Most Common Herbs Used for Rabbits
Information contributed from members of the Herbal Rabbit group. Individual acknowledgements are shown.
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them and pretty soon, you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck
Leaves can be rubbed on insect bites to reduce itching and inflammation. Leaves can also be taken as a warming and uplifting tonic for nervous exhaustion or any cold condition. The juice with an equal quantity of honey can be used for ringworm and itching skin. An infusion (tea) of Basil combined with Wood Betony can be given immediately after birthing to prevent a retained placenta or afterbirth. Cautions- do not use essential oils externally or internally. Harvest before flowering. ~ Cheryl
Highly recommended for rabbits. It is a digestive aid, helps with wool block and is used for many other things. It is an old remedy which should under no circumstances be discounted. In extreme doses, comfrey can cause diarrhea. This is its effects working too hard and if left unnoticed, the rabbit may dehydrate. When used with common sense, Comfrey is one of the best herbs we can give the bunnies!” Rebecca
“Dandelion is an excellent food given fresh in unlimited quantities. Fermenting or wilted plants can cause bloat. Dandelions are one of the most nutritious food plants for rabbits. Being rich in protein and poor in fiber. The digestibility percentage is high at an estimated 70%. Well known for it’s curative powers. The bitter milky sap stimulates the working of all glands, including the milk glands of lactating does. The plant has both laxative and astringent qualities and regulates constipation and diarrhea.
Dandelion is good for many things in people and can be used for rabbits with these problems also: preventing osteoporosis (for the old bunny), bladder infections, lactating, liver problems, swelling, tonsillitis, warts, and pneumonia.
I feed a lot of Dandelion every day, especially to my babies and they just love it, but you have to be careful because that is all that they will want and won’t eat their pellets. So I limit it to a few small handfuls a day.” Cheryl
Dandelion Made My Bunnies Glow With Health!
“I have been giving my rabbits Dandelion leaves every morning for the last two weeks. Two (2) leaves to my Dwarfs and four (4) leaves to my Mini Rex and 6 to 8 leaves to my Flemish. After two weeks they all seem to glow! They are eating well, increased drinking, their fur is looking great and recovering from moult in fine fashion – not lingering in moulting for weeks and missing the shows. I now have a little “dandie” garden, because I can’t believe the extreme changes with my concentrated efforts of daily dandelion leaves.” Deanna
Common Lavender – or – Narrow leaved Lavender – or – Lavender Spike (Lavendula augustifolia) “Lavender is not to be used lightly or frivolously in breeding stock. It has a direct effect upon the uterus in helping to expel the contents, dead or alive, as well as being a diuretic. A late birthing doe will benefit from a little Lavender in order to naturally speed the process and it saves using drugs. 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. In other words, good for a stressed out rabbit. Lavender Cotton (Abrotonum foemina, Chamaecyparissus) is a specific medicine for internal worms, and also assists the kidneys in cleansing and breaking up of stones. It also helps reduce swellings if applied outwardly, and is generally good taken internally for the liver, chest and uterus.” Judy
Lavender is analgesic or pain-relieving, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, gas-relieving, bile-stimulating, deodorant, diuretic, insect-repelling, relaxing, circulation-stimulating, tonic and worm-repelling. Effective against burns & scalds, neutralizes the venom of insect bites & stings.
Inhaled or ingested, it treats respiratory conditions. Orally, it relieves nausea, prevents flatulence, alleviates cramping, improves digestion & clears urinary tract infections. Applied to the skin & coat, it helps repel insects & treats abscesses, fungal infections, ringworm, lice, scabies, sores, sunburn, dermatitis, earache, wounds & inflammation. Reduces anxiety & lifts the spirits.
“I haven’t tried straight Lavender Oil by mouth or used it that way on my rabbits. I have used it in apple cider vinegar or water. I have made Lavender tea from the flowers to give my rabbits by mouth and I’ve sprinkled some of the flowers on top of their food. One of my books says to add 3 to 5 drops of the oil on a sugar cube and take twice a day orally. So you may want to dilute it with carrier oil, water, or apple cider vinegar.” Patty
Marjoram, Sweet (Majorana, Sampiucus, Amaracus)
A diuretic, opens obstructions of the liver and spleen, is good for colic pains and for disorders of the head (whatever they are) and settles the nerves. ~ Judy
Marjoram, Wild (Origanum Vulgare)
For “colds”- although rabbits do not actually contract the head cold as we know it. Useful for coughs, pleurisy and obstruction of the lungs and uterus (take care here) and is also calming. This one, crushed and applied direct, will help control swellings and eruptions and bruises. Apparently the distilled oil of this will ease toothache. ~ Judy
Used for colds, eye inflammation, liver stimulant, and used to relax the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulate bile flow so are useful for indigestion, flatulence and colic and similar conditions. Reduces milk flow. Cautions are to avoid prolonged use, it can irritate the mucous membranes. Do not give any form of mint to young babies. To be harvested just before flowering. ~ Cheryl
Plantain (Plantago spp.)
Character: Slightly sweet, salty, and bitter; cool, mainly drying
Leaves: Relaxing expectorant, tonify mucous membranes, reduce phlegm, antispasmodic, topically healing
“The 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. Useful in the diet of weanlings and can be harvested year around.” Cheryl
Ideal for exhaustion, weakness, and depression. The arial parts (stems, leaves) invigorate the circulation, stimulate the digestion, and are good for cold conditions. Harvest fresh year-round. ~ Cheryl
Reduces lactation when weaning, digestive stimulant and a uterine stimulant. This herb should be used with caution and should be avoided during pregnancy. Sage contains Thujone, which can trigger fits in epileptics. ~ Cheryl
The arial parts (stems, leaves) are ideal for deep-seated chest infections marked by thick yellow phlegm. They are also a useful digestive remedy, warming for stomach ache, chills and associated diarrhea (irritable bowel). Expels worms. Cautions are to avoid therapeutic doses of thyme and thyme oil in any form because the herb is a uterine stimulant. Thyme oil can irritate the mucous membranes, so dilute well. Harvest before and during flowering in summer; discard the woody stems. ~ Cheryl