Top Five Herbs for Kids

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Showing how to make tinctures

These five herbs for kids are gentle, safe and easily obtained. If you keep them in dried form, you can quickly make up a herbal tea when your little ones need it.  There are instructions on how to make tea with a video at the link here. Herbal Tea video - this is parsley tea, which is *not* on the list. 

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Dosage for children 

Adult                1

12 years old    1/2

8 years old       2/5

4 years old        1/4

2 years old         1/8

1 year old            1/16 

Another method:

A simple rule of thumb when using herbs for kids under the age of 12 is to divide the child's weight in pounds by 150 lbs (the average adult weight) and that will give you a ratio. For example, if the child weighs 50 lbs, then you give them one third of the adult dose.

For the herbs, I will give the ADULT dose and you will then be able to work out how much to give your child. 

Top Five Herbs for Kids


chamomile growing in pots

A relaxing nervine (helps calm the 'nerves'). It is indicated where the chid has become fractious and upset over teething, anxiety, diarrhoea, colic, cold or flu. Give it as a soothing warm drink.  

It's useful to deal with inflamed skin and soreness from conjunctivitis - you can either make a tea, let it cool and bathe the affected parts or add it to the bathwater. If you do that before bedtime, it will soothe and aid in sleep. 

It has a particular affinity for the eyes. 

ADULT DOSE: 2 teaspoons of dried herb in one 8 ounce cup of boiled water 3 times a day. Steep for 10 minutes.  Steep a child's dose for two minutes as it can become bitter. 


fennel growing in pots

Fennel is an ingredient in commercial Gripe Water. It does indeed soothe indigestion, colic and flatulence. It also calms bronchitis and makes a good cough syrup for little ones. 

It comes in seed form, so you will need to pound them to break them down to make a tea. If you don't want to do that, then you will need to 'decoct' the seeds which simply means simmering in water for 20 minutes. 

If your baby is suffering from colic and you're breastfeeding, then drink the tea yourself around thirty minutes prior to feeding and the baby will get the benefits. Take the normal adult dose, your body will do the rest. 

ADULT DOSE: 1 teaspoon of ground seeds in one 8 ounce cup of water 3 times a day. Steep for 10 minutes. 


alfie cat lying in cat mint

Not just for your fur babies, but one of the herbs for kids as well. 

Catnip is good for feverish conditions for example a cold or flu. It will encourage sweating, which is nature's way of helping the body rid itself of toxins.  Don't be alarmed at a bit of a temperature - the immune system heats  up the body deliberately in its effort to overcome the bacteria and viruses that have invaded the body. 
It is another 'nerving' and is also pretty good for diarrhoea. 

ADULT DOSE: 2 teaspoons in one 8 ounce cup of water 3 times a day. Steep for 10 minutes. 

Lemon Balm

lemon balm

Lemon Balm is an anti-viral as well as being a nervine. It soothes a digestive system that can be made worse by the child becoming upset and stressed. Lemon balm is good in supporting the 'rest and digest' parasympathetic nervous system when the 'fight or flight' sympathetic nervous system has been at work.

Equal parts of Chamomile, Catnip and Lemon Balm would be an excellent daily tonic to give your children. 

ADULT DOSE: 2-3 teaspoons dried herb in one 8 ounce cup of boiling water 2 or 3 times a day. Steep for 10 minutes. 


lavender flowering

For relaxation and rest, you can't beat Lavender. You can add some lavender tea to the nighttime bath and that will promote sleep. 

Try some drops of lavender essential oil on a piece of cotton wool and leave it in the child's bedroom. 

If you dilute it with a carrier oil (5 drops per ounce of eg olive, almond, grapeseed) then you can rub it on the temples when you or your children get a headache. 

You could also use it in a steam inhalation  - caution with young children, you may be best to buy a proper inhaler rather than use a bowl and towel - for congested noses and sinuses after a cold. 

It has a very floral flavour as a tea, so don't steep for too long and maybe add a touch of honey (no honey for babies under 12 months old) to sweeten it. 

ADULT DOSE: 1 teaspoon dried herb in one 8 ounce cup of boiling water 3 times a day. Steep to taste 

Absolutely not, under any circumstances herbs for kids

  • Aconite
  • Aristolochia
  • Belladonna
  • Calamus
  • Castor
  • Datura
  • Epazote
  • Foxglove
  • Henbane
  • Juniper
  • Kava
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Peruvian Bark
  • Rauwolfia
  • Seleniceleus
  • Squills
  • Tansy
  • Wormseed
  • Yohimbe
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