and worried over trivial things.


Rockrose remedy is used in emergency cases where a person is in shock or struck with terror. It also claims to calm people suffering people with severe medical health conditions.

Cancer or any such terminal illness creates panic in an individual and their family. In such situations, rock rose remedies can help calm them.


The Scleranthus remedy could help people who find it challenging to decide when offered a broad menu of choices. Similarly, wild oat remedies deal with uncertainty and a lack of a sense of purpose.


Treatment of trauma is very challenging even for conventional therapists. It will be advantageous if the Star of Bethlehem remedy is added to the treatment menu for people suffering from trauma and post-traumatic stress3.

Safety of Bach Flower Remedies

Since all the flower remedies are obtained through a natural process, all these products are well tolerated. Several clinical trials and studies are conducted on various test subjects that include animals and humans.

Since all the ingredients from the menu of these remedies are obtained from nature, people are also readily interested in using them as alternative medicine.

Moreover, bach flower remedies do not interact with any other medicine in the system. However, excessive consumption of any natural substance can be dangerous, and bach remedies are no exception.

They are known to show a mild laxative effect when consumed beyond the limit.

Bach Flower Remedies - How to use this holistic medicine for wellness

Are Bach Flower Remedies Genuinely Effective?

The process of selecting a rescue remedy and using them may merely act as a calming ritual but has no evidence that it could affect the body and health.

Over the years, many placebo-controlled clinical trials were done to test the efficiency of medicine on human health.

Bach Flower Remedies: A Systematic Review

Bach flower remedies, a systematic review based on all randomized controlled trials from all the studies conducted so far, suggests that Bach remedies provide no evidence of healing on clinical or emotional health.

Several placebo-controlled studies were done to see whether the flower remedies control anxiety 4and related negative emotions. Data published from another systematic review of the flower remedies published in 2002 concluded that these remedies showed no medical evidence of healing anxiety or pain.

These results from the systematic review were also consistent with the studies conducted on animal groups.

Placebo-controlled Trials

In these types of clinical trials, the study population is divided into two groups. One of the groups is given the drug, in this case, the flower remedies. The other group is the placebo group which means they are not given the actual medicine or bach flower remedy.

Instead, they are given some neutral product in place of the drug. This system is called a placebo5. In placebo-controlled trials, the participants are not told about the group they are placed in, so they don’t know whether they took the actual remedy or a placebo.

In blinded clinical trials, not even the administrator knows whether it is a drug or a placebo. The system generates everything to avoid tampering with the results.

After the trial period, they review both the study groups and find out about the drug’s efficacy, and the results are eventually published.

Unfortunately, the data from all the placebo-controlled clinical trials failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the flower remedies. The conclusion is that these flower remedies are no different from placebo and are of no medical importance.

Points to Take Home

Bach flower remedies are based on plants and flowers developed by Dr. Edward Bach. These are considered alternative medicine to treat emotional health problems and pain.

Since there is no harm involved, it ultimately depends on the individual whether or not to add this kind of treatment to their routine. However, one should know that these flower remedies serve only as an adjunct to conventional therapy and must not be taken without the advice of a professional.

An experienced bach flower practitioner or a naturopath is a person with a better understanding of how these remedies work. They review your symptoms and suggest you an appropriate bach remedy to alleviate your pain.

On the contrary, one can go through the official website of the Bach Center and browse through their menu to find a practitioner or do their research regarding the flower essences before deciding.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Bach flower remedy used for?

This remedy is used to aid in reviving mental equilibrium and is frequently advised by professionals for psychological issues and pain.

2. Do Bach flower remedies work?

Although they don’t have a specific implication, Bach-flower treatments are a good remedy for anxiety.

3. Is Bach flower and homeopathy the same?

Homeopathy and bach flower therapies share a similar concept. But Bach’s remedies are less resource-intensive and focus on the mental state rather than the physical signs and symptoms.

Alternative Medicines Prevalence & Acceptance
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  1. Knowles, Kelly A., and Bunmi O. Olatunji. “Specificity of trait anxiety in anxiety and depression: Meta-analysis of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.” Clinical psychology review 82 (2020): 101928. ↩︎
  2. Perović, Jelena, et al. “Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) as a food ingredient–Nutritional composition, bioactivity, safety, and health claims: A review.” Food chemistry 336 (2021): 127676. ↩︎
  3. d’Ettorre, Gabriele, et al. “Post-traumatic stress symptoms in healthcare workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review.” International journal of environmental research and public health 18.2 (2021): 601. ↩︎
  4. Knowles, Kelly A., and Bunmi O. Olatunji. “Specificity of trait anxiety in anxiety and depression: Meta-analysis of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.” Clinical psychology review 82 (2020): 101928. ↩︎
  5. Haas, Julia W., et al. “Frequency of adverse events in the placebo arms of COVID-19 vaccine trials: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” JAMA network open 5.1 (2022): e2143955-e2143955. ↩︎

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