Are there flower essences that tend to be more cathartic in effect?


Thank you for your question about cathartic flower essences. In a broad sense, we can include all flower essences in this category, since each one is intended to produce change. This healing goal differs markedly from the current medical paradigm with its primary aim to fix or adjust the client's behavior to societal norms. By contrast, the art of flower essence therapy involves the wise use of essences that produce transformation and the development of human potential.

The key is to use the essences in a manner that can be calibrated to each individual's capacity for recognition and integration. Flower essences can be calming or cathartic and any number of places between these two ends of the spectrum. What is important is to determine the alchemical context for each individual: what healing responses are needed in order to move the client to the next step? Sometimes a dramatic breakthrough is exactly what helps the client move to the next level of transformation. In other instances, the client needs calming, centering and containment.

For an overview on this topic, please review our basic research on the process of healing involved in flower essence therapy, entitled The Four Levels of Flower Essence Response.

Because each individual responds to the essences uniquely, they cannot be easily categorized or summarized. In many instances a so-called "dramatic" essence produces no discernable reaction, or only a very mild response, since a particular client is easily able to assimilate its message.

However, in other circumstances involving different individuals, the very same remedy can be more challenging. As Dr. Bach taught, we are always treating the individual, not the physical illness. Therefore, each flower essence must be seen in the context of each individual's relationship to it. This dynamic understanding of medicine differs markedly from the chemical/pharmaceutical standard of inert substances with static properties.

What we can provide is a list, according to our research, of those essences that are most known to stimulate and challenge the soul. Perhaps the best way to understand this phenomena, is to consider how change happens in human culture. Abilities or conditions that were regarded as "unattainable," are mastered in the beginning by a few individuals working against extreme or adverse conditions. When this barrier is broken, then more and more individuals can master the same challenge. (An obvious example of this psychic condition involves athletic achievements, such as running a four-minute mile — previously thought to be beyond human mastery, now considered achievable by many well-conditioned athletes).

With this concept in mind, the following list of essences refer to conditions in the collective human culture that are still at the "cutting edge of soul consciousness," and thus more likely to produce a dramatic response in some individuals:

Black Cohosh
Black-Eyed Susan
Bleeding Heart
Evening Primrose
Golden Eardrops
Scarlet Monkeyflower
Sweet Chestnut

For a full discussion of each of these flower essences please consult the FES On-Line Repertory at:


Patricia Kaminski

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