I'm truly saddened that the use of herbs as medicine has been lost to our generation. I say it's time for a comeback though, so get busy stocking your traditional medicine cabinet with these goodies instead of synthetic colors, flavors and downright harmful medications like the black box warning Tylenol! I'm going to teach you how to quickly make the top three herbal teas we use most with our kids when they're sick with a common cold or stomach flu. They've grown to love these teas and now know exactly how to help me prepare the right one for their symptoms 🙂
12 Powerful Herbs to Keep in Your Traditional Medicine Cabinet for Kids
The massive list of medicinal benefits these powerful herbs brings to the table goes on and on! We've begun growing most of them on our homestead so they're always at the ready. Besides these twelve herbs, we've found that keeping comfrey infused oil on hand for a multitude of topical skin and muscle issues really rounds out the natural remedy arsenal.
Peppermint: Reduces fever, stomach discomfort, soothes digestive tract, helps relieve diarrhea, reduces nausea, boosts immune systems, relaxes muscles in chest and throat, reduces the urge to cough
Mullein: Anti-bacterial, expectorant, tones mucous membranes, soothes throat, reduces inflammation, improves bronchitis, dry coughs, sore throats, general hoarseness and tonsillitis (see herb photo from our gardens below)
Plantain: Expectorant, soothes inflamed and painful membranes, ideal for coughs and bronchitis, relieves diarrhea, has excellent healing properties
Echinacea: Stimulates immune system, helps body to resist infection for efficiently, reduces excess mucus and inflammation in the sinus, restores help and vitality to the body (see herb photo from our gardens below)
Catnip: Treats disorders of the digestive system, stimulates sweating and reduces fevers, calms the stomach and prevents nausea and diarrhea, calms nerves
Fennel: Reduces fever and restlessness, calms coughs and bronchial disorders, helps to break, up phlegm, boosts immune system, relieves sore throat and sinus pressure. Should not be taken regularly
Lemon Balm: Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, promotes relaxation and sleep, soothes nervous system, reduces fever
Chamomile: Relaxing sleep aid, reduces fever, cold symptoms and stomach ailments (see herb photo from our gardens below)
Yarrow: Induces sweat to break fever, shortens duration of cold and flu, promotes relaxation. Not to be used during pregnancy
Sweet Cinnamon: Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, destroys bacteria and virus in stomach, reduces chills, aches and pains
Ginger: Anti-viral, relieves nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps, reduces the frequency of loosening the stools, protects the inner lining of the stomach, antioxidants help your body to get rid of the virus itself.
Thyme: Anti-bacterial, boosts immune system, high levels of Vitamin C, soothes upset stomach and nausea, relieves constipation, bloating and cramping (see herb photo from our gardens below)
Safe Herbal Teas to Soothe Cold and Stomach Flu Symptoms in Kids
Does the idea of switching from typical over-the-counter (OTC) medications seem daunting? Well I'm here to tell you that you can definitely do this! We've been using natural remedies with our kids for many years now and can vouch to their ease of use and efficacy. We found Rosemary Gladstar's 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use super helpful so you might check it out too if you're just getting started.
Here's the equipment you'll need:
- Tea Strainer
- Tea Kettle
- Filtered Water (learn more about why we recommend filtering your tap water and which filters really get the job done)
- NOTE: Dried or fresh herbs will work for these recipes
Herbal Tea for Common Cold Symptoms
Herbal Tea for Congestion/Respiratory Illness
Herbal Tea for Stomach Bug
Bring 2 cups of water to boil, remove from heat, add herbs. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain out herbs and pour into a mug. Sweeten to taste with raw honey (approximately 1 tsp of honey per cup).
Our kids ask for these herbal teas and absolutely love them! What a comforting way to soothe cold and flu symptoms without the added worry of potential side effects from medications.
The amount of each herb can be adjusted based on taste or seasonal availability. If you don't have one of the herbs, simply make tea without it or substitute according to symptoms.
P.S. Does a little somebody have a fever too? Learn how to treat your baby's cold, cough and fever naturally.