Kathy's Bio
Kathy's Recommended Reading
Purchase Kathy's Book!
Find Local Stores and Web Stores
Connect and Socialize with Other Readers
The William and Lydia Foundation
Kathy's Questions and Answers
Contact Us

Excepts from Saving Tristan
Chapter Seven

Herbs and Children

Liquid Herbal extracts are fast acting and very easy for children to ingest. The educated and prepared mom can ward off illness and ease symptoms in many cases without an exhausting trip to the doctor. What is appropriate for an adult can harm a child especially under the age of two; however, nature does have many effective wonderful herbs for little ones that can be used safely. Do your homework before illness strikes and have a supply ready to battle the issues your children face most often. An excellent in-depth resource on herbs and children is Mommy Diagnostics by herbalist Shonda Parker.

Colds and Flu

Elderberry extract is the first thing I reach for when my little ones show signs of a cold coming on, sore throat or an earache. With the H1N1 swine flu scare adding to the usual concern fall and winter bring in keeping my children healthy, I took the extra step of giving them elderberry glycerite on a daily basis. Research showing its antiviral activity against multiple strains of influenza increased my confidence, and in spite of travel and exposure, we made it through the winter with no trips to the doctor and only one mild case of fever, sore throat and coughing. Elderberry can be safely given to infants and is great for adults as well.

A strong healthy immune system is built in part during childhood as germs, viruses and bacteria are fought off and immunity is built. Antibiotics do nothing in helping to build your child's resistance to disease, as they fight the invaders. Much damage is done to friendly microorganisms, and your child is left with less rather than more resistance. Herbs such as Echinacea on the contrary will strengthen the body's natural defenses while attacking the invaders. When both Echinacea Purpurea and the root of Echinacia Augustofolia are combined with Elderberry and Propolis resin extract, a powerful herbal remedy safe for even infants is created to fight flus and colds. Using Infant Immune Boost, which contains the extracts of these herbs or a similar combination leaves your child with increased resistance rather than less.

Sore Throat Tonsillitis

Tonsils used to be routinely removed if inflammation, swelling and infections were frequent; however, today they are recognized as an important part of the immune system. Sitting at the back of the throat they trap bacteria and other invaders from penetrating deeper into the body. B and T lymphocytes are stored in the tonsils until needed by the immune system. A liquid combination of herbs topically affects the tonsils as it is being swallowed before entering the blood stream.

Our daughter suffered from frequent bouts of severe tonsillitis with pockets of pus clearly visible, and in spite using the immune boosting herbs that worked well for her brothers, she ended up on antibiotics. I knew I could do better for her. So, after more research, I created a combination of the following herbs and gave them to her at the first hint of sore throat. White Oak bark and Slippery Elm both contain tannins used to relieve tonsillitis and sore throat and/or loss of voice. Propolis, Olive Leaf and Oregon Grape Root combat many of the bacteria and viruses that cause sore throat and tonsillitis. Devils Claw can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling and ease the pain of swallowing. It worked very well for her and others. We named it Heidi's Tonsil Formula and it is still available from Mountain Meadow Herbs. This combination should not be used for extended periods of time and is not appropriate for infants.

Parasites Asthma Respiratory Infections

Ridding your child of parasites can make the difference between a pale, tired, irritable child who only wants to eat bread and sweets and a healthy happy child who enjoys healthy, whole foods. Teeth grinding at night, abdominal pain, frequent illness and itching of the anus are other signs that your child can benefit from a good herbal parasite cleanse. For children under the age of two, Olive leaf is a good choice. For older children a combination containing Wormwood, Black Walnut Hulls and Cloves along with herbs to make the cleanse comfortable as in Para-Rid are an excellent choice. Parasites are discussed in more detail in chapter five.

Respiratory infections in children can often be resolved with herbal remedies especially if treated as soon as the coughing or fever begins. Thyme Leaf is a powerful bronchial antispasmodic and expectorant used to loosen chest congestion and relieve coughing. Elecampane is an expectorant and contains compounds that are antibiotic and antimicrobial. Anise Seed extract is used to loosen mucous and relieve coughing. Nettle leaf and Elderflower inhibit the replication of some influenza viruses, Nettle can also relieve coughing caused by allergies. Licorice Root acts as an anti inflammatory, expectorant and antibacterial. Bayberry bark is used to relieve symptoms of the common cold. A combination of these herbs (Herbal Respiratory) can go a long way in maintaining open unrestricted airways without the side effects of drug laced cough syrups and decongestants.

If your child suffers from asthma, begin with a thorough parasite cleanse. The connection between asthma and roundworms is too well documented to ignore. Support your child's respiratory system for a few weeks following the cleanse with a combination of herbs such as those in Herbal Respiratory to ensure healing and strengthening of the system. Eczema and skin rashes in children can be parasitical in nature; children who suffer from eczema often go on to develop asthma. Researcher Dr. Clark found both of these conditions along with other skin conditions to be caused by the same parasite, the roundworm.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Some children find focusing and concentrating on a task for more than a few minutes impossible. They are anxious, forgetful, fidgety, impatient and hyperactive. Regardless of the setting, it is hard for them to be at peace. Known as Attention Deficit Disorder, drugs are widely used to control the symptoms and help these children fit into their environment more appropriately. As many as twenty percent of school age children in the USA are estimated to be afflicted with ADD. It is more prevalent among males than females by a ratio of approximately four to one.

There are four simple herbs that can transform the behavior of a child faced with this challenge. American Ginseng Root extract relieves anxiety, nervousness and improves learning. Gingko Biloba boosts blood and oxygen circulation to the brain increasing concentration and mental function. Valerian Root is very calming. It is used to eliminate the restlessness, fear and aggression associated with ADD and to improve coordination. Attention span can be increased with Gotu Kola and learning and memory improved. Natural Attention Aid

Calcium deficiency is thought to contribute to ADD, making a well absorbed calcium supplement very important on a daily basis.

Children grow rapidly and growing pains are a sure sign of calcium deficiency. These can be easily and almost immediately relieved with Herbal Calcium, but to help your child develop strong bones don't wait for the growing pains to clue you in on the deficiency. Daily supplementation is especially important for little girls. Recent research shows the risk for osteoporosis later in life is connected to the degree of bone calcification before the onset of menstruation. Be sure the supplement you chose is easily assimilated and from natural food sources or herbs rather than from oyster shells or coral calcium.