Safe herbs for babies and children
Herbs are offered for a variety of uses in our daily lives, with immediate and painless treatment of many problems such as skin irritations, headaches, insomnia, fever, toothache, hypertension and many more daily challenges.
Babies and children, a very sensitive age group, are good for their pure body, not to enter directly into the Golgotha of medication for simple daily annoyances, while with proper and careful use, herbs will loosen your hands!
Of course, before use, it is important to consult your pediatrician, while in the first uses to be extremely careful, as you are not aware of any allergies in your children. So let’s see from the first steps, how we can take advantage of herbs:
We start with the right consumption dosages, where when for an adult the dosage is a cup of tea, for an infant up to 1 year is 2 teaspoons, for a baby 1-3 years old is 3 teaspoons, 3-6 years old is 1 tablespoon, 6 – 9 years old is 2 tablespoons, 9 – 12 years old is 3 tablespoons, 12 – 15 years old, a cup of espresso, 15 – 18 a cup of double espresso. When it comes to herbal syrup or extract, only with the advice of the doctor about the dosage, there is a general rule that says that 60 drops for an adult, correspond to 2 drops for an infant up to 3 months, 3 drops for 3-6 months, 4 drops 6 – 9 months and proceeds proportionally reaching 10 drops in babies 2 – 3 years. Up to 6 months better to avoid the internal use of herbs and to limit ourselves to the external use.
Tea for: breastfeeding mothers, infants over 6 months, baths, compresses, washes, addition to juice, milk, granitas (after the 9th month).
Oil with herbal extraction in: gentle oils for massage, baths.
You should never try to sweeten a tea with honey because it is not safe for children under 12 months.
Avoid the use of poultice on children’s skin, alcoholic extracts and essential oils in young children and babies are prohibited with a few exceptions such as lavender and in the dosages listed below, while we never give herbs in capsules to children under 2 years.
Fever and viruses
With the onset of a low-grade fever, antipyretics are not necessary. The first step is the adequate and permanent hydration of the body. Then cold compresses with chamomile decoction help when the fever is higher. The herbs that you can make in the above dosages based on age, are the sweating herbs to reduce fever such as nepeta, elderberry, ginger and cinnamon. Nepeta in combination with elderberry are ideal.
For cough you can make a tea with thyme, nepeta or licorice for baths. When you see that it is accompanied by a stuffy nose, inhaling essential oils will solve the problem. In a saucepan of boiling water, add up to 2 drops of eucalyptus, mint and thyme essential oils. Licorice can be used in very small amounts internally, in a ratio as mentioned above, while you can drip a drop of licorice tea on the nipple before breastfeeding to avoid coughing, colic and gas.
Toothache – first teeth
The first teeth are a torment for babies, but they can find relief with chamomile, honeysuckle and skullcaps. Chamomile is ideal as you can soak a cotton cloth with chamomile and freeze it in the fridge. When the baby sucks the fabric will be immediately relieved. Try a cold banana that will make gentle massages on the gums. The known symptoms when teeth come out are bites, salivation, rubbing gums, irritability, decreased appetite for solid foods.
Diaper rash – skin irritations
There are many reasons for a rash on sensitive baby skin. They need herbs that soothe the skin and treat infections. An ideal solution is the wax ointment with calendula oil, and / or althaea, plantago, comfrey. The comfrey is ideal for protection against infections and rapid healing of rashes and wounds. The combination of calendula with chamomile is also very good but you should first try chamomile on a small area of your baby’s skin because many children are allergic to chamomile. What else can you do: change the diaper as often as you can so that moisture does not remain on the skin, leave your baby without a diaper for a while every day, prefer herbal soaps without chemicals.
Colic – gas
Important for the prevention of colic is the short break from milk, cereals, legumes, sweeteners, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic from the mother’s diet if breastfeeding. It is also good for the mother to avoid spicy food and coffee. The source of the pain but even if it is really pain or discomfort, is not completely known. But they certainly afflict the newborn in the first 6 months of life, with restless sleep and irritability. Relief from colics, offer the change of posture, the wrapping in a blanket to feel safe, the rocking, generally the rhythmic movements and the white noises. The gentle, circular massage on the abdomen clockwise, with a tablespoon of almond oil with 3 drops of lavender essential oil will soothe the pain and give the baby a restful sleep. Try tea from chamomile, honeysuckle, ginger, licorice. You can also make warm baths for your baby with a little tea of chamomile, lavender and honeysuckle as it will relieve it immediately. Licorice is anti-inflammatory and treats indigestion while it tastes great, but we should not exceed the dosages. Other very good herbs for fighting colic are catnip and spearmint. If you are breastfeeding, you can consume the above herbs in normal adult doses so that the properties pass to the baby through breast milk.
Herbs for Bruises
As easy as they are to build up on your baby’s sensitive skin, they are easy to get rid of, with topical use of comfrey, lavender, calendula and rosemary in oil or beeswax.
Herbs for Lice
Yes, it is another big problem for children who are starting to go to kindergarten. The ideal solution is a drop of tea tree essential oil in every shampoo. It is antimicrobial, disinfectant, insect repellent. The same goes for thyme. You can bathe the child’s hair preventively to avoid unpleasant consequences.
Herbs for irritability and insomnia
The reasons can be many as we do not know exactly how a baby feels when it does not feel comfortable. It may be irritation, it may be a headache, it may be a stomach ache. Catnip is ideal as it relieves respiratory problems, cough, stuffy nose, irritability and treats insomnia and indigestion. Of course chamomile has a similar effect, calming the baby while it is a mild sedative without having side effects in babies and children if not allergic. Do not forget the regular schedule in the baby’s sleep so that he or she can feel safe and calm.
Herbs for eye irritation and infections
It is very common to see irritation in an infant’s eyes, especially when a tear duct is blocked. Safe and especially effective is eyebright, while all you need to do is wash the babys eyes with eyebright tea in a clean cotton ball or gauze. With 4-5 repetitions a day, in a week at most the eyes will be crystal clear. Chamomile also treats eye infections very effectively.
Only few babies don’t develop seborrheic dermatitis, while it lasts from 3 months to a year from the day of birth. A simple and very effective solution is to extract fresh rosemary in jojoba, apricot, peach or almond oil. Rosemary tones the scalp, fights dry skin and skin diseases so it is ideal for babies in a mild and nourishing oil. Calendula has the same action and perhaps more baby friendly. You can extract calendula in almond oil or olive oil and add a drop of geranium essential oil. Massage the baby’s head and leave for at least 20 minutes. Then comb gently with a soft brush, rinse and bathe with baby shampoo.
Use of essential oils
Use in infants and children should be done with extreme caution. You can use small amounts of essential oils produced from flowers such as lavender, chamomile, neroli, rose and geranium. They should be used only externally and in a very small amount dissolved in an oil base. That is, for 30ml of oil you can use 1 to 2 drops of essential oils for massages, in a tablespoon of oil, 1 drop of essential oil for addition to a bath, 2 drops of essential oil in an aromatherapy device before bed and only for 1 hour in the sleeping area when the infant has cough. You can also add essential oil to wax for diaper rashes and to the humidifier.
Precautions – clarifications
Just as you closely monitor your child for allergic reactions to any new food you give, so should be done with herbs. Herbs are also foods with healing properties. If you see your child have a rash after a small (minimal) consumption of an herb, or does not accept it, you know which herbs to avoid.
At first it may seem difficult to try to integrate herbs into your baby’s life and diet, but once you start you will see that it is not difficult but a good habit!
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