What are the Bach flower remedies? Explanation by a naturopath.

What are the Bach flower remedies? Their origins.

Flower remedies were discovered between 1928 and 1935 by the doctor Edward Bach, an English homeopath. He found that every negative mental state could find a solution in the realm of plants. Le remedies work in subtle ways, through vibrations, on our psychological and emotional states. He found 38 different remedies that he categorized in 7 groups:

  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Lack of interest for present events
  • Over-sensitivity to influences and ideas
  • Loneliness
  • Despondency or Despair
  • Over-care for welfare of others

According to Bach, our negative mental states come from a discrepancy between our Higher Self (which serves our soul) and our personality. Our bad personality traits come from what our Higher Self cannot express. Thus, the flower remedies give people energy to help them face their life, not by fighting against our negativity, but by submerging it with positive vibrations.

These flower remedies are made from brandy and water containing extreme dilutions or flower material. This water is obtained by leaving the flowers in a container full of water for three hours in direct sunlight: the water is then filtrated and mixed with the brandy in a 50:50 mixture. This is called the mother tincture. The actual remedies that we use are a mix of a small part of this mother tincture with alcohol.

A naturopath can advise the use different remedies to people depending on their specific issues, up to 6 of them. They are then mixed in a recipient, in which between 3 and 7 drops of each liquid will be placed in a container, which then will be filled with water. The ideal way to use these remedies is to put between 3 and 7 drops of the mix below your tongue and keep it in your mouth for about 1 to 2 minutes, both right after waking up and before going to bed. Keep the container away from light and heat.


The 7 Bach flower groups

In each group, you can find several remedies, and each of them has its own virtues. Choosing the remedy or remedies that you need will always be easier by consulting a naturopath or someone who specializes in Bach flowers: they will help you analyze your negative feelings better, which isn’t always easy to do when you’re by yourself.


  • Rock rose: panic attacks, night terrors and nightmares
  • Red chestnut: fear for others, for overprotective parents
  • Mimulus: phobias, shyness and daily fears
  • Cherry plum: fear of losing oneself, to be impulsive
  • Aspen: apprehension, difficulty to name the object of the fear



  • Cerato: Lack of trust in one’s own intuition and difficulty to trust others
  • Scleranthus: indecisiveness, uncertainty when making a decision between two options
  • Gentian: melancholy, lack of motivation when facing obstacles, pessimism
  • Gorse: lack of hope
  • Horbeam: lack of motivation, difficulty to become more active
  • Wild oat: difficulty to find one’s path


Lack of interest for present events

  • Clematis: lack of attention, worries, daydreaming, moments of absence
  • Honeysuckle: nostalgia, regrets linked to the past
  • Wild rose: wanting to give up, fatalism, passivity
  • Olive: fatigue, everything feels like too much effort
  • White chestnut: obsessional, repetitive thoughts
  • Mustard: feelings of unexplained sadness, sudden melancholy
  • Chestnut bud: repetition of the same mistakes without taking past experiences into account


Over-sensitivity to influences and ideas

  • Agrimony: hiding emotions behind a joyful mask
  • Centaury: submission, weakness, lack of ability to say no
  • Walnut: sensitivity to surroundings, influenced easily by others’ ideas, remady to break unhealthy links to others
  • Holly: hatred, jealousy, envy, suspicion, anger



  • Water violet: proud, distant, condescending
  • Impatiens: impatient, irritable, solitary
  • Heather: egocentric, only worried about oneself


Despondency or Despair

  • Larch: lack of self-confidence, convinced of one’s constant failure
  • Pine: culpability, feeling guilty for everything
  • Elm: depressed mood, feeling easily overwhelmed
  • Sweet chestnut: feeling of emptiness, bad mood, feeling “down”
  • Star of Bethlehem: sadness, pain, feeling upset
  • Willow: non-expressed anger, “raining on people’s parade”, susceptibility, bitterness, resentment, feeling like a victim
  • Oak: fighting against the odds
  • Crab apple: paying a lot of attention to details, shame, feeling “dirty”


Over-care for welfare of others

  • Chicory: possessiveness in love, gives only to receive in return
  • Vervain: too enthusiastic, trying to convince others, does too much
  • Vine: authoritarian, dominator, trying to impose one’s ideas
  • Beech: critical, intolerant, caustic
  • Rock water: overly strict with oneself, personal perfectionism, strict principles, idealistic.


This article was written with the help of the French naturopath Amélie Curty, who collaborated with the Alternative Medicals team.


Photo credit: pexels.com