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Heal Thyself by Edward Bach.Dr Edward Bach (1886-1936)

Edward Bach was born in 1886 near Birmingham, England.  He was aware at an early age of the subtle qualities or "energies" in the living world around him.

His natural sensitivity to nature and to the suffering in his fellow humanity led him to a career in medicine.  He trained in medicine at the University College Hospital in London and worked as a House Surgeon there. He worked in general practice, having a set of consulting rooms in Harley Street and also conducted research as a bacteriologist and pathologist, producing a set of homśopathic remedies known as the Bach bowel nosodes, which are still taught and used in homśopathy today.  Bach joined the London Homśopathic Hospital in 1919.

Bach’s interest in homśopathy was kindled by a shared belief in the holistic approach of treating the person as a mental/emotional/physical whole and the disease as an expression of disequilibrium of the whole. Orthodox medicine, on the other hand, targeted the disease in isolation, which he instinctively felt was not addressing the core of the problem, but only the resultant pathology.

Homśopathy, though he felt a kinship with it, relied on a tremendous variety of substances including products of disease, and his own idealism and instinct, as well as his years of experience with healing, led him towards living nature as a source for curative substances.

A primary tenet of his principles was the importance of emotional disequilibrium as a primary cause for susceptibility to illness, as well as being a source of “dis-ease” in itself.  Bach can be seen to be one of the pioneers in the treatment of psychosomatic illness.

While maintaining his medical practice, in 1928 he spent much of his spare time researching plants and herbs and it was during this period that he developed the first three flower remedies that he would work with – Impatiens, Mimulus and Clematis.  His familiarity with homśopathic provings (testing the curative properties of substances) and his sensitivity to the subtle qualities of plants suggested to him the type of personality it could bring relief to. He found that by prescribing based on the emotional characteristics of the patient he was able to get results he had never seen before, results which showed that the whole person was being brought into a state of greater health.  This so impressed him as a healer that he concentrated on flower remedy treatment and stopped using conventional medicine.

In 1930 he gave up his lucrative practice to concentrate on the development of this newfound system of therapy.  He left London and his travels took him to Wales and to the English countryside to search out those plants that would provide a battery of medicines, which would treat the primary states of dysfunction in the human psyche.  By 1932 he had discovered the first 12 of these, and published the fruits of his work in Twelve Great Remedies in February 1933. Bach began to promote them to the medical community, who, schooled in orthodoxy, were slow to respond.  He then promoted using newspaper advertising, which brought him favourable response from the public, but strong disapproval from the General Medical Council.

By 1934, he had developed 19 of the eventual 38 flower remedies and it was in this year that he moved to Mount Vernon in Oxfordshire, where he developed the remaining 19. In this year he also published the second edition of his work, this time entitled: The Twelve healers & Seven Helpers.

In the summer of 1936, Bach wrote the third edition, The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, which included all 38 of the flower remedies which still bear his name. It was in this year, on his 50th birthday, that he gave his first (and last) public lecture on the fruits of his life’s work. Shortly following this, as if having completed his life’s task, his health failed and he died in his sleep on 27th November 1936.

During his last few years, Dr Bach had trained three assistants in the art of collecting and preparing the flower remedies, and the work of producing and promoting their use continues.  Currently the flower remedies are being produced according to Bach’s methods by two independent organizations in the United Kingdom. Production still goes on in Mount Vernon at the Bach Flower Centre, and the same remedies are being produced by Healing Herbs in Hereford. (The 38 flower remedies are available on-line through this website.)

The addresses are:

The Dr Edward Bach Centre
Mount Vernon, Bakers Lane
Sotwell, Oxon, OX10 0PZ, UK

Healing Herbs Ltd.
P.O. Box 65
Hereford, HR2 0UW

(The flower images used on this page are copyrighted material and have been used with the express permission of Healingherbs Ltd.)

To purchase Bach Flower Remedies or books from this site, click here, or click on any of the Bach Flower or book images on this page.

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(The flower images used on this page are copyrighted material and have been used with the express permission of Healingherbs Ltd.)

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