top of page

How do Bach Flowers work?

Bach Flowers Essences are little dropper bottles with tinctures of wild flowers preserved in water and brandy that are used as a natural way to restore emotional wellbeing. You simply 'succuss' the bottle, by hitting against your hand a few times to activate the contents, and place a few drops under your tongue. Thye are subtle, yet powerful relievers of emotional states as discussed below.

Bach Flowers were formulated back in the 1930's by Dr. Edward Bach, a Harley St, physician, pathologist and homeopath who discovered that wildflowers can positively affect our emotions. Much to the bewilderment of the medical profession, he gave up his medical career to focus on plant remedies exclusively as a healing modality, after he found that Bach Flowers provided greater success in treating patients, than modern medicine practices at the time. He was convinced that positive emotional wellbeing (not just physical) was important for good health.

Dr. Bach saw a key link between negative emotions and how that manifests in our body as physical symptoms. For example, hatred is the opposite to love, which emanates from the heart. So hatred can lead to heart disease. Dr. Bach proposed that focusing on adjusting the negative hatred emotion to one of more loving can correct heart disease. He felt that modern medical practices were less effective in their treatments, as it only focused on the physical body and not the emotional causations.

Dr. Bach has been quoted as saying:

“Suffering is a corrective, to point out a lesson, which by no other means we have failed to grasp.”

The gist being that we will keep experiencing the same mental reactions until we learn the lessons life is handing us. He felt the real diseases in life were based around Pride, Cruelty, Hate, Self-Love, Ignorance, Instability and Greed.

So how do Bach Flowers work?

The Bach Flowers are liquid remedies that work by capturing the positive energy of flowers and plants. Dr. Bach discovered that when he felt certain negative emotions, he would hold his hand over wildflowers near where he lived. The flower, or rather the energy contained within the flower, that had the ability to correct that negative emotion was ascribed the power to treat that emotion. He captured that energy from those flowers by collecting the morning dew drops from the flowers, and bottled them, and preserved the energy in brandy. Hence this was how the Bach Flower Essences came to be.

Picture of the flowers the 38 Bach Flowers come from
The 38 Bach Flower Essences

The Bach Flowers are a collection of 38 remedies that reflect the 38 basic negative states of mind listed in the table below. With so much going on in our hectic lives, it's easy to neglect our emotional needs. The key to keeping emotionally healthy can be assisted with Bach Flower Essences.

The 38 remedies are classified under 7 mental and emotional states

  • For those who have fear (F)

  • For those who suffer uncertainty (U)

  • For those with little interest in their present circumstances (LI)

  • For those with loneliness (L)

  • For those who are over-sensitive to influences and ideas (O)

  • For those with despair and despondancy (D)

  • For those who over-care for the welfare of others (W)



Agrimony (O)

Hide emotions, swallow emotions

Aspen (F)

Fear of unknown things

Beech (W)

Critical and intolerant of others

Centaury (O)

The inability to say 'No'

Cerato (U)

Lack of confidence in one's own decisions. Followers

Cherry Plum (F)

Fear of a mental breakdown, losing control

Chestnut Bud (LI)

Failure to learn from mistakes

Chicory (W)

Selfish, possessive love

Clematis (LI)

Dreaming of the future without working in the present

Crab Apple (D)

Self-dislike and disgust. Obsession with being perfect.

Elm (D)

Overwhelmed by responsibility

Gentian (U)

Discouraged and depressed. Glass is half empty

Gorse (U)

Hopelessness and despair of life

Heather (L)

Attention seeking and being self-centred

Holly (O)

Hatred, envy and jealousy

Honeysuckle (LI)

Living in the past

Hornbeam (U)

Temporarily stuck in a rut

Impatiens (L)


Larch (D)

Lack of confidence, feel inferior to others

Mimulus (F)

Fear of known things, withdrawn

Mustard (LI)

Deep depression for no reason

Oak (D)

Workaholics, strong sense of duty, stubborn

Olive (LI)

Exhaustion following mental or physical effort, tired and wired

Pine (D)

Guilt, assume blame even when not them

Red Chestnut (F)

Over-concern for the welfare of others

Rock Rose (F)

Terror, Panic and Fright

Rock Water (W)

Self-denial, rigidity and self-repression

Scleranthus (U)

Inability to choose between alternatives

Star of Bethlehem (D)

Shock (physical or mental)

Sweet Chestnut (D)

Extreme mental anguish, despair, no hope

Vervain (W)

Fanatic, lives on nerves, over-enthusiasm

Vine (W)

Dominance and inflexible

Walnut (O)

Difficulty letting go, who needs help with new beginnings

Water Violet (L)

Quiet self-reliance leading to isolation, proud, social anxiety

White Chestnut (LI)

Unwanted thoughts and mental arguments, 'I should have said..'

Wild Oat (U)

Uncertainty, haven't found what they're looking for

Wild Rose (LI)

Drifting, resignation and apathy

Willow (D)

Bitter and resentful, blaming of others

Rescue Remedy

Cherry Plum, Clematis, Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem and Impatiens combination

Table highlighting the complete Bach Flower Essences

Bach Flowers are available at certain chemists for everybody to purchase. They don't need to be prescribed by a Naturopath and are completely safe to use. My personal favourite Bach Flower, is Elm for those times when I feel overwhelmed.

Picture of liquid Rescue Remedy Bach Flowers
Rescue Remedy is commonly used for Stress Control

If you're sceptical about Bach Flowers, as I was, then try Rescue Remedy which is available in most chemists at a time when you feel incredibly stressed, panicked, or shocked. Rescue Remedy will calm you down quickly. It's such a common find in people's handbags, and office drawers these days. I highly recommend it. They even come in pastilles for ease of use.

Fun fact: Selma Hayek and Emma Watson both use Rescue Remedy

If you would like to discuss your personal circumstances and discuss how the Bach Flowers may help you, then please don't hesitate to make a booking with me.

Sign Up for Further Educational Material

If you would like to make sure you don't miss a Blog update from me, or would like to receive more information in the form of upcoming e-Books and Online courses, then please subscribe to my mailing list at the bottom of the Blog front page.


  • Bach E, (2005) The Essential Writings of Dr Edward Bach, Vermillon, London, England

  • Nelsons Bach Original YouTube Channel, Flower Remedies: The Journal to Simple Healing, accessed 13thSeptember 2021, 

  • Bach Flower Remedy Handbook, (2018), Bach Flower Essences a division of Basking in Light, Crows Nest, Australia

  • Barnard J, (2000) A Guide to the Bach Flower Remedies, Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

  • Weeks N, (1973) The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach Physician, Bookmarque Ltd, Surrey, England


The information provided in this blog/article/handout is for your personal or other non-commercial, educational purposes. It should not be considered as medical or professional advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking or omitting to take any action based on this blog/article/handout. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises and assumes no liability regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this blog/article/handout are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this blog/article/handout is done at your own risk. Any third-party materials or content of any third-party site referenced in this blog/article/handout do not necessarily reflect the author’s opinion, standards or policies and the author does not assume any liability for them whatsoever.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page