Perspectives from Julian Barnard on the Flower Essences of Dr. Bach


The Healing Herbs flower essences are made according to Dr. Bach’s original directions and methods. Julian Barnard lives and works on the borderland of Wales, close to the area where Dr. Bach also developed his work. Julian searches for the best natural habitats where the remedy flowers are still vibrant and abundant. He is a trained herbalist, with a hands-on approach and sensitivity to the healing energies of the plants. The Healing Herbs flower essences have the same potency, efficacy and vibrancy as those originally developed by Dr. Edward Bach.

The following are summarized excerpts from an in-person interview conducted by Richard Katz and Patricia Kaminski in the summer of 1995 at Julian’s home in Herefordshire, England. These notes were revised and expanded in October 2001, during our visit with him at the Ibero-American Flower Essence Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The Role of Flower Essences in Our Technological World

Dr. Bach was concerned about the encroachment of technology and its impact on the soul life. His quest was to create remedies that had sufficient life force and vibrancy to counteract these hardening tendencies. I experienced these same intense states of suffering and longing in my own soul. When I was younger and living in industrial Manchester, England, I found myself gasping for green. My soul was so hungry. I remember discovering some young urban kids who were tearing down a small tree. I called out to them and said, “That is a living thing, and you’re killing it!” These city children had lost their feeling for life and death, and the cycle of the seasons. They didn’t experience the tenderness of growing things—they were separated from the life cycle of Nature. They couldn’t feel the destructive force of their action, that they were killing something. Flower essences are intended to serve as a healing impulse to the devastating soul conditions of our time that alienate us from Nature and from our own true selves.

My Home on the Welsh Border:
A Crossing Point Between Wilderness and Civilization

If we are interested in aligning ourselves with what is helpful for life, then we have to align ourselves with life. It seems to me there is a great crying out from the earth at this moment. Nature is so generous and long-suffering. It is important that we work as much as possible with the wild and native elements still remaining.

Living here on the border of Wales, one experiences a crossing point between wilderness and civilization. This place is a pure energy reserve. After study and travel in other parts of the world, and living in London, I made a conscious decision to return to Herefordshire. It is a similar feeling that Bach had when he left London to come to this area. I didn't really think about it until much later, when it hit me: “That’s just what he did!” He got out of the train, walked along the river, and started to see the Clematis, Mimulus, and so forth.


About My Research and Writing

Patterns of Life Force is a fresh look at Dr. Bach’s innovative approach to healing; I attempted to put myself in Dr. Bach’s soul, and to understand how he saw the world. I organized all of Dr. Bach’s work into Collected Writings, in 1987. Through a careful study of all his writings, I realized that many assumptions simply were not true. For instance, Bach was emphatic that his remedies were NOT homeopathic substances. I am very clear that I need to make our essences in the traditional way with the least amount of interference, and without modifying the basic process, whether by the sun method or by boiling method.


The Healing Herbs of Edward Bach is a work that required enormous force and dedication – the goal was to see each plant as a living expression of Nature, making it possible to move in a seamless manner from the quality within the plant to the healing quality for the human soul. To take the photographs and to write about each plant involved a real meeting and relationship with the plant’s essence.

Collaboration with Nickie Murray,
Director of the Bach Centre

I originally approached the Bach Centre in the 1970’s in order to get backing for a book I wanted to write about flower essences and alternative medicine. But I soon realized that the real reason I was guided there was for my own learning and soul deepening. Nickie Murray was administrating the Bach Centre, and we felt an immediate recognition of each other. We developed a close friendship through the forces of nature as well as the human heart. We used to take walks to get to know the land, and in the most intimate way I discovered and observed the life cycles of each of Dr. Bach’s plants.

My apprenticeship with Nickie was a tremendous period of inner growth for me. Nickie Murray learned the healing art of working with the plants directly from Nora Weeks, Dr. Bach’s colleague, whom he entrusted to carry on the work after he died. Nora Weeks, in turn, trained Nickie Murray. I am immensely grateful that I was able to receive my understanding of Dr. Bach’s plants, not as a theory, but as a living lineage of experience.

Rock Water – the “Mother of All Flower Remedies”

Rock Water is the mother of all flower remedies; it is typically an entry-point remedy that softens the soul’s disposition, and introduces the individual to a realm beyond the hardness of the physical body and the material world. Rock Water is not an environmental remedy or a remedy made from rocks, as some New Age thinkers have assumed. Dr. Bach intended that all flower essences be prepared with vibrant spring water, and Rock Water is the base element that is foundational to all true flower essences.

Rock Water is the base element
that is foundational to all true flower essences.

In the native healing tradition of the Celtic World, living spring water was called Rock Water – it is the water that emerges out of the depths of the earth into the light. Water that is revivified in the dark womb of the earth and finds its way again to the light is a re-born substance.

Our source for the Rock Water is high up in a region called the Black Mountain, where the water flows out of the heart of a massive rock structure. The water flows from the sacred Well of St. Thomas, associated not with the Biblical St. Thomas, but a local healer who helped the villagers with these vibrant waters in his ministry. It seems significant that the well is embraced by the roots of a massive Holly tree, one of the plants beloved by Dr. Bach and by the traditional Celtic healers.

Dr. Bach’s Chestnut Remedies –
Breaking Free to Inner Stillness

Each plant has been redefined in my experience of working with it not only in making the essence, but in my deep encounter with the plant. What is the relationship between the various Chestnut essences (Red Chestnut, White Chestnut, Chestnut Bud and Sweet Chestnut)? What do they hold in common? You will see that, as essences, they are designed to fracture and break a pattern of thought, to de-structure a thought form. There is something quite crystalline in the geometry of these trees. This gives us insight into the type of fear we are treating.

Red Chestnut
White Chestnut

Sweet Chestnut

The quality of the tree is often observed in the bark, and in the trunk. In the bark of a Chestnut tree, the lines of force are broken. The bark is actually peeling, and breaking into pieces. It’s almost like torn pieces of paper coming away from the tree. In the Sweet Chestnut, we can see great, swirling forces in the trunk and the bark. The strong flower spike faces in all directions, as if establishing a new Centre of awareness. The Sweet Chestnut is a remedy for profound transitions in the soul, typically experienced as an abyss or a deep well of anguish. The fresh new potential of emerging forces in the Chestnut Bud remedy helps those stuck in repetitive karmic patterns that drag down the soul consciousness. In the White Chestnut, the thought patterns are repeating over and over again, while in the Red Chestnut we see obsessive worry fixated upon another. The white is a color directed towards the interior of the soul, while the red color rays out into another’s experience. In all of these remedies, the primary question is: Can one break free and reach inner stillness?

Patricia Kaminski & Richard Katz
with Sweet Chestnut in Herefordshire, England
White Chestnut

The Heather Plant and the Holy Longing of the Soul

The Heather is indicated for those people who “buttonhole” by absorbing or depleting the attention and psychic force of others. They are over-talkative people who gravitate to anyone who will give them attention. But we have to go deeper into the plant if we want to understand its true gift. Its magenta color indicates a tremendous vitality. Dr. Bach designates it as a remedy for loneliness, along with Water Violet and Impatiens. The native habitat for Heather is a very high place – covering the barren open spaces in the highlands. It has a close relationship to the sky, and endures the elements of wind and weather in the most open manner.

The Heather is like fire on top of the earth,
aligned with the air and moving out into space.

Heather is a remedy for people who feel the separation from their place of origin. Such people have an intense longing for soul companionship and for meaning in life. Heather helps them to deal with their innate sense of aloneness. The positive state of the Heather is the sense of communion with all of life.

Frequently Asked Questions
about the Healing Herbs Essences

Are the Healing Herbs homeopathic remedies?

While flower essences and homeopathic remedies belong to a larger classification of healing substances that are regarded as energy, or “vibrational” medicines, these two healing modalities should not be confused. Dr. Bach was a well-recognized homeopathic physician who left his profession to found a distinct, new therapy based on flower essences. In an address to his homeopathic colleagues, Bach emphatically stated that flower essences do not work by the Law of Similars. The central principle of homeopathy is that substances are chosen that produce symptoms that match the similar condition of the client. These substances are derived from a vast spectrum of possibilities, including animal, mineral, plant and human sources. On the other hand, flower essences are derived only from the flowering part of the plant, and are intended to introduce positive archetypes that stimulate conscious choices and self-awareness. Therefore, the method for choosing flower essences and the therapeutic goals and outcome are directed toward the soul life of the client.

In addition to a unique therapeutic goal, flower essences are also prepared in an entirely new manner. The mother essence receives an energetic imprint of the whole blossom into living water, out of a relationship to the living forces of the plant at the peak of flowering, the four elements, and other environmental influences. By contrast, a homeopathic mother tincture is prepared by extracting properties from pulverized minerals and stones, animal or human substances, or various plant parts, such as the root, bark, leaf, fruit or flower, which are then macerated in alcohol for several weeks. These procedures are generally conducted indoors in a laboratory setting, and do not involve the “living” context required for flower essence preparation.

Although other brands of “Bach” remedies may be prepared and labeled as homeopathic, the Healing Herbs Flower Essences are prepared according to Dr. Bach’s original methods, and are labeled as herbal dietary supplements.

Are the Healing Herbs “Bach Flower Remedies?”

Healing Herbs flower essences are made from the same plant species and with the original methods employed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930’s. The name “Bach Flower Remedies” is a universally-known generic term used when referring to the therapy initiated by Dr. Bach, as well as the flower essences he discovered. This name has been used by A. Nelson & Company to designate their particular brand of the flower remedies. The appropriation of Dr. Bach’s name as an exclusive commercial trademark has been successfully challenged in court by Julian Barnard, founder of the Healing Herbs Bach flower essences. Recently the judgment was upheld on final appeal by the House of Lords. Currently, the term “Bach Flower Remedies” is recognized as a generic term and is no longer a trademark in the United Kingdom. Read Legal Update: English High Court Overturns “Bach” trademarks.



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