•ALFALFA-- Aids in allergies and arthritic conditions of parrots by removing toxins from the body; neutralizing acids, and purifying the blood. Alfalfa stimulates the appetite, and aids in the assimilation of protein, calcium & other nutrients.
•ALOE-- Fresh aloe gel is a perfect application for small cuts, abrasions, and rashes on parrots' skin. It dries and heals the injury.
•CAYENNE-- The active ingredient, capsaicin, is an appetite stimulant and a good natural treatment for sinus congestion in parrots. Used topically, it is an anti-inflammatory agent. Parrots enjoy its fiery taste. •CHAMOMILE-- One of nature's safest and mildest sedatives useful to calm birds in stressful situations. Studies show that this herb also kills the yeast fungi Candida albicans as well as certain staph bacteria. •CINNAMON-- Exerts mild anti-fungal effect on candida and other types of yeast, and aspergillus. It also has a mild anti-bacterial effect against strep and staph bacteria.
•DANDELION-- Helpful in diseases of the liver and digestive organs. Useful in the treatment of arthritis. •ECHINACEA-- Used as an immunostimulant. May speed recovery in some cases of poxvirus and in debilitated birds. Also possesses anti-bacterial properties.
right, used as a wash, is perfect for irritated eyes on all pets.
•GARLIC-- Has anti-oxidant properties as well as anti-parasitic properties which kill intestinal parasites. Protects the liver from the damage of chemical pollutants in the air and in food and water supply. Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England found that garlic juice is as strong as the antifungal drugs, Amphotericin and Nystatin, against Candida, a fungal problem sometimes found in parrots. Should be used sparingly and in the form of fresh garlic, not the concentrated garlic powder. Garlic belongs to a family of plants that may cause anemia in animals if given for long periods of time.
•GINGER-- Excellent to prevent motion sickness when parrots must travel. Use a few drops of ginger extract in the water, and slices of fresh ginger offered the night before the bird must travel. Very useful against nausea and regurgitation.
•KAVA KAVA-- A member of the pepper family, and popular among people in the South Pacific islands since earliest times, Kava Kava has sedative and tranquilizing effects. It is useful in some cases of feather plucking and hyperactivity of parrots. This herb is quite strong and therefore must be used sparingly.
•MILK THISTLE-- Seeds contain silymarin, a flavonoid that is effective for liver disorders. This is the main herbal ingredient of Aloe Detox and the number one herb for the treatment of all liver problems. Milk thistle has been used without side effects for years.
•PASSION FLOWER-- Passiflora incarnata, also commonly known as Maypop acts as a gentle sedative and may be our best natural parrot tranquilizer. Parrots that engage in feather destruction may respond favorably to either Passion Flower, Kava Kava, or St.Johns Wort. Hyperactive parrots or those with compulsive behavior patterns may be helped by Passion Flower.
•PAU D'ARCO-- Or Taheebo is considered a "miracle bark" from a South American tree, with anti-fungal properties effective against candida and intestinal parasites in humans and parrots alike.
•ST. JOHNS WORT-- Hypericum has anti-depressant qualities and can be tried as a substitute for Haloperidol in some feather-plucking parrots. Not all herbs work the same in all parrots so it may be necessary to try more than one for some symptoms. St. Johns Wort could possibly be a problem if administered to parrots that live outside with access to direct sunlight. The reason for this warning is that there were studies of sheep that ingested extremely large quantities of pure hypericum-perforatum and died of phototoxicity. This may or may not apply to parrots. No studies have been published on the use of St. Johns Wort in parrots.
SEAWEEDS-- Sea vegetables such as Kelp, Wakame, Undaria, Kombu and Nori protect parrots as well as humans against several gram positive and gram negative bacteria known to potentiate carcinogens in the system. They posses anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties. They are powerful immunostimulants.
•SLIPPERY ELM-- Used externally for wounds, burns, rashes, abscesses, boils, or insect bites, and internally for the lungs, coughing, vomiting
•VALERIAN-- Used as a sedative and pain reliever, stronger than most other herbal sedatives. Should be used only with the advice of an experienced herbalist.
•WITCHHAZEL-- Applied topically in a spray, it has astringent and healing properties and relieves itching. Can be used in addition to or as an alternative to aloe vera spray when parrots have itchy skin. Unlike aloe spray, witch hazel usually is preserved with alcohol so it should not be sprayed near the face of a parrot. I prefer aloe spray because of the potential of inhalation of the alcohol in witch hazel.
BORAGE--Contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids
•CALAMUS--Indian type most toxic
•CHAPPARAL--Can induce severe liver toxicity
•COLSTFOOT--Contains carcinogenic alkaloids
•COMFREY--Contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids
•EPHEDRA or MA HUANG--Can cause dangerous increase in heart rate and blood pressure
•GERMANDER--Can cause liver toxicity
•LICORICE--Can cause sodium and water retention and potassium depletion
•MA HUANG--Has caused heart attacks, seizures, psychotic episodes and death in humans
•LIFE ROOT--Can cause liver toxicity
•LOBELIA-- Also called Indian tobacco, can lead to vomiting, convulsions, coma and death
•PENNYROYAL--The oil is highly toxic to the liver and interferes with blood clotting
•POKEROOT--May be fatal
•SASSAFRASS--Ineffective and carcinogenic
•YOHIMBE: I have received several inquiries about the possible use of Yohimbe bark (and other herbs) as aphrodisiacs for non-producing mature parrots set up for breeding. Yohimbine is on the USFDA unsafe herb list of March 1977 and there is no proof of effectiveness in animal or human studies. Furthermore, it is a powerful drug which causes dilation of blood vessel in animals and humans. It can cause weakness, paralysis, gastrointestinal problems and even psychosis in humans. Experimentation using this herb with parrots could cause death, and at best is ineffective for the intended aphrodisiac effect.
The absence of government or industry regulation on herbs places a burden of responsibility on the parrot owner who chooses to use herbal remedies. We all need to learn as much as we can from reputable, expert sources about the possible benefits and dangers of any herbal remedy that we may consider using. Medicinal herbs contain powerful, pharmacologically active compounds--in other words, they contain drugs. Like drugs, they should be used with caution. We cannot be tempted to apply the idea that "if a little is good, a lot is better". The advice of an experienced herbalist or holistic healer who is knowledgeable about the scientific literature on herbs is recommended when using any herbal treatment for parrots.
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