Frequently Asked Questions

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are infusions of flowers in water, that are potentized and then stabilized in a solution of brandy and water. They contain no scent or perfume and should not be confused with essential oils.

A flower essence is the vibrational imprint of a flower that has been transferred and stabilized in water. Flower essences can help us recognize, resolve, or release different conditioned ways of perceiving the world and can help us experience greater well-being and harmony in our lives. By creating harmony within us, we often notice distinct changes in ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, page 37

The medicine peoples of many cultures have used flower essences since ancient times, but only in the past seventy years or so, have they become better known.

The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, page 37

I have come to understand that flowers are a physical manifestation of a universal principle or aspect of God. Each flower seems to have a specific theme, lesson, or aspect of a universal principle that it embodies. In this sense, flower essences represent the spirituality of flowers.

The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, pages 41-42
What are flower essences used for?

Flower essences are very effective in helping us to recognize and rid ourselves of limiting or destructive patterns of behavior. The essences support us in extending our consciousness beyond its present state. They provide a language that helps us to understand our emotions and inner soul urgings.
Flower essences can help us reduce stress in our lives, resolve old traumas, and deal with painful or negative emotions. They have helped many people to know and understand themselves, so they could more creatively find a sense of direction and life work. They can be used for short-term support in coping with difficult situations, as well as for long-term growth and change. Most people report feeling better about themselves and find an improved attitude toward life. Most people who use flower essences over a long period of time report a deepening sense of spiritual understanding.

The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, page 37
How are flower essences used?

Flower essences can be used in a number of ways:

Our flower essences can be used as they are from their original stock bottles. Use 4 drops under the tongue, repeat 4 times a day, or as needed. To enhance its effects, use it more often instead of increasing the number of drops. If you accidentally touch the glass pipette, rinse it thoroughly with hot water before putting the dropper back into the bottle to avoid contamination.
Orally, with water
Add 4 drops to a glass with water, repeat 4 times a day, or as needed.
Our experience shows that it is not necessary to take flower essences orally. You can use any flower essence directly on the physical body. Some people like rubbing a few drops on chakra points or acupuncture points, or any place where your intuition directs you. They can also be used by adding 7 drops to a sprayer bottle filled with water and misting a room or yourself. You can also spray clothes before ironing them, or spray your pillow before sleeping. Another way of using a flower essence is to add a dropper full to your bath. What is important to remember is that flower essences are vibrational solutions, and surrounding yourself with them, inside or outside, is the best way to experience their effects.
Using with children
Babies and children respond very well to flower essences. A powerful and simple way to use them is by placing a few drops on your hands and touching gently the baby or child. You can also use 4 drops in a glass, sippy-cup, or baby bottle, with water. Repeat 4 or more times a day or as needed.
Using with animals
Pets and animals respond very well to flower essences. Use 4 drops in the animal’s drinking water, repeat 4 times per day, or as needed. For horses or other large animals, use 10 to 20 drops at a time. Another powerful way to use them is by placing a few drops on your hands and stroking the animal down the spine or other parts of the body. The length of time to use an essence may vary from a few days to a few weeks. A guideline is to observe the animal’s behavior and use as needed.
Dosage bottles
If you are taking more than one flower essence at the same time, a convenient way to do so is to prepare what is called a dosage bottle, also known as a mixing bottle. To prepare a dosage bottle, add 4 drops of each flower essence to a 1 ounce bottle (30 mL) filled with a solution of 75% water and 25% brandy, and take 4 drops, 4 or more times a day, as needed.
How many flower essences can I use at the same time?

If you want to select essences for yourself, it is advisable to focus on using just a few at a time. While there are no hard-fast rules to preclude your using more essences, you might want to limit the number of essences you use together to no more than 5. Even though our Composite Formulas contain more than one flower, they may be used as if they were single essences.

How long do I need to take a flower essence?

A normal cycle is usually 2 to 4 weeks. Some folks may need to take an essence for a shorter period while others may need to use an essence for several months.

If you want to increase their effects, use them more often rather than more drops each time. Persons usually like to take them more frequently at first, then find themselves tapering off as they near the end of the cycle. At the end of a cycle, they may forget to take them altogether, and this is normal.

For further information on how to ascertain the length of time to use a flower essence, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.

What happens when I use flower essences?

As we use a flower essence, we begin to resonate in harmony with the qualities of the flower, and limitations and disharmonies begin to change. It is not necessary to believe in them to experience their benefic effects. They’ve been used successfully not only with adults and children, but also with animals and plants.
Flower essences do not overwhelm or force something to happen. They do, however, help us become conscious of things that are already happening with ourselves. As a result, sometimes we may have an awarenesses with which we are uncomfortable.
The essences effect a shift in consciousness, and each person may experience the effects differently. To recognize how they are working, it is necessary to observe our inner state. The more attuned we are to our inner life, the easier it is to recognize the flower essence’s effects.
A balance between self-contemplation and feedback from trusted family members and friends is helpful to show us the changes that happened. Writing in a journal about our experiences can create clarity about the essences’ effects.
If you like, you can see a professional flower essence counselor for additional help. It is very beneficial, when dealing with intense emotional processing, to seek help from an experienced practitioner. Working with a professional can help clarify processes and provide support for peeling off the layers of worldly cares that usually accompany healing processes.

The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, page 38
How do I select which flower essences to use?

Flower essences can be selected in a number of ways. Usually, a flower essence practitioner uses one or a combination of the following methods to select flower essences:

  • detailed interview with the client;
  • intuitive impression of the client’s concerns;
  • muscle testing;
  • dowsing with a pendulum;
  • a cross-reference of the flower essences.

Our book The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences contains a detailed explanation on how to use different methods to select flower essences in an effective way.

Since flower essences do not have negative side effects, it is completely safe to select the essences yourself. If you use an essence that you don’t need, nothing will happen.

To select flower essences:

When reading about flower essences we often recognize our attitudes in the descriptions of many of the flowers, however, to narrow down the selection, it is important that you ask yourself the following question: what issues are most important to me right now, today? Identify three things that you would like to change or issues with which you want resolution.

Next, ask yourself: what is underlying these issues? or what is at the root or core of this situation? Holding this question in your awareness, scan the list of flower essences and see if one or more hold your attention more than others. You may want to use these few essences together or you may decide to use just one essence at a time.

Another method of selecting flower essences is by using our cross reference included in The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, our comprehensive guide to using desert flower essences. This book contains more in-depth descriptions of the harmonizing qualities each essence embodies, and the patterns of imbalance that exist when the essences are needed. Its cross reference section includes different states of being and the essences that help harmonize them. For instance, you can look up “anger” or “creativity” and find the essences that offer support. If you don’t have the book, you can use the search function in this website.

The Desert Alchemy Expanded Cross Reference book shows the fine differences between the recommended flower essences so you can pinpoint the precise one for your need.

Can I use flower essences together with other healing modalities?

Flower essences can be used on their own or in conjunction with other therapies to enhance a healing process. They have been used with great success by flower essence practitioners, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, psychologists, medical doctors, veterinarians, and other health care practitioners. The essences can be an extremely effective tool in the hands of an experienced practitioner to enhance awareness, facilitate healing and create harmony.

While it is helpful to have the assistance and insight of someone of wide experience while using them, the essences can also be a great personal support for those inspired to follow their own instincts in essence selection. Since flower essences are safe and have no negative side effects, they can be used with confidence by beginners and experienced users alike. They are an excellent aid for those desiring to take responsibility for their own well-being.

What can I do if I am sensitive to alcohol?

We have found that adding a preservative is essential to keep flower essences pure and sterile. After years of testing several alternatives, we have found that brandy is the most reliable and palatable.

If you are sensitive to alcohol, we suggest adding a few drops of the flower essence to a glass with water. This will disperse the alcohol. You may even add them to hot tea or boiling water to help evaporate the alcohol.

Alternatively, you can use the essences externally, with the same effectiveness, by rubbing a few drops onto your skin or adding 5 to 7 drops to a sprayer bottle filled with water and misting yourself or your surroundings.

Are Desert Alchemy® flower essences gluten-free?

Yes. All ingredients of our flower essences are gluten-free, including the brandy with which they are preserved.

What’s unique about Desert Alchemy® Flower Essences?

Since 1983 we have been producing flower essences from native plants from the deserts in Arizona, USA. The growing conditions in this unique environment are extreme and the plant life has developed amazing adaptation strategies.

Opportunities exist for extraordinarily rapid growth interspersed with times of enforced withdrawal and conservation of the life force. Some desert plants can produce leaves within six hours of a rainfall, but can continue the process of photosynthesis without leaves at all if necessary. Desert plants tend to individuate rather than be enmeshed. Yet the interrelation of plant and animal life creates an environment of mutual support, allowing an atmosphere teeming with life that may not be apparent at first glance.

Throughout history, the desert has been one of the places where individuals have gone for strengthening their sense of spiritual connectedness. Key words about the energy of the desert are adaptability, clarity, individuation, expansion, inner security, and resolving alienation from self or others. The heart of this environment is an integral part of Desert Alchemy® flower essences.

Each one of our flower essences is co-created from wild desert flowers, right at the plant as it grows in nature. Every bottle is prepared by hand with caring attention and blessings.

How did Cynthia arrive at the information that she presents about each flower essence?

Cynthia’s initial flower essence findings were not made public until 1990, after eight years of research had taken place. The most comprehensive source for her research was published in 1997 in the book called The Alchemy of the Desert, fourteen years after she started making flower essences. The book was revised and published in 2002 with the title The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition. Following is a quote from this book:

Perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions is how I arrived at the descriptions of each essence. Researching flower essences is a marriage of sensitive attunement and logical observation over a period of many years. In each of the following steps, I keep extensive records.
First, I am drawn to a plant when I am invited by the nature kingdom to make an essence. I observe everything that happens within myself during the process of making the essence.
Second, I observe everything I can about the plant objectively, its size, shape, color, scent, identifying characteristics, […]
Next, I attune to the plant and invite it to show me its qualities as well as the patterns of disharmony within myself with which it works. Then I use the flower essence with myself and document what happens when I use it. This includes subjective as well as objective impressions.
I then use the essence with others and observe what happens. I do follow-up sessions in which I invite others to share with me their experiences while using the essence. I also invite other practitioners to use the flower essence without giving information as to my impressions.
Once one or more definite patterns and qualities emerge and are shown to be effective for a number of persons, I compile all of the above information and attempt to synthesize it. The complete process takes years, a lot of intense self-inquiry, careful documentation, and patience.

The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition, page 55

Since 1983, we have been given feedback from professionals and self-help users about each essence. Some of these people have used the essences without knowing anything about our research, while others have used them and shared whether they found the same “patterns of imbalance” and “harmonizing qualities” as we did. Everyone’s feedback is valuable in helping to understand the remarkable qualities of desert flower essences.

We welcome your comments, experiences and case histories with these and all of our flower essences. Please contact us by telephone, fax, mail, or e-mail with any feedback you have.

How can I get further information about Desert Alchemy® flower essences?

For in-depth information about our desert flower essences, please refer to the comprehensive reference book The Alchemy of the Desert, Second Edition.

To learn more about how to select and use flower essences, please see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.

Check also Cynthia’s other books:

Other sources of information include our website,, and our workshops.

Flower Essence Therapy

What is flower essence therapy?

Flower essence therapy is a term that names the practice of using flower essences in a consistent, purposeful way to experience emotional harmony and spiritual well-being. Flower essences can be used on their own or in conjunction with other healing modalities to support or change our emotional attitudes and ways of perceiving ourselves. They provide a language that helps us to understand our inner world and the ways in which we respond to life and life’s situations.

The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences, page 39-40
What kind of professional could benefit from incorporating the use of flower essences in his/her healing practice?

A professional from any healing field can incorporate flower essences into his or her practice. Many medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and dentists are now using flower essences personally and in their practices. Chiropractors, massage therapists and body workers of all types have added flower essences to their sessions. Spiritual counselors, ministers, shamans and those who do laying on of hands have also found the flower essences to be an important aid in their work. Many homeopathic and naturopathic doctors use them as well.

While many healing modalities focus on the physical aspects of healing, flower essence therapy addresses the emotional and spiritual levels. Healing is a multilevel process that encompasses the whole person, which includes the physical body, the emotions, mental outlook, attitudes and spiritual understanding.
A growing number of health care practitioners now recognize that patients with the best outlook on life and who feel emotionally supported tend to recover faster and have fewer reoccurrences of an illness. By incorporating flower essences with other healing therapies, a practitioner can support the client’s emotions, attitudes and spiritual awareness.

The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences, page 39-40

The Desert Alchemy® Flower Essence Therapy Course

How often is the Flower Essence Therapy Course offered?

The Flower Essence Course is offered once a year.

I am new to flower essences, can I take this course?

Yes, the purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity to learn the dynamics of using flower essences both professionally and for self-help. It is also a personal opportunity to better understand ourselves and experience first-hand the healing power of flower essence therapy. This course is perfectly suited to those who are interested in experiencing the powerful healing qualities of nature in the desert as well as helping themselves with flower essences.

If I miss a class, will it be available as a recording?

Yes, if you miss a class you will be able to watch a recording. However, because the course has an interactive format, we strongly encourage active participation of the students during the live class.

Shipping Information

When will my order be shipped?

We do our best to ship all orders according to the following schedule (see exceptions below):

If your order is received onIt will be shipped on
Monday thru Friday before 11 AM MST*Same day
Monday thru Friday after 11 AM MST*Next business day
Saturday or SundayMonday
HolidaysNext business day

* Note: Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. We are always on Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is 7 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-7). There is so much light here we never have to adjust our clocks, lucky us 🙂

Exceptions – The shipment of your order may be delayed if:

  • Our system cannot verify that your address is valid and complete.
  • The shipping method you chose is not available to the address you provided, for example, UPS cannot deliver to post office boxes.
  • You made a special request that requires additional handling or that requires that we contact you for clarification or further instructions.
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