Flower essences are used to influence the mental or emotional state. They are not to be confused with herbal remedies, essential oils or perfumes. Instead they are very dilute tinctures, similar to homeopathic remedies, made from flowers. The most well-known flower essence is the five flower combination, Bach’s Rescue Remedy.
"If homeopathic remedies are energy medicine for physical ailments…flower remedies work in the same intangible manner for the emotions. And since the health of the mind and the body are inextricably linked, improvement of a patient’s mental state may bring physical improvement as well,” explains Martin Goldstein, DVM in The Nature of Animal Healing.
Flower essences are not to be confused with herbal remedies, essential oils or perfumes. Instead they are very dilute tinctures made by floating flowers in bowls of water. When placed in the sun for a number of hours, the energetic imprint of the flowers is transferred to the water. This water is preserved, usually with brandy, and diluted even further for treatment. Many are diluted as much as one part to 100,000, or using homeopathic terms, 5X.
Flower essences are a powerful way for people to positively impact the well being of their animals.
Edward Bach, a British physician, homoeopath, bacteriologist and immunologist, developed this unique system of healing in the 1930’s. It is based on the premise that a healthy mind is necessary for a healthy body. He discovered that the essences of particular flowers helped restore balance to different emotional states.
Richard Gerber, MD describes the system in Vibrational Medicine: “Utilizing…flower remedies, many practitioners have achieved clinical success in relieving long-standing patterns of emotional distress and personality dysfunction…The subtle bodies influence the physical body by altering its susceptibility to illness from any external or internal agent.”
There are many different lines of flower essences made by different companies. A few of the essence lines were created specifically for animals. Most makers have single flower essences and combinations. The single flower essences are used for different circumstances such as vague fears or failure to learn from previous mistakes. The combinations are often for broader situations like stress. It is important that you consult the maker of the essences to know which will work for your animal’s particular circumstances.
Rescue Remedy, which some makers call Five Flower Remedy, is a combination of five individual essences, including Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem.
“I’ll use [Rescue Remedy] with pets who’ve been subjected to any stressful situation, from weaning and relocation to a new home, to injections to turmoil or trauma in the home,” explains Goldstein. “When I use it on a pet who’s in shock, or has been hit by a car, bitten by another animal, or subjected to some other acute physical trauma, the results can be truly dramatic.”
Holistic veterinarian Lauren Chattigré uses essences as an adjunct to other therapies, or alone to help in emotionally challenging situations such as introducing new animals into the home. She’ll create a custom combination of essences for an animal depending on the situation.
Flower essences are a powerful way for people to positively impact the well being of their animals. But don’t expect miracles. Flower essences can’t make a “Jack Russell Terrier behave like a Basset Hound,” says practitioner Deena Morando.
“Anyone can use flower essences with calm assurance that they can only help,” says Sharon Callahan, a creator of flower essences and animal communicator.
“Because flower essences are all based on positive qualities they can do no harm and are appropriate any time. The use of flower essences will, in most cases, greatly enhance the effectiveness of any other allopathic or naturopathic treatment regimen one might be following.”
The key to working successfully with flower essences is selecting the appropriate remedies. “It’s not that picking the wrong remedy will cause harm, it just won’t give you the result you’re hoping for,” says Morando.
Goldstein recommends that a “pet owner get a booklet on the remedies, read up on them, and choose a remedy that sounds right for his or her pet. Who knows a pet’s moods better, after all, than his owner?”
The Nature of Animal Healing: The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat
Martin Goldstein, DVM
Treating Animal Illnesses & Emotional States with Flower Essence Remedies
Jessica Bear, PhD, ND & Tricia Lewis
Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies
Richard Gerber, MD