Aspen details

Latin Name: Populus tremula

Group: Second Nineteen

Emotional Group: Fear

Emotional response: Unreasoning fears

Method: Boiling


Vague unknown fears, for which there can be given no explanation, no reason. Yet the patient may be terrified of something terrible going to happen, he knows not what. These vague unexplainable fears may haunt by night or day. Sufferers are often afraid to tell their trouble to others. [Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies 1936]


The development of Love brings us to the realization of Unity, of the truth that one and all of us are of the One Great Creation. The cause of all our troubles is self and separateness, and this vanishes as soon as Love and the knowledge of the great Unity become part of our natures. [Bach]

Emotional State

For psychological fears of unknown origin, vague unreasoning and inexplicable, sudden apprehension, fear of unseen power or force, fear of sleep for what sleep may bring, fear of dreams, association with death and religion, usually kept secret. Symptoms may include headaches, eyestrain, haunted look, sweating, trembling, gooseflesh, sudden faintness, sleep walking/talking, tired and nervy. [Bach]



On poor soils and in damp woodland. It is a pioneer species and its tendency to sucker creates small thickets.

Throughout Britain, more in the north and west.

Aspen - Form and FunctionIf 

we look for an indication of the positive aspect of the Aspen state it is not much in evidence. In part we can see the growing strength of the Aspen as it nears the earth: the trunk begins to furrow at ground level, showing a stronger network of energy. But this is not a clear emblem of the strength that overcomes fear. Perhaps we might claim to see that in the golden-yellow leaves in autumn, which fall to the earth early but are slow to rot. But when the essence is made by the boiling method the scent of balsam is strong, sweet and aromatic. The mother tincture is a plum coloured, or light claret. Here we see a gentle warmth and fire that penetrates the grey mists of early spring, driving away the occult penetration of our peace.

Bach comments of Aspen that ‘sufferers often are afraid to tell their troubles to others’. This is a silent apprehension, a kind of quiet anonymity that is apparent in the tree. Yet of all Bach’s remedies, the Aspen tree most clearly proclaims its gesture of trembling fear. It is, perhaps, the easiest to see and understand of all the plant gestures. The signature of the tremulous leaf has been noted by poets since Chaucer, but Bach was the first to make the connection between this signature and the healing potential of the flowers. He saw how the qualities of the Aspen inform the physical tree and how they resonate the positive expression of strength and protection; protection from a fear of the supernatural.