Riodite Herbs for Birds

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Our Story

In the wild, birds have the opportunity to look for plants to heal and nourish themselves as soon as it starts to feel unwell, enabling them to stop illness as soon as it arises. Captive birds do not have this opportunity and by the time the bird is showing signs of illness it is sometimes too late to save them.

Zoopharmacognosy  (zoo = animal, pharma = drug, cognosy = knowing) commonly know as self selection is the term used for this innate ability that animals have to recognize which plants they need in order to heal themselves.

By enabling our own birds to exercise this innate skill in captivity is a crucial step in healing and maintaining health and emotional well being. We owe it to them as their guardians and custodians to improve the quality of their life by using this holistic approach.

The captive diet is limited to what we feed them, if a bird needs certain nutrients it cannot tell us, if we add supplements to its feed it can’t avoid excess or imbalance.

A strong immune system has the ability to fight off bacteria, fungi, yeast, parasites and viruses. Immune deficiencies are a common problem in captive birds, stress is often a major cause of this. When the immune system is weakened birds become more vulnerable to the development of infections and disease.

Feather-Plucking is a very complex disease with dietary, environmental and psychological elements, very difficult to treat conventionally.

Birds can't communicate their needs with us in a way we understand but they do however have an in-built innate knowledge of how to heal themselves, they just need a little more help from us besides love and veterinary care.

Riodite Herb Healthy provides a wide range of traditional healing plants/nutrients, based upon the longstanding use of worldwide traditional herbal remedies, it may help boost the immune system, improve health/wellbeing and prevent illness and stress.

Giving birds a chance to choose a more natural way to meet its needs can be a life saver. By providing birds with Riodite Herb Healthy, (supplied free choice in a separate bowl) you are supplying a way of life that is more in keeping with nature and gives back to the bird some control of its own health as a curative or preventative approach.

Specialist avian vets are few and far between, even if you are lucky enough to find one within traveling distance, conventional medicines do have side effects that can compromise and damage the body’s organs. By providing Riodite Herb Healthy you are ensuring your bird has access to natural remedies should the need arise, if your bird is already ill and being treated with conventional medicines, herb healthy may reduce the effectiveness of the drugs as many of the herbs are traditionally used to remove toxins from the body. But once the course of medication has been completed it may help speed up recovery and in some cases may even address underlying issues that were not being treated.

Riodite herb healthy is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness and is not a substitute for a qualified avian veterinarian, if you suspect your bird is ill you must seek professional help immediately, a sick bird will go downhill very quickly and they can deteriorate and die within a matter of hours if an infection takes hold.

I have experimented with herbs and wildflowers since early childhood, gathering armfuls of edible plants from the hedgerows for my large collection of pets. Knowledge of using traditional country herbs and plants for remedies was passed onto me from my grandparents, but my greatest teacher came in the form of a beautiful black horse, Aphrodite, an ex-racehorse whose legs and joints were ruined by the age of four. One look in those soulful eyes and I knew she was destined to come home with me!


Long before zoopharmacognosy was heard off, I allowed her to self select hedgerow plants, much to the horror of other horse owners as many plants she chose were said to be poisonous. She would eat ivy, but not the big young leaves, always the small older leaves close to the wood, (good for muscle spasms and joint pain) Sometimes she would eat bracken, never more than about 3 leaves ( good for worms). I never ceased to be amazed by her ability to find exactly what she needed, especially the day she put her head through a car window and snatched a bag of salted crisps from a passing motorist, I had forgotten to buy her a new salt lick!


6 months after my beautiful horse died of old age, my 10 month old greenwing macaw Rio became seriously ill. The vet suspected kidney tumors and insisted he was put down straight away. I refused, (I’d been told a few years before by 2 separate vets to have my elderly dog pts, I found a homeopathic vet and my dog went on to chase rabbits for another 3 years!)

It was a 2 hour journey home from the avian vets, my poor Rio had got so distressed being there that I honestly thought he was going to die on the way home.

I gave him homeopathic remedies as soon as I got home, within an hour he had calmed down, next was to try him on herbs. I wouldn’t normally have risked trying so many powerful herbs on my parrots but conventional medicines were doing nothing to help and if it was kidney tumors the anti-inflammatory drugs would do more harm than good.


I didn’t know exactly what I was treating for so I began my extensive research for potent medicinal herbs that were safe for parrots and would treat as wide a range of illnesses as possible. I found a minefield of conflicting information as to what was safe for parrots but I had nothing to lose so I began experimenting. As the weeks went by Rio seemed to be getting better, he spent quite a lot of time nibbling in his herb bowls and although he was still thin the sheen on his feathers was amazing, even better than my scarlet who by this time also had a herb bowl as a precaution but interestingly never touched them.


I awoke one morning to silence instead of a cheery hello, Rio had died suddenly in the night. I was devastated, I had been keeping a record of all the herbs he’d had and when they were introduced. Two days before I had given him a clove of garlic, recommended as safe and very good for parrots by a well respected online avian herbalist. I have since found a post by someone who had read the same advice and allowed her 6 month old, healthy African grey to nibble on a garlic clove. Two days later he was found dead. Coincidence?  She had a necropsy done and undigested garlic was found blocking its stomach. I didn’t have Rio necropsied because it was so far to the vet and there was no guarantee that I would have had a definite answer as to what caused his illness but I will never let a parrot near garlic again!


The day after Rio died my scarlet started eating the herbs, he coped amazingly well with the loss of his mate (he was inconsolable when Rio was at the vets) He continues to use them daily and has developed a taste for certain spices! So I now just top up his bowl once a week.


I like to think that Rio came to me for a reason, , if it wasn’t for him I would never have risked trying so many herbs on my precious parrots. Having found nothing commercially available offering a suitable and safe self selection mix for parrots that could be of benefit in helping with the wide range of possible illness or diseases I wanted to cover, I created Riodite herb healthy.


I am confident that this carefully and extensively researched blend of herbs and spices will help save many birds and owners from expensive trips to the vet due to illness that could maybe have been prevented if birds had access to a wide variety of natural traditional herbs and spices.