What are Flower Essences?

Animals eat flowers and herbs to feel better, both physically and emotionally. Herbs work to heal the physical body and can be used as medicine, whereas flower essences work on healing emotions (although their efficacy is not scientifically proven). Emotional upset or distress can occur from having surgery, illness, an accident, travelling, loud noises or a change in circumstances, for example, moving house, bringing a new pet (or baby home) and a death in the family. It is widely accepted that there is a link between emotional upset or imbalance and physical disease and illness. For example, when a person is anxious or stressed it can be expressed physically by the body with tightness in the chest, increased heart rate, constipation or diarrhoea. Emotional upset in animals can manifest as perceived behaviour problems, e.g. growling, barking, afraid of human touch, shyness, escaping etc.

The release of hormones by the body when an emotion is stimulated is a good example of how emotions affect the physical health of an animal (and human). Serotonin is known as the happiness hormone which regulates mood, makes you feel happy and prevents depression, while endorphins also make you feel good, reduce anxiety and sensitivity to pain.​ Likewise, a feeling of fear stimulates the adrenal glands to produce and send hormones to the heart for it to beat faster and prepare the body to respond to an emergency situation. Constant emotional upset leads the body to regular release of these hormones which over time when left untreated have a detrimental affect on the body, leading to a weakening of the immune system and a variety of physical health problems and disease in a particular area of the body.

Flower essences are a system of emotional healing that corrects emotional imbalances and releases negative beliefs causing behavioural and emotional issues including shyness, stress, anxiety and fearful responses. Flower essences are made by extracting the healing qualities from specially selected flowers and have been used for centuries to treat and bring about a gentle healing of emotional imbalances in people and animals. Ancient records show that the Egyptians used the dew collected from flowers to heal the emotions more than 3,000 years ago. 

Flower essences work by unblocking emotions and returning an animals or persons emotional state back to a place of balance with the body and helping to prevent disease or illness developing.  As each emotion affects a different body part by dealing with the emotions flower essences help the body to heal itself. Flower essences do not heal illness, they are not medicine but they assist the body to heal itself.

Just like humans, animals suffer from many of the same emotional stresses that people experience, e.g. stress, anxiety, separation anxiety, fear and grief but as they are unable to tell us what is worrying them they often express their distress in physical ways like excessive barking, aggression (out of fear), urinating, destructive behaviour, loss of fur or by changes in their eating patterns. Flower essences work well with behavioural and emotional problems especially when combined with positive reinforcement training and proper nutrition; and if required changes to the living environment.   

As Flower essences support and heal emotions they are appropriate for use when:

  • You bring a new animal home (to help the new animal and other animals accept the change)

  • Your pet is exhibiting behaviour issues or needs help learning boundaries

  • You pet has had or is due to have surgery or a vet visit

  • Your pet is fearful, shy, timid, doesn't like being touched

  • You pet is scared of fireworks or thunder (or both), or strangers

  • There has been a death in the family (either human or animal)

  • You have moved house or about to travel with your pet

  • You pet is attending a training class (e.g. obedience, dog sports)

  • Your pet has anxiety or separation anxiety

  • Your pet has resource guarding issues

  • Your pet is ageing, has had an accident or injury or is ill.

More information on flower essences is available from Bach Flower Remedies and Australian Bush Flower Essences