The physical manifestations of diseases have their root cause in emotional and psychological stress which includes fear, worry, loneliness, insecurity and jealousy. The body’s natural resistance to disease reduces as these situations reach extremes. Bach Flower Remedies assist in stabilizing emotional and psychological stress and seek to calm the turmoil produced by these exigencies. It gives the body a chance to heal itself naturally, with remedies made out of wild plants, flowers, bushes and trees.
The Supplement to the Eight Edition of the Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States lists all thirty-eight Bach Flower Remedies as homeopathic medicines and so they have official recognition. Comparatively cheaper, these floral remedies are simple to use. When selected correctly they are known to be consistently successful in getting the desired results.
Rescue Remedy is the best known Bach Remedy. Five Bach flowers are combined to make this emergency first aid medicine. It works quickly and is quite useful in various situations. However it is not the panacea for all ills and cannot be used to replace conventional medical care.
Doctors, homeopaths, and healthcare personnel throughout the world carry the Rescue Remedy as part of their emergency kit or on their person to use during medical emergencies. It comes in handy especially when psychological and emotional balance must be established at the time of crisis or otherwise.
To Dr. Bach goes the credit of discovering all the thirty eight Bach Flower Remedies. They have been used since 1936 to restore a sense of perspective in individuals who have been afflicted with major or minor emotional and psychological imbalance.
There are seven classifications, according to Dr. Bach, of the emotional and psychological states. Within the framework of each of these seven there are variations. The main categories are the following:
- Despondency or despair
- Insufficient interest in present circumstances
- Over care for the welfare of others
- Oversensitive to influences and ideas
The following is a short, non-specific explanation of the thirty eight Bach Flower remedies and their uses. The remedies are appropriately listed according to their categorization.
Despondency or Despair:
- Crab Apple (Malus pumila) is for those who are crouched in feelings of shame or fear of getting infected due to cleanliness issues and also for those with low self esteem because of bodily disfigurements. This also assists in disinfecting and cleaning injuries both of a physical and mental nature.
- Elm (Ulmus procera) is for anyone who plods away, over-exerting themselves as they have taken on more responsibilities than they can handle and now feel weighted down.
- Larch (Larix decidua) is useful for boosting confidence especially in those who expect to fail in spite of being competent as they give up even before trying.
- Oak (Quercus robur) is intended for those who, despite setbacks, drive themselves hard to achieve their goals not allowing even hardship and infirmity to get in the way.
- Pine (Pinus sylvestris) helps self critical people to save them from blaming themselves for others’ mistakes. They are never satisfied with their own efforts and attach faults to themselves. They suffer constant guilt as they feel they have not put in their best efforts.
- Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is used to treat stress that has accrued from emotional and mental trauma after grief, accident or loss.
- Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) is good for anyone who is laden with despair, when anguish is overwhelming and they have reached the threshold of endurance.
- Willow (Salix vitellina) is used when a situation seems unfair and unjustified leading to resentment and bitterness at the misfortune they have undergone.
- Aspen (Populus tremula) is used to cure formless anxieties and fears that seem to have no known causes in which a sense of impending disaster, accompanied by premonition and apprehension are prevalent.
- Cherry Plum ((Prunus cerasifera) is the antidote for fear of losing physical and mental control. It is used to control unmanageable tempers and impulses that could lead to physical harm to others or to oneself. Suicidal tendencies and inordinate temper are both subdued.
- Mimulus (Mimulus guttatus) is used to counter known fears, like fear related to heights, pain, poverty, death, darkness, fear of being alone or fear of others. It is also used to cure shyness and timidity.
- Red Chestnut (Aesculus carnea) is used to cure extraordinary fear arising out of anxiety and concern for others, particularly loved ones. A gnawing, disquiet fear of an impending disaster is always anticipated.
- Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummularium) is used when panic, terror, fright, hysteria, and nightmares reach extreme proportions.
Insufficient Interest in Present Circumstances:
- Chestnut Bud (Aesculus hippocastanum) helps those who learn nothing from their experience and form patterns of repetitive mistakes.
- Clematis (Clematis vitalba) is meant for those who lean towards escapism, those who daydream about the future and are not in touch with reality, they lack concentration, have no interest in the present and are flighty.
- Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) helps those who cannot bring themselves to the present realities, are always bringing to mind the “good old days”. Homesickness and nostalgia have a grip on them.
- Mustard (Sinapis arvensis) is used for those who suffer from deep feelings of melancholy and unexpected sadness and total gloom for no clear reason.
- Olive (Olea europaea) serves as an impetus to regaining energy sapped through illness or personal suffering. It brings relief from physical and mental exhaustion and fatigue.
- White Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) improves persistent and undesirable thoughts, mental wiles and obsessions with an incident or worrisome circumstance.
- Wild Rose (Rosa canina) helps those who cannot lift themselves out of apathy and who are resigned to the fact that their circumstances are beyond improvement and they do not seek out happiness.
- Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is for talkative people who love to tell all and sundry their problems and are always looking for someone to pass their time with as they hate being on their own. They are full of themselves and very poor listeners.
- Impatiens (Impatiens glandulifera) helps impatient people to control irritability with people who are slower than they. They are quick in thought and act swiftly but only because they lack tolerance.
- Water Violet (Hottonia palustris) is suitable for those who prefer to remain aloof, reserved, seem proud, self reliant and who radiate a ‘snobbish’ aura. They are capable but like to advise from a distance without involving themselves too closely.
Over Care for the Welfare of Others:
- Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is meant for those who desire perfection and so are always finding faults in other people or things. They fail to notice the good points in others because they are so busy nit-picking and disapproving. They exaggerate other people’s minor peculiarities and show irritability.
- Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is useful for possessiveness and over caring of those close to them. Self-centered and weepy they force others to fit into their line of thinking.
- Rock Water (Aqua petra) is for those who are strict adherents in their daily lives. Harsh with themselves they will make any sacrifice to follow an ideal or set an example for others. They are extremely diligent about following a severe lifestyle for personal, religious or societal reasons.
- Vervain (Verbena officinalis) is useful for anyone who is opinionated, always preaching, moralizing; injustice infuriates them. Their behaviour can become domineering, belligerent and obsessive if it crosses boundaries.
- Vine (Vitis vinifera) is used on strong willed leaders when they cross limits and become imperious, authoritarian, callous and tyrannical.
Oversensitive to Influences and Ideas:
- Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) is useful for those who hide their troubles from others as they think it will burden them. A cheerful facade might hide their suffering but escape from pain is hidden in alcohol and medication.
- Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum) is useful for those who cannot say no as they could subvert their own desires to please others and so find themselves exploited.
- Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is useful for untenable negative feelings like jealousy, envy, suspicion, hatred and revenge, states that need more loving.
- Walnut (Juglans regia) is used to smoothen transitional periods like teething, adolescence, puberty and menopause as this brings emotional stability. It helps to break past links, adjust to new beginnings, like new jobs, new residence, cultures and also relationships.
- Cerato (Ceratostigma willmottianum) is used for those patients who have doubts on their decision making and judgmental skills. They persistently seek advice from others as they feel they are being ill-advised.
- Gentian (Gentianella amarella) is for those who are easily discouraged. Even small setbacks result in self doubt, hesitation and dejection.
- Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is for those undergoing feelings of despair, futility and hopelessness.
- Hornbeam ((Carpinus betulus) is meant for those suffering from acute Monday morning like blues as they feel listless and want to put off doing anything. They feel their physical and mental state needs a fillip.
- Scleranthus (Scleranthus annuus) is meant for the indecisive who seem to dither between choices, sometimes one seems right then the other and the first again. They are troubled by mood swings and energy.
- Wild Oats (Bromus ramosus) is for those who are unhappy with their career choice or lifestyle but don’t know what career they wish to pursue exactly.