Flower Essences

In the early 20th century Edward Bach, an English physician and homeopath, discovered flower remedies. The most famous remedy is a formulation for emergency and stress, a blend of five of the 38 remedies developed by Dr. Bach. In her book, The Bach Flower Remedies Step by Step, Judy Howard describes how Dr. Bach selected the ingredients: Star of Bethlehem for shock, Rock Rose for fear and panic, Impatiens for tension and mental agitation, Cherry Plum for lack of emotional control, and Clematis for the sensation one experiences just before fainting. Dr. Bach first used this combination in the early 1930’s when he gave it to a young fisherman who was being lifted from the sea after a shipwreck. As he was carried unconscious up the beach, Bach moistened the man’s lips, wrists and the skin behind his ears and he soon revived.

Flower essences are most commonly taken orally from a dropper bottle directly under the tongue or in water. In addition to oral use, flower essences are also effective when absorbed through the skin in topical applications. Potency is increased not by taking more drops at a time but by giving the remedy more often. In an acutely stressful situation or emergency flower essences can be administered every 15 minutes. They are as effective for animals as they are for people.

At Midas Touch you will find Healing Herbs English Flower Essences– the 38 original Bach remedies; Five Flower Formula– the rescue remedy developed by Dr. Bach; and North American Flower Essences from Flower Essence Services.

Flower Essence Services has also developed an Animal Rescue Formula for calming and comforting animals in transition or trauma. The formula includes:

Arnica – Recovery from shock and trauma

Bleeding Heart – To help abandonment and separation; to facilitate new bonding and connection following displacement

Echinacea – to restore wholeness and dignity by rejuvenating the core immune system and sense of identity

Fireweed – Recovery of vital forces following devastation, trauma, and injury

Five Flower Formula – Fundamental composite formula developed by Dr. Bach to provide relief in all rescue and recovery situations

Holly – To encourage and restore basic loving impulses, bonding and connection; to facilitate heart-based relationships based upon trust

Mariposa Lily – To provide mothering comfort and nurturing forces for abandoned or abused animals; to restore mothering instincts to female animals

Oregon Grape – To restore trust when violent, abusive or degrading circumstances have created defensive barriers

Poison Oak – To restore capacity to be touched and natural vulnerability; to heal boundary or skin issues due to hyper-defensiveness and prior trauma

Red Clover – To help calm the heart and blood matrix; to ease anxiety or tendency to panic

Sweet Pea – To instill new bonding and territorial instincts following displacement and abandonment

Wild Rose – To bring new joy for life and will to live despite prior challenging circumstances

When choosing flower essences, look for the qualities that will address the issues at hand. A dosage bottle can be made by adding 2-4 drops from a flower essence stock bottle to a one-ounce dropper bottle of water with brandy, vinegar, or vegetable glycerin added as a preservative. Up to five flower essences can be combined at one time. Flower essences can also be added directly from the stock bottle to a glass of water or applied topically in baths or skin preparations. For animals, add a few drops to the drinking water; apply to pads of the feet, behind the ears, on pulse points; place a few drops directly into the mouth; or mist the body and the air surrounding the animals. Misting is especially effective with birds.

Qualities of the Original 38 Bach Flower Essences:

  1. Agrimony – Mental torment behind a brave face
  2. Aspen – Fears and worries of unknown origin
  3. Beech – Intolerance
  4. Centaury – Weak-willed and subservient
  5. Cerato – Seeks advice and confirmation from others
  6. Cherry Plum – Fear of mind giving way
  7. Chestnut Bud – Failure to learn from past mistakes
  8. Chicory – Selfishly possessive
  9. Clematis – Dreaminess, lack of interest in present
  10. Crab Apple – Self hatred, sense of uncleanliness
  11. Elm – Overwhelmed by responsibility
  12. Gentian – Discouragement, despondency
  13. Gorse – Hopelessness and despair
  14. Heather – Self-centered, self concern
  15. Holly – Hatred, envy, jealousy
  16. Honeysuckle – Lives in the past
  17. Hornbeam – Monday morning feeling
  18. Impatiens – Inpatience
  19. Larch – Lack of confidence
  20. Mimulus – Fear of known things
  21. Mustard – Deep gloom with no origin
  22. Oak – Exhausted, but struggles on
  23. Olive – Lack of energy
  24. Pine – Self reproach, guilt
  25. Red Chestnut – Fear or over concern for others
  26. Rock Rose – Terror
  27. Rock Water – Self repression, self denial
  28. Scleranthus – Indecision
  29. Star of Bethlehem – After affects of shock
  30. Sweet Chestnut – Extreme mental anguish
  31. Vervain – Over-enthusiasm
  32. Vine – Domineering, inflexible
  33. Walnut – Protection from change and outside influence
  34. Water Violet – Proud, aloof
  35. White Chestnut – Unwanted thoughts, mental arguments
  36. Wild Oats – Uncertain as to the correct path in life
  37. Wild Rose – Resignation, apathy
  38. Willow – Resentment

The most commonly used flower essences for pets are:

  • Yarrow or Yarrow Special Formula – a combination of yarrow, arnica and Echinacea developed to help the body withstand shock and trauma while strengthening the entire system and stimulating its survival mechanisms. Yarrow Special Formula has been helpful for animals exposed to X-rays, radiation therapy, and other sources of invasive electromagnetic fields.
  • Borage for depression
  • Chamomile for digestive problems and agitation
  • Chestnut Bud to encourage positive behavioral changes
  • Cosmos to enhance communication
  • Dill for over-stimulation
  • Holly to foster trust
  • Mariposa Lily for new puppies or kittens and abandoned animals
  • Mimulas for fear and anxiety
  • Oregon Grape for hostility
  • Quaking Grass for multiple-pet households
  • Red Clover for trauma
  • Self-Heal, an overall remedy for an animal recovering from surgery, acute illness or a debilitated state
  • Snapdragon for animals who tend to bite or nip as well as teething puppies and kittens
  • Tiger Lily for wild or untamed animals
  • Walnut to ease transitions