Flower Essences

What Are Flower essences?

Flower Essences (FE) are remedies made from the dew or essences of flowers. There are FE produced in almost every country of the world, from native flowers. One of the most well known ranges is the Bach Flower Range of essences.

Dr Edward Bach was a prominent London physician, surgeon, bacteriologist and homeopathist. He worked as a Casualty Medical officer in a busy London hospital, but he became frustrated with the way doctors tended to treat their patients as a collection of disease symptoms, rather than as individuals. He believed that stress and emotions contributed to illness, and that emotional harmony was the key to well being. In 1930 he left medical practice to develop his 38 treatments from non-toxic flowers. His remedies are based on flowers native to England, but other countries have developed their own sets. These include Ian White’s Australian Bush Flower Essences, and the West Australian Living Essences. FEs are not the same as herbal remedies, because they only contain dilute infusions of the plant in the preparation.

How Are They Prepared?

Bach Flower Remedies are prepared from fresh flowers soaked in spring water and sunlight for several hours. The flowers are removed, and the essence preserved in alcohol.  We prepare our remedies in spring water to make them easier to use for our patients. The remedies can last up to three months if uncontaminated, and need to be kept away from ultraviolet light, computer and microwave radiation.

Some examples of how Bach Flower remedies may be prescribed include:

  • Walnut for transition or change
  • Honeysuckle for grief
  • Crabapple for cleansing
  • Aspen or Mimulus for fear and anxiety. 


How are they used to treat pets?

Bach flower remedies are used as part of an integrative approach to reduce emotional imbalances in pets. In some instances they may be used alone, or they may be combined with behaviour management, training, a full health check and occasionally other supplements or medications.

 Examples where flower essences may be used include:

  • anxiety for car trips
  • adapting to change like a new pet in the house
  • grief for the loss of a companion
  • stress for showing or working pets
  • in a stressful household
  • separation anxiety
  • help with training and focus
  • helping pets deal with chronic illness or pain
  • fearful behaviour due to poor socialisation as a pup
  • phobias like few of thunder or fireworks
  • cats stressed in multi-cat households or in boarding catteries.


Stress contributes to some common illnesses in our pets including lower urinary tract disease in cats, irritable bowl in dogs, skin irritations, poor sleep and behavioural problems. Reducing this stress and anxiety clears the way for us to help heal your pet. 

For complex behaviours such as aggression in dogs, or inappropriate toiletting in cats, as additional treatment may be required. 

How are they administered?

FEs prepared in springwater have no taste, so most pets will readily lick them off your fingers. They may also be combined in a bowl with drinking water. The remedies may be less effective mixed with food. Giving FEs in a dropper by mouth can be stressful for some pets, and may also result in contamination of the dropper.

The essences may also be made up with spring water into a mist/spray, to be used in a cage before travel, or onto bandannas for dogs to be worn around their necks. The remedies can be massaged onto the inside of ears, or rubbed onto gums.

Acute presentations are treated for 3-5 days, medium length problems for 2 weeks or so and chronic for 4 weeks plus. It is ok to use long term treatment and have animals on FE for months at a time (except Walnut). Bach Flower Remedies are not toxic to animals, but if an inappropriate remedy is used, there may be either no change, or even a worsening of the problem.

FEs combine well with relaxing massage techniques, and calming music such as the "Through A Dog's Ear" and "Through a Cat's ear" CDs.

Rescue Remedy

This is the most well known of the Bach Flower remedies. It is made up from: Clematis, Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Impatiens, Cherry plum. It is used for acute emotional stress or trauma (however it is never used to replace appropriate veterinary care when required). For acute stress, the "Stock Strength" may be used, 1-2 drops may be given every 5 - 15 minutes. During stressful days one dropperful of the diluted strength can be given to your pet  two to four times daily. It is handy to keep a small bottle on hand for unexpected stress. You can buy Rescue Remedy for Pets, which is an alcohol-free formula in a 10ml bottle.  

Rescue remedy can be rubbed inside your pets ears on the morning before surgery, or licked off your fingers on the way to the vet. Once in our consulting room, we can spray a spritzer of Emergency Essence ( from the Australian Bush Flower range) into the room, and onto our hands to help reduce your pet's anxiety.

Please contact us for further information. 

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