Herbal infusions are great for all people and are especially wonderful for
children because infusions are high in vitamins and minerals which growing bodies need.
The best herbs to use for infusions are like healthy foods and each have their own set of characteristics. To appease children many herbs can be made into very yummy beverages. You can serve infusions warm, at room temperature or iced. Feel free to add lemon, agave nectar, honey or even juice to taste. Below is a quick reference list of a few favorite herbs for children’s infusions. For further information about these herbs please visit the Materia Medica section of Mama Rosemary.
Chamomile ~ Tastes appley, bittersweet… kids say: great!
- calming, relaxing
- good for digestive stuff (tummy aches especially related to nervousness)
- promotes rest
- useful for complaining and whininess.
Contraindications ~ A very few people are allergic to chamomile and other plants in the Asteracea (daisy) familyImportant ~ Only steep chamomile for 3 to 8 minutes as it gets very bitter if left to steep any longer, my kids won’t drink chamomile if I infuse it for longer than 4 minutes.
Lemon Balm ~ Tastes lemony, yummy …. kids say: delicious!
- refreshing and cooling so great during hot weather
- calming for hyperactive children
- helps relieve nervousness and crying
- good for digestive stuff
- antiviral and bacterial so great during cold and flu season
Lycium Berry ~ Tastes fruity, super yum… my kids love them soaked in apple juice!
- high in bioflavonoids and polysaccarides
- tonic for blood, eyes, kidneys and immune system.
- Can use as a substitute for raisins.
Mints (Spearmint/Peppermint) ~ Tastes yummy, classic mint taste… kids say: great!
- helpful for digestive stuff, eases gas and cramping
Nettle ~ Tastes green, milky, kinda like soup… kids say: not bad
- extremely high in vitamins and mineral
- whole body tonic especially for mucus membranes and blood
Oatstraw ~ Tastes bland… kids say: great
- soothing to nervous system
- high in vitamins and minerals
Rose Hips ~ Tastes yummy, kinda sour… kids say: great!
- high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids
- tones and nourishes mucus membranes
- Soak the hips in juice or water to make a super yummy “jam”.
Note: Taste ratings are mostly taken from Kids, Herbs & Health, this is a great reference book for parents!
Yummy Combinations ~
Equal parts spearmint, peppermint & lemon balm, add nettle or oatstraw for even more nutrients.
Equal parts lemon balm, oatstraw and rose hips
Equal parts lemon balm and chamomile
Equal parts rose hips and lycium
Equal parts nettle and oatstraw
Another Fun Drink for Kids:
Almond Milk ~ high in calcium and protein, hypoallergenic (most kids do great with almonds) To make fresh, simply soak 1 cup of raw almonds overnight in water in the refridge. Drain and rinse the almonds . Place in a blender with 1 quart of water and blend for 1 to 5 minutes. Strain thru a jelly bag and enjoy! Almond milk will keep for 2 days in the refridge. Use the left over nut meat in baked goods, casseroles etc…
A Couple Great Books for further study:
- A Kid’s Herb Book by Lesley Tierra
- Kids, Herbs, and Health by Linda B. White and Sunny Mavor