Image from Lotus Wei
The first time I ever read about flower essences I was very moved. Something about this medicine struck such a deep and familiar chord of truth within me. Flower essences heal on many levels, helping the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
Blooming flowers, like the lotus, have long been a symbol for enlightenment. For centuries Tibetan Masters have preached that there is a direct link between our higher selves and the plant world. In the 1930s, Dr. Edward Bach became the first modern physician to undertake a full-length study of our unique energetic connection with flowers. Bach, a sensitive, intuitive, and compassionate man who offered free treatment to the poor and devoted his life to the improvement of mankind, is the father of the 38 different flower essences now available worldwide.
Physically speaking, flower essences are the energetic imprint of flowers captured in pure spring water at the height of their bloom. Once collected from the wilds, the flowers are either infused, by floating them in water underneath the sun’s rays, or lightly boiled. In this way, the water becomes the carrier of that particular flower’s energy. The infusion is then preserved with grape brandy and diluted into stock bottles to be taken as drops in a glass of water or directly onto the skin.
Bach and other Flower essences are predicated on the belief that we, as individuals, exist on many levels. We have spiritual selves, as well as physical identities, and communication between all our layers of being is vital to maintaining a happy, healthy, and above all, fulfilled life. Native American Shamans were experts at traveling between these different levels, communicating and healing illness at the source. According to Bach practitioners, our own intuition or sparks of desire are actually bits of guidance from our higher selves.
These out-of-nowhere motivations are meant to direct us further along our life path or destiny. If you have ever had a crucial hunch that proved inexplicably correct, you will know the precious importance of trusting your inner knowledge. For one reason or another, however, we often block our own intuition. By ignoring what we might consider the dictates of our own souls, we create unhappiness, discordance, and imbalance within ourselves. Flower essences help to transform the negative thought patterns that hinder communication with our higher selves. By transforming these mental and emotional ruts, flower essences help to cleanse the “psycho-toxins” of negativity out of our spiritual metabolism, reestablishing our resonance with our inner voice.
Illness or disease is the cumulative result of ignoring these kinds of energetic and emotional imbalances. This idea is nothing new; science has known for decades that negative feelings and stress can weaken our body’s systems. According to Bach, however, illness is our body and soul’s way of telling us that we are in a state of disharmony, out of alignment with our life purpose or greater truth. In this way, illness can actually be seen as a gift, a condition to be worked with and learned from in order to prevent even further error or harm.
Flower essences are incredibly individual and their effects will be different for each person. Each flower essence is indicated for a specific personality type and their corresponding negative patterns. For example, those who find they cannot turn off their thoughts and experience a kind of “mental merry-go-round” will be helped to achieve mental quiet and a return to their natural state of incredible concentration and inner organization by taking White Chestnut essence.
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. 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 to you at any time. So whether you decide to self-treat or see a licensed Flower practitioner, remember to open up to your own light and listen to the best healer you could ever ask for— yourself.