Flower Essence FAQS

What are flower essences?

How do flower essences work?

How do I use flower essences?

How long do I take flower essences?

Can I use flower essences if I am sensitive to alcohol?

How do flower essences help?

What are the differences between flower essences and essential oils?

How do I choose flower essences?

What is the difference between stock and dose?

How soon will the essences start to make a difference?

How many flower essences can I take at same time?

What happens if I take the wrong essence?

Should I take flower essences if I am feeling worse?

Can I take flower essences if I take other medication?

Can I take flower essences if I am pregnant?

Are flower essences safe for pets and children? 

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are herbal infusions or decoctions, made from the flowering part of the plant, which uniquely address emotional and mental aspects of wellness. The first 38 flower remedies were formulated by a British physician, Dr. Edward Bach, in the 1930's, although new remedies from other plant species are now available.

Flower essences repair, balance and stabilise the circuitry of our electrical system so that the vital life energy may flow well again. By taking the appropriate essences, we immediately balance the electrical system, stabilise the nervous system and halt the domino effect that leads to physical illness. The idea of treating the cause of illness rather than the disease has been known since the time of Hippocrates, the ‘Father of Medicine’. The role of flower essences is to assist humanity to clear emotional or astral bodies of those conditions that pre-dispose them to disease.

Flowers are the highest manifestation of the life force of a plant. The healing vibration of the flower is transferred into pure water and the resulting infusion is then preserved with brandy. Recent research has shown that water has a memory. The vibratory ‘signature’ of the flower equates with an emotion or state of mind.  

They are natural, non-toxic, water-based products that have water, organic vegetable glycerine, and an infusion of flowers. They have no side effects, are safe for children and pets and can be taken alongside any other healing modality. Findhorn Flower Essences are made by the sun infusion method pioneered in the 1930s by Dr. Edward Bach. 

Flower essences repair and balance the circuitry of the etheric body–the magnetic and electrical field that interfaces between body and soul–so that the vital life energy may flow harmoniously and unimpeded. By taking the appropriate essences, we balance the electrical system, stabilise the nervous system and halt the domino effect that leads to physical illness. The premise of treating the causes of illness has been recognised since the time of Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”. The role of flower essences is to assist in clearing the emotional or astral body of those conditions that predispose people to disease.

How do flower essences work?

To understand how flower essences work requires a recognition that the human being is more than a physical body, but also incorporates sensitivity and emotions, and a spiritual essence. Flower essences are energetic imprints of the life force of plants which interact with these subtle bodies of the human being, and evoke specific qualities within us. We can say that they work in a similar way to inspirational music or art, which carry meaning through the vehicle of sound or light, while the flower essences work through the medium of water.

Modern physics has known for nearly a century that matter and consciousness are intertwined. However, medical science still generally works with a nineteenth century model of the human being as a mechanism in a world of machines. We expect that in the coming century medical science will develop ways of studying the impact of consciousness on health, and we will learn more about the ways in which flower essences work. However, empirical research, which consists of the collection of case studies and practitioner reports, will remain the primary source of knowledge about how flower essences work.

Research (a lot of it somewhat flawed) up to 2004 had suggested that essences are no better that a placebo in their effect. Recent research done on what is know as SeiQuol and MYMOP methods (scientific data collected on perceived quality of life, before and after), has shown that it is not the placebo effect, but something else is happening...

Jacques Benveniste found that the primary mechanism for both homoeopathy and essences is in the nature of water itself. The bonding between hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water is remarkably flexible and the angles can vary more than with any other known substance. It is thought that this unique quality brings 'memory' to water. Some researchers feels that since the human body itself is composed of around 70% water, it may account for peoples' ability to work with essences and the suchlike.

It was also thought until a few years ago that sunlight was an intrinsic part of the process of the water taking up the energy pattern. It is now recognised that strong sunlight speeds up the process, but is not a requirement.

(This information is provided from BAFEP, the British Association of Flower Essence Producers)

How do I use flower essences?

Flower essences have a wide range of applications.  They are typically taken orally from a dropper bottle; the standard dosage is four drops four times daily. You can take the drops directly from the bottles or mix them in a glass of water and sip throughout the day.  There are many others ways of using them, such as in misting sprayers, in a cream base, or in baths.  The essences are most effective when used frequently in small amounts. In times of crisis or transition, use them up to several times an hour. Individual essences may be blended together. 

How long do I need to take flower essences?

An average cycle is usually 2 to 4 weeks, with the exception of our Rapid Response, which is intended to be taken on an 'as needed' basis.. Some people will need to take an essence for a shorter period while others may need to use an essence for several months.

If you want to increase their effects, use them more often rather than more drops each time. Persons usually like to take them more frequently at first, then find themselves tapering off as they near the end of the cycle. At the end of a cycle, they may forget to take them altogether, and this is normal.

Can I use flower essences if I am sensitive to alcohol?

We have found that adding a preservative is essential to keep flower essences pure and sterile. After years of testing several alternatives, we have found that vodka or brandy are the most reliable and palatable.

If you are sensitive to alcohol, we suggest adding a few drops of the flower essence to a glass with water. This will disperse the alcohol. You may even add them to hot tea or boiling water to help evaporate the alcohol.

Alternatively, you can use the essences externally, with the same effectiveness, by rubbing a few drops onto your skin or adding 5 to 7 drops to a sprayer bottle filled with water and misting yourself or your surroundings.

How can Flower Essences help?

The various situations, circumstances and issues for which flower essences can be used are too numerous to mention, but just a few of the more typical ones are listed below.  Essences never change one from whom one is already; they do not add or give anything that one does not already have.  In resolving unhelpful emotions, beliefs and thinking, one's positive qualities are enhanced; one resonates to a higher frequency that enables one's true self to shine through.  As flower essences have a general balancing effect, one can often notice improvements or enhancements in areas other than which were expected.

* Upsets and trauma - Flower essences can bring comfort in times of distress, trauma or upset.  They help to release shocks (new and old) that when left unresolved may become the underlying cause of future health imbalances.

* Stress - Assisting one to remain calm and centred, essences can change one's perception of a tense situation, so one is able to manage stress in a more healthy way.

* Confidence - For many people, a lack of self-esteem and confidence can prove to be a debilitating factor in various areas of life.  Flower essences can improve self-worth immeasurably, so it becomes easier to have the confidence to do things one wishes, take up opportunities and achieve far more than one thought.

* Change - The one inevitable thing about life is that one will need to embrace change on some level and at some time.  Essences can help hugely at these times especially for those of us particularly resistant to any form of change.  They assist by gently acclimatising one to other perspectives or situations, enabling one to embrace other standpoints and generally to step more lightly through life with greater flexibility.

* Challenges and problems - At these times one needs to find inner strength to face major change, challenges and difficulties, essences are there to support and help one cope.

* Anxiety and worry - Flower essences help one to relax, they instil a level of calm and peace that relieves anxiety, worry or a tendency to negative thinking.

* Depression or sadness - There are many different essences to support one during times of just plain gloominess to absolute despair and hopelessness.  By introducing a level of light into our psyche, they help one to see things differently and provide the inner strength to cope at times like these.  Professional help should be sought for the clinically depressed or suicidal.

* Focus and direction - Quite often one can go through periods when one loses focus or needs assistance to make a decision or find the appropriate path in life.  Essences instil awareness, helping one to reach decisions more easily.  They inspire direction, so one is able to see the way more clearly, to be aware of one's objectives and aims and to fulfil one's potential.

* Inner guidance - If one is looking for inner guidance or clarity around a particular issue then there will be an essence to assist.  Essences can also aid in helping to understand one's higher purpose or unfold one's spiritual awareness.

* Relationships - When it comes to personal relationships, essences can lend a hand when communication problems or conflicts with others arise.  Inevitably this area of life means facing hurt, pain and disappointments at some point.  Whilst these factors can take some getting over, essences can help one to cope with upsets and move on from these feelings.  They assist in overcoming setbacks, enabling one to face life again with resilience and optimism.  Sometimes one may benefit from an essence to let go of old resentments or anger pertaining to a relationship.  Not only helpful in enabling one to appreciate another's viewpoint, essences can make one aware of one's own behaviour too.

* Protection - Many people, especially those who work with others in some capacity, are often extremely sensitive.  Their ‘openness’ makes it very easy for them to absorb like a sponge other people's 'stuff'.  This can be tiring and overwhelming emotionally, or debilitating to the extent that they can become ill.  In these cases, one can benefit from the protective qualities of essences, against the discord energies of others.  They help to create healthy boundaries so one is strong enough to compassionately help others but to remain safely shielded.

* Recovery and convalescence - Helpful in recovering from surgery and clearing the affects of anaesthesia, essences are also useful in restoring vitality following a period of illness, accident, overwork or stress.

(This information is provided from BAFEP, the British Association of Flower Essence Producers)

What are the differences between Flower Essences and Essential Oils?

Flower essences are water-based, unscented and contain only the energetic vibrational properties of the plants. Essential oils, which used in aromatherapy, are concentrated and oil-based. 

How do I choose flower essences?

The Herbal Toad's flower essence blends are created with a specific purpose in mind and they are most commonly chosen by those who have the specific need.  To select the individual essences most beneficial for you at this time, see which ones most closely address the positive qualities you would like to encourage.  Look for key emotional, psychological and soul issues. Often your intuition will call your attention to particular flower essences. Read the descriptions and see which essences intuitively feel right. Other popular methods include dowsing with a pendulum, muscle testing, and attuning using flower attunement cards.

What is the difference between stock and dose?

'Stock’ dilution refers to the concentrated flower essence and is generally the choice of therapists to prepare dosage bottles, often by combining different single essences to create formulas or mixtures. However, single flower essences can also be used at this dilution.

You will most generally find dosage bottles at The Herbal Toad. A dose or dosage bottle is the next dilution and is ready-to-take.

How soon will the essences start to make a difference?

Some essences can have an almost immediate effect (the combination formulas in particular) though generally changes are more indistinct as balance and equilibrium are restored in the emotional and subtle bodies. No claims are made that flower essences can cure physical illnesses, yet they often bring improvement to a physical condition. 

It depends also on how long you’ve had the condition. For long-standing, deep-seated issues, we recommend taking the essence for a few weeks and re-evaluating at the end of that period of time. Then either repeat the essences or choose others appropriate for the changed symptom picture. 

How many flower essences can I take at the same time?

If you want to select essences for yourself, you might want to limit the number of essences you use together to no more than 5. Even though our flower essence blends contain more than one flower, they may be used as if they were single essences.

What happens if I take the wrong essence?

Nothing. You may have chosen the ‘wrong’ essence. For example, if you took Stonecrop essence to assist you to change and move through a ‘block’ and there was no effect or it didn’t seem to make a difference, it could be because there is no blockage for the essence to dissolve. 

Should I stop taking the essences if I feel worse?

It depends. You may be experiencing what is called in homeopathy an “aggravation” or a healing crisis where the condition is temporarily exacerbated.  In this case, you can choose to either continue with the course, recognising you are in a process of releasing emotional symptoms (and sometimes physical symptoms) or you can reduce the dosage to once or twice a day only.  

If you feel you cannot cope, consider stopping the essence temporarily and use another essence or formula to support you during this time, for example First Aid, Heart Support or Calm Me Down.

Can I take flower essences if I am taking medication?

Flower essences work primarily on vibrational levels and more on the subtle bodies and do not interfere with homeopathic, herbal or allopathic treatments. There are no contraindications with their being used alongside any other healing modality.

Can I take flower essences if I am pregnant?

It is safe to use flower essences during pregnancy. Some midwives administer or recommend them as they offer gentle but efficacious support before, during and after labor. In addition, The Herbal Toad offers a few flower essences that are specific to fertility, pregnancy, and birthing.

Are flower essences safe to use for children and pets?

They are completely natural and safe to use by anyone. Children and pets respond very quickly to flower essences, which may be because they are generally less emotionally ‘cluttered’ than adults. They can also be used environmental and for plants and trees. 


Essences are not placebos, so you don’t have to believe in them for them to work.
This is evident when given to children and pets.