Recipes for the whole family
Published: Sat, 10/15/22
More cold & flu season prep for you!
We are continuing our discussion on herbal support for the cold and flu season! In previous newsletters we discussed fire cider and common recipes to make when a cold and the flu hit. Today’s discussion is a hot topic and a common question we often get from our student community: “Is this safe for kids?”
Students are often looking for guidance regarding which herbs or herbal recipes are safe for children. When children are sick, it weighs heavily on our hearts and we just want to see them well again. Thankfully, there are many ways to support children during times of illness. We have rounded up a few go-to herbs and recipes that are safe for most children and will help their little bodies fight off a cold. Bonus, these herbs and recipes are great for the whole family!
HERBS AND RECIPES SAFE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
This little plant has long found a happy home in the garden, where it is close at hand to help with digestive upset and tummy aches, emotional stress and irritability, muscle aches and pains, and headache. To read more on how you can be prepared with chamomile, click here .
Chamomile can be enjoyed as a soothing tea for anyone in the family, and the Milky Chamomile Oatmeal Bath recipe in the article can be a comfort when children are feeling unwell. A bath will help to ease tension and discomfort, relax achy muscles, and provide some support if there is any skin rash or irritation.
Rest is essential when dealing with a cold. This gentle nervine can help provide some calm comfort and help with digestive upset, while its diaphoretic action can help ease fever. You can put the wonderful benefits of catnip to use in a children’s glycerin-based formulation. Learn how to make an alcohol-free glycerite tincture here .
A glycerite is a sweet herbal tincture which uses vegetable glycerin as a menstruum to extract the active constituents and flavor from an herb. Its appealing sweetness is pleasant preparation when making herbal helpers for children.
This tasty herb is a potent antiviral and can be of great help during viral illnesses, such as colds, flu, and even during a bout of shingles. It can assist the body in fighting infection, while its diaphoretic action can help to bring down a fever if needed. Its nervine and carminative properties help to ease the digestive discomfort and restlessness that can sometimes accompany illness. To read more about lemon balm, click here .
Lemon balm is also lovely in a glycerite, and is an extra special treat in the Fruit & Honey Lemon Balm Sorbet you’ll find in the above article. This delicious, chilled recipe is a great way to administer herbs to children who feel unwell, helping them to stay cool and hydrated and aid in their recovery.
If tincture and glycerin making sound a little too intimidating at this stage in your herbal path, we are happy to provide you with support in our Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course . After completion of this course, you will feel more confident in creating your own herbal tinctures, glycerins, infusions, and more. There is no better time to start feeling more empowered to help you and your family!
Chamomile, catnip, and lemon balm team up with fennel and peppermint in this glycerite, which is not only helpful to ease digestive upset but also other symptoms of colds and flu, including irritability, restlessness, and fever. This blend could also be enjoyed as a simple-to-prepare tea infusion.
How to Make a Tummy Tamer Glycerite
2 parts chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) flowers
2 parts lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf
2 parts catnip (Nepeta cataria) leaf
1 part fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seed
1 part peppermint (Mentha x piperita) leaf
1 part filtered water
Prepare dried herb portion by combining herbs listed above in a glass bowl and mixing well. You can make as much or as little of this mixture as you’d like; each part can be 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 1 cup, etc.. Fill a jar halfway with the dried herb mixture, and store any leftover mixture in an airtight container away from light and moisture for future use.
Prepare liquid portion by mixing 3 parts of glycerin to one part water. You’ll want this portion to equal the total volume of the jar you are using. For example, if you are making one pint of this tummy-soothing glycerite, you’ll want to use a half cup as your “part,” bringing your measurements to 1 1/2 cups of glycerin and 1/2 cup of water. Pour liquid into jar over the herbs. This mixture should cover the top of the dried herbs by 1 inch.
Stir mixture of glycerin/water and herbs with the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick to mix well and release air bubbles.
Place a cap on the jar and label the contents (herbs used, menstruum ratio, date).
Place the jar in a dark location away from high heat and sunlight.
Shake the bottle gently and frequently each day or two for at least 4 weeks. If the liquid is absorbed and some herb is poking through, top off with some glycerin if needed.
Strain glycerite after 4 weeks using a nut milk bag, or a muslin- or cheesecloth-lined strainer, squeeze tightly to get every drop of liquid out. Discard or compost used herbs.
Bottle glycerite in a cobalt or amber-colored bottle. Don’t forget to label your tummy-soothing, frustration-calming, fever-easing cold and flu season glycerite!
Dosage Tips and Precautions
A standard approach for dosing guidelines and administering new herbs to your children.
This rule is based on the weight of the child and assumes that the adult dosage is for a 150 pound adult. To use Clark’s Rule take the weight of your child and divide it by 150. For example, if your child weighs 38 pounds you would divide 38 by 150 (38/150 = 0.253 or ¼) so your child would take ¼ of the adult dosage.
The Scratch Test
If you have never given your child a particular plant before and want to be cautious, you can perform a scratch test. Take a small amount of the herb, tea, or tincture and gently rub it on the inside of your child’s arm. Wait for 24 hours to see if there is any negative reaction before using the herb.
Learn more about dosage in the full blog post, DIY Tummy-Soothing Glycerite for the Whole Family .
For even more family herbal recipes (250 to be exact!) take a look at our Family Herbalist Path Package , which offers both the Introductory and Intermediate Herbal Courses at a special rate. With these two courses, you’ll receive the complete framework to begin infusing your home and daily routine with seasonally inspired herbal recipes.
To quote Dr. John Christopher, “every home should have an herbalist.” We couldn’t agree more and are so thrilled to be a part of your herbal education! We take pride in providing our community with well-researched, up-to-date, and beneficial information to help keep individuals and families feeling well!