This is a series of 6 articles by Barbara Murphy BFRP written to explain more about the Bach Flower Remedies

6: A unique self-help system

If you’ve been following this series of articles you will by now have acquired a thorough understanding of this amazing therapy system and will definitely be able to impress your friends with your in-depth knowledge.

Agrimony flowers

Developed in the early 1930s by a physician determined to help his patients help themselves, its principles are simplicity and independence (the essences are available in most chemists and health shops). Its aim is to treat the person, not the disease; the cause, not the effect; and to heal, rather than cure individual symptoms. Known as ‘mood remedies’, the essences are selected according to the way the patient is feeling; but by balancing the emotions they remove stress and allow the body to put itself right, and a surprising number of conditions will be found to improve.

Kirsty was in her early 20s and suffering from anxiety and occasional panic attacks. She was also getting headaches, and her irritability was upsetting her family. She’d taken to partying hard and knew she was drinking too much. With careful questioning I found that she was worrying about her future. She felt she should have a career but didn’t feel drawn to any particular occupation and had no idea where to start. The obvious choice was Wild Oat, which helps give direction in life. We also decided on Agrimony to calm the worry and restlessness that led her to cover up her problems with drink and socialising; Cerato to help her trust her own decisions; and Impatiens for the stress that caused headaches. Later, when she felt discouraged by setbacks, we added Gentian to her bottle. In a couple of weeks the headaches had stopped, she felt much calmer, and had started researching various jobs.

Impatiens flowers

The remedies are popular all over the world, and in many countries (especially Latin America and Cuba) they are used routinely in surgeries and hospitals alongside conventional medicine. They are slowly becoming more widely accepted here.

I find that having the remedies to hand gives me confidence to cope with anything life throws at me, any mood, trauma or problem—I just take the appropriate drops. Some people say they don’t seem to work: if this is the case it’s probably for one of two reasons. First, their operation can be so gentle and subtle that you only notice it in hindsight—when you can’t be sure you didn’t just get better anyway. Second, selecting the correct essences can be quite tricky; others won’t do any harm, but they won’t have much positive effect either.

If you can’t decide which remedies to choose, or you think you might need to take the lot (yes, we all feel like that sometimes), then it’s best to consult a qualified practitioner. You can find those in your area from the list at, or contact me direct on 01580 761579 or email to arrange a consultation.

Photos courtesy of Nicola Hanefeld