Choosing the flower essences right for you

When you first read the descriptions of all the flower essences and what they are helpful for, it's common to think - "wow, I need to take all of them!" And it may be true that you would benefit from many of them at some stage. Still, it's better if you can, to limit your choice to no more than five in combination at a time. Best of all, if there's one flower essence that seems really appropriate you can get the most deep acting and long lasting results taking it on its own. On this page you'll find the Bach Flower Remedies that I've found the most useful for anxiety and panic. On the next page is a list of Australian Bush Flower Essences that are also fantastic for helping you find your way through your recovery.

Bach flower remedies

Rescue Remedy - This is probably the best known of all the flower essences and one that really every home should have. It is a combination of five other essences and as its name suggests is extremely useful in any traumatic situation.

From time to time I've rescued the occasional small creature and been amazed to see birds, for instance, that looked as though they were in deep shock and close to death after being mauled by a cat, come fully alert and able to fly away again after having the beak moistened with a drop of this remedy.

Many times I have found Rescue Remedy helpful with children who have hurt themselves or are upset in other ways – it helps them get over the shock and calm down.

If used before an anxiety producing event, it helps you to not feel overwhelmed. When feeling very anxious though it will not, in my experience, immediately restore balance or remove unpleasant physical symptoms of anxiety. But, it is very helpful in enabling you to deal with those symptoms more calmly which is, after all, the first step to recovery. And it will certainly help to deal with a panic attack or the anxiety about having another attack.

Cherry Plum – is one of the five essences contained in Rescue Remedy and is specifically for a fear of insanity or of losing control and the desperate feeling of near hysteria.

Mimulus – is for fears of known causes for example, fear of illness, death, pain, poverty, animals, stage fright and so on.

Aspen – is for fears of unknown cause – apprehension and foreboding but not knowing why, nightmares, fear of going to sleep, of the dark, of the unknown. These two remedies can be hard to differentiate as an unknown cause may underlie a known cause.

Impatiens – for those who want to get everything done quickly and are impatient with those who are slow. Irritability, impatience, nervousness. This speediness, impatience and irritability can often be among the issues underlying the original causes of the development of anxiety states.

Gentian – for doubt and easy discouragement. An excellent remedy during recovery as doubt tends to go hand in hand with anxiety. For those with anxiety states of long standing, doubt about your recovery is almost certain to arise at some point, so this is great to have on hand.

Gorse – is for great hopelessness and despair and when feeling it’s useless to try different treatments, that nothing more can be done. For when the doubt has grown into something more serious.

Chestnut Bud – to help us learn from past mistakes and to stop repeating the same errors. This can be useful because in recovery we have to let go of many old habits of thinking and acting in the world and learn new ways that aren’t going to be detrimental to our nervous systems.

Rock Rose – where there is terror, panic, a near escape or accident. Another ingredient of Rescue Remedy.

Red Chestnut – for over concern and anxiety for other people. In sensitive people, anxiety states can easily be caused by worry for others, especially over a long period of time. It's fine to be concerned for the welfare of others, but not when it gets to be overwhelming and affecting your own health. This is a remedy I've seen really work wonders for anxious parents and being able to know where the boundary lies between where their concern can be helpful and when it becomes detrimental to themselves and their children.

Larch – for lack of self-confidence or an expectation of failure and feelings of inferiority.

Clematis – for a lack of groundedness and those who are not happy in their present circumstances and so they live more in the future or past. A Rescue Remedy essence.

Star of Bethlehem – the last of the Rescue Remedy essences. This is for shock in any form – bad news, a fright or great loss etc. It can also be used for the effects of past shocks.

Agrimony – where a brave, cheerful face hides mental torture, restlessness or worry.

White Chestnut – for persistent unwanted thoughts and mental arguments or thoughts that go round and round and cause mental distress.

Olive – where there has been lots of mental or physical suffering that has led to exhaustion or great weariness, making everything an effort.

Sweet Chestnut –for extreme anguish and despair that seem unbearable, reaching the limit of endurance.

An interesting way to choose your remedies

If you are having trouble choosing the right remedy for you right now, you may like to try the following method which is based on the same premise of tarot and other divination methods - which is, that nothing ever happens accidentally.

Basically, this is just putting the names of all the remedies in a ‘hat’ (a bowl or other container would do of course) and drawing out four or five names. However, you need to take this a little seriously for the method to be meaningful, so here’s what to do:

Go to for Bach Flowers and for Australian Bush Flowers and print out a list of the names of the essences.

Cut them into little individual slips of paper and place in a ‘hat’.

Sit somewhere quiet, both feet on the ground, with the ‘hat’ on your lap.

Take some moments to centre yourself. You may like to ask to be surrounded in pure light and love to protect and guide you and to be put in touch with your higher self, or the highest source of healing and wisdom available to you.

Then ask “which of these flower essences would be most appropriate and beneficial for me at this time?” and draw out slips of paper one at a time.

You may be amazed at the result!

Tip: There are also Australian Bush Flower and Bach Flower Remedy cards available, which makes this process a little easier - all you need to do is shuffle them and draw cards from the pack.

These are the main Bach Flower remedies that I've found particularly useful for anxiety problems, though there are 38 essences in all, and you may find that some of the others will also address the issues underlying your anxiety.

On the next page are the Australian Bush Flower Essences that I have found useful, followed by, finally, where to find the remedies, how to prepare and take them and some example combinations for typical situations that you may experience on your road to recovery.

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