Bach flower remedies were conceived by Dr. Edward Bach. They are considered a homeopathic remedy or an alternative health remedy. Although Dr. Bach was trained as a conventional physician, he began to feel that emotions played an important part in overall health.
With that in mind, Dr. Bach began to explore the direct relationship between emotional disharmony and illness. He felt that the symptoms associated with illness were the result of external expression of negative emotions. Basically, Dr. Bach felt that diseases were caused by harmful emotions. In the 1930’s he moved to Oxfordshire, England to experiment with the healing properties of plants.
He began by classifying emotions into seven principle categories and then subdivided those categories into 38 negative feelings. Each feeling was associated with a plant. For example, Impatiens are used for impatience and Star of Bethlehem is used for the treatment of shock.
By the time he was done, he had 38 individual Bach remedies. The remedies are consumed orally. On occasion the remedies have been made into a cream. The Bach flower remedies are alcohol based liquids that are added by dropper to a drink such as water.
Each Bach flower remedy is thought to balance the physical and emotional elements of the body. The belief is that every Bach flower remedy is directly related to a specific area of the body. According to Dr. Bach, negative moods are responsible for changing the structure of energy in these spots of the body. This causes pain and other sensations. A body map is used to find the appropriate area on a map of the body.
The flower remedies are prepared in two ways. The first way is to pick the flowers on a sun filled day. The flowers are then placed in a bowl of fresh water. The flower water mixture is then placed in the sun for up to 4 hours to steep. The sun is essential to passing the vibrations of the flowers into the water. The mixture is then strained and an equal amount of alcohol is added to act as a preservative. It is stored in a glass jar and dispensed in water or other liquid.
An alternate method is a cooked method. This method is used for plants that do not flower at a sun filled time of year. The flowers or buds are collected and placed in water and then boiled down. The heat of the boil acts as the sun would to draw the vibrations out into the water. The mixture is then filtered, with the appropriate amount of alcohol added, and the mixture is bottled.
As Bach flower remedies are made with alcohol, they should not be used by those sensitive to alcohol or by those taking other medications that may interact with alcohol. The remedies should be seen as a supplement and should not replace visits to the doctor. Also, because Bach flower remedies are made entirely with flower matter, those who are allergic to certain types of flowers should take care when using any of the remedies.
While there is a limited amount of published research into Bach flower remedies, many people swear by them. There is a particularly strong following for the five flower compound referred to as Rescue Remedy. The Bach flower remedies seem most effective for treating anxiety or stress. There is also an entire line of Bach flower remedies for pets.