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Flower Essences

“The state of our emotions are a crucially overlooked factor in the treatment of disease”

Edward Bach 1930

Flower essences help to heal negative emotions to improve our physical health

Flower Essences are a safe and effective therapy for all animals, at any time and all stages of life.

Flower essences are generally prepared from a sun infusion of either wildflowers or pristine garden blossoms in a bowl of water, which is further diluted and potentized, and preserved with brandy. Quality preparation requires careful attention to the purity of the environment, the vibrancy and potency of the blossoms, celestial and meteorological conditions, and sensitive study of the physical and energetic properties of the plant through its cycles of growth.

Flower essences do not work because of the chemical composition of the liquid, neither do they contain any actual physical part of the plants or minerals from which they are made. They work because of the life forces derived from the plant and contained within the water-based matrix. Like homeopathic remedies, flower essences are vibrational in nature; this vibrational energy works on the sub molecular life-force or ‘chi’ as it is sometimes known. When everything is working in unison, at the right ‘pitch’, we are physically, emotionally and mentally healthy; any imbalance can be a cause of illness

I know, sounds a bit woo-woo; and I have found them to be super effective with both dogs and myself.

It is important however to state that flower essences are not cures.

Flower essences are not directly used for physical complaints, but as a tool to enhance healing on a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical level.

These states of mind or moods not only hinder recovery of health and retard convalescence, but are generally accepted as primary causes of emotional imbalances and are the basis of many physical health problems.

They are highly dilute from a physical point of view, but have subtle power as potentized substances, embodying the specific energetic patterns of each flower. They are unflavored and unscented

Because flower essences are not drugs, and have no biochemical effect on the body, as pharmaceutical drugs do, you can not overdose on them, or take the ‘wrong’ one. No "wrong" choices can be made in selecting essences. However, there may be one or more essences which would be the most helpful in the moment.

Flower essences are not contraindicated with any other form of health care. They will not interfere with pharmaceuticals, herbs or homeopathy. They are safe for elderly animals, newborns and pregnant animals.

The essences are entirely positive and cannot under any circumstances cause the negative state to appear

Where things are getting worse in spite of the remedies may mean one of two things. Either the remedies have not yet had time to work (two or more months or even years of regular dosage may be needed to deal with deep-rooted problems) or the selection was wrong.

Practical Directions for Administering Flower Essences

Flower essences are most commonly taken orally from a dropper bottle

directly under the tongue, or in a bit of water.

In addition to oral use, flower essences can be quite effective when absorbed through the skin in baths or topical applications. In dogs, you can put it in their bowl water if they are a drinker, or put the drops directly onto a small piece of bread. It is best to avoid drops directly in their mouths, as the droppers are often made of glass.

There are several levels of dilution in the preparation of flower essences. The mother essence is derived from fresh blossoms in a bowl of water, infused with the morning sun (or heated by fire, in the case of some of the English essences). The mother essence is generally preserved with brandy. This infusion is then further diluted to the stock level, and sometimes again to a dosage level. Generally it is the stock level of dilution which is available commercially from flower essence companies, although there are some premixed combinations sold at the dosage level of dilution.

Other options for using the essences:

  • Using a glass spray bottle or mister: add two to four drops of flower essences from the stock bottle of each essence selected, rhythmically shake or lightly tap the bottle in order to keep the essences in a more potent or energized state. Rather than taking the drops internally, spray the mixture around the body and in the environment.

  • Use in baths: About 20 drops of stock of each essence to a normal-sized bath tub of warm water. Stir the water in a lemniscatory (figure-eight) motion for at least one minute to help potentize the remedies in the water. Soak in this solution, pat the skin gently dry, and then rest quietly or go to sleep to continue to absorb the subtle qualities of the essences.

  • Topical use: Add 6-10 drops of stock of each essence selected per 30 gm (1 oz) of creme, oil, or lotion. Use on a daily basis either exclusively, or to supplement oral use. Essence drops can also be applied directly on the body in conjunction with massage, acupressure or acupuncture, or chiropractic treatments.

Timing of dosage

Regular, rhythmic use of the flower remedies builds the strength of their catalytic action. Therefore, potency is increased not by taking more drops at one time, but by using them on a frequent, consistent basis.

Although flower essences can be used on a short-term basis for acute situations, their ideal use is therefore for long-term or deep-seated mental-emotional change. For particularly deep changes, remedies may need to be taken for a period of months. However, in most cases changes will be noticed in about one month.

The essences should be taken four times daily, although this may need to be increased in emergency or acute situations to once every hour, or even more often.

The essences address the relationship between the body and soul, and therefore are most effective at the thresholds of awakening and retiring. Other transition times of the day are also important, such as just before the noon or evening meals.

What Results to Expect

There is a full spectrum of responses to the flower remedies.

Some people report immediate, discernible, and very dramatic results. Others appear to notice no differences at all, and may only slightly perceive shifts in well-being and in mental-emotional states after a very long period of time. Most people typically respond to the essences somewhere in the middle of this range. This is also what we have observed with the use in dogs.

Specific Remedies and how they can help your dog

One of the most well known flower essences is Bach's Rescue Remedy. This is actually a mix of 5 different flower essences, and this combination helps with any kind of stress or trauma, such as accidents, birthing, illness, stress, and it even helps recovery after a seizure.

There are many producers of Essences, however the most commercially available include Bach remedies (B); Australian Bush (AUST), Californian Flower Essence Society (FES) and Alaskan (AL) remedies

Some examples of what behaviours can be helped with flower essences:

When a previous experience may affect behaviour:

  • Star of Bethlehem (B): old trauma not dealt with

  • Tundra Twyblade (AU)/ Fringed Violet: shock of trauma or abuse

  • Mimulus (B): low level, everyday fear, generally anxious

  • Cherry Plum (B): when pain or cruelty is still fresh in the mind

  • Rock Rose (B)/Grey Spider Flower (AU): extreme fear, terror and panic

  • Honeysuckle (B): Down in the Dumps; soulful whining, pining for owner

  • Gorse (B): truly despairing; death of owner or pet partner

  • Dill (FES): Overwhelmed/confused

  • Scleranthus (B): motion sickness**

  • Soapberry (AL): Attacked by other dogs

  • Red Clover (FES): fear of Vets

  • Olive (B): For animals that are exhausted and drained by a long strain or a difficult illness, such as a chronic disease. This will help them handle the ordeal better and become stronger again.

  • Unknown fear – Rescue Remedy/Soul support

** this flower remedy can be used to immediately stop a physical complaint

Watch out for fear transference!!!! Is it actually you that displays fear and your dog is simply picking up on this?

Aggression – remedies should always be combined with training and routine

  • Vine (B)/Isopogon (AU): Relaxes outright tyrannical behaviour

  • Dagger Hakea (AU)/Willow (B): Resentment over your authority (‘extinction burst’ – things could get worse before better)

  • Saguaro (FES): Trying to exert authority as a result of adolescence maturing

  • Holly (B) jealousy in a pack; Tiger Lilly (B); Snapdragon (FES) & Mountain Devil (AU)

If hostility arises for no apparent reason, this could be as a result of illness – contact your Vet immediately

Ideal remedies to have to hand for rescue or new dogs

  • Cow Parsnip (AL): Helping to adapt to new surroundings

  • Quaking Grass (FES): when introducing new people, other dogs, new environment (for all in the situation)

  • Holly (B): deals with any jealousy; new babies/puppies being brought into house

  • Southern Cross (AU): ‘victim’ mentality

  • Vervain (B): over enthusiastic e.g. lead pulling/biting

Another common issue is Separation Anxiety – again this must be combined with training and exercise

  • Heather (B): These animals tend to be very vocal, and may whine and cry a lot if they have to be left alone

  • Honeysuckle (B): Down in the Dumps; soulful whining, pining for owner

  • Gorse (B): truly despairing

  • Bleeding Heart (FES): moping, waits on owners every move, bored – combine with exercise and training

  • Chicory (B) more active seperation anxiety symptoms – MUST combine with routines/training

  • Willow (B)/DH/Vine (B) – more resentment based

Details by flower essence:

Animal Rescue

A special combination remedy, developed over ten years of research, to help with many forms of animal rehabilitation (AL)