Case studies

This is a selection of short case reports sent in by practitioners, showing the remedies at work. Names and personal details have been changed.

AgrimonyTen-year-old girl

The other day I had a text book case concerning a ten year old girl. Her mother came into the health shop where I work and practise, fed up with the doctor’s response to her daughter’s constant tummy ache and did we have an alternative.

I asked if her daughter was quite sensitive and she started saying how nervous she gets with the slightest thing and how her schoolwork suffers because she has no confidence, and that she often has headaches as well. She also said she was quite moody, very up and down.

I asked if she was indecisive and her mother raised her eyes upwards and told me that she has spent the last few weeks making her mind up about whether to go on a school trip or not. It was driving her mad.

After a brief introduction to the Bach flower remedies she decided to buy the 'rescue' emergency combination. I was itching to put together a mixture for her but she was very sceptical. However, I knew she needed others so in the end she left with a mixture of the emergency combination, Larch, Mimulus, Aspen, Scleranthus and Gentian.

Two days later, her mum came back with a bunch of flowers for me, saying how her daughter had changed overnight. After two doses that evening she had slept well and the next day had come down saying that she didn’t have any tummy ache and that she had made a decision about the school trip! And her teacher had come out at the end of the day and asked her mother what had happened as she had been really good at her schoolwork that day...

AspenTen-year-old boy

This is a case I like to mention when giving talks on the remedies, since it illustrates the physical effects of being out of balance so clearly. It is the case of a ten year old boy who could not get out of his home without having a bad bout of diarrhoea. This condition had started a little after his father had an almost fatal car accident and had to spend a couple of months in hospital.

I gave him Star of Bethlehem for the shock, and Aspen for his general state of apprehension and dread. Chicory was his type remedy, shown by the fact that he wanted his father all to himself, and was always seeking attention and bossing his brother around. I also gave him Larch to help him regain his confidence.

Within a very short time he started to feel better and was soon living a normal life again.

ImpatiensNew mum

I was introducing the remedies to a ‘mum-to-be’ who was becoming very temperamental during the last stage of her pregnancy. She lived in a remote area and, at her request, I flew up to meet her.

This was P’s first baby. It seemed that she was very irritable with everyone around her and found herself shouting and becoming difficult to be with. Nobody could do anything to satisfy her and she was in a hurry for the baby to arrive so that she could get on with her life.

I felt that Impatiens was the only remedy needed.

It happened that two days later the weather forecast was pretty grim and it seemed that heavy snow was on its way. The hospital decided that P should book in at once, otherwise it might have meant that a helicopter would have to be used when her labour started, in order to get her to the hospital.

Once she was in the hospital the staff there decided to induce the birth. But each time the day came for the procedure to start another mum-to-be arrived at the cottage hospital, in full labour, who obviously had to be seen to first. Day after day went by and in the end it was a full ten days before the staff could get around to inducing her baby.

How did this impatient, irritable mother cope with the delay?

Her family, the nursing staff, and P herself, were absolutely amazed at her patience and good humour. She laughed each time another mum was brought in, and she was pushed once more to the back of the queue. They praised her, and she became a talking point amongst the staff. She told them her secret - Impatiens!

Needless to say, P is now a ‘Bach flower' mum and has the full set of remedies at home. Her Christmas present last year from her father-in-law was a beautifully crafted box for her remedies.

Find out more about giving remedies to the pregnant family...

Crab AppleRecovering

An old friend called for help. Her 30 year old daughter, a new mother and recovering heroin addict, was enrolled in a methadone program in a rural area. It included going to the local pharmacy every day for her methadone.

A new pharmacist took over dispensing to her, did not measure correctly and overdosed her. She left the pharmacy feeling very sick and was taken at once to the local hospital.

We are experiencing major cutbacks in funding for medical services in our area so there is not the time, compassion and technical skill that there used to be. The idea is to treat as quickly as possible and discharge patients, especially those with unsavoury difficulties like drug addiction. Even though she was the victim of her recovery program they fed her charcoal and sent her home.

She was still very sick and felt like she was losing her mind. Her mother at this point called me and we put her on the crisis formula and Crab Apple. In a short period of time she started coming down and feeling better, and was fine by morning. Both mother and daughter were very grateful for the remedies.

ChicoryA legal case

In August last year I took a holiday in Geneva where I used to live and work for the UN. Friends in the UN agencies arranged for me to give a talk/workshop on the remedies to about a dozen people. All of them were English-speaking and some of them had been experimenting with the remedies.

I took over with me lots of Bach information and had a wonderful evening telling them all about the remedies. During the course of my holiday I prepared many treatment bottles for friends and former colleagues.

A lawyer in the World Intellectual Property Organisation assured me that the treatment bottle I made her had saved her from a certain mental breakdown as she faced what seemed like an impossible deadline on a high profile legal document. She was so impressed with the remedies that she bought a whole set and is planning to get back to the UK to take a weekend course.

ScleranthusIndecision

A girl friend of mine was visiting me for a coffee and was in the process of deciding whether to visit her homeland in Africa. She was completely indecisive. She has two children; organising to leave the family for three weeks seemed difficult, but she really wanted to go. She knew of the remedies, but had never taken any.

During our conversation my youngest daughter got hold of a stock bottle. She let it fall, and it broke. I cleared it up, mourning the precious loss, and making a mental note which remedy had just been ‘killed’. The smell of the alcohol filled the room, along with the essence itself.

Twenty minutes later, after she had left, the phone rang. It was my friend: ‘I’m at the travel agents, I’ve just booked my flight!’

What was the stuff that my daughter broke? You’ve guessed - it really was Scleranthus.

Star of BethlehemWendy

Wendy had undergone a masectomy. For the first two weeks her recovery went well, but then all of a sudden she seemed to lose her appetite and her resistance to pain. She also felt lethargic and weak - she couldn’t even keep her eyes open to read a book.

When Wendy next visited her doctor the nurse who was changing the bandages noticed her blacking out. She told Wendy not to give in and said that there were some drops that could help her. She recommended the crisis formula. Soon after taking them Wendy felt a little better.

She continued to take the remedy on and off for the next 48 hours, whenever things seemed to be getting worse, and every time only a few sips were needed to calm her and help her come back to herself.

OliveTom

Tom worked in a stuffy office with very little ventilation. As a result the windows were often left open, even in winter. Tom sat with his back to the window and seemed to have little resistance to the draft. He was forever suffering from vague head colds, with tiredness, heavy eyes and catarrh, but the doctor told him there was nothing wrong with him.

He was given Olive for the tiredness and lack of energy and Crab Apple because he felt contaminated and full of sickness. Soon the vague symptoms faded, and he reported that instead of collapsing in an armchair at the end of every day he was able to keep going for longer and get more things done.

Rock RoseTwo children

There are two incidents that I would like to describe.

The first was a small girl aged three who came with her mother to the consultation. She was peacefully playing with some blocks I gave her while her mother explained to me what was going on in the family.

All at once the mother told me she was intending to divorce the child’s father. Suddenly the little girl turned towards me and started throwing up.

I took the crisi formula stock bottle and made her smell it and then put a few drops into her mouth. She immediately recovered and her mother took her to the bathroom to wash her. When they returned the little girl was shivering and frightened so I put more drops on her temples while I talked to her gently. Three minutes later she was sitting on my lap, drawing as if nothing had happened.

The second case was a friend of mind whose two-year-old daughter is always on the go. Despite her age she will not stop talking to us and trying to persuade us to do what she wanted. (If it weren’t for the fact that she was only two she would make a perfect politician.)

We were having a cup of tea at home while she ran and jumped around us. She couldn’t stop moving about and gesturing with her arms. Suddenly, in a matter of seconds, the little girl stood up on a chair and fell down, hitting her eyebrow on the edge of the wooden table. When her mother picked her up her face was all red with blood.

I ran to the stock bottles, took Star of Bethlehem, and after her mother cleaned the small wound (which continued to bleed copiously) I put a drop of the Star on it. In seconds the flow of blood slowed. I put on another drop - her mother couldn’t believe her eyes because immediately after the second drop the bleeding stopped.

She looked at me in surprise and asked: ‘Are you a witch?’ What could I answer? I said nothing, and just thought: ‘Thank you, Dr Bach.’

Some days later my friend told me that her little girl was telling everybody that I had ‘some little drops that cure you when you hit your head against something, and it doesn’t hurt any more.’

Cherry PlumSold!

On a recent air trip I was packed like a sardine into a large airliner that barely gave one space to breathe. And then, to top things off, a baby in the seat behind me was screaming non-stop, stretching the patience of the already overworked stewardess in my section, and I'm sure irritating the nerves of most of us sitting nearby.

Suddenly I got an idea. I called the stewardess over to me and asked her if she had heard of the emergency 'rescue' formula. No, she had not. That made things a little more difficult, but I briefly told her about it, and asked her to see if the mother of the baby would agree to put some on the pulse points of the baby's wrists. What did she have to lose? She agreed.

I explained as simply as I could about the remedy to the baby's mother. There was a little hesitancy, but the screams of the baby quickly made her change her mind, and she too agreed it was worth a try. I put a few drops onto the fingers of the baby's mother, and she gently rubbed it on to the baby's little wrists.

Within a few minutes the baby stopped crying and soon was fast asleep. I looked back and we exchanged smiles of relief.

The stewardess was 63 years old and had been on the airlines for 40 years. Jokingly, she called this the Dinosaur Flight. We chatted a while, and she said that in the last few years a strange phenomenon was occurring. She called it "Airline Rage". She said people were more irritable, impatient, surly and angry, with an "in your face" attitude the likes of which she had never experienced before. Babies cried more and longer, and the things the stewardesses had to cope with were beyond the call of duty.

I talked to her at length about Dr. Bach's flower essences, and suggested she keep a bottle of the emergency mix with her at all times. Looking down upon the sleeping baby she said, "Sold!"

Water VioletAlison and Michael

Alison

Alison and Michael were having counselling to help them through some problems between them.

Alison was a quiet person who knew her own mind. She found it difficult to handle his indecision and apparent lack of direction. She was also becoming quite insecure and threatened by people on the edge of her space - children playing outside the house were getting to her. And getting up in the morning to go to a job she didn't enjoy any more was becoming a real burden.

Alison described herself as totally self-reliant and said she had always been a loner. Yet she had always worked in fashion retail - a field requiring constant interaction with other people. She had been given her own shop, and was very good at her job. Her colleagues thought that she was very energetic and a real live wire.

The conversation revealed quite a conflict between the two people inside her - the quiet, self-reliant Alison who needed her own space and became unhappy if she couldn’t get it, and the lively, bouncy Alison who kept everyone else going with her energy - a conflict between Water Violet on the one hand and Agrimony on the other.

We thought it probable that on leaving the safety of childhood Alison had felt, however unconsciously, that she needed to protect her inner nature from the outside world and had used the coping strategy of hiding herself completely behind the live wire exterior.

From the beginning she took Water Violet and Agrimony. We also used other remedies to address her feelings about her husband and their situation.

After two months' taking the remedies Alison was waking refreshed. She felt she had put herself back together without the hardness, and that the shell had gone. Things had also changed for her husband and this, combined with her own progress, meant that she felt much more relaxed, less emotional; she felt 'at peace'.

Michael

Michael was finding the counselling sessions very enlightening. He discovered he needed other people's permission to do and be what he wanted. He also understood how much of a worrier he was, how afraid of getting it wrong - in fact, his worry had led him to irritable bowel syndrome, depression and a number of other stress-related conditions.

A gentle person, Michael worked in finance with colleagues made hyperactive by the pressure of work. He was good at his job, but at great cost to his quiet nature. He had always been interested in the complementary therapy field, especially reflexology.

He and his wife dreamt of living in the country where they had a little house, but Michael could not bring himself to a decision on whether to break away from his regular job.

For about six weeks he took Larch to boost his confidence, White Chestnut to relieve the worry, Scleranthus for the indecision as well as the problems he was having with balance and co-ordination, and Mimulus for his fears about doing what he wanted to do.

Then they went to their cottage on holiday. On his return he said the holiday hadn't recharged him. He felt so unwell that he had taken time off work - something unusual for him. He had lost his appetite completely and felt tearful. 'I've been here before,' he said.

We identified a lack of trust in life, a continual fear of things going wrong. We talked about how his sensitive nature found it hard to cope with the cut and thrust of his work environment, how in fact his whole system was crying out to live differently. We also discussed possible ways forward that would be more fulfilling for him.

In his treatment bottle this time he had Chestnut Bud to help him move forward, Centaury and Walnut to strengthen and protect his resolve, Pine to ward off any guilt feelings about doing things his way, Larch to give him the confidence to go for it and White Chestnut to stop him worrying.

Next day Alison came for her appointment saying 'I have a new husband'. Michael had already handed in his notice and had booked a place on a reflexology course. He was full of life, could see his path ahead clearly, was decisive and very positively moving along it. They are now planning to take the leap and move permanently to the country.

MimulusStarting school

My son started full-time school last autumn. When we went to view the school in the summer he was the only child who would not leave his parents to go into the classroom for a half hour story. He was extremely nervous and clung to my husband as if he was about to be abandoned.

I spent the rest of the summer working out what I would do in September when he refused to go in to class on his first day. I made up a treatment bottle for what I thought he might need and started him on the drops about two weeks before the first day of term. It contained Mimulus, Larch and Walnut. (Normally the last things he needs are Mimulus and Larch!)

The first day arrived. After a quick kiss goodbye he ran straight into the classroom on his own. Every morning he races in ahead of all the other kids, and has apparently been looking after those that are still upset. I helped out in the classroom last week and have now put him on Vine!

GentianAsterix

My Weimaraner dog Guy died. He had a serious heart condition and we were told over two years ago that he had three months to live, so we were very grateful that we had him for so long. He was 13 years and 5 months, which is a good age for a Weimaraner.

This has left us with Asterix the English springer spaniel. He is now 12 years and 8 months, although mentally he is probably only about eight months old.

Asterix has always lived with other dogs, as we originally had two Weimaraners and Asterix. After Guy died Asterix wasn’t too bad at first, but after about five or six days he started to really mope. He wouldn’t eat properly, wouldn’t come out of his bed and more disturbing he didn’t want to go out for a walk. This was not like Asterix.

I decided to try the Bach remedies with him, as I have used them in the past with all my dogs. The remedy I made was as follows:

  • Vine - for his personality
  • Walnut - for the change in his life
  • Mimulus - for known fear, and the now timid Asterix
  • Gentian - for known depression
  • Crab Apple - I used this as he was bothered by an irritation on one of his back legs, which was where a grass seed had to be removed in the past

The remedy was added to his water bowl, and some titbits that we used to entice him to eat. The change was almost immediate. I continued for about a week after this with the remedy, and we now have our old Asterix back.