(Excerpt from the Essentialbird yahoo group)

I will outline the treatment I used for my parrot flock after PDD virus (proventricular dilitation disease) was diagnosed on a necropsy: this treatment is a good example of an aggressive viral program that could be used with most viruses in addition to PDD. Since you cannot reliably test for PDD in a living bird, I decided to treat all my parrots for PDD for eighteen months. Viruses are different from pathogenic bacteria; they can survive in the body for extremely long periods without causing symptoms. Maybe eighteen months was overkill, but I had no way to determine the necessary minimum treatment period, so I thought I should be on the safe side with a lengthy time frame. After I began treatment I did not see any more PDD illness or death. This could be a coincidence, but I don’t think so because I had been losing one parrot after another for several years prior to treatment. It is easy to miss PDD even on a necropsy because the birds usually die from something secondary, and the secondary illness is often listed as the cause of death. It pays to ask the lab to check for viruses no matter what the cause of death.

In order to stop the rash of deaths in my aviary, I felt that I needed to use a wide range of products, and to treat every parrot in the house simultaneously. I chose medical grade essential oils as the foundation of the treatment because they are the strongest antivirals of which I am currently aware. Additionally, diffused essential oils enter a bird’s blood stream rapidly as they are absorbed into the air sacs and from there easily find the blood. I used only Young Living or Original Swiss Aromatic essential oils, and I rotated the different oil blends every five to six days in case there might be long term negative effects from any one of the oils (I never noticed any negative effects). I used about five to seven oils at a time: YL Thieves blend or YL Purification blend were always my base, to which I would add ravensara, palmarosa, bay laurel, thyme, or oregano (never more than five percent of oregano in any given blend). I administered the EOs via a diffuser, running the diffuser in all my parrot cages/birdrooms/aviaries for at least three hours a day, five to six days a week for about six months. Then I tapered back to two hours per day for another six months, and finally went to once per day for a final six months. Each diffuser treatment would last one hour, with long breaks between sessions.

In addition to the diffusing, I used several herbs to build viral immunity and as safe long-term antivirals. Vitamin C plays a large role in viral immunity, but I have not been impressed with results from using vitamin C in supplement form, so I chose to use powdered rosehips, which are a potent and nourishing source of vitamin C, palatable to birds. I also chose two powerful antiviral herbs to use on a month to month rotation: pau d’arco and St johnswort. Finally I added powdered astragalus root for its role in boosting deep, long term immunity reserves and its long term safety. I made the three herbs into a mixture (either pau or St johnswort mixed with the rosehips and astragalus) which I sprinkled onto my parrots’ food each day. I would use this powder for three months, then take two weeks off, then resume for another three months, repeating this pattern throughout the two year treatment period. During each three month period I would use either pau d’arco or St johnswort, switching these back and forth.

NOTE: Since the time of the treatment outlined above I have begun to recommend two additional herbs: one is organic turmeric root, which is a potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory herb. The other is neem leaf from Please contact me for how best to administer these two additional herbs.

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.