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 Herbal Medicine: Childhood Diarrhea 
 
The number and consistency of stools varies a great deal. Loose stools are normal in the breast fed infant. If baby is vomiting and having more than 8 watery stools there is danger of dehydration and loss of electrolyte balance. Refer the child if there is blood in the stool, abdominal pain causing crying for over two hours, or signs of dehydration such as lack of turgor, depression of the anterior fontanel, or dry mucous membranes.

Consider it diarrhea if the number and fluid content of the stools has dramatically increased or exceeds 10 per day in the child under one year of age. Infection with Shigella, Salmonella and Campylobactor will often result in blood flecked diarrhea. Ampicillin will sometimes result in diarrhea, however the most common cause is mild viral infection.

A number of the astringent remedies are particularly suitable for children. Possibly the most useful is Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). Unfortunately whilst available it is not widely stocked in North America. Tell your herb supplier they need to carry it! These herbs are also helpful for children :
Geranium maculatum (Cranesbill)
Euphrasia spp. (Eyebright)
Solidago virgaurea (Golden Rod)
Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)
Plantago media (Plantain)
Rubus spp. (Raspberry)
Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary)
Potentilla tormentilla (Tormentil)
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

Rosemary Tea (quoted from Natural Child Care by Maribeth Riggs)
Rosemary is antispasmodic and astringent, so a mild tea made from this herb is excellent for infant diarrhea. The antispasmodic property relaxes painful abdominal cramping and the astringent quality helps tighten the lower intestine and solidify the stool.
1/4 oz. Rosemary
1 cup water
  1. Combine Rosemary with the water in a covered pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Take the pot off the heat and steep the herb for 15 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly strain out the herb through cheesecloth and discard it.
  4. You may see some essential oil floating on top. Stir this back in and cool the tea to tepid before serving. Do not sweeten. Refrigerate the unused tea and reheat with each use. Discard remaining tea after 3 days.

Application: Bottle-feed an infant suffering from diarrhea 1/4 cup of tea 3 times each day, for 3 days, or until the diarrhea is checked. Most infants do not like the taste of the tea, so you may have to use a teaspoon or sterile dropper to administer it. Diarrhea in an infant can become a serious condition owing to dehydration. If the diarrhea is severe, dehydration can occur in less than 24 hours. If mild diarrhea does not improve after 3 days or treatment, or if the diarrhea is severe, with frequent uncontrolled bowel movements and painful cramping, consult a physician.

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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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