Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of Depression

Managing the symptoms of depression can be difficult, especially as they may not be limited to one episode and could return without an appropriate treatment plan. Symptoms that persist even after initial antidepressant treatment are referred to as “unresolved symptoms.” The DSM-IV, a medical reference commonly used by healthcare professionals to aid in diagnosis, outlines the symptoms of a major depressive episode, which include many of the following symptoms occurring nearly every day for at least two weeks.

  • -Depressed mood most of the day; feeling sad or empty, tearful.
  • -Significant loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable.
  • -Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain; decrease or increase in appetite.
  • -Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • -Agitation; or slowing down of thoughts and reduction of physical movements.
  • -Fatigue or loss of energy.
  • -Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt.
  • -Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions.
  • -Thinking about death or suicide.


If you have any of these symptoms or emotions, the Bach Flower Remedies can help you feel better.

Take a look at these Bach Flower Remedies:
Mustard: Depression and sadness that comes and goes for no reason.
Elm: When you feel overwhelmed, with too much to do, and not enough time, you feel depressed.
Pine: Feeling guilt for things that are not your fault.
Gentian: Feeling discouraged by small setbacks.
Cherry Plum: When you fear that you might lose control of your emotions or actions.
Larch: When you lack self-esteem.
Olive: Feeling exhausted and lacking energy.
Hornbeam: For the “Monday morning” feeling, the day ahead seems too hard and you might procrastinate.
White Chestnut: For repeated unwanted thoughts.
Aspen: When you have a feeling something bad is going to happen, but you cannot put a name to it.

Depressed and sad feelings can be alleviated with Bach Flower Remedies. These remedies help to balance emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, trauma, sadness, fears, worries, lack of self-confidence, and impatience to name a few.

Learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies at

The Bach Flower Remedies are 100% safe with no side effects and when you feel fine again you stop taking the remedies and you will remain fine.

Request free literature at

-Bettina Rasmussen

Bach Rescue Remedy Pet

Rescue Remedy for

Bach Rescue Remedy Pet for Dogs, Cats and other animals

Bach Flower Remedies, a trusted name nearly 100 years and a favorite of natural medicine doctors and veterinarians around the world for the treatment of stress and emotional problems affecting human and animal health, is now a best seller.

Bach Flower Remedies for pets sales have double every year for a number of years. Consumer surveys indicate that caring pet owners prefer to treat their animals and pets with non-narcotic non-habit forming natural remedies, says Bettina Rasmussen,

Rescue Remedy Pet is especially formulated for the most delicate of animals and pets and is preserved in natural sweet tasting glycerin. This is the same safe preservative used on Bach Rescue Remedy Kids for children and pregnant women. There are no known side effects or counter-indications for Bach Flower Remedies.

Rescue Remedy Pet has been recently featured in leading Equestrian, Dog and Cat, and Pet magazines. Numerous books have been written specifically about Beach Flower Remedies for pets and animals. Among the best selling in this genre are: “Bach Flower Remedies for Animals”, by Stefan Ball; “Dog Misbehaving – Solving Problems with Bach Flower Remedies”, by Gael Mariani; and “Emotional Healing for Horses and Ponies”, by Heather Simpson. These and many more books are available for reseller purchase at

Animals have emotions also. They feel fear, anger, jealousy and depression as humans do.

According to Marc Berkoff, Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado, scientists have abandoned the notion that emotion-like behavior is programmed behavior in animals.

Berkoff’s research indicates that elephants can experience grief, mice feel empathy, rats feel joy when playing with a friend, sharks get mad and koalas are very fickle about their changing likes and dislikes. The maligned crocodile mums care for their kids, squid can be shy, fish can be addictive personalities and coyotes can feel emotional depression.

A study published in the journal Nature in 2006 showed that more advanced mammals, like the whale, possess spindle neurons, which in humans are known to be associated with emotional response and social behavior.

In his heart warming book, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, author Jeffrey Moussaieff, lays out the evidence that our familiar farm animals have feelings and even consciousness. Moussaieff research reveals that pigs, which are curious and intelligent by nature, take pride in being self-reliant.

We love our animals and pets and they reward us by sharing with us their feelings of joy and happiness, if we only take the time to read the signs.

The Bach Flower Remedies help our animals and pets cope with negative emotions that rob them, other animals around them and their owners of the quiet enjoyment of their lives. For a cat, traveling by car across town can be a traumatic experience and dogs and other pets may experience a visit to the vet as a fearful experience.

Prolonged fear and stress have been proven to weaken the immune system leaving both humans and animals vulnerable to decease and slow recovery from illnesses and injuries.

Many natural medicine licensed doctors of veterinarian medicine recommend and use Bach Flower Remedies for their patients. Their testimonials can be found at

Rescue Remedy Pet is effective and affordable.  Small pets require only 2 drops into the mouth, food or drink; while large animals like a horse take 10 drops in a bucket of water. In some cases a response comes in less than an hour.

Bach Flower Remedies pet brochures are available for your customers and patients. Resellers may purchase the Original Bach Flower Remedies at

Visit * 800 214 2850 * Email:

© 2008-2024 Bach and Rescue Remedy are trademarks of Bach Flower Remedies Limited

Posted by Tony Dolz

Returning Soldiers Ignite Mental Health Crisis – Bach Flower Has a Remedy for That

Returning Soldiers Ignite Mental Health Crisis – Bach Flower Has a Remedy for That

Military bases and the civilian health care system are bracing themselves for a surge in demand for mental health care resources.

Crunch is expected as President-elect Barack Obama is committed to pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq within 16 months (Reuters).

According to a report from a Congressional hearing on mental health problems confronting soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, about 20% of the 1.5 million soldiers deployed to those war fronts will return from battle suffering from mental health problems.

The reports project that about 20% or 300,000 (the size of a large city) will return suffering from clinical anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, or post-traumatic stress disorder. A more recent survey found that in fact half of the National Guard troops returning from battle report mental health problems.

These illnesses not only affect the returning soldiers, but they have a cascading effect on the families including the approximately 700,000 children in the United States with at least one parent returning from battle. The expected hundreds of thousands of cases will overflow from the VA and the Department of Defense into and burden the civilian health care system. Bettina Rasmussen, CEO of says that Bach Flower has a remedy for that.

Ms. Rasmussen (BFRP) is a Bach Centre licensed practitioner and an author on natural remedies. She recently sent a letter to the Department of Defense asking them to explore the cost-effective benefits of all-natural remedies for reducing the symptoms associated with PTSD as part of the recovery regime.
The first wave of 15,000 returning soldiers landed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and military health officials at the Department of Defense are bracing for the surge in mental health cases wondering if there are sufficient resources to handle it. The next large wave is expected to arrive in February. Col. Richard Thomas, the Fort Campbell director of health services, has roughly doubled his staff of psychologists and behavioral specialists and is searching for more.

A report by the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team released in 2007 found that 28 percent of soldiers who had been in high-intensity combat were experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder or acute stress.

It also found that the percentage of soldiers with severe stress, emotional, alcohol, or family problems had risen more than 85 percent since the invasion of Iraq five years ago.

General Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army is monitoring how Fort Campbell handles their caseload in order to develop a plan on how other bases around the nation will handle the surge in PTSD cases.

Not all will be rosy when the soldiers come home. Soldiers are faced with adjustment to new realities, some of them quite unpleasant. Many are greeted by marital problems, financial difficulties, disintegrating relationships, and family unity.

According to Fort Campbell military health officials, more than 3,000 of the initial 15,000 troops returning home will experience headaches, sleep disorders, irritability, memory loss, bouts of violence, a sense of hopelessness, relationship strains, or other symptoms linked to stress disorder.

The base officials say that about 85 percent of those soldiers with stress disorder symptoms will recover with the help of treatment or medication, but the other 15 percent will require more intensive help.

A year later has not seen any improvements. According to an Army, the study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in July of 2007, one in 8 soldiers returning from war suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD include having flashbacks, nightmares, feeling detached, irritable, resorting to violence, and having trouble concentrating or sleeping.

Some veterans suffering from stress are finding their own solution, suicide

Over 120 vets are committing suicide every week, a rate double the general population.

In the war theater, suicide inching up to 1/3 of all deaths

Meanwhile, in the war zone, over 2000 active soldiers have taken their own life this year a number that has been increasing steadily; the highest in 25 years. The number in 2002 was 500. In an article published in the U.S. News, it states that in the early part of 2007 suicide was the third largest cause of death of active soldiers accounting for almost 30%.

One age group among active soldiers stands out, the 20 to 24-year-olds; their rate of suicide is four times that of the general population. In those cases reported in 2007 about 70% of suicides were related to relationship problems back home. In today’s military 2/3 of the soldiers are married.

Coming home involves letting go of the battlefield adaptation and reintegration into civilian life. Couples and families must reset their expectations and renegotiate their roles. Open communication is very important at this stage. Returning soldiers decompressing from combat stress are often irritable, guarded, and want to be alone. Attempts are claiming old roles and hierarchy of authority may result in a relationship or marital arguments.

Adding to the stress, at the end of duty, the soldier and his family may be moved to a new station upon returning from deployment. Back-to-back deployments can be stressful for the whole family. Some soldiers may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the emotional pain they experience but chose cover-up.

There is mounting evidence that the Army is not prepared for the return of soldiers with mental health issues. A National Public Radio (NPR) investigative report exposed how supervisors at Fort Carson, Colorado were punishing soldiers who returned from war with serious mental health problems. The soldiers were prevented from getting needed attention. NPR spoke with a half-dozen sergeants who expressed contempt for soldiers with PTSD. They said such soldiers were “weak,” called them “s—-bags,” and said they didn’t belong in the Army. The story sparked a Senate investigation.

Early this year, commanders at Fort Carson responded by launching a program requiring every leader, from sergeants up to generals, to attend a training course on how to spot and help soldiers who potentially have post-traumatic stress disorder. More than 2,200 leaders have taken the course so far.

To see the impact the PTSD training had, NPR made a follow-up visit to Fort Carson’s base commander Gen. Robert Mixon. Gen. Mixon stated that he would take disciplinary action against leaders who fail to follow the training guidelines. News of any disciplinary actions was denied by Gen. Mixon’s right-hand man, who stated that there had been a few verbal warnings and no more. Down the command line, Command Sgt. Maj. Terrance McWilliams insisted that he will punish soldiers who “misbehave” with PTSD symptoms even if the Army doctors have diagnosed the soldiers with PTSD. PTSD remains controversial at Fort Carson and perhaps is simply indicative of what our returning soldiers can expect no matter where their tour of duty ends.

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs has set up the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. Soldiers and their families are advised to check the website as well as websites from a number of other government and civilian organizations dedicated to giving our veterans the help they need. The families should be prepared to apply public relations and political pressure as needed, as resources for the expected volume of cases is not likely going to be sufficient.

Prolonged emotional imbalances whether they are those associated with PTSD or a range of others symptoms such as fear, panic, jealousy, separation anxiety, clinical anxiety, excessive worry, uncontrollable anger; and so on, depress the immune system and lead to a decrease or delayed healing.

It is evident that the fundamental philosophy behind keeping a standing army ready full-time and in full force is incompatible with recognizing that emotional and psychological imbalances can render some soldiers temporarily incapable.

Healthcare professionals, social workers, and caring individuals look at the problem from a different perspective. Bach Flower Remedies practitioners, such as Bettina Rasmussen (BFRP), are among those who understand the impact of emotions on our health and quality of life.
Ms. Rasmussen points out that a body of research, especially over the last 20 years, has produced innumerable tomes relative to the interrelationship between psychology, sociology, and the immune and endocrine systems. For example, “Human Psychoneuroimmunology”, “Understanding the Interaction between Psychosocial Stress and Immune-related Deceases”, “The Effects of Acute Psychological Stress on Circulating Inflammatory Factors in Humans” and a host of others.

The University of Illinois hosts the Integrative Immunology and Behavior Program which spearheads research in immunohistology.

95 years ahead of this time, Dr. Edward Bach discovered a series of flower herbal remedies that have since been used and recommended around the world. The Bach Flower Remedies treat emotional states which Dr. Bach believed, and volumes of studies support, greatly impact our health, healing, and quality of life.

Dr. Edward Bach studied medicine at the University College Hospital, London, and was a House Surgeon there. Dr. Bach was a bacteriologist and later a pathologist. He worked for a number of years on vaccines and a set of homeopathic nosodes still known as the seven Bach nosodes.

Dr. Bach won international acclaim for his work on vaccines at the University College Hospital during the First World War when his responsibilities, ironically enough, included a huge war casualty ward. 40 million Europeans died in WWI between 1914 and 1918 and millions more were injured physically and emotionally.

Dr. Bach earned further distinctions by developing experimental vaccines that saved thousands of lives during the Influenza epidemic of 1918, caused by a devastating virus that killed 18 million Europeans.

Soon following WWI and the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 he read the germinal work of the German, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, “The Organon of the Healing Art”. Dr. Hahnemann is the founder of homeopathy. It was Dr. Hahnemann’s influence that caused him to rethink the treatment of the disease. From that time forward he would treat the person, including his emotions, and not just the decease.

So, despite the success of his work with orthodox medicine Dr. Bach felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases and ignore the people who were suffering from them. In 1930 he gave up his lucrative Harley Street practice and left London, determined to devote the rest of his life to the new system of medicine that he was sure could be found in nature.

Dr. Bach discovered 38 individual Bach Flower Remedies and made one blend that he called Rescue Remedy. The Remedies are all-natural, non-habit forming, and have no known side effects or counter-indications in 75 years of use. The remedies, based on a homeopathy heritage, are gentle and safe for children and expectant mothers. Each remedy, which comes in drops, spray, cream, and pastilles run between $10-15 each. In the case of drops, only 2 to 4 drops will do and a bottle will last a long time. Cost is not a barrier to its use.

A good place to start for PTSD is the Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy contains five of the Bach Flower Remedies which are especially beneficial when we find ourselves in traumatic and stressful situations. The Remedies quickly get us back to our normal emotional balance so that we can calmly deal with the situation at hand.

The five remedies in Rescue Remedy are:

– Impatiens: For those who act and think quickly, and have no patience for what they see as the slowness of others. For those who often prefer to work alone. It gives empathy and understanding and enables us to be patient with others. It is fast-acting in alleviating an impatient attitude and lowering stress.

– Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past. Gives the ability to recover from traumas and to integrate their adaptation into the present life.

– Cherry Plum: For those who fear losing control of their thoughts and actions and doing things they know are bad for them or which they consider wrong. Gives trust in one’s spontaneous wisdom and the courage to follow one’s path.

– Rock Rose: For situations in which one experiences panic or terror.

– Clematis: For those who find their lives unhappy and withdraw into fantasy worlds. They are ungrounded and indifferent to the details of everyday life. Helps to establish a bridge between the physical world and the world of ideas; may foster great creativity. Is also used to bring clarity and alertness to the present moment.

The Remedies are easy for anyone to understand, obtain and use. Optionally, there are licensed Bach Flower practitioners (BFRP) who will be able to help find the correct combination for your emotional situation. More information can be found at

“Men find it hard to talk about their health concerns, and resist seeking help”, says Ms. Rasmussen. It is for this reason that she recommends the works of Stefan Ball, Bach Flower for Men. “This book can make the first step to recovery easier – seeking help”.

Soldiers suffering from PTSD often complain about not being able to sleep. The bulk of sleep disorder studies discourage dependency on sleep pharmaceutical medications; they make matters worse. Sleeping medications, including sedative/hypnotic medications, like Ambien, are recommended for short-term use, but lots of people take them frequently and become dependent upon them to fall asleep. Sleep-inducing medications, especially when taken over long periods of time, stay in the bloodstream, giving a hangover the next day and beyond. Studies charge pharmaceutical sleep medication with impairing memory and performance on the job and at home.

All medications interact with other medications to one degree or another, sometimes with harmful effects. Finding a natural product or modifying our patterns of behavior to get a good night’s sleep is a good first approach with little or no harmful consequences.

There are questions about the effectiveness of sleeping pills. A study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School found that a change in sleep habits and attitudes was more effective in treating chronic insomnia, over the short- and long-term than sleeping pills (specifically Ambien). Ambien is the most prescribed pharmaceutical product to induce sleep, chemically. Earlier this month, it was reported that some Ambien users are susceptible to amnesia and walking in their sleep. Some even ate in the middle of the night without realizing it.

If the soldier or family member has trouble sleeping, the all-natural Rescue Sleep blend would be the recommended remedy. It contains the same five remedies as Rescue Remedy plus White Chestnut, which is effective against a restless minds and unwanted thoughts. More information can be found at

Rescue Remedy clinical trial

On July 2, 2007, the Medical News Today reported the results of a study on the effectiveness of the best-selling Bach Flower preparation called Rescue Remedy. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Miami School of Nursing. Using a sample of 111 individuals aged 18 to 49, the study was a double-blind clinical trial comparing a standard dose of Rescue Remedy against a placebo of identical appearance. A standard test to evaluate anxiety was administered before and after the dosage.

The result was that Rescue Remedy was found to be “an effective over-the-counter stress reliever with a comparable effect to traditional pharmaceutical drugs yet without any of the known adverse side effects, including addiction.”

The Bach Flower remedies can be purchased online from or its retailer carries the world’s largest selection of Bach Flower books, information, charts, tutorials, and a world directory of Bach Flower practitioners.

Learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies at

Telephone 800 214 2850

© 2008 “Bach Flower has a Remedy for that” © Bach and Rescue Remedy are trademarks of Bach Flower Remedies Limited.

An Overview of the Bach Flower Essences

An Overview of the Bach Flower Essences by Don Hanson, CPDT, BFRP, CDBC

( This article was first published in the March/April 2006 issue of
The APDT Chronicle of the Dog. Copyright 2006 The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, , 1-800-PET-DOGS, )

Like many people, I was initially very skeptical of complementary and alternative medicine and treatments such as Bach Flower Essences®. Having an engineering/science background, I found it difficult to deal with the concept that complementary medicine could not always be explained by science. It wasn’t until one day when I had one of those “a-ha!” moments that I discovered they might be a subject worthy of further study. My moment began with a client who had a dog with mild separation anxiety. Our discussion revealed 1) the dog was mildly destructive when left home alone; 2) the clients were concerned about the dog’s emotional state but not what was being destroyed; 3) they were uncomfortable with the idea of using any drugs such as Clomicalm but were open to natural remedies; and 4) in my opinion the couple was unlikely to have the time or motivation to follow my standard behavior modification protocol. They were very busy and the problem was just not severe enough to cause them to take action.

I wanted to help these people and their dogs but was uncertain how to proceed. Based upon their comments it was obvious that my normal treatment plan, Clomicalm from their veterinarian and a behavior modification protocol, was not going to be acceptable. I asked if they had heard of Bach Rescue Remedy®. I explained that I had limited knowledge of flower essences, but that I had been looking for a natural, anti-anxiety treatment for one of our dogs, and had done a little research on this product and had heard of many people who had great success using Rescue Remedy®. I provided them with dosage guidelines and sent them to the local health food store to buy a bottle (since this was before we sold the Bach Flower Essences® at our store). Approximately one week later my clients called and told me that after giving the dog Rescue Remedy® for a week, all separation problems had been resolved! The clients indicated that they had made no changes in their routine, were not treating the dog with anything other than the Rescue Remedy® and had done no behavior modification. They reported that there dog was no longer showing any signs of stress when left alone and all destructive behavior had ceased. While this is only anecdotal evidence, it was enough to convince me that I needed to learn more about Bach Flower Essences®.

Most of the information I will be presenting in this article is based upon anecdotal evidence. Because it is not based upon statistical research and the scientific method, anecdotal evidence is often dismissed by the scientific community, yet the following is a prime example of the role and importance that it plays. As early as the 1700′s, sailors were fed limes as a way of preventing scurvy. This practice was based strictly on anecdotal evidence. It wasn’t until 1932 and the discovery of vitamin C that the scientific method was able to prove why limes and other citrus fruits helped prevent and cure scurvy. Fortunately, no one stopped sailors from eating limes because scientists had not completed a study demonstrating that eating limes cures scurvy. Anecdotal evidence is often the first step in the discovery of new methods and ways of thinking.

Bach Flower Essences® fall into the realm of complementary and alternative medicine along with Chinese medicine and acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and others. You will not find vast numbers of studies scientifically and statistically proving these modalities work, yet much of the world’s population, including many scientifically trained physicians and veterinarians, use these modalities with great success on a daily basis. While my engineering background initially caused me to be very close-minded about complementary medicine, I have seen first hand, with myself, pets, friends, family and clients, how complementary modalities do heal.

A few studies have been published on the use of Bach Flower Essences® with people. These studies concluded that they were effective in treating clinically depressed patients1, safe and effective when used with children for a variety of disorders2, and effective at reducing stress3,4.

What Are the Bach Flower Essences®

The Bach Flower Essences® are all-natural, very dilute solutions made from spring water, an alcohol preservative, and the parts of specific flowers. They are used to help balance emotions and bring about a state of equilibrium in living organisms, and have been successfully used with people, animals, and even plants. Bach Flower Essences® are listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS), have been issued with National Drug Code (NDC) numbers by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are sold as over-the-counter homeopathic products in the United States.

Although the Bach Flower Essences® are listed in the HPUS and are prepared at a 5X homeopathic dilution (0.00001 gram of active substance per milliliter of tincture) they are not considered homeopathic medicine. While they are prepared from plant material, they do not fall in the same category as herbal medicine. The fact that we refer to them as “essences” suggests to some that they are aromatherapy—the use of essential oils and other aromatic compounds from plants to affect someone’s mood or health—which they are not. Flower essences fill their own unique niche in the arsenal of complementary medicine. Like homeopathy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture and Reiki, the Bach Flower Essences® work at an energetic level in the body. This class of complementary therapies is usually called vibrational medicine. In his book, A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine, Dr Richard Gerber, a physician, describes vibrational medicine and the Bach Flower Essences® thusly:

“ Vibrational medicine is based upon modern scientific insights into the energetic nature of the atoms and molecules making up our bodies, combined with ancient mystical observations of the body’s unique life-energy systems that are critical but less well understood aspects of human functioning. Bach believed that his flower remedies would not only neutralize negative emotional — and mental — energy patterns but also infuse positive vibrations associated with specific virtues into an individual such as the virtues of love, peace, steadfastness, gentleness, strength, understanding, tolerance, wisdom, forgiveness, courage or joy .”

The Chinese call this energy Qi, homeopaths call it vital force, and Dr. Bach called it “positive vibrations.” While we cannot currently use scientific instruments to measure any of these forms of energy, many believe in their healing ability. There are many entrenched in the world of orthodox, traditional medicine who would say it is unwise to use a method of healing when we do not completely understand how it works. This is why there has been resistance to complementary medicine by many modern scientists. Yet, our knowledge of many medicines accepted by the traditionalists is equally sketchy. Aspirin, found in most household medicine cabinets, has been commercially available since 1899, yet scientists only began to understand how aspirin worked in the 1970′s. Buspirone (Buspar) is a commonly prescribed drug for certain anxiety disorders. The National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus database ( contains the following citations for Buspirone:

“Buspirone is used to treat certain anxiety disorders or to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.”

“It is not known exactly how Buspirone works to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.”

Considering that Bach Flower Essences® can also be used to treat anxiety and do not have the side effects of Buspirone, I believe consideration of the Bach Flower Essences® would be a smart choice.

There are a total of 38 different Bach Flower Essences®, 37 made from specific flowers and one made from the water of a spring believed to have healing properties. Each essence is used to treat a specific emotion or state of mind such as fear, anger, apathy, etc. These are all emotions that most people can readily identify in themselves and in other people, and with training can also identify in animals. These emotional states and their corresponding essence are all described in The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies by Edward Bach, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, DPH. Dr. Bach’s goal was to create a system of medicine that was simple enough that people who become familiar with the essences through his publications could identify their negative emotional state, select the corresponding essence and thus treat themselves.

The Bach Flower Essences® may be used individually or in combination. Rescue Remedy® is the only combination remedy prepared and sold ready-made; it contains five essences and is typically only used for emergencies or extremely stressful situations when the subject is in a state of mental or physical shock, terror, or panic. It should not be used as a replacement for veterinary care, but it is often used as a complement to traditional treatments. I know of many people who use Rescue Remedy® to calm themselves before trips to the dentist and who also use it with their pets before trips to the veterinarian. I always carry a bottle in my briefcase and car, so it is available in case of an emergency or accident.

The Bach Flower Essences® are very safe. The only contra-indication is hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients. Since the botanical component is so dilute, a reaction is very unlikely. Grape alcohol is used as a preservative, so the essences may be unsuitable for those sensitive to alcohol.

Bach Flower Essence are not used to treat physical disease, but rather the emotional state of the patient. They can be used to help resolve fear and anxiety, anger, grief, and many other emotions. Common sense and numerous research studies5 have shown how stress can have a negative impact on the immune system. Anything that we do to reduce or relieve stress, including use of Bach Flower Essences®, has the potential to positively affect our immune system and thus aid in maintaining physical health.

History of the Bach Flower Essences®

The Bach Flower Essences® were discovered by Dr. Edward Bach, a Welsh physician practicing medicine in the early 1900′s. Trained in conventional allopathic medicine, Dr. Bach observed that his patients’ recovery seemed to have as much to do with their emotional health as it did with any physical condition. Those in a positive emotional state recovered quicker.

Dr. Bach’s area of expertise was bacteriology, but as he became more intrigued with the emotions of his patients, he started to study the work of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicine emphasizes treating the “whole” patient including their emotions and mental state, rather than focusing exclusively on physical symptoms. As a result of his research, Dr. Bach developed seven nosodes to treat intestinal disease. A nosode is a homeopathic remedy made from a pathological specimen. The Bach nosodes are made from bacteria found in the bowels. As Dr. Bach began to use the nosodes with his patients (which are still in use today) he observed that he could select the appropriate curative nosode for his patients based solely on their emotional state6.

While Dr. Bach was very satisfied with the positive effects of homeopathy, he was concerned that many of the typical homeopathic remedies were made from toxic substances (bacteria, Belladonna, Mercury, Arsenic, etc.). He was convinced that if he were to devote his efforts to searching among the wonders of the natural world, he would find non-toxic medicines that would have a similar effect. In 1930 Dr. Bach left an extremely lucrative private practice in London and started on his quest to find what would become known as the Bach Flower Essences®. During the next six years he would discover and successfully use the same 38 essences that we use today.

My Journey with the Bach Flower Essences®

After my “a-ha!” experience I enrolled in the Dr. Edward Bach Foundation’s practitioner training program. ( The foundation offers two training tracks; one for those who wish to use the essences with people and one for those who wish to use them with animals. You must complete the first two levels of the human track before applying for the animal program. My level one and two human classes each involved two days of study in Boston, MA. These classes provided an in-depth review of each of the 38 essences and their use. The level two class also included case studies and an overview of counseling techniques.

I completed my animal training at the Natural Animal Centre in the United Kingdom, the only place where the animal courses are currently offered. This training involved a two -day, three-day, and four-day class and readings to complete at home in between sessions. ( The classes covered the essences as well as animal behavior and emotions, and counseling techniques. While we focused on canine, feline, and equine behavior we also studied turtles, rabbits, pigs, and other species. At the conclusion of the classes there is both an oral and written exam. Upon passing the exam, I had to successfully complete a series of case studies and a field study, before qualifying as a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner Animal Specialist.

Since completing my qualifications in December of 2003, I have been using the essences with almost all of my behavioral clients. I have found them especially useful in treating many of the fears and phobias seen in pets. If a client’s veterinarian has recommended a prescription drug, I advise the client to continue to use that drug in conjunction with the Bach Flower Essences®. One of the nice things about the essences, is that they can be used with other treatments, including homeopathy, without interference.

The Evaluation Process

My standard behavioral evaluation asks clients to complete my behavioral and emotional questionnaires. This is followed by an interview at which we also observe and evaluate the pet. I almost always do evaluations with a colleague who assists, takes notes, and documents behaviors while I talk with the client. The Bach Foundation Code of Practice requires that I have a veterinary referral before recommending specific essences and that I actually observe the animal’s behavior. When working with clients that are unable to bring their pet to my office in Maine, I review video of the pet’s behavior and work with the client and their local veterinarian or behavior specialist.

At the conclusion of the consultation I provide the client with a behavior modification protocol as well as a combination of essences for their pet’s specific emotional profile. I usually use both behavior modification and Bach Flower Essences® because it has been my experience that the use of the essences can shorten the amount of time for a given behavior modification protocol. One of the biggest problems with behavior modification is getting the pet’s guardian to comply with the protocol. If the essences shorten the amount of time required it’s a win-win for the guardian and the pet. In these cases I cannot prove the essences helped resolve the issue; however, I have also treated some cases only with essences and have seen dramatic results.

I continue to have “a-ha!” moments with the essences. For example, last year I was treating a dog with severe resource guarding issues, some of the worst I have ever seen. Seven days after treatment with the essences, and prior to beginning any behavior modification, the client sent me an e-mail noting “profound changes” in the dog’s behavior. I had them continue with the essences and behavior modification due to the severity of previous incidents, but the dog has never again exhibited any guarding behavior and has become more engaged with her guardians. The behavior modification protocol we used involved safely identifying the items that were considered valued resources, managing the environment to prevent uncontrolled access to those items, and gradual desensitization to the loss of those items. While there is no scientific evidence to demonstrate that the Bach Flower Essences® caused this dramatic change in this dog’s behavior, if I look at the dog’s behavior, the essences selected, and the short time in which the change occurred, I believe it makes a very strong anecdotal case for the use of Bach Flower Essences®.

I do not have a set of standard combination of essences used for specific problems (e.g. separation anxiety, resource guarding, show dog formula, etc.) as each pet must be evaluated as an individual. Two dogs, each with separation anxiety, may be treated with entirely different combination of essences. I remain in contact with the client and meet with them as the situation requires. At times I treat both pet and guardian, as often the pet is feeding off the guardian’s emotions. In almost all cases, the problem is treated as a chronic problem rather than an acute issue or passing mood. For chronic behavior problems, essences should be administered at least four times per day7, 8.

The Bach Flower Essences® are not the proverbial “magic bullet.” While the two cases I have summarized showed dramatic improvement within a week, treatment typically takes longer. Depending on the issue being treated, the length of time the problem has existed, and the clients compliance, issues may start to resolve in anywhere from two weeks to a year. I have found the essences typically help to accelerate the behavior modification process and therefore help improve client compliance. If clients start to see results, they are more likely to continue with the behavior modification protocol and the administration of recommended essences.

Tips on Using Rescue Remedy®

Bach Rescue Remedy®, the most well known of the Bach Flower Essences®, is a combination flower essences formula created specifically for addressing stress in emergency or crisis situations. The essences used in this formula help with trauma and shock (Star of Bethlehem), terror and panic (Rock Rose), hysteria or loss of control (Cherry Plum), impatience and agitation (Impatiens), and faintness and stunned feelings (Clematis). It is usually only used for acute or emergency situations, but can be used for treating chronic conditions, when appropriate. It can help after an accident or in any situation that causes extreme anxiety, nervousness or terror. Rescue Remedy®® often has an immediate calming effect, and is safe, gentle, and non-toxic. It may be taken as often as needed without fear of overdosing.

Rescue Remedy® is not, however, a magic, instantaneous solution for long standing behavioral problems. While it can be helpful in reducing the stress and anxiety of a timid animal, it will not make them into a gregarious, “gotta love everybody” dog. Nor will Rescue Remedy® remove your pet’s natural instincts, although it can help your pet to adapt those instincts to its environment.

When dealing with sudden behavior changes, you should arrange for a complete medical evaluation by your veterinarian to rule out any physical or medical reasons for the behavior change before trying Rescue Remedy® or any of the other Bach Flower Essences®

How to treat your pet with Rescue Remedy®

Rescue Remedy® is usually administered by mouth, diluted in spring water. A little goes a long way, because it is not necessary to use it directly from the stock bottle you purchase. If you wish, when you purchase a stock bottle, you may also buy an empty 30 ml eyedropper bottle to be your treatment bottle. To prepare the treatment bottle for use with your pet, do the following:

1. Fill the treatment bottle ¼ full with vegetable glycerin, brandy, or vodka to act as a preservative. If you chose not to use a preservative, you must refrigerate the treatment bottle.

2. Fill the remainder of the bottle with spring water (do not use not tap water). Dr. Bach specified spring water because he felt it was natural, unlike tap water which can be loaded with chemicals.

3. Put four drops of Bach Rescue Remedy® in the treatment bottle. You will treat your pet from this bottle.

Treating for an Acute Condition or Emergency

An acute situation might be a visit to the veterinarian or groomer, a thunderstorm, a dog fight, or a seizure. It is something that happens suddenly and rapidly affects your pet’s emotional state.

Place four drops of the mixture from the treatment bottle on your pet’s gums or tongue or on a treat or small piece of bread. Alternatively, you may apply the mixture to the paw pads, nose, belly, or ears. The remedy will be quickly absorbed from these areas.

If you see no improvement in 20 minutes, administer an additional four drops.


*Sales (retail-wholesale) in North America, Essences, Starter Kits and Information &

1 Masi, MP. (2003) BFE treatment of chronic major depressive disorder, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Vol. 9 No. 6.

2 Campanini, M. (1997) Italian medical study of 115 patients, La Medicine Biologica; Anno XV, n.2, Aprile-Guigno.

3 Cram, J. (2001).Two double-blind scientific studies of flower essences and stress. Flower Essence Society,

4 Walach, H . & Rilling, C. (2001). Efficacy of Bach-flower remedies in test anxiety: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial with partial crossover. Journal of Anxiety Disorders UK. 15(4) July-August.

5 Segerstrom, SC & Miller, GE (2004). Psychological stress and the human immune system: A meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychological Bulletin , 130, 4.

6 Howard, J. & Ramsell, J. (1990) The Original Writings of Edward Bach. The C. W. Daniel Company, Ltd., England.

7 Bach E. (1933) The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies. The C. W. Daniel Company, Ltd., England.

8 Product Information and Usage Guidance Sheet, Nelson Bach USA Ltd., Wilmington, MA. or

This article was first published in the March/April 2006 issue of The APDT Chronicle of the Dog. Copyright 2006 The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, , 1-800-PET-DOGS,