What (the Heck) is a Flower Essence?

Everything’s in bloom and it’s a perfect time for making flower essences!


No, flower essences are not the little smelly bottles (those are essential oils). Essential oils use vast quantities of plant material to extract only the fat-soluble portion of the plant. They're potent concentrates and difficult to make at home without special equipment.

Flower essences are the opposite end of the spectrum: they’re the energy of the flower captured in water. They have little scent or taste and a chemist would be hard pressed to find any traces of plant material in a bottle of flower essence. In many ways they’re the homeopathy of the herb world.

The best way to explain a flower essence is to have you look at Messages from Water by Masaru Emoto. If you don’t have the book, look at online photos! Emoto photographed frozen water crystals. No two are alike, just like snowflakes.

The crystalline structure of the water molecule changes as the water is influenced by its surroundings. Emoto did all sorts of experiments, exposing the water to different colors and various types of music. With each exposure, the form of the water molecule shifted in response. Water, in the presence of a flower, takes on a beautiful, regular, crystalline structure.

When we ingest a flower essence, we're allowing the flower-influenced water crystals to speak to the many water crystals within our own body. I like to picture our internal water molecules shifting to mimic the crystalline structure of the floral water. This shift within us affects our emotional state.

Sounds hokey, huh? I thought so too when I first encountered flower essences. I was living in New York City and spending way too much time in dank subway tunnels. One day, waiting for the Uptown 6 on a crowded platform, my breath got tight in my throat and the ground started slanting at wonky angles. Breathe, breathe, breathe, I said to myself as I had my first panic attack.

A friend suggested a flower essence formula called Rescue Remedy. I had no idea what was in that little bottle and I didn’t care; it said “rescue” on the label and I needed rescuing! Rescue Remedy got me through many a New York subway rush hour. (We sell this formula at Herbiary from a different company. They call it Five Flower Formula. Not as catchy, but it works equally well and is made from organically grown flowers.)

As I started exploring flower essences I found that, if I could suspend my disbelief, they actually helped me shift my emotional state. Sometimes it’s a slow process, so I always journal and rate my mood on a scale of 1-10 when I’m working with an essence. That way I can look back and take a measure of my progress.

But the best thing about flower essences? They are super easy to make yourself! Download instructions here.


On Herbiary owner Maia Toll's Blog: