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Welcome to another installment of the Beating the Winter Blues series. Today I am going to chat with you about Bach Flower remedies and how they can help you with the winter blues and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

To see the rest of the posts in the Beating the Winter Blues series click on the image below.


For my introductory post on Bach Flower Remedies click here. And if you are interested in seeing my post on the use of polycrests in Bach Flower treatments click here.


What Are Bach Flower Remedies?

Bach Flower remedies are a safe and natural way to help restore emotional and spiritual balance. They can be used to alleviate stress during times of emotional struggle, or they can be used to help correct deeper spiritual and emotional imbalances. Similar in concept to homeopathy, they are extremely dilute flower remedies, containing the energetic essence of the plant. It is for this reason that they are safe for everyone, regardless of medications, age, or overall health. I’ve even successfully treated dogs with Bach Flowers!


How Can They Help With Depression/SAD/Winter Blues?


While for many, the cause of depression and SAD is physical (for example a lack in serotonin production), the symptoms are often deeply rooted in our emotions and mental well-being. With the help of Bach Flower remedies you can experience relief from these symptoms. Symptoms such as anger, anxiety, jealousy, fear, trauma and lack of self confidence are very common during a depressive episode. Each of these emotional states can be brought to balance through the use of flower essences.


It goes without saying that a certain level of self awareness is necessary in order to choose the right remedies for you. If you cannot come to terms with your anger or jealousy issues, it is unlikely a flower essence designed to help with those emotions will be of any help. That being said, the use of that remedy might shift you to a state of being ready to deal with those complex emotions.


Common Remedies for Depression


Just as each person in the world is unique, so is each person’s own version of SAD or depression. While there are many commonalities with this condition, each of us will have our own personal twist/trigger. Listed below are some common remedies used for depression and SAD.

  • Aspen: the feeling that something terrible is going to happen
  • Cherry Plum: fear that you could lose control of your emotions and/or actions
  • Elm: feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time
  • Gentian: small setback have you feeling discouraged
  • Hornbeam: feelings of tiredness and exhaustion, just can’t get the day started (not as deep as Olive)
  • Larch: a general lack of self-esteem
  • Mustard: sudden onset depression that seems to come and go with no apparant cause
  • Olive: deep feelings of exhaustion (similar to chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Pine: Feelings of guilt for things that are not your fault (taking on the blame for all things in your life)
  • White Chestnut: repeating unwanted thoughts that you can’t stop


My Treatment Formula

As I mentioned, each person’s Bach Flower formulation will look different. Even if you are treating two people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, their formulations may not have a single overlapping remedy. The root of depression is a very personal thing. I am choosing to share my current formulation with you. I should mention it was a journey for me to come to these remedies. See my polycrest post for more about that. Self awareness and honesty are not always easy things!


This remedy gives protection and consistency from outside influences during a time of major transition or change. Helps you to let go of the past and allow new energies in.


Pine is for those who are very self-critical and perfectionist in nature. The Pine person never does a good enough job and will often blame themselves for things that go wrong, even if their actions had nothing to do with the outcome.


This remedy is for bitterness and resentment over adverse events that have befallen them. May feel sorry for themselves or feel they are undeserving of life’s injustices.


For temporary phases of exhaustion or tiredness. Presents as a lack of interest in daily activities and feeling like you don’t have the energy to tackle the day. This is often a mental state and not physical. For physical conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Olive is more appropriate.

Wild Oat:

Wild Oat is for people who feel dissatisfied with their life situation in some way. It’s usually regarding career or life purpose. They may feel the ambition to something something important with their life but they just don’t know what “it” is.

White Chestnut: 

For when your mind bounces from one thought to another. Feels like you’re going to spin out from all the mental chatter. The White Chestnut person may feel like they are worrying a lot and often find themselves saying “what if”.


The Impatiens person is quick thinking and acting. They desire no delays and are often very intolerant of those who cannot keep up with them.


Choosing Remedies

Now that I’ve peaked your interest I bet you want to know how to find the right remedies for you! There are two basic ways to go about this.


The first and more thorough approach is to book an appointment with a local Bach Flower Consultant (if you are in Durham region you can contact me). They will do a full consultation with you (this is known as the classical method) and with your help will create a personalized formulation for your current situation/needs. This is by far the thorough and accurate way to have a remedy made for yourself. Unfortunately it is more expensive but the results can often be worth the extra cost if you are able to afford it.


The second way is to complete an online questionnaire. This method takes a certain level of honesty and self awareness on your part. If you aren’t ready to deal with your true feelings you may find yourself choosing less appropriate remedies. However, if you are true to your feelings, even the scary ones, you should be able to choose remedies that are right for you. From there your option is to find someone (a Bach Flower consultant) who can create your remedy for you. If this isn’t an option for you then you will have to purchase the individual remedies yourself and make up your own bottle.  I will be posting about making your own Bach Flower formulations in the near future.


For local readers who are interested in the second option I do have a Bach Flower questionnaire I created myself. Feel free to contact me and I can send it to you via email.