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If you’ve been a natural minded mom for very long, chances are you’ve had to question whether or not the herb or oil you want to use is safe for use around kids. And that’s such a good thing! We should be asking these questions, because even natural remedies are not one size fits all. They each have specific traditions and medicinal uses, and should be treated as such. Always check your sources and how reputable these companies are.
With a bit more background knowledge, you can be confident to safely use herbs with your kids. In fact, the two go together very well. There are many gentle and safe herbs that children respond to well – as an aid during illness and to nourish the body, among other things. Knowing how to find and use safe herbs for kids is so important; Thus, in this article we will review the top 5 herbs that are safe for kids – and some of their many uses.
It is important to do your homework (you know how us natural minded moms are research oriented) so it’s a good idea to also get a good children’s herbal reference book for yourself whenever you need the information.
And don’t just take my word for it – check out the reputable sources I link below for yourself!
Chamomille is in the Daisy family, and is a plant that prefers shade and moderate water. It has a longstanding tradition, and was considered a universal remedy in Ancient Egypt, even being used in makeup. Hippocrates of Ancient Greece wrote about its abilities to reduce fevers. Its varieties are native to Europe and North Africa. Chamomille has a bitter taste and is used in a variety of ways: infusions, tinctures, teas, syrups, polutices, compresses, lotions, and salves.
Herbalists classify it as a nervine, which is a plant that helps to nourish and calm the nervous system. Because of this, its a wonderful herb to soothe anxiety and nervousness, which can be useful for kids for the first day of school or a big performance. They also help to calm when kids are overtired and wired at the end of a long day. Nervines can help to ease insomnia, aches, pains, and headaches. It’s very comforting and nourishing to be used in a tea when rest is needed during illness.
Lemon Balm is a calm and gentle herb, which flourishes all over the United States, though originating from Europe. During the Middle Ages it was known as heart’s delight and the gladdening herb. It is also classified as a Nervine, which means its calming to the nervous system – lemon balm can really take the edge off. It is traditionally known to help those with anxiety, depression, focus, nervousness, insomnia, digestive issues, earaches, stomach aches, and a mild cold.
The fresh or dried leaf can be used to make infusions, teas, lotions, salves, tinctures, and more. It is a part of the mint family, and is very lemony, slightly sour, and bitter. Lemon Balm is a versatile herbal remedy and safe for kids of all ages, especially for those who are always on the go, but sometimes get cranky, overtired, or overstimulated.
Elderberries are delicious and extremely versatile! These berries are often made into jams, syrups, gummies, tinctures, and more. Elderberry has very strong antiviral properties and has even been studied as a powerful flu remedy. Taking elderberry daily supports your immune system and is proven to shorten the duration of colds. One study even found that elderberry effectively slowed down viral infection during late stages of the flu virus – one of the best defenders for fall and winter sickness!
Elderberries are especially wonderful for children as young as one year old. It tastes great and can be easily mixed into smoothies, pancakes, or drizzled over ice cream – the possibilities are endless for this delicious, powerful berry, making it easy to give to your kids when needed, too. It’s recommended to take daily as preventative, and throughout the day when sickness hits.
Dandelion is commonly known as a weed, but a weed by definition is a plant growing somewhere we don’t want it to grow. In reality, its an incredibly gentle, nourishing plant! Its uses range from being a nutritious food (it is a digestive bitter, and can be used in salads) to a versatile herbal remedy, safe for kids. It is high in iron, potassium, magnesium, and more essential nutrients. Dandelion is traditionally known to aide digestion and ease constipation, allowing the body to better break down and absorb nutrients from food. It is also known to balance hormones and support clear skin. Dandelion is a part of the same plant family which echinacea, chamomile, daisies, and sunflowers fall into.
Dandelion is a delightful plant already to kids, abundant in fields and parks for the picking and making of flower chains and for use in games. It is deemed perhaps the safest plant for use with kids.
Alfalfa is commonly known for feeding livestock, for its high amounts of protein and other nutrients. Much of the plant is edible, and is more commonly used by people in Europe than the US. Yet it’s one all should get to know – especially expecting moms – as its helpful (and safe) for many pregnancy-related symptoms. It is an herbal powerhouse, and its name means the “Father Of All Foods.” Alfalfa is a member of the pea family, and has a long history in traditional Chinese and Indian medicines. Uses range from digestive issues, lactation, allergies, arthritis, and more. It has such a high level of nutrients (especially Vitamin K) and is easily absorbed by the body for use. It also contains the highest level of chlorophyll of any plant known, which is said to help with wound healing, gut health, energy, immune system support, and more.
Alfalfa is safe for kids of all ages, and has no known contradictions. It is commonly consumed as fresh sprouts or made into a liquid chlorophyll, or dried for use in teas, tinctures, and smoothies (which your kids will love!)
What do you think? There are so many benefits to using herbs for the whole family! Which ones can you picture using to support your kids’ growth and health?
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama
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