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The Fuss about Flower Essences

by Cathy Kinnaird

Just what are Flower Essences anyway?

The term "Flower Essence" may conjure up thoughts of sweet fragrances, but flower essences actually have no scent at all and should not be confused with aromatherapy or essential oils.

Flower essences contain the life-force energy released from flowers in the peak of their bloom. To make an essence, the vibrational pattern of the flower is infused into spring water.

This creation of a flower remedy is a co-creative act between nature, the environment and humanity to nourish the human soul.

Nature has told those who are able to communicate with it that there can be found, in the trees and plants of the earth, a remedy for every spiritual, mental, emotional and physical ill that afflicts humans.

Like Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is currently no analytical or scientific explanation for why flower essences work, but there are several ideas put forward after decades of use. Dr. Edward Bach, in the 1930's, was the first person to bring these remedies into modern use. He thought the herbal flower remedies had the power to elevate our vibrations, and thus draw down spiritual power, which cleanses mind and body, and heals.

They are not like traditional herbal and pharmaceutical products, because they only contain a minute trace amount of the plant. It is believed by many producers of essences that they interact with the "energetic web" that surrounds and infuses the body.

The human body has an energetic network within it and surrounding it. When we experience health, this energetic web is in balance without any "short circuits" or "open circuits" to inhibit its proper functioning. When something in our life upsets this balance, the system short-circuits or jams up. When this happens, we manifest an imbalance in our physical, mental or emotional well-being.

It is believed that flower essences send the message to the energetic body of how to return to a state of balance. Also, essences have been described as liquid acupuncture. They are said to be able to unblock the acupuncture meridians and open the flow of energy in the body.

In reality, flower essences really don't heal anything. They just restore (or remind you of) your perfected pattern for any given situation, and that "perfect you" knows how to go through that challenge and heal.

In studying about flower essences over the last several years, I learned a very interesting thing about plants and their flowers. The single most difficult thing a plant must do is to bloom. It literally takes all the focus, nutrients and energy of the plant to blossom. The result is always beautiful. I rarely can pass a flowering plant and not stop and admire it - even dandelions and other things that we call weeds!

The single most difficult thing a human does is to transform or move through a major life experience. It takes all our energy and focus. Once we've made the transformation, a sense of relief and perhaps elation usually occurs. People often say, "Look how you've blossomed." The change is noticeable.

I believe a flower essence sets up a vibration of "knowing how to deal with the life challenge in front of you," because the plant has been through its own challenge to produce its flower.

Considering the thumbnail sketch given above, how do you decide on an essence? Usually you need to look at what is the key issue or challenge in your life now. Then look in one of the many books available on flower essences and study the individual flowers and their indication for use.

For instance, one of your parents was just diagnosed as having terminal colon cancer. As one could imagine, this would be a major emotional earthquake in your life. You might feel panic, sadness, shock and disbelief. Your whole self is definitely in disarray. In a situation such as this, I usually recommend Pear essence from Master's Flower Essences or Waratah essence from Australian Bush Essences.

Pear essence helps restore a sense of peacefulness and ability to handle crisis and maintain stability during major changes. Waratah helps with the black despair and hopelessness that often arises in a situation like this. It helps bring forward your sense of strong faith and courage during a crisis. It seems to bring to the fore any survival and coping skill you've previously learned.

People who use one of these two essences during such an event come back with marvelous feedback. It doesn't change the facts of the situation, but they report that they are more present and able to deal with the situation moment to moment.

One way I sometimes introduce people to essences is to ask them if they have a favorite flower. Usually it's a flower that is always around you or that you've always noticed all your life. Then we read about the imbalance that particular flower essence addresses. People are amazed. They often report that the imbalance has been an issue in their life for a long time.

I live near Portland, Oregon (the City of Roses) and people often mention roses as one of their favorites. There are several different rose essences available. They all foster love, passion, sensuality and grace in a person. Each different type of rose has its own unique qualities as well.

One of my favorite essences is Grape from Master's Flower Essences. I can feel its effects almost immediately. Grape essence fosters a deep sense of unconditional love, patience with others' shortcomings and an open heart.

I usually use Grape in one of two different situations: The first is when I'm shopping after a very long work day. It's the last thing I want to do. I'm usually somewhat demanding and short on patience, and the clerks are put off by my poor behavior.

Now when I'm in this predicament, I take a drop or two of grape essence before I shop. The results are truly amazing. Not only do I feel relaxed, but the clerks are extremely helpful and courteous. Often we are laughing and having a wonderful conversation.

The other way I use Grape is when my husband and I are having a disagreement. Anymore, I excuse myself and go take a few drops of Grape. When I come back, I'm usually more rational and whatever the problem was seems much more approachable. In a few instances, I have felt there wasn't any reason to disagree anymore and just stopped. I realized the depth of love I felt for him, and the disagreement seemed pointless.

As we move more and more into the realm of incorporating vibrational tools into our healing tool box, vibrational essences will be a compliment to the other modalities.

Currently in South America there are more than 150,000 health care professionals who treat their patients with flower and other vibrational essences on a daily basis.

In April, 1997, I attended a week-long workshop in Victoria, British Columbia on the Pacific Flower and Sea Essences. Of the fourteen attendees, four people were from South America.

They were medical doctors, psychotherapists and university professors. They told me most pharmacies in their countries stock flower essences routinely. These professionals said they used essences daily with their patients. It wasn't the only tool they used, but it was an important support for other therapies they used routinely. The week after I left Victoria, forty health professionals from Brazil were scheduled to come for the workshop presented in Portuguese.

Flower essences are a natural compliment to psychotherapy, massage therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, aromatherapy and many other modalities.

We in the United States haven't yet caught up to the medical professionals in Europe and South America in regard to using essences. You might be amazed at how essences enhance and amplify the effects of other therapies.

As people have discovered the effectiveness of essences, there has been an explosion of new companies and new essences in the last 20 years. Currently there are more than 80 companies who make more than 7,500 individual remedies.

In the early 1930's there were only the thirty-eight essences from Dr. Bach. That's quite a change! Now there are essences from every continent of the earth, including Antarctica. There are essences from the environment of Alaska and the Glastonbury Well in England, from the oceans and the stars.

Each one of these groups of essences is being used by large numbers of people. I believe we are at the beginning of a huge groundswell of demand for these gifts of nature. Ten years from now, essences will probably be in almost every medicine cabinet.

So what is a situation you've been dealing with for some time, without much forward progress? Why not try a flower essence and let nature assist you in returning to that still quite voice that knows the solution to that very situation or challenge?

Cathy Kinnaird is developer of the "Source-Nature-Soul" line of vibrational essences, a flower essence practitioner, a Reiki Master and former owner of the Flower Essence Pharmacy. She can be contacted by email at: cathy@source-nature-soul.com. You can read about her essences by clicking here.

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