I’ve been smitten with flower essences ever since I saw my horse Audelina responding so strongly to flower essences and I have now accrued a veritable forest of flower essence sprays from Lotus Wei that sit on my nighttable and my desk! So I’m thrilled to share with you step-by-step instructions on how to make your OWN flower essences.
And then I’m going to walk you through how I made an essence from stinging nettle. Tromping around my pasture I felt drawn to a couple of plants (stinging nettle and wild blackberry) and felt my body/spirit calling out for their medicine. The GREAT thing is, we can all make flower essences for ourselves or our animals fairly easily – just using the plants or flowers growing naturally around us.
How to make your own flower essences
1. Prepare fresh water – Use a clear glass bowl and fill it with spring water, or water from a river, creek or rain. Don’t use tap water (contains chlorine, flouride, etc.)
2. Gather the blooms – Approach the plants and explain what you’re doing and why. Ask them which of them would like to offer their medicine to help humans (or horses) in this way. Pluck or break off only the flowers you FEEL are saying, “Yes, me!” Stop when you FEEL you have enough. You only need enough flowers to cover the surface of the glass bowl.
Use a leaf from the plant to cover your fingers as you snap off the flowers (ask before plucking the leaf) and then you can either have the flowers drop into your glass bowl filled with natural water (ideal if you can), or you can drop them into another clean glass bowl, then transfer them to your bowl of water. Many feel we should not touch the plant with our fingers (transfers energy), so if you don’t use a leaf from the plant, then use clippers or scissors and cut them so they fall directly into your bowl.
BIG TIP from my dear friend Katie Hess of LotusWei.com: “The flowers contain the most life-force energy when they are in full bloom! You’ll get the best results when you make the essence in midday sunlight, or by the light of the full moon.”
3. Use Solarization to extract the essence – Place the bowl of water with flowers covering the entire surface outside in direct sunlight for three hours. Make sure there are no shadows on the bowl from people walking in front, or the sun moving in the sky, etc. Alternatively, if you feel the medicine of a particular bloom aligns better with moonlight, then place it outside in direct moonlight on a clear night. Many feel the direct light of the full moon is most powerful.
4. Filter the essence – Use a glass or stainless steel funnel to pour the water through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into an amber (or dark) glass bottle. You can also use a twig to remove the blooms first (makes it easier to pour).
5. Preserve the essence – You can either keep this flower essence water in the fridge for 1 month and use it as is, or you can create a Mother essence tincture by combining it 50:50 with brandy or organic grain alcohol (at least 40% alcohol), or glycerine. Then you only need 5 drops of this Mother Essence per 1 oz bottle of 50:50 water/alcohol to create a flower elixir.
Dosage & usage of flower essences
There are a number of ways you can use your flower essence with humans or animals:
If you made an alcohol or glycerin-based elixir, then you may also want to add a little raw honey and then place 5 drops of the elixir under your tongue, 3-5x/day. You could also add 25 drops to a glass bottle of water and just sip from that during the day.
If you’ve kept the essence as plain water, you can add the plain (no alcohol) flower essence to a spray bottle along with some essential oils (when in doubt, Lavender or Rosemary are both good for natural preservation and a nice smell) and then mist your face or body with it 3-5x/day.
You can mist your animals with the flower essence, or, you can spray it all around your own face and hair and go sit with your pet. You can add the plain water essence (no alcohol) to their drinking water. If you made a glycerin-based essence you may also be able to add that to their drinking water – depends how taste-sensitive your animal is.
With my mare Audelina, Katie applied a roll-on essence of Infinite Love to her arm, and then my arm, and Aude stood motionless, just breathing it in, for a long time.
For the next month, I sprayed the Infinite Love flower essence on my face and hair and would then go sit and cuddle with her.
How to make stinging nettle flower essence
Now let’s go on a pictorial journey and I’ll show you how I made my stinging nettle essence. I have already been drinking nettle tea for a while, but my body is now calling for the vibrational essence – the energy – of stinging nettle. I recently went out with Kera Willis (another blog reader I recently had the pleasure of meeting in person!) and she would pluck a leaf right off the stinging nettle plant, with her bare hands.
Tip from Kera: If you ever get stung by nettles, pluck a stinging nettle leaf, holding the topside of the leaf – fold it in half, then roll it up. Crumple/squash it to release some juices (if the leaf is dry, add saliva to moisten) then rub the macerated leaf onto the stung area and the pain etc will disappear very quickly. We had a chance to test this out as my brother was stung on his leg; Kera showed him what to do, and it worked as promised!
I tested this a few days later by myself, but I used gloves to pick the leaf, roll it and squash it. When I applied it to my thumb, which had been stung earlier, it worked quite well, but not completely. Then I rubbed the same crushed leaf on a patch on my arm (which had not been stung) and my arm started burning! So I rubbed it on the same spot again, and the burning stopped. Weird! But effective.
Anyway, not feeling brave enough to pick bare-handed like Kera (you see why I need nettle energy??) I wore gloves to collect the blossoming seeds of the stinging nettle plants I felt drawn to. They grow everywhere in my pasture, but I felt into which ones wanted to join with me in this endeavour and that’s the stand I went to.
I then asked the nettles which plant wanted to offer a seed blossom to help me. As I was drawn to a particular stalk, I then asked which blossom I should take. Interestingly, I was only directed to take one blossom from each plant and then the plant/stalk said, “That’s enough.” So I stopped and went on to the next stalk.
I did not have a glass bowl with me, but I felt this clean yoghurt container was okay to use for a tough plant like stinging nettle. If I harvest again, I will use hand clippers or scissors to clip the seed blossoms so they fall straight into a glass bowl. As you can see from the photo, the seed blossoms I was told to take look really different – so were at different stages of growth, which I find interesting:
Then I tipped the seed blossoms into a glass bowl filled with spring water and placed it in the direct sun for 3 hours:
After 3 hours of direct sunlight, I used a wooden chopstick to flick the spent seed blossoms into a hole in the backyard – thanking them for the gift of their lifeforce energy and returning them to the earth – and then poured the remaining water into a 2 ounce amber glass bottle – using a cheesecloth (folded three times) and a stainless steel funnel. I realized I was not going to be able to pour directly from my glass bowl into my small funnel, so I transferred the water to a glass mixing/pouring jug first:
I don’t want to make a tincture or elixir, so I’ve left my essence as plain water and will keep this in the fridge. The rest of it, I strained into a glass and drank – holding each sip in my mouth for about 10 seconds before swallowing. While I drank I welcomed the wisdom of stinging nettle into my body and thanked it for its gift and teaching for me. Every time I put some of this remaining essence in my mouth, or spray it on my face/eyes over the next few weeks, I will hold the same intention and gratitude.
Why am I drawn to stinging nettle?
I haven’t looked up the teaching or medicine of nettle yet, but I feel drawn to it for several reasons. I feel the vibration/energy of stinging nettle can help me with:
1. Knowing when and where to set boundaries
2. Holding strong, resilient, resourceful boundaries
3. Not being afraid of the trials and pain of life
4. Welcoming/receiving the pain/struggle of life and pulling it into my core with acceptance and belief in my own resilience and… voila, it won’t hurt so much anymore because I am not in resistance
I love that we have SO much help and assistance available to us in the plant and animal world (my horses, dogs and cats also continually help and instruct me) – all we have to do is ASK and receive with gratitude.
The next plant essence I feel drawn to is Wild Blackberry. Those of us who live with pastured animals are fully aware of the incredible tenacity, resilience, resourcefulness, fierceness and aggression of these plants! Yet their leaves nourish the horses and their fruit is exquisite to humans, birds, wasps, etc. What an amazing plant! And who could not use a bit of the fierceness of blackberry in their lives??
As you can see here, the blackberry blossoms are not ready yet, but now that I know how easy it is make flower essences, I will be watching and waiting for the right time to make this one!
Horsetail is another plant that looks interesting, if you have that growing nearby. Take a look around your pasture or garden and see which flowers and plants call to you.
How do flower essences work?
Flowerevolution by Katie Hess is a great book to have on hand for the meaning of various flowers and more information on how they help us:
“Flower essences work through the acupuncture meridians of the body. They are the subtle but powerful energy of a plant that we cannot see or hear, stored in a bottle. When we take them internally or apply them externally they immediately travel throughout our own energy system, removing static and tuning any energies that are out of tune.
It’s similar to turning the radio station to precisely the right frequency or wave so that the music comes in clearly and beautifully. We cannot see the radio waves in space, but they’re everywhere – think about it: every car can turn on their radio and tune into a variety of stations. The same is true in nature in terms of invisible waves with specific music. Each plant and flower has a particular energy that emanates from it that has a tremendously healing and harmonising effect on our bodies.”
A biofeedback experiment carried out by psychologist Dr. Jeffrey R. Cram using flower essences versus a placebo showed a clear and striking change in human electro-dermal response (EDA) to the flower essences, but none to the placebo.
Many people have heard of the Bach Flower Remedies (especially in Europe) – an entire line of flower essences available in pharmacies and health stores. When I worked at a pharmacy in London (Covent Garden) 25 years ago, the Bach Rescue Remedy literally flew off the shelf – so many people swore by it! But it’s also great to have the option of making your own, out of any plant you feel drawn to!
Below are some great online articles for you to explore, with more detailed information and instructions on making your own flower essences: