Exploring and resolving the root of assimilation
with flower essences.


  1. to take in and incorporate as your own
  2. to absorb information and experience from life
  3. to bring into conformity with the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group so you can experience commonality and share oneness

The desert is a wonderful teacher about individuation. It supports us in recognizing our own uniqueness and communicating that to others, which is the foundation for making boundaries. The desert is also an excellent teacher for issues of crossing boundaries, which is the foundation of assimilation.

Assimilation is a mysterious process of taking things in and incorporating them as your own. It involves the movement of something through a permeable boundary. We assimilate food into the body, information into the mind, experiences into understanding, and inspiration and higher truth for our soul and spirit. We assimilate the customs of societal groups so we can feel a commonality and share oneness with others.

Assimilation in many forms is the foundation for growing and developing physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. What happens, however, when this important process is interrupted or stymied in some way? How can we heal this function and bring it back to wholeness? The dysfunction of the assimilation process on an emotional and mental level can be at the root of eating disorders, feeling alienated from others, reading and learning disorders, and an inability to fully comprehend life and make wisdom from experience.

When we want to assimilate something to which we have been exposed, like an idea or an experience, it needs to permeate our boundaries to become incorporated as a part of us.

Impediments to Assimilation

How is assimilation impeded? In my many years of working intimately with others with flower essences I have observed that emotional disturbances are quite often the culprit. Those who were raised in dysfunctional families may have adapted strategies for survival that included limiting the intake of information because they were too young to be able to make sense of it, or because it was too painful or nonsensical to assimilate. Others may have been ridiculed or traumatized around intellectual pursuits and shut down or limited their ability to take in information.

Some folks came to faulty conclusions about themselves that resulted in shutting down their desire to assimilate food properly. Traumatic experiences with spiritual or religious interactions may have resulted in blockages to the ability to assimilate meaningful spiritual experiences.

Information or sensory overload is another impediment to assimilation. Difficulty assimilating can also be the result of attempting to absorb something from a source that is not nourishing. In other instances, even once you know what you want to assimilate, you may sometimes have difficulty clearly focusing on it.

These are a few considerations around what keeps us from assimilating:

  • Faulty conclusions about self that result in shutting down assimilation: self-sabotage
  • The source from which you are attempting to assimilate is not nourishing
  • A child-like or immature perspective
  • Inability to clearly focus on what you want to assimilate
  • Past or present unresolved emotional trauma
  • Survival strategies that limit the intake of information or experience
  • Information or sensory overload
  • Inflexible boundaries that keep you from assimilating

Let’s consider flower essences that can help us with these issues.



Some folks have shut down or blocked their ability to assimilate things because deep down they believe that they are not worthy. Inmortal is the essence to use to help transform feelings of inadequacy, shame, and unworthiness. This is the foundation for self-love that opens the pathway for assimilation. For those who are self-destructive or who sabotage themselves, Inmortal can be an important key.

Non-Nourishing Sources

Photo of Palmer Amaranth

Palmer Amaranth plays an important role in assimilation. It helps us nourish our roots by bringing our focus from the surface level to the roots of our being, or to what is most essential to nourish, so we can evolve.

This is the essence to use when the problem with assimilation is caused by the type of “soil” in which we have our roots. If we are to assimilate nourishment, we must be sure that the place from which we are assimilating has what we really need.

To continue the metaphor of soil and roots, when the soil in which our roots are planted contains old unforgiven incidents, the nourishment we receive is less than fully evolutionary. To go back and forgive and release old hurts and wrongs of childhood is one of the ways to nourish the roots of who we are. We can free ourselves by revisiting and renewing our connections to others. This is the fertilizer of evolutionary growth.

Palmer Amaranth can help us nourish our roots by helping us focus at the depth of being. It can highlight what needs to be cleared or transformed and help us know what really nourishes us.

I have used this essence not only with people with eating disorders, but also people who are addicted to doing or constantly taking action rather than allowing themselves to simply be. Folks usually report that they find a depth and meaning in how they nurture themselves that they previously didn’t have.

One woman, while using Palmer Amaranth, suddenly decided to leave her family to fend for themselves and spend a month alone at a vacation home in another country. During this time she spent each day in silence, meditating, journaling, walking in nature and receiving a level of inner nurturance she had never previously found. This special time created a new foundation for her life when she returned home to her family. She developed a new way of keeping her center while still supporting her family.

In the words of Kabir, “If you want to experience an abundance of flower and fruit, nourish the root.” This is the special gift of Palmer Amaranth.

Immature Perspectives


The image that captures Salsify’s main pattern of imbalance is a germinating seed that is attempting to unfold according to its nature but is struggling because of the lack of some vital nourishing element. This flower essence helps us when a child-like or immature perspective keeps us from assimilating experiences. It supports us in coming to a new and higher stage of maturity. The ability to assimilate experiences so we can change our behavior is the foundation for maturing. Some of us block this assimilation process with our childish views of ourselves, of others, or of the world.

One man had been going through a difficult time. He had been laid off of work, his girlfriend gave him an ultimatum about their relationship, and he wanted to resolve the issues he had with people who had been taking advantage of him. He also recognized that he had a conflict about being an artist but at the same time having a job that makes enough money to properly support himself.

After using Salsify for a month he reported that he became more mature:

I feel much more resolved about who I am and the vision I have for my life. I feel more in touch with faith, the faith that my life is unfolding according to plan, even if I don’t know exactly what that plan is. I have been wanting to complete a painting I started ten years ago. I had been pushing myself to make it happen. I now feel that it will get done in its own perfect time.

I am also learning to stand up for myself and not let others take advantage of me. This is such a big change. I feel more like a man and no longer a boy.

Eight weeks after he used the Salsify, he casually told me that he made a commitment to his girlfriend to live together and planned on getting married. He had been with her for several years but hadn’t felt mature enough to commit until now.

Another woman who was unresolved about a relationship used Salsify for three weeks. She reported the following.

I feel like a lot of emotional healing has taken place. I feel much more mature emotionally. I let go of many things from my past. I rested a lot during these three weeks and felt that an emotional maturation process was taking place. I cleaned a lot of old things out of my house. I was cleaning things out of my emotional body at the same time. I let go of many things of the past.

I had been planning on marrying a man, mainly for a feeling of security. We get along well, but I am not really in love with him. I told him that I didn’t want to marry him. He doesn’t want to end our relationship, he wants to at least be friends. I feel much more emotionally mature and emotionally independent.

I stopped eating junk food and began eating food that is healthy.

These are a few examples of how assimilation of our experiences can result in the creation of a mature foundation with Salsify.

Another aspect of Salsify’s support centers around trying too hard at something. Excessive efforting can block our ability to assimilate or understand something. It is for those that believe that if we just try hard enough, success is guaranteed. However, pushing too had sometimes creates a block to integration.

One of my teachers often said that all information we need already exists within us. We just need to let go of everything standing in the way of receiving it. Collecting and hoarding can block our ability to assimilate. Some of us may collect a lot of information because we think that we might someday need it. Salsify can help you know that all the information you need in a given moment will be available. The information that you think you need is not always the information that you do need. Having a clear and open channel to receive information is more important than hoarding.

Inability To Clearly Focus

Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus is the essence to use if you have difficulty remaining clearly focused on what you want to assimilate. This simple flower essence is direct and to the point, helping us clarify fuzzy thinking or undirected thoughts.

Unresolved Emotional Traumas

Dyssodia is the essence to use when we sense something but it has not trickled down into full comprehension. It’s as if the information is floating around over our head, just out of reach.

One mother shared the following story:

Photo of Dyssodia

I have to tell you this story because it was so powerful and immediate an experience with your flower essences. My twenty-one-year-old daughter is at [a university] and just started her Calculus class last week. When she came home she told me, ‘This is too hard. I will never be able to understand it. It’s impossible.’ She was so disappointed and discouraged that it broke my heart.

When she goes to school, she takes a sixteen ounce bottle of water with her. I often put flower essences in her water according to what I think she needs. She likes taking them, but doesn’t ask what they are for. On the day of her second Calculus class, I put four flower essences in her water bottle: Dyssodia, Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus, Crisis Formula, and the Transitions Formula.

I had been reading about Dyssodia and thought it might help her with integrating complex information. Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus has helped me so much with clarity and focus that I included it. The Crisis Formula I thought might help her to be centered and present and relieve any stress from going back to a class where she had had such an emotional upset last week. Transitions Formula I included because she was going through a transition in a relationship with her boyfriend.

Four hours later, when she came home she immediately said, ‘Mom, the teacher must have been teaching differently because my Calculus class was very easy today. I like this stuff. It’s not hard at all.’

It was clear to me that the flower essences had made the difference. She didn’t know what essences were in her water or what they are used for. It is so rewarding to see such a huge change take place from such a simple thing as flower essences. My daughter is now excited about her class, when last week she was in despair.

Sometimes, Dyssodia can give us an “Ah, ha!” experience. Often when a client uses this essence he or she will report that they uncovered some traumatic situation that resulted in shutting down the assimilation of information. One woman recently shared a revelation she had when in high school.

I have for years had a mental block about technical information. Couldn’t read instructions, or follow instructions, or process technical data. While taking the Dyssodia, I remembered a traumatic incident in high school in which I was publicly humiliated and mocked before the whole school. I was made to stand on an over-turned garbage pail on the stage at a school assembly and receive an “award,” the Grimy Day award. The president of the student body and captain of the football team were mad at me, because I stood up to them when the former wanted to use some of my work to cheat and I refused, and the latter was two-timing a friend, and I ratted him out.

I was framed by these jealous boys. I was bullied, simply for being brainy and smarter than the guys. Up until that time, I had been very bright in both math and physics. In college, I had to drop math, and I didn’t dare try to study science, because of what I now recognize was a trauma response.

My trauma was actually around processing technical information. This realization made me wonder if other people who need this essence might also have been severely criticized or humiliated as part of their learning process. It fits with the wanting to make others behave you describe in [The Alchemy of the Desert – Second Edition].

I am happy to report I am focusing better, and processing technical information better. I am taking a class on color theory and able to take in the information that I couldn’t get before.”

Dyssodia can help us uncover and release blockages that have kept us from assimilating information.

Outdated Survival Strategies

Big Root Jatropha is the essence to use when the blockages to assimilation center around using the mind to control the pace of development so you don’t feel out of control. Those who have had experiences as children with dysfunctional parents and have developed a strategy of controlling their environment so they could feel safe can be helped with this essence. Usually these folks are afraid of their inner child because they were abused as children.

Photo of Big Root Jatropha

Just as the big roots of this plant store its nutrients, the flower essence helps us assimilate the information we stored from our childhood experiences and make some sort of sense out of it all.

One of the dysfunctional patterns that often results from dysfunctional situations is an attempt to control everything around us to keep ourselves safe. Big Root Jatropha helps us expand beyond this tendency and broaden our perspective. Instead of attempting to keep ourselves from having experiences, we learn to assimilate our experiences and learn as we go.

Once we find our ability to assimilate experiences, many dynamics in our lives can change. We realize that we can make decisions about our safety and appropriate boundaries more easily. We learn how to keep ourselves safe and out of potentially abusive or undesirable situations. Decisions about our safety can be made from wisdom rather than from a need to control.

At some point in our healing we usually need to come to terms with our inner child. Big Root Jatropha helps this happen because we feel that our inner mother, or the ability to understand and protect ourselves, is solidly in place.

This essence helps us address any challenges we have to our ability to assimilate and grow. During times of great changes or transformational experiences, Big Root Jatropha helps us assimilate what is happening to us and create meaning in our lives.

Big Root Jatropha is also the essence that helps children through growth spurts. I have had young clients who were growing so fast that their bones ached. Big Root Jatropha helped relieve the aching and take these growth spurts in stride. One nine-year-old boy with this experience told me that he felt a lot more confident in school because he stopped worrying about how everyone would see him.

Information Overload

Photo of Fairy Duster

In our fast-paced, information-filled world we sometimes need to shut down or limit information input. Fairy Duster is the essence to use for helping us have appropriate discrimination. It is through the nervous system that information first comes into the body. We can easily feel overwhelmed or overloaded by too much information.

In a class or seminar we may reach a point where our mind is no longer engaged, not because we are not interested, but because we need some time and space to integrate what we have already taken in. Fairy Duster helps soothe the nervous system and allow a better transduction of information. Many students have said that they can study easier with this essence. In the seminars we give we recommend folks use this flower essence before sleeping so that they can more easily integrate and be refreshed. This is the flower essence that we like to use when we attend a big show or convention where many interesting exhibits leave us depleted and exhausted.

Fairy Duster is also helpful near bedtime when children have been over-stimulated and need to calm down and assimilate the day’s activities so that they can transition into sleep.

Fairy Duster can help us shift gears to a more mentally active or stimulating environment. Mothers with young children sometimes can feel overwhelmed when they suddenly find themselves in a more mentally stimulating environment.

As we evolve, we go through times when we attain a new level of consciousness. The more developed our consciousness becomes, the higher its vibration becomes. When we are in the presence of someone of a highly developed consciousness, we may need to shut down or fall asleep so that we can integrate. Fairy Duster allows us to adjust more easily to a higher vibration or level of intensity of energy so we can assimilate. Fairy Duster’s calming and soothing effects to the nervous system can be a foundation for the process of assimilating as we grow in consciousness.

Inflexible Boundaries

The core of assimilation resides in the ability to permeate a boundary. If we look at a physical level, assimilation is modeled by the semi-permeable membrane of the cell. To allow a nutrient to enter, the cell modifies its membrane so that the membrane matches the nutrient, in the same way that the pins in a lock match the key.

If the cause of an assimilation problem is an inability to permeate a boundary, Making & Honoring Boundaries Formula is the essence to use. If you become too rigid in your boundaries, the information or experiences you need cannot penetrate. This essence can help you match your boundaries to an experience, to reshape it, if necessary.

How can you recognize if your boundaries are too rigid? If your preconceived ideas keep you from having new experiences that could possibly enrich you, then the boundary is too rigid. If you hold back from experimenting and trying something new or different, then one or more of your boundaries are impermeable. If you had a hard time learning to make a boundary and still feel a little insecure in the process, you might be a bit inflexible with a boundary.

Making & Honoring Boundaries Formula gives a special support for reshaping a boundary appropriately so that discovery can take place. Once you discover a boundary that helps you, you must allow it to change according to the needs of the moment. One of the beauties of the Making & Honoring Boundaries Formula is that it will not force you to open your boundaries if you are not ready or if something is not appropriate for you. Honoring and respecting where you are in the process is vital. This formula is a quiet support to help you find when and how to safeguard yourself while allowing in what is truly nourishing. The formula can bring you confidence to discover that you can flex and change and be perfectly supported.

Selecting the Most Appropriate Flower Essences

Not every flower essence mentioned above will be appropriate for every person’s specific needs. Different people have different issues around assimilation. The process itself of exploring and contemplating your relationship to assimilation is important. It is the foundation for successfully selecting the most beneficial flower essences. Usually, careful self-examination can clearly show you which of the above flower essences are most appropriate for the root of your assimilation issues.

Though you can use more than one flower essence together, you probably will not need to use all of the ones mentioned here. After contemplating your relationship to this issue, select the flower essences that apply for you, or use an intuitive method to select among them. (For more information on how to do this, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.) A general guideline is to use four drops at a time, four times a day, in water. However, it is fine to follow your intuition and use them as often as you like. Most people find that they tend to use them more often in the beginning and less often towards the end of the cycle. Unless otherwise indicated, a cycle is usually two to four weeks. [more]

For information on how to clearly evaluate the effects of the essences you have used, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.

List of the Flower Essences Mentioned in this Article

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