zoo=animal / pharmaco= remedy / gnosy=knowing

 "Life is so closely coupled with the physical and chemical environment of which it is a part that the two cannot legitimately be viewed in isolation from one another.”


Stephen Herrod Buhner, The Lost Language of Plants

Activating an animal’s innate self-selection ability by offering plant extracts with the same or similar constituents as those found in their natural environment to facilitate healing.

Applied Zoopharmacognosy is led by the animal’s selections, and can be highly effective for a variety of conditions:

  • Behavioral issues

  • Post trauma, change in environment

  • Infection or parasites / insects

  • Rescue animals, loss of home

  • Various physical issues

  • Wound / pain management

  • Joints and muscular trauma

  • Hard to resolve, ongoing issues where other treatments have not worked

Once understood to be a capability of only higher primates and some mammals, many examples of this self selection process have been witnessed and documented in scientific studies in everything from elephants to birds and even caterpillars and bees.


Animals living in their natural state have the ability to forage and browse on a variety of plants in their native environment and maintain their health through constantly interacting with (as in the instance of green clay or mineral muds) or consuming healing remedies (as in eating plants that help expel parasites, or absorb toxins).  This is the way of nature.


Within the last 30 years it has been well documented that not only wild animals, but captive and domesticated animals have this innate ability as well. The most recent theory of self selection states the body, through various receptor sites, sends chemical signals which affect taste and smell to help guide the animal to select the proper elements in the environment which contain the chemical constituents to help heal the body and maintain health.

By understanding what has come to be known as "selection signals" a zoopharmacognocist can help facilitate an animals ability to choose remedies that will heal a disease state or condition occuring in the body, oftentimes when there are no symptoms present. Additionally, healing occurs on many levels, including physical, psychological, and emotional through working with chemical messenger pathways in the brain.

Zoopharmacognosy is NOT a substitute for veterinary care. I do not diagnose or prescribe; the session is completely animal led. It is recommended you consult with your veterinarian as needed.

Michelle Coburn, Dip. IAZ​


Michelle spent over three years studying England with Caroline Ingraham, the world's foremost expert and pioneer on self medicative behavior in animals. Study included numerous case studies personally reviewed and approved by Ms. Ingraham as well as many class hours of Herbal Pharmacology, Apothecary, Theory of Self Selection and species specific classes in Equine, Feline and Canine practicals.


In 2015, she received her graduate diploma from the Ingraham Academy of Zoopharmacognosy (IAZ). Additional  ongoing education includes studies of botany, medical herbalism, phytochemistry and nutrition. Michelle is continually expanding her knowledge in these areas as well as other area of study that compliment this work.


Michelle has been working with both domestic and captive wild animals in studying selection signals and providing healing, medicinal compounds for self selection. She has had articles published internationally and teaches classes in animal self-medication throughout the US.

All botanical offerings are sourced directly from growers or distillers and are organically certified when available. References available upon request.