There are a number of suitable herbs for kids that can relieve the symptoms of numerous conditions such as diaper rash, colic, coughs, and colds. Some common herbs for kids are peppermint, chamomile, aloe vera, calendula, and lavender. Eucalyptus, licorice, anise, catnip, and slippery elm are also mild enough to be used as herbs for kids.
Diaper rash can be treated with a cream or ointment containing aloe vera, calendula, comfrey, and chickweed. This only treats the symptoms, however. The source of the rash must be eliminated, and this is often due to sensitivity to laundry soap or lengthy exposure to a messy diaper.
Herbs can be used to treat colic. Adding a small dose of an infusion made from catnip, chamomile, or peppermint to the baby’s bottle can relax the baby and ease the painful colic symptoms. Giving a colicky baby a warm bath treated with a few drops of lavender oil can soothe the baby with its calming vapors.
Essentials oils and teas made from herbs for kids can be used to treat coughs. Licorice, thyme, mint, anise, and eucalyptus are some natural expectorants that will help coughs be productive and expel mucus. Nonproductive coughs can be treated with slippery elm, lemon balm, and peppermint.
Slippery elm is also effective for soothing a sore throat. Diluting the essential oil of peppermint or tea tree oil in a carrier oil such as sesame, olive, or almond and massaging it into the chest will also help break up mucus as the child inhales the vapors. Using eucalyptus oil in a vaporizer will help open congested breathing passages.
Some alternative medicines are as powerful as pharmaceutical drugs, while other natural treatments are mild. The recommended amounts on the labels of many natural remedies are intended for an adult. When administering herbal medicine to children, it is important to take their age and weight into consideration to determine the proper dose.
Children’s systems are very sensitive, so a little goes a long way when administering herbs for kids. A child under six months should only be given natural remedies under a doctor’s supervision. Some herbal remedies use honey to make the medicine go down more easily, which is fine for older kids, but honey shouldn’t be given to babies younger than 12 months. Herbs for kids can be beneficial, but it is recommended that a trained medical professional be consulted for a high fever, prolonged diarrhea, or cough that doesn’t respond after two or three days of natural treatment.