Edward Bach was born at Moseley, near Birmingham, in 1886 and trained as a doctor in London. 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.
Discovery of the essences
By 1930 he was prepared to give up his successful medical practice in order to search for the plants and trees that came to be known as The Twelve Healers & Other Remedies. Each flower was found to embody the positive and harmonising force for a negative emotional state, be it fear, resentment or despair. In order to transfer this healing force to a patient, Bach prepared essences from the flowers. This essence, diluted to some extent, could then be taken as a medicine. He found that as the negative moods changed so the person would return towards health. Dr Bach explained the healing properties of the remedies in terms of a philosophy of life that saw a person as much 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. They have been in use throughout the world in the years since Bach’s death in 1936. (Adapted from ‘Dr Bach and his flower remedies’ in The Healing Herbs of Edward Bach by Julian Barnard, first published in 1988.)
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