Flower essences are herbal infusions or decoctions, made from the flowering part of the plant, which uniquely addresses emotional and mental aspects of wellness. The first 38 flower remedies were formulated by a British physician, Dr. Edward Bach, in the 1930's, although new remedies from other plant species are now available.
To understand how flower essences work requires a recognition that the human being is more than a physical body but also incorporates a "body" of life energy, a "body" of sensitivity and feelings, and a spiritual essence or Self. Flower essences are energetic imprints of the life force of plants which interact with these subtle bodies of the human being and evoke specific qualities within us. We can say that they work in a similar way to inspirational music or art, which carry meaning through the vehicle of sound or light, while the flower essences work through the medium of water.
Modern physics has known for nearly a century that matter and consciousness are intertwined. However, medical science still generally works with a nineteenth-century model of the human being as a mechanism in a world of machines. We expect that in the coming century medical science will develop ways of studying the impact of consciousness on health, and we will learn more about the ways in which flower essences work. However, empirical research, which consists of the collection of case studies and practitioner reports, will remain the primary source of knowledge about how flower essences work.
They are typically taken orally from a dropper bottle; the standard dosage is four drops four times daily. You can take the drops directly from stock bottles available in stores; mix them in a glass of water; or make a dosage bottle by mixing several drops with water and brandy (typically 1/4 ounce) in a one-ounce dropper bottle. When mixing in a dosage bottle or glass of water, take two drops from each essence selected. There are many others ways of using them, such as in misting sprayers, in a cream base, or in baths.
Several flower essences can be taken together, mixed in a dosage bottle or glass of water. In making a combination, it is important to consider how the essences work together, as well as the appropriateness of each essence in the combination. It is best to limit the number of essences taken at any one time to three to five unless you are working with a skilled practitioner.
The best way to get involved in choosing flower essences is to read some basic literature on the topic. The next step is to decide which mental and emotional issues are most important for your health and growth. Based on your choice, you then select the essence or essences which correspond with these issues.
You may also wish to talk with a friend or counselor or to use an assessment questionnaire or repertory to help you sort through the many possible choices for flower essences. If you are just getting started, choose your most basic and obvious priorities.