Are herbal teas safe for babies?
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I recently had a question from a reader about whether or not herbal remedies were safe for her baby. She wrote:
“I love herbs, I use them quite often on me or my older son. But because my daughter is still quite little, she will be 1 year old next month, I am unsure if it would be safe to make her herbal teas, in case she is not well- I know chamomile is safe for babies- but what about thyme, elderflower…”
Just like our reader I love using herbs too. There is nothing quite as satisfying as going out into the garden and picking your own medicines, provided by Mother Nature.
My deepest belief is that Mother Nature provides all we need for a healthy life. She provides seasonal foods that give us trace minerals and vitamins, flowers which are food for the soul and if we take “Let food be thy Medicine” seriously; there’s a lot we can do for ourselves and our families by eating with the seasons and learning about the healing properties of foods and herbs.
Little Miss Green has been bought up on herbal teas. Yes we sometimes buy teabags in a box (she loves some of the fruity ones such as echinacea and raspberry) but more often than not, she just goes out and picks whatever she feels drawn to from the garden and I make it into an infusion.
Here are some herbs she’s been drinking as herbal teas since she was a year old:
Fennel is a wonderful herb for stomach aches, trapped wind and colic. You’ll find that some conventional ‘gripe water’ is simply fennel tea! For babies, rather than using the seeds, use a couple of the feathery leaves in a mug of almost-boiling water. Cover and seep for five minutes before straining. Strain and cool before serving in a sippy cup or offer your baby a couple of spoons of the tea
This beautifully, scented herb is wonderful for calming anxious babies. If your baby is getting worked up because they don’t feel good then a cup of lemonbalm tea might be just the thing. Use a few fresh leaves and seep in a mug of almost boiling water for ten minutes. Strain and cool before serving in a sippy cup or offer your baby a couple of spoons of the tea.
Camomile is the number one herb for babies. It’s very gentle and is great for soothing restless babies; especially when teething. It has a beautiful appley scent that is released when you crush the plant. Place a small sprig of chamomile in a mug of almost boiling water and seep for five minutes. Strain and cool before giving to your baby as above; this is a nice tea to serve before bedtime to help your baby settle.
Catnip / catmint
Catnip is soothing and can help babies with colic as it relaxes the digestive system. It’s also good for babies that are nervous or restless as it relaxes the mind. Another great use for catnip is with lowering fevers so it’s really worth growing a pot of catnip in the garden. To make catnip tea, put a couple of leaves of catnip into a mug and cover with almost boiling water. Seep for 10 minutes then strain and cool.
For toddlers you can make herbal infusions and pour them into ice lolly moulds (popsicles). These make refreshing and medicinal treats.
With regards to thyme and elderflower; I cannot give advise because I’m not a medical professional or a certified herbalist. The information provided on this website and all related publications, whether print or digital, whether implied or explicit, are not intended to be taken as medical advice; it is for informational purposes. I assume no liability for what you choose to do with this information. You should always be cautious and use common sense, do research and consult professionals when it comes to medicine, both herbal and otherwise. Consult your medical care provider for persistent symptoms, illnesses, and injuries.
It is my belief that every parent should follow their own volition and knows their child better than anyone else. I would gladly use any garden herb on MY baby, but I cannot suggest that anyone else does the same. Thyme is particularly powerful and you would only need to use one or two of the tiny leaves in an infusion for treating infections, coughs and colds. It is my opinion that the best way for a baby to take herbal teas is to get the mother to drink them, then pass them on via breastmilk.
What about you – what herbal remedies have you used on your babies?
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