Studying the Remedies

In addition to history, philosophy, and best practices for clinical management, a good Bach flower therapy study program will provide an organized path to materia medica study. Although there are only 38 or 39 remedies to study, an A to Z approach is generally not supportive of the learning process. We therefore want to use a map, a way to group the remedies, that will serve as a simple, intuitive entry point into the materia medica. 

Many Bach flower therapy courses use Edward Bach’s categorization of the remedies into 7 thematic groups. This is a valid approach, particularly as it provides some insights into Bach’s own understanding of the remedies.

The downside is that some of the groupings themselves are slippery and not intuitive, especially as they do not match how we commonly conceptualize or talk about our emotional states. 

For this reason, I have developed a different classification schema for teaching purposes that I use to introduce remedies in my Bach Flower Therapy for Homeopaths courses, with good results and positive feedback from students. We look at Bach's groupings as well, but the actual process of learning the remedies unfolds differently.

If you are interested in learning with my approach—and also mastering Bach Flower Therapy in a short time—you are invited to join my live online Bach Flower Therapy for Homeopaths Course.

That said, any schema is simply an entry point, a lens through which we can begin to understand the remedies. Many other connections and classifications can be made—and I strongly encourage you to do so—as you become more familiar with the material.

Below I will share the traditional path toward a self-study curriculum for the remedies, grouped according to Edward Bach’s classification.

Sample Remedy Curriculum

The following outlines a curriculum path for studying the remedies divided into Bach’s seven thematic groups. As you are going through the groups, reflect on each theme, how the remedies relate to it, as well as the differences and similarities among the remedies for that group. As you become more familiar with the remedies, experiment with alternative remedy groupings based on different aspects of the remedies.

1. Fear

Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, Aspen, Red Chestnut

2. Uncertainty

Cerato, Scleranthus, Gentian, Gorse, Hornbeam, Wild Oat

3. Insufficient interest in present circumstances

Clematis, Honeysuckle, Wild Rose, Olive, White Chestnut, Mustard, Chestnut Bud

4. Loneliness

Water Violet, Impatiens, Heather

5. Oversensitivity to influences and ideas

Agrimony, Centaury, Walnut, Holly

6. Despondency or despair

Larch, Pine, Elm, Sweet Chestnut, Star of Bethlehem, Willow, Oak, Crab Apple

7. Over-care for the welfare of others

Chicory, Vervain, Vine, Beech, Rock Water


A simple, introductory approach to this remedy study curriculum can be found in Stefan Ball's The Bach Remedies Workbook: A Study Course in the Bach Flower Remedies.

Additional Tips on Remedy Study

As you work through each grouping, study one remedy at a time from different sources. Start with the linked remedy descriptions on this website, then cross reference them with material found on other websites, or any books that you have.

Each author will have a slightly different way of presenting and understanding the remedies. Reading across authors will therefore give you a well-rounded, multi-faceted view of each remedy and a variety of examples of how you might recognize it in practice. In addition to the remedy descriptions on this website, my recommended “starter” study resources for remedies are:

Bach Centre: The 38 Bach Flower Remedies

Healingherbs Bach Flower Learning Programme (requires login)

Healingherbs Bach Educational Resource

Mechthild Scheffer, Bach Flower Therapy: Theory and Practice (essential text, highly recommended)

As in homeopathic study, it can be helpful to make a study sheet or card for each remedy. As you reflect on each one, look for examples of that remedy state in yourself, your loved ones, celebrities, and famous historical figures. Invent mnemonic aids that will be helpful in remembering each remedy at a glance.