Flower  Essences for an Emotionally Distressed Child

Editor’s introduction

The following article  is essentially a case history as recorded by the mother of the patient and the  natural health practitioner.  Ann (a  pseudonym) sought help for her 11 year old daughter Ruth (a pseudonym) from  practitioner Jeanette Shearer.    Ann was concerned about Ruth  as Ruth had problems relating to others  and had been breaking down and crying at school, but would not communicate the  reasons for her distress.

Ann had long standing concerns  about Ruth’s health and development.  When Ruth was a baby, Ann  noticed that Ruth became distressed in environments which were brightly lit or noisy.  As she  grew older, it also became apparent that in addition to hypersensitivity to  light and sound, Ruth had other  sensory difficulties, with aversion  to some textures.  As a preschool child, Ruth showed signs of anxiety,  developing a pronounced fear of clowns (because of the sudden loud noises in a  typical clown performance) and Ann sought to control her  environment and activities to minimise the possibility that she might be  exposed to unpleasant stimuli such as noise.  Over time, Ruth became  better at coping with the vicissitudes of the outside world, and settled into  the routine of going to school; however, it was clearly difficult for her to  cope with the school environment.

Ruth also has chronic asthma, nasal  stuffiness and had used steroid inhalers to treat a nasal polyp. Allergy tests  had not revealed any major dietary ingredients of concern except for sugar and  additives.

Despite having to cope with these difficulties, Ruth has  always been a bright child who is particularly gifted in  mathematics.

Ann and her husband noticed the similarities of some of  Ruth’s symptoms with those of autism, and several years ago decided to see  whether biological treatment approach would help her. However a trial of a  gluten-free casein-free diet and fish oil supplements did not help Ruth, so  occupational therapy was tried as a way of reducing her sensory issues and  helping her to express how she was feeling. Unfortunately, this did not appear  to be of any benefit either.

A friend recommended  Jeanette Shearer as someone who might be able to help Ruth, so Ann  contacted Jeanette.  Ann did not have high expectations that the  approach would work, given the failure of other recommended therapies, but was  prepared to try the treatment in the hope that it would be helpful for  Ruth.

The correspondence below has been reproduced with  minimal editing to give a picture of how the excellent communication between  Ann and Jeanette allowed Jeanette to select appropriate First Light  Flower Essences of New Zealand Essences via  correspondence.


From Ann to Jeanette:   February 26,  2011


Hi!  I  wonder if you would be able to help my daughter?

She is 11, and we have  been working with an Occupational Therapist to try  and  help her with various issues that she has  had for most of her life.  She  suffers  with anxiety, has sensory issues (high sensitivity and is   sensory avoiding), is mildly obsessive and has social  difficulties.  She hates talking one-to-one, especially about the things  that make her anxious  (particularly rain) or her  feelings.  She is really hard to connect with verbally and I have had to  give up the sessions with the OT as she has meltdowns, and we don’t really  seem to be getting anywhere.  A friend referred me to you as she has been  helped by your approach. Do you think this  is something you can help with?



From Jeanette to Ann: February 26,  2011


Hi Ann,

I would be very happy to help your daughter.  I  work with BodyTalk and First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand. The  combination is very effective and if required I can do a session without very  much talking at all….   Without meeting your daughter I could talk to you about her and make up a bottle of the  essences specifically for her.  These drops are taken in water three times  a day for one month then reviewed and either the same essences or new ones  taken for a further month. Your daughter’s limited sense of smell would not  reduce the effectiveness of these essences in any way. I would prefer to meet  your daughter at least once for a BodyTalk session and essence diagnosis and  from there we could work with the essences more effectively.  First Light Essences  sound perfect for her,  especially for her fears and communication  problems.

The drops can be  taken in different ways.  They work very well when put in water – a  little or a lot doesn’t make a difference.  If Ruth takes a water  bottle to school put 6 drops in the bottle.  This would count as   taking them twice. Also you can take them directly on or under the  tongue. Take them 3 or 4 times every day until finished.  Please contact  when they are running low so I can renew them.



Prescription  1:

19 Lovers  Daisy  The Love Essence  (Client’s Keynote essence)  Prescribed to help alleviate stress in all things associated with the  relationship area of life.  It is useful for people who cope by  withdrawing and who show obsessive qualities.  It is good for people who  find disharmony painful as they are extremely reactive and sensitive to  others.  This essence helps to regain energetic balance.

20  Wineberry  The Co-operation  Essence -This essence  helps with the development of social skills, to confront  difficulties and see problems in the right light instead of hiding worries and  anxieties.

21 Hinau The  Sacred Space Essence – good essence for people who are emotionally isolated  and closed off. It helps one to trust one’s own knowing and intuition, to feel  safe and contained within ones own boundaries.  It is used to help  establish meaningful social relationships.

These three essences are  based on the zodiacal type Libra and all centre around issues of  relating. ie avoiding confrontaion and not expressing what one  feels, being uncomfortable in social situations.  These  essences develop the positives attributes of being  at ease in social situations and enjoying being part of  a team.

41 Prince of Wales Feathers  Fern  This is a Life Trauma essence used for clearing  issues around respect and humiliation. ie  Issues around speaking out or  being heard – feeling judged. This essence helps develop the ability to grow  self-respect, to feel heard and to find a way to express creatively.

48 Maire The Healing   Essence  relating to the Throat Chakra which is linked to the issue of  communication. This chakra is the energy centre that facilitates self  expression and creativity.  When it is out of balance there may  be problems with self-expression and anxiety about speaking out and expression  of feelings.


This essence will bring balance to this chakra  and allow one to know one has something unique to offer and the means to communicate it.

56 Inkberry  I chose this  essence because it relates to the fear of being different and difficulty  facing reality. It allows a new reality to be imagined.

58 Ramarama  This helps one  to overcome beliefs and fears around ones special place and purpose in  the world.

68 Puriri   For discernment and discrimination. For  balance, inner unity and wholeness.  Having a positive relationship with  oneself leading to better relationships with others. (Client’s Soul Lesson)


Editor’s Note:  Jeanette did not supply this written explanation  of the action of each essence to Ann.  I have added the explanation to assist readers in understanding the treatment process.


From Ann to  Jeanette:   March 21, 2011


It was lovely to  catch up again [in the interim Ann and Jeanette had talked on the phone]  and I will jot down what has happened with us over the last 3-4 weeks and let  you know anything else you may be able to help with. I appreciate you don’t do  miracles, but I thought I would note them down anyway in case there is  anything you can think of that might help. After about two days of taking the  drops you sent us, Ruth transformed from a child who barely spoke, to one  who will chatter away at length and at any time of the day or night!  She  called me into her bedroom one evening shortly after she had started the  drops, and just spilled out everything that had been going on at school, the  girls that were mean to her and what they were saying, and the ones who had  been nice.  We talked through what she could do, and this is probably one  of the first conversations I have had with her at this level where she is  inviting conversation and expressing her thoughts and feelings verbally.

Since then she has been happy to talk about her friendships at school,  what she has been doing at school and how she feels about it, and she will  frequently initiate the conversation.  After a while I told her that I  had noticed how much chattier she was, and she said that she had noticed it  too, but she was still shy at school and did her talking at home. it was only  after 2 or 3 weeks that I told her why she was taking the drops, and two key  people that spend regular time with Ruth had both commented that they were  amazed with the change in her.  It is at the point now where we have to  ask her to stop talking – something quite unheard of only a month  ago!  She has even made a new good friend, which is wonderful and I can  see she is delighted and her self-esteem is improving because of  this.

So I don’t know how we can start to help her talk more at  school?  I think it is a confidence thing, and she fears rejection or  people drawing   conclusions  about her by what she says.  Asking her new friend if she would like to  come home for tea seems to be at a similar level for her as a boy asking for a  first date!  She fears that she may look like she’s coming on too strong  and all sorts of things like that, and I have never really seen her as someone  who is concerned about what other people think, or fears people forming  opinions about her from what she says.  Also, she doesn’t seem to feel  that she has rights as an individual and that these are equal to the rights of  others; she thinks of herself as far less important.

You mentioned  about discernment and her knowing about appropriate times to speak and how  long for (she can lose her audience if she rambles too much!). She has never  been good at reading facial expressions or body language, and maybe this is  part of not wanting to open up to people verbally as she doesn’t know if they  are bored/laughing at her/interested.  She could really do with some help  on that one, but it seems to be at a really deep level.

Once when  watching a movie she saw a man and a lady looking at each other lovingly, and  whereas her younger sister was able to announce “they are in love!” Ruth  said “they like each other’s eyes”.  She can see that people are making  facial expressions but tends to look very much at the surface of what they  mean and not the deeper levels and interpreting them.

Finally,  something I would really love to change is her energy levels. She loves the  computer and reading, and can spend a lot of time on her bottom!

She  is slow to get up to do anything, and often it will already be done by the  time she gets there. She is the classic 2-speed child (slow/stop) and doesn’t  seem to have any sense of urgency!  I  mentioned before that she is  struggling with weight gain, and I am sure that this is directly caused by  this lack of activity.  She suffers from asthma, which doesn’t help, but  she enjoys some sport and is happy to get involved with soccer, netball and  hockey.  I drop her some distance from school in the morning and she  walks the rest of the way with her sister and friend, but I imagine it is  a pretty slow walk.

I hope this helps you to think on to the next step  for Ruth. Thank you for all you have done with your first jar, and I look  forward to seeing what changes may come with the second, though I think this  is now more subtle and deeper change that may not be so  apparent.

Very many  thanks,




From Jeanette to Ann:  March 22, 2011


Hi Ann,

I am so pleased for you all and  especially for Ruth.  What a difference  this will make to her  life.  The fact that she is communicating  so well and has swung to  almost over talking is great.  I know I can think back to my children  when they were pre-schoolers and how they talked non stop   This is a  necessary step and good to practice at home as this is how we learn to discern  what is appropriate. Because she didn’t learn these skills then she is  learning them now.  I would expect her to learn much quicker   than  a preschooler and you can help by, when you feel it is appropriate,   pointing out the cues that we take for granted.

Thanks a lot for such a detailed email.  It makes  it much easier to get a  good picture. I will think on this for a while  and get back to you soon

Kind regards,





Prescription  2:


For the second bottle I kept 19,  21, 41,  68  and  added 9,  57, and 110

The essences are still around the issue of relating.

9  Koru  The Understanding Essence   For  mental blocks, feeling mentally stuck, difficulty with learning.  Being a  diffident communicator, feeling mentally inferior so holds back or withdraws.  For people who do not feel understood… It assists in learning by doing and  watching and feeling understood.   Also helps people to feel secure  within ones own unique mode of communicating and learning.  To  recognise and interpret the cues from others.

57  Cabbage Tree  People who need this essence are those who  have a fear of losing control.  It helps to  gain integration of mind, body and spirit.

110  Pukatea  For helping to imagine/dream a new reality,  seeing new possibilities.




From Jeanette to Ann:  March 30, 2011


Hi Ann,


The essences I have put in Ruth’s bottle are still  centered around relating and some of the essences are the same as before.  These cover

* having a healthy attitude to self and relationships

*  working through suppressed or repressed emotional issues  -help with  interpersonal skills (such as recognising cues from


The  new essences centre around

* learning by doing and watching and feeling  understood.

* for Ruth to feel secure within her own unique mode or  communicating

and learning.

* unblocking fear relating to verbal  communication and moving through

*learning blocks.

*having self respect  and feeling heard

*overcoming fear of losing control mentally

* being  able to imagine/dream a new reality.


These essences work on many levels  and I feel that many of the emotional  issues you raised are covered  here.

The physical /energy level issues and asthma aren’t covered this time  but  you may find as her confidence increases that her energy levels rise  too.

Are you still noticing changes?

Please keep in touch with any  changes (either up or down).

Kind Regards,




From Ann to Jeanette: April 20, 2011


Hi  Jeanette,

We’ve got a bit behind with these  drops as Ruth lost the bottle for a while towards the end of term, and we  managed to find it when we broke up and had time to look.  I’ll let you  know when we are a bit further into the bottle.

It is harder to notice  the changes this time as they are more subtle now. She is definitely a lot  more affectionate now, and will ask for cuddles and time together.  She  seems to value herself more, and feel more worthy of people’s time and  attention, which is lovely.  I always used to think she was detached  because she was self-sufficient and didn’t look for attention, but see more  and more now that she just didn’t feel entitled or important enough to warrant  it.  She is still a chatterbox, which is lovely, but seems to be  calming down a bit and getting better at two-way conversations.

Ruth’s dad commented recently that it was like she has stopped  behaving ‘autistically’, (we had been investigating possible mild Aspergers or  something on the spectrum) and is quite a different child, so I told him about  the drops (I didn’t mention them before).  He is amazed by the changes he  has seen too.

I’ll email you in a couple of weeks time so we can look  at how she is then.

Many thanks, as always, for all your help with this  and the amazing impact you have had on  Ruth.



From Jeanette to Ann:  April 20,  2011


Hi Ann

How is your little chatterbox Ruth  coming along?  It must be getting time for some more essences.  I  see this as ongoing for Ruth and I will change the essences as her needs  change. Looking forward to hearing of her progress.

Kind  regards,




From Ann to Jeanette:  April 25,  2011

Hi  Jeanette,


I discharged Ruth from the counseling services provider children yesterday.  We had completed our first  cluster of sessions and she has made such amazing progress with your drops  that we don’t really feel there is much more they can do to help.  Also,  the face-to-face talking about her feelings is like torture for Ruth and  hasn’t really helped, whereas the drops have been ideal and made such emormous  changes.

A couple of days ago we had her new ‘best friend’ over for the  day.  She and Ruth are great for each other, and Ruth is completely  smitten and in heaven that she finally has a friend!  They play  brilliantly together, have lots of laughs and enjoy the same things.   This is all new for Ruth and I believe she is experiencing real friendship  for the very first time.  Her friend is returning tomorrow for a  sleepover, and Ruth is really excited, rather than anxious which she usually  would be.

Although Ruth has put on more weight, over the last couple  of weeks her activity levels have increased enormously too.  She jumps up  to help where in the past she would’ve waited in the hope that she could get  away with it. Last night she asked if we could get Wii Fit as it looks a lot  of fun, and then did impressions of all the things you can do on it.   This is a great change from the girl who was stationary for so long, so I  think she will start to lose weight as this continues.  She is also  choosing to get out on her bike with her sisters, and her general activity  level is so much higher and faster.

We have about 1/3 of the current  bottle left, so perhaps we could start preparing for the next bottle in a week  or so?

Thank you so much for all your thought and help with this  Jeanette.  You have transformed a sad and troubled little girl into a  happy, bouncy and positive little person who can now see that she is a great  person to be with.

Many thanks,




From  Jeanette to Ann:




Hi Ann,

I will post off the next bottle of  essences for Ruth tomorrow. I think she will find this bottle tastes just  like the first one she had.

These essences are based around her need to  be able to emotionally sustain herself and develop a sense of self  respect.


They also foster:

*Allowing a repressed inner creativity  to surface.

*  Taking pride and pleasure in her creative achievements. Being  comfortable accepting deserved compliments and able to take due  credit.

* Feeling safe to relax and let down her mental guard and having  the ability to laugh at lifes difficulties and setbacks.

* Being able to be  open to change, new ideas and concepts.  Having belief in herself and her  abilities.  Discovers and uses her own unique gifts and individual  skills.

* Helpful to increase energy levels and help to hold her new  ‘being’.


 Prescription 3


I have kept in 68 Puriri  for discernment and discrimination and 20 Wineberry and have added the following:


10 Starry Hibiscus for the clients need to be  able to emotionally sustain herself and to feel needed

15 Mingimingi develop a sense of self respect.Allowing a  repressed inner creativity  to surface.  Taking pride and pleasure  in her creative achievements. Being comfortable accepting deserved compliments  and able to take due credit.  Feeling safe to relax and let down her  mental guard and having the ability to laugh at life’s difficulties and  setbacks.

39  Shaking Brake Fern  (clients Trauma essence) This essence  relates to issues around feeling disempowered and will allow one to relax and  let down the mental guard.

45     Matai  Being able to be open to change, new ideas and  concepts.  Having belief in oneself and one’s abilities.

63     Karamu  Discovers and uses her own unique gifts and individual  skills.  Practically co-ordinates intentions and  feelings.  Believes in oneself and knows ones desires can be  achieved.  Has the inner resources to cope with any  situation.

100 Mahoe To increase one’s energy to  achieve ones intent or objective. Helpful to increase energy levels  and  help to hold her new ‘being’.


From Ann  to Jeanette:  24 June 2011


Hi Jeanette,

Ruth  is doing really well thanks.  She doesn’t take the drops so regularly  now, but it feels like there isn’t such a need right now and she is still  adjusting to the changes that have already happened.  She is a very happy  little girl with more and better friendships.  She has started to value  herself and see that she is valued by others. She is still a chatterbox, but  is much more aware of her audience.  Her teachers appear to be really  fond of her and enjoy her sweet, yet really creative,  nature.





About First Light Flower Essences of  New Zealand:


First Light Flower Essences of New  Zealand is a range of essences (potentised  remedies) made from New Zealand native flora.  They have  been co-created by Franchelle Ofsoske-Wyber and her husband Anthony  Wyber in accordance with Maori tradition and protocol.  Dr  Rangimarie Turuki Arikirangi Rose Pere. C.B.E  C.M. highly esteemed  Maori tohuna and ancient wisdom keeper, is the Official Spiritual Patron and  Guardian in Perpetuity of the First Light Flower Essences of New  Zealand.

 This system of healing is based on the the theory that essences prepared from different parts of a plant assist the functioning of different aspects of the  individual.  For example, essences prepared from flowers relate to the personality, while those made from trees have a relationship with a particular  chakra, and essences prepared from seeds act on the level of the  DNA.  Essences prepared from ferns are used to treat the after-effects of  trauma.  Different types of trauma (such as grief, humiliation, betrayal)  are recognised in this system, with different ferns being appropriate for  different trauma.

First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand also offer  practitioner training courses. in which other aspects of  prescribing including more arcane techniques such as the use of the patient’s  birth date to assist in identifying the keynote  remedy.

More information about these flower essences may  be found at http://www.nzfloweressences.co.nz/  

Concluding Comment from the Editor:

In my  conversation with Ann, she told me how she had not had high expectations  that this type of treatment approach would work, having been  brought up in a family that used conventional medicine and not having any  knowledge of alternative health treatments.  However given the failure of  other recommended therapies, she was prepared to try the flower essence   treatment in the hope that it would be helpful for Ruth.   Ann did not give Ruth any sort of explanation about the  drops but simply told her to take them.  Under the circumstances, a placebo effect seems  unlikely.

While it is important to identify and, if possible, treat  medical issues (such as chronic infections, nutritional deficiencies, food  intolerance/allergy etc that may contribute to many conditions such as  autistic spectrum disorders, depression or anxiety – see my review of Michael Sichel’s book  Good News for the Alphabet Kids in Issue 2 of The New Zealand  Journal of Natural Medicine) Ruth’s case history shows how  gentle therapies such as the First Light Flower  Essences of New Zealand are worth considering to help children  resolve some of the psychological issues (such as fears) that they may develop  from repeated exposure to painful stimuli.  (For a child who is  hypersensitive to sound, for example, the sound of rain drumming on the roof  may be unpleasant or even cause pain.)   This type of  therapy is easy to institute  and as Ruth’s experience shows, it has the potential to assist children to  transcend longstanding psychological blocks.



From Ann to Katherine (editor) February 5, 2012


We had a bit of a setback over the holidays as she became very detached again and got upset as she didn’t feel the same way as she used to.  She said she didn’t feel love for me and her sisters like she used to, nor the happiness she had felt.  We had stopped using the drops when the last bottle ran out and she asked if we could order some more and see if they helped.  Good old Jeanette got straight onto it and everything is back to normal. Clearly this may well be the placebo effect now, but it works and we are not having to medicate her or subject her to any one-to-one counseling.  So it works for me to!

I don’t know if I mentioned too, that she had such a good year in Year 7 in her new school, and is in such a better space than she was about 15 months ago when she took the entry tests, that she has jumped up two classes and is now in the top class!  She also got a certificate for diligence, for which she had to achieve excellence in at least 5 subjects.  She has decided to really go for it this year, (she didn’t really put in that much effort last year), and try to get to the very top, so good on her! She is now having to cope with all the changes with friendship groups, but is taking it all in her stride.  I still don’t fully understand what the drops have done or do, but they have certainly had a enormous impact on Ruth and I hope that she will now realise her true potential.