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Issue No 103
Summer 2005 
page 44

Herbs for Children

We find a delight in
the beauty and
happiness of
children that makes
the heart too big for
the body.
—Ralph Waldo
Emerson
“Illusions”


If your child has a
fever of more than
103 degrees (101
degrees for infants
and 102 degrees for
toddlers), or if your
child complains of
a stiff neck or
headache along with
a fever, get
professional help.

 

 

 
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panies a fever, seek medical help.) Make sure to give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration in the meantime, and try these herbal treatments.

SOOTHE THE STOMACH WITH MINT-RASPBERRY LEAF TEA.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) eases abdominal cramps, while peppermint helps expel gas and calms intestinal spasms. Raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus) contains astringent compounds called tannins, which soothe intestinal inflammation. Make a tea by pouring 2 cups of boiling water over 2 teaspoons each of catnip, peppermint, and raspberry leaf. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten, and give 1/2 cup of tea every 30 minutes.

STOP DIARRHEA WITH BANANAS, CAROB, AND CINNAMON.
Most children love bananas as well as the chocolate-like flavor of carob. Both are pectin-rich, helping to bind loose stools. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum) relieves gas pains. Mash a banana with 1 to 2 tablespoons carob powder and 1/2 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.

FEVER
As one of the body’s primary defenses against infectious microorganisms, a fever shouldn’t be artificially lowered unless it rises dangerously high. Herbal remedies can help in cases of lower-level fevers when coupled with plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration.

EASE DISCOMFORT WITH YARROW AND CHAMOMILE.
A tepid bath or sponge bath with yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita) relieves the muscle aches and discomfort of a fever. Yarrow and chamomile both have anti-inflammatory properties, and chamomile also relaxes. Make a strong herbal tea by pouring 1 quart of boiling water over 3 tablespoons each of dried yarrow and chamomile flowers. Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain, and sponge your child with the lukewarm tea.

LOWER THE FEVER NATURALLY WITH ELDERFLOWER.
A tea made from peppermint, elderflower (Sambucus nigra), and ginger helps to lower a fever by increasing perspiration. Simmer 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh gingerroot in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes in a covered pot. Add 1 teaspoon each of dried peppermint and elderflower; cover, and steep for an additional 10 minutes. Sweeten, and give the child 1/4 cup of tea every half hour, up to 4 cups a day.

BOOST IMMUNITY WITH ECHINACEA.
Echinacea helps the immune system fight off the invading microorganisms causing the fever. Give your child 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of echinacea tincture 4 times a day.

MIDDLE EAR INFECTION
When congestion prevents the middle ear from draining normally, flu-

Herbal First-Aid Kit

Cuts, scrapes, and bruises come hand-in-hand with childhood adventuring. Stock up on these herbal first-aid remedies to treat your injured explorers.
HERBAL ANTISEPTIC
• Prevents infection in cuts and scrapes. Make an antiseptic spray with 5 drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oils in one cup of warm
CALENDULA SALVE
• Fights microbes and encourages skin healing. Apply a thin layer of calendula salve to superficial cuts and scrapes and cover them with an adhesive bandage.
ARNICA CREAM
• Helps bruises heal more quickly. Apply twice daily to the affected area (although never to broken skin).
ALOE VERA GEL
• Soothes and cools minor burns. Keep it in the refrigerator for extra-cooling benefits.

 
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