I love my children. They are my joy and my light. They are smart, funny, rambunctious and constantly learning new things.
When they get sick, agitated, excited, scared or anxious I like to help them reach a state of calm and peace both physically and emotionally. One of the ways I do that is by using herbs, specifically Catnip.
Catnip? You mean that weed that makes cats go insane and destroy my furniture/garden/dog’s face?
Nepeta cataria also known as catnip, and catswort is a wonderful herbal ally for children. It is in the mint family but is calming, soothing and gentle for little bodies.
Catnip is commonly used to treat:
In an oil infusion, it can be used as a massage oil to help ease symptoms of:
- Whooping cough
How do I use Catnip?
It is very simple. You can place 2 tsp fresh catnip or 1 tsp of dried catnip and steep it in hot water for 20 minutes (the longer the herb steeps in the water the more medicinally effective it will be). Let the infusion cool and put it in a bottle or cup filled half with purified water, and half with the herbal infusion. If your child is over the age of 1 you can add some honey to add some sweet flavor or cut the infusion with fresh pressed juice. My daughter loves drinking herbal teas plain and likes to steal mine very often!
Do you want to use catnip for a baby and you are breastfeeding? Mom can drink a catnip infusion (undiluted) as often as she wants during the day. The benefits of the herbs will make it into the breast milk and help soothe the baby without having to try to figure out how to get baby to take a bottle.
Another option is a catnip glycerin tincture. You can usually find these at an herbalist shop or health food store. The common dosage for children is 1 drop of tincture per pound of body weight.
Calm Kid Tea
I like to make my daughter a special “Calm Kid Tea” when she gets a little too wound up and crazy. This tea brings her to a state of happy calm. I usually give it to her in the mid-afternoon before nap time and in the evening after dinner. We sit and sip tea together before getting ready for bed. It is a nice quiet time to bond and relax with each other. It helps ease her into a peaceful night sleep so that she can wake up energized and ready to roll in the morning.
- 1 part Chamomile
- 2 parts Catnip
- 1 part Lemon Balm
- A pinch of stevia or teaspoon of honey to taste (for children over 1 year old).
- Blend herbs in an air tight container to store.
- Use 1tsp herb mixture per cup of boiling water.
- Allow tea to steep at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours for strongest medicinal effect.
- Drink throughout the day as needed or before nap and bed times. Soak a washcloth in the tea and freeze and allow child to chew on the washcloth for teething.
Do you use Catnip? Do you have any other tricks on how to gently calm your children?
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