Apr 15 2008


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(Frequently Asked Questions)

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are liquid plant preparations containing the distinctive etheric pattern of energy of a specific flower. At a particular time of year, fresh blossoms are selected from each flower, placed into a bowl of purified spring water, and infused with the morning sun.

The life force from the petals permeates the water, creating what is called “mother essence”, from which stock and dosage bottles are prepared.

How do they work?

“The flower essences are actually an etheric imprint held in the medium of water, which then speaks in a subtle language to the human psyche or soul.”
– Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Society.

Flower essences are often called “remedies” for their remarkable and positive abilities to bring to consciousness precisely what is needed to restore balance and health in one’s life. These remedies contain subtle properties from the inherent life force within the flowers from which they came, without any part of the actual plant still remaining in the water. These subtle vibrations can help us to better understand what it means to be fully human, and to realize our full potential for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellness.

It is commonly understood that the human body contains up to 99% water. What is less understood are the underlying reasons for this. One of those reasons is to conduct the electrical systems that govern our functions and form.

When we take flower essences, the energetic pattern from a specific flower is introduced to our body’s electrical system, where, through the principles of conductivity, whatever may have been out of balance in our electrical systems can be restored to its natural state of wellness. The introduction of the correct (or desired) pattern informs YOUR electrical system how to adjust its structure, to hold and use the new information.

We need not always know or understand which systems needs balance, or where in our bodies, minds, emotions, or spirit we need to reconnect. All that need be known in advance is what seems “not right” with us; what are we striving to experience differently; where would we like to be grow; and how would we wish to more fully experience life. There will be an appropriate flower whose “job” it is to balance this condition or state.

How are they administered?

You take the drops on your tongue (being careful not to touch the dropper), or in a small amount of water (not with food or other liquid). Essences may also be placed into the bath water, or applied directly to the body. It is best to take them first thing in the morning, upon arising, and the last thing at night (upon retired to sleep.) They may also be taken at intervals during the day.

Students and commuters may place their midday doses into a bottle of water that they drink throughout the day, to keep the system ?well informed? consistently.

How many different essences are there?

Dr. Edward Bach, the renowned healer whose work in the early 20th century with flower essences created the basis for most of our understanding of flower essence principles today, gave us 38 basic essences. From there, skilled practitioners and healers have developed nearly 2,800 from flowers in all cultures and continents. In my current repertory I have more than 900 individual flowers in stock, from which I prepare my custom blended formulas.

Research continues to this day, to discover and verify the properties of every flower known to humans, and to create potent essences from them for our use and well-being.

Do they have a fragrance or taste?

No, they don’t! This surprises many. Realize that once the energetic patterns of the flower are transferred to the water, the flower itself is removed.  Any taste in the formula would come from the preservative you choose, and even then it would be mild.

How are flower essences different from aroma therapy (essential oils)?

There are several differences. First, aroma therapy works through the olfactory system, and through the denser form of our body. Flower essences work through the electrical system.

Secondly, aroma therapy utilizes the essential oils obtained from many parts of the plant, not only the petals. Flower essences are made from the petals of the plant, and do not contain any actual plant substances.

Are there side effects?

No. None.

Are they safe?

Yes, even for newborns, children, and pets.

What if I have allergies?

No problem. Unlike herbal medicines and tinctures, there is nothing in the essences to which one might be allergic. For those with various known sensitivities or allergies, there are four choices of preservative (to prevent contamination of your essences): alcohol, vegetable glycerine, white vinegar, or red shiso (a vegetable base with a very high vibration and stabilizing quality).

What if I’m on medication or a special diet?

Again, no problem. Flower essences don’t interfere with allopathic drugs, homeopathy, herbs, or any special diet. One would, of course, not choose alcohol as a preservative if your medications or diet prohibit it, and one might not choose glycerine (which is sweet) if one had diabetes or problems with sugar intake. Let common sense prevail here; but in any case, the preservative is less than 20% of the formula, and one usually takes no more than 4 drops of the essence at a time.

How do you know which essence to take?

There are many guides and books available to help you choose. Self-selection, using your intuition, and muscle testing all work.  The services of a Certified Flower Essence Therapist are always helpful.

I’ve heard of gem and mineral essences. Are these like flower essences?

Yes and no. They are similar, in the sense that they are made from the vibratory essences of the substance, and contain no actual parts of the substance.

They are not, however, made from flowers, and there is some controversy about the integrity of the vibrations thus obtained. Your choice of flowers puts you in immediate touch with the highest form of vibration that you can get; gem and mineral essences will give you an entirely different kind of informational pattern.

How long will it take before I see results?

This is a difficult question to answer, because it’s almost impossible to know in advance how you will respond to a given essence. And how you respond at one point in your life may be very different from how you will respond now.

That said, however, there are some general guidelines. One will usually begin to experience change within one to two weeks. There have been documented cases (even in my own practice) where one dose was all that was required to resolve the issue; others have required several months of consistent treatment.

What can I expect from taking flower essences?

Often a person will have an immediate experience of ‘relief” ~ some kind of inner knowing that “Oh. Maybe this is going to be OK now.” For other people, it may take a week or two to notice anything at all. You may even doubt whether or not it’s working. This is one reason why it can be helpful to keep a journal from the day you start taking the essences ~ as the changes will be subtle, and feel quite natural. You may be changing and not even notice!

One nice feature of taking flower essences is that, unlike most medications, the changes provided by the essences can be permanent. That means that you can create positive, permanent change in your life. This is well known and documented in the literature, and is one reason flower essences are so popular once a person has discovered them.  What we cannot know beforehand is how long it will take for the changes to become permanent for any given individual.

There are four therapeutic stages in the course of treatment:

  1. Release and relaxation. You have the sense that “Oh, it’s going to be all right now.”
  2. Realization and recognition. You understand how you have participated in creating the situation, and what you must do to change. Usually, this is accompanied by a willingness to do so.
  3. Reaction, resistance and reconciliation. At some point, we might feel that the work is too hard; or we may feel uncertain about whether we are ready or really want to make the changes that we know would be good for us. It is at this point that we throw up all our defenses for a time, until we can see a more clear pathway for resolution. It’s not giving up — it’s more like complaining, protesting, or trying to find an easier, softer way, until we understand that even should we succeed, it might not always be to our advantage to do so.
  4. Renewal and reconstellation. We understand ourselves, our relationships, and our situation, and have made the inner changes necessary to produce lasting peace and harmony within. We are comfortable with this change. It is no longer an issue in our lives.

On rare occasions there can be what is called a “healing crisis.” In these circumstances, you can feel that the symptoms suddenly become acute or disturbing. If this should happen while you are taking the remedies, simply understand that this is a GOOD sign! It means that your system has decided to “get this over with” and bring the issues to a head so that they can be permanently resolved rather than to gradually make small incremental changes. What you should do, if a healing crisis arises for you while you are taking flower essences, is to continue taking them according to the dosage recommended by your practitioner (or according to whatever dosage and timing that you had previously been doing.) The crisis will resolve within 24-36 hours, leaving you feeling clear and free from the condition or state of mind.

Should you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to call and discuss them with your Flower Essence Practitioner.

Nancy Boyd
Certified Bach Flower Essence Therapist

Member: Flower Essence Society, Herbal Healers Academy, International Coach Federation, coachville.com, Graduate School of Coaching

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