Flower essences are an amazing form of medicine developed by Dr Edward Bach in the 1920’s. Dr Bach was a homeopath and bacteriologist who, after many years of treating people and seeing many forms of sickness, came to believe that all diseases must come from people’s mind, emotions and spirit and that if these weren’t in balance then these imbalances would result in physical health problems.
He believed that God must have given humans a simple and easy way to correct these imbalances and so he walked through a field and realized that flowers themselves may hold the key to bringing balance back to the human psyche.
He understood the ancient herbal medicine principal called the “doctrine of signatures” which stated that different parts of a plant relate to different parts of a person such as the roots relating to the lower body, the leaves relating to the chest and the flowers relating to the head. Also that different colours in a plant will affect us differently and that parts of a plant that looks like parts of the human body , such as a walnut looking like a brain, will affect that part of the person.
He believed that plants as well as people had a spirit and that every plant had a different “personality” so to speak. So he wanted to extract the “essence” of the spirit of the plant and use it as medicine.
The flower of a plant is its reproductive organ and therefore even in one small cell of the plant the entire energy or spirit of the plant is contained. So people who say that well it’s so small what is in a flower essence how could it possibly be powerful? The entire spirit of a plant and genetics of it are in one reproductive cell and judging from atomic physics and nuclear bombs etc we can see how much one small particle of a substance can contain.
So flower essences are prepared by getting fresh flowers of a plant, usually a wild plant growing in its natural conditions, and putting them in a small bowl of spring water and placing them in the sunlight for a day. The “essence” of the flower is therefore extracted into the water. It then contains what’s called the plants energetic “signature”.
This water infused with the energetic signature of the plant is then preserved in brandy or glycerine and then used as a stock bottle to administer for various emotional conditions that a person may have according to the nature of the plant. So the Oak flower essence, for example, deals with people who over strive beyond their limits or are iron willed or inflexible. Wild Oat deals with people who are uncertain about what career direction they should take.
Since the 1920s the popularity and interest in Dr Bach’s flower essences has grown enormously and now people in many different countries have taken up his work and researched the effects of flower essences made from flowers local to their area. One of the most reputable societies that has sprung up dealing with flower essences research has been the Californian flower essence society who have published the very informative and highly recommended book called the Flower essence repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz. This forms one of the core textbooks for our natural healing courses in flower essences and herbal medicine.
Flower essences have also come from Australia in the form of the Australian Bush Flower essences and in England in the form of the Findhorn essences and in Hawaii and many other places too.
I will write more about individual flower essences as well as techniques for diagnosing flower essences in more up and coming blog entries.