Herbal Medicine

 This is a list of herbs that are helpful for rabbits.

 Rabbits being herbivores do respond well to natural remedies but use at your own risk .

This was a list that was sent to me several years ago. The author is unknown to me. I do

refer to this often for the care of my rabbits.

 (Note: If the author is identified I would be happy to post it)


Aldur (Alnus glutinosa)

Green leaves used as a poultice for swellings of breast and legs.


This has iron, Vitamins B and K.  Make a tea for tonic for digestive

system as is a bitter.  1/4 oz of dried herbs in a teapot with 1 point

of boiling water, wait ten minutes and then take out leaves and use

tea for abscesses.


Can act as a kidney cleanser and nervine (nerve tonic).

Almond (Prunus dulcis)

Nut kernels and oil.  Act as a skin soothing remedy.  Treats sores

which refuse to heal on young animals and others.and lung ailments.

Oil is good for sore eyelids and cracked noses/lips and sore teats in

milking animals.

Kernels can be fed to young sickly animals - finely grated kernels and

mixed into milk.  One teaspoon of grated almonds given twice daily. 

For very sick animals, almonds should be blanched (skins removed by

dipping in hot water), or fed extracted oil at dose of a few drops of

oil in a tablespoon of tepid milk.

Aloe (Aloe communis)

Good for mastitis and skin ailments, preferably as an external lotion.

Some controversy over how safe aloe is for internal use (licking). 

Used for eye ulcers, wounds and sores even tumors.

Apple (Malus domestica)

Apple pulp is rich in pectin. That's why apples and applesauce are a

folk remedy for diarrhea. Apple pectin also helps treat constipation

because it acts as a gentle stool softener. It works in either direction, plugging up

the bowels when

loose or loosening them up if constipated.

Arnica:  poisonous as plant so use homeopathic tincture only.  For

shock - emergency.  Only 1-2 drops for small rabbits, 3-4 for large

breeds.  Can also be used for paralysis, bruising and stiffness.


Can be used to reduce milk yield.

Diuretic - used to help reduce chance of getting blockages of the

kidneys and bladder and also jaundice.  Dose is a handful of raw

shoots twice daily.

Balm/Bee Balm:   see lemon balm


Leaves can be rubbed on insect bites to reduce itching and


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. Also goof for inflammation of the eyes - humans and


Cautions- do not use essential oil externally or internally during


Harvest before flowering.


small amounts - medical value uncertain.

Bilberry & Blueberry (Vaccinium, various species) Dried berries

(fruits) help relieve diarrhea because they are rich in tannins and


Black Current

Feed fruit and leaves

.Used to help pregnant does and aid against miscarriage.

Leaves also good for dysentery and also for fevers and bladder


Blackberry (various species) Leaves fresh or dried are high in tannin

so are very good for diarrhea/scours.

Both leaves and fruit are extremely tonic and blood cooling,

especially good for pregnant does and very helpful on hot summer's


Blackberry leaves also seem to stimulate a failing appetite.


Restoring vitality. The two most important things about this herb are

the ability to greatly increase the milk flow of nursing moms and to

be mildly laxative.


Leaves good for scours.  Check that none of the leaves show raspberry

mosiac - a disease peculiar to this plant.


As feed and astringent - good for putting on wounds to reduce

bleeding.  Use leaves only.  Leaves do not dry well but may be picked

in winter as is a hardy creeper.  Pick center leaves as outer ones are

tough and unpleasant.


Seed and leave are appetizer and good for colic.  Also good for

bronchitis and respiratory problems.

Root can be eaten as green food and young leaves can be eaten as a

salad.  Best to use young plants as older plants have much less


Carrot (Daucus carota) Use cooked carrots to treat diarrhea. When

they're cooked, carrots may soothe the digestive tract which helps

control the diarrhea while also providing nutrients that are lost.


NOT CATMINT.   For chronic bronchitis and for calming rabbit.


Stalks and tops only.  Watch as it increases amount of urine being

peed but can also act as an urinary antiseptic.

Calendula (marigold)

This is the homeopathic solution.  It is very good and very soothing

for burns, wounds and sores - antiseptic.  It is safe for rabbits to


Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Flower - good blood cleanser and pain reducer - good for inflammation

(can also be used as a poultice)

It also seems to calm down nervous animals.

The tea can also be used as an eyewash for the occasional weepy eye.

Can be placed in poultices for bleeding wounds and sprains.

Use one handful of flowers brewed in two pints of water.  Can add one

tablespoon of honey to make it more tasty for rabbit.  Dose 1 cupful

morning and night.


It is full of copper but very laxative so be very careful.  Useful

when rabbit is constipated or other digestive problems.  Use in a

mixed feed when feeding generally.

Said to reduce rheumatic inflammation and stiff joints in animals

(especially elderly).

If used as an eye lotion - one handful brewed in 3/4 points of water.

Has white flowers and not red like Scarlet Pimpernel (poison) which

looks like it.


Good for gastritis and lack of appetite


green stem only for skin troubles and infections.

Cleavers/Stickyweed (Galium aparine).

Feed fresh plant.  Not all rabbits like it.

Good for skin trouble if eaten as it is a blood cleanser.  Helps with

abscesses and growths as well as other skin conditions such as eczema.

Feed a small handful of fresh herbs finely cut and mixed with hay

twice daily.  If used as a poultice, prepare as for Chamomile.

Coltsfolt: as well as food plant, also tonic plant.  Acts on

increasing appetite and also as a laxative in quantity.


BE CAREFUL.  Use with care with dwarfs as it also contain chemicals

that can be dangerous as well as being medicinal.  Some breeders will

use it and some will not.  Good food tonic and good for digestive

upsets especially with off-color animals - so good for upset tummies.

Highly recommended for rabbits as a digestive aid which 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 BUT

IT IS SAFE WHEN used with common sense as it possesses "Cholin", a very

powerful healing agent.

Old name is "knit bone" as it encourages the natural healing process

and speeds up formation of new bone.  Great herb for sickly, stressed

or weakened bunnies.  Feed both root and foliage or apply compress

externally to bruised or sprained area.

Corn flower

Tonic and conditioning plant.  Can also be used to help heal skin

troubles and bruising.


Mixed with other food, serves as tonic and blood cleanser. The plant

has both laxative and astringent qualities and regulates constipation

and diarrhea.
Milky sap stimulates all glands including that of lactating does.

Fermenting or wilted plants can cause bloat.

Dandelions are one of the most nutritious food plants for rabbits but

not to be fed in large quantities to Netherland Dwarfs and young

rabbits.  Too much can damage the kidney of young rabbits.. It is rich

in protein and poor in fiber. The digestibility percentage is high at

an estimated 70%.

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. "Numerous clinical trials have

demonstrated Dandelion's effectiveness against pneumonia, bronchitis

and upper respiratory infections.

Have to be careful feeding large amounts as can cause show animals to

end up lingering in molting for weeks and missing the shows.

Use fresh leaves, flowers and dig up root, all parts can be dried,

also useful to make a tea with all parts especially the root.

 Dead Nettle/Henbit

Three varieties but the white dead nettle is excellent for lactating

does as protein content is high.  Use in SMALL QUANTITIES BUT

otherwise good food.


It will stimulate appetite and settle stomach upsets (carminative)

such as windy colic and diarrhea.

Seeds are good for reducing fever (can make up as a tea).

Can increase milk yield in some does.

Dose is a small amount of seeds given each day mixed with oats or

bran.  Leaves also useful.


There are two kinds - one with narrow leaves and one with broad

Use only leaves as seeds often poisonous.  Better to use young leaves

before plants flowers as these are tender and have better flavor to

rabbit - also have best food value.   Once flowering the oxalate

levels climb high and can make rabbits sick.

Docks are full of iron - YOUNG  leaves good for pregnant does.  Has

laxative tendency so watch out.  Useful for treating inflammation if

used EXTERNALLY (not eaten but as poultice for mastitis etc). 

Dragon's blood (Daemonorops draco or Draceaena)

This is supposed to draw pus out of  wounds...I haven't tried it

myself.  It is said to form a sticky, scab-like covering, so it would

work well to protect open sores.


Immune system stimulant and broad spectrum antibiotic.  In the lower

doses it's the stimulant and in higher doses acts as an antibiotic.

Eyebright (Euphrasia)

For eye problems.  Either feed as a tea in the water or bathe eyes

with it.


Soother for bronchitis/coughs.  Good for colic and for lactating

mothers to increase milk flow.


Can be used for stimulating milk yield, nervous problems and stomach

upsets but there is some risk to the rabbit - I would rather not use

it on rabbits.


Laxative and anti- inflammatory - for swellings.  Don't use on pregnant

does or risk miscarriage.

Garlic (Allium sativum) Use garlic to treat pin worms, roundworms,

giardia (an Amoeba) and other parasitic infections.

Seems to be the supreme immunization of stock against infectious

diseases.  It is highly antiseptic. Only problem is : How do you get a

bunny to eat it?

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

A couple of tablespoons of powdered ginger on feed daily to help


According to reports of research with animals in Saudi Arabia, Ginger

significantly increased sperm count and motility of the sperm. You can

buy Ginger in health food stores whole. Give in small pieces the size

of a quarter (coin).

Good for painful muscle conditions.


Must be fed fresh.  Astringent for scours/diarrhea.


Good for clearing out molt.  Feed in small amounts as laxative.

When fed, helps general eye condition.

Hawkbit & Hawkweed

some are laxative and some astringent so be careful otherwise safe to

feed.  If use, feed in SMALL QUANTITIES for Dwarfs.

Heartease (Viola tricolor)

Good for urinary problems as diuretic, and for nervous rabbits or

problems (jumpy).


Diuretic (makes rabbit pee a lot), purgative (clear out their system)

Good for skin conditions such as eczema or skin rash.

Good for nerves as is a calming agent (sedative).


Astringent for diarrhea so can be used externally to help bleeding

and bruises.

Lady's Mantle:

For regulating female hormones - used on does with fertility problems.

 Can be used during pregnancy with does that suffer miscarriages.


Common Lavender - or - Narrow leaved Lavender - or - Lavender Spike

(Lavendula augustfolia)  Not the French or Italian Lavenders.

Lavender is analgesic or pain-relieving, anti convulsive,

antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti rheumatic, antiseptic,

antispasmodic, anti toxic, gas-relieving, bile-stimulating, deodorant,

diuretic, insect-repelling, relaxing, circulation-stimulating, tonic

and worm-repelling.

Lavender needs care in use on does as it stimulates the uterus,

helping to expel the contents, dead or alive, as well as being a

diuretic (cleaning out the kidneys by making the rabbit piddle). . A

late birthing doe will benefit from a little Lavender in order to

naturally speed the process.

The flowers are actually a mild tranquilizer so good for a stressed

rabbit to calm them, acting upon the heart in easing blood pressure

rather than acting upon the brain as an anti-stimulant.

Lavender essential oil can be used to heal abscesses and sore hocks as

it is one of the few essential oils that will not hurt if licked.  It

also kills skin mites but should not be used in the ear. An herbal oil

emulsion with lavender extract would be better for that.

Effective against burns and scalds, neutralizes the venom of insect

bites and stings. Applied to the skin and coat, it helps repel insects

& treats abscesses, fungal infections, ringworm, lice, scabies, sores,

sunburn, dermatitis, earache, wounds and inflammation.

Inhaled or ingested, lavender oil treats respiratory conditions. 

Orally, it relieves nausea, prevents flatulence, alleviates cramping,

improves digestion & clears urinary tract infections.

Can add 3 to 5 drops of the oil on a sugar cube and take twice a day

orally.  May want to dilute it with carrier oil, water, or apple cider


Lavender Cotton (Abrotonum foemina, Chamaecyparissus)

It 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.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Good for nervous complaints and shock.  Helps prepare rabbits for

traveling if fed a few days before.

Feed to does before mating to help get them ready - good for uterine

disorders and help prevent miscarriage.

Good to clean out retained afterbirth and for milk production.

Several handfuls daily as dose.

Mallow & Marshmallow (root)

Leaves suitable as poultice as can be eaten.  Marshmallow root is

soothing to bruising and skin problems - rashes, etc.

Marjoram, Sweet (Majorana, Sampiucus, Amaracus)

As a diuretic, it helps clean out the liver and spleen, is good for

colic pains and for disorders of the head (whatever they are) and

settles the nerves.

Marjoram, Wild (Origanum Vulgare)

Useful for coughs 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.

Meadow sweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

Use a cooled and strained infusion for conjunctivitis and other eye



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

Dried mint is very good for bunnies with loose droppings.  It also

decreases milk flow, excellent treat for moms with mastitis or during

weaning time.

Found to be good to help clear up runny noses BUT 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.

Motherwort (Leonurus spp.)

Use a weak decoction for conjunctivitis, sore or tired eyes

Good for use on does that have problems getting pregnant - feed 2-3

weeks before breeding.  Do not use during pregnancy.


Use small amounts to stimulate appetite


Strongly antiseptic.  Great tonic and blood cleanser too.


Do not feed fresh but if dried to make nettle hay, is good food that

is high in protein.  Good for growth and for breeding does.

Oat (Avena sativa)

Oats have long been considered a male sexual energizer. Studies

suggest that oats boost male fertility.

Great as "baby's first food",  low in starch ,high in mineral content,

especially potassium, phosphorus and calcium.  Rich in vitamin E and

G.  Important for strong teeth, nails and hair.  Feed sparingly in

summer though (fattening and blood heating - induce molt).

Oxeye Daisy

Good for worming and for settling upset digestive systems.  Makes a

good hay if dried.

Parsley ( Petroselium crispum )

It is rich in Vitamin B and C and iron.  Outer leaves should be picked

before mature or they will become tough and unpleasant.  Has a

stimulating effect on rabbits so do not give too much.  Good for

bringing on stud bucks and does into breeding condition.   Good for

fever.as parsley is a diuretic.  This also that helps prevent and

treat kidney stones.  Parsley yields "apiol", possessing carminative

properties.  This substance is important in the treatment of urinary


It is recommended to make a tea of dried root, drinking 2-3 times a

day. It would have to be given orally to rabbits to help dissolve

them. Use fresh as a preventative.

All parts of the plant are used, including the roots.  Seeds are

highly tonic.  Roots are used for constipation and obstruction of the

intestines.  (Private note - not for pregnant does but excellent once

given birth for cleansing).

Pulsatilla and hepar - homeopathic

Both of the above are for snotty, yellow mucus  discharge.

For instance, Pulsatilla is used for a green/yellow thick discharge,

but a major keynote is thirstlessness, and the animal will be happy

and quiet when touched rather than fighting and high strung.

Hepar has yellow discharges, but it is usually an "old "cold, or the

second stage of a cold that may have started w/ clear discharge.

Plantain (Plantago spp.)

Leaves are a 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. Good for runny


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


Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)

Pumpkin seeds and there extracts have been shown to immobilize and aid

in the expulsion of intestinal worms and other parasites. The seeds

can be bought hulled.

Raspberry (Rubus,various species) Leaves fresh or dried are high in

tannin so are also very good for diarrhea as well as conjunctivitis.

 Raspberry leaf is usually recommended for pregnant females to calm

uterine irritability, but raspberry leaves added to the males' feed

increases fertility.

Prevention and treatment of female ailments like retained afterbirth.

 Improves condition during pregnancy, ensuring speedy and strong

birth.  Also wonderful cure for digestive ailments/scouts.

You can use raspberry leaves for rabbits in labor. When they are

ready to give birth, give the does just a leaf or two to stimulate

labor. You can make up raspberry leaf tea if they are late or not

progressing well in their labors by squirting the tea into their

mouths if they are too exhausted to eat the leaves.

If worried about miscarriages: can give the tea bag of raspberry leaf

tea to the doe.  It is not guaranteed to stop miscarriages but it does

help in some cases.

From a herbal book:  LEAVES

Taken during late pregnancy and childbirth, the

leaves are an effective  uterine stimulant. They are also astringent,

so are useful for diarrhea, wounds, sore throats and mouth ulcers. The

leaves have been included in rheumatic remedies as a cleansing

 Harvest during the summer before fruit ripens. Avoid high doses of

the leaves during early pregnancy,because they can stimulate the


I have read in many books that say to harvest before fruit ripens.

This is when the medicinal qualities are strongest. Fresh leaves are

great and work best but we only have a short time to use them to there

fullest medicinally so can pick and dry the leaves before the fruit

which will still have more medicinal qualities then using them  during

and after the berries.


Traditionally taken for indigestion and rheumatism,

The berries are  rich in vitamins and minerals and highly nutritious.

Harvest when ripe in late summer.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Use 5-10 drops of tincture in 20ml water or a well-strained infusion

for conjunctivitis.

Red Currant

Leaves are laxative - do not use for diarrhea but for wool block

(constipation) etc.

Good for jaundice and to reduce fevers and blood poisoning.  Does not

protect against miscarriage.

Rosemary Ideal for exhaustion, weakness, and depression. The aerial

parts (stems, leaves) invigorate the circulation, stimulate the

digestion, and are good for cold conditions. Harvest fresh year-round.

Useful to give during fleas season to help ward off any fleas brought

in by a cat or dog or hedgehog.


Good for respiratory congestion (coughs and pneumonia) as it is an


It will reduces lactation when weaning kits - give as a tea to mother

replacing her water (4 tea bags to 1 quart of water) for the first two

days of weaning, then back to normal water.

Acts as a digestive stimulant - helps stimulate appetite.

Because it is an uterine stimulant, this herb should be used with

caution and should be avoided during pregnancy

A warning sage contains Thujone, which can trigger fits in epileptics.

Shepherds Purse

This is a good tonic medicine, especially for scours. It has extra


Use fresh or dried.  Store for winter.


Another refrigerant herbs so good as a soothing poultice..  Very

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

Sow thistle (often called a milk thistle or puha).

Good for nursing does to increase milk production.  Three types -

common, field, spiny-leaved - all have yellow flowers but leaves

differ.  Common and spiny-leaved have good fiber and protein content,

field has less raw fiber but digestibility is very high.


Use the leaves as a good medicine against scours/diarrhea as it is an


The whole plant is antiseptic and cooling (can help reduce fever).

Leaves are rich in iron and are supposed to prevent miscarriage.

Externally used for inflamed areas, rashes and sore eyes.  The juice

can be used on these problems.

Sunflower (Helianushus annuus)  Sunflower seeds are among the best

sources of Phenylaline, a chemical involved in pain control.

Often recommended is supplementation with the amino acid arginine for

low sperm count in humans - 4 grams per day. That's the amount found

in about 2 ounces of sunflower seeds. For rabbits I would cut that

amount to less than a 1/4 ounce. They can get pretty fat on the seeds.

Sunflower seeds are the highest for arginine at 8.2% on a dry weight


Tea Tree Oil

It is antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal. It even works for

ticks by putting the oil directly on the tick until it's dead. Then

remove it; it will heal the hole also.

Good for acne, warts, fur mites and ear mites.

Tea Tree Oil works well for almost every fungus. Keep it mixed up in a

spray bottle - about 20 drops to 1-1/2 cups. Just spritz it on

whatever needs it - cuts, sores, etc.

Can spray the cages after power washing/cleaning as a disinfectant

since it's antibacterial as well.


The aerial parts (stems, leaves) are chest infections marked by thick

yellow phlegm and coughs.  Antiseptic but do not use raw oil as is too


They are also a useful digestive remedy, warming for stomach, 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.

Garden Thyme (Thymus) mashed and pounded with vinegar, applied to the

swelling and bound with a dressing, works well for swellings.


Can be used to calm rabbits especially if jumpy.

Walnut leaves (Juglans spp.)

Use a strained infusion or 5 drops of tincture in 20ml of warm water

for conjunctivitis


Willow bark contains salicin which is an effective pain reliever for

everything. For pain relief in people they recommend 1/2 tsp. of

willow bark or up to as much as 5 tsp. of white willow (S.alba - which

is lower in salicin concentrate - salicin varies from species to

species of willow). So start with a low dose of bark tea given orally.

I have given my bunnies a small branch of leaves with no problems.

It acts as a general tonic.  The salicin can cure intestinal

inflammation.  Place a fresh branch in any cage where there are

youngsters undergoing weaning.every day to prevent stress induced

diarrhea.  Rabbits love the slightly bitter taste and also enjoy

playing with it.


Apart from being one of the best tonic plants, it is good for

improving appetite or tempt those refusing to eat.  It is good for


Also useful for inflammations and swellings.

Also good tonic for does especially pregnant does.