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Flower Power: Using Plants to Aid with Stress Relief

Activities like yoga and meditation can be a great way for college students to relieve stress. But have you ever thought of using plants to help with stress relief? 

You may know Charlene Briggs as a professor of environmental studies here at Temple University, but she is also one of 110 registered Bach flower essences practitioners in the United States.


Briggs explained that flower essence therapy restores balance and vitality to the system. Each plant has its own unique electromagnetic field, or energetic imprint, that addresses a specific emotional state. According to Briggs, “Depression, anxiety, grief, anger, trauma and other ‘stresses’ are essentially energy held in the system that cannot find a release.”

At her office, located in Downingown, Pa., Briggs listens to the concerns of her patients and then prepares a unique blend of flower essences to help with their specific situation. Flower essences are made from blooms of healing plants and offer ways for these stuck energies to be released from the system. “Holly is good for anger, jealousy and injustice. Aspen is good for overcoming fear of the unknown. Elm is good for when you’re feeling overwhelmed,” Briggs said. Everyone who has given flower essences therapy a try has seen results.

“Essence formulas are liquid drops taken orally and work by the law of resonance. The resonance of the electromagnetic pattern of the plant will naturally recalibrate imbalances in the system by releasing the charge of the held emotions,” Briggs explained. Anyone can benefit from flower essences therapy, however people dealing with depression, relationship problems, fear, grief, anxiety or any type of “stress” will see a great improvement in their overall well-being.   

People are becoming more open to integrative methods of treatment like plant essence therapy. Conventional medical practitioners are beginning to open their minds to the benefits of this kind of therapy because they see their patients healing with their use. Psychologists often refer their patients to Briggs to help expedite the cognitive process. 

Conventional medicine may be good for the short-term and some people do need their medicines, but flower essences therapy is good for the long- term and can work in tandem with conventional medicine. “Very often we think we can put a chemical in our body and we will feel better, but that is actually just suppressing the symptoms,” Briggs explained. “When you pull a weed from the root, it goes away. Flower essence therapy does just that. It addresses the energetic root of the problem.” In short, this kind of therapy fixes the problem by creating new synapse connections and neural pathways in the brain to respond to the triggers so the patient can stop reacting to them.

Studies have shown that depression and stress are widespread amongst college students; Briggs believes that college students could especially benefit from this integrative medicine. In addition to making you feel happier overall, flower essences are beneficial because they can help you focus during a difficult test, adjust to a new environment, relax when you have to give a presentation, speak your mind during a conflict with a friend, and define your boundaries when it comes dealing with a difficult roommate. Beyond dealing with stress, they also help you define your mission and embrace your career with confidence and success.


“You’re at college to discover your passion, think critically, and create your future.  Flower essences can help you focus your energy on doing these tasks using your own internal compass,” said Briggs. Incorporating flower essences therapy into your life can be as simple as putting a few drops of an essence mixture into your water bottle a day. 

This kind of treatment is all natural, safe, effective, non-addictive, and won’t cause allergic reactions, so why not give it a try? You never know how breaking out of your comfort zone and trying something new could positively impact your life. You can call Charlene Briggs at 610- 458-4747 for more information, to make an appointment to see her at the Temple Wellness Resource Center or to have a phone consultation. In the words of Briggs, “We all have emotions and that is OK, but we don’t have to carry our burdens forever. There are methods that help us discharge our energetic burdens so we can lead a happier and more productive life.” 

Mary is a part of the Temple University class of 2017. She is a Journalism major with a minor in Business and hopes to get into magazine editing or business writing after college. She is also the Health and Fitness editor for Her Campus Temple. If you have any story ideas please contact her at: tue99470@temple.edu
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