Animal Herbal Choices

Animal Herbal Choices is a behaviour-led method based on animals' natural ability to self-select medicinal plants, minerals and algae for their health (also called herbal self-selection or 'applied zoopharmacognosy').


Examples of some areas where the animals have benefited from a herbal choice session include digestion, skin, respiratory, pain, inflammation, noise sensitivity, fear of cars, stress and anxiety.


What is zoopharmacognosy?

This is the scientific name for the behaviour seen in wild animals foraging for local plants in their environment to either self-medicate or maintain their health. 

Research studies have observed self-medicative behaviour in domestic animals too. 

The practice of offering plant extracts to domestic animals to self-select is called 'applied zoopharmacognosy' and was developed by Caroline Ingraham.

What happens in a Herbal Choice session?

A range of plant extracts are offered to your animal to self-select from according to their needs. The extracts may include dried herbs, floral waters, herbal oils and powders. The animal may sniff, inhale, ingest or sometimes rub against the herb extracts as they choose as a way of absorbing the phytochemicals in the plant.


Each session is based on the information provided by the pet guardian on a consultation form. This helps structure the session, though ultimately the animal selects what they need.


At the end of the session, samples of the key extracts selected by your pet are provided for you to continue offering at home.  A consultation includes guidance on this method and a post-session summary report.

What if my pet is having veterinary treatment?

Your vet must always be your first contact if your dog or cat has a health problem. With your vet's agreement, an Animal Herbal Choices session can be complementary to veterinary treatment and may support recovery. Before a session can commence, we require you to inform your vet of the use of gentle herbs and oils. If your pet is receiving medication, there may be some restrictions.

A herbal choice session does not prescribe, diagnose, or replace conventional veterinary treatment. Always consult your veterinarian first.


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Rita gave my dog Watson the most amazing herbal session. I have never seen him so chilled out, & will definitely be booking in another session soon.

Rochelle Morris, London