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Bach remedies

bach remediesLast year I was working in a friend’s house when her husband suddenly rushed past me, opened a kitchen drawer and grabbed some Bach Remedies. He applied several drops of each under his tongue and as he flashed past my step ladder he explained.
“Difficult conference call coming up.”

This was a top businessman. A normal guy. I was amazed.

Years ago I spotted Bach remedies in Health Food shops. I loved the complete set of them, sitting in rows in a pretty mahogany case. I wanted to believe that they were effective. Occasionally I have bought them and expected miracles. We had an unopened phial of Rescue Remedy sitting in our kitchen cupboard for so long that the rubber squeezy top hardened and cracked. The arnica cream is in our bathroom cabinet and has the thumbs up for years. I was unsure about the effectiveness of the other remedies.

I like a challenge and generally accept most that come my way as long as the challenge date is far, far away. About two weeks before appearing on Britain’s Best Dish I began to have sleepless nights. Niggling nervousness quickly developed into Cold White Fear. How was I going to cope with being in the studio, let alone cook?

I thought the nerves would pass. They didn’t. In desperation I rang my pal for their recommended Bach remedy formula. By this stage I would have ingested an armadillo if it might help.

“You need Mimulus and Larch. Squeeze the rubber tops and put a pipette of each into a small bottle of mineral water and sip it all day. If you are in crisis apply a few drops under the tongue initially.”

Jalopy and I shot down to Newmarket and headed for Boot’s. I bought a new bottle of Rescue Remedy as well. In the car park I opened the bottles and applied under the tongue. By the time Jalopy was reversing into the drive I was calm. I was stunned.

All was well on the day of the filming until my bottle of doctored mineral water was suddenly whisked away and replaced with a glass of water. There was a shriek from me.
“We cannot be seen to be promoting a brand of water.”
My mineral water bottle was hidden behind the screens in the area where we were allowed to venture and relax during filming!

Apparently it is unwise to mix more than seven Bach remedies together. Rescue Remedy has a combination of five and the other two make up the magic number. This mixture works brilliantly for me. The little phials live in Jalopy’s glove compartment ready for action.


You can buy Bach remedies online at Amazon.

  Leave a reply


  1. All I can say in reply is that I recommend reading the piece I left a link to. It is a very well reasoned (not ranting) article about why placebos (including homeopathic remedies, Bach flower remedies and the like) can work, but why the reason they work has nothing to do with what is actually in them.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Tufty

    I was on a conventional medication until researchers discovered that it was highly dangerous. Five years later.

    Like most of the rest of the world, I reckon there is no point in ranting or making disparaging comments. I chose to take the medication. If I get ill, I always seek conventonal medical advice.

    However, there is every point in sharing what worked for me, in this instance. Alternative medicine can have great results. Have you read Stevie Smith’s ‘The Weak Monk’? It changed my life. I read it 34 years ago.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Hi Katherine,

    Thanks for dropping by. I have been prescribed homeopathic remedies that didn’t work for me and than I was lucky to meet Miranda Castro and the remedies worked!

    I also believe that the Bach flower remedies are a powerful resource.

    Loads of flower and herb extracts are used in conventional medicine.

    Hi Emma,

    Absolutely spot on. I have found the same!

    I have also used rescue remedy on a dog in shock. It worked well.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Hi Amanda,

    A small bottle of rescue remedy is a great investment! Most country homes around here have a bottle along with the arnica pills and cream.

    What does it say about life in the depths of the country?!

    Hi Katherine,

    What an amazing and instructional comment! Thank you.

    I admire you for talking to groups of people about the value of homeopathic medicine.

    I am convinced that we generally are unaware about the depth of our (largely forgotten) powers.

    Hi Mildred,

    Yes, the pastilles are handy!

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for the link. Very useful.

    I reckon that the Rescue Remedy has to be applied directly, under the tongue.

    The best of luck at the dog show!

  3. Rescue remedy is also used to help dogs calm down in stressful situations. I have a bottle in the cupboard that I tried on my Min Pins Berry & Basil, but did not have good results, I think because I added it to their water dish, it was probably too dilute. Berry and I are getting ready to enter an obedience competition; I think I will try a few drops under each of our tongues to see if it helps with our stress at the dog show!

    Here is a link to a Rescue Remedy Brochure for pets:

  4. Katherine, I just wanted to say I found your comments very enlightening and sensible. Thanks!

  5. The Rescue Remedy also comes in ‘pastille’ form, very handy!

  6. Katherine

    Okay Amanda, here goes! These are stories about homoepathy, not Bach Flower remedies. First, the story of the cat: I gave an introductory lunchtime talk about homoepathy to some sceptical ladies a few years ago. It was held at a friend’s house. She owned a somewhat feral cat that usually roamed outdoors during the day, but that lunchtime it just sat very still on a cushion in the centre of the room, only his eyes moving to survey all the bemused ladies around him. My friend explained that since the morning before, Caspar had sat without moving on the cushion. Not even a dish of food waved under his nose persuaded him to budge. He was normally a cat of regular habits; he’d wolf down his breakfast and head straight out of the catflap into the garden for the rest of the day, but that day he wasn’t interested in his food, even when she waved it under his nose. There is a remedy, Gelsemium, which is known as the ‘glass coffin’ remedy; the patient is mentally alert but unable to move and is off their food. It is a common remedy for colds and flu. In the UK, only qualified vets are allowed to prescribe for animals – as a homeopath qualified only to treat humans, I could only suggest to my friend that if I were her, I would give Caspar a dose of Gelsemium. She asked me to administer him a dose. I had my basic remedy kit with me to show the ladies for my talk, and from the Gelsemium bottle I took a pill and popped one into his mouth while everybody looked on. His response was so quick that the ladies gasped – within two minutes he got up, went to the kitchen, ate his food, and headed out to the garden and was last seen dashing into the bushes after some poor birds. I gained a patient that day from amongst the sceptical ladies, a psoriasis patient who visited me four times. Her psoriasis disappeared and never came back.

    As for the parrot – cockatiel, to be precise – she belonged to me. One day I noticed a growth on her back. It had come up very quickly, so I suspected an abcess. I took her to the vet who aspirated it and confirmed my thoughts that it was likely to be benign, but that if it continued to grow it would begin to affect her nerves and as a result, her flight and gait. It did continue to grow, and by the next morning it was pitiful to see her – she couldn’t perch any more and had trouble staying upright. I rang the vet, who said that he could surgically remove it but in such a small bird there would be a risk during surgery. I told him I was a homeopath and might it be worth a try? He was tremendously encouraging, saying he had seen many a case cured with it, and that I should give it a go, which I did. It was easy to give her the remedy – she liked to nibble at little things, and holding it near her beak with the pill on the palm of my hand, she played around with it a bit. The remedy is coated on the surface of the sugar pill, so as soon as I felt she’d taken enough of that in, I watched and waited. Well, I was blown away to find that by the next day the lump had shrunk to half its size, and by the end of the week it was gone. I reported this happy fact to the vet! She lived many more years after that and died at 17 years of age, long after the average life expectancy of these birds.

    Dairy farmers swear by it as a cure for mastitis. Vets prescribe it instead of antibiotics – a much cheaper cure – and is less disruptive for milk production.

    Stories such as these, where animals are cured, might go some way to confound the placebo theory. I have also treated small infants with success. There’s no doubt that in adult humans, placebo may play a part but there is no way that therapy like this could have continued for two hundred years without some results. The Royal Family have used it since Queen Victoria’s time and are great advocates of this medicine (not that I am a Royalist, particularly, but does the Queen strike you as a crank?)

    There is a backlash against the homeopathic community for many reasons too complicated to go into here. But I myself was persuaded to give up my career to train as a homoepath after conditions conventional medics told me I would “just have to live with” were cured by it and never returned. Sadly, I’ve had to return to a more conventional job, as seeing patients only once every two months, and having them get better and not have to come back, doesn’t make for a good income. I can no longer afford to practice here in Central London. I should state here that there are many underqualified homeopaths out there, and some of them a little too airy-fairy about their approach, but the therapy itself, in my view, is sound. Treating adults is hard, as they’ve often built up chronic conditions over many years, but children and animals react tremendously well to it.

    Yes, homeopathy doesn’t add up scientifically. But it has been observed, many times, to have affected cures. There have been some randomised control trials of homoepathic remedies reported in The Lancet where there was significant positive result. I should add here that I did study pathology, organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology alongside homeopathy for my second degree, a BSc in Health Sciences at Westminster. My first was at Cambridge, perhaps not a guarantee for much, but hope I can dissuade the doubters that I do have some sort of brain in my head! I apologise if this comment’s become a little po-faced, having started off with jolly tale-telling. Perhaps it’s a reaction following Tufty’s mention of “snake oil remedies”! I wonder if Tufty has ever tried it for him/herself, and if not, what he/she is basing his/her judgement on?

  7. I’ve never used it but will grab a bottle of rescue remedy the next time I see some. Very intrigued by Katherine’s tail of the cat and the parrot, can she please share it with all?

  8. i found bachs rescue remedy really worked especially as i’d suffered from anxiety so bad that i would have panic attacks as soon as i stepped out of the house and was on prescribed medication for this. but not anymore! have also used it on my cat when we moved house and the difference in her mood was very noticable.

  9. Katherine

    You’re right, these remedies are extraordinary. Rescue Remedy is a fantastic all-rounder to keep handy for times when you feel particularly ruffled. The Flower Remedies operate on similar principles to homeopathy; prescribed well, homeopathic pills work wonders too, especially on animals and children. Saves on vets’ bills(referring only to the animals, of course!) – one day I’ll tell you the miraculous stories of the cat and the parrot…

  10. The effects of placebos should not be underestimated, but then again one should not attribute anything otherwise magical about these snake oil remedies. See here:

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