by Jiling Lin
It’s summer. Flowers are blossoming everywhere. Pollinators buzz around, intoxicated in their fragrance. What to do, with all these lovely flowers?
Time to Make Flower Essences!
It’s best to make flower essences when the flower is at the peak of its blossoming, or right before the peak. Go out in the morning with clippers, undistilled spring water and a glass bowl or jar. Approach the flower or plant that you wish to make an essence of. Ask for permission to extract its essence, in whatever way feels the best to you. I like to make a prayer of gratitude, and sit with the plant for a while, before doing anything. Maybe I’ll observe the plant, draw it, photograph it, or just meditate with it. Do whatever feels the best for you, but it’s integral to establish a healthy relationship with the plant, before you try and make medicine with it. And, do not physically touch the plant that you are planning to make medicine with.
Once you are both ready for the next step, you can fill your glass bowl with water. Once again, make sure that you do not touch the plant with your hands, through this entire process. If you do touch the plant, your own energy may affect the flower essence. You can either clip the flower directly into the water, or you can just place the flower head into the water. I like to move around the flowers with tweezers. The traditional method is to clip the flowers directly into water, and cover the surface of the water with the flowers. Do what feels the best for you in the moment. You can even experiment with both methods, and see how the different medicines feel.
Let the flowers sit in the water, in the sunlight, uncovered in a safe and lovely spot for 4-6 hours. This amount of time depends upon your personal preferences, belief system and the plant itself. Herbalist Mimi Kamp suggests leaving the flower in the water until the energetic feeling of the flower essence is stronger than the energetic feeling of the plant itself. She tests this by placing her hand over the plant and feeling its energy, then placing her hand over the essence and feeling that energy. Sometimes, people can be energetically sensitive and feel these subtle differences. Sometimes, this is difficult to experience. Do what feels best for you. The one rule with making flower essences is that there is no real rule. It’s an energetic medicine and an intuitive art.
Once your essence is ready, carefully remove the flowers from the essence. Return them back to the Earth, giving thanks for their gifts. Dilute the water essence 1:1 with brandy or 40% alcohol. (This can be substituted with vinegar too, but alcohol lasts longer.) Now, you have your mother essence!
Bottle and label your mother essence. Preserved in alcohol, she should last for a long time, if not indefinitely. Make sure you share! We tend to make too much flower essences, for a little goes a long way.
When you are ready to use your flower essence, fill a 1 ounce tincture bottle with 1:1 spring water to brandy. Add 10-30 drops of the mother essence to your bottle. Now, you have your stock essence. This is what is usually sold in the store.
Do the same thing again to make your dosage bottle. Fill a 1 ounce tincture bottle with 1:1 spring water to brandy. This time, just add 1 drop of the stock essence into this bottle. This is the final product. This is what you will carry around in your pocket, and take 4 drops 4 times a day, or as needed.
To effect long-lasting subtle change, take 4 drops of your dosage bottle flower essence, 4 times a day. It is like a constant subtle reminder to your self to effect long-lasting change. Flower essences can also just be taken one drop at a time, for an experience, or to help relieve acute symptoms.
Flowers are the reproductive part of a plant, carrying all the genetic material for a new plant to grow. These seed stories are thus infused into the flower essence and energetically absorbed into your body to continue gestating, as you ingest them. It’s still new, a mystery to me. You can easily buy flower essences at ridiculous prices in the store. I’d much rather enjoy the experience of getting to know the plants, making the medicines and experimenting. Do as you choose. This medicine is so dilute that it is very safe to use.
Enjoy your explorations, and please share your discoveries!