zoopharmacognosy

Cool article! I like that we aren’t the only animals who might seek out certain plants to heal us. My main healing “plants” are green tea, avocado, kale and ginger root. Right now I want to seek out a rice crispy treat to feel better. I walked by a cafe today that sells pretty yummy rice crispy treats but they add other cereals and they are amazing. I totally cased the joint to be sure they have them today…I might have to go get one…I walked two blocks out of my way to go lurk in their window. I feel I have gone off topic maybe. The article…worth the read but here are some snippets:

“The theory of self-medicating animals, known as zoopharmacognosy, has been spotted in macaws in Brazil, elephants in Kenya and even dogs and cats in the UK and US. ‘The science of animal self-medication is derived from the roots zoo (‘animal’), pharma (‘drug’), and gnosy (‘knowing’). ‘It’s not clear how much knowing or learning is involved, but many animals seem to have evolved an innate ability to detect the therapeutic constituents in plants…

‘Dogs do not have the means to digest grass, as they lack the enzymes needed to break down the fibres,’ explained Vancouver-based vet Dr. Michael Goldberg. ‘Thus, there is little nutritional value in it for them. One reason for eating grass may be due to a feeling of nausea. ‘It is possible that dogs learn this is a temporary solution for stomach irritation.’ He continued that tests on dogs that have exhibited these behaviours have later revealed inflammatory conditions in their stomachs, as well as signs of gastric reflux or bowel disease…

Red and green macaws have been known to eat kaolin clay to help with digestion problems. This is said to be a ‘detoxifying’ strategy. The diet of the Amazonian macaw, for example, is made up primarily of seeds and this can lead to them eating toxic berries and other items that resembles seeds.

More than 200 species of birds, for example, grasp ants in their bills and wipe them across their feathers. This is known as anting. In particular, ants that spray formic acid can kill off feather lice and protect the birds from infection.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2868348/Do-animals-SELF-MEDICATE-Dogs-elephants-chimps-parrots-use-natural-remedies-treat-digestive-problems-induce-birth.html#ixzz3LjclrYVv
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