Bach flower is a form of alternative and complementary medicine based on the belief that our negative emotions can affect our health, resulting in causing diseases and illnesses. Developed by British doctor, Edward Bach, there are 38 different Bach flower remedies. Edward Bach believed in using nature to help in healing his patients and that preparing flowers in a specific manner would hold the power to help fight the negative emotions that were causing illness.
There are different general emotion categories that this remedy targets. These categories are uncertainty, loneliness, despair, no interest in daily life, hypersensitivity and caring too much about others well-being. Each category further breaks down to detail the attributes of each emotion and situation.
There are a number of ways in which the remedies are prepared. More dense foliage is typically boiled, while other flowers are placed in sunlight and then soaked in water. The tinctures that result are typically reserved in brandy and will then be mixed with water. To use the tincture, the patient will dose them by the drop and apply the drops to his or her tongue where it will be absorbed.
Getting the Right Remedy
Practitioners will ask the patient a variety of questions to determine the best Bach flower treatment for his or her condition. The treatment is tailored to the patient’s emotions and symptoms.
While the research on Bach flower is not extensive, many patients have reported positive effects. A lot of the positive reports are from patients who have used this remedy to alleviate anxiety. More research is currently being done.
Cons and Safety Warnings
This alternative remedy has few known interactions and is believed to be generally safe. It is important to keep in mind that this remedy has not been extensively researched so its safety is not completely known at this time.
Alcohol is contained in many of the preparations. Because of this, anyone with alcoholism should not use this remedy. Anyone taking medications should consult a doctor first because some medications cannot be mixed with alcohol. Because of the alcohol, breastfeeding or pregnant women should avoid this remedy.
Some patients have reported experiencing drowsiness, vomiting and nausea.
There are a variety of purported uses. There is little evidence to show possible benefits for anxiety, major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and pain. Unproven uses with little to no scientific evidence include: aloofness, apathy, depression, discouragement, emotional healing, excessive pride, fear, hatred, impatience, indecision, ambivalence, cleansing, despair, egotism, envy, failure to learn from mistakes, guilt, hopelessness, inability to say “no”, inflexibility, jealousy, mania, mental exhaustion, nostalgia, phobias, possessiveness, repression, self-hatred, shame, trauma, intolerance, lack of confidence, mental anguish, narcissism, overdue pregnancy, physical exhaustion, procrastination, rigidity, selfishness, stress and wanderlust.
Creighton University. (2011). History of Bach’s Flower Essences. Retrieved on March 29, 2011 from Creighton University: https://altmed.creighton.edu/floweressences/history.htm
Thaler, K. et al. (2009). Bach Flower Remedies for Psychological Problems and Pain: A Systematic Review. Retrieved on March 29, 2011 from PubMed Central: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695424/
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