5 Herbs To Use For Babies and Children

When we are using herbs and have little ones in the house, our first question is, “Is this herb safe for babies and children?”

It can make a parent nervous to administer herbs to children that they are not familiar with – and you should be careful. Just as you watch your child closely when you introduce each new food {one of my girls was allergic to green beans but has not had any reactions to herbs I’ve given her} to make sure there is no reaction, you should watch your child for reactions to herbs as well.

But herbs are foods, and can be a great choice for medicine as well. If your child has a rash after consuming an herb or does not tolerate an herb well, then you know to avoid that herb. There are definitely herbs that babies and children should never have, so I encourage you to research which herbs are safe that can greatly benefit your young one’s health when they are needed, and which ones need to wait until the child is older.

While these 5 herbs below are not in the least the only ones you can give to little ones, they are a good start to have on hand.

 5 Herbs To Use For Babies and Children

Chamomile Flowers

chamomil-flower-update

Chamomile is one of the safest herbs to use. The flowers are great for nervous conditions and have a mild sedative effect.  They help relieve menstrual cramps, intestinal cramps, digestive upsets and gas pains. For babies, they are a choice remedy for teething and colic.

To make chamomile tea for colic or stomach aches:

  • Steep 1-2 tsp. of chamomile flowers in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the burner while steeping and cover with a lid.  Strain the flowers from the liquid.
  • Cool tea to room temperature
  • Give babies 1-2 ounces, children 2-4 ounces, and adults 1 cup as needed. Giving the tea warm will make a big difference in it being effective for colic and aches.

Using chamomile for teething:

  • Make a strong tea of chamomile when you want to use it for teething.
  • Steep the flowers in the tea for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • You can either freeze the tea in popsicle molds or soak a rag in the tea and freeze the rag for the baby to chew on! These methods will offer great relief for those aching gums.

Catnip

Catnip

Catnip is very gentle and highly prized in treating children’s ailments. It is excellent for colds, flus, and fevers.

To use catnip as a fever reducer:

Combine equal amounts of…

…in a container and mix. Make a tea using the instructions above. If you don’t have the elderflower and spearmint, just make a tea with catnip. For children 3 and older, give 1/4 cup every 2 hours until the fever subsides. For children under 3, give 1 tsp of the tea every 2 hours. {Source}

Olive Leaf

WebOlive-leaf

Olive leaf is a natural antibiotic and something I would turn to for viral or bacterial infections…and it’s safe enough for children and babies. Like most herbs, it can be administered in tea or tincture form.

Elderberries

elderberries

Elderberries are a great immune booster and well known for their flu-fighting properties. Dried elderberries can be added to foods, but my favorite way to consume them is by making syrup out of them. Read here how I make elderberry syrup. If making syrup for babies under 1, use vegetable glycerin instead of honey.

Echinacea

Echinacea

Echinacea has been said by some to be used with caution for babies.My naturopathic doctor recommends echinacea for babies over 1, and I believe it is much safer than antibiotics and steroids prescribed for infants all the time. Echinacea is a powerful natural antibiotic and infection fighter.

Before I started making my own medicines, I bought an immune booster for infants and children called Sweet Echinacea that has echinacea as its main herb.

My babies and now children have all responded very well to this herb and it has saved us many doctors visits. I do know of one person that has had an adverse reaction to this herb, but this is very rare. It’s comparable to someone who is severely allergic to peanuts and knows to never eat them again, but most other people can tolerate them fine.  

Again, echinacea can be used in tea and tincture form, or you can buy this Infant Immune-Booster that contains both echinacea and elderberries!

If you make the olive leaf or echinacea into a tincture form yourself, here are suggested dosage amounts from Mountain Meadow Herbs:

Suggested Dosage Use for Babies and Children

Under 2 years old – 1 to 3 times a day as needed

  • 5-10 drops

2-11 years old – 1 to 3 times a day as needed

  • 1/8 tsp.

12 years and older – 1 to 3 times a day as needed

  • 1/4 tsp.

Intervention Use: Use suggested dosage every 4 hours.

Maintenance Use: Use suggested dosage 6 days on, one day off for 2 weeks.

Do you use herbs for your babies? Which are your favorites, or which ones would you like to try?

Sources:

Gallagher, K. (n.d.). Teething Relief. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/teething-relief/
Weaver, R., & Weaver, C. (2010). Be your own doctor: 101 stories : Natural remedies for the health of your family. Reinholds, PA (240 Mohns Hill Rd., Reinholds, PA 17569): Share-A-Care Publications.
Gladstar, R. (2012). Rosemary Gladstar’s medicinal herbs: A beginner’s guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub.
Bulk Herb Store. (n.d.). Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://www.bulkherbstore.com/
Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.