Cerato is the remedy for people who lack faith in their own judgement. Faced with the need to make a decision they are not like the Scleranthus people who hesitate and cannot make up their minds, because they can come to a decision without too much trouble. But having done so the doubts creep in and they are no longer sure if what they have decided is right. They then go around asking for the opinions and advice of others. They end up hopelessly confused or doing something that they know in their hearts is not right for them.
Cerato is the remedy to give people in this state more faith in their judgement so that they can listen to their inner voices and trust their intuition.
Scleranthus is the remedy for people who find it difficult to make up their minds which option of two or more they ought to choose. The Scleranthus indecision commonly affects the small decisions of life as much as the big ones: 'should I marry Joe or Peter?' and 'should I buy a red notebook or a blue one?' are both Scleranthus states.
Sometimes the chronic uncertainty of the Scleranthus person manifests itself in other ways. There may be mood swings and even motion sickness: although these symptoms are not in themselves infallible guides to Scleranthus, but only signs that this is a remedy to consider. In any case, the remedy is given to help the person to act more decisively and know his or her own mind.
Gentian is the remedy for the relatively mild downheartedness and despondency that follows when something has gone wrong. As soon as things start to go right again this kind of despondency tends to lift by itself, but the remedy can be used to lift it the sooner so that the person is better able to make things go right, instead of just hoping they will do so.
Gentian is often confused with Gorse, but in fact they can be told apart quite easily. People in a Gorse state have decided to give up and so feel completely without hope. They have pitched their tents and refuse to be encouraged, and even if they are persuaded to try to find a way out they will do so grudgingly, assuring everyone that there is no use even trying. People in a Gentian state are discouraged: but they will soon pick up again when things start to go right.
Gorse is the remedy for people who have given up belief that there is any hope for them. It is a far stronger kind of downheartedness than the Gentian state, because Gorse people almost wilfully refuse to be encouraged, so certain are they that their case is hopeless. If ill, they may think of themselves as incurable, or say that they inherited this or that from their families so that nothing can be done for them.
Gorse is however classed by Dr Bach as a remedy for uncertainty, and not as a remedy for despair like for example Sweet Chestnut. This demonstrates that the main problem with Gorse people is a loss of certainty: if they can be persuaded to see things in a different light their faith in their lives would be renewed and they could go forward with a surer step. This is what the Gorse remedy helps to achieve.
Hornbeam is used against feelings of exhaustion and tiredness that come before an effort has been made. The person in this state feels that he or she is too tired to cope with the demands of the day. It's easier to stay in bed or put off making a start - but if an effort can be made to get started the weariness will fade, a sign that unlike the Olive state this is a mental rather than a physical weariness.
Wild Oat is the remedy for people who feel that they want to do something worthwhile with their lives but do not know in which direction they should move. So instead they drift from occupation to occupation, but without finding their true path, which leads in turn to feelings of frustration and consequent depression.
This state of indecision is not like the Scleranthus one, because in the case of Scleranthus the path itself isn't in doubt, but rather the different ways of following it: the different options are known. Wild Oat people do not know what their options are because their goals are not defined.
The remedy helps people to find their true role, putting them back in touch with their own basic purpose in life so that the way ahead seems obvious.