Three Herbal Remedies for Children
Herbs are natural healing aids for children. Parents have relied on the gentle and safe healing powers of herbs for common childhood illnesses and discomforts through the ages. Children respond well to herbs. Please be sure to give a tiny amount first to make sure your child isn't allergic. They need much smaller amounts of herbal remedies than adults do. Always follow directions on the label and start with the smallest amount. That may be all your child needs.
The following three herbs are well-known as children's herbs (good for adults too!).
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
In the early 1900's, Dr. Jethro Kloss said, "If every mother would have catnip on her shelf, it would save her many a sleepless night and her child much suffering."
Catnip calms stress and makes a good nightcap for fussy children. It reduces fevers and helps with teething pain. It is also used for indigestion, diarrhea and colic. Teething children can sip the tea throughout the day. Unfortunately, the taste is rather bitter, so you may need to camoflauge it with chamomile, lemon balm and other pleasant tasting herbs or teas. If you prefer, you can use a few drops of the tincture instead.
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis and Martricaria recutita)
Chamomile is a wonderful, versatile herb for children. It's a great herb to try when your child has colic or indigestion. Give a few drops of tincture before meals.For babies, brew a cup of infusion using one teaspoon of chamomile flowers (or one tea bag) in a cup of water. Give your baby a few teaspoons straight or added to a bottle.
Brew a few cups of strong chamomile tea and add it to your child's bath water. The essential oil is rather expensive, but a single drop added to massage oil or lotion smells wonderful. It has a wonderful scent and is calming and soothing to both body and mind.
As Peter Rabbit's mother knew, a cup of chamomile tea before bed eases the day's stress and makes it easier to sleep.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel seeds have been used for thousands of years to increase and enrich mother's milk. It's perfectly safe to drink 2-4 cups a day and you may even pass some of fennel's benefits on to your baby.
This flavorful herb tastes a bit like licorice. It's good alone or for combining with less tasty herbs. You can crush or grind the seeds and mix them into foods. Older children may enjoy eating fresh or cooked fennel. Fennel is good for colic, stimulating digestion and moving gas.
When I lived in Germany I remember seeing shelves full of fennel tea. It was very popular with German mothers and babies, who were much less likely to suffer from colic than our babies were. Serve a few teaspoons straight from the spoon or add to the bottle.
I hope you and your children enjoy more restful nights and pleasant days thanks to these three herbal helpers.
And to help Mom and Dad cope with the stress of raising children, visit the