Alright, finally getting to the fun stuff! What each herb does, and why I choose them for my tincture blends! Let’s get right into it!
Peppermint is a common herb that has a long history of being a fantastic digestive aid. It is particularly helpful for colic and other indigestion because of it’s antispasmodic effects. Peppermint helps calm smooth muscles by blocking contractions, and eliminating spasms. Peppermint is also very helpful for gas pain, as it’s ability to relax the intestines allows gas to more easily escape, which relieve both pressure and pain. Because of peppermints undisputed digestive properties, this makes it a great addition to any preparation for tummy woes, and the nice flavor makes it a great addition to any herbal preperations for children because it can mask the unpleasant flavors of other herbs used in certain preparations.
Catnip can be fantastic for pain, gas, digestive upsets, restlessness, nervousness. Catnip helps to ease digestive upsets by increasing gastric secretions and helping move food out of the digestive tract. It also helps relax tight muscles, and induce relaxation. Catnip contains many vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial chemicals, and can help ease nervousness and insomnia, and is an excellent choice for helping children to sleep or settle at nap, or bedtime. Because of these properties, catnip is invaluable to me in both tummy blends, and also calming blends.
Fennel works by relaxing the smooth muscles of the digestive tract which aids in digestion. It is also a great source of vitamin A and C, as well as reducing inflammation, and facilitating proper absorption of nutrients from food. It also contains histidine which is is an essential amino acid that helps in the formation of haemoglobin and other blood components, which makes it helpful in preventing anemia. Fennels soothing properties make it a logical choice for tummy troubles, and it’s vitamins and comforting flavor make it a great addition to other herbal preparations for kids.
Lobelia acts as an antispasmodic, relaxant, nerve sedative. These properties among others, make it very valuable for relieving intestinal spasms, and relaxing a restless infant. It also is fantastic for croup, and promotes healthy respirations. Lobelia can be toxic in large doses, but small diluted quantities are extremely effective and safe. Lobelia is a great for upper respiratory issues, and can help boost the immune system, which is why I choose to add it to my immune formula.
Chamomile is probably most known for it’s soothing and relaxing properties. It can be extremely helpful with anxiety, insomnia, stress, and ADD. It is also very helpful for nausea, and is an antispasmodic, which makes it very helpful when treating colic. It is a natural sleep aid, and can help bring an infant from inconsolable to calm and peaceful, or a toddler from crazy hyperactivity to relaxed and peaceful. Needless to say, this is a staple for me in both infant colic treatments, and calming relaxing preparations for older toddlers, and children, as well as adults too!
Lemon Balm is very effective for relaxing the nervous system, and can be very helpful for both ADD and ADHD, as well as general stress. It also helps relieve pain from intestinal spasms, too much acid in the stomach, insomnia, anti-bacterial properties, anti-yeast properties, and is one of the few herbs that has quite strong viral fighting capabilities.
Echanacia is most commonly used for it’s ability to boost the body’s immune system, and helping to fight colds,the flu, ear infections, influenza, and strep throat. It is also great for infections, inflammation, and healing ulcers. There are two common types of Echanacia, E. Purpurea, and E. Agustifolia. While both of these varieties overlap in some of their properties, other properties are specific to each variety, so it is important to know what properties you are looking for and use the appropriate variety.
Rooibos is an african bush herb that is most commonly used in teas. Rooibos is fantastic for allergies and stress, as well as being antiviral, antispasmodic, and promotes a healthy heart. It is even used a milk substitute in Africa for infants who are prone to colic.
So I hope with these short overviews of the herbs, you will begin to see why I included each one in certain tinctures.
Now we move on to dosing. Honestly, many times dosing is quite subjective, but here are some general guidelines:
12 Years to Adults: 1-3 tsp as needed
Children Age 5-12: 1-2 tsp as needed
Children’s Dose Age 2-5: 1 tsp as needed
Infants Age 1 and Under: 10-20 drops as needed (don’t use the immune tincture for infants, stick with the tummy blend or calm blend, both of which have great immune boosting properties as well, but are more gentle)
Now, these are just general guidelines, if you make or purchase other herbal tinctures than the 3 glycerite recipes I have shared in part 1, the dosing may change some, and many glycerite “tinctures” are not safe for infants or small children, depending of course on which herbs you use. Also, dosing may change based on various health conditions, or medications that a person may be taking. Always look up the precautions for any herb you use in your home BEFORE you use it, so you are aware of any dosing considerations, or possible side effects or cautions. When in doubt, always consult with an experienced herbalist, for dosing recommended specifically for your situation. As always, herbal tinctures are not a substitute for proper medical care or treatment, but they can be very helpful for the little bumps in life (like a colicky baby) that tire and stress us, but don’t quite qualify for a doctor’s visit! I hope you all have fun making your tinctures, and watching them work for you at home!