They are not like a drug that never truly resolves anything, or a vitamin which is imperative for your balance and functioning. Flower remedies are meant to be taken for a while and then you're off, or you're onto something else.
How long you need to be on a flower essence is a very individual factor though. You can change a mood in a minute, but deeply ingrained patterns and feelings from childhood - we're talking months there. Change can happen quickly, but transformation takes time. It also depends on how sensitive you are to vibrational essences. Do you feel a shift right away, or are the effects more subtle and a couple weeks before you begin to notice a difference - maybe?
If you seem to have a problem going off of an essence (symptoms return, and only disappear when you're on it) then it's possible the roots haven't been addressed and it's symptom management only. It also could be that you weren't on it long enough to sustain the change as in the long standing childhood issues mentioned in the above paragraph.
Rule of Thumb
A good rule of thumb is one month on an essence for every year that you've lived with that problem. As you can imagine, it's better to get our kids on essences sooner rather than later.
Symptom management is not necessarily a bad thing. I will purposely go that direction if I have somebody coming unhinged and I don't think they are in a good place to go after root problems. I'll formulate something to help them do their day to day until they get their breath back and then we can go deeper.
Examples of day to day blends are things like M&M, Focus, Peaceful Sleep and Ignite. They do contain flower essences that do some deep duty, but overall they are meant to help you do what you need to do.
Some things that are more root related are Fragment Finder, Heart Healer, and Confidence. If you are serious about going deep, check out the Broken to Whole Kit or look at doing a series of Custom Combos.
Balancing Your Long Term Essence Plan With Your Short Term Needs
So you've used the above rule of thumb and decided you need to be on a deep healing essence for 8 months. What about the days when you're dealing with extra stress and you need a different kind of help?
It's prefectly ok to take a different essence in the short term. Your deep healing essence can be your home base if you will. The one you always come back to when nothing crazy is going on. If life is crazy, that's not the time to do deep work. Get what you need to support yourself during intense circumstances.
You may be able to get away with taking your deep healing blend all day and something else at night. That's an experiment that we talk about in this blog post.
Essences and Neuroplasticity
Imagine yourself running through a forest immediately after you've been in an emotionally challenging situation. You'll choose the easiest way through the brush — a trail. A good easy trail is one that has had a lot of traffic, especially recent traffic. Harder trails are either really new, or haven't been used in a while. Hardest of all is fighting through the underbrush, in a direction that's never been traveled.
Our brains are like the forest. We have all these neural pathways that we have gradually built through repetition. The more we use that pathway, the easier it gets to keep using it. These can either go good places or bad ones. We've all stewed over a particular issue for too long, and have found it easy to go back to that after repeated offenses. Even when you've realized how toxic that can be, it can be really hard not to go there.
The good news is, once we decide to blaze a new trail, it gets easier and easier to go to a more positive mental state. And as you use your old trail less, it gets grown over and gradually becomes inaccessible. For a little deeper explanation of this concept, check out this post and the below video by Dr. Ken Christian.
Part of the reason you should use a flower remedy over a longer duration is because they are helping you form new pathways, and pass up the easy route of the old ones. They add extra umph for you to go in a different direction and cheer you on while you do it. You need the repetition of reacting differently to the same ol circumstances. The longer and more often you've gone down the wrong trail, the more support you're going to need to do something different. Flower essence therapy can be an energetic and powerful means of supporting a healthier journey.
Progress in all Areas of Your Life
You also may be on flower essences long term because you're attacking one issue after another. Go you! This is what I like to see.
If you are wanting to do some deep work and get faster results, use a multi-pronged approach. Combine flower elixirs with another inner healing modality for the best results.
And if you're getting frustrated with the enormity of all the work you're doing, or years of process, take a look at this blog post my friend and co-author Matt wrote.
In summary, while an essence effect can be immediate, it might take a long time of daily use to heal a deeply rooted problem. If you haven't yet, you just need to start. If you don't know which essence yet, here's a quiz to take.