Herbs for Children

‘I’d like to give my children herbal medicine, but they just wouldn’t take it.’ I used to make rosehip syrup to add to tinctures for children, thinking they would only tolerate sweet tastes. Then I stopped, just to see what would happen, and guess what? Compliance stayed exactly the same. The most important factor, I discovered, is the relationship between the child and its parents or carers.

If there’s a power struggle going on, remember that one of the few things a child can control is what goes into its mouth, so refusing to take the medicine is an ideal way to score points. The only way around this one is to make an alliance with the child, rather than with its parents. The other common scenario is when the parents offer the herbs as though they were poison, hovering with sweets or juice to take the taste away. What works best is a matter of fact approach, or even making a joke of the nasty taste. Once the child can feel the benefits for itself – and if you get it right, they do tend to respond quite quickly – the battle is won, and they will fetch the medicine bottle for themselves. Not that it should ever have been a battle in the first place.

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