They are typically taken orally from a dropper bottle; the standard dosage is four drops four times daily. You can take the drops directly from stock bottles available in stores; mix them in a glass of water; or make a dosage bottle by mixing several drops with water and brandy (typically ¼ to ½ ounce) in a one ounce dropper bottle. When mixing in a dosage bottle or glass of water, take two drops from each essence selected. There are many others ways of using them, such as in misting sprayers, in a cream base, or in baths.
Several flower essences can be taken together, and mixed in a dosage bottle or glass of water. In making a combination, it is important to consider how the essences work together, as well as the appropriateness of each essence in the combination. It is best to limit the number of essences taken at any one time to three to five unless you are working with a skilled practitioner.
The best way to get involved in choosing flower essences is to read basic literature on the topic such as Choosing Flower Essences, and the Flower Essence Repertory. The next step is to decide which mental and emotional issues are most important for your health and growth. Based on your choice, you then select the essence or essences which correspond with these issues.
You may also wish to talk with a friend or counselor, or to use an assessment questionnaire or repertory to help you sort through the many possible choices for flower essences. If you are just getting started, choose your most basic and obvious priorities.
In the long run, working with flower essences will help you to feel more alive and in touch with your goals, values, and creativity. However, the essences do not create euphoria, nor do they banish pain and conflict. They work by stimulating awareness of our conflicts and challenges, and they strengthen our ability to work through the obstacles to our health and growth. Thus, taking flower essences may at times stimulate some discomfort and awareness of pain or conflict. This is a normal part of the journey towards wellness, and can lead to a much more complete state of health than the suppression of pain, or artificial stimulation of feelings through bio-chemical intervention.
Because flower essences work by a principle of resonance, they will be most effective and noticeable when they actually match the core mental or emotional challenges you face. If you are addressing only surface symptoms or fleeting feelings, you may not notice much impact from the flower essences.
Flower essences do not work bio-chemically like aspirin does for a headache, but they can affect our experience of our bodies. For example, essences which help release emotional stress may result in less physical tension. Someone who overworks may discover just how tired he or she really is.
Flower essences can help people who suffer from physical illness by addressing the emotional responses to the illness, and by working with the underlying conflicts and tensions that may have contributed to the onset of the illness. However, flower essences are not cures for any specific illness, and are chosen on the basis of mental and emotional issues, rather than specific physical ailments.
If you have a serious mental or emotional condition, or a known physical medical problem, you should seek the care or advice of a qualified health practitioner. Many health practitioners now include the flower essences in their health programs, or work with other practitioners who do.
Unlike chemical drugs which suppress symptoms, flower essences are catalysts for emotional change, and work by stimulating awareness. Many people report general but discernible differences with essences. They may feel clearer, calmer, or better able to cope. However, in order to note really specific changes with flower essences you will need some way of objectively observing your emotional and mental states. You may wish to keep a journal, discuss your issues regularly with a friend or counselor, or take note of your dreams and other inner events. Often it is the comments of others close to us which first alerts us to changes taking place.
Becoming aware of inner changes may take some practice. With physical experiences, we know how to focus our awareness on a problem or pain. For example, the pain is not just in my leg, but mostly in my foot, or precisely in my left foot; it’s a throbbing pain that is worse at night or in cold weather. In a similar way, we can learn to be more precisely aware of our emotions and thoughts by a conscious program of self-observation and reflection.
A one-ounce (30 ml) dosage bottle is generally used at the rate of four drops, four times daily, and lasts about one month. This is a typical cycle for emotional change, and it is recommended that you use an essence for at least this period of time to fully experience its impact. The remedies often have a subtle beginning, which gradually becomes more obvious. However, a month is only a general suggestion; many people use flower essences for longer or shorter periods of time than this, with good results. An essence or combination should be discontinued when you feel you have completely absorbed or consciously recognized the benefits which were intended from it.
Flower essences contain only minute traces of actual physical substance; they are primarily vibrational in nature, as are homeopathic remedies. This means that they are non-toxic and have no direct impact upon the body’s biochemistry, as do many pharmaceutical and psychoactive drugs. Therefore, there is no such thing as an overdose from flower essences.
At the same time, it is possible to have discomforting experiences with flower essences. They sometimes stir up disturbing emotions, and there may be initial resistance to this awareness, which can cause inner conflict. This is not an aggravation or side effect, but part of the therapeutic process which can lead to greater health and awareness. However, a poorly chosen selection of essences may be experienced as chaotic rather than healing.
It is also possible to have physical reactions when taking the flower essences, such as fatigue, headaches, or a temporary rash. These experiences are the body’s way of responding to the emotional awakening elicited by the flower essences, and usually pass within a day or so. If a person feels that the emotional or physical response to the essences is too strong, the dosage frequency can be decreased or a new essence combination tried.
Flower essences have been used successfully by many persons who are alcohol sensitive or in recovery from alcoholism. By adding two drops of each essence to a glass of water, there will only be a negligible amount of alcohol in the water (less than one hundredth of one percent). You can also mix up a dosage bottle using cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin as a preservative, rather than brandy. The flower essences are also very beneficial when applied topically from the stock bottle in a variety of non-oral ways, including misting around the body, direct application to pulse points or energy centers on the body, mixed in creams, or added to baths.
Because the essences are a vibrational therapy and their impact is not from direct physical or chemical intervention in our bodies, they can be used in conjunction with other therapies, including prescribed medications for both physical and emotional ailments. Many people taking psychiatric drugs are able to taper down or gradually eliminate their medications by using flower essences. It is important for anyone taking prescribed medications to have their condition professionally monitored, and not to attempt to discontinue medication without medical supervision. Flower essences are most effective when used in conjunction with counseling therapies.