Are Herbs (Medicinal Plants) safe for Kids ?


Are herbs safe for children ? Yes, herbs are not only safe but also beneficial for kids, but only if given under proper guidance and in proper doses. However, not all herbs can be given to children. Tables provided below as guide to using herbs for children.

Plants in their original form contain a host of natural ingredients—alkaloids, bioflavonoids, glycosides, minerals, vitamins, volatile oils, and other natural substances that not only support an herb’s healing benefits but also safeguard against potential toxicity.

In a recent survey of more than 700 pediatricians, 54 percent agreed they “should consider the use of all potential therapies, not just those of mainstream medicine.” Treating diseases and illnesses in kids by using harmful synthetic drugs may not be desirable and advantageous; synthetic drugs could cause severe side effects and unwanted chemical residues in the body.

A balanced intake of selected herbs could assist the kid to recuperate quickly, without any visible side effects and post therapy complications. Herbs are completely natural. Unlike mordern mainstream medicine (Allopathy) herbs do not destroy beneficial bacteria in the body.

Herbal preparations work gently, so they take time to act internally. When you give your child an herbal preparation, begin with a small amount. Watch closely for signs that symptoms are easing. Observe how the preparation makes your child feel. Using herbal treatment requires observation, coupled with good judgment.

Natural herbal preparations are generally well tolerated by children. Most herbs are nontoxic, with few, if any, harmful side effects. However, it is important to know the action and possible side effects of an herb before you give it. Although it is very unusual, some children may show signs of sensitivity to a particular herb. Reactions can include a headache, an upset stomach, or a rash. If your child has a reaction, discontinue use of the herb immediately

There are many herbs that can be given safely to children; however, even the safest herb can be dangerous when used improperly. Always consult with your pediatrician for safety and dosage information and to understand potential benefits and risks before giving herbs to your child.

Children Health Problem and Herbs
Health ConditionHerbs
ADD/ADHDServe chamomile at bedtime; lemon balm and St. John’s wort are calming and act as antidepressants.
BurnsAloe to soothe; comfrey and Gotu kola speed healing.
ChickenpoxBurdock for detoxification and healing; echinacea and goldenseal for immune system support.
CoughLungwort, mullein tea, and osha clear a cough; marshmallow and slippery elm soothe the throat.
DiarrheaSlippery elm repairs and comforts the intestines; goldenseal and Oregon grape root manage bacterial-based diarrhea.
HeadacheChamomile and skullcap for tension; feverfew combats migraines.
Head liceUse balsam of Peru, tea tree oil, or goldenseal tea to wash the scalp.
NauseaGinger tea and licorice root may settle the stomach; try peppermint tea for digestion.
PneumoniaIsatis is antiviral; mullein activates lymph circulation; osha strengthens.
Sore throatEchinacea and goldenseal or garlic help clear infection and boost immune system; yarrow may lower fever.
TeethingClove oil is a natural anesthetic; licorice root powder can ease inflamed gums.
Note: Do not give chamomile to a child with ragweed and daisy allergies. Echinacea and goldenseal should not be used for more than 10 days. Use DGL licorice, Skullcap is safe for children seven and older.
8 Common Herbs For Children
HerbUses Preparation
Aloe veraSoothes minor burns, sunburns, cuts, poison ivy, and insect stings. Break off a leaf, split lengthwise, and apply the gel.
Chamomile
(Matricaria recutita, M. chamomile)
Reduces inflammation, aids digestion and sleep. Also helpful for headaches and fever. Chamomile tea.
Eucalyptus
(Eucalyptus globulus)
Decongestant and mild antiseptic. Useful for colds and other respiratory complaints. Dilute essential oil with vegetable oil in steams, salves, and chest rubs.
Ginger
(Zingiber officinale)
Nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting. Culinary uses, tea, and tinctures.
Marshmallow
(Althaea officinalis)
Sore throats, diarrhea, digestive upsets. Teas, liquid extracts, capsules.
Peppermint
(Mentha piperita)
Colic, diarrhea, headache, nausea, indigestion. Tea, capsules, tinctures.
Tea tree
(Melaleuca alternifolia)
Disinfects wounds and heals skin conditions including insect bites, scrapes, and fungal infections. Dilute one to two drops of essential oil per teaspoon of almond or olive oil.
Valerian
(Valeriana officinalis)
Insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity. Extracts, tea, capsules.


Herb Dosage For Children
AgeHerbal dosages
Newborn to two years One dose equals 3 drops of tincture diluted in 1/4 cup of water, formula, or breast milk, or 2 to 3 teaspoons of tea. A nursing mother may also take an adult dose of the appropriate herbal treatment. The herbs will be transmitted to her baby through her breast milk, filtered and diluted to the appropriate strength.
Two to six years. One dose equals 6 to 10 drops of tincture diluted in 1/4 cup of water, or 1/4 cup of tea.
Six to twelve years. One dose equals 10 to 20 drops of tincture, 1/2 cup of tea, or 1 tablet or capsule.
Twelve years to adult. One dose equals 20 to 40 drops of tincture, 1 cup of tea, or 2 tablets or capsules.