The Bach flower therapy system was invented by Dr. Edward Bach, a British physician, in the 1930s. Dissatisfied with the Western approach to medicine and inspired by homeopathy, he set out to find a new system of treating illnesses before they manifest themselves in the body. For more on Dr. Bach, see this Bach Flower Remedies case study post.
I find Dr. Bach’s theories fascinating, and we use Rescue Remedy – perhaps the most well known of Dr. Bach’s remedies; a blend of 5 flower essences to help in stressful situations – quite a bit. We give it to our dog whenever she goes to the vet, or gets a bath; we take it ourselves in times of stress or fear (such as before flying or going to the dentist) and I even put it in the water I use for our house plants. It’s supposed to help the plant if it has fallen over or been moved, but since plants tend to not survive for very long under my care, I use it all the time to be on the safe side, and now I have several healthy plants growing like crazy.
These are two of my favorite books about Dr. Bach’s flower therapy system:
The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy
by Mechthild Scheffer
A wonderful and comprehensive book for anyone interested in the Bach Flower System. While not written with animals in mind, it is a great resource for learning more about each of the 38 flower essences. Mechthild Scheffer is a longtime Bach Flower Therapy practitioner, and her book covers the history, philosophy, and background of the therapy and explains the properties of each flower essence in depth. There is also extensive information on remedy preparation, interview questionnaires, checklists, tables for selecting remedies, and evaluation sheets for therapeutic use, as well as appendixes containing FAQs and a list of resources.
I always like to try alternative remedies on myself first, before using them on animals, and this book is the perfect way to start. It’s fascinating reading, and every time I look something up in this book, I have a hard time putting it down.
Bach Flower Remedies for Animals
By Stefan Ball & Judy Howard
This is by far the best resource I have come across for using the Bach Flower Remedies on animals. Both authors have been working with the flower essences for decades and really know their stuff (Judy Howard is a Trustee and Custodian of the Bach Centre in England). In addition to discussing the 38 essences and how they each relate specifically to animals, this book includes lots of case studies and also talks about reading animal behavior.
The specific examples are divided into “Animals in the Home”, “Horses” and “On the Farm and in the Wild”, and the case studies not only include cats, horses and dogs (although there are many of those), but also tell of the successful treatment of a buffalo in India, a blind seagull, goldfish, and a premature butterfly.
To learn more and read other case studies, check out the posts on this blog by our Flower Essence Therapy expert Caroline Thomas:
Alternative Healing Modality: Bach Flower Remedies
Treating autism in dogs with flower essences + case study
How to use flower essences with animals
How do I choose a flower essence range?
Flower essences for early abrupt weaning
Flower essences to the rescue