Bach flower remedies are dilutions of flower material developed by Edward Bach, an English bacteriologist, pathologist and homeopath, in the 1930s. Bach believed that dew found on flower petals retain healing properties of that plant.The remedies are intended primarily for emotional and spiritual conditions, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress.
The remedies contain a very small amount of flower material in a 50:50 solution of brandy and water. Because the remedies are extremely diluted they do not have a characteristic scent or taste of the plant. It is claimed that the remedies contain “energetic” or “vibrational” nature of the flower and that this can be transmitted to the user. Bach flower remedies are considered vibrational medicines, and rely on a concept of water memory. They are often labeled as homeopathic because they are extremely diluted in water, but are not true homeopathy as they do not follow other homeopathic precepts such as the law of similars or the belief that curative powers are enhanced by shaking and repeated diluting (“succussion”).
Each remedy is used alone or in conjunction with other remedies, and each flower is believed by advocates to impart specific qualities to the remedy. Bach flower remedies are also used on pets and domestic animals. Remedies are usually taken orally.
Remedies may be recommended by a naturopath or by a trained Bach flower practitioner after an interview. An individual may also choose the combination they feel best suits their situation. Some vendors recommend dowsing to select a remedy.
The best known flower remedy is the Rescue Remedy combination, which contains an equal amount each of Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum remedies. The product is aimed at treating stress, anxiety, and panic attacks, especially in emergencies. Rescue Remedy is a trade mark and other companies produce the same formula under other names, such as Five Flower Remedy.
Rescue Cream contains the same remedies in a cream form, with the addition of Crab Apple, a remedy Bach associated with feelings of contamination and unsightliness. It is applied externally in response to minor skin problems such as itches, cuts, stings, pimples and burns.