Children and Herbal Remedies

Most childhood illnesses — diaper rash, ear and upper respiratory infections — are fairly mild, requiring more symptom management than serious medical intervention. Most often, you'll want to keep your child comfortable and, when necessary, bolster his natural immunity to get him back on the playground as soon as possible.

Because it's focused so heavily on prevention and the fostering of overall good health, herbal medicine is uniquely suited to treat most of the common ills of childhood. Compare that to conventional medicine, which focuses on the elimination of specific symptoms or pathogens, and you'll see that, in many cases, conventional medicine overmedicates children and may actually encourage future health problems.

Consider atopic dermatitis, which is an allergic skin condition common in babies and children. Conventional medicine uses steroidal or immune-modulating medications, which work well in the short term but might turn a childhood case of itchy skin into a lifelong problem.

Of course, there are times when the powerful drugs of Western medicine are required. But there are also plenty of times that call for the gentler healing of herbs.

Modern pharmaceuticals are extremely effective at relieving many childhood illnesses, but most prescription and over-the-counter drugs produce unwanted side effects and may even make your child sicker. For example, decongestants can actually create recurring (or “rebound”) congestion, while antibiotics have been linked to the development of drug-resistant superbugs.

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