Applied Zoopharmacognosy enables self-medicative behaviour in domesticated or captive animals by offering plant extracts that would contain the same, or similar constituents to those found in an animal’s natural environment. The practice encourages and allows an animal to guide its own health, since unlike their wild counterparts, captive and domesticated animals rarely have the opportunity to forage on medical plants. The extracts offered include a variety of essential oils, absolutes, plant extracts, macerated oils, tubers, clays, algae, seaweeds and minerals. Once the animal has selected its remedy, it will then guide the session by inhaling it, taking it orally, or by rubbing a part of its body into it.
The Ingraham Academy of Zoopharmacognosy
The Ingraham Academy of Zoopharmacognosy (IAZ), is headed by the founder of Applied Zoopharmacognosy, Caroline Ingraham, who promotes self-medication as a necessary component of domestic and captive animal health. Caroline trains professionals in the field of animal welfare in how to recognize and understand self-medicative behaviour. She explains how animals have evolved to cope with potential threats including disease and injury, and as a result have developed solutions to restore health by self-administering medicinal compounds naturally found in the wild.
The word Zoopharmacognosy is derived from the ancient greek 'zoo' (animal), 'pharmaco' (remedy) and 'gnosy' (knowing), and Applied Zoopharmacognosy is the application of this knowledge for animals who do not have access to an environment rich in their natural resources.