Herbs and Children
Therapeutic herbs have an influence on our body and are effective in healing several conditions has been validated time and again. Each of the herbal therapies mentioned in this article possesses precise remedial properties that have been cautiously balanced to generate specific exploits within your child’s body.
Unlike synthetically manufactured medicines, innate medications prepared from different herbs function soothingly and, hence, they take a relatively long period to operate inside the body. It is important to note that whenever you administer any herbal medication to your child, ensure that the initial doses are small. At the same time, carefully observe to find signs whether the symptoms of the problems endured by them are lessening. Also, keep watch to see the impact of the herbal medication on your child and how he or she is feeling. In fact, whenever you use any herbal therapy it is essential that you possess good reasoning as well as observation abilities.
It has been seen that usually, children are able to properly accept medications prepared from natural herbs. This is primarily because the majority of the herbs are not contaminated and, even if there are a few, they do not result in any adverse side effects. However, it is essential to be familiar with the action as well as the potential side effects of an herb before it is administered to anyone. Though rare, there have been some instances where some children have experienced sensitivity symptoms of a few particular herbs. Some of the common reactions of using herbs may possibly be a headache, a stomach disorder or even a skin complaint. In case your child experiences any reaction following the use of any herb, it is advisable to immediately stop using that particular herb. On the other hand, if you find that your child is responding to the herbal therapy, but, at the same time, has severe reactions, you may either lessen the dosage of the medication or stop using the herb totally. For instance, your child is suffering from constipation and you administer him or her herbal laxative that results in diarrhea. In this case, the herb definitely provides much relief from constipation, but the reaction of the herbal laxative is too severe. Now, you need to utilize your prudence and stop using the herbal medication. Similarly, if you administer a herbal expectorant to your child who starts coughing and, at the same time, discharging large amounts of mucus, you should consider lessening the dosage of the herbal expectorant in order to control the expectoration or stop using it completely.
In fact, herbal remedies are effective in the treatment of both severe as well as chronic medical conditions. In addition, the herbs are also beneficial in sustaining good health and put off ailments. There are several herbal medications that are highly effective in augmenting the immune system and thereby help to protect your child from recurring infectivity.
When we usually mention herbs, many people usually conjure the image of an aromatic plant possessing therapeutic properties. However, the fact is that presently herbs are available in several forms – fresh, dehydrated, tablets, capsules and even as bottled liquids. According to your preference, you may either purchase them separately or as mixtures prepared to treat precise medical conditions. It is important to note that no matter which forms of herb you decide to buy – liquids, tablets, capsules, tincture, tea, bath, poultice, compress or ointment, the excellence of the herbal medication will only be practically the same quality of the unprocessed herb that was used to prepare the formulation.
Recommended Herbal Dosages…
- Infant to Two Years: For the newborn or children up to two years of age, the usual recommended dosage of herbal medication is equivalent to three drops of tincture thinned in one-fourth cup of water, formula, breast milk or two to three teaspoons of tea. Additionally, a woman who is breastfeeding may also use an adult dosage of the suitable herbal therapy. When she does so, the herbs will pass on to the breast milk and thereby to her baby.
- Two to Six Years: For children between the age of two and six years, the usual recommended dose of herbal medication is equivalent to six to ten drops of tincture thinned in one-fourth cup of water or the same amount of tea.
- Six to Twelve Years: The usual recommended dosage of herbal medications for children between six and 12 years of age is equivalent to 10 to 20 drops of tincture, half a cup of tea or one tablet or capsule.
- Twelve Years to Adults: The usual recommended dosage of herbal preparations for people above 12 years of age is equivalent to 20 to 40 drops of tincture, one cup of tea or two tablets or capsules.
Baths Prepared with Herbs…
In addition to being a therapy, baths using herbal products are always pleasurable. There are numerous ways by which you may prepare a herbal bath – some very simple, while others requiring some effort. In case you are preparing an herbal bath with a soluble element, such as aloe vera gel or baking soda, just melt it in your warm bath water. On the other hand, if you desire to prepare a bath with oatmeal, you may grind it into a powder in a blender or use it in a bag. Although oatmeal appears to be supple, it does not easily or totally liquefy in water unless it has been finely pulverized first.
In case you are using freshly obtained herbs, you may use a square piece of cheesecloth or a washcloth to bag them. It is best to use cheesecloth that has double or thrice the thickness of the normal material. The loosely wove cheesecloth allows to liberate of the herbal concentrate while keeping the herb parts buoyant in the bath water. One way by which one may bag herbs using cheesecloth is by taking a square piece that is closed on three sides while having a drawstring is on the fourth side. However, a more simple and quick process to bag the herbs in cheesecloth is by placing an appropriate amount of the herbs in the center of the square cheesecloth. Subsequently, bring the four corners of the cheesecloth square to the center and tie them with a cord. Instead of using cheesecloth square, you may use a small towel or a washcloth. Nevertheless, it is much simpler to manage cheesecloth because it is very loosely woven. If you want to take a full bath, you should use roughly six ounces of dried or fresh herbs.
Once the bag containing the herbs is prepared, place the bag in a tub under a powerful torrent of hot water at a temperature at which you feel relaxed. While taking the bath, you may mildly squeeze the bag containing the herb to allow a stream of water containing the essence of the herbs on the part of the body you intend to heal. In fact, soaking and squeezing the herb bag may turn out to be an enjoyable experience for your child. In case you intend to heal an inflamed skin condition, it will be useful if you softly massage the affected area with the herb bag. Often it is not wise to trust the child to do such rubbing on the affected skin as he or she may scratch the untreated skin. Hence, it is advisable that you do the rubbing part gently for the child. In case you are using dehydrated herbs, you need to exercise additional caution while rubbing the bag on the affected skin for at times it may prove to be grating. If you find that the herbal bath has provided the child relaxation and alleviated his or her problem, you may also desire to be equipped with an herbal infusion that can be pre-prepared. In order to prepare this herbal infusion, drench six tablespoonfuls of fresh or dried herbs in three cups of water during the night. You may use extremely hot or boiling water initially and gradually allow the water to cool down. On a subsequent morning, warm up the infusion and then filter the liquid from the container. In this case, you do not require a bag, but need to simply decant the filtered infusion straight away into the bath water.
Infusions (teas) Prepared from Herbs…
It may be mentioned here that most often therapeutic herbs are given in the form of a tea. According to the Chinese, who have been using herbs to treat different medical conditions for over 5000 years now, the temperature of the water coupled with the essence of the herb, augments the efficacy of the tea as well as the therapy. Soaking any herb in hot water extracts the remedial concentrate of the plant.
Herbal Tea: You need to use two tablespoonfuls of herb for each cup of hot herbal tea you make unless the label of the packet containing the herb instructs otherwise. Never use plastic or metal containers for soaking herbs in hot water as they may result in unfavorable interaction with the herb. It is advisable to always steep the herbs in any glass or china cup or teapot. To prepare one cup of herbal tea, pour eight ounces of freshly boiled water on the herbs and cover the container immediately. Most of the times, herbal teas prepared from the leaf or flowers of the herb need to be soaked for five to ten minutes in hot water, while herbal tea prepared from the roots or barks of herbs need to be boiled for ten minutes in water and subsequently allowed to steep for another five minutes. When the herbs have been soaked for enough time in hot water, sieve the tea and before serving cool it to a temperature that is comfortable for consumption. In case you are preparing more than one cup of herbal tea on one occasion, you may store it at a temperature suitable for sipping it in a thermos flask.
You may also prepare an herbal tea with tincture or extract of the herb. In this case, put the recommended number of drops of the herbal extract into a cup of hot water. Allow the blend to rest for around five minutes in order to give enough time for some of the alcohol to disperse.
Herbal Juices (Extracted from fresh herbs)…
In case you are fortunate enough to obtain fresh herbs from dependable sources and have a juicer handy, it is natural that you may wish to make a fresh concentrate.
To prepare a fresh herbal juice, thoroughly wash the fresh herbs under cold tap water. If the herbs are too long to be managed, you may cut them to sizable pieces with a scissor. Put the damp herbal parts in the juicer and run it to extract their juice. You may ingest the fresh herbal juice either by adding a few drops of it in a watered down tea or by blending it with spring water. Some conditions may be healed when the fresh herbal juice is rubbed slightly externally on the affected body parts. It is important to note that it is best to use the fresh herbal juice soon after it is extracted from the herbs. Alternately, you may also store the liquid in an airtight container in a refrigerator. Storing herbal juice in this process helps to keep it viable for many days without the juice losing much of its important therapeutic properties.