Herbal Remedies

Parents have been asking me whether they can give herbal remedies to their children, so let me get to the root of the matter, and share some thoughts with you on this topic.

Herbal remedies are everywhere these days. In fact, they will account for four billion dollars in sales this year alone. Despite their popularity, though, there have been no scientific studies performed to prove the efficacy and safety of using herbs with children and infants. In fact, there are reported cases of herbs being toxic to young children, even in doses that are safe for adults.

Echinacea, for example, may make a childs asthma worse by increasing the inflammatory or immune response. Aloe, generally thought of as harmless, can cause cramping and diarrhea in children if taken orally.

Since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal products, there are no established guidelines for proper dosage of herbs for children. Some herbal remedies may interact with over-the-counter or prescription medicationsespecially if your child has high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, behavioral disorders, seizures, or blood-clotting problems. St. Johns wort, which is generally used to treat depression, can interact with other anti-depression medications and may actually make the depression worse.

The bottom line is that you should always consult your childs doctor before giving any herbal remedies, just to make sure they are safe and that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Hopefully tips like this will plant some new information in your mind about giving your child herbal remedies.

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