FlorAlchemy Flower Essence Making in Iceland

by Sara Crow, L.Ac.

I’m very inspired by the qualities embodied by the plants growing in the dynamic and otherworldly island of Iceland, often referred to as ‘the land of fire and ice.’  Iceland is a place of sharp contrasts. Fire and ice co-exist, long dark winters are offset by lengthy summer days and its midnight sun, and there’s a unique fusion of what I can only describe as a type of ‘dynamic serenity.’ Historically, the island has had an insular existence that has shaped a most creative and self-reliant culture. It’s one of the most active volcanic regions on Earth, where nearly all types of volcanic and geothermal activity can be found. With its close proximity to the Arctic Circle and its epic glaciers and notorious ice-sheets, Iceland is unquestionably an awe-inspiring, diverse, dynamic and shapeshifting world.  

Northern Green Orchid

Northern Green Orchid

Iceland is still quite pure, ecologically speaking; a highly valued ingredient in my quest for handcrafting potent and effective flower essences. Iceland, despite its name, possesses summer landscapes bejeweled with stunning greens, lichen blanketed lava fields, serene bird-adored lakes (swoon), waterfalls, geothermal geysers and springs, volcanos, ice caves, stunning mountain peak and valleys, glaciers and iceberg beaches (omg!). A magical land birthing folkloric tales of nature’s ‘hidden people’ and ‘hidden worlds’ full of fairies, elves, pixies, sprites and so on. Personally, I find that when the magic of the natural world is acknowledged and cherished it not only contributes to the good health of its people but also to the land itself. Additionally, in many places where I have visited, the ‘spirit of the land’ is healthy, intact, and vital; most likely largely due to its northern locale.

This vast, healthy, dynamic and largely untouched wildness is my ideal high-pranic place for crafting flower essences. Our flower essences are bioenergetic preparations of fresh wild blossoms made directly in a plant’s natural ecosystem. I often think of flowers as the crowning achievement of the plant kingdom because they are the creative vessel of a plant, the site of pollination and reproduction. Because a plant channels its metabolic energy into forming its flowers for reproduction, it could be said that flowers are the highest creative expression of a plant containing

Sara Crow gathers wild Icelandic flowers to make flower essences

Sara Crow gathers wild Icelandic flowers

concentrated life-force energy. Because the environment is captured when making a flower essence, in my mind, the quality and efficacy of the resulting remedy has everything to do with the context in which the flower grows. Therefore, it’s important to consider the condition of the environment in which the plant is growing when making floral medicine.

Plants in Iceland, the arctic tundra biome, have learned to adapt and thrive in extreme conditions of cold, fierce wind, nutrient-poor scant soil, and challenging sunlight conditions. Plants have also adapted to long winters and short, intense polar summers. Adaptations such as small size, hairy stems and the ability to grow and flower quickly in short summers have helped Icelandic plants survive. Some plants can grow with very little or no soil, such as Rhodiola rosacea, seen growing directly out of lava rock. The hairs on the stems of many tundra plants, such as Velvet Bells, help to trap heat near the plant and act as protection from the wind. Plants such as the Mountain Avens and Arctic Poppy have cup-shaped flowers that move with the sun. The cup allows more sunlight to focus on the middle of the flower; this warmth helps it to grow more quickly. Dark-colored plants, such as Velvet Bells, absorb more of the sun’s energy.

Arctic Thyme

Arctic Thyme

Plants in the Arctic tundra biome can grow and flower at lower temperatures than any other plants on earth.  It’s the coldest of all biomes and consists of 1/5 of the earth’s surface. All of the plants are adapted to sweeping winds and disturbances of the soil. Many Arctic species can grow under a layer of snow, and virtually all plants are able to photosynthesize in cold temperatures and low light intensities. During the short polar summer, plants use the long hours of sunlight to quickly develop and produce flowers and seeds. The plants have a very small window to reproduce. All of nature is a bit manic, if you will!  Prana is high; another factor that naturally lends itself to high life force flower essences.

Water Avens flower

Water Avens

All life in the far north has had to develop certain adaptations in order to survive in extreme conditions.  The qualities embodied by these particular plants may help humanity adapt and build the inner resources needed to effectively navigate our current time of great planetary change, uncertainty and challenge. Many of the Icelandic flower essences work therapeutically to fortify our inner world and increase our sense of ‘inner security’; the ability to look to oneself for resources, nourishment and sustenance when the ‘outer’ environment is changing rapidly or isn’t very supportive. By using flower essences from this part of the world we can each find our own unique ‘dynamic equilibrium’; the ability to find equilibrium within ourselves during rapidly shifting times. Our Icelandic flower essences can help to awaken dormant aspects of ourselves or helps us to build new inner skills. Flower Essences can be used to ground a higher level of consciousness into our everyday life. Icelandic essences help us to release impediments to personal growth and encourage us to live with a higher level of awareness with access to a greater bouquet of inner resources, such as centeredness, love and understanding.

Wood Crane's Bill flowers

Wood Crane’s Bill

Flower essences hold the power and wisdom of nature, providing humanity with a practical and easy tool to address a wide range of concerns. Iceland offers humanity something special in regard to healing.  It is a wild, clean and energetically intact environment that produces powerful and effective flower remedies for our modern needs.


Historically, plants were used therapeutically for a wide range of conditions.  It was common knowledge that many plants excelled at addressing multiple aspects of a person and its applications stretched far beyond its singular use of physical healing.  A plant’s psycho-spiritual applications were valued and were often woven into daily life. Here are some healing protocols that aim to honor this tradition. Plants that help us build the inner resources needed for effective living in modern times.

The Self-Empowerment Protocol

If you need help with:

~Feeling small and overwhelmed by the world
~Feeling as if you don’t have what it takes inside to (fill in the blank).
~Blaming others for your problems or misfortunes
~Finding yourself too easily influenced and misguided by others
~ Adapting and thriving within, ‘growth opportunity’ mindset


Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

What it does: Historically, this magical tree was said to hold a ‘sacred light’ by several cultures and was often used in ritual to strengthen and protect especially during trying times. Markedly empowering.
Suggested Ritual:  Upon rising, take several drops of Rowan Flower Essence under tongue for self-empowerment. An alternative, synergetic combo we love that contains this flower is called Empowerment. Found in Azul Beauty Body Serum to encourage the mystical in your everyday life.

Water Avens (Geum rivale islandicum)

What it does: Empowers a gentle strength of being. Shows us that by cultivating gentleness we can overcome great obstacles, both inner and outer. Shows us how the qualities of gentleness and steadiness can be a great ally to personal and spiritual growth. Water Avens encourages a steady softness and inner peace that’s very helpful in navigating life’s difficulties and obstacles.
Suggested Ritual: Mist face and back of neck with Meadow Mind Misting Potion to empower and to surrender struggle.  

Mossy Mountain Heather (Harrimanella hypnoides)

What it does: Helps spark love for the body and works to remedy feelings of  ‘not being at home’ in the body or on this earth. Helps us to shine and feel comfortable in our skin.

Fox-and-cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca)
– found in Floral R & R Misting Potion

What it does: It treats Shen, lights the inner glow, helps the heart radiate, and empowers. It can work to bring buoyancy, lightness, happiness and joy to a downtrodden heart. It’s simultaneously grounding and uplifting and may help with enhancing creativity.
Suggested Ritual: Spritz the heart area several times per day (front and back if possible) with Floral R & R Misting Potion.

Calendula Flower Essence Tincture

What it does: Grounds, empowers and helps connect our unique ‘voice’ (5th chakra) with our heart’s wisdom (4th chakra) for authentic self-expression.
Suggested Ritual: Add one dropperful to a little water or to morning tea.
Topical: Anoint 3rd, 4th, and 5th chakras for aligned clarity before starting your day.

The Inner Strength Protocol

If you need help with:

~Accessing your own fortitude and inner light
~Desire to become a beacon of light for yourself and for others
~Helps us to look inside for hidden resources that can help us during times of change or challenge (or both!)


Arctic Thyme (Thymus praecox)

What it does: Used historically to boost courage, release grief and ignite enthusiasm for life. Brings us into the now. Helps us breathe in new life and make room for more joy.
Suggested Ritual: Spritz your face with Inner Star Misting Potion to activate skin rejuvenation and foster your ‘inner glow’.  Also found in Trauma Repair, Pure Space, and Azul Beauty Body Serum.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

What it does: Powerful adaptogen both in its herbal use and flower essence application. Anchors, centers and stabilizes during times of great challenge. Great one to think of when the strong arctic winds of life blow you around.
Suggested Ritual: Take 1 drop under tongue as needed. Place one drop of Strength at the bottom of each foot and rub in (be careful to not let the glass dropper touch).

Sacred Basil Flower Essence Tincture

What it does: Whole being adaptogenic tonic that improves overall health and aligns us with our life or spiritual purpose.
Suggested Ritual: Can be dropped in a little water to help you adapt and thrive each day.  

The Self-Worth Protocol

If you need help with:

~Acknowledging the gifts you have inside
~Seeing yourself as integral and irreplaceable part of the whole


Wild Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala)

What it does: This ‘national flower’ of Iceland helps turn unhealthy ‘not enough’ or competitive mindsets into loving appreciation for self and others. Helps us love and honor the unique contribution we all are. Self-love tonic.
Suggested Ritual: Use 2 drops 4 Free To Be Me times a day for at least one month for notable improvements in mental outlook and inner growth.

Inner Star Misting Potion

What it does: Boosts the ability to see and love yourself on multiple levels to increase self-acceptance and true confidence. An aromatic white rose mist adorned with flower essences to support our heart’s song and helps us beam our inner light.
Suggested Ritual: Mist face with Inner Star for a radiant complexion and inner glow.

Purple Saxifrage (Saxifrage oppositifolia)

What it does: Enhances feelings of connection. Helps us feel loved, safe and contained in a loving web of life. Aligns with the Divine.
Suggested Ritual: Place 1 drop Reconnect under the tongue and topically on the heart for self-love.

Rose Flower Essence Tincture

What it does: Delicious Rose Tonic containing Icelandic wildflower essences. Heals the emotional heart, creates radiant skin and boosts self-esteem.
Suggested Ritual: Use several times a day in a little water, nut milk or desired beverage for a self-love boost.

Alpine Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla alpina)

What it does: Ancient remedy for spiritual wisdom. Loosen self-criticism and enhances loving appreciation for all life.
Suggested Ritual: Take a bath with 2 dropperfuls of Passionflower Flower Essence Tincture to loosen tension, enhance the higher mind, and improve self-love. While in the bath or before bed, take 1-2 dropperfuls under the tongue for stress relief, and peace of mind.

Valerian wild (Valeriana officinalis)

What it does: Works to transform ‘heaviness and negativity’ into happiness and laughter. Loosens tension and helps self-acceptance.
Suggested Ritual: Throughout the day, take 1 drop of Passionflower Flower Essence Tincture.
Take a bath with 2 dropperfuls of Passionflower Flower Essence Tincture to loosen tension, enhance the higher mind, and improve self-love. Before bed, take 1-2 dropperfuls under the tongue for sweet dreams.

Northern Green Orchid (Platanthera hyperborea)
– in
Heart Flame Misting Potion

What it does: A very special orchid found in an aromatic rose mist that improves self-love and fosters harmonious relationship (with oneself and others).
Suggested Ritual: Mist face for harmony, beauty and skin rejuvenation.

The Inner Security Protocol

If you need help with:

~Feeling as if the ‘light’ of others drowns out your own
~Easily threatened or upset by the actions of others
~In the midst of a life transition or change and need an inner security boost


Wood Crane’s Bill (Geranium sylvaticum)

What it does: Helps us to feel safe and secure inside especially during transitional times
Suggested Ritual: Place one drop Safe and Secure over the third eye for calming and soothing

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
– in
Skin Alchemy, Meadow Mind, and Inner Judge

What it does: Helps us find our center and encourages deep serenity
Suggested Ritual: Mist Meadow Mind on face and back of neck to align with the serenity of a mountain meadow

Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis)
– in Pure Space Misting Potion

What it does: Clears clutter from the mind and fosters a greater awareness of our spiritual identity

Alpine Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla alpina)

What it does: Ancient remedy for spiritual wisdom.
Suggested Ritual: Place 1 dropperful of Passionflower Flower Essence Tincture under the tongue and slip into stillness and deeper awareness

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