What are Flower Essences?

Physically speaking, flower essences are the energetic imprint of flowers captured in water at the height of their bloom. Flower essences are made by floating blooms in purified water under the sun’s rays.  In this way, the water becomes the carrier of that particular flower’s energy. The infusion is then preserved with grape or apple brandy and diluted into stock and dosage bottles to be taken as drop dosages directly on the tongue or in a glass of water or directly onto the skin.

Flower essences are vibrational remedies, and are highly diluted. They are used to release limiting patterns of thought or perspective, helping us to recognize and fulfil greater states of harmony and joyful purpose. The theory of flower essences is predicated on the idea that the essence of a flower can be held by water as a medium and that a flower’s inherent energy or essence can help us to heal deep emotional and negative thought patterns in our own beings.

While this may sound pretty “woo”, there is good science behind this with remarkable research into the malleable properties of water.  With the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of Hidden Messages in the Water, we see how human consciousness can have an effect on the molecular structure of water.  In flower essences we are using the water as a medium to record and infuse the healing energy of the flower. 

When to Work with Flower Essences

Flower essences are potent medicines when you or someone you are working with is interested in addressing the emotional components of a given symptom, imbalance, or issue. Flower essences are particularly powerful when working with chronic emotional patterns and looping cycles of feeling.

If you feel as if certain patterns of thought or beliefs are running your life or are distracting you from what you are being called to do or accomplish, that is a good sign that it’s time for some flower essences.

Flower essences are great for addressing…

~ “Programs” (negative, limiting, and looping thoughts or beliefs)

~ Trauma, chronic anxiety, fear, and the feeling of self-limitations

~ Chronic feelings of being “stuck”

~ Desire for a deeper connection with your intuition or individual life path

Flower essences can be profound medicine for anyone, but they will always work best for those with a general openness to intuitive healing. Openness creates space in which more healing can take place.

Flower Essences in Practice

Flower essences are incredibly individual, and their effects will be different for each person. Each essence is indicated for a specific personality type and their corresponding negative patterns. For example, those who feel disconnected from reality, floaty, flighty or ungrounded will be able to re-root into their everyday existence by taking Clematis.  This said, flower essences work differently depending on the person, so if you feel something different about an essence than what the maker of the essence perceived, trust YOUR insight. 

Flower essences work in a very subtle manner, so their effects might take some time— although those who are very sensitive can sometimes feel a more immediate shift. In my experience, using this medicine is a very lovely, comforting, and incredibly gentle experience. Over time, taking the right combination of essences, you will undoubtedly notice a marked difference in your mood, energy, and overall health. Flower essences can also bring about profound inner transformation. Much like experiencing a beautiful sunset, flower essences harmonize our spirits on a deep and often imperceptible level.

For this reason a “feeling sense” is important to finding the right essence. If one essence in particular seems really appealing to you, then you probably should be taking it. Lastly, one of the most important concepts behind flower essences is the old adage “Heal thyself.” Everything you need to be healthy and whole already exists within and is available at this very moment.

History of Flower Essences

Dr. Edward Bach + The Contemporary Practice of Flower Essence Therapy

The contemporary practice of flower essences was developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the early part of the twentieth century. Edward Bach was a bacteriologist and pathologist who experienced much success early in his life studying vaccines. In 1917 Bach’s practice, and life path, changed dramatically when he collapsed from a tumor. At the time, Bach was diagnosed with only three months to live. But, like all healing crises, this ended up being a moment of great reorientation in his life, and Bach went on to live another twenty years, developing what we now consider the practice of flower essences.

After his prognosis, Bach accepted a position at Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. There he began to notice similarities between homeopathy and vaccines. Soon he gave up his practice and moved out of the city to work with flowers. Bach first began creating flower essences by collecting the dew off of flower blossoms first thing in the morning; exquisite, yet labor intensive. He eventually developed a more sustainable practice of making flower essences by floating the blooms in spring water and allowing them to infuse their essence into the water through the natural alchemies of sunshine and time, which is how we make flower essences today. In 1930 Bach opened the Bach Center in Mount Vernon, and a year after announcing that all his remedies were complete (thirty-eight in total) he passed away.

Bach was a revolutionary in the field of contemporary energetic plant medicine. Though flower essences practice has blossomed into its own field since his time, the foundation of Bach’s methods informs much of contemporary flower essence practice. Much gratitude for Dr. Edward Bach and his vision!

Much of this material is from my amazing teacher, Asia Suler of One Willow Apothecaries


And her incredible course:  Intuitive Plant Medicine

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