#FlowerEssenceFriday - Hibiscus Syriacus Red Heart essence

Creativity. Security. Safety and expansion. Feeling safe enough to expand and create. These are all virtues and properties of the beautiful, bountiful cultivar known as Hibiscus Syriacus Red Heart.

This is the first flower essence I have made since moving to New Jersey. It has been of utmost help to me the past few weeks and I am so excited to share its medicine with you.

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Hibiscus Syriacus Red Heart


This essence helps move fear-based blockages that impede our creative expansion and our creative energy. This is a very special and important essence for those of us with anxiety, as anxiety can impede our ability to make decisions, which often leads to never creating anything in the first place. This essence has been very healing for me in this aspect. It has allowed me to move through the fear of making "the wrong choice" and has allowed me to be creative with my food again (like making carrot-ginger soup, maple roasted lentils, and raw brownie protein bars), as well as develop a playful, less serious approach to my herbal practice (which has manifested in making decoctions that I've never made before and mixing a new, tangy bitters formula).

The first couple days I started this essence, I was buzzing with warm, energetic, and happy joy. I was falling in love with everything I saw. I felt creative, open, and like I could trust life and my ability to make decisions in it. I found myself journaling things like "I am valid & I am talented & I have things to offer to the world." Of course, this intense happy-go-lucky high did not last forever. I'm into week 3 of taking this essence now, and I realize that it isn't going to make me or anyone feel "in love with life" all the time - but it can help us look at life in a playful way, and from that playful place, we can feel free to experiment with our creations. At its core, this essence helps us feel secure and grounded in ourselves and our abilities so that we can expand, create, and share our gifts with the world and with ourselves.

Hibiscus Syriacus Red Heart broken down:

  • Name: Hibiscus Syriacus Red Heart
  • Actions: warming, opening, grounding and expansive
  • Indications: creative blocks, easily overwhelmed by decision making, insecure in one's creative abilities
  • Dosage: 3 drops, 3x a day for at least 3 weeks (preferably start on the new moon)

Like I said, this is a great essence for those with anxiety or depression, as both illnesses can make creative expression difficult due to not believing in one's abilities + struggles with decision making in general. This is a gentle, warming, and expansive essence that gets stagnant energy moving so that it can flow in and through us, and back out into the world. If there was one visualization for this essence that has stuck with me, it is warm, melty red energy starting in my forearms and flowing through my hands into a stream of white, radiant light.

This flower serves as a gentle reminder that the process of creation is healing in it's own right, and that our creations don't have to be "perfect" (or insta-worthy) to be valid and important.

In love and radiant Hibiscus energy,


#FlowerEssenceFriday - Autumn Equinox

// this post is dedicated to whipper and keebler, for all the love they gave, and for the memories I will never forget //

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Sheep at Native Earth Teaching Farm's 2013 Lammas celebration, in Martha's Vineyard.

Sheep at Native Earth Teaching Farm's 2013 Lammas celebration, in Martha's Vineyard.

When I lived in Martha's Vineyard, I was lucky enough to be invited to Earth based gatherings that met every Equinox, Solstice, and halfway point in between. There I learned about seasonal foods, the harvest cycle, and getting in touch with the spirit world during these celestial changes. I taught a class on the Herbs during the Summer Solstice, enjoyed dancing and story telling during Lammas (the mid-point between the solstice and Autumn Equinox), and then came back to Florida to host my own Autumn Equinox celebration that fall. There I gathered with close friends as we spent time with the season's plant life, were visited by a Barn Owl, and shared food with each other. I also shared an Autumn Equinox elixir with everyone that night, and I'm going to share it with you all now!

This is a special essence blend, one that I only have a few drops left of, but whose powers are as strong as ever. When I am feeling especially vulnerable, I take a drop or two underneath my tongue, pray for extra strength, and thank the plants for all they have given me. If you aren't into magic, folklore, and the idea of there being a spiritual, unseen world - then this post isn't for you. Perhaps I may I re-direct you to this post on seasonal foraging the Autumn Olive?

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Autumn Equinox addition

Black Tourmaline elixir // What can I say about this elixir? It is the most protecting stone I know. The afternoon following a haunting nightmare that involved a thin, cloaked figure attempting to inhabit my body, this stone basically fell into my lap. It helps us deflect the negative energy emitted from others, while helping us maintain a reservoir of energy at the same time (it can be draining protecting ourselves from negative energy). I personally believe this essence helps protect us from the negative energy we emit towards ourselves, especially that negative self-talk that comes from internalizing criticism from others. Black Tourmaline is associated with Capricorn, and I think it is the perfect stone for us fish-goats who need a little protection from ourselves and our negative self-talk! Black Tourmaline is in this essence blend because Autumn is when the nights grow longer and we begin to turn inwards. It protects us from the stress winter inevitably brings and it helps us feel protected from the stress others are emitting during this time.

Aspen flower essence // Aspen essence is a tried and true Bach flower remedy. This is my go-to flower essence when uncertainty or general fear is in the picture. When I lived in the Vineyard, I lived in a shack in the woods and as someone with anxiety, it was very difficult to be surrounded by darkness and be unaware of what every single sound was. I used this essence to feel secure in my surroundings and to feel comforted by the whirling winds, not intimidated by them. I include it in my Autumn Equinox blend because this is a time, magically speaking, we descend into the "underworld" and the veil between the mortal world and the spirit world thins. We are hyper sensitive to other-worldly energies and that can be intimidating. At the same time, it can be exciting! Aspen is in this elixir so we can move past our fears of the unknown, move past dreading what is yet to come, and instead find the magic and extra potential during this time of the year!

Forget-me-not flower essence // A small flower, but a powerful one indeed! Forget-me-not flower essence is truly magical. It allows us to get in touch with those we have lost who are on the other side of the veil. It is used so that we may remember that our connections to our deceased loved ones do not dissipate when they leave the Earthly plane. This essence also stimulates dreams and stimulates visionary dreams at that, making is a powerful ally for this time of the year when we are especially close to our ancestors. Furthermore, and equally as important, Forget-me-Not helps us close off ourselves from the "lower planes," providing protection from unwanted energies so that we may feel free to experiment with our consciousness and dream work.

This years Autumn Equinox falls on September 23rd, which just so happens to be my sister's 20th birthday! I invite you to spend time with yourself on this day, to think about all you have grown and harvested in the past year, all you have accomplished. I invite you to set intentions for slowing down this winter - it is what every other species in nature is doing right now. This is a time that energy begins to move downwards, into the roots. Perhaps nourish yourself with an herbal foot bath, cook some hearty seasonal food, and spend some time with a journal. Maybe take a walk with no other purpose but to be outside and observe how the plants are changing as the seasons change. Above all, this is a time of gratitude. Gratitude towards the earth for all she has given us, gratitude for our fellow human beings, and gratitude towards ourselves, because we made it through another summer.

I hope you enjoy your Autumn Equinox, I know I will! (I have herb class that night, haha!)



Intentions of protection and safety for their passing into the spirit world // sage + black tourmaline

Intentions of protection and safety for their passing into the spirit world // sage + black tourmaline

I dedicate this post to my recently-passed-into-the-spirit-world dogs, Whipper and Keebler. You are my animal soul mates, and I am so happy to be seeing you in the dream world now. Thank you for all the love you gave, I hope one day I can be as full of love and life as you both were. I hope your journey was safe, and I'll see you soon.

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Elder

I almost didn't write this post. I had about 10 excuses not to, including some pretty terrible wisdom tooth pain, but then a certain plant voice said, "stick with it, you have time" That voice was Elder, the grandmother of plant medicine, if you will.

One of the first Flower Essences I made, back in April 2013.

One of the first Flower Essences I made, back in April 2013.

Elder is a truly magical plant. Her lore involves the belief that falling asleep underneath her branches will result in being whisked away to the Fairy realm, never to return, and that the Eldamore, or Elder spirit, will haunt and plague you if you harvest her medicine without asking. Medicinally and scientifically, too, Elder is pure magic. There are a number of studies on her berries ability to fight over 10 strains of the flu, her flowers are a traditional remedy for breaking a fever, and the leaves are an effective remedy for wounds.

With that said, let's talk about her energetic and flower essence uses.

Elder blossoms soaking up the Vineyard sun last summer.

Elder blossoms soaking up the Vineyard sun last summer.

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Elder

As I meditated with Elder essence, I asked the Elder spirit to give me a saying, or affirmation, to go along with her medicine. I saw the inside of my body fill up with umbels of her airy, milky-white flowers, and then watched them turn into dark, nourishing berries that reached into my every capillary and crevice. The plant then said, "Come before yourself as humbly as you come before me. You, too, are sacred."

When I think of Elder flowers, I think of those buttery, snow-white blossoms, and how they turn into the most beautiful, dark, and medicinally potent berries. I think of how all parts of this plant are medicinal and sacred - and, for me, that is this plant's primary message. All parts are medicinal and sacred. We can learn from all parts of ourselves, and we should treat all parts of ourselves as sacred. From the flowers to the berries, from our anger to our elbows - all aspects of ourselves are to be respected and treated with care.

I take Elder when I am ready to do some serious internal work, and when I need help doing so. Elder allows us to look into the shadow side of ourselves, that side of ourselves we don't like looking into for whatever reason, often denial and fear of facing that denial. She invites us to look at the deep current underneath our shallow waters, and reminds us that there is potent medicine within this hidden part of ourselves, if only we will dive deep enough to sit with it.

This plant also serves as a reminder that this inner work is sacred work. That we should approach our healing, our exploration of the hidden and dark parts of ourselves, in a humble and sacred way. That we should come before ourselves in the same way that we come before the Elder plant - humbly, respectfully, and with gratitude.

An attempt at breaking Elder down:

  • Name: Elder (Sambucus spp)
  • Actions: protecting, enlightening, nurturing
  • Indications: shallow attempts at healing, wanting to find the root of behavioral problems or maladaptive thoughts, fear of looking inwards, fear of self, strictly materialistic view of self
  • Dosage: 7 drops, 1-3x a day. Be sure to invoke the spirit of this plant before taking the essence, I recommend sitting with it, and asking for her help
A photo of me with Elder (on the right) and a "Who plant" (on the left), taken by fellow herbalist and my incredible best friend, Miranda Murray.

A photo of me with Elder (on the right) and a "Who plant" (on the left), taken by fellow herbalist and my incredible best friend, Miranda Murray.

I hope I didn't lose you with this rather magical and fluffy #floweressencefriday! While there is scientific medicine behind the plants, it's important for me to remember that these plants are so much more than their active constituents. They are living beings - and, to me, they have a spirit and a message to share with us. Elder is one of the first plants I felt really connected to (in addition to Rosemary and Mugwort). As soon as I was able to identify her, I saw her everywhere: in my partner's backyard, with heavy limbs hanging over his fence, at my favorite park in Boca, where I had walked a hundred times before. She is a reminder that life is and can be sacred and beautiful.

To the sacredness that is you, wherever you are in your journey!

xoxo Blaire

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Sunflower

Before summer slips away and feels like an other-worldy dream, I wanted to touch on one of this season's most exceptional medicines: the Sunflower. I had the privilege of being around these luminous beings when I lived in Orlando, and last fall my partner and I made essences from their heavy flower heads in his back yard. This fall, I am using the essence to get grounded in my intuition, and to be confident in making decisions from that innate, perceptive place.

Summer skies and Sunflower inflorescence 

Summer skies and Sunflower inflorescence 

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Sunflower

I've been using Sunflower medicine this past week by simply having the mother bottle on my altar with the rest of my daily herbs as a reminder of my intention to get in touch with my intuition. As someone with GAD, it can be difficult to differentiate between my mind's chatter and my gut feeling, but this essence has been very helpful in working with and through that aspect of myself. Every time I look at its photo, I feel it's warmth and support of my journey.

Personal Experience with Sunflower

The gap between thinking and feeling - This essence helps us get out of our thinking mind and into our feelings. It gives us the strength to say "I trust my intuition and I trust myself to make this decision on my own," and it gives us the boost we need to make it. Sunflower helps us to stand tall in our intuition, being as comfortable following it as the sunflower is following the Sun. This essence is very helpful for people who have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) based indecisiveness, as well as for people in recovery from addictions, so that they can begin to trust their intuition again, which isn't always easy or safe in the beginning stages of recovery. I recommend it for anyone who second-guesses themselves, or who feels like they aren't equipped to make decisions for themselves.

Balanced sense of ego - Sunflower essence helps us balance self-awareness and positive self-image. It allows us to look inwards with an honest and compassionate eye so that we can be self-aware without being overly critical. Sunflower allows us to shine light and awareness to the places that we have been ignoring in a warmhearted and genuine way. This is an important essence for anyone with a history of mental health problems - it allows us to be honest about our current and past actions, without shaming ourselves for slipping up.

Sunflower Broken Down

  • Name: Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
  • Actions: Radiant, expressive, warming
  • Indications: low self-esteem, especially arrogance/inflated pride that stems from low self-esteem, dark, damp depression, inability to make decisions due to anxiety about making the "right" decision 
  • Dosage: This essence is best used long-term, from at least a New Moon to Full Moon. I recommend taking 3 drops, 3x a day with a firm intention set when you take it. If you feel extra magical, take it with the sun at sunrise.

If you have access to land, I highly recommend growing these annual beauties and inviting their reassuring energies into your yards. The petals are edible and really jazz up a salad , and, of course, at the end of the season you will have a heavy and full head of sunflower seeds, of which are brimming with minerals and nutrients.

Thank you for reading this blog and for joining me in this flower essence journey! I hope you are enjoying the last weeks of summer and that you have a great weekend.

In radiant health!


#FlowerEssenceFriday - Buttercup

Unlike my past blog posts, I write this blog post from a new location - New Jersey! I'm in the Garden State for a two-year clinical herbalism program that begins in September and I couldn't be more excited. Here in New Jersey, I will be studying under David Winston and will be embracing my first winter ever. Between moving away from my favorite peninsula and being a recent college graduate, I am feeling a bit in limbo, but I find grounding through keeping a consistent herbal, meditation, and exercise practice. And, as you may have noticed, part of that herbal practice is flower essences!

Like the past two weeks, this Friday's essence is sunny, solar, and comforting from the inside out. Unlike the past Flower Essences, Buttercup is not really used in herbalism, both because of its toxicity and because it isn't viewed as medicinally active - although its flower essence certainly is.

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Buttercup

Those tiny, waxy, and golden, Buttercup flowers remind me of late Spring on the Vineyard. I remember being in awe of  how they intertwined with the vibrant blue Forget-Me-Nots, creating a beautiful bouquet of color, and although I made a mental note to make a flower essence of them, I never did. Fortunately, I was able to purchase a stock bottle of Buttercup during my time in Orlando and I have been using it ever sense!

Personal Experience with Buttercup

  • Self-Worth - To me, this essence is about remembering your self-worth despite your place in the workaholic machine we live in. Maybe you are a woman and suffer from imposter syndrome and you find yourself constantly questioning your qualifications or ability to handle your vocation, or maybe you feel a sense of shame because of what your job is, or isn't. Buttercup essences comes in with her golden aura and warms up that damp, depressed self-esteem -  helping you to remember that you and your work are worthy of respect, regardless of the title you hold.
  • Comparison/Envy - One symptom of low self-esteem/self-worth is comparison to others, which often leads to becoming envious of others, and only exacerbates the problem. Buttercup is here to remind us to stop comparing ourselves to others, and instead focus on our own craft and give ourselves the space to be creative in our own, unique way.
  • Through using this essence, I have noticed that I am much more mindful of how often I compare myself to other herbalists, and how this is a negative habit that impedes my creativity and growth. It has helped me lessen the envy I have of those who have studied longer than I, or who seem to "have their act together" more than I do. It has given me the space to experiment with my own herbal practice, and trust myself in the process.

Buttercup Broken Down

  • Name: Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis)
  • Actions: Self-assuring, warming
  • Indications: Low self-worth/esteem due to job circumstances, downplaying the importance of your work, envy of others in your field, doubt that your work has as merit or that you are qualified for your job, difficulty expressing yourself in your work due to fear that it won't be valued
  • Dosage: 3 drops, 3x a day - I personally think this should be used for at least 3 weeks at a time because of how deeply our culture believes our job defines our worth!

And for the more magically inclined, I personally believe and have read (although I can't remember where!) that this flower is associated with the Fae, and the more kind, receptive Summer Fae at that! Regardless of whether or not this is true, there certainly is magic in remembering our divine, innate self-worth, and that what we create is sacred and beautiful!

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

xoxox, Blaire

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Calendula

Before I even tell you about this flower, I just want you to look at it in all its majestic, warm, summer glory.

Calendula edited.jpg

I took that photo during my apprenticeship on the island of Martha's Vineyard with herbalist Holly Bellebuono. Every morning that I had herbal school with Holly, I would show up a little bit early to make a flower essence or two. I would walk around her incredible, diverse garden and wait until a plant reached out to me and offered itself for an essence. Some mornings I knew exactly what plant I wanted to make an essence from (looking at you, Nettles), other mornings, I was surprised to see what plant would jump out at me, but every morning that I made an essence there, I knew I was making medicine that would serve me and others for years to come... and Calendula is one of those essences!

#FlowerEssenceFriday - Calendula

Calendula is well known in the herbal world for her vulnerary (wound healing) and emollient (skin soothing) actions. She is commonly found in skin care products (like in my moisturizing lip balm), and she is often known as "the herb" for eczema. Perhaps it is because she shines so brightly in the physical world that her energetic uses often go unnoticed. Regardless, her use as a flower essence cannot be denied!

Personal Experience with Calendula Essence

  • Hearing Others/Receptivity - To me, Calendula's area of expertise is in the realm of communication. It is for those who have a hard time hearing what others are truly saying - for those who are already preparing their comeback before the other person has even finished speaking, and who have difficulty listening in conversations. It allows us to be open enough to hear what someone else is trying to say, even if their deliverance is not "perfect" (or as we would like it to be).
  • Protection - Calendula's resinous flowers point towards protection - resin being a literal and metaphorical barrier that does not allow things to seep in easily.  When I made the essence, the flower gifted me with a vision of it and its resin giving us protection from others' energy. Just as Calendula's resin provides a healing layer on top of our skin - the essence provides a healing layer between ourselves and others, providing us with protection from their energy.

Calendula Broken Down

  • Name: Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Actions: Protective, warming, opening
  • Indications: overly argumentative, taking what others say to heart to the extreme, inability to hold a conversation without turning it into an argument, inability to open up to others, struggles to open up beyond shallow communication (especially in relationships)
  • Dosage: 3 drops, 3x a day for chronic situations (working with your partner on improving communication, working with yourself on being a better listener, or being in need of added protection from the word's of others), 3 drops as needed (before a counseling session, before a confrontation/important conversation)

As you can see, Calendula's actions are multifaceted. It allows us open our ears and our hearts to others when we have closed down and are struggling with communication, while at the same time, it allows us to have a healthy barrier between ourselves and others in regards to communication, giving us the protection we need when engaging in an energetic exchange with another human being (which is what communication is!). Calendula is warming, helping us to become less rigid and closed off, but not too warming that we lose our sense of self and are boundary-less.

I hope you are enjoying this series of #floweressencefriday! I am grateful for the opportunity to simultaneously deepen and share my practice. Feel free to post your own Instagram photos or Facebook posts with the hashtag #FlowerEssenceFriday so that I can learn from you, too!

Happy almost Full Moon!

xoxo, Blaire