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Summaries of articles published in journals and newspapers that concern, or mention, the Bach Flower Remedies. On some occasions we link to the whole article.

We welcome additions to this list - please contact us to suggest articles that could be added to our database.

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Consumer test: calming products  

Alexander, Tania 

Daily Mail  | UK |   | 9 Dec 03  

Brief pre-Christmas newspaper article in which Impatiens is recommended for children who 'cannot wait for Santa' and are desperate to open all the Advent calendar windows at once.


Heal Thyself . . . Price 3s. 6d. Net  


The British Homoeopathic Journal  | UK | vol 21 no 2  | 01/04/1931  

When the CW Daniel Company published 'Heal Thyself' by Dr Bach in 1931 (see the original title page and complete text in the Bach Flower Research Programme electronic library), it was reviewed anonymously in The British Homoeopathic Journal. The reviewer regretted that 'Dr. Bach seems to have stepped out of the realm of pathology and therapeutics as based thereon, within which he has previously been known as an active worker and discoverer, into that of metaphysical speculation and dogmatism.' Little sympathy was shown for Dr Bach's 'explanation of real causes': namely that 'the remedy lies within ourselves'. The 155-word-long review concludes thus:

'We are sorry, therefore, that we cannot commend the theme Dr. Bach has put forward, and we are afraid a perusal of the volume by sufferers, especially those who have led an exemplary life from the spiritual point of view, could only lead to depression and disappointment.


A commentary on the Armstrong/Ernst trial  


Bach Flower Research programme  | UK |   |   

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a Bach Flower Remedy

N C Armstrong BSc Dphil
E Ernst MD PhD FRCP (Edin)

Exeter University Department of Complementary Medicine

This was a study to test the efficacy of ‘Five Flower Remedy’, also known as ‘Rescue Remedy’, for examination anxiety in healthy university students.

Participants were asked to take 1 to 4 doses of placebo or verum prior to exams. Various methods were used to measure anxiety through the 7 day trial period.

The trial report concluded that there were no specific effects in treating anxiety under these conditions.

In publishing the results the following was noted:
• Although 100 students were recruited only 45% completed the study.
• ‘On day 3 participants taking the active (verum) remedy reported significantly less anxiety on the ‘VAS’ scale than those in the placebo group.’
• ‘No other statistically significant effects were observed over the study period.’
• No explanation was given for the decision to set a 7 day period for the trial.

A clinical trial which has a group of 45 people is not reliable and yet the authors felt confident to assert that Bach flower remedies are not effective in relieving exam nerves.

The authors stated that ‘this is the most rigorous test of BFRs published so far’ while at the same time saying that ‘the present study failed in a major way’ (in that the sample was so small).

The reported reduction in anxiety on day 3 was simply overlooked or ignored on the grounds that ‘this may simply be the result of multiple comparisons’ and ‘we have no a priori expectation for this finding’.

Surely, we have to ask ourselves whether people experience a benefit from taking a flower essence on day 1, day 3, day 7.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a Bach Flower Remedy  

Armstrong, NC  and Ernst, E

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | 07/01/1900  | 2001  

Originally published in Perfusion (1999; 12: 440-446), this article describes the trial conducted at the University of Exeter in 1998 to 'investigate the efficacy of Five Flower Remedy, also known as Rescue Remedy, for examination anxiety in healthy university students.' The 100 participating students were randomized to take 1 to 4 doses of either Five Flower Remedy or placebo during day 1 to 7 of the experiment. The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was used for self-reported anxiety, together with visual analogue scales. Only 45 per cent of the volunteers completed the study. 'Reporting of anxiety . . . was not found to differ between verum and placebo . . .' The authors conclude that 'this study provides no evidence for the efficacy of Five Flower Remedies under the given experimental conditions.' This site published a commentary on this study.


Flower Essences: their use in hospitals and patient care  

Balinski, A 

The Lamp (NSW Nurses' Association)  | Australia | 51(11)  | December 1994  

The use of alternative therapies including flower essences and aromatherapy in the context of nursing care in Australian and New Zealand. We have not seen the contents of this article, and would welcome a summary or comment.


Use of Western Australian flower essences in the management of pain and stress in the hospital setting  

Balinski, AA 

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | No 4(4)  | Aug 90  

Angela and Craig Balinski use the Western Australian flower essences in their complementary therapy practice where patients are treated for stress and pain management. This programme is currently being utilized at nine of Perth's hospitals. The Western Australian flower essences and their specific application techniques are compatible within the hospital environment because they are safe, produce consistent results, and take little time to apply to the patient. And they can be used without any interference to medical procedures. The Western Australian flower essences and the techniques for their use are unique and have, over the last two years, been presented at all of the major nursing conferences in Australia. At present, across Australia there are over 16 hospitals which are currently offering these treatments to their patients.


Complementary therapies: Other therapies  

Barnes, Joanne 

The Pharmaceutical Journal  | UK | vol 261  | 28 September 1998  

The author, who is a Boots research fellow in the Department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, concludes her overview of complementary therapies in six instalments with an account of Flower Remedies/Essences together with Traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic and Anthroposophical Medicine, Reflexology and Iridology. After providing a brief account of Dr Bach and his discoveries, Joanne Barnes observes that 'athough there are many anecdotal reports of the benefits of flower remedies, there is an astounding lack of both experimental and clinical research.' At the time of writing she can refer to only two controlled trials - those by G Rühle [erroneously referred to as G Von Rühle] and Weisglas. [Both these trials are summarized in this database. See also the Research index.]


The Bowel Nosodes  

Bickley, Anthony 

The American Homeopath  | USA |   | 2003  

A comprehensive account of the bowel nosodes as developed by Edward Bach and colleagues following research into the possibility that 'the non-lactose fermenting bacilli, normally present in the bowel and considered harmless, might in accumuluation be the root of chronic disease'. The autogenous vaccines prepared from these bacilli were divided into seven major groups: Morgan (Bach), comprising the two sub-groups Morgan pure and Morgan gaertner; Proteus, Mutabile, Bacillus No. 7; Gartner; Dysentery co; Sycotic co; and Faecalis.

The author, an experienced homoeopathic practitioner, discusses the general indications for these nosodes (symptom similarity; cases where the apparently-indicated remedy fails to act - eg Gaertner where Phosphorus fails to act; cases where a group of remedies, rather than any single remedy, seem to be indicated, etc.) and then goes on to describe the principal characteristics of the five most frequently used nosodes in detail. Morgan pure is associated with many forms of congestion and skin complaint, and certain types of headache. Morgan gaertner is associated with biliousness, indigestion and irritability. The keynotes for Proteus are suddenness, fits of temper and fixed ideas. There is a particularly extended discussion of Dysentery co, associated with apprehension bordering on terror, and with individuals who cannot 'cope with any challenges or changes'. Depression (including postnatal), weariness and panic over small problems are also part of the picture. The keynote for Gaertner is malabsorption: it is used in the treatment of celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome and 'failure to thrive'. It is also an important remedy for food allergies. Malabsorption also applies to the emotions: 'these individuals find it difficult to absorb and dispel emotional trauma'. The author has also successfully used Gaertner in cases of Attention Deficit Disorder and antibiotic poisoning. The article concludes with a reference to a forthcoming book (no title) in which the author will expand further on the bowel-nosode symptom pictures.


Utilizing the mythical and folkloric power of trees in the modern hospital environment  

Biley, Francis 

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | 7  | 2001  

The UK Department of Health has commissioned a report from the National Urban Forestry Unit (NUFU) on Sustainable Urban Forestry - Benefiting Public Health. The report claims that planting trees which will be visible from hospital beds can result in many advantages for patients. This encourages the author, a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Wales College of Medicine, to propose certain species with reference to their mythical and folkloric powers. He also points out that the flowers of two of his recommended trees, Oak and Beech, are Bach Flower Remedies. Readers of this article (including, with luck, some responsible for tree-planting in hospital grounds) are informed about the Oak affirmation as it relates to strength and the Beech affirmation of tolerance and sympathy.


Blütenessenzen für die kranke Seele (Flower Essences for the ailing soul)  

Brechbühler, Monika 

Krankenpflege / Soins Infirmiers  | Switzerland | Vol 87 (11)  | November 1994  

A useful introduction to Bach and the flower remedies aimed at the nursing profession. Background and principles are explained in conjunction with three case studies.

The first concerns a 58-year-old man in hospital for a heart by-pass operation. His apparent anxiety prompts a nurse to ask what in particular is troubling him. For each of his three particular problems a flower remedy is chosen. Gentian is selected for his fear of the anaesthetic and his worry that 'he will not wake up again'. Rock Rose is selected for his feeling of panic. And White Chestnut is selected to calm the thoughts which are going round and round in his mind. Other recommended remedies are Star of Bethlehem for shock, Cherry Plum for fear of losing control, Clematis for collapse and loss of consciousness, and Impatiens for stress and tension.

The second case study is of a woman about to have her second baby. She tells the nurse how difficult her first delivery was, and how she is unsure whether she has the strength 'to rise to the occasion' of having a second child. She also worries that this baby may be deformed. Mimulus is often helpful in such cases of anxiety. Olive is selected to help the woman to feel more vital and to be confident that she will find the required strength. Honeysuckle is useful in respect of her memories of the first delivery: helping her to learn from them without being oppressed by them. Larch will help her get over the feeling that she will be incapable of going through labour. And finally Mustard can help with antenatal depression.

The third case concerns a 25-year-old heroin addict who has been thrown out of his shared flat and has lost all hope for the future, his despondency surprising the nurse who has known him for a long time as a cheerful (sometimes over-cheerful) sort of person. Gorse is selected for his sense of hopelessness. Heather is chosen to help him cope better with his feeling of isolation and to promote more awareness of the sufferings of others. Agrimony is indicated by his customary outward cheerfulness hiding inner disquiet.

Other remedies for addictive personalities are also discussed. Red Chestnut is recommended for cases where the addiction has become an essential part of the personality. Aspen is indicated when vague and unrealistic fears become oppressive. Willow is useful when the addict feels like a victim of circumstances, unable to take control of his or her life.

The article concludes with an amused look at the squabbles between traditional Bach Flower Remedy advocates and those favouring essences made from the more indigenous Swiss plants. The author reminds us that Dr Bach wanted us all to be our own therapists.


Traditional Flower Power  

Brody, Richard 

Total Health  | USA | Vol 17 Issue 3  | 1 Jun 95  

Description of dentists in the US employing (unspecified) Bach Flower Remedies as 'pre-treatment' for anxious patients. And the former New York City Commissioner of Mental Health, J Herbert Fill, often prefers flower remedies to tranquillizers as they appear to assist the individual 'in resolving deep-rooted conflict, as opposed to palliation of the symptoms'. The article essentially refers to the writings of Leslie J Kaslof (see Bibliography under Resources on this site) and also to his 'pre-grouped' remedies, such as those for 'weight management'.


Using Bach Remedies in Amazonia  

Bruno, Elizabeth 

Bach Flower Research programme  | UK |   | 2003  

Written for the Bach Flower Research Programme by the late Elizabeth Bruno in 2003. An inspiring account of a Bach Flower Remedy project in the north-west of Brazil. The Pastoral da Saúde (Pastoral Healthcare Scheme) is run in Ji-Paraná in the state of Rondônia.

Read full article


Healing relationships with nature  

Burkhardt, MA 

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | No 6(1)  | Feb 2000  

Professor Burkhardt (West Virginia University School of Nursing) encourages nurses and midwives to expand their boundaries 'to encompass the many ways that nature partners with us for healing'. Bach Flower Remedies are among the complementary therapies discussed.


Terapia con i fiori di Bach: risultati di un monitoraggio su 115 pazienti
(Therapy with Bach flower remedies: results of monitoring 115 patients)  

Campanini, ME 

Medicina Biologica  | Italy | 3 (37-43)  | 1997  

The results are presented of a study of 115 patients treated with flower remedies 'in a context of psychological counselling'. The study is statistical examination of the effectiveness of the remedies in the treatment of three categories of disorder: anxiety, including panic attacks, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders; depression, including behaviour disturbances and relational problems; and stress, including post-traumatic disorders and psycho-physical exhaustion. The sample population was made up of 45% males and 55% females, aged from 2 to 65. Selection was by lottery, but (except in the case of children) the subjects' confidence in the treatment was recorded.

All of the Bach remedies were used. Prescription was on the basis of the individual patient's psychological state, but certain remedies recurred in the treatment of each of the three categories of disorder. Thus in the treatment of anxiety, Agrimony, Aspen, Mimulus, Larch, Chestnut Bud, Rock Rose, Red Chestnut, Crab Apple and Cherry Plum predominated. In depression, it was Gentian, Mustard, Sweet Chestnut, Pine, Walnut, Honeysuckle and Gorse, while the most frequent remedies used for stress were Impatiens, Vervain, Oak, Rock Water, Olive, Star of Bethlehem, Elm, Hornbeam and White Chestnut. Similarly, certain combinations of remedies recurred (combinations of up to five were used), for example Mimulus-Larch for the treatment of anxiety and Olive-Elm-Hornbeam for stress. The remedies, and some of the recommendations for their use, were supplied by the Bach Centre in England and dosage was at the standard rate.

The data for each patient were obtained in clinical interviews designed to encourage trust. Questions were asked and the answer reported, but the therapist also recorded verbal and non-verbal signals such as voice intensity, blushing and posture. Data were recorded in the patient's clinical file, and included age, sex, disorder presented, confidence in the treatment, and remedies prescribed. Further interviews were conducted a week into treatment, then at fortnightly intervals until the end of the treatment. Success of the treatment was recorded as 'total', 'partial' or 'none', according to whether remission of symptoms was reported as complete, partial or nonexistent. The standard Chi-squared test was used for the statistical calculations.

Among the more interesting results: 79% of the subjects reported confidence in the treatment, but note that most joined the study because they had faith in Bach remedies. Confidence was greatest in 13-22 age bracket, and notably higher in female subjects (92%) than male (62%). Anxiety was the commonest of the three categories of presenting disorders, overwhelmingly so among patients under 23. Total success was recorded in a striking 67.8% of cases, and this rises to 89% 'positive' results if partial successes are included. Most interesting of all, subjects who did not have confidence in the treatment had a higher 'positive' rate (95%) than those who did (86%). Dr Campanini concludes her article by observing that the relationship of psychological to physiological factors must however remain open and worthy of further investigation.


Bach Flowers and Social Work in Brazil Bach Flowers and Social Work in Brazil Bach Flowers and Social Work in Brazil Bach Flowers and Social Work in Brazil  

Chammas, Luciana P Hadid  and Bruno, Elizabeth Kanner

Bach Flower Research programme  | UK |   | 2003  

A remarkable insight into the work performed by voluntary therapeutic helpers and trainers offering Bach Remedies to poverty-stricken communities in Brazil. This account of the social programme known as "Gotas de Flor com Amor" (Drops of Flowers with Love) was written for the Bach Flower Research Programme.

Read full article


Flowers and colour as a healing tool  

Chiazzari, S 

Positive Health  | UK | Issue 53  | June 2000  

The author of 'Flower Readings' (C W Daniels 2000) explains that 'a major part of modern flower psychometry entails finding your personal flower which can impart deeper understanding of both the problem and the remedy. The habitat and growth pattern of the flower as well as its shape, aroma and colouring contains personal information about you and holds the exact pattern of energy you need.' Suzy Chiazzari describes how Edward Bach 'developed the idea that we will naturally become attracted to a flower which mirrors a discordant state of mind' and then discusses how some modern practitioners have further developed such ideas. This leads to an account of 'flower psychometry readings' and the practice of creating an essence from the particular flower to which one has been attracted. 'Ideally flower essences can be made directly from your chosen flower, but you can also select appropriate flower remedies from a manufactured range. It is very helpful when selecting flower essences from the thousands of remedies available to use colour as your guide.' Essences can also be made directly from specific colours 'by placing a specially designed colour filter over a bowl of pure water'.


A Psychological and Metaphysical Study of Dr. Edward Bach's Flower Essence Stress Formula  

Cram, Jeffrey R 

Bach Flower Research programme  | UK |   | Jan 2004  

A traditional psychophysiological stress profiling research paradigm is applied to the study of a flower essence combination (Five-Flower Formula) on the 'stress response'. A double blind, placebo control group out come study is conducted, in which 24 subjects are administered either a placebo or the flower essence combination prior to engaging in a Paced Serial Arithmetic Task (PSAT). The impact of the PSAT test on the two groups is assessed using a traditional surface electromyograph, with the electrodes being placed at 6 sites. Two of these sites (frontal and cervical) reflect traditional monitoring sites, but all 6 sites were selected to reflect placement over the Chakras. In addition, the ANS is monitored by measurement of peripheral hand temperature and skin conductance (GSR) activity. The results of the study indicate that the flower essence group showed a significantly smaller stress response at the cervical (Throat Chakra) site, as well as the T6 paraspinal (Heart Chakra) site. The emotional/psychophysiological and metaphysical interpretation of the findings are given.

Read full article


Flower essences reduce stress reaction to intense environmental stimulus  

Cram, Jeffrey R 

Bach Flower Research programme  | UK | 41  | Jan 2004  

This study explored the effects of two flower essence formulas on the reactions of subjects to intense environmental stimulation by fluorescent lights and their accompanying electromagnetic fields (EMF). The study employed Yarrow Special Formula and Five-Flower Formula™ (a trade name of the emergency formula of Dr. Edward Bach, also sold under the brand name Rescue Remedy®). The effects of these preparations were compared to a placebo preparation in a carefully controlled group design study which utilized 24 subjects (N=8 per cell). Physiological monitoring of a 19 channel qEEG and the activity of six sEMG sites were used to assess the possible attenuation effects of the flower essence on the intense environmental stimulation.

Read full article


Imagework as a means for healing and personal transformation  

Elliott, Hermione 

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | 9  | 2003  

The author begins with a quotation from Edward Bach: 'Health depends upon being in harmony with our souls . . . All we have to do is to preserve our personality, to live our own life, to be captain of our own ship, and all will be well.' Imagework is presented as a way in which therapists can 'facilitate those patients who have an inkling that there is more to their illness than they have been led to believe'. It is described as 'a pathway to a powerful symbolic language that gives voice to the body, the mind and the soul' and is distinguished from visualisation which relies on the patient's 'capacity to "see" the scenes or pictures that are suggested by a facilitator, or are desired by the patient'. Imagework goes further by helping the patient to 'experience the images fully, staying with them (auditory, sensory, visual etc.) as they unfold, rather than focusing on the visual seeing aspect . . . the images arise spontaneously . . . often metaphorical or symbolic'. Four cases are discussed in detail, the last of them concerning a 10-year-old boy ('children are especially receptive to imagework'). All four cases indicate that the patients, who had not been 'at home in themselves', benefited greatly from insights gained from imagework.


A contemporary view of alternative healing modalities  

Engebretson, J  and Wardell, D

Nurse Practitioner: American Journal of Primary Health Care  | USA | Volume 18(9)  | Sept 93  

Bach flower remedies, vibrational medicine and many other 'healing modalities' are classified according to preparations and methods. Potential risks and benefits are briefly described.


Flower remedies: A systematic review of the clinical evidence  

Ernst, Edzard 

Wiener Klinischer Wochenschrift  | Austria | 114/23-24  | 2002  

In English with a German summary. Professor Ernst (Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, UK) surveys the key clinical trials of Bach Flower Remedies. He starts with the interesting assertion that Dr Bach was influenced by Carl Jung. [As far as the editor of this website knows, there is no evidence for this. Any visitor to this site who does have evidence is earnestly invited to contact the editor.] Bach is then described as a microbiologist. [As opposed to bacteriologist.] Ernst continues with brief accounts of the trials, concluding that 'there is no convincing evidence to suggest that flower remedies are associated with clinical effects that differ from those of placebo'. The principal reasons for this conclusion are that several trials had no placebo control group, and that his own trial had concluded thus.


E. Ernst's Rejoinder to P. Mittman and D. Ullman on the Bach Flower Remedy Study  

Ernst, Edzard 

Complementary Health Practice Review  | USA | Vol 6 No 3  | Summer 2001  

Dr Ernst's response to the critiques of his trial by Mittman and Ullman. Both the original trial and the critiques are summarized on this database. Dr Ernst accepts that the number of participants was too low and points out that 'We also state that the dropout rate critically limits the conclusion of this study'. He disagrees with Dana Ullman's criticism that the trial was based upon a flawed premise because Dr Bach never advocated his remedy for exam stress — 'The fact is, however, that it is promoted and used for this purpose'. The rejoinder concludes with an assurance that it is not correct that 'we are doing research in such a way to generate negative results'. In his final paragraph Dr Ernst attempts to score a point against Ullman by teasing him about the way Ullman has repeated an Ernst error, namely that Dr Bach was a Welsh physician. Dr Ernst corrects the error with a quite meaningless explanation: 'he was in fact British, not Welsh'.


Use of flower essences as possible resistance-enhancing agents vs infectious conditions  

Farr, Richard 

Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients  | USA |   | Jun 02  

A letter from a lecturer in Homeotherapeutics at the American University of Complementary Medicine (Los Angeles) discusses the flower essences (both Bach and non-Bach) that may help to promote resistance to infections. ('Many advocates of vibrational medicine (including myself) believe that flower essences can be successfully used to alleviate negative psychological patterns; many of us believe that these negative psychological patterns can inhibit optimal neuroendocrine and immune responses to all types of stressors, including microbic challenges. Many of us believe that by alleviating negative psychological patterns with specifically indicated remedies, an individual's response (resistance) to stresses (including infectious organisms) will be enhanced.') A distinction is made between 'pre-exposure protocol' and 'actual exposure protocol'.


Aquarius Flower Oils  

France, Simon 

Positive Health  | UK |   | 01/11/2001  

Simon France describes the preparation of flower oils, which are 'solarized' like flower remedies and not 'infused' like the essential oils used in aromatherapy. 'Infusing plant material in oil over a long period of time draws some of the chemical constituents, while solarizing flowers in oil transfers the vibrational impulse of the flower into the oil.' Thus 'flower oils span the gap betwen flower remedies and essential oils, giving all those who attune to oils for well-being the opportunity to add the gentle and safe energies that emanate from the flowers to their healing cabinet.'


Pain management in HIV disease - nonpharmacologic approaches  

Galantino, ML 

Rehabilitation Oncology  | USA | No 15(1)  | 1997  

We have not seen the contents of this article, and would welcome a summary or comment. We understand that it contains references to Bach Flower Remedies.


Die Bach-Blütentherapie: Eine neue Sicht von Gesundheit und Krankheit - 1. Teil
(Bach Flower Therapy: A new understanding of health and illness - Part 1)  

Gfeller, Hans 

Natur und Heilen  | Germany | No (87) 1  | Undated  

This article (part 1) begins with a serious analysis of the difference between traditional medicine, with its mechanistic philosophy and manipulative procedures, and the more holistic approach of unconventional healing methods. Bach flower remedies are thus related to homoeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology and spiritual healing, amongst others. Bach’s view of illness as a ‘corrective’, evidence of an imbalance in the human individual, is highlighted. Common to most holistic approaches is the belief that human beings consist both of a physical and of a spiritual component, a visible and an invisible dimension. The spiritual side may well defy our rational understanding, and its effectiveness cannot be analysed in quantitative terms; all the same, those therapies that treat it as a reality (of which Bach’s discoveries are a shining example) have produced impressive results.


Die Bach-Blütentherapie: Eine neue Sicht von Gesundheit und Krankheit - 2. Teil
(Bach Flower Therapy: A new understanding of health and illness - Part 2)  

Gfeller, Hans 

Natur und Heilen  | Germany | No (87) 2  | Undated  

Beginning with a quotation from Paracelsus – ‘That man is no doctor who is unacquainted with the Invisible – which has no name and no matter, and yet produces real effects’ – the author goes on (in part 2) to look at the application of Bach flower remedies in more detail. Two examples are taken by way of illustration – chronic high blood pressure, and digestive problems, for which the Bach remedies suggested are Impatiens, Vervain and Vine (for the first), and Chicory, Impatiens, Elm and Rock Water (for the second). Traditional medicine can here eliminate the symptoms, but only at the cost of side-effects and without coming to grips with the problem itself. The author shows how Bach therapy throws light on the psychic states that may give rise to high blood pressure or poor digestion, and then aligns them with the qualities of plant substances which may be used to treat them. If, like some other approaches, Bach therapy assumes a ‘constitution’ in the patient, this is not a fixed condition to which the patient is condemned: rather, the way in which we come to terms with the constitution we have inherited, relating it to the Bachian pairs of opposites and steering our course between them, is what determines our freedom.


Die Bach-Blütentherapie: Eine neue Sicht von Gesundheit und Krankheit - 3. Teil
(Bach Flower Therapy: A new understanding of health and illness - Part 3)  

Gfeller, Hans 

Natur und Heilen  | Germany | No (87) 3  | Undated  

The article (part 3) begins by emphasising that it is not just a question of taking a Bach flower remedy to be cured of a given condition; rather, the existence of the condition is evidence of the fact that we are not living in keeping with our destiny or fulfilling our full potential. A Bach treatment thus involves the whole of an individual’s life, and can only be approached with full personal commitment. Various typical malaises of our society are discussed, and related to the corresponding remedy: the compulsive cheerfulness which turns a blind eye to suffering and does not want to know about problems (Agrimony); depression resulting from traumatic experiences of shock (Star of Bethlehem); sadness (Mustard); lack of self-confidence (Larch); nostalgia (Honeysuckle); wishful thinking (Clematis); the victim mentality (Willow); aggressive dominance (Vine); a compulsive addiction to struggle (Oak); and fanaticism (Vervain). Of course each individual instances a highly complex combination of psychological traits, which can only be understood with great intuition and sensitivity. Self-therapy is possible, but a friend or qualified Bach practitioner may be of service; Mechthild Scheffer’s book ‘Mastering Bach Flower Remedies’ is recommended as an aid to diagnosis.


Die Bach-Blütentherapie: Eine neue Sicht von Gesundheit und Krankheit - 4. Teil
(Bach Flower Therapy: A new understanding of health and illness - Part 4)  

Gfeller, Hans 

Natur und Heilen  | Germany | No (87) 4  | Undated  

The author continues (in part 4) his discussion of social problems, and ways in which Bach therapy can help. First of all, the problem of addiction (alcoholism, smoking, drugs, tranquillisers): here the psychic states leading to addiction must be considered, and we find typically lack of self-confidence (Larch), self-reproach (Pine) and the victim mentality (Willow). Stress is another universal problem: again here the important thing is to get at the psychic causes, and we may find here lack of boundaries (Centaury), or equally aggressive dominance (Vine), fanaticism (Vervain), a compulsive addiction to struggle (Oak), impatience (Impatiens) and perhaps an element of despair (Sweet Chestnut). Fear is likewise universal, and especially problematic in our society, where it is not supposed even to exist – helpful remedies here are Mimulus, Aspen and Rock Rose. The author concludes by suggesting that if we can heal our various disorders – perhaps by way of an inner revolution (Cherry Plum), perhaps only by passing through deep despair (Sweet Chestnut) – the quality that finally emerges will be that represented by Holly: a universal and all-embracing love, that has no fears or negative feelings because it welcomes all that meets it.


Reiki and Bach Flower Remedies  

Hall, Mari 

Reiki News Magazine  | USA |   | Fall 2003  

The author, a trained Reiki therapist and teacher, explains how Reiki and Bach Flower therapy 'go hand in hand'. Ideally, Reiki clients should be treated for an hour each day for four to five consecutive days, in order to access the emotional condition that underlies the 'physiological disharmony'. This is frequently impracticable, and in such cases the use of Flower Remedies can make the therapeutic results of the Reiki treatment 'faster and [more] long lasting'. Examples are given of treatments where a combination of Bach Flower Remedies was prescribed (4 drops 4 times a day) after the initial consultation, in tandem with a Reiki treatment every week for a month. In one case a woman suffering from exhaustion, restlessness and resentment was given Olive, White Chestnut, Walnut, Willow, Sweet Chestnut and Water Violet. In another case, a young man whose worry and guilt about his parents' disintegrating relationship was making him over-strict with both himself and his fellow students, the combination of Red Chestnut, Pine, Elm, Rock Water and Beech greatly assisted the Reiki therapy he received.


Flower Remedies Can Help People Blossom After Suffering Bereavement  

Hannon, Theresa 

The Sentinel (Stoke)  | UK |   | 13 Jan 04  

A practitioner introduces the Flower Remedies and recommends Star of Bethlehem for those suffering a bereavement, combined with Mimulus 'for social confidence'.


High Tide Prayer  

Hieronimus, Zohara 

LILIPOH (Life Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness)  | USA |   | Autumn 02  

An exhortation to 'High Tide Prayer': meditating on the holiness of water at the time of 'earth's fullest exhalation'. The author discusses water as an amplifier: 'flower remedies or homeopathic remedies leave their etheric signature in water. It is believed further by some that water amplifies substance to a higher state of symmetry. When thoughts of devotion are put into water, the water is fundamentally changed as in "holy water"'.


Bach Flower Remedies: a personal commentary on the work of Dr Edward Bach  

Howard, Judy 

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | No 4(5)  | Oct 98  

Our information is limited to an abstract of this article, which describes how the author discusses the different 'types' encountered by nurses in hospital wards. Many patients need emotional support in the hospital environment, and flower remedies are presumably recommended according to the 'type' of patient — whether moaning, depressive, jovial or nervous. We will welcome further information about this article.


Temper tantrums and flower remedies  

Hyland, Michael 

University of Plymouth press release  | UK |   | July 2007  

A press release from the University of Plymouth summarizes the results of research led by Michael Hyland, Professor of Health Psychology. Under the heading ‘Flower Power Proves A Blooming Good Remedy For Temper Tantrums’, the press release reports that ‘Flower essence remedies have a significant effect on reducing temper tantrums among children. Researchers found that 73 per cent of parents of children with moderate to severe temper tantrums experienced some benefit after giving them the Bach Flower essence remedy. Parents reported 42 per cent fewer tantrums and the study also found that when a child did have a tantrum, use of the remedy resulted in a reduction in other symptoms commonly associated with such an episode. There was 30 per cent less screaming, 24 per cent less whining, 35 per cent less kicking and hitting, 21 per cent less crying and breath-holding fell by 14 per cent.’

The release describes how ‘Professor Hyland and postgraduate research student Ben Whalley have been monitoring 38 children aged between two and five. The children have been taking a remedy in tiny pill form consisting of the essence of alder, magnolia, sweet chestnut and orange light, a new formulation specifically designed for youngsters with tantrums. The tablets are taken twice each day and also throughout the day, as and when parents feel it is required.’

According to Professor Hyland, ‘the response to flower essences seems to be due to several mechanisms that are working in parallel. It isn’t only a placebo in the sense of an effect due to expectancy, though expectancy is involved. It also seems to be the case that if flower essences “feel right”, they are more likely to produce benefit.’

To sign up for the trial, visit http://www.holistichealthresearch.org.uk and follow the links.

For further information contact Professor Michael Hyland (01752 233144/233157) or Anthony Abbott in the University of Plymouth Press Office on (01752) 233981/email: anthony.abbott@plymouth.ac.uk


Remedies for exam stress  

Ives, Frances 

The Express  | UK |   | 12 May 03  

A variety of essential oils, plus homoeopathic, herbal and flower remedies, are recommended for those suffering stress or anxiety before exams. The principal Bach Flower Remedies are Rescue Remedy together with Larch and Gentian for improving confidence.


Tricks of the Trade  

Jackson, Tracee 

Midwifery Today  | USA |   | Summer 02  

A midwife describes how she uses 'two droppersful' of Rescue Remedy with 'about a tablespoon' of jojoba oil to massage the shoulders, hands and feet of mothers who are 'nervous or terrified'.


Flower Essences  

Kapke, Barry 

Massage and Bodywork  | USA |   | February/March 2003  

The article starts with a thorough account of Edward Bach's work and the principle of sympathetic resonance in healing. Other flower remedy systems are then introduced. These include: Californian and other North American flowers developed by the Flower Essence Society; remedies from the Australian bush, African and Amazonian rain forests; flower emedies from Findhorn in Scotland and from old growth forests in Europe and North America.

Advice is then given about selecting the apropriate remedy, stressing the need to 'clarify your intentions. Flower essences do not require belief in order to work; they can be seen to have demonstrative effect with children, animals and even plants. However, flower essences work to bring about changes in feeling and consciousness, so starting from a place of clarity is always a wise beginning. What is it you want to address? What kind of help are you seeking? What is your desired result?'


The early work of Dr Edward Bach  

Leary, Dr Bernard 

Homeopathy (formerly the British Homeopathic Journal)  | UK | No 88 (1)  | Jan 99  

Dr Leary discusses the work of Edward Bach prior to his discovery of the Flower Remedies. He describes Bach's interest in intestinal toxaemia, then a 'fashionable diagnosis', and investigates how Bach and CE Wheeler demonstrated non-lactose-fermenting bacteria in patients' stools and then developed a vaccine from them. The results of their vaccine research, published in 'Chronic Disease, A Working Hypothesis', are questioned. 'It is noticeable that when a placebo was given, Bach stated that it had no effect at all. This conflicts with the modern view that placebo can cause an improvement in up to 40% of patients.' Dr Leary regrets that it is not possible to repeat the experiments and test them further — because of the presence of antibiotics. The non-lactose-fermenting bacteria were later used as the basis of some of the bowel nosodes.


Which complementary and alternative therapies benefit which conditions? A survey of the opinions of 223 professional organizations  

Long, L  and Huntley, A

Complementary Therapies in Medicine  | UK | No 9(3)  | Sept 01  

Report on a wide-ranging survey of 'which complementary therapies are believed by their respective representing professional organizations to be suited for which medical conditions'. Of 223 questionnaires sent out, 66 were completed and returned. Two or more responses were received from CAM (complementary/alternative medicine) organizations representing twelve therapies — and 'Bach Flower Remedies' was among these twelve. The top seven conditions deemed to benefit by all twelve therapies, in order of frequency, were: stress/anxiety, headaches/migraine, back pain, respiratory problems (inc. asthma), insomnia, cardiovascular problems and musculoskeletal problems. Stress/anxiety was one condition particularly associated with Bach Flower therapy.


Scientific Research in Homoeopathy  

Longden, Bryony 

Complementary Medicine Association  | UK |   | June 2008  

Summary of proceedings of the Scrientific Research in Homoeopathy Conference: 8 /6/2008; University of Westminster

Read full article


Rescue Remedy for Tics?  

M, Mark 

Latitudes Magazine  | USA | Volume 6, Issue 1  | Undated  

A father writes in to say how Rescue Remedy helps his 11-year old son who suffers from Tourette Syndrome. 'It has consistently had the ability of stopping [his] motor tics within seconds of taking it. . . . I have noted that it is only during the most severe tics that the remedy takes minutes to be effective.' Mood-changes normally precede a tic, and taking Rescue Remedy at this first stage often prevents the onset of tics.


Die Blüten-Therapie nach Dr. Bach - Praktische Hinweise für den niedergelassenen Arzt (Bach Flower Therapy - Practical advice for the doctor in private practice)  

Machens, R 

Natura Med  | Germany |   | 6: 10/1991  

The author, himself a practising GP, explains how he has found Bach flower remedies to be useful and effective. Doctors, he suggests, may easily suffer from intolerance, irritation and anxiety in the stress of their professional lives, and can therefore benefit from taking Holly, Beech and Mimulus. Practical advice is given on how to prescribe the remedies, which in Germany are only available on prescription. Bach remedies can be useful as a means of improving doctor-patient relations and overcoming the patient’s resistance to treatment (Holly, Wild Oat); Agrimony has helped cancer sufferers, and Mimulus young children to overcome their fear of giving blood; over-zealous family members in a caring role can benefit from Red Chestnut, and Star of Bethlehem is recommended in cases of trauma or accident. Extremely sensitive or psychologically disturbed patients may suffer adverse reactions. The author concludes by urging that Bach remedies should be freely available rather than subject to prescription, in keeping with Dr Bach’s original intentions.


Contact points... barriers to communication can be reduced by use of complementary therapies  

Mantle, Fiona 

Nursing Times  | UK | No 92(18)  | May 96  

We have only seen a brief abstract of this article which implies that Bach Flower Remedies are among the complementary therapies recommended by the author for reducing barriers to communication and improving mental well-being in the nurse/patient environment. Further details welcomed.


Moving experiences... complementary therapies... improving patients' mobility  

Mantle, Fiona 

Nursing Times  | UK | No 92(14)  | 3 Apr 96  

Fiona Mantle discusses how complementary therapies can help patients and clients who have problems with mobility caused by physical or psychological conditions.


Bach Flower Remedies . . .  

Mantle, Fiona 

Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery  | UK | No 3 (5)  | Oct 07  

The Bach Flower Remedies introduced and explained, with particular reference to their role in nursing care.


A taste of health . . .  

Mantle, Fiona 

Nursing Times  | UK | No 92(27)  | July 96  

The author discusses eating and drinking issues with reference to complementary therapies including Bach Flower Remedies


Altered states  

Mantle, Fiona 

Nursing Times  | UK | No 92 (40)  | Oct 96  

In the last of her series, Fiona Mantle considers the altered body images that women may experience, and discusses childhood, self-confidence, sexuality etc. with reference to Bach Flower Remedies and other complementary therapies.


More than skin deep . . .  

Mantle, Fiona 

Nursing Times  | UK | No 92(36)  | 04 Sept 96  

A survey of complementary therapy for skin problems such as acne and eczema. Bach flower remedies mentioned (no details available).


Bach flower remedies and homoeopathy: a dynamic duo  

Mariani, Gael  and Scott, Martin J

Bach Flower Research programme  | UK |   | 1 Jan 03  

The two very experienced authors demonstrate how the Bach flower remedies are a vitally important form of therapy, playing several key roles within both homoeopathic and conventional medicine. Properly used, they are a powerful tool that can be used by any homoeopath or other physician wishing to enhance and extend his or her existing modalities; in the hands of the psychotherapist they offer a highly effective means of helping to unlock the psyche and release tensions without the use of drug therapy; and in the hands of the ordinary user they offer an unparalleled means of helping oneself deal with the everyday strains of life.

Read full article


Ellen and Jack  

Mariani, Gael  and Scott, Martin J

Bach Flower Research programme  | UK |   | 1 Jan 03  

A very well-presented case study concerning the treatment of a stroke victim and her carer. A detailed explanation is given of the ways in which their physical and emotional conditions were treated with homoeopathic and Bach flower remedies respectively.

Read full article


Bach flower therapy in the treatment of chronic major depressive disorder  

Masi, Mark P 

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine  | USA | 9  | Nov/Dec 2003  

Bach flower remedies are a unique form of energy medicine that has become increasingly popular among alternative healthcare professionals; they are classified as homeopathic remedies in the United States and are part of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). Discovered by the English physician Edward Bach during the 1930s, the 38 flower tinctures are believed to heal emotional imbalances such as despondency, despair, and fear. Having been challenged by those patients whose chronic depressive symptoms were refractory to psychotherapy and/or medications, I began integrating Bach flower therapy into my psychotherapy practice about 3 years ago and have witnessed remarkable results. This article describes how the flower remedies were used within the context of psychotherapy to successfully treat 2 patients presenting with chronic major depressive disorder.

Read full article


Oral Flower Essences for ADHD  

Mehta, Satwant 

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  | USA | Volume 41, 8  | Aug 02  

Report by Satwant Kaur Mehta BS on a pilot study at Penn State Hershey Medical Centre on the use of Rescue Remedy, Vervain, Crab Apple and Walnut in children with a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). "At the end of the follow-up period, three of the five children in the placebo group had moved to inpatient hospitalization. In contrast, in the flower essence group, three of the five children were functioning well and off all medication. The remaining four children in the study (two in the placebo group and two in the flower essence group) were at intermediate levels of functioning, taking medication as outpatients."

In his commentary on this study, Dr Joseph Horrigan (Developmental Neuropharmacology Clinic at the University of North carolina at Chapel Hill) questions the "standardization and actual content of flower essences", the "limited sample size" and other aspects of the methodology.

SK Mehta considers the results "compelling", but adds that there is a need for further controlled studies. He hopes that the psychiatric community can obtain similar results in "the areas of depression ( Crab Apple, Elm, Gentian, Gorse, Larch, Mustard, Oak, Pine, Olive, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut, Willow), anxiety and phobias (Aspen, Cherry Plum, Mimulus, Red Chestnut, Rock Rose), chronic fatigue syndrome (Chestnut Bud, Clematis, Honeysuckle, Hornbeam, Mustard, Olive, White Chestnut, Wild Rose), eating disorders and weight reduction (a variety of essences including Crab Apple)."


Ask Emma  

Mitchell, Emma 

The Guardian  | UK |   | 12 April 03  

Emma Mitchell, a natural health therapist, recommends Star of Bethlehem for those suffering a bereavement.


A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Bach Flower Remedy: A Review  

Mittman, Paul 

Complementary Health Practice Review  | USA | Vol 6 No 1  | Fall 2000  

A brief review of the Armstrong and Ernst trial by the President of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempa, Arizona. Severely limited by the fact that the reviewer has only seen a one-paragraph summary of the trial, this article nevertheless makes the pertinent points that all the participants in the trial were considered 'healthy' ('and therefore did not necessarily have sufficient exam anxiety to notice differences in pre- and post-therapy measurements') and that too few participants finished the trial to make it reliable. The author concludes that 'the study should be repeated with larger experimental and control groups comprised of individuals who satisfy the inclusion criteria for significant exam anxiety'. See the critique of this same trial by Dana Ullman for a more detailed discussion, and also the Commentary in the research index.


Le qualità dei fiori di Bach nelle affermazioni positive
(The qualities of the Bach flowers in positive affirmations)  

Paolelli, E 

Medicina Biologica  | Italy | 2 (38-39)  | 1995  

Much has been written about the negative states of mind for which the remedies compensate, much less about the mechanism by which they work their effect. The flowers correspond to archetypes, to spiritual qualities present in all of us, and they are able, through the precise vibrational frequency which they express, to awaken in us the corresponding latent qualities. These qualities can then act as a counterbalance, harmonising our faults or negative states of mind. They therefore work on the area of the psyche defined by Roberto Assagioli (the founder of Psychosynthesis) as the ‘plastic’ unconscious, not yet ‘conditioned’ or ‘structured’ by analytical memory.

Bach’s greatness lies in the harmonising complementary therapy which he has given us, where each individual remedy acts on this still-impressionable part of the mind by evoking an energy-frequency opposite to what we are experiencing at the moment of prescription. Because the remedies speak to the unconscious, their action can be reinforced by a positive verbal affirmation, bringing onto the rational, intellectual plane, the qualities which the flower evokes. ‘Sow a thought, and you reap an action.’ In order for the mental seed to germinate, the idea needs to be clothed with the corresponding emotion, and this will produce the act or event. A positive mental image tends to produce a corresponding physical and emotional condition (Assagioli, 1st and 3rd laws of psychodynamics).

The author proposes forty evocative sentences or positive affirmations, one for each of the flower remedies and two for Rescue Remedy, which he has found of great use as an accompaniment to taking the remedies. The affirmations, to be effective, must be expressed clearly, precisely and vigorously, but also calmly, without aggression. They can be pronounced inwardly, but are more effective if spoken out loud, and ideally they should be inscribed in appropriate calligraphy. They can be repeated each time the remedy is taken, or every time we need to recall our conscious choice to change, but the repetition must not become a routine. They can be accompanied by the visualisation of an evocative image if this is helpful, and can be adapted for accessibility provided the concept is not distorted. Impatience in expecting results is to be avoided: over time and in conjunction with the remedies, the affirmations can lead to a ‘crisis of consciousness’ which is essential for true healing and transformation. We need to confront the contradiction between the positive potential evoked by the sentences, and the present situation, confident in the future transformation.

List of the positive affirmations formulated by Dr Paolelli


I recognise, accept and assimilate my internal conflicts.


I have within me the faith and the awareness that love and goodness dwell behind all things.


I combine my capacity for judgement with a sense of tolerance.


I fortify myself in will and determination and build my individuality.


I have faith in my sense of judgement and my inner direction.

Cherry Plum

I resist all provocation and suffering with equilibrium.

Chestnut Bud

I observe and learn from life with depth of understanding.


I give my love unselfishly.


I am fully present to myself.

Crab Apple

I purify myself in body and mind.


I have the strength to complete my task with equilibrium.


I cherish my faith in life, and advance overcoming all obstacles.


I rediscover hope and the will to react and to struggle.


I know how to listen and to identify with others.


I open my heart to love and compassion.


I comprehend my past, I detach myself from it and I live fully in my present.


I face my days with new vitality and renewed interest.


I calm my tensions and grow in patience and in understanding.


I have faith in my capacities and I enact them.


I find the courage to live every experience.


I disperse the clouds of sadness and recover my serenity.


The flexibility within me balances the strength and sense of responsibility.


In peace I rise to the life of the body and of the spirit.


I accept my mistakes as the instrument of evolution and I forgive myself.

Red Chestnut

I liberate others from my fears, discovering faith and optimism in myself.

Rock Rose

I confront every emergency with courage.

Rock Water

I transform my dogmatism into flexibility.


At this crossroads, I have the clarity to make my choice.

Star of Bethlehem

I dissolve every barrier to my energy and I recompose myself.

Sweet Chestnut

From the bottom of the abyss I find the light.


I live my own ideas with moderation.


I put my power at the service of others.


I liberate myself from influences which limit me, and advance without uncertainty along the route.

Water Violet

I learn to share with humility and wisdom.

White Chestnut

In silence and tranquillity I recompose my thoughts.

Wild Oat

I identify my own path for fulfilling my destiny.

Wild Rose

I rediscover enthusiasm for life.


I abandon rancour and bitterness, assuming responsibility for my actions.

Rescue Remedy

1) I control my fear and recover my equilibrium. I can face any eventuality (emergencies).

2) I hold fast in every process of recovery and transformation (support).


Correlazioni tra i fiori di Bach (Correlations between the Bach flowers)  

Paolelli, E 

Medicina Biologica  | Italy | 4 (33-35)  | 1996  

(Dr Paolelli is Teaching Director of the Italian section of the Bach Foundation, and this article is drawn from the advanced training classes organised by the Foundation.)

Differences between similar remedies

A list of pairs of remedies which are commonly confused<

Cerato / Scleranthus
Both remedies are indicated where there is doubt or uncertainty. The Scleranthus type cannot decide what to do, to buy or to wear. The Cerato type can decide, but once the decision has been taken, the doubts begin.

Scleranthus / Wild Oat
Another case of two remedies indicated in cases of unsureness and indecision. While Scleranthus is suitable for indecision about doing something, Wild Oat is indicated for indecision about which direction to take. Wild Oat is necessary when the person feels he has arrived at a crossroads, or feels unsatisfied and does not know what road to take; whereas the ‘tremor’ of Scleranthus is in general a trait which appears whenever any choice has to be made.

Elm / Larch
These remedies have to do with a lack of confidence. The Elm type is generally capable, and is often in a position of responsibility, but loses his confidence in front of a problem of unaccustomed magnitude. The Larch type however does not have the confidence to begin, and thus loses many opportunities.

Larch / Cerato
There is a measure of insecurity in both these remedies. Both lack confidence: Larch is unsure of his own abilities (and so he does not try); Cerato has this confidence, but is unsure whether what he is planning is really what he wants.

Olive / Hornbeam

Both are remedies for tiredness: Olive is the remedy for overwork, mental or physical (eg over-dedication to study). Hornbeam is a sense of exhaustion at the very thought of work.

Pine / Crab Apple
Both are remedies for self-condemnation, but there is a subtle difference: the Crab Apple type condemns himself because he does not like the way he looks or feels: he is not at ease with himself. The Pine person is less concerned with himself, and feels guilty for having done something wrong or hurt someone in some way.

Gentian / Gorse
Both remedies are for negative vision, doubt and depression: the difference is in the intensity of this sensation. Gentian is for disappointment, the depression we feel when something has gone badly, say a job interview. The Gorse type, however, in this situation would abandon hope, would feel he could never bear another interview. Gorse is for rediscovering lost hope.

Gorse / Sweet Chestnut
The Gorse type, having tried and failed, would give up, would look at the future pessimistically and not think of trying again. The Sweet Chestnut type, on the other hand, has tried several times, but feels he has reached the end of the road, cannot decide what direction to take, cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Gorse person has tried once and given up; the Sweet Chestnut person has explored every avenue and now feels lost in a labyrinth. In the event of illness, the Gorse person will listen to the diagnosis and surrender, the Sweet Chestnut type has attempted a response but feels helpless and does not know which way to turn.

Agrimony / Water Violet
In both cases there is a reluctance to show one’s true feelings, But Water Violet behaves like this from a sense of pride, and for this reason neither interferes with others nor wishes his personal affairs to be discussed in public. Agrimony, on the other hand, pretends that everything is fine, makes little of his own difficulties and makes a joke of them: ‘Look, I’m smiling, I’m happy’.

Remedies which are often used together,
or complement each other

Vervain / Impatiens
The Vervain type is enthusiastic, always busy, always on the crest of a wave. The Impatiens person is swift to act, and likes everything to be done quickly. He has an impatient mentality. The enthusiasm of Vervain can also create impatience and a resulting frustration. The types for both these remedies find it difficult to be calm and to relax. For this reason the two remedies are often used together.

Impatiens / Beech
There are resemblances between these two remedies, but also subtle differences. The Impatiens type, with his swift mind, tends to become irritated by slowness. Beech is irritated by others, but more because of intolerance than impatience. Impatiens is angered by slowness, Beech by what he sees as stupidity.

Mimulus / Larch
The Mimulus person is nervous and timid, frightened of things and situations, and reserved with people. Larch is the remedy for those who lack confidence. Here also there is a lack of courage, but for a different reason. However, very often both traits appear in the same person. Fear and lack of confidence overlap, and thus the two remedies are often indicated together.

Centaury / Agrimony
Neither type of person welcomes arguments, both seek to avoid upsets, and want peace at any price. The Centaury type finds it difficult to say no, and will sometimes go along with something rather than cause conflict, rather than stick up for himself. He denies the existence of problems. Agrimony dissimulates, makes light of situations and also of his own problems. He is generous and always trying to please. In these cases, it can be useful to associate the two remedies.

Rock Water / Crab Apple
The Rock Water type demands much of himself. He is always unsatisfied with his achievements and feels that he could do better. This can lead to self-hatred, self condemnation and self-contempt, which are also traits associated with Crab Apple.

On meeting a person for the first time, first impressions may suggest a particular group of remedies, for example those which describe an open and extrovert nature, or those which go with a more reserved and placid temperament. The remedies can usefully be classified into categories, which can form a starting-point for exploration, enabling us to focus on groups of remedies which are likely to be effective, setting aside those which are not appropriate to the case:

‘Strong’ remedies:
Vervain, Beech, Impatiens, Vine

‘Delicate’ remedies
Centaury, Mimulus, Larch, Water Violet, Pine

‘Loquacity’ remedies
Agrimony, Heather, Vervain, Impatiens<

‘Calm, reserve’ remedies
Clematis, Mimulus, Centaury, Water Violet

‘Confidence’ remedies
Vervain, Rock Water, Vine, Beech, Oak

‘Insecurity’ remedies
Cerato, Scleranthus, Wild Oat, Elm

Some remedies seem to describe traits which are almost the opposite of each other: for example, Vine is for a person dominated by a strong will, Centaury for a more gentle person with a weaker will; Aspen for unknown fears, Mimulus for known fears; Agrimony for someone who hides his worries, Heather for someone who will not stop talking about them.

Contrary to what might be expected, it is sometimes appropriate to prescribe a pair of opposites together. In this event, they do not cancel each other out. If both were necessary, they will work together, but if one was not necessary, it will remain passive and not interfere with the other.


La medicina di Bach: una medicina della coscienza (The medicine of Bach: a medicine of consciousness)  

Pastorino, M L 

Medicina Biologica  | Italy | 3 (49-53)  | 1997  

(Dr Pastorino is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst practising in Buenos Aires. She is the author of La Medicina Floral De Edward Bach.)

Bach therapy has all the characteristics of a true medicine: it has its hypotheses, its rules of clinical application, and its observable results.

First hypothesis: ‘Illness is immaterial in origin’, i.e. it has its origin in the human energy field, whose existence was demonstrated by, for example, Harold Saxton Burr, who in a series of experiments between 1935 and 1946, at Yale University where he was professor of anatomy, showed that these ‘Life Fields’ are part of the same system of electromagnetic fields as the rather simpler fields studied by physicists. Emotion is an expression of the energy-state of an organism, indeed emotion and energy are equivalents. Hence the close connection between emotions in disequilibrium and pathology.

Second hypothesis: Illness is a result of a conflict between the soul and the personality, which expresses itself in energetic terms through a vibrational difference between the physical-emotional body on the one hand, and the spiritual body on the other.

Third hypothesis: an understanding of the unity of all things. This is a classic esoteric hypothesis, supported by mystics of all ages and cultures, and perhaps by modern physicists. Burr affirms the same concept when he says that the L-fields are part of the organisation of the universe and are influenced by the vast forces of space. This implies that although we have the sensation of being separate, we are linked energetically to the universe.

Fourth hypothesis: best expressed in the words of Bach: ‘The mind, being the most delicate and sensitive part of the body, shows the onset and the course of disease much more definitely than the body, so that the outlook of mind is chosen as the guide as to which remedy or remedies are necessary.’ The emotion or mental state is thus for Bach the symptom not the cause of the pathology. This coincides with the central point made by Burr (emotion equals energy). It also fits with the thought of the psychoanalyst John Bowlby, with whom the author studied in London, and the philosopher Susan Langer: what is commonly described as emotion consists in reality of the organism feeling something, and that something is in fact ‘the current motivational state of the individual’ (Bowlby). In synthesis, the emotions or mental states, in Bach’s vocabulary, are the correlate in the consciousness of a state of the organism, or, in Burr’s terms, an energy state of the form.

Both for Langer and for Bach, there is not a cause-and-effect relationship between emotion in disequilibrium in the consciousness, and a given pathological state. Rather, it is a single, energetic process, visible only in the consciousness.

It is failure to understand the true nature of emotion which has led to Bach therapy not being recognised as a true medicine. There are even doctors who use flower remedies to treat the emotions while the body is treated with other medicines. This is erroneous. In treatment, we should be guided by the emotions in disequilibrium, but we should use the remedies to treat the entire organism, meaning both the physical and the energetic body.

The author has worked with the flower remedies since 1981, initially following the advice of the Bach Centre by prescribing according to the conscious emotions of the patient. She soon found, however, that this meant ignoring the unconscious mental states which her psychoanalytic training had taught her to recognise. She therefore started to prescribe taking these unconscious mental states into account, with strikingly better results. She finds no conflict between this approach and that of Bach himself, who recommended proceeding by levels, because one mental state can be hidden by another. Prescribing in this way had another, more unexpected result: it broadened the patients’ consciousness, bringing an awareness of these same unconscious states. In a striking example, a patient who had been complaining of physical symptoms which she associated with her sister’ jealousy towards her, after a month of treatment with Chicory recognised spontaneously that she herself was projecting the jealousy onto her sister. It is not that Chicory is the flower for projection, rather that the Chicory state was present in the patient’s account, and once she had started taking the remedy, the consciousness found the correct site for it.

This line of thinking led Dr Pastorino to a study of altered forms of consciousness, especially dreaming, delirium and daydreaming. Her current practice at the second interview is to interrogate the various levels of consciousness, focusing on the dreams which the patient has had since starting to take the Remedies. However, despite her Freudian roots, the author’s purpose is not to interpret the dreams symbolically: rather, the dream, as the representation in images of a vibrational change in some part of the energy field, is itself curative.

Another area where we can watch the action of the flowers is that of significant behaviour. Indeed the effects on the behaviour are often seen first, with changes to the consciousness following later.

Also worth exploring is the subject’s environment, particularly the family situation. The author cites the example of a 7-year old boy who was brought to her for behavioural problems at school. She treated him with Holly + Vervain + Cherry Plum + Impatiens. His behaviour improved but he continued to be aggressive. Having established that the father was violent, Dr Pastorino recommended that the entire family take Holly. The mother rang three months later to say that the family was totally changed, including the child. The author says that there was an atmosphere or vibration of Holly in the family which expressed itself in the consciousness of the father and of the child. The patient and his/her world are to be considered as a system. The author says that if she detects a flower in any part of that system, this in itself can justify prescribing it.

For this reason, the therapist’s intuition is of prime importance. It is not enough to function on the intellectual plane only, and an intensive diet of books and study-courses is not a suitable preparation for someone who wishes to work with the Bach remedies: notice that both Bach himself and Philip Chancellor wrote only one book apiece. Excessive conceptualisation risks obstructing the development of the intuition. Remember that it was the intuitive and paranormal method which led Bach to the discovery of his Remedies.

It is also important to concentrate less on what others have said about Bach than on what he himself said. It is necessary to concentrate on the essence of the mental state. It is the fact that the Remedies work by altering the vibration of our energy base, amplifying consciousness and changing behaviour, which makes them such a potent tool for transformation. But it is a medicine which makes great demands on the therapist, requiring careful observation, precise questioning and a constant development of the intuition, imagination, deduction and analogy. It is simple, there being only thirty-eight pathological states and thirty-eight remedies, but it is far from easy; it is delicate, because it eliminates pathological states by acting gently on the consciousness; and it is a superior medicine because it comprehends man in his totality and opens the consciousness to a world of high spiritual values.


Bach Flower Remedies: healing for the twenty-first century  

Raymond, June 

GreenSpirit  | UK |   | Summer 2003  

An in-depth review of 'Bach Flower Remedies — Form and Function' by Julian Barnard [see Bibliography]. June Raymond, who is on the Council of GreenSpirit, works with the flower remedies in Liverpool, UK, where she also runs courses on their use.

Read full article


The Doctrine of Signatures: a historical, philosophical and scientific view (I)  

Richardson-Boedler, Cornelia 

Homeopathy (formerly the British Homeopathic Journal)  | UK | 88  | 1999  

In the first part, Dr Cornelia Richardson-Boedler shows how Samuel Hahnemann, Edward Bach and Rudolf Steiner have interpreted and developed the ancient Doctrine of Signatures in their respective philosophies and systems of healing. The author traces the doctrine back through Van Helmont, Paracelsus and Galen to Theophrastus, Aristotle and Hippocrates (460-377 BC), showing how symbolism, intuition and biological observation combine to 'clarify and verify the therapeutic value of natural medicines'.

She also suggests that 'sparks of the imagination' are ignited when studying 'the natural substance in accordance with the symptom picture'. She observes that the doctrine, 'by conveying the "feeling", the inner experience of life forms, adds a new dimension to the understanding of the subjective experience of humans.'

The author then traces the development from 'purely physical analogy' to 'drawing parallels between attributes of the personality and the essence or character of the plants.' This featured in Chinese medicine when plants were selected according to their affinities with human energies, and in Europe when Galen's theory of humours was applied to 'botanical correlates'.


The Doctrine of Signatures: a historical, philosophical and scientific view (II)  

Richardson-Boedler, Cornelia 

Homeopathy (formerly the British Homeopathic Journal)  | UK | 89  | 2000  

In the second part, Dr Cornelia Richardson-Boedler suggests 'a new understanding of the Doctrine of Signatures'. 'It appears that human manifestations of illness, the inner tendencies and dynamics of disease states, resemble those inherent formative dynamics found in nature in her manifold life forms.'

She then discusses Dr Bach's understanding of the way disease begins in the mind and in 'errors of personality' — in 'the areas of power, intellectual knowledge, love, balance, service, wisdom and spiritual perfection.' As disease develops, 'the personal archeus [vital force] becomes equal in resonance to the archeus of a certain life form. The symptom picture resembles the biological struggle and survival of this particular life form.'

The author discusses the different vibrational powers of homoeopathic and Bach Flower remedies, and the way in which they complement each other. 'Bach Flower Remedies, by addressing the root of the personality, help the disease pattern to crystallize and come to the fore, to be released most effectively by homoeopathic medicines.' She concludes that 'the Bach Flower remedies, being more subtle than homoeopathic remedies, address the first tendencies in the personality to distortion and imbalance.'


Knowledge of and attitudes toward complementary and alternative therapies: a national multicentre study of oncology professionals in Norway.  

Risberg, Terje 

European Journal of Cancer  | UK | 40 (2004)  | 2004  

A survey of Norwegian oncology professionals' knowledge and attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), making a clear distinction between alternative therapies which aim to treat the cancer itself, and complementary therapies which aim to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Bach Flower Remedies are not listed among the complementary therapies, but homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, prayer for healing and meditation etc. do feature, so the results are interesting. Females showed a more positive view towards complementary therapy than males (79% versus 53%) and physicians were less positive than nurses, clerks and therapeutic radiographers (49% versus 87%, 62% and 74%). But fewer physicians were negative to complementary treatments (13%) than to alternative treatments (81%). The survey includes many other interesting findings. For example, 81% of physicians regarded homoeopathy as 'alternative' while 47% of nurses regarded it as 'complementary'. One of the conclusions is that female physicians are generally more positive to complementary therapies, but not to alternative treatments.


Dialog: Arzt und Krankenpflege zum Thema Bach Blütentherapie (Dialogue between doctor and healer on the subject of Bach Flower Therapy)  

Rölli, Elisabeth  and Fuchs, Dr Wolfgang

Österreichische Krankenpflege-Zeitschrift [Austrian Journal for Care of the Sick]  | Austria |   | 1 Feb 99  

The Swiss Bach therapist and psychotherapist Elisabeth Rölli is here interviewed by Dr Wolfgang Fuchs of the Austrian Medical Council, who in addition to his medical qualifications has a diploma in homoeopathy. For the most part, the interview just rehearses the basic facts about Bach therapy. Ms Rölli emphasises the psycho-physical nature of the human being, pointing to the endocrine system as an area that links to both aspects, and attributes the effectiveness of Bach remedies to action on the subtle plane. She stresses that Bach treatment is completely without risk, and can be freely combined with any other medical and therapeutic approaches.


Fiori di Bach: influenze selettive e diversificate su sistemi chimico-fisici - Primi risultati
(Bach Flower Remedies: selective and diversified influences on chemical-physical systems - First results)  

Rossi, M  and Setti, M

Medicina Biologica  | Italy | 3 (54-61)  | 1997  

The authors believe that the usual defence of the Bach remedies (that they work) raises a series of awkward questions, of which the first is 'How? By what mechanism?' and the second: 'How do we know that the benefits are not due to the placebo effect?' With a view to providing a first approach to a possible answer, they conducted a series of experiments designed to satisfy the scientific tests of quantifiability, objectivity and repeatability.

Previous experiments, based on the concept of 'sensible crystallisation' had studied the evaporation of supersaturated solutions of single salts such as copper chloride (CuCl2), with the addition of varying quantities of Bach remedies, to see what effect the remedies had on the rate at which the salt crystallised out of the solution. These experiments are felt by the authors to have been unsatisfactory, because the solutions represented a 'closed' thermodynamic system with only one variable – the rate of crystallisation – and could never have yielded interesting results.

The present experiments, previously unpublished, concerned ion exchange in aqueous solutions of a pair of salts, sodium carbonate and calcium chloride, which in solution separate into their constituent ions. On coming out of solution as the water cools or evaporates, these ions tend to recombine with different partners, forming the relatively insoluble calcium carbonate (calcite or lime) and the much more readily soluble sodium chloride (common salt). But the rate at which the various salts crystallise, and thus the composition of the resulting solid, can be quite dramatically affected by outside factors. The solutions, which started well below the limits of solubility, were evaporated under controlled conditions, with and without the addition of three Bach remedies chosen at random. The resulting precipitates were examined using the unexceptionably scientific method of X-ray diffraction. Preliminary 'blank' tests allowed for the effect of the alcohol in the Remedies (measurable but quite small). Room temperature evaporation of the plain solution predictably favoured the deposition of calcite, whereas heating the solution caused salt to figure strongly in the diffractogram. The addition of a few drops of Wild Rose had very similar effects to the application of heat, prompting the suggestion that it may have raised the energy level of the solution, and providing a striking match for its characteristics in Bach theory. The results with Crab Apple were much less dramatic (immunity to outside influences?), but Water Violet had the entirely unexpected effect of promoting a completely different, beta form of calcite and the elimination of any trace of sodium chloride. This could only occur as a result of a large input of energy, which must have come from the Water Violet. The article is liberally illustrated with printouts from the X-ray diffractometer, graphically pointing up these differences.

These seem to be better-than-chance results, but research is at a very early stage.


Pilotstudie zur Anwendung von Bach-Blütenessenzen bei Erstgebärenden mit verlängerter Tragzeit (Pilot study of Bach Flower Essences administered to first-time mothers in prolonged pregnancy)  

Rühle, Gudrun 

Erfahrungsheilkunde  | Germany | Vol 44 (12)  | 1995  

This article describes a pilot study carried out to determine the effect of Bach Flower Remedies on first-time mothers where birth is delayed.

The last phase of pregnancy is often difficult, with exhaustion, breathlessness and panic attacks — the more so when birth is delayed — this can also put stress on couples.

Prior studies in this field

Weisglas (1979) with a double blind placebo test showed that Bach remedies increased confidence and wellbeing. Also a study by Mechthild Scheffer at the Bach Centre in Hamburg (1993), with 700 patients but no control group, demonstrated positive results. An earlier investigation by Rühle (1994) showed that with the use of Bach remedies breathing was more relaxed and women were better able to cope with labour pains.

Fundamental presuppositions for this study
Lewi’s description (1967) of the physiological/psychological effects of pregnancy, Read’s (1972) and Kuntner’s (1991) analysis of anxiety/tension patterns, showing the relation between physiological and psychological stress factors, Bonica’s (1976) and Hauffe’s (1987) studies showing that use of Bach remedies can reduce stress.

Materials and methodology used
Not a classic placebo double blind, but randomised control group design, with 24 primagravidae, more than 14 days overdue, aged 21 to 35, all married or in a steady relationship, partner in all cases present at the birth. 8 women in the Bach remedy group; another 8 in a group that received psychological counselling; the remaining 8 in a group that was exclusively looked after by gynaecological consultants.

Factors rated
•  days to delivery
•  ease of delivery
•  use of analgesics
•  anxiety
•  general emotional state.

The entire study was conducted at the Bad Urach hospital (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Choice of patients was at random.

The Bach remedy chiefly used was Rescue Remedy; this however was backed up by the use of other remedies, depending on the needs of the individual patient — eg Mimulus (fear of birth, tools, objects), Aspen (irrational terror, nightmares), Gentian (pessimism, readiness to expect the worst), Honeysuckle (where the mother does not want the pregnancy to end), Wild Rose (apathy, listlessness) and Scleranthus (violent mood swings).

Effects regarded as desirable
•  shorter time till delivery
•  fewer complications in giving birth
•  less need for analgesics
•  more positive state of mind
•  reduced anxiety.

Eight women were excluded from the study for various reasons (irregular period, age, delivery took place too early).

Bach group needed least medication; also easier delivery (fewer complications). No evidence however that delivery was speeded up.

Assumption was that delivery date depends on the effect and interaction of hormones and stress factors (study by Schmidt and Matthiessen, 1992). Effect of Bach remedies in retrospect difficult to judge, as too many factors relevant here. The hypothesis that Bach remedies reduce anxiety and improve the general emotional state could not be proved, but again there are many other factors in play.

In spite of these caveats, the study shows positive results for Bach remedies.

Recommendations for future research
•  larger groups chosen at random (to balance out possibly contributory social factors)
•  classic double blind testing
• development of a consistent rating scale
• better documentation of stress levels.


Flower remedies - how they can help arthritis  

Shah, RA 

Positive Health  | UK | Volume 73  | Feb 02  

A detailed discussion of the symptoms and causes of arthritis by Dr Rupa Shah who trained as an allopathic physician and then, following her interest in homoeopathy, researched and developed Indian flower remedies. Taking the case of a young woman who had been confined to a wheelchair by crippling arthritis until treated with Flower Therapy, Dr Rupa explores the emotional conditions associated with this disease, and the ways in which particular flower remedies can help to balance these conditions. As well as recommending flower remedy gels in an Aloe vera base for topical application, she discusses Willow, Rock Water, Centaury and Holly.


Fibromyalgia Falls to Flowers  

Sirkin, Alicia 

Alternative Medicine  | USA |   | Jan 01  

A practitioner's detailed account of her successful treatment of a young mother suffering from fibromyalgia. Alicia Sirkin explains how she prioritised seven flower essences from a total of sixteen that were considered during consultations. The complete article is available on the Alternative Medicine website (search for 'fibromyalgia').


Flowers - the Essence of Consciousness  

Tadd, Peter 

Positive Health  | UK | 66  | 01/07/2001  

The author, who is a clairvoyant healer and teacher, describes how he sees the aura around individual bottles of flower essence — enabling him 'to feel the developer's state of mind and at times the method of making'. He also writes that 'even after an essence is made, the developer remains mysteriously connected to his or her essences. Should their ability to commune with the devic realm become confused or weakened due to personal circumstances, this change in the developer affects the quality of all the essences they have made, no matter where their bottles are.' The nature of ether and etheric fields is discussed clearly, with some interesting conclusions. For example, 'A homoeopathic [remedy] will calibrate one's etheric body to its frequency, whereas flower essences will accommodate to the individual needs by tailoring their interactions. The devic intelligence of the flower essence knows exactly what to do.'


Bach Flower Remedies Study: A Critique  

Ullman, Dana 

Complementary Health Practice Review  | USA | Vol 6 No 1  | Fall 2000  

A critique of the Armstrong and Ernst trial. Dana Ullman, author of many books on homoeopathy, questions the validity of testing the Five Flower Remedy / Rescue Remedy on a condition (exam stress) not specified by Dr Bach, and also questions the researchers' assertion that this combination is generally claimed to be a 'cure-all'. [One author to whom this claim is attributed, Gregory Vlamis, has written to the editor of this website that 'it is stated that I claim Rescue Remedy as a cure-all. Actually, some have viewed RR as a cure-all and I just reported that, as opposed to it being my personal opinion'.]

Dana Ullman also points out that 'the subjects of this experiment were told to take the flower remedy at one to four doses per day for the eight days prior to the examination. This recommendation has no basis in history or modern-day clinical practice. Rescue Remedy is primarily for acute situations and should not be a form of routine medication.' Like other commentators on this trial, Mr Ullman regrets the small number of participants and concludes: 'Despite Dr Ernst's own expertise in research, this study shows some of the difficulties in testing certain alternative therapies'.


Here's the prescription to healthy living  


Lincolnshire Echo  | UK |   | March 03  

A brief account of a practitioner prescribing Red Chestnut and White Chestnut for anxiety.


Heile Welt aus der Flasche; Bachblüten für alle Lebenslagen  


Neue Zürche Zeitung  | Switzerland |   | May 95  

A general introduction to Dr Bach and the remedies. The anonymous journalist writes that Bach was influenced by Hahnemann and Jung. Is there any evidence for the Jungian connection?


Message in a bottle . . .  


South Wales Evening Post  | UK |   | 16 Dec 03  

Interview with Jean Lang, a Bach Flower Remedy practitioner in South Wales, UK. Several remedies discussed, with a focus on the usefulness of Rescue Remedy at times of family stress such as Christmas.


Flower essences for ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)  


Nurses' Drug Alert  | USA | No 26(9)  | 1 Sep 02  

We have not seen this article but the references suggest it is a summary of the submission by S Mehta (qv), with commentary by J Horrigan, in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (qv) 2002; 41 (August): 895-6. A fuller account of the Mehta/Horrigan dialogue is available on this database (see Mehta).


Real names can be generic  


Managing Intellectual Property  | USA/UK | Issue 95  | Undated  

Report on the British Court of Appeal's revocation (21 October 1999) of a trade mark owned by Bach Flower Remedies which it considered to be generic, thereby allowing Healing Herbs Ltd to describe its products using the trade name. "Evidence showed that many witnesses had in mind a type of product, rather than a brand, and therefore Bach Flower Remedies was ruled to be a descriptive, generic name." The report concludes that "the court's decision means that the word Bach may be used to describe flower remedies made by anyone following Dr Bach's teachings." (The full judgement handed down in this case can be found in the LEGAL ISSUES section of this website.)


The relationship between homeopathy and the Dr Bach system of flower remedies: A critical appraisal  

van Haselen, RA 

Homeopathy (formerly the British Homeopathic Journal)  | UK | 88  | 1999  

The author was Deputy Director of Research at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital when he wrote this account of Bach Flower therapy aimed at fellow-homoeopaths: 'it is important that homoeopaths are, at least, informed about the Dr Bach system'. After an account of Dr Bach's work on bacteriology, bowel nosodes and what he regarded as the continuation of Hahnemann's work, Bach's development of his flower system is described as a move away from homoeopthay. Heal Thyself received a negative (anonymous) review in The British Homeopathic Journal (1931).

The author then systematically charts, in a table, the similarities and dissimilarities between classical (Kentian) homoeopathy and Bach's system of flower remedies. Among the similarities are: remedies of a 'non-material nature' which are equally controversial; treatment of the patient, not the disease; prescribing based on the presenting symptomatic layer; mobilisation of self-healing vital force. Among the dissimilarities between homoeopathy and flower remedies (respectively) are: frequent use of single remedies as opposed to combinations; sophisticated, complicated healing system as opposed to simple, accessible healing system; deeply-acting system provoking healing response as opposed to mild, gentle system facilitating healing response.

In Table 2, commonly used homoeopathic and flower remedies are compared and then Table 3 explores 'the plausibility of any kind of relationship'. Only Aesculus and Clematis clearly share 'at least some mental/emotional symptoms'. It is observed that when Bach investigated Clematis, 'he obtained his initial experiences . . . using homoeopathic tinctures of the seed he had prepared in 1928'.

The author also points out that Bach's belief that 'in the future people will be ashamed of being ill' (Ye suffer from yourselves) alienated some homoeopaths who 'thought he negated the fact that many people who have led an exemplary life from a spiritual point of view still develop physical illnesses'.

The article concludes with a consideration of the ways in which homoeopathy and Bach Flower remedies can complement each other. For example: flower remedies can be used when the patient may be too weak to risk 'severe aggravations of homoeopathic remedies'; or when 'there is concern that the use of conventional drugs, coffee, etc. may antidote homoeopathic remedies'. It is also possible for flower remedies to 'open up a case; by stimulating the vital force, a clearer homoeopathic symptom picture can emerge and the potential to respond to homoeopathic remedies is increased'. The final conclusion is that 'both systems may have a complementary role which is perhaps insufficiently recognised'.


Flower power: treating depression with flower essences  

Vanderbilt, S 

Massage and Bodywork  | USA | No 17(3)  | Undated  

An introduction to the research by Dr Jeffrey Cram which is featured in the Research section. Dr Cram is a clinical psychologist, researcher and director of the Sierra Health Institute in Nevada City, California. He uses flower essences in the treatment of patients with depression, and his extensive research involves the 'on-going data collection from practitioners throughout the United States, Europe and South America' who offer similar treatments. Any practitioner interested in contributing should check details at www.flowersociety.org/Depression_Study.htm.


Efficacy of Bach-flower remedies in test anxiety: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial with partial crossover  

Walach, Harald  and Rilling, Christine

Journal of Anxiety Disorders  | UK | Vol 15 Issue 4  | July-August 2001  

As the title indicates, this trial was conducted by three University of Freiburg academics using the most rigorous testing, analytical and statistical tools. 55 subjects, average age 28, were given either a placebo or a Bach Flower combination, or one after the other, during two weeks in which they sat at least two examinations. Test anxiety was measured 'using the German version of the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI-G, Hodapp, 1991) with 30 items'. Two questionnaires were also used, including an 'anxiety thermometer' chart, and all this material was handed to the subjects together with the coded bottles of either the placebo or the Bach Flower combination — the latter combining no less than 10 remedies: Impatiens, Mimulus, Gentian, Chestnut Bud, Rock Rose, Larch, Cherry Plum, White Chestnut, Scleranthus and Elm. The application was four drops every day during the two weeks. When analysed, the results indicated a significant decrease of test anxiety in all groups — leading to the conclusion that 'Bach-flower remedies are an effective placebo for test anxiety and do not have a specific effect'.


Scentual Healing  

Woods-Lavoie, Patti 

Better Nutrition  | USA | Volume 63, 11  | Nov 01  

The author discusses the healing qualities of flowers in relation to both flower essences and aromatherapy. She interviews David Vennells, author of 'Bach Flower Remedies for Beginners' (Llewellyn Publications 2001), who gives a general introduction to the function and use of flower esences. The author then turns her attention to aromatherapy.