Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemon Balm?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemon Balm?

The short answer is no, guinea pigs should not eat lemon balm. While lemon balm does have some beneficial properties for humans, it can be toxic to small animals like guinea pigs and can cause serious health problems if ingested.

What is Lemon Balm?

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb in the mint family that has a variety of uses. It’s often used as a culinary seasoning or medicinal remedy due to its many purported health benefits which include reducing anxiety and stress, aiding digestion, improving sleep quality and fighting off colds and flu-like symptoms. It also has antifungal properties that make it useful for treating skin conditions such as athlete’s foot or ringworm.

Why Can’t Guinea Pigs Have Lemon Balm?

Guinea pigs are very sensitive creatures with delicate digestive systems that can be easily upset by foods they’re not used to eating. Lemon balm contains compounds called tannins which can act as astringents when consumed in large quantities – meaning they contract bodily tissues, making them harder and less pliable. This could lead to severe gastrointestinal distress in your pet such as vomiting and diarrhea if ingested in large amounts over time. Additionally, the essential oils found within lemon balm may be too strong for the delicate system of a guinea pig causing further irritation leading to potential intestinal blockages or other issues requiring emergency veterinary care..


In conclusion, it’s best to avoid feeding your guinea pig any type of lemon balm regardless of how much they beg for it! While there are some benefits associated with the herb when ingested by humans, these do not necessarily apply to smaller animals like guinea pigs whose digestive systems may be more sensitive than ours!