Welcome to my monthly series…Herbs and Children! I have been learning so much about herbs and how to treat a variety of illnesses, infections, skin conditions, emotions, and other issues in children. While I am far from an expert, I do feel as though I have a lot of great information to share with you that can then use to do your own further research. Each month, I will share a specific “condition” or health concern and the specific herbs that are safe and effective to use on and in your children to address these conditions. Be sure to read to the end of each post where I link up the previous posts in the series.
Eczema is every parent’s nightmare. It seems like most children will develop a case of eczema at some point in their life. It is not fun for the child to experience nor is it fun for the parent to troubleshoot the cause.
I went into a lot of detail about the types of eczema, the symptoms of eczema, and the causes of eczema in my Coconut Oil and Eczema post. Head over there and have a read then come back here for how herbs can play a key role in helping to treat and alleviate the symptoms and side effects of eczema.
There are many, many herbs that can help with Eczema. Most can be made into a tea as well as applied topically in the form of a tea compress or a salve. (For some great information on how to make salve, check out my newest eBook, Salve Made Simple).
If I am not using herbs from my own garden, I trust and use the ones from my affiliate partner, Mountain Rose Herbs. I have not found a better source to date!
Ok – on with the list of safe and effective herbs for eczema!
Echinacea – antimicrobial, anti- viral and immune stimulating! Taken as a tea, it helps to prevent infection but purifying the blood! It is also just a great boost to an overtaxed immune system.
Burdock – as an allover purifier, it has long been used to help treat skin disorders that result in dry, flaky, inflamed skin! Very soothing and promotes healing.
St. John’s Wort – anti-inflammatory and astringent. It truly feels like a cool splash of relief on inflamed skin! When taken internally, it can settle the mind which of course plays a huge role in the itch-scratch cycle.
Red Clover – best use at bedtime as it is very relaxing both for the mind and body but also for the irritation the eczema brings. It purifies and detoxifies the blood and is a mild anti-inflammatory.
Lemon Balm – has antiviral properties and is very calming both internally on externally.
Nettle – used to strengthen and support the whole body. It has a vast array of nutrients, all of which are vital to healing the whole body, especially when it has been compromised (as is the case with eczema.)
Any of the above herbs can be made into a tea or tea compress. For tea, add one tablespoon of herbs to one cup of boiling water and steep 30 minutes. Strain and give the tea to your child in the following amount:
- 2-3 tablespoons per day for infants
- One cup per day for toddlers and preschool age children
- Up to two cups in children ages 6-12
- Two to three cups for children 13 and over
*Remember – I am NOT a medical practitioner so be sure to check with your trusted healer before using ANY of these herbs.*
To make a tea compress, follow the same steeping method above and simply soak a cloth in the tea and apply to the affected area. You can also triple the batch and add it to bathwater for an all-over soak!
One herb that should not be used internally in small children but works GREAT as a compress is Chaparral! It is very strong acting and not only soothes itchy skin but gets into those weepy areas and quickly promotes healing.
Plantain is safe when taken as a tea but it honesty works better as a compress. It is a strong astringent and has tons of soothing properties. It also helps to reduce pain associated with inflamed and/or infected skin.
When making a salve for eczema relief, the best combination of herbs to infuse your oil with are calendula, comfrey, plantain, rose hips, and St. John’s Wort! This salve will get down to the business of stopping the itch/scratch cycle of eczema and will promote healing!
What herbs have you used with success to treat your child’s eczema? There are a lot more out there but the ones listed here seem to be the most effective.