BACH FLOWER REMEDIES Overview Information
Bach (pronounced "Batch") flower remedies are prepared by soaking plant material in water that is then exposed to sunlight. Alternatively, the plant material is boiled. A small amount of the liquid is then mixed with distilled water and preserved in brandy. There are 38 different remedies that vary depending on the plant combinations used.
Bach flower remedies were developed in the 1930s by Dr. Edward Bach while he worked at the London Homeopathic Hospital. Many people often refer to Bach flower remedies as homeopathic products because they are diluted like homeopathic remedies. However, there are differences in the principles of Bach flower remedies compared to homeopathy. For example, repeated dilutions are at the heart of homeopathy, but are not a part of Bach flower remedies. Furthermore, "the law of similars" in homeopathy does not apply to Bach flower remedies. The law of similars says that if a substance in large amounts causes a certain disease, then that same substance in small amounts could cure the disease.
Dr. Bach believed that illnesses are the result of "flaws" in personality. He believed that a person's own nature, character, and feelings play a key role in the development of diseases. So it's not surprising that Bach flower remedies are often promoted to help mental and emotional problems, rather than to directly treat physical ailments.
People use Bach flower remedies for conditions such as depression, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
Bach flower remedies are usually so diluted that they contain little or no detectable amounts of active ingredients. Therefore, just as with homeopathic preparations, Bach flower remedies are not expected to have any beneficial drug-like effects, or any interactions or side effects.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Anxiety. Taking Bach flower remedies does not seem to reduce anxiety during testing.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early research shows that taking Bach flower remedies does not improve behavior and performance in children with ADHD.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. There is some early evidence that applying a cream containing Bach flower remedies to the painful area might improve pain and tingling in people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Chronic pain. Early evidence suggests that some people who use Bach flower remedies experience pain relief.
- A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS).
- Muscle pain.
- Spiritual conditions.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Other conditions.
BACH FLOWER REMEDIES Side Effects & Safety
When taken by mouth: Taking Bach flower remedies is POSSIBLY SAFE. Small studies of Bach flower remedies have not identified safety concerns. Since most Bach flower remedies contain little or no active ingredient, these products are not expected to have any beneficial or adverse effects. However, these products are preserved in brandy and therefore contain alcohol.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Bach flower remedies are safe or what the side effects might be. Since most Bach flower remedies contain little or no active ingredient, these products are not expected to have any beneficial or adverse effects.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use Bach flower remedies if you are pregnant because they contain alcohol. Alcohol can cause birth defects and other harm to infants before they are born.
It's also LIKELY UNSAFE to use Bach flower remedies if you are breast-feeding. The alcohol in these preparations passes into breast milk and can interfere with the nursing infant's development.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination
- Disulfiram (Antabuse) interacts with BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
Bach flower remedies contain alcohol. The alcohol in Bach flower remedies can cause people to react to the medication disulfiram when taken within 12 hours of each other. Do not take Bach flower remedies if you are taking disulfiram.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Metronidazole (Flagyl) interacts with BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
Bach flower remedies contain alcohol. When metronidazole is taken with alcohol it can cause a reaction. Talk to your health provider before taking Bach flower remedies if you are using metronidazole.
BACH FLOWER REMEDIES Dosing
The appropriate dose depends on the specific Bach flower remedy being used.