What are Flower Essences?

Health & Wellness
Last Updated Oct 19, 2020
Health & Wellness

Do you light up when someone gives you flowers? Have you noticed how the pleasure is often much greater than the gift really warrants?  For the most part, flowers lift our spirits without us really knowing why. It’s more a vibration than a feeling, taking place somewhere outside of normal consciousness.

A similar idea is present when flower essences are used in healing; we refer to it as vibrational healing, because it’s the body’s energy that is being worked on, not the physical body itself.

The Origins of Flower Essences

In the 1930s, Dr Edward Bach, a medical doctor in England, saw how stress often manifested in physical complaints. He knew that mainstream medicine had no answers, and so he looked for new ways to treat these conditions.     

It’s well established that mind and body interact, and that if the mind is not in a nicely harmonious state, then the results start to show up in the body. Most of us understand this connection in its simplest form, having suffered from a headache or stomach ache when anxious or stressed.

Flowers have played an important part in human cultures for thousands of years, and different flowers hold meaning for us still.   Dr Bach had some knowledge of, and affinity with  flowers, and understood that the energy of individual flowers could strengthen our own energy, thereby dissolving negativity and balancing emotions.  He catalogued 38 flowers and their uses. Bach Flower Remedies® was born.

How are Flower Essences Made?

The dew which collects on fresh flowers is said to hold their essential energy, but is not of sufficient quantity for therapeutic use. Dr Bach devised a method in which the flowers are picked, floated immediately in spring water and left in the sun for a period.  When the flowers are removed, the water then contains the energetic portion of the flower.

This water is mixed with 50% brandy as a preservative and is then known as ‘mother essence’.

To use a flower essence, a small amount of this ‘mother’ is added to water and taken at the rate of 4 drops, 4 times a day.

What Are Flower Essences Used For?

The best known of the flower essences is Rescue Remedy® which is used for shock and emergencies of all kinds. 

Many other countries produce their own flower essences;  Australia has Australian Bush Flower Essences, and according to Ian White, their founder, Australian Aboriginals used flowers to heal the emotions long ago.  There are also essences that originate in Hawaii, Alaska and the Himalayas among others.

Flower essences are not used for specific illnesses, but they treat the underlying states of mind and emotional causes. Our personality has an effect on the way we respond to stress but often we don’t even make the connection; a therapist who works with the essences will readily do that.

Essences have specific uses and a therapist can design a combination to suit your individual needs.  There are many different essences to choose from, but some of the commonly used ones are:

  • Walnut – widely used to help deal with change
  • Elm – deals with temporary overwhelm in normally competent people
  • Olive – mental and physical exhaustion
  • Aspen – vague apprehension
  • Willow – dissatisfied with the way life is turning out

If you understand the issues underlying your illness or discomfort, you can buy the essences and use them yourself. Or you can design your own combination. It is recommended that you combine no more than four at a time so they can effectively target your problem.

Flower essences have no side-effects so can do you no harm.

They are a wonderfully gentle way to harmonize the mind and body with none of the harsh outcomes associated with drugs. Lift your spirits by booking a treatment with a flower essences practitioner.


Originally published on Oct 07, 2011

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Wellness inspiration of the week

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS