To decide on what flowers to use to make essences is not so hard. Firstly the plant has to be well settled in its environment. By that I mean you can’t just buy a plant in the garden centre and use it to make an essence. The plant has to have self seeded itself ideally, where it is, which makes wild flowers your best bet, or it has to have spread like wildfire where it is, over a period of time, ie several years.
Cultivated plants are by their very nature plants that have been bred for use in your garden, so they will have been crossed and “tinkered” with if you like to get the biggest and most colourful flowers. Wild flowers on the other hand are natural, as god intended, so have much stronger energy statements because of that. If a plant has been cross bred, there can be a mish-mash of energy going on and may be less effective than their wild native counterparts. Over the years I have found that some cultivated plants are fine to make essences from, but as I say they must be established and have become naturalised in their environment. Dr Bach made several cultivated essences, Certo, more commonly known as Plumbago, Vine and Olive for instance. He was looking at the habit of the plant and at the time was likening them to personality types or “Healers” in the case of Certo and as “Helpers” for Vine and Olive. The latter two have worked with humanity since the beginning of civilisation when the cultivation of plants for food and drink commenced, no wonder he regarded them as helpers.
When choosing flowers, you should select the ones that jump up and shout at you…they are the ones that always seem to be on your path, the ones you suddenly notice, the ones you may have overlooked before, but now seem to be in your way. These are normally the plants that you need at the moment, if you take the time to tune into your environment, nature will heal you.
The other area of plants that I use a lot is herbs. There is a lot of crossover with wild flowers, as many herbs grow wild, they make wonderful flower essences and quite often their healing properties are incorporated within the essence. Many years ago I had a catering business and grew my own herbs on mass; this gave me a passion for them from a culinary point of view and it became instrumental in my initial fascination for flower essences in the 1990’s.
The other thing to be aware of, especially if you have never been interested in gardening, is a plant’s habitat. Plants will prefer different soil types, alkaline to acid, different environments, like open fields or forests, near water, low lands or high up on hills, in exposed spots or sheltered places. Plants also have preferences wet ground, well-drained soil and dry or rocky places. Each habitat that a plant grows in can also be an indicator as to what that plant does.
The next thing to note about a plant is how it grows, the type of leaves, the way the stems grow, the shape of the plant, does it climb up, does it hug the ground, is it spindly, or bushy…then examine the flowers themselves, what shape are they, what type of flower is it? Is it pea shaped, daisy like, how does it get pollinated, how does it reproduce, how does it sow seeds. You can spend many an hours just looking and trying to feel what the plant is saying, this is something that gets better with practice. My best advice is to get a really good wild flower book that helps you identify the plant and it will help show you the variations like the Collins “Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe” for instance. Obviously, elsewhere in the world you need to get an appropriate book for where you live.
You can always look at Flower Essence repertoire’s they will help you to select the more well known plants to use, until you become more confident in choosing your flowers by instinct. However, some of these books can be quite expensive.
Picture featured is Plumbago.