Bach flowers: what are they and what is their effectiveness?
That a large number of different plants possess medicinal properties It is a fact known since antiquity. Cutting fever, calming anxiety or helping to heal wounds are some of the properties attributed to them. Science has demonstrated much of this knowledge and has extracted various active components from them.
However, throughout history, many ways have emerged to treat ailments related to the consumption or use of certain plant products, and some have been scientifically proven while others are considered alternative treatments or homeopathy. In this sense, one of the treatments based on plants that have been developed throughout history are known as Bach flowers .
Bach flowers: what are they?
Bach flowers are a set of preparations of plant origin that were devised as therapy by Dr. Edward Bach .
This treatment proposal is based on the ingestion or application on the skin of said preparations in order to help treat emotional aspects, so that they are offered to help restore emotional balance and even stimulate the immune system and the capacity for regeneration. .
The project of Edward Bach
Specifically, Dr. Bach developed a total of 38 remedies or preparations from the combination of different plants , based on what he called "vibrational characteristics".
The treatment with Bach flowers arises from the idea that the disease is born of the existence of psychological conflicts between the personality and the soul, producing a blockage or imbalance of the "internal energy" of the person emotionally. Thus body mind and spirit would be related and influence each other. The curative effect offered by Bach could be explained by the transmission of the energy of the plants to the person (without considering that they have to see in it biochemical aspects).
The plants with which the preparations of the Bach flowers are made emit according to this philosophy a series of vibrations that could alter the person's internal energy and help it reach a harmonic state, transmitting the energy of the plants to the preparation.
Its popularity as an alternative treatment
The use of Bach flowers has become popular in some New Age environments as a method of alternative natural therapy.
Many people administer and prepare the preparations themselves, although there is the figure of the floral therapist which is offered to determine the type of preparation and the doses to be applied according to the person and the type of existing problem.
Preparations and their development
As we have seen, Bach flowers consist of a total of 38 preparations, which are made with the use of plants, spring water and sometimes some alcohol as a preservative (you can also use other substances as a preservative in the case that apply in minors).
There are two basic methods of elaboration : boiling for thirty minutes in spring water to later filter the extract and then add brandy, glycerin or vinegar in the same amount and solarization, in which the plants are left in a bowl with water for several hours in the sun for later also filter it and add some of the aforementioned preservatives (brandy or apple cider vinegar).
These are some of the 38 preparations that Bach has developed, together with a brief description of what they are used for.
- Agrimony: for emotional blockage and anguish.
- Aspen: fear and phobia.
- Haya : Arrogance and intolerance.
- Centáurea: for those with a certain emotional dependence, with a malleable will and who can not say no.
- Ceratostigma: histrionics. Search for approval. Indecision
- Cerasifera: despair and fear of losing control and going mad.
- Chestnut bud: recidivism and no error learning.
- Chicory : manipulation and overprotection. Possessivity
- Clematis: decentration and distraction.
- Wild apple tree: low self-esteem and feeling of impurity
- Gentian field: pessimism, low threshold of frustration. Depression.
- Gorse: despair, apathy and anhedonia.
- Holly : need for love Envy, rancor, jealousy and distrust.
- Larch: fear of failure and feelings of inferiority.
- Mimulus: shyness and fear of the unknown.
- Pine: guilt and feeling of not deserving what you have.
- Red chestnut: excessive fear and anxiety for loved ones.
- Heliantemo: panic, anguish and nightmares.
Efficiency of Bach flowers according to science
On a scientific level, treatment with Bach flowers It is considered a homeopathic practice without demonstrated effectiveness , not being recognized as therapy by the health system except in some countries.
The experiments carried out with the purpose of contrasting the possible efficacy of this type of therapy seem to indicate that no significant differences are found between this type of treatment and placebo. In this way, Bach flowers do not have the support of the scientific community .
In addition to the results, elements related to the ideas of Edward Bach have been criticized, such as the fact that it is based on the concept of the vibrational capacity of the different elaborations, for being a mystical conception and independent of the empirical testing required by the scientific method.