Comparing Flower Essences

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Because flower essences are new to many people, this comparison may help to put flower essences into context with other more familiar remedies.

Allopathic drugs, or pharmaceutical drugs, are primarily of Western origin and have a shorter history of use among humans than virtually every other healing modality on the planet. These are also most prevalent and accepted in our society, as a general rule. A great way to sum up the difference between drugs and flower essences is with a metaphor:

When you are struggling……the drug comes along, knocks you over the head, and carries you where you need to go… the flower essence sits down beside you, talks with you gently, listens to what is really alive in you, and points you in the direction of exactly where you need to go.


Allopathic Drugs only

Flower Essences only

Shared characteristics

act on biochemistry of the body

do not affect the body’s biochemistry but act on the energetic or vibrational levels of our being

Both can address physical and emotional states and diseases

often suppress, control, and/or mask symptoms


bring awareness to symptoms


force change


supports and encourages change; acts as a catalyst for change

can be ideal in cases of acute and severe illness, i.e. suicidal thoughts

can work with longstanding or short term health issues

Both are taken orally/internally (of course not all drugs are taken this way)

suppresses body’s innate healing response

stimulates the body’s innate healing response

focuses on disease


focuses on the desired change

follows the Law of Contraries (using opposite forces to heal)


operates by the integration of polarities, bringing balance and integration of opposing forces


often must be taken continuously for desired effect

stimulates lasting change beyond the use of the remedy

often pose risks of side effect and addiction

pose no risk of side effects or addiction

And now we move into comparing flower essences with other natural healing remedies. I begin with this one, because I find flower essences most often confused with essential oils. The two modalities have similarities but are different in some very important ways.

Essential Oils only

Flower Essences only

Shared characteristics

strongly scented


has no particular smell because it doesn’t contain the physical substances from the plant, just the energetic/vibrational qualities

both are specialized types of herbal preparations


highly concentrated


more dilute at level of effectiveness; yet potent


both may utilize flowers in their preparation

distillation of plant oils


infusion of flower (its life force energy)


work well in tandem together/ complementary modalities

often requires large amounts of plant material to create

doesn’t require much disturbance of plants to produce

both have the power to act

uses many parts of plant


uses only flowers at a peak time in their life cycle (when most vital)

both can be used topically, orally, or in a mister for their healing effects

not all may be safe for ingestion, particularly in pregnant and nursing populations

completely safe for ingestion (and this is primary avenue of use)


Herbal remedies may include things like herbal infusions (teas), decoctions, tinctures, herbal baths, poultices, and other preparations involving healing herbs, flowers, roots, barks, and leaves. Technically, flower essences may be considered a specialized form of herbal remedy—thus here we are distinguishing between herbal remedies as a general healing modality and flower essences.

Herbal Remedies only

Flower Essences only

Shared Characteristics

made from all parts of the plant using a variety of methods

made only from flower blossoms using a single method of preparation**

both use pure ingredients directly from nature

selected primarily on the basis of physical symptoms

selected primarily on the basis of the impact on the mental and emotional bodies because of flower’s archetypal healing qualities

work with, rather than suppress, one’s innate healing process


selected for the herb’s naturally occurring physical healing constituents


address issues of the psyche (mental/ emotional/ energetic) more directly and precisely than herbs

herbal preparations of some flowers (i.e. chamomile) share similar healing properties to flower essences, though the healing in flower essences is considered one “octave” or level higher than the herbal preparation of the same flower.

**the environment in which a flower essence is created is of supreme importance. There are 5 essential elements: earth (the soil in which the flowers grow), air (and environmental conditions in general), fire (the sun, which helps support and build and later transfer the life force energy from flowers to water), water (in which the life force of the flowers is infused), and the consciousness and intention of the preparer.

Dr. Bach, whose pioneering work established a solid foundation for flower essence therapy in the West, was first a homeopathic doctor. He then turned his attention fully to flower essences and devoted his life’s work to studying the flower essences and developing a robust system of healing. (Side note: his text Heal Thyself is an incredible treatise on healing that would inspire and educate anyone interested in natural health and holistic wellness). This is all to say that homeopathy and flower essences have much in common.

Homeopathy only

Flower essences only

Shared characteristics

follow the Law of Similars: “like cures like”


operates by the integration of polarities, bringing balance and integration of opposing forces


both work on the energetic/vibrational systems


made from any substance or part of plant


only the flower blossom is used


are physically dilute


mother substance is a tincture of plant material


mother substance is made via infusion in a specific environment (see above)


act as catalysts to support one’s healing process


a high potency is required to affect the mental and emotional systems (may be more compelling than flower essence but carries more risk)


impacts the emotional and mental systems in a gentle way, allowing one to choose their response to its influence


requires lower potency than homeopathy to affect emotional and mental systems

focus is on the whole person not just the disease


often patient’s physical conditions and habits are used to determine appropriate remedy

emphasis on identifying underlying root causes of physical manifestations; correlates patient’s soul/psyche qualities with the archetypal healing qualities of flowers

remedies are often unique to the individual


Most longstanding traditional forms of healing medicine—such as Ayurveda (and its sister science, yoga) and Traditional Chinese Medicine—recognize the human energy body and its integral role in health. Many traditional healing systems view blocks and obstructions within the energetic body to be the chief or root causes of all physical, mental and emotional dis-ease. Flower essence therapy functions on this same principle.

Flower essences work on the same system of the body as acupuncture does. While our western minds may have trouble grasping how a thin acupuncture needle placed in one’s hand can take away a headache, for example, so we too may have trouble “getting” how the life force energy of a flower can create profound healing in our lives. Nevertheless, both have been scientifically demonstrated again and again.

Both traditional healing systems and flower essences focus on healing modalities derived from nature to support the body’s innate healing processes.

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