Gill’s help­ing cure an­i­mals, nat­u­rally

It has a long name and its sup­port­ers say it goes an equally long way to help­ing sick an­i­mals

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile - by Michael DeFroand mde­froand@thek­m­

A CAT that was tor­tured with fire­works has been nursed back to health.

Gill Sch­weizer, who lives in Wood­church, says her skills in zoophar­ma­cog­nosy helped to re­store Pep­per’s health af­ter the Cats Pro­tec­tion char­ity took charge when his own­ers be­came too ill to look af­ter him.

Pep­per went miss­ing in Great­stone on Novem­ber 5 and was found days later, trau­ma­tised, the re­sult of hav­ing a fire­work tied to his tail.

For Gill, it was a chance to put her skills to good use.

She ex­plained: “Zoophar­ma­cog­nosy is not some­thing that you hear a lot about. It used to be called an­i­mal aro­mat­ics, but it is more se­ri­ous than that would sug­gest.”

Ac­cord­ing to Gill, an­i­mals in­stinc­tively seek out nat­u­ral­ly­oc­cur­ring cu­ra­tives, namely cer­tain plants to ei­ther chew, roll in or in­hale.

It is the oil pro­duced within the “lit­tle med­i­cal stores” within th­ese plants that can, ac­cord­ing to Gill, treat a va­ri­ety of com­plaints.

Gill added: “An­i­mals were self­med­i­cat­ing long be­fore man could stand upright.”

In Pep­per’s case, se­vere trauma caused him to shy away, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for Gill to de­ter­mine what he needed in the way of help. “I couldn’t get at him. I was ly­ing flat be­tween a scratch post and a lit­ter tray try­ing to judge his eyes.”

In the end, Pep­per was ex­posed to frank­in­cense, vi­o­let leaves and rose, which treats re­sent­ment and anger. And now? “As far as I know, Pep­per is do­ing okay. He was com­ing out and eat­ing a bit more.”

Gill trained with Bath-based ex­pert Caro­line In­gra­ham – cur­rently in Thai­land work­ing at an ele­phant sanc­tu­ary – and has worked with dogs and horses.

She said: “The re­sults are fan­tas­tic to see, for own­ers, as well.

“If they do some­thing for their dogs, for ex­am­ple, then they can build up a bond.”

Gill can be con­tacted on 01233 861443.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne pd1518911

Gill Sch­weizer, who spe­cialises in zoophamacog­nosy, with Por­tia

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