Ulex Europaeus is better known as Gorse and this beautiful evergreen shrub seeds and propagates itself extensively.

Gorse is a member of the pea family and it is wide-spread, seen anywhere from coastal paths and woodlands to growing wildly along the side of motorways and on golf courses in the UK.

Gorse is a distinctive looking shrub when it commonly flowers from January to June, as it has delicate perfumed Yellow petals which bloom amidst needle-like leaves.  Dr Bach first prepared remedy number 13, Gorse, in 1933 in Buckinghamshire.

Following on from last month’s focus remedy of Agrimony, I again feel like you can tell a lot about why you might take this remedy from studying the plant in which it comes from.  Gorse has many uses and is a great protector of wildlife; providing shelter and food for many insects and birds.  But like Heather, when Gorse grows wildly and is left to its own devises it can quickly become invasive, leaving dense pockets which make it impossible to pass through or enter. Gorse can also flower sporadically, making it often unpredictable to witness its movements.

Gorse is the remedy for when we feel hopeless or in a dark despair.

It is often indicated for an air of pessimism, when we don’t see the point in trying because the situation isn’t going to improve (in our opinion).  Looking at the plant, the remedy can be a lot like this.   A Gorse mood can be unpredictable. I find it comes on sometimes suddenly and subtly, each day getting that much harder to bounce back from, especially for those who are battling long term health conditions, when days can seem relentless and the future can look bleak.  It’s not to be confused with Mustard, for a Gorse state will often hang around a lot longer and be that much more difficult to shift.  Like the plant, a Gorse state can be invasive and difficult to wade through once the feelings of hopelessness settle in.  It’s difficult to see the wood through the trees so to speak when a Gorse mood comes to town and if left untreated it can quickly become a very dark and dense place to reside.

Gorse sits somewhere between Gentian and Sweet Chestnut on the despair-ometer.  Gentian is more for those who tend to bounce back a bit quicker and Sweet Chestnut would tend to supersede Gorse as it’s often referred to as the ‘dark night of the soul’.  Gorse for me can be more common a feeling than we often care to admit.  Like all remedies, everyone will experience Gorse states at multiple times during their lives, but for some, perhaps with good reason, they may need to utilise this remedy alot more.

Gorse haven’t completely lost hope in many ways as they will still be willing to try something, but they will need a lot more support than a Gentian to get there.  Often a Gorse will go along with things just to be able to say ‘I told you so’ or just to keep the peace and an appearance that they are still trying, but this will be more for the benefit of others rather than for the Gorse themselves.  For example, if a friend suggests a Gorse tries a new activity or perhaps a Dr suggests a change to a treatment plan or medication then a Gorse will need an element of hand holding to make the appointment or to even attend.  Gorse’s will just have given up hope in many ways that the situation will get any better, so no longer see the point in trying.  They can feel as though they are just setting themselves up for a fall.

Gorse can be quite a negative mindset and leaning more towards a glass half empty attitude rather than a glass half full.  Expecting the worst results or outcome, just so they won’t be left further disappointed.

In a Gorse state we believe that nothing will improve.

A Gorse is likely to have tried many things before they have got to this state and perhaps have simply, and in some cases quite justifiably, given up.  Gentian is often the remedy that is suggested for those who are battling with long term health complaints, but personally I think Gorse is a much more appropriate tonic.  That’s because chronic conditions can be relentless.  Every day has the same high level of devotion required to ‘keep going’, to stay positive and to always be striving to never completely give up.  Therefore, I think Gorse states are more common with this increased battle of will and can provide a much needed change in outlook when people are bravely fighting never ending wars against physical and mental health.

That’s not to say that Gorse isn’t the remedy for a subtler pessimism or negative outlook, as with all remedies there continues to be a scale.  Gorse may be indicated earlier along the scale when someone exhibits a general ‘mood-hoover’ tendency or assumption of the worst case scenario.  Even expecting it to rain on holiday as it ‘always does at this time of year’, or not seeing the point in making an effort with our appearance as ‘were not going to meet anyone’, or even something as simple as avoiding a certain shop because we know its ‘not going to sell anything we like’.  Gorse negativity, is not limited to those who are fighing permanent low moods, and can be just as effective for a general Mr or Mrs Grumpy who isn’t even willing to try.

There can be a real melancholy to Gorse and they will often voice their concerns, whether subtle or extreme, that there is little point in trying for they know the outcome will bring no relief or success.

What I love about Gorse is it can be a subtle stimulant,

sometimes taking one to two weeks (or more) before we look back and realise just how much our mood has lifted, our outlook has changed or we’ve become more productive.  For this reason poor Gorse often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, as we often forget just how low we were when we first took it or indeed what a lack of optimism we were exhibiting.  Whilst the benefits of Gorse can be experienced quickly, I mention it can take one to two weeks to ‘kick in’ as this can be how long it takes before the penny drops as to why we feel better…it’s almost like a ‘ahhhh, yes, I took Gorse some weeks back!’ realisation.  I have seen an extreme difference both physically, mentally and emotionally in clients who have taken Gorse, yet they will swear it’s because of a change in something else like getting more sleep, a new relationship or their long-prescribed medication finally kicking in.  It can be nothing short of amazing to witness the positive changes, which perhaps to me and those who have taken Gorse for some time, understand is very likely to be as a result of this wonder shrub.

When Gorse is given early in any chronic case, it can be nothing short of a life saver.

Gorse can be seen as a negative remedy by some, and resistance can kick in if we don’t want to admit we are in this state.  But, why wouldn’t you want to feel more positive, hopeful and strong in your convictions that any obstacle in life can be overcome?

Yours in love and flowery light,






PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system.  Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively.  These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive.  Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.


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