Ginger, botanically known as Zingiber officinale, is a herbaceous flowering plant featuring a fleshy rhizome or ginger root used as a spice and in folk medicine. It shares the same family with turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.
Native to Island Southeast Asia, its stems are made of folded leaves that shoot from the rhizome and have narrow-bladed leaves. On the other hand, its inflorescences that grow separately from the rhizome and have yellow petals with purple borders.
Is it safe for rabbits?
Yes. Ginger leaves, stems, and roots (rhizomes) are safe for rabbits. They will not cause any toxicity or poisoning. However, being pungent and spicy with a strong peppery taste, your bunnies may not like its strong flavor.
Furthermore, being a mild gastrointestinal irritant, your rabbit may suffer from mouth, throat, and GI irritations.
Therefore, if your rabbit seems to like this culinary spice, only let him have a small bit occasionally. However, don’t let them have ginger biscuits or any other unhealthy diet that has this spice.
If you are looking for a treat, there are a dozen tasty commercial rabbit treats, or you can offer safe fruits and non-leafy vegetables.
Concerns and benefits
According to riseandshinerabbitry.com, ginger may help bucks that suffering from infertility. There are no specific studies to verify the validity of this information.
While responding to a question on Reddit, one user claims that ginger is not a good idea, i.e., “No, not a good idea. Although you can grate some up onto your rabbit’s food, ginger is an excellent tonic, not in large amounts, as it will cause diarrhea.”
Another commonly noted concern is the fact that it resembles other plants that are toxic to these pets. However, if correctly identified, this shouldn’t be an issue.
In dogs, ginger helps prevent nausea and vomiting, but bunnies don’t puke. It also prevents bloat by speeding gut motility, may help treat heartworms, and osteoarthritis dogs stand a chance to benefit from this spice.
Perhaps it could have benefits to bunnies too since it has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and may benefit their immunity and help control blood pressure.
Finally, while FDA lists it as generally recognized as safe to humans, it does have interactions warfarin and nifedipine. Also, it is associated with abdominal discomfort, higher tendency to bleed, heartburn, central nervous depression if taken to much as well as mouth and throat irritation.
Ginger root has 79% water and about 17.79%) carbohydrates. It is also a source of dietary fiber and has low levels of sugars, proteins, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
Other nutrients include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 (folate), C, and E as well as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, and zinc.