When I was pregnant with my first child I had already been incorporating plant medicine into my life for 10 years. Drinking medicinal herbal teas, making herbal syrups, and tinctures were common place in my life, so the thought of using these same healing methods with my child was easy. Before taking any classes on using herbs I taught myself. I started researching, reading, experimenting, and developing relationships with the plants and it was through this process I was able to effectively prevent and treat myself and my family from common ailments.
Becoming a more aware of how to use plant medicine with your children takes time but, it is well worth the investment. Let me explain the difference between herbal plant medicine and supplements. To me supplements are a combination of synthetic and nonsynthetic herbals, vitamins and minerals that come in capsules, caplets and powdered forms. They are intended to supplement your lifestyle and add greater nourishment to your daily diet. Plant medicine on the other hand, is using fresh or dried plant materials on their own or in combination with other other foods and drink to support and nourish one’s health and lifestyle.
For example dandelion is a leafy green vegetable and can be juiced, added to vinegar, eaten in a salad, cooked or dried and used to make syrups, extracts and herbal tea. To me taking a dandelion capsule for liver support can not compare to all the ways dandelion can assists us if we used it in its natural form. The problem is, most of us do not know where to get loose herbs or how to use them with our children without taking an 8 week herbal course.
Believe it or not you do not need an 8 week herbal course to use herbs with your children. If you know some basic herbal knowledge, where to get your herbs and two or three herbal preparation methods you can start using herbs with your children safely and effectively. Earlier this year I taught at the Florida Herbal Conference and one of the products I created was a Herbal Medicine Making Kit for Herbs and Children. This kit was designed specifically for the beginning kitchen herbalist who wants to learn how to use herbs with her children easily and effectively. What is great about this Herbal Medicine Kit is that I include a herbal class CD, Herbs and Children, that matches the kit. So I actually tutor you on how to use not just the herbs included in the kit but basic herbal wisdom that builds your skills and confidence.
I am really excited about this Herbal Medicine Making Kit because it is such an easy way to get started taking your child’s health into your own hands. Many of the moms I have worked with feel so empowered, when they can manage a fever without drugs, or help their child’s tummy ache without antacids. You have know idea how good it feels when my 15 and 8 year old can come to me and say “mom I need the elderberry, I am getting a cold” or when they bump themselves and ask me for the comfrey oil. Pretty cool.
Here are a few tips to get you started using herbs with children.
- Get a good book; Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal is great.
- Get your organic dried herbs from a reputable source; Mountain Rose Herbs is one of the best.
- Start using one or two herbs at at time, that way if your child has an allergic reaction you will know what it is.
- Herbal infusions or herbal teas are a great place to start. Infusions are when you steep 1 tsp of dried herbs in one cup of boiled water, they tend to be mild and can be sweetened with honey.
- Not everything you read about herbs on line is accurate. Check multiple sources.
I hope this helps you on your journey of becoming an herbal mom or dad. If you need help post your question in the comments section. I am available for creating personal blends as well as herbal consultations.