Herbs for Kids
Most herbal remedies are generally safe with no harmful side effects and some are well tolerated by kids. However, when giving herbs to kids, caution should be taken. If side effects are observed (for example, rash, upset stomach, or headache), discontinue use. It is best to start out with a small amount. When buying herbs, shop at a reputable store and buy high quality brands.
Unless directions mention otherwise, one dose equals:
• Newborn to 2 years old (2-3 teaspoons of tea or 3 drops of tincture added to 1/4 cup of formula, breast milk, or water). If breastfeeding, mom can take an adult dose and transmit the herb via breast milk.
• 2-6 years old (1/4 cup of tea or 6-10 drops of tincture added to 1/4 cup of water).
• 6-12 years old (1/2 cup of tea, 10-20 drops of tincture, or 1 capsule/tablet).
• 12 years old to adult (1 cup of tea, 20-40 drops of tincture, or 2 capsules/tablet).
Safe Herbs for Kids
Echinacea boosts the immune system so the body can naturally fight off viral and bacterial infections. It has been shown to help in the prevention of colds and decrease the duration of a cold. For best results, it should be given as soon as signs of an illness first appear and it should be given 4-5 times a day for 6-10 days.
Besides colds (and flu), echinacea can help treat sore throats, coughs, fevers, ear infections, and urinary tract infections.
Oregon grape, like echinacea, also fights infections caused by a bacteria or virus. It is especially helpful in decreasing inflammation from ear infections.
Astragalus stimulates the immune system to fight against viruses. Many herbalists suggest not giving astragalus if the child is running a fever because it is believed to prolong a high temperature.
Other antiviral herbs for kids include lemongrass, lemon balm, hyssop, and ginger.
Ginger tea can help relieve bad stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting. Ginger tea has a strong taste and can be added to some apple juice to make it a little easier to drink.
Flaxseed is rich in fiber and can help provide relief from constipation. Adding flaxseed tea to some juice and giving once a day should show results within 48 hours.
Slippery elm is an excellent herbal remedy for diarrhea in kids.
If diarrhea is related to a bacterial infection, use goldenseal.
Chamomile can calm nerves and promote sleep. It is best to take 30 minutes before bedtime.
Not all of the above mentioned herbs for kids are recommended to give babies or young children. Always read directions/dosages or consult with your health care provider before giving.
If your child is on medications (like antibiotics), you should also consult with your health care provider before giving herbal remedies.
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