Choosing & Using Bach Flower Remedies

The Bach flower remedies are so simple to use that no complicated knowledge is necessary to choose the appropriate remedy or combination of remedies.  As well as the 38 individual flower remedies, there is also one compound called the "Rescue Remedy" that is considered an emergency formula for stressful situations.   

Learn More About Bach Flower Remedies

Bach flower remedies are a natural, non-invasive, and gentle approach to healing that stimulates the natural healing mechanism of the body.  They can be used safely on babies, pregnant women, the elderly, and on our pets too.  

Learn more about the flower remedies, where they originated from, how they are made, and how they work.  ...Read more

Let's take a closer look at each of the 38 remedies, as well as the unique "Rescue Remedy" combination.  We'll also learn how to choose the best remedy for each situation, how best to take these remedies, and how they work to stimulate healing.

How to Choose a Remedy

Dr. Bach separated the 38 flower remedies into 7 emotional groups to make it easy for us to choose which remedy we need to help restore emotional balance.

Group 1:  For those who are fearful


Apprehension, fear, sudden panic attacks, fear of punishment, fear of the unseen, superstitious, vulnerable, nightmares.

Ask yourself...
   Do you feel anxious without knowing why?
   Do you have a secret fear that something bad will happen?
   Do you wake up feeling anxious?

Cherry Plum  

Feeling out of control, emotional turmoil, fear of nervous breakdown, fear of losing your mind, uncontrollable impulses and outbursts of anger, obsessive-compulsive.

Ask yourself...
  Are you afraid you might lose control of yourself?
  Do you have sudden fits of rage?
  Do you feel like you are going crazy?


Procrastination and overly cautious due to anxiety, constantly fearful, timid, overly sensitive to external conditions such as heat, cold, and noise, nervousness causing physical reactions such as blushing, fidgeting, and stuttering.

Ask yourself...
  Are you afraid of things such as spiders, illness, etc.?
  Are you shy, overly sensitive, and modest?
  Do you nervous and get easily embarrassed?

Red Chestnut  

Worry or excessive concern about others and their well-being, unhealthy emotional attachments, identifying with other people more so than with yourself.

Ask yourself...
  Are you overly concerned and worried about loved ones?
  Are you distressed and disturbed by other people’s problems?
  Do you worry that harm may come to those you love?

Rock Rose  

Feelings of panic, fear, and terror easily triggered, helplessness, rapid heartbeat.

Ask yourself...
  Do you sometimes feel terror and panic?
  Do you become helpless and frozen when afraid?
  Do you suffer from nightmares?

Group 2:  For those who feel uncertainty


Indecisive, lack of self-confidence, need for external validation, lack of self-trust, trusting the instinct and views of others over the self.

Ask yourself...
  Do you constantly second-guess yourself?
  Do you seek advice, doubting your own intuition?
  Do you often change your mind out of confusion?


Easily discouraged, lack of confidence, insecurity, self-doubt, pessimism, automatic skepticism, disappointments causing dejection and unhappiness.

Ask yourself...
  Do you become discouraged with small setbacks?
  Are you easily disheartened when faced with difficulties?
  Are you often skeptical and pessimistic?


Resignation, stagnation, sense of hopelessness, giving in, giving up.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel hopeless, unable to see a way out?
  Do you lack faith that things could get better?
  Do you feel sullen and depressed?


Weariness, exhaustion, listlessness, feeling overburdened and overwhelmed, lack of enthusiasm, lack of energy, inability to get through the day without stimulants.

Ask yourself...
  Do you often feel too tired to face the day ahead?
  Do you feel mentally exhausted?
  Do you tend to put things off?


Vacillation, indecisive, nervous, impulsive, restless, erratic, easily distracted, wide mood fluctuations.

Ask yourself...
  Do you find it difficult to make decisions?
  Do you often change your opinions?
  Do you have intense mood swings?

Wild Oat  

Vacillation, unable to find direction, moving from one activity to another.

Ask yourself...
  Are you unable to find your path in life?
  Are you drifting in life and lack direction?
  Are you ambitious but don’t know what to do?

Group 3:  For those with little interest in their life

Chestnut Bud  

Careless, inattentive, uninterested, superficial, repetitive arguments and mistakes, learning blocks.

Ask yourself...
  Do you make the same mistakes over and over?
  Do you learn from your experiences?
  Do you keep repeating the same patterns?


Absentminded, low energy, ungrounded, escapism, preferring and having difficulty differentiating fantasy from reality, habitual dreamer, being not in the present, scatterbrained, indifferent, poor memory retention, oversleeping, lying, poor circulation, light-headedness.

Ask yourself...
  Do you often feel spacey and absent minded?
  Do you find yourself unable to concentrate for long?
  Do you get drowsy and sleep more than necessary?


Living in the past, inability to release past situations, regret, feeling unfulfilled, inability to live fully in the present or plan for the future.

Ask yourself...
  Are you often homesick for the “way it was?"
  Do you think more about the past than the present?
  Do you often think about what might have been?


Sudden onset of depression, gloominess and sadness, feeling isolated, inexplicable feelings of unhappiness and darkness.

Ask yourself...
  Do you get depressed without any reason?
  Do you feel moods swinging back and forth?
  Do you get gloomy feelings that come and go?


Extreme mental, emotional and physical exhaustion, weariness, lack of motivation, lack of energy, the need for quiet and stillness.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel completely exhausted, physically and/or mentally?
  Are you totally drained of all energy with no reserves left?
  Have you just been through a long period of illness or stress?

White Chestnut  

Worry, overactive mind, incessant inner chatter, hyperactivity, insomnia, mental tension.

Ask yourself...
  Are you constantly thinking unwanted thoughts?
  Do you relive unhappy events or arguments repeatedly?
  Are you unable to sleep at times because you can’t stop thinking?

Wild Rose  

Resigned, lifeless, feeling unmotivated, boredom, emptiness, apathy.

Ask yourself...
  Are you apathetic and resigned to whatever happens?
  Do you have the attitude, “it doesn't matter anyway?"
  Do you feel little joy in life?

Group 4:  For those who are lonely


Self-absorbed and preoccupied, constantly craving attention, self-centered, avoidance of being alone with your thoughts.

Ask yourself...
  Are you obsessed with your own troubles?
  Do you dislike being alone and like to talk?
  Do you often bring conversations back to yourself?


Nervousness, impatience, anger flares, rash decisions, mentally driven, feeling time is against you and things must be done fast, tripping over your own words, interrupting others, expecting prompt actions and service from others.

Ask yourself...
  Do you find it hard to wait for things?
  Are you impatient and irritable?
  Do you prefer to work alone?

Water Violet  

Independent, isolated, antisocial, arrogant, wanting to withdraw, emotional avoidance.

Ask yourself...
  Do you give the impression that you are aloof?
  Do you prefer to be alone when overwhelmed?
  Do you often not connect with people?

Group 5:  Over-sensitivity to influences and ideas


Hidden feelings of distress, self-sacrifice to keep the peace, inner sadness, distressing thoughts, escapism, avoidance, loneliness.

Ask yourself...
  Do you hide your feelings behind a mask of cheerfulness?
  Do you dislike arguments and give in to avoid conflict?
  Do you turn to food, work, alcohol, drugs, etc. when sad?


Weak, passive, easily taken advantage of, at the mercy of others, follower, subservient, gullible.

Ask yourself...
  Do you often neglect your own needs to please others?
  Do you find it difficult to say “no”?
  Do you tend to be easily influenced?


Aggressive, irritable, suspicious, overreacting with anger or aggression, envious and resentful, distrusting, discontent, hurtful and offensive, paranoia about being used or deceived.

Ask yourself...
  Are you suspicious of others?
  Do you feel discontented and unhappy?
  Are you full of jealousy, mistrust, or hate?


Uncertain, easily influenced, inconsistent, distracted, indecisive, major physical and biological change, unable to release the past.

Ask yourself...
  Are you experiencing big changes in your life?
  Do you get drained by people or situations?
  Do you want to be free to follow your own ambitions?

Group 6:  For those who are despondent or feel despair

Crab Apple  

Perfectionist, obsessive about cleanliness and tidiness, self-disgust for bodily secretions, emotional feelings about physical imperfections, feeling impure and dirty, overly concerned about germs, fear of illness.

Ask yourself...
  Are you overly concerned with cleanliness?
  Do you feel unclean or physically unattractive?
  Do you tend to obsess over little things?


Overwhelmed, inability to delegate, feeling inadequate, wanting to throw in the towel, temporarily exhausted from responsibilities, self-sacrifice for fear of shirking responsibilities.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel overwhelmed by responsibilities?
  Do you find it difficult to cope under pressure?
  Have you temporarily lost your self-confidence?


Lack of self-confidence, hesitancy, inferiority, inadequacy, convinced of failure before you begin.

Ask yourself...
  Do you lack self-confidence?
  Do you feel inferior and often become discouraged?
  Do you always expect failure?


Shouldering the burden of others, unceasing endurance to finish the task at hand (even when exhausted), feeling overworked and overburdened, struggles yet refuses to give up.

Ask yourself...
  Do you overwork yourself in spite of exhaustion?
  Do you have a strong sense of duty and never give up?
  Do you neglect your own needs to complete a task?


Guilt, self-criticism, feeling undeserving and unworthy, feeling responsible for the problems of others, inability to release self-blame/guilt for past actions, frequent apologizing, self-sacrifice.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel unworthy and inferior?
  Do you often feel guilty?
  Do you blame yourself for everything that goes wrong?

Star of Bethlehem  

Shock, trauma, crisis, responding with shock and emotional pain to unpleasant experiences, slow to respond or react, repeatedly reliving past emotional trauma.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel devastated due to a recent shock?
  Are you withdrawn due to traumatic events in your life?
  Do you feel unrecovered from loss or fright?

Sweet Chestnut  

Despair, anguish, no way out, feeling lost.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel extreme mental or emotional heartache?
  Have you reached the limits of your endurance?
  Do you feel in complete despair, lacking hope?


Self-pity, resentment, powerlessness, defensiveness, accusatory, grudging, mood and optimism dampener.

Ask yourself...
  Do you feel resentful and bitter?
  Do you have difficulty forgiving and forgetting?
  Do you think life is unfair and have a “poor me" attitude?

Group 7:  Caring too much for the welfare of others


Critical, judgmental, insensitive, petty, prejudiced, unable to withstand criticism.

Ask yourself...
  Do you get annoyed by the habits of others?
  Do you focus on the mistakes of others?
  Are you critical and intolerant?


Controlling, demanding, creating codependency in others, constantly needing validation, conditional love, hypochondriac for attention, unforgiving, emotional blackmail, manipulation for influence and power.

Ask yourself...
  Do you need to feel needed and loved by others?
  Do you feel unloved and unappreciated by your family?
  Do you feel easily slighted and hurt?

Rock Water  

Strict adherence to lifestyle or habits, rigidity, unwavering dedication, rigid self-discipline, looks down on those considered less spiritually evolved, dogmatic, martyr, self-denial, takes life too seriously and holds disdain for playfulness.

Ask yourself...
  Do you set high standards for yourself?
  Are you strict with your health, work, and spiritual pursuits?
  Are you very self-disciplined, always striving for perfection?


High strung, impulsive, hyperactive, overpowering, irritable, exaggerating, intense.

Ask yourself...
  Do you get high-strung and very intense?
  Do you try to convince others of your way of thinking?
  Are you very sensitive to injustice, almost fanatical?


Domineering, ambitious, tyrannical, uncompromising, ruthless, cruel, narrow-minded.

Ask yourself...
  Do you tend to take charge of projects, situations, etc.?
  Do you consider yourself a natural leader?
  Are you strong-willed, ambitious, and bossy?

Rescue Remedy

Bach Rescue RemedyThe Bach Rescue Remedy is a compound of 5 different flower essences created to help calm us during stressful times or emotionally traumatic events.  Whether we are preparing for an interview or a test, or receive stressful and upsetting news that causes us emotional pain, this remedy helps us find the calmness we need:

  • Rock Rose
    (for experiences of terror or panic)
  • Impatiens
    (teaches empathy, understanding, and patience of others)
  • Cherry Plum
    (teaches us to trust in our inner wisdom, and have the courage to follow our path)
  • Star of Bethlehem
    (for trauma and shock - helps to recover from these traumas and integrate them into our present life)
  • Clematis
    (bridges together the physical world and fantasy world, helps ground us and brings clarity and alertness)

Rescue remedy is available in different forms, including drops, a spray, or pastilles to chew.  It is also available in a non-alcohol version. Rescue Remedy now

Rescue Remedy For Pets

Bach flower remedies for pets too!Pet Rescue RemedyRescue Remedy is also available for pets, and is wonderful for stressful situations such as plane flights, the sound of fireworks, or for pets who have fearful dispositions.  It can be purchased in stores and online.  

Many Naturopathic vets and vets who offer a more natural approach to veterinary care recommend and sell this remedy. Pet Rescue Remedy now

Where Can I Find Bach Flower Remedies?

Bach flower remedies are widely available in many health food and supplement stores as well as online.  They can also be purchased from Naturopathic doctors and veterinarians.  The remedies are very inexpensive, with an average price of $12.  

How Are Remedies Taken?

Remedies can be used individually, or can be mixed together in a "compound" remedy.  Through trial and error, the Dr. Edward Bach Centre in England settled on the recommendation of combining no more than 6-7 of the 38 remedies when making your own compound remedy.  A number greater than 7 appeared to weaken the efficiency of the other remedies in the compound.  Many people only take one remedy and have no need to mix multiple remedies into a compound.

To experience the maximum effect of the remedies, they should not be taken immediately before or after a meal (allow 30 mins) and they should be taken in one of 4 ways:

  1. With a Glass of Water:  Add two drops of each remedy to a glass/bottle of spring or filtered water that can then be drank or sipped during the course of the day.  Add 4 drops of Bach Rescue Remedy if this is also being used.

  2. Drop-dispensing bottleIn a Treatment Bottle:  For more chronic conditions, create a combination of 3-parts spring water or filtered water to 1-part preservative (either alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin) and store in a drop dispensing bottle.  

    The most common size for drop dispensing bottles is 30 ml.  For each 30 ml dispensing bottle, add 3 drops of each remedy (the equivalent of 1 drop/10ml).  Add 6 drops of Bach Rescue Remedy if this is also being used.  

    If the dispensing bottle is ever re-used, it should be sterilized in boiling water (if using soap, make sure it is a non-chemical soap).

  3. Internally at Full Strength:  Apply the drops directly under the tongue.  Due to the brandy content, you may want to consider an alcohol-free version of the remedy for children (these are more limited in availability).

  4. Externally Applied:  Apply directly to pulse points on the body, for example the temples or wrists.  Several drops of each remedy can also be added to a hot bath (add 8-10 drops of Bach Rescue Remedy if this is also being used).  Hot or cold compresses can be soaked in 2 cups of water mixed with 6-8 drops of each remedy.  

    Applying the remedies externally will have the same impact on the emotions as it will if you take them internally.  This method may be preferred by those who choose not to ingest alcohol for moral or religious reasons.  Some religious faiths do, however, allow the intake of alcohol for medicinal use.  Adding the remedies to a hot drink will also allow the steam to evaporate the trace amount of alcohol.

The length of time for taking each remedy varies from 2-4 weeks, up to 6-8 weeks for long-term treatment.  

The remedies are normally taken with water because, although taking the remedies directly may have a more immediate effect, the effect in water is more long lasting, perhaps because the energetic imprint of the remedy is absorbed more fully in the presence of water.

Bach flower remedies should be stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.

How Do Remedies Feel?

The effects of taking Bach flower remedies vary from person to person, and depend on how acute or chronic the condition.  When the correct remedy or remedy combinations have been chosen, a slow and steady improvement should be felt.  A sense of well-being will become apparent, but it is important to have patience.  Over time, imbalances begin to subtly but noticeably correct themselves.  For example, those prone to heavy smoking, alcohol, or drug use, may feel a progressive reduced need for them as the days and weeks go by.  Those suffering from depression may experience feeling more optimistic and upbeat.  

The effects are typically very subtle as they work on transmuting destructive emotional states and help us to connect to our naturally positive state of being.  When it feels appropriate, reevaluate and readjust the remedies as needed.  As there are no hard, fast rules when it comes to dosage, it is recommended to follow your intuition with regard to either increasing or decreasing the dosage.

Feeling no response, or only minor improvement over a period of time may indicate that the incorrect remedy or remedy combinations have been chosen.  Reassess your emotional state and the remedies you have chosen to see if a different remedy would be a better match.  No response may also indicate that on a deeper level you are resisting change, which prevents the energies of the remedies from having any effect.

No Side Effects

Bach flower remedies are used to treat a wide range of physical and emotional imbalances ranging from acute to chronic.  They are a very gentle and non-toxic therapy that can be used safely on babies, pregnant women, the elderly, on animals, and even on plants.  They are also a non-toxic and completely natural approach to healing.


Healing therapies...