I wanted to write a post about my recent positive experiences with Flower Essences. As part of the program at NAIMH, we got some beginning education on Bach Flower Essences, and fun field trip to make our own essences from some wild spring flowers. We had a fabulous teacher who gave us very clever ways of remembering the 38 original essences.
Flower essences are such a handy tool to use with clients when you start running into emotional issues, past traumas, insecurities and other "stuff" that you as an herbalist and not a therapist, aren't really equipped to deal with. They are gentle, easy to give (blend with tinctures, or make into nice fragrant sprays with essential oils), and so, so helpful in working through the myriad emotions of the human experience.
Also, extremely helpful for you, the healer, in dealing with YOUR stuff. Cause your stuff ALWAYS comes up in the face of dealing with other people. I use some flowers for grounding before and after a meeting, for strengthening my personal emotional and psychic boundaries, and for clearing the space. Not to mention insecurities, self esteem, sadness, guilt, and overconcern.
I've known about flower essences for years, since way back when I studied with Rosemary Gladstar at Sage Mountain, and I've even spent some time making essences from the flowering plants of the Sonoran Desert. Rain kissed manzanita flower essence, and sunny california poppy were just a few. But even though I made some essences, and learned about them, I didn't put them to use very often.
Most recently I've been using them on myself and my partner with great results. Especially since I was gifted by a very sweet family member with an entire bach flower essence kit, with all 38 essences and a bottle of rescue remedy. It's much easier to work with them when you have an abundance of choices.
A few weeks ago I made a formula for myself with Mariposa Lily, Wild Rose, Elm and Honeysuckle. It was the new year and I was feeling sort of overwhelmed with the fact I have two theses to write, longing for my more pleasant times in the Sonoran desert, wandering the hillsides, feeling embraced by the loving earth. I was feeling sort of stuck and apathetic about doing anything I was needing to do ( both in terms of assignments for school and in taking care of myself. Darn that holiday gluten fest!)
I've been taking it for two weeks, and I feel so much more at peace. I've started writing at least one thesis, and decided on the topic of the second ( finally!) and am more fully present with what my current life situation is asking of me.
Flower essences are subtle, and people who aren't familiar with them or sensitive might assume they aren't working, but I've felt it work within 24 hrs, or less. I once took some wild oat flower essence this fall, when I was feeling a bit confused about the direction I wanted to go in with my life and my herbal calling. Between 8-5 i took the essence, and on the way home in the car found myself sobbing, because I KNEW in my heart what I wanted/needed, but getting there is not going to be so easy. That was pretty fast!
Some people will make formulas with the essences, using multiple essences, even up to 9-10. My personal preference is to work with one at a time, or a formula of no more than about 4-5 essences. I just feel like you can't work on EVERY issue all at one time. Some things will come to the fore if you look carefully, and things can be dealt with in small chunks. I think the healing works deeper and better that way.
Making your own flower essences is very easy and inexpensive, and is so uplifting and establishes a deeper level of intimacy with your landscape/earth, and the plants you are working with.
I'll save the making of essences for another post. But most are available commericially at any health food store these days, and there are lots of books with indications. But I really suggest taking the essences alone, before reading about them, and see what they do for you, personally. Each person will react to a given essence in a unique way, which reflects what they most need from a certain flower at that time. Group provings of essences made in the field are quite remarkable! I'll save that for another post as well.