(Excerpt from Essentialbird yahoo group)

Below is an arthritis protocol that I developed for a woman and her African Grey that was never used. I print it here because I really like this protocol and I would like to get a chance to work with a bird who might benefit from it.

Hi Lee –

I have drawn up a comprehensive arthritis program that I sincerely hope will be helpful for Leah. These are all remedies that I or others have used successfully for pain relief due to inflammation in birds. There are quite a few, so I want you to proceed slowly, try each remedy one at a time by which I mean, start one remedy, if all goes well, move on to the next. If any one seems problematic, let us know and it may make sense not to use that remedy.

I have listed a group of products that are geared towards a combination of anti-inflammation and bone and tissue arthritic repair and another group that is not reparative but simply pain and inflammation relieving. The repair group I hope you will use more or less daily, while the pain relief group you may use daily or you may be able to use as needed.

Please google each product in reference to osteoarthritis and feel free to write back with questions.
Also, please note that I have chosen each brand after lengthy research and thought. I would not substitute other brands without asking me, as some brands can be very problematic and even dangerous.


1. GLUCOSAMINE/CHONDROITIN/MSM – this is a remedy designed to restore lubrication to the joints as well as to reduce inflammation. I would use this supplement with each soft food meal sprinkled into the food such that Leah consumes 1/2 a capsule daily. There should be no side effects with this, it is very safe, but keep watch anyway. Use this indefinitely, seven days a week.

– there are loads of brands that contain this combination of ingredients, but in order to be bird safe you will need a brand that contains ONLY these three ingredients

2. NATURE’S WAY BOSWELLIA SERRATA – this is an anti-inflammatory herb used in arthritis treatments as an analgesic (pain reliever) and an anti-arthritic. I would use 1/3 capsule daily evenly distributed into soft foods – or, if Leah doesn’t like the taste, figure out a way to disguise it in warm food and hand feed twice daily at 1/6 capsule per dose. Use this six days per week.

3. SOLARAY TURMERIC ROOT POWDER – this is an excellent anti-inflammatory. I would sprinkle this onto all Leah’s softfood as you would a dish for yourself. In other words, use your judgement and apply the turmeric sensibly, you want to be able to taste it, but not to where the food is completely bitter and yellow. It will be yellow, but not screaming. Use this six days per week.

4. FRONTIER ORGANIC CAYENNE POWDER – cayenne is very useful with arthritis because it increases circulation, has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps a great deal with pain. It is sort of a cross between restorative and simply pain-relieving, so I would want to place it with the restorative group. Same as for the turmeric, sprinkle the cayenne onto soft food so that the food is nice and hot, but not outrageously spicy. Gauge a medium-to- hot level that you get at a mexican restaurant. Use six days per week.

5. LAKEWOOD ORGANIC BLACK CHERRY JUICE – this is just a really great anti-inflammatory and high antioxidant arthritis remedy. The best application would be to mix this into Leah’s water at 50% – see if she will allow this and still drink normally. Otherwise maybe spoon feed straight at a teaspoon three times daily. Use this six days per week.

6. ORGANIC FLAX SEED OIL – omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, necessary for arthritis repair and prevention. Use this three times weekly at 1/4 teaspoon mixed into soft foods. You can give the whole dose at one feeding, it doesn’t have to be distributed throughout the day. Watch her weight in case this causes any weight gain – it could but hopefully won’t. Make sure to buy flax oil from a health store in the refrigerated section. Flax oil is highly perishable at room temperatures and needs to be kept refrigerated at all times. Watch the expiration date.


1. HERB PHARM MEADOWSWEET HERB TINCTURE – this is pain-relieving herb that works in similar ways to aspirin but without the typical side effects of aspirin. I have found it effective in alleviating pain in birds. To use the tincture, I would offer five to six drops on some warm food up to three times daily as needed. You can experiment and see how much this tincture helps and then decide how much to use it. I have used this tincture daily for years with various birds and not seen any problems from it, only benefit.

2. HEALING SPIRITS HERB FARM MEADOWSWEET HERB TEA – You can make a tea with dried meadowsweet and use this as a pain-relieving bath for the wings. This will work more deeply and quickly than the tincture. Experiment with the two methods and use either one as needed. To make the tea bath: use one tablespoon dried meadowsweet herb to one cup of boiling water, let this steep for an hour in a closed glass jar. Make enough to fill a large bowl that Leah can be submerged in. Then, reheat the tea to very warm, wrap Leah closely in a towel and submerge her into the bowl of very warm tea so that both wings are fully covered and soaking (under the towel). Hold her there for up to five minutes. Then wrap her in another towel to dry. Do not rub her wings to dry, just hold her in the dry towel until some of the tea is absorbed into the towel. After this, place her under a warm heat source like a heat lamp, the sun, etc to fully dry. You don’t want her getting cold from this as the muscles will seize up. But the warm tea, the pain relieving meadowsweet and the bathing will be soothing for her…One bath daily maximum.

3. GERMAN CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL – this oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can be administered as an aerosol which means it can penetrate right into the skin via the air and reach the wings directly. I have seen this EO cause instant relief in birds with pain. Place 5 drops onto a kleenex, pin the kleenex near Leah’s head and refresh the kleenex with 5 new drops three times daily. Use as needed for pain.

I think it sounds like you are doing a good job with diet. With arthritis, the diet has to be very fresh and very simple. I am a bit concerned about the teaspoon of Harrison’s as I am seeing lots of disease problems resulting from use of Harrison’s pellets. This is your call, entirely, but there is a whole foods diet in the files of this list that you might want to look at as it is comprehensive without any added pellets.

A mixture of berries served daily and fresh when possible is important for arthritis. Berries with their high antioxidant levels seem central to the systemic repairs necessary to reverse and prevent osteoarthritis.

All the best to you and Leah…

Lainey  Alexander

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, or by any veterinarian. All information, including any product or technique mentioned, is for educational purposes only. None of the information is intended to diagnose or treat any disease.