Greywood Manor Teas
"I approve and encourage the use of herbal and/or decaffeinated teas for birds. When offered correctly and appropriately, tea can enhance a bird's life by enriching her life experience and introducing additional nutrition. I often recommend various teas to clients. Their use supports many treatment protocols and aid in healing and mental health.” Karen Becker, DVM, NMD, Natural Pet Animal Hospital
Many have made claims and hid behind hand-picked research that teas are bad for birds. In science, for every claim there is a counter-claim and so forth. Without question, tea has stood the test of time and has had profound impacts on the health of many. It is no secret that there is little research on birds but, like most other research, the use of studies on other animals and humans give us an idea as to how the compounds in teas work. Below is a list of sources, most peer-reviewed scientific journals that continue to expose the benefits of teas. This list barely scrapes the surface of what we know but it is certainly a good place to start to show how the many different types of teas are beneficial.
And to echo Dr. Becker’s comments above, when using green, black, or white teas, always be sure it’s organic and decaffeinated for your birds. We have been using teas for many, many years with wonderful results and we hope you decide to try them with your own birds.
Resources: Health Benefits of Tea
American Friends of Tel-Aviv University. (2008). Anti-cancer flower power. August 25, 2008. Accessed online March 5, 2008. http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7599
Bald, C. (1940). Indian tea: A textbook on the culture and manufacture of tea. Fifth Edition. Revised and Partly Rewritten by C.J. Harrison. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co.
Bloomberg, J.B. & McKay, D .L. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytotherapy Research, 20.
Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., & Gimenez, R. (2006). Beneficial effects of green tea: A review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 25(2), 79-99.
Carter, O. (2007). Comparison of white tea, green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, and caffeine as inhibitors of PhIP-induced colonic aberrant crypts. Nutrition & Cancer, 58(1): 60-65.
Chacko, S. M., Thambi, P. T., Ramadasan, K., & Nishigaki, I. (2010). Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chinese Medicine, 5, 13-21.
Chan, PT, Fong, WP, et al (1999). Jasmine green tea epicatechins are hypolipidemic in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) fed a high fat diet. Journal of Nutrition, 129(6): 1094-1101.
Chow, H. H. (2003). Pharmacokinetics and safety of green tea polyphenols after multiple-dose administration of epigallocatechin gallate and polyphenon E in healthy individuals. Clinical Cancer Research, 9(9): 3312-3319.
Chow, Kit. (1990). All the tea in China. China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
Cooper, R., Morre’, D. J., & Morre’, D. M. (2005). Medicinal benefits of green tea: Part I. Review of noncancer health benefits. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11(3), 521-528.
Duffy, S. J., Keaney, Jr, J. F., Holbrook, M., Gokce, N., Swerdloff, P. L., Frei, B., Vita, J. A. (2001). Short- and long-term balck tea consumption reverses endothelial dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation, 104(2), 151-156.
Dulloo, A. G. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(6), 1040-1045.
Evans, John C. (1992). Tea in China: The history of China's national drink. Greenwood Press.
Gardner, E. J., Ruxton, C. H. S., & Leeds, A. R. (2007). Black tea: Helpful or harmful? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61(1), 3-18.
Han, C. & Xu, Y. (1989). The effect of Chinese teas on the occurrence of oesophageal tumor caused by N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine in rats. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi, 23(2): 67-70.
Harler, C.R. (1956). The culture and marketing of tea. Second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hobhouse, H. (2005). Seeds of change: Six plants that transformed mankind. Shoemaker & Hoard.
Jyoti, J. (2007). Antistressor activity of Ocimum sanctum (tulsi) against experimentally induced oxidative stress in rabbits. Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, 29(6): 411-416.
Kato, A. (2008). Protective effects of dietary chamomile tea on diabetic complications. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 56(17): 8206-8211.
Kolanjiappan, K. & Manoharan, S. (2005). Chemopreventive efficacy and anti-lipid peroxidative potential of Jasminum grandiflorum Linn. on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced rat mammary carcinogenesis. Fundamentals & Clinical Pharmacology, 19(6): 687-693.
Kuroda, K. Sedative effects of the jasmine tea odor and (R)-(-)-linalool, one of its major odor components, on autonomic nerve activity and mood states. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 95(2-3): 107-114.
Leung, L. K., Su, Y., Chen, R., Zhang, Z., Huang, Y., & Chen, Z. (2001). Theaflavins in black tea and catechins in green tea are equally effective antioxidants. The Journal of Nutrition, 131(9), 2248-2251.
Lipovac, M. (2011). The effect of red clover isoflavone supplementation over vasomotor and menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women. Gynecology Endocrinology, 28(3): 203-207.
Nagao, T. (2005). Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(1), 122-129.
Namita, P., Mukesh, R., & Vijay, K. J. (2012). Camellia sinensis (Green tea): A review. Global Journal of Pharmacology, 6(2), 52-59.
Pace University. (2004). White tea studies at Pace University. http://pressroom.blogs.pace.edu/2004/06/01/white-tea-better-than-green-tea/
Packer, L. (2004). Herbal and traditional medicine: Molecular aspects of health. CRC Press.
Peng, X., Zhou, R., Wang, B., Yu, B., Yang, X., Liu, K., & Mi, M. (2014). Effect of green tea consumption on blood pressure: A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials. Scientific Reports, 4, 6251.
Pommier, P. (2004). Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 22(8), 1447-1453.
Ruxton, C. H. S. (2013). Emerging evidence for tea benefits. Nutrition Bulletin, 38(3), 287-301.
Ruxton, C. H. S. (2008). Black tea and health. Nutrition Bulletin, 33(2), 91-101.
Ruxton, C. H. S. & Mason, P. (2011). Is black tea consumption associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes? Nutrition Bulletin, 37(1), 4-15.
Santesso, N & Manheimer, E. (2014). Green and black tea for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Global Advances in Health & Medicine, 18(6), 66-67.
Vinson, J. A. (2004). Green and black teas inhibit atherosclerosis by lipid, antioxidant, and fibrinolytic mechanisms. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 52(11): 3661-3665.
Yamamoto, T., Kim, M., Juneja, L. R. (1997). Chemistry and applications of green tea. CRC Press.
Yeruva, L. (2008). Delayed cytotoxic effects of methyl jasmonate and cis-jasmone induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Cancer Investigations, 26(8), 90-99.
Zhang, A. & Zhu, Q. (1997). Inhibitory effects of jasmine green tea epicatechin isomers on free radical-induced lysis of red blood cells. Life Science, 61(4), 383-94.
Zhang, Z. (2001). Protective effect of green tea on the risks of chronic gastritis and stomach cancer. International Journal of Cancer, 92(4), 600–604.
With the help of avian veterinarian Karen Becker, DVM, NMD, Greywood Manor has developed several different blends of teas for birds, reptiles, small mammals, lemurs, and other species.
Though water quality is important for our avian companions, what birds drink in the wild is far from sterile. It is commonly known that many species of birds visit water sources like tree hollows in which plant components leach their tannins and other compounds and minerals. And many of us have seen wild birds drinking from “dirty” puddles and other water sources that are brewing with fallen leaves.
We offer tea blends that offer a host of benefits based on carefully formulated mixes. All teas contain loose leaf, human grade ingredients with organic ingredients. You can read more via our Tea Guide here.
- Use hot, NOT boiling water to make tea.
- Always begin with 1 teaspoon of tea to 8-10 ounces of hot water. Increase or dilute to bird’s preference.
- Let the tea cool completely before offering it to your birds.
- Remove tea bags or strainers before serving.
- If your bird is suspicious, steep tea for a shorter period (make tea more dilute).
- Substitute tea for water when making beans, pasta, rice, etc or when baking.
- Use topically in spray bottle (avoid spoilage).
- Never completely replace water with tea!
Tea is Served!
When first provided with tea, some birds will be suspicious so it is important to note that some birds may need to start out with weak tea and increase the concentration as they become familiar with it over time. You should always brew tea in hot, but not boiling, water to maximize steeping ability. It is also recommended to make use of a stainless steel mesh tea steeper when brewing tea and to always remove it before serving. It is not recommended to completely replace water with tea, however, so as to avoid dehydration if the bird chooses not to readily accept the tea provided.
If your bird is still suspicious, there are other ways to glean the benefits of tea. When cooking for your bird, it is quite easy to substitute tea for water when preparing beans, rice, pasta and other items that are prepared in hot water. Baking is another opportunity to incorporate tea by replacing water with tea in the recipe for bird bread, muffins or another concoction your birds prefer. Offering certain teas without steeping them is another option, as small birds love to eat flowers, for example, within their dry food mix. We also roll items like chamomile or calendula flowers into our daily fresh fruit mixture for our birds to increase and diversify the nutritional content of every bite.
The use of tea is yet one more way to incorporate additional items to the diet and increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in your daily regimen. Teas can also serve as a great enrichment tool, using a different kind each day to keep things interesting. The many methods discussed here will hopefully allow you to provide more diversity in your birds’ diets and help your birds to not just survive, but thrive.