What amount of medicinal plant should be used for children?
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 years||½ 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).
More information on medicinal plants for children and babies