Elm details

Latin Name: Ulmus procera

Group: Seond Nineteen

Emotional Group: Despondency or despair

Emotional response: Overwhelmed

Method: Boiling


Those who are doing good work, are following the calling of their life and who hope to do something of importance, and this often for the benefit of humanity. At times there may be periods of depression when they feel that the task they have undertaken is too difficult, and not within the power of a human being. [Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies 1936]


Life does not demand of us unthinkable sacrifice; it asks us to travel its journey with joy in our heart and to be a blessing to those around, so that if we leave the world just that trifle better for our visit, then have we done our work. [Bach: Collected Writings]

Emotional State

For those who are very capable and often carry great responsibility but occasionally feel unable to face the magnitude of their tasks. Thus they are sometimes overwhelmed, falter and momentarily lose confidence. It is as if they have temporarily lost their connection and this causes them great discomfort and distress. [Barnard: Guide to the Bach Flower Remedies]



Elm is in Exam combination.


Devastated by the Dutch Elm Disease of the 1960s and 1970s there are few mature elms left in Europe. They were found in hedgerows, by woods and roads.

Elm once grew throughout Britain and was a very common sight. Today young trees are struggling to survive but the disease is still attacking many of them.

Elm - Form and Function

The outline and structure of the tree is significant: while Ulmus procera is upright, like a column, U. glabra is more fan-shaped in form. So, while the flowers look the same, the quality of the remedy state makes Bach’s Elm (U. procera) the choice because of the strength of the ‘I’ form. This clear, upright gesture shows self-determination and will: the Elm state concerns those people who are strongly motivated by their soul purpose and know what they are doing in the world. Yet this species has come to a point in its evolution where it can only propagate itself by suckering, sending roots through the earth like blind moles…. A person in the Elm state (and not for this reason alone) suffers as though blind, unable to see a future. The seed represents the future in every species and here that future is beyond reach. To make this point more clearly we can look again at Impatiens with its certainty and headlong rush to achieve its aim. Impatiens seeds are 99% viable. Then consider Cerato whose seeds fail almost entirely and whose soul lesson concerns a deep uncertainty about what future to take. Elm, in this particular respect, is like Cerato: suddenly uncertain….

Another aspect of the Elm’s gesture is shown in the problems that the trees encounter with Dutch Elm Disease. This was first identified in 1919, arrived in Britain in 1927 and first peaked in 1935, the same year that Bach chose the remedy. As is generally known, the disease is caused by a fungus, which is spread by a small flying beetle. In the 1970’s a new strain of this fungus appeared, far more virulent than the first and this progressively destroyed all the remaining mature Ulmus procera in the country. True, a few hybrids or closely related species survived and the disease has not attacked Wych Elm (U. glabra) to the same extent. By 1990 we had to conclude that the English Elm was finished. But not so. While the disease continues there are many trees that have grown again, from the roots of course and now we do have 30 year-old elms flowering once more.