I love essential oils, and all they can do for health and healing, but there are some cases where essential oils are just not appropriate, or safe to use and in these cases, herbal medicine can be very effective and helpful.
I am an herb lover down to my toes, my whole journey into natural medicine, skin care, and essential oils began years ago with a herb garden than turned into my first home business. Whole herbs offer many additional properties that essential oils don’t, and these properties can help aid healing as well as making them much safer as a whole than essential oils. Many people balk at the idea that one drop of an essential oil could possibly harm you, but when you realize that that ONE drop equal to 24 – 70 tsp of the whole herb, or 24 – 70 cups of an herbal tea, you begin to understand how powerful essential oils are. And in addition to their strength, it is also important to remember that all of the water soluble compounds that are naturally present in the plant have been removed in the essential oil. Many of these water soluble compounds not only offer fantastic medicinal properties, but also balance many of the potentially dangerous oil based compounds found in the plant, making them MUCH safer when coupled together in the whole herb. Many essential oils have risks and side effects that are virtually unheard of in the whole herb. Because of the properties and safety of whole herbs, there are many occasions where using them instead of using an essential oil is extremely valuable. One of these times is with children.
Often times essential oils are too powerful to be used on small children, or offer unwanted side effects, like for example peppermint oil can be quite stimulating, and if not diluted properly can cause some very unwanted side effects. However peppermint as a whole herb, can be very mild and soothing for colic, or other digestive issues. Other herbs, that would be much too strong to use for an infant or young child in the form of an essential oil can also be very beneficial when used as a whole herb. Forms of using a whole herb can be fresh, capsules, tea, or tincture. Of course which herb you take, how often, how much, and in what form will depend on many factors including your age, ailment, allergies, medications, and other factors.
A few days ago I posted that I was replenishing my supply of herbal tinctures for my 2 year old son since flu and cold season is fast approaching. I was asked by many women to share my recipes. So today I am going to do a mini 3 part series, and share with you three of my stand by recipes that I couldn’t live without. This post will give you the recipes, and next post will give you step by step instructions on how to make them at home. And the third post will give you specifics on the herbs, why I use them in the blends, how to use the tinctures properly, recommended dosages etc.
There are three blends we couldn’t live without in this house. The first I call my “Tummy Blend”, the second “Calm Blend” and the third “Immune Blend.”
First, let me just say I am absolutely NOT a believer in the philosophy that “babies just cry” who knows why, nothing is wrong they just need to cry to “strengthen their lungs.” I believe babies cry for a reason. Always. They are trying to communicate, and mothers need to listen and try to understand. They may be hungry, wet, cold, scared, their tummy may hurt, their teeth may hurt, they may be lonely. Now it is true that someones despite our best efforts as mothers, the baby still cries. That however does not mean that the baby is crying for no reason, but rather that we are unable or sometimes unwilling to fill his/her need. And sometimes despite our best efforts, we simply can’t figure out what is wrong, or can’t remedy it.
And for those nights…. the drops come waltzing out! We jokingly referred to these as “magic drops”, in our house because a couple drops on the tongue could make the difference of a fussy baby going right back to sleep vs. an hour of crying and fussing and two very exhausted parents the next day. These drops help soothe colic and indigestion, as well as relaxing the baby and helping them rest well. If you ever wonder if it helps, next time you are nauseous take a spoonful and see how you feel! It really helps! These aren’t something you need to use as a preventative, but just as needed for fussiness or colic. The glycerine gives it a sweet taste that children and infants like, and the herbs help calm their little digestive tracts. You can buy similar mixtures at Walmart of Walgreens, called “gripe water” than have a mixture of herbs known to help soothe and calm. But this recipe is easy and quick and will save you lots of money! You can make almost a pint for what it costs you to buy one little bottle at the store!
3 TBSP Peppermint
3 TBSP Catnip
1 TBSP Fennel
1 TBSP Lobelia
4 TBSP Chamomile
Boiling Water, and Food Grade Vegetable Glycerine
Calm Drops, or “sleepy drops” as we often call them at our house! These drops I rely on for older babies, toddlers and children (and sometimes myself as well!) I switched from the tummy drops being my main go to, to the sleepy drops being my main drops once my little guy was a little over 1 year. The drops are very similar, just a little different proportions. These drops are wonderful for any digestive upsets as well, but lean a little more on the calming and relaxing side of things. My son has a disposition very much like his hyperactive mother, and that was quite obvious at a very young age, so I had these drops waiting on standby for when the time came that I needed them. Now, when he gets all wound up before bedtime, or even if he is just having trouble listening or being calm, I will give him some drops, and you would be amazed at the results. They help calm, and focus, and relax, and do it all naturally!
5 TBSP Chamomile
4 TBSP Catnip
1 TBSP Fennel
2 TBSP Lemon Balm
Boiling Water, and Food Grade Vegetable Glycerine
And last but not in any way least Immune Drops. These drops are great for helping little ones fight off a cold, the flu, or whatever nasty bug may have taken up residence in your home.
3 TBSP Lemon Balm
2 TBSP Echinacea
2 TBSP Lobelia
1 TBSP Peppermint
2 TBSP Rooibos Tea
1 TBSP Chamomile
Boiling Water, Food Grade Vegetable Glycerine
Alright, those are my three must have recipes, and tomorrow or later this afternoon I will put up the tutorial, complete with pictures. (Don’t worry, it’s super simple!) So keep your eye open for that! And as always I welcome any questions you have! Hope these blends help you and your family on your path to health and happiness!