|Children and Herbal Therapy |
With its focus on preventive medicine, holistic approaches to health can
be most helpful in many of the common problems of childhood. If conditions
are brought under control during childhood they can often be avoided entirely
in adult life. Examples are asthma and eczema, both of which can start at
a very early age and become an ongoing theme throughout the persons life.
If treated successfully with herbs there is rarely a continuation of the
disease into adulthood.
Children have special needs and special plants address these needs. Whenever
possible focus upon the tonics and normalizers. The healing capacity of
children can be quite incredible. The most relevant remedies are pointed
out in each section below. Care must also be given to dosage, obviously
a lower dosage being used. For details of the standard pharmaceutical formulae
used to convert adult dosage to that appropriate for any particular age,
please refer to the preparations chapter or James Green's Medicine Maker's Handbook.
Possibly the most important consideration is the relevance of tender loving
care. Children respond to love and caring in wonderful ways. So do adults,
if they give themselves the chance!
A number of useful books have written about herbs for children, of which
I would highly recommend the following three. Each is colored by the authors
particular preferences and biases, but then who am I to comment on personal
Christopher, John R. Herbal Home Health Care. Christopher
Publications, Provo, 1984
Riggs, Maribeth. Natural Child Care. Harmony Books, New York, 1989
Scott, Julian. Natural Medicine for Children. Avon Books, New York,
The so-called childhood diseases are viral syndromes most often seen in
children who lack immunity until they have recovered from the disease, and then rarely get the problem again. Usually not serious, they can cause severe fever and discomfort, and occasionally lead to serious complications. In adults, the same diseases can have different and more serious manifestations. Some of the commonest are outlined here, but please refer to the end of this chapter for a discussion of mumps.
There are many herbs that are appropriate for treating digestive problems
in Children. Carminatives are especially important. Of the many possibilities,
please review these remedies and ensure their various actions are familiar
Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow)
Anethum graveolens (Dill)
Chondrus crispus (Irish Moss)
Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)
Gentiana lutea (Gentian)
Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)
Melissa officinalis (Balm)
Mentha piperita (Peppermint)
Pimpinella anisum (Aniseed)
Rumex crispus (Yellow Dock)
Symphytum officinale (Comfrey )
Ulmus fulva (Slippery Elm)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on digestive problems are relevant here.
Please refer to the following sections:
About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it with hope, he as an individual had to be whole within himself....more