A study released this week has found that a substantial proportion of infants in the examined sample are given a wide variety of supplements and teas. Because some supplements given to infants may pose health risks, health care providers need to recognize that infants under their care may be receiving supplements or teas. New research finds that almost one in every ten mothers keeps it natural when medicating their babies.

A nationwide survey of three-thousand new mothers found that 9% used herbal supplements and teas in infants under one year old. Moms who used herbal remedies themselves were four times more likely to give them to their babies than women who had never used them.

What are some of the most popular herbal remedies for kids though?

  • Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) is an immune-enhancing herb considered a “mother’s helper” by herbalists. It can be used in tea or tincture form to fend off illness when there are a lot of colds or flus going around or when the first symptoms appear.
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is one of the best all-around children’s herbs. It contains anti-inflammatory essential oils, and its flowers make a soothing tea that settles the nervous system. It promotes digestion and is good for colicky babies. Chamomile tea can calm a stressed or nervous child. A massage oil with added chamomile essential oil can be used to calm a child or to soothe sore, achy muscles. A few drops of tincture before feeding time aids digestion.
  • Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is an herbal relaxant that can soothe an agitated nervous system. Helpful in treating teething or colic and the onset of colds, it can serve as a digestive aid. A few drops of tincture before bedtime will calm fussy children, and a couple of drops before meals can serve as a digestive aid.
  • Mullein flower (Verbascum spp.), in the form of warmed oil, is helpful for treating bronchial congestion or simple ear infections associated with colds and flus. Doctors have seen mullein and/or garlic work in 95% of cases of children, unless there is a long history of infection or the case is quite serious.
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an antacid that neutralizes excess acids in the stomach and intestines and stimulates digestion. Fennel tea tastes good and is used to treat colic, improve digestion and expel gas.
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is used for bronchial congestion, sore throat, coughs and inflammation of the digestive tract. Use it in syrups and teas, or give children licorice sticks to chew.
  • Belladonna is helpful for fevers, when a child has a flushed face, throbbing headache, drowsiness but difficulty falling asleep and swollen glands and radiating heat. It is used for measles, when there is a sudden onset of high fever, with a flushed face and reddened lips.
  • Apis is one of the key remedies for sore throat when the tonsils are puffy and red, when it hurts to eat or drink anything warm, and when relief comes from sucking an ice cube. It is a leading remedy for hives when the skin is swollen, red and sensitive to heat, often from an allergic response.
  • Bryonia is the leading remedy for coughs, especially dry coughs aggravated by motion.

In conclusion, experts aren’t sure if herbal supplements are harmful to young children but say that parents should know they aren’t as strictly regulated as other drugs.

The nine page full report from the Journal of Pediatrics can be found HERE.

Other Source Used For This Article: The Herb Companion

Written by Sy Kraft