Bach Flower Remedies
4 mins read
Origin, benefits, methodology, and precautions
Naturopathy is a form of therapy that involves the use of natural products. It encompasses herbalism, homeopathy and acupuncture, plus diet and lifestyle counseling. Practitioners of naturopathy avoid the use of surgery or drugs and instead, favor a holistic approach to treatment.
What are Bach Flower remedies? Where did they originate?
Bach flower remedies were developed by Edward Bach, a homeopathy practitioner, in the 1930s. These are solutions of water and brandy; the water contains diluted material extracted from flowers. It was Bach’s belief that the dew deposited on the petals of flowers contained plant’s healing properties. He studied 38 different varieties of flowers that grew in and around Mount Vernon in England.
According to Bach, illness is a result of conflict between the soul and the personality. When these two entities are at cross-purposes, the body falls ill. Negative moods are generated, which leads to “energy blocking”, resulting in the lack of “harmony.” This situation lets the body fall prey to various diseases.
How Is This Remedy Beneficial?
Bach flower remedies claim to cure several types of disorders. Some of the main benefits are listed below:
- Rescue Remedy or Five Flower Remedy: This remedy is said to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and stress. It contains equal quantities of Cherry Plum, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Impatiens, and Rock Rose remedies. This is a sort of “first aid” to be used for immediate relief.
- Rescue Cream: It is considered to treat minor skin issues including stings, pimples, cuts, burns, and itches.
These remedies are also effective on pets and domestic animals.
Studies or Research on the Efficacy
Bach flower remedies have failed to prove their efficacy in evidence-based scientific studies.
- In 2010, a systematic review by Ernst was published that reported that placebo-controlled scientific trials did not establish the efficacy of Bach flower remedies.
- In 2009, another systematic review concluded that Bach flower remedies were probably safe, but exhibit high risk of bias. These studies did not find any difference in results when the remedies were used and when placebos were used.
How Are Bach Flower Remedies Carried Out?
During the process, a “mother tincture” is prepared by boiling flowers, or steeping them in a bowl of water under sunlight. This concentrated solution is then diluted into a 50:50 solution of water and brandy. Before consuming the remedy, the stock solution is further diluted in a treatment bottle with water. The final solution probably has no more than a single molecule, and is said to contain the “vibrational” nature of the flower that can be passed on to the person consuming it. Hence, Bach flower remedies depend on the concept of “water memory.”
How can one get started with the remedy?
Bach flower remedies are usually recommended by a naturopath or by a trained Bach flower remedy practitioner who conducts an interview of the patient. People can also choose their own remedy after analyzing the state of their mind and their ailment.
Precautions, contraindications and risks
Generally, Bach flower remedies are considered safe to use and do not have any violent side effects. Worries about over dosing or consuming the wrong medicine may be put to rest. However, it has been found in very rare cases that the remedies may release hitherto suppressed symptoms. These could include emotions that have not been expressed so far. But this phase is said to be temporary and disappears as the treatment progresses.
- Ernst E. Bach flower remedies: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials.Swiss Med Wkly. 2010 Aug 24;140:w13079. doi: 10.4414/smw.2010.13079. Review. PubMed PMID: 20734279.
- Thaler K, Kaminski A, Chapman A, Langley T, Gartlehner G. Bach Flower Remedies for psychological problems and pain: a systematic review.BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 May 26;9:16. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-9-16. Review. PubMed PMID: 19470153; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2695424.