Animal use table – domesticated

Medicinal Animal Use ( Zootherapy ) amongst the KhoeSan of Namibia, South Africa and Botswana


Table 3


Domesticated Animals


Animal Part used Uses and preparation
Chicken Egg yolk 








(D40) Children’s sickness (/gôaron //os)Rub on anterior fontanel, palm of hand, feet and chest


(D43) Insert finger into live hen anus for black, painful finger nail (nail fungus?)

(H15)  insert finger for ≠gam-amhunab /gor/han (nail pain, swelling, pus)


(D4) Rub onto garas, large circles with small sores on the head

(N/D36) from white chicken, plus bat eared fox kidney, jackal (/gire) liver, to “clean” stomach of child (follow with marijuana if possible)

Cow Dung and skin 











(D 18) Smear on dung and cover a person with skin, steam in a pit – any serious sickness 

(D2) Wash for red eyes (D5, 7) also (maybe any urine? D4 human urine)


(D 7, 16 26 N24) Massage; sickness, menstruation ‘cleansing’, turning babies in womb

(J2186) Milk fat with ground ostrich eggshell for child flu or other illness – rubbed on anterior fontanel


(D17, H51 H57, H68) For sucking out blood

Dog Cut ear blood 







(D18) Childrens’ sicknessDrink blood wear ear piece as necklace (old)


(D4,18) Rub on head sores


(H68) Dog bite: grind and pore on sores


(D2249) biting a dog’s ear confers the rain /gais (spirit / wind ‘≠oab’)

Donkey Hoof (H66) Child protection from ‘wind’. Grind and insert into cuts
Goat !arab (aortic artery?)  (D2249) eat it to induce a birth stopped by strong feelings !ho≠nui (eg by person or staring dog) 
  Bone (rib) (D29) for burns: put on fire until yellow and brown then rub it on(D/N32) for sores on the thigh: burn, when white, grind and rub on





















(D5) children’s sickness, wrap the person in goat dung and the skin of the goat to get warm, massage, make cuts over D4 vertebra, rub in ground kudu skin and ostrich egg-shell(D7) mixed with blood to wash unlucky people

(D14) for ≠gurub (leg pain), use ostrich thread and massage the leg with goat dung

(D18) if very sick, any problem, dig a grave like hole, dampen it, make a fire in it, smear a person in goat (or cow) dung, wrap them in the goat (cow) skin, put the fire out, bury them in the hole with their wrapped up head sticking  out. Take them out when they shout “take me out, take me out”

(D20) for measles, cook and drink the water, it is bitter, measles does not like the bitter things

(D2249, D73) chicken pox ( /horos) and children’s illness, steam bath or rub whole body

(N32) Mixed with cow fat, applied at first menstruation

(Nh15) for a rash, boil, add ghoēē plant (shrub), wash the child with it

(Nh) healers wash the sick with dung

(H 15) Cook in water and drink for small body sores;

Paralysed leg: tied in three knots and worn as necklace


  Horn(also see ‘astragalus’) (D30) Burn, grind, take out and drink the ‘yellow bits’   in concoction for chest sickness and tuberculosis(H59) roast, grind and put on sores
  Skin (D16) for whole body sickness or pain; dig a hole, make a fire in it, put in elephant dung, mopane tree leaves (and /hûnis ?). The person sits by the side of the hole wrapped in the goat skin and they inhale the smoke.
  Fat  (D14) massage moved intestine; (N 26, 24) Massage; turning babies in womb(H56) mix goat fat with tongue and tail hairs of the mongoose, give to a person to eat if bitten by a snake

(H2243) put in a polish tin with steenbok kidney and tail. If a mamba (snake) bites you eat the mixture to vomit out the poison

  Heart (D4) for heart problems (people go quiet, want to run away) apply the still beating heart of a goat to the sick person’s heart area. Keep going until the heart stops(D7) for a moved heart (shock or too many memories), beat the person with the still beating goat heart
  Liver (D18) for liver problems: cut out goat liver, cut it open, put it still warm over the person’s liver, wrap the person in a blanket. When the liver has cooled take off the blanket, make cuts, one in each corner of a rectangle around the umbilicus or under the liver if it is swollen. Rub the top of a match into the cuts.(D21) for liver problems tie a goat liver over the sick person’s liver. Leave it overnight. When they wake up the liver is very dark and the people say it has taken out the poisonous things from inside the person’s liver.
  Tendon(and astragalus) (D1,2, 13) for ≠gurub, leg pain, knee with !nu (lumps in distal hamstring tendons), tie on tendon from hind goat leg (right for male, left for female) wrapped with ostrich tendon at ankle, knee and waist. Hang goat metatarsals off threads.(D16) Black goat – paralysis / stroke neck tendon (of sternocleidomastod?) make three knots in it and wear as a necklace – made cuts over C3 and C7 vertebrae and upper bilateral sternum, put in goat blood taken from the neck of the goat mixed with urihaeb ( white plant )

(D18) for leg pain: thread goat and ostrich tendon together, hang on it goat horn and metatarsals from the female goat, tie around the ankle. Tie just the thread at the knee or waist

(D4) for menstrual problems make a knotted thread from the /awa /hub plant, thread on four female goat metatarsals, wear thread around waist, two bones at the front and back. Also drink the plant.

(H15) some people tie on goat bones using a black thread for leg pain

(≠Kh2112 ) use goat foot bones for divination

  Testicles, penis (D1) for abdominal pain and urinating blood following sleeping with a menstruating woman: a). mix blood from each partner with the plant !garib and rub mixture into cuts made on each person (near the groin?). Treatment called !gao-!hao. b) take the Buffalo thorn plant ( aore daro !nomab: male root), drink in water with cooked goat penis and testicles. Beat the man’s testicles with the goat testicles.(D18) for gonorrhoea: take blood from the inguinal artery of male goat, mix it with blood from the monitor lizard  (//nare, !nonab), rub the whole body with it

(D42) for erectile problems cook goat testicles with male ≠arab plant root, give to drink. Take blood from the inguinal arteries of the goat, make bilateral cuts on the man and rub in the goat blood

  Belief / blood (see ‘testicles’) 





















(D29) for bloody diarrhoea drink the blood of a goat(D4) if you eat the rainman food of the goat stomach and the spirits see you they will come into you and the lightning will strike you; a rainman initiate must drink the blood of a goat

(D2249) contents of stomach or lungs, heart, stomach, intestine, kidney in ‘rainman’s’ cooking pot imbues healing ‘rain-spirit’

(D5,16) if someone has a dead person’s spirit we say Utehangahanga . We go to their grave, ask forgiveness, return, slaughter a goat. Cook the goat blood and make a vertical stripe on the midline of the abdomen

(D 13,18) drink the blood raw during arus healing dance

(D32) if a girl has her first menstruation in the house pound the plant /ui !nau mix it with goat dung and cow fat. Rub it on her in a special hut. Next day wash again with /ui !nau

(H72) old time people slaughtered a goat and made a big fire to make it rain


(D18) for a woman who wants a baby, massage her (twice a day for a month), tie a plant ≠ âub around her back (with six knots – depends on her size). This ‘reim’ stops her having a miscarriage. Slaughter a pregnant goat, take out the foetus, give her a “shawl” to wear with the foetus in it. She carries it on her back and sleeps with it like a baby

Horse Hoof (D20)Ground and mixed with jackal liver and ostrich egg-shell for children’s sicknesses
Sheep Hairs and Skin  (N 34) Skin put into cow fat mixed with other medicines, hairs used to apply the fat during massage


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