A timeline of the life of Dr Edward Bach
In the following we do no more than set out the more obvious milestones in the life of this remarkable man who was a research scientist of the highest caliber with a deep faith in God and Divine Providence.
From the 1881 Census
Walter Bach (Dr Bach’s father), at the time of the census was 25 years old and was unmarried, living at The Hollies, Alcester Road, Moseley, Kinks Norton, Worcestershire. In residence were his widowed father, two step sisters, two nephews, three visitors and two domestic servants. Walter Bach was a Brass Founder, born in Birmingham. Walters father, Edward Bach (Dr Bach’s grandfather) then 70 years old was described as a Spur Maker (saddler) born in Hopsey, Shropshire in 1810.
From Dr Bach’s Birth Certificate
Born on the 24th September 1886 at The Hollies, Alcester Road, Moseley, Kings Norton Worcestershire.
Father; Walter Best Bach, Spur Manufacturer
Mother; Aida Brenda Bach, maiden name Tipper. I have no information about his mother.
He was the eldest of three children, 2 boys and 1 girl. I have no information about his siblings
In 1903 he joined the Worcestershire Yeomanry, a cavalry regiment made up of part time volunteer soldiers.
1903 to 1906
Bach left school at 16 years of age and went to work in his father’s brass foundry in Birmingham.
Entered Birmingham University to study for his matriculation. From Birmingham he went to London to finish his medical training.
From Birmingham he went University College Hospital London, where he obtained the Conjunct Diploma of M.R.C.S. (Member of the Royal College of Surgeons) and L.R.C.P. (Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians)
1913, Dr Bach’s first marriage
Edward Bach and Gwendoline Caiger were married on 14th January 1913 at the Parish Church of Hendon Middlesex.
He held the appointment of Casualty Medical Officer at University College Hospital whilst at the same time completing his studies for and was awarded the Degrees M.B. (Latin, Medicinae Baccalaureus Bachelor of Medicine) and B.S. (Bachelor of Science). Later that year, he was also appointed Casualty House Surgeon at the National Temperance Hospital. He was forced to give up this post after a few months due to ill health brought on by over work. When he recovered he took consulting rooms near Harley Street.
He was awarded the Diploma in Public Health Camb. (Cambridge). He was refused service abroad during The First World War probably due to poor health.
It seemed to him that modern medicine failed in some way and that surgery could rarely do more than palliate and relieve. This made him look around for other methods of healing and he now became interested in the immunity school. Consequently he became Assistant Bacteriologist at University College Hospital and hoped that in bacteriology he would find the answers to his problems. During this time he discovered that certain intestinal bacteria, which up to then, had been considered of little or no importance, were closely related to chronic diseases and their cure. These bacteria were present in the intestines of healthy people but in people who were suffering a chronic disease they were there in vastly increased numbers.
Following months of investigation he became convinced that a vaccine made from these intestinal bacteria would have the effect of cleansing the system of the poisons, which caused the chronic disease. Though he obtained very encouraging results from these vaccines he disliked the method of injecting them through the skin because this caused a painful reaction in the patient (as many of us have experienced when we have had painful reactions to inoculations). He set himself the task of finding a simpler method of application. This was partly solved by his next discovery, when he noticed that when a vaccine was not repeated until the beneficial effects of the former one had worn off; or the patients process of recovery had become stationary, the results were better than when the doses were administered at set times (say three or four times per day) and had a far less severe reaction on the patient. So long as the improvement was maintained no further treatment need be given. Only if there was a relapse or the condition became stationary need the dose be repeated.
Dr. Bach was in charge of war beds at University College Hospital and was also conducting research work in the Bacteriological Department, he was also a Demonstrator and Clinical Assistant to the Hospital Medical School.
Daughter born to Edward Bach and Kitty Light
His wife Gwendoline died on the 5th April 1917. There were no children from this first marriage. I do not have her death certificate. The death was found in an entry in the June quarter of the death index under the Hendon death index.
Dr Bach’s second marriage
Edward Bach married Kitty Emmeline Jane Light on the 2nd May 1917 at the Islington registry office. At that time he was living at 42 Cannonbury Square and Kitty was living at 89 Calabra Road, Islington. He remarried within one month of Gwendoline’s death. This was understandable given he already had a daughter by Kitty Light – he would not wanted to delay thing too much.
This time overwork brought on a severe hemorrhage, in July 1917. He did not regain consciousness and his parents had to give permission for an operation, nevertheless he was only given three months to live.
Determination to complete his work before he died caused him to carry on and he gradually recovered. At the end of the Great War in 1918 there was a world-wide flu epidemic which killed more people than had been killed in the war. It is reported that Dr Bach was unofficially given permission to use a vaccine he had developed on troops in some camps and many lives were saved. Although no independent confirmation of this report can be found.
25th November 1918 he was initiated into the London Warwickshire Lodge of the Masons.
In March 1919 he accepted the post of Pathologist and Bacteriologist at the London Homeopathic Hospital. It was here that he read 'The Organon' by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy, where he states “Treat the patient not the disease". Treat the ‘mentals’ as Hahnemann called them, using these as a guide to the remedy required irrespective of the physical complaint.
He classified the enormous variety of organisms present in the intestines into seven groups, by means of their fermentation action on sugar. The seven groups of bacilli he named were
1 Proteus, 2 Dysentery, 3 Morgan, 4 Faecalis Alkaligenes, 5 Coil Mutabile 6 Gaertner and
7 No7. The property of vaccines prepared from these groups he found to be that of purifying the intestinal tract and of cleansing and keeping pure all that was eaten, so that what left the body was wholesome, clean and inoffensive. Each patient was tested for the bacterial group predominant in the intestines and either an autogenous of polyvalent nosode given. In the autogenous method a remedy was made of the organism isolated from a particular patient and given either by injection or by mouth. To cover a great number of cases a polyvalent nosode, that is one made from collecting organisms from hundreds of patients then potentising the whole to make a remedy.
The following papers were published:-
The Relation of Vaccine Therapy to Homeopathy
by Edward Bach M.B., B.S., D.P.H. published in The British Homeopathic Journal in
He also read this as a paper to the London Homeopathic Society in April 1920
The Nature of Serum Antitrypsin and its Relation to Autolysis and the Formation of Toxins by F.H. Teal and E. Bach
published in The Proceedings of The Royal Society of Medicine.
The Relation of Autotryptic Titre of Blood to Bacteria Infection and Anaphylaxis
by F. H. Teal and E. Bach
published in The Proceedings of The Royal Society of Medicine
The fate of ‘washed spores’ on inoculation into animals, with special reference to the
Nature of Bacterial Toxaemia. by F.H. Teal and E. Bach
Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology
Bach gave up his post at the London Homeopathic Hospital and moved to a large laboratory in Park Crescent, off Portland Place. He kept his Harley Street consulting room.
He separates from Kitty this year.
He studied the effects of diet in relation to disease, advised uncooked food, fruits, nuts, cereals and vegetables to reduce the amount of toxins produced in the intestines. At the British Homeopathic Congress in London he read a paper entitled "Intestinal Toxaemia in its Relation to Cancer", discussing the effects of diet combined with vaccine treatment. He observed that "the benefit obtained is due to general improvement and not local treatment".
Published - Chronic Disease; A Working Hypothesis written with Dr C. E. Wheeler who had assisted him in his research at the London Homeopathic Hospital.
At the International Homeopathic Congress held in London he read a paper entitled "The Problem of Chronic Disease" with Dr. C.E. Wheeler and Dr. T.M. Dishington (both from Glasgow). He stated that from his researches and the results of vaccines prepared from intestinal toxaemia, he concluded that psora and intestinal toxaemia were identical.
1928 “The year his greatest work began” (I think it actually began in 1922! See above, but it takes 7 years to consolidate it)
In March of that year The Medical World published "An Effective Method of
Combating Intestinal Toxaemia"
In September, following an intuitive impulse he went to Wales where he found Impatiens and Mimulus, later also Clematis
In an address to The British Homeopathic Society on 1st November he referred to the fact that certain plants, which in their effects resembled groups of bacteria, but when used as remedies the results were not as good as those obtained using bacterial nosodes.
We can see how at this time he was beginning to grapple with the problem of replacing bacterial nosodes with plants which was in a few short years to give the world a new and more wonderful system of medicine.
From as early as 1924 Bachs’ research was proving scientifically the principal that he had long known intuitively - that the patient’s temperament was the most important indication of the treatment required.
The vaccines he used so improved the patients general condition that the local complaints disappeared.
Bach was dissatisfied with using the products of disease to cure disease, “I wish it were possible that we could present to you seven herbs instead of seven groups of bacteria” (1929). He finally found the solution to his dilemma “Yet there is one thing lacking in the effort to avoid using bacterial nosodes, this vital point is polarity. The remedies of the meadow and nature, when potentised are of a positive polarity; whereas those which have been associated with disease are of the reverse type”. He found that the Sun Method and the Boiling Method of preparation made remedies of a positive polarity. “Science is tending to show that life is harmony - a state of being in tune - and that disease is discord or a condition when a part of the whole is not vibrating in unison.
The Masonic Dinner 1928 - Bach had attended the dinner unwillingly and was not enjoying himself. To pass the time he was idly watching the people around him when he suddenly realised that the whole of humanity consisted of a number of groups; by the time the dinner was over he had worked out a number of groups and was busy in his mind comparing these with the seven bacterial groups. He discovered that he had added more type groups to that number and realised that more would still be added. He wondered whether the diseases from which these groups suffered would bear a resemblance to each other. Then came the inspiration that the individuals of each group would not suffer from the same kinds of disease, but that all of those in any group would react in the same or nearly the same manner to any type of illness. From the end of 1929 he gave up all methods of treatment except “the pure and simple herbs of the field”, he began with Impatiens, Mimulus and Clematis, which interestingly enough are the remedies for impatience, he would need patience to complete his task, mimulus for fear of the known he would experience fear as he began the new tasks and clematis, the remedy which gets our heads out of the clouds and helps us to ground our ideas. He eventually found that there were 12 groups or predominant states of mind into which people fell. These are quite possibly related to the types of karmic lessons they are to work through in life, which can be identified on a more individual basis by also relating to the position of the moon at birth.
The Rediscovery of Psora
published in the British Homeopathic Journal
This was an important time as it gave him status in his peer group in some way, but also made him realize it was not what he wanted – it was too ‘orthodox’.
An Effective Method of Preparing Vaccines for Oral Administration published in Medical World in January
Some New Remedies and New Uses published in Homeopathic World in February
Some Fundamental Considerations of Disease and Cure published in Homeopathic world
Early in the year Bach leaves London and moves to a small Welsh village near Betws¬y-Coed to continue his work on his group theory and search for new remedies.
“One early morning in May he was walking through a field on which the dew still lay heavy, the thought flashed into his mind that each dewdrop must contain some of the properties of the plant on which it rested; for the heat of the sun, acting through the fluid, would serve to draw out these properties until each drop was magnetised with power. Later he noted that the sun’s heat was essential to the process of extraction, for the dew collected from plants in shady places was not so potent as that from plants in full sunlight.. To collect sufficient dew from individual flowers would be too laborious and take too long a time, so he decided to take a few blooms from an individual plant and place them in a glass bowl filled with water from a clear stream, and leave it standing in a field in full sunlight for several hours. It was the method of simplicity he longed for, the simplicity of mighty things, for fire, air, earth and water were working together to produce healing remedies of great power.
He travelled across country experimenting with the dew from wild flowers finally arriving at Abersoch, a small seaside village a few miles from Pwllheli in Wales where he stayed until the end of July. It was here that he perfected the sun method of extracting the healing properties of plants and where he wrote the manuscript to possibly his most important book, the book which lays out his whole healing philosophy, Heal Thyself
Bach returned to London for a few days but then travelled to Cromer on the Norfolk coast. He stayed at 4, St Marys Road, Cromer, Norfolk.
During this time he discovered the following remedies; in August, Agrimony, Centaury, Chicory, Cerato and Vervain in September, Scleranthus.
Ye Suffer From Yourselves
An address given in Southport in February
Possibly the first public expression of his spiritual thoughts. This created a shift for him
Heal Thyself “An Explanation of the Real Cause and Cure of Disease”
“This book is dedicated to all who suffer or are in distress” Dr Bach
Bach finds two more remedies; at Lewes in Sussex he found Water Violet and at Westerham in Kent he found Gentian. He now had 11 remedies for his 12 Healer series but as it was late in the year he would have to wait until the following spring to find the last one.
In which he explores many of the ideas which form part of Heal Thyself, in the form of a children's story about living in balance with one’s desires and life.
He returned to Westerham, where he had found Gentian the previous year, this time he found Rock Rose, the last in the series which he called “The Twelve Healers”, later to become The Twelve Healers and other remedies.
During the latter part of 1932 and into 1933 Bach was in correspondence with the General Medical Council who threatened to strike him off the Medical Register for advertising his remedies in local newspapers.
The four helper remedies found, they are Oak found in Cromer, Norfolk; Gorse, in The Thames Valley and Rock Water and Heather found in Wales.
Friends in Switzerland send him Vine and friends from Italy send Olive and Vine, prepared by the sun method from his instructions.
Twelve Great Remedies
published in a magazine for Homeopaths.
His book The Twelve Healers and Four Helpers published in the autumn of 1933
The twelve groups, or predominating states of mind into which he classified people:-
The Remedy, from Twelve Healers, (1933)
Bach further states in an article, which probably appeared in The Naturopathic Journal
in 1933 that "These types of personality are indicated to us by the moon according to
which sign of the Zodiac she was in at birth, and a study of this will give us the
The type of personality
His object and work in life
The remedy which will assist him in that work.
He further states in the same article that “There are seven steps in healing in the following order”
(Solar Plexus chakra)
(Crown chakra) authors italics
Bach stated in a letter (probably to the Naturopathic Journal) dated October 1933 “I am being cautious as regards astrology, and that is why one left out the Signs and the months in the first Twelve Healers. This work is decidedly going to assist vastly in the purification and understanding of astrology, but my part seems to be to give general principles whereas people like you who have more detailed knowledge, may discover a great truth. That is why I do not wish to be associated with anything dogmatic until one is sure. The enclosed one knows is right and hence ready for publication, but the exact placing of Signs and planets and bodily systems, for the moment, that has not certainty.”
He moved to the village of Sotwell near Wallingford in Berkshire in April 1934 I have seen copies of letters dated variously from 25th June 1936 to 26th October 1936 addressed from Mount Vernon, Sotwell, Wallingford, Bucks also letters dated variously from 8th January 1935 to 6th October 1936 addressed from the house of Miss Mary Tabour, Wellsprings, Sotwell, Wallingford, Bucks. He was a very creative and powerful man, perhaps he always needed two women in his life.
In June he found Wild Oat near Sotwell. During this time he also wrote The Twelve Healers and Seven Helpers, which was published in July.
The Story of the Travelers
The natures of 16 remedies explained in a short children's story format
In March he found Cherry Plum. Because the sun in early spring is too weak to make remedies he decides to make this remedy by using the boiling method. This is the first remedy he prepared by this method. During the next six months he found the remaining 18 remedies. They are Aspen, Elm, Chestnut Bud, Larch, Beech, Hornbeam, Walnut, Star of Bethlehem, Holly, Crab Apple, Willow, Pine, Red Chestnut, Mustard, Wild Rose, Honeysuckle, Sweet Chestnut, and White Chestnut which he found in May and is the only one of this group to be made by the sun method.
In January he receives a letter from The General Medical Council threatening to have him struck off the Medical Register if he continues to use ‘unqualified assistants’. He was by now working with a small team of assistants.
On September 24th, his 50th birthday, he gives the first public lecture on this ‘new method of healing’ in the Masonic Hall, Wallingford.
Bach publishes The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies. The 38 remedies were placed under the following seven headings
For Insufficient Interest in Present Circumstances
For Those Oversensitive to Influences and Ideas
For Despondence or Despair
For Over-Care for Welfare of Others
In October 1936 his last public talk was given to a Masonic gathering. The theme of the talk was Disease is Curable.
The strain of a lifetime of work now began to take its toll. For the second time in his life he now became very seriously ill. In the evening of November 27th he died peacefully in his sleep.