Bach Flower Remedies are literally perfect for the treatment of mood disorders. There are 38 remedies, each one deals with a particular emotional state or aspect of the personality. For example:
Gorse is the remedy for hopelessness, despair and pessimism. It leads the patient to a state of renewed faith and hope of recovery. It is the first step towards a cure.
They are completely natural and totally harmless.
Click here for full descriptions of all 38 remedies.
Bach Rescue Remedy
The 38 individual remedies can also be combined- up to 7 at a time. The most well known of these is the Bach Rescue Remedy which is to be used after a recent shock/trauma. This is a combination of 5 remedies: Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem and Clematis.
Remedies for Bipolar Disorder
This is in no way a definitive list of remedies for Bipolar disorder. It is a list of treatments I personally have found very useful and extremely effective in treating my own symptoms. I would like to add that I take them as a supplement to my currently prescribed medication (Venlafaxine & Lamotrigine), which I continue to take consistently. They were prescribed by a qualified practitioner to deal with residual symptoms that have cropped up: for more treatment resistant depression and also hypomania which I do not take medication for (lamotrigine is only effective at stabilising depression).
Awareness is needed that the remedies are very different for each personality type, so what works for me may not be as effective for you. However, reading through the list of 38 remedies and their descriptions should help you to work out which treatments will suit you the best.
Key Remedies for DEPRESSION
Gorse: hopelessness, despair, pessimism.
Mustard: unexplained deep gloom (depression) which comes and goes for no apparent reason. Often caused by unrecognised anger.
But I have also had the following added, which have been brilliant:
Cherry Plum: Fear of losing control of own mind or behaviour. Key remedy for feeling SUICIDAL.
Crab Apple: Poor self image, ashamed or embarrassed by unpleasant physical symptoms, characteristics or features. Self-hatred.
Pine: Feel full of guilt and blame yourself for everything, even the mistakes of others.
Sweet Chestnut: Are at the limits of endurance and deep despair. Feeling SUICIDAL.
Others worth looking at depending on your own situation could be: Water Violet, Hornbeam, Olive or Elm.
Key Remedies for ANXIETY
Aspen: Unexplained fears and worries. Nervous & anxious.
Mimulus: Have fear rooted in known causes eg. spiders, flying, exams etc.
Red Chestnut: Over-anxious/over-concern for others.
White Chestnut: Have unwanted thoughts, preoccupied and worried, sleeplessness and frontal headaches.
Rock Rose: Panic Attacks
Cherry Plum: Fear of losing control of mind or behaviour, also useful for panic attacks.
Key Remedies for HYPOMANIA- these are the remedies I was prescribed and found very effective:
Vervain: Are over-enthusiastic. Argumentative with fixed ideas and principles.
Schleranthus: Key remedy for Bipolar Disorder Suffer from indecision, fluctuating moods, loss of emotional balance.
I was also prescribed:
Vine: Are strong-willed with a tendency to be domineering or inflexible. Strong desire to be in control.
Cherry Plum: Fear of loss of control.
White Chestnut: Unwanted and repetitive thoughts, sleeplessness, preoccupied & worried.
Impatiens: Are impatient and easily irritated. Short temper.
Key Remedies for IRRITABILITY
Beech: Are critical and intolerant of others. Judgemental and fault-finding.
Impatiens: Are impatient and easily irritated. Short temper.
Click here for full descriptions of all the remedies.
There are many other useful remedies, such as:
Agrimony: Put on a brave face to hide problems. Avoid confrontation. Useful for addictions.
Willow: Are resentful and have feelings of self-pity. Poor me!
Swallowing Your Pride!
I must admit when I was first prescribed remedies I was a bit offended to have to take Vine- I’m not inflexible or domineering am I?! I had to swallow my pride a bit. But it is worth it. The remedies make you feel relaxed, calm, clear-headed, peaceful and accepting of how things are.
Each remedy is preserved in a small bottle contained alcohol.
When being treated with Bach Flower Remedies it is important to drink lots of water- the medium through which the remedies work.
To take one individual remedy on its own:
Dosage: 2 drops into a glass of water. Sip at intervals.
To mix up to 7 remedies:
Add 2 drops of each remedy to a dark bottle (20-40ml) with a dropper, filled with mineral water. Can add up to 7 remedies.
Dosage: 4 drops into a glass of water, taken 4 times a day.
This was a little confusing to start with as only two drops are added to a mixture of remedies. This mixture can last for a week or two (30ml bottle). But then individual remedies- two drops are needed for one dose. As far as I have read- the individual remedies are best taken when the state is ACUTE. If the condition is CHRONIC, then a mixture is best.
Once again here is the link to full descriptions of each remedy. More information can also be found on this website.
How long does it take to work?
It’s important to take the remedies consistently at the correct dosages and to drink lots of water. If you do this, you should start noticing some change within a few days. One week later you should be experiencing the full effects. If there is no change, you may need to look at different remedies. Consulting a practitioner is the best way to get the best remedies for you: see below under Bach Flower Remedy Practitioners.
WARNING: never stop taking your prescribed medication and replacing it with Bach Flower Remedies. They are a supplement, and a complementary treatment. If you are planning to come off your medication, a GP should always be consulted so that the medication can be tapered off slowly and under their care.
Remedies can also be bought pre-mixed.
Balancing Blooms have some useful mixes.
Calm Down would be a useful remedy for Hypomania.
Cheer Up useful for Depression.
Peace for Anxiety.
Bach Flower Remedy Practitioners.
I would thoroughly recommend visiting a Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner to obtain the best treatment for you.
My personal therapist is Dawn Chrystal who charges £30 for an hours consultation. This includes a bottle of the chosen remedies which lasts about a month.
In the UK you can find a qualified practitioner in your area here. For the USA click here.
Where to buy.
Individual and pre-mixed remedies can be bought at Boots and Holland & Barrett in the UK. I’m not sure about worldwide, but I imagine drug stores and natural health stores would sell them. Individual and pre-mixed remedies cost around £6-£7 in the UK
Online you can buy them on:
Bach Calm: Original Flower Remedy Shop (UK)
Amazon (USA & Canada)
The Original Bach Flower Remedies (USA & Canada)
Martin & Pleasance (Australia)
Bach Calm: Official Flower Remedy Shop
Photo Credits: Rescue Remedy hjw223; Clematis by tomylees; Cherry Plum by amintirivizuale
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Thanks for this post Rachel! I have been considering Bach flower remedies too and this post is really informative And I will definitely be looking at Cherry Plum and Sweet Chestnut as a start. X
Thanks so much Catherine. I’ve had great results from these, combined with my meds.
I hope you have good results too. Cherry Plum and Crab Apple have been life savers for me. Don’t be afraid to take more than the recommended dose to begin with- just kick starts things a bit!
Really informative post! Also love the new site design! I used to use the rescue remedy and sleep rescue remedy regularly before I went all allopathic and starting taking a benzo. I also find the rescue remedy is good for my cats–give them a couple of drops before they have to go to the vet.
Thank you for putting this together Rachel.
Thanks very much Trish,
I think as a supplement to my standard meds they’ve been fantastic. The meds have evened out my mood, but I’ve always had residual symptoms, so the remedies help smooth them out even more.
It’s great they can be used for animals too!
White Chestnut has been my go-to! The rescue remedy doesn’t seem to work on me, but the White Chestnut has been great. The Wild Rose was good when I felt apathetic last month. I wish I had some Impatiens today, though, lol.
LOL- yeah I know what you mean. Glad I’m not the only one who’s found these helpful. I really do think everyone is different and that it’s a real case of trying out a lot in order to get the right one for you. I’ve had good results with White Chestnut too, but Cherry Plum and Crab Apple have been brilliant! Thanks for commenting xxx
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I may have to check this out!
It is worth it. The biggest challenge is getting the right mixture, which is why it’s good to go to a professional. When you get it right though, you feel so chilled about everything-bliss!
Once I’m making some money I’ll see if there is anyone in Toronto!
I’ve used them, I like natural things much better. – Great information you have here. I’ll be back. Thanks for posting.
Thanks so much for stopping by to read my blog today and for commenting. I’m really grateful! Thank you!
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My dad had bipolar 2 and he was an avid user of Rescue Remedy. 🙂
I look forward to reading your posts.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting! 🙂
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Are these able to be used if you’re allergic to flowers/pollen/weeds etc.? I wouldn’t want to be sneezing all the time! LOL
I’m honestly not sure- I will try to find out, as that is a very good question! I definitely wouldn’t try until we can find out for certain.
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Love BFR’s. I don’t think I’d be here today without them. I love them so much that I need to take Vervain!
They’re great aren’t they! I live off Vervain LOL!
They’re certainly my obsession. 🙂 I think I’ve sent out 1000s of bottles to people over the years because I believe in them so much.
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How come your reference says chestnut for suidcidal feelings and other references says its for despair but not suicidal.
I’m so sorry for the late reply- I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. I have found Sweet Chestnut helpful when I have been despairing. This despair has, in the past, led to suicidal feelings. So, personally for me, I find it helpful to take. It’s quite a personal thing- getting the right balance of remedies.
Agreed there. Sweet Chestnut is for the dark night of the soul, which is very painful. Sweet Chestnut will help one embrace a new belief system. It’s for changes within. (as opposed to Walnut which is for change without)
Thank you so much for this! Great to hear from someone with knowledge in this area.
Welcome. I’ve spent 20 years studying them very, very deeply.
Someone suggested these to my wife, who has been getting a bit depressed recently (I have 25years of history with depression myself). I add a warning here as they have been causing her to crash badly after 6-8 hours, really badly.
The crash would fit somewhat with an overly strong dose or unsuitable use of prescription drugs for the person (again I have experience with this, and the effects are similar to some later banned drugs I was prescribed), leaving them vastly more depressed than if they had not taken them to begin with.
Happiness comes from life changes. Do not screw up your mind with these things. If your not dealing with the issues and are masking them with drugs it can be very dangerous, especially long term.
I hope you all find your peace without dangerous products like these, be strong, fight the battle with patience and understanding, eventually win!
I’m so sorry to hear about this. Bach Flower Remedies are extremely gentle and I would suggest that the “effects” that your wife experienced were not due to the remedies, but symptoms of her depression developing. I would almost go so far as to say there is absolutely no way these could cause such a strong reaction. However, they are preserved in alcohol, and if your wife has had alcohol issues in the past there is a chance this could cause a relapse. But I can confidently say that the remedies are not strong enough to cause such a strong reaction. They’re in no way dangerous, unless a user has experienced alcoholism, or medication is stopped. I would definitely warn (which I have done in the post) never to come off medication and replace it with Bach Flower Remedies, and also to consult a GP. I very much hope your wife finds treatment that stabilises her depression.
Is it possible you could have mistaken a different product for Bach Flower Remedies? I know Australian Bush Flower Remedies are stronger in effect, though I still doubt they would cause such a strong reaction. I’m sure there probably are remedies on the market which should be avoided, but Bach Flower Remedies would not be one of them, they really are very gentle in effect.
I can back that up. The remedies are not only gentle but very effective if you take the right ones. That’s where the skill comes in. Knowing which ones to take and when.
One remedy that is often overlooked in depression is Star of Bethlehem, which clears shock / trauma (one of the major causes of clinical depression.) Also Walnut is useful for helping the person cope with the changes.
Thank you very much Gary.
Welcome. BFR’s are my life’s passion.
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