The Story of the Travelers

 Once upon a time; and it was always once upon a time, sixteen travelers set out to journey through a forest.
   
At first all went well, but after they had journeyed some distance one of the number, Agrimony, began to be worried as to whether they were on the right path. Later in the afternoon as they went deeper into the shadows, Mimulus began to be afraid, afraid that they had lost the road. When the sun set and the shadows deepened and the night-noises of the forest were heard around them, Rock Rose became full of terror and was in a state of panic. In the middle of the night when all was blackness, Gorse lost all hope and said, "I can go no further; you go along, but I shall stay here as I am until death relieves my sufferings"

Oak, on the other hand, though feeling all was lost and they would never again see the sunshine said, " I shall struggle on to the very last," and he did in a wild way.

Scleranthus had some hope but at times he suffered so from uncertainty and indecision, first wanting to take one road and almost at once another. Clematis plodded on quietly and patiently, but caring oh so little if he fell into the last sound sleep or whether he got out of the forest. Gentian at times much cheered the party, but at others fell into a state of despondency and depression.

 Others of the travelers never feared but that they would get through and in their own way wanted so much to help their companions.

Heather was very sure he knew the path and wanted all the company to take his way. Chicory had no concern about the end of the journey but was full of solicitude as to whether his followers were footsore or tired or had enough to eat. Cerato had not much confidence in his judgment and wanted to take every path to be sure they were not wrong; and meek little centaury so wanted to lighten the burden  that he was ready  to carry everybody's baggage. Unfortunately for little centaury, he generally carried the burden of those most able to carry their own because they called out the loudest.

Rock Water, all afire to help, a little depressed the party because he would criticize what they were doing wrong, and yet rock water knew the way. Vervain should also have known the path well enough, but although he had become a little confused, held forth at length as to the only way out of the wood. Impatiens, too, well knew the pathway home, so well that he was impatient with those less speedy than himself. Water Violet had travelled the way before and knew the right road and yet was a little proud and a little disdainful that others did not understand. Water Violet thought them a little inferior.

And in the end they all came through the forest.

Now they go as guides to other travelers who have not made the journey before, and, because they know there is a pathway through, and because they know the darkness of the forest is but shadows of the night, they walk as "gentlemen unafraid," and each of the sixteen sojourners teach in their own way the lesson, the example needed.

Agrimony strides along free of all care, and jests on everything. Mimulus can know no fear; Rock Rose in the darkest moments is a picture of calm serene courage. Gorse in the blackest night tells them of the progress they will make when the sun rises in the morning. Oak stands steadfast in the strongest gale; Scleranthus walks with perfect certainty; the eyes of clematis are fixed on the journey's end, and no difficulties or set-backs can discourage Gentian.

Heather has learnt that each traveler must walk in his own way and quietly treads in front to show it can be done. Chicory, always wanting to lend a hand, but only when asked and then so quietly. Cerato knows so well the paths that lead to nowhere, and Centaury ever seeks the weakest who find their burden heavy.

Rock Water has forgotten to accuse, he just spends all the time encouraging. Vervain no longer preaches but silently points the way. Impatiens knows no hurry but lingers amongst their hindmost to keep their pace; and Water Violet, more like an angel than a man, passes among the company like a breath of warm wind or a ray of glorious sunshine, blessing everyone.

(This article was written by Dr. Bach in 1934 when only 16 of the 38 remedies had been discovered)
                              


      

Selecting the Remedies

"Seek for the outstanding mental conflict in the patient, give him the remedy that will assist him to overcome that particular fault, and all the encouragement and hope you can, then the healing virtue within him will of itself do all the rest." - Dr. Edward Bach

Selecting the Remedies is as simple as finding out which of the 38 different states the patient is suffering from and taking the corresponding remedy or remedies. When selecting the remedies, look for those remedies that will help heal the negative mental states bothering the patient the most at the moment. As the patient's state changes, other remedies may be used.

As a rule of the thumb, not more than 7 remedies are to be taken at a time. Each remedy may be thought of as carrying a conscious message - for instance Holly carries the  message of compassionate love and hence can wipe out all thoughts of hatred, anger, greed, envy etc. The greater the number of remedies used in a mix the less 'clear' each individual message is.

  • To find out which of the 12 healers a person needs, its helpful to ask how the person responds to stress- How would he be during adversities? Water Violet types would want to be just left alone, Agrimony would try to cover up his inner torture with humor and jesting, Impatience would be angry and frustrated and so on, Cerato would be blindly following everyone's advice etc.

  • In some cases, it may not be clear which of the the patient requires or it may seem that too many remedies are needed - in such cases, giving Holly and Wild Oat for a few weeks will clear up the case. Star of Bethlehem is useful when the patient has had to suffer from trauma for a long period of time.
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  • Take the remedy mix as frequently as possible - At least once every four hours and also before going to bed and immediately on waking up. In acute cases repeat every half an hour or so.

  • Sponging or bathing with the remedy infused water is helpful. If necessary, a few drops of the remedies may be added to bath water.
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    Water Violet  Scientific Name: Hottonia Palustris 

    Failing: Grief            Virtue:Joy

    "Are you one of those great souls who bravely and without complaint, still endeavouring to serve your brother-men, bear suffering calmly and with resignation, not allowing your grief to interfere with your daily work? Have you had real losses, sad times, and yet go quietly on?
    If so, the beautiful Water Violet, which floats so freely on the surface of our clearest streams, will help you to understand that you are being purified through your grief, uplifted to a great ideal, so that you may learn to serve your fellow-men even in the hour of your affliction: that you are learning to stand absolutely alone in the world, gaining the intense joy of complete freedom, and therefore of perfect service to mankind. And when this is realised it is no longer sacrifice but the exquisite joy of helpfulness even under all conditions. Moreover that little plant will help you to the understanding that so much you think of in life as being cruel and sad, is truly for the good of those you pity."  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "For those who in health or illness like to be alone. Very quiet people, who move about without noise, speak little, and then gently. Very independent, capable and self-reliant. Almost free of the opinions of others. They are aloof, leave people alone and go their own way. Often clever and talented. Their peace and calmness is a blessing to those around them. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Rock Rose  Scientific Name: Helianthemum Vulgare 

    Failing: Terror            Virtue: Courage

    "Are you one of those in absolute despair, in terror: who feel that you can bear nothing more; terrified as to what will happen: of death; of suicide; of insanity; of some awful disease: or fearful of facing the hopelessness of material circumstances? If so, you are learning to be brave against great odds, and fighting for your freedom, and the beautiful little yellow Rock Rose, which grows so abundantly on our hilly pastures, will give you the courage to win through. " 
    - Free Thyself, 1932

    "The remedy of emergency for cases where there even appears no hope. In accident or sudden illness, or when the patient is very frightened or terrified, or if the condition is serious enough to cause great fear to those around. If the patient is not conscious the lips may be moistened with the remedy. Other remedies in addition may also be required, as, for example, if there is unconsciousness, which is a deep, sleepy state, Clematis; if there is torture, Agrimony, and so on. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Chicory  Scientific Name: Chichorium Intybus 

    Failing: Restraint            Virtue: Love

    "Are you one of those who long to serve the world: who long to open out both arms and bless all around you; who wish to help and comfort and sympathise, and yet for some reason circumstances or people stop you? Do you find that instead of serving many you are held in the grip of but a few, so that your opportunity of giving as fully as you wish is limited: are you getting to that stage when you wish to realise that it is, “when all men count with you, but none too much?” Then that beautiful blue Chicory of the cornfields will help you to your freedom, the freedom so necessary to us all before we can serve the world. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Those are who very mindful of the needs of others; they tend to be over-full of care for children, relatives, friends, always finding something that should be put right. They are continually correcting what they consider wrong, and enjoy doing so. They desire that those for whom they care should be near them. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Mimulus  Scientific Name: Mimulus Luteus 

    Failing: Fear            Virtue: Sympathy

    " Are you one of those who are afraid; afraid of people or of circumstances: who go bravely on and yet your life is robbed of joy through fear; fear of those things that never happen; fear of people who really have no power over you; fear of tomorrow and what it may bring; fear of being ill or of losing friends; fear of convention; fear of a hundred things? Do you wish to make a stand for your freedom, and yet have not the courage to break away from your bonds; if so Mimulus, found growing on the sides of the crystal streams, will set you free to love your life, and teach you to have the tenderest sympathy for others. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Fear of worldly things, illness, pain, accidents, poverty, of dark, of being alone, of misfortune. The fears of everyday life. These people quietly and secretly bear their dread, they do not freely speak of it to others. . " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Agrimony  Scientific Name: Agrimonia Eupatoria 

    Failing: Restlessness            Virtue: Peace

    " Are you one of those who suffer torments; who soul is restless: who can find no peace, and yet bravely face the world and hide your torture from your fellow-men: who laugh and smile and jest, and help those around you to keep a cheery heart whilst you are suffering. Do you seek to soothe your sorrows by taking wine and drugs to help you face your trials: do you feel that you must have some stimulant in life to keep you going? If so, that beautiful plant Agrimony, growing along the sides of our lanes and in our meadows, with its church-like spire, and its seeds like bells, will bring you peace, the peace that ‘passeth understanding.’ The lesson of this plant is to enable you to hold peace in the presence of all trials and difficulties until no one has the power to cause you irritation. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "The jovial, cheerful, humorous people who love peace and are distressed by argument or quarrel, to avoid which they will agree to give up much. Though generally they have troubles and are tormented and restless and worried in mind or in body, they hide their cares behind their humour and jesting and are considered very good friends to know. They often take alcohol or drugs in excess, to stimulate themselves and help themselves bear their trials with cheerfulness. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Scleranthus  Scientific Name: Scleranthus Annuus 

    Failing: Indecision            Virtue: Steadfastness

    "Are you one of those who find it difficult to make decisions; to form opinions when conflicting thoughts enter your mind so that it is hard to decide on the right course: when indecision dogs your path and delays your progress: does first one thing seem right and then another? If so you are learning prompt action under trying circumstances; to form correct opinions and be steadfast in following them; and the little green Scleranthus of the cornfields will help you to this end. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Those who suffer much from being unable to decide between two things, first one seeming right then the other. They are usually quiet people, and bear their difficulty alone, as they are not inclined to discuss it with others. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Clematis  Scientific Name: Clematis Vitalba 

    Failing: Indiffernce            Virtue: Gentleness

    "Are you one of those who find that life has not much interest: who wake almost wishing there were not another day to face: that life is so difficult, so hard, and has so little joy: that nothing really seems worth while, and how good it would be just to go to sleep: that it is scarcely worth the effort to try and get well? Have your eyes that far-away look as though you live in dreams and find the dreams so much more beautiful than life itself: or are your thoughts, perhaps, more often with someone who has passed out of this life? If you feel this way you are learning “to hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to you - hold on!” and it is a very great victory to win through. That beautiful plant which adorns our hedges where there is chalk, the Clematis, better known as Traveller’s Joy, and whose feathery seeds are. always longing to be blown away and start again, will help you so much to come back and face life and find your work, and bring you joy. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Those who are dreamy, drowsy, not fully awake, no great interest in life. Quiet people, not really happy in their present circumstances, living more in the future than in the present; living in hopes of happier times, when their ideals may come true. In illness some make little or no effort to get well, and in certain may even look forward to death, in the hope of better times; or maybe, meeting again some beloved one whom they have lost. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Centaury  Scientific Name: Erythraea Centaurium  

    Failing: Weakness            Virtue: Strength

    "Are you one of those people whom everybody uses, because in the kindness of your heart you do not like to refuse them anything: do you just give in for the sake of peace rather than do what you know is right, because you do not wish to struggle: whose motive is good, but who are being passively used instead of actively choosing your own work. Those of you who are door-mats are a very long way along the road to being of great service once you can realise that you must be a little more positive in your life. Centaury, that grows in our pastures, will help you to find your real self, so that you may become an active, positive worker instead of a passive agent. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Kind, quiet, gentle people who are over-anxious to serve others. They overtax their strength in their endeavours. Their wish so grows upon them that they become more servants than willing helpers. Their good nature leads them to do more than their own share of work, and in so doing they may neglect their own particular mission in life. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Gentian  Scientific Name: Gentiana Amarella  

    Failing: Doubt            Virtue: Understanding

    "Are you one of those with high ideals, with hopes of doing good; who find yourself discouraged when your ambitions are not quickly realised? When success is in your path are you elated, but when difficulties occur easily depressed? If so, the little Gentian of our hilly pastures will help you to keep your firmness of purpose, and a happier and more hopeful outlook even when the sky is over-cast. It will bring you encouragement at all times, and the understanding that there is no failure when you are doing your utmost, whatever the apparent result. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Those who are easily discouraged. They may be progressing well in illness, or in the affairs of their daily life, but any small delay or hindrance to progress causes doubt and soon disheartens them." - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Vervain  Scientific Name: Verbena Officinalis  

    Failing: Over-Enthusiasm            Virtue: Tolerance

    "Are you one of those burning with enthusiasm: longing to do big things, and wishing all done in a moment of time? Do you find it difficult patiently to work out your scheme because you want the result as soon as you start? Do you find your very enthusiasm making you strict with others; wishing them to see things as you see them; trying to force them to your own opinions, and being impatient when they do not follow? If so, you have within you the power of being a leader and a teacher of men. Vervain, the little mauve flower of the hedge-banks, will help you to the qualities you need, kindness for your brothers, and tolerance for the opinions of others: it will help you to realise that the big things of life are done gently and quietly without strain or stress. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    "Those with fixed principles and ideas, which they are confident are right, and which they very rarely change. They have a great wish to convert all around them to their own views of life. They are strong of will and have much courage when they are convinced of those things that they wish to teach. In illness they struggle on long after many would have given up their duties. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Cerato  Scientific Name: Ceratostigma Willmottiana  

    Failing: Ignorance            Virtue: Wisdom

    "Are you one of those who feel that you have wisdom; that you could be a philosopher and a guide to your fellow-men? Do you feel the power within you to advise them in their difficulties, to soothe their sorrows, and at all times to be a help to them in their troubles; and yet, through lack of confidence in yourself, you are unable to accomplish this, possibly because you are listening too much to the voice of others and paying too great attention to the conventions of the world? ‘Do you realise that it is only this lack of confidence in yourself, this ignorance of your own wisdom and knowledge, that tempts you to listen too intently to the advice of others? Then Cerato will help you to find your individuality, your personality, and, freed from outside influences, enable you to use the great gift of wisdom that you possess for the good of mankind. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    " Those who have not sufficient confidence in themselves to make their own decisions. They constantly seek advice from others, and are often misguided. " - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Cerato  Scientific Name: Impatiens Royalei  

    Failing: Ignorance            Virtue: Wisdom

    "Are you one of those who know that deep down in your nature there is still a trace of cruelty; when buffeted and harassed you find it difficult not to have a little malice? Have you still left within you the desire to use force to bring another to your way of thinking: are you impatient and does that impatience sometimes make you cruel: have you left in your nature any trace of the inquisitor? If so, you are striving for exquisite gentleness and forgiveness, and that beautiful mauve flower, Impatiens, which grows along the sides of some of the Welsh streams, will, with its blessing, help you along the road. "  - Free Thyself, 1932

    " Those who are quick in thought and action and who wish all things to be done without hesitation or delay. When ill they are anxious for a hasty recovery. They find it very difficult to be patient with people who are slow, as they consider it wrong and a waste of time, and they will endeavour to make such people quicker in all ways. They often prefer to work and think alone, so that they can do everything at their own speed." - The 12 Healers and Other Remedies, 1936

    Disclaimer

    The content in this website is meant to be an educational exposition on Bach Flower Therapy and is not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. As with any other system of medicine, if you are under treatment, do take your physician's advice before using Bach Flower Therapy. Please remember that chronic, serious or life-threatening conditions require professional healthcare.

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