Friday, 20 May 2011

The Tale (So Far) Of An Apprentice Flower Essence Maker!

When I saw Sarah’s call for blog party entries for flower essences I thought I couldn’t possibly join in as I don’t know enough about them and I didn’t have enough experience. When I thought about it I decided that I could write about what I have learnt so far as an apprentice.
 I never imagined that part of learning about herbs with Sarah would involve looking at flower essences and the energetic side of plants but was delighted to find out we would do. I think the first flower essence ever made was fever few, we were sent off around the Herb Sanctuary to see what called to us and feverfew chose me. Sarah taught us to float the flower heads on top of a jar of spring water in the sun for four hours. We then removed the flowers (carefully with no fingers) and added equal parts of brandy to flower essence. Simple! I relied on Sarah, other knowledgeable herb people and books to tell me what my essence could be used for. We did a few swaps as well so I came home with other essences including forget-me-not.
 I shall always remember making my hawthorn flower essence last year. Hawthorn is for the heart on all levels, physically and emotionally we had been told. My friend and I wanted to make a tincture as well and we spent ages picking single flowers to fill big jars from high branches. Other people were kindly telling us to put some leaves in or go to a lower tree but for some reason what we were doing, even if labour intensive, felt right. We spent a lot of time picking after checking it was OK with the tree, and I felt that my friend needed this tree. When I got home I was still thinking about my friend and the hawthorn and an idea came to me; I diluted some flower essence with some rose hydrolat and put in into a little spray bottle to spray on her heart which she was delighted with.
 This year we made an infused horse chestnut bud flower essence which involved heating the sticky buds in a pan. I looked up the remedy in books and on the internet but first had to find out how to identify a horse chestnut in winter and then felt a great sense of achievement in just finding a tree, let alone doing anything with it! This remedy had a totally different feel to it to my lighter sun prepared flower essences, it felt darker and heavier and as if it was full of stored energy which was yet to be released.
 My flower essence making experiences have taught me that the time taken with the plants when gathering and preparing them helps energy transfer both ways before you even get to the finished product and if you have put in time and love then your completed flower essence will be more powerful for it and will  guide you to its use. I will always refer to books and other people and have respect for their knowledge gathered over time but I think there are also some things you need to experience to know. The beauty of having a mentor like Sarah is that there is someone there to enthuse me and give me a little nudge in the direction of these experiences.

Flower essences preparing in the sun on a bench at The Sanctuary


  1. Hi Jackie,
    I'm so glad that you decided to post, because we often know more than we give ourselves credit for, which is certainly the case with you :) The idea of putting hawthorn in rose water to spritz on the heart is so lovely! I will most certainly have to try that. I've never tried the boiling method, so it was also great to hear about your experience with that, and how different the energy of the remedy felt - "stored energy which was yet to be released." I also love what you say about there being things which one needs experience to know - so perfectly said. It is a profound thing to be able to understand something directly and deeply, without the filter of another's perceptions. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  2. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Although I am still learning, and I expect to always be doing so, the blog party gave me reason to look at what I had found out so far which was a lot more than I had first thought.
    Jackie x

  3. Hi Jackie,
    The Hawthorn and Rosewater spray sounds so beautiful. I sometimes add a splash of rosewater to my drinking water for the delicious taste and you've inspired me to add some Hawthorn flower remedy to it as well. It's interesting to read that you were guided to use just the flowers in your Hawthorn tincture. How did you find using it? I once made a tincture of just flowers and used it for drop dosing, I found it really powerful for relaxing and opening the heart.
    Your feverfew remedy sounds lovely too, the Sanctuary certainly sounds like a magical place to spend time, I hope to be able to visit some time.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts and experiences.
    Lucinda x