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DIY Flower Essences
A Practical Medicine Making Project
From the age of seven I collected perfume bottles. I had a number of kind aunties (and one very magical kindergarten teacher,) who knowing I liked the beautiful glassware, would donate their used-up bottles when the perfume eventually ran out.
This obsession went on for several years. At one stage I had a startlingly substantial collection (which if I hadn’t carelessly thrown away, would quite possibly have been worth a tidy sum in today’s money – doh.)
As a perfume lover, my teenage self naturally went through a phase of being really into essential oils. I bought the classic text on the topic - The Fragrant Pharmacy, and had a go at blending some of my own creations. However, I soon became bored with the limited range I could source in the North West of England in the 90’s, and began to look further afield in an attempt to satisfy my increasingly obsessive interest in the world of plant extracts.
On an out of town shopping trip, I sought out the high street health food shop, and as was my usual custom, made a beeline for the essential oils section. However, on this occasion, underneath the usual selection, was a display case filled with small brown bottles labelled with the words Bach Flower Remedies.
The first ever flower remedies were created by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930’s. He discovered a method of imbuing pure water with the healing properties of herbs, trees and wildflowers. Although there are now many different essence systems, his is the one most universally recognised today.
Essential oils are aromatic, concentrated extracts, usually produced by steam distillation from large quantities of plant material. They have a definite aroma, and work on the sense of smell and its effect on the brain. Flower essences on the other hand, are at the opposite end of the spectrum, and are the subtle, vibrational imprint of the flower extracted in the medium of water. In this sense, they’re somewhat akin to homeopathic preparations.
In short, essential oils are a physical extract, whereas flower essences contain the energetic imprint of the plant.
As Dr. Bach neatly puts it;
“The action of the remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels to the reception of the spiritual self - to flood our nature with the particular virtue we need. They are able, like beautiful music, to raise our very nature. They cure, not by affecting disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our higher nature, in the presence of which, disease melts like snow in the sunshine.”
The prohibitive expense and expert knowledge required to make my own essential oils was obviously beyond my reach. However, I was soon to discover that it was possible to create my own range of vibrational medicines which were entirely safe for a novice herbalist with no training.
I learned all I could, and eventually went on to write a book about it.
Become a paid subscriber and learn how to manufacture your own range of flower essences from plants foraged from your local area.
Paid subscribers have special privilege access to my DIY Flower Essences Course, a fun project that lays out the exact method for foraging for, and creating your own remedy library.
In terms of creating your own range of energetic plant medicines it’s cost effective, seasonal, and low in medicine miles. Best of all, because your remedies will be harvested and made by you, they’ll also be perfectly attuned to your individual, emotional wellbeing needs.
The course is divided into four lessons. I’ve specifically chosen to do it this way so you can benefit from the different plants available in your region through the changing of the seasons. The longer lead time also allows space for you to work through the project without hurrying the process – the goal being to have a full set of remedies ready in time for the darker winter months.
I’ll walk you through each step of the creation process, starting with how flower essences work, to harvesting, preparing, prescribing and taking your own remedies.
The course will be delivered as follows:
Part Four: Example remedies, case studies & further reading
The course also includes handy checklists, foraging tips, and a tour of some of the popular (and more unusual) remedies you might come across. I’ll also signpost you to additional resources so you can continue to add to your apothecary as you gain more experience.
Becoming a paid subscriber also gives you access to a range of other plant projects (such as how to make a salve for pain, or make an onion poultice,) as well as the entire back catalogue of archives.
Herbal Learning Circle
This offering is the first in a series of workshops. I have a few ideas about future projects, and would really love to know more about the kind of things you’d like to see.
For example, is herbal first aid something you’re keen to learn, or is growing a medieval herb garden more your sort of thing?
Writing about herbal education is my absolute passion. Traditionally email newsletters have been a one-way street, but the really cool thing about this platform is that it has features which allow us to create our own little gang where we can connect in real time and talk about the things that get our herbal juices flowing.
With this in mind I’ve started a thread which I hope will be the first in a kind of “herbal learning circle” experiment to inspire you (the real-life person opening this email!) to get involved.
Today’s topic for discussion is:
I promise I won’t make fun when you start ranting about how much you love your favourite plant! I know you have one!
If you feel inclined to add your two-penneth, please go ahead and do that here:
That’s all for now, but remember, if you fancy joining me for more medicine making projects, do consider making your inbox more fun and upgrading to a paid account. I really want to say how awesome it’s going to be, but being British, I just can’t. Sorry.
The Herbalist's Diary is a reader-supported publication. As a one person enterprise, thank you for cheering me on. If you feel called to support my mission to keep herbal medicine alive & thriving in your community, please do consider becoming a paid subscriber.