For thousands of years flowers have been used as medicines to cure human diseases. In the 1920s, a London doctor decided to explore the healing properties of flowers systematically and scientifically, and his discoveries have become well-known today as the Bach Flower Remedies.
Dr Edward Bach studied medicine at the University College Hospital, London and received a Diploma in Public Health from Cambridge. He was a house surgeon and a casualty medical officer at University College Hospital. He also worked at the National Temperance Hospital and practiced for over twenty years in London as a Harley Street consultant and bacteriologist. He researched in the fields of immunology and homeopathy, and joined the laboratories of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in 1919, where he developed seven bacterial nosodes. And during all this time, he developed a strong scientific research capability.
He believed that illness often result from disharmony between body and mind, so in 1928 he left London to find a new system of healing involving plant remedies. He worked in Wales and the English countryside, and by 1932 he had discovered twelve remedies, using them on the many patients who came to him for treatment. In 1933 he discovered the second group of remedies, the seven helpers. In 1934 he moved to Oxfordshire, and it was in the lanes and fields here that he found the remaining nineteen remedies he needed to complete the series.
His approach was practical and experimental. He would himself suffer the emotional state that he needed to cure, and then try various plants and flowers until he found the plant that could help him.
As time went on he abandoned the scientific method he had always used, choosing to rely on his intuition to guide him. One by one he found remedies for particular mental states or emotions. His life followed a seasonal pattern: during spring and summer he collected flowers and prepared remedies, and during the winter he gave help and advice to all who came to him for free.
He found that when he treated the mental patterns and feelings of his patients with flower remedies, their distress would vanish and the natural healing potential in their bodies would be unblocked and start to work once more.
Bach Flower Remedies are now used all over the world. Here are four examples, with Dr Bach’s descriptions of the symptoms that are treated by each remedy.1
“Those who are dreamy, drowsy, not fully awake, no great interest in life. Quiet people, not really happy in their present circumstances, living more in the future than in the present; living in hopes of happier times when their ideals may come true. In illness some make little or no effort to get well, and in certain cases may even look forward to death, in the hope of better times; or maybe, meeting again some beloved one whom they have lost.”
“Those who are doing good work, are following the calling of their life and who hope to do something of importance, and this often for the benefit of humanity. At times there may be periods of depression when they feel that the task they have undertaken is too difficult, and not within the power of a human being.”
“For those who blame themselves. Even when successful they think they could have done better, and are never satisfied with the decisions they make. Would this remedy help me to stop blaming myself for everything?”
“For those who have definite ideals and ambitions in life and are fulfilling them, but on rare occasions are tempted to be led away from their own ideas, aims and work by the enthusiasm, convictions or strong opinions of others. The remedy gives constancy and protection from outside influences.”
“So long as our personalities and souls are
in harmony all is joy and peace.
It is when our personalities are led astray
from the path laid down by the soul,
either by our own worldly desires
or by the persuasion of others,
that a conflict arises.”
– Edward Bach
1 Bach, E, 2011. The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, the definitive 1941 edition. The Bach Center, UK
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017
October 02, 2017