Flower Essences – Understanding the Bach Essences

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Understanding the Bach Essences

Flower essence therapy as we know it today began with the Bach flower essences. Fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle, the 38 emotional states the essences address are said to cover the human condition on the personality level. Tried and tested worldwide, The Bach system provides emotional support for people, animals and plants with physical complaints, and also for those who are healthy but suffer from mental and emotional stress. The essences are chosen according to how a person feels about their difficulty, a process that is not invasive. The compactness of the Bach set make it a goo starting point for people who are beginning their journey into flower essences.

The Twelve Healers

The essences in the first group that De Bach prepared are all sun potentized and are essences that heal the personality and bring harmony to the soul, mind and body connection. From birth onwards, life experiences accumulate, like the layers of an onion, to create the person of today, while deep within, the essential loving self remains unchangeable and naturally perfect. The personality embodies the lessons of life and its negative expression shows where growth is needed.

The Twelve Healers are called type essences and support the personality to develop virtues and find balance. It is therefore of enormous value to discover your main essence. When life gets difficult, your behavior usually has a predictable pattern to it. This is contained in the personality or combination. For example, Scleranthus types can sometimes become unfocused, changeable, and find it difficult to make a decision, while Impatiens types can become impatient and hot tempered. IT can be useful to take a type essence during periods of stress, no matter what other essences are indicated, as it can help you to function more positively and effectively.

The Twelve Healers as the Lessons of Life

Dr Bach described the Twelve Healers as the twelve great lessons of life, and recommended that the inherent failing should not be repressed, as this gives it more power, but that it can be washed away by developing the opposing virtue. Although you may be working on some of these difficulties in particular, all twelve moods can be applicable to everyone at one time or another.

The Twelve Healers

Failing Essence Virtue

Restraint Chicory Love

Fear Mimulus Sympathy

Restlessness Agrimony Peace

Indecision Scleranthus Steadfastness

Indifference Clematis Gentleness

Weakness Centaury Strength

Doubt Gentian Understanding

Over-enthusiasm Vervain Tolerance

Ignorance Cerato Wisdom

Inpatience Impatiens Forgiveness

Terror Rock Rose Courage

Grief Water Violet Joy

The Seven Helpers

The Seven helpers are particularly useful for chronic states as these can run so deep that they seem to be part of the essential self, but in truth are not. Similar to a type essence these essences are also sun potentized, and it is useful to see which of the seven seem most appropriate to you as they can prove helpful if the healers are not fully effective. Emotional states can be reflected in the complexion, so try Vine. Heather or Rock Water if you have a high color, or Olive, Gorse or Oak if you are pale. If none of these six seem right, try Wild Oat. With the Twelve Healers, the Seven Helpers complete the first half of the set.

The Seven Helpers





Rock Water


Wild Oat

The New Nineteen Essences

The new nineteen essences are prepared using the boiling method, with the exception of White Chestnut. The mental and emotional states they address grow out of those associated with the Twelve Healers and Seven Helpers, being more extreme and diverse expressions of these states. The Nineteen Essences are not for the personality self, but are designed to develop spiritual or soul qualities, and to give protection from the influences of others. They are also helpful in clearing the layers of the personality onion, so it is often necessary to use some of the New Nineteen to allow the Healers and Helpers to work effectively

The New Nineteen Essences



Cherry Plum

Chestnut Bud

Crab Apple








Red Chestnut

Star of Bethlehem

Sweet Chestnut


White Chestnut

Wild Rose


Holly and Wild Oat The Openers

If you are treating someone for the first item, it may be that they seem to require a very large number of essences. IF this is the case Holly and Wild Oat are used as initial treatments to open up the person and help the true nature of the problem to become clear. You should give Holly

essence if the individual seems extrovert, or Wild Oat essence if they seem introvert. Over the subsequent treatment sessions the client should become more open, and their difficulties more clearly seen, and you will find it easy to diagnose an appropriate essence.


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