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Herbs for Kids
by Mary Blue and the Farmacy Herbs Team
Herbal medicine is a safe, fun and tasty way to keep kids healthy throughout the year. There are many ways to incorporate herbs into children’s diets and lives. Herbal balls, iced teas, glycerites, herbal popsicles and syrups are a few examples of herbal remedies that children typically love. Not only are they delicious and nutritious, they are also a fun and creative project that families and children can enjoy working on together.
An herbalist’s main objective is to support specific body systems to optimize health. Some of the body systems in children that can benefit from support as they develop, grow and explore are the nervous, digestive and immune systems. Lemon balm and catnip are delicious herbs that support the nervous system. They are highly beneficial for children that tend to be hyper-active, or for kids that need help winding down before bed. Both are work well as a warm, comforting tea.
Anise hyssop and chamomile are lovely digestive herbs, great for colic or upset stomach. They can be made into a tea or vegetable glycerite which is a very sweet and palatable herbal extraction. Elderberry and echinacea are superstar herbs for children as they support immunity. Elderberry is famous as an herbal syrup, but the powdered berry could also be made into an “herb ball” which is simply honey rolled with powdered herbs and topped with anything from coconut to cacao.
Getting kids familiar with herbs will serve them well in life as they have much to offer. Herbs can be used to prevent children from getting sick, help to develop their taste buds, and they are filled with vitamins and nutrients. Getting kids outdoors and learning about their environment is not only tons of fun but is also great for their health. Fresh air, sunshine and spending time in nature are well known to reduce stress, improve energy levels and brighten moods. Interaction with plants is yet another way in which they are healing. One of our favorite resources for teaching children about herbs is Wildcraft!, a cooperative and fun herbal adventure board game that teaches about edible and medicinal plants.
Mary Blue is a community herbalist and educator, author of Herbal Foundations, and owner of Farmacy Herbs, located at 28 Cemetery St., Providence. Learn more at 401-270-5223 or FarmacyHerbs.com