Childhood is an amazing time but it is also filled with mental and physical transformation. Special care is needed especially in the time of illness and disease. Conventional medicines used for treating common childhood illnesses lead to some harsh side effects. Instead, one can safely use herbs to treat common childhood concerns. Here are the best herbal remedies and herbs for kids for common health disorders:
1. Ghee- for constipation in kids
Children with chronic constipation can benefit from a glass of warm milk with Ghee added to it. There are no herbs used in this remedy-you only need to make ghee at home which can be obtained by carefully boiling grass-fed organic butter until it becomes clear and transparent. Add a teaspoon of this prepared ghee to a glass of warm milk and make the child drink it at bedtime.
2. Yarrow root-for fever in childhood
One of the best herbs for kids with fever is Yarrow root or Achillea millefolium. It brings out perspiration and is useful in all stages of fever. Give it to the child in form of tincture or tea. It is especially recommended in case of shivering as it helps warm the child up. Use 0.5 to 1 ml tincture in warm water and feed it to the child every 3 hours.
3. For gas and teething in babies-Acorus calamus or Sweet Sedge (Sweet flag)
Toddlers and babies who are bottle-fed tend to suffer from chronic gas and Sweet sedge can help. The roots of the herb can be used for making tea which helps stimulate digestion and soothes teething pains. It also promotes flow of bile and is recommended to children who are unable to digest fried food, butter and cream without feeling unwell. It also provides diuretic effect in kids with large abdomens caused due to water retention.
4. Agrimony-general tonic for liver health and treating diarrhea in kids
The flowering tops of dried agrimony can be used as a tonic to stimulate the liver and they even act as an astringent. Agrimony can help relieve diarrhea without constipating kids. This herbal remedy is especially beneficial for weak kids with poor appetites. Use standard dosing of few drops of tincture in warm water.
5. Garlic-for treating infections
Garlic provides a natural antibacterial and antiseptic action to treat all kinds of infections. It also helps bring out perspiration during fever and is especially used for treating bronchial and upper respiratory infections in children. Avoid using garlic on kids having conjunctivitis or Pink Eye as it can irritate the eyes further. Use 70mg of garlic oil in the form of capsules –make sure to buy the best product without any added preservatives. You can also use garlic poultices on skin infections and blisters. Do not use the topical garlic remedy on babies with sensitive skin.
6. Marshmallow leaves (Althea officinalis) – best herb for kids with lung or digestive issues
Marshmallow leaves provide a cooling and soothing action. They help relieve inflammation of the digestive track and you can use 1 heaped teaspoon of dried marshmallow leaves or ¼ teaspoon tincture for kids less than 3 years old. Avoid the use of iron utensils with marshmallow as this can interfere with its action.
7. Pasque Flower
The leaves of Anemone pulsatilla or Pasque Flower plant can be used to soothe rashes, relax spasms and cramps and also reduce mucus. It is a calming and relaxing herb for kids. Give 1 drop of tincture for children in a teacup of water. Avoid the fresh plant as it can be poisonous in large doses.
8. Dill-seeds and essential oil
Nursing mothers can benefit greatly from dill seeds as it increases milk production. It also helps warm and tone inflamed digestive system. Essential oil of dill can be used for massaging babies. Make tea of dill (use 1 level teaspoon of dried herb for every 50 ml of water and add a hint of honey for sweetening it up for kids.
Burdock leaves, roots and seeds are all wonderful herbs for kids. They help nourish the skin and can be used for treating rashes and measles. It is also effective against common skin complaints like acne, eczema, psoriasis etc. Use standard dose as for adults or as mentioned on the product label.
10. Arnica or Wolfsbane
The homeopathic herbal remedy Arnica is even prescribed by cosmetic/plastic surgeons prior to surgery for facilitating healing. It can be used to heal bruises and swelling in active children. According to Homeopathy-it is a wonder drug for all kinds of trauma. It can be used as a tincture to be placed on the injury or even taken orally. Take Arnica 30C every 2 hours.
11. Frankincense essential oil for relaxing and calming
Frankincense is a calming remedy that can help treat bacterial and viral infections. It can be used in an oil diffuser to relieve asthmatic attacks.
12. German chamomile
Chamomile calms and soothes digestive system, settles overexcited and hyperactive kids, induces sleep, soothes colic and teething pain and also reduces fever. It is recommended for red faced-screaming children. Make tea with dried parts of the plant until the concoction is straw colored. Give 1 tsp to baby and ½ cup to older kids. You can also use Roman Chamomile though it is a lot bitterer than its German counterpart.
13. Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil is obtained from the rind of lemon. It can help thin down mucous and also aid in stimulating appetite. Do not give it to the child orally- use in a diffuser or apply a few drops on the skin by diluting it with carrier oil. Honey and lemon juice drink may be given in the form of a tea to the child having fever, coughs and colds. Add a hint of ginger to this tea for its anti-mucous action.
14. Clove oil for aching gums
Essential oil from cloves can be used to relieve toothache and gum pain. It also relieves cramps and flatulence. Dilute clove oil (1 part of essential oil to 5 parts of carrier) before applying to gums in babies.
15. Eucalyptus for mucus and congestion
Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil on pulse points or to vaporizer or boiling water for steam inhalation can help relieve headaches and sinusitis infections in children. Apply a few drops to the child’s handkerchief and make them inhale it.
There are hundreds of other beneficial herbs for kids and some of the mention-worthy ones include Licorice for harmonizing and soothing inflammation, Geranium for relaxation and treating skin infections, Ginkgo for calming nerves and clearing mucus and Golden Seal for its laxative action. You can also use St.John’s Wort for healing wounds, relieving stress and anxiety, treating painful injuries and soothing swollen and inflamed skin. Lavender oil can be added to a vaporizer or to the child’s bath water for reliving aches, pains, colds and facilitating relaxation.