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Bach flower therapy

Bach flower therapy is a type of homeopathic aromatherapy developed in the 1930s by British physician Edward Bach (1886-1936). Bach claimed to have psychically or intuitively discovered the healing effects of 38 wildflowers. His "discoveries" were arrived at by "inspirations." For example, while on a walk he had an inspiration that dew drops on a plant heated by the sun would absorb healing properties from the plant. He claimed that all he needed to do was hold a flower or taste a petal and he could intuitively grasp its healing powers. From these intuitions he went on to prepare "essences" using pure water and plants.

Bach claimed that these wildflowers have a soul or energy with an affinity to the human soul. The flower's spiritual energy is transferable to water. Devotees drink a homeopathic concoction of flower essence, mineral water and brandy in order to get the flower soul to harmonize their own soul's energy. According to Desde San Felipe y Santiago de Montevideo of Uruguay, flower remedies "do work." Bach thought that illness is the result of "a contradiction between the purposes of the soul and the personality's point of view." This internal war leads to negative moods and energy blocking, which causes a lack of "harmony" which leads to physical diseases. "Each of the 38 flowers of the Bach system is used to balance specific emotional pains or, in advanced stages of the lack of balance, to remit physical symptoms" [personal correspondence]. I have no idea what is meant by saying that this therapy "works," but I do not see how it could be tested since its main claims are metaphysical not empirical.

Dr. Bach seems tame compared to the pioneering work of others who have followed in his petals. In California it has been discovered that the humble Forget-Me-Not is good for "increasing your awareness of karmic relationships beyond the threshold." And Mugwort is good "for awareness of dreams and conscious control of one's psychic life."*

See also aromatherapy and homeopathy.


reader comments

further reading

Mystical Medical Alternativism

Questionable Self-help Products - Quackwatch

The Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

Last updated 21-Jan-2014

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