What Are Flower Essences?

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

If you’re like me, then you know that seeing and smelling beautiful flowers can make you feel amazing, not to mention how a beautiful bouquet can transform any space. Then it’s probably no surprise to you that the use of healing flower essences is taking root more firmly around the world.  This is, in part, due to the emerging field of vibrational medicine. 

All flowers have an innate wisdom that they lovingly share with us.  Every flower has its own message — and its own therapeutic properties. Chances are, if you are particularly attracted to a certain flower, it’s because on a deep emotional level it is providing something that you need in your life.

I love Mandivillas. While speaking with Katie Hess on my radio show, Flourish, we discussed how these beautiful flowers activate acceptance, and send the message to “fall in love with what is.” It’s amazing to me that when we allow the essence of flowers to assist us, our lives become more beautiful and healthier. And, this isn’t new information.

For centuries medical practitioners in many cultures have used flowers for their therapeutic properties. In the 28th century BC Emperor Shen Nung, (considered the father of Chinese herbal medicine) wrote about the health benefits of a dendrobium species of orchid in “The Herbal,” the earliest Chinese text concerning the use of herbs for medicinal purposes. (He also wrote about the medicinal properties of cannabis.) Today in China, orchids continue to be used for their therapeutic qualities, and are believed to be useful in treating cancer, strengthening the immune system, and improving eyesight.

On this continent, Native American medicine men developed a medicine “wheel” that shows the unique benefits of plants. More recently, in the 1930s in England, Edward Bach, developed 38 flower remedies. Each remedy is the essence of a different wildflower and targets a specific emotional state.

What Are Flower Essences? 

a woman holding flower essencesFlower essences, or flower remedies, are infusions made from the flowering part of a plant.  The process of sun steeping, or boiling the flower in water, captures the energy imprint of the flower. So, unlike essential oils or herbal remedies, which contain physical substances extracted from plants, there is no physical part of the flower in a flower essence, only its healing vibration.  And, every flower has a different healing quality.  

Flower essences offer a wonderful way to heal and grow because they act as catalysts for change at a deep emotional level. The positive changes that can occur from using flower essences include feeling more confident and creative, experiencing more joy, being more forgiving, forging better relationships, having more clarity and focus, and even cultivating a deeper connection to your Higher Self.

When you use a flower essence you are connecting on a spiritual level with nature and your guides. So don’t be surprised if you start to gain clarity about your life’s purpose while using flower essences.

How Do Flower Essences Work?

Unlike pharmaceuticals, which suppress symptoms, flower essences work by the principle of resonance in the subtle body where imbalance starts. In other words, the action of flower essences is energetic, not biochemical. All plants have a unique vibrational energy pattern, and the flower is the pinnacle of this energy. Sometimes flower essences work immediately; other times you may feel the effects unfold over days or weeks, layer by layer.

Research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology shows a clear interrelationship between physical illness, stress and emotional outlook. While flower essences don’t address specific physical ailments, such as asthma or cancer, they work on an energetic level to address the underlying emotions, release unwanted patterns, and attract what is right for you.

When you use flower essences, anything that doesn’t match the vibration of a chosen essence simply goes away. For example, if you are experiencing fear and anxiety and you use a flower essence with a calming or joyful vibration, your awareness of that calm and joyful feeling is raised, and the feeling of fear (which is a lower vibration) dissipates. This is also how homeopathic remedies work.

Are Flower Essences Safe?

Flower essences are very safe and can be used by anyone, even children and animals. Essences compliment every healing modality. True flower essences have no fragrance, dye, flavor or preservatives so there is nothing in them you can react negatively to, or that could interfere with medicines or herbs you are taking. All pure flower essences are neutral in nature and subtle in effect. If you happen to choose an essence that is not appropriate, it will simply have no effect. So there is no risk in choosing the wrong one.

Now, as gentle as they are, flower essences can bring buried emotions to the surface. So, on rare occasions you may feel uncomfortable before you feel better. But, this does not mean the essences aren’t working. In fact, the opposite is true. Those emotions are coming up to be released and that means you are allowing yourself to heal at a deep level.

How You Can Use Flower Essences to Heal

There are so many ways you can use flower essences both internally and externally. The most common way to take a flower essence is to place a few drops under your tongue several times per day. You can also add several drops to pure water and sip throughout the day. 

Here are some other ways you can use flower essences:

  • Apply to acupuncture points or chakras.
  • Put several drops in your bath.
  • Use as a spray or mist. (This is great for young children and even around your house.)
  • Dab them on minor cuts and scrapes
  • Put a few drops in beauty products, shampoos, massage oils, and lotions.
  • Rub them on your hands when giving healing treatments such as Reiki or massage.
  • Add to other herbal tinctures to augment the benefits.
  • Put in your food. (When you do this, think of a theme, such as “clarity” and then add drops of a clarity essence to your food for a period of time when you need to experience greater clarity.)

There is really no wrong way to use flower essences.  Just use your imagination.

Get Started with Flower Essences Now

There are quite a few high quality brands of flower essences on the market.  And, many practitioners sell the essences they recommend. The best way to choose a brand is to do some research online and choose the one that resonates with you. Bach flower essences are very well known and easy to find at your local natural health stores. I like Katie Hess’s brand, Lotus Wei. You can purchase her products online, and in spas and hotels. And, there are many more to choose from, including Alaskan Essences, Perelandra Essences, and Flower Essence Society (FES).  Just let your intuition guide you toward the right one. Or, see a professional flower essence counselor to help get you started.

When you find the right brand for you, try several essences and pay close attention to how you feel when you use them. Most websites have a list of remedies and what emotions they support and/or release. If you are experiencing a physical symptom, you will want to tune into the underlying emotion then choose an essence to support the release of that emotion. For example, if you have pain, you may notice that you have anger that you are holding onto. Then, choose an essence to support joy and help you release your anger. You can also try the quiz on Lotus Wei.  You simply choose three flowers. It’s really accurate!

If you are using flower essences three to four times per day, you will likely feel a shift in two to three days.  Be sure to make note of how quickly the essences work and what insights arise. One bottle of an essence will usually last for the entire transformation cycle – approximately two months.

Some of the most popular essences used at Lotus Wei magnify joy, happiness and freedom, increase self-love and appreciation, enhance energy and vitality, and promote fearless creativity and inspiration. They can also help to quiet your mind, provide a sense of peace and support, and soften emotions such as jealousy and irritation.

The most wonderful thing about flower essences is their ability to promote healing on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels, which then helps to create more health and harmony in your physical body.

Here are some additional resources that you may like:

Flower Evolution by Katie Hess

Flower Therapy: Welcome the Angels of Nature into Your Life by Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves, N.D.

Flower Therapy Oracle Cards A 44-Card Deck and Guidebook by Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves, N.D.

Have you ever used flower essences? What was your experience?

Last Updated: May 9, 2017

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. Ana
    3 years ago

    Wow! This is a great article with so much helpful information. Thank you so much I recently started using flower essences and I love them. I have been using them for maybe 3 weeks and I must say I felt a shift in my emotions for sure. I felt emotions coming to the surface and my dreamspace became very active. I feel much better now, still having very vivid dreams but I am feeling really good now.

  2. Carrie lawson
    3 years ago

    I feel that essential oils are very healing and I would like to share this on my Facebook page I agree to terms and conditions

  3. facebook
    6 years ago

    Loving the information on this website , you have done outstanding job on the articles . facebook

  4. Lawrence Badman
    6 years ago

    Im fairly new to these subtle energies but have a need as do many other people.
    Have used bach remedies in the past – unsuccessfully ( could it be the water/)
    The Gurudas book – if accurate- is incredible- i hope it is genuine. Having trouble getting
    some of the remedies, also some of the important details of how to take them- seems a bit
    random to me.
    1 Away from food ? 2 how much water ( quality) 3 how long in mouth 4 how long for next dose ie. should there be regularity? 5 if taking a combination is there competition and how do you know which is having an effect? 6 With so many potential benefits should a combination of similar benefits be chosen or does it matter?
    Kind regards and Thank you very much
    Mr.L. Badman UK All the best to you and your pursuits. Connection to Nature.
    Hope the toxic world doesn’t affect these type of loving energies.

  5. Sieglinde
    6 years ago

    I use Bach’s Flower Remedies all the time, mostly for sleep and pain. For sleep I use Oak, and it is terrifically effective for keeping me asleep and eliminating nighttime pain in my hips and upper legs. Finding the right remedy for you is important, so looking at the description of each remedy is essential. This can be found online. There are books and online tutorials that describe how to make your own flower, plant and mineral essences. I have not done this myself, but it is worth experimenting, to see if you can make your own, as it is not hard. Vibrational medicine has to be the future of medicine, for nothing else makes sense.

  6. Elizabeth Patric
    6 years ago

    Hi, Thanks so much for this wonderful article on flower essences. I thought you might be interested in my flower essences that are not preserved in alcohol! I have co-created flower essences with the non-physical realms since 2001. I have 185 different combinations, all organically grown or obtained from organic sources.

    1. Daisy Nuse
      4 years ago

      Love this article. Flower Essence.

  7. Jeanne
    7 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful blog on Flower Essences. The more I learn and use them the more in love I am with the power of deep personal growth they offer.
    I thank you from all of us at Alaskan Essences for the link to our website.
    We have often listened to your Hay House radio show over the years and read your books. You do amazing work to offer people holistic, sound, and viable options to live and thrive in this wonderful strange world we share.
    Many Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Elsa Anzures
    7 years ago

    Thanks so much to share this wonderful infornation.
    I’ve been attracted lately a lot for flowers and angels. I’m in process of my own transformation and this knowledge gives me an excited encouragement. Thanks, thanks.

  9. Fe
    7 years ago

    Dear Christina,

    Thank you so much for raising the profile of flower essences and I really loved your blog post- flower essences are truly transformational. I would like to draw your attention to the First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand (www.nzfloweressences.co.nz) range

    What draws me to work with these highly intelligent plants is that they are an extensive collection of 84 plants working on many more levels than just personality as done so eloquently by Dr Edward Bach.

    – native flowers (transforming negative personality traits to positive)
    – ferns – working on clearing your layers of the aura of trauma
    – trees – working on strengthening and protecting your chakras
    – seeds – working with ancestry and DNA patterns
    – plants – working with the 22 archetypal soul lessons

    These native plants are grown in a habitat largely untouched by the outside world due to NZ’s geographical isolation and have been made in keeping with specific protocols and reverence to the ancient indigenous wisdom keepers of this land. There is also extensive study and training options to deepen peoples understanding available online.

    First Light Natural Health® – offer a range of ready made flower essence blends specifically for sleep, travel, stress, crisis, grief, trauma, creative & confident teenagers, calm and creative kids, preparing mother for birth and peaceful baby, healers protection and self care to name a few http://www.firstlightnaturalhealth.co.nz

    If you have any questions would love to connect with you via email.

    PS I love what Lotuswei is doing for flower essences – beautiful product range and inspiring to all.

    Much Aroha (love) from New Zealand xx

  10. Natalia H
    7 years ago

    I had never heard of flower essences before. I am so excited to start using it. I just love your blog and am grateful to have found you in my life. Thanks for being such a special person! P.S.: Happy Mother’s Day! xoxo

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      7 years ago

      Oh how wonderful!! Now a whole new world is open to you. Thanks for letting me know!

  11. Giovanna
    7 years ago

    I’ve never heard of them! And this sounds like something I must try asap. Thank you for sharing this very interesting information. I love how much I am learning from you, Dr. Northrup. Keep shining your light. Xoxo

  12. Maria Gerathy
    7 years ago

    I love the beautiful healing energy of flower essences and work with First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand for myself, family and clients. We are all vibration and so it makes so much sense to work at this level for deep healing of our whole being. Thank you for the great article promoting this wonderful modality.

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      7 years ago

      I love how the essences are different for different regions of the world. Thanks for letting me know about First Light. Perfect.

  13. Rose
    7 years ago

    Can you tell me if Flower Essence is safer to use then EO( essentlal oils) ? Can flower essence be used on pets? Love all your articles. Thank you for helping women get educated on keeping healthy.

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      7 years ago

      Flower essences are completely different from essential oils. They are homeopathic in nature– and work on the energy body. Essential oils are actual plant oils with medicinal properties on the physical plane, though they also have energetic qualities. Flower essences are perfect for animals. Great question.

    2. Jolayn
      7 years ago

      Thank you Dr. Northrup for writing an article about flower essences. Over a decade ago, I met a medical intuitive in Canada and started using her pet flower essences for my aging dog, Bear. Since then my own family, friends and coworkers were having a lot of success resolving stress and imbalances using her remedies too. I thought they should be available for a larger market and arranged to bring these 40 year+ remedies to the internet for sale. This month, you can find Iris Essences Pet Stress remedies for sale on amazon.

  14. Lovely to see this article, thank you! Flower essences are both pragmatic and esoteric. They can help us overcome obstacles, worries, fears and insecurities in a very practical way, allowing us to enjoy better relationships with ourselves and those around us. And they also help us to grow spiritually – clearing off the layers of grime and uncovering the best version of each unique inner self. They are truly a gift of nature.

    By the way, the link above for Bach flowers is not to the company site. Their site is http://www.nelsonsnaturalworld.com/en-us/us/our-brands/bachoriginalflowerremedies
    And if you would like to learn more about flower essences and how to use them, we offer courses approved by the Bach Centre UK online and across North America. http://www.bachflowercalendar.com

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this information. And for the correction. I so appreciate it.

  15. Jacqueline
    7 years ago

    I love the Australian Bush Flower Essences, I find them the most effective for me.
    I had used Bach, they dont work so well on me.
    Thanks for the lovelt article.
    I am inspired to use more of them.

  16. Donna Maura
    7 years ago

    I have been using Bach flower essences for years and can attest that they work. I also use homeopathic remedies.

  17. Cat Brochu
    7 years ago

    I’ve used them before but I liked your guidance about how and for how long. I also use a pendulum now so can use it to help me choose the right one. I usually need them al!!! Lol (:

    1. Lauren
      7 years ago

      What a joy to find this feature in your newsletter! 🙂 I am a big fan of Lotus Wei and took Katie’s Flowerevolution class almost two years ago. I find Lotus Wei to be the highest vibration of anything I’ve found. Like Cat, I also use my pendulum when I’m undecided about which elixir to use. The anointing oils are my all time favorite, with Joy Juice being at the top. So glad you love them, too, Dr. Northrup!

      1. Christiane L Northrup
        7 years ago

        I love Kate’s products too. My Pilates instructor uses the sprays at the end of each class. We all get “anointed” before leaving the room!

  18. Dina
    7 years ago

    I used Lotus Wei products all the time. I tried “Spark” and after 2 days felt that a lot of my suppressed emotions, ones that I was completely unaware of, started coming up. I simply brought these emotions to the light and healed.

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      7 years ago

      Oh this is so good to hear!! thank you!

  19. Trish
    7 years ago

    I have! I do! “Flower Evolution” is a wonderful and beautiful book just like Katie’s flower essences. Bach Flower Remedies are great. Their Rescue Remedy for stressful situations, works like a charm. Lilacs are blooming here and I am working on making Aromatic Lilac Pomade as described in Katie’s book. I’m sure it will be fantastic!

  20. Shamin
    7 years ago

    As usual you inspire,invigorate and nourish my soul with your wisdom and connectivity to matters of the menopausal woman Thank you!

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      7 years ago

      So very happy to hear this!!

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