Exploring the Effectiveness of External Use of Bach Flower Remedies on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Pilot Study

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):18-24. doi: 10.1177/2156587215610705. Epub 2015 Oct 11.


Background: A randomized, pilot, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of a cream based on Bach flower remedies (BFR) on symptoms and signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Methods: Forty-three patients with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome during their "waiting" time for surgical option were randomized into 3 parallel groups: Placebo (n = 14), blinded BFR (n = 16), and nonblinded BFR (n = 13). These groups were treated during 21 days with topical placebo or a cream based on BFR.

Results: Significant improvements were observed on self-reported symptom severity and pain intensity favorable to BFR groups with large effect sizes (η2partial > 0.40). In addition, all signs observed during the clinical exam showed significant improvements among the groups as well as symptoms of pain, night pain, and tingling, also with large effect sizes (φ > 0.5). Finally, there were significant differences between the blinded and nonblinded BFR groups for signs and pain registered in clinical exam but not in self-reports.

Conclusion: The proposed BFR cream could be an effective intervention in the management of mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, reducing the severity symptoms and providing pain relief.

Keywords: Bach flower remedies; carpal tunnel syndrome; complementary and alternative medicine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Flower Essences / administration & dosage
  • Flower Essences / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Skin Cream
  • Young Adult


  • Flower Essences