applied zoopharmacognosy

What is Applied Zoopharmacognosy?

 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.  They have an innate ability to prevent disease.

Zoopharmacognosy is the process when animals self-medicate and naturally forage plants and their essential oils, algae, clay and other natural remedies. This practice allows an animal to use its innate ability to prevent disease.  The word Zoopharmacognosy was coined by Dr. Eloy Rodriguez a biochemistry biochemist at Cornell University. The word is derived from the ancient greek 'zoo' (animal), 'pharmaco' (remedy) and 'gnosy' (knowing).  

Applied Zoopharmacognosy (IAZ)  is the art of enabling domestic and captive animals to self-medicate effectively in environments without therapeutic plants. Offering appropriate secondary compounds and extracts containing concentrated plant compounds (such as essential oils) for self-medication allows the animal to be in control of its health, remedy, dosage and application.  An animal will be aware of what is needed to bring itself back to health.  


What can applied zoopharmacognosy help with...


anxiety  ~   depression  ~  fear   ~  fevers  ~  hormonal / reproductive  ~  immune deficiency   insecurity  ~  new home  ~  separation  ~  shock  ~  stress  ~  trauma past/present ~ grief


  infections, wounds and burns  ~  allergies  ~  pain  ~  inflammation   ~  respiratory problems  ~ digestive system ~ pest/parasites 


 kidney / urinary / liver  ~  nerve damage  ~  skin and coat problems  ~  tumors and growths  ~  recovery from illness ~ recovery from injury


What happens in an Applied Zoopharmacognosy session

First off we would have a discussion with the guardian of the animal about their medical, physical and emotional history.  It is important to remember that it is essential that you obtain veterinary treatment for a sick or dying animal.  It is also important to understand that Under The Ginkgo Tree supports and works within the following legislation at all times:


The Veterinary Surgery Act of 1966 prohibits anyone, other than a qualified veterinary surgeon from treating animals, including diagnosis of ailments and giving advice on such diagnosis.  However, the healing of animals by contact healing, by laying of hands or distant healing is legal.  The Protection of Animals Act 1911 required that if an animal clearly needs treatment from a veterinary surgeon, the owner must obtain this.  To give emergency First Aid to animals for the purpose of saving life or relieving pain is permissible under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 schedule 3.

Once we have a background on the animal, the  session itself begins which would then involve the offering of pure essential oils, floral waters, fixed and macerated oils, dried herbs and powdered herbs and minerals to the animal in question whilst reading their responses to the plant's secondary metabolites and minerals. 

 At any given time during the session, the animal is the one who determines not only what is chosen to work with but also how it is to be used, whether inhaled, ingested or rubbed onto a specific part of their body.  


Applied Zoopharmacognosy in Action - Herbalstuffies

How a session is different with each species


Cats, essential oils and Applied Zoopharmacognosy

 With the feline family, the session begins with the offering of dried herbs on a towel, sometimes called a Herb Garden, for them to start to select what they wish to work with.  

Essential oils are mostly inhaled when working with cats.  It is important to know that you should always be very careful when handling essential oils around cats as they cannot metabolise them in the same way that dogs, horses or humans can.  Infact there are quite a few essential oils that can prove fatal for cats.  Essential oils should only be offered to cats by a qualified Applied Zoopharmacognocist.   

If you burn essential oils in your home in a burner or steamer, always make sure that your animals can leave the room to a 'fresh' area.


Canine and Equine sessions

 With the canine and equine family, the session usually starts with the offering of minerals, dried herbs and fixed oils like Spirulina, Barley Grass and Rosehips to ensure that they have all the minerals and vitamins that they need before seeing where they wish to move the session along e.g. choosing oils for pain control or emotional support. 


At the end of the session

 At the end of a session, your animal will be left with their favorite chosen oils/powders in either inhalation tubes, on a piece of fabric or a mix for application for instance when dealing with arthritis in a specific area.   This way they can continue to heal themselves after the session has finished whenever they need or want to. 

I have also designed and made herbalstuffies which can be used as more aesthetically pleasing way for their chosen oils/herbs to be used within the home environment.  See below and in our shop for more details.


Applied Zoopharmacognosy can help emotional, physical and behavioural conditions in all species.

Another way in which your animal can heal themselves whenever they need to or want to is with one o

Meredithe creates and handcuts out a linocut design which she then prints onto cotton using     eco-safe fabric inks, sews them up, fills them with hypo-allergenic stuffing and then the Applied Zoopharmacognosy magic happens with the addition of organic dried herbs! 

Organic dried Valerian Root to help when anxiety hits for both cats, dogs and small furries and catnip for its stimulating and calming qualities with cats are ready for you to buy for your animals at our shop. 

If you have booked an applied zoopharmacognosy session, we can use a herbalstuffie to add your animals' chosen oils to so that they can continue to heal themselves with a beautiful handmade stuffie that you would be happy to have around your home.

Contact Us to book an applied zoopharmcognosy session

Find out more about costs and booking a session for your animal

A session of Applied Zoopharmacognosy automatically includes Reiki and Animal Communication if the animal needs or wants it.