The simplicity of the Bach system
There are 38 remedies in the Bach remedy system. All of them were discovered in the 1920s and 1930s by Dr Edward Bach, a well-known bacteriologist, physician, and pathologist.
Each remedy is associated with a basic human emotion. Mimulus, for example, is for when we are anxious or afraid about something specific. Taking the remedy helps us overcome our fear and face it with courage.
The remedies are in liquid form so that you can mix together the remedies you need to help balance your current emotional situation. Like Dr. Bach, we believe that healing on an emotional level has knock-on effects on other levels. A healthy emotional life and a balanced personality will allow your body to find its own natural state of health.
Dr. Bach designed his system to be simple. It may seem daunting at first, but anybody can learn how to use it. On this site, you will find all you need to get you started. We have pages where you can look up every remedy and find out what they are for. Other pages tell you how to select and take the remedies. Below you will find how they are made, and we have lots of recommendations for further reading if you want to know more.
How the remedies are made
The remedies are made using one of two methods.
Dr. Bach devised the sun method for certain plants – mostly the more delicate flowers. The sun method involves floating the flower heads in pure water for three hours, in direct sunlight.
And for other remedies – mostly the woodier plants and those that bloom when the sun is weak – he created the boiling method in which a remedy maker boils the flowering parts of the plant for half an hour in pure water.
In both cases the heat transfers energy in the flowers to the water. The energised water is then filtered and an equal quantity of brandy is added to it as a preservative. This creates the mother tincture.
Mother tincture is then further diluted at a ratio of two drops to every 30 ml to make the stock bottles that you see in shops.
Making remedies is a simple process and doesn’t require special preparation or special abilities. All that is needed is willingness and understanding, along with sunshine and water, and the right plant on the right day.
If you decide to make a remedy for yourself, Dr. Bach taught us not to handle the flowers as the remedy should be influenced only by the flowers themselves. Choose a sunny, cloud-free morning. Fill a small fine glass bowl with pure spring water and then gently and simply snip the flowers directly onto the water’s surface, or cover the palm of your hand with a broad leaf so you can then tip the flowers onto the water without touching them.
Stay calm and take your time. Enjoy the experience, and remember to take a moment to thank the plant or tree when you have finished.
Our online edition of The Twelve Healers includes the Latin names of the plants and says which method to use when preparing each of them
Remedies and lettuces
Anyone can make their own remedies, which is why the instructions for making them were never patented, but instead published, first in the earlier editions of The Twelve Healers & Other Remedies and latterly in Nora and Victor’s book The Bach Remedies, Illustrations and Preparations.
For obvious reasons, most people find it easier and more convenient to use remedies prepared for them by someone else. To meet this need Dr. Bach and later Nora and Victor prepared stock remedies for distribution, and supplied mother tincture to three pharmacies in London with instructions so that they could dilute them into stock bottles and distribute them through their shops.
The Bach Centre team continued to make mother tinctures and stock remedies for packing and distribution throughout the world – but a point came where we could no longer meet the demand from this small house.
Today, one of the original three pharmacies – Nelsons – prepares and distributes remedies from mother tinctures made with the plants that grow in the Bach Centre’s garden and other original locations chosen by Dr. Bach himself. There are also other companies that make their own brands of the 38 remedies.
So instead of only being available in a select number of places remedies can be bought easily in ordinary shops. As well as High Street pharmacies and health stores, you can find them at airports and buy them in supermarkets.
Dr. Bach was a humble man – he would lead sing-songs in the village pub, play football with the local kids, smoke his pipe and enjoy a drink. He would be delighted to see the remedies so readily available and as easy to access as our daily vegetables, bread, and fruit.
But he was also a man with a vision: he wrote about a hospital of the future where doctors would treat their patients as individuals, where patients would understand the nature of their discomfort, and where the healing medicine of nature would nurture their feelings and their soul.
Since 1968 when Nora Weeks obtained the original medical licences for the remedies, our desire to keep the system unchanged and available to as many people as possible took us into areas that seem far removed from simply going out into the countryside to prepare a remedy in the sunshine: compliance with directives and regulations, official inspections, quality control, fire insurance…
Yet the bowls and the pans and the flowers were and are still there, and the 38 remedies and the message of self-healing are the same as when Dr. Bach walked down to Wallingford on his birthday in 1936 to give his work to the world.
At that lecture he described how we can use the remedies – the gifts of nature – to help ourselves and others. His vision of a hospital of the future saw it as a sanctuary of peace, hope and joy – and it’s something that we can find within ourselves if we choose to look for it.
As Dr. Bach explained to Nora Weeks:
“I want to make it as simple as this: I am hungry, I will go and pull a lettuce from the garden for my tea; I am frightened and ill, I will take a dose of Mimulus.”
It really is as simple as that.