Healing Options: "Flower Power (Part 1)"

Reprinted from PN July 2001
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A popular holistic healing alternative, flower essences are sun-infused solutions that possess flowers' subtle vibrational energy imprint.

Unlike herbal remedies ("The Healing Power of Herbal Medicine," January and March 2001) or aromatherapy's essential oils ("Healing With Essential Oils and Aromatherapy," July and August 2000), flower essences mediate their healing without pharmacologically active molecules.

Representing a higher vibrational octave of the plant's herbal or molecular properties, flower essences energetically restore balance on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Because no biologically active molecules essentially exist in a flower-essence solution, it can be difficult for a biochemist like me, trained to explain biological phenomena through molecular interactions (e.g., neurotransmitter interacting with a receptor on the neuronal cell surface), to understand how essences can possibly work. It requires that we revisit a concept inherent to most ancient and indigenous healing traditions?that our bodies, physiology, and biochemistry are a function of us as beings of energy.

Flower essences? mind-body-and-spirit healing is difficult to explain with traditional biomedical precepts. Reflecting Isaac Newton's seventeenth century physical laws and Rene Descartes? philosophy of mind-body duality, a mechanistic medical approach saw the body as a machine composed of parts. Fix the parts and you fix the machine.

In contrast, the energy approach to healing believes that our mind, body, and spirit are holistically integrated because we are beings of energy. The emphasis is on the whole, not the parts.

The differences between the mechanistic and energy-healing perspectives have profound implications when it comes to disability. For example, conventional medicine assumes physical health produces happiness and therefore considers emotional reactions, meaning of life, and belief systems are irrelevant to medical practice. In the energy model, happiness leads to physical health and, consequently, our beliefs and the meaning we attach to routine events; our emotional reactions to these events are crucial to health promotion and maintenance (see Trieschmann, R. B., Rehabilitation Education, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 217-227).

Some people speculate that our attitudes and emotions are transformed into our biochemistry and physiology through subtle electromagnetic fields that permeate and surround our bodies. It is through these fields that flower essences are said to exert their effects. Specifically, the flowers' electromagnetic patterns that have been released into the solution interact with the body's electromagnetic fields, restoring energetic balance and, in turn, physical health.

People have compared flower essences' subtle energetic influences to the uplifting effects we experience listening to music or seeing majestic views. For me, the problems of the world disappear when I hear Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" or watch the sky fade into subtle lavender hues as the sun recedes over Colorado's snow-capped Indian Peaks. The contour and arrangement of light and sound energy, including aspects that are not consciously perceived, evoke profound feelings. These feelings manifest into beneficial and measurable physical changes.

Because each plant has the potential to be transformed into a unique healing essence, many new flower essences have been developed in response to the therapy's popularity. Although a miniscule amount compared to the $100 billion pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. flower-essence market has grown to more than $5 million.

Flower Power Part 2 (August) covers flower-essence preparation and selection and how this tradition relates to spinal-cord dysfunction (SCD). For a complete list of references for Parts 1 and 2, contact the author at


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Healing Options: "Flower Power (Part 1)"


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