I never understood the potency of flower essences until I made one myself — carefully picking each beautiful, delicate flower from the plant, intentionally setting it in spring water, and placing the bowl under the sun in the center of my garden. It was a magical meditation as the golden rays of the sun penetrated the petals and my skin simultaneously. In that moment, I could feel something powerful was happening.
Often times, the best way to learn about something is through experience. That’s why, in this post, we will go over five steps you can take to make your own homemade flower essence.
The Power of a Homemade Flower Essence
A flower essence is a solar water infusion of the flowering part of a plant. This type of infusion harnesses the sun’s energy to pull beneficial properties and essences (or life force) out of the plant material and into the water.
Flower essences are primarily used to support the emotional, mental, and spiritual body, and they embody the concept of self-care. You can find out more about flower essences in our post, How To Use Flower Essences for Emotional Support.
Dr. Edward Bach discovered and created the first line of flower essences in 1935. He found that when he supported the personalities and emotions of his patients, instead of their symptoms only, their emotional upsets and bodily stresses would dissipate naturally as the body shifted back into a state of balance and began to work effectively again (The Bach Center, n.d.). Dr. Bach also believed strongly in the power of self-care and was passionate about empowering everyone to tap into their ability to support themselves and others. This is why he created a simple flower essence line.
Learning how to make a homemade flower essence can be very empowering and can help to support you in your self-care journey.
How to Make Homemade Flower Essence
To make a homemade flower essence, gather the fresh blossoms of a plant you can identify as safe for human consumption. Be sure to choose a clear, sunny day to gather your blossoms, preferably in the early morning, when there may still be dew on them. The blossoms are then placed on the surface of a bowl of spring water and left outdoors in direct sunlight where they can be infused by the heat and light of the sun for several hours. This process is thought to transfer the energy pattern of the flower into the spring water, embodying the beneficial essence of the plant. This “mother essence” is preserved with brandy before being further diluted to form the “stock” bottle, which is the dosage bottle (FES Flowers, n.d.).
Below is a more detailed step-by-step breakdown of this process.
Step 1 – Choose Your Essence
While you may want to explore further resources on flower essences to pick the right essence for you, choosing an essence can be as simple as picking a flower that is growing in your garden or in the environment you live in that is intriguing to you. Sometimes the things we feel attracted to call to us because we could benefit from adding them into our lives. Flower essences are considered non-toxic because they contain only small traces of actual physical substance and have no direct impact upon the body’s biochemistry (FES Flowers, n.d.). However, it is still important to make and consume flower essences with care.
Safety Note: Only harvest flowers from plants that you have positively identified and know to be safe for use. Also, be sure to harvest organically grown plants and in a sustainable way.
Step 2 – Harvest Flowers
Plan to make the flower essence on a clear, sunny day, when there are no clouds in the sky. It is also important to check in with yourself as preparing a flower essence can feel like a magical experience, not a mechanical one. Tune in to your mind, body, and spirit and see if you can be completely present in the moment. Make sure you are in the right place energetically to put good intention into the flower essence making process. If astrology is important to you, you may want to consider those aspects as well when choosing the day to make your homemade flower essence.
When picking the flowers to use, it’s traditionally recommended to use a leaf from the plant to cover your fingers so you don’t touch the blossoms. Try to avoid using clippers or tools. If you find this difficult, you can wear gloves instead and/or use tools if you need. This is not required, but suggested, so that your body’s energy or other sources of energy do not transfer into the flower essence.
Make sure the plant(s) you choose to pick from are organically grown. If wild crafting, choose a place where the plants grow in abundance and are not exposed to pollution from the city. Choose fresh, vibrant blossoms from the plant, and pick flowers that grow in profusion. Only pick a few blossoms from each plant to ensure the plant can live a healthy life after your harvest.
Step 3 – Prepare the Menstruum
Fill a glass bowl with spring water. If you do not have access to a spring, bottled water is okay to use. Avoid distilled water because some believe the ionization process destroys the water’s life force necessary to hold the flower’s essence.
Step 4 – Infuse the Essence
Place the flowers on top of the spring water in the bowl until the entire surface of the water is covered. Place the bowl in direct sunlight where no shadows will cross over it (including your own) for three to four hours. During this time, the essence of the flowers will be infused into the water through the energy of the sun.
Step 5 – Strain & Bottle
After three to four hours, skim the flowers off of the water using a leaf from the plant if possible. The water left in the bowl is now called the “mother essence.” Pour this into a clean, amber glass bottle, filling the bottle halfway with the mother essence and halfway with brandy. The final mixture in the bottle should be half mother essence and half brandy. The brandy is used as a preservative and an anchor to hold the subtle essence vibrations in the water.
Don’t forget to label your bottle! Write mother essence, the date, ingredients, where it was made, and any other important information on the label. Store it in a cool, dark, dry place. If made well and stored correctly, mother essences and stock bottles should retain their potency for six to ten years (Devi, n.d.).
Note: Use brandy that is at least 80-proof alcohol. If you would like to avoid using alcohol, you may use apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin instead. However, it should be stored in the refrigerator, and this will shorten the shelf life to one year.
To Use Your Homemade Flower Essence
The mother essence is to be diluted and never consumed directly. To dilute it, place two to ten drops of the mother essence in a one-ounce amber or cobalt bottle with a glass dropper and fill the remainder of the bottle with half brandy and half spring water. This is called a “stock” bottle. From this stock bottle, take two to four drops under the tongue, up to four times a day, as needed.
Tap Into Your Creativity
Allow yourself flexibility and freedom when creating your homemade flower essence. As mentioned before, this is believed to be a magical experience, not a mechanical one. There is no one-way to make a flower essence. The method we detailed in this post is known as the “Sun Method” of preparation. However, some herbalists enjoy making flower essences under the full moon, or during different unique and profound astrological times. Feel free to experiment and play around with things that resonate with you!
Last year, I felt inspired to make a sunflower flower essence during the solar eclipse in North America. I used big, bright sunflowers from my organic garden, placed them in spring water in direct sunlight about an hour before the eclipse began, and skimmed the flowers off about an hour after the eclipse ended. I live in Portland, Oregon, where the solar eclipse was in 97% totality, meaning that the moon almost covered the sun completely, casting many eerie but beautiful shadows in the area.
The traditional way to make a flower essence is to ensure that no shadows will go over the bowl. However, I felt like the eclipse was a very powerful energetic moment in time that I wanted to capture in my essence. I also really feel the sunflower essence embodies the solar eclipse energy of light and shadows. The essence of sunflower, Helianthus assuus, assists in balancing the light and shadow side of the self, dissolving low self-esteem in those that need it, and welcoming in light or dissolving the self-glorified ego and welcoming in loving compassion (Kaminski & Katz, 1996).
Making a homemade flower essence should be a fun, empowering activity to support your journey into herbs traditionally used for self-care and ritual. Flower essences are strengtheners of our own soul forces, enabling us to learn and grow from life’s challenges. They are not a quick fix. They are wonderful plant allies, inviting us on a transformative journey, and can be our guides along the way.
Devi, L. (n.d.). The essential flower essence handbook. Retrieved from http://spirit-in-nature.com/learn-more/the-free-online-essential-flower-essence-handbook
FES Flowers, (n.d.). Frequently asked questions about flower essences. [PDF]. Retrieved from http://fesflowers.com/files/1714/2678/9743/FAQ.pdf
Kaminski, P., & Katz, R. (1996). Flower essence repertory: A comprehensive guide to North American and English flower essences for emotional and spiritual well-being. Nevada City, CA: Flower Essence Society.
The Bach Center, (n.d.). Our founder, Dr. Edward Bach. [Web Page]. Retrieved from https://www.bachcentre.com/centre/drbach.htm