Healing Our Four-Legged Friends
A Report from Christina Blume
Christine Blume, who is located in Elizabeth, Colorado, has an active practice as an animal healer and herbal educator. She has taught classes in herbs and flower essences and animal healing at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Arapahoe Community College, The Community Schools in Denver and Tagawa Garden Center since 1994.
She can also be seen every other Sunday on the local ABC affiliate, KMGH-TV in Denver. "I do an herb spot," Christine explained. "and will begin to cover flower essences in September."
Christina makes flower essence formulations for local animal communicators and countless animal caretakers in her community. Her favorite book is The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care by CJ Puotinen (McGraw Hill, New York, 2000). She highly recommends this book to anyone who loves animals.
The following are case stories and practical tips from Christina's therapeutic work with animals.
The Primacy of Five Flower Formula
Five Flower Formula is the flower essence that I recommend everyone should have on hand. I have bottles of Five Flower Formula in the house, barn and car. Five Flower is for any kind of emergency, trauma, accident, or stressor, large or small. I recommend it when you don't have "specific" essences on hand. Five Flower Formula is immediately calming to any animal or person. I think the key is remembering that you have the flower essence and remembering to use it.
Several years ago, I looked out the door and saw a young Percheron horse belonging to my neighbor, running wildly in our corral. His caretakers were teaching him to pull carriages. He was dressed in the full pulling regalia with a yoke and chains, and tires attached at ground level for weight. Something spooked him, and he was running around the corral, frothing.
My daughter ran for a can of grain and I squirted it with Five Flower Formula. As we offered the grain, his ears perked up and he came to a screeching halt in front of us. In seconds you could actually see a calm from the essence wash over him. His caretakers arrived, wild eyed and stunned that anything could have settled him so quickly.
A Blend of Aspen and Mimulus for Fear
I use Aspen and Mimulus in a blend I have named "Fear." It is remarkable to witness the effectiveness of these two flowers. Animals and people who react strongly to thunderstorms and firecrackers are helped dramatically. I have gotten the most heartwarming letters and e-mails from people who tell me they "have a new animal".
A friend's mare was about to foal and Independence Day was approaching. This mare had a history of great agitation when exposed to thunder or firecrackers. Donna gave her horse 3 doses of Aspen and Mimulus essence during the day. The horse was not oblivious to the fireworks, but she remained calm amidst the noise and smell of sulfur in the air.
Groomers informed me that they used the fear essence for many of the dogs they worked with who were labeled as "aggressive" either by other groomers or their people. Many times the dogs are not aggressive at all, but are reacting in an aggressive manner out of fear.
My neighbor had adopted a guard dog for her property, who had been barking in an unusual and frantic manner all morning. As I approached him, I saw that he had a face full of porcupine quills. He was in a great deal of pain, as well as frightened by my presence. I used the Fear blend of Mimulus and Aspen for myself, and then literally threw it into his open mouth by the dropperful, as he snarled at me through the fence. I waited about 2 minutes while talking to him in a soothing manner. He calmed noticeably so I opened the gate and attached a lead to his collar, helped him into my truck and took him to a veterinarian.
A striking case involves Aspen, Mimulus and Five Flower Formula for an abused stallion, that I had agreed to keep in my barn overnight. The next morning I watched his caretaker attempt to lead the horse away. He told me that the stallion had been abused — and that he bolted when he got within 15 feet of the trailer. After witnessing four attempts, I asked if I could help by giving him some flower essences. The response was a firm "No." It was obvious he'd never heard of flower essences. I ignored the very patient, but frustrated man as I squirted the blend of essences into some grain. I let the horse eat a little and waited a couple of minutes. Then I very slowly led him into the trailer.
Other Key Essences
For Socializing Animals — Holly Essence is specific for jealousy and Quaking Grass is an essence that helps animals in accepting new members of the household, litter or herd. I generally like to mix Holly and Quaking Grass essences whenever there is a new addition to the home or barn. This works well for permanent additions and for temporary conditions such as pet sitting and visiting horses.
For Emotional Neediness — Chamomile flower essence is calming for general nervous upset. For example, I got a call from a couple who reported that their pigs would scream the entire two and a half hour car ride to the boarders. I suggested they try Chamomile essence. They did and informed me that their lives were changed, they are now able to travel in peace.
I use Prickly Pear essence for animals who may suffer from loneliness when the caretaker needs to be away for extended periods. Like human beings, animals have different levels of sensitivity. Some are lonely if we need to leave them for the weekend while others may be lonely during the day while we are at work. Prickly Pear in the trough alleviates some of this loneliness.
To Help with Learning Behaviors — Chestnut Bud stimulates the animals emotional memory to help retain training and lessons, helping to not repeat the same mistakes over and over. Dill is helpful when animals are overwhelmed or confused especially during travel or change of normal routine.
Healing and Recovery — Another favorite essence is Self Heal. This essence is used when the animal is sick or recovering. Self Heal stimulates the inner will of an ailing or injured animal toward full recuperation. Any kind of animal can be helped - for example, I applied Self Heal essence to the beaks of some tiny turkeys that looked as if they were dying. From that point, they seemed to rally. They are big and healthy now and one would never guess how frail they were when they hatched.
Aggression and Dominance — Vine is for very aggressive animals, those who tend to display "bully" behavior. Snapdragon also addresses many aggression issues related to oral behavior in animals such as nipping dogs, snarling cats or horses who crib and bite.
Recommended Methods of Administration
The standard dose that I recommend is 4 drops in the mouth or 1-2 droppers in a trough or watering bowl. I give animals a few drops directly into their mouths when possible. You cannot overdose on flower essences. [Ed. note: Animals should not be given excessive quantities of alcohol. Normal dosages of flower essences are no problem.) They are most effective when given frequently — 4 times per day is ideal. The flower essences can also be sprayed onto food or treats being given to the animal, though this method is sometimes less effective.
When working with horses, I like to put the essences on my fingers and rub the horse just above the lip, on the gums or on the head between the eyes. I have often squirted remedies right onto the grain being fed to the horse.
Cats do not like remedies administered directly into their mouths, since the brandy can irritate the stomach lining. I put the remedies in a water dish, or directly onto the paws, nose, or anywhere the cat can lick. I also combine 4 drops in a very small amount of beef or chicken broth. Another alternative is to combine twelve drops of each flower essence in a 4 ounce atomizer bottle filled with water. This formula can be misted lightly, then brushed or rubbed into the coat.
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