There are so many amazing natural healing modalities out there. Essential oils, animal chiropractic, herbs, homeopathy, massage, and TTouch are some of the most well-known ones. But they definitely aren’t the only ones! One amazing natural modality that I’ve used with great success in my own dogs is flower essences.
What are flower essences?
Flower essences, unlike essential oils, are created from within the flower petals themselves. The theory is each plant has a certain purpose for being on the earth. The essence of that purpose is distilled in the plant’s petals and blossoms. The flower essences contain that purpose, so once you understand the purpose, you can use the essences to help your pet work through issues related to that plant’s purpose. Essentially, when you give your pet a flower essence, you are reintroducing a pattern into their system that you want to change back to a normal healthy pattern, or you are introducing a new pattern to their system. Usually, flower essences are given orally, although they can be given topically.
How do flower essences work?
Practitioners who work with flower essences believe when a disease process presents, the best place to begin to address it is in the electrical system itself, since all of the body’s functions come from and are affected by whatever happens on an energetic level. They believe that all disease processes originate in the energy body and then become manifest through the physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual systems. According to that theory, when you restore the energy system, you restore true health.
Determining the correct dosage for your dog
If you’re interested in trying flower essences for your pet, bear in mind that animals generally take the same dosage as humans, and they can take the same flower essence remedies. One example of a flower essence that many people may find useful for their pets is Mimulus, which addresses the fear of known things, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. Another great one is Vine, which remedies dominance, bullying, and territoriality. Generally, you give 4 drops of the flower essence (or formula) up to 4x/day. You can also put the essence(s) in water or on a clean spoon and let the animal lick it off. Giving extra drops neither harms nor helps—actually, it has no real effect. One great analogy is to think of a power cord. Adding length to the cord itself neither increases or decreases the amount of power the cord conveys. It’s the same with flower essences: adding more drops is like adding length to the power cord. It won’t decrease the power, but it won’t increase it either.
Determining what flower essences will help your dog
To determine which flower essences I wanted to use for my own dogs, I took what I knew about their character types, moods, problems, behavior, the relationships between them (and their relationships with us), and more, and found remedies that would support them in restoring balance and overcoming destructive patterns. (Note: While it is not always clear-cut which remedies to use, if you’re interested in learning about flower essences, you may find the book Bach Flower Remedies for Animals (by Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis) very helpful). For example, when we first brought Motley home, he was bossy, reactive, and insecure. This caused problems with Barkley, who was also sometimes dominant and reactive (and insecure). They were impatient with each other, and sometimes they got into disagreements that could become fights. I put together a set of remedies for Barkley and a set of remedies for Motley, which I’ll share in a moment. I also knew that Elle sometimes exhibited nervousness or fear of certain objects, so I found a great remedy for her: Mimulus. For the boys, I used the following flower remedies:
- Beech (helps with lack of tolerance; assists with tolerance and flexibility)
- Cerato (helps with lack of confidence and approval seeking)
- Holly (helps with suspiciousness and revenge; assists with tolerance)
- Mimulus (helps restore courage)
- Rock water (helps overcome rigidity, tightness, and repression)
- Vine (helps restore positive leadership qualities and overcome dominance)
- Chicory (helps overcome possessiveness, clinginess, and attention seeking)
- Heather (helps with noisy attention seeking)
- Impatiens (helps in restoring patience and calm in an impatient, irritable animal)
- Rock water
The results were quite impressive: Elle was bolder, and the boys were much better with each other. I used the flower essences in conjunction with other modalities, but I strongly believe they had a positive effect because I added them after using the other modalities for a while, and I saw a noticeable difference.
The bottom line is flower essences can be exceptionally powerful at supporting an animal who is out of balance in some way. They can be used by themselves or in conjunction with other natural healing modalities. And, they don’t have any harmful side effects. If your dog needs some additional support, you might consider using giving them a try.
Other flower essences and what they help to do
Other flower essences you might find helpful (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Agrimony: Helps overcome concealed distress and assists with inner peace
- Aspen: Helps to restore courage in the face of unknown things
- Cherry Plum: Restores control to animals who exhibit uncontrollable behavior and compulsiveness
- Chestnut Bud: Helps overcome inability to learn from experience
- Elm: Helps to overcome inadequacy and restore competence
- Gorse: Helps restore endurance and overcome hopelessness
- Heather: Assists with loneliness by helping to restore composure
- Honeysuckle: Helps animals adjust to their present circumstances if they are homesick
- Hornbeam: Helps with restoring vitality when animals exhibit weakness
- Oak: Helps normally strong animals that are demonstrating a lack of resilience
- Olive: Helps with mental and physical exhaustion by restoring strength
- Red Chestnut: Helps balance overprotective animals
- Vervain: Helps overenthusiastic, impulsive animals gain restraint
- Walnut: Helps animals who have difficulty adapting to new circumstances
Have you used flower essences (or thought about using them)? We’d love to hear your experience! Let us know in the comments below!
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