The Power of Flowers - Part Two

Swami Gaurishankara Saraswati, Linotype operator Bihar School of Yoga

In part one of this article the author introduced Edward Bach, pathologist, bacteriologist and homoeopath, and told how he eventually left all these systems in search of pure remedies which he felt must already be existing in the form of flowers. Part two gives the remedies he found and the methods he used to prepare them.

From his own experiences and from watching others, Edward Bach realised that man is endowed with all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to guide him through his earthly life in utmost happiness, joy and health. Bach believed implicitly, and stressed in his book Heal Thyself, that happiness brings health. One who is happy lives life fully, he is uninfluenced by others, and thus can be of greatest service to his fellow men.

Much wisdom was imparted to Bach through intuition, which he trusted to be of divine origin and the means of communication between man's higher self and his earthly personality. He saw that interference and suggestions of others deter one from following his own inner convictions. This leads to conflicting states of mind - fear, indecision, hate etc. which mar happiness and affect health.

He believed physical disease to be merely the result of disorganisation in the functioning of the brain, caused by moods such as worry, fear, shock, strain and so on. A small worry passing through the mind causes strain to appear on the face. A continued large worry has a correspondingly greater effect upon the body. Cure can only be obtained by removing the cause. Recognition of the fact that moods and states of mind are responsible for ill health dispels fear of disease. This, coupled with the patient's earnest desire to get well, eliminates all incurable or chronic diseases. Fear is one of the chief obstacles to overcome in sickness and recovery. Even chronic and incurable diseases are cleared up once the mind regains its normal control of the body.

Modern medicine can relieve the physical symptoms of the disease but not the underlying cause - the mood. The patient is still left without help to rise above his mental problems. Hence the long, drawn out illnesses of so many people. The surest sign of a patient's progress is the comment 'I feel like myself again', indicating the arresting of the cause - the disturbed state of mind. Threatened illnesses can also be prevented or modified, for the signs of oncoming disease are clearly shown beforehand by the state of one's mind.

Bach concentrated on the most common moods from which all people suffer, and he found twelve outstanding states of mind. He later used the twelve following remedies (which he prepared by the sun method) to treat these moods.

Flower Mood
Mimulus Fear
Rock Rose Terror
Cerato Self-distrust
Scleranthus Indecision
Clematis Indifference
Agrimony Worry
Chicory Over concern
Centaury Weakness
Gentian Discouragement
Impatiens Impatience
Vertain Over-enthusiasm
Water violet Pride, aloofness

Fear, for example, is common to the sensitive, highly strung temperament, but occasionally even the most strong willed person can feel frightened or even terrified. The members of each group are clearly recognised by their behaviour, moods or attitudes. For instance, the nervous group would be fearful of the first plunge into the sea. The hesitating, undecided group takes some time to make up their minds to go in. The impatient people walk or run straight in. The over concerned try the temperature of the water first. Each individual behaves according to his type, and the same thing applies to sickness.

Bach knew there would be variations of moods which would necessitate further groupings. But he was also sure that the remedies for these twelve states of mind would help many sufferers until he had progressed with his research. Of all the flower remedies which Edward Bach eventually discovered, the first twelve previously mentioned, he called the healers, and the following he called the helpers.

Sun Method Boiling Method
Gorse Elm
Heather Cherry
Oak Plum
Rock Water Pine
Oat Chestnut Bud
White Chestnut Larch
Olive Sweet Chestnut
Honeysuckle Willow
Vine Hornbeam
Wild Rose Aspen
Mustard Crab Apple
Star of Bethlehem Walnut
Holly Beech

Most of these remedies were found amongst the wild flowers of England and Wales. Cerato is a native plant of Tibet. The olive remedy and the grape vine remedy were potentized from the blossoms by the sun method in Italy and Switzerland where they grew in their natural surroundings. Rock water came from an old, forgotten well which had been renowned for its healing properties.

Bach discovered the simple sun method of preparing remedies. He would choose a perfect summer day with no clouds to obscure the sun's light and heat. He worked in the open air, out in the field where the actual mother plant grew. First he filled a small glass bowl with fresh water, then he picked the most perfect blossoms of the selected plant and placed them carefully in the bowl until the whole surface of the water was covered. The bowls would be left in the sun for about four hours until the petals showed slight signs of fading. This signified that the medicinal properties had been transmitted to the water, impregnating it with magnetic power. Bach would then remove the flowers from the water, which was crystal clear and full of small sparkling bubbles. This he did with a blade of grass so that his fingers would not come into contact with the fluid. Next he transferred the water into bottles. When these were half full he added an equal amount of brandy to preserve the fluid. New bottles and bowls were used for the preparation of each remedy. Bach preferred brandy as a preservative, considering it a more pure and natural agent than the rectified spirit commonly added to medicines. This practical and easy method of preparing healing remedies involved the four elements: earth to nurture the plant, air from which it feeds, sun to draw its power, and water to absorb the magnetic properties.

Those remedies which required the boiling method were prepared on an open fire. Bach would let them simmer for an hour and when cool he would strain off the fluid and put it in bottles with an equal amount of brandy.

Bach considered laymen to be better at prescribing than himself. They could concentrate entirely on the moods of the patient, without any conflicting thoughts about the nature of the disease etc. With all those years of medical and scientific training behind him, he sometimes found it difficult not to think of the complications and the physical symptoms which might arise from the disease.

Bach had great courage and faith in his convictions to treat acute and serious conditions with such simple herbs. All his remedies can be used in conjunction with other treatments and medicines. The method of prescribing them is so simple that they can be kept in the home and used by anyone. There are no poisonous plants amongst them, so there is no fear of overdosing or incorrectly prescribing them.

Long standing and obstinate complaints yield to treatment, sometimes in a remarkably short time. Minor complaints such as continual colds, headaches, chilblains etc. have quickly been removed. People suffering from stress, worry, fear, depression have regained a feeling of well-being and happiness in a short time. As moods change from day to day and from hour to hour, sometimes it is also necessary to frequently change the remedies to deal with each mood as it appears. During a course of treatment it is often necessary to combine a few remedies to combat different moods. Combinations of up to five remedies may be used. But if only one mood is present, then only one remedy is required.

Bach's intuitive powers were so strongly developed that on occasion he was able to foretell events. His compassion for all people formed a link between them and himself and he would often hear the call for help from any in distress. Patients wrote to him or told him afterwards that during the night when they lay in pain, he had appeared, placed his hand upon their head or arm, and they had immediately gone to sleep. He was often aware of the disease or complaint of the next patient who was to visit him. His ability to contact the symptoms of disease gave him an incredible understanding and sympathy with his patients.

Bach gained no monetary benefit from his books and remedies. They were sold as inexpensively as possible in order that all might be able to buy them. To the chemists whom he had given his mother tinctures, he stipulated that the preparations be sold to the public as reasonably as possible. He didn't want to see these gifts from the creator turned to commercial uses.

Bach's implicit trust in his intuition or inner knowledge lead to results which others would call miracles or supernatural happenings. He followed the thought that first came into his mind and acted upon it before reason could step in. In daily life, finding and preparing herbal remedies, healing disease through personal magnetism, and saving life by fore-knowledge of certain events, it was proved to him that through intuition, man is in touch with the great source of all wisdom for which nothing is impossible.

Edward Bach died in November 1936. His life was short (50 years) but he worked unceasingly with one aim: to find a pure and simple way of healing the sick. His whole life had been one of service and giving. Indeed he was a great karma and bhakti yogi.

Through tantra, yoga and scientific research it has been proved that flowers have psychic and healing properties. We would like to see more work done on indexing the psychic and healing properties of every flower. We are particularly interested in their specific healing effects on the mental and physical body.