Bach Flower Therapy has now been in use for over 60 years. Starting from the investigations of one man, Dr Edward Bach, in England in the 1930's, flower therapy has now spread into popular use on a worldwide scale. Bach flower therapy brings together two very important principles in the art of human healing. The first is that the source for chronic disorders, even long term physical states, is rooted in states of disorder in the human psyche (conflicts, shocks, fears, chronic anger, jealousy, etc.).

Since life all around us demonstrates an almost limitless capacity to recover and heal, if a condition of illness (dis-ease) is not resolving then it stands to reason that something is preventing it from doing so. In the case of human emotionally conditioned states, if the psychic disturbance can be rebalanced then there must necessarily by a natural resurgence in health.

This brings us to the second principle which is essential to this particular art of healing - the Flower Therapy. Bach felt that the answer to problems of living must be found in the realm of the living. Historically and until recently, the vast majority of medicinal substances were found in the plant realm and Dr Bach felt that nature provides the best solutions to her own problems, and this includes human illness. With a background in homoeopathy and familiarity with homoeopathic "pictures" of many plants and flowers, coupled with his own delicate insight into the qualities of individual plants, Bach was able to isolate 38 flowers for essential characteristics which match what Bach held to be the full spectrum of human emotional disorders. Each of the flowers he decided on relates to a particular emotional dysfunction, whether it be fear, mistrust, despair, anger, etc. All this came to be popularly known as Bach flower therapy.

Bach flower therapy treats the "negative feelings" like anger, fear guilt, inferiority complex, lack of confidence, negative expectancy, envy, jealousy etc. by flooding the consciousness with positive feelings. In Bach flower therapy, "disturbed" feelings, moods, attitudes are taken as base for the selection of medicine. Bach found these "imbalances" in the personality as the "core element of disease". Bach flower therapy is thus all about correcting these imbalances.

Listing of flowers influencing moods

Flower Species Influence on Moods
Agrimony for those who hide worries behind a brave face
Aspen for apprehension for no known reasons
Beech for those who are critical and intolerant of others
Centaury for those who are weak-willed, exploited or imposed upon
Cerato for those who doubt their own judgement, seeking confirmation of others
Cherry Plum for uncontrolled, irrational thoughts
Chestnut Bud for those who refuse to learn by experience and continually repeat the same mistakes
Chicory for those who are over possessive - (self-centered) - clinging and over-protective especially of loved ones
Clematis for those who are inattentive, dreamy, absent-minded, for mental escapism
Crab Apple the 'Cleanser'- for self-disgust/detestation - for those who are ashamed of ailments
Elm for those who are overwhelmed by inadequacy and responsibility Gentian - for despondency
Gorse for pessimism, defeatism, 'oh what's the use!'
Heather for those who are talkative, (obsessed with own troubles and experiences)
Holly for hatred, envy, jealousy, suspicion
Honeysuckle for those living in the past - nostalgic - for home-sickness
Hornbeam for 'Monday morning' feeling - procrastination
Impatiens for impatience and irritability
Larch for lack of self-confidence, feeling of inferiority, fear of failure
Mimulus for fear of known things, shyness, timidity
Mustard for 'dark cloud' that descends, making one saddened and low for no known reason
Oak for those who are normally strong/courageous, but no longer able to struggle bravely against illness or adversity
Olive for those who are fatigued, drained of energy
Pine for guilt complex - those who blame themselves even for mistakes of others and are always apologizing
Red Chestnut for those obsessed by care and concern for others
Rock Rose for those who are suddenly alarmed, scared, panicky
Rock Water for those who are rigid-minded, self-denying
Scleranthus for uncertainty/ indecision/ vacillation for fluctuating moods
Star of Bethlehem for all the effects of serious news, of fright following an accident, etc.
Sweet Chestnut for utter dejection, bleak outlook