For bird keepers it is recommended to have some sorts of herbal teas in their medicine chest. Herbal teas can be very important in case you want to support the healing of numerous diseases. Such herbal infusions can also help in the event of weaker discomfort. You can find the most important sorts of herbal teas in this chapter. It's good to have them at home in a small quantity so that you will be prepared if your bird would suddenly get ill.
The tea's strength
No matter what sort of herbal tea you want to offer to your ill bird instead of plain drinking water, please do not boil the tea too strong. And of course you should cool down the tea to room temperature before serving it. If you prepare the tea from a tea bag, then you should follow the preparation instructions you can find on the package. After you have done this, please dilute the tea with about half a cup of pure water (it means add 50% of pure water to the tea you have just prepared according to the preparation instructions).
How do budgies like their tea?
In most cases, ill birds need energy to support the healing. If they are overweight, this rule is not entirely valid. Then you can omit this part of the chapter. To make the tea more nourishing you can add dextrose or honey. If you use a common water fountain for your bird in its recovery cage, then use maximum (never more) one half of a tea spoon of dextrose for a full water fountain. It would be unhealthy for a bird if you served too high doses of dextrose or honey mixed with the drinking water.
You have to be extremely careful if our bird is suffering from any kind of kidney disease or a yeast infection. According to circumstances, dextrose or honey might cause severe problems since the bird's organs might not be able to digest the glucose; therefore the disease can even get worse. Thus you should discuss this topic with your avian vet.
If there are no worries that any kind of sugar would harm your bird, you can also add some vitamin supplement to the drinking water or tea. Concerning the dose, please follow the instructions on the package. In my opinion it's always a good idea to discuss the application of any food supplement with your vet. Many doctors decide to treat birds with special drugs that already contain vitamins and therefore you would risk an overdose in case you would add a food supplement to your bird's drinking water or tea.
And please note: Do not add any vitamin supplement to hot water because it would destroy the healthy active agent; the food supplement would be without effect.
If your bird is suffering from constipation then you can offer him anise tea instead of common drinking water. This tea has remarkable anticonvulsant effects and it can help birds to get through such unpleasant situations. According to your choice, you can serve fennel tea instead (see below) or even a mixture of anise and fennel tea.
Stinging Nettle Tea
As stinging nettle tea has very good detoxification effects, you can serve it to improve the healing effects of the detoxification treatment your avian vet has chosen for your bird. In naturopathy, the stinging nettle is well known as a drug for detoxification and cleansing in patients who suffer from kidneys problems (e. g. infection). Stinging nettle can also be used as a forage plant which is very healthy due to the vitamins it contains. Learn more about the stinging nettle as bird food in this chapter.
Thanks to its anticonvulsant effects, fennel tea should be common inventory of your medicine chest if you are a bird owner. Fennel tea brings relief in case of constipation and flatulence (even birds can suffer from it!). Also it can help to avoid the production of too much gas inside the crop or abdomen while your bird is down with a yeast infection (mycosis, thrush or AGY/GLS). If you do not have any fennel tea at your disposal; you can offer anise tea as an alternative.
One of the most valuable medicinal plants is chamomile. Tea made from the flowers of this plant has anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore chamomile tea is very helpful during infectious diseases treatment. If your bird is suffering from an inflammation of its crop (a so called
sour crop), cold or some another diseases, then chamomile tea can ease your feathered patients' discomforts and make him become healthy again more quickly. Another important disturbance of health you can treat with chamomile tea is a diarrhoea caused by a wrong diet. Inhalation of vapours from chamomile tea is a very effective additional treatment of cold and other diseases of the respiratory system. But you should talk to your avian vet in any case before serving chamomile tea to your bird to avoid any adverse reactions!
In many cases it makes sense to serve a black tea to your ill bird to stimulate its circulation. But it is absolutely necessary to talk about this special diet with your avian vet in advance. Black tea is typically used as a remedy from a stress state for example. The most convenient sort of black tea is Ceylon, Assam or English breakfast tea which you can get in almost every supermarket.
Due to its anti-fungicide and fungal suppressive effects, thyme tea is a very helpful healing remedy during megabacteria (AGY) or GLS treatment or therapies against yeasts (mycosis, thrush).
German version of this text: Gaby Schulemann-Maier,
English translation of this chapter: Ales Tronícek.