What Are Flower Essences?
Flower Essences, and essences in general, are becoming an increasingly popular form of herbal medicine. But what exactly are they? How do they differ from tinctures, infusions, and other preparations of herbal medicine? And how can you make your own?
Flower Essences are a vibrational medicine — this means they contain no measurable phytochemicals or constituents of the plants, places, or minerals from which they’re made. Instead, essences retain the energy of these things.
What is energy? This is both a simple and complex question but fundamentally, energy is light and vibration. Everything in the universe has a tone, a frequency, a light and a vibration; ergo, everything has an energy. With a basic understanding of physics, we know that the “conservation of energy” law is an absolute law, and that energy can never be created or destroyed, but can change form and be transferred. We also know that water, as a substance, has molecular memory. This is a proven theory that shows, as Nobel laureate and scientist Luc Montagnier states, “Water is able to duplicate the qualities of any material with which it once interfaced.”
Flower Essences (as well as Mineral, Animal, and Place Essences) are made by imparting the vibrational frequency, or the essence, of the intended material into water, and then preserving that water with alcohol, traditionally brandy. Flower Essences specifically use flowers in bloom to make an essence.
The method for making flower essences was first developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the early 1900s in England, after he spent months in the countryside creating the well known set of 38 original Bach Flower Essences. However, traditions involving the vibrational healing qualities of flowers and water date back several millennia and span cultures and continents, and references to such uses can be found in texts ranging from ancient Egypt to the Americas to China. A similar method as the one outlined below may be used to make Mineral or Gem Essences.
How to Make A Flower Essence
You will need:
- A plain, glass bowl with no etchings or designs
- Wooden sticks, chopsticks, or utensils
- Clean cheesecloth
- A large glass jar
- Small glass bottles with dropper tops
- Good quality water — pure spring water is best; if you are using tap water, I recommend distilling it first
- Good quality brandy or 80 proof (40%) alcohol
- Access to undisturbed outdoor space
- The materials with which you’d like to make your essence
- Make sure you are in a clear, calm, and focused state. Do not make an essence if you are sick, upset, feeling off, or otherwise distracted. You are acting as a facilitator for this vibrational medicine — you don’t want to get any of your undesirable energy in there! Likewise, make sure the weather is fair and clear and you will get at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sun or moonlight.
- Clean and clear your space, physically and energetically. Make sure your materials and your preparation place are clean and tidy, and it is helpful to cleanse them and yourself energetically using smoke from ethically sourced and cultivated Cedar, Sage, Juniper, Yarrow, Palo Santo, or tree resins like Copal or Pine Pitch
- Fill your bowl with water, leaving a few inches of space from the top.
- Ask permission of the plant. If you receive a “yes,” give it an offering in the form of a song, small amount of tobacco or other dried herb, or another small, sacred object. If you receive a “no,” try again another day or move on to another plant. This is an important step in creating vibrational medicine, you do not want the vibrations of an unhappy or unwilling plant in your essence.
- You may begin to remove the blooms. Using you sticks or wooden utensils, carefully remove the blooming flowers from their stems and transport them to the bowl of water, floating them on top of the water. Take care to only use blooms from a healthy, abundant plant that has not been sprayed with pesticides or toxic substances. 1-2 blooms work just fine, some prefer to cover the top of the water with flowers, but this is not necessary. (If the flower is on a particularly tough stem, you may use scissors to remove it, but use the wooden utensils or a leaf from the same plant to place the blooms on the water. Do not touch your hands or metal to the water.)
- It’s recommended that you then place this bowl in a safe outdoor space, preferably under or next to the flower or plant you’re making the essence from, and let it absorb the sunlight for at least a few hours. Traditionally, essences were left out from sunup to sundown. You can also meditate with the essence and the plant during this time.NOTE: If you are making an essence with a traditionally lunar plant, it is recommended that you set your essence out at night, from moonrise to moonset. Lunar plants include but are not limited to: Mugwort, Night Blooming Cereus, Night Blooming Jasmine, Water Lily, Datura, etc.
- Once your essence has infused, use a leaf from the plant or your wooden utensils to remove the blooms from the water. If other undesirable things like fuzz, pollen, etc has gotten into your essence, strain it through clean cheesecloth into a large jar.
- Mix in as much brandy or 80 proof alcohol as you have water. These liquids should be in a 1:1 ratio. This is to preserve the essence, and has no medicinal effect. Label this mixture—it is your Mother stock! It is helpful to take note of the phase of the moon or other astrological happenings on your label at this time. Do not dose directly from this Mother mixture.
- To make a dosage bottle, add 1-5 drops (this is dependant on personal preference — in vibrational medicines, less is more) to a small bottle with a dropper top containing a mixture of 50% pure, plain water and 50% brandy or 80 proof alcohol. Common bottle sizes are 5ml – 1oz.
- Label your dosage bottle, and enjoy! Flower essences are best taken a few drops at a time, on or under the tongue, 2-5 times per day. It is best to take them (at least at first) when you have some quiet time to yourself, and can close your eyes for several minutes to notice the effects—it can be helpful to keep a journal, and to give your essences to family and friends to get their feedback.