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FAQs About Flower Essences

By Kathy Edstrom

When were flower essences developed?

The first flower essences were developed by an English physician, Dr. Edward Bach, in the 1930’s. Dr. Bach was a respected pathologist, immunologist and bacteriologist. He was able to research and produce 38 flower essences prior to his death in 1936.

What are flower essences?

Flower essences are liquid extracts made from individual flowers that can be taken orally to address issues of emotional well-being, spiritual-development, and to aid in mental awareness in both people and animals. Of the 38 English flower essences, the most well known is “Rescue Remedy”, also known as the “Five Flower Formula”. This blend is comprised of five flower essences; Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem.

How can the "Five Flower Formula" help my pet?

The “Five Flower Formula” is known for the positive, calming and stabilizing effect it has in stressful situations such as nervousness, anxiety, bereavement, extreme fright, hysteria and desperation.

What is the definition of “flower essences”?

“Flower essences are liquid, potentised plant preparations which convey a distinct imprint or etheric pattern of a specific flower.” (Definition from “Using Flower Essences: A Practical Overview” – a booklet written by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz)

What is an “etheric imprint”?

It is the energetic pattern of the flower. The etheric imprint of the flower contains the healing properties of the plant. These healing properties possess very subtle qualities.

What do flower essences address?

Flower essences work by getting to the root of the problem, rather than treating the symptom such as allopathic remedies. This is achieved by how close a remedy matches the energetic condition of the person or animal that is taking the flower essences. They can be used alone or with other health therapies. The use of flower essences in conjunction with other methods of health care and behavioral training can actually enhance the benefits of these therapies and training by addressing emotional issues which may be the root of various health problems.

Flower essences work like peeling off the layers of an onion. The effects of the flower essences are first registered in the vibrational field, and then filter down into the physical realm.

The effect in the physical realm varies, depending on the condition of the person or animal, the effectiveness of the remedy chosen, etc. So while flower essences can definitely have effects on the cellular level, this is not how they are represented, because this is not the primary mode of action.

The goal with flower essences is to address the mental and emotional states. Emotions and mental states aren’t physical, they are vibrational.

Vibrational? What does that mean?

Everything is vibrational. The rate of vibration is what determines the physical form of an object or substance. The frequency determines how this physical being manifests itself in the physical world.

The example I like to use is the comparison of a cloud to a rock. The higher the frequency, the less dense, like a cloud. The lower the frequency, the more dense, like a rock. Flower essences fall into the “less dense” realm. They have a very high rate of vibration.

Flower essences take on vibrational qualities rather than physical. Therefore, flower essences work in the energy field of humans and animals. Changes that occur in one’s energy field will in turn influence the mental, emotional, spiritual and over-all physical well-being.

How do flower essences relate to science?

Patricia Kaminski explains this very well in her book Flowers that Heal – How to Use Flower Essences (1998). Published by Newleaf. An imprint of Gill & Macmillan Ltd.

Patricia writes, “Flower essences are based not on the old Newtonian laws of particles and gravity, but on quantum physics, with its appreciation of fields of energy, which oscillate between wave and particle. These fields of energy are impacted by resonance. Resonance occurs when a vibrating system is stimulated by an external force that matches its natural frequency of vibration. When two systems of energy are resonant, that energy is greatly amplified.”

Kaminski also writes, “Flower essences work according to the principle of resonance...The closer a particular remedy matches the energetic condition of the person using the substance, the greater the effect will be. Conversely, a remedy that has negligible relevance to the person using it will not register an effect.”

Are flower essences drugs?

Flower essences are NOT drugs. They have no direct impact on the physical body’s biochemistry such as pharmaceutical drugs. They enhance one’s perspective, and work on unseen issues that physical healing methods cannot. They do not suppress symptoms, or alter our biochemistry, but rather aid in strengthening our conscious well-being.

Flower essences are not physiologically based. They do not have a bio-chemical basis for working, as would aspirin, etc. From the point of view of standard science, potentised remedies don’t “exist” because nothing material can be found in them. They are so dilute that they can not be measured by laboratory analysis.

Do I need to be concerned about side effects or the possibility of overdosing?

Flower essences are completely safe as there are no side effects, and one cannot develop a dependency on them. They are NOT drugs!

When will I notice changes in my pet’s behavior?

From my experience, most pet owners report subtle changes in their pet’s behavior within 4 weeks of the animal receiving the flower essences on a consistent basis. On rare occasions, some pets have made noticeable improvement within a few days of the pet receiving the essences. However, it usually takes 4 to 8 weeks for the flower essences to have a noticeable effect on the animal.

With animals, emotional issues are expressed by changes in behavior. Also, animal companions respond strongly to the influence of the people who care for them. Therefore, when an animal is receiving flower essences, it is often quite helpful for the person who cares for the animal to take flower essences too. Sometimes the animal is reacting to the attitudes and feelings of their "person".

Will flower essences cure behavioral problems in dogs?

Flower essences are used quite successfully with animals.These vibrational remedies are not cures, and they are NOT a “quick fix”. I consider them to be a tool to enhance wellness on a spiritual, mental and emotional level. It is extremely important to incorporate some form of positive dog training while the pet is receiving the essences. The essences will help calm the animal and assist in helping him to focus. If you have an animal that is out of control, this is a non-focused animal. If the animal is not focused, it can not learn. The goal with using flower essencest to assist with behavioral problems is to get the dog focused so you, the guide, can work on a positive and gentle training program that is specific to that pet's needs.

What types of behavioral issues can flower essence remedies help animals with?

  • Noise sensitivities, such as fear of thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots and other loud noises
  • Animals that need assistance with focus, especially helpful when training animals in distracting environments
  • Animals that have been abused or abandoned - very helpful with animals adopted from shelters
  • Defensive issues and breaking bad habits
  • To help build confidence in shy animals
  • To calm animals that are hyperactive
  • Picky eaters
  • Animals that have issues being left home alone
  • All species of animals can benefit from flower essence remedies

Disclaimer: Flower essences are not substitutes for medical or psychological treatments. They work in conjunction with conventional modes of therapy. They are not meant to replace other methods of professional diagnoses for medical or behavioral conditions, nor are they meant as a substitute for proper behavioral training. It is recommended that you take your pet to a veterinarian or licensed health care professional for any physical or psychological ailment your pet may have. Kathy Edstrom does not diagnose or treat medical illnesses. Her services are considered "cooperative" care, meaning they work with the treatment and advice provided by your veterinarian. There are no guarantees with flower essences. Every animal experiences varying results.