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Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves…
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Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves Well and What We Can Learn from… (2002 original; edició 2003)

de Cindy Engel

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533383,576 (3.83)1
This is the first book on a fascinating new field in biology -- zoopharmacognosy, or animal self-medication -- and its lessons for humans. When Rachel Carson published SILENT SPRING, few people knew the meaning of the word "ecology." Even fewer people today probably know the meaning of "zoopharmacognosy." But that is about to change. In WILD HEALTH, Cindy Engel explores the extraordinary range of ways animals keep themselves healthy, carefully separating scientifically verifiable fact from folklore, hard data from daydreams. As with holistic medicine for humans, there turns out to be more fact in folklore than was previously thought. How do animals keep themselves healthy? They eat plants that have medicinal properties. They select the right foods for a nutritionally balanced diet, often doing a better job of it than humans do. Animals even seek out psychoactive substances -- they get drunk on fermented fruit, hallucinate on mushrooms, become euphoric with opium poppies. They also manipulate their own reproduction with plant chemistry, using some plants as aphrodisiacs and others to enhance fertility. WILD HEALTH includes scores of remarkable examples of the ways animals medicate themselves. - Desert tortoises will travel miles to mine and eat the calcium needed to keep their shells strong. - Monkeys, bears, coatis, and other animals rub citrus oils and pungent resins into their coats as insecticides and antiseptics against insect bites. - Chimpanzees swallow hairy leaves folded in a certain way to purge their digestive tracts of parasites. - Birds line their nests with plants that protect their chicks from blood-draining mites and lice. In other words, animals try to keep themselves healthy in many of the same ways humans do; in fact, much of early human medicine, including many practices being revived today as "alternative medicine," arose through observations of animals. And, as WILD HEALTH, animals still have a lot to teach us. We could use a little more wild health ourselves.… (més)
Membre:Matacabras
Títol:Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves Well and What We Can Learn from Them
Autors:Cindy Engel
Informació:Houghton Mifflin (2003), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Wild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom de Cindy Engel (2002)

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Es mostren totes 3
This book took me forever to read because it's so much information, I had to take it slowly... But I loved reading this. I loved the things it made me think of. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Why does anyone bother writing about a subject they don't feel passionately about? Or why was the passion edited out of the writing? Perhaps in this case it was to forestall a would-be-herbalist from using, say, deadly nightshade because Engel says some animals have used it.
I really expected more about lessons from animals that we can use. This is not, however, a mass market book but a compendium of research on ways wild animals stay healthy. A good reminder that animals are not "naturally" resistant to all kinds of infections, but are actively choosing foods and behaviors which keep them fit. "Fit" is used advisedly, as Engel reiterates the evolutionists definition as relating to produciing offspring and, thus, passing on one's genes.
It is a fascinating subject, if you can tolerate the scholarly style, with chapters focusing on different aspects of health: nutrition, wounds, parasites, infections, reproductive control, stress, "getting high", and death. She also describes what happens when animals don't have free access to their accustomed plants. The relevance to humans is usually summarized as "this is an interesting avenue for further research" but sometimes as "local natives use this plant for such-and-such".
Her sources are all noted in a final reference section. I'm the kind of sceptical reader who likes to see scientific support for claims, and Engel more than satisfies this. Some of her statements are hearsay or folklore, but she does acknowledge this in her text as well as providing the reference.
Engel's bio states she has a PhD in biology. A search shows she studied at East Anglia University with an article published in 1988 in Animal Behaviour, and a presentation at a 2002 UK Organic Research Conference, and a chapter introduction in a text on Alternative Health Practices for Livestock. ( )
  juniperSun | Sep 30, 2011 |
From Publishers Weekly
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.

Sisällyksestä:
I. Living wild
Health in the wild; Nature’s pharmacy; Food, medicine, and self-medication; Information for survival
II. Health hazards
Poisons; Microscopic foes; Gaping wounds and broken bones; Mites, bites, and itches; Reluctant hosts, unwelcome guests; Getting high; Psychological ills; Family planning; Facing the inevitable; What we know so far
III. Lessons we might learn
Animals in our care; Healthy intentions
  tyrnimehu | Aug 31, 2007 |
Es mostren totes 3
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Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee. --Job 12:7
The dog taken by fever seeks rest in a quiet corner, but is found eating herbs when his stomach is upset. Nobody taught him what herbs to eat, but he will instinctively seek those that make him vomit or improve his condition in some other way.--Henry Sigerist, American physician, 1951
A sick animal retires to a secluded place and fasts until its body is restored to normal. During the fast it partakes only of water and the medicinal herbs which inherited intelligence teaches it instinctively to seek. I have watched...self-healing so often.--Juliette de Bairacli Levy, European traditional herbalist, 1984
When the knukis (tame elephants) are sick, the mahouts take them to the forest where the elephants pick the herbs or plants they need. Somehow they're able to prescribe their own medicine. --Dinesh Choudhury, Indian elephant hunter, 2000
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For Selva and Wilf--Be happy
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(Introduction) Observations of animals healing themselves with natural remedies have been documented in a long line of chronicles stretching back through Medieval Europe to the ancient civilizations of Rome, South America, and China
(Chapter 1) The herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy has spent much of her long life observing the way animals keep themselves well in the wild.
Citacions
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Given the ubiquitous and damaging nature of parasites, it is interesting that wild animals manage to do so well. In the past, this observation has led to a belief that internal parasites...and their hosts do a minimum amount of harm to each other, in a kind of conspiratorial alliance. But nothing could be further from the truth...Any letup in defense will allow a rapid and dramatic increase in parasites. (p.130)
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

This is the first book on a fascinating new field in biology -- zoopharmacognosy, or animal self-medication -- and its lessons for humans. When Rachel Carson published SILENT SPRING, few people knew the meaning of the word "ecology." Even fewer people today probably know the meaning of "zoopharmacognosy." But that is about to change. In WILD HEALTH, Cindy Engel explores the extraordinary range of ways animals keep themselves healthy, carefully separating scientifically verifiable fact from folklore, hard data from daydreams. As with holistic medicine for humans, there turns out to be more fact in folklore than was previously thought. How do animals keep themselves healthy? They eat plants that have medicinal properties. They select the right foods for a nutritionally balanced diet, often doing a better job of it than humans do. Animals even seek out psychoactive substances -- they get drunk on fermented fruit, hallucinate on mushrooms, become euphoric with opium poppies. They also manipulate their own reproduction with plant chemistry, using some plants as aphrodisiacs and others to enhance fertility. WILD HEALTH includes scores of remarkable examples of the ways animals medicate themselves. - Desert tortoises will travel miles to mine and eat the calcium needed to keep their shells strong. - Monkeys, bears, coatis, and other animals rub citrus oils and pungent resins into their coats as insecticides and antiseptics against insect bites. - Chimpanzees swallow hairy leaves folded in a certain way to purge their digestive tracts of parasites. - Birds line their nests with plants that protect their chicks from blood-draining mites and lice. In other words, animals try to keep themselves healthy in many of the same ways humans do; in fact, much of early human medicine, including many practices being revived today as "alternative medicine," arose through observations of animals. And, as WILD HEALTH, animals still have a lot to teach us. We could use a little more wild health ourselves.

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