A few days ago, I was writing about herbal support for spirit medicine. Our plant allies also work on a spirit level. Along with traditional teas and tinctures which can be taken in doses that support our spiritual needs, plant and flower essences, or vibrational medicines, are particularly well-suited to support spirit work.
Essences and vibrational medicines work much more subtly than even infusions or extractions (teas or tinctures). Taken similarly, they are created from the essence and presence of plants, not always quantities of dried or harvested plant parts. Environmental, animal and natural event (like the Aurora) essences also well indicated for various aspects of spirit work. The most commonly recognized essence medicines are Bach Flower Remedies; based on the work of Dr. Edward Bach. Bach's Rescue Remedy is a constant in our travel first aid kit. We also use White Chestnut frequently, especially when the kiddos are dealing with anxiety, or "the mean sprites" as one of my girls' puts it.
But what, and how, do essences work? Jane Bell, of Jane Bell Essences (some of my favorites), articulates it beautifully on her website:
"A Flower Essence is a living energetic preparation made from the imprint of a plant’s vibrations in water. This potentized water is preserved with brandy and taken orally under the tongue or applied to the body. When ingested, the energy of the flower fills our energy field with its own signature vibration. Raising our vibration catalyzes safe, profound shifts in consciousness, allowing us to engage fully and authentically with the world around us."
And Jane knows. She has pioneered and crafted some incredibly potent environmental, animal and natural event essences along with her flower essence work. Hers are a profound medicine, having had profound affects for myself and clients in supporting spirit work.
Because essences work on a deep energetic level, their effects can be subtler but just as immediate. Their preparation is also impacted by the energy of those creating them, environmental stressors and other energetic patterns like the Lunar cycle. Essences also work over time; building a relationship with essences is no different than building them with conventional plant medicines. Perhaps one of the hardest things to recognize is when to pause or stop. After a while, mindlessly taking or relying on any plant medicine, isn’t beneficial anymore.
Speaking of mindless, a little tip: intention is important. Being present while creating, brewing or taking plant medicine is incredibly important. Speak with your medicines. Thank them, ask them to help you as you need, as well as if they have anything to share. Honor their gifts by paying attention to how you feel, shifts that you notice - and only take the smallest dose that you need. Many commercially prepared conventional tinctures suggest dosages that are many times more than what may be effective for you. This can frequently affect your reaction, or perceived “non” reactions, to certain plants. Too much can be as ineffective as not enough!
There are many traditional herbal allies that give spirit support along with their physical, emotional and mental support as well. As you're getting to know our traditional plant medicines be sure to dig too much deeper to learn their particular spirit gifts as well. As you're looking for good essences and other herbal resources, check out Hummingbird's Resources page. I've listed resources that I've found particularly inspirational and useful along my journey.