What do you want this holiday season? Not a list of “things” you would like to own, but rather what is it that your heart truly desires? How would you like to feel as you visit with family and friends? What would you like to have more of in your life? Peace? Joy? Love? Confidence? Compassion? Boundaries? Resilience? Connection?

Many of us look forward to increased connection and quality time with those we love during the holidays. As much as that can be nurturing and supportive, it can also add a layer of stress, anxiety, and other unwanted emotions. We can look to our plant allies to help us manage some of those emotions and to cultivate more of what our hearts desire. Flower essences are a great ally to have on hand. They’re inexpensive, easy to take and safe for the whole family. They work in a subtle but effective way to help you move unwanted energetic patterns out of the body and invite the desired energies in.

With just a little research of your own, or a session with a flower essence practitioner (more on this below), you can come up with one or more essences that will help support you through the stressful holiday season. 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 this moment in time.

Getting started with an essence, or a formula of essences, a few weeks before a big gathering or trip can be helpful. And you can bring a few essences to your festivities to share in recipes with family and friends to enhance the holiday spirit.

While it may be tempting to slip a few drops of Rescue Remedy into your mother-in-law’s coffee or in your uncle’s cocktail, the ethical thing to do would be to offer essences in a way that gently informs and educates others about the essence so that they can choose to partake, or not. Here are a few fun ideas you might try:

Create your own cocktail/mocktail recipe and fully disclose that you’ve added a few drops of a flower essence to magnify the positive vibe you all desire. While some may pass altogether on the idea, others may be intrigued to try it and your gathering may have a little extra holiday cheer.

Holiday Cheer Mocktail Recipe

  • Fill cocktail glass half full with ice
  • Add 3 oz. pomegranate juice
  • Add 3 oz. sparkling water (or champagne for a true cocktail)
  • Add 4 drops of desired flower essence
  • Add an orange twist
  • Garnish with an orange slice and a sprig of fresh mint

Another way to share flower essences is to bring your chosen essence or formula of essences in a nice dropper bottle (see below on how to make your own flower essence dosage bottle) or add several drops of essences to a small jar of honey. Make a small note card or label describing the essence and leave it on a wet bar or counter where others are making or mixing beverages.

You can also make a holiday mood mister with water, essential oils, and flower essences. These mood misters can be used to shift the energetics of a room or misted overhead to give each individual a little energetic shift. A nice blend might include lavender essential oil with a few drops of Rescue Remedy or orange essential oil with a few drops of Elm flower essence.

Here’s a list of ten essences that can be supportive during the holidays, and beyond, to help you amplify natural states of emotional well-being for yourself and your loved ones.

Rescue Remedy / Five Flower Formula – a great formula to help us manage stress and anxiety; a good formula to take when we feel extremely disturbed, such as after a fight with a family member; supportive when facing a difficult or stressful situation

Christmas Cholla Cactus – allows us to be caring towards others despite our differences; allows us to accept abundance; encourages self-acceptance; shows us that we have the ability to see humor and lightness in situations that are difficult due to differences of opinion

Elm – for when we are feeling overwhelmed; helps to give us confidence that we can achieve the task at hand, and that help will arrive when we need it

Fairy Duster – a good essence to have on hand for traveling and big social gatherings where we can easily become over-stimulated; soothes the nervous system; helps us to lessen the power emotions hold over us; increases ability to handle higher levels of stimulation without disrupting the nervous system

Gorse – helps us to see the positive in difficult situations; allows us to inspire others with our own confidence; encourages us to be filled with hope and optimistic for new opportunities

Holly – “the heart-opening flower”; helps us to move away from anger, rage, jealousy, envy and hatred; helps move us towards cultivating love, connection and joy; encourages a state of inner harmony and warm-heartedness; helps us to approach others openly and with good will; increases our understanding of human emotion

Mallow – helps us to break down social barriers by encouraging us to trust in the social process; helps us to engage in open-hearted sharing

Mullein – for when we feel that we need extra protection; helps us to understand vulnerability as strength; helps us to overcome fear by trusting that we know our true inner nature; helps us to be fearless in negative situations; helps us to stop seeking support from sources that may not be truly supportive

Prickly Pear Cactus – helps us to surrender to what “is”; helps us to remain adaptable, to go with the flow of life’s events; helps us to stay committed to what we know is right

Saguaro Cactus – helps to work through power struggles with parental or authority figures; also helps us to trust our inner authority and access our deepest wisdom and self-empowerment; restores our desire to be our best and to have compassion and endurance

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 this 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 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 the “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 dropper 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.

Many companies make pre-formulated flower essence remedies, such as Rescue Remedy, Rescue Sleep and Rescue Energy. You can find these formulas online or on the shelves of your local food co-op, natural grocery store, your local apothecary or integrative pharmacy.

The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy by Mechthild Scheffer
The Bach Flower Remedies by Edward Bach, MD and F.J. Wheeler, MD
The Alchemy of the Desert by Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer
Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz

Flower Essences For BreastFeeding

Writer 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. She enjoys wild-crafting, 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.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.