An ounce of prevention is worth a pound
of cure it is said, and I have certainly found this to be the case in my
birdroom. I use herbs primarily to support the existing health of my birds
rather than to treat illness, but reports abound of the wonderful effects
that people have had in using herbs to care for their birds.
Some of the herbs I use regularly in my bird room
are: alfalfa, milk thistle,
garlic, wheat grass powder,
powder, chickweed, and more.
Alfalfa is a member of the legume family and is
closely related to beans and peas.
Leaves of the alfalfa plant are very nutritious
and contain vitamins and minerals including E and K, calcium, magnesium
and potassium. Alfalfa is an excellent source of chlorophyll and
carotene. It also provides amino acids.
Alfalfa seeds should not be fed as they contain
the slightly toxic amino acid L-cavanine. Sprouted alfalfa seeds are
It is thought to possess detoxifying and
Contains allicin, a powerful natural
Contains germanium, thought to be an
Has detoxifying effects.
Garlic is effective at killing and expelling
Grass Powder & Wheat Grass Powder
Nutrient-dense food - barley grass powder
contains eleven times the calcium of cow's milk, five times the iron of
spinach, four times the vitamin B1 of whole wheat flour, seven times the
vitamin C found in oranges, and is a good source of vitamin B12;
Wheat grass powder is very similar
nutritionally to barley grass powder (but barley grass edges wheat grass
out slightly in the possession of the highest nutritional profile);
Contains high quality antioxidants;
Contains a significant amount of chlorophyll;
Contains vegetable protein;
Rich source of minerals;
Highly concentrated, they possess many times
the nutritional potency of green vegetables;
Contains vegetable protein;
Rich source of minerals.
Common weed widespread throughout North America.
As with all wild-harvested plants, care should be
taken to gather only those which are herbicide and pesticide free.
Nutritionally, plantain is very high in vitamins A,
C and K.
It possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
properties which make it useful for a variety of digestive and
Plantain can assist in relieving intestinal
inflammation and diarrhea.
Plantain stimulates the appetite.
Best used fresh, both leaves and seed heads are
relished by canaries.
Milk thistle is a member of the sunflower
A weed native to Europe, now a common
weed throughout much of the United States.
Has antioxidant properties.
Most useful in treating inflammatory problems
of the skin and liver problems.
Originally native to southeast Europe and Asia, it
is now a common garden plant worldwide.
Related to fennel, it has a distinctive aroma.
Dill was used to preserve food before
Studies have shown dill tea to be an effective and
gentle treatment for digestive problems. Soothing to the digestive
system, it acts as an antispasmodic agent.
Dill has also been shown to inhibit the growth of
several bacteria which cause infectious diarrhea.
Some studies have also shown that dill may provide
some assistance in discouraging parasites.
Tea can be prepared by using two teaspoons of seed
to each cup of boiling water.
Usually served as a whole seed in a seed mix, but
it can also be ground and added to soft food.
Originally native to Europe and Asia, dandelion was
brought to the United States by the early colonists to provide a source
of greens early in the spring and has spread everywhere since then.
In some places, it is called wild endive.
Although in Europe this plant is highly valued and
grown commercially, in the United States dandelion is generally
wild-gathered and special care must be taken to gather only herbicide-and pesticide-free plants. Also, dandelions growing in chemically
fertilized lawns absorb these chemicals and should not be used.
Dandelion greens are an excellent source of early
spring greens for canaries as they are highly nutritious and a good
Dandelion greens are an excellent source of vitamin
A, C, K, D and B complex; they contain 20% protein- twice that of
spinach; and are a good source of minerals, including trace minerals.
The greens stimulate the appetite and can improve
digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Considered a tonic and valued
for its detoxifying properties.
flowers can be used as a pain killer as they possess mild analgesic
A common weed in the United States, it usually
grows in low-growing mats or entangled in other plants.
Chickweed can be differentiated from other plants
of similar appearance by the following characteristic: a line of tiny
hairs runs up only one side of the stem, switching sides at each pair of
Care must be taken to ensure that only
herbicide-free chickweed is used. Washing will not remove herbicides!
This plant has been used by canary breeders for a
very long time as a green food. Many old breeding books state that it is
an excellent breeding conditioner.
Chickweed is highly nutritious, containing vitamins
B6, B12 and C.
It may be of use in treating gout.
Known to soothe
and mildly lubricate the upper digestive system, but large quantities
can have a laxative effect.
Disclaimer: This site contains information
about a number of nutritional supplements I have found useful in my bird
room. I am not a medical professional, a veterinarian, or an herbalist and
therefore I am not qualified to diagnose illness or recommend treatment
for your pets. The information contained on this website is presented for
educational purposes only.
No warranty or guarantee of a cure is expressed or
implied with any information on this site, nor do I make any representations
regarding the use or the results obtained with the information. In no event
shall I be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which may arise from the use
of information on this site. Use this information at your own discretion.
Herbs may be harmful when taken in excessive amounts, in conjunction with
other herbs or medications, or when taken for the wrong condition. The fact that
herbs are natural does not mean that they are all safe. You are advised to use
caution when offering any herbal supplement to your pet. If your bird is ill, an
avian veterinarian should be consulted.