Herbal Remedies for Babies and Children

Methods of Administration

Infusion/Decoction

  • Skin wash
  • Bath
  • Enema
  • Bottle (with fruit juice)
  • Popsicles (with fruit juice)
  • Wet sock treatment

Tinctures:

Evaporate alcohol off with hot water then use as required.

Oils/Salves:

Apply topically as required.

Essential Oils:

Use a humidifier or place the oils in a saucer of water on a radiator. For stronger effects place the oils in a basin of boiling water and place it on the floor with the child lying face down on your lap over the basin.

Tablets:

Do not give to babies under 2 years old.

Poultices:

Do not apply strong rubefacients to a baby’s skin and never apply a very hot poultice.

Dosing Rules

There are several different formulas that are useful when considering the correct dose of herbal remedy to give to a child. Perhaps the simplest is the chart which can be easily adapted to suit either tinctures or teas. Two other formulas are given below:

Young’s Formula

Age in years = portion of adult dose.
Thus a 6 year old child would be: 6 = 6 = 1 of adult dose
Age plus 12 6+12 18 3

Dillings Formula

Age in years = portion of adult dose
Thus a 6 year old child would be: 6 = 3 of adult dose
20 20 10

Adjusting Doses for the Age of the Patient

When the adult dose is one teacupful:

< one year old 2 teaspoonsful
1 – 3 years 3 teaspoonsful
3 – 6 years 1 tablespoonful
6 – 9 years 2
tablespoonsful
9 – 12 years 3
tablespoonsful
12 – 15 years 4
tablespoonsful
15 – 18 years 5
tablespoonsful
> 18 years adult dose

When the adult dose is one teaspoonful or 60 drops:

 

< 3 months 2 drops
3 – 6 months 3 drops
6 – 9 months 4 drops
9 – 12 months 5 drops
12 – 18 months 7 drops
18 – 24 months 8 drops
2 – 3 years 10 drops
3 – 4 years 12 drops
4 – 6 years 15 drops
6 – 9 years 24 drops
9 – 12 years 30 drops
12 – 15 years 38 drops
15 – 18 years 45 drops
> 18 years adult dose

Infant Feeding

Breast feeding is the preferred form of nourishment to provide an ideal balance of nutrients and to give immune protection to the new born. Where this isn’t possible the following formulas may be used under the supervision of a nutritionist.

Recipe 1

  • 1 quart soya milk (heated to boiling point and allowed to cool)
  • 1 cup organic carrot juice
  • ½ cup of the strained liquid from a blended mixture of mung, lentil and alfalfa sprouts.
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tsp flax seed oil
  • 300 iu. calcium/magnesium liquid
  • 500 mg. vitamin C powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp. liquid chlorophyll
  • 100 mcg. folic acid.

Recipe 2

  • 1 quart soya milk
  • 1 cup carrot juice
  • 1/4 tsp. barley green powder
  • 200 iu. vitamin D
  • 1/4 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 100 mg. vitamin C
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Recipe 3

  • 1 quart goats milk
  • 200 mcg. folic acid
  • 2 mg. B complex (dissolve 50 mg. tablet in 1 oz. dropper bottle and use 1 dropper each day)
  • 1/4 tsp. flax oil
  • 1 drop vitamin E
  • 1 drop beta carotene

Suggested Timetable for Introduction of Food Items

6 months:

  • Cherries (remove stones)
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Applesauce
  • Seedless grapes (smashed)
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Carrot (cooked and smashed)
  • Sprouts (blended with water)
  • Yams (cooked and smashed)
  • Beets (cooked and smashed)

9 months:

  • Papaya
  • Nectarine
  • Apples
  • Mashed potato
  • Artichoke
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Millet

12 months:

  • Squash
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Chard
  • Parsnips
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tofu
  • Barley
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Goats milk

18 months:

  • Chickpea flour (pancakes, muffins etc)
  • Greens (lettuce, beet greens etc)
  • Eggplant
  • Buckwheat
  • Rye
  • Kelp
  • Tahini
  • Cooked beans/legumes
  • Fish

21 months:

  • Oranges
  • Wheat
  • Pineapple
  • Brewers yeast
  • Cashew or almond butter
  • Eggs
  • Meats

2 years:

  • Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Corn

Useful Treatments for Children

Cleaning the umbilical cord

  • Distilled Witch Hazel.
  • Infusion of Marigold flowers (Calendula off.) and Comfrey leaves (Symphytum off.)
  • 1 teaspoon Marigold or Comfrey cream with 1 pinch of powdered Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) in it.
  • Essential oil of Lavender in the bath.

Colic

  • Calm, relaxed, loving environment.
  • Eliminate milk, cereals, sugars and all cabbage family foods as well as onions and garlic from the diet of the infant. If still breast feeding then the mother should also avoid eating them and also should not eat hot or spicy foods or coffee.
  • Fennel, Dill, Anise Mints, Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Ginger teas for mother and baby.
  • Chamomile tea in a bath.
  • Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) decoction rubbed over abdomen or in a bath.
  • 15 drops essential oil of Lavender in 1 tablespoon almond oil rubbed over abdomen.
  • A small towel wrung out in hot herbal infusions or decoctions such as Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita), Lavender (Lavandula vera), Lemon balm (Melissa off.), Lobelia ( Lobelia inflata) or Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus). Be careful not to make it too hot!

Earache

  • Heat lamp on the affected side.
  • 25 mLs. each of infused oils of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) with 10 drops each of the essential oils of Myrrh, Thyme and Chamomile. 2 drops in each ear twice daily.
  • Onion poultice made by roughly chopping an onion and steaming it then wrapping this in a tea towel and placing over the ear. Lie with affected side down on a hot water bottle or heating pad.
  • Gentle diuretics e.g. Galium aparine (Cleavers) or Chickweed (Stellaria media) and warm packs over the kidneys can alleviate earaches.
  • Decongestant teas of Elderflower (Sambucus nigra), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) or Plantain (Plantago major/lanceolata).
  • Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) in the tea is antiseptic in the ears, nose and throat.

Bed wetting

Sweet sumach (Rhus aromatica), Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and Ma huang (Ephedra sinica) – as an infusion with improve bladder control.

Colds

  • General formula: Echinacea (Echinacea spp.), Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria), Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and Plantain (Plantago major/lanceolata) – infusion/decoction.
  • Coughing: Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Elecampane (Inula helenium), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Plantain (Plantago lanceolata/major), Goldeseal (Hydrastis canadensis) – infusion/decoction.
  • Congestion: Essential oils of Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Thyme in an inhaler.
  • Swollen glands: Cleavers (Galium aparine) internally. Poultices of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).
  • Onion syrup: Roughly chop an onion and layer it in a clean jar with brown sugar or honey. Cap tightly and steep 1 – 3 days. Strain off the liquid and take 1 tsp. as needed.
  • Slippery elm (Ulmus fulvus) gruel if no appetite.

Fever

  • Lots of fluids – lemon juice with honey and hot water is good.
  • Ginger tea to encourage the sweating.
  • Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) – infusion. 2 – 4 tablespoonsful every hour till the fever breaks then a normal dose for 3 days.
  • Light food – fruit, juices, slippery elm gruel.

Diaper rash

  • Avoid rubber pants and change the diaper often.
  • Wash diapers with liquid soaps and use 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in the last rinse.
  • Leave diaper off whenever possible and expose the bottom the sun.
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and marigold (Calendula off.) powdered and applied as needed.
  • Calendula cream with powdered Hydrastis canadensis.
  • Wash with infusion of Heartsease (Viola tricolor) and Plantain (Plantago lanceolata/major)
  • Infused oil of Plantago, Calendula or Hypericum.
  • Cover bottom with a thin slip of clay and leave as long as possible.

Teething

  • Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita), Skullcap (Scutalleria lateriflora), Lemon balm (Melissa off.) and Valerian (Valeriana off.). Soak a soft cotton cloth in an infusion and allow the baby to suck on it.
  • Carrot sticks to chew on.
  • Marshmallow (Althea off.) root softened by dipping in boiling water and tied in the corner of a clean cotton cloth to be sucked on.

Cradle cap

  • Astringent skin wash with Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginicus), White oak (Quercus alba) and Burdock (Arctium lappa).
  • Infused oil of Marigold (Calendula off.).
  • Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) poultices repeated nightly till crust goes.

Diarrhoea

  • Avoid foods. Lots of fluids.
  • Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita),Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Lemon balm (Melissa off.), Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Tormentil (Potentilla spp.), Strawberry leaf (Fragaria vesca) – infusion.
  • Infusion of Rosemary (Rosmarinus off.) for infections.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus.
  • Blackberry root syrup.
  • Unsweetened carob powder, 1 tsp. mixed to a paste with water.
  • Slippery elm gruel.

Head lice

  • 50 mLs. olive oil (warmed) with 5 mLs. each essential oils of Lavender, Rosemary, Pennyroyal and Eucalyptus. Apply generously at night and wash out in the morning.
  • Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and Black walnut hulls (Juglans nigra) – decoction. Soak head thoroughly and leave on overnight.

Worms

  • Raw onions and garlic, ground pumpkin seeds, raw carrots, pomegranates.
  • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Black walnut hulls (Juglans nigra), Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita). Fill capsules with ground herbs and dose accordingly. Take on an empty stomach (night and morning) for 2 weeks then do a stool test. Repeat if necessary.

Poor sleep/irritability

4 tablespoons Oat straw (Avena sativa) or whole oats steeped in 2 cups boiling water for 15 minutes. Bring back to boil and add 2 tablespoons each of Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita), Lemon balm (Melissa off.) and Catnip (Nepeta cataria). Steep 10 mins.

Measles/Chickenpox

  • Follow directions for fever management.
  • Almond oil 100 mL. with essential oil of Peppermint 10 mLs. Apply topically to relieve itching.
  • Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) and Peppermint (Mentha off.) in a bath.
  • Lavender essential oil applied directly to itching.

Mumps

  • Follow directions for fever management.
  • Equal parts of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Red clover (Trifolium pratense), Elderflower (Sambucus nigra), Burdock (Arctium lappa) and Cinnamon (Cinnamonum zeylandicum) – infusion/decoction as a neck wrap and internally.
  • Cleavers (Galium aparine) internally for lymphatic swelling.

Thrush

  • Avoid all antibiotics (mother and baby).
  • Avoid all yeasted and sugary foods (mother and baby).
  • Live natural yoghurt, olive oil and garlic internally.
  • Chamomile ( Chamomilla recutita), Marigold (Calendula off.), Rosemary (Rosmarinus off.), Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) and Red cedar (Thuja occidentalis) – infusion/decoction. Apply topically and give to infants on a cloth to suck.
  • Bathe affected areas with Citricidal grapefruit seed extract.

Nutritive Tea

Equal quantities of each:

  • Dandelion leaf and root
  • Nettle
  • Peppermint
  • Red clover blossoms
  • Marshmallow leaf and root
  • Coriander seeds
  • Kelp
  • Fennel seeds
  • Rose petals
  • Burdock root
  • Parsley
  • Chickweed
  • Oats
  • Fenugreek
  • Alfalfa
  1. Put in a pan and cover with room temperature water.
  2. Infuse cold for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer 10 mins.
  4. Strain off and take ½ a cup twice a day for any debility or weakness.

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