If you haven’t spotted flower remedies on your social feed (Jennifer Aniston and Naomi Watts are fans) or heard a yogi mate singing their praises, chances are you’ve clocked the glass bottles at a health store or supermarket. That’s if you don’t already have one in your desk drawer.
Remedies don’t actually contain any flower extract but, rather, advocates claim the benefits come from the subtle healing vibrations of a particular flower. The theory is that via these vibes, flowers can help to support our emotional health. The remedies are made by “charging” a flower, either in water under sunlight or by boiling it, thereby transferring the power of the plant to the liquid.
“Flower remedies work on similar principles to homeopathy,” explains Dr Niikee Schoendorfer, a nutritional biochemist and flower remedy expert. “Vibration is what we term the energy that exists around everything. Negative self-beliefs or patterns can create disharmony within our own energy fields – and we can use the particular vibrations of different flowers to help to rebalance things.”
There’s no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of flower remedies, although research in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders suggests they can serve as an effective placebo for things like pre-test anxiety. First used by Indigenous people and then popularised in the 1930s by British physician Edward Bach, they’re a form of complementary and alternative medicine. The long-standing appeal, believes flower therapist Stefano Mercanti, lies in their ability to “address the unique mental and emotional outlook of each [individual person]”.
Of course, it goes without saying that your doctor or a healthcare professional should be a first port of call for health woes. But if you’re intrigued, these traditional remedies are believed to address emotional imbalances caused by stress. Ready for some flower power?