One of the most important things, which makes herbal drinks different from other types of beverages is their significant mental- health benefits. A key figure who made a comprehensive research on these beverages (mostly flower essences) and their mental health benefits is Dr. Edward Bach. Dr. Bach was a bacteriologist; physician and pathologist who quit his profession because he thought illnesses have deeper causes (which come from the inner being) and as a result need different medicine. Therefore, he started studying the negative mental behavior of humans, which resulted in different diseases. He discovered the flower essences are effective natural medicines, which cure mental disorders and diseases. The works of Dr. Bach have become the foundation of further research (Bach 1932, 1931, 1931). Dr. Bach believed that mental disharmony is the main cause of disease and the lack of virtues such as peace and joy is a common factor in mental disharmony. Therefore, human minds have the power to cure and prevent diseases by understanding the power of mind and right thinking. Dr. Bach also believed that a healthy mental life will allow the body to find its own natural health and herbs are nature’s gifts which heal the mental disorders and as a result diseases (Bach 1932).
Nancy Buono is a researcher who has studied the works of Dr. Bach. According to Nancy Buono, Dr. Bach’s research shows that there is a connection between emotions and health. Illnesses are the result of the conflict between the people’s inner beings and their personalities. This conflict is affected by different factors such as the influence of the society. Such conflict would result in imbalance, and as a result physical and mental illnesses. According to Buono, Dr. Bach made a comprehensive research and created a remedy system for people to balance their emotions with flower essences (each remedy is connected with a basic human emotion). This system is known as Bach Flower Essences and it consists of 38 flower essences (Buono 1999).
Today the study of the mind-body link is known as PNI (psychoneuroimmunology). In other words “PNI” is the study of the relation between psychology and the immune system (Ventura 2009).
In addition to Nancy Buono’s works, other studies have been carried out on Dr. Bach’s researches, including The Patterns of Life Force by Julian Barnard (1988). This book is a review and study of the Bach Flower remedies and how they are linked to health and disease. According to Barnard, thoughts influence the body. For example, a confused mind results in an unbalanced body, while a watchful mind results in a balanced and confident body. Barnard therefore, believes that people need a new form of medicine that helps them understand the life force within them; something in harmony with nature that drives their life force toward a healthy and happy life. Barnard mentions herbal and flower essences as medicines coming from nature and prevents mental disorders. Therefore, they result in a healthy mental life, which will allow the body tofind its natural health. (Barnard 1988)
Bach, Edward. 1932. Free Thyself. London: Edward Bach.
Bach, Edward. 1931. Heal Thyself. London: CW Daniels.
Bach, Edward. 1931.Ye Suffer From Yourselves. London: Edward Bach.
Barnard, Julian. 1988. Patterns of Life Force. Hereford: Bach Educational Programme.
Buono, Nancy.1999. The Mind-Body Connection: Reduce Your Stress With Flower Essences. Total Health 21(1): 34.
Ventura, Lori M.. 2009. Psychoneuroimmunology: application to ocular diseases. Journal of Ocular Biology, Diseases, and Informatics 2(3): 109 -118.