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Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

So recently I’ve been made aware of the area of zoopharmacognosy. As with most things for this horse obsessed person, I got to thinking how it could relate to horses. Zoopharmacognosy and the equine species!

So what is this mouthful of a word? The section of the word pharm may have you thinking about pharmacies, pharmaceuticals and medication. Zoo relates to animals. Generally speaking, this term relates to animals self medicating on plants in their environment. They are able to choose to eat what they need to assist with particular maladies.

Like other animals, horses can do this if appropriate plants are available to them in their environment. Horses are typically seen as grazers – eating little and often in the form of grasses. They are also browsers and will eat various shrubs in their environment if these are palatable to them.

Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

Equus Education has recently profiled Beth Chamberlin in this unique horse career area.  Why not read the profile to find out how she has turned equinepharmacognosy into a horse career?  As it states on her website:

‘Equinepharmacognosy is a hollistic approach to health and well being based on Applied Zoopharmacognosy.  The practice of animals self selecting plant extracts for environmental enrichment and homeostatic behaviour.  Unlock your horse’s innate ability by giving the choice to self select natural remedies.’

Reading how Beth offers horses the chance to choose between various herbal products, has me questioning if we can take this a step further.  What it we could put particular plants into our horses’ environment to allow them to eat these when needed?  I love the fact that as horse owners, we could potentially provide things in our horses’ environments to assist their health, naturally.

Surely we can specifically plant things, knowing that if a horse needs to ingest this plant, it can choose to do so!  Brilliant.  If not, being able to employ someone to provide various plant products to ailing horses so they can choose what they need is great.

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