You may have noticed that the Pacific Northwest Essences website now includes a new sub-category of Herbal and Essence Consultations: Consultations for Animals. Just as flower, gem, and environmental essences can be life-changing for us humans, they also have enormous potential to help our beloved animal companions. I recently expanded my practice to include work with a variety of animal species, inspired in part by the great success I’ve had in using essences and other homeopathic remedies to treat my own horse, Ellie.
Ellie is a 17-year-old paint who came to our family after a career in dude ranching in Wyoming. As soon as she arrived, I noticed that her knees had large bony deposits and appeared unusually thick and stiff, which are typical signs of arthritis. Evaluations by a vet and an equine physical therapist showed that she indeed had some arthritis, but the pain and inflammation seemed moderate.
Ellie had a host of other concerns as well, though. Some were physical, such as occasional lameness when trotting, a sour body odor that suggested some digestive issues, and signs of weakness, including sweating on her back after only minor exertion. Her hooves seemed excessively bony and hard, her coat was matte and coarse, and she looked older than her age, with several bare patches of skin that looked like old scars. Other issues were more mental/emotional in nature: Though she appeared curious and intelligent, Ellie showed only slight interest in connecting with us, her new caretakers. She was extremely anxious in her new surroundings, and almost immediately became herd-bound; her anxiety was clear whenever we took her to the barn to be brushed, saddled, and ridden, and she would shake her head intensely when pulled at the bit. Horse trainers and health specialists offered dismissive and depressing assessments of her health and of the potential she had to learn “at her advanced age.”
I approached working with Ellie from several angles, including homeopathy, flower essences, herbal and nutritional supplements, and lots of affection. To begin, I created a custom flower essence blend that included white birch for pain; teasel, comfrey, and woolly mullein for joint and cartilage concerns; dandelion and horehound for inflammation; and plantain and teasel for their antibacterial and anti-parasitic effects. I also gave Ellie a homeopathic daily dose of Apis (bee venom), a once-a-month treatment of the constitutional remedy Calcarea fluorica in high-potency pellets, and a daily dose of Calcarea fluorica added to her flower essence blend.
I began using this blend with Ellie in two different formats: as a tincture, and an aura mist. To give the tincture, I would dispense about a dropperful onto a brown sugar cube and feed it to her once a day. With the mist, I would spray the formula above her and rub generous amounts into her fur and onto her joints. If I noticed she was relapsing into nervousness, I would repeat the misting again.
After just one week, Ellie had already become much calmer, more centered, and better at dealing with the bit and with her new surroundings. She was paying more attention to my actions, was not as panicky anymore, and was limping much less frequently. After about four weeks of the essence treatments, I decided to add daily potencies of three additional homeopathics to her blends: sulphur, to aid with her body odor; hekla lava, which helps with bony growths and other bone issues; and guaiacum, for signs of premature aging, arthritis, and rheumatism.
After six weeks of treatment, Ellie had made enormous progress. She smelled of fresh hay—no more sour body odor—and her coat was shiny and thick, with all her old scars filled in with new fur. Her head shaking and other nervous tics had disappeared, and her anxiety had dramatically improved. Today, Ellie’s eyes sparkle with curiosity and interest, and she looks years younger, moving with grace, lightness, and nimbleness. Her knees look smaller, indicating that some of the swelling has gone down and/or that the bony growths have been reduced, and she doesn’t limp anymore when trotting without a rider. She is full of energy and confidence, and even seems to be recalling some old knowledge that the professional horse trainers insisted she didn’t have, such as moving from light touch and groundwork on a line. I’m thrilled with her progress, and plan to continue with the same blend 4 to 5 times per week for the time being.
I’ve enjoyed working with Ellie and my other animal clients enormously, and am so pleased to now be officially offering animal consultations among our custom essence offerings. We currently offer three different types of consultation offerings on our website: For a comprehensive 50-minute consultation that includes a customized essence blend as well as advice on other homeopathic and herbal remedies to complement the essence treatment, select the Comprehensive Consultation for Animals: Essence, Herbal, and Homeopathic. Because essences can work in subtle ways, we find that having regular follow-up sessions with your healer is the best way to evaluate your pet’s progress and evaluate the best way forward for them. Choose the Comprehensive Consultation for Animals: Series of Three offering for a full series of three consultations, including three custom essence blends and ongoing advice on what other herbal and homeopathic treatments may work well with them. Finally, choose the Consultation for One Custom Essence Blend for Animals if you’re looking for a shorter (30-minute) one-time consultation that includes a custom blend for your animal companion.
Please note that for chronic or more significant health problems, and for older animals, I strongly recommend committing to a series of sessions with follow-ups once every two to three months. Neglecting follow-ups is one of the biggest mistakes people make with essence or homeopathic healing. Animals and humans alike are dynamic beings, so we react on an emotional and physical level to changes in our environment, the weather, the seasons, and our relationships. Because of this, it’s essential to closely observe how an animal’s healing may progress—or be set back—over time, and make adjustments accordingly. In Ellie’s case, for example, I’ve noticed that a few of her symptoms tend to regress after about 2 1/2 weeks, so I’ve begun repeating her higher quantity of Calcarea fluorica every two weeks, rather than once per month.