Ginger originates from Asia and belongs to the same plant family as turmeric and cardamom. Ginger spice comes from the root of the plant and is used as a flavoring in food and for medicinal purposes.
It’s used in various forms: dried, fresh, pickled, crystallized, preserved, candied, and powdered or ground.
For centuries, ginger has been used as a medicinal herb to treat various health issues. It’s believed that ginger has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinausea properties.
Ginger has been categorized as safe for human consumption in food and medicinally. However, many of us wonder if ginger is okay to feed parrots and if they can benefit from its medicinal uses.
Fresh, raw ginger root and ginger tea are safe for parrots. Ginger has medicinal properties that aid digestion, relieve nausea, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and improve brain function.
Can Parrots Eat Ginger?
Yes, parrots can eat ginger. However, that doesn’t mean if you give ginger to a parrot, it’ll eat it. Some parrots don’t like the taste.
Ginger has a sweet and peppery flavor with a spicy smell, and the flavor or odor turns off some parrots. Other birds will eat ginger when it’s available.
Is Ginger Good for Parrots?
Ginger has various health benefits for parrots when consumed in moderation. While ginger isn’t rich in vitamins and minerals, it has properties that improve the parrot’s well-being.
According to Food Science & Nutrition, ginger has been used for centuries for digestive issues, such as:
- Epigastric discomfort
Ginger speeds up gastric emptying, which occurs when food moves from the stomach to the intestines. When gastric emptying happens too slowly, many gastrointestinal and digestive issues can occur.
Eating ginger speeds up that process and eliminates problems such as bloating, belching, gassiness, nausea, and stomach pain or discomfort.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve nausea and upset stomachs. People have been using ginger for years to treat nausea caused by morning sickness, motion sickness, migraines, and illnesses.
Parrots can get car sick when you travel with them, and they get nauseous from medications, food, or general sickness. Giving your parrot some ginger can alleviate these issues.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce pain and inflammation throughout the body. People often take ginger to ease pain associated with types of joint pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among birds. However, they can also have rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and gout.
Arthritis is a degenerative condition with no cure, so finding ways to make your parrot as comfortable and free of pain as possible is important, especially as parrots live long lives.
Boosts Immune System
The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of ginger give the immune system a boost. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, fighting illnesses and infections.
The National Library of Medicine: National Center for Biotechnology Information states that birds have immune systems that are very efficient and comparable to that of mammals.
Improves Brain Function
Parrots suffer from conditions that affect the brain and reduce brain function over time. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect the brain.
These properties also improve mental health by enhancing mental cognition and reducing the risks of mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
Is Ginger Bad for Parrots?
Too much ginger isn’t healthy for parrots. If you overfeed ginger to your parrot, it can have some unpleasant side effects, such as:
- Stomach upset
- Mouth irritation
While ginger has properties that usually relieve these symptoms, too much ginger can cause them. This is why you should avoid giving ginger to your parrot more than once or twice weekly.
Is Ginger Root Okay for Parrots?
Fresh ginger root has more antioxidants compared to other forms of ginger. However, fresh ginger root has the most powerful aroma, which may deter some parrots.
Ways To Give Ginger Root to Your Parrot
Here are some great ways to introduce ginger to your parrot’s diet:
- Put ginger root in the cage and let your parrot nibble at it.
- Cut the ginger root into small pieces and feed it to your parrot.
- Grate it and sprinkle ginger on your parrot’s other food.
- Make a tea from the ginger root and give it to th parrot.
How To Make Ginger Tea for Parrots
You can make ginger tea by doing the following:
- Peeling 1 or 2 ginger roots.
- Pouring a cup of boiling water over the peeled ginger.
- Steeping it for 10-15 minutes.
Ginger tea is ideal for sick parrots who need relief from nausea or stomach upset.
According to the American Federation of Aviculture, mixing ginger tea into the formula of baby parrots with upset stomachs or that throw up their formula can provide instant relief and settle their stomachs.
Ginger Products Bad for Parrots
Ginger comes in various forms and can be used to make many delicious foods. You may like eating ginger-flavored cakes and cookies, but these items shouldn’t be fed to parrots.
Ginger products, such as gingerbread cookies and ginger snaps, aren’t healthy for parrots. While they contain small amounts of ginger, the other ingredients used to make them are unhealthy for parrots, such as fats and sugars. There are no nutritional benefits to be gained from consumption.
Feeding parrots foods that are high in sugar and fat can lead to obesity, fatty liver disease, and sugar addiction. Gingerbread cookies and ginger snaps may taste good, but they’ll shorten your parrot’s life.
Only feed your parrot raw or dried ginger once or twice per week. Either slice up some ginger or add some ground ginger to flavor one or two of the parrot’s meals.