Research into California Flowers was first developed in the 1970s by Richard Katz and Patricia Kaminsky. They were both practitioners of Bach Flower Remedies, and used the principles of this treatment to develop twelve flower essences. These twelve essences are believed to treat emotional problems, and regenerate the patient’s life force. They focus on self-esteem issues, boosting creativity and self-realisation, also encouraging spiritual growth. There is also a range dedicated to the development of sexuality and increase of loving relationships. The flower remedies are directed toward the new-age patient as they were designed to deal with stressors specific to the current social climate.
California Flowers Essences are herbal infusions or decoctions that are made from the flowering part of a plant. First formulated in the 1930s by the British physician, Edward Bach, flower remedies are believed to treat emotional problems that lead to poor physical health. This method of treatment identifies a life energy within the biological system of the body that corresponds to emotions, sensitivities and energy. Flower essences are designed to balance this life force within the patient to create overall well-being. Usually California Flowers Essences are taken orally in liquid form around four times a day, although dosage can vary from patient to patient.
Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz (married and professional partners) began their careers in flower essences by working extensively with Bach Remedies. After 1978, Richard Katz began developing flower remedies based on North American plants (California Flowers), and the couple began co-directing the Flower Essence Society in 1980. The Society was designed to inspire further research and publication of California Flowers treatment methods. Kaminski is known for her facilitation of California Flowers remedies to treat learning disabilities such as dyslexia in children, and then in a counselling program for juvenile offenders. The pair now live in Nevada City, California, where they manage a wildlife sanctuary that cultivates California Flowers Essences.
The Flower Essence Society (FES) was founded in 1979 by Richard Katz, where he was joined by his co-director, Patricia Kaminski, in 1980. It is dedicated to the continued research, practise and dissemination of California Flowers essence therapies throughout the world. In 1982, the FES was incorporated into the non-profit organisation Earth Spirit. The Society is aimed at promoting plants research, and therapeutic research on the effects of flower essence treatment, as well as training practitioners in California Flowers essence therapy. It is also responsible for the publication of many books about California Flowers essences, and provides a communication network for all practitioners worldwide. California Flowers essences and related products can be purchased through the Flower Essence Services Web-store.
The California Flowers essences are particular to North America – distinct from the Bach Flower Remedies developed in the United Kingdom. Some examples are:
California Pitcher Plant – believed to increase vitality and healthy instincts.
California Wild Rose – believed to increase love of the earth and of life, and increase general enthusiasm.
Cayenne Capsicum – credited with making the patient more energetic and capable of change or transformation.
Deerbrush Ceanothus – increases clarity of purpose, so that the motives and intention of the patient are aligned with their true feelings.
Filaree – believed to create a world- or universe-perspective for the patient, and allow distance from current stress.
Iris – believed to inspire artistry and creativity.
Mallow – creates trust in social process and heightens the patient’s ability to share.
Pink Monkeyflower – believed to increase the patient’s ability to take emotional risks, and combat feelings of guilt.
Quince – believed to align the spheres of masculine and feminine within the patient and reconcile tenderness with responsibility.
Scotch Broom – intended to increase positivity about future events, thus overcoming pessimism and despair.