People sometimes wonder if Bach flowers and homeopathy are similar. The answerto this is both yes and no. To understand the two systems a littlebetter, this article will discuss the following:
- Bach flowers and Homeopathy – What’s the Difference?
- Who was Dr Edward Bach?
- The 38 Bach Flowers: Their Discovery and Development
- Edward Bach’s Death
- How Bach Flower Remedies are Taken
- Emotions Helped by Bach Flower Remedies
Bach Flowers and Homeopathy – What’s the Difference?
Like homeopathy, Bach flower remedies use drop doses, are virtually tasteless, rely on the ‘essence’ of plants for their gentle healing effects, ease mental-emotional difficulties, and do all this without harmful side-effects. But there are differences.
While Bach flowers hope to treat physical problems by relieving the mental-emotional symptoms that surround them, homoeopathy acts at a deeper level to treat both at the same time.
Homoeopathy also works by a specific ‘like treats like’, or Law of Similars approach that leads to long-term improvement. In contrast, the principle that underpins Bach flowers is not known and the way they achieve changes in health is unclear. Their effect may come from a superficial ‘like treats like’ approach that is generally beneficial or through symptom palliation and suppression, neither of which will lead to long-term health improvement.
Who was Dr Edward Bach?
Dr Edward Bach was born in England in 1886. As a young man he seriously considered entering the ministry. Fortunately for Bach flower users he decided upon a career in medicine instead.
Bach commenced his training at the University College Hospital and while there held the positions of casualty medical officer and House Surgeon. He also worked at the National Temperance Hospital and practised from rooms at prestigious Harley Street.
In 1919, Bach commenced work at the London Homoeopathic Hospital where he was highly influenced by homeopathy and the teachings of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann. During this period he also worked on vaccines and was jointly responsible for the development of a group of remedies prepared from bowel bacteria, called the bowel nosodes. These nosodes are still in use today.
In 1930, dissatisfied with medicine’s focus on the disease rather than the patient, Bach left his successful medical practice to explore a more humane way of treatment. Over the course of several years he perfected a natural system of medicine that relied on 38 different flower essences from plants and trees of the surrounding countryside. These came to be known as the Bach flower remedies.
The 38 Bach Flowers: Discovery and Development
From Bach’s experiences in medical practice, he had come to the conclusion that most physical illness was caused by negative emotions, and that if these unbalanced emotions were corrected then physical health would return.
Along with being a researcher, Bach was also a highly sensitive and naturally intuitive individual. He found that by holding his hand over certain plants, his own negative emotions would resolve. After identifying which plants resolved which emotions he began to prepare them as remedies.
Originally he collected the dew off the petals and mixed them with an equal amount of alcohol to make the tincture. He soon found that he could not collect enough to treat his patients this way, so he progressed to suspending the flowers in jars of spring water and leaving them in the sunlight for several hours. For woodier plants, buds and sprigs were boiled in water to collect their essence. All three of these approaches produced a mother tincture that could then be further diluted to make the Bach flower remedy.
Edward Bach’s Death
Dr Bach died from cancer at 50 years of age on the evening of November 27th, 1936. Nineteen years previously he had been given only 3 months to live. He attributed in his survival beyond this time in part to the Bach flowers with which he worked. Fortunately, his collection of remedies was complete by the time of his death. They are now known and used around the world.
How are Bach Flower Remedies Taken?
Bach flower remedies are easy to prepare and easy to use. They are sold in dropper bottles and can be dispensed as drops straight from the bottle or as sips once the drops are diluted in a cup or bottle of water. The resulting liquid is very dilute and almost tasteless though the stock bottle does contain an amount of alcohol as a preservative.
Bach flowers can be taken as individual remedies or in combinations. For a printable pdf list of the Bach Flower remedies and the emotions they treat, please click here.
Bach flower remedies may be added to food and drinks or placed directly into the mouth. They can be safely used on humans, animals and even plants. They are non-addictive, will not interact with other medications, and do not have any side-effects.
Emotions Helped by Bach Flower Remedies
The 38 essences treat a variety of mental-emotional states, such as Scleranthus for indecision, Olive for mental exhaustion, Beech for intolerance and critical mindsets, Holly for extreme jealousy, Larch for feelings of inferiority, and so on.
Of all the Bach flower remedies, Rescue Remedy is perhaps the best known. It is a combination of five Bach flowers that help during emergency situations or times of stress, such as anticipating an upcoming exam, a job interview, after an accident, or during a panic attack.
A complete list of the Bach Flower remedies, and the emotions they treat, can be found in a printable pdf here.
To order an inexpensive combination remedy of Bach flowers that best suits your emotional state, please visit the Homeopathy Plus! online shop here.
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