Flower Essences Part One
You know the old saying: “Good things come in small packages.” Well, it’s true. Flower essences are sold in little dark-glass dropper bottles. Open one. You’ll discover that, unlike herbal tinctures or essential oils, the liquid inside—from a chemical point of view—is nothing more than water mixed with a little alcohol. This is the medium in which the vibrational energy of a flower (or a gem) has been preserved. You see, the healing power of a vibrational essence depends not on its chemical constituents, but on the frequencies and energies it carries—the spirit or soul energy of the flowers or gems themselves.
Where herbs and essential oils bring about direct biochemical and physiological changes, vibrational essences—rather like homeopathic remedies—influence the body via its energetic fields and electrical pathways. So do acupuncture, pulsed electromagnetic treatments, prayer and the laying on of hands. They can all transmit vibrational life-force energy. Dyed-in-the-wool materialists, still totally unaware of fifth entity physics, are surprised by how profoundly healing such energy treatments can be. Provided the vibrational essence chosen is an appropriate one, its health-enhancing effects are deep and long lasting—sometimes even permanent.
Let’s examine flower essences carefully. They are made from living blossoms, harvested at the peak of their vibrational power. They influence our emotional and mental states by changing our body’s own vibrational state as well as altering our consciousness. These changes then filter down to a physical level, where they can do many things: energize, stop erratic eating patterns, clear chronic fear and anxiety and increase self-confidence, to name only a few. They can even—to me most interesting of all—help us align our outer lives and the way we choose live them with the nature of our unique innate essential being. When this happens, not only do we experience natural joy and creativity, we experience a sense of expanding freedom. We find it easier to live life by our own rules. We gain access to our unique authentic power. This helps us become aware of what we feel most passionate about, and empowers us to live an authentic life.
VIBRATIONS AND WHOLENESS
Flower essence healing is only one aspect of what is now known as vibrational medicine—a form of treatment about which have been hearing more and more as the century 21st century develops. British physician Peter Mansfield, one of its pioneers, describes this rather well in his book Flower Remedies. “Vibrational healing,” Mansfield says, uses “the different energy patterns present in nature to modify the vibrations within living bodies, leading indirectly to changes on the physical plane. This encompasses on the one hand methods which use the vibrations directly—light, sound, magnetism etc.—and on the other, methods which involve the preparation of essences from the source of the vibration, which can be absorbed into the body.”
PROOF OF THE PUDDING
Psychologists and doctors examining the effects of carefully chosen flower essences report that they are completely safe. They can be remarkably effective in helping patients deal with simple troubles—like insomnia, low energy, and fear of flying—as well as deeper issues. Dr Jeffrey Cram at the Sierra Health Institute in California gave subjects either a flower essence or a placebo and then exposed them to stress-inducing fluorescent lighting for long periods. He found, that unlike the placebo which had little effect, flower essences significantly reduced the muscle tension and erratic brainwave activity associated with stress. Meanwhile, Italian medical researchers who tested the effects of flower essences on patients suffering from depression and anxiety found that a surprising 89 out of 115 anxious, depressed and stressed patients who took part in the experiment were greatly helped by flower essence treatments.
MAKE IT SIMPLE
One of the best practical descriptions I have come across of how flower essences work, comes from the highly respected American researcher, and flower essences creator, Patricia Kaminski. “Just think about a hologram,” she says. “Each separate part of a holographic picture contains images of the whole. This is how it can be used to recreate a three-dimensional image. So it is with a flower essence. One drop of a flower essence holds within it all the energy characteristics of the flower it was made from.” An essence carries the spirit or soul of the flower in its energetic architecture. It communicates this healing blue-print at a very deep level to the energy fields of a human being using it.
The first flower essences were created in the 1920s by a highly respected British immunologist and bacteriologist. Dr Edward Bach had become dissatisfied with the way orthodox medicine so often seemed unable to help patients suffering from both chronic and acute illness. Studying the work of the father of homeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, Bach discovered that many of his own beliefs about the nature of healing echoed Hahnemann’s findings. Like Hahnemann, Bach insisted that it works best to treat the patient, not the disease. Early in his career, Bach prepared bacterial vaccines then administered them to people homeopathically. The results of his work were widely acclaimed by his peers. They carved out a place of high esteem for him in the medical world. The vaccines he made were widely used—some still are. But Bach was not satisfied.
He knew in his heart that there is more to healing than treating symptoms. He was convinced that the most effective healing can only take place at the very deepest levels. Bach knew that mental states like anxiety, worry, unhappiness and fear not only undermine vitality, they compromise the immune system, making us highly susceptible to illness and degeneration. He reasoned that, if he could find methods for clearing such negative states, this might well be a key to preventing and curing both acute and chronic illnesses. No matter what symptoms it presents, Bach insisted that any illness is the result of disharmony deep within.
In 1928, Bach began to explore the possibility that the energy of flowers could do this for human beings. He chose to turn his back on a successful career in London and retreat into the wilderness of Wales in search of ways to help suffering people. Bach fasted, he walked in the hills, he opened his mind and his heart to nature, calling out for her help. His intuitive gifts were greatly expanded by the way he was living and eating and by his having abandoned a sophisticated industrial world for raw simplicity.
As he came face to face with one herb and flower after another, he became aware of the vast life-force each carried. He also noticed that the healing energies which each held intensified greatly at just the moment when these plants blossomed. Over the next seven years, he worked with these plants in search of a way of collecting their life-healing energies. Gradually, he was able to identify the unique characteristics of each and to understand the kind of disharmony which they help clear. He formulated a group of 12 now-famous flower remedies known as ‘Twelve Healers’. Later he went on to expand them until finally he ended up with a group of thirty-eight flower essences. They are still today known as the Bach Flower Remedies.
HEALING FOR THE MASSES
So impressed was Bach by the results he got using these flower essences that he decided to leave behind forever his successful orthodox medical practice to devote himself full-time to their development, as well as to teaching people how to use them.
Bach had observed that people were becoming more and more divorced from nature—and therefore from their own essential soul nature as well. He believed that in an industrialized world, flower essences are an effective way to counter the destructive processes that resulted from “desensitization” of people which he saw happening all around him. This was a process which he became certain was central to the development of disease. His flower remedies helped re-establish bonds not only between people and nature, but between a human being’s outer personality and his intrinsic soul nature—his innate essence. Before long, Bach’s beliefs would lead him into serious conflict with the medical establishment—especially his insistence that flower remedies should be available to everyone, not just to trained medical practitioners.
LIVE YOUR TRUTH
The Bach philosophy is simple. It says that each of us has incarnated on the earth to live out a unique divine purpose—our soul’s destiny, if you like. When we are diverted from doing so, either by our own resistance or by learned thought patterns, trauma, emotional repression, inner conflict, or the influence of others, then our personality is not able to become a free expression of our unique soul energy and we get sick. We become anxious, fearful, irritable and angry, thereby lowering our resistance to disease. In time, depending on our genetically inherited weaknesses, we often end up in pain, ill, and degenerating rapidly.
Illness, Bach insisted, has its purposes. It is there to warn us when we are going in the wrong direction—to help make us aware of what needs to be honored in our lives that we may not yet be honoring. To be healed, a harmony between our outer life and our inner purpose needs to be re-established. Flower therapy is a powerful way of doing this. Not only does it release stress and trauma. It can help clear repression of our innate life energy and creativity. Most important of all, it can help us realign ourselves with our essential being as well as with nature herself. When this happens, much illness is healed and many degenerative processes are reversed.
To Bach, health is not the absence of illness so much as it is an ability to identify its messages and act on them. This does not mean that we should blame ourselves if we become ill. Doing so would only result in further emotional repression. Instead we need to become aware of whatever emotional discord hides beneath a persistent cold or stomach upset and then be prepared to address it and finally let it go. To Bach, healing is a four-fold process. It asks that we:
- Recognize that we can overcome all difficulties
- Realize that illness is an expression of disharmony between our outer life or our personality and our soul
- Discover the cause of this disharmony
- Clear the cause of disharmony and strengthen the areas in our lives where the expression of our soul nature has been weak.
ALCHEMY OF FLOWERS
Bach’s explorations into the healing power of flowers, like the work of Kaminski and other flower essence developers, harks back to the ancient art of the alchemists. According to alchemy, when the four elements—earth, air, fire and water—come together in balance then a fifth substance, a quintessence, is created. This quintessence in turn becomes the healing force for body and soul.
Bach collected the dew that gathered on plants in the early morning. This dew, he believed, contained the quintessence he had been looking for. It was a perfect fusion of the four elements. In these sparkling drops, he identified the earth that feeds the plant, the natural air in which it grows, the water element in the dew, and fire from the energy of the sun—on which all life depends for its existence. In his healing work, Bach relied strongly on his intuition when figuring out how to work with these elements in relation to extracting the essential healing body of each flower. For days before he investigated the healing potential of a flower, he would himself welcome into his body the physical and mental symptoms of the condition he was seeking to make a remedy for. Then searching for the right plant, he would place a petal or flower in the palm of his hand or on his tongue, register its effects on mind and his body, and record his findings. Gradually he developed a method for transferring a plant’s healing energy to spring water rather than continuing to collect morning dew. It is simple: You can easily learn to do it yourself.
To identify the emotional states that each flower essence helps clear, Bach relied on intuition, as has every natural healer, wise woman and mystic throughout the ages. But being a fine scientist, he also “proved” or tested them out on one person after another until he became clear about their actions and confident of their effectiveness. The best of the flower essences prepared today are made in very much the same way—inspired by intuition, observation, conjecture, folklore, herbal tradition, sometimes even shamanic journeying, where the person expands their consciousness to connect with the spirit of the flower and learn from it. Then, once made, each flower essence is rigorously tested on volunteers and colleagues, the sick and the well, and information about its effects is recorded.
Flower essences have been in existence for almost a century now—ever since the visionary Doctor Bach wandered in the Welsh hills in search of a new way to heal the fundamental underlying cause of all illness—classic splits we all have to deal with sooner or later, between soul purpose and the outer life; between mind and body; between emotions and enforced behavior.
It’s at this deepest level of human life that flower essences work their finest magic. They bring greater integration and access to authentic power. They can help us shrug off much of the polluting physical, mental and emotional rubbish that prevents each of us from living out the essential beauty and creativity of our true nature. Bach himself knew that once we heal these splits within, the body’s innate tendency to restore harmony will encourage healing to take place on a physical level as well. That is just how flower essences work. They are gentle yet powerful catalysts. They can not only be used to shift emotional or spiritual patterns which we get stuck in. They can also help us remember at the most fundamental spiritual level who we are, then teach us to allow our unique inner radiance to shine forth. Next week we’ll explore how to connect with the essence of flowers yourself, how to make your own flower essences—it’s simple to do—and all the wonderful ways to make use of them enhancing your wellbeing and enriching your life. See you then…