Today we will talk about a herb called rosemary! Well, usually we use this herb as a spice for many meals, because of its specific and very pleasant aroma. This herb has leaves that look like needles. Rosemary has flowers too, they come in various colors; blue, purple, pink or white. Now let’s talk about whether our guinea pigs can consume this aromatic herb.
Can guinea pigs eat rosemary? Yes, guinea pigs can eat rosemary. However, this herb is very rich in calcium, and it should be fed only in moderation. High levels of calcium can cause health problems for fully grown guinea pigs. With this in mind, you should give rosemary to your furry friend only 2 times per week.
The guinea pigs really love the rosemary – as soon as they sense the scent, they go crazy for this herb! Our poor guinea pigs don’t exactly know which foods are rich in calcium, but we as their caretakers need to know this and will pay extra attention to their diet!
Sadly, all foods or herbs rich in calcium are not good for our cavies. If you want to know more details about rosemary (benefits, risks, and facts) in guinea pigs diet you should probably read the following sections.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Rosemary
- Antioxidant – vitamin A in rosemary will act as a shield for the organs and the overall immunity. It removes free radicals that cause many diseases.
- Scurvy prevention – the vitamin C in rosemary will prevent the fatal scurvy disease guinea pigs are prone to. It manifests with the loss of appetite, diarrhea, rough fur, bleedings and discharges, and weight loss.
- Healthy blood – the iron in this herb will ensure less risk of anemia (weakness, paleness, bad immunity), and the copper will create more red blood cells.
Nutrition Facts of Rosemary
In a 100 g (3 oz) of fresh rosemary, these are the nutrients:
- High in calories – 131 calories. Who would have thought that a herb like a rosemary has this amount of calories? We expected a bit less for a herb, right?
- Fat – 5.9 g. This amount of fat is normal but some would even say a bit high for a spice-herb! Excess of fats could contribute to gradual clogging of the blood vessels, but the guinea pig couldn’t eat 100 g of rosemary at once even if it wants to! So, it is safe and ok.
- High in carbs and proteins – rosemary has 21 g of carbs and 3.3g of protein. These amounts are more than enough for daily energy.
- High in fiber – 14g. The fibers are essential for good digestion and regular bowel movements and emptying. With excess fibers, the guinea pig could have loose stool. And with lack of fibers, it will suffer from constipation. Luckily, this amount is normal.
- Vitamin A – 58%. This vitamin is a very strong antioxidant with numerous benefits for the organism. It keeps the organs healthy against diseases caused by free radicals, and also it boosts the immunity. The skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, and eyes will be in perfect health with vitamin A.
- Vitamin C – 36%. Guinea pigs need vitamin C to survive and be healthy. They don’t produce this vitamin naturally. Rosemary is very rich in this vitamin.
- Iron – 37%. Another beneficial nutrient in the rosemary – the iron will prevent anemia!
- Niacin – 6%. This is known also as B3 vitamin, and it can lower cholesterol, prevent from heart diseases, from diabetes too, also it improves the skin quality and it can ease the pains of arthritis.
- Pantothenic acid – 8%. This is the B5 vitamin and it is crucial for the creation of blood cells. Also, B5 will convert any consumed food into energy.
- Riboflavin – 9%. Known also as B2 vitamin; it is also responsible for converting foods into energy, and good oxygen transport in the body as well.
- Thiamin – 2%. Thiamin is the B1 vitamin and it prevents diseases of the brain, muscles, nerves, intestines, stomach, and heart. It also contributes to a good flow of electrolytes in the nerves and muscles.
- Vitamin B6 – 17%. The B6 produces more serotonin (happiness hormone), it reduces stress and improves sleep too.
- Calcium – 317 mg. We can agree this amount of calcium is way too high. It will seriously damage the urinary system of the guinea pigs if they receive this mineral in excessive amounts. More details in ‘Risks’ below.
- Copper – 15%. This nutrient forms red blood cells and helps in iron absorption.
- Magnesium – 23%. A mineral that prevents heart problems, diabetes, anxiety, and muscle pains.
- Manganese – 48%. It reduces inflammation, regulates the blood sugar, and acts as an antioxidant too.
- Potassium – 14%. It normalizes the blood pressure, and it prevents heart diseases too.
- Zinc – 6%. It can reduce irritations of the skin, and also it will contribute to faster wound healing.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Rosemary to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary complications – since rosemary has a lot of calcium, this is a huge red flag for the guinea pigs. The problems from too much calcium are blood in urine, pain during urination, frequent urinary infections, and bladder/kidney stones. It can be fatal because renal failure can occur if it remains uncured.
Quick Facts On Rosemary
- The name rosemary comes from the Latin term ‘Rosmarinus’, which means ‘sea mist’ or ‘sea dew’
- The most common flower color of this herb is purple
- Rosemary belongs in the same family as mint, oregano lavender, and basil
- The wild rosemary can grow on cliffs, and it is usually seen in France, Spain, Italy, and Greece
- Back in the 16th century, in sickrooms, rosemary was used to kill any germs present
- In ancient times, rosemary was used as a herbal cure for toothache, baldness, gas, and headaches
- For cooking, rosemary is the perfect herb for lamb meat, because the bittersweet herbal aroma counterbalances the strong lamb aroma
- In ancient times, it was believed the aroma of rosemary improved memory, and the symbolism of this herb in folklore was fidelity and remembrance
- This herb is native to the Mediterranean area
- In the Middle Age period, both the bride and groom wore rosemary for good luck in the marriage
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
If you found this post useful, would you mind helping out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below so others can also learn about guinea pig food and diet!