How to Create Flower Essence

Flowers bring me so much joy, learning how to create flower essence drew me to a class at Bok Tower Gardens. Our instructor, Stephen Kane, a certified herbalist and member of the Bok Education staff, presented information on the origin of flower essence, the steps to create our own, and provided everything we needed.

The history of flower essence

A physician in England, Dr. Edward Bach, left his lucrative practice in London to pursue research into the effects of flowers as a homeopathic method for treatment of various physical ailments. By 1932 at the age of 46, he had developed his first of 15 remedies. His estate in Oxfordshire still produces his remedies and they can be purchased online. Since his method of determining the proper combination of flower essence shifted from the scientific method toward an intuitive one, why can’t anyone create flower essence themselves, for their own health?

How to determine which flowers to use

Like Stephen Kane, I also believe our intuition will guide us to the flowers we need. He asked us to close our eyes and imagine which flower to use. For me, the image of Horsemint immediately came to my mind. As both a gardener and a life long student of botany, I’m familiar with many native Florida plants. I knew exactly where this plant grew in the Polinator Garden. There is an understanding at Bok Tower Gardens that visitors refrain from picking flowers for obvious reasons. Imagine my surprise when I saw Horsemint as one of the dozen flowers Stephen had collected.

Combining multiple flowers

Stephen recommended we limit combining flowers for essence to five different types. Our table of flowers was next to a rosemary hedge. I felt as drawn to it as I was to the Horsemint, adding 2 of the blue flowers. Similarly, as I returned to the line of flower choices, the rose seemed to call me forward. I picked two of the swollen green rose hips with the drying stamens tickling my fingers and added four petals to the mix. Finally, I pinched a single Spanish needle flower as Stephen had told us it has amazing antibacterial properties.

Final Steps for Flower Essence

We all screwed the lids on tightly and turned our squat mason jars upside down on the sunny mulch of nearby fruit trees. As time was limited by the class restraints some took their’s home to stew longer. I continued with the process. First I turned the jar right side up. Then I fished out the flower material, and topped off the container with French Brandy to preserve the flower essence indefinitely.


The process was so easy, I created a new batch this morning using two different native Passion flowers from my pesticide-free garden. Butterflies are some of my favorite visitors. Consequently, I planted Passiflora incarnata for the Gulf fritillary larvae and Passiflora suberosa, known commonly as corky stem Passion flower to attract the state butterfly, Zebra longwing. Earlier this year I captured a video of Zebra longwings in their air dance.

Tips and Process for Creating Flower Essence

NOTE: Most prescription drugs and over the counter drugs are derived from plants. As there can be reactions between these types of drugs, so too can there be reactions with homemade flower essence. Always consult your physician and pharmacist before combining flower essence with drugs you are taking.

  1. Use glass containers throughout. Mason jars are readily available and inexpensive.
  2. Water needs to be pure, or local without additives. Well water is the best option, but if unavailable let tap water stand uncovered overnight.
  3. Select flowers in a pesticide-free environment, ask permission, and always take only what you need. Wild plants are ideal.
  4. NOTE: if you have any allergic reaction (itchy or watery eyes, swelling or rash) to handling the flowers, don’t use them to make essence.
  5. Wash your hands and pick the flowers by pinching them off the plant. Clean in between plants with you are harvesting a variety of flowers that will not be combined.
  6. Limit flower combinations to five different types.
  7. Tighten the lid and let the flower / water mixture sit outside in the sun a few hours.
  8. Remove all the plant material and toss into your garden or compost pile.
  9. Top off the container with brandy, plain vodka, or apple cider vinegar as a preservative.
  10. To use, add one or two drops to a container of water. Yes, homeopathy is all about less is more.

NOTE: Most prescription drugs and over the counter drugs are derived from plants. As there can be reactions between these types of drugs, so too can there be reactions with homemade flower essence. Always consult your physician and pharmacist before combining flower essence with drugs you are taking.

If you’re in Central Florida on December 15, 2019, I’m teaching an Introduction to Japanese Meditation class. Stay tuned for more information or even better,  sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll never miss a blog or an announcement.


Go Forward With Certainty

This week I learned how to go forward with certainty like the osprey. Seeing this powerful bird land on a cypress tree, take off and then glide forward right before my eyes, it reminded me how important it is to know where you are going.

Living in Uncertainty

I spent most of my life unsure which way to go, unable to sometimes make the simplest decisions. Or I made decisions that weren’t in my best interest. What do you think was the root cause of this?

The Root Cause

My loyalty was to my parents, my sister, my friends, my husband, or my children. However, there were little moments of clarity when I turned that loyalty toward myself. That’s when I flourished. I created beautiful works of art, stuck to an exercise program, or saw the beauty in everything. Then the guilt, worry, or fear would creep back into my thoughts.

What would they think?

You know who they are; your parents, siblings, friends, spouses, people at work, people at church, even your children.
The funny thing is, they don’t really think about you at all. Even when they don’t have all the attention you showered on them before, they are okay with that. And if they’re not okay with it, so what. Good relationships expect both parties to be happy.

How to Start Being Loyal to Yourself

Write down a list of things you like to do, but don’t do now. It can be short or long. Your goal is a list of five. Now pick one item and do it this coming week.

On your list, include small things like a 5 minute walk by yourself, or enjoying that favorite Milano cookie when the kids are napping. You can choose something a little bigger like a 30 minute bubble bath or a walk in a garden. Or go larger with lunch or dinner out.

There is only one rule.
You must be alone when you enjoy this activity.
You can be where other people are, but you can’t invite someone to do it with you.

Yes, this may be difficult

This sounds like an easy challenge and I hope it is. But if it’s making you nervous, remember your goal is a five item list. However, you only need one activity to start going forward without uncertainty.

You might wonder, why five items? You’ll want to do this every week. Yes, it is a beautiful habit you are starting now. Each time, you will add to your future mountain of loyalty to self with this one, simple act. You will start to go forward with certainty.

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Simple Wishes

Mansion_BlueSpruceTreeIsn’t this a beautiful scene? The mantle is decked out with matching stockings and a perfectly decorated Christmas tree nearby. They were designed by local interior designers who participated in the Colorado Governor’s Mansion Christmas decoration.  Below is my Christmas Tree. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it will be as grand or simple as you desire!