How do you take flower remedies? The remedies come as a liquid, preserved in brandy. To take them, dilute two drops of each remedy into a 30ml dropper bottle, top up with mineral water, and take four drops four times a day. Alternatively you can put the two drops into a glass of water, and sip from that at intervals. You might need to mix two or more remedies together to match your precise mix of emotions.
Do the remedies work faster if you don't dilute them? There is no difference in potency or speed of effect between taking four drops from a treatment bottle and taking neat stock remedy. If you don't dilute them the brandy in the stock bottle will taste stronger and this may give the impression that the essences are stronger. This isn't the case.
Is it safe to take the remedies if you are pregnant? Yes, it is safe. The alcohol in the undiluted remedy can usually be ignored as the amount in a dose is so small. However, if you have any worries on this score we would always advise that you talk to your doctor or midwife.
How soon does Rescue Remedy take effect? How soon do the other remedies make a difference? Rescue Remedy usually works quite quickly, because people use it for emergency situations rather than deep-rooted problems. The other remedies can also work quickly, but if you are dealing with something that has been around a long time then it can take weeks or even months to see a real difference.
How many remedies can I take at the same time? It's quite usual to take up to six or seven remedies together at the same time, and this is the rule of thumb maximum we suggest people work with. Dr Bach is known to have given nine remedies together on two occasions, but he was seeing thousands of people over a period of many years.
It's quite common for people to feel they need more than six or seven remedies. Some might feel they need 12, 15, 20 remedies or more. The answer to this is to think about how you feel now and treat that. If you have a lot of remedies on your list but many of them are for things you felt yesterday or last week or ten years ago, then you can leave those out. Treat your main feelings, and when the remedies have dealt with these you can move on to the issues that were in the background.
Still, 'up to six or seven' is only a guideline. If you are sure you need eight, or even nine, then that won't do you any harm.
What is the likelihood of reactions and rashes, and how are they caused? The remedies work by flooding out negative feelings and emotions. Sometimes the emotions that are dealt with have been repressed and in order to clear them they have to be cleansed from the system. On very rare occasions this can take the form of a rash, or unexpected feelings may be stirred up. Where such things do occur there is no reason to stop taking the remedies.
Are there other ready-mixed remedies apart from Rescue Remedy? The only ready-mixed remedy we recommend is the mix sold under the trade name Rescue Remedy. This mix was prepared by Dr Bach to cover the usual reactions people would have to crises and emergencies. It was intended as an emotional first-aid kit, so after the immediate crisis is over the correct thing to do is to look at the individual response rather than go on taking Rescue Remedy indefinitely.
It would be quite wrong to make up the same mixture for everyone preparing for an examination, or everyone who felt depressed or suffered from insomnia. No two people will ever react in exactly the same way and to reflect this we need to find a personal mix.
Can you take the remedies in tea, coffee and so on? You can put the remedies in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks etc., and in this respect they are not like homoeopathic remedies.
Putting the drops into a hot drink has the advantage of evaporating the alcohol. We sometimes recommend this method to people who for one reason or another dislike the alcohol content.
I have heard that if you take a remedy for too long you will experience the negative state of that remedy. This is not true. The remedies are entirely positive and cannot under any circumstances cause the negative state to appear.
When does one stop taking the remedies? When the problem that is being treated has gone. There is no need to continue taking them in case it comes back and of course no need to wean oneself off the remedies gradually, as you have to do with drugs like steroids and beta-blockers. Nor do you need to take a complete course of doses over a specific number of days, as you do with antibiotics.
If things get worse once you start taking a the remedies, should you stop taking them or continue? The remedies do not cause side-effects or aggravations, but it may be that they are stirring up repressed feelings that need to be cleansed before complete healing can be achieved. If you feel this is the case then you can look to see if there is a need for any other remedies instead of or as well as the ones you are currently taking.
Where things are getting worse in spite of the remedies this may mean one of two things. Either the remedies have not yet had time to work or the selection was wrong. The remedies will not cause any symptoms or problems that are not already in you and are entirely beneficient in their effects. This means that there is no need to stop taking them. Even if you are taking the wrong ones this only means that they will not improve things - they will never make them worse.
Is it always better to select as few remedies as possible? The normal guideline is to try to use no more than six or seven at a time, since experience has shown that more than this number is not usually necessary if a little thought goes into the selection process. Taking more remedies than are actually needed means that the focus is lost, and the ones that are necessary will not work as well or quickly as they might otherwise have done.
However, it is not true that three remedies are always better than four, or that the ideal treatment is a single remedy: if six (or eight, or even nine) remedies really are necessary, that is how many you should take.
Are there any combinations of remedies that should never be used? No. Even remedies that might appear to be direct opposites (Vervain and Wild Rose, for example, or Vine and Centaury) may occasionally be needed at once by the same person. It all depends on the personality and current emotional states of the person being treated.
Is it safe to take the remedies if you are a recovering alcoholic, given the brandy content? If remedies are mixed into treatment bottles and taken four drops at a time in the usual way the amount of alcohol taken is very small. Nevertheless, taking even a minute quantity of alcohol may have a psychological impact on someone who has decided to give up completely. In addition there is a very powerful drug (known as Antabuse) which can cause a violent reaction in someone drinking even a tiny quantity of alcohol. For these reasons it is best in these circumstances to consult your qualified medical practitioner before taking the remedies.
When you do so you might explain the dilution process and mention that if the remedies are dropped into a hot drink most of the alcohol will evaporate, and it is of course possible to administer the remedies externally by rubbing them on the pulse points. But if in doubt, ask for advice.
Why not mix all the remedies together and have a single mix for every problem? Someone suggested this to Dr Bach, and he tried it but and found that it didn't work. The simplest and most direct path was the one he recommended - in other words, selection of a few remedies according to the personality and emotional state.
Is there an easy way to remember how many drops to use at a time? You always take two drops out of a single remedy stock bottle, whether you are putting it in your mouth or in a glass or in a treatment bottle. You always take four drops out of Rescue Remedy, again whether you are putting it in your mouth or in a glass or in a treatment bottle. And you always take four drops out of a mixed treatment bottle. Simple!
How can I tell which remedies are made at the Bach Centre? Look for the Bach signature on the label.
How can 38 remedies cover all known states of mind? A useful analogy is with the world of colour. There are only three basic colours (red, blue yellow), yet all kinds and variations can be produced when they are used in combination. In the same way there are 38 basic states of mind. Combining them gives hundreds of millions of variations.
Why do the remedies have a use-by date now? Should they be discarded after this date? By law the stock bottles have to carry a use-by date. The five year period relates to the shelf life of brandy stored in a rubber-topped bottle. The remedies themselves will keep their properties indefinitely (although the brandy may begin to taste a little strange after the five year period).
What are the sun and boiling methods? The sun method involves floating flowerheads in a clear glass bowl filled with natural spring water. This is left in bright sunlight for three hours, then the flowerheads are removed and the energised water is mixed half and half with brandy.
The boiling method involves putting flowering twigs into a pan of spring water and boiling them for half an hour. The pan is then left to cool, the plant matter removed, and again the water is mixed half and half with brandy.
In both cases the resulting mix is known as mother tincture. This is diluted at the rate of two drops per 30mls of brandy to make the stock bottles sold in the shops.