Bach flower remedies were devised by Edward Bach, a Harley Street doctor, in the 1930s. He believed that physical illness was rooted in conflict within an individual, which indicated imbalance in some area of their life. Dr. Bach observed that individuals with physical and emotional problems recovered faster if they acknowledged the relationship between their emotions and physical health.
Working with the Bach flower remedies presents a challenge: Dr Bach’s flowers hold a mirror to our emotional and psychological state. They help us to understand how we respond to change. We can find a way to work with problems and difficulties. Individuals and their emotional condition are central to the experience and process of healing.
One of the most popular remedies is ‘Five Flower’, Dr Bach’s only combination formula, which is used as a single remedy. This is used for times of emotional distress, including:
- Preparation for healing or therapy.
- Recovery from illness and trauma.
- For times of emergency, to diminish suffering.
- To quieten animals.
- To relieve anxiety, for example before visiting the dentist or traveling.
The Five Flower remedy is a combination of Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatiens and Star of Bethlehem, which can be taken by itself or in combination with other remedies.
Each flower has its own characteristics which contribute to the effectiveness of the Five Flower remedy.
The cherry plum grows to the size of a small tree, with pure white flowers which have a pink tinge. This flower helps in times of anxiety and with fears about loss of control over a situation. Cherry plum helps to bring peace and stillness within, to counteract the tension felt during stressful times.
This yellow flower grows on downland and is used to treat reactions of great fear and terror. Rock Rose helps to restore stability and peace, and brings light to the darkness of panic-filled situations.
The clematis flower will help to treat those who are dreamy, drowsy and not fully awake to the world and present circumstances. With white flowers growing on a spreading vine, the clematis will bring consciousness back into one’s body and the present.
These mauve flowers grow along streams and in shady areas. The flower treats those who find it difficult to be patient and hope to carry out their work quickly. Impatiens will help to balance those who are restless and irritable.
Star of Bethlehem
This is used when someone is in great distress, for example after hearing serious news, losing a loved one or after an accident. The white six-pointed star helps to bring spiritual equilibrium and acceptance to those who are deeply disturbed by circumstances.
These flower essences form the most popular and well known combination remedy, ‘Five Flower’, prepared according to Dr Bach’s original instructions for ‘rescue’ combination. The remedies are created by steeping flowers in a bowl of water in direct sunlight or boiling them prepare a ‘mother tincture’. This is the concentrated essence of the flower, which is further diluted 1:400 parts 40% organic French brandy to make the traditional Bach flower stock concentrate. This is used to make a combination with other remedies in a dispensing bottle or dropped into a glass of water for immediate consumption.