Deep emotional trauma, past physical or mental/emotional abuse and loss are held in the mind deep within the brain. There is no pharmaceutical drug in existence that can reach or heal these deep parts of the brain like botanicals can, properly used and offered in a zoopharmacognosy session.
Behavioral: Horse Experiencing Grief
We began the session with gentle behavioral remedies often selected to open the heart, relieve fear and instill trust, including Rose water, Orange Flower water and Neroli essential oil. He immediately let out very deep sighs with the Rose water and was very interested in continually inhaling the aromatic molecules and lapping up the water. He worked with the hydrosols for a very long time, with much heavy breathing, flehmen responses, licking and chewing and blinking. Once we offered the Neroli essential oil he physically moved forward into the oil and inhaled heavily, continued with lots of licking, chewing and blinking. I offered Arnica Oil, which is oftentimes selected in cases of trauma and is very healing in cases of emotional and physical bruising, and he once again gave a flehmen response, alternating inhalations from both nostrils as he continued to release tension with large sighs and blinks. He kept going back to the Rose water, as if it were the the key to helping all the other remedies work, continuing to heal his heart and move him forward in his physical and emotional healing.
I proceeded with nutritional herbs and remedies often selected by equines. He had been having some lameness issues and couldn't comfortably stand for the farrier. Since animals will select best when given a choice, I offered 3 bowls, side by side: Rosehips, Barley Grass powder and German Chamomile flowers. Rosehips is a very popular remedy with equines, and are especially helpful in issues involving the need for cellular repair, containing high amounts of biotin, Vitamins A, C and K, iron, thiamine and riboflavin. Barley grass powder is rich in a number of minerals and vitamins, most notably magnesium, which helps to calm and support the nervous system, especially in cases of anxiety.
Since he hadn't been eating much I was concerned of the possibility of gastric disturbance. German Chamomile can be selected in cases of anxiety, is an effective anti-inflammatory as well as being very supporting to the stomach lining. He ate as much as he wanted of all 3 remedies, continuing with heavy, deep sighs throughout.
To continue supporting gastro-intestinal health I offered Marshmallow root, which is an excellent supporter of the gastric membranes in the GI tract. He began a series of flehmen responses and began eating the marshmallow root powder, mixed with a little water when he wanted it and, in fact, ate the entire container I had brought with me! Was it any surprise he selected gastric support remedies after not having eaten much for 3 days?
After offering a few other supporting remedies, we began to see his eyes soften, with lots of slow blinking and a relaxation come over his entire body. He suddenly began walking around his paddock eating dandelions that were growing outside, at times reaching so far as to get down on his knees to reach them. The owner said she had never seen him do anything like this before.
After some gentle, quiet caresses of his head and poll, he began yawning, as you see in the photo below. He continued with numerous very large, wide yawns for a number of minutes, after which he started eating his hay again.
He has continued to want Rose water and some of the nutritional remedies he selected earlier. His health and mood have continued to improve. He was deeply traumatized by the loss of his companion, and the owner, in hindsight would have allowed him to say goodbye and stand with the body of his friend to grieve. This process and experience has been a valuable lesson which has helped her be a better caretaker and friend to her wonderful equine companion.