Special blends of flower essences: a midday pick-me-up or a formula to stimulate and restore balance and harmony; non-toxic yet will reduce headaches, relieve menstrual discomfort and clear the mind.

Dr. Edward Bach, founder of the Bach Flower Essences, believed without question that an individual was responsible for his or her own health. He developed a self-help system of healthcare that’s easy to use, where the only criteria for success was feeling better.

Carol Bennington, polarity practitioner and Bach Flower Essences practitioner, will again hold our attention as she sharpens our awareness about uses of flower essences:

Flower essences are made by infusion. The original infusion of the flowers is called the

“mother tincture,” which is diluted again to create “stock bottles.” Stock bottles are those available for purchase. The dilution of the active ingredient in stock bottle is one part in 100,000.

A specific type of plant may be used to create a flower essence, essential oil, or an herbal or homeopathic treatment. While there may be some similarities, one should not assume they have the same qualities. The physical parts of the plant are used to make an herbal preparation or an essential oil. Flower essences and homeopathic remedies, although different, use the energetic parts of the plants in diluted forms.

The beautiful blue wildflower chicory can be used herbally, homeopathically and as a Bach Flower Essence. As a flower essence, it is for people who need to be the center of attention or act out of conditional love. Chicory as a homeopathic remedy is used for sluggish digestion that may lead to headaches. Herbally, chicory is a bitter used to increase appetite and promote digestion. As a culinary herb, young chicory leaves are

used in salads. Chicory root is best known as a coffee substitute. So we can see the same plant has different healing qualities depending upon the modality.

Many people confuse flower essences with aromatherapy; they are not the same. People are often surprised to discover there is no scent with flower essences. Essential oils, the tools of aromatherapy, are prepared from the actual parts of the plant, the roots, leaves and/or flowers. Aromatherapy works on a physical and emotional level. Flower essences work on an energetic or vibrational level to bring the emotions into balance.

When using flower essences, it is suggested that you use two drops of a single essence, and four drops for a combination of flowers, such as Rescue Remedy and personal formulas. They work best if used four times a day, or more if needed. Flower essences can be used topically, but the most common use is to add the drops to your beverage or put four drops under your tongue.

“How do you feel?” is the starting point of using flower essences. You look at both your mood and your personality type; selection is based on your current negative emotion(s).

It’s recognized that each emotion has an entire range from positive to negative. The goal of using flower essences is to move from the negative state to the positive side of that emotion.

Beech is the flower essence for tolerance. Select beech when you’re currently feeling intolerant.

White chestnut assists in calming the chatter and bringing peace of mind.

Elm corresponds with the feeling of being overwhelmed. This is for people who are normally very competent, but the current situation is overwhelming. Elm helps you understand personal limitations, and look after your own needs.

Olive flower essence is for exhaustion. Remember that the flower essences are working on an energetic level. Using olive will not be like consuming caffeine; it may be subtler.

Walnut flower essence is helpful for transitions. Transitions can be physical—like puberty, pregnancy, menopause or aging—or changing jobs, changing relationships and becoming a new parent. Walnut helps ease the transition and to help focus on your life’s path.

This is just a sampling of the flower essences, Bennington explains. There are plentiful

resources to learn more about Bach Flower Essences. Click to www.bachcentre. com or www.nelsonbach.com on the web. Locally, there are trained Bach flower practitioners who offer a variety of classes and individual consulting.

One of the benefits of using Bach Flower Essences, besides simplicity, as Bennington has illustrated, is that you pay closer attention to your emotions and clarify your feelings.

Appropriately, let’s have Dr. Bach leave us with some of his wisdom about flower essences:

“Let not the simplicity of this method deter you from its use, for you will find the further your researches advance, the greater you will realize the simplicity of all creation.” May the longtime sun shine upon you.