Introduction to the Bach Flower Essences Part I: The Rescue Remedy and Holly

I am beginning this column to acquaint you with 38 of my dearest friends, the Bach Flower Essences. They were originally developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s as homeopathic derivatives of flowers from his native Wales. The essences address emotional pain and are completely safe and non-addictive. Up to 10 or even 12 essences may be combined in one dosing bottle. Dosing is usually 4 drops 4 times a day, under the tongue. The dose may be increased to every 5-15 minutes in times of great need.

This month, I would like to introduce you to two of my favorite
Bach Flower Essences: The Rescue Remedy and Holly.
Rescue Remedy is a composite of five flowers, designed specifically for emergencies and extreme stress. The five flowers are
Impatiens (pain, agitation); Star of Bethlehem (shock); Cherry Plum (fear of loss of control), Rock Rose (terror); and Clematis (loss of consciousness/alertness).
The Rescue Remedy is the most popular of the Bach Flowers, and is available even in grocery stores such as HEB and pharmacies such as Walgreens (in their vitamin section).
The other Bach flowers are much more difficult to obtain, but Sun Harvest and Whole Foods Market both carry the entire set of flowers. An off-brand is available at, for about half the price of the originals, which are imported from Wales.

Rescue Remedy helps people face stress or shock of any kind. Many people,myself included, believe it is worth carrying at all times. Rescue can be taken before the stress-inducing event, such as giving a speech or taking a test or going to the hospital or facing a difficult person. It is also useful when feeling uptight, tense or unduly bothered, oppressed or out of balance. It may be used before sleep, in cases of insomnia. In this case, it is also wise to combine Rescue with White Chestnut for racing thoughts than cannot be controlled.
When Rescue is taken all the time it slowly but definitely encourages the virtues of heroism, selflessness, strong will and character as well as calm in the face of any circumstance. Rescue also promotes decisiveness, attention, and helps people to overcome abuse.
Rescue is so versatile, I often use it as a base for any other combination for my clients who are troubled and seeking relief from acute or chronic circumstances.

Holly is the Bach Flower Essence for hatred, envy, jealousy or anger. It is indicated for those interested in spiritual growth. It opens up our capacity for unconditional love. It is needed most especially by those full of hatred, or anger or insecure. People who are suspicious, aggressive , hard-hearted, bad-tempered, cruel, may even be violent. People who belittle others, misunderstand other people, or have a fear of being deceived can use Holly. People who are basically unhappy and frustrated need Holly as well! People who are in a condition needing Holly may have high blood pressure or arthritis. People who suffer from a closed heart or who have sibling rivalry also benefit enormously from Holly.
I was born and raised with an Italian temper. Around my house we have dubbed it “The Italian Cobra”. When I come under the spell of my anger, I go someplace quiet and take Holly every five minutes until I calm down. People with a natural disposition towards anger should probably take Holly four times a day for the rest of their life! For people who have moods beyond the normal range, in the bipolar spectrum, Holly is ideal for the angry outbursts that occur when the energy is high, but the mood is low.

Please stay tuned next month, when I will go into detail about the flowers Walnut, for protection; and Honeysuckle, to heal the past. If you have any particular questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]; 210 473-1619; or review my website at
References for this article available for your further study are: Bach Flower Therapy by Mechthild Scheffer and Bach Flower Essences for the Family by Wigmore Publications, Ltd., London.


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