One of our past guests had just become a new grandmother and she asked my opinion on raw living foods for children and if children could eat herbs when they were sick. That is why I am writing this article — because she asked me to help her and because I thought some of our other past guests and readers could benefit from how I answered her questions.
Keeping our children healthy is our primary purpose as parents and grandparents. The living foods lifestyle is the strongest health foundation you can give your child, yet there are times when parents must consider additional modalities when helping their children through an illness. It’s my hope that you will never have to use any of the following herbs or concoctions, but if you do, keep in mind herbs can interact with other herbs, supplements and/or medications. For these reasons, you should only give herbs to a child when under the supervision of a health care practitioner. So if you do want to use these time-tested protocols, please consult your healthcare provider for diagnosis and medical advice before giving them to your children.
The following list of symptoms and the herbs and concoctions used to address them is by no means meant to be a comprehensive listing and only reflects some of the protocols I am personally aware of. If you have found other simple protocols please feel free to add them to the comments. I would love to hear from you.
Herbs and Protocols
Colic: When your child cries for extended periods (1-2 hours), pulls its legs up to the belly, or extends its legs out and will not calm down they may be experiencing colic. Mild, yet effective herbal teas made from Anise, Catnip, Caraway or Fennel and Peppermint have been used by mothers to soothe their children’s colic.
Colds: When your child is suffering from a cold you also suffer. All of these herbs and concoctions will really help your child when they are fighting a cold. Your first line of defense should be used early and often. Echinacea is a great all round herb which provides immune support and may help protect your child from viral and bacterial infections. I also like Anise as it will help with breaking up the mucus and make it easier for your child to breath and get mucus out of his/her body. You may also want to make a Chamomile tea, infused with peppermint, licorice and lemon balm. This concoction will help calm your child’s cough and works as an expectorant. If your child is older you may want to talk to your health care provider about Mullen tea.
Constipation: Good hydration is the most effective way to relieve constipation and this is easy to achieve when your child is getting plenty of pure water along with raw fruits and vegetables which contain large amounts of water. Also, a blend of Chamomile and Marigold teas will help prevent constipation, while gently helping your little one’s bowels to move. Two other good herbs are aloe and Sienna both possesses laxative action and act on your child’s large intestine to stimulate peristalsis.
Cough: When your child coughs it is a sign that his/her body is attempting to an inflamed (croup- dry cough) or mucus congested airway (wet cough). All of the herbal remedies I’m sharing with you will decrease inflammation, reduce mucus production and have a soothing relaxing effect that quickly helps stop the coughing. Warm herbal tea with licorice, honey (only give honey to children who are at least 1 year old) and a little lemon juice is excellent for helping ease the tickle that sets off a cough. Children of all ages who have coughs benefit from running a humidifier with eucalyptus oil in the water as it will break up mucus and soothe your child’s coughing reflex. Make sure the humidifier is out of your child’s reach, or use a cold humidifier. Also, if your child is over 1 year old give them a spoonful of honey with a little lemon mixed in before they go to bed as this will help alleviate soreness. There are many wonderful natural herbal cough syrups that you can make or purchase. Contact your health care for recipes and suggestions. Don’t forget to keep checking your child’s temperature and to keep him/her hydrated.
Cradle Cap: Consists of dead skin cells which remain attached to your babies head. These dead skin cells block your baby’s pores and mix with body oils. Cradle Cap usually appears within the first days of your child’s life. Your child will not usually experience itching or pain with Cradle Cap. Before bedtime you can rinse your baby’s head with a simple warm mixture of Calendula and Comfrey, then let the baby’s scalp air dry, then massage organic olive oil mixed with lavender and mullein into the scalp and leave it in overnight, wash it away with mild natural soap and water each morning. The Cradle Cap should disappear within a few days. Seborrhea- is a form of Cradle Cap that has formed on other areas of the body.
Diaper Rash: Is usually caused by a diaper containing urine/stool and the material of the diaper rubbing against the child’s skin. The way to identify this type of rash is to look at the folds of the skin (which are more protected) if they are not red, you have diaper rash caused by simple irritation. Most other diaper rashes are caused by yeast or bacterial infections. The yeast rash will show up bright red, often with small red pimples on the outer edges. The bacterial rash will have fluid-filled pimples which look yellowish with some crusty areas.
Diarrhea: As your child begins to eat different combinations of foods the bowels sometime will react and your child may get diarrhea. To alleviate the discomfort associated with diarrhea, you may want to have your child eat fresh grated raw or lightly steamed carrots, mixed with equal parts applesauce (include the apple’s skin). I also like raspberry and peppermint tea blended, as this concoction helps to stop cramping, calms diarrhea and will also help lower a fever.
Earache: If your child experiences regular earaches or earaches which last more than 12 hours be sure to contact your physician. Usually, earaches accompany colds and coughs. If you are a smoker stop! Smoke from cigarettes plays a major role in many children’s earaches. Before giving your child herbs or medications, try sitting him/her up and placing a cool washcloth on the ear that is troubling them. If your child is old enough to chew gum give him/her a piece of herbal chewing gum, as this can sometimes lower the pain. As long as your child’s eardrum is not punctured you may want to warm some olive oil and add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract along with a drop of garlic and tea tree oil. Place a piece of warm cotton in the ear and lay a warm, slightly damp cloth over the ear and begin a vaporizer that has eucalyptus oil in it. You may repeat putting on warm clothes until your child’s ear stops hurting. Should your child’s earache not subside, you should contact your physician.
Teething: Children seeking comfort from the pain of teething can use lemon balm as a tea or can chew on a washcloth soaked in the tea.
Always contact your physician if you have a question about your Childs health. Do not give your child any type of medicine or herb without consulting the Childs physician. The information contained in this article is for educational and entertainment purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, or treat any sickness, or disease.