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The charts and suggestions below may be used in determining the appropriate amount of herbal remedy to give to children.

Please keep in mind, however, that these are just guidelines. The weight and overall health of the child must be taken into consideration, as well as the strength and quality of the herbs to be given, along with the nature of the child's illness.

Herbs and herbal products should not be given to babies under 6 months of age, as their digestive systems are not mature enough to handle much more than breastmilk (or formula if its necessary).  To give herbs to an infant, its best for the breastfeeding mother to take full dose of the herb (see Note: below) and it will pass to the baby through the breastmilk.  If a baby is in acute distress, such as from gas or colic, or if the baby is not breastfed, a small amount of non-alcohol tincture or diluted tea can be given directly to the baby on an occasional basis.  Babies over 6 months of age can be given the herbs directly, but as each child is different, if they experience any kind of tummy ache or distress, discontinue.  Always give babies and children the non-alcohol versions if possible, and if not possible, dilute the tincture in breastmilk (or formula), juice or water.  The chart below will give you recommendations of how much to give to a baby or child.

Note:

     - A typical adult dose is 1 cup (8 oz.) of tea, and two droppersful (or squeezes, which is 60 drops) of tincture each dose.  The information below is based on this information. 

     - Follow the dosage recommendations on the product label as far as the frequency, or how many times a day the herbs should be given, using the dosage amounts given below.  For example, if an adult dose is 1 cup of tea or 2 droppersful of tincture 3 times a day, the recommended dose for a 2 year old would be 2 teaspoons of tea or 10 drops of tincture 3 times a day.

Teas

When the adult (age 12 and over) dose is 1 cup (8 oz.) of tea, the following is recommended for children:

Age -- Dosage
Younger than 2 years -- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
2 to 4 years -- 2 teaspoons
4 to 7 years -- 1 tablespoon
7 to 11 years -- 2 tablespoons

Tinctures

When the adult dose is 2 droppersful (60 drops), the following is recommended for children:

Age -- Dosage
Younger than 3 months -- 2 drops
3 to 6 months -- 3 drops
6 to 9 months -- 4 drops
9 to 12 months -- 5 drops
12 to 18 months -- 7 drops
18 to 24 months -- 8 drops
2 to 3 years -- 10 drops
3 to 4 years -- 12 drops
4 to 6 years -- 15 drops
6 to 9 years -- 24 drops
9 to 12 years -- 30 drops

Other ways to determine dosage:
Young's Rule - Add 12 to the child's age. Divide the child's age by this total. Example: dosage for a 4 year old: 4 divided by 16 (4+12) = .25, or 1/4 of the adult dosage.

Cowling's Rule - Divide the number of the child's next birthday by 24. Example: dosage for a child who is 3, turning 4 would be: 4 divided by 24 = .16, or 1/6 of the adult dosage.

Reference used: “Herbal Remedies for Children's Health” by Rosemary Gladstar


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written by Pam Caldwell
Certified Herbalist --- Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist

Testimonial

After giving birth to three petite little girls, my husband and I decided that for our next birth, we would go "natural" before and hopefully after the birth. Well, I gave birth to a very healthy baby boy, weighing 8 pounds! The birth was an easy feat without drugs, but afterwards was another story! I had always taken my Vicodin after the birth of my girls (I was not breastfeeding), but this time I was nursing and did not want to take a narcotic. My doula and midwife suggested I check out herbs available to me, and so I contacted Herb Lore. They took much time to suggest a wonderful remedy for me - Postpartum Sitz Bath Herbs. But instead of taking a sitz bath with them, I followed the instructions for making a "tea" of the herbs and using sanitary pads to soak up some of the brew. I then froze the pads and wore them throughout the day and night. (Complete instructions are on the product label.) It was a WONDERFUL relief. I took no narcotics and unlike medication, I could use the pads as much as needed. I wish I had known about this technique after I had my girls! Timmy was my biggest baby, most pleasant birth, and easiest recovery (thanks to Herb Lore's herbs!!!). J.Y.