Growth in poultry sector can contribute to enhanced nutrition and poverty reduction in India, because a large share of the rural poor is dependent on poultry for food and income. Traditional medicines have the potential to improve the growth as well as health status of the birds.  Ethno veterinary practices involve the traditional beliefs, knowledge, practices and skills pertaining to healthcare and management of livestock and poultry. Ethno-veterinary medicine (EVM) system, an indigenous knowledge on animal health is re-emerging as holistic animal health care.EVM is widely utilized by the family poultry rearers across the country. Poultry diseases seriously affect village chicken production. Antibiotics resistance, residues and withdrawal periods is major problem that affect export marketing.

Their role in organic egg and meat production. Plant and plant parts have been serve as an indispensable source of medicine for indigenous poultry production system. The inherent utility and practical application of indigenous medicinal herbs/plant extract (garlic, cinnamon, tulsi, turmeric, lemon, neem, etc) are used to improving poultry health as well as production with fruitful results.


  • Reduces Antibiotics use
  • Traditional practice of herbal medicines for poultry health management can diminish the cost of production thereby give more benefit to the farmers.
  • Farmers’ self dependence.
  • Preserve herbs.
  • User friendly, Eco friendly.
  • Provide some intervention for viral diseases.

Anti bacterial/ antiviral/  antiseptic:

1.Turmeric – (Curcuma longa) – curcuminoids

2.Garlic – Anti viral – Allium sativumsulfur-containing compounds alliin, ajoene, diallyl polysulfides, vinyldithiins, S-allylcysteine, and enzymes, saponins, flavonoids, and Maillard reaction products

3.Neem – (Azadirachta indica):

Neem is important herbal medicine having different active principle azadrachtin, nimbin, salanin, melicin, etc. Neem oil is selectively activates the cell mediated immune response by activating macrophage and lymphocytes. Apart from this have wide range of pharmacological activities



Fowl poxTurmeric and neem paste for external application.


Fly control -As spray on litter

Dried fruit:

Immuno stimulant -0.5 to 1 kg per tonne of poultry feed

Thyme oil (thymus vulgaris) – Antibacterial.

Turmric, Black pepper, thyme used to effective control of clostridium perfringens and enterobacteria.

  1. 4. Carica papaya which lyse the bacteria by papain enzyme
  2. Sweet flag (Vasambu) – Acorus calamus – α-, β- and γ- asarone, sequesterpenes and acorenone
  3. Kuppaimeni (Acalypha indica) acalyphineandtriacetoneamine
  4. Vettukaaya poondu (Tridax procumbens) 3,6-dimethoxy-5,7,2′,3′,4′-pentahydroxyflavone 7-O-β-D-gluco- pyranoside.
  5. Deva-5 is a herb formulation composed of five herbs namelyMomordica cochinchinensisL., Gentiana decumbens L., Polygonum bistorta L., Hypecoum erectum L. and Terminalia chebula Retz showed in vitro antiviral activity against avian influenza A virus subtype H3N8. Alchemilla mollis extract synergistically potentiates the anti influenza effect of zanamivir.
  6. Sweet wormwood (Artemisia annual) extracts inhibited the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) proliferation in chicken embryos without causing side effects.
  7. Essential oils derived from peppermint and eucalyptus showed protective action in broilers against multiple respiratory pathogens mainly Mycoplasma gallisepticumand H9N2 influenza virus infections

Liver stimulant/ hepatoprotective:

  1. Keelanelli (Phyllanthus niruri) – lavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, lignans, polyphenols, tannins, coumarins and saponins .
  2. Vellai karisaali (Eclipta prostrata) – coumestans

Herbs for respiratory ailment:

  1. 1. Adathoda (Justicia adhatoda) vasicine

2.Tulsi(Ocimum tenuiflorum)oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid

3.KarpooravalliPlectranthus amboinicus- Thymol(41.3%), cineol(13.25%), carvacrol(5.45%), eugenol(4.4%), and caryophyllene(4.2%)

4.Thoothuvali – (Solanum trilobatum)flavonoids, glycosides, reducing sugar, sterols, tannins, alkaloids and saponins.


Vast usage of sulphanilamide, ionophorous antibiotics, amprolium or synthetic chemical compounds for the treatment of coccidiosis in poultry results in emergence of drug-resistant strains and antibiotic residues in poultry meat posing serious problems to the meat consumers. Sinomenium acutum, sage, Garlic, Aloe vera

Herbs for ectoparasites:

Common temporary external parasites of poultry include fowl ticks (also known as blue bugs), bed bugs and chicken mites (also known as red mites or roost mites). The use of chemicals viz., hydrocarbons, organophosphorus, carbamates and pyrethroids are found not to be free from adverse effects of toxicity to human, added up drug resistance by target parasites and high cost of drugs, paving the way for herbal alternatives.

Cinnamon oil has shown anti-parasitic activity against TrichomonasHistomonas meleagridis and head lice in chicken. Allium cepa (onion) has proven pronounced anti-parasitic activity against many helminthes and protozoa such as, Trichinella spiralis and Leishmania sp. For preventing lice in ducks, drop the bulb in the bird’s drinking water and for chickens green leaves (spring onions) can be used to be picked by the birds.

Chopped seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) are shown to be good for the control of tapeworms in laying hens.

  • Sweet flag (Vasambu), Purasa thalai


Modulation of immune response to alleviate diseases has since long been of great interest to researchers. Indian medicinal plants are a rich source of substances which are claimed to induce immunity, thereby stimulating the non-specific immunomodulation, essentially granulocytes, macrophages, natural killer cells and complement functions

Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) is one of the well-known medicinal plants. Several bioactive compounds have been isolated from this plant, among which the important one is the steroidal lactone called Withanolides, having antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor and immunomodulatory activities

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is another immunomodulatory herb, that has shown marked influence on the haematological parameters in birds like haemoglobin, PCV and RBC indices.

Wild mint (Mentha longifolia) has been found to enhance immunity especially in broiler chicks in addition to the improvement in growth performance, feed conversion ratio and gross return. Echinacea sp., Glycyrrhiza glabra (Liquorice), Allium sativum (garlic) and Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s claw) and they can improve the functions of lymphocytes, macrophages and NK cells a s well as increase phagocytosis and stimulate the interferon synthesis

Herbs for Other conditions:

  1. Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) – ascorbic acid(vitamin C) – Immunostimulant.

Antistress – 1 kg per tonne of poultry feed during summer

  1. Betel leaves Vetrilai (Piper betle) – Gout
  2. Banana stem – Gout
  3. Small onion : Growth promoter -1 kg per tonne of chick feed.
  4. Fowl pox – Neem bark @ 1kg/1000 birds to be given after soaking in water, over night and Neem leaves as top dressing.

Turmeric and garlic used for different disease:

Name and disease Dosage

1.Growth Promoter



2.Wing rot


3. Fowl pox


4.Respiratory conditions



1. supplement


2.Spray in     vv ND


3. Breeder male



1 kg per tonne of chick feed

1-2 kg per tonne of chick &grower feed

1 kg per tonne of broiler feed

1-2 kg per tonne of feed with garlic


Turmeric and neem paste for external application

1-2 kg per tonne of feed



Chick feed – up to 4 kg per tonne

Layer feed – up to 8 kg per tonne

5 – 10 ml of extract in one Litre of water for spray

Top dressing with garlic pieces for breeder male


Herbs can be used as a good alternative therapeutic aid to costly allopathic medicines/chemotherapy and boosting immune functions in intoxicated conditions and can also effectively complement allopathic medicines in diseased state. Detailed scientific validation on these in poultry would be a worthful research in future. Ethnoveterinary practices using plant products are effective against some diseases. These plant products are locally available and free or very cheap. These will all together improve prospects of this traditional wealth towards modern medicines, drugs and health care products derived from their origin to improve the market potential and commercialization aspects at global level.


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