Hornbeam details

Latin Name: Carpinus betulus

Group: Second nineteen

Emotional Group: Uncertainty

Emotional response: Mental or physical tiredness

Method: Boiling


For those who feel that they have not sufficient strength, mentally or physically, to carry the burden of life placed upon them; the affairs of everyday seem too much for them to accomplish, though they generally succeed in fulfilling their task. For those who believe that some part, of mind or body, needs to be strengthened before they can easily fulfil their work. [Bach: Twelve Healers and Other Remedies 1936]


Thus every moment of our work and play will bring with it a zeal for learning, a desire to experience real things, real adventures and deeds worth-while…[Bach: Collected Writings]

Emotional State

For a temporary state of mental/physical tiredness when a lack of energy causes loss of interest, weariness and inability to cope with mundane affairs. Good for convalescents who feel unable to return to work though perfectly fit. Symptoms are predominant fatigue, lassitude, inclination to lie in bed in mornings, feel they cannot face the burden of the day. [Barnard: Guide to the Bach Flower Remedies]



Hornbeam grows in woods and hedges, and is often coppiced or pollarded.

Hornbeam grows wild only in south-east England; elsewhere in Britain it is planted. It is found throughout the Home Counties (around London) especially in Hertfordshire and in Epping and Hainault Forest. Bach found it growing in the Thames Valley.

Hornbeam - Form and Function

Male and female flowers are found on the same tree. The male catkin is showy and appears a little before the leaves are fully open. The females are very inconspicuous, looking like unfolding leaf-buds at the end of the twigs. But when pollinated two small red styles protrude. The seed is a nut that is carried by a three-winged bract that acts as a sail. It flies like a helicopter and may be blown up to 100 yards (92 ms) from the tree before coming to rest. Like Clematis the fruits stay on the tree well into the winter. There is a parallel here in the need for the Hornbeam person to get down into life, to get deeply involved with the world around them. The wing of the seed is emblematic of the tendency to remain detached from the earth.

Hornbeam is one of those remedies that needs to be taken if we are to fully appreciate the quality of the emotional state. Then we can feel the difference. People can become so habituated to the Hornbeam feeling that ‘the affairs of everyday seem too much for them to accomplish…’. Lethargy creeps up upon us. The sudden flowering of the Hornbeam, like the remedy, brings a sudden access of strength and determination. We feel the gears engage (like the cogs of the mill of the mind) and become active and purposeful once more.