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Making and using flower essences for emotional wellbeing

What is a flower essence?

In the early 1900s, British physician, Edward Bach thought the vibrational energy of flowers could balance your emotions for mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing as they help to improve negative emotions and thoughts. There is now research evidence to support this. Flower essences have been shown to reduce anxiety in adults, for women in menopause and children at the dentist. They have also been shown to reduce pain.

Essences are collected by floating flowers in a bowl of spring water, in the sunlight for a few hours. The water is then referred to as the Mother Essence and is preserved in brandy, vodka or apple cider vinegar. This may be diluted further by placing 1-7 drops into spring water to create Stock Essences. These may be diluted further to create 'dosage' strength.

What are flower essences used for?

My colleagues at Yorkshire Flower Essences explain that flower essences are used when you feel something in your life needs to change. They say it may or may not be clear what is causing this feeling and its root. You may experience a desire to redefine what is “normal” for you by either accepting or making a change. Dr Edward Bach said essences “treat the cause, not the effect.”

How to identify a flower essence to suite your needs

  • Ask yourself what you seek to change and take some time to contemplate your thoughts. This may lead you to identifying unhelpful emotions, which may be short lived or long standing.

  • Now consider how you would like to accept or move on from those feelings.

  • You can the browse the range of essences at Yorkshire Flower Essences or another stockist that reflect your emotions and choose one that suits you best. Or you may choose to walk around in nature and find a flower that calls to you and make your own essence.

  • Taking that essence on a regular basis can help you to move forwards.

How to make your own flower essence

You can easily make your own essence by following your intuition and a few basic principles, says Jenny Howarth, Flower essence practitioner, Homeopath and joint owner of Yorkshire Flower Essences.

Gather your equipment

  • A clear glass bowl

  • Spring water preferably sourced in your area or filtered water

  • A preservative. Traditionally brandy has been used. You can also use vodka or if avoiding alcohol, try apple cider vinegar.

  • Storage bottles

  • A sunny day!

Make the essence

  • On a sunny day, walk around outside and determine a plant that attracts you.

  • Place your glass bowl beside the plant and fill with spring / filtered water.

  • Ask the plant permission to bend the flower head into the water (try to avoid handling the plant too much) and secure with a few wooden stakes or just place the bowl next to the plant to absorb its energy. Bach used cut flower heads floated in a bowl of water.

  • Allow the bowl to stay for as long as you can and when it feels right remove the stakes and the flower head from the bowl using twigs, if possible, to avoid touching the plant.

  • This bowl of water is now your Mother Essence.

  • Fill your storage bottle with your preservative to the half way mark and then top up with the Mother Essence. This is now called the Mother Tincture. Store in a cool dark place or the fridge.

  • Return any leftover Mother Essence to the plant and give thanks.

  • Now take another bottle and fill with half water and half preservative plus 3 drops of Mother Tincture. This is called a Stock Essence and is what you purchase from suppliers.

  • Search online for the flower you have made the essence from to discover its healing benefits. If you have made an essence from a flower not previously done commercially then sit near the plant with your bottle of essence and meditate on it’s uses. Notice how the bottle feels in your hand. What feelings is the plant bringing up. When you start to use the essence take some time to notice how it makes you feel.

How to take a flower essence

Inhaled in the atmosphere through a spray or evaporating a few drops in a bowl of water.

Absorbed through the skin by:

  • Dropping on pulse points such as temples, neck, chest, inner elbow, wrists, back of the knees and ankles.

  • Dropping into bath water.

Orally – three drops under the tongue or in a glass of water three times a day.


Essences are diluted solutions and therefore considered safe.

  • If pregnant, breast feeding or are avoiding alcohol for any reason use a non-alcoholic essence.

  • If you experience a skin rash, headache or fatigue this will usually go away within a day or so. If it continues, stop using the essence and consult a practitioner for further advice.

Over to you

Gather your supplies in a basket / bag so you are ready to make an essence on a sunny day when you have some time. I’d love you to share your experience of making and using an essence.


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