You are a ..... What?
“Flower essences. I am a flower essence practitioner and
“This is my answer when people ask me what my job is”,
says Peter Archer.
“I tell them that I am a flower essence therapist.”
Many people indicate that they know what flower essences are, but it then
becomes obvious in the ensuing conversation that they have mixed up flower
essences and aromatherapy!
Flower essences are actually nothing like aromatherapy. In aromatherapy, the
essential oils are extracted from the flowers by a process of heating and
Flower essences are prepared in a totally different way.......
To make a flower essence, the flowers are floated on pure water in a wine
glass, and left in the sun for several hours. The energy of the sun triggers
a process where energies from the flowers are transferred into the water. The
flowers are then discarded, and the water is bottled, with brandy added as a
preservative. This process differs from the processes used in the preparation
of herbal tinctures, and aromatherapy oils, in that the aim of the flower
essence process is
to extract any actual physical substances from the flowers. All that is
transferred from the flowers into the water is energy, not chemical substances.
The resulting bottled mixture of water and brandy is the “mother
tincture”. A few drops of this mother tincture are added to a mix of
water and brandy to prepare the “stock” solution that is supplied to
practitioners. The practitioner then uses this stock solution, a few drops of
stock of each actual essence that is needed, to prepare the mixture given
to the client. By this
process, the essences are diluted down twice from the mother tincture to the
mixture given to the client.
This is the same method that was formulated by Dr Edward Bach when he developed
the Bach Flowers in the 1930's. Since then, many sets of flower essences
have been made all over the world, using the same method.
In recent times, some essence manufacturers have been pioneering new ways
of making flower essences. Because a flower essence is an energy medicine,
and the active ingredient is not physical, the energy that forms the active
ingredient can be transferred into the water that forms the “carrier”
in a more indirect manner. The water is placed in a bottle, and the bottle is
placed close by the plant, with the intent that the energy be “infused”
into the water. This method works just as well as the “traditional”
method and has several advantages..... it is “ecologically friendly” in that
no plant material is taken from the plant, thus
making it possible to make essences from rare and endangered plants, or plants that are in public
gardens, parks, national parks, etc, where the taking of plant material is not allowed.
Another advantage is that the process is not dependent on the sun, and can be used
even on a cloudy or rainy day, any time of year. Also, the process takes less time,
I have found that 20 to 30 minutes is sufficient, rather than the 3 hours or so needed by
the “traditional” method.
A variation on this new method of making essences is to “capture” the
energy of the flower on photographic film by photographing the flower, and then, later on,
at any convenient time, to transfer the energy of the flower into liquid form by placing
a bottle of water on the photograph. I have been using this method recently, and have
found that it works really well, and frees up my time, making it possible for me to
“make” dozens of essences in a day.
Flower essences are also sometimes confused with homoeopathic remedies.
Essences are a little like homeopathics in that both are energy medicines,
but they are quite distinct, different, modalities. During the manufacturing
process of homoeopathic remedies, the remedy is diluted many times, and
shaken vigorously with each dilution: flower essences are diluted only twice
and are not usually shaken.
Flower essence treatment is usually diagnosed intuitively. There are a number
of techniques that can be used, including: muscle testing, dowsing with a
pendulum, or by drawing cards from a pack of cards with a picture of a flower
on each card.
A bottle of the essences required is then prepared, with a dose of a few drops
to be taken several times per day for anything from a week to three weeks.
Each flower essence is for a specific purpose, with a “definition”
which describes what this essence is for. It is common practice for the
client to be given a list of which essences are in the bottle, along with the
definition for each one: this is part of the healing process, for the person
to recognize what the issues are.
A variation on this that I am currently pioneering is to use this web site as a
resource by giving the client a list, often by E-Mail, of the essences, suggesting
that they look them up on the web site, and look at the photographs of the flowers.
Over the time that the essence mixture is being taken, it is common to achieve
a new clarity of awareness of the issues. You may awaken one morning with a
new level of awareness. Or some small incident may trigger off an awareness
that something has indeed shifted. This process is always very gentle, and
often quite subtle.
In the seventy years since Dr Bach developed the Bach Flower essences,
hundreds of sets of flower essences have been made, using the local flowers,
in many parts of the world. Here in New Zealand, the best-known flower
essence maker was Mary Garbely.
The “New Perception Essences of New Zealand”, made by Mary,
are used by many
New Zealand practitioners. And, until her death a few years ago, Mary was
acknowledged as New Zealand's leading authority on flower essences. It was
from Mary, at her workshops in 1992, that I first learnt the basics of flower
essence use and manufacture.
To read the story of these events of 1992, the workshops with Mary, and how this
eventually led me into developing the New Millennium Essences,
to read the first section of the story of my life.
A question that is often asked is “How are flower essences used, and
what can they be used for?” They are usually taken orally, a few drops
from a bottle, several times a day for anything from a week to several weeks.
And, they can be used to assist in any issue, physical, emotional, mental or
Since 1996, I have been developing a new range of flower essences,
the “New Millennium Essences of New Zealand”. Made entirely from
flowers growing locally in New Zealand, along with a few gemstones, and some
local New Zealand shells and stones, this new range of essences is now
There are essences
to cover all types of issues. These essences in are made using the methods
described above..... all of the essences made prior to September 2000 were made
in the “traditional” way, by cutting the flowers and floating them on
water in the sun. More recently, the new methods described above have been
Click here to go to the New Millennium Practitioner's Essence Set.
Click here to go to an article about new innovations in the art and science
of flower essences, including the recent discovery of the “Super Essences”.
A version of the above article was originally published in the June 2000
issue of the New Zealand
magazine “Quest”, which is a Hawkes Bay based
publication covering holistic living, health, spirituality and the arts.