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Children and flower essences

photo via Flickr

Today’s guest blogger is Barbara Schuster, a wonderful healer who has helped our family, especially our daughter. She is a Flower Essence and Therapeutic Touch practitioner. She also used to work as a Waldorf Teacher. Our doula helped make us aware of the healing benefits of Flower Essences, and we have learned (and experienced) so much more through Barbara’s help. She generously agreed to pen this article when I asked her, to help spread awareness and information about these natural essences. Feel free to contact Barbara at The Flowers of Aeskulap, via

Reaching the Soul of the Child through Flower Essences

No, flower essences are not essential oils. They have no discernible fragrance or scent. Flower essences are water-based infusions from wildflowers or naturally crafted plants which have a harmonizing, healing effect on the soul. In our age of Ritalin and electronic gadgets, they are a very time-appropriate means of nurturing and supporting the soul of the child. First developed by Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1996), a British pioneer physician who recognized that there is no health of the body without the health of mind and soul, the Bach Flower Remedies belong today to the best known series of Flower Essences. The soul of nature speaks through her flowers, and she can profoundly touch our own souls through flower remedies – or esssences, as they are called today.

One of the best known is Dr. Bach’s emergency formula (brand names Rescue Remedy/ Five-Flower-Formula), available nowadays at most health food stores and even supermarkets. It is a wonderful general anti-stress and trauma formula that can be used in many kinds of stress-laden situations: before going to the dentist, the first day at school, after any kind of bad news, before – or after – a difficult conversation, in case of accidents, with bruises, burns etc.

It consists of infusions made from the following five flowers: Clematis – for focus and presence, in cases of unconsciousness; Impatiens – for impatience, irritability, tension; Rock Rose – for panic, fear, to stay calm; Star of Bethlehem – for any kind of shock, and Cherry Plum for – fear of losing control, or extreme tension.

This essence is a wonderful first-aid remedy to keep in the car, one’s purse – or maybe near the phone…

photo courtesy of The Flower Essence Society

For children, flower essences are particularly effective because their patterns are not as ingrained and more amenable to correction. A key essence for many children is Mariposa Lily, a flower that instills a sense of maternal nurturing in the growing child, a sense of being cared for when this hasm ight not have been the case – either in reality or in the experience of the child.

Chamomile flower essence can work wonders to soothe emotions in generally, but particularly with emotionally-based stomach complaints, the famous tummy aches when the child doesn’t want to go to school, or with colicky babies.

photo courtesy of The Flower Essence Society

The essences from Holly, Vine, Impatiens can help all with tantrums – both for the child or the parent who might feel is in danger of having one. Other essences can help with nightmares or fear of sleeping in the dark: Aspen with fear of the unknown, St. John’s Wort with fear of the dark, bed-wetting etc. Essences form the Yarrow family can help children who are overly sensitive to their environment, or pick up stress in the family and internalize it. Many young children are like sponges and absorb everything going on around them, for better or for worse. If this is not addressed, the effects often persist into adulthood.

Holly can also help with sibling rivalry, Chicory with emotional neediness or manipulative behaviour, pouting and tantrums.

Apart form more short-lived worries, Flower Essences can have profound constitutional effects on the child’s development: Fairy Lantern or Milkweed when children stay behind in their development or are afraid of growing up, Downy Avens for precocious mental development that needs to be balanced with emotional development, and Chestnut Bud for more effective learning.

Of course parents can benefit just as much; whether they need to be more patient with their children ( Impatiens ), or when one needs to decide whether to stay at home with the children or work outside the home ( Pomegranate ), or to set priorities regarding the multitude of activities and tasks involved in raising a family (Wild Oat ) or whether one just needs to set boundaries with the children -or partners – in which case Centaury or Quince are indicated, or one is just generally stressed out (Rescue Remedy/Five-Flower-Formula).

So often, when one family member takes essences, the other members start responding differently as well. Of course, this effect is enhanced when a whole family – including the pets – take essences.

photo courtesy of The Flower Essence Society

How to go about it ?

There are two ways – reading and learning oneself, or finding a practitioner. For those interested in the do-it -yourself- method, starting with the Bach Flower remedies is a ideal. There are a variety of books and websites on the Bach Flower Essences:

Bach Flower Therapy by Mechtild Scheffer is a wonderful, comprehensive introduction, or Julian Barnard’s Guide to the Bach Flower Remedies. A very good website for both Bach Flower Essences and Californian Essences is The Flower Essence Society, which offer articles and case histories on all kinds of subjects related to flower essences. It has is a special section on the use of Fl
ower Essences for children.

Happy reading!

(Please note that this post is not intended to provide any medical advice or to sell anything – it’s for informative purposes only. Thank you.)

2 thoughts on “Children and flower essences

  1. Thanks for sharing. This was wonderful!

  2. I have used Rescue Remedy as a stress relief and think it is a natural wonder. I did notice an example was used "before the first day of school", I did not realize it for children also.

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