In 1928, Dr. Edward Bach, a medical doctor and homeopath in England, discovered that flowers contained vibrational energy that could affect the psychology of people. He acquired two wild flowers, impatiens and mimulus, which he homeopathically prepared and clinically used with excellent results. He soon understood that there was great healing power in flowers, and he gradually developed his own methods of preparing flower essences. He found that he could place the flowers of a particular species on the surface of a bowl of spring water for several hours in sunlight and obtain powerful vibrational tinctures. The subtle effects of sunlight charged the water with an energetic imprint of the flower’s vibrational signature or personality.

He perceived that different emotional and personality factors contribute toward a predisposition to illness, with fear and negative attitudes being the most significant of these factors. Dr. Bach’s flower remedies were used to treat the emotional reactions to disease, as well as the temperaments that lead to eventual disease in the body. He believed the real cause of disease lies in our own personality; with the introduction of the properly prescribed essence, the personality would begin to vibrate more closely in harmony with the soul.

Since the Bach Flowers were introduced, research and interest in the healing properties of flowers has continued to grow and expand and flower essences are now made on every continent. The most popular flower essence is Rescue Remedy, which is a mixture of five flowers used during times of emergency or crisis:

Impatiens: For those who act and think quickly, and have no patience for what they see as the slowness of others. They often prefer to work alone. Teaches empathy and understanding of and patience with others.

Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past. Teaches the ability to recover from traumas and to integrate them into the present life.

Cherry Plum: For those who fear losing control of their thoughts and actions and doing things they know are bad for them or which they consider wrong. Teaches trust in one’s spontaneous wisdom and the courage to follow one’s path.

Rock Rose: For situations in which one experiences panic or terror.

Clematis: For those who find their lives unhappy and withdraw into fantasy worlds. They are ungrounded and indifferent to the details of everyday life. Teaches one to establish a bridge between the physical world and the world of ideas; may foster great creativity. Is also used to bring clarity and alertness to the present moment.

Unfortunately, Rescue Remedy is often used for behavioral modification in situations where it may not be appropriate, thus leading people to believe flower essences don’t work. Fortunately, there are many other flower essence combinations made for more specific issues.

ANGEL OF MERCY – When there is extreme neglect and physical abuse present. Angel of Mercy® addresses issues of trauma, shock, fear, devastation, low self-esteem, feeling unsafe and insecure, or unloved and unwanted. For any animal that has ever been rescued from a shelter or with an unknown history!

CLEAR THINKING – Clear Thinking helps animals that are spaced-out, unfocused, easily distracted and overwhelmed by external stimuli. Great for those that do not pay attention or are unable to concentrate for any length of time. Helps to increase memory retention while improving the animal’s capacity to learn new things.

DEVIL BE GONE – Devil Be Gone deals with the willful, overly aggressive, hostile, stubborn, moody, rebellious, and cantankerous behavior that is considered dangerous. Addresses biting, snapping, bucking, rearing, and unprovoked attacks on other animals or people. Effective on animals that are intent on causing harm to themselves, other animals or people. Try this before giving up on them!

EASY DOES IT – Easy Does It  is for incidents of obsessive, destructive or disruptive behavior to property. Includes chewing of household items, urinating on furniture when left alone, demanding exclusive attention at all times, and constant whining or crying. Helps address frustration, loneliness, jealousy, over-protectiveness, boredom, and feeling victimized.

EGO BUILDER – Ego Builder helps those animals that experience a lack of self-confidence and are afraid to face new situations. Excellent for any animal that seems reluctant or unwilling to meet the challenges or training expected of them (i.e., entering a ring, crossing water, jump hurdles, etc.) For the shy, timid, fearful, withdrawn, apathetic, or uncertain ones. Give them a new sense of confidence and self-esteem.

IN TRAINING – In Training improves the animal’s patience, focus, tolerance, and releases resistance. They become accepting of things they do not understand or tasks they do not want to do. Establishes a one-on-one bond with the trainer. Helps them to work with you – not against you.

INDEPENDENCE – Independence eases animals’ separation anxiety when being removed from their owner, mother or herd members. Addresses issues of abandonment, rejection, and worthlessness. Great to use when you go out of town or when an animal is weaned from the herd. Allows them to stand on their own without fear or anxiety.

LIFE’S CHANGES – Life’s Changes is for facing drastic changes like the loss of a loved one or being moved to a new home. Resolves issues of resentment, intolerance, alienation, isolation, jealousy, feelings of sadness, heartache and depression. Re-socializes rescued animals. Brings harmony and happiness to your home and family.

MELLOW OUT – Mellow Out helps to calm the nervous or jittery animals that may be moody, irritable or on edge all the time. For overly anxious and anticipatory animals that tend to lose control easily. Great to use prior to competition, thunderstorms, or firework displays. Never leave home without it.

OBSESS LESS – Obsess Less calms the tendency towards obsessive-compulsive behavior. For incidents of self-destruction, self-mutilation, cribbing, chewing, licking, scratching, or plucking of feathers without cause. Addresses issues of self-loathing, frustration, boredom and feeling unclean. For when obsessive and repetitive behavior loses its original intent and becomes a habit.

PANIC ATTACK – Panic Attack helps to alleviate hysterical behavior or extreme terror arising out of feelings of abandonment. Eases feelings of isolation when left behind or left home alone. Subdues the sense of panic that may drive them to self-induced bodily harm.

SAFE JOURNEY – Safe Journey is for courage to face trailering and traveling issues. Addresses nervousness, hysteria, anxiety, fear of confined spaces and motion sickness during travel. Instills a feeling of safety and security and helps to release attachments to those left behind. Make traveling easier on them and you!

SIBLING RIVALRY – Sibling Rivalry alleviates possessive behavior that pets exhibit towards people and tangible objects, promoting healthy interaction amongst pack and herd members.

I have had great success using flower essences for both dogs and cats in my home and in my veterinary practice. They do not interact with other medications and have proven to be a very safe alternative to drug therapy for behavioral problems.