(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 disease.

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.


Griggs, Barbara. 1987. Green Pharmacy, Robert Hale Ltd., Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0HT
Grossman, Richard. 1986. The Other Medicines. Pan Books.
Larkin. 1983. Herbs are often more toxic than magical, FDA Consumer, October.
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.

From: Edwards, H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary, Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc.