Herbal medicine for babies and children, is it safe?

Herbal medicine is actually invaluable for children's health. After all, good health is an essential building block in a child's formative years and to also provide a healthy and happy life. With many parents now concerned about the rising incidence of chronic illness and also side effects from pharmaceutical drugs, for example, being on long term antibiotics for recurrent tonsillitis, more and more parents are turning to natural therapies to ensure their child is given every opportunity to reach their potential.

Herbal medicine can assist in the areas of respiratory and immune system regulation, digestion and skin, and nervous system and brain health just to cover a few areas.

Respiratory infections are quite common with kids, especially during the winter months. They are particularly vulnerable because of their developing immune systems and frequent contact with pathogens through day care and schools. Herbs such as Echinacea, Andrographis, Pelargonium and Elder Flower are some of the commonly used herbs for a common cold, which can shorter the duration and help improve signs and symptoms.

Digestive issues are common in babies and children. A healthy digestive system is essential for a child's growth and development. An impaired digestive system can lead to many health issues such as skin problems. Skin conditions are common in childhood and can cause much discomfort and stress. An example of how herbal medicine can help with a common ailment such as colic in babies is by mixing a formula of Chamomile, Fennel and Lemon Balm.

For skin ailments we have great herbs such as Bacial Skullcap and Nettle Leaf just to name a few. Different types of probiotics and prebiotics can also be prescribed to help improve the gut microbiome, which is linked to mood and behavioural issues, poor digestion and skin ailments. After all, in Chinese medicine, we have been referring to the gut as "the second brain" for thousands of years! The gut is the also known to be the centre of the adaptive and innate immune system.

Sleep is also very important to a child's growth and development, especially their cognitive and brain function in order to help them concentrate and achieve their best. Increased stressors from home life and school can put potential additional demand on children both mentally and physically. There are numerous herbs in the dispensary which support brain health and nervous system support including Passionflower, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Ziziphus and more.

To get sound advice on which particular herbs are suitable for your childs' or babies' signs and symptoms, a proper consult is needed. Rarely do we use singular herbs in herbal medicine as it's the combination of different herbs which give a better outcome as they all have a purpose. Silvia offers a herbal consult for $50 and herbs are generally $45 for a months supply at a children's dose.

Only practitioner only products such as Mediherb and Metagenics are used. These herbs are TGA approved and meet the most stringent of standards such as pharmaceutical grade manufacturing and no added sugars, colours, fillers, etc. Silvia uses a lot of liquid herbs which are 100% herbs preserved in either glycetract or alcohol as a natural preservative and can be tailored to the individuals signs and symptoms.

Herbal medicine is something Silvia is most passionate about, having done studies in Chinese herbal medicine at RMIT, alongside acupuncture. She has also studied Western herbal medicine at UNE, i.e., Silvia is therefore also known also known as a medical herbalist. Silvia also has a biochemistry background having done an honours degree at the University of Melbourne.