By Gretchen Fox Schempp, Wellness Manager
Though the thermometer reads below zero as I write this and I am praying for more snow still, by the time you read this the earth will likely be springing forth life from underground and overhead.
What better time of the year to write about flowers and their lovely and gentle powers?
Flower essences are liquid extracts intended generally for oral use but also can be used alternatively and more subtly in a mist for physical spaces, topically or in bath water. Flower essences are used to address issues such as emotional well-being, soul development and mind-body health. First developed by English physician Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930’s, flower essences are now gaining recognition professionally for adjunct use in holistic health and wellness programs.
Flower essences are often confused with essential oils and herbal remedies. To rectify any confusion, I will explain the nature of these remedies here. Flower essences do not work because of the chemical composition of the liquid, but for the life forces derived from the plants’ nature. They are vibrational in their abilities. They work through human energy fields rather than a direct bio-chemical interaction with the body. I like the following idea noted in the “Flower Essence Repertory” by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz: “The action of flower essences can be compared to the effects we experience from hearing a particularly moving piece of music, or seeing an inspirational work of art. The light or sound waves which reach our senses may evoke profound feelings in our soul, which indirectly affect our breathing, pulse rate, and other physical states. These patterns do not impact us by direct physical or chemical intervention in our bodies. Rather, it is the contour and arrangement of the light or sound which awakens an experience within our own soul similar to that which arose within the soul of the creator of the musical or art form. This is the phenomenon of resonance, as when a guitar string sounds when a matching note is sung. In a similar way, the specific structure and shape of the life forces conveyed by each flower essence resonate with, and awaken, particular qualities within the human soul.”
Flower essences were intended by Dr. Bach to be simple and safe for home care. Though, to skillfully select remedies for oneself, self-awareness is key to recognizing particular emotional issues. Working with another person, whether it is a counselor or simply someone trusted you can talk to, helps to gain insight and can help activate our self-awareness. With this awareness and self-reflection we can better envision what our core struggle or immediate issue is. While certain issues can be considered “themes,” others can be more simply “bumps in the road.” Some essences may be better used over long periods of time, when dealing with life themes. Others can be used short term to potentially help smooth the “bumps.” NOTE: While there are many situations where self-care is appropriate, it is crucial to know when professional assistance is needed.
The Flourish Formulas are a wonderful introduction to flower essences. These bottles are combinations of flower essences from three different lines, along with pure food-grade essential oils, selected for their therapeutic properties and safety. They are packaged with spray tops, ready for direct application. As with any flower essence, the most important time for application is upon awakening and before sleep. This is because the body-soul matrix is shifting and more open to receiving these remedies. I find it helpful to keep remedies near the bedside or in the bathroom for easy use at these times. The Flourish Formulas, like single essences, can be used topically as well as internally. An effective location to use topically is at the pulse point inside the wrist. Other receptor sites such as meridians and chakra points respond well to flower essences as well. Here is a basic overview of the 12 Flourish Formulas.
Activ8: A blend of eight flowers to empower purpose and passion.
Flora-Sleep: Flowers for restful repose and rejuvenation
Fear-Less: Composure and containment when challenged by fear, anxiety or panic.
Grace: A symphony of white lilies to nourish feminine qualities of the Soul.
Grief Relief: Solace and insight in times of sorrow and searching.
Grounding Green: Green flowers to strengthen Body-earth alignment.
Illumine: Allowing the light of understanding to transform discouragement and depression.
Kinder Garden: A child’s bouquet to soothe feelings and nourish radiance.
Magenta Self Healer: Magenta blossoms to encourage self-healing potential and physical vitality.
Post-Trauma Stabilizer: To recover and rebuild from shock and trauma.
Mind-Full: Imparting a vibrant state of mental coherence and clarity.
Sacred Heart: Integrating heart strength and compassion in relationships.
(Flourish formulas are herbal supplements. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. These products and the statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration.)
“The Flower Essence Repertory” can be a helpful selection guide when a person has identified their soul issue or theme. The selection guide is easy to use. Alphabetically arranged are states of consciousness ranging from anxiety to meditation to vitality. Under each listed state are all the different essences indicated and descriptions of how they relate to the state of mind. With this information a person can choose their own essence. Alternatively, each essence itself can be looked up and cross referenced to each state of consciousness that it relates back to. It is an easy reference book to use and we have 2 of them available at the store for checkout. (See wellness attendant for book checkouts.) FES also graciously supplies us with information on flower essences that you can take home free of charge. Ask for a complimentary book on the Flourish Formulas or look for information sheets on other special blends near the products themselves. They even have a blend specifically for our animal friends. I have used this one with great success in my home for calming one or all of my 4 dogs.
The Flower essences that we handle at the store are Flower Essence Services or FES for short. We currently handle the leading 40 essences (Quintessentials), the Flourish Flormulas, Five Flower Remedy, Yarrow Environmental Solution and the Animal Rescue Formula. These essences are prepared from a sun infusion of wildflowers or pristine garden blossoms in a bowl of water, which is then further diluted and preserved with brandy. FES essences are prepared with special attention to purity of environment, vibrancy and potency of blossoms, celestial and meteorological conditions and very particular study of physical and energetic properties of the plant through its life cycle.