| ||Herbal Medicine: Children and Herbal Therapy ||
In addition to the information given for functional dyspepsia in the chapter
on the digestive system, an overiding issue must be taken into account for
children - TASTE! If they don't like the medicine they won't take it, and
medicinal plants only really work if they are actually taken. The following
from Ms. Riggs is an example of what can be concocted if taste is taken
Fennel and Orange Peel Tea
These carminative oils stimulate intestinal peristalsis, the wavelike contractions
that move food through the intestine and promote the expulsion of gas from
the gastrointestinal tract.
1 Tbl. Fennel Seed
1 Tbl. dried sweet orange peel
2 cups water
honey to taste
- Combine the Fennel seed, orange peel and water in a covered pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain out the herbs and discard them. The tea is light green in color
and smells mostly of Fennel.
- You may see some essential oils floating on the top of the tea. Stir
the tea to recombine the oils before serving. Keep any unused portion of
tea in the refrigerator and reheat for each use. Discard any remaining tea
after 2 days.
Application: Serve this tea as warm as is comfortable for the child,
since heat aids the intestines to expel gas. Sweeten it with honey to taste.
Most children enjoy the taste of this tea. Give the child 1/2 cup of tea
every 2 hours whenever he or she experiences stomach pain from gas. If the
child continues to complain of stomach pain after drinking 1 or 2 cups of
the tea, check for other possible conditions, such as diarrhea, constipation,
A few of the many nervine remedies offered by Nature are especially appropriate
for problems of the nerves in children. Please review these remedies, ensuring
that their actions are familiar to you:
Avena sativa (Oats)
Hypericum perfoliatum (St. John's Wort)
Scutellaria spp. (Skullcap)
Verbena officinalis (Vervain)
Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop)
Lavandula spp. (Lavender)
Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort)
Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)
Melissa officinalis (Balm)
Tilia spp. (Linden)
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
Eschscholzia californica (Californian Poppy)
Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on nervous system problems are relevant
here. Please refer to the following sections:
Meribeth Riggs provides us with another example of a well formulated and
effective suggestion for herbal treatment of children. Here is a formulation
for over excitability, anxiousness or mild insomnia:
Infant's Calming Herbal Bath
1 qt. water
1 oz. dried Lavender buds
1 oz. dried Camomile flowers
- Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the herbs, being sure to cover
the pot again. Let the herbs steep in the hot water for 20 minutes.
- Strain and discard them. The bath tea is dark yellow and smells pleasantly
- Pour the tea into an infant bathtub and add enough warm water to fill
it. The herbal bath should be as hot as a normal bath for the infant.
Application: Make sure the room is warm before the bath. Place the
infant in the bathwater and hold him or her reassuringly, humming and crooning
all the while. Soak the infant in the bath for at least 10 minutes. Do not
try to wash the infant during an herbal bath. Gently pour the water over
the belly and legs and just let the infant play and splash. Use this bath
as often as necessary to reassure and calm an upset, colicky infant.