What are Flower Essences?
Flower essences are a natural, simple and totally safe method of healing. They are liquid extracts of flowers, prepared in homeopathic manner and are used to treat the emotional, mental and spiritual nature rather than the physical body. Flower essences are made by floating the freshly picked flowers of a selected plant or tree in a glass bowl of pure water and left to sit in the sunlight for several hours. Through the action of the sun and the process of combination of the four elements, the healing ‘essence’ or etheric imprint of the flower is transferred into the water. The flowers are removed and this ‘mother essence’ is preserved with brandy, diluted to make the ‘stock’ essence, and further diluted to make the dosage or medicine-strength ‘remedy’.
The History of Flower Essences
It is believed that flower essences have been around for a very long time, possibly dating as far back as Ancient China. The earliest written record of their use is by the 16th century healer and mystic, Paracelsus, who collected dew from flowers to heal emotional disharmony.
The Pioneering Work of Dr Edward Bach
In modern times, flower essences were discovered, or rediscovered, by Dr Edward Bach, a prominent English physician, bacteriologist, immunologist, homeopath and herbalist. In the early 1930s, after twenty years as a highly successful Harley Street consultant, Dr Bach abandoned his medical practice to search the fields and woods of nature for a simpler and more natural system of healing treatment.
During his work as a medical practitioner, Dr Bach had noticed that the patients who came to see him for their physical ailments, often had emotional problems too. He felt the two were linked. After much observation and research, he identified twelve groups of personality traits or archetypal patterns of behaviour in people. He searched the fields for a healing remedy for each of these types, and he called the first twelve flowers he discovered ‘The Twelve Healers’.
In the course of his research, Dr Bach had found that the dew collected from a flower in sunlight possessed a special healing quality. Through this discovery, the ‘sun method’ of extraction was developed. Dr Bach went on to discover twenty six more flower remedies, and the set of thirty eight, plus a composite of five remedies called ‘Rescue Remedy’ make up what is known today as the ‘Bach Flower Remedies’. Today, the work of Dr Bach continues to serve as an inspiration and guide to many who work in this field.
The work of others in the field
In recent years, many additional flower essences have been developed. Of note is the work of the Californian Flower Essence Society, and work that has appeared in the form of a book called ‘Flower Essences and Vibrational Healing’ by Gurudas. In various countries throughout the world, flower essences indigenous to those lands are being discovered and developed. There are now Australian, New Zealand, Alaskan and Himalayan flower essences available, and no doubt there will be more to come.
Dr Bach’s Explanation of the Nature of Disease
Dr Bach recognized that disease is a physical reflection of a lack of ease or dis-ease within us, a sign of disharmony between our inner (or spiritual) self and our emotions and attitudes towards life (our personality expression). He taught that the cause of disease often lies in negative emotional states such as fear, depression, guilt and anxiety, in rigid and selfish attitudes, and in the failure to express our true ‘self’ and purpose in life. Dr Bach’s approach was to treat the patient’s temperament and mood rather than the bodily symptoms. His famous saying was: ‘Treat the patient, not the disease, the cause, not the effect’.
How Flower Essences work
Flower essences work on subtle ‘unseen’ levels to gently re-establish balance and peace of mind within us. The essences cover many negative emotional and mental states that afflict humankind. They work by infusing us with the positive qualities that we lack rather than by suppressing the disturbance. They help us to release blockages which may be hindering growth and offer us opportunities to learn more about ourselves. They help us to flow more with life, rather than fight against it.
The effects of the essences are enhanced when combined with a general healthy and positive approach to living. Visualizing and affirming our healing can also be very helpful. Their effects will vary with each individual. Sometimes we notice an immediate positive change in our condition and outlook. The problem may not have disappeared, but we no longer feel swamped by it. Perspective is gained.
Sometimes there is a feeling of tension easing, of emotions coming to the surface. We may have a realization about something and feel a sense of relief for we are no longer ‘in the dark’. Sometimes we feel no noticeable change, but almost unfailingly, when we look back some weeks or months later, we realize that there has been a change, albeit a gradual change. We acknowledge that the problem has indeed faded or even disappeared entirely.
Flower essences are most beneficial when used to prevent illness, to balance the psyche before imbalance and disharmony goes so far as to produce a recognizable physical complaint .By using flower essences, we can all heal ourselves. This was Dr Bach’s intention.
Diagnosis and Selection of Essences
There are a variety of diagnostic techniques which can be successfully used with flower essences. The usual method of diagnosis is based on interaction, observation and the taking of case histories. A clear perception of the psychological condition of the person is required.
Self-diagnosis can be difficult, for it is very hard to acknowledge and accept our own weaknesses and less desirable traits, and much easier to see these in others. Sometimes it helps to ask ourselves some questions to focus on the appropriate essences at any one time. This will assist us to get in touch with our inner feelings. For example,
What is my next step in life?
What am I thinking about?
How do I feel about this?
What is my primary concern?
The process of selecting flower essences helps us to become aware of what our emotional problems are. When we read through the list, which ones do we react to strongly? We may feel attracted to one and repulsed by another. Both may be needed. Another indicator could be a particular flower growing in the garden which is attracting us. If we are trying to select our own essences and feel we cannot be objective enough, we can ask someone close to us to help assess this.
Dowsing is an extremely useful and accurate diagnostic technique. The dowsing tool can be a pendulum, a set of flower essence cards or photographs, or the body. Dowsing with the body is called muscle testing or Applied Kinesiology. Dowsing has many advantages. It enables us to respect a person’s privacy if necessary, to bypass our own biases, beliefs and rational thought processes, to access the deeper influences at work or to tune into someone who is absent. It is wise, however, to be moderate in your use of dowsing as a diagnostic technique. It should never become a substitute for acquiring a thorough knowledge of the flower essences.
How to prepare a Remedy
To prepare the medicine or remedy, select the required stock-strength essences. Up to six may be included in a remedy bottle.
Take a 25 ml amber dropper bottle. Sterilize it by pouring boiling water into it. Fill it with natural spring water (non-carbonated) or rain water. Add one teaspoonful of brandy to act as a preservative, or for alcohol-sensitive persons, apple cider vinegar can be used as an alternative. Place two drops from each of the chosen stock concentrates into the remedy bottle. Make sure that the droppers do not touch anything. Replace each dropper immediately, being careful not to mix them up. Label the remedy bottle and shake gently a few times to potentise or activate the essences.
The remedy is now ready for use. Take four drops on the tongue, directly from the dropper, four times daily, or more often in acute cases. To ensure optimum effect, it is advisable to take the remedy first thing in the morning, upon waking, and last thing at night, before sleep. Alternatively, place two drops from either the chosen stock concentrates or from the prepared remedy bottle, into a glass of water or fruit juice, and sip frequently. Flower essences are also absorbed through the skin, so a few drops can be added to the bath.
A Safe and Gentle Method of Healing
Unlike herbs, flower essences contain no chemical plant substances. Science cannot detect anything material in a flower essence. Certain forms of vibrational-sensitive technology, such as radionics machines, can detect variations in energy patterns. Flower essences contain a vibrational energy which some have likened to the life-force of the flower.
Flower essences are therefore non-toxic, and are completely safe for babies and children. Dosage drops can be added to a baby’s bottle or taken in a spoonful of water. Animals and plants can also benefit from this form of healing. For plants, add the drops to the watering can. Due to their non-toxic effects, flower essences can be safely used in combination with other forms of healing treatment. However, they are not intended as a substitute for more orthodox methods of healing treatment where these may be necessary. For serious conditions, always consult your medical practitioner. It is suggested that flower essences be used in conjunction with other forms of medication, when these have been prescribed by a medical practitioner.
It is helpful to be aware of the positive and negative qualities of each of the flower essences which you ingest. They will work regardless of your input, but they will certainly work more effectively if you work with them. Take note of the negative quality or condition of imbalance. Do not over-dwell on this. Just become aware, in a detached way if possible, of the nature of your emotional problems or mental conflicts. Then focus on and absorb the positive qualities related to the flower essence. Affirm to yourself that as you take the remedy, you are being infused with these positive qualities. Positive affirmations and creative visualization are very useful tools to use in conjunction with flower essences. Your awareness and positive efforts will greatly enhance your healing process.
” Let not the simplicity of this method deter you from its use,
for you will find the further your researches advance,
the greater you will realize
the simplicity of all Creation.”
Dr Edward Bach, 1930
– by Candy Hillenbrand