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Friday, June 15, 2007

Essential Oils and Flower Essences - The Basics

Essential oils and flower remedies are often mistaken for one another, but they are not the same products at all. People who have never used flower essences, for instance, may lift the bottle to their nose to see what it smells like, and be shocked to learn that there is no fragrance at all, because flower essences have nothing to do with fragrance; their purpose is to transmit the vibrational properties of individual flowers (or a combination of flowers, in some cases) to humans or animals. On the other hand, essential oils, which are used in aromatherapy, DO have fragrance, and are created for the purpose of extracting or enhancing the fragrance from the flowers. Both kinds of products are natural medicines that share the following similarities:

Flowers (ed. note: 'plants' in general, as many essences and oils are not only from the flowers but other plant parts as well) are the source of their power

Both products are considered 'holistic', or part of the complementary and integrative medicine fields, because they address (in most cases) whole body systems rather than symptoms in isolation

Both hold the 'life force' or Chi of the plant from which it was taken

Both kinds of products are important for their natural healing properties

The main differences between the two kinds of products are:

They work on different systems in the body; essential oils (or aromatherapy) work through the physical (olfactory) system (ed. note: essential oils work on the complete physiology, not just through the sense of smell - different oils will target different body systems), and flower essences work through the electrical (electromagnetic) system.

Essential oils have fragrance; flower essences do not.

Essential oils are generally applied topically (although some food-grade oils may be taken internally, be sure to check the manufacturers recommendations and instructions before EVER taking essential oils internally, however, because many of them are toxic) (Ananda Apothecary Ed. Note: Yes, some essential oils are 'toxic' when taken internally in large amounts, usually with folks having specific illnesses - Wintergreen, Sage, and a few other oils should be used cautiously whatever the application; many medical aromatherapists around the world recommend taking oils internally, but you must know what you're doing, or get direction from a qualified practitioner! 'Essential Oil Safety' is an excellent text describing all known contraindications of essential oils - available through ...flower remedies are drops usually taken orally.

There might be circumstances where both kinds of products would be useful, but in most cases you would seek either one kind of product or the other. If, for instance, you were seeking ways to reduce stress and anxiety, you might take a flower remedy for stress and anxiety while also relaxing to a nice blend of essential oils in your bath or through an aromatherapy diffuser. Also, different people might respond better to one kind of remedy vs another; there are people who prefer fragrance, and others who don't.

If you are in doubt about which kind of product would be right for you, try both, and see which one inspires in you the healing response you seek.

2007 Nancy Boyd Learn more her

Nancy Boyd is a Certified Bach Flower Essence Therapist. For more information about flower essences, and to get a free report on the Hidden Secrets of Flowers, visit our web site and Get more information here

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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