Thursday, November 29, 2012

Herbs For Children (Children's Health, Day 4)

{Thanks to Erika for letting me share during this series! I appreciate her encouragement and excitement for our adoption journey! She is a blessing.}
Image Source: sxc hu

Herbs are great to have in your natural momma’s medicine cabinet. There are many herbs for children’s health that I think all mommas should know about, even if you are just starting out in your journey to natural living. Let’s first take a look at a few of my favorite herbs, and then we will talk about a few simple ways to use them for children’s health.

Beginner Herbs for Children

Peppermint is one of my top “must have” for children’s health. Peppermint is one of the most versatile herbs as it can gently soothe an upset tummy, heal up a headache and fever, kill harmful microbials such as bacteria and viruses and so much more. This herb not only smells lovely, but it is also agreeable to young palates.

Lavender is fantastic herb to have around with children. Another “well-rounded” herb, lavender can be easily used internally and externally for even the youngest of children. Lavender makes a wonderful sleep aid for restless, upset children and is a wonderful ingredient in a baby’s bath as it gently cleanses delicate baby skin. This gentle, calming plant is one of the safest, powerful anti-microbial herbs you can find.

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Catnip and chamomile are both amazing at calming upset tummies and colicky little ones. Chamomile is usually a child favorite as the tea made from these flowers tastes like apples. Catnip tea is great for breastfeeding mommas to drinking if their babes tend to get colic often.  Both herbs are fun to have in a garden for children to play in too!

Echinacea and elderberry are two of the best immune boosting herbs a momma can have around this time of year. These herbs have amazing properties to allow little bodies to develop a strong immune system. I always have tea on hand when we travel, just in case I get exposed to a yucky bug. Echinacea tea is usually taken very well and elderberry syrup is just delicious… so be careful to keep it out of reach of little fingers.

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Plantain is hands down the best herb to heal bug bites and stings and FAST! And the best thing about this herb is that you can literally find it almost anywhere (just not during the freezing winter months). Its astringent properties are so strong, yet gentle... it can even pull venom out of a fresh bite wound without stinging. Big brownie points for mommas!

 How To Use Herbs

Okay, so now you have a few great herbs to work with… what will you do with them? Well, you will need to be sure to do a little research before you administer herbs to children; at least that is what I recommend. Each herb should be treated a little different, but here are some simple ways I often use herbs for little ones.

Image by: Nseika

Herbal infusion aka herbal tea – simply make tea as you normally would, but instead of tea… use herbs like chamomile, peppermint or echinacea. They can be fresh or dry. Allow the herbs to steep for at least 10 minutes, and then allow the drink to cool to a safe temperature for a child to drink. One way I have found to get picky children to take herbal teas, are to add some honey, then freeze into popsicle molds or mix with their favorite juice and give them a special straw! :)

Glycerin tincture – This is basically an extract made with food grade vegetable glycerin. You can make these at home or purchase pre-made glycerin extracts. This is a simple way to give herbal medicine to children as it has a naturally sweet flavor that hides or enhances the herbs. Glycerin tinctures have a long shelf life which makes a home-made version worth trying.

Herbal baths – Your skin is your largest organ and absorbs medicinal properties very easily. Making an herbal bath for young children that are restless or upset is a great way to get calming properties in their system. I like to start by making a strong herbal infusion, then adding the infusion to warm bath water and letting the child soak in the tub for at least 10 minutes. Lavender, chamomile, catnip, rose petals and rosemary are some of my favorites and are very gentle on sensitive skin. Also, no need for soap when bathing in these herbs (anti-microbial properties).

Of course, there are so many great and creative ways to use and administer herbs to children... but these are the easiest "winners" in my opinion. :)

I hope this encourages you to look into natural, herbal solutions for your kiddos the next time they don't feel well. Herbs are such a blessing from our amazing Creator, I am so thankful to be able to use them on a regular basis. I look forward to the day the Lord blesses my husband and I with a child (or two or three ;) ) that I can share herbal remedies with!

Jasmine (aka HappyMrsBass) is a God-fearing, always-learning, stay-at-home-wife to the best husband in the world! In the past couple of years, her new found loves have become herbal fix ‘ems and things “all natural”! She is continually learning to slow down, enjoying the important, simple things in life…like naturally taking care of her home, husband and health. She really enjoys creating things “home-made” and showing others how to do the same! You can find her at Like A Mustard Seed blog! You can also connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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