Can Rescue Remedy Relieve Stress?

Herbal Supplements
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Rescue Remedy is a type of Bach Flower Remedy, a line of flower essences developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1920s and 1930s. The English physician believed that illnesses caused by negative emotions, like stress and depression, could be alleviated with flower essences.

Flower essences are herbal infusions that are said to carry the vibrational energy and healing power of the infused flower. While each flower essence product is traditionally made with a single type of flower, Rescue Remedy a special blend of five different wildflowers:

  • Cherry plum
  • Clematis
  • Impatiens
  • Rock rose
  • Star-of-Bethlehem

It is made by placing flowers in water and creating an infusion by exposing the mixture to sunlight or another heat source. The flowers are then discarded and the liquid is preserved (usually with alcohol), diluted, and stored in vials.

Possible Health Benefits

According to proponents, flower essences are a homeopathic treatment that can help relieve stress. Stress can have a negative impact on the immune system and contribute to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Some types of flower essences are also said to:

  • Lessen anxiety
  • Promote healthy sleep
  • Soothe pain

Rescue Remedy, in particular, is said to provide calm and protect against anxiety during times of extreme stress.

What the Research Says

Despite claims for Rescue Remedy's stress easing effects, scientific studies have shown mixed results. Many trials have concluded that Rescue Remedy may be no more beneficial than a placebo when it comes to relieving stress.

A 2010 review of randomized clinical trials found mostly no difference in stress or anxiety between those who took Rescue Remedy and those who took a placebo. Results like these make it difficult to pinpoint whether Rescue Remedy can make good on its promise to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Possible Side Effects

Rescue Remedy is generally considered safe. It is also safe for those on a gluten-free diet.

People taking certain medications such as antibiotics like metronidazole or alcohol use disorder drug Antabuse (disulfiram) may experience nausea and/or vomiting because of the alcohol-based form of any flower essence.

It may not be appropriate for you if you have concerns about the alcohol content of the product. Rescue Remedy also comes in zero-proof versions preserved with vegetable glycerin instead of brandy, ideal for those who are pregnant or nursing, or for children.

Dosage and Preparation

Flower essences like Rescue Remedy are available in most health food stores. The product is available in a variety of forms including:

  • Balm
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Liquid

In the liquid form, the recommended dose is four drops taken either directly on your tongue or mixed with water and sipped throughout the day. Always read labels before consuming them.

A Word From Verywell

Due to a lack of supporting research, it's too soon to recommend Rescue Remedy as a treatment for any condition. If you're considering using it, talk to your doctor before starting your supplement regimen. Keep in mind that Rescue Remedy should not be used as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of a chronic health condition.

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Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ernst E. Bach flower remedies: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Swiss Med Wkly. 2010;140:w13079. doi:10.4414/smw.2010.13079

  2. The Original Bach Flower Remedies. Rescue remedy, rescue remedy spray.

  3. British Homeopathic Association. Is homeopathy safe?. 2020.

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