Edward Bach trained as a doctor in London in the late 1800s. For several years he worked investigating the role of bacteriology in chronic disease. His researches led him to recognise that there were clear personality types that related to the various patterns of ill health, irrespective of the physical symptoms being presented by the patient. Working with vaccine therapy and later with homeopathic remedies, he moved towards the discovery of flower remedies. These he felt could help to harmonise the emotional imbalances that he came to see as the real causes of physical illness.
Each flower was found to embody the positive and harmonising force for a negative emotional state, for example fear, apathy or despair. In order to transfer this healing force to a patient, Bach prepared essences from the flowers. He found that as the patient’s negative moods changed and the person would return towards health. Dr Bach explained the healing properties of the remedies in terms of holistically that saw a person as more than the outward physical body that is treated in conventional medicine. Illness, he suggested, was a message from our inner being calling for a change in our way of living and our mental outlook. The primary purpose of the flower essences is to help us to change and bring us back to a genuinely happy experience of life.
Adapted from ‘Dr Bach and his flower remedies’ in The Healing Herbs of Edward Bach by Julian Barnard, first published in 1988.