Bach Flower Therapy for refractory stomach pain

Dr Li Ying-che


Stomach pain is a common clinical complaint. Many people’s stomach problems may be cured simply by changing eating and living patterns or releasing negative emotions. However, some stomach pain, such as acute/chronic inflammation/ulcer and bleeding, could be more severe and have to be treated by a doctor in order to be cured and improved.

Since last May, I have had a number of cases of refractory stomach pain, which share the common feature that the pain was located below the heart, near the xiphoid process of the sternum, below where the oesophagus and stomach join. Their pain was accompanied with other symptoms like abdominal distention and poor appetite. Occurred mostly before meals and occasionally after meals, it was a dull, sharp or gas pain. No ulcer or tumour was found at gastroscopy, but only a superficial gastritis.

Another common feature they shared was that their treatment with Western and traditional Chinese medicine had not shown any good effect and the patients’ illness was lingering and relapsing. Some of them were even unable to get rid of or improve the pain after continuous treatment of Chinese and Western medicine. Below are cases with this refractory stomach pain treated by flower remedies. Significant treatment effects have been observed in these cases.


Case 1

Ms. Lin, a lady in her sixties, had always been healthy except that she had been suffering from chronic stomach pain for many years. For the last year, her stomach pain had become more frequent. Chronic gastritis was found and H. pylori showed positive reactions at gastroscopy. In addition, she also had the symptoms of palpitations and chest tightness, which had not been significantly improved by the treatment of Western medicine.

She came to me through a friend and complained of a dull pain in the stomach area, palpitations and chest tightness before meals. Her stools were normal and appetite was OK.

Physical examination:

  1. positive reactions in the Oak and Willow zones of Bach flower body maps (external application)
  2. Tender and weak abdomen, no region with pressing pain, and low temperature in the gastric region

spleen and stomach vacuity cold.

Traditional Chinese medicine formula: Centre-Rectifying Decoction

As the patient showed depression and pessimism as well as unfriendliness, suspicion and resistance to the medical team, I did not recommend any flower remedy treatment. But the patient accepted an external application of Gentian remedy during prescription.

After several treatments, Ms Lin’s symptoms were not really improved, and the focus started to shift to the region below the heart (the xiphoid process of the sternum). However, to my joy, she accepted me as her good friend and started to chat openly with me. She told me that she was very depressed and worried about her son in his forties, who had yet to get married. During the conversation, I found Ms Lin in a Gentian state of being pessimistic and depressed, Red Chestnut worry and fear of the well-being of others, and a Honeysuckle zone at the xiphoid process of the sternum, according to German naturopath Dietmar Kramer. Therefore, I gave her external treatment of these three flower remedies.

After the next visit, the patient’s palpitations and stomach pain did not occur. She was continuously treated with an external application of the above three flower remedies in the following visits, and is still in treatment. We’ve also been trying to communicate with her so that she will agree to take flower remedies for internal use to consolidate the effects.

(The patient agreed to take flower remedies one week ago. Her stomach pain has not occurred in the past two months.)


Case 2

Ms Chen, in her forties, had always had chronic gastritis and stomach pain. She was usually able to recover fairly quickly with traditional Chinese medicine or acupuncture and moxibustion. But her stomach ailments had often relapsed as she hadn’t been able to always follow the doctor’s advice on healthy diets.

She also suffered from left lower abdomen pain (Rock Rose zone) and frequent flatulence or obstruction. Therefore, she is also on the flower remedies of Rock Rose, Gorse, Pine and Chestnut Bud.

Recently, her stomach ailments relapsed again. Her symptoms were pain or sharp pain on an empty stomach and gas pain on a full stomach. Unlike the usual site, the pain appeared at the xiphoid process of the sternum. At the same time, she also had hyperacidity. Based on my diagnosis of spleen and stomach vacuity cold, I gave her a Chinese medicine formula of Centre-Rectifying Decoction in addition to the same flower remedies as last time.

On a return visit one week later, Ms Chen’s stomach pain was not improved. Her hyperacidity and abdominal distention had become more severe and pain was constant. This time I added an acupuncture treatment to immediately relieve the pain in addition to the flower remedies and Chinese medicine.

On a second return visit, Ms Chen’s symptoms still persisted. Her pain came back the night after the last acupuncture treatment, and the Western medicine for stomach ache did not work. The pain had lasted for a week. The physiological examination showed a pressing pain and tight muscle below the heart. As this area was the Honeysuckle zone, I gave her a diagnostic treatment with Honeysuckle for external application.

A few seconds after the application, Ms Chen’s muscle was completely relaxed and her stomach rumbled. Soon her tenderness spot disappeared and stomach pain was also gone. This time I gave her the following flower remedies: Honeysuckle (reaction zone), Rock Rose (reaction zone), Gorse (hopelessness regarding one’s own illness), Chestnut Bud (relapse of old illness and repeating the same mistakes), and Red Chestnut (fear and anxiety for other people).

On a third return visit, the patient’s stomach ailments including pain and hyperacidity did not occur this week.

(The patient is still on flower remedies -- fifth time). Her stomach pain has not occurred in the past month.)


Use of Honeysuckle remedy

Honeysuckle is one of the flower remedies that I have long neglected and rarely used. According to Dr Bach, people in the Honeysuckle state live in the past instead of the present. They feel that their best days are behind them and that there is little to look forward to, and as a consequence they prefer to dwell on the past. I used to think that dwelling on the past happened to almost everybody once in a while. Would this state really cause illness?

Some healers have found that people in the Honeysuckle state are likely to develop heart disease, probably because their energy will easily dissipate as their minds are in the past while their bodies are in the present. Recently, I’ve gradually discovered that people in the negative Honeysuckle state are unlikely to accept the Honeysuckle remedy because they hold on to the past so much that they are unable to live in the present. In particular, those people who have lost their loved ones cannot progress into the present. Despite the help of the Star of Bethlehem and Honeysuckle remedies, they still live a hard life. I have two cases that still haven’t been able to get over the sorrow and would rather live in their memories.

I have also found that Honeysuckle also causes severe and persistent stomach pain, which sometimes can’t even be significantly improved by the combined treatment of Western, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and moxibustion. As most patients do not think dwelling on the past is a serious negative emotion, it is difficult to detect it through the Emotional Symptoms Analysis. Therefore, in clinical practice, we can perform diagnosis and treatment by detecting the Honeysuckle zone beneath the heart.

Moreover, according to Dietmar Kramer’s Emotion Compensation Theory, the three emotions, Chicory, Red Chestnut and Honeysuckle, form a ‘track’ where they exchange and interlink with each other. If clinically we only used Honeysuckle without the accompaniment of Chicory to change the patient’s original personality and to bring out his/her virtue – love -- the patient would easily relapse in a different state. This is another clinical experience I’ve gained recently.


Dr. Li Ying-che

Taiwan 2008