Flower Essences

What are flower essences?flower_essences-1

Flower essence therapy or flower therapy was developed by physician Edward Bach during the 1930's. During his years in practice, Dr. Bach developed the belief that people could be grouped based upon their emotional states, and that these emotions were the root cause of many of their diseases. In his quest to find an herbal therapy for each group, Edward Bach turned to extracts of various species of flowers. Flower essences are thus extracts of flowers, each of which is believed to help balance a specific emotional trait or personality type in humans. Veterinarians have been exploring whether flower essences can likewise be used to relieve emotional stress and anxiety in animals.


How much experience is there with the use of flower essences in pets?

There is more clinical experience with flower essences in people than in pets, although flower essences have now been used for many years in pets.


What species of animals are being treated regularly with flower essences?

Any pet can be treated with flower essences; the most commonly treated animals are dogs and cats.


How much research has been conducted on this supplement?

Flower essences have not been well researched.

"Most recommendations for use in animals are based on clinical experiences with humans."

Most recommendations for use in animals are based on clinical experiences with humans. Because of their safety and low cost, flower essences are being applied in conventional medical settings to the treatment of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children and to relieve stress and exhaustion associated with childbirth in women. Clinical trials, however, are lacking.


How can my pet benefit from flower essences?

Any type of stress or anxiety in pets may potentially be reduced by the use of the proper flower essence.


How successful are flower essences? flower_essences-2

They are very successful in reducing mild stress and anxiety in pets. More severe anxiety conditions are generally refractory to flower essences. The most well-known essence is called Rescue Remedy. It is the only combination remedy made by Dr. Bach. It consists of the essences of 5 flowers (cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose and Star of Bethlehem). Rescue Remedy has many uses and is recommended for any stressful or traumatic event, such as seizures, separation anxiety, a trip to the veterinarian's office or grooming salon, and thunderstorm phobias.


How safe are flower essences?

Flower essences are very safe and there are no reported side effects.


Where do I obtain flower essences and do I need a prescription?

Many health food stores and holistic veterinarians sell flower essences. The Bach Company sells the original formulas designed by Dr. Bach and is the most well-known manufacturer of flower essences.  A prescription is not needed.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Steve Marsden, DVM ND MSOM LAc DiplCH AHG, Shawn Messonnier, DVM and Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

© Copyright 2009 Lifelearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.