Bach flowers: what are they and how effective are they?

That a large number of different plants have medicinal properties it is a fact known since antiquity. Cutting fever, calming anxiety or helping to heal wounds are some of the properties attributed to them. Science has demonstrated much of this knowledge and extracted several active components from it.

However, many ways of treating illnesses related to the consumption or use of certain plant products have emerged throughout history, and some have been scientifically proven while others are considered to be alternative treatments or homeopathy. In this sense, one of the herbal treatments that have been developed throughout history is known as Bach flowers.

Bach flowers: what are they?

Bach flowers are a set of herbal preparations designed as therapy by Dr Edward Bach.

This treatment proposal is based on the ingestion or application to the skin of these preparations in order to help treat the emotional aspects, therefore they are offered to help restore emotional balance and even stimulate the immune system and regenerative capacity.

The Edward Bach project

More precisely, Dr Bach has developed through various tests a total of 38 remedies or preparations from the combination of different plants, Based on what he called “vibrational characteristics”.

Bach flower treatment arises from the idea that the disease arises from the existence of psychological conflicts between the personality and the soul, producing a blockage or imbalance of the person’s “internal energy” at the emotional level. Thus, body, mind and spirit would be linked and mutually influencing. The healing effect offered by Bach is explained by the transmission of plant energy to the person (without considering that they have to do with biochemical aspects).

The plants with which the preparations of Bach flowers are made emit according to this philosophy a series of vibrations that could alter a person’s internal energy and help it to reach a harmonious state, transmitting the energy of the plants to the preparation.

Its popularity as an alternative treatment

The use of Bach flowers has become popular in some New Age contexts as an alternative natural therapy method.

Many people administer and prepare the preparations themselves, although there is the figure of the flower therapist which is proposed to determine the type of preparation and the doses to be applied depending on the person and the type of existing problem.

Preparations and their development

As we have seen, Bach flowers consist of a total of 38 preparations, which are made with the use of plants, spring water and sometimes a little alcohol as a preservative (others can also be substances used as agent of minors).

There are two basic treatment methods: Boil for thirty minutes in water in ten, then filter the extract and then add brandy, glycerin or vinegar in the same amount and solarization, in which the plants are left in a bowl with water for several hours in the sun and then filter as well – and add some of the preservatives mentioned above (brandy or apple cider vinegar).

38 preparations

Here are some 38 preparations that Bach made are his method, along with a brief description of their use.

  • Agrimonia: for emotional blocking and anxiety.
  • Tremors: fear and phobia.
  • There is: Arrogance and intolerance.
  • Centaurea: for those who have a certain emotional dependence, a malleable will and who do not know how to say no.
  • Ceratostigma: histrionic. Look for approval. indecision
  • Cerasifera: desperation and fear of losing control and going crazy.
  • Chestnut bud: recurrence and not learn from mistakes.
  • chicory: Handling and overprotection. Possessiveness.
  • Clematis: decentralization and distractibility.
  • Wild apple tree: low self-esteem and feelings of uncleanness
  • Gentian field: pessimism, below the frustration threshold. Depression.
  • Argelaga: despair, apathy and anhedonia.
  • holly: Need love. Envy, resentment, jealousy and mistrust.
  • Larch: Fear of failure and feeling of inferiority.
  • Mimul: shyness and fear of the unknown.
  • Pine: guilt and feeling like you don’t deserve what you have.
  • Red chestnut: excessive fear and anxiety for loved ones.
  • Heliantem: panic, anxiety and nightmares.

Effectiveness of Bach flowers according to science

At the scientific level, treatment with Bach flowers it is considered a homeopathic practice without proven efficacy, And is not recognized as therapy by the health system except in some countries.

The experiments carried out to contrast the possible effectiveness of this type of therapy seem to indicate that no significant difference is found between this type of treatment and the placebo. This way, Bach flowers do not have the support of the scientific community.

In addition to the results, elements related to the ideas of Edward Bach have been criticized, such as the fact that it is based on the concept of vibrational capacity of the different elaborations, be a mystical conception and regardless of the empirical contrast required by the scientific method.

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