Choosing flower remedies
Can anyone tell me what type of Bach Flower to get for my feather plucking grey ? I was told there are different types for different behaviors.. thanks:)
It’s much more complicated than that. There is not one remedy that will help every feather picking Grey. If you’re going to explore this as an alternative, you really need to either get Dr. McCluggage’s book, or have a consult with him or someone who knows how to use these.
For example, here’s an excerpt from his book so you can see how it’s written: “Use Rock Rose for: Terror, cage-fright episodes, attack by cats and so on Panic that has set in for any reason Birds that have developed “cagosis” due to fear and terror Some types of feather-grooming disorders that have developed from terror, fear or panic Help in strengthening will and developing the courage to meet the day’s problems head on; for a bird abused by it’s mate …and so on”
In other words, Rock Rose is one of the specific Bach Flower remedies that can be used in certain cases of feather picking. Again, in choosing a Remedy, the cause of the feather picking must be determines to the degree possible.
Additionally, a Bach Flower remedy will only help if the feather picking is partially or wholly caused by emotional stress. I usually only use these in cases where we have first ruled out all disease-related causes and examined and changed anything in the diet and environment that could be aggravating the condition. Sometimes they are of some help. However, they are not a magic bullet.
How to Administer Flower Remedies
Flower remedies aren’t as sensitive as homeopathics so can be added to other remedies. However, they are still an energy medicine and you can give the flower remedies by direct dosing, adding to water or by putting the remedy within the bird/animal/human’s energy field. For birds this means wiping it on their beak, dropping it on their skin/feathers or (my preferred method) wiping the drops on the soles of their feet. For a bird that was stressed by being handled/touched you could add the drops into a spray bottle and lightly spray the bird. Carole Bryant
Bush Flower Remedies
I use Australian Bushflower Essences (don’t know if they are available in America) but Bottlebrush is for feeling overwhelmed by major life changes; Sunshine wattle for being stuck in the past with expectation of a grim future; Wedding bush is for commitment to a relationship (which may help if he’s not particularly bonded to the new mate); Tall Yellow Top for feeling lonely, isolated and alienated; Sturt Desert pea for recovering from deep hurt and sorrow; Mountain Devil for hatred, anger and jealousy; Little Flannel Flower for grim adults to bring about joy and playfulness; Dagger Hakea for resentment and bitterness; Billy Goat Plum for self loathing and disgust of a physical aspect of oneself (could relate to feather plucking); Bauhinia is for resistance to change, difficulty coming to terms with new situations; Waratah for black despair and hopelessness.
Normally you blend no more than five essences together – by combining essences you can usually come up with a really good profile of the person or animal you are working with.
Australian Bushflower Emergency Essence (the equivalent of Bach Rescue Remedy) contains Waratah (for hopelessness and inability to cope in a crisis); Fringed violet (for damage to the aura and lack of psychic protection); Grey Spider Flower (for terror); and Sundew for shock and feeling disconnected with the body.
On the other hand if some new feathers have grown in and he isn’t plucking them, plus his overall health has improved – maybe he just needs a bit more time. Flower essences work on the emotional aspect of disease and won’t conflict with other therapy you are using. I imagine the Bach Flower Remedies would be the easiest to get in America (does anyone know if the Australian Bushflower remedies are available there?).
The Bach Flowers work very well – I chose the Australian Bushflowers because I am Australian and identify best with our native plants (and I feel that perhaps they are the most appropriate for the people and animals that live here).
For example the waratah flower has a striking aura of power and strength. They grew wild where I lived as a teenager, and when I used to go horseriding I was always struck by the aura of power that seemed to surround these flowers. Years later when I studied the Bushflower essences I learned that Waratah is for courage in the face of hopelessness and inability to cope in a crisis.
Dandelion is also a very useful liver herb (it is a liver, bowel and kidney cleanser). The root is the most commonly used therapeutic part – I’ve never given my birds dandelion root, but as it’s a very safe herb you could give a piece of fresh root for them to try.
In Australia there is another weed that looks similar to dandelion (but which is not safe to eat), so just be sure to correctly identify any plants you feed to your birds. Anyway, hope the info on the Bushflower essences is of interest to some of you. Carole Bryant
Alcohol Content in Flower Remedies
The alcohol isn’t likely to be an issue. Flower essences are given in very small doses (3 – 5 drops usually – although I give as little as one drop for a tiny bird). Simply put the required drops straight into the bird’s mouth. A few drops of flower essences in 20% alcohol gives very little alcohol per dose. If this still worries you, you can simply rub it on the beak, or even the feet. You can also give the drops in the bird’s water (which will make the alcohol highly diluted). Carole Bryant (Naturopath)
see HolisticBird Newsletter first issue, which is devoted to flower essences