Article

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a Bach Flower Remedy

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Abstract

The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to investigate the efficacy of ‘Five Flower Remedy’® also known as Rescue Remedy®, for examination anxiety in healthy university students. One hundred university students were recruited. They were registered at the University of Exeter, aged between 18 to 65 years, and enrolled to undertake university examinations between May to July 1998. Participants were randomized to take one to four doses of either ‘Five Flower Remedy’ or indistinguishable placebo during day 1 to 7 of the experiment. Self-reported anxiety was quantified using the 40-item Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) as the primary outcome measure. Visual analogue scales were used as the secondary outcome measure to allow the determination of daily anxiety scores. Forty five percent of volunteers completed the study (21 subjects in the experimental and 24 in the placebo group). Reporting of anxiety, as measured by the state component of the STAI at enrolment, was not found to differ between verum and placebo and no gender differences were noted. However, self-reports of trait anxiety were found to be lower in men compared to women at enrolment. Eight days before examination, men reported significantly lower levels of state anxiety but no significant differences were subsequently identified the evening before the examination. No significant differences were identified between or within groups for mean values of the daily VAS scores or indeed the linear contrast variable constructed to determine any trends associated with the weekly VAS reports. It is concluded that ‘Five Flower Remedy’ had no specific effects in treating anxiety under these trial conditions.

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... Os proponentes para este tratamento afi rmam que seu modo de ação não depende de mecanismos moleculares comparáveis a terapêutica convencional. Assim como os remédios homeopáticos, eles exercem sua ação através da " energia " que é transmitida das fl ores para o remédio (Armstrong; Ernst, 2002). Como essa " energia " é de difícil quantifi cação, muitos críticos ao tratamento argumentam que os Florais de Bach (e todos os outros atualmente utilizados terapeuticamente) são na realidade simplesmente placebos (Fricke, 1999; Armstrong; Ernst, 2001). ...
... Assim como os remédios homeopáticos, eles exercem sua ação através da " energia " que é transmitida das fl ores para o remédio (Armstrong; Ernst, 2002). Como essa " energia " é de difícil quantifi cação, muitos críticos ao tratamento argumentam que os Florais de Bach (e todos os outros atualmente utilizados terapeuticamente) são na realidade simplesmente placebos (Fricke, 1999; Armstrong; Ernst, 2001). Além disso, trabalhos utilizando a metodologia científi ca com o intuito de estudar mais profundamente a efi cácia dos RFB são bastante escassos. ...
... Assim como os remédios homeopáticos, eles exercem sua ação através da " energia " que é transmitida das fl ores para o remédio (Armstrong; Ernst, 2002). Como essa " energia " é de difícil quantifi cação, muitos críticos ao tratamento argumentam que os Florais de Bach (e todos os outros atualmente utilizados terapeuticamente) são na realidade simplesmente placebos (Fricke, 1999; Armstrong; Ernst, 2001). Além disso, trabalhos utilizando a metodologia científi ca com o intuito de estudar mais profundamente a efi cácia dos RFB são bastante escassos. ...
Article
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Os Remédios Florais de Bach (RFB), constituem um método alternativo de tratamento usado largamente na terapêutica de várias patologias em muitos países do mundo. Os RFB são reconhecidos como tratamento natural pela OMS desde 1956. Embora o mecanismo de ação dos RFB ainda não tenha sido elucidado, eles vêm sendo indicados para o tratamento de várias doenças neuropsiquiátricas. O objetivo do presente trabalho foi detectar possíveis efeitos centrais dos RFB em modelos farmacológicos utilizados na pesquisa de substâncias com efeitos ansiolíticos, hipnóticos, antidepressivos e neurolépticos. Para tanto, camundongos receberam um tratamento agudo via oral (0,45 mL) 1 hora antes dos testes. Os resultados mostraram que os florais Gorse e, em conjunto, White chestnut, Agrymony e Vervain exibiram perfis antidepressivo e hipnótico, respectivamente. No modelo de ansiedade foi detectado efeito ansiolítico do floral Agrymony. Entretanto, não foram observados efeitos neurolépticos do floral Clematis. Os resultados nos levam a sugerir que os efeitos centrais dos florais avaliados podem ser parcialmente detectados através de modelos farmacológicos utilizados na pesquisa de agentes psicotrópicos.
... Overall we identified 181 citations.Figure 1 illustrates the disposition of the literature. We included four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that randomized patients to BFRs or placebo for either examination anxiety [3,18,19] or ADHD.[20] We formally excluded two RCTs that were both published as letters to the editor because they contained too little information to assess their quality and we were unable to obtain the necessary information from the authors: one evaluating BFRs in anxiety in a psychiatric population and one using BFRs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however we summarize the results briefly. ...
... Three placebo-controlled RCTs examined the efficacy of BFRs for the treatment of examination anxiety in 272 students between the ages of 18 and 65. [3,18,19] Two studies used the Five Flower Rescue Remedy, a third a combination of 10 BFRs as interventions. Study durations ranged from three hours to 14 days. ...
... Study durations ranged from three hours to 14 days. Examination anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults (STAI),[18] the STAI S-Anxiety subscale,[3] or the n = 17 not a primary study n = 2 wrong study design n = 7 wrong outcome measure n = 4 not enough information for rating quality n = 2 repeat publication n = 2 Unable to retrieve full text: ...
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Bach Flower Remedies are thought to help balance emotional state and are commonly recommended by practitioners for psychological problems and pain. We assessed whether Bach Flower Remedies (BFRs) are safe and efficacious for these indications by performing a systematic review of the literature. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, AMED, and the Cochrane Library from inception until June 2008 and performed a hand-search of references from relevant key articles. For efficacy, we included all prospective studies with a control group. For safety, we also included retrospective, observational studies with more than 30 subjects. Two authors abstracted data and determined risk of bias using a recognised rating system of trial quality. Four randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and two additional retrospective, observational studies were identified and included in the review. Three RCTs of BFRs for students with examination anxiety, and one RCT of BFRs for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed no overall benefit in comparison to placebo. Due to the number and quality of the studies the strength of the evidence is low or very low. We did not find any controlled prospective studies regarding the efficacy of BFRs for pain. Only four of the six studies included for safety explicitly reported adverse events. Most of the available evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of BFRs has a high risk of bias. We conclude that, based on the reported adverse events in these six trials, BFRs are probably safe. Few controlled prospective trials of BFRs for psychological problems and pain exist. Our analysis of the four controlled trials of BFRs for examination anxiety and ADHD indicates that there is no evidence of benefit compared with a placebo intervention.
... Assim como os remédios homeopáticos, eles exercem sua ação através da " energia " que é transmitida das fl ores para o remédio (Armstrong; Ernst, 2002). Como essa " energia " é de difícil quantifi cação, muitos críticos ao tratamento argumentam que os Florais de Bach (e todos os outros atualmente utilizados terapeuticamente) são na realidade simplesmente placebos (Fricke, 1999; Armstrong; Ernst, 2001). Além disso, trabalhos utilizando a metodologia científi ca com o intuito de estudar mais profundamente a efi cácia dos RFB são bastante escassos. ...
... Trabalhos recentes vêm reportando o uso dos Florais de Bach no tratamento da ansiedade. Armstrong e Ernest (2001) avaliaram de forma randomizada e duplo cega os efeitos do Rescue (um RFB usado em situações emergenciais) em 100 indivíduos com sintomas de ansiedade. Os pacientes que usaram o remédio fl oral tiveram redução signifi cativa dos sintomas apresentados. ...
Article
The Bach Flowers Remedies (BFR's) are worldwide used as an alternative therapeutical approach for several pathologies, being considered by WHO as natural therapy since 1956. Despite the unknown mechanism of action, the BFR's have been widely used on treatment of several neuropsychiatry diseases. Based on pharmacological models used to detect ansiolitic, antidepressant, hypnotic and neuroleptyc effects of different substances, the aim of this work was to evaluate possible central effects of the BFR's. For this purpose, albino mice received BFR's treatment (0.45 mL) by oral route 1 hour prior to each test. The results revealed that the Gorse flower alone and a mix of White chestnut, Agrymony and Vervain showed antidepressant and hypnotic effects, respectively. On the anxiety model, Agrymony showed an ansiolitic effect but no neuroleptyc effects were observed for Clematis floral therapy. The herein described results allow us to conclude that the studied BFR's central effects may be partially detected through pharmacological models currently and widely used on psychotropic agents research.
... It was found that no significant difference was seen in the groups with respect to primary outcome. (Armstrong and Ernst, 1999). [19] A German version of Test anxiety Inventory was conducted on sixty one volunteers in a randomised, double blind, controlled, partial crossover, trial. ...
... (Armstrong and Ernst, 1999). [19] A German version of Test anxiety Inventory was conducted on sixty one volunteers in a randomised, double blind, controlled, partial crossover, trial. All the volunteers were healthy students. ...
... Une revue précise et systématique des études portant sur les EFB ayant déjà été réalisée par Ernst [46], nous avons procédé à une revue des rares expérimentations cliniques menées sur les EFB ne présentant aucun biais protocolaire, c'està-dire qui remplissent les critères méthodologiques suivants, empruntés à l'échelle de Jadad [47] : validité de l'échantillon de l'étude, présence d'un groupe de contrôle, adaptation à la variable recherchée, double aveugle, répartition aléatoire et tri des résultats. Seules deux études présentent les critères requis pour une recevabilité scientifique : celles d'Armstrong & Ernst [48] et de L'expérience fut menée à Freiburg, en Allemagne, à l'Institut für Umweltmedizin und Krankenhaushygiene, sur 66 personnes. Chez les 55 sujets traités, d'une moyenne d'âge de vingt-huit ans, fut administré en double-aveugle et de façon randomisée soit un placebo, soit une combinaison de dix remèdes floraux à raison de quatre gouttes par jour, soit l'un puis l'autre, ce durant deux semaines ponctuées de deux bilans. ...
Article
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Bach Flower Remedies (EFB) are the implements of a so-called alternative pseudo-therapy, which is increasingly widespread in France. In view of the social impact of those alleged complementary health approaches and blurred lines between parapharmaceutical trends and those that promote well-being, critical investigation seems to be required to promote a piece of objective information on this subject. The zetetic methodology appears to be the most effective for dealing with the question, we therefore applied a critical study to both EFB and alternative therapy of Dr Bach. We show that EFB effectiveness is not formally established, that the basic principles of Bach's theory are settled on ungrounded, deeply intuitive hypotheses, belong to magical thinking, and do promote philosophical approaches that weaken patients-consumers, particularly with regard to sectarian trends. We insist on the need for training in effective tools for criticism.
... Consecuentemente, sus resultados, son tan convincentes como pudiera serlo el testimonio de un porcentaje de personas que, tras haber rogado por su curación a una divinidad, afirmen haber mejorado de sus dolencias. Esto contrasta con la abrumadora masa de evidencias que, con el debido rigor, arriba a conclusiones contrarias [36][37][38][39][40] y, muy especialmente, con la magnífica revisión sistemática recientemente publicada por una revista especializada en medicina complementaria y alternativa. 41 Los valedores de la terapia floral, sin embargo, no parecen inclinados a incorporar estos resultados dentro de sus análisis, ya que salvo rarísimas excepciones -y ninguno de los ejemplos mencionados lo hace-, ni siquiera las menciona. ...
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This is the second part of the article "Conventional Medicine, and Natural and Traditional Medicine: reasons and unreasons" published in this same issue of Revista Cubana de Salud Pública. This discipline, as it is developed in our country, requires a qualitative leap to be in tune with the demands for self-criticism inherent to every true scientific effort. Reflections were also made about the road that the Natural and Traditional Medicine must go in order to reach an adequate level of development. It is necessary to overcome the existing conceptual and theoretical scarcities to separate this discipline from esoteric elements and pseudoscientific expressions which affect its position in the academic circles. The ethical and methodological importance of handling information with due rigor and of overcoming methodological weaknesses in their publication were illustrated and underlined. The idea of non-existence of contradictory paradigms striving for conceptual hegemony was substantiated. This paper finally justified and supported the conviction that a coherent body of theories and practices in line with the already known accomplishments must prevail, regardless of their origin.
... In this study, we report a new bethicalQ placebo methodology for a real-life clinical context using flower essences. Flower essences (or remedies) are sold in chemists and health stores and believed by many people to be active treatments yet have been shown in a systematic review [2] and double-blind placebo controlled trials [3,4] to be no different from placebo. Flower essences owe their origin to the homeopathic physician, Edward Bach, who believed that much of illness had a spiritual in contrast to a mental or a physical basis, and that when flowers were floated in crystal-clear natural water, the water acquired an esoteric property, specific to that flower, that had a curative effect when taken by patients [5]. ...
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The aim of this study was to determine whether absorption and spirituality predict the placebo response independently of expectancy. This was an open study of self-treatment with self-selected Bach flower essences. Participants' expectancy of the effect of flower essences, attitudes to complementary medicine, holistic health beliefs, absorption, and spirituality were measured prior to treatment. One month after the start of treatment, participants responded to an e-mail enquiry about symptom change using a single seven-point change scale. One hundred sixteen participants (97 university undergraduates and 19 staff) completed all assessments. Spirituality and absorption together predicted additional variance compared with a cluster of expectancy measures comprising expectancy, attitude to complementary medicine, and holistic beliefs (increment in R(2)=.042, P=.032), and spirituality alone (but not absorption alone) predicted more additional variance than did the expectancy cluster (increment in R(2)=.043, P=.014). Our data are inconsistent with conventional explanations for the placebo effect. The mechanism underlying the placebo response is not fully understood.
... Une revue précise et systématique des études portant sur les EFB ayant déjà été réalisée par Ernst [46], nous avons procédé à une revue des rares expérimentations cliniques menées sur les EFB ne présentant aucun biais protocolaire, c'està-dire qui remplissent les critères méthodologiques suivants, empruntés à l'échelle de Jadad [47] : validité de l'échantillon de l'étude, présence d'un groupe de contrôle, adaptation à la variable recherchée, double aveugle, répartition aléatoire et tri des résultats. Seules deux études présentent les critères requis pour une recevabilité scientifique : celles d'Armstrong & Ernst [48] et de L'expérience fut menée à Freiburg, en Allemagne, à l'Institut für Umweltmedizin und Krankenhaushygiene, sur 66 personnes. Chez les 55 sujets traités, d'une moyenne d'âge de vingt-huit ans, fut administré en double-aveugle et de façon randomisée soit un placebo, soit une combinaison de dix remèdes floraux à raison de quatre gouttes par jour, soit l'un puis l'autre, ce durant deux semaines ponctuées de deux bilans. ...
Article
Full-text available
Bach Flower Remedies (EFB) are the implements of a so-called alternative pseudo-therapy, which is increasingly widespread in France. In view of the social impact of those alleged complementary health approaches and blurred lines between parapharmaceutical trends and those that promote well-being, critical investigation seems to be required to promote a piece of objective information on this subject. The zetetic methodology appears to be the most effective for dealing with the question, we therefore applied a critical study to both EFB and alternative therapy of Dr Bach. We show that EFB effectiveness is not formally established, that the basic principles of Bach's theory are settled on ungrounded, deeply intuitive hypotheses, belong to magical thinking, and do promote philosophical approaches that weaken patients-consumers, particularly with regard to sectarian trends. We insist on the need for training in effective tools for criticism.
... In this study, we report a new bethicalQ placebo methodology for a real-life clinical context using flower essences. Flower essences (or remedies) are sold in chemists and health stores and believed by many people to be active treatments yet have been shown in a systematic review [2] and double-blind placebo controlled trials [3,4] to be no different from placebo. Flower essences owe their origin to the homeopathic physician, Edward Bach, who believed that much of illness had a spiritual in contrast to a mental or a physical basis, and that when flowers were floated in crystal-clear natural water, the water acquired an esoteric property, specific to that flower, that had a curative effect when taken by patients [5]. ...
Article
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether absorption and spirituality predict the placebo response independently of expectancy. Method: This was an open study of self-treatment with self-selected Bach flower essences. Participants' expectancy of the effect of flower essences, attitudes to complementary medicine, holistic health beliefs, absorption, and spirituality were measured prior to treatment. One month after the start of treatment, participants responded to an e-mail enquiry about symptom change using a single seven-point change scale. Results: One hundred sixteen participants (97 university undergraduates and 19 staff) completed all assessments. Spirituality and absorption together predicted additional variance compared with a cluster of expectancy measures comprising expectancy, attitude to complementary medicine, and holistic beliefs (increment in R-2=.042, P=.032), and spirituality alone (but not absorption alone) predicted more additional variance than did the expectancy cluster (increment in R-2=.043, P=.014). Conclusion: Our data are inconsistent with conventional explanations for the placebo effect. The mechanism underlying the placebo response is not fully understood. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
... La "terapia floral" de Edward Bach, personaje a quien el libro rinde tributo en tanto "observador de gran agudeza" gracias a la cual consiguió encontrar los remedios florales. El libro menciona que tal recurso carece de fundamentos demostrados, pero nada se dice acerca de las varias demostraciones[19][20][21][22][23] de que dicha terapia no es superior a un simple placebo. ...
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The present paper delved into the contents of the book entitled "Salud Ecológica" from the public health viewpoint. Although this is a text that gathers information of historical and cultural values, and contains pertinent denunciations of several mercantilist expressions having negative impact on the population´s health, it is a failed book from the scientific viewpoint. The book combines esoterism-based statements, the defense of creationist currents and unsubstantiated praises of several diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, together with markedly deficient management of literature. It not only reflects the position of the authors but also represents a school of thought at odds with basic ontological, epistemological and public health elements. The critical appraisal presented here from conventional logics and rationality opens up the possibilities for debate, which is fundamental for the genuine defense of the collective health.
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Introducción: los estudios preclínicos que de forma habitual preceden al uso de un medicamento convencional pudieran convertirse en la solución a la comprobación de las acciones terapéuticas de medicinas naturales como las flores de Bach. La inflamación aguda y los modelos experimentales que la simulan son herramientas útiles en este camino. Objetivo: evaluar la actividad antiinflamatoria de las esencias florales de Bach en un modelo de inflamación aguda en ratas. Métodos: se realizó un estudio preclínico experimental piloto controlado y aleatorizado a ciegas en la UTEX de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara en el mes de Diciembre del 2010. El modelo experimental consistió en la inducción de edema plantar con dextrán. Se conformaron en 5 grupos de 6 animales (en total 30 ratas). Se trataron con las esencias Beech, Vervain y Rescue Remedy, respectivamente; mientras que los 2 restantes fueron control (negativo con placebo y positivo con Difenhidramina). Resultados: se observaron diferentes efectos en los tratamientos utilizados. Beech y Vervain mostraron propiedades antiinflamatorias con diferencias significativas al placebo, cuestión que avala su utilización en el tratamiento de patologías donde la inflamación es un denominador común. Estas acciones fueron selectivas ya que Beech tuvo efecto inmediato y Vervain mostró actividad sobre la inflamación en tercera hora. Otro preparado, el Rescue Remedy, no mostró esta actividad diferente al placebo.
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OBJETIVO: Investigar los efectos de los florales Impatiens, Cherry Plum, White Chestnut y Beech en personas ansiosas. MÉTODOS: Estudio de naturaleza cuantitativa, ensayo clínico randomizado, doble ciego. Los datos fueron recolectados entre mayo y agosto del 2010 con 34 trabajadores del Centro de Perfeccionamiento en Ciencias de la Salud de la Fundación Zerbini. La ansiedad fue evaluada por medio del Inventario de Diagnóstico de la Ansiedad Traço - Estado en dos momentos diferentes, al inicio y final de la intervención. RESULTADOS: Como resultado se observó que el grupo que hizo uso de las esencias florales tuvo una disminución mayor y estadísticamente significativa en el nivel de ansiedad en comparación al grupo placebo. CONCLUSIÓN: Se concluyó que las esencias florales tuvieron efecto positivo en la disminución de la ansiedad.
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The importance of the debate and the rigorous application of the scientific method to strengthen the Natural and Traditional Medicine (NTM) as a public health resource were analyzed. Three concepts were clarified and illustrated: erroneous science, spurious science and pseudoscience, all of them significantly hazardous to the population's health. While it is noted that legitimate therapeutic resources are located under the umbrella of the natural and traditional medicine, it was also warned against other resources which do not have the endorsement of the scientific method or whose validity has been directly refuted. The crucial importance of taking into account the best available knowledge at every historical period to design appropriate public health actions was highlighted. It was emphasized that only intellectual honesty, constructive debate and experimentation are able to secure this purpose.
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RESUMEN / ABSTRACT La presente contribución complementa el trabajo "Medicina Convencional y Medicina Natural y Tradicional: razones y sinrazones metodológicas", publicado por nosotros en este mismo número de la Revista Cubana de Salud Pública. La Medicina Natural y Tradicional, tal y como se desarrolla en nuestro país, exige un salto cualitativo que la ponga a tono con las demandas de ejercer la autocrítica, inherente a todo esfuerzo científico verdadero. Se reflexiona en torno a que dicha disciplina tiene un recorrido que transitar para alcanzar un desarrollo adecuado. Se fundamenta la necesidad de superar la precariedad teórico conceptual, con el fin de separarla de esoterismos y expresiones pseudocientíficas que actualmente lastran su posición en los medios académicos. Se reivindica e ilustra la importancia tanto metodológica como ética de manejar la información con el debido rigor y superar las endebleces metodológicas que suelen exhibir sus publicaciones. Fundamentamos la idea de que no existen paradigmas contradictorios que pugnen por una hegemonía conceptual y operativa. Se sostiene y justifica la convicción de que ha de prevalecer un cuerpo teórico-práctico coherente con las conquistas científicas ya conseguidas, independientemente de su origen. Palabras clave: Medicina Natural y Tradicional, ciencia, pseudociencia, ética, salud pública. ABSTRACT This is the second part of the article "Conventional Medicine, and Natural and Traditional Medicine: reasons and unreasons" published in this same issue of Revista Cubana de Salud Pública. This discipline, as it is developed in our country, requires a qualitative leap to be in tune with the demands for self-criticism inherent to every true scientific effort. Reflections were also made about the road that the Natural and Traditional Medicine must go in order to reach an adequate level of development. It is necessary to overcome the existing conceptual and theoretical scarcities to separate this discipline from esoteric elements and pseudoscientific expressions which affect its position in the academic circles. The ethical and methodological importance of handling information with due rigor and of overcoming methodological weaknesses in their publication were illustrated and underlined. The idea of non-existence of contradictory paradigms striving for conceptual hegemony was substantiated. This paper finally justified and supported the conviction that a coherent body of theories and practices in line with the already known accomplishments must prevail, regardless of their origin. Keywords: Natural and Traditional Medicine, science, pseudoscience, ethics, public health.
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Part 1: Orientation and Basic ConceptsPart 2: Fears and Phobias: Treatment Procedures and Protocols
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Background: the preclinical studies that in their habitual form precede the use of a conventional drug, could become a solution to testing therapeutic actions of natural medications such as the Bach flowers. The acute inflammation and the experimental models that simulate it are very useful tools in this direction. Objective: to evaluate the antinflammatory activity of the Bach flower essence in an acute inflammation model in rats. Methods: a pilot experimental preclinical study, controlled and blindly randomized, was carried out at the UTEX of the Medical Sciences University of Villa Clara on December 2010. The experimental model consisted on the induction of plantar oedema with Dextran. 5 groups of 6 animals were formed (30 rats in total). They were treated with Beech and Vervain essences and Rescue Remedy respectively; while the remaining 2 formed the control group (negative with placebo and positive with Diphenhydramine). Results: different effects in the treatments were observed. Beech and Vervain showed antinflammatory properties with significant differences form placebo, condition that endorse their use in the treatment of pathologies where inflammation is a common factor. These actions were selective because Beech had an immediate effect and Vervain showed its activity on the inflammation in the third hour. Other preparation, the Rescue Remedy, showed that its activity was not different from placebo.
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The interest and use of the alternative or complementary therapies has increased during the last years. In that article is about a bibliographical review on the use and application of Dr. Bach floral essences in obstetrician. The only systematic review couldn't have demonstrated that the effect of these flowers, in medicine, is not only a placebo.
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This paper explores the potentiality of Bach flower remedies as a means of pain relief through a retrospective case-study analysis to establish how clients suffering with painful conditions responded to the therapy. Of 384 subjects, 41 suffered pain. Of these, 46% felt treatment had relieved their pain; in 49% the physical outcome was unknown. About 88% of all subjects reported an improvement in their emotional outlook. The role of placebo and its influence on the study's key features: focus shift from physical pain to emotional outlook, and the importance of the client-practitioner relationship and belief in the therapy. The use of Bach flower remedies has brought about positive emotional changes in the majority of clients in this study. Whilst it is difficult to draw a definitive conclusion as to significance of the therapeutic value of these remedies in relation to pain above that of a placebo, the results are encouraging. In particular, relief of negative emotions and promotion of positive thought including how clients opened up about, and dealt with, emotional issues. The indication is that potential for Bach flower remedies as a therapeutic agent in the relief of pain does exist and is worthy of further qualitative and quantitative investigation through robust, purpose-designed studies to replicate and progress the results shown here.
Bach remedies were identified by Dr Edward Bach, a physician and homoeopath. Bach flower remedies consist of 38 remedies which are designed as a system of emotional healing. Remedies are dispensed in homoeopathic dosages, are safe and do not appear to interfere with any other medication. Nurses may find the remedies a useful adjunct to their nursing care.
During my nursing career, I remember constantly being aware of patients who needed some emotional help--those who were frightened about a forthcoming operation, those who were shocked and despairing after being given their diagnosis and prognosis, others who were down in the dumps because they couldn't go home as soon as they had hoped. There were also the 'ward clowns' who tried to make everyone laugh with their good humour and little pranks, yet felt no less anxious, worried or depressed than anyone else. Patients seem to fit into categories: the nervous ones, the depressives, the jovial types, the moaners, those who demand attention and those who shun it. I feel sure that every nurse has noticed the different 'types' of people who fill hospital beds-ordinary people who seem to take on a new persona as soon as they get into their pyjamas and become a 'patient'. Somehow, their identity gets folded up and put away in their locker along with their outdoor clothes and other reminders of the outside world.
London Fricke U 1999 Die Tops and Flops der Naturmedizin
  • Chancellor
  • Bach
  • Remedies
  • Daniel
Chancellor PM 1971 Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies, CW Daniel, London Fricke U 1999 Die Tops and Flops der Naturmedizin. Bild der Wissenschaft 11: 52–57 Howard J 1998 Bach Flower Remedies: a personal commentary on the work of Dr. Edward Bach
  • F Mantle
Mantle F 1997 Bach Flower Remedies. Complementary Therapies in Nursing & Midwifery 3: 142–144
Fricke U 1999 Die Tops and Flops der Naturmedizin
  • Pm Chancellor
  • Remedies
Chancellor PM 1971 Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies, CW Daniel, London Fricke U 1999 Die Tops and Flops der Naturmedizin. Bild der Wissenschaft 11: 52-57
Pilotstudie Zur Anwendung von Bach-Blütenessenzen ber Erstgebärenden mit verlängerter Tragzeit
  • Von Ruhle
Die Tops and Flops der Naturmedizin
  • Fricke