In the Weedyconnection Database a number of plants have in their Other Uses section a Bach entry.
Here I explain what the Bach Flower Remedies are. Almost all of the 38 species used in Bach Remedies are listed in some sort of warning weed list, some are even enlisted in the Weeds of National Significance Database.
What are they?
Edward Bach, an English physician and homeopath, created his flower remedies in the early 1900s. He believed illness was caused by emotional imbalance and sought a new, natural healing method applicable to all.
He experimented with hundreds of flowers, trees, bushes and water sources before identifying 38 essences to remedy negative emotional states such as fear, guilt and anxiety.
The remedies were identified intuitively and produced by floating freshly picked flower heads in sunlit spring water or by boiling twigs in spring water. The essence of the plant was believed to leave an ‘imprint’ in the water. It was then mixed with a small portion of brandy as a preservative, and bottled.
Bach also formulated a combination Rescue Remedy for emergency treatment of panic and trauma, which is now also made as a cream.
Today the 38 remedies are sold worldwide. Many other flower and gem remedies (made by steeping the stone in spring water) have also been developed, including Australian bush remedies and Himalayan, Alaskan and desert remedies.
What are their uses?
There’s little research evidence for the benefits of flower remedies, but effects are widely reported in their use for emotional, mental, spiritual and also physical problems.
The remedies can be combined with homeopathic or herbal remedies or conventional drugs. Exceptionally there may be an interaction effect – for example, arizona poppy can influence anticoagulant effects – or drug dosage may need to be altered.
List of Remedies:
Mental torture behind a cheerful face
Remedy for: jovial, cheerful, humorous people who love peace and are distressed by argument or quarrel, to avoid which they will agree to give up much. Though generally they have troubles and are tormented and restless and worried in mind or in body, they hide their cares behind their humour and jesting and are considered very good friends to know. They often take alcohol or drugs in excess, to stimulate themselves and help themselves bear their trials with cheerfulness.
Fear of unknown things
Remedy for: those with vague unknown fears, for which there can be given no explanation, no reason. Yet the patient may be terrified of something terrible going to happen, he knows not what. These vague unexplainable fears may haunt by night or day. Sufferers often are afraid to tell their trouble to others.
Remedy for: those who feel the need to see more good and beauty in all that surrounds them. And, although much appears to be wrong, to have the ability to see the good growing within. So as to be able to be more tolerant, lenient and understanding of the different way each individual and all things are working to their own final perfection.
The inability to say “no”
Remedy for: those who are ‘put upon’ and who find it difficult to say no, even when being exploited. Centaury helps us to balance our needs with those of others – and strengthens appreciation of ourselves.
Lack of trust in one’s own decisions
Remedy for: those who have not sufficient confidence in themselves to make their own decisions. They constantly seek advice from others, and are often misguided.
Fear of the mind giving way
Remedy for: those with a fear of the mind being over-strained, of reason giving way, of doing fearful and dreaded things, not wished and known wrong, yet there comes the thought and impulse to do them.
Failure to learn from mistakes
Remedy for: those who don’t take full advantage of observation and experience, and who take a longer time than others to learn the lessons of daily life. Whereas one experience would be enough for some, such people find it necessary to have more, sometimes several, before the lesson is learnt. Therefore, to their regret, they find themselves having to make the same error on different occasions when once would have been enough, or observation of others could have spared them even that one fault.
Selfish, possessive love
Remedy for: those who are very mindful of the needs of others; they tend to be over-full of care for children, relatives, friends, always finding something that should be put right. They’re continually correcting what they consider wrong, and enjoy doing so. They desire that those for whom they care should be near them.
Dreaming of the future without working in the present
Remedy for: those who are dreamy, drowsy, not fully awake, no great interest in life. Quiet people, not really happy in their present circumstances, living more in the future than in the present; living in hopes of happier times, when their ideals may come true. In illness some make little or no effort to get well and in certain cases may even look forward to death, in the hope of better times – or maybe, meeting again some beloved one whom they have lost.
The cleansing remedy, also for self-hatred
Remedy for: those who feel as if they had something not quite clean about themselves. Often it’s something of apparently little importance: in others there may be more serious disease which is almost disregarded compared to the one thing on which they concentrate. In both types they’re anxious to be free from the one particular thing which is greatest in their minds and which seems so essential to them that it should be cured. They become despondent if treatment fails. Being a cleanser, this remedy purifies wounds if the patient has reason to believe that some poison has entered which must be drawn out.
Overwhelmed by responsibility
Remedy for: those who are doing good work, are following the calling of their life and who hope to do something of importance, and this often for the benefit of humanity. At times there may be periods of depression when they feel that the task they have undertaken is too difficult and not within the power of a human being.
Discouragement after a setback
Remedy for: those who are easily discouraged. They may be progressing well in illness, or in the affairs of their daily life, but any small delay or hindrance to progress causes doubt and soon disheartens them.
Hopelessness and despair
Remedy for: those who have given up belief that more can be done for them. Under persuasion or to please others they may try different treatments, at the same time assuring those around that there is so little hope of relief.
Self-centredness and self-concern
Remedy for: those who are always seeking the companionship of anyone who may be available, as they find it necessary to discuss their own affairs with others, no matter whom it may be. They’re very unhappy if they have to be alone for any length of time.
Hatred, envy and jealousy
Remedy for: those who sometimes are attacked by thoughts of such kind as jealousy, envy, revenge, suspicion. For the different forms of vexation. Within themselves they may suffer much, often when there is no real cause for their unhappiness.
Living in the past
Remedy for: those who live much in the past, perhaps a time of great happiness, or memories of a lost friend, or ambitions which haven’t come true. They don’t expect further happiness such as they’ve had.
Procrastination, tiredness at the thought of doing something
Remedy for: those who feel that they haven’t sufficient strength, mentally or physically, to carry the burden of life placed upon them; the affairs of every day seem too much for them to accomplish, though they generally succeed in fulfilling their task. For those who believe that some part, of mind or body, needs to be strengthened before they can easily fulfil their work.
Remedy for: those who are quick in thought and action and who wish all things to be done without hesitation or delay. When ill they’re anxious for a hasty recovery. They find it very difficult to be patient with people who are slow, as they consider it wrong and a waste of time, and they will endeavour to make such people quicker in all ways. They often prefer to work and think alone, so that they can do everything at their own speed.
Lack of confidence
Remedy for: those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel that they’ll never be a success, and so don’t venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed.
Fear of known things
Remedy for: those with a fear of known things – for example, everyday things such as the dark, poverty, death or loneliness – which can dominate our every response. Mimulus frees us from these feelings of fear and helps us to understand the fears of others, too.
Deep gloom for no reason
Remedy for: those who are liable to times of gloom, or even despair, as though a cold dark cloud overshadowed them and hid the light and the joy of life. It may not be possible to give any reason or explanation for such attacks. Under these conditions it’s almost impossible to appear happy or cheerful.
The plodder who keeps going past the point of exhaustion
Remedy for: those who are struggling and fighting strongly to get well, or in connection with the affairs of their daily life. They’ll go on trying one thing after another, though their case may seem hopeless. They’ll fight on. They’re discontented with themselves if illness interferes with their duties or helping others. They’re brave people, fighting against great difficulties, without loss of hope or effort.
Exhaustion following mental or physical effort
Remedy for: those who’ve suffered much mentally or physically and are so exhausted and weary that they feel they’ve no more strength to make any effort. Daily life is hard work for them, without pleasure.
Remedy for: those who blame themselves. Even when successful they think that they could have done better, and are never content with their efforts or the results. They’re hard-working and suffer much from the faults they attach to themselves. Sometimes if there’s any mistake that’s clearly due to another, they’ll claim responsibility even for that.
Over-concern for the welfare of loved ones
Remedy for: those who find it difficult not to be anxious for other people. Often they’ve ceased to worry about themselves, but for those of whom they’re fond they may suffer much, frequently anticipating that some unfortunate thing may happen to them.
The most famous of the remedies isn’t a remedy at all, but rather a mix of five different remedies (cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose and Star of Bethlehem), which together help to deal with any emergency or stressful event. Taking a driving test, exam nerves, speaking in public, after an accident or an argument – there are countless uses for Rescue Remedy. In an emergency, it can be taken neat from the bottle, four drops at a time, and as frequently as required. Otherwise, put four drops in a glass of water and take frequent sips until the emotions have calmed.
Terror and fright
Remedy for: cases where there appears no hope. In accident or sudden illness, or when the patient is very frightened or terrified or if the condition is serious enough to cause great fear to those around. If the patient isn’t conscious the lips may be moistened with the remedy. Other remedies in addition may also be required: for example, if there’s unconsciousness, which is a deep, sleepy state, clematis; if there’s torture, agrimony; and so on.
Self-denial, rigidity and self-repression
Remedy for: those who are very strict in their way of living; they deny themselves many of the joys and pleasures of life because they consider it might interfere with their work. They’re hard masters to themselves. They wish to be well and strong and active, and will do anything which they believe will keep them so. They hope to be examples which will appeal to others who may then follow their ideas and be better as a result.
Inability to choose between alternatives
Remedy for: those who suffer much from being unable to decide between two things, first one seeming right then the other. They’re usually quiet people, and bear their difficulty alone, as they aren’t inclined to discuss it with others.
Star of Bethlehem
Remedy for: those in great distress under conditions which for a time produce great unhappiness. The shock of serious news, the loss of someone dear, the fright following an accident and such like. For those who for a time refuse to be consoled, this remedy brings comfort.
Extreme mental anguish, when everything has been tried and there’s no light left
Remedy for: those moments which happen to some people when the anguish is so great as to seem to be unbearable. When the mind or body feels as if it had borne to the uttermost limit of its endurance, and that now it must give way. When it seems there’s nothing but destruction and annihilation left to face.
Remedy for: those with fixed principles and ideas, which they’re confident are right and which they very rarely change. They’ve a great wish to convert all around them to their own views of life. They’re strong of will and have much courage when they’re convinced of those things that they wish to teach. In illness they struggle on long after many would have given up their duties.
Dominance and inflexibility
Remedy for: very capable people, certain of their own ability, confident of success. Being so assured, they think that it would be for the benefit of others if they could be persuaded to do things as they themselves do, or as they’re certain is right. Even in illness they’ll direct their attendants. They may be of great value in emergency.
Protection from change and unwanted influences
Remedy for: those who have definite ideals and ambitions in life and are fulfilling them, but on rare occasions are tempted to be led away from their own ideas, aims and work by the enthusiasm, convictions or strong opinions of others. The remedy gives constancy and protection from outside influences.
Pride and aloofness
Remedy for: those who in health or illness like to be alone. Very quiet people, who move about without noise, speak little, and then gently. Very independent, capable and self-reliant. Almost free of the opinions of others. They are aloof, leave people alone and go their own way. Often clever and talented. Their peace and calmness is a blessing to those around them.
Unwanted thoughts and mental arguments
Remedy for: those who cannot prevent thoughts, ideas, arguments which they don’t desire from entering their minds. Usually at such times when the interest of the moment isn’t strong enough to keep the mind full. Thoughts which worry and will remain, or if for a time thrown out, will return. They seem to circle round and round and cause mental torture. The presence of such unpleasant thoughts drives out peace and interferes with being able to think only of the work or pleasure of the day.
Uncertainty over one’s direction in life
Remedy for: those who’ve ambitions to do something of prominence in life, who wish to have much experience, and to enjoy all that which is possible for them, to take life to the full. Their difficulty is to determine what occupation to follow, as although their ambitions are strong, they’ve no calling that appeals to them above all others. This may cause delay and dissatisfaction.
Drifting, resignation, apathy
Remedy for: those who without apparently sufficient reason become resigned to all that happens, and just glide through life, take it as it is, without any effort to improve things and find some joy. They’ve surrendered to the struggle of life without complaint.
Self-pity and resentment
Remedy for: those who’ve suffered adversity or misfortune and find these difficult to accept, without complaint or resentment, as they judge life much by the success which it brings. They feel that they’ve not deserved so great a trial, that it was unjust, and they become embittered. They often take less interest and less activity in those things of life which they had previously enjoyed.