Correct dosage of medicinal plants for children

What amount of medicinal plant should be used for children?

A boy in bed with fever
A boy in bed with fever

In general, it is recommended to use the smallest effective dosage possible, that is, start with minimum doses of plant, and gradually increase, only if necessary.

It is very difficult to establish a dose for children. Spanish doctors  Vanaclocha and Alonso propose the following table to calculate the pediatric dose in infusions. It can serve as an orientation, although it is totally inaccurate since, for example, it does not take into account the weight of the children, which can be very variable among children of the same age.

To calculate the dose, the authors suggest preparing a cup of infusion with the dose of the adult, and then administering to the child only the proportional amount: ⅔ cup, 1/6, etc. Each case must always be assessed, according to the child, the affectation, and the type and concentration of active principles of the plant:

Proposal of proportions to calculate the pediatric dose in infusions
0 to 3 years It is not recommended to give any treatment without medical advice.
1/6 of the adult dosage
3 to 7 years ¼ to 1/6 of the adult dosage
7 to 12 years½ of the adult dosage
13 to 15 years ⅔ of the adult dosage
Source: Vanaclocha y Alonso

Clark formula to calculate the suitable plant amount

Another method to calculate the dose, also indicative, is Clark’s formula, which can be applied to children from 2 years of age:

Pediatric dose = (adult dose) x (child’s weight in kg) / 70

Is it safe to use medicinal plants in this dosage?

The main reason that sustains that a plant is suitable for children is the traditional use of that plant. There are no studies in children that assess the safety of medicinal plants. For this reason, the recommendation is always to use the smallest effective dosage, that is, to start with very low doses of plant, and to increase it.

The information we have about plant dangers in children is from cases described from intoxications. For example, there are many detailed cases of children intoxicated by the ingestion of essential oils, something that, unfortunately, is very common (essential oils should not be ingested, neither by children nor by adults).

summary on how to calculate the dose of medicinal plant in children
summary on how to calculate the dose of medicinal plant in children. The advice of the pediatrician is recommended. It is not advisable to combine with medicines. Use only those medicinal plants suitable for children.

punto rojo More  information on medicinal plants for children and babies

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

29 March, 2019

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