Bach Flower Remedies and Depression

"Every single person has a life to live, a work to do, 
a glorious personality, a wonderful individuality." 

Dr. Edward Bach

What are the Bach Flower Remedies?

Back Flower Remedies were created by Dr. Edward Bach a British physician and well-known bacteriologist and researcher, in the 1930s. Bach believed that illness is the effect of disharmony between body and mind and that symptoms of an illness are the external expression of negative emotional states. Disillusioned by modern medicine, he assumed that every physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual symptom offered clues as to what we need to restore balance.  Over time, Bach discovered various recipes of the flower remedies to address the emotional distress.

He identified 38 basic negative states of mind, divided into 7 traditional groups, and created a plant or flower based remedy for each one, based on what emotional difficulties are handled. The emotional issues addressed by healing flower essences are isolation, despair, anxiety, hesitation, and insufficient interest in current conditions, oversensitivity to influences and ideas and over-care for the welfare of others.

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From a total of 38 different Bach Flower Essences, 37 made from specific flowers and one made from the water of a spring believed to have healing properties. Each essence is used to treat a specific emotion or state of mind such as fear, anger, apathy, etc. These are all emotions that most people can readily identify in themselves and in other people. These emotional states and their corresponding essence are all described in The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies by Edward Bach. Dr. Bach’s goal was to create a system of medicine that was simple enough that people who become familiar with the essences through his publications could identify their negative emotional state, select the corresponding essence and thus treat themselves.

The Bach Flower Essences are all natural, very dilute solutions made from spring water, an alcohol preservative, and the parts of specific flowers. They are used to help balance the emotions and bring about a state of equilibrium in living organisms, and have been successfully used with people, animals, and even plants. Bach Flower Essences are listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS), have been issued with National Drug Code (NDC) numbers by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are sold as over-the-counter homeopathic products in the United States.

Although the Bach Flower Essences are listed in the HPUS and are prepared at a 5X homeopathic dilution (0.00001 gram of active substance per milliliter of tincture) they are not considered homeopathic medicine. While they are prepared from plant material, they do not fall in the same category as herbal medicine. The fact that we refer to them as “essences” suggests to some that they are aromatherapy—the use of essential oils and other aromatic compounds from plants to affect someone’s mood or health—which they are not. Flower essences fill their own unique niche in the arsenal of complementary medicine.

The Bach Flower Remedies are now well known as alternative therapy that helps to manage the emotional demands of everyday life. Each remedy brings balance to a specific emotion. They are completely safe and natural. The remedies can be used by everyone and do not have any side effects. They are even used to help plants and animals because they act in such a gentle way.

Depression Treatment

Clinical depression is a serious illness, requiring balanced professional treatment. In many cases, you feel gloomy and down for a prolonged period of time, and you are just not able to get excited by anything or feel any reason to see hope for the future. People with depression often suffer from a feeling of monotony, lack of concentration and therefore become forgetful, worry about problems more than dealing with problems, low self esteem and in worse cases feelings of suicide.

Back Flower Remedies will not be able to replace medications and therapy in the severe cases, but they might help with light to moderate depressive episodes, giving a safe and side-effects free assistance to the person to regulate better the general mood and emotions on a daily file.

Following are some of Bach’s flower remedies for depression.  Select the remedy or remedies that best match how you are feeling.  You can take one or more remedies.  Simply add four drops of the remedy to a glass of water and sip throughout the day.  Alternatively, take two drops under the tongue four times a day or as necessary.

  • Elm: When you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed because you are overworked or have too many responsibilities, Elm is the remedy of choice.
  • Gentian: When you feel pessimistic, discouraged, or have lost faith.  It is used for depression when a person knows the reason for his or her sadness.
  • Gorse: When you feel hopeless, that there is nothing that can be done for you, or resigned to your less-than-ideal fate, gorse may be helpful.
  • Mustard: Mustard is used for sadness or depression that has no apparent cause.  It feels like a dark cloud has blocked out happiness and joy.
  • Sweet Chestnut: Selected for feelings of hopelessness, Sweet Chestnut reflects a long, courageous battle that feels lost.  It is particularly suited when it feels like an inner transformation is occurring and a “dying off” of a person’s old self is taking place.
  • Willow: Willow is best suited for negativity and a tendency to blame others for the problems in life.  Alternatively, if your sadness is linked to a grudge that you’re holding onto but would like to let go of, Willow is a good choice.
  • Olive: Olive helps when you feel exhausted and tired most of the time.
  • Wild Rose: Wild Rose is recommended when you feel you are losing interest in life, when you stop enjoying even the activities you used to like, when you experience resignation and apathy most of the time.

The best known flower remedy is the Rescue Remedy combination, which contains an equal amount each of Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum remedies. The product is aimed at treating stress, anxiety, and panic attacks, especially in emergencies.

Reference Chart is provided below:

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Use and Dosage

Bach's Flower Remedy might be taken straight from the bottle, four drops at a time, as required in any stressful life event or episode of depression. Nonetheless, it's ideal to put four drops in a glass of clear, natural water, and to sip as needed.  Regardless of what remedies are chosen, the technique for preparing the remedies will be exactly the same. When the remedy is meant to be utilized now and again, place two drops of each solution in a glass of clear, non-gasified natural water. However if you're making use of the Rescue Remedy, you really should place four drops. The essence ought to be taken up to four times per day, as needed. When it's going to be utilized for chronic conditions then place two drops of each remedy or four drops just in case you're making use of Rescue Remedy into a dark glass 30ml bottle with non-gasified natural water. This solution ought to be taken 4 times on a daily basis right until you have obtained relief from emotional stress. This could take a couple of weeks relying on the seriousness of the situation.

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Bach Flower Therapy can be used as a self-help tool by anyone to help soothe daily irritability, depression, moodiness and stress of all kinds. However, when problems are deeper, repetitive, or chronic, psychological counseling and anti-depressants may be more appropriate. Often, Flower Remedies can be used during the counseling process as a form of support between sessions or as a way of facilitating the psychological work itself.

Bach flower remedies, and other systems of botanical treatments derived from Bach's work, have been recommended for many psychological and emotional conditions. There are numerous anecdotes about successful treatment with Bach flower remedies, although effectiveness has not been thoroughly investigated by adequate scientific research.

Sources and Additional Information:


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