What Are Bach Flowers and How Do They Work? by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers
Dr. Edward Bach was just another scientist and medical doctor in London when, in the late 1920’s, his life and work took a drastic detour. Shortly after joining the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, he dropped out of city life and relocated to the Wales countryside near Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire. It was there that he developed what would become known as the “Bach Flower Remedies.”
What are Bach Flower Remedies?
The plant-based “remedies” that Dr. Bach created (and which are still in use today) help to balance the emotions and the nervous system. They “bring you vitality when you are drained, health when you are ill and joy when you are down” –in essence, this is what energy medicine as a whole is designed to do.
What was unique is how Dr. Bach developed his Remedies in the first place. In the mid-1930’s, he was still in the Welch countryside, researching his holistic healing methods and working as an informal “country doctor.” At one point, Bach decided to completely abandon the “scientific method,” the still-current standard procedures for scientific discovery that are based in rational hypothesis, observation, measurement, experimentation and testing.
Instead, Bach relied on his sense of intuition, the herbs and plants around him, and his interactions with his local patients—as well as his vast gifts as a healer—to develop a truly unique system of plant-based healing.
What Bach eventually developed was a system of 38 “Flower Remedies” based on human emotions and how to balance them for both mental and physical healing. The biography of Bach’s life tells an interesting tale of how the doctor developed the last of his remedies by actually suffering the emotional state that he was trying to “cure” and then trying various plant essences until one worked at calming that particular negative state. He then tried the “remedy” on his patients to see if it worked for them.
Bach unfortunately passed away young, at age 50. During the last few years of his life, however, he was able to discover how deeply connected the emotions actually are to physical conditions and round out his work with the Remedies.
The Bach Flower System
Over 100 years later, the 38 “remedies” that make up the Bach Flower Remedy system today are grouped by 7 negative states. Here are the states with some of the essences that can help balance them. More information can be found on the Bach Flower website:
- A sense of fear: some essences that can help are Rock Rose and Cherry Plum
- Feelings of loneliness: some essences that can help are Impatiens and Heather
- Feelings of uncertainty: for these feelings, Bach discovered that Wild Oat or Cerato works best
- Insufficient interest in present circumstances (i.e. thinking too much of the past or future: Clematis and honeysuckle are two Bach Flower essences
- Being over-sensitive to outside influences: some Bach Flowers that can help are Walnut and Holly
- Over-doing for others (sometimes viewed as “over-caring”): Chicory and vervain are two flower essences that can help with different aspects of this emotion; and
- Feeling despondent or having a sense of despair: Pine and elm are two essences that can help with this emotion.
And of course, many individuals are familiar with Rescue Remedy, which can be found in most health food stores. Rescue Remedy is created by a mixture of impatients, Star of Bethlehem, cherry plum, rock rose and clematis.
Bach Flower Remedies Address the Emotional Side of Cancer
Interestingly, the seven emotional states that form the basis of the Bach Flower remedies correspond almost directly to the characteristics outlined in Dr. Douglas Brodie’s Cancer Personality Profile. Dr. Brodie pioneered the field of psycho-oncology with his in-depth study of how the emotions and brain chemistry can lead to a cancer diagnosis in some individuals.
According to Brodie, the emotional characteristics of those with the highest risk of getting cancer are:
- Being overly caring, dutiful and responsible
- Having a tendency to “carry the burdens of others” and excessive worrying
- Being a “people person;”
- Lacking closeness with others
- Holding on to suppressed negative emotions such as anger, resentment, bitterness or rage
- Not being able to cope with stress
- An experience of trauma in the past
Do some of these sound familiar to you? Of course, the link between painful emotions, stress and disease is quite clear. A Swedish study that spanned over 20 years found that out of 1,500 women who participated, those who experienced chronic stress had double the breast cancer risk in their later years compared to those who were able to manage their stress properly. To be sure, much of this stress was caused by stressful emotions about situations, not necessarily the emotions themselves.
Healing Emotional Wounds is Part of Healing from Cancer
To date there have been no “official” scientific studies (based on the scientific method) that have verified Bach Flower Remedies “work.” The anecdotal evidence over the last almost 100 years, however, should be proof enough. Remember that healing and balancing the emotions that surround cancer (and may, in part, be the catalyst for it) is part of healing the physical tumor in your body. Bach Flower Remedies are side-effect free and gentle. I say give them a try for emotional and physical balancing and see if they work for you!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is the founder of The 7 Essentials System ™, a step-by-step guide that teaches you exactly how to prevent and heal Breast Cancer naturally. To get your FREE 7-Day Mini e-Course and to receive her weekly action steps and inspiring articles on the power of Natural Medicine, visit her at BreastCancerConqueror.com