Flowers have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. When my parents would take me to the park I remember looking at them and being completely enchanted by their beauty. My curiosity ignited every time I would help my dad plant flowers in the garden. I would just stare at them. Completely captured under their spell and that is how I have looked at flowers all my life. My love for flowers then followed me into my career first with floral design and now with studying herbalism. Then after learning more about plant medicine, naturally I was drawn to the idea of creating medicine with the enchanting energy of flowers. This medicinal practice is known in the herbal community as flower essences. making flower essences is all about capturing the magic of the flower and using them as medicine to heal the mind, body, and soul. If you don’t have experience with flower essences I will take you through the basics in this post by introducing you to what they are, how to use them, and how to make them.
What are Flower Essences?
Flower essences are a herbal remedy that contain the energetics and spiritual patterns of individual flowers. Each flower has a unique emotional and phycological action. They help us attain health, happiness and spiritual growth. The energetics are captured by soaking a flower in water in a crystal bowl for one moon cycle and one sun cycle. Then the essence is preserved in alcohol and thoroughly diluted. Diluting the liquid is essential to capture the subtle magic of the flower. So that the energetics can penetrate into the spiritual body before it manifests into the physical body. It is healing on a cellular level.
The energetics of water is the key component that bonds with the energetics of the flowers. Water is a powerful medium that is believed to have a sort of memory or imprint with whatever it comes in contact with. The sun and moon energy help the flower imprint more deeply into the energetics of water. Transmitting a message for us to heal what ever ailments we are dealing with. Each flower has a unique message to share.
History of Flower Medicine
Flowers have been considered sacred through out human history. We can look back at every ancient culture and see how they used flowers for healing and in ceremony. Our existence is woven tightly with the existence of flowers. With centuries of uses and experimentation with flower medicine.
If you know anything about flower essences then you have probably heard of Bach. His Rescue Remedy is a blend of 5 flowers that can be found in most major drug stores among many others. The Bach flower essences were discovered in the late 1920s and 1930s in England. The history of Flower Essences typically focus on Bach. But the history of botanical medicine can be found from the beginning of our existence. All of our ancient ancestors extensively studied nature and how to use plants and flowers as medicine.
In the middle ages there is recorded history of Hildegard von Bingen of Germany and Paracelsus of Switzerland both using the morning dew on flowers in their holistic medicine practice. Paracelsus even prepared it by soaking the flower in water and preserving it with schnapps during the time period of 1493-1541. The remedy was used in the winter to uplift emotions and maintain energy.
There is also many stories of indigenous uses of flower essences. There is extensive research on how aboriginal people of Australia used flower essences. And in Central America indigenous tribes heavily relied on the spiritual qualities of flowers. A form of flower essences is also practiced in the traditions of Ayurvedic medicine.
Before Bach essences were passed down through generations within families all around the world. Dr Judy Griffin was an Italian immigrant in Texas who founded Petite Fleur Essences. She says that this tradition was passed down through 3 generations or more which would of been in the mid 1800’s. And there are many more stories like this. It is assumed that Bach got his idea from somewhere and he was the one persistent enough to make them famous.
Bach Flower Essences
Dr. Bach was a researcher bacteriologist, immunologist, pathologist, and physician. He referred to flower essences as “remedies from nature”. It was his understanding that to truly cure disease, the treatment of disease was not adequate enough. And that one needs to address the root cause. He believed that a negative state of mind was at the core of any disease and in his practice he treated the mind, body and spirit.
He was a man before his time. His great intuition lead him to develop a new system of healing through flower essences. The intention behind the flower essences that Bach created was to release the emotional and mental disharmony within us. To facilitate being true to our soul’s purpose, in order to restore your system’s equilibrium.
How to Use Flower Medicine for Our Emotions
This system of medicine is unique because it works with the energetics of our emotions. Easing and recalibrating emotional patterns that make us feel obstructed and out of balance. Each flower essence is specific for a certain emotional pattern. Transforming our negative emotions in a way that flows naturally. Working through unresolved emotions. Re-aligning the person to their inner path to help form a path of deep inner healing.
Buried, unresolved emotions are the cause of many common disorders in our society. our conditioning as children is often the cause of these disorders. We hold this energy in the body when we are taught to hide our fluid emotions. The negative ramifications of this conditioning can result into physical blockages. This lack of spontaneous expression of the self is a huge proponent for disease. Which is not commonly talked about in western culture.
It is quick and easy to google what a flower essence is known for. But if you sit with the essence before you turn to internet in meditation or in nature you can easily feel the effects that it is known for. The flower will subtly talk to you and tell you how to use it.
How to Make Flower Essences
Every flower essence expert and practitioner have their own process for making flower essences. If you would like to understand this delicate process fully and how to prescribe them with care you can become a certified flower essence practitioner through the Flower Essence Society.
It is easy to find Flower Essences in the store or online nowadays. But the magic can be more powerful when you make your own. There is never one way of making a flower essence but here are some guidlines to get you started and then you can do whatever you think each flower requires.
Clear Crystal bowl
filtered or spring water
Alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin
sharpie or labels
wildflower ID book
Crystals or wand
Water is the most important part of the flower essences. It should be free of environmental, chemical, and energetic elements. Spring water is always the first choice when available. If it is not you will want to use filtered water. Cleanse anything that might remain by sitting with the water. Be present when making your essences. It is important to be aware of every movement and remain clear headed through every step so you do not accidentally put bad energy into the medicine.
Let the flower speak to you. When it comes to choosing a flower, it can be anything that calls to you. You will often notice the ones that speak the loudest to you. But make sure to choose something that is blooming in your local area. Do not use anything sold from a grocery store or floral shop. If you can, pick the flower in the morning after it opens.
There are a few different methods that Bach uses for making the essences. There is the sunlight, moonlight, boiling, indirect and living methods. You can try each one on your own to see what you prefer. But the way I learned is to leave it sitting in the crystal bowl for one sun and one moon cycle. Harvest enough flowers to cover the surface of the water. For a conservative method use one flower in a small crystal cup. After this time you can filter the flowers out and pour the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl.
To preserve the essence take one part flower essence and one part alcohol of your choice. This creates the “mother” medicine. Then you will want to dilute the mother and double the mixture with one part water and one part alcohol preservative. Brandy is the most traditional form of alcohol used for flower essences. This creates your stock essence. Add the mixture to a dropper bottle and take 2 drops whenever you feel you need it. This small dosage allow the essence to subtly penetrate beyond the physical into the spiritual realm of healing.
Bach remedies & flower essences : the transforming and healing power of nature By: Vivien William
Flower Essences from The Witch’s Garden by Nicolas Pearson
Pocket Guide to Bach Flower Essences by Rachelle Hasnas