HomeCat BehavioreatingZoopharmacognosy (animal self-medication) – cat examples


Zoopharmacognosy (animal self-medication) – cat examples — 2 Comments

  1. With regard to chimps eating Aspilia plants. The leaves contain a chemical known as thiarubrine-A, which kills certain intestinal parasites. Whilst the roughness of certain plants can act like “sandpaper” to remove the parasites. The same chimps also peel the stems and eat the pith of the Vernonia plant (also known as Bitter leaf). In bio-chemical research, Vernonia was found to have anti-parasitic and anti-microbial properties. Both Vernonia and Aspilia have long been used in Tanzanian folk medicine for stomach upsets and fevers.

    As you say Michael, there are many more examples of animals self-medicating. They seem to have an instinctive knowledge of which plants to use when necessary.

    I’m always amazed when watching documentaries of big cats or African Hunting dogs, how good their coats look in comparison to stray cats and dogs. I wonder what remedy they use against parasites like fleas and ticks.

    Zoopharmacognosy is a really interesting subject. Not only does it give us a better insight into animal behaviours, but it’s one which could benefit us humans. It definitely warrants further investigation, but the all powerful drugs Companies may not like the idea of replacing expensive drugs with cheaper natural remedies.

    Harry Hoxsey who successfully treated many human cancer patients using remedies he’d observed horses using to cure themselves, was alledgedly put out of business by the AMA, cancer charities and government in a vicious campaign to brand him a “quack”.


  2. Animals have been observed licking deposits of bentonite clay and rolling in it. Humans take bentonite clay internally to treat irritable bowel syndrome and it works pretty well. The clay binds with toxins, getting them out of you, but every time it binds with a toxin it releases minerals your body needs like calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. You can put it on your skin or put a little in your bath and it will treat acne and muscle aches and pains. Your body can absorb the minerals through your skin. It has been shown effective against both E. Coli and MRSA, with no danger of the bugs developing resistance to it like with traditional antibiotics. Somehow the animals know instinctively to lick it when they have a tummy ache and to roll in it to soothe their aches and pains and itchy skin.

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