Flower essences are plant spirit medicine. They capture the ephemeral essence of the plant and work directly on our own subtle bodies. They were made popular by the work of English physician and homeopath Dr Edward Bach in the 1930’s and most people are very familiar with his famous Rescue Remedy, which is a blend of various flower essences. Flower essences are very effective at helping to create positive shifts at the level of our mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Within the yogic concept of the five koshas, or vital sheaths, the flower essences have the most profound effect on the manomaya (the mental sheath) vijnanamaya (the wisdom or intellect sheath), and anandamaya (the bliss sheath) koshas. Flower essences are easy and fun to make and are a great project to do with children. They’re also safe for everyone to use as they have no plant constituents in them and can be made alcohol free if desired.
- Small crystal or glass bowl
- Pure spring water
- Brandy or apple cider vinegar
- Some small dropper bottles 30-50 ml
- 2-3 handfuls of fresh picked flowers
Step 1: Wait until the sun is high enough that the flowers that grow in your garden or wild near you have opened up and there will be another 3-4 hours of sunlight left in the day to make your essence. Classically, flower essences will be made with a single flower variety. Alternatively, you may pick a selection of flowers that grow around you, which is something I like to do as a way of creating an essence that captures time and place.
Step 2: Fill your crystal (best choice) or glass (second best option) bowl with spring water and gently place the flowers on top of the water until the water is covered. Place the bowl in the sunshine for 2-3 hours. I like to make a small altar around it with a flower mandala. I often say a prayer or intention as I make it. I also like to write an intention on paper and place the bowl on top of it. Make the ritual as unique as you like.
Step 3: After three hours ( just before the flowers wilt), remove them gently from the water. Pour the water into a measuring cup and pour into a clean dropper bottle with an equal amount of brandy. The alcohol captures the flower essence and ensures that the essence will be stable. If you want an alcohol free version you can use apple cider vinegar, or I have enjoyed using a flavoured oxymel for an alcohol free essence, but you will need to keep it in the fridge if you go this route. Here you can find a recipe for a Ginger & Tumeric oxymel on my blog. Once you have blended your 50% essence water with 50% brandy/vinegar you have your mother essence. Label it clearly.
Step 4: To make stock bottles, fill another dropper bottle with a mix of 50% pure spring water and 50% brandy/vinegar. Add 9 drops of your mother essence to each of the stock bottles and shake well. Label these bottles clearly as stock bottles and share them with your friends. Many people take their remedies directly from stock bottles, and this is the type of dosage you get in a Bach’s Flower Remedy. However, you can also dilute a stock bottle down once again into what are called dosage bottles. In dosage bottles, you will fill empty dropper bottles with a 50% spring water/50% brandy mix and add 9 drops of stock essence to each one, creating a very subtle essence. Some flower essence practitioners believe the more subtle the essence is the stronger its effect on deeper or longer help patterns of emotional imbalance.
When to Take Flower Essences
Flower remedies can be taken whenever they are needed or desired. I like to take mine in a pretty crystal sherry glass filled with sparkling water. I generally put 3-6 drops in at a time. I often accompany this with the repetition of an internal mantra that is in alignment with the energy of the essence I am taking. Example for the yarrow essence I have pictured above- “I am safe and at ease. I maintain clear boundaries and an open heart.”
If you want to learn more about flower essences, I recommend starting with the book The Flower Essence Repertory, which you can download as a pdf file from The Flower Essence Society.