Feature Article



Flower Essences for Balancing Your Animal's Emotions
By Susan Rifkin Ajamian


Putting a few drops of flower essence on a piece of carrot is one option for administering the remedy. Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Simonds

Flower essences are a vibrational medicine, as is homeopathy. The flower essences resonate with the emotional system of the person's, animal's, or plant's body to reestablish balance and harmony in the physical body. Unlike homeopathic remedies, which may have an effect whether the patient needs them or not, flower essences take effect only if the individual needs them; if not, there is no effect at all.

Flower essences are liquid, potentized plant preparations that convey a distinct imprint or etheric pattern of a specific flower. They are not part of standard biochemical medicine, and they contain only minute, if any, traces of physical substance. They belong instead to a field of potentized remedies that derive their beneficial powers from the inherent life forces within substances. Other accurate terms for them are "vibrational remedies" or "subtle energy formulas".
There can be no overdose of flower essences, no side effects, and no incompatibility with other methods of treatment. There are no adverse interactions while using other remedies. Because they are harmless, flower essences can be used safely by people who have no training in medicine or psychology. Note that flower essences may be used to prevent psychological and physical illness and in support of prescribed treatment, but were not meant to be used to replace treatment by a qualified medical practitioner.

A magnetic resonance image (MRI) of water containing a flower essence showed that it was different from plain water. Unlike phytotherapy (i.e. herbs), actual physical parts of the plants are not retained in the stock bottle of the flower essences. The bottles contain water, a preservative, and the etheric pattern (i.e. electrical signature) of the flower essences. Dr. John G. Lengel, of USA Equestrian Equine Drug and Medication Program, said, "Water containing the etheric pattern of flower essences is permitted by USA Equestrian Rules."

There are thousands of essences from all over the world. These include the 38 discovered by Dr. Edward Bach, 62 Australian Bush flower essences identified by Ian White, more than 100 cataloged by the Flower Essence Society headed by Richard Katz and Patricia Kaminski, and the Perelandra essences identified by Michaela Wright. Ten years ago there were 35-40 manufacturers of flower essences, now there are approximately 500. (More information on individual remedies can be found in the books listed at the end of this article.)

DR. EDWARD BACH, MB, BS, DPH 1886-1936

Also called structured or sacred waters, flower essences have been around for thousands of years and used by many cultures. Dr. Edward Bach is credited with their re-discovery in modern times. He was a highly successful bacteriologist and homeopathic physician and a pioneer in medical research. He was honored for his discovery of the Seven Nosodes, which were intestinal bacteria used as a vaccine in the treatment of chronic illness.

After spending many hours in hospital wards studying patients and their response to disease, Bach noticed that the personality and attitude of the patient played a more important role in recovery than did the medical treatment. Dr. Bach discovered that disease (dis-ease) was the result of conflict between the body, mind, and soul. He believed that one could prevent disease before it became manifested in the physical body by recognizing and removing the conflict between the person's soul and mind.

His growing frustration with medical science and his feelings that medicine needed to be more natural led Dr. Bach to return to nature in 1930. He gave up a lucrative practice to devote the last six years of his life to the search for a simpler, more natural method of treatment. His studies of homeopathy (the Law of Similars) led him to realize that it allowed the patient to return to homeostasis (zero illness), but it did not necessarily enable an individual to rise to a higher level of living and being.

These studies led to his discovery of the Bach Flower Remedies, which enable one to replace emotional faults with virtues, thus raising the individual to an elevated state. One of Dr. Bach's quotations is: "There is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind, and inner happiness." It was Dr. Bach's vision that his Flower Remedies would be used in every family, and not only by physicians and lay practitioners.


A sampling of the 38 flower essence remedies developed by Edward Bach.

Some people are able to select the appropriate flower essences using intuition and observation. Other methods include dowsing, applied kinesiology, or consulting an animal communicator. People and their animals will often need the same flower remedies.

Rescue Remedy or Five Flower Blend

Rescue Remedy is a composite remedy that Dr. Bach formulated for use in emergencies for stress and shock. It can be used in any stressful situation, and for all kinds of injuries. It is also available as a cream. Also known as Five Flower Blend, it has saved the lives of many animals in acute conditions such as accidents, bites, fractures, bloat and persistent vomiting. If you have only one bottle of flower essence on hand, this should be it. It is good for any form of stress or emergency, or when one is uncertain of which remedy to use. It can be used before training if an animal is stressed by new lessons; it is also good for trailering, bathing, hunting, or whatever causes stress or anxiety. It may be necessary to administer Rescue Remedy frequently until the animal grows calmer, then at 15- and finally 30-minute intervals. It is not intended for long-term use.

Rescue Remedy is a blend of:
Cherry Plum - For desperation and fear of losing control,
Clematis - For the tendency to lose consciousness,
Impatiens - For irritability, tension, and mental stress,
Rock Rose - For terror and panic, and
Star of Bethlehem - For shock, trauma or emotional numbness.

There are pre-mixed blends available for a variety of common situations. EquiEssences, PetEssences, Natural Vibrations, and the Mystic Horse Series are some of these. These blends are appropriate for any person or animal experiencing these situations, and can be combined. When purchasing essences from an unknown source, ask the manufacturer how the remedy is made, and whether they send it to an outside laboratory for testing.

"EquiEssences" from Equilite are combinations for situations such as these:
"Get Psyched" for over-anxious or nervous horses, helps build confidence and instill a desire to win;
"Re-Charge" for energy restoration after competition;
"Settle-In/Shipper Blend" to help a new horse acclimate to changes;
"Lighten Up/Tone Down Blend " for overly aggressive horses, e.g. willful, stubborn, cantankerous;
"Clear Thinking Blend " for the horse who is spaced out, unfocused or distracted;
"Ego Builder" for the horse who is shy, timid, withdrawn, or fearful;
"Mellow Out Blend " for horses who are nervous, jittery, anxious, or moody;
"Foaling Formula/At Birth Blend " to help foals with birth trauma and bonding;
"Weanling Blend " to help with separation anxiety;
"Yearling/in Training Blend " for self-confidence, responsibility as a competitor and bonding with the trainer;
"Mama's Blend" to help the broodmare;
"Wellness/Recovery Blend " to help with will-to-live and regaining consciousness especially regarding life-threatening illness or operations; and
"Crib-Ease" to help calm horses and reduce the tendency toward obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Combinations or blends of flower essences are available. Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Simonds.

Celeste Caruso and Mary Ann Simonds helped field test Equilite's "Pet Essences", which are flower essence blends designed for emotional issues faced by small animals such as dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and other small pets. They can also be used for horses and other large animals. Several of the blends are especially appropriate for animals who are rescued or are being introduced to new homes.
"In Transition" is for the loss of a loved one or moving;
"Angel of Mercy" is for extreme neglect and physical abuse;
"Safe Keeping" is for stray or abandoned animals;
"Home Sweet Home" is for all the animals when a new pet is first brought home; "Easy Does It" is for animals who have obsessive, destructive or disruptive behavior;
"Enroute" is for travelling;
"Gnaw No More" is for animals who chew or lick themselves; and
"Devil Be Gone" is for animals with aggressive or dangerous behavior.

The "Natural Vibrations" are combinations of 20-40 flower and mineral essences developed by Mary Ann Simonds for use with horses. These are available from Toklat Originals, Inc. and Mystic Herbs. They are: "Healing Blend", "Relax and Focus", "Cooperation Blend", "Training Blend", "Separation and Travel", and "Confidence and Courage".

"Relax and Focus" is good for barking dogs. Various combinations of these blends are recommended for horses who are nervous or spooky, buck or rear with a rider, bite or kick, crib or weave, worry, have trailering difficulties, are jealous, are depressed or withdrawn, are aggressive toward others, grind their teeth or have muscle tension, are barn sour or codependent, are pushy or do not respect people, exhibit marish behavior, are fearful or panicky, have learning disabilities, are resistant, and/or are accident-prone.

There are three additional blends Mary Ann Simonds developed for the "Mystic Horse Series". "Communication Blend" helps people and animals match their vibrations and better understand each other. "Balance Blend" has 400 very dilute essences and is for people or animals, it helps them relieve stress and feel happy. One drop is placed on the nose or noseband of a horse before competition. When tested at major horse shows in Florida and California, all the horses who used it were either champion or reserve champion. And "Comfort Blend" is for when you or your animal, particularly an older animal, do not feel quite right but no one is sure why.


There are several levels of dilution in the preparation of flower essences. Traditionally the mother essence is derived by using heat or sunlight on fresh blossoms placed in a bowl of spring water. Mary Ann Simonds has developed an "inner core" process in which she surrounds the water container with the blossoms. Then the mother essence is preserved with an equal part of brandy. This infusion is then further diluted to the stock level (which is available commercially) and then the administration level. The remedies can be taken either straight from the stock bottle or from an administration bottle that may contain several remedies or blends.

The bottles can be easily contaminated, so when preparing and taking the remedies do not touch the tip of the dropper. Protect the remedies from sunlight, microwaves, or computers, and do not store near very strong products (e.g. liniments), etc.

These are vibrational remedies; therefore you can increase the vibration or potency by shaking or succussing the bottle, but it is important to do this only in a vertical direction.

How to Prepare an Administration Bottle
You can dose from a stock bottle, but it is as effective and more economical to use an administration bottle. This makes it easier to combine essences or blends. And it is far easier to spray an animal's gums than it is to administer a dose from a dropper.
You will need:
A 1-ounce sterile dropper or a spray bottle. Glass is better, but plastic is safer.
A preservative. Mary Ann Simonds recommends alcohol, e.g. brandy. Her experience has been that apple cider vinegar and vegetable glycerin are not sufficient preservatives.
Distilled or spring water. Mechthild Scheffer recommends spring water, some other sources recommend distilled. Mary Ann Simonds suggests that you use distilled water if you are unsure of the contents of the available spring water.
Stock bottles of whichever essences are appropriate.

1. Fill the 1-ounce bottle 2/3 full with water.
2. Nearly fill the rest of the bottle with alcohol.
3. Add 2-6 drops from each stock bottle. It is not necessary to count drops precisely.
4. Cap tightly and succuss (i.e. tap vertically against the heel of your hand) at least 20 times to help combine the energies of the ingredients.

How to Administer the Remedies

If you wish, you can dilute the flower essences several times when you dose them. Mary Ann Simonds writes, "Research shows that no noticeable differences have been noted in animal response due to dilution."

Tell the animal what you are doing and how it will help him, and ask his permission. Mary Ann also recommends that the person take the same remedy, even if they have different issues. Allow the animal some time to let the essences take effect. For example, give a horse a week off from riding, so that he can safely release any joy, pain or anger without a rider. Massage and body work also helps. An animal who internalized abuse may also bite or kick as he works through the emotions released. Be prepared for this, and rather than punish him, thank him for communicating what bothered him.

Animals will often react even more quickly to the flower essences than people do. Some animals may need to be treated for only 3-10 days. The dosage for horses with a chronic problem is usually twice a day for a month. If there are no observable changes in behavior after a week of consistent use, try a different remedy and check your animal (again) for a physical problem.

You can allow your animal to select his own treatment schedule if you put 4 sprays or 6-8 drops in drinking water (not shared with other animals). Make sure that he has untreated water available too.

Other options for administering flower remedies include the following:
Two sprays in the mouth.
A few drops on or under the tongue.
3-4 drops on a carrot.
A few drops on the lips or gums, behind the ears, and/or at a pulse point.
15 drops in bathing/soaking water.
Hot or cold compresses made with 6 drops in 1 pint of water, placed on injured, stressed or painful sites.
Spray their living area with 8-10 drops per 2 ounces of spring water.

In acute or emergency situations the remedy can be taken every 5-15 minutes or until the symptoms are alleviated or relief is felt. For immediate results, place a few drops on the tongue, or place a few drops on your hands, cupping them over the animal's nose and mouth so he can breathe them in. Also place the remedy on his face and at pulse points near the front feet.

The Flower Essences provide a way to balance emotions and to bring about a change in outlook, peace of mind, and inner happiness. They are safe, natural, and highly effective, and are available for all of us to use to help our animals and ourselves.

The author and Natural Horse Magazine thank Mary Ann Simonds for her kind help in preparing this article.

About the author:
Susan Ajamian is a writer with a physics background who is intrigued by subtle energies. She used flower essences when Cassandra, her feline companion and collaborator for 22 years, passed away while she was writing this article.

For more information:

Flower Essence Society

Nelson Bach USA, Ltd.

Mystic Horse ("Natural Vibrations" and "Mystic Horse Series")
17101 NE 40th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98686
Mary Ann Simonds will do custom blends for Natural Horse subscribers, and also has "Environmental Essence" which she distributes to people who are helping reclaim abused land.)

Equilite ("EquiEssences" and "PetEssences" blends, also custom blends)

Toklat Originals ("Natural Vibrations")
PO Box 488
Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Bach, Dr. Edward; "The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies"
Bach, Dr. Edward; "Heal Thyself"
Bear, Jessica; "Practical Uses and Applications of the Bach Flower Remedies", (source for "How to Use the Bach Flower Remedies with Animals" TT.E.A.M. News International; Summer (June) 1994)
Chancellor, Philip; "The Illustrated Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies"
Kaminski, Patricia A. and Katz, Richard A.; "Flower Essence Repertory"
McIntyre, Anne; "Flower Power"
Scheffer, Mechthild; "Bach Flower Therapy, Theory and Practice"
Simonds, Mary Ann; "Stress in Horses", Natural Horse Magazine, Vol. 3 Issue 2
White, Ian; "Bush Flower Essences"