In the past two decades, biologists and chemists have begun to recognize that animals select and use substances specifically to cure themselves of parasites and ailments.

Early accounts of animal self-medication came in the late 1980s from Michael Huffman, a primatologist at Kyoto University. His decades-long research on chimpanzees, which revealed that they use plant compounds to rid themselves of parasites, helped establish self-medication as a fundamental animal behavior.

The world’s best bio-prospectors may very well show us new pharmaceuticals to improve the health of our livestock and ourselves, Discover magazine’s Crux blog reports.

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