Basil is one of those fabulous herbs that goes great with many different foods.
It has a strong and sweet flavour and aroma, which is often used in asian and mediterranean cuisine.
There are different types of basil which include mediterranean that have large sweet green leaves, Greek basil which has smaller peppery leaves, and Purple Basil which has dark leaves.
You can also get Lemon Basil which has small leaves with a citrus flavour, Thai Basil which is sweet, and Holy Basil which has an intense and spicy flavour. (source bbc good food)
So can guinea pigs eat basil, and if they can how much can they eat?
Lets have a look at its nutritional data and find out.
As usual, we’re looking at how much phosphorus, calcium, fats, sugar and oxelates it contains.
We’re also looking for a healthy does of vitamin a and c to help our piggies.
image flickr
Energy 94 kJ (22 kcal)
Carbohydrates 2.65 g
– Dietary fiber 1.6 g
Fat 0.64 g
Protein 3.15 g
Water 92.06 g
Vitamin A equiv. 264 μg (33%)
– beta-carotene 3142 μg (29%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.034 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.076 mg (6%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.902 mg (6%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.209 mg (4%)
Vitamin B6 0.155 mg (12%)
Folate (vit. B9) 68 μg (17%)
Choline 11.4 mg (2%)
Vitamin C 18.0 mg (22%)
Vitamin E 0.80 mg (5%)
Vitamin K 414.8 μg (395%)
Calcium 177 mg (18%)
Iron 3.17 mg (24%)
Magnesium 64 mg (18%)
Manganese 1.148 mg (55%)
Phosphorus 56 mg (8%)
Potassium 295 mg (6%)
Sodium 4 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.81 mg (9%)
(source: Wikipedia)
As you can see, although it doesn’t contain any oxelates or sugar, it does contain quite a large amount of phosphorus and calcium which isn’t good and and a small amount of fat.
It does however, contain a nice amount of vitamin c.
So guinea pigs can eat basil, but because of the phosphorus and calcium content, only feed sparingly in small amounts once or twice a week at the maximum.
Can guinea pigs eat basil leaves?
Yes they can but only sparingly as mentioned above. Once or twice a week at most.
Can guinea pigs eat basil flowers?
Basil flowers are not toxic but are best consumed in small quantities as their leaves contain plant compounds that can be harmful to their digestive systems when consumed in mass quantities. (source sfgate).
Can guinea pigs eat sweet basil?
Yes it is fine for piggies, but only in small amounts.
Can guinea pigs eat thai basil?
Again, thai basil is fine for piggies if fed infrequently and in small amounts.
Can guinea pigs eat lemon basil?
Yes they can eat lemon basil, but just like other types only in small amounts and on an infrequent basis.