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

2: Who is this Dr Bach, then?

Dr. Edward Bach

Edward Bach was born in 1886 in Moseley, Birmingham. The family was of Welsh origin, as the name indicates, although when he moved to London his fellow medical students called him “Batch” and the pronunciation stuck. He was desperately keen to become a doctor, but while still training he began to have doubts about orthodox treatment methods.

He spent a lot of time in hospital listening to his patients and realised that their emotional state and attitude to illness influenced their progress just as much as the medical treatment they received. Frustrated by the symptom-based approach he was obliged to adopt as a physician, he wanted to ‘treat the person, not the disease’. He was soon studying homoeopathy and became involved in bacteriological research and vaccine development, but he felt that instead of rendering poisonous substances harmless for treatment, only nontoxic plants should be used.

He began searching for plant remedies to match the personality types and mental states he had observed among his patients. Eventually he gave up what was by now a thriving Harley Street medical practice and moved around the country carrying on this work. Between 1928 and 1934 he found 19 flower remedies. In 1935 he settled in the village of Sotwell in Berkshire (now South Oxfordshire) where in a hectically inspired year he discovered a further 19, taking the total to 38 remedies. Dr Bach then announced that his work was complete, and published a final summary of the remedy system prior to his death in 1936.

I’ve mentioned that Dr Bach believed people to be of particular personality types and also that their moods affect their health; and that a simple flower essence can help to balance them. Let’s look at how this works:

Mimulus flowers

One of the first remedies found was Mimulus. This is the remedy for a quiet, shy, timid person. If this description fits you, taking Mimulus won’t suddenly turn you into the life and soul of the party, but it will give you calm confidence to be yourself and more comfortable in company.

Mimulus is also the remedy for fear of something known and specific. I’m not fond of heights, and a planned family outing to the London Eye made me feel distinctly queasy until I remembered to take Mimulus. I didn’t feel any different—I simply forgot that I might feel nervous, and thoroughly enjoyed the day!

The two indications often combine: Michael was a quiet, polite boy who did well at primary school, but on starting secondary school he began sleeping badly and having nightmares. He was too shy to contribute to class discussions and found it difficult to make new friends. He was given Mimulus together with Walnut to help him adjust to change, and soon became more confident and settled.

Mimulus photo courtesy of The Bach Centre