What is animal herbal choices?

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Wild animals naturally forage and have been observed seeking out and selecting substances on which to self-medicate.  This can be the selection of not only plants and foliage, but also minerals, which can be found in soils and clays.  On taking up substances and/or plant constituents this could relieve their issue or address an imbalance in their body.  This is known as zoopharmacognosy, and this self-selection method also applies to, and is observed in, domesticated animals.


At a herbal choice consultation a selection of macerated oils, dried and/or fresh plants, and gentle essential oils are offered.   At this session the body language and behaviour of the animal is observed to see whether or not they are interested in the product choices offered.  If interested the animal may eat, smell or even  have them applied topically. 

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These sessions offer support for animals for a range of issues, including emotional and  behavioural, as well as physical concerns such as inflammatory issues which could affect joints, stomach etc.  Additionally skin, eye, ear, respiratory and immune issues, to name a few, could also benefit.   Alternatively a range of detox or mineral rich products could be offered for selection if you feel your animal has no specific issues.


However where an issue is present that you contacted us about, animals do not always select herbs and oils initially to support this.  At the consultation you will be given information about this and the self-selection process.  Advice and support will also be given on how best for you to offer or apply any products that have been selected by your animal in order to maintain their future well-being.

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If you wish to arrange a session please contact us and we will send through the appropriate consultation form for completion.  In addition an information sheet with further guidance on arranging and preparing for the session will be included.


A flexible plan is then prepared using our experience and knowledge, and information from the consultation form, for use at the session.  


Please contact your vet to ensure they are willing for the session, at which herbs and gentle essential oils will be offered for self-selection, to go ahead.  


If your vet requires further information we would be happy to communicate with them directly regarding this. 

Dog Herbal Choices session

A snapshot of a herbal choices session in progress.  We bring a range of herbs/powders/hydrosols and essential oils for your animal to chose from as animals may have a preference on how these constituents are offered. (Shared with consent from their Guardian).

Horse selecting Marsh thistle

Horse with poor liver function selecting, and eating very carefully to ensure the spikes don't touch his lips.  

We bring a range of seasonally available forage to our herbal choices sessions for your animal to select.  (Shared with consent from the Sanctuary).

Cat selecting Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

This plant has properties to calm the stomach when ingested and may also be beneficial for toothache if chewed.  It also has calming properties that are supportive for stress and nervousness.