By Brian Puterman
Bach's Rescue Remedies are known for their ability to produce
a powerful calming effect on stressed and injured animals. Similar in
preparation to homeopathic remedies, Bach flower remedies use diluted extracts
of a variety of flowers and plants that have been ďpotentizedĒ. This is a
process of dilution and vigorous shaking that increases the potency of the
essence from which the remedy is derived.
Dr. Edward Bach (1890-1936), a prominent English physician,
developed the Bach Flower Remedies while he was working as a homeopathic
practitioner. Dr. Bach used to sit and meditate in the woods while holding
different types of flowers. He alleged to have felt very specific negative
emotions when holding certain types of flowers. One flower would be associated
with one particular negative emotion. He felt that the flower which caused him
to feel the negative emotion could be used to treat a patient feeling that same
emotion (a theory based on homeopathic principles). He went on to mix tincture
solutions from the flowers and found that these diluted blends of flowers and
tree buds could be as effective as the homeopathic remedies he was currently
using in the treatment of emotional problems.
Dr. Bach theorized that the diseases people and animals
experience are the result of imbalances or negativity on a spiritual level and
that by rectifying these problems, healing would result on every level. Flower
remedies act to balance emotional and spiritual well-being. Essences work on an
energetic level. In treating animals, it is essential to find the proper
essences that resonate with the animal's energy field.
Dr. Bachís research would produce thirty-eight flower
remedies, each of which would address a specific emotional condition. There are
now over four thousand flower essences available worldwide. These remedies come
from the Australian Bush, the wilds of Alaska, the Arizona desert, and other
Flower essences can be used individually or in combination
depending upon what the problem is. Quite often it can be most effective to use
a single essence. Many practitioners choose to use more than one flower essence,
but the number used in a blend of remedies should not exceed seven. An example
of using flower essences in combination can be seen in putting together a remedy
for treating fear composed of three different Bach Flower Remedies. Mimulus
is used for fear of known causes, Aspen for groundless fears and Rock
Rose for acute fear or panic. Used in concert these three flower essences
will address most areas of fear, making this combination a good general remedy.
If the fear was due to a past trauma then another remedy called Star of
Bethlehem might be added.
The most popular Bach Flower Remedy is actually a combination
of five remedies that work together to relieve stress and fear called
Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy can be safely used before visiting the vet
office or following any kind of injury. It is used to revive animals that are in
shock and help with their subsequent recovery. It has undeniably saved many pets
and is safe flower remedy. The five flower essences used in Rescue Remedy are:
Star of Bethlehem for trauma, Clematis to help ground the patient
and prevent passing out, Rock Rose for panic, Impatiens for
tension and irritability and Cherry Plum. Four drops are added to a one-ounce
glass dropper bottle of spring water and then shaken up. Three or four drops of
Rescue Remedy can be given into the mouth or onto the gums every five minutes
until a response is seen. Treatment with Rescue Remedy can continue for up to
six to eight weeks in order to achieve the desired effect.
The flowers used in these remedies are harvested at the point
when they are at their healthiest and in fullest bloom. Itís crucial that these
flowers be free of chemicals of any kind. The flowers are left in the sun until
the essence is extracted and diluted with water and then preserved with alcohol
in order to make a mother tincture. This is then further diluted in spring water
to make a solution that can be taken by an animal or person.
Subsequent to Bach's work other Flower Essence Societies have
been formed and remedies have been developed that are appropriate to particular
areas or the times we are living in. One example is the California Flower
Essences that are developed from Native American plants in the Sierra Nevada
foothills in California. The Flower Essence Society has developed a vast
research program and has been very important in helping people understand and
use Flower Remedies as a healing tool.
SOME REMEDIES TO REMEMBER
For animals that are very fearful for no apparent reason and are very sensitive
Anxiety and apprehension.
This remedy is good for grieving animals that have suffered a loss of either
another animal or person.
For overly submissive animals that are eager to please, tending to be bullied by
other animals or animals that grovel and urinate from submissive behavior when
Used as a calming remedy that helps irritable animals. It is also useful for
This is godsend for animals that cannot control their behavior such as
aggression and biting, and tend to have violent impulses toward other animals
A good flower essence for the overly possessive and maternal animal that wants
attention all the time and is also jealous of other animals or people.
This remedy is for cleansing the body and getting rid of toxins. It acts more on
the physical body than any of the other essences and is good for any situation
where cleansing is required.
For pets that are easily disheartened and give up easily or are easily set back.
These animals may give up in training programs even if they make only a small
This is really good for animals that hate to be left alone and suffer from
This is useful for pets who are impatient, hyperactive animals that never seems
to slow down. These animals can be snappy and irritable and they tend to rush
ahead, or pull on the leash.
Larch is for animals that lack self-confidence and tend to be timid and shy.
These may be animals that need to perform in the show ring but donít have the
confidence to show themselves well.
This remedy is for animals that are scared of known things, such as
thunderstorms, other animals or people. It helps them to overcome their fears
and not be timid and scared of the world.
This is 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.
This remedy helps protect animals from negative emotional energy, as may be
experienced when there is a divorce in the family, a stressful family situation,
or when another animal or person is sick or draining their energy reserves.
This single most useful flower remedy combination helps with any kind of stress
or trauma, such as accidents, birthing, illness, or even recovery after a
This is useful for animals that are very scared and prone to panic attacks for
no known reason. They become totally rigid with fear and tend to be very high
strung and nervous.
This is a wonderful remedy that can be used either alone or in combination. It
helps healing by stimulating the innate healing reserves of the body and can be
useful in any illness to bring about healing.
Special Yarrow Formula
The Special Yarrow formula helps protect animals and people from negative
external influences such as environmental pollution, toxins, electromagnetic
energy and other factors.
Star of Bethlehem
This remedy is good for animals that have suffered any kind of trauma, emotional
or physical, such as an accident or abuse. It will help them to recover from
this shock, regardless of how long ago it took place.
This remedy helps with aggression and is used for animals that tend to bite and
snap. It helps them release aggression and become less hostile and opens them up
to learning to co-operate with others.
This is good for the very enthusiastic animal that is over-bearing and highly
strung. It helps calm hyperactivity and restlessness and suits the animal that
wears people out by their excess energy.
This remedy helps with the dominant animal that wants to be the boss of all the
other animals and people. They are bullies to the other animals around them and
hate to be disciplined.
This is an extremely useful remedy for any time of transition, such as moving
house, becoming pregnant, adjusting to new animals or family members, or
entering into a new life situation.
This remedy tends to suit cats that are unusually introverted and detached, and
it helps open them up to be more friendly and outgoing and less aloof and
Wild oat is used for the restless animal that never seems to know what they want
or to settle down into anything. It helps them to focus their energies and be
less scattered in their approach to life.
This remedy helps with resentment and bitterness and often helps cats that
urinate everywhere due to a change in the household such as the arrival of
another animal or a baby.
The primary difference between the application of these
remedies for animals and humans is that cats, dogs, and other creatures, because
of their innate harmony with their surroundings, don't usually get as out of
balance as we do. The effects of flower remedies on them are often far more
immediate. Some conditions that flower essences are used for.
- Abuse, neglect, or abandonment
- Pre- and post-surgical treatment
- Inappropriate use of litter box (or nonuse)
- Changes in household
- Excessive Grooming
Itís best to have your veterinarian look into conditions that
may have a physical cause such as lethargy, hyperactivity, litter box training,
and other physical conditions. If a physical condition is found to be the at the
root of the problem then flower essences can be used to aid the other healing
modalities being used.
While some animals are perfectly willing to take a mixture, be
sure that their mouths and tongues never touch the glass pipette. If the pipette
does contact the animalís mouth, be sure to rinse it in very hot water before
returning it to the bottle. Do not administer flower remedies directly into the
mouth of an animal whose problem is biting, as it may bite the glass dropper
with disastrous results. A preferable option may be to put four drops of the
chosen flower essences into the petís water bowl. Another method to consider
would be to rub flower essences on pulse points, such as the throat or behind
the ears. You can do this as often as every twenty minutes. For larger animals,
it is appropriate to put up to 10 drops of a given flower essence into drinking
Flower essences are a great modality to integrate into your
pets health care routine, but always keep in mind that you should never
substitute flower essences for other necessary veterinary care.