For most kids getting sick and enduring minor injuries is as much a part of childhood as toys and summer vacation. While pharmacy shelves are stocked with pills and creams to cure various ailments, it's also possible to treat some small matters with medicinal plants. Of course, serious problems require the advice of a doctor, but from upset tummies to stress, many natural plants can help kids feel better. Always consult your pediatrician before giving your child an herb.
Ginger is a plant stem which grows underground and has been used in traditional medicines in Asia, Africa and Arabia for over 2,000 years, according to the University of Maryland. Even in the face of more sophisticated medicines, ginger can still be used to naturally and effectively help children experiencing an upset stomach. To ease nausea or flatulence, children can take ginger in many forms -- such as ginger ale, ginger snaps or ginger tea. Powdered ginger is also an easy way to consume a small dose and no more than 4 g of ginger should be consumed a day.
When running and playing outside for hours, it's easy for children to get a sunburn. Though it's important to take precautions against sun injuries -- like wearing SPF and covering clothes -- sometimes kids will still get a little red. The juice of the aloe vera plant can be used to treat mild sunburn, where the skin has turned pink and sore or itchy. Health 911 recommends peeling a leaf from an aloe vera plant, refrigerating it until it becomes cool and applying it directly to the affected area for relief. It's also possible to press the juice from the leaves and apply that to the burn or to purchase commercial products containing aloe to treat the injury.
Small children in particular can get fussy and worn out, exhausted and temperamental after a long day of play, school and running around. To help them relax and calm down in preparation for bed, lavender can be used for its soothing effects. According to the University of Maryland, "research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled," making it an effective way to soothe children. Lavender oil is typically used to receive the benefits of the plant, and can be used as a moisturizing or massage oil, dabbed onto a pillow or purchased in commercial products like an aromatherapy candle or bubble bath for children.
- Photo Credit ULTRA.F/Photodisc/Getty Images Aloe Vera image by Leo Lintang from Fotolia.com lavender image by Lytse from Fotolia.com