Practitioner Bulletin no. 18, March 1998

Researching the remedies

We have received some interesting reports from Italy of two pieces of research into the effectiveness of the remedies. Both were reported in the journal La Medicina Biologica..

The first involved monitoring 115 people using the remedies, some of them ‘believers’ and others avowed sceptics. The results showed 89% of users reporting positive effects. Even more interestingly, of the sceptical group 95% reported positive results. The researchers also found that children and adolescents responded more quickly to the remedies.

The second study is still in its early stages. The researchers have set up an experiment to find out if the remedies can affect the process of crystallisation (the forming of crystals out of a solution). If they can show this, they believe, this will demonstrate that there is some energetic component to the remedies, an ‘active ingredient’ that will show that the remedies are not simple placebos. Early results are encouraging.

Occasionally we are asked to give help or advice to people who want to set up research experiments like these, and we always try to assist. But there are limits: we would not ourselves want to instigate research, because that for us would be a backward step. Dr Bach turned away from the laboratory when he started his search for the remedies, and we would not want to turn back to it now.

Besides, we are conscious of Dr Bach’s introduction to The Twelve Healers, where he says:

No science, no knowledge is necessary, apart from the simple methods described herein; and they who will obtain the greatest benefit from this God-sent Gift will be those who keep it pure as it is; free from science, free from theories, for everything in Nature is simple.

The remedies are more than a healing system. They are also a vital link to the essential simplicity of nature and of life. While it may be useful for some to see test results and computer printouts on this or that aspect of their action, it is also vital to preserve and keep hold of that purity and simplicity. That is the task shared by all of us associated with the Bach Foundation International Register.

A true story

by EH

Louise, William’s mother, phoned me for an appointment. She said she had got my telephone number from another mum she’d met at the baby clinic, who was full of praise for the remedies – even though her GP (the same one as Louise’s) had shouted at her when she told him she’d taken her baby to see me. Louise said he was against complementary therapies and referred to them as ‘mumbo-jumbo’ and ‘a load of rubbish’, but she said she was so desperate she’d try anything.

I could hear William screaming as I parked my car and walked up the path to the front door. Louise looked totally exhausted – eyes red with dark rings underneath, very pale, hair not brushed, and wearing a dressing-gown (it was 2 pm). She apologised for the untidy state of the house and offered me a cup of tea, saying she hadn’t had a chance to make one for herself that day. I accepted and held William while she made it.

William continued to scream very loudly, was very rigid or stiff and made constant, jerky movements with his arms, legs and head. He seemed very hot and looked very red.

I introduced Louise to the remedies, and explained their gentle and benign action. Conversation was very difficult due to William’s screaming, interspersed with little coughs, but I asked Louise about her pregnancy.

She had gone through a difficult time, ‘always throwing up’, and had spent the second and third months in bed as a miscarriage was feared. The hospital had assured her that William had been unaffected by all this. When asked, she said that William had kicked and moved around a lot ‘almost as if he couldn’t wait to get out and get on with it’ (mother’s intuition?).

The birth had been straightforward but Louise said that William began to splutter, cry and yell almost immediately, and could not be pacified. He kept the whole maternity wing awake until a private room was made available. Louise chose to bottle-feed William and found he was very difficult to feed as he just took gulps in between screams and coughed most of it up again. It all took a long time and he was slightly underweight.

I asked Louise about the rest of the family. She already has one daughter and had no problems with her as a baby. Her daughter hadn’t taken to William as the crying and screaming kept her awake at night (she was falling asleep at school), he’d ‘disrupted everything’ and didn’t want to be cuddled or loved. Her partner worked long hours to make ends meet, and couldn’t stand William’s constant screaming. He had gone to stay with his mother and only returned for clean clothes.

Throughout our conversation William continued to scream loudly except for two occasions when, utterly exhausted, he fell into a brief and fitful sleep, in which he twitched, moved and whimpered. Almost as soon as he dozed off he coughed, which woke him up, and the screaming began again. Louise said that the longest span he’d slept since birth was one hour and thirty five minutes. He could not be pacified or comforted, remained very stiff (while asleep as well as awake) and I felt he would prefer to be left alone rather than be held or fussed. Louise confirmed this.

The cough was not dry, but sounded like mucus in the throat, not on the chest. It had been there since birth. Her GP said it was due to his not having his airways sucked out properly in the delivery room, and said he would probably grow out of it at around age six months. If he didn’t something would then be done.

Louise told me that she was unable to go out at all as people stared at William. She relied on her daughter for shopping, and no-one was willing to baby-sit for William. Neighbours had complained about the noise.

I considered which remedies were required. I decided on Crab Apple for its cleansing properties, Olive for his total exhaustion, Impatiens for his irritation and his wanting to be left alone, and Cherry Plum for his loss of control – he seemed at the end of his tether.

Other remedies that crossed my mind but that I decided against were Vervain (the fretting was not of this nature), Water Violet (there was a need to be left alone, but this was more Impatiens in nature), Rock Water (there was physical rigidity, but it was more connected with Impatiens and Cherry Plum), Star of Bethlehem (there were no known shocks or birth traumas) and Walnut (I felt his adjustment to life was not a major consideration).

I felt Impatiens could be his type remedy, as it was indicated even before birth.

I explained all the chosen remedies to Louise and she agreed with all the indications except she was convinced that the crab apples in their garden were poisonous. I did my best to convince her otherwise but she phoned her father to check. The father confirmed that crab apples were quite safe – but then began to shout at her for having ‘some quack’ in the house and told her not to let me anywhere near the baby. I could hear this from across the room.

I gave William back to Louise so I could mix up the remedies, explained the dose and that it should be administered in a little cooled, boiled water. While I did this Louise changed William and tried to feed him. There was no change in his behaviour. I made sure that Louise still had my telephone number, emphasised again the benign action of the remedies, and tried to give Louise reassurance, and to instil hope and confidence in the remedies. (William continued to scream.)

I felt I’d built up a reasonable rapport, considering that Louise was very wary and suspicious – even a little hostile – at first. I left after one and a half hours feeling I needed ‘rescuing’ and a lie down in a darkened room; I could still hear William screaming as I got into my car.

When I arrived home about three quarters of an hour later there was a hysterical message on my answerphone from Louise, wanting me to call back at once. William was very ill! What had I done to him!?

I phoned straight back. Louise had given William his first dose, and he’d stopped crying almost immediately and fallen asleep. I explained that this was the best we could hope for, tried to calm her, explained again that the remedies are totally harmless. Alison was still very upset and angry, convinced I’d poisoned her baby.

A few days later Louise phoned again. After her last call to me, she bundled William into a blanket and ran with him to her GP’s surgery. A locum doctor had assured her that William was just sleeping, albeit very deeply. He encouraged her to continue with the remedies as all else had failed. William slept until 10 pm, when Louise woke him to be fed. She gave him a second dose of remedies at the same time; he cried a little but was soon asleep again.

He slept until 2 am, when Louise panicked and woke him once more. He coughed a little but didn’t cry. She was so worried she called her GP’s number and the locum doctor visited at around 3 am. He was quite cross and said, again, that William was absolutely OK. Not convinced, an hour later she carried William to the casualty department at the local hospital, where he was pronounced to be fine. One of the nurses there said that she used the remedies and Louise was very much reassured by this and decided to continue with William’s treatment.

During the ensuing week, William’s cough had steadily improved and was now gone. He had settled into a routine, sleeping twelve hours each night, and being woken at 10 pm to be fed. He was now feeding well. Sometimes he cried a little but the screaming had stopped completely, and he slept peacefully without jerking or being rigid. Louise’s partner had moved back, a neighbour had offered to baby-sit from time to time and her daughter had brought a school friend to meet William.

When I visited by appointment a few weeks later I was amazed at the change in William, and absolutely thrilled to see him so calm and content. His remedies were used up and Louise asked for some more.

I felt that the Crab Apple, Cherry Plum and Olive were no longer required, but I put a couple of drops of Impatiens into a treatment bottles as I felt it might be a good idea to continue with his type remedy for a little longer. A couple of weeks later, when the bottle ran out, I said I felt he didn’t need the remedies any more, that they’d done their work.

Louise got very agitated, worried that William’s problems would return. After much reassurance from me that everything would be fine, and she could always call me if it wasn’t, she agreed to see how William got on without the remedies.

Over the next couple of months several of Louise’s friends contacted me, having been referred by her, and when I bumped into her and the rest of the family next it was at the railway station. They’d just returned from a long weekend away and William had coped with a long, crowded train journey with no problems. He still slept well, the cough hadn’t returned, and he remained relaxed and well balanced.

I was quite surprised at how quickly William returned from such an extreme state to a state of equilibrium. Now I’ve had more experience with babies, I’ve realised that they do seem to respond very quickly. It was a great privilege to work with William and I can’t help smiling every time I think of the brilliant outcome thanks to Dr Bach’s remedies.

NB: names have been changed to preserve confidentiality.

The Bach International Education Programme

by Karen Chapman, Head of International Education at A. Nelson & Co.

The growth and development of the Bach International Education Programme around the world continues apace. As the longer-standing practitioners amongst you will know, this programme was launched in 1995 by A. Nelson & Co. Ltd with the help of the Bach Centre, which approves the courses. The full three levels are now running in US, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Netherlands. Level 1 has been introduced in Denmark, Sweden, France, Japan and New Zealand (which also runs Level 2). In 1997 we also held official courses in Ireland, Argentina and the Czech Republic.

In 1997, we trained a total of nearly 10,000 students in fourteen different countries! This is a 200% increase on 1996. In particular 2253 students took the Level 1 course, 876 students took Level 2 and 362 students took Level 3 (the practitioner course).

In particular, congratulations to all new practitioners who have taken and completed the practitioner course overseas. Thank you for your patience – as the early students in this newly developing international programme some of you have suffered from delays as we have worked to put the full programme into place and to ensure consistent international standards.

New countries coming on stream during 1998 include Argentina and Belgium. We are also setting up better co-ordination for existing activity in France. The practitioner course (Level 3) will be run for the first time in Argentina in March and in New Zealand in May. One-off Level 1 courses will be held for the first time in Venezuela in February and in Singapore in May. All the teachers are Bach Foundation Registered Practitioners.

If you are a practitioner travelling to another country and wish to make contact with the education office in that country, please contact either the Bach Centre, your national Education Co-ordinator or the Education Department at A. Nelson & Co. Ltd and we will do our best to put you in contact.


Below is a passage taken from the science fiction novel Valis, by Philip K Dick. The author has got some facts right about Dr Bach and his work, but it is obvious from the many errors that the fictitious Dr Stone is not a BFRP…

To win a free copy of any book from the Bach Centre’s collection, tell us in no more than thirty words which error you think is the worst one for a practitioner to commit.

Send your entries to the usual address, to reach us by the end of April. Mark the envelope ‘Competition’.

The winning entry will appear in a future issue.

‘What I am going to give you,’ Dr Stone said, opening a black suitcase on his small cluttered desk, ‘we term the Bach remedies.’ He pronounced it batch. ‘These organic remedies are distilled from certain flowers which grow in Wales. Dr Bach wandered through the fields and pastures of Wales experiencing every negative mental state that exists. With each state that he experienced he gently held one flower after another. The proper flower trembled in the cup of Dr Bach’s hand and he then developed unique methods of acquiring an essence in elixir form of each flower and combinations of flowers which I have prepared in a rum base.’ He put three bottles together on the desk, found a larger, empty bottle, and poured the contents of the three into it. ‘Take six drops a day,’ Dr Stone said. ‘There is no way the Bach remedies can hurt you. They are not toxic chemicals. They will remove your sense of helplessness and fear and inability to act.’

In the next issue

  • How often should I take the remedies?
  • Answers to the competition

… and much, much more.

Thanks to all who have sent in articles and news to share. Please keep it coming – we enjoy hearing from you and what you have to say is always of interest to fellow practitioners.


This archive material has been edited to remove some out-of-date advice and information.