BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
(Investigator 155, 2014 March)
A deeply spiritual man, British scientist and physician, Dr. Edward
Bach (1886-1936), was inspired by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of
homoeopathy, and was appointed pathologist and bacteriologist at the
London Homoeopathic Hospital. In the late 1920s, Dr. Bach correlated
the state of mind of certain of his patients with their physical
ailments. He inferred that underlying emotional stresses were
inhibiting their natural healing powers and the ability to prevent
After a great deal of research, Dr. Bach concluded that there were
thirty-eight negative states of mind from which the sick suffer —
worry, loneliness, depression, uncertainty and so on.
He gave up his lucrative practice in Harley Street and moved to the
countryside to research the healing properties of plants. He eventually
developed thirty-eight natural Remedies to alleviate the negative
states of mind that he had identified.
Conveniently, most of the herbs were growing in his own back garden or
in the nearby countryside.
From a list of thirty-eight Remedy Indications which describe the
particular state that each addresses, the liquid Remedies are dropped
under the tongue four times a day for periods varying from one week to
several months. This is claimed to banish the underlying causes of the
emotional stress from which one is suffering. Sometimes there is what
is called a "peeling effect", whereby other emotional difficulties are
brought to the surface requiring other Remedies to be taken.
It should be noted that Dr. Bach claimed to be psychic and
hypersensitive, and that his theory is based on the claim that he could
"feel" the vibrations sent out by flower petals. These "vibrations"
supposedly contained the potent healing elements of the plant. He was
convinced that the sun-warmed dew absorbed the vital healing powers of
the plant on which it rested, and that this power could be transmitted
to pure spring water standing in a glass bowl in full sunlight, in
which were placed specific herbs.
Bach Flower Remedies are based on purely metaphysical arguments — not
their chemical properties. Bach explained that plants had "the power to
elevate our vibrations, and thus draw down spiritual power, which
cleanses mind and body, and heals".
His work has little credibility in the eyes of the medical and
scientific establishments, for it lacks valid data on the diagnoses
made, and any data on the efficacy of the therapies. It has not been
shown to work.
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Grossman, Richard. 1986. The Other Medicines. Pan Books.
Larkin. 1983. Herbs are often more toxic than magical, FDA
Le Strange, Richard. 1977. A History of Herbal Plants, Arco
Publishing, New York.
Lowell, Dr. James. Health Hoaxes and Hazards, various
publications in the Arizona Daily Star.
Tompkins, Peter, and Bird, Christopher. 1975. The Secret Life of
Plants, Penguin Books, London.
H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary, Holistic & Spiritual Healing,
Australian Skeptics Inc.