Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

Dr Edward Bach

Happy Birthday to Dr Edward Bach, who was born on this day in 1886, in Moseley near Birmingham in England. 

Most people know about Dr Bach from his work with flower essences- and even if they don’t know his name, know of Rescue Remedy- but there was another important contribution he made to Homeopthy: the Bowel Nosodes. Tomorrow I will do a post on the Bowel nosodes, and on Monday come back to learn more about Bach’s flower essences. 

At 16, Edward Bach left school, and went to work in his family’s brass foundry. He had always had an interest in medicine and healing, and during his three years at the foundry he noted the various ailments of other workers and how medicine of the day was largely unable to help them. 

Bach enrolled at Birmingham University at age 20 to study medicine, and later moved to London where he completed his studies and worked at the University College Hospital. 

Dr Bach qualified in 1912 and is quoted as saying “it will take me five years to forget all I have been taught.” While studies largely focused on bookwork, Bach had already observed differences between patients with the same diseases, and that those with similarities in personality often responded to the same types of treatment. 

Dr Bach became a Casualty House Surgeon and then when illness forced him to give it up opened a practice on Harley St. While he was successful and had a busy and thriving practice, he only became more disillusioned with conventional medicine. 

Looking for something new he became interested in the study of the immune system, and took a job as an Assistant 

 Bacteriologist at the University College Hospital. As part of his work he identified various bacteria which he made into vaccines. As with his earlier work he noticed that the temperament of the person changed the vaccine that they needed, and soon he could prescribe based on their personality. Dr Bach had incredible drive, and unfortunately this led to ill health: in 1917 he collapsed and was given only 3 months to live. Fortunately this turned out not to be the case and he gradually got better. 

Dr Bach’s first exposure to Homeopathy was in 1919, when he took the post of Pathologist and Bacteriologist at the London Homeopathic Hospital. Reading Hahnemann’s Organon for the first time here was written what he had been seeing- the personality and the whole person and their experience was the key, not just the name of the disease. He changed his injected vaccine preparations, into homeopathic remedies, what we now call the Bowel Nosodes, and continued to research, publish and practice in his Harley St private practice. 

Despite his success, Bach was still seeking a natural and simple form of medicine. He had just seven different nosodes, but realised there were more the seven different personality types. 

In September 1928 Bach went to Wales, and it was there that he discovered Impatiens and Mimulus, and the following year Clematis. He found their action so effective that he stopped supporting other forms of treatment to focus solely on his flower essences. In 1930 he closed his London practice to move to Wales indefinitely. 

In Wales Bach discovered his sun potential toon method, and published his first book on this new method, Heal Thyself. Over the next several years living around to be town of Cromer he created more and more essences until his total was up to 19. Even though this new work was controversial Bach was determined and could not be swayed. 

In early 1934 Bach moved to a house called Mount Vernon in the village of Sotwell near Wallingford in England. This became his base, and 88 years later is still the Bach Centre which you can visit to see where he lived and worked. 

With the second 19 Bach would go into the state of the remedy and have all the associated feelings before he would make the essence. Another difference was that instead of using the sun to extract the essence, these essences were extracted by boiling. When he had all 38 remedies Bach considered his work complete. Now he could spend the time seeing patients and training others to use his remedies. 

The years of research and the incredible drive that he had to create this new system took its toll, and by October 1936 Dr Bach was bedridden. While he did rally at one point and there was hope for recovery Dr Edward Bach passed away peacefully on November 27th 1936, and was buried in St James churchyard in Sotwell. 

Dr Edward Bach left such a legacy, with remedies that are incredibly gentle yet powerful and have helped so many people. His work with flower essences inspired the creation of flower essences the world over, each with their own unique signature. Please come back tomorrow to find out more about the bowel nosodes, and Tuesday to find out more about Bach’s 38 flower essences. 

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