Frequently Asked Questions about Flower Essences
What are flower essences?
Flower essences are energized infusions that resonate with specific vibrational frequencies. They can provide support for emotional, mental, spiritual, and occasionally physical well-being. They help address imbalance and dysfunction, in a vibrational manner, helping to balance, rebuild, and restore the body’s energetic systems.
They are intended to be natural, gentle, non-invasive, and effective tools for optimizing overall wellness.
Dr. Edward Bach’s remedies are likely the most well-known range of flower essences. You may have even seen them at your local health food store! Bach, an English physician later turned homeopath, developed a range of 38 individual flower essences in the mid-1930s. He also created a composite formula of five flower essences that he called “Rescue Remedy”. Many consider him to be the pioneer of modern flower essences.
Flower essences may be simple in terms of ingredients, but they can provide unique, long-lasting support.
Once you’ve tried them, you realize how much more sophisticated they are than they first appear!
How do I use flower essences?
Traditionally, according to Dr. Bach’s method, flower essences have been used orally.
However, I often prefer to use them externally. They work effectively with people (both adults and children), pets and plants this way. You can use them topically on or around the body. For example, consider applying flower essences to your pulse points, or adding them to a favourite lotion, body mist or spray, or bath.
If you prefer to use flower essences orally, they can be dropped or sprayed directly in the mouth. A standard schedule is 3-4 drops or 1-2 sprays, 3-4 times per day. You can drop them under the tongue or add them to a small glass of water. Regularity is more important than the quantity.
A flower essence is commonly used for 14-21 days. After that, re-assess and see if you need to continue with that essence or perhaps switch to a different one. Use your intuition.
I created a full-colour, 16-page how-to guide with creative ideas and suggestions for using flower essences. If you are a client or have purchased a flower essence from us, you can download this helpful resource from the Client Portal. You can also grab your copy when you sign up for our occasional e-newsletter.
How do I choose flower essences?
Selecting a suitable flower essence is part art, part science, and often, part intuition or gut instinct!
You can choose essences on an ‘analytical’ basis by reading essence descriptions. Do you need an essence to help remain calm and collected in the face of stress and overwhelm? Do you need an essence to help bring more joy and positivity to your life? That’s one way to choose a single essence or blend. An analytical method may work well for you.
Another way to choose essences is on an ‘intuitive’ basis. Which images or photos are you drawn to? Are you attracted to certain colours or shapes? Do you practice kinesiology (muscle testing) or dowsing? An intuitive method may work well for you.
If you seek 1:1 support, you can book a Personal Flower Essence Consultation. The recommended flower essence is included and will be shipped to you.
This is often a very effective way to address your most pressing issues, quickly and effectively, with the support, compassion, and guidance of a trained professional. I’m happy to help, whether through a single consult or a series of them.
How do flower essences work?
I wish I had a short and sweet answer to this! I have been taught and learned from a variety of perspectives, so instead I’m happy to share a few of them here.
Flower essences have been known to work on a person’s or pet’s emotional, mental, spiritual, and occasionally, physical energy systems. One might think of them as a tool to help open emotional blockages and release stuck energy.
In her book Flower Essences: Reordering Our Understanding and Approach to Illness and Health, Machaelle Small Wright discusses the relationship between flower essences and the central nervous system. She writes that “one result of disorder and dysfunction is that the corresponding electrical circuitry along the spinal column breaks, short-circuits.” [Wright, pg. 4] Thus, the relevant nervine networks receive weakened electrical impulses instead of the usual strong ones. [Wright, pg. 4] Later, she explains that “[…] flower essences, in a most efficient and dramatic manner, are able to reconnect the broken circuitry and rebalance the electrical overload along the spine. This, in turn, stops the weakening domino effect that ultimately leads to illness.” [Wright, pg. 5]
Sabina Pettitt, in Energy Medicine: Healing from the Kingdoms of Nature, writes: “Essences work to change something which is out of balance or in a state of dis-ease in the multi-dimensional human. There is an innate intelligence in all of life which demonstrates a natural tendency towards orderliness.” [Pettitt, pg. 12]
In Stars of the Meadow: Exploring Medicinal Herbs as Flower Essences, David Dalton explains that one way that flower essences work is by “bringing imprints of trauma to the surface where they can be worked with and released.” [Dalton, pg. xii] His flower essences are associated with the human energy system in the form of chakras. Chakras are energy centres (or organs) that can open, close, and draw in energy.
In The Alchemy of the Desert, Cynthia Athina Kemp Sherer writes: “The essences effect a shift in consciousness, and each person may experience the effects differently. To recognize how they are working, it is necessary to observe our inner state. The more attuned we are to our inner life, the easier it is to recognize the flower essence’s effects.” [Sherer, pg. 627]
In my experience, flower essences help foster energetic homeostasis, so our vitality is enhanced. On a fundamental level, I also feel that flower essences redirect our awareness to sensations and situations we didn’t notice previously. By becoming aware of problematic patterns in our lives, we can make changes for the better.
Dalton, David. Stars of the Meadow: Exploring Medicinal Herbs as Flower Essences. Lindisfarne Books. 2013.
Pettitt, Sabina. Energy Medicine: Healing from the Kingdoms of Nature. Pacific Essences. 1999.
Scherer, Cynthia Athina Kemp. The Alchemy of the Desert: a comprehensive guide to desert flower essences for professional & self-help use. 3rd ed., Desert Alchemy Editions, 2003. Kindle version.
Wright, Machaelle Small. Flower Essences: Reordering Our Understanding and Approach to Illness and Health. Perelandra Ltd., 1988.
Are flower essences safe? Can they be used with prescribed medications or medical treatments?
Flower essences are vibrational and act at an energetic level, so they can be taken alongside prescribed medications. They do not interact with or reduce the effectiveness of medical treatments. However, traditionally flower essences are preserved with alcohol (brandy), so it’s wise to consult a doctor before using them with any medications.
They do not interact with herbal, vitamin, or mineral supplements.
If you are under the care of a homeopath, you may wish to consult them before using flower essences since homeopathy works on similar principles.
If you have a medical concern or condition, please discuss it with your doctor or primary care health provider.
Flower essences should never be used to replace medical care or treatment. If you have any medical concerns or conditions, please discuss them with your doctor or primary care health provider. Please see a doctor if you require medical attention.
Are flower essences the same as essential oils or herbal tinctures?
No. And in fact, they couldn’t be more different! Essential oils are commonly used by aromatherapists. Similarly, herbal products like tinctures contain or are made from plant materials. In some countries, they are regulated accordingly.
Flower essences are entirely vibrational. As such, they do not include any natural fragrance. They don’t contain any plant materials, so toxicity is not a concern or issue. If you analyzed their chemical composition, they would simply contain a mix of water and the chosen preservative.
How are flower essences made?
Flower essence making is a centuries-old art and healing practice. It may date back to the 12th century with German writer and visionary Hildegard von Bingen, or Saint Hildegard, who wrote about collecting the morning dew on flowering plants. Paracelsus, a Swiss physician and botanist, later wrote about similar practices during the 15th century.
However, Dr. Edward Bach’s sun-infusion method is perhaps the most well-known flower essence-making method. This method calls for picking and floating locally grown, organic, healthy flowers in full bloom on the surface of a bowl of spring water. They are set out in the sun, on a cloudless day, ideally close to where they were picked.
After a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, the flowers are strained, and the energized water is preserved, traditionally with brandy. This is the “mother” essence. Stock and dosage essences are made from it. Some makers also choose to succuss them like homeopathic remedies.
In keeping with Bach’s method, at no point are the flowers or the energized infusions touched directly by the flower essence maker.
Flower essences can also be made in other ways such as with Bach’s boiling method. Some flower essence makers also use a “no-pick” method for rare flowers that cannot be cut or disturbed.
If you wish to avoid brandy, flower essences can be preserved with apple cider vinegar or glycerine instead. These are options for children and pets if you wish to use essences orally. The shelf life is much shorter, usually two years. You can also use brandy-stabilized essences externally with pets and children and this is equally effective.
Flower essences preserved with apple cider vinegar or glycerine are a custom order, so please mention your preference in the shopping cart notes.
How should I store my flower essences?
Here are a few tips to maintain the longevity of your flower essences:
- Store flower essences in a cool, dark, and dry place.
- Store flower essences far away from ALL essential oils and other products with strong aromas or scents.
- Ideally, keep flower essences away from electronics as much as possible. The vibrational frequencies of flower essences are delicate.
- Keep flower essences out of direct sunlight.
- Store flower essences upright as much as possible. This helps preserve the integrity of the rubber or plastic stopper long term.
If using a flower essence with a dropper, make sure not to touch it with your hands or mouth. If you do, rinse the dropper very well under cool running water before returning it to the bottle.
How long do I need to use flower essences?
Well, that depends. It depends on a lot of factors, to be honest.
Do you feel better? Do you feel the essence has finished its work? For chronic issues, a typical course is a minimum of 14 to 21 days. However, many people experience benefits sooner than that. And yet others may need to use a carefully selected flower essence for longer, such as three or six months.
In my experience, when you forget to take your flower essence for three or more days in a row, it’s time to re-assess. A few questions to consider:
- Do you expect you will see further benefits if you keep using it?
- Is it time to switch to a different essence?
- Do you need to take a break and resume it later (when you have more time to devote to the process, etc.)?
Can I use more than one flower essence at a time?
Yes! You can use single flower essences on their own or combine them for a more balanced, well-rounded blend. Some practitioners recommend using no more than 3 to 7 flower essences as a combination, but that’s a general rule of thumb more than a strict one.
What can I expect when using flower essences?
Flower essences are designed to be gentle, safe, natural, and non-toxic with no known side effects. Many clients experience a positive shift in their emotions or feelings.
If you are a client or have purchased one of my flower essences, check out the Client Portal for more details about what you might expect when using a new-to-you essence.
Can I use flower essences with my children or pets?
Yes, children of all ages and pets typically respond quickly and favourably to flower essences. With these clients, I often recommend reducing the frequency to one or two times per day. Children and pets tend to be more energetically resilient, so less is more.
If you wish to use flower essences orally with pets or young people, you can request custom essences preserved with apple cider vinegar or glycerine. You can also use the traditional brandy-preserved essences externally, on or around the body.
Can I use flower essences when I’m pregnant?
Flower essences can be a great complement to a happy and healthy pregnancy. I used them often throughout my pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum period.
Flower essences can be used externally during this time. They work just as effectively used on or around the body. Consider adding them to a lotion or cream, body mist or spray, or bath.
I have created a huge list of ideas and suggestions for use. If you are a client or have purchased one of my flower essences, check out the Client Portal for these helpful resources.
Can I use flower essences in my garden?
Yes! Flower essences support healthy, vigorous plants in a variety of ways. Get in touch if you have questions or need help choosing essences for this purpose.