Applied Zoopharmacognosy

Sable the horse selecting peppermint essential oil - anti-inflammatory & respiratoryWhat is Applied Zoopharmacognosy?

Zoopharmacognosy – a term coined by Professor Eloy Rodriguez, a biochemist at Cornell University. The process of animals self-medicating from plants, algae and clays. Something they do naturally when foraging in the wild.

“Give a horse what he needs and he will give you his heart in return.” – Unknown

It comes from Greek:

  • Zoo = Animal
  • Pharmaco = Remedy
  • Gnosy = Knowing

It is an animal’s innate ability to self-select from medicinal compounds to support its own physical health and emotional well-being.

Examples observed in the wild by the scientific community include:

  • Chimpanzees eating leaves from a particular plant to combat worms in the stomach.
  • Parrots in the Amazon consuming clay for its mineral content and its adsorption of toxins in the gut.

Applied Zoopharmacognosy

Macerated Oil Canisters

Domestic and captive animals cannot roam extensively in their packs and herds as their wild cousins do. They cannot seek out remedies if they feel ill, are in pain or are anxious or stressed.

Applied Zoopharmacognosy is the process of offering domestic, captive and farm animals the opportunity to self-select their own remedies from the extracts offered. These extracts are in essential oils, macerated oils, algae, clays, dried herbs and powders.

It is always, always the animal’s choice. The animal knows what it needs and will be guided by its sense of taste and smell.

Caroline Ingraham has pioneered this approach for the past 30 years. Her life’s work is being used in rescue centres, farms, zoos and wildlife sanctuaries allowing animals to select for their own health and well-being needs. Animals have gone on to be rehomed, recovered from severe trauma and bred in captivity due to her dedication.

The work of the Ingraham Academy of Zoopharmacognosy is recognised by important Conservation and Animal Welfare organisations in the UK and internationally. It is also recognised by the scientific community for academic research purposes. For further information on Caroline and the IAZ, visit Caroline Ingraham’s Zoopharmacognosy website.