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A timely treatise for a health-obsessed culture, this book takes the idea of "natural remedies" quite literally. Engel, a lecturer in environmental sciences at the U.K. Open University, has compiled a wealth of fascinating laboratory studies and field observations on how animals treat and prevent diseases. Eschewing pseudomystical assertions about the innate wisdom of beasts, the author bases her assertions on scientific premises. For millennia, humans have observed animals in the wild eating plants and minerals and applying naturally occurring topical antitoxins from the same sources to combat infectious wounds, parasites and internal disorders. Herds of elephants risk injury and death in a perilous journey to hidden salt caves where they supplement their sodium deficient diets. Monkeys rub poisonous millipedes on their fur to repel biting, disease-carrying insects. Birds line their nests with parasite-resistant herbs. Engel details a world where nature is the pharmacy and every animal is its own practitioner. The reader also learns about the inbred weaknesses unintentionally visited upon domesticated animals through centuries of faulty genetic tampering by humans. Engel notes that the implications of all this for human health are sadly familiar: our biggest killers today (cancer, heart disease) result from unhealthy eating. Animals in the wild stay remarkably fit because they stick to a diet for which they were adapted, while human beings are ill-equipped to handle our current predilection for dairy, grains and processed foods. Occasionally, Engel lapses into apocalyptic rhetoric about the ravages of technology, which gets in the way of her otherwise clear-sighted and crisp narrative. Nevertheless, this is an engaging book that will enlighten those interested in health, biology, environment and animal behavior. Photos.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Birds do it, bees do it, and animals of every stripe seem to know how to forage for plants and minerals that will promote health. The author is a leading researcher in zoopharmascognosy, or animal self-medication.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Here's a term to remember: zoopharmacognosy. It's roughly animals medicating themselves. Engel's book describes how many species self-medicate for a number of conditions, from... Read morePublished 5 months ago by lyndonbrecht
I did not enjoy or finish this book. I thought was a book on how to do as animals do in order to become more healthy, but I was wrong.Published 10 months ago by Mary Ogershok
This book is a treasure, a written documentary. It reads as entertaining and enthralling as an David Attenborough's documentary. It is very well written, thickly referenced. Read morePublished 16 months ago by MG
Interesting book for my collection as a wildlife rehabilitator. I thought i would just skim it but find that I am reading ALL of it. I am sharing it with fellow rehabbers. Thanks!Published 22 months ago by FAE MCC EASTON
This book was recommended to me by a friend who knows I love and raise animals. It was an interesting read. Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by Smartee
The book arrived covered in muck and coffee stains and cup marks all over it. I could bear to open it to read it so it went straight in the bin. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by sweetness
I read this at a library years ago and was hooked by it ever since. It has a lot of amazing examples of animals using their natural surroundings to heal them from parasites,... Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by Shadowwolf
Absolutely useful read for those going in-depth w Wicca, healing n herbology. Has got basic detailed explanation of why certain herbs, soils, insect eaten work the way they do. Read morePublished on August 6, 2012 by tatiana