Instructions for working with essences


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Essence experience


Further study

Selecting essences

The first step in selecting essences is setting a pesonal intention for healing. This can be for your overall healing at this time, or can be focused on a specific issue you are dealing with.

There are many ways to select the actual essences. You can read through descriptions and see which ones resonate with you. You may be strongly attracted to a photo, or repulsed by it (see photos on the website). Either reaction means that something in that particular flower stirs you and will help you heal. You may also select essences by using muscle testing (kinesiology), dowsing with a pendulum, or another form of divining. (To learn more, download instructions for learning how to do muscle testing and dowsing yourself).

When you first start working with essences, you may feel you need all of them. But there are layers in the healing process. Rather than trying to heal everything all at once and perhaps getting overwhelmed, it's best to focus on a few essences. A general recommendation is to work with a maximum of five essences at once.

For learning more about how to select the best essences for yourself, I recommend The Art and Technique of Using Flower Essences by Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer.

Administering essences

Once you've selected the essences you'll be working with, you can choose how to take them. You can take them directly from the stock bottle. They can also be diluted, so that a stock bottle lasts longer. If you are taking several essences, it is convenient to make up a combination for yourself, rather than take drops from several different bottles.

You can use different methods according to your varying needs. Perhaps you start by taking a few doses directly from the stock bottle. When you have time, you make yourself a dosage bottle. On a leisurely evening, you take a dose by adding essences to bathwater.

You can use muscle testing or dowsing to determine the number of drops to take, the number of doses per day, and how many days or weeks to take this combination. Or you can take a standard dose of four drops four times a day, for one month.

Taking directly from the stock bottle Tilt your head back slightly and place drops under your tongue.

Diluting in a glass of water Add four drops of each essence you are taking to a glass of water. Take sips throughout the day. Since there is no stablilizer, mix up a new glass every few days.

Making a dosage bottle Take a one-ounce glass dosage bottle, and add the stabilizer of your choice. If you use vodka or brandy, fill the bottle 1/4 full. If you use vinegar, fill the bottle 1/3 full. If you use vegetable glycerin, fill the bottle 1/2 full. If the bottle will be exposed to high temperatures or will be used for a prolonged time, increase the amount of stabilizer you add.

Then fill the bottle up with spring, distilled, or filtered water.

Now add two drops of essence from each stock bottle you are using. Lightly shake the bottle after adding the essences to keep them in a more potentized state.

When you make up a dosage bottle for convenience, you may also still choose to take a dose by adding the drops to water. You may wish to experiment with this; the essence may affect you in a gentler way when taken in water.

Applying essences to your body
Simply put a few drops on your hand and apply them to your body.

Adding to bathwater
Add 18 drops of the essence combination to a tub full of water, and mix by stirring the water in a figure-eight motion.

Misting a space
You can also follow the instructions below for misting a space. The directions were written for applying essences to work with the energy of the space itself, but any people in the space will also be affected.

Getting creative
There are many ways to apply essences, including putting a few drops on your hands and patting a piece of paper, or rubbing them on bedding or clothing. When you clean carpet or upholstery, you can add essences to the solution. Try taking a dose in a smoothie!

Misting a space with essences

Misting is a good way to clear and enhance the energy in a space. It is also another effective way to administer an essence to a person, plant, or animal.

An ordinary plant mister can be used; my personal preference is a cobalt blue glass mister.

Take the top off the mister and either set it on a clean plate or paper towel, or hold the top between two fingers so that the tube doesn’t touch other surfaces.

Fill the mister half full with water. If you have spring water or purified water, it gives the mixture a little more energy. But tap water is fine if that is what is available.

Add two drops of essence for every ounce of water in the mister. Lightly shake the bottle to energize the essences.

Let stand for one minute.

Spray around liberally. If you are working in a large space, you may need to refill the bottle.

The water and essence mixture will stay good for up to 4--5 days depending on temperature (the mixture remains stable longer at lower temperatures). If you’re going to mist again within that time, just save it and use the rest then. Lightly shake the bottle to energize the essences before misting.

If you’d like to make up a mister bottle that will stay good for a longer time, you can also add brandy or vinegar, just like when making up a dosage bottle.

If you’re not going to use the rest of the essences, pour out any remaining water and squirt the spray top until no more comes out. If you will be using this mister to apply a different essence, then rinse the bottle, pump some clean water through, and then spray until no more comes out.

Getting the most from your essence experience

Before taking your dose, lightly tap or slightly shake the bottle to energize the essence. Take a quiet moment to be with the flowers. Whether you are starting with a dosage determined by muscle testing or dowsing or are taking a standard dose, you can adjust the frequency of doses according to your changing needs. If you muscle test or dowse for yourself or work with someone who does this for you, you can test for a different schedule over time. You can also adjust your schedule based on your intuition or experiences.

Potency is increased not by increasing the number of drops you take at once, but by taking doses more frequently. In acute or emergency situations, they may be taken hourly or even more frequently. Highly sensitive people or children may need to decrease frequency to once or twice daily. The essences are most effective at the boundary times of awakening and going to sleep. It can help to keep your dosage bottle where you will see it, so that you’ll remember to take a dose when it feels right.

You may have determined a treatment duration by muscle testing or dowsing, or you may have chosen to take an essence for a month cycle. What if you get the urge to stop the formula sooner? It’s possible that one of two things is happening: you may be ready for a new formula, or you may be experiencing an awareness crisis. As part of the healing process, you may be becoming more aware of certain thoughts, feelings, and patterns.

Increasing the level of self-reflection in your life can help. I’ve personally benefited from meditation, journaling, artistic expression, working with healing sound (toning), support groups, co-counseling, therapy, and spiritual counseling. If the awareness crisis is uncomfortably intense, you can decrease the frequency of dosage.

It is also possible that you’ve "gotten it," learned what you needed to learn from this essence or combination. In such cases, it’s still best to continue a bit longer; this lets the learning settle in more deeply. It’s preferable to take a formula longer and really assimilate the learning, than to move on too quickly and have only fragmented understanding. You may need to take a certain essence or combination for longer than originally thought; you can continue until you feel you’ve received what you need. It isn’t necessary to take every last drop from a formula bottle. Once you’ve received the help you need for that layer of healing, it’s optimal to move on to the next layer.

There may also be certain essences that address key areas of learning for you. You may continue one of these for several cycles, while perhaps combining it with another essence that you take for only a single cycle. Or you may return later to a key essence and take another course to reach a deeper layer of healing.

You can work with your essence simply by taking it. Learning will be enhanced by supplementing this with additional modalities. In a session, I usually suggest some optional exercises for working with your essences. You may also wish to experiment with making up your own visualizations, songs/sounds, or affirmations. Over time, you’ll find which modalities work best for you.


Flower essence consultations are available in person or by telephone or Skype. In a consultation, I help you focus on an issue, and set your intention for healing. I then dowse for which essences will be most helpful, and make up a dosage bottle for you.

As well as The Desert Heals Essences, we can choose from my wide variety of essences from other makers. You can specify whether to stick to only kosher essences, or also include non-kosher ones. Dosage bottles can be prepared with organic kosher vodka, kosher vinegar, or kosher vegetable glycerin as the stabilizer.

An essence consultation can be done as part of an energy work session or we can focus solely on essences.

For further study

Jeffrey R. Cram, with data from Pedro Sastriques Silva, Elvira Haydée Ramos, María de los Ángeles, and Sol Inés Tena, “Five clinical studies demonstrate the effectiveness of flower essence therapy in the treatment of depression,” Calix (Vol 1, 2004), pp. 89—106.

Research findings by other essence makers on specific essences can be found in these books:

Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer, The Alchemy of the Desert, 2nd. ed. (Tucson, Ariz.: Desert Alchemy Editions, 2003).

Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Repertory (Nevada City, Calif.: Flower Essence Society, 1994 edition).

Buckthorn Cholla
Buckthorn cholla is very closely related to staghorn cholla, and the two species often hybridize. For information about staghorn cholla see Scherer (pp. 281–282).

Creosote Bush
To learn more, see Scherer (pp. 111--113); Kaminski and Katz (pp. 302–303).

Desert Willow
To learn more, see Scherer (133–35).

Fairy Duster
To learn more, see Scherer (pp. 148–153).

To learn more, see Scherer (pp. 251–255): Kaminski and Katz (p 371).

To view essences, go to:
Flower essences
Essences of seeds, stems, fruits, leaves, and pods
Gem essences (gem elixirs)
Animal spirit essences
Combinations of essences