Bird Crisis – using flower essences

Bird Crisis – using flower essences

Article – Bird Crisis – using flower essences

Bird Crisis – The Use Of Flower Essences
By Dr Jeannie Thomason

ďThere is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind and inner happiness.Ē –Dr Edward Bach

Dr. Edward Bach (1886 Ė 1936) had more interest in treating the whole patient than just the illness they suffered from. Dr. Bach felt that emotions played a large part in illness. He believed that illness was a symptom of disharmony within the body and negative emotional states. After working as a physician, surgeon, pathologist, immunologist and homeopath, Dr. Bach went in search of safe, natural remedies that would assist in the healing of these negative emotions. He was aware that seeing and smelling particular flowers produced emotional changes in people. This led him to discover the benefits of flower essences in addressing his patientsí negative emotional states. Dr Bach discovered. These gentle essences work on the emotions of the body, and both animals and people respond well to their use. They can be used to treat various emotional problems as well as to modify behavioral problems. If you are here at NaturalBirdCare.Com and reading this article then you most likely already know and absolutely, believe, without question that Birds have complex “thinking” and “feeling” processes; and that we are still learning just how their instinctive reactions to their surroundings effect them emotionally. We have learned that parrots bred in captivity are more likely to have problems than those who have been caught in the wild and that their baby experiences, weaning, fledging and socializing have a major influence on their “view of the world” later. Many of these domestically bred birds have been re-homed a few time and many are ending up in rescue and sanctuary situations. Many of them are carrying a lot of emotional as well as physical baggage. How can we help them over-come these problems and live a happier more contented life from now on? First, I highly recommend that you consult with a behavior expert that KNOWS the nature of these wonderful creatures and has worked with emotionally disturbed birds before. Meanwhile there are some wonderful natural remedies available to us that greatly help to balance emotional disturbances or imbalances. Flower Essences is one of them. “Bach Flower therapy is highly effective in treating behavioral disorders and psychological problems, especially in parrots.” And: “It is especially effective for psychological and behavioral disorders (e.g., anxiety, aggressiveness, acclimation problems, feather plucking) and can help in difficult situations.” – Dr. H.H. Reckeweg

What Are Flower Essences?

Flower essences are liquid drops made from individual flower petals, whose vibrational energy (or essence) is transferred to water by a special process. The drops are then taken internally or applied topically. They are not drugs, vitamins or aromatherapy but a special gift for pet healing and life energy support. They contain electrically charged water and a preservative (of vegetable glycerin, white vinegar, red shiso or alcohol). Listed below and grouped according to the emotional states they apply to, are the 38 essences and one combination remedy that Dr. Bach discovered. A brief description of the negative emotional states that each essence can address has been provided to help you determine which ones may be most helpful and appropriate. These essences can be combined to address complex emotional issues. You may choose up to five appropriate essences to use at any one time. If you use Rescue Remedy in conjunction with others, you may combine it with up to four other essences. Flower essences are safe and can be used in conjunction with other therapies. “True healing involves treating the very base of the cause of suffering. Therefore no effort directed to the body alone can do more than superficially repair damage. Treat people for their emotional unhappiness, allow them to be happy, and they will become well.” – Dr Edward Bach

I recommend looking for and only using Flower Essences that are not preserved with alcohol; there are a few flower essence remedies available that do NOT use alcohol, be sure to read the label or email me for sources that do not use dangerous preservatives)

(Store the diluted flower essences in the refrigerator. To avoid contaminating your entire bottle, pour a small amount into another container and dose your bird from this container. If you are using an eyedropper or pipette to administer the remedy to your bird, do not place the dropper or pipette back into the original treatment bottle. ) The frequency at which you administer the remedy to your bird will depend on the situation you are addressing. In most circumstances you will dose your bird two or three times each day. However, in acute or critical situations you may dose your bird more often, possibly every hour or even as much as every few minutes. Rescue Remedy This remedy combines Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem. Rescue Remedy is particularly useful for frightful or stressful situations. It can alleviate fear, anxiety and panic. It may also be given prior to a stressful event. This combination of flower essences can be used before going to the veterinarian, after a night fright, or any time that calm and composure is needed.


Aspen Aspen is used to address the fear of unknown things. Often birds who are easily startled or tend to have a general sense of uneasiness or suspicion will benefit from Aspen. Also consider it for phobic birds. Night frights and feather destructive behaviors that are a result of fear from an unknown origin may be an indication that Aspen would be helpful. Because it can be difficult to determine if a fear is from a known or unknown origin, combining Aspen with Mimulus may be most effective. Cherry Plum Consider Cherry Plum for birds who lose their composure when frightened. For instance, birds who feather pluck, self-mutilate, become vicious or bite their owners out of fear may be helped by Cherry Plum. This flower essence can also help a bird remain calm when around strangers or when taken into new environments or stressful situations. Mimulus Use Mimulus when you can identify what your bird is fearful of. Mimulus will help instill confidence in timid birds. To help your bird be courageous enough to approach new people, play with unfamiliar toys or accept changes in their environment, try Mimulus. If you are unable to determine if your birdís fear is of known or unknown things, you can combine Mimulus with Aspen. Red Chestnut Birds who worry excessively over the well being of others may obtain benefits from Red Chestnut. Sometimes these birds may worry about others, fearing that bad things may happen, and ignore their own needs. For example, birds who feel they must care for another bird or person and forget to care for themselves. If you will be away from your bird for an extended period of time and you anticipate that your bird will fear that you will not return, consider using this flower essence. Rock Rose Rock Rose is for terror and fright; it will help a bird gather courage during extremely stressful situations. Any situation that causes your bird to feel panic may be cause to use Rock Rose. If your bird is easily frightened and you will have workmen coming to your home or you will be keeping the neighborís dog while they are on vacation, consider having this flower essence handy.


Cerato Cerato can help a bird who is indecisive due to a lack of self-confidence. Birds who are easily led or misguided and donít have the confidence to do things on their own might do well with Cerato. These birds need constant affirmation and encouragement. They may become more confident and trusting in their own judgment with this flower essence. Gentian If your bird is easily discouraged, even by minor setbacks, and needs a lot of praise and encouragement, consider Gentian. A bird who is unwilling to try something a second time because they were unsuccessful the first time may need Gentian. It may also be useful if your bird is depressed for known reasons. Gentian may help restore confidence after failing to overcome the obstacles in daily life. Gorse Gorse brings about a more positive attitude and can help alleviate depression. Birds who are despondent and lack hope that their situation will improve could use this flower essence. Behavioral problems that may improve with a more positive outlook may be cause to use Gorse. It may also help if your bird has an illness and needs to gather the will to fight to get better. Hornbeam Any bird who needs to counteract mental exhaustion or needs to gather the mental strength to complete difficult tasks might be a good candidate for this essence. Hornbeam is another flower essence to consider during illness; it will help a bird gather mental strength. Also consider it for birds who are always caged and have led a boring life for an extended period of time. For these birds, Hornbeam will provide inner strength and vitality. Scleranthus Scleranthus can bring composure or balance into a birdís life. This essence is beneficial during times of rapid change, especially for timid birds. It helps with indecision and uncertainty. Consider it for a bird who is learning to fly. If your bird suffers from rapid mood swings without reason, you might consider Scleranthus. Birds who pluck due to hormonal reasons may also benefit. Wild Oat Birds who feel they do not have a purpose in life or are uncertain about what to do with themselves may need Wild Oat. Many birds in captivity have no focus or goal in their daily activities and this may contribute to improper feather grooming behaviors or other behavioral problems. Wild Oat may help these birds find purpose and fulfillment.

Insufficient Interest in Present Circumstances

Chestnut Bud Chestnut Bud can be helpful to birds who fail to learn from their mistakes. Also consider using Chestnut Bud for wild birds brought into captivity or any bird having difficulty adapting to a new home. This flower essence may be useful during training or when trying to modify inappropriate behaviors. Clematis Absent-minded birds or birds who become distracted and preoccupied easily may gain more interest in daily life and pay more attention to their tasks when using Clematis. These birds may be withdrawn and live in a world of their own, possibly even to the point of being apathetic. They may be sleepy or drowsy most of the time, for no apparent reason. Honeysuckle Honeysuckle is beneficial for birds who are homesick or may live in the past, feeling that the present is not as pleasant. These birds may be unhappy about their current situation. Also consider Honeysuckle for birds who have lost a mate or beloved owner. Honeysuckle can help birds desire to be more involved in their daily lives and let go of the past. Mustard Mustard is helpful in dealing with sadness and sorrow. For birds who suffer from depression, Mustard can bring about a more optimistic outlook. The cause of the birdís unhappiness may be unknown. These birds may seem detached from the present or choose to isolate themselves. Also consider using Mustard after the death of a loved one. Olive Any bird dealing with a difficult situation who feels mentally exhausted might benefit from Olive. This flower essence can calm and rejuvenate a bird. Olive could be useful with birds who are dealing with a serious illness or a traumatic experience. White Chestnut White chestnut can help bring about peace of mind. If you feel your bird obsesses or suffers from mental turmoil, you may want to consider this flower essence. These birds may seem tense and unable to calm down or rest. Wild Rose If your bird seems to lack interest in life or is apathetic, Wild Rose may be of benefit. The lives of most pet birds are not very stimulating when compared to how their lives would be in the wild and this can lead to a general disinterest in life. In captivity, birds have almost no ability to improve their situation if they are unhappy. This unhappiness can lead to mental or physical illness. Wild Rose may help these birds be more content with their circumstances.


Heather Heather is for those that are self-centered or self-absorbed and dislike being alone. Because birds naturally prefer being with others in their flock, it may be difficult to determine if Heather is appropriate. You might consider using Heather with birds who must always be the center of attention or engage in feather destructive or mutilating behaviors only when they are left alone. Impatiens Impatiens helps instill acceptance and serenity. It is effective at alleviating nervousness and irritation. Additionally, birds who have a lack of tolerance of others and chose to do things by themselves, yet become lonely, may benefit from Impatiens. To deal with sorrow or anguish over the loss of a loved one, consider Water Violet. This flower essence is also appropriate for dealing with separation anxiety. Overly independent or seemingly aloof birds who suffer from loneliness, especially those who become withdrawn, may benefit from Water Violet.

Over Sensitivity to Influences and Ideas

Agrimony Any bird who suppresses negative emotions and puts on a cheerful outward appearance is a classic example of one who would benefit from Agrimony. Most birds would choose to live in different circumstances than we are able to provide in captivity. For instance, most birds would rather not be confined. These birds try to disregard the negative portions of their lives and always appear happy. Repressing these emotions can lead to mental and physical illness. These emotions may manifest themselves in other ways, like feather destructive behaviors in a bird who always seems cheerful. Agrimony can assist in bringing peace to these birdís lives. Centaury Centaury can be beneficial for birds who always try to please others. This flower essence helps easily intimidated birds to stand up for themselves. A bird who has been dominated by other birds or trained by owners that dominated them may benefit from Centaury. Birds who consent to what their owners or other birds want, even when they would rather do something else, may need Centaury so that they are able to place a higher priority on what they desire. Holly This flower essence can be very useful with birds, because it deals with jealousy and anger. A bird who is irritated about the arrival of a new member of the household or an overly bonded bird who is jealous of her ownerís attention to others may become more accepting of the situation. If a bird feels neglected or abandoned, Holly may help heal these feelings. Holly helps to instill a sense of love and nurturing. Walnut Walnut is very useful during times of change or stress as it provides stability during transitions. Consider it for a bird who is changing homes or adjusting to different living conditions. Walnut is protective against negative stimulus from the world around us. Bird owners are aware that birds are very empathic and Walnut can protect your bird from negative emotions that you are having.

Despondency and Despair

Crab Apple Birds who think poorly of themselves can benefit from the cleansing effects of Crab Apple. These birds may blame themselves for negative things that happen in their lives. Despondent birds who are meticulous about their appearance may find Crab Apple helpful. This particular essence is also useful at clearing away obsessive behaviors, for example, habitual feather destructive behaviors. Elm Elm helps to re-establish peace and balance in birds who have been overwhelmed. These birds may usually be very stable, but have just been through unusually demanding situations. When people or animals whom your bird is unfamiliar with come into your home or after a trip to the veterinarian, Elm is appropriate. Birds who must adjust to a new home will also benefit from Elm. Larch If your bird lacks self-confidence or feels inferior, you might consider using Larch. This flower essence alleviates despair. It can instill a willingness to try new things. Abused or neglected birds who need to regain confidence will be helped by this essence. Larch can help your bird tackle difficult challenges. Oak This flower essence can strengthen a bird who is facing a difficult situation. Birds who may benefit from Oak have a desire to do what is asked of them, but may need strength and endurance to complete the task. Oak can assist a bird who is recovering from long term illness or abuse. Pine Pine eliminates feelings of guilt. Physically and mentally abused or neglected birds who blame themselves for the abuse and neglect they encounter can benefit from Pine. Additionally, consider using Pine for a bird who has been abandoned. Birds who feel worthless may find that Pine assists in alleviating these feelings. Star of Bethlehem Consider using Star of Bethlehem after any trauma, whether it is physical, mental or emotional. After life-changing events like the death of a mate, Star of Bethlehem can be useful. In situations like earthquakes, fireworks or when a bird is recovered after being lost, consider the immediate use of this flower essence. However, the effects of a traumatic experience may last for years, so Star of Bethlehem can be beneficial for despondency and despair long after a traumatic event actually takes place. Also, negative consequences may not surface for quite some time after trauma occurs and this can also be dealt with by using Star of Bethlehem. Sweet Chestnut Sweet Chestnut addresses mental anguish. It can alleviate hopelessness or assist a bird through situations that seem unendurable. This is another remedy that can be useful for previously abused birds. Willow Willow can help a bird deal with feelings of resentment. You would want to use Willow for birds who have to deal with recurring frustration and who do not understand why they keep finding themselves in these situations. Those who need Willow may blame others for their problems.

Over Caring for the Welfare of Others

Beech If your bird needs to be more optimistic or tolerant, consider Beech. The lack of tolerance can be directed towards people or other birds. Additionally, changes in the birdís environment or schedule may be cause for upset for these birds. Beech may be helpful when introducing a bird to a new cage or after bringing home a new puppy. Chicory You will find chicory useful for birds who are overly demanding, possessive and insecure. Birds who need Chicory do not want to share their favorite human with others; they may be over protective or aggressive. Separation anxiety may be helped with this flower essence. These birds may be domineering to other birds or demand that they behave in a particular way, for example, always expecting to be preened and not ever returning the favor. Rock Water This essence is the only one that is not derived from a plant; instead it comes from natural springs. Rock Water can assist birds who are unchanging and unyielding, birds who do not accept new foods or new toys, for example. These birds are rigid and driven. Often these birds may exhibit compulsive behaviors. Rock Water can help them to develop a broad perspective and more flexibility. Vervain Vervain promotes tranquility and restraint in birds who are overly enthusiastic, over bearing and bossy. These birds are too concerned about the needs and actions of others. Also, these birds may be nervous or edgy. Vervain may be helpful for birds who try to control all the members of the household. Vine Birds who need Vine are dominant and inflexible, but they are not nervous birds. They are calm and purposeful. These birds are very selfish and demand to have their own way. Vine can assist the bird in becoming a caring teacher or leader, instead of a bossy dictator.

Testimonies for Flower Essences:

Bird Crisis “From the kitchen window of my home, I heard the carpenter calling me to come outside. At the time, he was building a wood walkway along the side of my house. As I approached him to see what was the matter, he walked toward me with what appeared to be either a dead or stuffed little bird perched on his finger. He was kidding, I was sure. A fake bird, I told myself. “What is that?” I asked. He said he found it on the ground. The very small, lime green bird must’ve flown at full force into a fixed-glass window on the outside of my home then dropped two stories to the cement pool patio deck. The motionless little bird seemed stiff as a board, eyes shut tight with no noticeable breathing. I thought, “Please little bird, don’t be dead.” I gently lifted the bird off the carpenter’s finger with my index finger under the bird’s feet. Amazingly this little creature grabbed hold of my finger and didn’t fall off as I proceeded to walk upstairs to the kitchen patio. I yelled to my husband, who was inside our home, to please bring me the Rescue Remedy. I sat down in a patio chair and gently slipped my finger away from the bird’s feet letting it settle on my lap. Still the bird was stiff, didn’t seem to be breathing and had its eyes shut tight. I put two drops of Rescue Remedy liquid from the concentrate bottle on my finger and rubbed it onto the bird’s head just above the beak and above the eyes. In about 15 seconds, the bird suddenly popped its eyes wide open, looked up at me, flapped its wings, pooped in my lap and then shut back down again like before. I’ve never been so happy to be pooped on! This bird was alive! It seemed a miracle. I decided to repeat the dosage again — two more drops of Rescue Remedy on the bird’s head in the same place. Within another 15 seconds this bird popped open its eyes again, looked up at me, began flapping its wings and with a little effort flew up to a palm tree branch in my neighbor’s yard near our property line. I was thrilled! I felt like I just saved a life. At this moment, I still didn’t know if the bird was going to fully recover. I decided to go back into the house. After 20 minutes, I walked outside to see the bird had flown away. This event happened many years ago when I was first learning about the Bach Flower Essences and I was still questioning whether or not the essences really worked. I had never in my life seen such a quick healing response in people or animals. I could no longer deny the essences’ powerful healing potential. This event changed my life.” Alicia Sirkin, BFRP Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner “About 2 years ago, I “rescued” Simon, a then 8 year old male Eclectus. Simon had been plucking for 4 plus years and by the time I found him he looked like a Tyson chicken ó totally naked except his green feathered head, (where he could not reach) and a couple of bedraggled primaries. Extensive blood testing, not unexpectedly, yielded no causative results. From what I knew of his previous life, this was as classic an example of a severely emotionally disturbed bird as I have ever seen. Chewing his feathers, pulling them out, breaking them off, he did it all. Beyond that, when I picked him up he continuously regurgitated for me and tried to mate with my hand. He would not play with his toys, he would not leave his perch. I tried MSN with absolutely no results. After watching this for about a year and a half, hoping that a high humidity environment, diversionary entertainment combined with a better diet, daily baths, aloe misting and the company of other birds may cause some changes, there was absolutely no improvement. I refused to use hormones or a collar because I believe that it does not address the real cause(s). I knew that the reasons for this behavior where traumatic experiences in his youth. I saw it as my challenge to isolate the underlying reasons and find a way to deal with them. During this time I heard of Bach Flower Essences. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became. They have been used in Europe for years and are widely recognized for their healing properties benefiting humans and a variety of pets, (predominantly cats, dogs and horses). I spoke to the Bach Flower people in the UK and a variety of veterinarians in Germany and the UK. I strongly suspect that the complicated emotional/instinctive profile of parrots, the fact that we rarely know their entire history, that many people have trouble recognizing their own mistakes and thus canít diagnose the reason for their birdís problems and just plain ignorance about their intrinsic nature, may be the major reason why this therapy is not widely used for parrots. Treating with Bach Flower Essences requires empathy, intuitiveness, knowledge of the patient, patience and consistency. I became convinced that they could work with parrots, as well. The challenge in treating with Bach Flower Essences is that the reasons for the emotional disturbance(s) causing the negative behavior must be diagnosed. Each of the Essences has a relatively narrow focus and going to the root of the problem is very important. Without that, the therapy wonít work. After watching Simon for a year and a half and since I knew some of his background, I started treating Simon with 6 essences 2 months ago. He has almost entirely stopped plucking, is growing some of his feathers back and is now sporting a tail and a full set of primaries. (He will almost certainly not re-grow all of his feathers, there was just too much follicle damage.) The rule of thumb is that 1 month of treatment is required for every year of trouble. Simon still has a few months left ó.” Wilhelm Kiesselbach

References and resources:

The Dr. Edward Bach Centre; McCluggage, Dr. David and Higdon, Pamela Leis; Holistic Care for Birds Puotinen, C. J.; The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care Rasmussen, Betina; Wulff-Tilford, Mary L. and Tilford, Gregory L.; All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets

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