A Course in Bach Flower Remedies – Lesson 10

Some specific Applications for the Bach Flowers

What I want to look at now are some specific applications for the Bach Flowers.


The Type Remedies

We’ve mentioned the ‘type’ remedies, and also remedies for acute and chronic states. We’ve seen that the ‘type’ remedies correspond to our inherent personality traits or what we are born with. For example, my son has always had strong Vine characteristics. He is strong-willed and has natural leadership abilities. My daughter is a cheerful Agrimony person, with a happy disposition. While there are the 12 basic universal ‘type’ remedies, called the 12 Healers, any of the 38 flowers can act as a ‘type’ remedy. There are also the Helping Remedies for passing or acute states. They help us to reharmonise acute negative states of mind that aren’t characteristic, but temporary, for example, nervousness before an exam. All of the remedies can also act as a helping remedy, although we have the 7 Helpers which are especially indicated for very chronic and deep-seated states.


The Three Catalysts

Now, there are three of the remedies which stand on their own, as being of extra special importance. These 3 are regarded as catalysts, and are used if a person does not respond to treatment, or seems to need many remedies.

They are: Star of Bethlehem, which we have already looked at. This can be an important catalyst if trauma or shock, from the recent or distant past, have created a blockage in the system. As I mentioned earlier, always consider giving Star of Bethlehem when you are preparing the first remedy for yourself or another person, particularly if there has been a difficult past or a recent stress or disappointment.

The other two catalysts are Holly and Wild Oat. Holly is the remedy for love and is indicated if the person is an active, intense type. Wild Oat helps you to find your purpose or vocation in life, and is indicated for the weak and despondent type.

So, if a person has not responded to a remedy, then give Star of Bethlehem, Holly or Wild Oat, and it should then become obvious which other remedies may be required.


Genetic Blockage Breaking Essences

A fellow practitioner once told me about a group of Bach Flowers which she calls The Genetic Blockage Breaking Essences. They are: Cerato, Wild Oat, Walnut, Honeysuckle, Chestnut Bud, Pine, Water Violet, Holly and Crab Apple. These remedies can be very transformative and powerful. They are all about releasing, letting go, breaking negative ties and patterns, and so on.


Need to Soften Powerful Remedies

I feel that some of the remedies, especially Holly, Aspen, Crab Apple, Pine, Willow and Mustard can be a bit too powerful at times, unless the person really wants to dig deep. When you are prescribing these remedies, especially for someone who is very emotionally sensitive or in a state of acute emotional crisis, soften them with Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum or Sweet Chestnut.


Sweet Chestnut

Sweet Chestnut is especially helpful in times of crisis, including experiences of abandonment, abuse, broken- heartedness, utter despair and loneliness, depression, the death of a loved one, and in addiction and suicide therapy.


Physical Correspondences

I have mentioned many times that we prescribe on the basis of the emotional state of the person, and not the physical ailments. But, there are certain physical conditions which seem to correspond with a certain remedy. These are not general rules, but just interesting associations. And it’s a further confirmation of the connection between the mind (or emotions) and the body.

Some examples are: Vervain for headaches, Crab Apple for skin disorders, Larch for throat problems, Olive for recovery after the flu.

There are reasons for these associations, and I can’t go into them all. But for example, Larch is for lack of confidence and difficulty expressing oneself. Some people with such problems will manifest the blockage in communication in their throat area. But this does not mean that all people with throat problems lack confidence and need Larch. It’s just something you can keep in mind if someone has a confidence problem AND a throat problem. Then, there could very well be a connection.


Cause and Effect

So, that’s why we use the emotional state as the starting point, and not the physical condition, because when we look at the emotion, we are more likely to be looking at the cause, or the root of the problem, whereas when we look at the physical ailment, we are looking at the effect.


Specific Applications for Children

Next, we’re going to look at some specific applications for children. As I mentioned earlier, the remedies needed by a very small child are often those needed by the parents. The small child can be a very accurate barometer of the parents’ emotional state, especially the mother’s.



This is why dowsing is an especially helpful diagnostic technique for children. Dowsing has helped me to recognize the very close relationship between a small child and his or her mother.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, my son’s dowsed remedies often surprised me by their accuracy in describing my own emotional state.

Another interesting example is I once dowsed a remedy for a three week old baby, and we were surprised to discover that the remedies described the way the baby’s mother had felt during the pregnancy.



Obviously, pregnancy is an ideal time to take the flower remedies, because it can be a time of great emotional upheaval, and sharp swings in mood. There is also often a lot of fear and apprehension concerning the birth, and a need to deal with issues from the past, and prepare for the new transition.

I have found these remedies to be particularly helpful in pregnancy: Larch for confidence, Oak for inner strength, Aspen and Mimulus for fear and anxiety, Honeysuckle for letting go of the past, and Walnut for making the transition to motherhood.


Dowsing for Childbirth

It is also very helpful to dowse a remedy for the labour and birth. I did this for the births of both of my children, some weeks beforehand. It is impossible to predict what a labour will be like. When I dowsed the remedy for my son’s birth, I thought it looked a bit strange, or rather alarming. There were a couple of remedies which suggested trauma, and yet I was planning a peaceful homebirth. I put it out of my mind and waited, and sure enough, he was born 6 weeks premature and very close to death. When I looked closely at the ingredients of my birthing remedy after his traumatic exit into the world, I was amazed at how well they described the birth.


After the Birth

The new-born baby will experience the benefit of any remedies that the mother takes, through the breast milk. After the birth, I recommend Rescue Remedy or Star of Bethlehem, especially if there has been trauma, and Walnut, to help the baby make the transition into the world. You can also add the drops to the baby’s bath.


Remedies for Children

It is true that babies and very small children generally don’t conceal their emotions, but it can still be hard for us adults to read their emotions. A general rule of thumb is that their behaviour tends to reflect their feelings. So,

# The fretful, demanding, clingy or fussy baby needs Chicory.

# The baby who screams for attention needs Impatiens.

# The happy, gurgling baby who gives no trouble unless there is something really wrong needs Agrimony.

# The baby who seems frightened and starts at almost everything needs Mimulus.

# Those babies who sleep too much and lack interest in feeding need Clematis.

This is fairly brief, but it gives you the idea of how to go about prescribing for babies and children. As the children grow older, you will also get a clearer idea as to their personality type.

Red Chestnut: There is a remedy for the parent who feels very concerned and anxious about their child, and that’s Red Chestnut. This remedy helps the parent to be loving and caring towards their child, but not in an obsessive or over-concerned way, which Bach felt could ultimately be harmful towards the child.



With teenagers, you will prescribe according to their individual emotional makeup and issues.

But some remedies of particular value are:

Wild Oat to help with vocational direction.

Walnut for adjusting to the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Crab Apple helps the young person with acne, anorexia or other appearance problems to accept and like themselves.

Larch is helpful for low self-esteem and lack of confidence before exams.


-by Candy Hillenbrand


Next lesson we will look at awareness-enhancing techniques which can be used in conjunction with the Bach flowers.