ALL-NATURAL CHINESE REMEDIES
For Common Childhood Ailments
From colic to lice, we can always count on our kids to challenge us in unexpected ways. As we learn more about the potential dangers of over-the-counter drugs, household products and even sunscreens, many parents are aiming to reduce their children’s exposure to known toxins and other questionable ingredients. If you’re wary of over medicating your child or are in search of more holistic treatments, Traditional Chinese Medicine has all-natural solutions that are both safe and effective. Here, we’ve shared some of our favorite TCM remedies for kids.
With little ones, there are often upset tummies, headaches, and bumps and bruises. Instead of opting for a generic over-the-counter relief, try an all natural tincture instead. Tinctures are made from soaking plant parts in alcohol and vinegar for an extended time. It’s a delicate process that requires a lot of plant knowledge, so you’ll likely want to purchase them premade.
Common Chinese herbs found in these tinctures are ligusticum root, rosemary, and corydalis, though there are many different formulas targeting different areas.
Herbal Spray for Lice Prevention
There are several Chinese herbs used in the treatment of lice including Chinaberry bark, cnidium monnieri, alum camphor, and acorus. Better yet, readily available rosemary oil is known to both kill and repel lice, so your child doesn’t get infected in the first place. If there’s been a lice outbreak at your child’s school, try this spray made from distilled water, rosemary oil, and tea tree oil.
- 6 drops rosemary essential oil
- 6 drops tea tree essential oil
- Distilled water
- 2 drops castile soap
Fill a 4-ounce glass spray bottle with distilled water and add 6 drops of each oil. Style your child’s hair for school and spray liberally.
Herbal Salves for Diaper Rashes
Many over-the-counter diaper rash creams have synthetic ingredients in them, not to mention these creams and salves can be pricey. There are, however, herbal options that can be purchased premade online, or with some basic herbal knowledge parents can make their own.
Try this recipe for an all-natural DIY solution to diaper rash that feels great on baby’s bum and your wallet.
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ¼ cup shea butter
- ½ tsp calendula oil
- 3 100% chamomile tea bags (or 1 tbsp of dried chamomile flowers)
- 2 herbal chickweed tea bags
- Heat your coconut oil in a double boiler.
- Add the calendula oil and tea bags to the mixture. Let the herbs infuse the oil by leaving them on low heat for about an hour.
- Remove tea bags and add your shea butter.
- Incorporate everything with a whisk or immersion blender.
- Store in a glass jar.
Massage for Colic
In TCM, colic is believed to be caused by indigestion from overfeeding or an inability to properly digest known as “food stagnation.” The first TCM treatment for colic is putting the baby on a feeding schedule to ensure they are not overeating. Some practitioners also advise parents to massage the baby’s abdomen to help stagnated food move down and out. You can try this at home. Gently massage your baby’s tummy for up to 10 minutes when the crying begins.
There are other Chinese Medicine treatments for colic when carefully scheduled feeds and abdomen massage are not enough, such as pediatric acupuncture. Another all-natural approach widely accepted among both TCM practitioners and western doctors is changing formulas or having breastfeeding mothers follow a careful diet free of caffeine, spices, and dairy. Babies will outgrow colic over time, but these drug-free treatments allow desperate parents give their babies relief sooner and help everyone get some much needed sleep.
Many children have selective palates, worrying parents that their children aren’t getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients. But recently, the synthetic ingredients in many supplements have come under fire with studies finding them to have no benefits, so what options do parents have?
Put simply, your best option is to improve their diet. It won’t be easy and it will take time, but over time you can develop your child’s tastes by simply exposing it to them more often. Studies show that if you repeatedly expose your child to new flavors, they will actually begin to like them! Our quick fix solution is smoothies. You can hide nearly anything in them!
As you can see, Chinese Medicine offers effective, natural solutions to many childhood ailments. These are our favorite at-home remedies, but TCM can also be used to treat bigger health problems with the help of a licensed practitioner. Whatever your family’s approach to wellness, honoring your child’s whole body, mind, and soul from an early age lays a great foundation for a healthy life.