Answers by Rabbi Pesach Eliyahu Falk, Gateshead England
In the following questions, the term “original Bach Remedy bottle” refers to the Bach Remedy bottle that one purchases from a store.
The term “mixing bottle” refers to a one ounce (30ml) glass bottle that one fills with water plus two drops of each remedy that is needed.
The terms “Remedy” or “Bach Flower Remedies” refers, unless otherwise noted, to the traditional liquid form of Bach Flower Remedies preserved with grape alcohol (brandy).
Rabbi Falk’s responses are in bold italic letters below each question.
- Is it permissible for children and adults to use Bach Flower Remedies?
Yes. Anyone can use Bach Flower Remedies.
- Is it preferable to drop the remedies onto one’s skin instead of putting them into liquid?
This method is not as effective for treatment and there are sufficiently strong heterim (halachic reasons) that we don’t need to use less effective forms of treatment such as putting it on the skin.
- Is it permissible to use Rescue Remedy in spray form, sprayed directly into one’s mouth?
The preferred method is to dilute Rescue Remedy in liquid. However, if you can’t do that, it is O.K. to use the spray. In fact, it is better to use the spray than to take drops straight from the Rescue Remedy bottle itself. However, if there is an emergency and you do not have the spray but only the liquid tincture and there is no water available for dilution, in that case, you can take the tincture straight from the bottle.
- Is it permissible to use Rescue Remedy or any other Bach Remedy in the newer forms such as chewing gum, tablets or water preserved with glycerin?
Brandy is preferable to glycerin when the remedy is being used straight from the bottle. However, once the remedies have been diluted in a mixing bottle, there is no difference between the traditional remedies preserved with brandy and the newer ones preserved with glycerin. They are both permitted. Gum should not be used unless it is certified kosher. If the tablets contain lactose, they can be taken but only one hour after eating a meat meal.
- Can one drop 4 drops of the remedy straight from the mixing bottle onto one’s tongue?
Yes. Once the remedy has been placed within a one-ounce (30ml) mixing bottle, it is permissible to take it directly from the mixing bottle.
- If the Remedies are dropped into a glass or mug straight from the original Bach Remedy bottle, do they cause the glass or mug to become treif?
Not when used in the normal way. Normally, a person puts some liquid in a glass or mug and then adds the remedy. However, if a non-diluted remedy sat in a container with no other liquid for a full 24 hours, then the container would become treif.
- Can one drop 4 drops of the remedy from the mixing bottle into any liquid, hot or cold? Will the glass, mug or bowl become treif?
The Remedies can be dropped into any liquid, hot or cold. The glass, mug or bowl does not become treif.
- Can one drop the Remedies onto moist food?
It is preferable to mix the Remedies with water or some other liquid. However, if this isn’t possible, dilute the remedy in a mixing bottle or other container and then put it directly onto food. In case of an emergency, Rescue Remedy can be dropped directly onto food even if it hasn’t been diluted.
- If the mixing bottle is boiled between uses, does the pot become treif?
- Can the Remedies be taken on Shabbos and Yom Tov?
If a person is taking a seven day course of treatment or longer, then they can take the Remedies on Shabbos and Yontif. However, a person may take Rescue Remedy for an emergency on Shabbos even if they only need it for that day.
- Can they be taken on Pesach?
Nelson’s Bach Flower Remedies are O.K. for use on Pesach.
- Can they be dropped into a Pesach glass, mug or bowl?
Does it alter the kosher l’Pesach status of the glass or mug? They can be put into Pesach vessels. The status is not altered.