Blog #22: What Are Flower Essences?
Flower essences are homeopathic-like extracts of flowers which often are taken orally. They also sometimes are used topically, or even sprayed in a room or used in bathwater. They can help alleviate emotional distress, resolve some physical complaints, strengthen the immune system, lend support during times of transition or personal growth, and much more. Flower essences can also help plants and animals. Of all the modalities in my practice, I regard these remedies as the most profound and powerful when chosen and used correctly. Some flower essences or essence combinations, such as Rescue Remedy, will most likely be helpful to everyone at some point in their lives.
Essences usually are prepared either by boiling parts of a specific plant in pure water for one half hour, or by placing blossoms from a plant into a clean bowl of pure water for several hours in an unpolluted, sunny outdoor setting. During the second type of preparation, cheesecloth or another covering may be used to protect the water and blooms from falling insects, leaves, etc. With both of these methods, the flowers leave their species-unique electrical imprint on the water. The flowers are carefully removed from the water, and the imprinted water is then mixed with brandy or vinegar to preserve the solution. Essences are stored in stock bottles and transferred to smaller glass dropper bottles when sold or distributed.
The unique personality of a species of flower comes from color of blossoms, size of plants, shape and texture of leaves, quality and mineral content of soil in which it best grows, climate and challenges the species faces while growing, the plant’s natural habitat (e.g. desert or swamp), the level of environmental pollution, and other factors. Flower essences can be selected intuitively, analytically, or through muscle testing. Almost anyone can work safely with flower essences, since they will do no serious harm if misused. However, it can take several years to gain skill with muscle-testing, (also called kinesiology). Acupuncturists and body workers have an advantage because they already have developed sensitivity in their hands. Also essential to accurate muscle-testing are keeping the mind empty, the emotions calm, and focusing totally on the process.
In some ways, flower essences resemble homeopathic remedies. Both utilize the electrical imprint or “spirit” of something to help speed healing. Both are usually taken orally, at least fifteen minutes away from anything else taken by mouth, except water. However, flower essence dilutions are not as precise as those of homeopathic remedies. And, while homeopathy usually works with the law of “similars”, pushing an ailing entity a little further into specific pathology in order to then rouse a healing response somewhat similar to inoculation, flower essences work more gently. They gift an ailing consciousness with constructive energies to subtly, and sometimes swiftly, move the entity back to balance and inner harmony. Use of flower essences along with acupuncture, nutrition, chiropractic, herbs, exercise, massage and other approaches to healing has benefitted many people suffering from depression. The wide varieties of essences I have used for this problem indicate that there are many origins and types of depression.
Edward Bach, considered to be the father of flower essences, was an English physician who became disillusioned with the medical practices of his day. He first turned to homeopathy and then retired to the countryside in Wales where he sought remedies in nature. Walking though meadows, he discovered that if he held his hand over a particular flower, it affected him in a way unique to its species. Research with flowers followed until he created the 38 Bach Flower Remedies. He chose each essence to address a particular emotional imbalance, for he believed that anger, worry, fear, grief, guilt, and other negative emotions wore down the person, eventually leading to physical illness. Since Dr. Bach’s death in 1938, demand for flower remedies has increased steadily. They are commonly found in pharmacies in England and Germany, and in most health food stores and some pharmacies in the U.S. They are extremely delicate, and must be kept at least a small distance away from operating computer monitors, television sets, cell phones, x-ray machines, and the like.
I work with several sets of remedies, which include the North American Flower Essences Set, Bach Flower Essences, Petite Fleur Essences, Perelandra Essences Set, Desert Flower Essences, and the Australian Bush Flower Essences. Each set has particular qualities, stemming in part from the developer and also from the state or country of origin. There is much more I could write about regarding these amazing remedies, but I believe that the best way to learn is by first using them with the guidance of an experienced practitioner and then by helping oneself and others over the course of many years.
This blog’s offer: contact me for flower essences testing, and I will only charge $50.00 for the hour session, including the essence for no additional charge. If we find that essences are not appropriate, there will be no charge for my time with you.