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What are Flower Essences?

Used in various forms throughout the ages, flower essences (also called flower remedies) were introduced to the modern world by the research of Dr. Edward Bach, a British physician and homeopath. Dr. Bach developed his flower essences in the 1920's and 30's in response to the need for a very gentle form of healing that addressed the mental, emotional and spiritual issues he believed were the underlying causes of disease.

The term flower essence refers to liquid tinctures made from flowers that are prepared so that the life force and unique subtle energetic1 pattern2 of a plant are captured in water. Created using a simple, low tech process3, flower essences are preparations of pure energy and contain none of the physical substance of the plant. When introduced into ones' energy field, they dissolve energetic blocks and imbalances that lead to unhappiness and dis-ease by interacting with and balancing the complex network of energetic patterns that are the manifestations of life. This is possible because a sympathetic attunement exists between humanity and individual flower essences4

Flower essences are most often used to help process trauma and stress, clear away unproductive life patterns, and expand and elevate consciousness. They act as catalysts for inner change by gently balancing, supporting and enhancing the "better angels of our nature". This catalyzing and balancing process has a direct and positive impact on consciousness. 

When flower essences are used to eliminate energetic impediments, consciousness is raised and the individual is able to function from a point that is closer to the real Self, which brings a sense of inner harmony. As conscious awareness is elevated, the ability to understand and incorporate higher ideals and healthier life patterns is enhanced, aiding the restoration of happiness and health. 

This shift may be gradual or immediate. For example, in acute or emergency situations, the action of flower essences is often observed to be dramatic, remarkable and swift, while the transformation of deep, long-standing issues may be observed to emerge over a period of time. 

Flower essences fall within the general alternative healing category of vibrational healing techniques.  Other vibrational techniques include such disciplines as homeopathy and acupuncture. Since flower essences are basically tinctures of the energy of pure consciousness, they operate in the realm of consciousness.  Because they operate in the realm of consciousness, flower essences enjoy what is known as "self-adjusting" properties.  This means that when an essence is used that is inappropriate, nothing happens - there are no adverse reactions5. In addition, flower essences have the added benefit of not interfering with any other modalities or medications one may be using, and are not habit forming.  Flower essences are the most deep acting form of vibrational healing.

Flower essences have no fragrance and flower essence healing should not be confused with aromatherapy. While aromatherapy and flower essences often address the same issues (tension, stress, etc) they operate at  different levels: aromatherapy utilizes direct stimulation through the senses whereas flower essences stimulate the non-physical consciousness by supplying subtle energetic healing patterns.

How Are Essences Selected?

Flower essences are one of the easiest to use alternative healing modalities around today and many ways have been discovered for selecting the "right" essence(s).  Flower essences are often chosen by examining mental and emotional states because it is through this realm that the first sign of inner imbalance manifests.  That is why the essence descriptions that appear on this website deal with mental and emotional states, qualities of thought and inner needs and desires. To select, one can search for indications and explanations that describe the troublesome state of mind or problem. 

Various intuitive means can also be used such as dowsing (pendulums), applied kinesiology (muscle testing), picking the essence of the flower that is most appealing or attractive to you, or by intuitive "hits".  In reality, experienced flower essence practitioners often rely on a variety of methods including the ones listed here.

Happily, successful application of flower essences does not depend on buying into any
particular belief system or cosmology. And, the user does not have to think they will work in order to obtain the desired results, i.e., they do not work because of the placebo effect6.  This observation is supported by abundant experience with those who are incapable of acting on the placebo effect such as babies and children, unconscious people, the mentally challenged, animals and plants.

What is the Correct Way to Use Essences?  

Flower essences may be used in any way that introduces them into ones' energy field.  They are most often taken orally, a few drops at a time, and are also used in compresses, baths, aerial and oral mists, soap and topically applied creams and oils.   Doubtless, the future will bring further innovations leading to new and exciting applications of these gentle healing friends. 

Whatever the delivery system, we find that flower essences powerfully broadcast the message that anything we experience, no matter how commonplace or trying it may seem, can nurture greater awareness. They remind us that we don't have to be "sick" to get better, and, that no matter how far away inner balance, expanded awareness and spiritual acceleration may seem, these qualities can take root, grow and flourish in all of our activities. 

Finally, while flower essences can enhance ones' life experience in many ways, they are not and should not be considered a substitute for medical treatment. In case of injury or illness one should seek the appropriate professional assistance. 

1 "Richard Gerber, Vibrational Medicine (Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company, 1988) p. 541, "Subtle Energy: A general term denoting energy that often exists outside the ordinary or positive space/time frame, i.e. magnetoelectric (ME) energy which moves faster than light. 
 Gurudas, Flower Essences and Vibrational Healing (San Rafael, CA: Cassandra Press, 1983) p. 7
3 Flower essences are made by floating fresh flowers on the surface of water in a clear glass bowl and exposing it to unobstructed sunlight. During the time the flowers and water are exposed to the sun, the life force and unique vibrational signature of the flowers are transferred to the water. The water that is produced from this process is called mother tincture and is preserved, usually with brandy. The flower essence mother tincture is the source for stock strength essences which are made by combining two drops of mother tincture with one ounce of a water/brandy blend. Most essences available commercially are stock strength. Stock strength can be further diluted to "dosage" strength (two or more drops of stock in one ounce water/brandy blend) without loss of potency. 
4 Edward Bach Healing Center, Bach Flower Essences for the Family (London: Wigmore Publications) p. 4 
Ibid, p. 8 
6 Ibid, p. 4

Text Copyright A. Little Wing


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