Chicory for unconditional love

The classic Chicory individual is the giving but domineering family matriarch or patriarch who consistently meddles in the lives of those around them.

by Linda Crider —

Dr. Edward Bach divided the 38 plants in his system of natural healing into seven categories. One of these includes flower remedies for those who are overly concerned with the welfare of others. The essence of Chicory falls into this group, as it is the remedy for people who feel they must go to great lengths to win and keep the affection and attention of the ones they care most about.

For those interested in the clues Dr. Bach used to determine how plant energies affect us, Chicory presents a good example. It is described as a deep-rooted plant, but one that is sensitive as well. Flowers picked from the Chicory plant fade and wither more quickly than other flowers. Bach scholars see this as an indication of the kind of co-dependent person or animal that can benefit from this remedy.

These overly sensitive individuals are perceived as clinging, possessive and selfish in their obsessive desire to control the lives of others. In extreme cases, such machinations can destroy families and poison relationships for decades. This is especially evident in situations where one individual wants to be the center of attention, with others walking on eggshells to meet their demands. Since a person in the negative Chicory state has a bottomless need for the love of others, these expectations are constantly replaced with new ones, and the dynamic continues.

As with many of the other remedies in Bach’s healing system, we can all fall into the negative Chicory state, but it is often a more chronic behavior pattern for those who need this remedy. The classic Chicory individual is the giving but domineering family matriarch or patriarch who consistently meddles in the lives of those around them. However, milder, more acute versions of this pattern can be seen in parents, children, lovers, employers, friends and even pets.

Those in need of the remedy often come across as very giving and loving, but there are conditions to be met, and payback in the form of undying gratitude is expected. This tendency may be observed in the mother who spends all day in the kitchen cooking for her teenage child, only to make a great show of sulking when band practice makes him late for dinner. At the root of her efforts may be the selfish need to keep her son from growing up and moving on.

In such cases, overt acts of kindness are a front for the hidden motive of creating obligations. In short, the demonstrative love is conditional. In the long run, this manipulative behavior can destroy relationships rather than solidify them. The Chicory individual is often hurt and disappointed when others do not respond as anticipated. This remedy is very useful in co-dependent situations, where one partner smothers the other who is not strong enough to stand up to him and set appropriate boundaries.

Emotionally needy children who feign illness or misbehave to get a response also fall into this group. When considering animals, territorial and overly protective pets that follow their owners around insisting on constant attention may also benefit from Chicory.

Taking this remedy gives one a sense of inner fulfillment, so the urge to possess and control others is no longer present. This new state of emotional balance can be liberating to all concerned. The individual is no longer needy and feels confident enough to allow loved ones to make their own decisions and go their own way. Selfish love turns to unconditional love. As Bach scholar Stefan Ball writes, the essence of Chicory allows one to “love and let go.”


Linda Crider has been a promoter and educator of botanical healing practices for 15 years. She specializes in flower essence therapy and is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner and founder of Blooming Vibrations, LLC. 602-774-2382 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 2, April/May 2012.

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