Although there are many excellent variations in flower essences available today, such as Australian Bush Flower Essences, Findhorn Flower Essences (Scotland), Himalayan Flower Enhancers, and New Millennium Essences (New Zealand), for example, we propose to account only for the ever-popular original Bach Flowers introduced by English Physician and Homoeopath, Dr. Edward Bach (circa 1930’s).
His methods had similarity with homoeopathy but were originally intended to balance the various fluctuating emotional states that he viewed as leading to adverse and debilitating effects on the physical body. However, over the years, modern flower essence preparations have been applied in all types and variations of conditions, and have also had their applications extended from the original premise on which Dr. Bach formulated his flower essences.
Dr. Bach’s flower essences were not specifically intended to directly affect physical ailments, but the mind and the negative emotions that gave rise to those ailments. Once a correct essence was applied, then operating on a similar premise to homoeopathy, it was anticipated to beneficially address the ancillary physical problems that may have arisen from the original emotional disturbance. Rejecting the drug medication of his day and to some extent the principles of medicine that he had previously encountered as a medical physician in England, Dr. Bach viewed various ailments, illnesses, and diseases as the result of imbalance between the mind, mental state, mood, and personality. These he saw as obstructing the natural curative abilities of the body, an imbalance that ultimately resulted in illness.
By the use of essences derived from flowers, and with the healing qualities that they possessed, he provided simple preparations that he believed could restore balance to mental and emotional states, thereby assisting to alleviate any consequential physical distresses that could result from causative emotional imbalances. Dr. Bach introduced his 38 flower essences on the basis of the varying actions that he found useful to overcome the emotional conditions to which his preparations would be directed. A 39th preparation (termed Rescue Remedy) is a composition of 5 of the original Bach Flowers: Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem, being a composite used for emotional disruption in emergency circumstances.
The main and specific emotions addressed by Bach Flowers can be classified into several headings, with appropriate flowers identified where necessary. However, although Dr. Bach intended his preparations to be applied singularly, in the same manner as those given according to classical homoeopathic principles, it is nonetheless quite acceptable for a composite preparation to be given (i.e. more than one Bach flower in combination) where mixed emotions arise. For example, a person experiencing fear from the anxiety of financial ruin with feelings of despondency and a suicidal tendency could find several of the Bach flowers applied to those circumstances.
Although not exhaustive of descriptions, Bach Flower remedies were identified for application in any of the following major mental and emotional aberrations (and similar derivatives) that may lead to consequential adverse physical reactions:
E.g. Anxiety ‐ Apprehension - Attachment – Over-controlling - Obsession - Anger - Depression ‐ Despair – Despondency - Disinterest ‐ Indifference - Fear ‐ Fright ‐ Timidity - Hypersensitivity – Intolerance – Irritability ‐ Judgemental ‐ Overcritical - Indecisive – Hesitant – Overcautious - Loneliness – Solitude – Reclusion ‐ Reticence - Mental Anguish – Nervous Tension – Hopelessness - Resentment – Unforgiving – Vengefulness – Hatred ‐ Hostility - Phobias – Mania – Hysteria – Mental Exhaustion ‐ Suicidal - Remorse – Subservience – Self‐Doubt - Uncertainty ‐ Vacillation - Worry ‐ Mental Peregrination (wandering thoughts)
For a fuller explanation of Bach's flower remedies see Chapter 12 of the book, "Complementary Medicine, Beauty and Modelling".
BACH'S FLOWER ESSENCES (MEMORY KEY ABBREVIATIONS)
Beech: Arrogance / Intolerance.
Cerato: Requiring Ratification.
Cherry Plum: Overburdened / Overtaxed Mind.
Chestnut Bud: Repeated Errors.
Crab Apple: Automysophobia / Obsessive.
Elm: Overwhelming Responsibilities.
Gentian: Overwhelming Discouragement.
Gorse: Incertitude and Pessimism.
Heather: Isolophobia / Downhearted.
Holly: Loveless / Abhorrence / Antipathy.
Impatiens: Impatient / Impetuous.
Larch: Depleted in Self-Confidence.
Mimulus: Phobias / Mental Seclusion / Tremulous.
BACH'S FLOWER ESSENCES (MEMORY KEY ABBREVIATIONS
Mustard: Inconsolable / Despairing.
Oak: Heroic Despondency.
Olive: Exhaustion / Unmotivated / Insurmountable Difficulties.
Pine: Guilt/Self‐Condemnation / Mental Flagellation.
Red Chestnut: Anxious for the Welfare for others.
Rock Rose: Terrified/Fearful.
Rock Water (i.e. spring water): Dogmatic / Dictatorial / Bigoted.
Scleranthus: Indecision / Hesitancy.
Star of Bethlehem: Shock / Trauma / Perturbation.
Sweet Chestnut: Surrender / Defeatism / Abnegation.
Vervain: Fixated Ideas / Hyper-anxiety.
Vine: Dominating Disposition / Dictatorial/Autocratic.
Walnut: Easily Dissuaded / Diverted Thoughts.
Water Violet: Desire for Solitude / Unsociable / Proud.
White Chestnut: Wandering Mind / Unsilenced Thoughts.
Wild Oat: Ambivalence / Indecision / Uncertainty.
Wild Rose: Disinterest / Resignation / Abjuration.
Willow: Indignation / Scorn / Disdain.
Rescue Remedy: Emergencies / First Aid Relief.