MEDICINAL HERBS FOR RABBITS

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians, nor herb specialists. The information here was gathered from other bunny sites and the knowledge and experience they shared. Many bunny owners have expressed an interest in this field, and we have done what we could to help inform you.

We recommend that you discuss any information on this page with your Rabbit Veterinarian before using on your precious Bunnies.

BASIL

Basil is a common herb that you can find in just about any grocery store or farmers market. It contains a high concentration of phytochemicals, giving it a strong flavor and nutritional content. Basil also contains a few chemicals (including caffeic acid and salicylic acid) that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This makes basil a mild pain reliever and can help prevent frequent infections in rabbits. It also helps in maintaining the health of rabbit fur and skin.

BIRCH

Chewing, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, diuretic.

BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Coat Condition.

BLACKBERRY

Used for summer cooling, stimulating appetite, and diarrhea. It is a safe introductory green for young kits, both the leaves and fruit. Blackberries are very soothing to rabbits and can help cool them down in the summer heat by increasing circulation.

BORAGE

Laxative, helps with fevers, reduces stress.

CHAMOMILE

Good for pain relief, or calming a nervous rabbit. One of the best eye wash for weepy eye is Chamomile tea and honey!!!!! Just make a cup of tea, a little stronger than you would drink it and add a teaspoon of honey. Use an old syringe w/o the needle to squirt into the eye. You can also use as a compress, and as a wipe for the eye. It will work wonders. Both chamomile and honey are anti-everything with microbial, fungal, and with antibiotic properties. Let the rabbit eat some before you treat for eye problems because of its pain relief and calming effects will make the rabbit easier to handle.

CHICKWEED

Anti-inflammatory, healing of cuts, molt.

CILANTRO

Cilantro is a fragrant herb that is generally very enticing to rabbits. Many elderly rabbits who are losing their sense of taste and smell will end up gravitating toward these aromatic herbs. Cilantro is also made up of a number of phytochemicals that can help aid in digestion, prevent frequent infections, reduce stress, and help alleviate symptoms of urinary tract infections. Cilantro is also known to contain geraniol, which helps prevent tumors.

CLEAVERS

Healing of cuts, laxative.

CLOTSFOOT

Respiratory expectorant.

COMFREY

Comfrey helps in healing bone formation, ill rabbits, stressed and weak rabbits. If you have a rabbit off feed, try a few leaves of comfrey. Cut it down and dry it like hay to store for winter use (can be cut down up to three times) Rabbits also love the freshly harvested leaves . The plant has a calming effect on rabbits. Comfrey is a good source of vitamin A and good for digestive aid, helping with hair block and is used for many other things. It supports the immune system, is good for the stomach. In extreme doses, comfrey can cause diarrhea. The effects of too much comfrey may dehydrate your bunny. When used with common sense, Comfrey is one of the best herbs for rabbits.

DANDELION

Dandelion helps in purifying blood, respiratory ailments, is an anti-inflammatory, helps bladder infections, and diarrhea. Some rabbit respiratory problems, such as pasteurellosis, can eventually cause serious problems including head tilt, loss of balance and death. There have been tests on rabbits that were treated with dandelion’s showing that it is effective against pneumonia, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. Use fresh leaves, flowers and dig up root, the root can be dried to make a weak tea to add to the rabbits water. The dandelion is well known for its curative powers. The plant has both laxative and astringent qualities and regulates constipation and diarrhea.

ECHINACEA

Immune system stimulant and broad spectrum antibiotic. In the lower doses it’s the stimulant and in higher doses acts as an antibiotic. It also has Anti-inflammatory with anti-viral properties. It can be grown in nearly every backyard and easily available at most health food stores. Echinacea is a great preventive herb to use for your rabbits. Feed a few leaves every now a then with daily greens mix to boost the immune system and fight infection. Research has shown that echinacea increases production of interferon in the body. It is antiseptic and antimicrobial, with properties that act to increase the number of white blood cells available to destroy bacteria and slow the spread of infection. It is also a great herb to dry and add to your winter hay blend! You can also get the capsules at heath food stores add 4 capsules of the echinacea to one gallon of water and boil and cool store in fridge and add 1/4 herb water to 3/4 water and fill water bottles, crocks, etc.

ELDER FLOWER

Respiratory expectorant, fevers.

EYEBRIGHT

Weepy eye wash.

FENNEL

Bloating, gas, milk flow of nursing does.

GARLIC

Immunize against disease, antiseptic, antibiotic, bloating and gas, wormer, respiratory expectorant. This stuff works it is just hard to get a rabbit to eat it!

GOLDENROD

Anti-inflammatory.

GOLDENSEAL

Goldenseal is another immune boosting herb for rabbits. It’s an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for rabbits who suffer from frequent infections. Goldenseal also has properties that help in treating bladder infections by acting as a natural antibiotic.

GRAPEFRUITSEED EXTRACT

As for worming rabbits, grapefruit seed extract does the job well and is all natural. 10 drops in a gallon of water for 2 weeks, or longer if there is a known bad problem. This also helps to de-worm them, along with raw pumpkin seeds, this mix should clean out your rabbits. I regularly run grapefruit seed extract through their water at least 2 times a year with a few raw pumpkin seeds on top of their food and have never had a problem with coccidiosis. This has many uses as a bactericide, fungicide, anti viral, anti parasitic.

KAVA

Rabbits that are frequently stressed out and anxious can benefit from calming herbs like kava. This herb can also help with getting the more aggressive rabbits to calm down and can be used for preventing any fighting when bonding two rabbits.

LAMB'S QUARTERS

Another good wormer for rabbits I only feed lamb’s quarters only when it is young rabbits will reject it as it gets older. In spring it is very useful because it starts early when greens are a bit limited.

LAVENDER

Circulation problems, nervous stress, exhaustion. Use with caution - sparingly & in extreme cases only. The flowers are actually a mild tranquilizer, acting upon the heart in easing blood pressure rather than acting upon the brain as an anti-stimulant. Great for stressed out rabbits.

LEMON BALM

Anti-bacterial, antiviral, bloating and gas, diarrhea, reduce stress.

LICORICE

Good for gastric inflammation and coughs.

LINSEED

Laxative, helps with molting.

MARIGOLD

Marigolds help with Bruising, slowly healing wounds, ulcers, skin diseases, digestive problems.

MARJORIM

Coughs, inflammation of mouth, throat. Digestive problems, uterine discomfort, calm nerves.

MEADOWSWEET

Weepy eye wash.

MILK THISTLE

Helps take ammonia from the blood and protects both the liver and the kidneys.

MINT

Firms loose stools. Good herb for treating mastitis. Safe as food. Used for colds, eye inflammation, liver stimulant, and used to relax the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulate bile flow so mint is useful for indigestion, gas and colic. Avoid prolonged use, it can irritate the mucous membranes. Do not give any form of mint to young babies. Should be harvested just before flowering.

MOTHERWART

Weepy eye wash.

NASTURTIUM

Strongly antiseptic.

OAT

Feed sparingly in summer though. Good for digestive problems, diarrhea, kidney and bladder problems. Small kits may not be able to swallow oats and may actually choke on them.

OREGANO

Oregano has properties that act as an immune boost for rabbits. It contains geraniol and rosmarinic acid that work to protect against tumors and carcinogens. They are also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, helping rabbits to protect against infections. Oregano can also be used to reduce the likelihood of becoming reinfected or getting a secondary bacterial infection during a recovery period.

PAPAYA

A Papaya enzyme tablet every couple of days to help keep them from getting fur/hair block. The enzyme helps to break down the hair in the gut, and keep things moving. Rabbits love them. You can get the tablets at most health food stores.

PARSLEY

Enriches the blood, helps with urinary problems. Roots are used for constipation and obstruction of the intestines. Good for the cure of inflammation of bladder & kidneys, digestive disorders.

PINEAPPLE

Bromelain, the actual enzyme in the pineapple, is most abundant in the stem of the pineapple, the center part that we throw away. Fresh pineapple is best, as the enzyme will be removed once frozen or processed. Bromelain is good for diarrhea. It will reduce intestinal fluid secretion and is suggested that bromelain has mucolytic and digestive properties. So it’ll dilate the mucus coating of the GI tract as well as helping to breakdown proteins good for gut mobility and helping with hairballs good to give to rabbits during a molt.

PLANTAIN

Antimicrobial, antispasmodic, helps the healing of cuts, respiratory expectorant, fevers, and works great for diarrhea. This is something you can include in daily green feed mix. Leaves soothe urinary tract infections and irritations. Good for gastric inflammations. Juice pressed from fresh leaves is given orally for inflamed mucous membranes in cystitis, diarrhea and lung infections. Use the juice for inflammations, sores, and wounds. Plantain does not cause digestive problems. The plant regulates the function of the intestines and is generally good for the mucous membranes.

PURSLANE

Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant know of. There was a study where they fed Purslane to rabbits with high cholesterol and it lowered it.

RASPBERRY

Also wonderful cure for digestive ailments including diarrhea, and a safe introductory green for young kits.

RED CLOVER

Weepy eye.

ROSE PETALS

Roses also have some health benefits for rabbits. The petals, in particular, act as an anti-carcinogen and may help in preventing the development of cancer. The petals can also aid in preventing infections, respiratory diseases, and they can help in calming a rabbit by reducing stress and anxiety. Rose hips are also known to aid in a rabbit’s digestive health.

ROSEMARY

Lowers blood pressure, is ideal for exhaustion, weakness, and depression in rabbits. The stems and leaves invigorate the circulation, stimulates the digestion, and is good for cold conditions. Harvest fresh, dry, or grow inside for year-round use.

SAGE

Dried and powdered, and sprinkled repel fleas. Digestive stimulant and a uterine stimulant. This herb should be used with caution

SASSAFRASS

Dried and powdered, and sprinkled repel fleas.

SCOTCH PINE

Good for bronchitis, sinusitis, neuralgia, rheumatism.

SHEPHEARDS PURSE

Uterine disorders, A strong medicine for diarrhea. Use sparingly.

SORREL

Very cooling and soothing, it is a much cherished treat in the summer.

STRAWBERRY

The whole plant is antiseptic and cooling. Leaves are rich in iron. Externally used for inflamed areas, rashes and sore eyes.

THYME

Good for diarrhea. The stems and leaves are ideal for a useful digestive remedy, is warming for stomach ache and chills. Expels worms. Harvest before and during flowering in summer and discard the woody stems.

WILLOW

Calms Intestinal inflammation. Can use both the willow twigs and leaves. Is a useful winter food, and is easily gathered and stored. Also a pain-reliever and possible natural coccidiostat.

YUCCA

Yucca is a very useful herb that has a lot of nutrients and phytochemicals that are excellent for rabbit health. It has been shown to reduce cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease. Yucca also works to boost the immune system of rabbits and is a strong anti-inflammatory. It’s often used in the treatment of arthritis. Yucca also reduces the amount of ammonia in rabbit urine, and aids in the prevention of liver and kidney disease.

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