Bach Flower Essences
The Bach Flower Essences are a group of 38 remedies whose goal is to heal by relieving emotional suffering and restoring harmony to the body, mind, and soul. They can be used individually or in any combination, and they are safe to use in conjunction with western medicines. Stored properly, flower essences should last at least two years, and they can be purchased at most health food stores or at the Bach website. For further information, you can go to the Bach website or read Bach Flower Remedies for Animals, by Stefan Ball and Judy Ramsell Howard.
In this section, we will first give an overview of the 38 remedies, as well as Rescue Remedy. Following that, we discuss possible combinations for specific problems. Finally, we cover dosage and applicaton.
A. The 38 Flower Essences
Agrimony For silent suffering, and for animals who are sensitive to negative emotions around them.
Aspen provides a sense of security for animals who are afraid for no known reason. For an animal who is scared of something specific, use Mimulus.
Beech for intolerance. Beech might be used when you’re bonding your bunny to another rabbit, or have a new critter (or person!) in the house.
Centaury for animals who have trouble standing up for themselves, such as the passive rabbit who gets pushed away from the food dish.
Cerato for animals who doubt themselves. Honestly, we’ve never used this one. :O)
Cherry Plum for loss of control. For example, if your rabbit has a really itchy condition, and he can’t stop scratching himself, Cherry Plum might help.
Chestnut Bud to help an animal learn from his experiences, such as a rabbit who keeps sticking his nose in his neighbor’s cage and getting bitten over and over again.
Chicory for animals who are territorial or protective. Chicory could be helpful when bonding or with a bunny who keeps marking his territory.
Clematis for animals who don’t seem to have any interest in the world around them.
Crab Apple for any circumstance requiring cleansing, such as an animal who has been caged in his own waste, a bunny who has trouble keeping his bottom clean, after surgery, for abscesses and wounds, or for a rabbit who grooms excessively.
Elm for situations where the animal feels overwhelmed by responsibility, such as when a mama is separated from her litter or a rabbit who takes care of his disabled companion.
Gentian helps restore optimism after a setback. Consider combining with Honeysuckle.
Gorse is for situations more dire than those needing Gentian. Gorse is for hopelessness, such as when your bunny loses his mate or after long-term illness, and the animal is ready to give up.
Heather is for animals who are over-absorbed with their relationships.
Holly is the love essence, offsetting anger, jealousy, or suspicion. Holly will help with bonding or when you’re working with an aggressive rabbit. Please note that rabbit aggression is most often attributed to fear, so Aspen, Mimulus, or Rock Rose may be more appropriate.
Honeysuckle will help your bunny when he moves to a new home or when he loses his owner or partner. Consider combining with Walnut.
Hornbeam If you have a rabbit who is very lethargic for no apparent reason, Hornbeam may help restore enthusiasm, especially when combined with Wild Rose.
Impatiens helps with impatience and irritability. You might use Impatiens when bonding.
Larch helps build self-confidence. It may help animals who have come from bad homes or who are working to fit into a new rabbit community.
Mimulus Buy this by the gallon. It helps shy and timid animals cope with situations they’re afraid of, such as going to the vet or being picked up.
Mustard should be used if your bunny is depressed, won’t eat, etc.
Oak provides resilience. For example, if you need your bunny to rest after a difficult surgery or illness, Oak may help.
Olive should be used for rabbits who have been ill, had surgery, or been lost; when he is exhausted mentally and physically.
Pine is for guilt.
Red Chestnut is for animals who are overly anxious about their companions, such as a mama being separated from her babies.
Rock Rose helps with terror and panic. It will help restore calm in situations that are scary, such as visiting the vet, travelling, etc., especially for animals who have been mistreated.
Rock Water is for rigid, uncompromising animals.
Scleranthus is for animals who aren’t balanced well.
Star of Bethlehem is for shock. It is perfect for abused animals or animals recovering from trauma.
Sweet Chestnut is for animals who are extremely depressed because of a great physical or emotional event, such as the loss of a partner.
Vervain helps high strung animals to relax.
Vine helps with dominance issues, and is useful when bonding two rabbits.
Walnut should be used when things change and will help the rabbit adjust to his new environment, such as when he is rescued, adopted, or when you bring home a new family member.
Water Violet is for the aloof rabbit who doesn’t like affection and will help him be more sociable.
White Chestnut is for emotionally restless animals, helping calm disturbing thoughts.
Wild Oat restores a sense of purpose and might be helpful to show rabbits who are being retired.
Wild Rose is for rabbits who are unenthusiastic or resigned; submissive or under stress.
Willow helps with bitterness, resentment, and self-pity.
Rescue Remedy is a blend of five flower essences: Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, Impatiens, and Clematis. If you’re new to flower essences, start with this. It was created for emergencies and crisis situations, and is useful in most circumstances, having an immediate calming effect.
B. Treatments for Specific Problems
Discussed below are some suggestions of flower essences your might find helpful in specific situations.
Abscesses, Skin Conditions, and Parasites
- Crab Apple will help with the elimination of toxins.
- Crab Apple helps with the elimination of toxins and helps prevent infection.
- Star of Bethlehem and Walnut help the body recover from anesthesia. Walnut is particularly good for neuter, the loss of an eye, or the loss of a limb.
- Olive helps the body recover from surgery.
- Centaury and Oak are used together during convalescence.
- Use Holly and Beech together. Holly is to stimulate love, and Beech calms aggression.
- Rock Water can reduce territorial behavior.
- Gentian can help when a partner dies or when the animal is refusing to eat.
- Honeysuckle can also be used when the animal is pining over his dead companion.
- Gorse is for more extreme conditions of hopelessness.
- Olive is an excellent pick-me-up especially after long, stressful conditions. Try combining it with Hornbeam for an even stronger effect.
- Use Wild Rose to restore life force to an animal who has given up.
- Aspen is used when an animal is afraid for no apparent reason.
- Mimulus is used for fear of known things.
- Cherry Plum may be used to calm hysterical animals, usually with Aspen.
- Rock Rose should be used for extreme fear or panic.
- Crab Apple may help remove gut obstructions when used with prescribed treatments.
- Impatiens may help with bloat.
- Sweet Chestnut may also relieve bloat.
- Use Agrimony to counter uncomplaining pain.
- Star of Bethlehem can be used for animals in great pain.
- Use Star of Bethlehem and Sweet Chestnut for an animal who has been starved.
- Star of Bethlehem will help recovery from longstanding cruelty. Use Sweet Chestnut for animals who have been suffering for a long time, and Larch will help with abuse.
- Hornbeam and Sweet Chestnut may be used for animals who have been kept caged. If the animal has been caged in his own excrement, add Crab Apple.
- Use Honeysuckle with Walnut for lost or rescued animals. Olive also helps lost animals.
- Wild Rose helps animals recover from abandonment.
- Walnut and Rock Water will help an animal settle into a new environment.
Although rabbits are small and sensitive, the dosage is the same as it would be for a person: a drop or two should be plenty. If you are giving the remedy with food, try to give it at least four times a day; if you’re putting the remedy in the drinking water, just be sure to add a few drops every time you change the water.
If you are combining essences for long term treatment or frequent use, buy a brown glass treatment bottle, and add a few drops of each essence, then fill to the top with the best water you can get your hands on.
Ideally, you want to put a couple of drops on the patient’s tongue. However, this isn’t very easy with a bunny, especially since if the dropper touches anything, it will need to be rinsed with boiling water. The simplest application is to add several drops to the drinking water; the drawback is that you can’t be sure of how much is ingested. Alternatively, you can put a couple of drops on some food that you know the bunny will eat up, such as a few pellets or a small piece of banana. You can also rub a few drops onto the inside of your rabbit’s ears; between his shoulder blades; or on his forehead.