Using Herbs with Infants
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Deborah
Posted on: May 10, 2001

I just read the article on herbals for older infants, but my grandson is only 5 months old and since being put in daycare has a cold, is teething and vomits mucous due to post nasal drip. Seems happy and well other wise, but eats less than he should. He is on formula and we have been told not to change that yet. He finished a round of antibiotics and got a yeast infection. We have just started him on yogurt to replace the good bacteria. My question is, is the tincture of cleavers, plantain, chamomile and elderflower safe to give a baby so young? If so how much and how often should we give it? My daughter is a 19 year old mother and beside herself with concern. He coughs but doesn’t appear to be chest-congested. All in the nasal and throat passages. Also had cradle cap and now appears to have eczema on his forehead and face. I just got cradle cap shampoo from a nature store and calendula cream.

The use of dairy products is the most common cause of chronic infection in babies and small children. The formula your grandson is taking most likely contains cow’s milk. Eczema is a further sign of a food intolerance that is in most cases cleared by avoiding cow’s products. A baby’s undeveloped intestine is usually unable to digest the protein in dairy products. Dairy products are also mucous forming. This excess mucous contributes to the post nasal drip and vomiting mucous. A goat’s milk baby formula is often a good alternative that can be used when the mucous has cleared. Please see the items "Baby’s Chronic Infections" and "Baby’s Chronic Infection" for alternatives to dairy and for herbal recommendations.

The herbs that you mention above are safe for babies when the most reputable brands are used in the right doses. (Ask for brand advice at a good health food store). Dosage of herbal tinctures for babies is one drop for each month of age. When an adult dosage of a herb is one (5 ml) teaspoon of a herbal tincture, three times a day, the dose for a one month old baby would be one drop, three times a day. The dose for a 5 month old baby is 5 drops, three times a day. If you are using more than one herb, mix the tinctures together, and give the baby 5 drops of the combined tinctures.

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