Dr Bach Flower Remedies
For a positive outlook, emotional well-being, and physical health
Dr Bach Flower Remedies is a healing system in which the whole person, rather then the illness, is treated. Dr Bach’s (1886-1936) medical researches led him to the understanding that much of our ill health has its origin in our emotional and mental state rather than in the physical body.
Why use Bach Flower Remedies?
Dr. Bach’s basis of philosophy is that our state of
mind plays an important role in the cause and cure of illness. Many of us feel
fear, anger, insecurity, loneliness etc. Each symptom, be it physical or
emotional, tells us something specific. The essence, according to Dr. Bach, is
to recognise, accept and incorporate this message into our daily lives. By
using Bach Flower Remedies, we do not treat a specific ailment but the whole
The Bach Flower Remedies help us to accept and
work with those traits and emotions that cause us problems. Instead of denying
these emotions we should work with the positive side of them. For example if we
are afraid, we should focus on becoming more courageous; if we are stressed, we
should improve our ability to relax. By restoring the harmony in our inner
selves, harmony will return to our bodies. This way, body and mind will be more
in tune with one another.
The remedies are made from flowers derived from non-poisonous plants, shrubs and trees and are prepared by the ‘sun method’ and the ‘boiling method’. In both cases the resulting mix is known as mother tincture. This is diluted at the rate of two drops per 30mls of brandy to make the stock bottles which are widely available from all major pharmacies and health food stores. According to Edward Bach the action of heat – either from the sun or boiling method – transfers the vibrational potency or sometimes called life force from the plant into the water. In this way the water becomes ‘energetically impregnated’ or ‘potentised’. Dr Bach referred to the quality in the plants as ‘vibration’ .
Each remedy can be used alone or in conjunction with other remedies. Dr Bach suggested that no more than six remedies should be taken at one time in order to achieve best results. The standard dilution for oral use is two drops from each chosen stock bottle to a 30ml dropper bottle which then is filled up with spring water and a tea spoon of brandy or cider vinegar for preservation. The remedies should be taken at least four drops, four times a day or more frequently if necessary until relief is obtained.
Anyone can use these remedies because they are completely safe, non-toxic, non-addictive, have no side effects and can be used in conjunction with any other conventional medical or holistic treatment. They do not cause dramatic healing crises but instead slowly unpeel the emotional layers one at a time. This process is called peeling the onion. The remedies can be used on infants, children, adults, the elderly, pets and domestic animals and even plants . They are intended for self-help use and can be chosen by self diagnosis with the help of books and guidelines provided by the Edward Bach Centre and from many authors worldwide. Alternatively, any healthcare professional or trained Bach flower practitioner can prescribe them.
The most well known flower remedy combination is the ‘Rescue Remedy' which Bach developed to relieve broad based acute stress, anxiety, and for moments of panic especially in emergency situations. The ‘Rescue Remedies’ are as the title suggests only meant for emergency situation.
Today flower remedies are gaining world-wide professional recognition for their significant contribution to the fields of healthcare and healing.
The trained Bach flower practitioner will encourage the client to talk about the issues and problems which they are currently facing in their life. The practitioner will help the person to explore his or her feelings, concerns, and fears. Then the practitioner and the client will discuss a combination of remedies which the client will generally take for at least three weeks or until relief of symptoms is achieved. The symptoms can be emotional or physical, but the physical aspect is not taken into account in the choice of the remedies. This approach gives each client their own individual treatment. For example two clients could have the same medical condition but feel totally different about it.
Bach Flower Remedies for children
Children, for the most part, possess a tremendous
ability to cope with dis-ease – both physical and emotional – and ‘bounce back’
quickly. Yet children can also keep a lot of what they feel hidden away, maybe
because they cannot articulate their feelings, or perhaps because they have
learned that it avoids a lot of fuss if they say nothing. Either way, their
need for the remedies is just as valid as that of adults. Arguably, their needs
may be greater, and the remedies more effective, by virtue of the fact that
they are young and still developing their technique for coping and managing the
negative, and the positive, experiences in life.
The Bach Flower Remedies help to bring out the child’s
positive feelings and help him to live and deal with unpleasant emotions. In
doing so the child gains a greater awareness of his thoughts and feelings.
Most parents recognise the needs of their
children, and those who have encountered Bach Flower Remedies, will be aware of
the potential that the remedies offer in addressing the emotional aspects of
the challenges that life presents to our children. The Bach Flower Remedies don’t prevent the child
from learning to deal with new experiences but can quite often shorten the
period in which the child is, for example, too afraid, too unhappy or too
introverted. The child gains a deeper understanding of his emotional self and
doesn’t dwell so long on his problems.
The Bach Flower Remedies encourage inner change.
The feelings and the attitude of a child can be influenced in a positive
manner. These feelings and reactions towards an earlier event, e.g. a birth
trauma, hospitalization, divorce or death of a close relative, friend or pet
can change with the help of Bach Flower Remedies.
The Bach Flower Remedies affect the child in a
holistic way, not by targeting the physical symptoms as in conventional
medicine. They help the child to feel better emotionally. This in turn can
influence physical symptoms, e.g. breaking a fever.
When remedies are applied either to heal or
prevent a particular ailment, the effects can be unpredictable. Sometimes there
is an immediate response, e.g. a feeling of calm or sudden insight or change.
At other times we may notice a response within weeks. This depends on the phase
of development the child is in and how long a certain condition or emotion has
been present. When the emotional and physical symptoms start to disappear or
change you will know that the Bach Flower Remedies have helped the child.
Children love taking the Bach Flower Remedies!
History of Dr Edward Bach
Edward Bach studied Medicine first in Birmingham
and later at the University College Hospital, London, where he was House Surgeon. He also worked in private practice, having a set of consulting rooms in Harley Street. As a bacteriologist and pathologist he undertook original research into vaccines in his own research laboratory. In 1917 Dr Bach was working on the wards tending to soldiers returning injured from France.
One day he collapsed and was rushed into an operating theatre suffering from a severe haemmorhage. His colleagues operated to remove a tumour, but the prognosis was poor. When he came round they told Bach that he had only three months left to live. As soon as he could get out of bed, Bach returned to his laboratory. He intended to advance his work as far as he could in the short time that remained. But as the weeks went by he began to get stronger. The three months came and went and found him in better health than ever. He was convinced that his sense of purpose was what saved him: he still had work to do.
His research into vaccines was going well, but despite this Dr Bach felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases and ignore the whole person. He aspired to a more holistic approach to medicine. Perhaps this explains why, not being a homoeopath, he took the offer of a post at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital. Once there he soon noticed the parallels between his work on vaccines and the principles
of homoeopathy. He adapted his vaccines to produce a series of seven homoeopathic nosodes. This work and its subsequent publication brought him some fame in homoeopathic circles. People began to refer to him as 'the second Hahnemann'.
The flower remedies
Up to now Bach had been working with bacteria, but he wanted to find remedies that would be purer and less reliant on the products of disease. He began collecting plants and in particular flowers - the most highly-developed part of a plant - in the hope of replacing the nosodes with a series of gentler remedies.
By 1930 he was so enthused by the direction his work was taking that he gave up his lucrative Harley Street practice and left London, determined to devote the rest of his life to the new system of medicine that he was sure could be found in nature. He took with him as his assistant a radiographer called Nora Weeks.
Just as he had abandoned his home, office and work, Dr Bach began to abandon the scientific method and its reliance on laboratories and reductionism. He fell back instead on his natural gifts as a healer, and more and more allowed his intuition to guide him to the right plants.
Over years of trial and error, which involved preparing and testing thousands of plants, he found one by one the remedies he wanted. Each was aimed at a particular mental state or emotion. He found that when he treated the personalities and feelings of his patients their unhappiness and physical distress would be alleviated naturally as the healing potential in their bodies was unblocked and allowed to work once more.
Today, the foundation at the Dr Bach centre in Mount
Vernon controls the production of the mother tinctures for the remedies
according to Dr Bach’s original guidelines.
The Foundation is a single regulatory body that follows the National
Occupational Standards of CAM therapies.
The centre promotes proficiency in the use of Bach's system of medicine
world-wide among health practitioners of all traditions. They set and improve standards for the
competent use of the remedies by providing and supporting the provision. Furthermore the foundation offers a range of
educational and vocational courses and support services for registered Bach practitioners. This
is governed by a strict code of practice which gives professional status to Bach practitioners.