Flower essences are an amazing herbal medicine that work on the subtle body or vibrational level. Because they contain no actual plant materials, they are appropriate for people who are pregnant, have allergies, or other sensitivities to foods or herbs.
Making them is just as easy, and is an opportunity to get to know the personality of a plant that grows in your area. Flowers are excellent teachers of the lesson of impermanence, and taking time to preserve the energy of these plants at their peak while allowing them to go through their natural life cycle.
The Energy of Snowdrops
As early spring starts to show her face, the groundhog doesn’t stand a chance against snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) when it comes to inspiring hope and excitement for warmer days ahead. I stumbled upon the first showing of these flowers last week, and knew it was the perfect opportunity to (literally) bottle their glorious energy for seasons to come.
Snowdrops are the first brave flowers to emerge from winter, which are a testament to the intense heat, power, and strength of their bulbs (often planted during fall). In fact, the bud of the snowbell contains the alkaloid galantamine—a powerful mind-altering compound that has been approved as medical treatment for use in the management of Alzheimer’s in over 70 countries. Looking back to its use even farther in time, it’s believed that snowdrops made a cameo in The Odyssey by Homer, where Odysseus uses the snowdrop to clear his mind of Circe’s bewitchment.
Because flower essences work on a vibrational level, these qualities of the flower to clear and release are what we “extract” in the aqueous solution. To me, this essence is perfect when courage is needed—the heat and drive to push through a cold, difficult situation and emerge not on fire, but in a delicate, welcoming way that will allow you to spread your beauty.
How to Make a Flower Essence
This recipe can be used for any flower essence; note the choice for alcohol or non-alcohol as the preserving medium.
Snowdrop Flower Essence
- Flower buds
- Clear bowl or jar
- Apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, glycerine, or 80-proof alcohol
- Colored dropper bottle(s) (brown or blue)
- Consciously gather your flowers, spending some time with them where they are growing and asking for permission to take them. Be sure they are not sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.
- Place your flowers in a bowl or jar covered in water. If possible, keep the vessel where the original flowers were growing, or place them in a window that gets natural light. You may allow the essence to steep in sunlight or moonlight. Allow them to rest overnight.
- Strain the flowers from the liquid, and transfer to a bowl. Create a solution with equal parts vinegar, glycerine, or alcohol. (I.e., if you have 1 cup water, use 1 cup vinegar). Use a funnel to transfer to your dropper bottle.
- If you used alcohol, store the bottle in a cool, dark cabinet. If you did not use alcohol, store in the refrigerator.
- To use, take 4 drops under the tongue 4x/day to invite the energy of the flower into your heart. It's useful to set an intention with a short mantra or phrase that you can repeat when you take the essence, tapping the bottle on your hand 4 times before taking it. It is suggested to use the essence for a specific amount of time, a few days or weeks, to allow for the vibrational changes to occur, rather than sporadically.