Is Lavender Safe for Birds? Essential Oil Diffusers & Parrots Explained

Lavender, a versatile and calming herb, is widely used for its therapeutic properties and soothing fragrance. But have you ever wondered, “is lavender safe for birds?” The answer is yes, but with caution. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of lavender and its various uses for birds, debunk common myths, and provide guidelines on safely introducing lavender to your bird’s diet. Let’s embark on this fragrant journey together!

Short Summary

  • Exercise caution when introducing lavender to birds. Consult a veterinarian for safety.
  • Monitor consumption and use bird-safe essential oils with proper diffusion techniques.
  • Avoid toxic plants & ensure edible flowers are free from chemicals or pesticides.

Understanding Lavender and Its Uses

essential oils, aromatherapy, spa

Lavender, a flowering plant belonging to the mint family, has been cherished for centuries for its pleasant aroma and diverse uses. From aromatherapy to culinary delights, this versatile herb offers a range of benefits, including potential health benefits for parrots.

Although lavender is considered safe for parrots to eat, it is still advisable to exercise caution. Rich in vitamins A and calcium, as well as iron, lavender can be a nutritious addition to your bird’s diet, supporting eye vision, bone development, and feather health.

But before you start feeding your parrot lavender, let’s explore its various applications and benefits in more detail.

Aromatherapy Benefits

Lavender essential oil has long been used in aromatherapy, believed to promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep quality. These benefits may extend to our avian companions as well. Studies suggest that the calming fragrance of Lavandula angustifolia can help ease stress and anxiety in parrots.

However, it’s essential to exercise caution when using lavender oil around birds, as their nervous systems may be affected by the calming effects, leading to changes in blood pressure and heart rate. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your bird’s care routine.

Culinary Uses

In addition to its therapeutic properties, lavender is also a delightful addition to various culinary creations. From desserts and teas to sauces and roasts, lavender’s unique flavor profile adds a touch of elegance to your dishes.

However, this fragrant herb should be used cautiously, especially when pairing it with light and bright flavors such as lemon, berries, honey, and mint. Whether you’re using fresh or dried lavender, be sure to use it in moderation to prevent overpowering the other flavors in your dish.

And if you’re curious about introducing lavender to your parrot’s diet, we’ll discuss that further in section 3.

Cosmetic and Household Applications

Lavender oil is not only a popular ingredient in aromatherapy, but also a valuable addition to skincare and beauty products, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. From face creams and lotions to shampoos and conditioners, lavender oil can help improve acne, combat bacterial and fungal disorders, soothe skin, and reduce the appearance of scars. As a non-comedogenic oil, it’s also a safe choice for a daily toner. But always use caution and consult a healthcare professional before incorporating lavender oil into your skincare routine.

In the realm of household applications, lavender’s fresh scent makes it a natural choice for air fresheners, insect repellents, and even homemade soaps and candles. However, caution should be taken when using lavender for any of these purposes, ensuring that your bird’s environment remains safe and comfortable.

Lavender Safety for Birds: Debunking Myths

While lavender is generally considered safe for birds, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential toxicity concerns and side effects. In this section, we’ll debunk some common myths about lavender and birds, and discuss safe and unsafe varieties of lavender for your feathered friends.

Toxicity Concerns

Although there is no evidence that lavender is toxic or harmful to birds, it’s important to exercise caution when using it around our avian companions, as every part of the lavender plant is considered safe for parrots. Essential oils, including lavender, can be toxic to birds if used incorrectly, so it’s imperative to seek guidance and care from a professional before applying essential oils to birds or letting them ingest essential oils.

Some varieties of lavender may be safer than others, such as English lavender, French lavender, and Spanish lavender, while hybrid lavender, lavender, and spike lavender should be avoided.

Potential Side Effects

While lavender’s calming effect can be beneficial for birds, there are potential side effects to be aware of. Excessive use of lavender, especially through essential oil diffusers, can cause severe lung irritation in birds due to their delicate respiratory systems. Diarrhea may also be a potential side effect of ingesting too much lavender.

It’s essential to monitor your bird closely when introducing lavender to their environment or diet, and to consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of sensitivity or distress.

Safe vs. Unsafe Varieties

As mentioned earlier, not all varieties of lavender are equally safe for birds. Some safe varieties include English lavender, French lavender, and Spanish lavender, which have lower levels of camphor, a compound that can be toxic to birds.

On the other hand, hybrid lavender, lavandin, and spike lavender contain higher levels of camphor and should be avoided. Always research and consult a professional before introducing any variety of lavender to your bird’s environment or diet.

How to Safely Introduce Lavender to Your Bird’s Diet

lavender, flowers, field

Can Parrots eat lavender? Yes, here’s how to introduce it into their diet…

If you’re considering adding lavender to your bird’s diet, it’s important to do so slowly and in moderation. In this section, we’ll provide guidance on safely introducing lavender to your bird’s diet, including starting slowly, mixing with other foods, and monitoring consumption.

Starting Slowly

When introducing lavender to your bird’s diet, it’s crucial to start slowly and ensure the plant has not been treated with chemicals. Start by introducing your parrot to the flavour of lavender – use just a small pinch. Increase the measure gradually until you find the perfect balance for your pet’s palate.

As with any new food, it’s essential to monitor your bird closely for any signs of sensitivity or adverse reactions.

Mixing with Other Foods

To avoid overwhelming your bird with too much lavender at once, try mixing a few fresh lavender petals or sprinkling some dried lavender on their food. This allows your bird to become accustomed to the new flavor and scent gradually.

Ensure that the lavender is mixed with other bird-safe herbs or added to birdseed to create a balanced diet for your feathered friend.

Monitoring Consumption

When introducing lavender to your bird’s diet, it’s important to closely monitor their consumption and watch for any adverse reactions. Some birds may experience stomach discomfort from ingesting too much lavender.

If you notice any changes in your bird’s behavior, appetite, or health, consult a veterinarian immediately for guidance and care.

Using Essential Oil Diffusers with Birds

hd wallpaper, lavender, flowers

Essential oil diffusers can be a safe and effective way to introduce the soothing scent of lavender to your bird’s environment when used properly. In this section, we’ll discuss how to select safe oils, use proper diffusion techniques, and recognize signs of sensitivity in your bird.

When selecting essential oils, it is important to choose ones that are specifically formulated for use with birds. These oils are typically labeled as “bird-safe” and are free of any potentially toxic compounds. It is also important to avoid.

Selecting Safe Oils

When choosing essential oils for use around birds, it’s important to select oils that are free from harmful chemicals or additives. Some oils that are considered safe for birds include frankincense, lemon, clove, copaiba, lavender, and orange.

However, it’s crucial to avoid oils such as tea tree oil, which can be toxic to birds. Always consult a veterinarian before using any essential oils around your bird to ensure their safety and well-being.

Proper Diffusion Techniques

When diffusing essential oils around birds, it’s essential to use proper techniques to ensure their safety. This includes using oils that are known to be safe for birds, such as geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot, and frankincense.

It’s also important to diffuse essential oils in a well-ventilated area, away from your pet bird, to prevent lung irritation. Always monitor your bird closely for any signs of sensitivity or distress when using essential oil diffusers.

Recognizing Signs of Sensitivity

It’s crucial to recognize signs of sensitivity in birds exposed to essential oils. Potential signs may include discomfort, distress, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, neurologic signs, ataxia, disorientation, seizures, coma, difficulty breathing, and low body temperature.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your bird, discontinue the use of essential oils immediately and consult a veterinarian for guidance and care. Remember, when it comes to using essential oils around birds, caution is key.

Additional Herbs and Flowers Safe for Birds

daytime, eating, parrot

In addition to lavender, there are other herbs and flowers that can be beneficial for birds. In this section, we’ll explore some edible flowers and advantageous herbs that are safe for birds, as well as toxic plants to avoid.

Edible Flowers

Safe edible flowers for birds include hibiscus, nasturtiums, and pansies. These flowers can be a delightful treat for your bird, but it’s important to ensure they’re free from chemicals or pesticides and not collected from potentially contaminated areas.

As with lavender, practice moderation when feeding edible flowers to birds and monitor them for any signs of sensitivity or digestive issues.

Beneficial Herbs

There are many herbs that can be safely fed to parrots, offering a range of health benefits. Some of these herbs include chamomile, dandelion, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, and sage, each with their unique advantages.

However, it’s important to exercise caution when introducing new herbs to your bird’s diet, as they can potentially cause allergic reactions. Always start with small amounts and monitor your bird closely for any signs of sensitivity.

Toxic Plants to Avoid

While many plants can be beneficial for birds, it’s essential to be aware of toxic plants that should be avoided. Some examples of toxic plants for birds include oleander, azalea, rhododendron, amaryllis, andromeda, Boston fern, and spider plant.

Ingestion of these plants can result in digestive issues, respiratory problems, and even death. Always research and consult a professional before introducing any new plants to your bird’s environment or diet.


Throughout this blog post, we’ve explored the versatile world of lavender, its various uses, and its safety for birds. We’ve discussed the importance of caution when introducing lavender to your bird’s diet and environment, as well as other safe herbs and flowers for birds. Remember that every bird is unique, and it’s essential to consult a veterinarian before making any changes to their diet or care routine. With proper guidance and care, lavender can be a delightful and beneficial addition to your bird’s life, providing a calming and fragrant ambiance for both you and your feathered friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lavender safe for pet birds?

Although some essential oils are considered safe for pet birds, caution should be taken when using lavender oil near your pet bird as its effects are still largely unknown. It is advised to speak to an avian veterinarian before using any essential oils near your pet bird to ensure their safety.

Can birds be around lavender oil?

Due to the safety of some essential oils, it is possible for birds to be around lavender oil if it is used in an oil diffuser and properly diluted.

However, caution should still be taken to monitor birds for any adverse reactions when using essential oils around them.

Do birds like lavender scent?

Though lavender does not appear to be a repellant scent for birds, caution should still be used when using lavender around birds as it is unclear whether they would have an enjoyable experience with its scent or not.

It is important to remember that birds have different senses than humans, and what may be pleasant to us may not be pleasant to them. Therefore, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid using lavender around birds.

What birds like lavender?

If you are looking to attract birds to your garden, lavender is a great choice. Hummingbirds in particular find the blooms very attractive and will be drawn to its nectar-filled flowers for extended periods of time.

Plant lavender in your garden for a beautiful sight and plenty of feathered visitors!

Are essential oils safe for birds?

Overall, essential oils are not recommended for birds. While they may not be lethal in small doses, they can have serious consequences if used incorrectly. So it is important to use them with caution.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.