Monday, 22 January 2018

Orangutans observed using same medicinal plants as humans to treat joint pain in world first

Orangutans have been observed using medicinal plants to sooth joint and muscle inflammation "for the first time ever". 

The Borneo based apes chew leaves of the Dracaena cantleyi plant to create a white lather, which they then rub onto to their bodies.

This is the first report of self-medication in an Asian ape, and also the first evidence for the use of anti-inflammatory medication in animals. 

Indigenous people on the Indonesian island are however, known to use this plant for the same purpose. 

"For the first time ever, self-medication activities of orangutans have been confirmed through this research," said Dr Ivona Foitova who co-authored the study published in the Scientific Reports journal.

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