Flower Therapy - Healing with Flowers

By Val Silver

healing with flowers, flower therapy

Flower therapy is one of the most natural and universal ways we express how we feel and heal ourselves and each other through the power of plants.  With the help of flowers we offer happiness, congratulations, sympathy, love, and friendship with each other. Whether a single wildflower, a grand bouquet, or a dose of a medicinal flower remedy or essence, these gifts of nature have the power to heal, inspire, and touch our hearts.

Humans of all ages are instinctively drawn to flowers. Young children, with no judgments of weed or flower, naturally gravitate to colorful wildflowers including cheery yellow dandelions. They pick them by the fistful as springtime bouquets for moms and loved ones.

Sometimes what we cannot say in words, we let flowers say for us.

  • A bouquet of red roses speaks of love and passion. Amaryllis and Poinsettias herald winter holidays.
  • Cheery daisies and forget-me-nots help you say, "I'm sorry, let's think of happy memories."
  • The beauty and intoxicating aroma of lilacs and honeysuckle draw us in nose first; they are the perfect flower remedies for chasing away the last of the winter blues as they announce the beginning of warm days ahead.

Just being in the presence of flowers touches our spirits. Whether we experience them as a gift of nature along a country road, in our gardens, or by receiving or giving a gift of flowers, these beauties are a welcome and positive addition to our lives.

It is no wonder that flower therapy is an age-old form of healing.

Types of Flower Therapy

There is much more to flower therapy than the good feelings they evoke just by looking at them. As the reproductive part of the plant, flowers have a lot of life force energy. Flower medicine is powerful and effective for mind, body and spirit.  

Depending on which flowers you are using, and how you are using them, they will primarily work either on a physical level or an energetic level, even though they affect us as a whole.  For example: stress-relieving herbs taken as tinctures or teas help us feel relaxed because they calm the nervous system. The result is a more relaxed mind and body. 

Flower therapy for body and mind:

The following types of flower remedies act on the physical body. Some of them are used on the body, diffused in the air, or taken internally. 

Flower oils

Flower oils used as is or incorporated into ointments, salves, and balms are helpful ways to use flowers for external use. Depending on the flower and its properties, they may be used for wound healing, relaxing muscles, soothing inflamed skin, and more. Dried flowers can be infused in water to make a  "tea" that you apply to the skin.

These flower remedies are made from fresh or dried flowers infused in a carrier oil. A good carrier oil, such as olive, jojoba, apricot and grape seed oils may enhance the benefits you receive because they have helpful properties, as well.

Two wonderful medicinal flower oils are dandelion and calendula. Dandelion flowers infused in oil are known for their pain-relieving, muscle relaxing properties. Massage the oil into sore joints and tense muscles. 

Thanks to its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, calendula flowers are useful for many types of skin complaints including wound healing, diaper rash, eczema, abrasions, and rashes. 

Calendula flowers are edible. The lovely yellow or orange petals brighten up a summer salad. They aid the digestive and lymphatic systems.

Caution: Do not eat calendula if you are pregnant as it can bring on menses. Test your calendula preparation on a small patch of skin first if you are sensitive to ragweed or chamomile. 

calendula flowers, essential oils, flower therapy, medicinal flowerscalendula flowers

Flower Teas and Infusions

When making teas and infusions, the flowers and plant parts have to be dried first. Otherwise, the cell walls remain intact and no nutrients or constituents escape into the water. Drying breaks the cell walls. 

Teas are sipped for enjoyment, relaxation and the medicinal benefits offered by the plant. Infusions provide the added benefit of supplying easily absorbed vitamins and minerals. Flowers, such as chamomile, lavender, elder, jasmine, and hibiscus are commonly used in teas. A favorite of green tea drinkers is the addition of jasmine flowers. This blend is rich in antioxidants and is considered healthful to the brain and heart.

Cover you brew and let it steep for a few minutes to extract the flavor and medicinal properties. If you like, you can add them to infusions, but usually, they are just used in tea.  

Medicinal Flower Tinctures

Tincturing with a solvent such as vodka is necessary to extract some medicinal qualities. Glycerine is sometimes used for children and people who are sensitive to alcohol. It does not extract as many constituents as alcohol. 

Tinctures are easy to use and are readily absorbed. They are a good way of taking bitter flower medicine. They can be mixed with a little water or juice and downed quickly or added to your favorite teas. 

Sometimes dried flowers are used to make high quality tinctures, but usually fresh flowers are best.

Examples of medicinal tinctures made from flowers include:

  • elder flowers for sinusitis, colds, and flu
  • echinacea for boosting immunity
  • poppy flowers to ease pain
  • wild rose to calm anxiety 
  • elder flowers for sinusitis, colds, and flu
  • passionflower to ease anxiety, stress, and to help you sleep.

Some of these medicinal flowers are also found in tea blends.

Physical and Vibrational Flower Therapy

The following flower remedies work on the physical level as well as the energetic level. Like everything, they have energy, or a vibrational frequency. It is believed that they have a positive impact on the aura, or energy body, because they have a high frequency that acts as a catalyst for healing.  Repeated applications are often needed for the body and energy field to hold the introduced vibration for longer periods of time.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are usually made from the steam extracted volatile oils of flowers and other parts. When you pick up the scent of flowers in the air, that is their volatile oils escaping. Molecules enter the blood stream as you inhale. They can also be absorbed through your skin. 

Aromatherapy primarily heals on a physical level.  Certain flowers and resins, such as frankincense and jasmine, are sometimes used for spiritual healing, energy healing, or raising the vibration of a space.

Rose, jasmine, and lavender are three flowers that make flower therapy a joy because of the heavenly scent of thses healing essential oils. 

Homeobotanical Remedies

Homeobotanical Remedies include combinations of herbs to address certain conditions. Most remedies include tinctures made of flowers along with other plant parts.

These remedies work on a physical level because they contain actual plant material. They also work on the energetic, or vibrational, level, because they are dilute and potentized like homeopathic remedies

Flower Essences

Flower essences are in a class by themselves. Unlike tinctures, oils, teas and other herbal preparations that use any and all plant parts, they are made solely from flowers. The only exception I am aware of is Bach's rock water. 

Flower essences are vibrational healing remedies because they primarily work on the emotional, mental and spiritual energy levels. If a physical healing happens, it is usually because a related core spiritual or emotional issue is released at one or more of those levels. 

There are different systems of flower essences. Bach remedies are the most well-known. The Flower Essence Repertory profiles the Bach remedies and many other flowers as well.

 Each flower in a system is linked to specific emotional, mental, and spiritual states. You introduce the energy signature of the flower and those positive qualities into your energy field with each dose.

Flower essences combine beautifully with homeobotanical remedies and may be mixed in the same bottle for one convenient remedy.

Live flowering plants

Whether in field or garden, flowers offer the same benefits as essences. You can benefit from the vibration of a flowering plant just by sitting in its presence. Ask for mental and emotional healing, open your heart, and meditate on its positive qualities. Find this information in a book or online source.  Better yet, let your intuition guide you to a flower. Visit a nursery and choose flowers that make you feel good when you look at them and/or smell them.

Whether you take essence drops or sit with a living plant, your vibration raises to match the vibration of the plant. As your vibration rises, negative states fall away and shift to more positive ones.

Mind and Body Healing with Flowers 

Flower therapy, in all its forms, helps you heal and transform in mind, body and spirit. One flower, depending on the constituents that are extracted from different parts of the plant and how it is prepared, may have very different actions. 

Example 1: Hypericum perforata

flower therapy, saint johns wort

Saint John's Wort, is not just a flower therapy for feeling depressed.  

Hypericum means over the spirit. It sensitizes us to light, so you must be careful of too much sunlight when taking it.

Research shows that hypericum tincture is useful for mild to moderate depression,  menopausal symptoms, and for those who manifest their mental states as body symptoms.  

Hypericum flower oil helps with wound healing, scar formation, and nerve pain. In homeopathic medicine, hypericum is used for nerve pain.

The flower essence of hypericum is for highly sensitive people who carry a lot of light within, making it difficult for them to incarnate and contain their light. It is also for sustaining light when feeling melancholic or depressed due to sunlight deprivation. It provides protection during the dark of night, and helps with sleep disturbances and negative entities.

Example 2: Achillea millifolium

yarrow, healing with flowers

Yarrow offers flower therapy physically and emotionally.

On the physical level, white yarrow relaxes smooth muscles, making it good for cramping in the digestive tract and uterus.  It may reduce fever when taken internally because it makes you sweat.

Yarrow is astringent and helps stop external and internal bleeding, which made the tincture a popular remedy for heavy menstrual bleeding and nosebleeds.

It is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic for infections inside the body and out. Make an infusion of yarrow flowers and drink to help relieve congestion and stimulate digestion. Also use the infusion as a wash for eczema, oily skin, and wounds. 

From a flower essence perspective, yarrow is useful for those who are particularly affected by their surroundings. It is wonderful for counselors, teachers and healers. It helps strengthen the aura and harmonizes one's spiritual nature with the physical world.   

As you can see, flower medicine has far reaching effects for mind, body and spirit. Whether enjoying a single wildflower, an herbal brew, or flowers for emotions, flower therapy has the power to heal, inspire, and touch your heart. 

Related Pages

Flower Therapy: Healing with Flowers page updated 03/2020

For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

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