The Health Benefits of Bach’s Rescue Remedy

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.

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.

Rescue Remedy Ingredients

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 is a special blend of five different wildflowers:

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

It also contains alcohol as an inactive ingredient.

Flower Essense vs. Essential Oils

Flower essences are frequently confused with essential oils. While both are made from plants, there are a number of important differences between the two.

Where flower essences are an herbal floral infusion, essential oils are concentrated liquids made from plant compounds.

Flower Essences
  • Flowers are submerged in water.

  • This water is boiled or exposed to the sun and then filtered.

  • The final product does not contain any part of the flower.

Essential Oils
  • Plants are steamed or pressed.

  • The extracts are then often combined with a carrier oil.

  • The final product contains actual compounds from the plants.


According to proponents, flower essences are a homeopathic treatment that can help relieve occasional stress. The manufacturer suggests that the product can provide gentle relief from everyday 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

It is important to note that statements about the effectiveness of the product have not been medically evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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.

Dosage and Preparation

Flower essences like Rescue Remedy are available in most health food stores. The product is available in a variety of forms. These include oral and topical preparations.

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.

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 the 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Rescue Remedy take to work?

While each person is different, the manufacturer suggests that most people begin to feel the effects "fairly soon" after taking the product.

How long does Rescue Remedy last?

The manufacturer does not state how long the effects of the product last but suggests that doses can be repeated as needed.

Can you overdose on Rescue Remedy?

Overdose should not occur with regular use. However, the alcohol content of the product should be considered. Avoid taking more than the suggested dose and do not combine with other products containing alcohol.

Is Rescue Remedy for pets a different formulation?

Rescue Remedy Pets is formulated for animals of all types including cats, dogs, birds, horses, rabbits, and reptiles. It is alcohol-free and the formulation differs from the Rescue Remedy formulations intended for human consumption, which should not be given to pets.

How does Rescue Remedy work for pets?

The Rescue Remedy Pets formulation is intended to help relieve stress and create calm for pets of all types, sizes, and ages. The manufacturer suggests that it can be helpful for travel, loud noises, and stressful events.

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. If you are experiencing symptoms of prolonged stress that are affecting your well-being and quality of life, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Your doctor or therapist can recommend solutions, which may include medication, therapy, or lifestyle changes.

6 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. Bach Rescue. Rescue Remedy dropper. 2021.

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

  5. Bach Rescue. How quickly will I feel Rescue working?. 2021.

  6. Bach Rescue. How much Rescue can I take?. 2021.

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.