By Jann Garitty

Correlating flower essences with aspects of Chinese medicine

Foundational flower essences for children

About Dr. Miller

Dr. David Miller (Chicago, IL) has a dynamic holistic medical care practice that blends his background training in Western medicine, Chinese medicine and energetic healing. He says, “I love all aspects of what I do. Through the years, I have accumulated and grown systems of practice, which are integrated but are complete systems for which I have mastery. I particularly enjoy the work with flower essences. I was introduced to them by an herbal teacher and was looking at incorporating flower essences from a Chinese medical perspective.”

Of interest to Dr. Miller and what he finds impressive about the system of flower essences is that oftentimes one is able to identify specific patterns of behavior, problems, and mental patterns not identified as clearly in most other systems. In addition, he has found that there is much overlap and correlation with the Chinese medicine tradition and flower essences which treat a particular pattern. To learn more about Oriental Medicine, please visit this link.

Dr. Miller also notes about flower essence therapy in general, “One of the things Bach indicated in his writings was that the system was meant to be available for everybody, to be used at home, and without professional help. To self-remedy helps one to stay in balance and I like that ability for self-empowerment. On the other hand however, in reality most people don’t have the time, energy or knowledge to select and work with flower essences on their own, so working with a trained person is helpful. I educate everyone in the way Bach intended in regard to each essence and what it specifically targets,” says Dr. Miller.

He elaborates, “Flower essences act as a target cognitive ‘gating’ and allows a person control toward their own healing. Flower essences name what is to be healed and allow the intrinsic healing ability to target it. If you name something, it allows it to happen. That mechanism is sufficient enough to be powerful. Flower essence therapy is a great shorthand method for pointing to personality types or very specific patterns of behavior which can be treated with great success.”

What Dr Miller finds impressive about the system of flower essences is the ability to identify specific behavioral and mental patterns.


“Flower essences name what is to be healed and allow the intrinsic healing ability to target it. If you name something, it allows it to happen.”

“What I’d like to reinforce,” says Dr. Miller, “is that one of the things I do like about this whole field, is that it puts language to specific human experiences shared in common, and puts a name to and identifies very clearly some core types of human experiences. Just by being able to name those things and direct the person’s consciousness to those experiences, there is potential to direct our own capacity to heal and balance. This is a method that allows a concrete action to direct intention towards that healing. That in and of itself is a real important mechanism for the way flower essences work and can work. Of course flower essences work quite well for babies, children and animals also, so I believe there is another level at which the essences work.”

He further adds, “I have found personally that flower essences are very comforting and feel like they take a level of stress off from me with gentleness and ease of use. They are also very easy to incorporate into a practice; they don’t taste bad, they’re not expensive, and they have no contraindications.”

Dr. Miller utilizes flower essences in his practice for people and children with patterns he clearly can identify with particular essences. He also uses them with people who ask specifically about a flower essence consultation. When he describes flower essences to his patients, he explains to them that people co-evolved with plants, and that each plant has an energetic signature and mood that it evokes. For example, specific flowers are used for weddings and others for funerals. They have an effect in rooms, and it makes a difference which plants are present. “There is a sense that a plant has its own qualities, signature and resonance that is deeper than cultural conditioning,” Dr. Miller comments.

Correlating flower essences with aspects of Chinese medicine

According to Dr. Miller, correlations between flower essences and Chinese medicine don’t necessarily apply for all of the essences. Also, some of the correlations are with more complex portions of Chinese medicine than with others. But there are a few flower essences which Dr. Miller finds that correlate between the two systems quite nicely. He was able to recognize these correlations because he has studied Chinese medicine extensively for many years. And, as he also began to study the flower essences, he started to cross study the two fields and could see the overlaps, with particular essences emerging.

Impatiens works towards balancing the liver system. Dr. Miller explains, “In Chinese medicine the liver system is related to ‘get up and go,’ going out and doing things, getting things done, and acting in the world. When that gets blocked up you have a condition called liver chi stagnation. Signs of that include irritability, tension, and impatience. When the liver is flowing freely you feel like everything is going fine, you’re not stressed, there’s compassion for others, and there’s an easy temperament.”

Indian Paintbrush targets a certain kind of condition that is called heart and kidney non-coordination. In Chinese medicine, the kidney is the center of the will and the heart is the center of spirit and inspiration geared toward harmonizing a person when their inspiration is not able to connect with their will. They aren’t able to bring forth harmonious manifestation in the world. Indian Paintbrush helps with the heart and kidney not communicating, but within the specific realm of manifestations. There are other sorts of ways the heart and kidney don’t communicate that Indian Paintbrush does not address, but for this specific application it is quite useful.

Hornbeam is in the basic category of Chi tonic. It is for exhaustion, weariness and when things are out of balance. It helps increase energy, helps one feel attentive and enthusiastic, and is therefore considered a general chi tonic.

Scleranthus is for indecision, problems making decisions and for wavering between two choices. According to Dr. Miller, “That’s a function of the gall bladder system in Chinese medicine. We call this problem a weak or timid gall bladder. There are not many things to treat it in Chinese medicine and so Scleranthus especially helps in this regard.”

Foundational flower essences for children

In pediatric care, Dr. Miller finds there are essences he tends to use more frequently than others. For example, he says:

Mariposa Lily comes up most frequently whenever there are child problems or issues around mothering and motherhood. Sometimes he finds it’s more appropriate to use it for the child and other times it’s a parent who finds herself in the situation where now they’re the mother and bumping up against a myriad of feelings and conflicts around being a mother. They may be feeling inadequate or it’s bringing up mothering issues within themselves and they don’t quite know how to address that. The flip side to that to some degree is Sunflower. Sometimes when there are parent-child imbalances, between Mariposa Lily and Sunflower, the Sunflower is the one needed.”

The combination of Aspen and Mimulus together are used for problems with sleeping, generally being afraid of the dark, going to bed, or just general fears. Those two essences are used quite frequently for Dr. Miller's child patients. They are sometimes used in combination, even though they have specific uses individually, because it may not be clear for the child as to what exact fears they are experiencing.

About Dr. Miller

Dr. David Miller, M.D., L.Ac. is one of the only physicians in the U.S. dually board certified in Pediatrics and Traditional Chinese Medicine (including Chinese herbalism). 

He is one of a growing number of health professionals seeing a need in medicine for more Holistic options. To help work toward this end, he has sought out medical systems that are inherently based on holistic approaches: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reiki, and Flower Essences. Visit his website for more information.



[ About FES | Online Repertory |Class Offerings | Research & Case Studies | Interviews and Articles]
[ What's New | Publications | Membership | Find a Practitioner | Members' Pages | Home ]


P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA  95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163    fax: 530-265-0584


Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.