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From insects to mammals, the animal kingdom sometimes cures its own ills.
Woolly Bear Caterpillars
…woolly bear caterpillars, focus their diet on nutrient-rich food, but switch to eating plants with high levels of toxic substances when infected with parasites. …Eating such food…improved infected caterpillar survival.
When experiencing stomach upset, chimpanzees turn to noxious plants, such as the bitter leaf plant, to help handle any intestinal parasites that might be causing their symptoms. … “Once they suck out the juice, the chimps spit out the fiber”—receiving no nutritional benefit from the plant, but giving the nematodes in their gut a toxic bath.
Gibbons, Macaques, and More
A number of primate species, including chimpanzees, Japanese macaques, gibbons, and bonobos, sometimes choose plant material for its physical characteristics. A behavior called “leaf swallowing,” wherein a chimp picks a rough leaf, folds it carefully, and swallows it whole. Covered in tiny stiff hairs, the leaves sweep through the chimps’ intestines undigested, carrying parasites with them.
Honey bees were recently shown to self-medicate, and perform the task as a whole colony. When challenged with the fungus Ascophaera apis, …the worker bees sought out more propolis and less pollen than usual. Propolis, …are rich in antimicrobial activity. Adding propolis to hives decreased fungal infections by A. apis.
Originally posted by moniesisfun
So what, our huge "self-awareness" leads to. . .a lack of instinct
All animals have the ability to find medicine. Humans are no exception. .....The problem comes when food is modified and it no longer contains the right chemistry. The knowledgeable people of our society are inadvertantly making us sick sometimes.