Practitioner Bulletin no. 28, November/December 1999

Type remedies

Why have type remedies? We were looking through old copies of the Bach Centre Newsletter, and came across this explanation, which was printed in the September 1970 issue.

It was printed with Dr Bach’s name at the bottom, and parts of it are quoted from Dr Bach’s writings. The rest is based on Nora’s recollection of what Dr Bach told her about type remedies. We thought you would be interested to read what Dr Bach had to say on the subject.

Some of our readers have found it difficult to understand the usefulness of choosing a remedy for themselves. The explanation is simple. We come to earth with a personality of our own, and our real work is to develop, improve, and as near as possible, perfect that personality; and for this work throughout life, our own remedy, the one relating to our own personality, will be needed to help us.

For example, take a Vervain personality, his life’s work is to modify and soften his intensity of purpose. That will be his life’s work all the time.

But at times he may come under the influence of others and forget his life’s work, he may worry, become restless, qualities which the Vervain personality should never know, yet he may need the remedy Agrimony. Or he may find doubt creep into his mind, nothing more foreign to his personality, then he will need Gentian.

Most of us at some time or other become open to outside influence, and then it is we need that remedy which protects us against that particular danger, but always we need help from our personality or type remedy, the one which will strengthen our determination to learn the particular lesson we have come to earth to learn.

Every human being is unique in that he has a personality of his very own, he is not just a unit, or number, or part of a great machine. Every single individual has a life to live, a work to do, a glorious personality, a wonderful individuality, and if he can hold this, ‘to his own self be true’, then disease cannot inflict itself upon him.

Edward Bach

Fame – at last

by Yvonne Smith, UK

Recently I received a phone call from New Media Television who were making a series of short films on complementary therapies to be shown on Yorkshire TV in the autumn. I was asked to present the Bach remedies and said yes.

Details of the schedule arrived a few days before filming. The location was a village not too far from where I live, and my ‘client’ would be a stressed supermarket worker. The same person would also be treated by another therapist, who would be demonstrating massage with hot and cold stones.

I arrived at the location, a private house in the village, at about 1.30 p.m. The other therapist, Jane, was already there. She had been told to arrive at noon, and had driven for three and a half hours from Stratford-Upon-Avon. There was no sign of the film crew.

The lady whose house and garden we were using was very upset as she thought her garden was being used for a gardening programme. She was certainly not going to let it be used for a programme on complementary therapies! Jane was very concerned as she had hoped to have finished filming by 2.p.m. so that she could get back to Stratford. She had appointments booked for the evening.

The film crew, presenter and researcher eventually arrived about 2 p.m. There was a long and rather heated discussion between the researcher, the lady with the garden (who had known the researcher since he was a small boy – his parents still lived in the village) and Jane, who said there was now no time to set up her stones. Apologies were given by the researcher and we all left the house.

The producer and the researcher persuaded Jane to stay a little longer while they found a new location. This proved not to be too difficult. The researcher’s parents were away on holiday, so everyone adjourned to their house. Although the garden was not as large or as beautiful as the original, it was adequate for the purpose. Jane set up her couch in the garden and proceeded to heat the black basalt stones and cool the white marble ones – it was very interesting to see a therapy which was new to me.

In the meantime, the original supermarket worker had not arrived, due to a migraine. As it was difficult to find a replacement volunteer at such short notice, Wendy, who organised events for the supermarket, came in her place.

She was a working single mum in her early thirties and seemed a very well-balanced person, although she was a bit shocked at first when she realised that for Jane’s therapy she would have to strip and lie on a couch in the middle of the garden. This was very discreetly done, however, and she enjoyed the experience of lying on hot stones with hot and then cold stones between her toes. Luckily the weather was kind, being quite warm and sunny, and Jane was able to complete a part treatment before rushing back to Stratford for her appointments.

Then it was my turn to face the cameras. I had only been able to speak very briefly to Wendy, who seemed a very well-balanced person, managing a full-time job and coping on her own with two daughters aged 11 and 13. After some thought I decided to make the following treatment bottle:

  • Agrimony – for hiding her feelings in front of staff and customers.
  • Elm – she had a confident nature most of the time but she said this failed her on occasions when she took on too much.
  • Clematis – she often daydreamed about the future rather than being in the present.
  • Scleranthus – for decision making which she sometimes found difficult.
  • Hornbeam for mental tiredness after a day’s work.

During filming I briefly described the remedies, and explained the ones I had chosen for Wendy, while making up her treatment bottle. Filming was constantly interrupted by aircraft from the local RAF station – none had been flying during Jane’s massage – and I was repeatedly asked to be briefer as my section of filming would be condensed into one and a half minutes. Goodness knows how the final production will appear on T.V.

The film crew, presenter, producer and researcher were all young, and very pleasant and easy to work with. During breaks in filming I told them about the remedies and gave out leaflets explaining them in more detail. The presenter was particularly interested when I mentioned that they could be used to treat animals – she said she had a mad poodle.

With my bit finished, the camera zoomed in on the remedy bottles and some flowers as a parting shot. I was left in the garden to pack up my props while the film crew went to another part of the village to film some continuity shots (I’ve picked up the jargon already). A very interesting day – oh, and all this took place on the day of the eclipse…

Welcome to…

Since the last (September) issue was prepared, 37 new practitioners have joined the register:

  • in Brazil, Isabel Bande Espinosa, Maria Thereza Leite de Moraes Rodrigues, Claudia Colagrande, and Regina Maria Fernandes Lopes;
  • in Canada, Chris Sullivan;
  • in the Czech Republic, Lenka Samkova;
  • in France, Pascale Millier, and Jean-Michel Piquemal;
  • in Israel, Rosa Naveh, Keren Hen-Refael, and Miriam Heimler;
  • in New Zealand, Johanna Lettink;
  • in Portugal, Isabel Figueira;
  • in Spain, Tineke Eike-Lommerse, and Josefa Vásquez López;
  • in Switzerland, Conchita Papa Bernasconi;
  • and in the UK, Val Farmer, Christina Karagianni, Parmjit Sanghera, Christine Priestley, Patricia Simancas Ortiz, Carly Hyde, Hazel Turner, Alison Murphy, Elizabeth Mitford-White, Vivien Davies, Cate Andreopoulos, Barbara Coles, Katrina Mountfort, Gillian Scott, Lilias Roulstone, Jan Ross, Lynn Hinton, Louise Ashdown, Patricia Tyrer, and Patricia Griffiths.

There are now 643 practitioners on the register.


You may have noticed more activity at the Bach Centre on the publishing front. This year alone has seen the release of Bach Flower Remedies for Animals and The Bach Flower Gardener.

This is part of a new focus on publishing, which we see as a key way of getting people interested in the remedies. The animal and plant books are designed to appeal to people who may not be typical remedy users, and we hope they will be distributed through animal and garden centres, so reaching a different audience.

In addition, we have been concerned for some time that the books on the remedies that can be found in the High Street are not always reliable. Many people have commented on how difficult it is to find Bach Centre-approved literature in the shops.

In an effort to rectify this we are looking to work with more publishers who might have access to better distribution and larger chains of bookshops. We are currently working on a number of projects with, among others, Dorling-Kindersley and Hodder & Stoughton.

The first fruit of this new approach is out this month – a book called Principles of Bach Flower Remedies, written by Stefan as part of the ‘Principles’ range on complementary health published by Thorsons. This is a basic introduction to the remedies, written for beginners. As such it will not be immediately relevant to practitioners, but it will we hope help to spread Dr Bach’s original and simple message to a new audience of bookshop browsers.

Courses in Ireland

In August, Levels 1 and 2 of the Bach International Education Programme were successfully launched in Ireland.

The courses were organised by Ruth McGowran, Education Co-ordinator for Ireland, and taught by registered practitioner Sally French.

Feedback from the courses was extremely positive, with many students expressing an interest to progress to the next level. The courses have continued in the autumn and the first Level 3 Practitioner Course in Ireland has been planned for next spring.

Your letters

We want you to use this Bulletin to keep in touch with each other. If anything wonderful, funny, interesting or just plain typical has happened to you in your work with the remedies, or if there are any questions that have been nagging away at you, or if you simply want to say hello, please write to us at the Bach Centre, marking your letter clearly as being ‘FOR PUBLICATION’.

We can’t promise to print every letter in the Bulletin, but even if we don’t use your contribution we always love to hear from you.

I recently attended a ‘Herbs and Healing’ festival, having been asked to take part in a clinic along with other therapists from different professions.

One of the guest speakers was a well known local doctor who is very much into flower essences of all sorts. I attended his talk and was concerned by the fact that he used a pendulum for diagnosis. He chose a member of the audience for a demonstration, and went on to suggest several remedies that the client would find useful, also via the pendulum. There was no verbal contact between the two.

It turned out that the ‘client’ used flower remedies as part of her therapeutic practice. Talking to her later, it was obvious that she disagreed with the remedies that had been suggested.

What really concerned me was the fact that the doctor concerned has given talks on the remedies to other doctors and to hospital nurses. If he used his pendulum during the talks, then I wonder exactly what impression he made, and whether he advanced the case for their use.

As a healer who uses the Bach system, I of course accept that there was a spiritual element in Dr Bach’s discoveries, and that intuition continues to play a part in their use. This does not however replace the need for an in-depth consultation with clients and a careful analysis of their present needs and emotions.

Cedric Taylor, England

On a recent trip to Hawaii 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 Rescue Remedy. 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 then 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 some of the crisis mix with her at all times. Looking down upon the sleeping baby she said, “SOLD!”

Haripriya Dillon ND, USA

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