Giving Herbs to Children
The gentleness of herbal medicine is most appropriate for children, because they respond quickly and easily, since their bodies and minds have not been engraved with the patterns of illness for so many years.
I recommend using the Clark’s Rule method of determining dosages based on a child's weight rather than age. Clark’s Rule assumes that a dosage for an herb
or herb blend is based on an
adult body of about 150 pounds. To figure the dosage for a child (or anyone of smaller-than-adult size), divide the
recommended dosage by 150 and multiply
the result by the child’s weight. Therefore, the dosage amount for a child of 50 pounds would be about 1/3 of the regular full dosage listed on the label. Very young children do not need strong herbs or large doses for good results, because their systems are usually quite responsive to a gentle touch, so a few drops of liquid extract diluted in water or a teaspoon of herbal tea may be enough.
Willingness to take herbal
remedies varies widely among
children, but most are very
sensitive and responsive to the
attitudes of the parents. If you
have any concern or negative
attitudes about taste or
effectiveness, your child will
be resistant to taking the
herbs, regardless of whether you
express your concern out loud.
Children are very sensitive to
your energy and body language
and will take their cues from
you. A relaxed, no-big-deal
approach will usually get the
best result. Herbs that have a
bitter or unpleasant taste can
be mixed with an equal amount of
maple syrup or honey and taken
as a syrup. Follow the herb dose
bright-tasting berry juice, a bit of crystallized ginger or herbal tea such as peppermint.
Do not give syrups containing
honey to babies under a year
Be sure to discuss recommended dose amount and
frequency with your herbalist.