Bach Flower Remedies (or Flower Essences) are a complementary and safe treatment for ailments, both emotional and phyical, for animal and humans alike. (For video explanation of contents of this page, jump to VIDEO.)
Flower essences are just that: 'essences.' Everything in life has a vibration. Some higher than others (living things v. inimate objects) but everything has a vibration. Edward Bach, a physician, discovered that different types of flowers vibrated at the same rate as certain emotional and physical ailments.
The theory is that if you take something that vibrates at the frequency of good health, your body will strive to balance itself by matching that frequency.
Flower essences were originally made by taking a flower, putting it in water and then letting it sit in the sun. What remained in the water, after the flower was taken out, was 'the essense' of that flower, ie: the vibration or frequency of that flower.
Flower essences are completely safe, since they are basically just water. If you try a combination that doesn't work, that's all it will do ... not work. There is no harm done, as there can be with herbs if the wrong herb is chosen for an animal.
When you do use the right essence(s), however, the results can be quite impressive when used consistently. The results are subtle, you may not think anything is improving, then all of a sudden, you notice the problem isn't quite as bad and can't quite place your finger on it. That's how flower essences work.
Buying Bach Remedies
There are several different brands of FE's and two main ones: Bach and FES. Personally, I like the Bach Remedies. They seem to have worked better for me than the FES. FES is a very well known brand, however, and many people like them. They have additional remedies, but I find that there is nothing that can't be addressed by one of the 38 Bach essences. FES is a bit less expensive. It's a matter of personal preference.
There are also companies that sell pre-made combinations, but I don't know much about them. I have been happy with the preparations I make myself. I have gotten similar feedback from some of my clients who have used the pre-mixed preparations, as well. Many seem to have too many remedies in them. Again, 5 or 6 remedies is the max that should be used, some of these pre-mixes have far more. There are people who highly recommend these other products, though, so I do encourage you to research the topic yourself.
FEs can be found at any health food store or natural food pet store. In the San Diego area they can be found at Sprouts, Whole Foods and Dexter's Deli. They can, however, get a bit pricey so I buy them at a place called Vitacost. (With the following link, you can get $10 off your first order.)
You can buy empty mixing bottles there, as well. You can also get them through Prime at Amazon.
What Remedies Do I Use?
The most common of all Bach Remedies is "Rescue Remedy." It contains 5 Bach Remedies in one and is used for emergencies.
Aspen (disturbing fear)
Beech (intolerance; irritability)
Centaury (weakness; submissivness)
Cerato (lack of self-confidence)
Cherry Plum (hysteria; lack of control)
Chestnut Bud (learning process; assimilation)
Chicory (possessiveness; territoriality)
Clematis (lethargy; chronic stress)
Crab Apple (cleansing)
Elm (being overwhelmed)
Gorse (hopelessness, severe depression)
Heather (demanding attention)
Honeysuckle (melancholy, homesickness)
Hornbeam (weakness, fatigue)
Impatiens (impatience, hyperactive nervousness)
Larch (lack of confidence)
Mustard (saddness, depression)
Oak (long illness)
Red Chestnut (detatchement)
RESCUE REMEDY(acute, emergency situations
Rock Rose (panic, terror)
Rock Water (resistance to change)
Scleranthus (indecision, instability)
Star of Bethlehem (shock, trauma)
Sweet Chestnut (extreme anguish)
Vine (domination, inflexibility)
Water Violet (isolation)
White Chestnut (obsessive behavior)
Wild Rose (apathy)
The above are key words, most taken from "The Handbook of Bach Flower Remedies for Animals" by Enric Homedes. In my practice, the two most common remedies I recommend are Walnut, to help animals adapt to new situations, and Star of Bethlehem, to overcome trauma. Rescue Remedy is the most commonly known and is used not only for emergency situations, but as a 'go to' essence when animals are in distress.
Preparing and Using Bach Remedies
Because buying multiple bottles of FEs can get expensive, the best way to use them is to buy an empty bottle and mix preparations yourself. You should not use more than 5 or 6 remedies per preparation.
Add 2 drops of each stock remedy (4 drops of Rescue Remedy) to the preparation bottle
You can refridgerate if it is hot or you may use a small amount of vegetable glycerin as a preservative
Administer 4 drops, 4x/day
Administration can be put into
water (for dogs)
in your hand and rubbed on the head or ears
dropped on something like a piece of freeze dried chicken treats.
You can put a little vegetable glycerine or brandy in the bottle as a preservative, but if you use it consistently, and you use it up quickly, you may not need a preservative.
As stated, I give 4 drops of the mixture, 4 times/day. The amount is not as important as being consistent. It is a little hard to be consistent sometimes, but if you put it into food, that takes care of at least twice a day. The ears, head and/or treats will work for the remainder. You can give up to 6x/day if you feel it's appropriate.
I encourage you to research Bach Remedies yourself because I never just recommend that people use something without researching it themselves so that they feel completely comfortable with the remedy and the process. (For a video explanation of the contents of this page, please refer to the video below.)
If you would like to speak with others about animal communcation, practice your animal communication skills or just talk about your fur-babies, please visit the PawsTalk Animal Communication Forum.