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.
I consider herbal teas to be an essential part of every natural medicine cabinet. And yes, I said natural medicine. You see, teas are not just a beverage that tastes good without unnecessary sugars, flavorings, etc… Herbal teas have the potential to do powerful work within the body. They can sooth, heal, repair, and so much more.
I sort of found my way through the realm of teas quite by accident. I learned by trial and error what worked well for my daughter. After honing my experiments, we have come to love five specific tea blends for very specific reasons.
Today I am sharing what worked for my daughter. She has been drinking these teas since she was about 18 months old. I implore you to do your own research on teas and find out what would work best for your child. By no means am I suggesting that these teas are a cure all. Nope – they are simply a launching off point for you to find some herbal beverages to help your child.
Dry Cough Soothing Tea
This recipe is one that I found via Dr. Mary Bove in her incredible book “An Encyclopedia For Natural healing in Children and Infants.” (Affiliate link). I have adapted it slightly.
- 1 teaspoon licorice root
- 1 teaspoon marshmallow root
- 1 teaspoon anise seed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon bark
- 6 dried elderberries
- Up to one tablespoon raw honey
- Place the herbs in a small pot with 16 ounces of distilled water.
- One the water is just about to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, strain out the herbs, stir in the honey, and let cool slightly (no burning tongues!)
Dr. Bove suggests that up to one cup, three times per day can be given to children over the age of one. One teaspoon every two hours can be used for infants.
Most parents have heard of the tummy soothing elixir known as “gripe water.” Well, I decided to save some money and turn this miracle into a tea. It works sooooooooo well! I was blown away at how effective it was for hiccup relief, gas relief, and general tummy fussiness. Years later and I still whip up a batch when Tiny is have an “off-day” tummy wise.
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 3 cups distilled water
- Bring 3 cups of distilled water to a boil.
- Add the fennel seeds and caraway seeds and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, strain out the seeds, and allow to cool to room temperature.
*I find the crushing the seeds makes the gripe water ore powerful. But try it both ways. The taste is strong when you crush the seeds before simmering them.*
In my research I felt comfortable giving Tiny 1 teaspoon every hour as needed while she was under 6 months of age. I never gave her more than 3 tablespoons per day in total.
Between 6 months and two years, I would start her off with a couple of tablespoonfuls and then give her more in teaspoonful increments up to ¼ cup per day maximum.
Once Tiny was over 2 years old, I would just give her ¼ a couple of times per day when tummy trouble struck.
This tea only keeps for 24 hours so don’t make large batches.
Calm Down Tea
Sometimes children need a little help in the relaxation department. I find that this tea is incredibly soothing and brings about relaxed vibes pretty quickly after consumption. It can be used before bedtime or any time your child needs some help recentering his or herself. I suggest using this tea on children over 2.
- 1 tablespoon dried lemon balm
- 2 teaspoons dried peppermint
- 1 teaspoon dried rose petals
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
- Honey to taste
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add the herbs and simmer 10 minutes.
- Strain out the herbs and add honey to taste. Personally I never had to add any honey. It had a mild taste.
- Allow to cool slightly and give your children ½ a cup. If more is needed, another ½ cup may be given.
Motion Sickness Tea
This tea is excellent to bring on trips where motion sickness might be a factor. It is easy to make ahead and it really does sooth the upset tummy!
- 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
- 10-15 fresh peppermint leaves
- 3 cups of distilled water
- Bring water to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add the ginger and herbs.
- Allow to infuse for at least 15 minutes. The longer the better. One hour is ideal.
- Strain out the ginger and mint and bottle the tea once cooled a bit.
- Can be served warm or cool.
I would give Tiny about ¼ cup at a time waiting 20 minutes in between cups. Once she was less nauseous, I would just give her a couple of tablespoons every hour to keep things settled.
Immune Boosting Tea
This is one of those teas that I try to get into Tiny as much as possible during germ season. It really does help boost immunity and is probably one of the most important teas in my arsenal.
- 1 teaspoon dried Echinacea leaves and flowers
- 1 teaspoon dried astragalus root
- 1 teaspoon dried elderberries
- ½ teaspoon dried licorice root
- 2 cups distilled water
- Bring the water to a rolling boil and remove from heat.
- Add the herbs and steep until the water is room temperature.
- Strain out the herbs and pour tea into a glass jar.
- This tea keeps for about 48 hours.
I would only suggest using this recipe for children over the age of two. ¼ cup a day is considered “safe” between the ages of 2-3. Children 4-5 years old can typically handle one cup per day. Children over 6 and over can drink up to two cups per day.
What teas are your go-to’s to soothe and calm your children? Share any links in the comments!!!!
Oh – and in case you were wondering…all my herbs come from my affiliate partner Mountain Rose Herbs.