One of the great things about being part of the Pagan community is that I get to meet people who have a wide variety of interests and skills. One of those people is Lady Charissa, owner of Charissa's Cauldron. In addition to devoting a great deal of her time to supporting the community through the Pagan Business Network, she makes her own crystal and flower essences. She recently sent me several bottles to try and I have to say, I'm delighted with them. They are every bit as good quality as the 'big name' varieties.
First, I should give you a little background about myself so you know where I'm coming from regarding natural health products. I'm a naturopath (I have an N.D. degree) and have been a practicing herbalist for 25 years. I have training in homeopathics as well as herbalism and other complementary/alternative methods of health care, so I'm familiar with the creation and use of products like Charissa's essences.
Second, you might want to know what on earth flower and crystal essences are. No, you're not likely to find them at your local Wal-Mart, though many natural health shops carry them. They are a type of homeopathic remedy made using water or dew that has been exposed to the flower or stone in the essence's name. The most well-known brand is the line of Bach Flower Essences that have been around since the 1930s (the famous Bach Rescue Remedy is a combination flower essence product that works remarkably well). Like many homeopathic remedies, flower and crystal essences can address emotional and mental issues that conventional medicine isn't very good at treating and that many doctors consider nebulous or 'not really a medical issue.' In the case of chronic or long-term conditions you're not likely to see rapid, dramatic results so much as a gentle, gradual lessening of symptoms as the essences help you work your way out of the condition. And as with other homeopathic remedies, we don't know exactly how they work, but we know they do. Hopefully one day our scientific abilities will progress to the point that we can understand the mechanism of homeopathics, in much the same way that our worldview was revolutionized when we discovered how germs transmit disease.
I tried out Charissa's Tiger Iron Crystal Essence and Money Plant Flower Essence in combination. Like other homeopathic remedies, essences can be used together for conditions that have multiple interlocking aspects. The Tiger Iron essence is designed to aid in insight and clarity, especially if there is self-consciousness involved in the situation. Yes, folks, like most everyone else, I worry what people will think! To that I added the Money Plant essence, which helps the user to open up to abundance and feel they are worthy of good things. I chose these two because I have felt a bit stuck lately in terms of several projects I'm working on as well as my main job, freelance editing, and I suspected this was part of a longer-term pattern in my life. I'll admit right off that I didn't always take the essences four times a day as the instructions state, but I'm familiar enough with essences to know that missing a dose now and then won't make a major difference in the overall effect; it will just slow the process down a bit.
As I expected, I felt little to no change for the first week. My experience with long-term conditions is that it takes a while to get them 'unstuck,' as if they have an inertia that must be overcome before you can move forward and out of them. Sticking with the remedy is always the key to success. Unlike pharmaceutical medications, essences tend to be slow and gentle in their working. In the second week I had a series of epiphanies and strokes of good luck that all came within the course of a few days - the solution to a problem with a novel I'm writing, the key to a major issue I was facing with the production of the Minoan Tarot, a reliable new source of editing work, and a whole series of offers of help and support for various projects I'm working on. It really felt like the sun had come out after a long, rainy day. This is exactly how essences are supposed to work - gradually over time, with their effects building up until they become noticeable in everyday life. I will continue taking these essences for a few more weeks, until I feel I've reached a happy plateau with these facets of my life, and I will keep them on hand for future use in case I fall into this kind of mindset again.
My daughter has been using the Smoky Quartz Crystal Essence this week to help dispel her tendency to worry and focus on what could go wrong rather than what might go right (she'll probably be mad at me for mentioning this, but sometimes we call her Anxiety Girl because of this tendency). Though she hasn't been taking it long enough to see any dramatic changes, I can already tell the difference in her overall attitude and her enjoyment of daily activities. Her sense of frustration at challenging tasks (like high-level geometry homework) has definitely lessened. I expect that, as she continues to take the essence, she will move further out of the negative mindset and be able to enjoy life more.
So there you have it: Charissa's flower and crystal essences do the job. I recommend them, and I like to support independent businesses as much as possible.