Are medicinal plants suitable for children?
Can children take medicinal plants?
More and more parents choose to use natural treatments to cure different affectations of their children, either because they consider them to be milder or better medicines than allopathic medicines, or because medicinal plants are a more affordable alternative than drugs.
Home remedies with medicinal plants have always been used , in children and adults, for different afflictions: colds, diarrhea, constipation, cough, … It is precisely that traditional use the main scientific argument that supports herbal medicine in pediatrics, or what currently remains of it in this medical discipline.
Why do pediatricians not prescribe medicinal plants?
Although normally only the virtues of these natural treatments transcend , we all know that plants have some toxicity and that they can have adverse effects.
The current ignorance of most doctors about medicinal plants treatments makes them take extreme precautions and distrust these preparations.
- What is prescribed are standardized medications, of which its effectiveness and toxicity are known.
But the reality is that home remedies with plants are used at the domestic level, without any control and with total disinformation.
In addition, they are often used in conjunction with medications. All this multiplies the possibilities of adverse effects.
Use of medicinal plants in pediatrics
It is necessary to admit the usefulness of the plants and to deepen in this type of natural therapy, admitting its advantages, its possible adverse effects and its limitations, to know what possible dangers it may have, and what plants have been established that can be used in children.
From what age can children take plants?
The pediatric population can be divided into the different subgroups:
|Less than 36 weeks||Premature|
|More than 36 weeks||Full term newborns|
|from 0 to 1 month||Neonates|
|from 1 to 24 months||Infants|
|from 2 to 6 years old||Children (early childhood)|
|from 7 to 12 years old||Children (second childhood)|
|from 12 to 18 years old||Adolescents|
Prematures, newborns and neonates should NEVER take medicines with medicinal plants or administer any type of medication, as they are very vulnerable to the effects of any medication or plant and can present complications (more information).
This article deals with medicinal plants in young children, from 2 years old up to 12 years old. The warnings serve to take into account also in adolescents and adults.
SUMMARY: Medicinal plants in children, yes or no?
Phytotherapy is a very suitable home remedy for most of the illnesses that children present (colds, belly pain, insomnia, restlessness, etc.), but adults must be responsible when administering these natural remedies, admitting their advantages , its possible adverse effects and its limitations.
Like medicines, the plants should be used in controlled doses and the child should be attended to to see if adverse effects appear. And very important, go to the doctor if the symptoms do not improve, if they persist, or if they get worse, because postponing an adequate treatment can lead the problem to become chronic.
* Keep reading: Precautions with the use of medicinal plants in children