When thinking about fall, the metaphor of a tree letting go of its leaves comes to mind. It’s a time of transition, shedding that which no longer serves us and of enjoying the harvest of all that we have literally and figuratively sown throughout the spring and summer. It’s a bit of a last hurrah! before we turn inward for the winter to reflect. We start to see less of the sun, we gather the last of our harvest from our gardens and prepare the beds for their snowy rest.

Amidst all of this shifting, transitioning, and letting go, we may find ourselves seeking guidance from our plant friends. Flower essences are a safe, gentle, safe-for-the-whole-family way of partnering with our plant allies to guide us through this season. Here’s a short list of a few flower essences that can help address these typical fall life themes:

Walnut (by Bach Flower Remedies) – helps one adjust to big life transitions, such as starting college, or sending your first-born off to college, a new job or a move to a new town.

Sagebrush (by FES Flowers) – for letting go of the old and accepting that which is new.

Fall Kit of 6 essences (offered by Power of Flowers Healing Essences Company) – for envisioning new goals and aspirations.

Saint John’s Shield (by FES Flowers) – for those who are affected by the shorter days of fall and winter.

Wild Oat (by Bach Flower Remedies) – if you are uncertain about your life’s path during a time of transition.

Aspen or Mimulus (by Bach Flower Remedies) – for helping to cope with known or unknown fears that can arise during times of transition.

Scleranthus (by Bach Flower Remedies) – for uncertainty when faced with two choices.

There are several ways to work with flower essences. One is to seek out guidance from a Certified Flower Essence Practitioner. These practitioners are trained to do a thorough intake to discover what plant essences are the most appropriate for you at a specific moment in time and they will give you a custom formula to try for 2-4 weeks. As the flower essences begin to shift you away from old energetic patterns and invite in new ones, you may want to have another one-on-one session with your practitioner to reformulate your flower essence blend. And you may choose to continue to journey with your flower essence practitioner for weeks, months, or years, as you continue to peel away layers of energetic patterns that you wish to shed and identify new ones that you’d like to invite in.

Another way to work with flower essences is to do your own research and experiment with the essences that seem to resonate with you the most. A fun way to start this process is to take a quiz like the one offered by The Original Bach Remedies website, which you can download here: http://www.bachflower.com/bach-flower-remedy-questionnaire/

FES Flowers also offers a “Choosing Flower Essences” guide that can be downloaded here: http://fesflowers.com/educational-resources/downloads/

(Go to the references section and click on “Choosing Flower Essences” tab. It does say that this guide is intended for use by a flower essence practitioner but you may be able to gain some insight from it if you decide to not work with a practitioner or can’t find one near you.)

Once you determine which essence, or essences, you’d like to work with, you’ll make your own dosage bottle. The stock essence is what you will find on the shelves at the store or what you would order online. From the stock essence, you create the dosage bottle that you will use on a daily basis. To make the dosage bottle, you add 2 drops of the stock essence to a 30ml bottle. Then add 3/4 spring water and ¼ brandy, apple cider vinegar, or glycerine to preserve the essence. Take 4 drops on the tongue 4 times a day until you feel that the essence has addressed your main concerns at the time you began working with it. You can also add a few drops of the stock essence to your water bottle and sip throughout the day or add about 20 drops to your bath water, lotion, or body oil.

You can also find pre-formulated flower essence remedies, like Rescue Remedy, Rescue Sleep, and Rescue Energy. You can find these on the shelves of your local food co-op, natural grocery store, your local apothecary or integrative pharmacy. Rescue Remedy is a fantastic tool to carry at all times to help in dealing with stress and anxiety. There are versions that can be used for adults, children, and pets. The Rescue Sleep and Rescue Energy are self-explanatory and are great to have on hand as a natural sleep aid and natural energy booster during the day.

Whichever route you choose to take, flower essences are a great remedy any time of year. As you explore the world of flower essences, you’ll discover many companies and practitioners offering a wide variety of flower and plant essences. The best advice when choosing them for yourself is to pay attention to what you are drawn to and most likely it’s the essence that’s right for you at that moment in time.

Amy Timmons Malek, CCN, CCH, INHC is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Clinical Herbalist, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Flower Essence Practitioner. She discovered her love for plants in the Sonoran Desert while living in Tucson, AZ. She has been studying plants of the Mountain West and Southwest for 10 years. Her many teachers include Paul Bergner, Rosemary Gladstar, Dr. Aviva Romm, Lisa Ganora, Kat MacKinnon, Erin Smith, John Slattery and Charles Kane. Her career is divided between Holistic Health, Graphic/Web Design and Marketing/Social Media Consulting. She is currently WishGarden’s Social Media Coordinator. She lives in Boulder County, CO and enjoys wildcrafting and growing her own medicinal plants and making a variety herbal remedies. She sees private clients at the Inner Ocean Center for Healing in Lafayette, CO. You can learn more about her practice on her website, www.wholeheart-wellness.com.