How to heal with flower essences
The earliest recorded use of flower essences is by the 16th century mystic and healer, Paracelsus. He collected the dew from flowers to treat his patients’ emotional imbalances. Australian Aborigines started using flower essences thousands of years ago. The dew on the flower or plant contains its vibration, and the Aborigines often ate the entire plant, so also benefited from any nutritional qualities it had. If a plant was not edible they would sit in a clump of flowers and absorb the healing energy in that way. Other ancient cultures that also used flowers for their healing effects were the Egyptians and the Africans.
The more recent pioneer of essences was Dr Edward Bach (1886-1936). He researched the role of bacteriology in chronic disease and realised there were clear personality types that related to various patterns of ill health. Bach felt that treating physical symptoms was not enough, as these symptoms stemmed from thoughts. He became interested in the work of Samuel Christian Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathy. Homoeopathic remedies were being prescribed for the personality of the patient, as well as their characteristics, idiosyncrasies and physical symptoms.
In 1930 Dr Edward Bach gave up his successful medical practice to find 38 flowers to heal the negative states of mind from which he believed mankind could suffer. He became very sensitive in body and mind, and before discovering each new healing flower, would suffer both the mental and physical symptoms the flower could heal.
How do essences work?
Dr Edward Bach said about the flower remedies: ""They cure, not by attacking the disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature, in the presence of which, disease melts away as snow in the sunshine."" Essences work through harmonic resonance. All essences have a positive vibration, and by taking the right essence, negative thought patterns are dissolved and the positive harmonious vibrations of the remedy replace any disharmony in the person. With most essences a person takes a number of drops a few times a day for a couple of weeks. Some essences work much faster than this and only need to be taken once or twice for a number of days, while others may be taken for a few months or even longer.
Emotional and physical illness can be healed by balancing and treating our subtle energy bodies – the astral, etheric, mental and causal bodies. These subtle energy bodies play a major role in maintaining our good health. Richard Gerber, in his book Vibrational Medicine, says of flower essences: ""This unique form of vibrational medicine can be quite powerful in rebalancing the many subtle-energy systems of the multi-dimensional human being.""
Einstein’s theory of relativity, E=mc2, states that energy, matter and the speed of light are all related. Einstein shows we are coherent fields of energy vibrating in such a way that we feel we are individuals with physical bodies, senses and consciousness. Vibrational medicine is the use of one form of energy frequency, such as the vibration of an essence, to alter the energy vibration of a person and bring them back into balance. In the same way that Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics has completely changed science, Dr Richard Gerber sees vibrational medicine as transforming medicine as a whole. Other medicines that work using vibrations include homoeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, reiki, qi gong, and sound and colour healing. Also, allopathic doctors recognise the value of vibrational medicine in their use of ultrasound equipment for diagnosis.
Grant Lambert, the maker of the Falling Leaf Essences, says, ""The action is due either to the small number of molecules released during the essence preparation, or to a subtle energy released into the water. Evidence favours the latter hypothesis. It is a different paradigm or starting assumption that every plant, gem, or molecule has a subtle life force energy or spirit.""
How are essences made?
All essences contain about 75 per cent water and 25 per cent brandy, which is used as a preservative to prevent any bacteria growing, and they contain the vibrational imprint of the flower, leaf, shell, or whatever is being used for the particular remedy. Most essences today are still made in the same way Dr Edward Bach made his. The fresh flowers are floated or placed in a bowl of pure water in the sunshine for a couple of hours. The sun imparts the healing life force from the flowers into the water. The flowers are still fresh and living when the preparation is finished. The water in the bowl is sparkling and full of tiny bubbles. It is alive and contains the life force of the flowers.
Choosing the right essence
Today, many different types of essences are being made all over the world. There are flower essences, gem and crystal essences, falling leaf essences, bark essences, seed essences, sea essences, shell essences, goddess and angel essences and many others. They come from the Himalayas, Japan, Alaska, the Amazon, the Arizona desert, Europe and Africa, not to mention Australia and New Zealand. The question is what do the different types of essences do, how do they work, and which are the right ones for you?
Different types of essences work on different areas of your life. For example, the Bach flower remedies are good for emotional balancing, whereas the falling leaf essences assist releasing and letting go. The shell essences have imprints that help karmic problems, and the Australian bush flower essences are good for a broad range of issues and resonate particularly well for people living in Australia.
The Bach flower remedies
The Bach flower remedies are the most widely used essences in the world. The 38 remedies are made in exactly the same way today as they were by Dr Edward Bach. You can either go to a Bach flower remedy practitioner or prescribe remedies for yourself. Often an initial consultation with a practitioner is good for people who feel unsure of choosing remedies for themselves, but it was Bach’s hope that people would have a set of the 38 remedies and take them as their changing emotions required them.
When prescribing for yourself you need to be aware of how you are feeling and what emotions come up, especially when you find yourself in a stressful situation or when you feel tired. For instance, if you feel irritated by the people around you, you may need Impatiens, but if you are exhausted and lonely, and feel there is no hope, Sweet Chestnut would be the remedy to take. For feelings of fear, when the fear is for a known reason, Mimulus is good, and then there’s Rescue Remedy for when you are feeling overwhelmed or are in a state of shock.
Dianne Bradley, who teaches practitioner courses on the Bach flower remedies in Australia, describes the way the remedies work as being similar to the layers of an onion. They work on your outside layers, helping you to deal with a current problem or emotional issue, always bringing you back to a state of balance. As the Bach flower remedies are gentle in action and do not cause reaction, they can be given to babies, children and also to animals. Also, if you choose the wrong remedy for yourself or someone else, the worst that can happen is the remedy will not have any positive effect. It does not cause any harm.
Australian bush flower essences
Geographically, Australia is the oldest of all the continents, and Australian plants have evolved in isolation over the past 45 million years. Today, along with Brazil, Australia is regarded as possessing the highest number of flowering plants in the world.
Ian White and his wife Kristin were part of a weekly healing group for a friend who had cancer and, while meditating during one of these sessions, Ian started to receive guidance on the bush flower essences. Ian and Kristin then travelled all over Australia, making the essences from different flowers and plants. Today there are 62 Australian bush flower essences. There are 16 combination essences, which work on specific themes, and there are three companion essences, which work in the same way but are not made from flowers.
The Australian bush flower essences are particularly good for addressing many of today’s issues such as sexuality, communication, learning skills, creativity and spirituality, among many other problems. The Relationship Essence is a combination of seven flower essences and is good for releasing resentment, blocked emotions and pain. It helps you express feelings and also breaks early family patterns that can affect your current relationships. The Sexuality Essence is helpful for releasing shame and the effects of sexual abuse. It allows you to feel comfortable with your body and enjoy physical and emotional intimacy so you can renew passion in relationships. A course of Relationship Essence followed by Sexuality Essence can be very useful for anyone needing to clear these issues.
A remedy that Ian White describes as ""one of the most powerful of all the bush essences"" is the Sturt Desert Pea. The essence resolves very deep pain and sorrow. It works quickly in most instances, enabling a person to get in touch with even pain experienced many years before, and with the release can come amazing changes in people’s lives.
You can self-prescribe the Australian bush flower essences or go to a practitioner. They are entirely safe and without side-effects. Also, they are self-adjusting, which means they are effective only up to the point you are ready to go.
The falling leaf essences
Grant Lambert has a biochemistry doctorate and worked in the area of genetic engineering. In the mid 1980s he developed chronic fatigue and from his attempts to recover he became interested in essences. He trained in natural therapies and in 1988 began practising as a homoeopath. In his practice he used homoeopathy, flower essences and gem essences, and realised that each of these modalities had its areas of strength and areas of weakness. ""I found a number of areas of need that were not being met by either homoeopathy or essences, and one need, almost universal, was the need to release the old and let go of the past.""
In 1994 Grant went to Bright in Victoria, where many deciduous trees, like liquidamber, elms and weeping willows, grow. He realised he had to use the leaves of the deciduous trees in autumn to make essences that would be specific for releasing the past. This release enables new beginnings and frees up space within. The falling leaf returns to the earth, so the essences also connect you to the earth.
Originally, there were 25 falling leaf essences. Grant tested them successfully in his own practice for two years and then gave them to six practitioners to try. Today, Advanced Alchemy, which Grant founded in 1997, has 160 falling leaf essences. In their effects these are evenly divided between promoting emotional release, physical release, and the release of old belief systems.
The Domestic Fig is an essence that operates to release mental control over guilt, which is often related to low self-esteem. Red Crepe Myrtle releases the emotions that can build up through the misconception that you can possess another person, and the emotional need to have control over others. Claret Ash is good for ‘flu’. It promotes the release of the virus through urine, the bowels and sweating, and is a powerful physical detoxifier. Advanced Alchemy also has a range of bark essences that help people find their boundaries and filter out any negative external influences.
Shells were on this planet 570 million years ago and most of the major groups had already evolved when the earliest fossils were forming. Shells have a calcium outer body, and the shell essences connect to the calcium inner body we have as humans.
The shell essences are made by Nancy Parker and Leonie Hosey. Nancy had always had a great interest in shells and was starting to make vibrational essences with them. Leonie was an established homoeopath, who was discovering her ability to channel. She is able to bring forth from a spiritual source information about each essence, and to ensure the essences are pure healers and free of unwanted thoughts and emotions that can get locked into the essences while they are being made. The first shell essences came into being in 1989.
The shell essences enable you to adjust the flows of the ancient planetary archetypes within your body. There are 40 shell essences, which are used mostly by practitioners, and 27 specialist healers, which are combinations of the essences. Shell essences are particularly good for balancing the masculine and feminine energy within us all. An example of this is women who find themselves in a male-dominant work environment and feel they have to use competitive male energy to succeed. As a result these women may experience hormonal imbalances, reproductive difficulties, fibroids, breast cancer and ovarian cysts because of this energy imbalance. Woman’s Hormonal Enhancer and IRrelate II are good for women’s hormonal issues. Essenshell’ Woman is good for balancing feminine qualities and Essenshell’ Man is good for enhancing male qualities. Kinesiologists have found shell essences remove energy blocks and assist problems such as emotional and relationship issues.
Shell essences address karmic and genetic issues that may go right back through a family tree for many generations. Also, they are very helpful for the negative effects of radiation. Shell essences can be blended with other vibrational remedies and also combine well with other healing modalities, including allopathic medicine.
Essence of the goddess
“When you feel inside yourself a great excitement, power, and knowing, you are experiencing connection to all ‘that is’ and the Goddess. The Goddess is the feminine face (aspect) of the Creator. She had created, sustained and loved all that exists forever and always. She is within and without all of us, whether we are male or female,"" writes Nevine Rottinger, maker of the Essence of the Goddess range. She describes the range as ""simply a tool or a key, helping us invite and reconnect to her [the Goddess’s] divine energy in a conscious manner"".
Carl Jung said the combined experiences of humans were contained in the collective unconscious mind. According to him, myths were a personalising of what were universal patterns of being. For example, Demeter, the earth mother of mythology, is a presentation of an inherent pattern of being the mother.
These essences heal the feminine part of a woman’s or a man’s psyche through the archetypal energies. They heal physical and emotional trauma and promote clarity and fulfilment of life purpose and personal destiny.
Like the other makers of essences, before making an essence Nevine experiences the issues the essence will help. She channels the essences in a similar way that she would channel healing for a person, except she channels the energy into glass bottles filled with water and brandy.
The 33 essences are imprints of goddess archetypes such as Hera, Artemis and Aphrodite. You can self-prescribe a remedy or receive a reading from a practitioner. You can employ the essences to discover your life purpose, using the life purpose blend for your spiritual evolution, and the inherent blend to strengthen the lines of communication between the goddesses within you. To heal an acute condition or specific issue, you use a borrowed blend.
When she first channelled the goddess essences, Nevine and two other practitioners tried them out on about 700 clients. The feedback from people was very positive. They often made the observation that these were very powerful yet strangely gentle essences.
The EarthSpirit essences
Unlike the above essences, the EarthSpirit essences are not taken in drop form. They are a set of eight essences, contained in tiny vials, each essence corresponding to a different chakra in the body. Any one or all eight of them can be placed on the body, or they can be put beside the bed at night, carried around in a bag or pocket during the day, or placed under the table during a massage session. The essences act as a catalyst to reconnect you with your own ancient wisdom.
All the places where the EarthSpirit essences have been prepared are timeless landscapes holding ancient wisdom and primordial energy. One essence was made at a waterfall after three days of rain, another at the base of a volcano. There is a finite amount of each essence, so they are a one-off and can never be made again. Cindy emphasised that she felt the EarthSpirit essences are most important for their grounding effect: ""They connect us into the earth, into those very important energy vibrations from which we are so disconnected in the modern world.""
References: recommended reading available on request.
Rosamund Burton is a freelance alternative health journalist. She is a presenter for Panacea, 2SER Radio’s alternative health program, and formerly was manager of the Mind Body Spirit Sydney Festival.