Wild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 19, 2003 - Science - 288 pages
2 Reviews
As Dr. Engel emphasizes in this "enticing, well-referenced, [and] entertaining book" (Science), we can learn a lot about human health by studying animal behavior in the wild. Indeed, some of the natural, holistic, and alternative human medicine being practiced today arose through the observation of wild animals. In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Engel points out fascinating parallels between animal and human medicine. She offers intriguing examples of how animals prevent and cure sickness and poisonings, heal open wounds, balance their diets, and regulate fertility. For instance,

*chimpanzees carefully eat bitter-tasting plant "medicines" that counter intestinal parasites *elephants roam miles to find the clay they ingest to counter dietary toxins *broken-legged chicks have been known to eat analgesic foods that alleviate pain.

By observing wild health we may discover (or rediscover) ways to benefit our own health. As Craig Stotlz of the Washington Post noted, this "highly readable assessment . . . triggers more outside-the-double-helix thoughts about human health than anything I've read recently."
  

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User Review  - juniperSun - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Wild health: how animals keep themselves well and what we can learn from them

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Engel, a lecturer in environmental sciences at Britain's Open University, provides an intriguing introduction to zoopharmacognosy, or the study of animal self-medication. She argues that animals ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
HEALTH IN THE WILD
7
NATURES PHARMACY
16
FOOD MEDICINE AND SELFMEDICATION
24
INFORMATION FOR SURVIVAL
39
POISONS
51
MICROSCOPIC FOES
76
GAPING WOUNDS AND BROKEN BONES
92
GETTING HIGH
151
PSYCHOLOGICAL ILLS
166
FAMILY PLANNING
177
FACING THE INEVITABLE
188
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
202
ANIMALS IN OUR CARE
211
HEALTHY INTENTIONS
224
NOTES
233

MITES BITES AND ITCHES
109
RELUCTANT HOSTS UNWELCOME GUESTS
129

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About the author (2003)

Cindy Engel has a Ph.D. in biology from the University of East Anglia, with a concentration on the relationship between physiology and behavior in animals. She has done research on the behavior and health of wild rabbits and jaguars and for twelve years has been a lecturer in environmental sciences at the Open University. She has published numerous scientific papers, particularly in the prestigious journal Animal Behaviour, and for the past eighteen months has worked as a script writer and science advisor for a series of wildlife documentaries being produced by National Geographic. In addition to her research into the medicinal practices of animals, she has studied holistic medicine for humans and is a Shiatsu practitioner. She has two children, lives on a farm in Suffolk, and is not quite forty.

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