Monday, January 26, 2009

The Healing Power of Nurturing Herbs

Sometimes part of the healing process with a child (or any person for that matter) is the nurturing and reassuring feeling they get by "taking medicine". Somehow, this process evokes a healing response in the body, in addition to any healing power the medicine may have.

One of the many reasons I enjoy herbal healing with children so much is because I am able to allow them to heal themselves with herbs and they can even take a few extra sips or spoons of herbal syrup if they feel the need.

Because I only use very mild and safe herbs with the children like peppermint, chamomile, catnip, fenugreek and others, I am able to leave these herbs in drawers labelled "Stomach ache", "Fever", "Nerves", "Sleep", etc...and invite the children to use the herbs when they feel the need. I would never feel comfortable doing this with any OTC medicine as most can have serious side effects if taken in any excess at all. Of course the children have been taught how to use herbs and have been told all the safety warnings and they usually ask me first anyway...but the fact that I can feel comfortable leaving these "medicines" within their reach is wonderful.

Additionally, when my child feels the need to take more herbal syrup or tea because they want to feel they are "getting better faster" I don't have to say "no". I invite them to have an extra cup of peppermint tea or an extra spoon or two of chamomile syrup, knowing that they probably do not need it, but that it will not harm them either. And they feel better because they sometimes enjoy the process of taking the medicine. Somehow "taking medicine" makes a child feel special when they are ill. It helps a person feel nurtured. And those feelings can help a person heal.

If you would like to do this with your children make sure you are only using very mild herbs that are safe for children and that they know how to use the herbs and are supervised as much as possible in the beginning and that the place where you openly store your herbs is in a public place near where you are. I have posted before about the side effects of herbal medicines and how we must be cautious even with remedies that are natural. Over-use or misuse can cause a variety of problems, and taking herbs that are not suitable to your temperament can also cause a variety of problems (see previous BLOG posts).

If you would like some ideas on how to teach your child about herbs and natural healing you can check out some of the parent-child classes I am offering at

Blessings & Health,

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