What are Flower Essences?
They are very dilute extracts made from plants, usually the flowers. Their high dilution means that they are totally non-toxic and can be given safely to anyone, including small children.
How are they made?
Usually by floating the flowers in a bowl of spring water in full sunlight for several hours. This “Mother Tincture” is then diluted in an alcohol preservative to make the bottled essences. Some of the Bach essences are also made using the boiling method where the plant material is boiled in water and then preserved in brandy. Some of the Bailey essences are made by extraction with alcohol, and there are other odd ones, such as Cymbidium Orchid made in moonlight, and Giant Bellflower made using the arborivital method. These Mother Tinctures are further diluted to make Daughter Tinctures and stock essences using vodka as the preservative. See more in the section on how essences are made.
How do the Bailey Essences differ from the Bach Remedies?
Apart from being made differently, the Bach Flower Essences were designed to deal with emotional issues, although when looked at in more depth, it becomes apparent that they do also address underlying causes of emotions. Some of the Bailey essences also address emotional issues, but largely the Bailey series is to do with letting go of old patterns and moving forward to emotional and spiritual freedom.
How do they work?
Basically no-one knows, as is the case with many methods of treatment. There are several theories, but none of them are proven.
How can you tell if they are working?
By watching for changes in your life. Because flower essences usually work gently, it can take days, even weeks, for their effects to become fully realised. It all depends on the problem that is being addressed and how long it has been present. Sudden traumatic events usually are given immediate relief, difficulties from childhood may take some considerable time.
What do you do if the remedy seems to have made the symptoms worse?
This can occasionally happen. We recommend that you cease taking the essences for a week and then try again. If the symptoms are aggravated again, then cease taking the remedy. We have found in some cases that a different dilution is needed and we can dowse for this if a remedy seems to be aggravating symptoms.
Are your products fully insured against damage to the user?
Yes. However, owing to the extremely dilute nature of the active material, the most toxic material in the bottles is the 19% of alcohol used as a preservative! Over all the years of our making flower essences we have never had any claim made against us.
Some of the essences are made from poisonous flowers, such as Monk’s Hood – are they really safe?
Fortunately yes! Even with the most poisonous flower that we use (which is Monk’s Hood) there is no risk at all. The Mother Tincture will not contain more than 1% of active plant material. This is further diluted by some 5000 times or more in forming the essence in the Stock bottle. In other words the stock bottle is diluted some 500,000 times as compared with the original soluble plant matter. A 10ml bottle of Stock solution (approx. 10 grams) therefore will contain in total no more than 20 micrograms of plant material – insufficient to give any toxic effects whatsoever. There is therefore no risk of poisoning, even if a whole bottle of Stock Essence is swallowed.
Surely making flower essences will help to denude the wild flower population?
Our high dilution rates ensure that a minimum amount of plant material is needed and no threatened or rare species of plants are used. Many of the flowers are grown in our own garden.
How did you know what the flowers in the Bailey range were for?
The actual properties of the flowers were usually determined by insight meditation methods. However, some essences arose as a direct personal need by a client where nothing suitable was available. With the need for that client in mind it is possible to “see” which flowers can be of help.
Are the essences compatible with other ranges of flower essences?
Yes. We have found no difficulties whatever in using other ranges of flower essences at the same time as ours, or when mixed together. Indeed we dowse over Bach Flower Essences as well as Bailey, finding them entirely complementary to our range.
Can they be used on animals?
Yes, very successfully.
What if someone is allergic to alcohol, even in such small quantities?
The alcohol is there as a preservative. Without it, particularly when exposed to light, the essence would rapidly degrade with time.
If a client is very sensitive to alcohol, then the best thing is to make up a medicine bottle as described in the literature but using a saline solution. If this is then used as directed, there is then only a minute amount of alcohol in the liquid to be drunk. A saline solution can be made up by mixing one part salt to three parts water.
Some people say that one should only give one flower essence at a time, others give up to ten essences in the same bottle. Who is right?
Exactly the same queries can come up with homoeopathy. Some homoeopaths give only a single remedy and then wait for several weeks before changing to a new one. Others prescribe differently. From my experience, one can get quicker results when flower essences are used in combination, particularly when they are treating different aspects of the same underlying cause. If a practitioner has a good “track record”, then go with the methods that they use as they obviously work well for them. The danger is always that of believing that what suits one person should suit everyone else. The late Arigo in Brazil used to do operations with no anaesthetic and a very non-sterile Swiss army knife. He had an amazing healing record, but I wouldn’t recommend his methods to anyone else!
For how long do people need to take the essences?
Some people need to take flower essences for a long period of time, whereas others respond very quickly. We are all different. However, as a general rule we find that people often take a prescription bottle (as described under How to Take the Essences) and this lasts for about three weeks. They then review their situation and either continue or choose new remedies.