Bach Flower Remedies

Agrimony

People who need Agrimony often appear carefree and humorous, but their joie de vivre is a mask for anxieties, worries and even real inner torment, which they may be trying to conceal from themselves as well as others. If in pain or discomfort, they are likely to joke about it, unwilling to express their real fears. They dislike being alone and are very sociable, seeking company as a distraction. They try to ignore the darker side of life, and prefer to make light of things rather than enter into a confrontation. They may also suffer from restlessness at night, with churning thoughts (see also White Chestnut). Agrimony people may suppress their discomfort with the aid of heavy drinking, or the use of drugs or comfort eating.The positive potential of Agrimony is for those who are genuinely cheerful and good company, communicate their real feelings openly and can accept that life has its less pleasant side. Their cheerfulness stems from a real sense of self-acceptance and inner joy; they see problems in perspective and are diplomatic peace makers.

Aspen

Aspen is indicated for people who are seized by sudden fears or worries for no specific reason, and who may therefore be generally nervy and anxious. A typical need for Aspen is for waking in fear from a bad dream, even if the dream itself is forgotten. Aspen is helpful for young children experiencing nightmares and night terrors (see also Rock Rose). Aspen fears can occur during day or night; an inexplicable anxiety or sense of foreboding may strike when alone, or suddenly in the company of friends, and may be accompanied by trembling.The positive potential of Aspen is a state of inner peace, security and fearlessness. Apprehension is replaced by a desire for adventure and new experiences, disregarding difficulties and dangers. As Dr Bach wrote: ‘Once we come to that realization, we are beyond pain and suffering, beyond care or worry or fear, beyond everything except the joy of life, the joy of death, and the joy of our immortality … we can walk that path through any danger, through any difficulty, unafraid.’

Beech

Beech is for people who are constantly making criticisms, intolerant of other people’s shortcomings and unable to make allowances. They find it hard to see the good in others. They have a strong sense of their own superiority, can be judgmental and arrogant and are easily irritated by other people’s mannerisms or habits. They are convinced that they are always in the right and everyone else in the wrong (see also Impatiens).The positive potential of Beech is tolerance and a sense of compassion for and unity with others’ the positive Beech person can see the good in others despite their imperfections.

Centaury

Centaury is for people who find it hard to say no. They let themselves be imposed on and even bullied by others. They are usually timid, quiet, and rather passive, with little strength of will. Anxious to please, they give in to others out of subservience rather than willing co-operation. Although dissatisfied with this state of affairs, they will deny their own wishes or vocation rather than risk a confrontation. Anxious to ‘do the right thing’, they are easily influenced by what other people dictate. Drained by others and out of touch with their own assertiveness, they tend to lack energy and tire easily.The positive potential of Centaury is shown in people who serve willingly and unobtrusively, but without denying their own needs. They can express and defend their own opinions and mix well in company. Above all, they are in touch with what they want and can now follow their own path with determination and energy, unhampered by the opinions of others.

Cerato

Cerato is for people who do not trust their own judgment in decision-making. They actually know what they want and need but although they have plenty of inner wisdom and may be highly intuitive, they constantly seek advice and confirmation from others and will misguidedly follow someone else’s advice rather than trust themselves. When ill, they are likely to try a succession of treatments recommended by other people. The positive potential of Cerato is shown in those who trust their own inner wisdom and follow it. Quietly self-assured and decisive, they are able to find and follow their true vocation.

Cherry Plum

Cherry Plum is for people who fear losing control of their behavior. They may be on the verge of breakdown, they may be in deep despair, and afraid of losing their sanity. At times when Cherry Plum is needed they may feel about to explode, and are afraid of giving way to violent impulses. Indeed, they may be abnormally abusive and hysterical towards friends and family, exploding in sudden outbursts of rage. The positive potential of Cherry Plum is the person who has a calm mind and is able to think and act rationally. If the picture is very severe, help from a good therapist is recommended.

Chestnut Bud

Chestnut Bud is for failure to learn by experience, leading to an inability to make progress in life. The person keeps repeating the same mistakes, such as falling over again and again for the wrong partner, or continuing to work in an unsuitable job. Instead of learning from past mistakes, Chestnut Bud people try to forget them and therefore have no basis on which to make future decisions. They may suffer recurrent ailments but never question why they keep returning and thus fail to deal with the root cause.

Positive potential: Dr Bach wrote: ‘This remedy is to help us to take full advantage of daily experiences and to see ourselves and our mistakes as others do.’ The positive Chestnut Bud personality observes his or her own mistakes with objectivity, and learns from every experience, gaining knowledge and wisdom so as to move forward in life. Mentally active, he or she also observes and learns from others.

Chicory

Chicory is for people who are overly possessive and whose care for others is self-centered and manipulative. These strong-willed people expect other people to conform to their values; they may be critical, interfering and nagging. they find it hard to give without expecting anything in return. They dislike being alone and demand constant attention and service as a duty: typical is the possessively domineering parent who keeps adult children under his or her thumb. Although strong, they are self-pitying and easily offended. Some Chicory people will feign illness in order to gain attention – for example, the possessive parent who manifests ‘heart pains’ whenever a daughter tries to leave home. They are often very talkative, opinionated and argumentative. Chicory is also good for children who make constant and unreasonable demands for attention. The positive potential of Chicory is seen in people who are able to care for others unselfishly, offering genuine maternal love. They give without expecting anything back and allow their loved ones to be themselves and live their own lives. Feeling fulfilled and self-assured, they no longer need other people’s assurance that they are worthy of love. They are warm, kind, concerned for others and sensitive to other people’s needs.

Clematis

Clematis is for people who live in a world of their own with no interest in the real world. They find it hard to live in the present. They are not really happy and yearn for better times; however they take no active steps to bring these about. They have a poor memory, with little head for detail. They tend to lack energy, and appear absent minded. They like to be alone and will avoid confrontations by withdrawing. When ill they make no effort to get well. They may be strongly romantic. Clematis is appropriate for people who have lost a loved one and long to join them. Through lack of concentration, they may tend to be accident-prone. Clematis children have difficulty in concentrating due to a tendency to daydream rather than lack of innate ability. The positive potential of Clematis is a lively interest in the world around, and enjoyment of life. Positive Clematis people are open to inspiration and fulfill their creative potential for instance in art, writing, design, fashion, or healing. Realistic and down to earth, they have a sense of purpose and recognize that the future is shaped by the present. They are well grounded and able to control their thoughts.

Crab Apple

Crab Apple is the ‘cleansing remedy’ for mind and body, recommended for those who feel unclean and suffer from a poor self image. Crab apple people may be obsessively house-proud, or have a mental obsession with cleanliness and trivialities. Crab Apple is indicated for people who are ashamed of and embarrassed by unpleasant physical symptoms such as skin problems or discharges, they are disheartened if treatment fails (see also Gentian). People with skin problems can use it externally, as a lotion (a few drops in water), in a compress, or added to the bath (10 drops). The positive potential of Crab Apple is acceptance of oneself and one’s imperfections. Positive Crab Apple people have a positive self-image and are relaxed about the way they look and their environment.

Crowea

Crowea For people who are feeling “not quite right” with themselves and are just a little out of balance. An excellent Essence for people not sure of what it is they are feeling. It is for worry and distress. It is for those who always have something to worry about without having specific fears. This purple flower has five petals with a prominent raised center. Five in numerology relates to the emotional center and the integration of emotions.

Negative Condition: Continual worrying, A sense of being “not quite right”,

Positive Outcome: Peace and calm, Balances and centers the individual, Clarity of feelings

Elm

Elm is for those who feel overwhelmed by their workload. Usually competent and capable, they momentarily lose confidence and become despondent. Elm types make good managers and are often in positions of responsibility, concerned with the welfare of others, e.g.. doctors, teachers, therapists, heads of industry. Elm is indicated when these capable people suddenly feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and feel unable to deal with them or keep up with events; this is often brought about by taking on too much work without taking care of themselves. As a result they feel depressed and exhausted, with a temporary loss of self-esteem. Even a momentary doubt of their own abilities causes them to feel weak and debilitated. The positive potential is restoration of one’s normal capable personality, and a return to efficiency and self-assurance. Problems are seen in perspective and the person takes on only as much as he or she can cope with, taking time to look after his or her own needs.

Gentian

Gentian is for doubt and despondency. Sufferers are easily discouraged and depressed when things go wrong or when faced with difficulties. Unlike Mustard, their depression is always from an identifiable cause. They may in fact be making good progress in illness or in life but are easily disheartened by small setbacks. Gentian may be useful for those people who feel despondent with a long-term or recurrent illness. It is also useful for children discouraged about their schoolwork. The positive potential of Gentian is the realization that there is no such thing as failure when one is doing one’s best, no matter what the results. No obstacle seems too great, and no task too daunting to undertake. There is a conviction that any difficulties will be overcome in the end.

Gorse

Gorse is for extreme hopelessness and despair, for people who have given up the fight. They feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel and have lost all hope. They may believe that their illness is hereditary and therefore incurable. They feel condemned to pain and suffering and do not try to get better. They may try different treatments to please their nearest and dearest but have no faith that they will work. Dr Bach wrote of Gorse people ‘They look as if they needed sunshine in their lives to drive the clouds away’. The positive potential of Gorse is a sense of faith and hope, despite current physical or mental problems. The patient feels brighter and happier and able to use illness as a positive experience. In milder cases, he or she feels on the road to recovery.

Heather

Heather is indicated for those who are preoccupied with their own situation or ailments and unable to enter into genuine two way communication with others. They drive others away by their extreme neediness. They exaggerate their symptoms, or make mountains out of molehills. They are compulsive talkers, needing an audience and will buttonhole people in order to talk in lengthy detail about themselves. They tend to speak rapidly, close into the listener’s face. They dislike being alone but fail to realize that they are often avoided because they sap other people’s vitality and show no interest in other people’s problems. The positive potential of Heather is the good listener who is generous in helping others, selfless and understanding of other people’s problems. Positive Heather people are able to put their own suffering to good use by empathizing with others.

Holly

Holly is for people who can be bad-tempered, hard-hearted, even cruel and on occasions violent. Inside, they are suffering – often for no good cause. They find it difficult to open their hearts to love. The negative Holly state is full of hatred, envy and jealousy. Suffering, perhaps unconsciously from insecurity. Holly people are suspicious and aggressive. They lack the ability to love and feel a generalized anger towards their fellows. Holly is a good remedy for children who are jealous of their siblings. The positive potential of Holly is a generous-hearted person, able to give without making demands for any return. Such people are compassionate, loving and loveable, willing to share and unpossessive, even when having personal problems themselves. Upheld by a sense of inner harmony, they take genuine pleasure in other people’s success. Dr Bach wrote: ‘Holly protects us from everything that is not Universal Love. Holly opens the heart and unites us with Divine Love’.

Hornbeam

Hornbeam is for weariness, mental rather than physical; for those who wake up doubting their ability to face the day’s work. They find it difficult to face up to problems, or cope with the day’s program, although in fact they usually get everything done.People in need of Hornbeam may be suffering from overwork, or a sense of staleness and lack of variety in life, for example when studying hard for exams (see also Olive). They lack enthusiasm and may procrastinate. Sleep in not refreshing and if convalescing from illness, they doubt their strength to recover. The positive potential of Hornbeam is certainly of one’s strength and ability to face the day’s work. A lively mind, vitality, freshness and spontaneity are restored, and life is enjoyable again. They day’s work can be faced with energy and a clear head, and is properly balanced with play.

Larch

Larch is for lack of self-confidence, for people who won’t even try because they are sure in advance that they will fail. They suffer from feelings of inferiority. They are secretly aware they have potential ability but refuse to acknowledge it, thereby avoiding the risk of failure. This is also a useful remedy for anyone who lacks confidence before examinations, interviews, driving tests, etc. (see also Rescue Remedy). The positive potential of Larch is expressed in people who are determined, capable, with a realistic sense of self esteem, unworried about failure or success. They are aware of their own potential and work towards achieving it. They are able to take the initiative, to take risks, and refuse to accept the word ‘can’t’. They use their critical faculties sensibly.

Mimulus

Mimulus is for fear from known causes, such as: illness, death, accidents, pain, the dark, cold poverty, other people, animals, spiders, public speaking, loss of friends or job, dentistry, etc. It is for people who suffer from fears that can be easily named. Sufferers may be artistic and talented, but shy and retiring and can be tongue-tied in company. Mimulus is good for shy, timid, sensitive children, afraid of animals, the dark, etc. (see also Larch). The positive potential of Mimulus is the personality possessed of quiet courage to face trials and difficulties with humor and confidence. They can stand up for themselves, and with the emotions under complete control can enjoy life without fear.

Mustard

Mustard is for sudden depression which descends out of the blue and lifts just as suddenly for no apparent reason. This gloom can be very severe; it is like the descent of a cold dark fog, overcasting everything and destroying normal cheerfulness. The sufferer is completely taken over by gloom and unable to shake it off at will The positive potential of Mustard is the return of joy, supported by an inner stability and peace which cannot be shaken or destroyed under good circumstances or bad.

Oak

Oak people are normally brave, strong and reliable; they need Oak when their inner strength wanes and fatigue takes over. They keep going, whatever happens, ignoring their tiredness. Driven by a strong sense of duty, they are helpful to others, conscientious and reliable. They are patient, sometimes plodding, and will not allow themselves to relax if there is work to be done; instead they struggle on obstinately when over-tired (see also Rock-Water and Vervain). The resultant loss of innate strength may lead to depression, frustration and other stress symptoms. These people have a sense of failure when ill but are ceaseless in their efforts to recover. Positive potential Oak people are normally strong, often the mainstay of their family or working group. They possess enormous endurance, persistence, patience and reserves of energy, and can stand up to a good deal of stress. Oak restores their energy and helps them to recognize the need to take time off to relax and look after themselves as well as their duties.

Olive

Olive is for those who are exhausted in body and mind after a long period of strain through personal difficulties, an intense period of study or work, a long illness, or nursing someone else for a long time. It is a good remedy for convalescence. Olive is characterized by exhaustion to the point of tears, when all reserves of strength and energy have run out. Everything is an effort; one tires easily, and life lacks zest. Sufferers no longer enjoy their work or the leisure activities in which they formerly took pleasure. Sufferers find they need a lot of sleep. As a result of being over tired the body may be functioning below par. The positive potential of Olive is restoration of strength, vitality and interest in life. Positive Olive people no longer exhaust their own reserves of strength but listen to their inner guidance and recognize the needs of their body. They are able to maintain their peace of mind even when forced to remain inactive.

Pine

Pine is indicated for people who feel full of guilt and self-reproach; they blame themselves for other people’s mistakes and, indeed, for anything that goes wrong. They feel undeserving and unworthy. Their guilt complex and sense of shame is not necessarily based on any actual wrong-doing but destroys the possibility of joy in living. These people appear humble and apologetic; they will apologize for being ill and may feel they deserve their illness of pain. The positive potential of Pine allows people to accept responsibility realistically and to have sound judgment. Positive Pine people accept and respect themselves as they would others, without exaggeratedly negative judgments. In relation to Pine, Dr Bach wrote ‘… One trace of condemnation against ourselves, or others, is a trace of condemnation against the Universal Creation of Love, and restricts us, limits our power to allow the Universal Love to flow through us to others.’

Red Chestnut

Red Chestnut is for those who have selfless over-concern and fear or worry for the welfare of others, especially of family and close friends. They fear the worst for their loved ones: that a minor complaint will turn into something serious, that a child at play will fall, or a holiday plane will crash. They also are fretful and worry about other people’s problems. It is often a temporary state among healers, nurses, counselors, etc. The positive potential of Red Chestnut is the ability to care for others with compassion but without anxiety. Positive Red Chestnut people radiate thoughts of health and courage to those who need them and remain mentally and physically calm in emergencies. They are happy to give help when asked but hold back from forcing help on others.

Rescue Remedy

Rescue Remedy contains a combination of five flower essences including impatiens, star of Bethlehem, cherry plum, rock rose, and clematis to help balance the emotions, relieve stress, and reduce fear and nervousness in stressful, traumatic or emergency situations such as receiving sudden bad news, family upset, bereavement, before an exam, meeting, interview, performing, giving a speech, and going to the dentist or hospital. Helps produce positive, calming, stabilizing effects in a wide range of stressful situations.

Rock Water

Rock Water is for inflexibility: it is for people who set themselves very high standards and may be self-denying. They are self-dominating to the point of self-martyrdom. For example, they will stick rigidly to diet and exercise programmers, work routines and spiritual disciplines. Their thinking is ruled by fixed ideas and dogma regarding subjects like religion, diet, morality, politics, etc. They like to set an example to others because they seek self-perfection and do not actively interfere in other people’s lives. These people are over-conscientious and they often overwork but are never satisfied with their own achievements. They are self-sacrificing and denying and feel disappointed with themselves if they do not meet their own high ideals. The positive potential of Rock Water is expressed in the ability to hold high ideas with a flexible mind. Positive Rock Water people are willing to change their minds and give up their pet theories if convinced of a greater truth. They understand that inner harmony is more powerful than externally enforced behaviors and allow themselves more flow in life.

Vervain

Vervain is for those with fixed principles and ideas, which they are confident are right and which they rarely change; those needing Vervain are determined but highly strung, over-achieving and keyed-up. They put unnecessary effort into everything they undertake, pushing themselves beyond their physical limits. Their minds race ahead of events; they take on too much work and try to tackle too many jobs at once. Those people are strong-willed and hold strong views. Sensitive to injustice and dedicated to causes, often self-sacrificially, their own-enthusiasm can be fanatical, so that they alienate potential allies and converts. They may suffer from lack of sleep due to their active minds and inability or unwillingness to relax. Demonstrative in speech and movement, they can be irritable, frustrated and annoyed over matters of principle. The positive potential of Vervain is the person who is calm, wise, tolerant and able to relax. Although they hold strong views, they can change them when appropriate and do not need to impose them on others. They take a broad view of life and events. Positive Vervain people understand, as Dr Bach wrote: ‘It is by being rather than doing that great things are accomplished.’

Vine

Vine is for people who dominate others. They are often very capable, even highly gifted and ambitious but they use their undoubted gifts to dominate and bully. They know better than everyone else and put other people down. Although they do not try to convert other people they override their wishes and opinions and demand and expect absolute obedience. They are aggressive and proud and can be ruthlessly greedy for power; the extremes are hard, cruel and uncompassionate. Extreme examples are the parent or boss who rules with an iron rod, or the political dictator who uses any means to gain his ends, or the school bully who aggressively controls other children. It is the remedy that provides constancy and protection from the influence of others. The positive potential of Vine is determination without domination. Positive Vine people see the good in others and encourage and guide without controlling them. They make wise leaders, teachers, bosses or parents. They use their gifts to help others to know themselves and find their own path in life. They inspire others with their unshakeable confidence and certainty.

Walnut

Walnut is for those who find it difficult to adapt to change or who are over-sensitive to certain ideas, atmospheres and influences. It is the remedy for times of major life changes – teething, puberty, pregnancy, divorce, menopause, changes of religion, moving a job or home, giving up an addiction or breaking away from old ties and restrictions, also for the regrets caused by change – loss of friends and familiar circumstances, ageing, bereavement, approaching death, etc. Those in need of Walnut have definite ideals and ambitions and are keen to move forward in life but are held back or side-tracked by the influence of a stronger personality, by restrictive circumstances, by family ties or links with the past. They may be temporarily affected by another’s personality or problems: it is useful for therapists, healers and counselors dealing with emotionally troubled or draining clients. The positive potential of Walnut is the ability to move forward and remain steadfast to one’s path in life, free of the past and to make necessary changes in life, carrying plans through despite discouragement, objections or ridicule from others.

White Chestnut

White Chestnut is indicated for obsessive, worrying thoughts that seem impossible to control. Sufferers cannot let go of unhappy events or arguments and keep reliving them mentally. Persistent, unwanted thoughts and mental arguments go round and round like a stuck record, leading to a troubled mind. It is difficult to concentrate during the day, or to sleep at night. The sufferer may therefore appear inattentive and may not answer when spoken to (see also Clematis). The positive potential of White Chestnut is peace of mind. The head is clear; thinking is under control and can be put to positive use of problem-solving. Worry is replaced by trust in a positive outcome.

Wild Oat

Wild Oat is for people who have reached a cross-roads in life and are completely undecided as to what to do. They may have ambition and a variety of talents but waste their gifts through lack of a clear direction. They may try several different careers but easily become bored and unsettled, life is passing them by and feel frustrated and dissatisfied. Wild Oat is helpful in making important decisions such as choosing a career. The positive potential of Wild Oat is a clear picture of what to do in life, with positive ideas and ambitions and the ability to decide upon one’s true path. Talents are used constructively. These multi-talented people may find ways of pursuing more than one career at once. They no longer give up when bored.

Wild Rose

Wild Rose is indicated for those who are resigned to an unpleasant situation, whether illness, a monotonous life or uncongenial work. They do not complain and are too apathetic to get well, change their occupation or enjoy simple pleasures. Although their situations are unsatisfactory, they are not actually unhappy and make no effort to change their circumstances. This makes them rather dull as companions and unable to fulfill their potential. When ill, they are over-accepting of medical prognoses such as ‘you must learn to live with it’. They are resigned, rather than depressed, at the prospect and accept life the way it is. They lack energy and ambition. The positive potential of Wild Rose is a lively interest in life, work and the world in general. Resignation gives way to ambition and a sense of purpose, good health and enjoyable friendships. Positive Wild Rose people accept responsibility for their own lives and circumstances and use their initiative to make changes.

Willow

Willow is for feelings of being short-changed by life – ‘I don’t deserve this. Why should it happen to me?’ The person in the negative. Willow state begrudges other people’s good luck, health, happiness or success. They may be grumbling, sulky and irritable. These people make difficult patients when ill, since they are never pleased or satisfied, preferring to see themselves as victims and reluctant to admit to any improvement. Constantly maintaining resentment can affect one’s overall vitality and lead to poor general health. The positive potential of Willow allows people to forgive and forget past injustices and enjoy life, thereby attracting positive conditions and friends. No longer victims, they are in control of their own destiny.

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