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What exactly are essences?
Who invented them?
How are featherhawk essences different from the Bach essences?
How are essences made?
Are essences the same as essential oils and aromatherapy?
How do I know which ones to choose?

How do I take essences?
Are they safe for babies and children?
Can I use essences with my animal companions?
Do they produce side effects?

Why do they contain alcohol?
What if I want to avoid alcohol?
Tell me more about Red Shiso

Can I take essences if I'm also taking herbs or getting body work?
I'm taking a medication prescribed by my doctor. Is it safe to use essences?
How do I order essences?
I live outside of the United States. Can I order essences from featherhawk?
What if I don't have a PayPal® account?
What if I don't want to use PayPal®?
Who is Nanci Wesling?

What exactly are essences?

Let's begin with a dictionary definition for "essence." Then we'll explore the ways nature essences can help you restore sanity in a crazy world.

essence n. (Oxford American Dictionary)

     1. all that makes a thing what it is, its nature

     2. an indispensable quality or element

     3. an extract of something, containing all its important qualities in concentrated form

As you can see in the first two definitions, the essence of something is intangible - a "quality" rather than a substance. Yet it makes any given thing all that it is. The third definition, an extract, refers to an actual physical attribute, such as an herbal extract that contains actual chemical constituents.

featherhawk essences are most like the first two definitions. They contain no chemical constituents, just the "indispensable qualities" of nature. They are made from potentized water that is stabilized with alcohol or an alcohol-free herbal infusion, both of which give them an indefinite shelf life.

The water is potentized when the healing pattern of a plant, mineral, animal or other aspect of nature is imprinted into it by either physically placing the object in a bowl of water, or by invoking the life force into the water by attunement and intention. Either way, the water takes on the life force of the source and makes it available to us. The process itself is quite simple, yet profoundly sacred.


Who invented them?

Flower essences were first developed in the 1930's by the English physician, Edward Bach. Dr. Bach was a classically trained physician who became a pioneer in understanding the relationship of emotions to the health of body and mind. Today we call this the "body/mind connection," or the tongue-twister, "psychoneuroimmunology."

Dr. Bach was aware that many physical diseases could be directly related to a person's mental attitude. He also noted that emotions and thoughts affect the nervous system and the immune system, which can create stress, and stress can create illness. His philosophy was this: if harmony is restored to a person's mental and emotional outlook, he or she could then deal with the stresses of daily life and restore health and harmony. He also believed that people know themselves well enough that a system such as flower essences could be easily understood and utilized by them without the supervision of a doctor or other medical professional. This simple doctrine continues to guide the use of essences today.


How are featherhawk essences different from the Bach essences?

featherhawk was one of the first companies to produce animal essences, and has also expanded the world of essences to include sacred geometry, environmental phenomena, place, and sound, color and light.

The important issues we face in our lives today have expanded beyond Dr. Bach's day, as well. While the issues identified and addressed by the essences he produced are still with us, we are facing other critical problems that were not even heard of in the 1920's and 1930's.

We have generated tons of synthetic chemical compounds that now pollute our air, water, food, soil, and bodies. We suffer from diseases and disorders and syndromes and are given synthetic drugs to treat and manage our many "illnesses."

We are no longer customers to be cared for and supported; we are now "consumers" under the influence of "marketing specialists" for whom selling one more drug, frankenfood or widget is more important than whether or not the product contributes to our health and well-being or the common good.

We are inundated with information, chemicals and technology that wasn't even dreamed of in the first part of the 20th century. And we are exploring issues of sexuality, religion, relationship, childhood abuse, spirituality, race, and more that were simply not part of the public conversation even 20 or 30 years ago. The stress of dealing with all of this input is driving us to distraction if not all the way to crazy.

Essences, which can safely and sanely address all these issues and more, are one of the most important holistic healing tools available to us in the 21st century.


How are essences made?

Essences are made by capturing the healing patterns of nature in water. The patterns include flowers and plants, gems and minerals, animals, sound, sacred geometry, places, planets, and virtually any aspect of nature that can be tuned into and shifted into water. There are three primary techniques that I know of: the Sun Method, the Boiling Method, and the Attunement Method. I'll briefly describe them here.

The Sun Method

This and the Boiling Method were developed by Dr. Bach. when he began co-creating the Bach Flower Remedies. Flowers are picked in their prime during morning hours and placed in a bowl of water. The bowl is left in the sun for about three hours to allow the life force in the flowers to shift into the water.

When the time is up, the flowers are carefully removed from the water, which is now considered "potentized." The addition of brandy or vodka in an amount approximately equal to the volume of potentized water completes the process and creates what is called the Mother Essence.

In the case of gem and mineral essences, the selected stone can be placed in the water and left in the sun for a period of time, like the flowers. Please note, however, if you're drawn to making gem and mineral essences, do your homework first! Many stones should never be put directly in water to make an essence. Why? Some dissolve in contact with water and several include substances that can leach into the water and cause health problems.

For example, Galena is a sulfide of lead, Cinnabar and others contain mercury, several stones contain aluminum, and so on. So before making a stone essence, search online for a list of stones that contain potentially harmful constituents. Generally, quartz crystals are safe to put in water (clear quartz, amethyst, rose quartz, smoky quartz, citrine),. If you're not sure, use the Attunement Method, described below.

The Boiling Method

This method is used when working with heavier, woodier parts of plants and trees, though Dr. Bach did include flowers in the boiling pot.

Simply put, you bring a pot of good water to a boil (real spring water if you can get it [preferably not bottled] or water you've prepared using crystals and stones, prayers and blessings, filters, vortexing and whatever other means you regularly use).

When the water has come to a boil, turn it down to a low simmer. Add the plant material (without touching it with your fingers --- use gloves or tweezers to put it in the water). Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, remove it from the heat and let sit until it cools.

Strain off the plant material, add an equal amount of brandy or vodka (keep this in mind when you make your essence this way --- you may not want to add a gallon of alcohol to your essence!). Label the container with the name of the essences and the date it was made. I usually add the time and place, as well. This is the Mother Essence.

The Attunement Method

I first learned about the Attunement Method from the print newsletter put out by the Alaskan Flower Essence Project many years ago. The article talked about making an essence of the Northern Lights, which you certainly cannot put into a bowl of water for three hours under the sun!

The first essence I was guided to make was Hawk, and I was pretty sure I wouldn't succeed in coaxing a Hawk into a bowl of water, either. They made the Northern Lights essence by going into a meditative state and attuning to the energy or deva or angel (choose your favorite terminology here) of the Lights themselves. This energy was invoked into water by clear intention.

In my experience, there is a shift that moves through my body when the essence is being made. It releases when the shift is complete and I step away from the bowl at that moment. I pour the potentized water into a container, add an equal amount of alcohol, and this is the Mother Essence.

Because there is no physical material in the bowl, there is no chance that anything harmful will be transferred to the water, so I always use this method if I'm working with a plant or stone that has any potential to harm if ingested such as a lead- or mercury-containing stone, or a poisonous plant such as Poison Ivy.

I also use it to make the vast majority of featherhawk essences as it gives me access to things I might not otherwise come into contact with like Lions, Saturn, Alpha~Omega, the Southern Cross constellation, and many other items and places.

We are part of everything and everything is part of us, so we have access, through prayer, intention and meditation, with everything that exists everywhere.

Are essences the same as essential oils and aromatherapy?

It is easy to confuse essences and essential oils because the names are similar and the words are sometimes used to mean the same thing. However, they are very different both in substance and in action.

Essences are fragrance-free and they are taken internally. They influence how you think and feel about yourself and your life, they reconnect your body's electrical system which contributes to health and well-being, and they assist you in remembering your soul purpose. They are very easy to use for yourself, your family and friends, even your animal companions. They are also free of side effects and completely safe for people and animals of all ages, including newborns and the elderly.

Oils, of course, create much of their positive impact due to their fragrance, and they are generally applied externally. Oils also contain substances that affect the chemistry of your body. The most important difference between essences and essential oils is this: when you use essential oils, you want to be knowledgeable about them yourself, or work with an experienced practitioner who can give you advice for safe use.

Essences are safe for even the most inexperienced user - take too much or the "wrong" one, and your body will simply release it.

Your personal wellness program might include both essences and essential oils---they work beautifully together.


What are the benefits of using essences?

With regular use you can:

  • Free yourself from old habits
  • Embrace the past and move on
  • Release stress and tension
  • Give yourself permission to change
  • Restore emotional balance and harmony
  • Nourish your soul and spirit
  • Help yourself and others achieve health and balance

The power of essence therapy is multi-layered:

On the physical level, essences reconnect your body's electrical system the moment you take a dose. This immediately reduces stress and restores a sense of calm. As this happens, your body will "take a breath," so to speak, and automatically begin its task of restoring balance and wholeness.

Remember that your body is designed to be healthy; it knows very well how to heal with even the tiniest amount of encouragement from you. You are a sovereign being with the personal authority to know yourself and do what you needs to restore and maintain good health.

On the emotional level essences help identify and transform deeply held patterns and beliefs, gently peeling away layers of denial, shame, or fear, for example, which no longer serve your highest and best good. In many cases these patterns are hidden from your conscious awareness. The gift of awareness leads to the freedom of letting go and moving on.

On the mental level, the description of each essence offers your mind information to think about and ways to identify patterns and habits that may be contributing to your current issues. This information helps you consciously make another choice free of self-judgment.

At the spiritual level, essences remind you of your wholeness and life purpose. Many experiences of childhood separate you from your inherent divinity, your sacred memory of choosing this planet, this lifetime, this family, this body. Essences gently and lovingly help you remember your original soul intent, your original created self.

Again, remember you are a sovereign being. As you explore your inner knowing and magnificence and begin to trust who you are at your core, you begin to live in the moment and find your authentic self-expression.


How do I know which ones to choose?

The easiest way to choose essences is to read the descriptions and select the ones that call to you. Because there are nearly 500 essences in the featherhawk line (including research essences), you can begin by looking over the entire repertory (by category or in alphabetical order). Skim over the names and see what catches your eye. Click on the essences that call to you, read the descriptions, and choose among them. You can also browse among all the descriptions until you find the ones that most closely match your feelings or the issue you are working on. Take your time

Learn to use muscle testing to determine which essences you need. If you know how to dowse using a pendulum, or if you have a favorite intuitive technique that you are comfortable with, use what you know. There here's a set of basic guidelines for using essences every day - Getting Started.

(Download some helpful pdfs: Muscle Testing, Pendulum Dowsing - The Basics, and Getting Started.)

Check out the Themes and Issues page to help narrow your selections.


How do I take essences?

Essences are traditionally taken under the tongue, 2 to 4 drops, 2 to 4 times a day for 3 to 4 weeks. Take a few drops more often rather than increasing the number of drops per dose if you feel you need to take more. For example, take 4 drops 6 times a day rather than 12 drops 2 times a day.

It is perfectly safe to take an essence every 5 minutes in a crisis or emergency. Trauma Soulution and Classic Five are highly effective in an emergency or highly stressful situation. You should begin to feel calm within 15 to 20 minutes (4-5 doses).

Be aware that any essence will help you in an emergency, so use what you have on hand. When you have a chance, check yourself for essences using dowsing or muscle testing to determine which ones best serve your needs.

You can take your essences directly from the bottle, or combine several essences in a personal formula to take for a few days or weeks. Put 4 to 7 drops of each selected essence into a dropper bottle filled with pure water and 1 or 2 teaspoons of vodka or brandy (or 50% water / 50% vinegar). Shake the bottle well to blend, and take 4 drops 4 times a day, or test to determine your dosage schedule using a method that works for you.

Be careful that the dropper doesn't touch your lips, teeth or other parts of your mouth or skin. If the dropper does make contact or if you accidentally drop it, rinse the dropper well in hot water before putting it back into the bottle.

I once let a dropper slip into a bucket of very dirty water that had been used to clean a kennel... to say the least, I took the dropper completely apart, washed it carefully in hot, soapy water, and thoroughly rinsed it before putting it back into the bottle. Use common sense!

I also recommend you open just one bottle at a time so you don't mix up droppers and bottles. If you put the Hawk dropper in the Calendula bottle, the Calendula is compromised. If you take the dropper out of the Calendula and put it back in the Hawk, both are compromised.

Essences have an indefinite shelf life as long as they do not become contaminated with dirt, saliva or other essences, so take care when using them and they will serve you well.


Here are more guidelines for use:

  • Put a few drops in a cup or bottle of water and sip throughout the day.
  • Add 5-10 drops to a comfortably hot bath and soak for 20-30 minutes. Your skin and the tub should be clean before soaking.
  • Mix a few drops into your favorite massage oil or lotion and use in a full body massage or rub on your feet.
  • Apply to your chakras or other energy centers on the body.
  • Using a cotton swab, apply essences directly to acupuncture/acupressure points on the body.
  • Put a few drops into a spray bottle filled with water and spray yourself, your family, your environment, your pets, your plants.
  • Hold the bottle in your hand or place it next to your body where you feel it is needed.
  • Apply essences topically by the drop or from a spray bottle. This is especially effective for physical injuries like bruises, cuts and scrapes. It is also an excellent way to administer essences to babies, small children and animals if you want to avoid giving them alcohol by mouth. Let the drops fall on their head, put the drops in your hand and rub them into the ears or down the back, rub them into the bottoms of the feet, or drop on the forehead or into the belly button. In the case of unconsciousness or other disability, these methods can be used on adults, too.

In an emergency or crisis you can take any essence you have and its vital, positive frequency will help restore harmony and peacefulness. Then as soon as possible, test for the most appropriate remedy for the situation.


Are they safe for babies and children?

Essences are very safe for babies and children. Because they are free of chemical constituents (other than the alcohol or herbal stabilizer), there is no risk of harmful side effects.


Can I use essences with my animal companions?

Animals are especially responsive to the gentle effects of essences. In addition to your animal friends at home, you can use them with other animals where you work or volunteer such as a farm or ranch, a zoo or veterinary clinic, a wildlife rehab center, animal rescue, or animal control department, etc. Essences calm and restore a sense of safety and well-being for animals as effectively as they do for humans.

Because essences work primarily in the aura or energy field, they can be administered externally in these ways:

  • Put a 3 or 4 drops in the palm of your hand. Rub both hands together briefly, then gently rub them over the animals head and ears, down the back and off the tail, if they have a tail 3 o 4 times.
  • Drop 3 or 4 drops on the head or back of the animal. If the animal is in a cage and it isn't safe to handle it, let the drops fall anywhere on the body.
  • Put 6-10 drops in a small spray bottle, shake well to blend, then spritz over the body. If the animal is skittish about the spray, aim the spray at the back or rear end.
  • You can also spray the animal's sleeping area or favorite
  • Add 3-4 drops to the water bowl.
  • If your animal is willing, you can give the drops by mouth. Please respect your animal if it doesn't want to take them this way and use one of the other methods.

If the animal is not part of your own household, be sure to ask permission of the responsible human before using essences on his or her animal.

For more information go to the Holistic Animal Care page.


Do essences cause side effects?

Side effects are rare when taking nature and flower essences. Unlike conventional drug interventions which affect the chemistry of the body, essences affect the electrical system and energy field (aura), and the emotions. They also have a profound affect on the soul.

In the years I've been sharing these gentle healers I have received very few calls about challenging responses. These "signs of success", as I've learned to call them, indicate movement and progress, They pass in a short time, usually within a day or two.

Here are some of the effects you might experience:

  • Unexpressed emotions coming to the surface --- tears for 'no reason', anger or frustration over something that seems small or insignificant, past memories revisited, and, of course laughter and joy.
  • Headache, nausea, fatigue.
  • In the literature there are rare reports of more intense reactions or healing crises.

These signs of success tell you your body is healing and letting go of old emotional baggage - a real blessing! You can expect the reactions to pass in a few hours or perhaps a few days. Your body is willing to move beyond past behavior and patterns to create new connections to your original soul blueprint and let go of what no longer supports you.

Essences contain no harmful chemicals. They are vibrational remedies that affect your emotions, electrical system, energy field, and soul.

If you experience an unwanted response, continue to take the essence(s) at a reduced dosage. One drop in the morning and one in the evening will maintain the essence's frequency in your system while diminishing any unwanted effects. Over the next week or two, increase the dose until you are taking the recommended number of drops on schedule.

Another consideration is the number of essences you're taking at one time. If you are emotionally or physically sensitive, take just one or two essences at a time. If you are taking several essences at one time, narrow your selection to the one that seems to best reflect what is needed.

Make your choices by reading the descriptions, selecting an essence intuitively, or use muscle testing or dowsing. If you do not see a change within a short time (2 or 3 days up to a week) stop using that one and choose another.


Why do they contain alcohol?

Alcohol is used to stabilize and preserve the essences. Brandy was used by Dr. Bach, and is the traditional stabilizer. In the featherhawk line, Vodka is the alcohol of choice. It gives the essences an indefinite shelf-life as long as they do not become contaminated with dirt or saliva. If you drop a dropper, for example, or it if touches your mouth or tongue, rinse it well under hot water before putting it back into the bottle.


What if I want to avoid alcohol?

You can choose an alcohol-free stabilizer at no extra charge. The one featherhawk uses is made from an infusion of Red Shiso herb blended with a touch of vinegar. On the website there is a drop-down menu for each essence where you can indicate your preference when you place your order. If you order by phone or email, be sure to mention that you want red shiso.


Red Shiso herb is a member of the mint family and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking. The active ingredient is Perilla Aldehyde, a preservative documented to have 1,000 times the strength of synthetic food preservatives. In oriental medicine it has been used to calm the nervous system, activate the digestive system, help with colds and coughs, and as a diuretic.

It is rich in vitamins A, B2, C, chlorophyll, iron and calcium, and it contains linoleic acid, which has the ability to dissolve cholesterol. Even though it is in the mint family, it does not have a strong fragrance so it's safe to take with all natural remedies including homeopathics.


Can I take essences if I'm also taking herbs or getting body work?

Yes. Essences are a wonderful complement to any type of health care including herbs and other supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture or acupressure, massage therapy and energy work, hypnotherapy, chiropractic, psychotherapy, and standard medical care.


I'm taking a medication prescribed by my doctor. Is it safe to use essences?

Yes. Essences balance and harmonize your emotions and the flow of energy in your body. Because they are free of chemicals, it is highly unlikely that taking an essence would interfere with your medication. If you are concerned with the alcohol content, remember that you are only taking a few drops at each dose. If you take 4 drops 4 times a day, for example, your total alcohol intake each day would be just 4 drops.

If you still feel there might be an unpleasant interaction between any medication you are taking and the alcohol in an essence, dilute the drops in a glass of water and sip during the day, add the drops to a cup of hot tea or warm water to dissipate the alcohol, or choose the alcohol-free herbal stabilizer Red Shiso.


How do I order essences?

The featherhawk site uses a PayPal® shopping cart. You do not need to have a PayPal® account - you can just use your credit or debit card, or an eCheck.

Every essence has its own description page. Just click on the Add to Cart button for each essence you wish to purchase. When you are ready to pay for your essences, follow the easy instructions on the PayPal® website. To see one of the essence description pages, click here.

If it's easier for you to email your order, we can email you a PayPal® invoice and you can pay online using your credit or debit card, or an eCheck.

If you have any problems with the PayPal® shopping cart, please call (812.949.0478 or 877.226.7858 toll free in the U.S.) or email nanci at featherhawk dot com.

I live outside of the United States. Can I order essences?

Yes! And there are some things to know before you place your order:

  • Before placing your order, please be sure that the featherhawk products you wish to order will be accepted by your local customs authorities. Ask your local customs office about any import duties, taxes or other fees they may charge you for importing these products. Duties, taxes and other fees are not included in the price you pay to featherhawk, nor is featherhawk responsible for the cost of shipping and returning orders that your local customs authorities will not allow you to receive.
  • Shipping costs will be added automatically by the shopping cart.


What if I don't have a PayPal® account?

You can use your credit or debit card or your checking account in featherhawk's PayPal® shopping cart without having a PayPal® account of your own. Just click on the Add to Cart button for whatever essences you choose, then continue on to Checkout and you'll be guided on screen, step by step, to complete your order.

What if I prefer not to use PayPal®?

If you don't want to use PayPal®, contact featherhawk by phone (812.949.0478 or 877.226.7858 toll free in the USA) or email nanci at featherhawk dot com to make other payment arrangements. For details go to the How To Order page.


If your question was not answered here, please contact Nanci by calling 812.949.0478, or 877.226.7858 (toll free in the USA), or 502.435.6445 (cell). Or email nanci at featherhawk dot com
Or mail your question to featherhawk, PO Box 125, New Albany, Indiana 47151.0125.


The information in this web site is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your health care professional if you have any questions.

No animals are captured or harmed to make any featherhawk essence, there are no animal ingredients, and there is no animal testing.

© 1999-2015 by Nanci Wesling. All text and images on this site are protected by Copyright law. No text or images may be copied, altered, reused or modified without written permission from the owner of this site.











featherhawk essences  |  PO Box 125 New Albany Indiana 47151.0125
812.949.0478  |  877.226.7858 toll free in USA