Richard G. Petty, MD

Tools of the New Laws of Healing: Flower Essences

By Richard G. Petty, M.D.

The flower essences were first created in the 1930s by a Welsh Physician, Microbiologist and Homeopath named Edward Bach. Essentially, freshly picked flowers are soaked in fresh spring water in sunlight. Some mysterious property is supposed to be transferred to the water, which is then taken, a small amount of brandy added as a preservative, and dispensed in small bottle. The whole thing sounds questionable, and there is little credible scientific research. Yet countless practitioners have found these remedies to be very helpful adjunctive treatments. The Bach Flower essences are easy to obtain, surprisingly powerful, and are a useful addition to your household.

The original Bach Flower Essences are:

  1. Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)
  2. Aspen (Populus tremula)
  3. Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  4. Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum)
  5. Cerato (Ceratostigma willmottiana)
  6. Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera)
  7. Chestnut Bud (Aesculus hippocastanum)
  8. Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
  9. Clematis (Clematis vitalba)
  10. Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris/pumila)
  11. Elm (Ulmus procera)
  12. Gentian (Gentiana amarella)
  13. Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
  14. Heather (Calluna vulgaris
  15. Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
  16. Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium)
  17. Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
  18. Impatiens (Impatiens glandulifera)
  19. Larch (Larix decidua)
  20. Mimulus (Mimulus guttatus)
  21. Mustard (Sinapis arvensis)
  22. Oak (Quercus robur)
  23. Olive (Oleo europaea)
  24. Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  25. Red Chestnut (Aesculus carnea)
  26. Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummularium)
  27. Rock Water (Aqua petra)
  28. Scleranthus (Scleranthus annuus)
  29. Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)
  30. Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)
  31. Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
  32. Vine (Vitis vinifera)
  33. Walnut (Juglans regia)
  34. Water Violet (Hottonia palustris)
  35. White Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
  36. Wild Oat (Bromus ramosus)
  37. Wild Rose (Rosa canina)
  38. Willow (Salix vitellina)

There is also a 39th, which is a combination called "Rescue Remedy," which is indispensable. I keep some in my and office car as well as the kitchen. I never leave home without it.

The Bach Remedies can be divided into seven primary groups, based on the emotions they most help. If you find that any of these emotions is troubling you, the remedies could be most helpful for you.

  1. Fear: Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, Aspen, Red Chestnut
  2. Uncertainty: Cerato, Scleranthus, Hornbeam, Gentian, Gorse, Wild Oat
  3. Disinterest: Clematis, Olive, Honeysuckle, Mustard, Chestnut Bud, White Chestnut, Wild Rose
  4. Loneliness: Water Violet, Impatiens, Heather
  5. Oversensitivity: Agrimony, Centaury, Walnut, Holly
  6. Despondency: Larch, Pine, Elm, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut, Willow, Oak, Crab Apple
  7. Over-concern: Chicory, Vervain, Vine, Beech, Rock Water

Over the last three decades, many new and powerful remedies have been discovered, which have an array of subtle uses. I have found one: Yarrow, obtainable from Flower Essence Services to be very helpful when I am doing a lot of flying.

For readers seeking more information, I have established a reading list at, which you can find Here.

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