After re-reading the book Holistic Care for Birds, I decided to revisit the idea of Bach Flowers and Homeopathy!
So let’s talk a bit about what these Bach Flower Remedies are. Dr. Edward Bach recognized the need to improve the emotions as one of the several ways to cure disease. He started his research in the 1900s, investigating how flowers might affect emotions. He recognized that the sight and smell of certain flowers produced various emotional shifts in humans. Eventually, he learned how to isolate the flower’s essences, which are then used for therapeutic purposes.
The flower essences are intended to work for only the mental and emotional aspects of his patients. To truly understand the Bach Flowers, you must understand their limitations. They can alter negative or pathological emotions, but normal behaviours are not often affected. Such as the cockatoo’s need for constant attention… it cannot be altered, as this is how they congregate in the wild. So a Bach flower may calm an anxious cockatoo, when you are not around, but it will not alter the basic need for constant attention.
The best thing is that Bach flowers are very gentle, and will not overpower or sedate your bird. But they do take time, so patience and persistence is key.
SO Today I went to the health food store and bought the Holly Bach Flower Essence. My book describes it as…
Holly, Ilex aquifolium, is one of the most important flowers; it will be of value to all of us some time in our lives. Its positive aspect is that of love, nurturing and caring for and about others. Birds that fail to receive the love they give can become angry. They feel abandoned, separated and forsaken. There is a lot of jealousy in the negative Holly state. Birds that might benefit from Holly include:
* any bird that displays jealousy
* birds that show fits of anger including biting their caretaker and attacking strangers who come into the house
* birds that need to feel more love, nurturing and protection from the harsh world around them (such as birds in quarantine, birds in pet stores that do not promote a protective environment, and birds whose caretakers are always away on trips)
Now Kyoko isn’t forsaken or unloved by any means, but she does display a LOT of jealousy.. well both of them do. So I picked up a bottle of Holly, and an empty glass bottle with an eyedropper. The tinctures are flower essences preserved in vials of alcohol. Which is why it MUST MUST MUST be diluted. The recommendation is 4 drops to every 1 oz of spring water, so the bottle filled 2 oz, so I added eight drops. Since the Bach flowers work on an energetic level, the strength or quantity of the flower essence does not matter. So swallowing one diluted drop, could be the same as drinking the entire bottle.
Then the bottle needs to be refrigerated. The important thing is that you never let the eye dropper touch anything else, as that can cause bacteria contamination in the dilluted tincture. I am planning on adding two drops to each of the birds water dishes every day, and we’ll see if I actually get results!
I also picked up the rescue remedy, which is used a lot by people and for pets alike! This is mostly used for stress in any situation, so I thought it might be helpful as a “just in case”. The dillution is 8 drops for 1 oz of water.
There are other remedies that promote “acceptance” as well as more independence that might help in the future, and it is possible to mix multiple flowers into the same bottle (advised to stay between 3 and 5). So wish me luck, I hope this helps with our little bickering birds.
Disclaimer: this book is written by Dr. David McCluggage, who is a pretty notable DVM in the field of holistic bird care. I’m not making this stuff up, but I hope that you do everything within your comfort level. Some people would not be comfortable to give their bird with anything that has an alcohol content. But I trust Dr. McCluggage, and feel the dilution process has diluted it to be safe. You can find remedies that are supposed “alcohol free” online, but they are usually overly diluted essences as well, and it is cheaper, and more reliable to do it yourself.