Quality Assurance FSG
Flower Essences are classed as ‘foods’ in the UK.
- They are non-toxic, water-based products, that have no chemical or biological materials present other than the water and its preservative (brandy, vodka, cider vinegar etc). They are produced by and are subject to, UK food standards, DEFRA labelling law and MHRA literature and descriptions guidance.
Essences are not Homeopathic Preparations :
Homeopathic preparations often start off the same way as essences do, with an aqueous solution of the source material. Homeopathic preparation are medicines as far as the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are concerned. They have their own sub-section in medicine law and manufacturers are required to meet rigid standards of production. If essences are labelled as “5x” or similar, they are not essences.
- Essences are not Herbal Preparations
Herbal preparations, such as tinctures, tissanes and decoctions all contain the chemical compounds present in the plant of source. If any of these preparations were subject to laboratory tests, the compounds could be identified and the source verified.
- Essences are not Essential Oils
Essential Oils are concentrated extracts of the active aromatic chemical compounds in plant material and can also be identified from laboratory analysis.
- Essences are not Medicines
Essence have no place in the medicines category in UK law. Their preparation is too simple, too diverse, and too linked into Nature to be able to be re-created in laboratory or other tightly controlled conditions. Attempts to make essences by high-tech processes destroy their intrinsic effectiveness.
What are flower essences?
- The simplest method for collecting essences, often these days called ‘the sunlight method’, is by floating flowers on the surface of a bowl of spring water, in sunlight, for several hours. The resulting liquid (the ‘mother’ essence) is then preserved in brandy or vodka.
- Nowadays there are many methods used for collecting essences:
- Sunlight Method
This is used for flower and many other types of essences : leaf, fruit, root, living
- Boiling Method
This is used for half of the essences within the Bach Flower range and is useful when flowers are out of season or there is a desire to collect from other parts of a plant. The plant material is boiled in water and left to cool naturally. The resulting liquid is filtered and then preserved.
- Moonlight Method
The same methodology as the ‘sunlight method’, but carried out by moonlight. Essences made by moonlight tend to be more subtle in their effect.
- Using Lasers
Lasers have been used to pass through plant matter and to then to imprint water.