Safe and Effective Herbs for Kids (With Free Printable)

The very best herbs for kids common ailments with free printable chart!

bowls of herbs

What are the best herbs for kids?

The best herbs for kids to start your herbal wellness journey are lemon balm, elderberry, marshmallow root, catnip, echinacea, chamomile, and garlic. These herbs have many uses and are great for the beginner herbalist to build up their herbal medicine cabinet for the whole family.

Jump to the bottom of this article to view my Medical Disclaimer.

What are the benefits of Herbal Remedies for Kids?

Herbal remedies can be just as effective as over-the-counter and prescription medicines for common ailments, and they don’t have as many side effects. Remember though, herbal medicines are medicine and should be used carefully.

Herbs work with your body to treat illness from within, rather than just treating the symptoms.

printable herb chart with bowls of herbs

Free Printable Herb Chart for Kids

Herbs for Kids Chart

Download your free printable Herbs for Kids Chart and join The Homestead Challenge Newsletter for more on herbs and other beginner homesteading inspiration!

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    Safe and Effective Beginner Herbs for Kids

    The gentle herbs mentioned in this post are generally regarded as safe for both kids and people of all ages. You should still always use precautions and your best judgment when administering herbs to kids. Always test one herb at a time to ensure no allergic or other negative reactions.

    This post contains affiliate links for Starwest Botanicals (my favorite online store for purchasing bulk herbs). Please view my privacy policy for details.

    Lemon Balm for Kids

    • Lemon Balm is calming, antiviral, and antiseptic. It helps support the nervous system to ease anxiety and fights and prevents viral infections.
    • To Use: Lemon balm tastes great, so it is best used as a tea or as a syrup (in conjunction with honey).

    Elderberry for Kids

    • Elderberry has become one of the most popular herbs used for kids for immune support since the berries are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
    • To Use: To fight off cold, flu, and upper-respiratory infections, make an elderberry syrup. Better yet, make the syrup into an elixir for a longer shelf life. Elderberry is most often used as a preventative measure to keep away winter colds and flu.

    Marshmallow Root for Kids

    • Marshmallow root (yes, the original ingredient in marshmallows before they became something different) is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. As a demulcent, it soothes and coats to help with sore throats and respiratory infections.
    • To Use: Marshmallow root is most often served as a tea to coat a sore throat (it almost feels slimy, but not in a gross way.).

    Catnip for Kids

    • Yes! That catnip. It’s not just used to placate your furry friends. Catnip is very calming in children and has a mild sedative effect. It is also calming for tummy troubles and indigestions. Finally, catnip is a mild pain reliever for issues such as teething.
    • To Use: Use catnip as a tincture because it is very bitter and doesn’t taste great in teas. Use a few drops as a digestive aid, or before bed to help treat insomnia.

    Echinacea for Kids

    • Echinacea fights infection and boosts the immune system. It is used for kids to fight colds and other minor infections such as the flu.
    • To Use: Echinacea can be used as a tea or tincture right when your child feels a cold or flu coming on. Echinacea should not be used for extended periods of time.

    Chamomile for Kids

    • Chamomile is very calming, anti-inflammatory, and aids in indigestion. It is also soothing to the skin and sore muscles when used externally.
    • To Use: Chamomile is excellent in tea (especially with honey) to aid the digestive system and as a sleep aid. Make it into a body oil or salve for topical use. For little ones, you can use a simple rag dipped in chamomile tea for a little one to suck on for soothing.

    close up of herbs

    FAQs about Herbs for Kids

    The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports over 1500 accidental deaths caused each year from legally prescribed drugs, but doesn’t have a category for herbs as they receive too few calls. This shows that most herbs are safe for little bodies when used correctly. When searching for dosage online, websites often give the adult dose. Make sure you are adjusting dosage for smaller bodies. Herbs can also work as supplements in cases of more severe disease or illness when modern medicine is required. Just because you use one, doesn’t mean you can’t use the other.

    Many people jump straight to essential oils and skip the use of herbs. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and are much less safe to use than the whole herbs themselves.

    For any illness or disease, please consult a doctor or medical provider. Always use new herbs one at a time to check for allergic reaction. Herbs like chamomile and echinacea are part of the Asteraceae family, which can cause allergic reactions in allergy-prone individuals who are often affected by flowering plants.

    The Food and Drug Administration does not currently approve herbs as medicine. You can decide what is right for you. I am not a medical expert. I am simply offering knowledge on what I have learned to help you begin using herbs as an alternative to pharmaceuticals to treat mild complaints.. Also, different herbs may work for different people.

    Yes! You can mix herbs to create teas and tinctures for your needs. At first use, only use individual herbs to make sure there are no negative reactions first before mixing.

    Remember, herbal remedies have to be used more often and in higher doses than their modern medicine equivalents. One common rules for medicine dosage for children is Young’s Rule.

    • [Age / (Child’s Age + 12)] x Recommended Adult Dose = Child Dose
    • Example for a 3 year old: [ 3 / (3 + 12)] X 1 cup of chamomile tea = 0.2 cups chamomile tea

    • Make the herb into a delicious syrup so it is easier to take. You can even use the syringes that come with over-the-counter meds to give the syrup if necessary. Some children may love teas (mine don’t!). Mixing with juice (sparingly) can be a good option to hide the flavor and make the experience more enticing.
    • Get your kids involved in herbal medicine making! From my experience in the kitchen, whenever a child helps make a food, they are more likely to eat it. The same principle applies with herbs! From growing your own herb garden together to cooking up a batch of elderberry syrup, child involvement is a great way to get kids familiar with and excited about herbs.

    What are Other Natural Remedies for Kids?

    • Honey:  Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial. Local honey can help prevent seasonal allergies.
    • Ginger: Anti-inflammatory and increases serotonin and dopamine. Also treats nausea and motion sickness.
    • Garlic: Anti-microbial and helps the cardiovascular system.
    • Make your own DIY Herbal Bug Spray!

    Where to Buy Herbs for Kids

    Looking to get started using herbs at home? Check out my Herbal Wellness Gift Guide to create your wish list!

    • Grow or forage your own!
    • Your local health food store / grocery stores
    • Starwest Botanicals is my favorite online store for buying bulk herbs

    Free Printable Chart of Kids Herbs

    Herbs for Kids Chart

    Download your free printable Herbs for Kids Chart and join The Homestead Challenge Newsletter for more on herbs and other beginner homesteading inspiration!

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

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      printable herb chart with the best herbs for kids

      About the Author:

      I’m Brittany, totally modern and mainstream turned crunchy mama!

      Read more here about how I went from a totally incompetent cook and hyper-consumer to striving to live a more meaningful life from scratch.

      I can’t wait to share my modern homesteading journey with you and I hope I inspire you to join along!

      Medical Disclaimer

      All content and information on this website including our programs, products and/or services is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical, psychological or health advice of any kind and we do not warrant that the information presented herein is free of any errors or omissions. We are not providing medical, health care, nutrition therapy or coaching services to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any kind of physical ailment, mental or medical condition. A professional-client relationship with you is only formed after we have expressly entered into a written agreement with you that you have signed including our fee structure and other terms to work with you in a specific matter. Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in the medical and health area for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any medical or health related decisions. For your health related questions, please seek the advice of a licensed physician or any other qualified health care provider immediately.

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