“These remedies cure… by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature” – Edward Bach
“How can a plant or mineral contain within its nature, the similitude of a human psyche, a human ego, a human spirit? The fact [is] that such a relationship does exist… Shamans, seers, and visionaries, both ancient and modern, have already voiced these connections to us” – Asa Hershoff
What are Flower Essences?
The healing properties of flowers are truly profound. The Holy Ones from the Tibetan lineages and Indian Root History often find themselves surrounded by flowers after their breakthrough to peace or enlightenment.
Flower essences are potentized liquid extracts – water infused with the energy pattern of a plant chosen for its unique healing properties, or vibrations. Despite being subtle, they are very potent. Flower essences, as vibrational remedies, can address the human energy system: the interweaving of emotional, spiritual, mental, and soul-level issues of health. In other words, flower essences are energetic remedies that address the psycho-spiritual aspects of health. Each essence addresses a personality pattern and a variety of emotional or psychological states. They restore the energetic system to balance and give us clearer access to our own soul harmonic.
The fact that flower essences are made from flowers (as opposed to other parts of the plant) is meaningful. The flower is the jewel of the plant, its caller, its sexual center, its joy, its blessing, its virtue, the seat of transformation. Therefore, flowers are dharmic in nature: they can transform karma to dharma. In other words, flowers hold medicinal gifts that can specifically address karmic issues — repeated cycles and patterns in your life or outlook — and shift them in profound ways. In turn, flower essences can also assist you in making lifestyle changes to accommodate these shifts in belief and behavior.
Essences are ideal to take when you are wishing to illumine and heal deep-seated blocks in the psyche — when you are seeing the world in a way that does not allow you to thrive, or when you have habituated ways of thinking that no longer serve you, your purpose, your health, or your relationships. People also find that taking essences during life’s big and small transitions offers incredible support, balance, and insight. People can take essences for all kinds of reasons: for break-ups, moves, career direction, grief, grounding, chakra-work, intuitive expansion, energetic protection, to access inner guidance… the list goes on and on. They are also ideal to use as part of an integrative healing approach: using flower essences to complement other healing modalities can create deeper and more lasting results.
Flower essences are good for all bodies and backgrounds.
They can also be used effectively with animals, plants, and environments.
I believe flower essences also have a radical political component to them. As the amazing activist Angela Davis writes, “I think our notions of what counts as radical have changed over time. Self-care and healing and attention to the body and spiritual dimensions — all of this is now a part of radical social justice struggles… And I think that now we’re thinking deeply about the connections between what happens in the interior life and what happens in the social world” (http://www.yesmagazine.org). Because we live among forms of structural violence (hovering around gender, gender-identity, race, sexuality, disability, among others) most of us feel that we carry some residue of trauma, which impacts our emotional lives in immeasurable ways. Remedies made from flowers, in particular, are invaluable in healing and transmuting these patterns so that we are no longer at their effect. Flower essences can free our self-concept, grow our community visioning, and allow for new definitions of what is possible — definitions that include radical honoring of self and the dynamic, mysterious, and ever-becoming beings we are. As we heal inwardly, our outward social collective transforms, and we clear a more beautiful pathway for the generations to come.
How to take Essences
Essences are usually taken internally by putting several drops under the tongue. The usual suggested dosage is seven drops, four times a day, for at least 28 days (one moon cycle). However, everyone’s dosage needs can vary depending on their individual timing and the nature of their formula.
When taking an essence, shake the bottle to activate the liquid, then put the drops under the tongue. Make sure the glass dropper does not touch you or any surface. If, mistakenly, it does, simply rinse the dropper with water before returning it to the bottle. After ingesting the essences, allow yourself a few moments of quiet receptivity as they take effect. Try to keep essences out of heat and direct sunlight.
Flower remedies are great to take throughout the day, especially at transition times, such as before sleeping (they can have a profound effect on your dreams), after waking, or after returning home from work. You can also put essences drops in water and sip slowly. The potency of the essences is not increased by the amount one takes, but by the frequency. Therefore, you can modulate your formula according to your needs (such as taking essences more frequently during times of crisis or when a stronger effect is desired, or taking them only a couple of times a day if you are feeling sensitive). The more regularly they are ingested, the more they will transform, refine, and balance the energetic system.
Everyone’s experience of a formula will vary, and some formulas can feel like an emotional roller coaster, while others will feel quite subtle and pleasant. While taking a formula, be mindful of vivid nightly dreams, note unexpected insights, and give your emotions the space to be fluid.
Often, someone will experience a “flare up” of the very thoughts or emotions they are looking to heal. For example, someone working through issues of grief may have a few days where the emotion swells up and they are crying more than usual. To experience a flare-up is completely normal. Actually, to experience such intensities is a strong and positive sign: your old way of seeing the world isn’t fitting anymore, and your energetic system is re-calibrating itself as a result. Your energy body will establish a new harmonic once the essence formula is complete. Afterwards, you may continue to experience shifts and insights for weeks or months to come.
Besides being taken internally, essences can also be put in creams, sprays, applied topically, or added to the bath (a wonderful and effective method). Since flower essences are vibrational in nature, they are very safe to take and have no known side effects.
History of Flower Essences
Used in indigenous cultures for thousands of years, then rediscovered by alchemists in the 15th and 16th centuries, the modern use of flower essences was popularized by English physician Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s. Bach was a bacteriologist and homeopath who was searching for a new form of medicine tailored to the challenges of the soul dealing with the complications of post-industrial life. He believed that this new way of living, with its increased disconnection from the natural world, required a new form of therapeutics. He decided to abandon his London medical practice and went to live in the English countryside. For the rest of his life, he wandered miles of blooming terrain, attuning to the flowers. He realized that the healing properties of each plant correlated to some aspect of the human soul, or psyche, and could provide therapeutic relief for very specific contemporary conditions — for example, the search for meaningful work, chronic indecisiveness, or the need for equanimity during times of extreme stress brought on by city living. As a result, he made the original 38 Bach remedies. Now modern-day alchemists and essence practitioners have found hundreds of remedies that can each address a wildly specific aspect of our psyche.
Plant Medicine and The Age of Flowers
Indigenous wisdom has predicted that modern life would be a time of turbulence, uncertainty, and instability. It is increasingly difficult to maintain our health in such an imbalanced world. However, the wisdom of the elders also predicted that the Age of Flowers would come to aid us in these times. It is said that the plants would bring powerful messages of deep healing: bringing us peace, hope, purification, quickening, transformation, and the ability to awaken to all that we are, to claim our purpose and gifts. The Age of Flowers is a pathway to dreaming a new world. Along this pathway are found the colors of the petals, the fragrance of the flowers, the healing of their essences. Plant medicine brings us a path of beauty, guiding and blessing us with all that we need. The Age of Flowers is now.