There is little doubt that the pace of the modern world and its demands mean that incidents of stress it’s and associated illnesses are on the rise.
We hope to offer to you alternatives solutions to this modern-day malaise starting in this issue with Bach Flower remedies.
Bach Original Flower Remedies were developed by Dr Edward Bach, a Harley Street doctor and well known Physician, Bacteriologist, Homeopath and Researcher. Edward Bach was born at Moseley, near Birmingham, in 1886 and trained as a doctor in London.
For several years he worked investigating the role of bacteriology in chronic disease. As a bacteriologist and later a pathologist he worked on vaccines and a set of homoeopathic nosodes still known as the seven Bach nosodes. His researches led him to recognize that there were clear personality types that related to the various patterns of ill health, irrespective of the physical symptoms being presented by the patient. Working with vaccine therapy and later with homoeopathic principles, he moved towards the discovery of the flower remedies. These he felt could help to harmonize the emotional imbalances that he came to see as the real causes of physical illness.
He spent his life searching for the purest methods of healing. In the 1920s and 30s, he developed a system of flower remedies that he was certain could help us rediscover the positive side of ourselves. He believed, as many doctors do today, that attitude of mind plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness. Despite the success of his work with orthodox medicine he felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases and ignore the people who were suffering from them. He was inspired by his work with homeopathy but wanted to find remedies that would be purer and less reliant on the products of disease. By 1930 he was prepared to give up his successful medical practice in order to search for the plants and trees that came to be known as The Twelve Healers & Other Remedies. In 1934 he decided to settle down and create a centre for his work, and chose Mount Vernon, a small cottage in Sotwell, Oxfordshire. He spent the last years of his life at Mount Vernon, now also known as the Bach Centre, and it was here that he completed his research.
Determined to devote the rest of his life to a new system of medicine that he was sure could be found in nature. One by one he found the remedies he wanted, each aimed at a particular mental state or emotion. His life followed a seasonal pattern: the spring and summer spent looking for and preparing the remedies, the winter spent giving help and advice to all who came looking for them. He would suffer the emotional state that he needed to cure and then try various plants and flowers until he found the one single plant that could help him. In this way, through great personal suffering and sacrifice, he completed his life’s work.
“Our work is to steadfastly adhere to the simplicity and purity of this method of healing” – Dr Edward Bach
Dr Bach believed that attitude of mind plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness and wanted to find something that treated the cause rather than the symptom. As a bacteriologist he was convinced that germs could not gain a hold in the body if the ground had been prepared first and the ground was largely the mind. Therefore, if the person was balanced, optimistic and positive vital energies could flow unhindered and encourage better health. Alternatively, a pessimistic, insular and negative person could allow the mental and emotional state inhibit the energy flow. For example, stagnant areas in the body would create breeding ground for bacteria that would break down tissue and promote the development of disease.
After identifying 38 basic negative states of mind and spending several years exploring the countryside, he managed to create a plant or flower based remedy for each one. Altogether Dr Bach developed a complete system of 38 flower remedies, each prepared from the flowers of wild plants, trees and bushes which he split into seven different groups and can be combined to suit the individual. They work by treating the individual rather than the disease or its symptoms and are a gentle way to manage your emotions and rediscover the positive side of ourselves.
Each flower was found to embody the positive and harmonizing force for a negative emotional state, be it fear, resentment or despair. In order to transfer this healing force to a patient, Bach prepared essences from the flowers. This essence, diluted to some extent, could then be taken as a medicine. He found that as the negative moods changed so the person would return towards health. The healing properties of the remedies were explained by Dr Bach in terms of a philosophy of life that saw a person as much more than the outward physical body that is treated in conventional medicine. He found that when he treated the personalities and feelings of his patients their unhappiness and physical distress would be alleviated as the natural healing potential in their bodies was unblocked and allowed to work once more. Illness, he suggested, was a message from our inner being calling for a change in our way of living and our mental outlook. The primary purpose of the flower remedies is to help us to change and bring us back to a genuinely happy experience of life.
Each of the 38 Bach Original Flower Remedies is unique and helps to treat a different emotion. Most people find it reasonably easy to select their own remedies. All you need to do is find the remedy (or remedies) that seem to reflect your situation, mood or personality the best. You can mix up to seven together at a time. All the states described are everyday human emotions that we all feel from time to time. Even the most negative state has a corresponding positive quality that shows us what we can be when we are fully ourselves.
A Further Understanding
Here is a letter from New Zealand lady who prescribed for herself so well. Hopefully this will encourage you not to give up too easily on yourself! It is often said that self diagnosis is so much more difficult than prescribing for others. When deciding on remedies for others we are able to delve deeply, by questioning, without the barrier of personal prejudice, as can be the case when attempting to treat ourselves.
“In my own case, I was most interested to find that having had such success with Beech and Impatiens and Mustard, I then came face to face with the underlying feeling of guilt from which I have suffered for many years, but obviously pushed aside far enough to be no longer apparent. This bears out, what is in the books; that as you remove one problem, you can uncover others; I am most impressed. When I was hit with the guilt feelings (and that’s how it felt, that I had been hit!) I recognized it immediately and agonisingly. It is the result of years of conditioning by somebody else; ‘why aren’t you like this or that’ and ‘you should be such and such’, all of which made me feel guilty for not being what someone else wanted me to be. I thought that I had successfully overcome this feeling in myself of being unworthy, but obviously not; and it is so unnecessary. A person can only be what they are, not what another person wants them to be. So, why feel guilty? Anyway, I immediately started taking Pine, and also Holly, because I felt a certain amount of hatred for allowing myself to be more or less brainwashed into such feelings over a period of years. I am delighted to say that the effects of the Pine were almost immediate though I continued to take it for some weeks; also the Holly. And so, peace of mind and soul has been strengthened. As yet, nothing further has surfaced, and I hope there is nothing more to come, but if so, at least I now have the remedies.”
The following is an excerpt from an address given by Dr Bach in 1931;
“The actions of these remedies are to raise vibrations and to open up channels for the reception of our spiritual self; to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need and to wash out from us the fault which is causing harm. They are able, like beautiful music, or any gloriously uplifting thing which gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures, and to bring us nearer to ourselves: and by that very act to bring us peace and to relieve our sufferings. They cure, not by attacking disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our higher nature in the presence of which disease melt as snow in the sunshine”.
Dr Bach passed away peacefully on the evening of November 27th, 1936. He was only 50 years old, but he had left behind him several lifetime’s experience and effort, and a system of medicine that is now used all over the world.
We understand here at The 3rdi that in these modern times of stress that more and more people are looking to natural and homeopathic medicines to support their health routines and to supplement conventional medicine. Indeed many GP’s are now more open to the potential benefits of supplementary solutions. Here at the3rdi.co.uk we have prepared a short introductory table with several Bach Flower remedies for your consideration.
When you SUBSCRIBE to the3rdi.co.uk you will receive a full table of ailments with their respective Bach Flower treatments.
Note: For actual treatments we recommend that you visit the formal Bach Centre site or an approved distributor and consult a professional.
There are many online shops and centres that distribute Dr Bach’s solutions worldwide including the thriving Bach Centre at his former home in Oxfordshire. The following websites provide lots of useful information.