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Children’s Herbal Remedies: Dosages

While we may know how to treat ourselves with herbal medicines, a dropperful of tincture twice daily or a cup of herbal infusion with every meal, how do we figure the dosage or even the type of administration for our tiny ones? Here are some simple recipes and guidelines from the fairy godmother of herbalism herself: Rosemary Gladstar. 

Rule of thumb for determining dosage for wee ones:
(from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health)
Determining dosage by Young’s and Cowling’s Rules:
These rules for determining dosage rely on mathematical calculations based on the child’s age. 

Young’s Rule: Add 12 to the child’s age. Divide the child’s age by this total.
For example, the dosage for a four-year-old: 4/16=0.25, or ¼ of the adult dosage.

Cowling’s Rule: Divide the number of the child’s next birthday by 24.
For example, the dosage for a child who is 3, turning 4 years old: 4/24=0.16, or ⅙ of the adult dosage.

*For those that are still nursing, mother’s milk is the most effective way to administer herbs. The mother must drink at least 4-6 cups of tea daily.

Remedies for teething:

  1. Catnip tea– Administer as tea or tincture in small, frequent doses. You can also soak a clean cloth in the tea, and allow the child to chew on a corner as needed.
  2. Herbal pops– Freeze tea of catnip (and chamomile!) in freezer pop molds for another method of delivering calming, nervine herbs. The addition of cold effectively numbs painful gums.
  3. Rosehip syrup– Frequent doses of this vitamin C-rich syrup can help relieve teething symptoms. This can be prepared at home.

Learn About This Author
India Orman

India Orman

An inspired native edible plants forager and biologist, India forayed into herbalism when she moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to study botany. At her work college, she managed the school medicinal herb garden and herbal preparations of the Warren Wilson College Herb Crew. This brought her in close proximity with her herbal idols through work studies at the SE Wise Women’s Herbal Conferences and through organizing educational community events with local herbal leaders. India is a world traveler and inspired chef, drawing on her international experiences and botanical background to create beautiful, healthy goods to unite friends and family. In addition to travel and cooking, India enjoys volunteering her time for local environmental organizations and making art.

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