Dr. Edward Bach

Born in 1886 in a small village called Moseley just outside Birmingham, UK Edward Bach knew from an early age that he wanted to be a doctor, but only when he was twenty years old could his family afford to send him to medical school. He began his studies at the Birmingham University and then went to London to finish his training at university College Hospital where he qualified in 1912. He specialized in pathology and bacteriology and also had a diploma in public health.

As a medical student, Edward Bach believed that "the true study of disease lay in watching every patient, observing the way in which each one was affected by his complaint, and seeing how these different reactions influenced the course, severity and duration of disease". ¹

His observations taught him that patients with the same disease did not respond in the same way to the same treatment. He found that patients with similar personality characteristics often responded to the same remedy, implying that others, with other personality characteristics, needed a different type of treatment to address the same complaint.
"He gained the knowledge that the personality was of even more importance than the body in the treatment of disease".²

Gradually he became more and more dissatisfied with the traditional medical treatments and procedures. He differentiated between curing symptoms and maintaining health and realized that although in many cases his patients' conditions did improve, they were unable to maintain their health. He also encountered many chronic cases in which no improvement was achieved at all.
It seemed to him that the reason for this failure was that traditional medicine was focused mainly on the physical body while ignoring the personality of the human being or in other words, it was focused on disease not on the patient.

Searching for alternative methods of healing he became interested in immunology. He found that certain intestinal bacteria were connected to chronic disease and its cure. He studied these bacteria and eventually started making vaccines from these bacteria and injecting them to his patients with the idea that they would cleanse the body of the toxins that were creating chronic disease. The results he achieved were beyond expectation. Chronic diseases such as arthritis and headaches disappeared completely and many of his patients reported a significant improvement in their overall health. However, he continued to be dissatisfied because of the discomfort involved in this method of injecting through the skin. He wanted to continue improving and refining his method of treatment.

In the mean time , his extensive work, caused a break-down in his own health. In 1917 he had a severe hemorrhage, lost consciousness and was operated on. When he recovered, he was told that at the most he had three months to live. Determined to get as much work done as possible during the time he had left, he went back to work and became so involved in his research that he lost recollection of time and without noticing the three months had slipped by and he was feeling stronger and stronger very day.

This made him contemplate on the forces that facilitated such recovery and "he came to the conclusion that an absorbing interest, a great love, a definite purpose in life were the deciding factor of man's happiness on earth and was indeed the incentive which had carried him through his difficulties and had helped him in the regaining of his own health".³ This was another important landmark in his understanding of the connection between mind and body.

Given the outstanding results, his vaccines were adopted by the medical profession and saved many lives during the 1918 influenza epidemic.
In 1919 Dr. Bach was accepted to the London Homeopathic hospital as pathologist and bacteriologist were he was exposed to and profoundly influenced by the system of homeopathy founded by Dr. Hahnemann and his book "The Organon Of Medicine".

Dr. Bach found many similarities between Hahnemann's approach and his. They both believed that true healing was to be achieved by treating the patient not the disease and that personality characteristics, individual temperament and other mental themes should be the base for choosing the remedy, each individual patient needs, regardless of the specific physical compliant.

He was also exposed to the preparation of homeopathic remedies based on extracting the energy vibration from substance using dilution and percussion. These understandings were the base from which he drew the knowledge needed to later come up with his flower remedies.
In 1927, at the International Homeopathic Congress in London he gave his definition of disease: " Science in tending to show that life is harmony- a sate of being in tune- and that disease is discord or a condition what a part of the whole is not vibrating in unison". 4

Dr. Bach continued to search for the ultimate remedy that would address the whole person in a gentle and comfortable way and decided to focus his efforts in the plant kingdom. In 1928 he realized that people could be grouped into types and that although they would not necessarily suffer form the same disease, they would respond to disease in a similar manner.

On a sudden urge, Sep of 1928 he went to Wales and discovered two plants; the mauve Impatients and flowered Mimulus. He brought them back to London and prepared remedies in the same way he prepared the vaccines. He tried prescribing them according to personality with remarkable results. He decided to give up all other methods of treatment using only these remedies. He was on the verge of discovering a whole new method of treatment.

In 1930 he closed all of his business in London and left for Wales to pursue his new research. Dr. Bach spent six years (1930-1936) developing the herbal based method of treatment and remedies now known as the Bach Flower Remedy System.

Through these six years he discovered and developed 38 herbal remedies, each addressing a personality type or temporary mood state. The remedies were prepared based on the homeopathic principles. Diagnosis and prescription were based on identifying each patient's personality characteristics, temperament and attitude.

He simultaneously continued to see patients, prescribing his new remedies with outstanding success.
In 1931 he published what was to be one of the most monumental writings in the understanding of whole-person healing named "Heal Thyself- An Explanation of The Real Cause and Cure of Disease".

Dr. Bach died in his sleep on Oct 27th 1936.
Robert Victor Bullen, who was closely associated with Dr. Bach during the latter years of his life wrote:" And with the return of happiness comes the return to good health, for this alteration in the state of mind of a patient always precedes an alteration in his physical body, and the disease, no matter what it maty be, just drops away. Nearly always a patient remarks after having been given the herbs :"I feel so much better in myself" and we know then that soon the patient will be physically better."

"This system of herbal healing given us by Dr, Bach is a return to the real healing, because not only is the physical state relieved, but what is of far greater importance, the mind is healed and the whole being uplifted and made happy" 5

1,2,3,4,5: The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach, Physician, Nora Weeks