Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Bottom line on the remedies

Lately I've been worrying about my choice of Nelson Bach flower remedies as opposed to the remedies produced by other manufacturers. This is because I have been doing too much online reading! Other companies include Healing Herbs, Crystal Herbs, Ainsworths, and I'm sure there are many others. All of these companies are small scale and all label their bottles 1:240. This means there is one drop of mother tincture to 240 drops of water/brandy in the bottle. These companies claim that they are adhering more closely to the methods of Dr. Bach by using this labelling. I have read claims that the healing properties are stronger in these other companies' products, and I have fretted about it. So I wrote Nelson Bach to find out what they had to say about it. I got this letter back:

Dear Carla,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 29th May which has been brought to my attention.

Further to your enquiry, we believe, as did Dr Bach, that the remedies he created are medicines. Indeed, the 1-38 individual Remedies, Rescue Remedy and Rescue Spray are all Fully Licensed Medicinal Products in the UK, the licences having been issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). As a result of which, the manufacture, labelling and retail of the products have to be in compliance with the corresponding pharmaceutical legislation.

Pharmaceutical Legislation is frequently amended, and in order to remain fully compliant, we have been obliged to revise the labelling of the Bach Flower Remedies from time to time. Perhaps the most notable example of this can be seen in the expression of the "active ingredient", currently written as 5X on UK labelled product.

As is the case with all drug products, the level of active ingredient must be expressed quantitatively on the product pack. This is not particularly easy to achieve with products such as the Bach Flower Remedies, as the “active substance” is quite difficult to define. Nonetheless, we were obliged to do so in order to satisfy the regulators.

We conducted a number of studies with the mother tinctures, and devised a method of determining the level of plant material dry residue created by the Boiling and Sun Methods. This provided the regulatory authorities with a quantitative level of what they consider to be an "active ingredient" with which they could assess the products, and so issue licences for the remedies.

The manufacture of the products has not changed in any way, nor has the level of "active ingredient" been altered. We have simply been obliged to express the active level in a different manner. Effectively, we now have to label the product with the level of dry residue in the Mother tincture, and not simply with the level of mother tincture itself. Such a scientific approach to the labelling of the product is not entirely satisfactory. However, it is a legal requirement with which we must comply.

Whilst some people believe that we have made a fundamental change to the Bach Flower Remedies themselves, I can assure you that this is not the case. The products are manufactured in accordance with the writings of Dr Bach, and the mother tinctures are provided to us exclusively by the Bach Centre at Mount Vernon. In fact, as a result of the products being licensed medicines, our methods of manufacture are lodged with the licensing authorities, which means that we are regularly inspected to ensure that we manufacture the products in precisely the same way.

I do hope the above helps answer some of your questions, but should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me direct alternatively you could contact the Bach Centre direct on 01491 834678 (Mon - Fri 10:00 - 15:00).

Yours sincerely,

Eve Hunt
Product & Consumer Information Officer
T: +44 (0) 20 8780 4245
E-mail: evehunt@nelsons.net

Well, that makes me feel much better. The methods used by Nelson Bach are exactly like those used by the other companies, it's just that they label their product differently because they are a pharmaceuticals company. I also appreciate her emphasis on the products as medicines, because some of these other companies tout their products as containing the 'magical' properties of the flowers and talk about how important it is that a 'powerful healer' prepare the remedies. This is the sort of hocus pocus that Dr. Bach himself did not want associated with his remedies.

Besides which, I have since learned that Dr. Bach himself worked with Nelson to bottle and distribute his remedies even back in the 30s, and as the email above says, all the mother tinctures are made on the very land where Dr. Bach discovered the healing properties of the remedies. You can't say better than that!

My head was turned, briefly, by the talk of these other companies, but I think I will stick with what I've started with. I'm not saying they are not as good as Dr. Bach's remedies. But I am convinced they are not better. Dr. Bach even encouraged people to make their own remedies! So anyone can make them. Claiming that your product is better than another is against the original spirit of Dr. Bach's system, which is to use the vibrational healing powers of plants to treat ourselves in the simplest way possible.

“Our work is steadfastly to adhere to the simplicity and purity of this method of healing.”
- Edward Bach

That doesn't leave any room for false claims of superiority!

May all beings be at ease.


Morandia said...

I think there is an essence for over thinking...... *GIGGLE* just a thought..... I looked at some of the others too, but decided to go with the "original". Sometimes generic just isn't the same. I've even have Dr's tell me that.

Carla said...

I got another lovely email from Mari, the flower practitioner. She has been so generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise:

'I was really pleased to read your blog entry on Nelson Bach, and that you're at one with their remedies. They have always strongly maintained their stance (as they did with me); and the fact that the remedies are undoubtedly making a real difference in your life is absolutely all you need to know! The Bach Centre does indeed still provide the mother tinctures for Nelsons; and one of the highlights of my stay there was being given a sprig of Larch from the tree originally used by Dr Bach, which stands in the lovely gardens of an occasional B & B...

Your query re PMT is an interesting one. Your method of imbibing them is spot on. Reflecting on this, I wonder also about Impatiens, if you ever feel on a really short fuse at this time; Walnut, for negotiating your way through what is in effect a moment of transition for your body; Rock Water, for being down on yourself about a situation that is effectively not of your making; and Crab Apple, for when the various physical manifestations might be getting you down. The remedies are true helpers in this respect...

By the way, I was taken by your choice of words: "a very old pattern" when describing your Nelsons experience, something which has brought you a moment of real insight. The essence for breaking old compulsions and negative habits is Chestnut Bud, a potent remedy which in some cases can make a person feel worse before they feel better (almost touching on homeopathic principles). And again Walnut for the transition from one way of experiencing the world to something other...