Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flower power

In yesterday's post, I commented on the peculiar practice of yoga for dogs, and made the comment, "What next?  Flower essences for dogs?"

If I was expecting everyone to say, "Ha-ha, what a silly thought, no one could be that gullible," I was sadly mistaken.  Several of my readers sent me links showing that there is already a thriving business in selling people flower essences to treat their dogs.

If you're wondering what a "flower essence" is, then allow me to explain.  A flower essence is made by floating flowers in water, and exposing them to the light of the sun, moon, or stars, so that the water is "potentized" -- the "energy vibrations" of the flowers are "transferred to the structure of the water."  This then creates a "mother tincture" that can be used to treat physical or emotional problems.

If you can stand to take a swan dive into a great big pond of pseudoscience, take a look at this explanation of how flower essences work (here).  If you understandably would prefer not to risk valuable brain cells by reading the whole thing, I present here a few highlights:
"Flower essences (remedies) are specially prepared extracts of the flowering parts of certain plants. They work through energy fields to heal stress and disease from the inside."

"Many other essences have been created around the world, not only from flowers, but also from gems, minerals, animals, butterflies, lakes, sacred earth sites, stars, celestial phenomena, and Ascended Masters. Many of them are very useful in helping our animal companions recover from trauma, injury, and stress. These non-flower essences are often referred to as 'energy' or 'vibrational' essences."

"Essences heal underlying negative emotional states by 'flooding' the patient with the opposite, positive quality. For example, the essence of Holly is love. Use Holly in any situation where there is a lack of love, such as anger, jealousy, or rage. Similarly, the essence of Rock Rose is courage; it is helpful in cases of deep fears, panic, and terror."

"Since essences act energetically, not physically, they are completely safe and non-toxic. They cannot be overused or misused, and they are compatible with all other treatments, including drugs, surgery, and holistic treatments like herbs and homeopathy. Even if you give the wrong remedy, it will not have any negative effects, but simply no effect."
This, of course,  brings up a few questions in my mind:

1)  How do you make an "essence" of a celestial phenomenon?  "Here, have a few drops of Lunar Eclipse?"  Making an "essence" of an animal is even more problematic, and if anyone tried to dose me with Essence of Weasel, I wouldn't be happy about it.  And I don't even want to know how they make an essence of an "Ascended Master."

2)  If you are giving your pet something that is completely safe and non-toxic, can't be overused or misused, is compatible with all other treatments, and can be given to the wrong animal at the wrong time with no effect, isn't it safe to assume that the treatment itself is worthless?

3)  Lastly, who comes up with this stuff?  I mean, come on.  How on earth would putting the reproductive organs of a plant into water and exposing it to moonlight "imprint vibrational energy" into the water?  (Whatever "imprinting vibrational energy" is supposed to mean.)  If you want me to believe this blather, then design me an Vibrational Energy-o-Meter, and show that the needle pegs when you put the sensor in flower essence water, and doesn't respond with plain old tap water.  Until then, this just strikes me as a way to rip off the gullible.

And believe me, it's not that I wouldn't welcome such a thing, if it worked.  I own two dogs, who between them are a walking encyclopedia of canine neuroses.  One of my dogs, Grendel, is a tough-looking, barrel-chested mutt whose appearance has "junkyard dog" written all over it, but whose personality has resulted in our giving him a variety of nicknames, including "CreamPuff," "Mr. Fluffums," and "WussieDog."  He's a cuddler, not a fighter.  Plus, he's terrified of nail clippers, squirt bottles, and other hand-held devices, and runs and hides if we are holding one.  Our other dog, Doolin, is a border collie/coonhound mix, and is a nervous wreck most of the time because the two sides of her personality are constantly at war.  Her coonhound side chases the cats, steals food from the counter, and dumps the trash, and then the collie side feels intensely guilty about it.  If there was a way to sooth her aura, I'd jump right at it.  Her aura probably resembles the little lightning bolts generated by the Tesla coils that were in the background of all of those bad 1960s science fiction movies.

However, even given our dogs' rampant mental issues, I'm not going to waste my time and money messing around with flower essences.  For one thing, they're not cheap -- in the sites I looked at, small bottles of essences start at $15.99.  For another thing, I'm not eager to support people who are hoodwinking the public with pseudoscientific nonsense for which there is not a shred of hard scientific evidence.

For another thing, Grendel would probably be afraid of the dropper bottle.


  1. Their slogan was "flower power" which stood for non-violence in the face of the Viet Nam war. The flower children exerted a powerful influence on society. Those were the days of Woodstock and Easy Rider.

  2. Flowers give us more power and confidence on a quiet dinner for two with a special someone who won't be able to take his eyes off you.

  3. Flowers has a great power to joint two breaking hearts, and it also gives happiness and peace to everybody...........