This is a series of 6 articles by Barbara Murphy BFRP written to explain more about the Bach Flower Remedies

1: Whatever are the Bach Flower Remedies?…

…That’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot recently. This is a system anyone can use for themselves with a certain amount of knowledge, so here’s a brief introduction to a wonderful way of keeping healthy.

Remedy bottles and cherry plum flowers

Discovered by Dr Edward Bach between 1928 and 1936, these remedies provide a gentle, natural therapy. They act as ‘mood remedies’ to help the body to heal itself by removing negative feelings and balancing emotional states, and as you will see, this can make surprising improvements in physical health. The remedies are free from side effects and safe to be taken by anyone at any time, as their action neither affects, nor is affected by, any other kind of medication. Their popularity has spread worldwide increasingly over the last 25 years; the easily recognisable bottles are now stocked by most chemists and health stores.

Two items I consider to be essential in any medicine cabinet, First Aid box or handbag are Rescue Remedy and Rescue Cream. You may already be familiar with Rescue Remedy, but did you know that there are 38 remedies in total, and Rescue Remedy is a mixture of five of them? Those five are: Star of Bethlehem, the remedy for shock; Clematis for unconsciousness or drowsiness; Impatiens to relieve pain and stress; Rock Rose for terror; Cherry Plum for the fear of losing control.

Clematis flowers

Now here’s a bit of history: the first recorded use of Rescue Remedy was by Dr Bach himself at Cromer in Norfolk in 1934. As a shipwrecked sailor was carried ashore delirious, foaming at the mouth and nearly dead from exposure, Dr Bach repeatedly moistened his lips with Rescue Remedy. To the astonishment of observers, in a short while the sailor came round and sat up, and in a few days made a complete recovery.

Besides lessening the effects of major traumatic events, from accidents to bereavement, Rescue Remedy is calming if you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, stage fright, interview or exam nerves. And I always take it before and after a visit to the dentist as I find it helps the anaesthetic to wear off more quickly.

It can also be applied externally, but for this Rescue Cream works even better. The cream contains the same essences plus Crab Apple which has cleansing qualities and helps the skin to heal. It works especially well on scalds and blisters, besides grazes, spots and bruises. If you’ve banged your thumb with a hammer it can relieve the pain instantly. Try it! (The cream, that is, preferably not the hammer bit…)

Clematis photo courtesy of Nicola Hanefeld