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 Herbal Medicine: Children and Herbal Therapy  



Diaper Rash

Cradle Cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis)



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Urinary System

Bedwetting (enuresis)

Night dryness should occur between the ages of 3 and 7 years with slightly older norms for males. Bedwetting affects about 5 million Americans including between 2 and 4 percent of adults. Bedwetters share specific characteristics the most prominent being unusually deep sleep patterns with decreased amounts of REM sleep. Other tendencies include lowered threshold for stress, and need for affection, and reassurance. Most `experts' feel that no organic disease or defect is present in 98% of bedwetters.

Children who wet the bed may do so for emotional reasons. They may feel insecure due to the arrival of a new baby, a change of school or because of the parents' marital problems. In these cases, the child needs love and reassurance.

Sometimes bedwetting occurs because of lack of nervous control of the bladder. In this case, give an infusion of 1 part each of horsetail, St. John's wort, Cornsilk, wild oat, and lemon balm. Give half a cup three times a day, and try to give the last dose well over an hour before bedtime.

Traditional approaches to bedwetting include (excluding the more barbaric ones):

    • Lifting and waking the child to toilet at night, but this further deprives the child of needed REM sleep and may aggravate the problem.
    • Waiting for the child to outgrow the problem. As the child grows older the statistical chances of outgrowing the syndrome decrease. Also other stress patterns may arise, such as adult bruxism.
    • Decreasing fluid intake at night. Some statistics show that this will aggravate the problem in a true bedwetter.
    • Holding back bladder exercises. This has little affect on enuresis but can increase daytime control.
    • Pad and buzzer, a moisture sensing pad buzzes and awakens the child. 90% of older children or adults who seriously undertake this technique on their own will have success with it.
  • Regular bedtime routine. These children need regularity and more sleep. They do better if put down at the same time each night leaving time for at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Outdoor exercise. This fatigues the child in a healthy natural way and helps regulate sleep.
  • Decrease stress, easier said than done! Use encouragement rather than punishment. Make sure the emotional environment in home and school is supportive.


Normal body temperature ranges between 96.5 and 99.0 degrees F. (35.8-37.2 degrees C.), depending on the individual and the ambient conditions. At night the temperature is about one-half a degree higher than in the morning. Rectal measurements are almost one degree higher than those taken by mouth (orally).

Fever, the elevation of body temperature above normal, is a valuable sign to follow through the course of an illness. Its onset may be the first indication that something is wrong, its disappearance a sign that things are improving. Consequently, fever should not be treated before its cause is known unless the patient is uncomfortable or the temperature is greater than 102 degrees F. Although brain damage may occur with extremely high temperatures, it is rare at temperatures below 105 degrees.
  • Document the temperature by measuring it every four hours while awake. Be sure to shake down the thermometer before using, and remember to keep it under the tongue with the mouth closed for three minutes. Use a rectal thermometer for infants. You may want to keep a record of the temperatures for your doctor.
  • Encourage intake of liquids. Higher temperatures account for greater body fluid losses through sweating and evaporation.
  • Cool compresses across the forehead and under the arms are soothing when the temperature is high. Hourly sponge baths can be given to infants and small children to keep the temperature below 104 degrees. Fill the tub with an inch or two of water at around body temperature. Rinse the child for ten to fifteen minutes, allowing the water to run off.
  • Dress warmly, but don't overdo it.
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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst 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......more
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