Floral essence, also known as flower essence, is a water-based extract from fresh flowers. It typically contains alcohol, such as brandy, as a preservative. Some people claim that a floral essence has healing properties. Subsequently, individuals sometimes select these products as an alternative therapy.
Unlike many traditional Western medicines, floral essences are supposed to address mental, spiritual and emotional issues first. The works on the more new-age premises of vibration and energy. In theory, an essence is supposed to enter the blood stream and travel through energy pathways in the body. Along the way, the product allegedly corrects blockages within the pathways, restoring energy balance. With the blockages out of the way, a person feels emotionally, spiritually and mentally stable.
Even though the main concept of a floral essence is to restore emotional, spiritual and mental balance, people who use essences also promote the concept of the mind-body connection. Under this belief, which science does support, how a person feels and thinks affects their physical well-being. Thus, individuals also use floral essences in hopes of alleviating physical problems indirectly.
Many different types of flowers can form floral essences. Certain flowers or plants are associated with certain emotions or physical effects. For instance, chamomile traditionally is thought to soothe and calm. Not every essence thus is appropriate for every issue. People often seek assistance from naturopaths and herbalists about what essence will help, but because of the spiritual aspect of essences, professionals also tell clients to let their gut or instinct guide them in selection.
One way a person can use a floral essence is internally, ingesting the solution under the tongue or in a drink. Some people add essences to their bath water. Putting the essences in creams, lotions and other cosmetic products is another option.
As with other medications, it is possible to take or use more than one floral essence at a time. Experts say not to use more than four in emergencies, using up to seven only in severe need. This recommendation is in place because too many essences can result in energy confusion or overload.
Although floral essences fall into the new-age or alternative remedy category, they have a large and loyal following. Formal organizations that support essences exist, perhaps the most active of which is the Floral Essence Society (FES). This group boasts contact with practitioners in about 50 countries. These kinds of groups are instrumental in educating others about floral essences. They support additional research that provides a greater scientific basis for essence recommendation and use.