Updated: Oct 12
Alternative, natural health support for you family just makes sense, Herbs and children just make sense. Their metabolism responds quickly, especially to plant medicines. And introducing your family to plant medicine is a great way to foster respect for the Earth as well as for our own bodies and its ability to heal.
Taking time with your child during illness is a requisite for healing. To effectively use herbs for healing you need to gain experience with the herbs as well as the ability to recognize illness in its many forms. One of the best ways to develop this knowledge and confidence is by using herbal medicines in simple, minor health situations.
The Seven Steps of Healing, per Susun Weed
These steps cover a variety of illness situations and offer a guideline for decision-making.
Do nothing to interfere, simply observe. Recognize and observe the processes taking place and allow them to unfold.
Gather information. Refer to books and websites, consult friends who may have more knowledge, keep observation fairly low-tech (visual assessment, pulse, temperature, etc)
Work with the energy. This may include Bach flower essences, homeopathy, visualization, music and laughter therapy, opening windows, and more.
Nourish and tonify, using herbs gently as food and nourishment. Physical activity, lifestyle changes, massage, baths, and the like can help support and comfort. Nourishment is immediate (soup, snuggles and hugs) whereas tonification is repetitive to bring on gradual healing (using herbal tonics, massage, and the like)
Stimulate and Sedate is the use of stronger medicine, including acupuncture, remedial massage, and hot and cold water treatments.
Use of Supplements, perhaps even pharmaceutical drugs, such as the use of synthesized or concentrated vitamins and supplements. Supplements can be shared without prescription, but medications with side effects and antibiotics fall into this category.
Physically invade, including the use of invasive diagnostic tests like x-rays, internal examinations, etc. This step includes any treatment or procedure that requires physical entry into the body.
Knowing your child well is the best knowledge you can have. If you combine that knowledge with the guidelines above, and you trust your own judgment, you have a lot to go on. Observation is the best skill to have and offers a good deal of confidence boosting. With each step above, step back and observe before moving forward. As you do, you will learn to recognize more signs along the way.
Knowing when it's time to consult, whether an herbal-minded friend or a physician, is important. Knowing a specific diagnosis can help you make decisions for care, whether of a medical nature or more natural healing. Never feel stuck on the idea of home health care when a child needs to see a doctor. You may receive information that will leave you more comfortable about your child's situation and you may decide to continue with the home remedies, or you may decide that it's time to change up to medications or procedures.
Next we'll share the herbs every family should keep in their herbal medicine cabinet.
The Baby Book, Dr William Sears
Natural Healing for Babies & Children, Aviva Romm