Learning About Bach Flower Essences

What are Bach Flower Remedies?

Flower remedies or flower essences are made from living plant material. The pattern of information contained in the flowers is transferred into water and then preserved in brandy. Dr Edward Bach  discovered the 38 flower essences in the 1930s. He trained as a medical doctor but later worked in homoeopathy and in 1928 set out to find new remedies. His idea was to identify plants that might alleviate the emotional and mental problems, which he saw as the real cause of disease.

To work with Bach flowers we need to understand ourselves and the feelings like fear, irritation or self-doubt, which cause us problems. Bach thought that if we could be happy in ourselves then we would be healthy in mind and body. So we take Bach flowers to change negative emotional states.

See our Dr Edward Bach about how to use Bach flower essences.


Q  Is there a difference between a Bach flower remedy and a Bach flower essence?

A  Dr Bach , as a medical professional, wrote in terms of remedies to cure and heal physical ailments and disease. Today that means pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs need to be registered and are controlled by law. So, although the word itself has a general meaning, we should try not to speak of flower remedies, since they are not registered as medicines. And by the same token we should not use medical terms like depression or anxiety to explain the action of the Bach flowers. New rules are coming into force in the near future. So Bach flower essences is the safest and proper way to name them.


Healingherbs Bach Flower Essences

How does the quality of Healing herbs Bach flower essences compare to other brands?

Healingherbs is absolutely dedicated to making the highest quality essences.We follow the exact details of the original instructions of Dr Edward Bach.We select only healthy plants to collect our flowers. Plants are situated well away from any source of interference, such as electricity supplies or road traffic.We only make essences when the condition are perfect, so that our essences are of the highest quality possible.

Healingherbs is not just a manufacturer of Bach flower essences.The company leads the field in research about flower essences and is actively working to bring flower essences to people all over the world.We want to help everyone learn more about them and how their use can support wellbeing.


What combinations do you provide?

Healingherbs create three combinations: Five-flower, Exam and Night  Five-flower is the well known ‘rescue combination’ created by Dr Bach in 1935. Exam is a combination created by Julian Barnard in 1978 as a useful way to help concentration and focus attention. Night was a more recent combination to help relaxation and release tension, which may prevent us from getting a restful sleep.


What is Five-flower Essence?

In 1933 Dr Bach first put together a combination of his new remedies as a way to help people in distress. It was based upon the flower essence Rock Rose which he called ‘rescue remedy’. In 1935, when he completed the discovery of the 38 Bach flowers, he settled upon five flowers in this rescue combination: Rock Rose , Cherry Plumb , Clematis , Impatiens and Star of Bethlehem .

These five flowers we call Five Flower Essence . We prepare this as stock concentrate for making up at dosage strength; as a dosage strength spray, sugar granules (without alcohol) and as a cream.


Choosing Bach Flower Essences

How do I choose the right essences for me?

If you are new to the subject it can feel overwhelming. Many of the 38 Bach essences may seem to be appropriate. Alternatively, none of them seem to be exactly how you feel. It is okay – that’s part of the process of self-discovery.

It may help to think about the way that you react when faced with a decision to make: are you sure of yourself ( Vervain ), or anxious that you will get it wrong ( Mimulus ), or do you ask others and follow their advice ( Cerato )? Or you could think about how you feel when unwell: do you prefer to be left alone ( Water Violet ), look for support and care from family ( Chicory ) or just struggle on ( Oak ).

If you cannot decide, there are three Bach essences that can help: Holly , Wild Oat and Star of Bethlehem is relevant if we are in, or have been subject to shock, alarm, surprise or grief. This might be thought of as a passive reaction to traumatic events. Holly , on the other hand, is an active response to traumatic events: ‘I did not like that, it made me angry’. Wild Oat is the third because it says ‘I don’t know what is going on, I don’t know which way to turn’.

The idea here is that taking one of these three will lead to a discovery of where you are on the map of your life and that may help to indicate which other essences are most appropriate.

Can I choose the wrong essence?

No! Since there are no side effects, there is no danger. If the essence is not relevant then it will simply carry a message that you already know and so it will be ignored.


Using Bach Flower Essences

How many Bach flowers can I take?

Advice on this varies but it is generally recommended that you make a combination of about five.

However, there are no strict rules. Since there are no side effects or counter indications you cannot come to harm. But the more essences involved the more complex the message or information – it may be better to keep it simple.

Are some Bach flower essences contradictory?

It is true that some of the 38 Bach essence states are almost opposites: Impatiens and Clematis for instance, or Vervain and Centaury . But if it feels right to you, it is okay to put them together. The process of working with the remedy may make it clear.

Do I need training to use Bach flower essences?

Dr Bach was clear that anyone can work with his flower essences. The only qualification required if we are to work for others is the desire to help and to have an understanding of yourself and of human nature.

How do I take Bach flower essences?

Bach flower essences from Healingherbs come in liquid form as stock concentrate , which is based in organic French brandy . This can be taken orally as drops straight from the bottle, though we recommend that it is diluted in water. Put two drops of each of the chosen essences into a glass of water and sip throughout the day. For longer term treatment put the drops into a dosage bottle and take four drops, four times a day.

Three combinations are made up at dosage strength as sprays: Five-flower, Exam and Night . These are taken as required straight into the mouth. Five-flower is also made up as a cream, which is applied externally. We also make the 38 essences and the three combinations as sugar granules, which can be taken a few granules at a time straight into the mouth.

How do I know if the essences are working?

One aspect of Bach flower therapy is to help us to be more self-aware. If you feel different or are more aware of yourself then the essence is at work. This can sometimes be seen as a reaction insofar as I may be seeing an aspect of myself that was hidden before. In Dr Bach’s view this indicated a need to follow up on the first treatment by changing the combination – there may be many layers to uncover, like the layers of an onion.

How do I store Bach flower essences?

We recommend that the vials be kept upright in a cool, dark place. It is best to keep away from electrical or magnetic force fields since these can disrupt the patterning of the essence. It is also best to keep the vials away from essential oils since the scent can be absorbed by the essence and change the taste.

How long do products last?

Although all of our products carry a ‘best before’ date (they are classed as food and so must have a specific shelf life) there is no reason to get rid of stock that is ‘out of date’. If your product has been kept in good conditions it will retain the original pattern of information and not deteriorate.

Do Bach flower essences cause adverse effects or a healing crisis?

We have been asked about this question a few times before. Personally, I have never had or heard about an adverse reaction to taking Healing Herbs Bach flower essences. At Healing Herbs we do not use homoeopathic methods of preparation and so there is not going to be the ‘curative response or curative crisis of homoeopathy. And since there is no active ingredient the flower essence does not introduce any foreign chemical substance as we see with allopathic medical treatments.

So, what is the question really about? I agree that the therapist can project ideas on to the client: “be careful when taking Crab Apple because it can cause an energetic discharge of the poison”. In my experience (of about 40 years) this does not happen. That is not to say that it cannot happen but there has to be more to it than just taking a Bach remedy. Perhaps the therapist invites the event in order to convince the client that a physical change is taking place. But Bach essences work on the emotional and mental level and so any physical change is one that the individual elects to make.

If I take Holly it cannot force me to stop being angry. Rather the Holly essence gives me the information that allows me to make a change in my behaviour. To that extent the remedy is just information, information which helps me to self-awareness. If I am resistant to change then there will not be any change.

It is as simple as that.

Buying Bach Flower Essences

Where can I buy Bach flower essences?

There are local stockists available worldwide and the full range of products is available in our online shop .

Where can I buy a full set of Bach flower essences?

If you want to buy a full set of Bach flower essences, Healingherbs sells full sets in both 10ml and 30ml options. Full sets include all 38 essences plus 2 bottles of Healingherbs Five Flower Essence.We also sell Practitioner Boxes to safely store all your Bach flower essences.

Animals & Bach Flower Essences

How do I treat animals with Bach flowers?

You can treat your pets in the same way that you treat people. A nervous cat may be helped with Mimulus , a demanding dog may benefit from Chicory. Some animals will avoid alcohol and then it may be best to use the cream, which they will lick off their fur. Larger animals like horses will happily take their essences in the water trough. It is not necessary to use more than a few drops, as it is quality that counts, not quantity.

Children & Bach Flower Essences

Are Bach flowers suitable for children?

Children respond well to Bach essences, perhaps because they are less set in their ways than adults. Essences can be put into drinks, although alcohol should not be given directly to the young. Or they can take the sugar granules, which are alcohol free. Alternatively, you can put the diluted essences directly onto the skin using a cotton wool swab if you are treating a baby. It is worth remembering that mother and child are still one integrated system in infancy and what mum takes will be transferred to baby.