Herbs can be a profound tool to safely support the health and mood of our children. Indeed, they can be a parent’s best friend because they are safe, effective, and gentle. It is always best to use herbs under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, but mild herbs such as catnip, chamomile, lemon balm, and fennel have been safely used for centuries. Renown herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, author of Herbal Remedies for Children, emphasizes that when “Administered wisely herbs do not upset the delicate ecological balance of children’s small bodies, but rather work within the harmony of their system.”

Herbs That Can Help Children Get To Sleep
Children’s nerves can easily get frazzled in our busy, chaotic word. If over-stimulation and hectic schedules are making it difficult for your children to get to sleep, then you may want to use some of these gentle herbs.

Passionflower provides sleep and relaxation support for children and calms the mind.  It is also soothes agitation, nervousness, and tears.

Skullcap is a restorative and calming herb, both mentally and physically. Traditionally, Skullcap has been used to normalize the central nervous system, soothe physical tension, and nourish and protect the neurons.

Chamomile is one of the best herbs for children. Even Peter Rabbit’s mother fed him soothing chamomile tea in Beatrix Potter’s classic story. Its soft, yellow color and delicate petals pack essential oils that ease inflammation and make a soothing tea for calming irritation, nervousness, or pain.

Chamomile also gently promotes digestion and is an ancient remedy for teething and colicky babies. Simply give your child a few drops before feeding time. In place of a tincture, young children and infants can also drink chamomile tea. Just steep tea for four to five minutes, let it cool to room temperature, and then put one to two ounces in a bottle. Don’t give your child more than four ounces a day so that s/he’ll be sure to have plenty of room in his/her tummy for solid foods or breast milk.

As Always, Common Sense Rules
When kids are tired and/or spinning out of control a simple way to calm them down is to reduce the stimulus to their central nervous system. If kids are wired before bed, dim the lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and around the dinner table, turn off the computer and TV, and don’t hesitate to reach for herbs if you need to! If you know evenings are a hectic time for you family, then give the first dose of herbs to help your kids sleep an hour before bedtime. Repeat when needed.

Interested in reading more about these herbs? We have separate blog posts on passionflower, skullcap, and catnip.

Written by Elizabeth Willis, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Medical Herbalist.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.