As the days lengthen and the buds begin to appear, we find ourselves wanting to be outside. The natural world beckons, and our bodies and spirits want to respond, because we know at a deep level that the natural world can heal and rejuvenate us.
We are particularly drawn to flowers. The concept of healing with the energies of flowers is relatively new in our era, but the Australian aborigines and other native peoples have long known of flowers’ healing properties. Paracelsus also knew about them in the Middle Ages.
Since Dr. Edward Bach’s rediscovery of flower essences in 1930’s England, there are now thousands of essences available from all over the world. Because the healing energies of flowers can be carried in water and bottled, we are now able to use them anywhere and at any time of year. Essences are readily available in most natural foods stores. They are usually taken by mouth, in the form of a few drops from a dropper bottle.
Dr. Richard Gerber refers to flower essences in his classic book, Vibrational Medicine, as an energetic form of healing comparable in importance to acupuncture and homeopathy. Note that flower essences (also known as flower remedies) are different from aromatherapy. Essences have no fragrance (except for the aroma of the brandy that is usually used as a preservative). Flower essences are energy medicines; they are not herbal or biochemical. Biochemistry is not the only means of healing!
Flower essences are known particularly for their ability to assist with mental, emotional and spiritual healing and growth, although they can also be helpful for physical difficulties when those are rooted at the mental and emotional levels.
Essences are gentle and safe for use with adults, children, animals and even plants. They can be used both for long-standing problems and for first aid. The usual dosage is two to four drops, as frequently as you need them.
If you’d like to try using flower essences, here’s how you can start:
- Get a bottle of one of the “first aid” formulas (e.g., Bach Rescue Remedy, Healing Herbs Five-Flower Formula, Alaskan Soul Support, Australian Bush Emergency) and use it whenever you need emotional first aid. Carry it with you, so you’ll have it available. (I used to use the Bach Rescue Remedy routinely in the car with cats who were going to the vet; it calms them down!)
- Find the book Flower Essence Repertory, by Kaminski and Katz (usually available where essences are sold; also in many libraries), look up whatever issues you’re dealing with (like “worry,” or “grief,” or “procrastination” or “self-esteem” or “stress” or “concentration and focus” or “abandonment,” read through the brief essence definitions under the issue you’ve chosen, and choose an essence or two to try. It’s best to use only one, two or three at a time when you’re just beginning. This allows you to notice the results more clearly.
- Take the essences for as long as you need them. For a stronger effect, take them more frequently. Notice what happens; often insights emerge, as well as deeper issues. Sometimes you need different essences. When the shift you want has taken place, you don’t need to keep taking the same essences indefinitely.
- If you need help with a difficult situation, or assistance with long-standing issues, it’s best to work with a flower essence practitioner who is also a counselor.
- If you are sensitive to alcohol, a practitioner can make up a dosage bottle with a different preservative.
Remember, you can start immediately to try out essences for yourself. Being able to support your own health is important for your personal empowerment, and the essences can help greatly with your mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.