This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Flower remedies should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What do flower remedies involve?
Dr. Edward Bach, an early 1900s homeopath, believed that underlying emotional problems cause physical illness. Dr. Bach believed that flowers could help remove negative emotions, ultimately leading to the elimination of the physical illness. Thirty-eight different types of wildflowers were identified by Bach as therapeutic and are still used today. Remedies are made using the essence of flowers diluted in water and brandy. Drops of flower remedies are placed under the tongue or in a glass of liquid four times a day. Only the patient's emotional state, not the patient's illness, is relevant when selecting the flower remedy.
How are flower remedies thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Proponents claim that flower remedies stabilize unwanted, counterproductive emotional states and promote a general sense of well-being by eliminating emotional problems. The flowers are thought to create a link between the brain and the body to alleviate the negative mental state. The illness that was fostered by negative emotions can then be fought by the body's strengthened immune system.
What has been proven about the benefit of flower remedies?
There have been no scientific studies carried out on flower remedies to date. While there are numerous anecdotal reports on the benefits of flower remedies, the American Cancer Society believes it is likely that any reaction patients have to this therapy is due to a placebo response (see Appendix E). If flower remedies make patients feel less depressed and improve their quality of life without any side effects, it is not important how the benefits are achieved, placebo response or otherwise.
What is the potential risk or harm of flower remedies?
The remedies are generally regarded as harmless with no physical side effects. However, patients wishing to avoid alcohol should be aware that the remedies do contain brandy in an extremely diluted form.
How much do flower remedies cost?
Flower remedies were designed to be a self-help system that can be used without professional advice. Floral essences are available from several sources and may or may not be prepared using the Bach method. Cost will vary depending on the manufacturer.
For additional information:
The Dr. Edward Bach Centre and Foundation
Mount Vernon, Bakers Lane
Sotwell, Oxon OX10 0PZ, UK
Web site: www.bachcentre.com/index.html
Flower Essence Society
P.O. Box 459
Nevada City, CA 95959
Telephone: (800) 736-9222
Web site: www.flowersociety.org/
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.