Bach Flower Remedies are the original form of Flower Essence Therapy, which Edward Bach, a medical doctor, originated.
Flower essence therapy is a form of alternative medicine which uses diluted sun infusions of 38 different flowers. Flower buds are exposed to the sun for several hours in a bowl of spring water. This creates the mother tincture, which is then diluted to form the stock bottles sold commonly in stores. Each remedy is used alone or in conjunction with other remedies. Each flower is believed by advocates to impart specific qualities to the remedy. They are typically specially prepared by a naturopath or other healer for each patient to meet his/her individual needs. These remedies are used primarily for emotional and spiritual conditions, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress.
The best-known Bach flower remedy is Rescue Remedy, a pre-blended combination of Rock rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum remedies. Rescue Remedy is so-called because the ingredients are believed to relieve acute stress, anxiety, and panic attacks, especially in emergencies. Rescue Remedy is taken as needed, and is available either in a small spray-bottle, in a glass bottle with an eye-dropper, or as a 'rescue cream' to be rubbed onto the skin. Drops are generally taken under the tongue.
Rescue Remedy and other Bach flower remedies are used on household pets and domestic animals, and have been reported to be effective in calming them and improving problem behaviours. No controlled studies support these claims.
Bach Flower Remedies contain no artificial preservatives or additives. Unpreserved, the tinctures are perishable, therefore they are mixed with a grape-alcohol or other alcohol carrier (usually brandy or cognac mixed with water) as a preservative.