Bach flower essences (remedies) form a part of alternative medicine. They comprise a therapeutic system that uses dilutions of flower essences developed by Dr.Edward Bach to balance physical and emotional disturbances. In the world of flowers Dr. Bach found resonances of the conditions he found in his patients. He believed the right essence can help to bring back the patient to a positive, happy condition. Dr. Bach distilled the essence of certain flowers, and choose the right ones for the state of being of a patient.
Dr. Bach knew, that the human being is more than a physical body. The human being incorporates a body of life energy, a body of sensitivity and feelings, and a spiritual body. Flower essences are energetic imprints of the life force of plants. Dr Bach believed that the flower essences interact with the subtle bodies and so can help people with physical illness by addressing the emotional responses to their illness.
Bach flower essences (remedies) are similar to homeopathy in many respects. Bach flower essences are not dependent on the theory of successive dilutions, and are not based on the homeopathy's defining principle the 'Law of Similars' ('Like cures like'). Another difference between homeopathy and Bach flower remedies are the methods used to produce them. The production of Bach flower essences is handled in two ways, called 'potentization': the sun method and the boiling method, both invented by Dr. Bach.
There are 38 original Bach remedies plus 'Rescue RemedyTM' (First Aid, Five flower remedy), each prescribed for certain mental and emotional problems. They form a complete therapeutic system. Practitioners treat every variety of human emotional imbalance with the 38 Bach flower essences.
Dr. Bach System:
The 37 plants are classified in three categories:
The 'twelve healers': Agrimony, Centaury, Cerato, Chicory, Clematis, Gentian, Impatiens, Mimulus, Rock Rose, Scleranthus, Vervain, Water Violet
The 'seven helpers': Gorse, Heather, Oak, Olive, Rock Water, Vine, Wild Oat
The 'second 19': Aspen, Beech, Cherry Plum, Chestnut Bud, Crab Apple, Elm, Holly, Honeysuckle, Hornbeam, Larch, Mustard, Pine, Red Chestnut, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut, Walnut, White Chestnut, Wild Rose, Willow
There are numerous anecdotes about successful treatment with Bach flower remedies, although published scientific research is limited.