Parenting | 28 December 2016How to Prepare Natural Remedies for Your Kids Share article facebook twitter google pinterest When your child is sick, there’s not much you wouldn’t do to make them feel better. Natural Remedies for Kids provides over 100 natural and herbal remedies to help common ailments at home. These remedies, from teas to tinctures can help soothe symptoms and help your child rest comfortably. Photo by Fair Winds Press There are a number of different ways to prepare herbal remedies. Some you may be familiar with, and others you may not know. Be sure to read this section before preparing any remedies, in case the preparation method described in the recipe is new to you. Photo by Fair Winds Press Tea What it is: Tea is simple to prepare and probably familiar to you. T o make a tea, a small amount of an herb is steeped in boiling water for a short time and then drunk plain or lightly sweetened. How to make it: Boil water, usually 1 cup (235 ml). Add 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of the chosen herb and steep for 5 to 15 minutes. Remove the herb and sweeten the tea lightly , if desired. I suggest using raw honey for this, unless the tea is for a baby under one year old. When it’s used: Teas are used for just about anything, since they’re mild and easy to prepare. They’re used when something soothing is needed (e.g., to ease the pain of a sore throat) or if a small dose is desired. Most teas can be drunk freely—that is, the child can have as much as he or she wants. Give the tea a chance to cool slightly before serving. Decoction What it is: Despite the word being an unfamiliar term, a decoction is actually quite easy to prepare. You simply boil herbs in water for a short time to extract more of the medicinal compounds. I tend to use this method with tougher herbs (e.g., ginger) or if I want a remedy to be a bit stronger . How to make it: Place the desired amount of herb in the desired amount of water (typically 1 to 3 teaspoons [5 to 15 g] per 1 cup [235 ml] of water) and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. When it’s used: Decoctions are perfect for when a somewhat stronger remedy is needed. examples of regularly used decoctions are ginger tea or elderberry syrup. It is a medium-strength water-based preparation. Infusion What it is: An infusion is the strongest of the water-based preparations. A large amount of herbs is used (up to 1 ounce [28 g] dry weight, which is often 1 cup [235 ml] or more by volume), and the herbs are covered by boiling water and allowed to steep for a long time. How to make it: Place ½ to 2 cups (120 to 475 ml) herbs by volume (or ¼ to 1 ounce [7 to 28 g] by weight) in a quart-sized (950 ml) glass jar . Pour boiling water over them until the herbs are just covered. Put a lid on the pot and steep the herbs for 4 to 12 hours. Strain and consume the liquid; sweeten it, if desired. When it’s used: Infusions are rarely used for children, as they simply don’t need such strong doses. Infusions are okay to use with older children or adults, and in rare cases, they can be used with babies. (If only a couple drops will be given, it can be easier than getting a baby to drink a whole cup of tea.) Some of the remedies in this book could be adapted for adult use by preparing them as infusions instead of simple teas. Syrup What it is: A syrup is a combination of a tea or decoction with some type of sugary substance—often raw honey or sometimes cane sugar. How to make it: Combine 1 cup (235 ml) of prepared tea or decoction with 1 cup (320 g) of honey or (200 g) sugar and stir to dissolve. When it’s used: Syrups are often used for respiratory illnesses because they can soothe the throat and are easy to take. Photo by Fair Winds Press Tincture What it is: A tincture is a combination of a large amount of herbs with an “ extraction” medium. Tinctures for adults are often made with 100-proof vodka. For children, I typically use vegetable glycerin or sometimes vinegar. How to make it: Place a large handful of herbs into a pint (475 ml) or quart (950 ml)-sized jar and fill half the jar with glycerin and the other half with water . Cover the jar and let the mixture sit for six weeks or place the jar in a slow cooker filled with water to cover most of the jar and turn the slow cooker on warm for 2 to 3 days. After steeping, strain the liquid carefully through cloth and store it in dark brown glass. When it’s used: A tincture is used when a small but strong dose is needed. It saves time because water-based remedies can only be stored for a couple days to a month (in the case of refrigerated syrups), but tinctures can be stored on the counter for several months. They also travel well. Salve What it is: A salve is a topical preparation that involves an oil infused with an herb or herbs, mixed with beeswax to become solid. How to make it: Mix a desired amount of herbs with oil (often 1 to 3 tablespoons [5 to 15 g] of herbs for 4 ounces [120 ml] of oil) and steep the mixture, sometimes over low heat, for 1 to 3 hours. Strain the oil well through cheesecloth, heat the oil gently with added beeswax (1 to 2 tablespoons [14 to 28 g] per 4 ounces [120 ml] of oil) until the wax is melted, and then pour into jars or tins. When it’s used: Salves are used only externally, usually on bites, stings, bruises, rashes, or other skin conditions. A little usually goes a long way. Photo by Fair Winds Press Cream/Lotion What it is: A cream is a mixture of oil, sometimes cocoa butter or shea butter , and may include infused or essential oil. Lotion includes the same ingredients but adds water . Beeswax may be used in both creams and lotions. Creams last longer than lotions; lotions may eventually grow bacteria. Lotions should last 3 to 4 weeks on the counter or 4 to 6 weeks if refrigerated. How to make it: To make a cream, melt all the oils or butters together and then add any infused or essential oils and pour everything into a jar to solidify . To make a lotion, follow the same procedure, but pour the melted oils into a blender with the water and blend until thickened and opaque. When it’s used: Lotions and creams are used when a larger amount of a remedy is needed on the skin, perhaps for sunscreen, eczema, or general dry skin. When to Call the Doctor The information contained in this book is not intended as medical advice and should not replace consultation with your doctor. The remedies in the book are for only mild, acute conditions. If you have any concern about your child ’s health, consult your child’s doctor. With your doctor’s approval to treat at home, turn to this book for useful home remedies. If you see any of the following signs, consult the doctor: » High fever (over 104°F [40°c]); any fever over 100.4°F (38°c) in a baby under 3 months of age » Lethargy » Unresponsiveness » Turning blue or pale; any signs of struggle to breathe » Wheezing or coughing that interferes with talking, drinking, or play » Prolonged or bloody diarrhea, or any green or bloody vomiting, or severe stomach pain » Signs of dehydration (dry mouth, no tears, decreased urination, lethargy , or dry skin) » Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) » Seizures » Personality changes (especially abrupt) » Abnormal/unusual behavior Whenever in doubt, consult a doctor. It is always safest to get a medical opinion on any condition before treating at home. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Use your best judgment. Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: In The UK: Natural Remedies for Kids is an easy-to-use reference for parents who are ready to take their family’s health into their own hands by using over 100 natural and herbal remedies to help common ailments at home. There’s no need to rush off to the doctor at the first sign of sniffles or fever! Instead, understand what each symptom may be a sign of, how to help treat that symptom naturally, and how to help your child rest comfortably until the illness is over. Find out if the symptoms may be serious enough to warrant a call to the doctor. Then, learn to prepare one of the many recipes for home remedies found within the book to help your child naturally. Clear up common conditions like: – Diaper rash – Eczema – Runny noses – Coughs – Sore throats – Upset stomach – Teething – and more Find tips and hints from Kate Tietje on which remedies are best for which issues. Discover the time-tested treatments that will help to keep your child healthy and happy, naturally! Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.