Today we will talk about thyme. Thyme is an incredibly aromatic herb that we use mostly for cooking. It is quite similar to the oregano (it is a relative to the oregano!) and it belongs in the mint family. Apart from cooking, thyme is used as an ornament and also for medicinal purposes as well. Now let’s see if our cute and lovely guinea pigs can consume thyme.
Can guinea pigs eat thyme? Yes, guinea pigs can eat thyme. This herb contains high amounts of vitamin C which is amazing for the guinea pig’s health. Guinea pigs can consume thyme a few times per week, but not more than that because it contains calcium.
People usually assume that guinea pigs can eat every plant and herb because they are herbivores and vegetarians, but there are some limits to this. Our guinea pigs can consume only certain herbs and some of them are:
If you want to know a full list of herbs or food that guinea pigs can eat please visit our full guinea pig food list (150+ Types Of Foods).
Alright, we confirmed that our guinea pigs can eat thyme. Guinea pigs love the specific aroma and pleasant smell of this herb. If you grow thyme in your own home or yard, this will be good news for your cute little pet. The guinea pigs will taste some organic thyme in this case! But, store-bought thyme is just as good. Read more in the sections below to see all the details for thyme as food for our furry friends!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Thyme
- Healthy weight – with thyme, you don’t have to worry about the weight of the guinea pig. This herb can be given only a few times per week, a few branches or a small handful is enough. It is not fattening because it is low in calories, carbs, proteins, and fats.
- Healthy digestion – the fiber in thyme will work up the intestines and stomach. This is a normal amount, not too much or too little. The bowel movements and emptying of the bowels will be normal.
- Antioxidants – thyme contains vitamin A and manganese. Both these nutrients protect the overall health and immunity.
- Scurvy prevention – vitamin C in thyme behaves like a shield against the deadly disease called scurvy. Guinea pigs are prone to this disease when they lack vitamin C, but luckily in thyme has enough of it. Scurvy is very dangerous and it starts with a rough coat, diarrhea, loss of appetite, bleedings, and discharge.
- Healthy blood – thyme also has copper and iron. These nutrients will make the blood stronger by improving the number of red blood cells, there is also less risk of anemia (fatigue, bad immunity, diseases…)
Nutrition Facts of Thyme
Here are the nutritional facts for 1 oz (30 g) of the fresh thyme:
- Low in calories – 28.3 calories. This is not a lot for a herb, and it means the guinea pig won’t get chubby or have drastic weight changes at all.
- Low in carbs and proteins – the thyme is also low in carbs and proteins, with just 6.8 g carbs and 1.6 g of protein.
- Fiber – 3.9g. Thyme also has a bit of fiber which will help with good digestion and regular bowel emptying. More than this amount can cause diarrhea, but also a lack of fibers can cause constipation too.
- Low in fat – 0.5 g. Thyme is very low in fat, which means the cardiovascular system will be in top shape.
- Vitamin A – 27%. This vitamin is one of the strongest antioxidants. It protects almost all organs; brain, heart, skin, eyes, kidneys, lungs, but it also boosts the overall immune system.
- Vitamin C – 75%. Amazing! Guinea pigs need lots of vitamin C in order to stay healthy and to survive. With this vitamin, our cavies can fight off the fatal disease called scurvy.
- Thiamin – 1%. The other name for this is vitamin B1. This vitamin improves the electrolytes flow in the body, and it prevents problems with the intestines and stomach.
- Riboflavin – 8%. Riboflavin is the B2 vitamin and it converts foods to energy. Also, it promotes better flow of oxygen in the body.
- Niacin – 3%. Also, known as the B3 vitamin. The B3 lowers cholesterol, prevents diabetes and heart problems, and it soothes bone pains.
- Vitamin B6 – 5%. Your guinea pig will be less stressed, more rested, and happier with this vitamin! The B6 helps with the production of serotonin (happiness hormone) and contributes to good sleep and less anxiety.
- Pantothenic acid – 1%. This is the B5 vitamin and it is crucial for the creation of blood cells. Also, this vitamin converts consumed foods into energy.
- Calcium – 11%. Calcium makes strong bones, but it is harmful to the guinea pigs. Why? Well, fully grown guinea pigs don’t need this mineral, so if they receive it in excess, they will suffer from many urinary complications.
- Iron – 27%. Thyme is quite rich in iron too and this is great news for guinea pigs. Iron makes their blood stronger and they will be less prone to anemia.
- Magnesium – 11%. Magnesium prevents heart diseases, diabetes, relieves pains and keeps all tissues in the body in good shape.
- Potassium – 5%. This nutrient will reduce the risk of urinary stones formations, also it prevents the loss of muscle mass and it can lower high blood pressure.
- Zinc – 3%. The zinc can help in faster healing of the wounds and it speeds up healing during a cold or flu.
- Copper – 8%. Copper works together with the iron to make the blood strong and healthy. Also, it helps with the red blood cells production and also it helps with the iron absorption.
- Manganese – 24%. This is another antioxidant that boosts the immunity, reduces inflammation and regulates the blood sugar too.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Thyme to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary complications – thyme contains calcium and this is the reason why it needs to be taken with precaution. The calcium is beneficial for the guinea pig only when they are very young and still in development. But, once guinea pig is fully grown, your guinea pig simply doesn’t benefit much from this mineral. In fact, if the cavy gets too much calcium in its system, it will have urinary infections, blood in urine, stones in kidneys and bladder or even pain during urination. If this is not treated in time, it can be fatal!
Quick Facts on Thyme
- Thyme also has flowers; they can be white, purple or yellow
- The leaves and the flowers can be used for sauces, stews, and soups. Also, they are used fresh or dried mainly for preparing meat or fish.
- In ancient Egypt, people used thyme for the mummification process
- In ancient Greece, thyme was used in baths because it released an amazing smell. Also, they used to burn thyme in temples to make the air feel fresh.
- Knights used to wear thyme on their scarves because it symbolized courage in battles.
- In the past, it was believed that thyme protected against nightmares. People would put this herb under their pillows each night.
- Also, thyme was used during funeral procedures as well. It was believed it secures a safe passage to the afterlife!
- Thyme was also used as medicine for soothing and healing wounds. Also, it was prepared as medicine for cough, gout, stomach pains, and congestions.
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.
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