Evergreen Vibrational Medicine. Ponderosa Pine Flower Essence.
Many folks that know me are surprised to learn that I work with flower essence's from knowing my geeky love of phytochemistry. Some either laugh in disbelief or comment that they would never think I would work with plants in this way. My love of plants and science expands further beyond that botanical remedies for the physical state of healing. I always pose the question when folks doubt or laugh at the use of flower essence; "what do you think about foresting or earthing, why do you think more folks are seeking it out"? Being out in nature offers healing on the emotional and physical realm. Being in nature clears our heads, we breath fresh clean air, connect to the land, sometimes crying it out, we get in shape, over time our health improves, we start to see the earth in a different way and for me it was the desire to disconnect from the hustle I lived and learn about the plants and the land. We disconnect from the concrete jungle, technology and connect with the earth in turn we may just find ourselves not wanting to return to hustle and those things that brought us stress. Romantic relationships and friendships may even shift. I know so many folks including myself that have changed because of spending more time outdoors to the point that the lives we once lived are not what resonate today. If Mother Nature is this powerful enough to create positive change in ones life, what power do the plants hold?
TINCTURES, EXTRACTS, ACETUMS, FLOWER ESSENCES, FLORAL WATERS.
I have seen folks list their flower essence as a "floral tincture" and it can be confusing to someone new to working with plants altogether. Folks may be confused by what a tincture, acetum, flower essence are used for. So to clear up the differences of these a flower essence is the energetic imprint of the plant by way of using the flower. It is not made in the same way that a tincture or an acetum (herbal vinegar) is made. Tinctures are also called extracts and acetums are made using the aerial and below portions of the plant or tree including resin and or bark then sat to macerate in a cool dark place in either an alcohol or vinegar for four to six weeks. The alcohol or vinegar (menstruum) extract particular plant constituents where as the flower essence is made using distilled, filtered or spring water and vibrant flowers of either a plant or tree with the aid of full sun and preserved by adding either brandy, vodka or vinegar for those who are sensitive to alcohol. Floral waters are another name for a steam distillation or a hydrodistillation. Hydrodistillation is a method used to extracting essential oils of plants. An extract/tincture or an acetum can be given to treat a condition or symptom like an upset stomach after a visit to the country fair and over indulging in fried Twinkies, corn dogs and beer or one is coming down with a cold or flu or you burned yourself from handling the hot cast iron handle so you dip a cloth in some rose vinegar to cool the heat, promote healing and relieve the throbbing pain. The aromatic compounds of the plant will not be picked up in a flower essence as it would be in a hot water extraction using vinegar or alcohol
Flower essences do not work on the physical realm whereas a flower essence works on the emotional state which when in a healthy emotional state our physical health can improve. Dr. Edward Bach was the founder of Bach Remedies flower essences in 1932. His work with plants for emotional healing began in the late 1920's. He was a physician jaded by the "modern medicine" of his time and was disgusted that physicians were to focus on the disease rather than the root cause. He began to explore working with the plants to help treat the roots of an issue opposed to using band-aids. He essentially packed up, abandoned his life and his scientific work and dedicated himself to study the plants that can be used as allies for healing emotional and mental states. He felt the cause of disease was emotional. A conflict between soul and mind that needed spiritual and mental effort to heal from. In his lifetime he developed 38 flower essences. Today there are many flower essences available. These are allies in helping reveal the obstacles and patterns, the destructive behavior that hinders productivity which that hold us back. They can help open the doors and reveal the paths that are restricting ones path. They can also help by resolving old traumas and negative emotions. They are also safe to use for children, our elders and pets. I was worried that our rescue cat would not adjust to life in a new home and new people, one of my teachers suggested a few flower essence that I could use in addition to the Chamomile glycerite I made for the Larrea our awesome new addition to our little family.
I have never made a flower essence with a flower from a tree, this was my first time being in the right place at the right time. The Ponderosa's male cones where in flower in Eastern Oregon on a camping trip. I have a deep love for the Pinus genera especially Pinon and Ponderosa. I set out for a hike in the Ponderosa forest and found one that was vibrant, full of red cones. It was a bit tricky trying to gather the whole cone (flower) and not break the cone open, yes some of the pollen came out which I filtered out may times when I processed the essence. Dr. Bach used Pine“For those who blame themselves. Even when successful they think they could have done better, and are never satisfied with the decisions they make. Would this remedy help me to stop blaming myself for everything?".
The "message" I get from this Pine is slightly different. When I make flower essences I also take into account the ecosystem in which it thrives. There is a symbiotic relationship and I believe that is part of its energetic medicine. How does the plant or tree grow, what does it like, how does it thrive? These are some of the questions I think about in addition to what energetic medicine comes from the plant or tree. Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa has a thick jigsaw puzzle like bark which helps insulate the tree from fire and lightening strikes. The thick bark protects the inside of the trunk and the living tissues that transport water and nutrients, from heat damage during a fire. It also depends on fire for helping in it's future. It has serotinous cones that can hang on the tree or fall to the forest floor enclosing mature seeds sealed shut by a resinous coating. Only when a fire sweeps through, melting the resin, do these heat-dependent cones open up, releasing seeds that are then distributed by wind and gravity. It has found a way to survive the driest of months with it's waxy coating covering the needles that help in retaining moisture, reflecting hot sun rays and repelling insects, the shallow lateral root system which absorb moisture, the deep tap root helps in grounding the tree allowing the tall giant to withstand harsh winds.
The message I got from Ponderosa is one of adaption, acceptance, strength, forgiveness and growth. Indications for working with Ponderosa Pine flower essence would be those who are being too hard on themselves, critical, judgmental, perfectionism, guilt and shame. Flower essence can be applied to the skin and taken internally. Applied topically by way of a spray bottle and used as a mist, 2 to 3 drops can be placed on the tongue, added to plain water (not flavored) or drops can be applied to the body. You can draw a bath and add 2-3 drops of flower essence to your bath. It can be used 3 to 4 times a day. In today's live fast times, some folks expect immediate results. Sometimes it may be weeks to months, others may see results sooner. When I worked with Larrea tridentata it was nearly a year of working with Larrea before I had that AH-HA moment and soon I found myself forgetting to take the flower essence which to me was the message that energetic medicine of this plant has done its work.
I will be offering Ponderosa Pine essence soon on my online store. For other folks who make quality essence I like Desert Alchemy, and Darcey Blue, Shamana Flora . I love Darcey Blue herbalist, teacher and wild-tender. She has a strong love of the earth which shows through her work and her offerings.