Remedies from flowers and trees are subtle” elixirs” that claim to be able to help to rekindle a feeling of mental and emotional, as well as physical, well-being. Some aim to bring relief from unsettling moods and emotions such as anxiety, fear, guilt, and anger, and others encourage people who use them to recognize and let go of deep-seated behavioral patterns that give rise to such feelings. Above all, they claim to be able to help people feel calm and content in times of stress. Flower and tree remedies are so safe and harmless that they are often used as selftreatment. They are not targeted at particular symptoms but at states of mind accompanying illness.
Though flowers have played a role in healing for centuries – Australian Aborigines and Native Americans were using remedies made from flowers to ease emotional upsets and achieve peace of mind thousands of years ago – the healing power of flowers was only rediscovered in the West in the 1920s when it was revived by Dr. Edward Bach.
Bach (pronounced Batch) was a British Harley Street physician specializing in pathology and bacteriology, with a practical understanding of homeopathy. As a young practitioner he quickly noticed that patients with “physical” complaints often seemed to be suffering from some form of anxiety or “negative” emotional problem. He came to think that the emotional background was the cause of the illness.
Disenchanted with the standard medical approach of relieving the symptoms rather than the cause of illness, he began a quest for a new healing system that could help with the psychological aspect of illness. His search ended with the flowers blossoming in the fields and hedgerows around his cottage.
Bach decided intuitively upon the plants that would give relief. It is said that he put himself into the frame of mind corresponding to that which he saw as being a cause of illness, before trying out the effects of plants on himself. The first of the plant remedies pinpointed by Bach related to what he saw as 12 key personality types. The next 26 flower remedies brought relief from different kinds emotional discomfort and distress. The table silo below summarizes the 38 remedies developed by& during the 1920s and 1930s.