Plants have been agents of healing since time immemorial. But not all plants can be ingested, or even need to, in order to receive support for health. Flower essences are a subtle yet powerful way to invoke emotional and energetic shifts while receiving the benefits of the plant’s vibration. They integrate an understanding of our deep connection with nature and working with the natural world as a source of healing.
Flower essence remedies are used to bring balance to our emotional and mental well-being, which in turn assists and supports healing on all levels. Shifting our emotional vibration is important in shifting our physical health to a place of harmony and balance.
What Are Flower Essences?
It might be easiest to begin with what flower essences are not. They are not herbal tinctures, nor are they homeopathic preparations or essential oils. Essences are also not considered medicine in the modern medical paradigm, as they are too simple, diverse, and linked in with nature to be easily recreated in a laboratory or controlled environment. Making essences in a high-tech lab process would ruin their intrinsic effectiveness.
Essences are created by floating the flowers of any flower, herb, or tree in a bowl of spring water and leaving it in the sun for the prescribed amount of time (anywhere from 3 to 6 hours).
Flowers essences are one of the gentlest remedies that can be used by most everyone. Unlike herbal tinctures, in which you often ingest the crushed leaves, flowers or roots of a plant, flower essences work with the vibrational essence only, in order to create the remedy. This is one of the reasons they are often safe and effective for children as well as adults. They can also be shared with animals by putting a few drops in their water source.
Essences are most often made with spring water and alcohol in order to keep them fresh for long shelf-life. However, there are non-alcoholic essences that are made with liquid glycerin for those who cannot drink alcohol and for when sharing with children or animals.
History of Flower Essences
Flower remedies have been worked with for centuries in China, India, and around the world. Over 3,000 years ago Egyptians are known to have used flowers for healing. Australian aboriginal people were said to drink flower water for healing, use flowers and plants in a sauna style technique, and sit amongst flowering plants. Bathing in flower water is still used by some indigenous cultures in order to restore balance and harmony to the body.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was a Benedictine nun famous for her spiritual visions as well as the music she composed. She also wrote medicinal and botanical texts. She understood the connection between the health of the natural world and the health of humans. She believed plants and elements to be direct counterparts to the human body and she used flowering plants to help heal others.
Von Bingen would wrap muslin cloths around flowering plants and leave them overnight to collect the dew. After collecting the cloth in the morning, she would wrap the patients in the dew-soaked cloth.
Flower Essences Today
Modern usage of flower essences was brought to the mainstream by Dr. Edward Bach (1886 – 1936), a physician and later a homeopath. In the 1930’s he developed the Bach Original Flower Remedies for emotional balance. He eventually opened The Bach Center in Oxfordshire, England, where his remedies were made and sold to the public. His system of flower essence remedies is what most people use today.
Dr. Bach practiced traditional medicine until 1918, specializing in bacteriology and immunology. He also studied homeopathy and the use of natural remedies. His work and research led him to recognize the healing properties in the essences of flowers. He would place the flowers on the surface of a bowl of water and set it in the sun for several hours to gain the energetic imprint of the flower’s vibrational signature.
Bach saw a connection between the behaviors and personality traits of humans and that of flowers displaying similar expressions. He used this information to create essences that can help with physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing.
Dr. Bach believed that “illness is the effect of disharmony between body and mind. Symptoms of an illness are the external expression of negative emotional states.” In treating the emotional issues of the patient, he believed that physical and medical issues would then have the opportunity to heal as well.
How To Work With Essences
Once you’ve found an essence that feels resonant for what you’d like support with, instructions should be on the bottle. Most essences are taken under the tongue and only 2-3 drops at a time, sometimes a few times a day. A few drops can also be placed in a glass of spring water and ingested that way as well.
Instructions vary on how often to work with essences, depending on the practitioner who made them. One way to get the most out of an essence is to set your intentions before taking it. Use it once in the morning and once in the evening for a moon cycle. You can also use it for as shorter or longer period as you feel is needed, while remembering to allow space for integrating the essence after you are feeling better.
Often the best way to work with essences is to trust your intuition. When you feel called to take them, put a few drops under your tongue.
Finding Flower Essences
As flower essence remedies continue to make their way into the mainstream for a myriad of issues, there are numerous practitioners that are available to support your journey with flowers. You can google to see if there are practitioners local to you, and you can also link with societies from around the world that offer deeper information about working with the remedies and where to find them.
Once you’ve connected with the sweet and potent energy of flowers, you’ll have the opportunity to find deeper relationship with the natural world, as well as harmony and balance within.
Flower Essence Societies
Flower essence societies are now found around the world and here are a few.
Alaskan Flower Essence Society: https://www.essencesonline.com/AlaskanMain.htm
Flower Essence Society (California): http://flowersociety.org/
Australian Bush Flower Essence Society: http://www.australianbushfloweressencesociety.com/about-us/
British Association of Flower Essence Producers: https://www.bafep.co.uk/
Bloom Post is a freelance writer, ceremonialist, teacher, and author of the books Shaman’s Toolbox: Practical Tools for Powerful Transformation and Plant Spirit Totems. For more information: www.BloomPost.com