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Australian Bush Flower Essences


An interview with Ian White

Many of you will have heard of Flower Essences and the Bach remedy is likely the one that will spring to most people’s mind. 

But there is another one:
Australian Bush Flower Essences
that have been working with equal success across the world.

You are about to read something very special.  This is a story about an amazing man, his special essences and a whole lot more.  You are in for a treat.
We had the privilege of interviewing the founder of this entirely Australian venture.

Flower Remedies are not new. The Australian Aboriginals have always used flowers to heal the emotions, as did the Ancient Egyptians. There has also been a very long tradition of use of Flower Essences in India, Asia and South America and they were also very popular in Europe in the Middle Ages.

Hildegard von Bingen (12th century) and Paracelsus (15th century) both wrote about how they collected dew from flowering plants to treat health imbalances.

This healing method was rediscovered by Dr. Edward Bach sixty years ago through the use of English flowering plants.

Today our society and its needs are totally different to that of sixty years ago. There has been a great need for remedies that would help people deal with the issues of the 21st century - sexuality, communication skills and spirituality to name but a few.

The answer to this need has come from the Australian plants, developed and researched by Naturopath, Ian White a fifth generation Australian herbalist.

To begin at the beginning:
Australian Bush Flower Essences were created by an Australian herbalist, Ian White (Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Naturopathy, Diploma of Botanical Medicine) who we find out, not only has a long family history with herbs and knowledge of Australian bush flowers, he also possesses the true gift of intuition which helps him create remedies to help both the emotional and the spiritual.  

Everything in existence has a unique vibrational rate.

Our bodies differ in vibration both internally and externally and vibrational imbalances affects the quality of our lives in many ways.

   Gigi               Ian White              Lana

Lana and I did not levitate or dissolve into the ether, but we could have when we arrived at Bush Essences in Terrey Hills. 

The office atmosphere was worth selling in bottles.  It smelled of the gorgeous “Mists” that this business produces.  We sat down calmed by their perfume and soothing music.  

Ian strides in to meet us.  He’s very tall with long fair hair way past his shoulders and is wearing skin tight stripy jeans.   Already he looks interesting and by the time we have finished our interview we are spellbound.

Wisewomen:  There were five generations before you. And you mention quiet a bit about your grandmother in your literature and the close relationship you had with her.  What was her actual influence?

Ian:  My father’s mother lived next door to me at Terrey Hills.  I grew up not far from here.  She was a herbalist.  My dad was a pharmacist and herbalist.  

My grandmother and my great grandma were the first white people to use the healing properties of Australian plants.

Wisewomen:  Do you think you have a special family gift or is it simply knowledge passed on down the ages?

Ian:  Probably a bit of both.  When I was a boy I was so interested in learning about it.   I would much prefer to spend my time with my grandmother and would feign various illnesses so I could go to her place instead of going to school.  Then I would spend the day making tinctures and extracts and go for walks with her looking at the plants.  Sadly she died when I was ten. 

She was in her late 60’s, a very heavy smoker and riddled with cancer but she kept it at bay for years using a special herbs.  She went travelling and while she was away she got separated from her luggage.  Unfortunately, it had all the herbs in it and the stress of travelling without the herbs took its toll and she died. 

Wisewomen:  It says a lot about the herbs effectiveness.

Ian:  It does.   They were very potent.  She used a pretty rugged brew.

Wisewomen:  Do you have brothers and sisters?

Ian:  A brother 2 years older.  My grandfather was in the rag trade and had clothing factories.  My uncle and my brother are also involved.  The family has always had these two weaving professions.

Wisewomen:  So you make people look good and feel good!  How did the realization come about that you could create this business with the Bush Flower Essences?

Ian:  Some things did have an impact.  When I began the Science degree, I was originally thinking along the lines of Marine biology, but one of my teachers said you are more a people person so then I swapped to do more psychology.  

In the University holidays I travelled to India and became very ill.  When I got back here I began rebuilding my health using herbs, yoga, tai chi and meditation.   I tried to combine that with my Science degree on Natural therapies and when I finished the degree, I did a naturopathic course. 

Also, when I was a student I shared a house with a friend who later developed cancer.   He was a young man, very successful and charismatic.  He asked me to hold a healing circle because of my interest in meditation.  

All our mutual friends gathered together the day before the operation to give him strength to get through it.  Unfortunately they discovered he had bowel cancer which had spread, so it was not a good prognosis.  I kept the healing circle going regularly at my home. 

Shortly after he died, during the meditation I started to get pictures of plants.  I was told where to make them up, what their qualities were. 

So the intuitive side may have come from the time I spent as a young boy in the bush with my grandmother learning and appreciating healing plants.  I did not remember specifically which plant did what – it was more on a physical level.  What I am doing now is carrying on the emotional and spiritual properties.

Lana:  My friend Dale Clarke says she meditates over the remedies when she makes them up.  She says that helps her decide what remedies she needs to use specifically for the client.

Ian:  Yes, it is a good thing if the practitioner is able to tune into their client.

Wisewomen:  How did you set about getting the business off the ground?

Ian:  My practice was already established and I had been working with English flower Essences.  At that time I was predominantly a homeopath.   I ran workshops.  I was a little disappointed when someone’s results hadn’t been what I had hoped for or people couldn’t notice any difference.

Then at this point the information about the Australian plants started to come through and the results I got with my patients using them was quite spectacular.

I knew a few practitioners and I gave them the information and the remedies.  For two years we used the results of using the remedies to validate their effectiveness.  After this period of time I was happy we could, so I started publishing information.  

Originally I thought the remedies would be for Australians but it wasn’t long before people around the world wanted to start importing them into their countries.   The results are equally as good there.

Wisewomen:  Are the Australian Bush Flowers Essences more fitting for indigenous people because of their connection to this land, whereas the English Bach remedies more suited for Anglo Saxons?

Ian:  Totally not.  The fellow who developed the English remedies died 70 years ago and the world has changed dramatically, so what is coming through now is more contemporary and reflecting what is happening in our society now.

Take Electro Essence for example.   We have been donating the remedies to Green Cross in Belarus.  They have been working with the worst radiation affected children stemming from the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.

The medical specialists working for Green Cross found the Electro Essence to be the most effective treatment they have ever used. The Electro Essence cleared 43% of the radiation in just two weeks. 

If you go back 70 years there was no nuclear radiation around.  The same thing for mobile phones and electro magnetic radiation so as things change and Essences come down to meet the needs of that society.

Wisewomen:  Where do you get the flowers?

Ian:  All over Australia.  I am the one who goes and finds them.  I make the concentrate and then bring it back here where it is broken down into the stock that the practitioner uses.  This is then made into dose levels.   So the concentrate is made in every state but we do all the production here.   

With the approval from the traditional landowners, Ian asks permission from the wildflowers before he picks them.  He happily admits to being guided by dreams, intuition and meditation when searching the flowers out.

Wisewomen:  What are the hardest flowers to find and which are the most abundant?

Ian:  There is one in Western Australia called the Red Helmut Orchid.   The changing weather patterns confuses flowering and the flowering times are no longer guaranteed.  I have to fly over there, drive for 6 hours, find the bushes and if they are not in flower it can be very frustrating.

We have just been out in the bush today and there are flannel flowers everywhere so they are easy to locate. 

Wisewomen:  What part of the plant do you use?

Ian:  We take the whole flower.  The flower is picked and placed in a bowl and the sun releases all the healing vibration into the water.  It takes about two hours in Australia and about four hours in England.

Wisewomen:  How do you know what particular flower heals what?

Ian:  I make great use of the Doctrine of Signatures.  These are the clues nature gives as to the healing qualities of the plants.

The "Signature" refers to the shape, colour and the environment or specific sites in which the plant grows.

I also rely on my own intuitive information and a number of other things such as kinesiology, and sometimes Kirlian photography and any traditional uses of the plant.  Then it has to be verified.

For example, in Kinesiology you can find out if someone’s kidneys are not functioning.  Then, you select remedies to work on kidney.  You can test it by the improvements and beneficial effects on the kidneys.

Wisewomen:  We heard that you say ‘you hear flowers calling to you and telling you what they are good for’.

Ian: It is being in tune or meditating with the flower and listening to the intuitive message I am getting from that plant. Making it up is a certain art and skill but the main thing is working out what quality it has.  So, yes, part of this is tuning into the plant. 

I have also been mediating for over 30 years and that certainly helps that intuitive side become heightened working in this area.

Wisewomen:  When you see your client how do you work out what they need?

Ian:  Firstly you have to know what a plant is for.  In the back of my book there is an emotional and physical repertory. 

The premise of flower Essences is that physical symptoms are a reflection of emotional and spiritual imbalances.  We ask the patient what is bothering them and make our own observations.

The emotions of anger and resentment are connected with the liver for instance.  Aveydic and Chinese medicine made those correlations thousands of years ago 

We donate a lot of our remedies to an orphanage in Brazil.  When we started our work they were getting 6 or 7 cases of bronchitis each per child each year.  Maybe the parents of these children had died or they were abandoned so they harbor a lot of grief and sadness.   After a year of using the Essences, the bronchitis rate dropped to less than one case per child.  This is because lungs correlate with grief and sadness.  We use The Sturt Desert Pea to work with the lungs.

Wisewomen:  Is the export side of business successful?

Ian:  About two thirds of our business is export so the remedies are working well overseas. 

Wisewomen:  What particular Essences would be helpful for women? 

Ian:  40% of western women over 40 years of age have underactive thyroids.  The Aborigines used “Old Man Banksia” - it was a remedy for spirituality for Aborigines because it has such an affinity with thyroid.


The white settlers got the name wrong though, they should have called it “Old woman Banksia” not old man!

Another good remedy for females is the She Oak and can be used from puberty right through until they leave the planet because it regulates the hormonal cycle.  In Chinese medicine the uterus and the heart are connected.   There is a remedy made with the pink flannel flower which grows up in the Blue Mountains which works on the heart.  

The She Oak has the seed which is the same size as the ovary and this remedy is also used in the women’s Essences.  Essences can be used starting at menstruation right through to menopause when the ovaries stop producing the sex hormones.  

Osteoporosis, hot flushes and all those things women can experience at menopause can be helped by the Woman Essence.  All the three Essences mentioned above are contained in that combination.

Look at women say 70 plus!  A lot of them have a sadness because of the loss of childhood friends and partners and they are weighed down with loneliness and grief.  A woman might have regularly worked in a garden but now she has arthritis in the knees and hands.  She may not be able to open can or screw the top off a bottle.  We have a remedy for physical frustration. 

There are remedies for all stages in life

And as far as hormone replacement therapy goes, the Woman Essence works equally as well.   And there are no side affects such as increased breast cancer or cancer of the cervix. 

Wisewomen:  Do you see this type of treatment replacing general medicine?

Ian:  In some areas yes!   It works as a preventative so there won’t be much need for treating physical symptoms.   

Wisewomen:  What is the most popular Essence?

Ian: The She Oak I mentioned before because it is such an important remedy because it is for hydration, fertility, and its use as a hormone replacement therapy. 

Bush Fuchsia grows around the Sydney region.  In Cognis Essence it is working on left and right hemispheres of the brain for any learning problems, dyslexia, affects of strokes.  It is a very important one.   

There is one called Mulla Mulla which is for the heat and hot flushing and it is also in the combination Woman Essence.  It is also for burns.  It is also in Electro, which is the one we use for radiation, including Electro Magnetic radiation from computers or mobile phones. Keep a bottle on, or close within a couple of inches to your body to protect yourself from such radiation.

Wisewomen:  Could you take this if you were badly burnt?

Ian:  We have had many people who have had third degree burns, say that they were told they would need skin grafts, but have not needed them.

You can use it to stop you getting sunburnt.  It stops you absorbing as much.  If you are having x-rays, you won’t absorb as much of the x-rays either. And we have 5 or 6 case histories of people who had been taking Mulla Mulla.  They had gone to casualty for an x-ray, a precautionary one, when they thought they might have broken bones.  These people have not been able to get their x-rays because for them the Mulla Mulla total blocked the radiation going through them. 

So under normal circumstances, you want to get the x-ray without absorbing the radiation but it can actually block it totally.   All of these people were put on more than one machine because the operators thought the machines must have been faulty. 

And if you are flying, you absorb a lot of gamma radiation because you are high over 30,000 ft above the ground, so the Mulla Mulla works well for these conditions.   It is also in our Travel Essence

Also, if someone is having radiation for cancer and if they take the Mulla Mulla before and after treatment, they don’t get burnt as badly and they recover a lot quicker from the radiation therapy.

Wisewomen:  Again, that says a lot about the power of the Essences.

Gigi:  I have read about your Light Frequency Essence Series and it all sounds like the elixir of life to me – especially the Arctic and Antarctic Essences.

Ian:  Yes, it is the most powerful Essence I have ever been involved in.   Again it is addressing the impact and individual experiences from environmental changes. When changes occur and needs arise, Essences come down to help. 

Wisewomen:  The blurb says you went to Greenland to make the Artic Essence and Antarctica to make the Antarctic Essence.    We believe the boat trip south can be pretty torrid?

Ian:  Yes, when the ship pulled out there were gale force ten winds and a ten-metre swell.  80% of the people were not seen on that part of the passage as they were so seasick.   Coming back, “The Drake Lake” was totally flat.  But you are bound to hit bad weather though, due to the pressure systems down there.

Wisewomen:   What is the best thing about the Essences generally? 

Ian:  They are totally safe so anyone can use them.  And children can be brought up on them. 

In my workshops I ask how many people were given flower Essences as a child.  You might get someone in their twenty’s put their hand up, occasionally someone in their thirties.  No one in their forties, fifties or sixties has used them as a child.  You know, when you think back over your own childhood, I am sure you would now wonder how helpful flower Essences could have been especially over those teen years.

We see so many children who have learning problems nowadays.  The children coming through are quite different to our generation.  This is because they are coming more from the feeling, rather than the intellectual centre. Again Bush Fuchsia is such an important remedy for children with learning problems. 

Wisewomen:  Do you have a favourite saying or quote about life?

Ian:  ‘We attract the experiences that we need and there is always the highest reason why things happen’.  

Having that philosophy helps greatly, rather than things just happen to you because you are in the wrong place in the wrong time.  That can be pretty disempowering.

Gigi:  Yes, but you could be in the right place at the right time!

Ian:  Yes, Yes, but we can also say ‘what are we supposed to be learning from that situation and having that as an outlook!’

There is also a saying How would love respond to this’ which is always good when having a human reaction to something or someone. 

If you can step back and distance yourself and say “How would love respond” you feel quite different and are able to let go of any negative feelings.

Lana:  Do you know what mine is?   ‘Life is too short to drink cheap wine’

Gigi:  I’ve always said “Laughter is the Best Medicine”.   But I see we have Australian Bush Flower Essences to help out now!

Ian:  In Chinese medicine you have got five different elements.   There is a sound that goes with each one.  So laughter is very good for the heart.  Laughter is great for all of us but in particular if someone has a blockage in the heart.

For other people crying or anger might be needed.  Crying and sobbing can be incredibly therapeutic if they are holding onto sadness and lungs are blocked.

Wisewomen:  Do you run your workshops from here?

Ian:  Yes we do, but we have many teachers around Australia and other countries as well.  Personally I would spend 5 months a year teaching overseas in countries such as Japan, Europe, North and South America.

Wisewomen:  It sounds like you have a very exciting life!  Do actually think about that?

Ian:  Yes, I have great gratitude for the wonderful people I meet all around the world and the places I get to see.

Wisewomen:  And the fact your Essences help so many people must be more than rewarding. 

Ian:  We have 2 staff members who file and document all case histories and testimonials.   It is great to receive a letter from someone I’ve not met and who lives in a country I have never been to, and has had a dramatic change in their life or the people around them from using the remedies.

Yes, I feel a great deal of gratitude for it.  Also we have fantastic staff who really believe in what we are doing and we like creating a good atmosphere for everyone who comes through the door.

Wisewoman:  Well, we noticed that.  While we were waiting for you, we said  ‘if you could replicate this office environment in the business world it would be worth bottling’. You could actually feel it when you came in here apart from seeing it.

Getting back to the workshops again, is it just naturopaths or can anyone go along?

Ian:  They are designed for anyone.  We have practitioners, parents who have young children and those who want to use them for their family or themselves.

Given that the remedies are done on emotional states, you don’t have to have done six years of medicine to know when your child is a bit fearful, anxious or feeling rejected so giving them the remedies is appropriate in that way.  And you know how you feel yourself!

If you are teaching the advanced practitioner you can go to a deeper level. 

We also have one-day workshops dealing with different issues such as using the Essences for women, for men, children and even animals.  There are Workshops on Spiritual Alchemy Astrology and Numerology, all utilising the Bush Essences. There are many different workshops and there is a workshop dealing with the White Light Essences that we talked about before.

Wisewomen:  They seem to work on a higher level.  How do they work?

Ian:  They work on the emotional which then flows onto the physical.  The White Light Essences really work with one’s spirituality.

At the end of the day what we need to do is aim at prevention because we are going to run out of resources to treat the physical illnesses that will arise.

Wisewomen: At Wisewomensworld it is terrific to be able to pass on this information about Australian Bush Flower Essences as many older women may not have even heard of them.

Ian:  It is very much a new area

Lana:   I have friends who think it is just me going on another ‘natural’ path, but they should be made aware of the value and benefits of Essences and how they can change your life.

Ian:  Yes, the Woman’s Essence would probably be a good one for your audience.  While it is helpful with young women menstruating and fertility, it helps greatly the associated symptoms in menopause such as hot flushing.  

Other helpful ones would be Relationship Essence and Cognis Essence for memory.

Gigi:  (Laughs) They would be very popular!

I think when you are older you think about specific things that you want to improve and memory and relationships would certainly be up there.  But other Essences like Dynamis Essence that ‘renews enthusiasm and joy of life’ would be a winner.  Every woman I know would like to be on that one I am sure!

Ian:  And Emergency Essence.  Every home should have that.  We are often surrounded by crisis emotional and physical situations and these drops are so important.

There are 14 Essences already formulated and ready to use over the counter.  And we also have the Essence Mists and Essence Creams and these products are pure, natural and work beautifully with the Essence Drops.


It is now time to take a tour of the production area.  We don our name badges and head through the Workshop area and down the steps to where it all happens.  We pass by rows of shelving stacked high with a never ending view of the bottles of Essences.  We meet a few of the staff who are packaging and sorting. 

We are not allowed into the laboratory itself where the remedies are stored and broken down, but we can peer through the window and only imagine what goes on in there. 

Back upstairs we spend time deciding on which Essences we need and buy a couple of bottles for our own use. 

Time spent with Ian and learning about these wonderful Essences has been not only a thrill but enlightening and inspiring. 

Do they work?  Without a doubt.  We have tried them. 

I personally have taken the Emergency, Transistion, Relationship and Dynamis Essences since September last year and notice improvements in myself by way of mental and obviously physical changes (prior to that a lifetime of taking Bach Essences) 

Lana is currently taking Dynamis Essences and a mixture of Essences that her acupuncturist/herbalist (Dale Clarke) prepares for her. After meeting Ian, Lana decided to take the White Light journey and has even managed to talk her husband into joining her.

If enhancing your life with seven drops twice a day is all that it takes, well, you would be well advised to try a bottle yourself.

Those Essences made up and ready to go include:  Abund, Cognis, Calm and Clear, Confid, Creative, Dynamis, Meditation, Sexuality, Purifying, Woman, Travel and Electro. 

They can be found in Health Food Stores, selected Pharmacies, Practitioners or directly from Australian Bush Flower Essences.

Visit and find out all about them in detail and if you have any questions about them you can contact ABF directly


has the world's oldest and highest number of flowering plants exhibiting tremendous beauty and strength. Also Australia is relatively unpolluted and metaphysically has a very wise, old energy. 
At this time there is a tremendous new vitality in this country. This, combined with the inherent power of the land, is why the Australian Bush Flower Essences are unique.. 
The Bush Remedies not only help to give clarity to one's life but also the courage, strength and commitment to follow and pursue one's goals and dreams. They help to develop a higher level of intuition, self esteem, spirituality, creativity and fun. The more the Essences are used, the more one is likely to experience greater awareness and happiness in one's life. Then everyone benefits....the individual, society and the planet.

The effect of these Essences is similar to that of meditation in that they enable the person to access the wisdom of their Higher Self. This releases negative beliefs held in the subconscious mind and allows the positive virtues of the Higher Self - love, joy, faith, courage etc. to flood their being. When this happens the negative beliefs and thoughts are dissolved, balance is restored and true healing occurs.

Note:  All blue highlighted information in this article is from ABF website.

 Gigi©Janet Gilchrist Wise Womens World