Flower Essence or Aromatherapy — What is the Difference?

When would you want to use a Flower Essence Remedy? When would you want to use an Essential Oil? Is there a difference? These are common questions asked by many people. Knowing the answers may give you some wonderful ways to help reduce stress, quickly change your attitude, treat athletes’ foot, or even to clean your house. There are many uses for both and knowing when and how to use essential oils and flower essences is important.

Essential Oils are used in Aromatherapy and have been around for a long time. They have been found in Egyptian tombs and are mentioned in the Bible. While different methods are used to make them the end result is the extraction of oil from a plant or part of a plant. These oils carry the fragrance of that plant or plant part. They are often very potent and just a few drops can fragrance a whole room. It is important to learn how to use essential oils because they can be very strong and caution is sometimes needed. But learning the proper way to use them is fun and very rewarding.

Flower essences were discovered by Dr. Edward Bach in England during the 1920’s. His original 38 essences still carry his name as Bach Flower Essences. Many people are familiar with his Rescue Remedy which is a combination of five of his essences. It is still a popular remedy to help people cope with stressful situations. Flower essences are made with the flowers of plants. Different methods are used to extract the essence from the flower into water. This water is then diluted many times similar to the way homeopathic medicines are made. It is then preserved in alcohol, often brandy, or glycerin then bottled to be sold. There is no fragrance to flower essences other than what they are preserved in.

Essential oils interact with your body in a chemical way. They can be anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-microbial. People often use Tea Tree oil to get rid of athletes’ foot. Try it and watch how fast that fungus goes away! Aromatherapists know how fast the chemical components of smells reach your brain and blood stream. Some studies have picked up traces of essential oils in the blood stream just 6 seconds after use. So it is no wonder why smelling an oil such as Lavender can bring such instant sense of calm. Of course this only happens with true essential oils. Be careful which brands you buy. Some are adulterated with other chemicals and do not provide the medicinal quality of a reputable essential oil.

Flower essences interact in a vibrational way. Dr. Bach noticed that different types of people recovered in different ways. Some people got better from disease and some did not. He saw that personality types and the way those people handle stress plays a big part in this difference. He developed flower essences to help people shift and let go of certain stresses. So someone who worries too much, is over sensitive, fearful or carry other stresses can find relief with flower essences. When the stress is reduced the body has a better chance of recovery from disease. Many people do not wait for disease to use flower essences. They understand how well they can help with daily ordinary stress as well as extremely stressful times.

So how do you choose which to use? Let’s imagine a situation that will occur with many of us soon. We are entering a traditional time for family visits and all the stress that goes along with that happy reunion. Before the family arrives you might decide to soak in the bath tub with a few drops of Lavender and/or Chamomile essential oils to sooth your nerves and relax. As the family is arriving you might diffuse into the room that same Lavender oil to calm mixed with some Red Mandarin to lighten the mood. If the chaos is still getting to you try using a few drops of Rescue Remedy flower essences. The company recommends a few drops in some water. Then you might try dropping a few drops on the head of each over active child or out of control adult in the group. If you know that having family arrive is a very stressful thing for you, consider making an appointment with a practitioner who can help you choose the right flower essences to help you cope. Using these for a few weeks before can make all the difference in your stress level.

Some recipes:

Easy Calming Spray

1 2oz. spray bottle (dark glass)
8 drops Lavender essential oil (more if needed)
Water – drinking or filtered – not tap

Put the Lavender oil in the bottle. Fill with water. Put the spray cap on and shake. Spray in room, on bed sheets, in the car — anywhere people could use some calm.

Cinnamon Disinfectant Spray for Surfaces

1 2oz. spray bottle (dark glass)
3 drops cinnamon EO
5 drops pine EO
2 drops Frankincense EO
10 drops Bergamot EO
1/8 teaspoon Sunshine Concentrate or liquid glycerin soap
Purified water

Mix essential oils in the bottle with the soap. Add the water, cap and shake. Spray on surfaces and then wipe down. Smells much better than chemical sprays.

Flower Essences and Essential oils and supplies may be purchased at the RoseSprings Center Store.