zoopharmacognosy: Nature’s Pharmacy used by animals
Author’s name: Prof. Pradeep Mishra, Bhupesh C Semwal, Sonia SIngh*
Introduction: Self-medicating behaviour is a topic of rapidly growing interest to behaviourists, parasitologists, ethnobotanists, chemical ecologists, conservationists. Physicians. Scientists from various disciplines are currently exploring the possibility that many species use plants, soils, insects. Fungi as ‘medicines’. In ways that guard against future illness (preventive medicine) and/or relieve unpleasant symptoms (curative or therapeutic medicine). it's important to note that the scientific study of animal self-medication isn't based on an assumption that animals possess an innate ‘wisdom’. By which they flawlessly know what's good for them. Self-medication strategies are survival skills honed by natural selection. In most cases self-medication could be motivated by a desire to immediately reduce unpleasant sensations. Some species, particularly great apes, show an intention of purpose in their medication and in these cases the term ‘zoopharmacognosy’. Was coined to describe the process by which wild animals select and use specific plants with medicinal properties for the treatment and prevention of disease1.
In other words we can say that, “Zoopharmacognosy” refers to the process by which animal self-medicate, by selecting and utilising plants and soils and insects to treat and prevent disease. Coined by Dr.Eloy Rodriguez a biochemist and professor at Cornell University, the word is derived from roots zoo (“animal”), pharma (“drug”). gnosy (“knowing”)2. Since ancient times people have recorded observations of animals apparently healing themselves with natural medicines. Many herbs still retain a common name that infers this use: dog-grass (Agropyron repens), catnip (Nepeta cataria). Horny goat weed (Epimedium sp.), to name a few. However, these observations remain largely unexplored by science. Many stories of animal self-medication are clearly designed to inform and communicate herbal lore rather than fact. Others are simply misinterpretations of animal behaviour.
According to Chinese folklore, many centuries ago a farmer in the Yunnan district found a snake near his hut. Fearful for his life, he beat it senseless with a hoe and left it for dead. A few days later, the same snake returned. Again he tried to kill it. Again it returned. After he'd beaten it a third time, the farmer followed the severely wounded snake as it crawled into a clump of weeds, started feeding on them. Thereby rapidly cured the worst of its injuries. The plantA living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses, typically growing in a permanent site, absorbing water and inorganic substances through its roots, and synthesizing nutrients in its leaves by photosynthesis using the green pigment chlorophyllwordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=plant in the story was Panex notoginseng, which now forms the main ingredient in the herbal formulation ‘Yunnan bai yao’, a white powder that cauterizes cuts and stems external bleeding immediately. It was standard issue in the Vietnam War. Use when soldiers were wounded far from conventional medical treatment1.
Self-medication by animals:
Chewing plants: Huffman is one of the pioneers of zoopharmacognosy, thanks to his observations in 1987 of an animal -the chimp –. Attempting to heal herself. Intrigued by her speedy recovery and curious about the cause of her illness, Huffman analysed the chimp’s dung and found the intestinal parasite Oesophagostomum stephanostomumto is the most likely explanation for her symptoms. What’s more, he found lower levels of the worm in another female chimp’s excretions 20 hours after she ate the bitter pith from a Vernonia tree, when suffering from diarrhoea. Huffman and his colleagues isolated an entirely new class of compounds from the pith, one of which, vernonioside B1, was found to possess antiparasitic, antitumor. Antibacterial properties.
Why chimpanzees go to all this trouble to find Aspilia leaves? For several reasons, scientists think that chimpanzees eat this plant(PLANTS) Personal development or productivity; areas of progressive change in your life; ideas or beliefs that are taking root inside / Falsely incriminating someone; laying blame on others / If dead or dying: Loss of vital enthusiasm; dying pleasure; stagnationevermynd.com/dictionary.html to exploit its medicinal properties. First, chimps consume more of these leaves during the rainy season, when parasitic larvae abound and there is increased risk of infection. Second, swallowing the leaves whole rather than chewing they provide no nutritional benefit to the animals, as they pass through the animal undigested. Africans use Aspilia plant. A wide variety of illnesses such as lumbago, sciatica, scurvy, malaria. Rheumatism.
Experts are now searching for answers to the bigger question: what's the mechanism by which leaf swallowing acts against parasites? One analysis showed Aspilia leaves to contain a bright red oil known as thiarubrine-A, a compound clinically proven to kill parasites, viruses, fungi. Bacteria. Huffman found live worms in chimp feces stuck “like Velcro”. To leaf hairs and trapped within the folds. He speculates that worms may become attached to the leaves or somehow enticed into the folds during digestion, taking a “magic carpet ride”. Through the gastrointestinal tract, eventually to be excreted from the body. Chemicals in the plant(Planting) Floral décor to enhance appearance of exhibit or show.epic-exhibits.com/resources/industry-terminology may also decrease the ability of the parasites to adhere to the intestine, making it easier for them to be swept out by the leaves. To date, experts have documented 30 plantThis is a list of fictional nations and factions from the Japanese science fiction franchise Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. In this futuristic interpretation, nations and states of today's world have evolved into a number of political superblocs, with numerous political factions among them.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLANT_%28space_colony%29 species whose hairy leaves are “swallowed whole,”. Not just by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). By pygmy chimps. “bonobos”. (Pan paniscus). Eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla graueri). These great apes, of course, share their forest pharmacy with another important primate: Homo sapiens. . Rubia cordifolia is the antiparasitic plantA shill is a person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services. The shill pretends to have no association with the seller/group and gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic customer. ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_%28person%29 Ugandans use to relieve stomach ailments. Traditionally, people of that country also rely on Aneilema aequinoctiale for fevers, earaches. To stop bleeding. Lippia plicata is ingested by Africans for more serious threats such as dysentery and malaria. And in Tanzania, Ficus exasperata is the prefered antidote for ulcer sufferers.
Wild remedies for reproduction: Animals may have “stumbled”. Upon a wealth of ways to control reproduction. Scientists believe recent discoveries are only the tip of the iceberg. According to World wildlife Fund scientist Holly Dublin, African elephants (Loxodanta africana) seek a particular species of tree, possibly to induce labour. Dublin followed a pregnant elephant for more than a year in East Africa. Observed that the elephant followed a strictly uniform diet and pattern of daily behaviour until near the end of gestation. At that time, the elephant walked 17 miles in one day -many more than her usual three- and ate a tree of the Boraginaceae family from leaves to trunk! Four days later she gave birth to a healthy calf. The University of Wisconsin anthropologist Karen Strier found that, at different times, muriqui monkeys (Brachyteles arachnoides)of Brazil go out of their way to eat leaves of Apulia leiocarpa and Platypodium elegans,and the fruit of Enterlobium contortisiliquim(monkey’s ear). The first two plants contain isoflavanoids which are componds similar to oestrogen. Ingesting the leaves may increase oestrogen levels in the body, thereby decreasing fertility. Alternatively, eating monkey’s ear may increase the monkey’s chances of becoming pregnant because the plant(planting) Movementspeak for starting a new local church in a new area. Usually a mission team is assembled by an existing church to do this, and trains together at the existing church for several months or a year before moving to the new area and starting the new congregation.reveal.org/library/glossary.html contains a precursor to progesterone (the “pregnancy hormone”) called stigmasterol.
Fur rubbing behaviour: Mary Baker, an anthropologist at the University of California, studied that white-faced Capuchin monkeys ( Cebus capucinus) breaking open the fruits of certain species of Citrus plants. Rubbing the pulp and juice into their fur. They also tore stems, leaves. Seed pods from Clematis dioica, Piper marginatum and Sloanea terniflorastems, mixed with saliva and vigorously rubbed them in as well. These botanicals contain secondary compounds with healing and insect- repelling characteristics. Baker also observed that fur-rubbing behaviour becomes more frequent when temperatures and humidity rise during the rainy season. This may be due to the corresponding increase in the risk of bacterial or fungal infections. North American brown bears (Ursus arctos) chew the root of Ligusticum porteri, making a paste of the plant(Plants (Kelp)) Seaweed such as Laminaria is grown in long rows suspended from the surface. Nutrients are supplied primarily from the surrounding water, although fertilizer can be added to supplement natural supplies of nitrogen and phosphorus.csa.com/discoveryguides/aquacult/aqtech.php with saliva, rub on their faces. Ligusticum porteri contains coumarins- fragant organic compounds that may repel insects when topically applied3.
‘Fur rubbing is a typical behaviour of rubbing masticated plant materials and other objects such as insects on the external surface of the body by animals. Fur rubbing has been reported in a variety of primates, like Cebus capucinus, C. olivaceus, C.paella, Atelos geoffroyi, A. belzebuth, Aotus boliviensis, A. lemurinus griseimembra, A. nancymaae and Eulemur macaco. it's been suggested that fur rubbing serves to repel or kill ectoparasites. In Venezuela, Capuchin monkeys rub highly toxic millipede secretion into their fur during the humid met season when insect bites are high. The millipede seretions contain benzoquinones, which are well known for their insect repellant property.White- nosed coatis (Nasus narica) have been observed coating their body with the resin of Trattinnickia aspera (Burseraceae). These may also serve to control ectoparasites and thus should be considered a self-medication4.
Eating bacteria for digestion: The folivorous. Leaf-eating, hoatzin, however, uses specialized bacteria in the crop to break down hard-to-digest leafy plantThe Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game contains many plant creatures that are composed of vegetable material, but unlike normal plants these monsters may be carnivorous, intelligent, mobile, or any combination of the three. ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29 material. Research indicates that the bird’s gut bacteria also neutralise toxic secondary compounds found in the plants it eats.
Antimicrobial property of plant: According to biologist John Berry at Cornell University, sweet red fruits of Aframomum angustifolium, having antimicrobial properties actually pose a digestive threat to the normal, healthy population of microorganisms found in the gorilla’s gut. After eating fruits of this wild ginger, antibacterial compounds in the plant(Planting) Vegetative shoots used for planting are crown, slip, hapa, or ratoon.geochembio.com/biology/organisms/ananas/ can temporarily damage these microbes, in turn upsetting the gorilla’s digestive system if they aren’t already a regular part of the diet. Evidence shows that the gorilla’s microbiota has developed resistance to the biologically active components of the plantestablish: set up or lay the groundwork for; "establish a new department"wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=plant in areas where it's commonly eaten–an adaptation3.
Anting behaviour: ‘Anting’. Is a behaviour in which birds rub crushed ants throughout their plumage and some birds let the ants to crawl over their plumage by directly lying on ants nests. Anting is reported in more than 200 species of songbirds and it's used to soothe irritated skin, help with feather maintenance and repel or reduce ectoparasites. The most commonly used ants by birds for anting are those species which contain formic acid. Subsequent empirical studies with bird lice revealed that formic acid is harmful to feather lice.
Antimicrobial lining in the nests: The leaves of wild carrot (Daucus carota, Umbelliferae), significantly reduces the number of fowl mites (Orntithonysus sylviarum) in starling nests. The dusty-footed wood rats (Neotoma fuscipes) place bay foliage around their sleeping nests and it's been experimentally shown that the inclusion of bay foliage significantly reduces the flea larval survival. The wood ants, formica paralugubris often incorporate large quantities of solidified conifer resin into their nests. By creating resin-free and resin –rich experimental nests, it was demonstrated that the included resin inhibits the growth of pathogenic micro-organism inside ant nests4.
European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), lining their nests with select fresh vegetation, these birds are protecting themselves from a myriad of possible infections. Wild carrot (Dauscus carota). Example, kills fowl mites in starling nests. The carrot contains the steroid B-sitosterol, a compound that repels mites and inhibits their egg-laying abilities. Wood storks also reuse old nests, often for generations, over many decades and also bring fresh green material to their nests. Many of the plants they use are also highly volatile such as red cedar (Juniperus silicola), cypress (Taxodium distichium), black gum (Nyssa bioflora), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), red maple (Acer rubrum), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). Water oak (Quercus virginiana). When tested against large skin beetles that infest wood storks, these plants had no effect. However, wood storks’. Selections show the same profile of aromatic, bitter and astringent plants, suggesting that medication may be about treating the symptoms of mites and bites rather than impacting directly on the ectoparasites.
The domestic house sparrow is in on the act too. In Calcutta, scientists have noticed that the house sparrow usually brings neem (Azidiachta indica) leaves, which are powerful insecticides, to line its nest at hatching time. These sparrows have also been observed to change from neem to quinine-rich leaves of Krishnachua tree (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) during an outbreak of malaria. Quinine controls the symptoms of malaria and scientists wonder whether the sparrows were selecting leaves to deal with malarial symptoms1.
Consumption of soil: ‘Geophagy’. Is an act of deliberately consuming soil, stones and rock by herbivorousand omnivorous mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. This behavoiur is observed and studied in the context of self-medication in Japanese macaques (macacca mulatta), mountain gorillas (gorilla gorilla), chimpanzees (pan troglodytes) and african elephants. Geophagy is suggested as a means to maintain gut pH, to meet nutritional requirements for traces minerals, to satisfy hunger for sodium to detoxify previously consumed plant(PLANTS) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Database of North American Plantsars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl?view=rellk secondary metabolites and to combat intestinal problems like diarrhoea4.
Self-medication in animals remains a field with endless unexplored avenues. Washington University biologist Jane Phillips-Conroy, who studied self-medication in baboons, says, “Just because a monkey eats a particular plantProfessional wrestling has accrued a considerable amount of slang, in-references, and jargon. Much of it stems from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals and circuses, and the slang itself is often referred to as "carny talk. ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_%28professional_wrestling%29 doesn’t mean he knows it’s medicinal. We need more definitive studies like those of Huffman, with actual proof that particular plants are effective against particular illnesses. “According to Huffman, “With growing chemoresistance to the Western world’s current arsenal of antibiotics and anthelmintics [antiparasitics], we can't afford to let that potential source of knowledge disappear3”. Actually, Zoopharmacognosy is based on the apparent ability of animals to show a cognitive grasp of potential medicines in their environment. Further new discoveries in the field of zoopharmacognosy is essential in order to teach us more about behaviour, botany, and with respect to medicine, all areas in which we may apply our knowledge to benefit the upcoming future generations.
Author's name:Prof. Pradeep Mishra, Bhupesh C Semwal, Sonia SIngh*
Institution Affliation: GLA Institure of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
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