Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Does the mimulus Bach flower essence (or remedy) reduce anxiety?

Some people believe that the best remedy for overcoming fear of public speaking is preparation and practice. Others look for shortcuts in alternative and complementary medicine, such as Bach flower essences (or remedies). Back in January 2010 I blogged about flower remedies and a trial of one combination called Rescue Remedy.

Mimulus is another flower essence prepared from a single type of yellow flower, as is shown above. Sara Radcliffe explained that:  

“Mimulus is for those who have specific fears about things, people or events. This includes anticipatory anxiety such as fear of failing an exam or fear of how things will turn out, or fear of poverty as well as phobias such as fear of public speaking, fear of dogs, fear of robbers and so on.”

There is a three-minute video about mimulus with pretty music and images posted on YouTube. But, is there any evidence that it works? I couldn’t find a double-blind trial for  mimulus alone.

However, back in 2001 Harald Wallach, Christine Rilling, and Ursula Engelke published a an article in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders titled “Efficacy of Bach-flower remedies in test anxiety: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial with partial crossover.” You can read an abstract here. They looked at a combination of ten remedies containing mimulus and also impatiens, gentian, chestnut bud, rock rose, larch, cherry plum, white chestnut, scleranthus, and elm. Their study didn’t find a significant effect above that of the placebo. If any of those ten remedies were effective it should have. Nevertheless, in 2008 Nelsons issued a press release titled Flower Power + Brain Power = Exam Success.

The image of mimulus came from Wikimedia Commons.

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