Brief History of Flower Essences

(Reprinted with the author’s permission from Healing Animals Naturally With Flower Essences and Intuitive Listening, by Sharon Callahan, Sacred Spirit Publishing, Mt. Shasta, CA, 2001, p. 33-34.)

dog communicationFrom man’s early beginnings, people have known that the means to heal forms of illness and suffering are within nature. As human culture evolved, however, the quest for objective knowledge and technological mastery separated human consciousness from nature, to the point that our inner relationship to nature as a source of healing was all but lost. Thankfully there is now a growing movement toward re-alignment with nature. Flower essences are among those evolutionary steps in health care that combine the clarity of modern science with a new spiritual awareness of nature.

Although flower essence remedies have been known for centuries in India, China, and by the Australian Aboriginals and other native peoples of the world, one of the most respected names associated with their use in modern times is Dr. Edward Bach of England.

Born in 1886, Dr Bach practiced orthodox medicine until the end of 1918, specializing in bacteriology and immunology. His specialized understanding of health and disease led him to the study of homeopathy, which he practiced for ten years. Later he expanded his search for a simple natural way to balance the physical and emotional systems with the healing properties of the essences of flowers. He found that he could place the flowers of a particular species on the surface of a bowl of spring water for several hours in sunlight to obtain powerful vibrational tinctures. The subtle effects of the sunlight charged the water with an energetic imprint of the flower’s vibrational signature, and he soon realized that there was great healing power in flowers.

He perceived with remarkable insight that various emotional and personality factors (fear and negative attitudes being the most significant) contribute toward a predisposition to illness. Medical science is now only beginning to address the relationship between illness and emotions. Dr. Bach also understood that the illness/personality link was an outgrowth of dysfunctional energetic patterns within the subtle bodies (emotional or spiritual, mental and physical bodies), and that illness was a reflection of disharmony or resistance between the physical personality and the Higher Self or Soul, or Source Energy.

Since the Bach Flower Remedies were introduced, research and interest in the healing properties of flowers has continued to grow and expand. The Alaskan Flower Essence Project researches essences collected in the unspoiled Alaskan wilderness. In other projects, flowers from the outback of Australia’s ancient plant species are being researched and used as essences with wonderful results. Because of that continent’s isolation, their plant species come from an evolutionary line very different from our own. Their flowers are exotically beautiful with wonderful names such as Purple Kangaroo Paw, Happy Wanderer, and Billy Goat Plum.

In California, we have the Flower Essence Society, which has been researching North American flower essences for many years. Today essences are being collected from the flowers of the American Southwest, the moors of Scotland and even Russia. I would venture to say that in almost every country, someone is now making flower essences.