A Course in Bach Flower Remedies – Lesson 7

Prescribing Bach Flower Essences for Others

Now, we’ll look at prescribing for others.


The Traditional Method

The traditional method of prescribing for others is the interview technique. This involves knowing all the remedies inside out and back-to-front. And you do not so much talk to the person, as listen and observe.

These are the two important rules: LISTEN and OBSERVE. Don’t interrupt and ask a few questions occasionally.


Asking Questions

Begin by asking the person about their physical symptoms if they have any. These are easy to talk about, and in telling us, the person will reveal quite a lot. For example, he or she might say that they are afraid the complaint will worsen. This indicates Mimulus. Or they may have lost hope of ever being cured, indicating Gorse. They might mention that they are impatient or resentful about the condition, indicating Impatiens and Willow. And so on.

You might also ask something like: “How long have you had this trouble?” This will indicate if the problem is chronic, and perhaps requires one of the 7 Helpers, or whether it is acute.

Another question might be: “Was there some physical or emotional shock connected with it?” If so, this would indicate Star of Bethlehem.

Importance of Star of Bethlehem: I’d like to mention here that Star of Bethlehem is an extremely important remedy. It is indicated for any shock or trauma, in the recent or even distant past. Most of us, probably all of us, have experienced shock or trauma sometime in our lives, and that includes the trauma of birth. And usually it is not dealt with at the time, but suppressed or pushed inwards.

Shocks, both emotional and physical, even those which might seem quite minor at the time, can become lodged in the system, blocking everything. A person who has received a shock may appear calm at the time, but later (maybe weeks, months, even years) the effect of the shock will manifest itself, even though the original incident has been long forgotten. It may then reveal itself as a nervous breakdown, a skin disease, a coronary disturbance or a range of physical or mental ailments for which no cause can be found.

What I have found in my many years of prescribing the Bach Flowers is that when a person first begins using them, Star of Bethlehem is often one of the first remedies needed. Always keep this in mind.

This remedy has also proven very helpful for psychosomatic conditions that seem to be resistant to treatment, like tension in the throat or nervous problems with swallowing. Again, this is probably because the condition is the result of internalised shock. Star of Bethlehem will help to dislodge the shock, in a very gentle way.

Okay, that was a bit of a diversion. Back to the interview.



There are a number of things to observe. Does the person talk hurriedly, nervously, slowly, with great determination, with the voice of authority, or does he or she whisper and seem uncertain or fearful?

Look closely at the person’s facial expression. Can you see worry, a frown, a blush, a forced smile? Observe the person’s movements. Do they sit calmly, or fidget nervously or squirm restlessly? All of these observations will give you lots of clues.


Emphasis of Positive Qualities

Now, one of the most important things that you can do for a person is to emphasise their positive qualities. Because Bach Flower healing does involve becoming aware of your emotional problems and negative thoughts, it’s essential not to get bogged down in this.

Explain that negative thoughts poison the system and bring about ill-health. But, also tell them that they are great. Stress that they WILL find happiness and joy in life. The key is to inspire confidence and faith in a better future, by helping them to believe that they can overcome their problems.

Edward Bach said that the greatest gift that you can give to others is to be happy and hopeful yourself, because this will help to lift others up out of their despondency.

The other important thing is to help the person to see their positive qualities. Tell them they have shown courage by coming this far without giving up. Ask them to think about their positive qualities and to concentrate on them. Be positive with your client or friend in every way. Tell them that the remedies will help and that they will notice a great improvement. Give them every hope.


Understanding Personality Types

So, what we are learning to do, in prescribing for ourselves and others, is to understand different personality types. And we can do this, as Edward Bach did, by observing people.

What I want you to do is to take notice of people. Observe others in the supermarket, listen to people’s conversations, and watch television soap operas in a new way. See if you can detect the different personality traits: the resentful and bitter person, the restless person, the cheerful one, the timid one, the cool and collected one, the depressed person, the possessive person, the worrier, and so on.

All of these types have a corresponding Bach Flower. So, if you can combine a thorough understanding of the meanings of the 38 flowers with an ability to observe people, then you have the primary ingredients for good prescribing.

-by Candy Hillenbrand

Next lesson we will look at some other diagnostic techniques.