Of all the natural healing therapies available to us today, flower essences are perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of Earth’s living library in action. The medieval Swiss alchemist Parcelsus referred to nature as a book written in cosmic script, its forms and processes reflecting the working of higher universal laws. His Doctrine of Signatures described the many similarities between plants and humans and how this determined the healing properties of plants. He noted that the way a plant adapted to the stresses and challenges of the environment through its growth patterns, colors, form and relationship to other plants and animals served as a key to how that plant could help humans adjust to similar stressed in life.

In the early part of this century, the English physician Dr. Edward Bach gave up his practice to search for a method of treatment that would not require the body to be harmed in any way. He theorized that the root of all illness is a result of deep conflict within the soul, and that disease occurs when the personality of a person is not properly harmonized with the higher self. Like his ancestors before him, Bach began his search by studying the natural world around him. He came to realize that the wisdom of the plants, or the soul of nature as he called it, could be harnessed to correct imbalances in the human soul so that healing could take place.

Bach created 38 flower essence remedies by preparing a homeopathic solution from the flowers of those plants that he identified as healers for basic personality disturbances. He chose the flower because it is in the process of blossoming that the soul qualities of nature come into the form of the plant. The flower essence then becomes a vehicle of communication between the soul of nature and the human soul.

Since Bach’s time, flower essence researchers have identified many more flowers for their healing benefits on the mind, emotions, and spirit. Flower essence therapy is a wonderful enhancement to any form of natural healing, since the ailments of the body are ultimately an expression of the emotional issues we are experiencing. Healing illness often requires that we change our inner attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about life. Flower essences can help us awaken to different perspectives and assist us through denial and resistance to change.

For example, we have learned that he fiery stimulating qualities of Cayenne Pepper can catalyze the will and motivate us to action. The high mountain habitat of Shooting Star wildflower with its inverted cone flowers pointing towards the Earth, help those who feel alienated to become more focused, grounded and at home on the Earth plane.

The sunny yellow Dandelion flower is actually a composite of many tiny but complete ray flowers that make up what would appear to be one flower. This suggests the harmonizing effect Dandelion has on the body systems and mind, with particular emphasis on the solar plexus chakra that is also yellow. The solar plexus is associated with personal power and adaptation to stress. Dandelion essence can assist people who overwork and overform their lives to loosen up and relax into the flow of life.

The essence of the familiar Aloe Vera plant, known for its ability to heal burns, can restore our vital energy when we are feeling “burned out” an exhausted. The strong recuperative properties of Yarrow flowers, historically taken to strength and detox the body from disease-causing organisms, is a wonderful essence for hose who feel overly sensitive and vulnerable. It is especially helpful for counselors and healers who tend to absorb negative energies form clients. Like its umbrella-shaped white flowers, the vibration of Yarrow showers a protective shield of white light over the aura.

Flower essences are prepared by picking blossoms at the peak of bloom and placing them in a glass container of spring water directly in the sun for several hours. Astrological influences are also considered so that the infusion will be in harmony with planetary energies. The flowers are then removed and the remaining water is preserved with brandy or glycerin. This mother tincture is diluted and prepared homeopathically to create the stock tincture for personal use. To do this, fill a one-ounce amber glass dropper bottle with a solution of 80% spring water and 20% brandy (or 60% spring water and 40% vegetable glycerin). To this bottle add about 12 drops of he mother tincture. Then shake the bottle vertically against the palm of your hand 100 times to potenize the essence.

Flower essences are most effective when taken in small amounts throughout the day. Four drops under the tongue, four times daily is recommended in most cases, but essences can be taken as needed for emergencies. Rescue Remedy, a Bach blend of five essences, was formulated specifically for traumatic situations to restore immediate balance and harmony. Flower essences can also be put in water and sipped throughout the day, placed directly on the skin, in the bath, or in a spray bottle of water. The intent is to fill the auric field with the energy pattern from the flowers to gradually create change. Allow at least one complete moon cycle to pass for a lasting benefit.

For a more in-depth guide to selecting, preparing and using flower essences, I highly recommend Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia and Richard Katz. Their line of flower essences is quite extensive and includes the original Bach remedies. Of course, if you have access to a garden or woodland you can research and prepare your own flower essences from nature’s living library. As an old Midwest Native American medicine man told his students, “Everything you need to know about life is in the woods. Go out there and find your answers.”