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Photo by Rhea - Peakhurst 1985



by Martin B.

The Bach Flower Remedies is a system of healing which activates through the emotions. This relates to Wiccan/Magickal philosophies in the unfolding of Divine Consciousness within and without.

All natural therapies have a metaphysical/ spiritual/ holistic component but with the Bach system this is the most pronounced. This is not to say that it is a magickal therapy, because many Bach practitioners would reject that notion. However, because it is based on spiritual principles and "treats" the soul, it is very relevant to our own position as the remedies are useful tools in achieving spiritual/personal integration. They can be a useful addition to our usual techniques.

Dr. Bach (1880-1936) was a very gifted Harley Street specialist who gave up a brilliant medical career to practise along Herbal and Homeopathic lines. He eventually, as a result of listening to the voice of his Higher Self, went to rural Wales to search for his healing flowers. It is this and his disaffection and disillusion with orthodox medicine that brought us the "miracle" of the 38 wildflower remedies. The full life story of Dr. Bach which cannot be retold here for lack of space, may be found in The Medical discoveries of Dr. Edward Bach, Physician by Nora Weeks.

Dr. Bach believed that the real cause of disease was something more than a physical symptom. The morbid conditions such as the presence of germs for example, though real enough and dangerous, were only the final outcome.

In 1931, Dr Bach published Heal Thyself - an explanation of the real cause and cure of disease". Disease was caused by disharmony between the personality and the Soul. Disease was not evil, but showed man that he was out of touch with his Higher Self and should rectify the disharmony. This book contains a wealth of spiritual knowledge. To quote from Heal Thyself (page 56), "The cause of all our troubles is self and separateness, and this vanishes as soon as Love and the Knowledge of the Great Unity become part of our natures. The universe is God rendered objective; at its close it is God more highly evolved. So with man his body is himself externalised, an objective manifestation of his internal nature, he is the expression of himself, the materialisation of the qualities of his consciousness".

Dr. Bach discovered each of the flower essences through a form of clairvoyance. He suffered every mental state that each remedy corresponds to; and in that experience was guided to the flower that would heal it. This, coupled with persecution by the medical establishment, is believed to have resulted in the ill health which caused the death of this great and gentle man in 1933 at the age of fifty-six.

A very important point that must be made is that while Dr. Bach was indeed a homeopathic physician, the remedies are not homeopathic. They are not potentized according to homeopathic practice, nor are they prescribed according to the Law of Similars on which homeopathy is based. They can be classified as herbal remedies because of their origins. However, this is not completely true either (and neither is it completely untrue) because their action is not chemical or pharmacological. They heal purely through their "vibrations". Chemical tests would only reveal water and brandy (as preservative), the flower essence and its action cannot be detected in this way.

This flower remedy system is totally independant from the Australian Bush Flower or the Californian Wildflower essences. This is not a criticism of the value of these other systems. They are all valuable, but are completely different systems, even though the healing principples are the same.

In prescribing Bach remedies, the emotional element alone should be considered; they are not remedies for physical diseases. The physical disease will disappear when the integration of the soul reflects itself in the personality. This does not mean that Dr. Bach rejected physical medicines or other health measures. He states in his books that all measures appropriate to the patient's health should be used. Therefore, this system is a wonderful complement to any medical treatment, orthodox or naturopathic, as it will enhance it.

The remedies are so simple to use that a layman can use them as easily as a Bach practitioner. However, the objectivity of a practitioner are sometimes of benefit. In prescribing the remedy, the patient is interviewed. The moods are then evaluated and a corresponding remedy, or remedies, is prescribed (if there is more than one remedy in a prescription of drops there should be no more than 7 remedies in the mixture).

A disappointing departure from the guidelines for prescription laid down by Dr. Bach and his successors are two main popular shortcuts - use of a pendulum and astrology. There is nothing wrong with radiaesthesia, but using a pendulum is a very inaccurate way of choosing a remedy (pendulums give accurate answers for non-emotional questions, but are not particularly accurate on emotional issues - which is what the Bach system is based on). Astrology is a very useful practice in itself; however, grouping Bach remedies according to astrological signs is only of benefit in a broad sense and up to a point. Prescribing strictly according to these groupings is folly - Scleranthus very much corresponds to the qualities of Pisces, but every Piscean would not be treated with Scleranthus. The greatest indicator of the remedy is the patient himself/herself. Astrological groupings stereotype people and Dr Bach stresses the individualness of all beings (Animals and Plants can be treated with these remedies too). This he believed was the greatest contribution to Spiritual evolution.

The following remedies are basically grouped as in Heal Thyself. This is a simplistic explanation; see the book for more detail:


1. Rock Rose- Terror, panic, extreme fright

2. Mimulus- Desperation, fear of losing ones mind

4. Aspen - Fear of unknown things. Anxiety without cause

5. Red Chestnut - Anxiety - over care for others


6. Cerato - Self distrust - seeks advise but knows answer

7. Scleranthus - Unable to decide between one thing and another. Unbalanced scatterbrain

8. Gentian - Discouragement, depression

9. Gorse - Hopelessness. Melancholy for

those who have given up all hope

10. Hornbeam - Exhaustion - those who feel

mentally and physically drained

11. Wild Oat - Uncertainty, despondence.

"Jack of all trades, master of none"


12. Clematis - "Off with the pixies"

They dream of happy times in the future. In illness may even look forward to death - "heaven" - reunion with loved ones.

13. Honeysuckle - Lives in the past; homesickness. Dr Bach called it "The state of Lot's wife".

14. Wild Rose - Resignation - to illness or misfortune. They are not trying to get well.

15. Olive - Complete exhaustion & Mental fatigue

16. White Chestnut - "cluttered" mind & mental fatigue. Dr Bach called this "The gramaphone

record state of mind".

17. Mustard - Despair descending as a dark cloud. It is melancholy and depression with no logical reason.

18. Chestnut Bud - Does not learn from experience. Does learn from mistakes.


19. Water Violet - Is proud & aloof. Likes to be alone in health or illness. A calm person who does not interfere with others private affairs.

20. Impatiens - Inpatience, everything must be achieved now. Quick tempered and "highly strung".

21. Heather - "The chatterbox" who is forever telling everyone his/her problems. Heather's favourite word is "I". They do not realise the few friends they do

have, they scare away.


22. Agrimony - Mental Torture. They are always smiling and good natured but are "falling apart" inside. The happy exterior hides great emotional pain.

23. Centaury - The "doormat" of this world. Their kindheartedness is often preyed upon and abused.

24. Walnut - Those who are easily influenced by others and know what they have to do. They occasionally detour from their path because of this.

25. Holly - Envy. Natred & suspician. As prickly as are

holly leaves.


26. Larch - Lack of confidence

27. Pine - Guilt

28. Elm - Despondency

29. Sweet chestnut - Hopelessness. Emptiness. The void.

30. Star of Bethlehem - Shock, distress, grief

31. Willow - Resentment

32. Oak - Despair but never making effort

33. Crab Apple - For those who feel ugly or unclean


34. Chicory - Possessiveness - "smother love"

35. Vervain - Fanaticism, narrow-mindedness.

The "preacher". Vervain always finds a soap box.

36. Vine - Domination of others. Vine always knows what is good for everyone else.

37. Beech - "Bitchiness". Goddipmonger. Beech sees the ugly and the negative in every situation instead of the beautiful.

38. Rock Water (The only non-floral one: spring water) - self-repression, self-martyrdom, self-denial.

There are positive traits to the remedies that manifest during "treatment" and these are wonderful when they surface. A journey of self discovery then begins. In closing, I'd like to quote again from Dr. Bach in Healing Thyself:

"And so come out my brothers and sisters into the glorious sunshine of the knowledge of your divinity and earnestly and steadfastly set to work to join in the Grand Design of being happy and communication happiness....."


Heal Thyself by Edward Bach (CW Samuel, London)

The Twelve Healers by Edward Bach (CW Samuel, London)

The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach Physician by Nora Weeks (CW Samuel, London)

An Introduction to the Bach Flower Remedies by Jane Evans (CW Samuel, London)

Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies by Philip M. Chancelor M.D. (CW Samuel, London)

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