Holistic and Natural Treatments for Pets
Understanding Flower Essences and How They Differ from Essential Oils
When I’m working with a pet client on a behavior problem, I often find myself recommending a variety of natural calming aids, including flower essence or a flower essence combination. Most pet parents think that flower essences are essential oils, which they are not—they are actually quite different. You can read more about using essential oils with pets in this article.
I am by no means an expert in flower essences, but I have had great results with their use. I thought this article would be a nice time to bring in an expert for Q & A regarding flower essences and pets, and how they differ from essential oils.
I spoke with Brenda Utzerath, a certified acupressure practitioner committed to natural therapies including acupressure, massage therapy, herbal remedies, flower essences, essential oils, crystal healing, natural feeding, and animal hospice. She also has an advanced practitioner degree through the worldwide and well-renowned Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute in Larkspur, CO. I thought she would be the perfect pet expert on the topic of flower essences.
What is the primary difference between flower essences and essential oils?
“There are significant differences between (flower) essences and (aromatherapy) essential oil. Essences often referred to as flower essence, use the vibrational energy from flowers, trees or plants infused into water used for healing imbalances of the mind, body, and spirit. They have no scent or taste other than possibly alcohol used to stabilize the essence. The vibrational energy imprint is transferred to the water which can then be even further diluted. They are subtle “energy” extracts. They are safe taken internally or used on the skin.
Essential oils utilize distillation or cold expression using large quantities of actual plant material such as roots, bark, seeds, or leaves. These oils are not diluted in water. They have very distinct and sometimes intense aromas and flavor. They work very well using the sense of smell and limbic system (brain) as a delivery method. Most essential oils are best diluted first in a carrier oil and then applied topically or used through aromatherapy. There is debate whether any or only certain essential oils are safe to consume.
Flower essences and essential oils can be used cooperatively. According to Flower Essence Society (FES), ‘while both affect the mind-body continuum, they work from opposite pathways. Essential oils enter through the senses to reach the soul, while flower essences impact the subtle energy fields of the soul to affect physical well-being.'”
What can flower essences be used to heal?
“Flower essences impact the energy fields of our body and mind to act as a catalyst to heal. They act to help balance our energy or electrical system. These misalignments or imbalances create mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. Flower essences are perfect for restoring the free flow of energy within. Their own ability to adjust and to blossom in their natural environment helps create adaptation in our bodies and a sense of well-being using the innate positive electrical energy found in nature. This, in turn, heals the body as well.”
What tips can you provide on how to determine the quality of a brand?
“Flower essences aren’t burdened with the same marketing hype issue that seems to follow essential oils. You can even safely and quite easily make your own. There are many reputable brands, many with combination essences already prepared for specific emotional issues. Sometimes it comes down to a personal preference or experience with a particular brand for choosing which one to use. There are many single essences also available for you to choose individually.”
Are there any safety concerns or precautions when using flower essences with pets?
“Flower essences are completely safe and without any contraindications. Children, elderly, in pregnancy, with animals and plants, flower essences will do no harm. Nothing is going to happen if you take the wrong flower essence, as the essence will only work on the energy level that we are having problems with. When you take the wrong flower essence remedy, nothing happens.”
How do you know if a flower essence is working or when to try another formulation?
“You will know the flower essence is working if you begin to feel better or differently than before taking the essence. Often times with acute issues you will begin to feel relief from the very first dose. Other times when dealing with layers of symptoms or long-standing issues, it could take a few weeks of regular dosing to create a shift in the energy field of the mind and body. The frequency of dosing is more important when using essences rather than volume. So a few drops several times a day will give your body energy better support than more drops once or twice daily. Since you cannot overdose flower essences taking an entire bottle won’t be harmful, just wasteful. It is worth noting that flower essences are often stabilized using alcohol, although there are now some companies using other than alcohol to preserve them if that is important to you.
Using flower essences can sometimes be similar to peeling an onion. There may be layers of imbalances. Remove one layer to reveal another one hidden below. It can take time, however keep in mind flower essences are gentle and safe healers. No need to be concerned with becoming addicted or in having negative side effects.”
What is the best way to administer flower essences?
“Flower essences can be taken internally or absorbed through the skin. Putting a dropper full into a bottle of pure water then sipping on it during the day is a fine way to dose flower essences. Similarly, adding them to your pet’s water bowl of pure water allows them to dose themselves with every drink they take. If that is not convenient, a few drops from the essence bottle directly into the mouth or onto the skin works equally as well. Further diluting a dropper full or two of flower essences in some pure water in a spray bottle makes it easy to spritz on the skin as well. If all else fails, putting a few drops in a bowl of food for your pet, will generally accomplish good things, too.”
After speaking with Brenda, I feel even more confident to work with flower essences with both my pets and my clients’ pets. I’m actually going to start a little research on looking to add flower essences to Dexter’s medical regimen!
Have you or your pet used flower essences? Tell me in the comments.
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