Today there are several herbal blends, proprietary blends and essential herbal based oils that are available for treating almost any health condition. With these herbal treatments being safer than traditional treatment options, they are increasingly becoming the preferred option for most people today.
After all, why take any medication that could put you at risk for some type of adverse reaction when you have a safer, risk-free option?
However, having said that they are the safer option, it is important to understand that herbal treatments should not be used arbitrarily. Before you start using any type of herb or herbal blend, you must take some time to read about how it works. This is even more important when using herbs on children.
Many people hear about the safety of using herbs for therapeutic purposes and are under the misconception that all of them are safe for all ages.
The fact is there are a few herbs that should never be used with children in any dosage. The 3 herbs listed below may work great on you but they should never be used for children.
Herbal Treatments containing Licorice Root
Licorice root is commonly used for issues with the cold and flu season, allergies and overall congestion. It can help to break up mucus in the lungs and clear the nasal passages when used alongside diffused essential oils that have a menthol base such as peppermint.
It has been noted that in larger doses, children are more likely to start feeling extremely fatigued and the continued use of the root can lead to migraine headaches in young children and teens.
With many other alternatives that can be used to treat colds and the flu instead of licorice root and which are safer and approved for children of all age groups, it’s definitely not worth taking the risk with giving your child licorice root.
Herbal Treatments containing St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herb that is very effective at easing depression and mild anxiety issues in adults.
However, when the same herb is used with children, it can cause a multitude of issues ranging from nausea and upset stomach to confusion, inability to communicate and memory loss. For these reasons it is best to use an alternative safe herb such as valerian root for symptoms of depression and anxiety in children.
Herbal Treatments containing Goldenseal
There is not much information regarding goldenseal and the long term effects that the herb can cause. However, most herbalists and midwives caution against using the herb with small children, infants and newborns.
This is due to several reports that the use of goldenseal, in medium quantities, has caused brain damage in some children. Because it is unclear in the reported cases how much of the herb was used, it has been designated as an herb that is unsafe for children and should be avoided.
To avoid taking any unnecessary risks when using herbal treatments for children, it is advisable to stick to milder herbs such as peppermint and chamomile or herbs that are listed as being safe for all ages.
If you are not sure whether or not an herb is safe for children, consult your natural health consultant or request to see the children’s and infants section of the herbal remedies and whole herbs.