by Simon France (more info)You know when you have laid your plans and then they don’t work out how you expected. Well, I had one of those experiences when a planned holiday to Greece went horribly wrong and I ended up making flower remedies instead of lazing about on the beach, eating Greek yoghurt and drinking retsina. The remedies I brought back turned out to be the first batch of three I made over successive seasons. By the end, I had collected 24 flower remedies and written descriptions of their uses. Then a penny dropped and I realized that all this work was in fact only preparation for a fourth visit, which had me retracing my steps over the past years to capture the vibrational impulse of the flower not in the traditional medium water, but I oil. As I took a break in the shade, allowing the flowers to float in my glass bowl of oil under the intense Greek sun, I adjusted each remedy’s description to suit its energy in oil, a very different medium from water.
The collection of flower oils I am now presenting in Kit 1 is therefore the culmination of four years’ work on Mediterranean flowers. Although I have most of the 24 oils in my cabinet, I have initially documented the use of only 12. I wanted to echo the work of Dr Edward Bach when he presented his Twelve Healers, the first of his now famous set of 38 flower remedies. As with Bach, seven more oils will soon be presented in Kit 2, bringing the total to 19, before I double up to 38 to complete the project.
There are many similarities between flower oils and flower remedies: this can be seen in the descriptions of the oils, which, like many of the flower remedies, can be used on the personality level. As with flower remedies, the oils heal wounds that manifest on the emotional and mental levels of our being. However, the major difference between flower oils and remedies lies in their making: oil is used instead of water and alcohol as the medium through which the healing force of the flowers is transmitted to animals and ourselves. This leads to the oils being used rather like essential oils are used in aromatherapy. The fact that the flower oils can be mixed along with essential oils into a base oil for absorption through the skin by massage presents new and exciting possibilities for the subtle healing energy of the flowers to touch many more people than their traditional oral administration through flower remedies has so far allowed.
Here is the description of Margarita so that you can get an idea of the uses to which the oils can be put.
Impulse: universal expansion
Surrounding the use of this flower oil is the belief that there lies outside the practitioner/client relationship a greater force which has the potential to heal. Many therapists consciously tap this spiritual reservoir of energy to aid their client’s recovery. The universal healing energy permeates every atom within the cosmos, is eternally present and can be used if conscious intent is applied. There is no one way in which this is achieved; each healer does it in an individual way. Massage generates vibrations within the subtle anatomy in harmony with the Healing Source. A resonance is created between the client, the practitioner and the Universal Healing. The client is then in a position to draw upon this higher source for their own benefit. Massaging with Margarita flower oil distributes vibrational impulses into the aura, which stimulates the spiritual healing energy and opens fully the channels that allow the flow of this energy into the client’s aura.
Use Margarita flower oil:
• to attune the client to the spiritual source of healing;
• to bring a greater degree of acceptance to the client who is struggling to accept their situation and move more freely with the flow;
• as a flux to help the flow of energy throughout the whole of the subtle anatomy;
• to ensure in the blending of all oils that a harmonious mixture is created;
• when the client is in despair, at the point of giving up, and lacks any hope of regaining well-being;
• universally, for any condition.
Margarita is a composite, the largest grouping of flowers. This is in part the reason why this flower has a universal application. Furthermore, its botanical name, Chrysanthemum coronarium discolor, indicates that it is a variety, common in horticulture, but rare in the wild. Margarita is a variety of Chrysanthemum coronarium, the crown daisy, suggesting that the energies of this flower are above or beyond those of the crown, the point of contact within the human aura for cosmic energies. The vibrational impulses of Margarita stimulate the outer and more rarefied levels of the subtle anatomy to receive the spiritual outpouring which is constantly radiating down from the cosmos.
The Making of Flower Oils Flower oils are made in the same way as flower remedies but with oil instead of water in the solarizing bowl. Unlike flowers, which float on the water, petals eventually sink to the bottom when placed in oil. This gives a very different feel to the essence, much heavier and more grounded. So the adjustment I was making to the descriptions of the flower remedies across in Greece was to emphasize the physical conditions for which the oils could be used.
Some might suppose that flower oils are no more than infused oils. Although there are similarities in the method of making, there are major differences that create a completely different type of oil. Whereas roots, leaves, stalks and petals are steeped in oil for two to three weeks to create an infused oil, only the flowers of the plant are left in oil for a maximum of three hours in direct sunlight to create a flower oil. This process used in the making of flower oils is called solarization and is also the most common method used in the preparation of flower remedies or essences. Infusing plant material in oil over a long period of time draws some of the chemical constituents, while solarizing flowers in oil transfers the vibrational impulse of the flower into the oil. In some cases, infused oils can be used for the same conditions as flower oils, but in the main the vibrational impulses of flower oils are used to treat different states from their infused counterparts.
Impulse: to serve, to help, to heal, to share our gifts with others.
We all desire to be of assistance to others, to help or heal in some form. From such acts we can derive a great deal of satisfaction, purpose and direction in life. Yet who is it that cares for the carers? When is it appropriate to stop thinking of others and start thinking about ourselves? There are those who come for treatment only when they have depleted their vitality to such an extent through their endeavours to aid others that they themselves have become ill. Often treatment is the final resort, a last ditch effort to get better: they have pushed themselves to the end of their tether by sacrificing personal needs and now their own bodies are crying out for some attention. Even when illness is finally admitted, they will still think about helping others rather than their own recuperation. Personal recovery may well be viewed as important only so that service to others can be resumed. It is plainly obvious that there are those seeking treatment who have to learn how to look after their own needs as well as look after others. Practitioners, too, can so easily fall into the trap of giving too much to their clients and not have enough left for themselves.
Use Persian Lilac flower oil:
• when the client continually puts others first, leaving little time for their own needs;
• when the client reluctantly seeks treatment or feels guilty as there are others who are in greater need of help;
• when the client’s feelings of unfulfilment within their working environment are a contributing factor to their poor health;
• for general stress and fatigue brought on by over- or under-work;
• when the practitioner starts to feel resentment about giving so much time and energy to their clients.
The subtle anatomy of an individual who is fulfilled and balanced in their service to humanity shimmers like the sunlight reflecting off the sea. The aura is full of tiny star-like energy structures, resembling in shape the Persian Lilac flower. The use of Persian Lilac flower oil in massage restores a healthy structure to this part of the subtle anatomy and therefore can be used not only for those who overstretch themselves but for those who feel less than fulfilled by their acts of service.
The Challenge Offered by Flower Oils Just as every flower can be turned into a flower remedy, so it can be turned into a flower oil. Since the early years of the 1980s, there has been an amazing flowering in the flower essence movement with many producers all over the world feeling inspired to seek out the therapeutic uses of the flowers; this has been done almost exclusively by capturing the vibrations of the flowers in water. Although I am aware of a handful of flower oils available in the market place, this aspect of flower essence therapy is seriously under-developed.
To my mind, flower oils present the trained and disciplined aromatherapist with a major challenge. Putting aside the healing that comes through the practitioner, the therapeutic quality of an aromatherapy session is derived from the chemical constituents of the chosen oils. For well over one hundred years, scientific research has been undertaken to back up the claims and beliefs that essential oils are beneficial to our clients’ health.1-3 Flower oils arise out of an area of human research that is non-scientific. The uses of each flower oil are determined through intuition. Furthermore, there is no trace of any chemicals in the oils: like its grandparents – homeopathy, and parents – flower remedies, flower oils contain only vibrational impulses. And, of course, no flower oil is contra-indicated, hazardous, toxic or photosensitive. But can aromatherapists really accept the validity of vibrational oils? Does there have to be a change in perception or leap in faith to start using these types of oils? The use of flower oils does require the aromatherapist to use a different part of their mind, to view and sense the situation from another perspective. The mixing of essential oils and flower oils into a base oil therefore gives the aromatherapist not one, but two therapeutic ways to stimulate their client’s healing process.
Research Material I have put out a few sets of the oils for research purposes and here I present three case reports, a small selection of the feedback I have received from professional bodyworkers.
1. Colin G is a manic-depressive on a lot of medication. He presented for his first treatment aching all over, and had migraines and back and joint pain. He was quite apprehensive about massage treatment. I added Mullein – opening to new possibilities and good for initial sessions – to a mixture of essential oils. He talked of considering making changes in his life, going back to college so that he could apply to do a degree. Afterwards he said he felt much more relaxed and the pain had remarkably reduced. A mutual friend reported that Colin was very happy with the treatment and had been going around raving about how good he felt;
2. The first day after finalizing the oils, I was enthusiastic to try them out. I called up a friend, who I knew to be somewhat stressed and down, to say I was free if he wanted to come for a massage. This particular person has been massaged by me many times and had always been satisfied with the results, but this time the massage reached new heights. We both felt more fully relaxed than ever before, I was focused and flowing, and I could feel the essences as strongly as he could. I was using Euphorbia (to nourish and nurture.) I felt very at ease in giving a nurturing massage and he was open to receive it. This very gentle energy was balanced by Bougainvillaea (to strengthen resolve). After the massage we talked and he said that it was without doubt the best massage he had ever received. He said as well as feeling physically brilliant he felt inspired and had been able to make a decision about future plans that he had been unsure about. He left feeling relaxed, charged with energy and clear in his mind;
3. A female postgraduate mature student had been struggling with feelings of self-disgust and self-hatred. She is very intelligent, articulate and cerebral, but was judging her academic work as never being good enough. Physically her symptoms were manifesting as irritable bowel syndrome. I gave her a reflexology treatment using Morning Glory – to concentrate, and Bougainvillaea – to strengthen resolve. I also gave her an energy healing using Euphorbia – to nourish and nurture. At the next session she reported that her abdominal symptoms had improved, and she had started to eat more again – her appetite had been low, and the feelings of “darkness and unworthiness had retreated”.
Conclusion Flower oils span the gap between flower remedies and essential oils, giving all those who attune to oils for well-being the opportunity to add the gentle and safe energies that emanate from the flowers to their healing cabinet. For my part, I shall continue with collecting, documenting, writing, teaching and promoting the use of these types of oils.
References1. Chamberland M. Les essences au point de vue de leurs proprietes antiseptiques. Annales Institut Pasteur. 1887.
2. Rideal S, Rideal EK and Sciver A. An investigation into the germicidal and capillary activities of certain essential oils. Perfumery and Essential Oil Record. 1928.
3. Rossi T, Melegari M, Bianchi A, Albasini A and Vampa G. Sedative, anti-inflammatory and antidiuretic effects induced in rats by essential oils. Pharmacol Res Common. 1988.