EDUCATION: Bach Flower Remedies
What are the Bach Flower Remedies?
by Beverly Coleman,
The Bach Flower remedies were discovered over sixty years ago by Dr. Edward Bach MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP. He received his Diploma of Public Health (DHP) at Cambridge in 1913.
When he was receiving his medical training, he began to realize that his patients needed more than treatment for their physical symptoms. He also recognized that the body seemed to mirror emotional or mental problems. Negative states such as worry, guilt, fear, depression seemed to slow down the process of healing. Whereas positive states such as joyfulness, positive attitude, hopeful outlook for the future, seemed to promote or speed recovery from illness.
Bach (pronounced Batch by the British) continued his studies looking into other conventional healing modalities. He studied bacteriology and became well-known for his research in that area. Along the way he met Dr. Hahnemann, a homeopathic physician. Dr. Bach believed in the benefits of homeopathy and became a homeopath who worked for several years in the laboratories of the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital. It was there he prepared seven nosodes that were used for chronic diseases and were given by mouth. It was during this time period that he made a significant discovery.
Bach attended an evening dinner party and was finishing up his cup of tea before leaving. He was observing a group of people standing in a corner having a conversation. He noticed that while that had very different physical symptoms, they seemed to display the same or similar emotional/mental states. This coincided with his observation that some of his patients that received nosodes had the same emotional problems regardless of their various physical conditions. From that time forward, Bach began to give “remedies” to patients based on their “temperaments” rather than their physical states.
Bach’s conclusions about his patients had been based on his intellectual understanding of their problems and he continually searched for a scientific basis for the effectiveness of his remedies. Homeopathy had been a good start in another direction but it was a very deep study and Bach was looking for something that would be simple, yet harmless and quick to restore balance to the individual. At this time he decided to leave his professional life in London and retreat to his home in the country.
It was in this quiet place of peace and solitude that Bach discovered his “intuitive” side. He became quite sensitive and found that he could pass his hand over a flower and “know” its properties. Furthermore, if he needed to find a remedy for some negative state of mind, he began to experience it within himself until he found the flower that would correct the condition and restore him to a state of peace.
For seven years he searched for and found the flowers that would satisfy the seven major negative states of mind: Fear, Uncertainty, Insufficient Interest in Present Circumstances, Loneliness, Over-sensitivity to Influences and Ideas, Despondency or Despair, Over-Care for the Welfare of Others. These flowers grew above ground, in the air and sunlight and were prepared in a specific fashion. They were prepared where they grew. The heads of the flowers were placed in clean water in a bowl in full sunlight for three hours. Bach felt the heat of the sun would be enough to draw the energy of the flower into the water. The flowers were then removed and the water was bottled and preserved with a small amount of brandy. To this day, this is the way the Bach Flower Remedies are prepared.
The remedies are not homeopathic but they do carry a specific energy pattern with them that is effective in balancing out the negative states of mind that plague man. Though there are thirty-eight total remedies, there is one combination that is used for emergencies. That remedy is called “Rescue” and is used in situations calling for immediate attention such as shock, grief, unconsciousness, terror.
The remedies are used all over the world and are safe for plants, animals, or humans. Though the amount one takes at one time is quite small - 3-4 drops under the tongue or in another liquid before you swallow it, they can be very powerful.
Rescue remedy has also been made into a cream to apply topically when there is a trauma to the skin or soft tissue.
The Bach remedies are readily available at most health food stores or homeopathic outlets.