5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use

5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use | Herbal Academy | Looking for simple-to-make remedies for your kids? Here's 5 child-friendly herbs for topical use to help you do just that!

If you have children (or if you’ve ever been a child, for that matter), you’re familiar with all of the common childhood ailments, from colds and flu to basic boo-boos (like cuts, scrapes, and bruises). As a mother of two, there are a handful of herbs and very simple-to-make topical remedies that I like to keep on hand to address simple daily issues that arise. Let’s look at some of them in this post.

5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use

1.  Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Among other qualities, bright and sunny Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a helpful children’s topical because of its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and vulnerary (wound-healing) qualities. Both gentle and strong-acting, Calendula is one of my favorites because it can be used in so many child-friendly ways—as an infused oil, an infusion, a spray, in salves or powders, and on and on. It’s a turn-to remedy that supports everyday inflammatory skin disorders like diaper rash, cradle cap, eczema, and dermatitis and can also be helpful in situations as simple as heat rash. Calendula also aids in wound healing so it is a nice addition to wound washes; I’ve even added it to eye washes and poultices for children with conjunctivitis.

2. Plantain (Plantago major or minor)

5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use | Herbal Academy | Looking for simple-to-make remedies for your kids? Here's 5 child-friendly herbs for topical use to help you do just that!

Plantain (Plantago major or minor) is the first plant I taught my older son to recognize and use. This was easy, because it was so abundant in our yard and also has come in handy for so many acute skin situations. When Kofi was around 10 and visiting his grandparents in Massachusetts, he was stung by wasps. I had him find the plantain in the yard and make a poultice to lay on the stings. When I called an hour later, he was happy and not in pain. Not only that, he had the sense of empowerment that comes with self-care using plants, even at a young age. Plantain is my number-one plant for bug bites and stings. Dried, it can be infused into oil, made into salve, or infused for a skin wash. Fresh, it is a simple but effective poultice that can be put right where it hurts.

3. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

If I could work with only one healing plant (okay, that would be a tough choice!), I might choose yarrow (Achillea millefolium). It’s bitter, so I can usually only get children to take small amounts of it as tea or tincture. I harvest it when it’s abundant, tincture and dry it, and keep it for all kinds of purposes. One of the easiest way to use yarrow with children is as a powder, a super-simple topical remedy for stopping bleeding in small or surface wounds. It’s also a key ingredient in a bath tea that I like to use with sniffly, feverish children (keep reading for the recipe!).

4. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is another one of those all-purpose herbs that has become an invaluable addition to my “mama apothecary.” When my children are overanxious, overactive, or can’t sleep, I dilute the essential oils with almond or sesame oil and massage their heads or feet to calm and soothe them. I also use it in the antibacterial spray that I use in my home and clean my son’s toys and lunchbox with it! The essential oil can also be used for sunburn. For more information on how to use essential oils safely, check out this post.

5. Honey

Finally, highly-antibacterial honey is useful in preparing children’s topical remedies. While it doesn’t mix well into a healing salve, it can be used on its own or as an herbal honey to dress skin infections or simple wounds. For example, a little honey applied to a surface scrape can protect and soothe the skin, encourage healthy immune activity, and discourage bacterial infection. This is great to have for toddlers learning to run and big kids learning to ride a bike. For teenagers, honey applied directly to the skin as a face mask can help obliterate the source of some acne breakouts and can also moisturize the skin.

5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use | Herbal Academy | Looking for simple-to-make remedies for your kids? Here's 5 child-friendly herbs for topical use to help you do just that!

A Few Topical Remedies for Children

All-Purpose Calendula Salve

How have I not used this salve? To calm mosquito-bitten skin, to soothe and moisturize itchy patches of eczema, as a balm for cradle cap and dermatitis on the scalp, even a lip balm and moisturizer in the winter. So easy and helpful to have when there are children around!

All-purpose Calendula Salve

[recipe_ingredients]

1-1 ½  cup Calendula-infused oil (apricot kernel, sesame, or almond are nice)
1 ounce beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax

10-15 drops essential oil, optional (lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and rose geranium (Pelargonium roseum) are nice for children)

[/recipe_ingredients]

[recipe_directions]

  1. Heat the infused herbal oil in a double boiler, or in a glass or Pyrex bowl over a pot of water (or in a double boiler, if you have one). If you’ve never made an infused oil, check out this how-to on the topic!
  2. Add the beeswax and stir until it completely dissolves.
  3. Stir in the essential oils.
  4. Carefully pour the mixture into tins or jars and allow to cool until solid.

[/recipe_directions]

(Helpful tip: The amount of beeswax you use relative to oil will determine how soft or firm your salve will be. Before pouring to jars, dip a spoon into the hot mix, then put in the refrigerator for a few minutes to test for consistency.)

Cold-Flu Bath Time Tea

This aromatic bath infusion soothes and supports little ones with colds or fever, and it’s perfect before a bedtime massage.                                                                                                                                           

Cold-Flu Bath Time Tea

[recipe_ingredients]

2 parts chamomile flower
2 parts Calendula flower
1 part yarrow leaf/flower
1 part linden leaf/flower
1 part peppermint leaf

[/recipe_ingredients]

[recipe_directions]

  1. Mix all herbs together and store in a tightly-lidded jar out of direct sunlight.
  2. At bath time, place a cup or so of the herbal blend in a cheesecloth bag (or a muslin bag used for cheese making, if you can find one) and leave in the bathtub while filling it with hot water.
  3. Be sure to let the bath cool to an appropriate temperature and remove the bag of herbs before bathing.

[/recipe_directions]

Lavender-Thyme Antiseptic Spray

This simple mixture in a spray bottle has come to our rescue so many times, either to clean filthy skin, wash a cut, or help super-busy kiddos to chill out before bed. I even use it to clean toys, blocks or other hard objects

Lavender-Thyme Antiseptic Spray

[recipe_ingredients]

3/4 cup lavender flower infusion
3/4 cup thyme leaf infusion
1 tablespoon thyme or lavender tincture (as a preservative)

[/recipe_ingredients]

[recipe_directions]

Mix ingredients together well in a spray bottle and shake well before using.

[/recipe_directions]

5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use | Herbal Academy | Looking for simple-to-make remedies for your kids? Here's 5 child-friendly herbs for topical use to help you do just that!

Herbs As Teachers

The five herbs in this post are ones that are distinctive and easy to recognize, and there’s a reason for that. Something I love about working with children and herbs is that there are certain herbs that are abundant (depending on your location), easy to recognize, and safe for children. This makes them not only allies to support health, but also great teaching tools.

Even very young children can recognize the bright bloom of Calendula, see the difference between wide- and narrow-leaf plantain, or know the scent of lavender. As you create herbal preparations with and for children, think of ways to involve them in the process of learning from the herbs while their health and well-being is supported by them!

5 Child-Friendly Herbs For Topical Use | Herbal Academy | Looking for simple-to-make remedies for your kids? Here's 5 child-friendly herbs for topical use to help you do just that!

Get Cooking With Herbs! (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6)

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

Welcome to the last week of our Family Herbal Summer Series! It has been quite an adventure so far and I am excited to share this last part of our journey. This week is all about something that most of us love dearly—tasty food! Cultures around the world enhance both the flavor and health of their food by cooking with herbs. You, too, can bring herbs into your kitchen and to your family’s table each and every day.

Get Cooking With Herbs

Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy. Most herbs are chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as well as offering useful herbal actions, making it well worth the effort to enjoy herbs in food! In Herbs Are Tasty from the Introduction to Herbs for Kids series you will find a guide full of tips and tricks for incorporating herbs into every meal of the day plus a handy printable chart sharing plenty of fun ways to cook with herbs to keep in your refrigerator for daily inspiration.

Please be sure to share your tasty herbal culinary adventures with us on Instagram! Simply tag your photos with #HAFamilyHerbalSummerSeries so we can join in the fun with you!

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

What’s for Breakfast?

Offering a wholesome breakfast to the family is a great way to get the day started off right. You can make it extra healthy and tasty by adding herbs to your dishes. Saute veggies for a breakfast scramble with turmeric, garlic, ginger, thyme, oregano, and more. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and cardamom on your toast or oatmeal. Here are some tasty recipes that boast a big kick from herbs for you to enjoy. Get the kiddos in the kitchen tomorrow morning and whip up a batch of something tasty together!

In the height of summer, fresh produce abounds which makes it the perfect time to enjoy a tasty and light fruit salad for breakfast. Challenge your family to eat a rainbow with this Magical Rainbow Fruit Salad With Herbs & Flowers. It is really fun to create with kids. Lay it out as a full, beautiful rainbow or mix it up in a bowl. Either way, be sure to enjoy this while the weather is warm and produce is abundant!

When my children were very small, we loved to make granola together. There is something about the measuring, pouring, and mixing required to make a batch of granola that they just loved. Granola is also a flexible food to create and offers children a chance to include things they love in the mix be it a favorite nut, dried fruit, or even some dark chocolate chips. This Herbalicious Homemade Granola recipe has plenty of tasty goodie ideas for kids to choose from plus a big herbal boost from powdered herbs added in before baking.

Whip up a batch of tasty breakfast baked goods and make a few extras to have on hand during the week for breakfast and snacks.

  • If you have plenty of fresh lemon balm growing in your yard these Lemon Balm Lavender Scones are a great choice for enjoying some of that bounty from the garden. Get the kiddos outside to help you harvest fragrant lemon balm—what a great way to start off the day!
  • Throw a handful of Calendula petals into the batter of these delicious Zucchini Summer Squash Chocolate Chip Muffins before baking to give them a little herbal lift.
  • Enjoy the tasty sweet spice of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in some Bran and Buckwheat Muffins!

Have you ever added herbs to a smoothie? If not, you are in for a treat! Blend up a tasty herbal smoothie for breakfast on a warm summer day or when your family is busy and on the go. These 3 Go-To Herbal Smoothies use nutritive herbal infusions in a liquid component of the recipe, which is pretty smart! You can also find ways to enjoy adding fresh herbs to smoothies including basil. It might sound weird, but trust me it is delicious! Try a Blackberry Basil Bliss Smoothie or enjoy experimenting with both fresh mint and basil in your breakfast smoothie!

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

Savory Bites

Guacamole and pesto are two delicious food items that readily adapt to a wide variety of herbs. As a bonus, most kids love making and eating both of these as a dip or topping!

Guacamole is a favorite around our house. My kids love to use a potato masher when smashing up the avocado. Gather up the savory herbs from your garden and toss them in! We enjoy using a mix of chives including the blossoms, cilantro, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, arugula, and nasturtium flowers.

Bountiful Herb Guacamole

[recipe_ingredients]

2 medium sized avocados
½ to 1 cup of fresh chopped herbs, depending on how herbie you want it!
1 to 4 cloves fresh garlic, depending on how much garlic your family will enjoy
1 fresh lime, juiced
Salt to taste

[/recipe_ingredients][recipe_directions]

  • Start making your guacamole by mincing up the garlic. Add a nice, big pinch of salt to the garlic during mincing to help hasten the breakdown of the garlic. Set aside.
  • Work with your kids to remove stems from your herbs, wash, and chop.
  • Cut the avocados in half and twist to open. Remove the seed and slide a spoon around the inside of the rind to loosen the flesh of the avocado. Place this is a nice shallow bowl or on a big plate.
  • Using a potato masher or a fork smash up the avocado until smooth. This is a super fun job for kids. So let them help you out and plan to be patient while they happily smash away for a bit.
  • Next add the herbs, the lime juice, and enough garlic to appease your child. If you like more garlic in your guacamole, set aside extra and add to your portion only.
  • Smash everything up together and salt to taste.
  • Enjoy with fresh chopped veggies, crackers, or your favorite dish!

[/recipe_directions]

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

Pesto offers one of the simplest and tastiest ways to bring a variety of herbs onto the family table. A basic pesto recipe can be made with more than just basil lending itself well to the incorporation of many different herbs and leafy greens, like in this Delicious Beet Greens And Spinach Pesto Recipe. Of course, the greens and herbs you choose to use will affect the flavor of the pesto, so don’t be surprised! The basic recipe includes using nuts, olive oil, garlic, and salt to make up a tasty dip or topping for pizza, veggies, or pasta.

Fresh Herbs & Greens for Pesto

Basil Spinach**
Catnip Beet greens**
Cilantro Arugula
Nettle, blanch to remove the sting Lamb’s quarters
Parsley Kale & Chard**
Oregano* Chickweed
Mint* Spring dandelion greens
Sage*

*Use in small amounts

**Blanch these tougher greens in boiling water

Make Your Own Pesto

Experiment with the ratios in this recipe as well as the different choices for leafy greens and nuts to find your favorite pesto combinations!

[recipe_ingredients]

1/3 cup of nuts such as pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans
2 cloves of garlic
4 cups of loosely packed fresh herb and green leaves. Use a combination for a depth of flavor
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Olive oil
Salt
Parmesan cheese, optional

[/recipe_ingredients][recipe_directions]

  • Combine the nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until ground.
  • Add the greens and lemon juice.
  • Process the greens and lemon juice while you begin drizzling in the olive oil until the pesto begins to loosen and it is the texture you want.
  • Add optional Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste and enjoy!

[/recipe_directions]

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

Special Herb Filled Snacks & Treats

Kids often need a little something to tide them over between meals. When cooking with herbs you can create healthful snacks and treats together to keep little tummies with an herbal boost until the next meal.

Learn how to make a chai spiced adaptogen powder to help you create Herbal Infused Snacks on the Go such as delicious herb-infused energy bites or even pudding! Or enjoy offering the goodness of herbs in a yummy Herbal Jello from the Nerdy Farm Wife. You can also make jello extra special by gathering your own dandelion flowers for this Dandelion Gelatin from the Homestead Lady.

Frozen Delights for Hot Summer Days

Who doesn’t love cooling down with something special and delicious on a hot summer day? A favorite way of herbalists to offer herbs to kids is with a tasty herbal ice pop! Homemade with a mix of infusions and fresh fruit, herbal ice pops are a hydrating, nourishing snack. You can blend up almost any child-friendly tea with fruit to make your own ice pops or enjoy this tasty High-C Herbal Ice Pop!

Another perennial summertime favorite is creamy, cold ice cream. Herbs are right at home in ice cream!

 

Tips on Balancing the Heart Chakra | Herbal Academy | Learn what the heart chakra is and tips on how to balance it with herbs and nature.

Tasty Herbal Baked Goodies

Do your children love to bake? Mine do! And sometimes it seems like there is no better way to get my children in the kitchen with me than to bake up something tasty together. Baking with herbs can be as simple as adding a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon to a batch of muffins or using big quantities of fresh herbs such as in the fresh mint cookies with dark chocolate found here. You can also use herbs to decorate your baked goods and make them lovely to look at. My children often devote themselves to cake decorating with beautiful flowers as much as they would to any piece of art they are involved in creating. So the next time you bake something, try tossing in a few teaspoons of a ground spice you have on hand or even a cup full of fresh herbs!

You can also use herbs to decorate your baked goods and make them lovely to look at. My children often devote themselves to cake decorating with beautiful flowers as much as they would to any piece of art they are involved in creating. So the next time you bake something, try tossing in a few teaspoons of a ground spice you have on hand or even a cup full of fresh herbs!

Herbs for Baking

Sweet Savory Decoration
Rose petals Thyme Pansies & violets
Calendula petals Sage Roses
Red clover blossoms Rosemary Calendula
Dandelion flowers Garlic Lemon balm leaves
Lemon balm Nettle Mint leaves
Mints Oregano Dandelion flowers
Cinnamon Dandelion Cinnamon powder
Clove Red clover Nasturtium flowers
Allspice Turmeric

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

Yummy Drinks to Enjoy

What better way to enjoy the tastiness and benefits of herbs than in a delicious drink? Herbs lend themselves easily to all kinds of beverages. Water works wonderfully in extracting constituents from plants including vitamins and minerals. This means that making herbal drinks brings nutrition and the goodness of herbs right into your family’s teapot or lemonade pitcher.

Cooling Drinks for Summertime

Speaking of lemonade, did you know that you can use a variety of herbs in lemonade? Rose petals and hips, raspberry, nettle, chamomile, elder flowers, and even garlic (find a recipe for garlic lemonade here) are a few herbs that work well in lemonade. This recipe for delightfully purple Violet Lemonade will give you the instructions you need to make your own creations such as substituting the herb of your choice for the violet flower and leaves. Use less quantity of herb if you are using dried herbs as they are more concentrated.

Herbal iced teas are also a pure delight during the summer. Whip up a batch of Family-Friendly Herbal Chai and serve it cold over ice for a tasty treat. Or find a recipe for a delicious sour and flowery cooling iced tea here. If your family loves coconut and vanilla, try making some Vanilla Coconut Kefir with this recipe from the Little Herbal. You can even blend the kefir with some fruit and freeze into tasty ice pops! And don’t forget to enjoy a smoothie or two for a refreshing drink on a hot day!

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

Warm & Tasty Comfort Drinks

A warm cup of tea offers so much comfort, and making it for others is like an act of love. My kids often ask for a cup of tea after a long, hard day or before bedtime. They have their own special tea cups to drink from and even their own small teapots which they adore using!

  • Help your child find teas they will love to drink by hosting a little tea party for your family or even for your child’s friends! Tea Tasting & MYO Herbal Tea for Kids from Mama Rosemary will give you all the information you need to enjoy exploring herbal teas together.
  • If you are looking for a tea recipe that is all ready for you to enjoy, check out this delicious recipe for Sweet Vitamin C Rosehip Tea from the Homestead Lady.
  • This Soothing Sani-Tea is perfect for fractious parents and kiddos alike offered by Prairie Herbcraft.

Other warm beverages include the well-loved cup of cocoa. You can add herbs such as rose, mint, or cinnamon to your cocoa to make it even more delicious and wonderful. Check out this yummy Real Peppermint Hot Cacao recipe! Another favorite hot beverage for children is hot apple cider. The addition of herbs makes this a wonderful healthful drink. Find a family-friendly recipe here.

Get Cooking With Herbs (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 6) | Herbal Academy | Cooking with herbs is a wonderful way to add the nutritional benefits of herbs to common foods that your family may already enjoy, come learn more!

I hope you found something tasty and new to make with your family this week! If you are looking for more healthy eating ideas chock full of the goodness of herbs, visit the Eat Well section of the Academy blog where you will find oodles of inspiring recipes as well as tips and trick to make healthy eating easy and fun.

Thank you so much for joining us during the Family Herbal Summer Series. We sure hope you and your family had fun during our herbal adventure and that you learned a little something along the way. You can enjoy the whole series here!

Week 6 Recap & Action Plan

  1. Make an herb filled breakfast
  2. Enjoy some guacamole or pesto or both!
  3. Try your hand at making an herbal treat such as ice cream, ice pops, or a delicious baked good.
  4. Share an herbal drink together as a family – hot or cold, it’s up to you!
  5. Show us your yummy creations on Instagram using hashtag #HAFamilyHerbalSummerSeries!

Kid-Friendly Body Care (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 5)

Kid-Friendly Body Care (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 5) | Herbal Academy | Join us for some good, squeaky clean fun making kid-friendly body care!

It’s week five for our super fun Family Herbal Summer Series, and I am so glad your family is joining us. This week we get to incorporate all of our learning into good, squeaky-clean fun by making kid-friendly body care!

Herbs are great fun to use in body care products, easily lending their beneficial properties and amazing scents to handmade baths, lotions and creams, scrubs, spritzers, and more. Kids love to add herbs, infused herbal oils, essential oils, and hydrosols to their very own kid-friendly body care creations and usually look forward to giving those products a try. So push up your sleeves and get ready to craft some lovely body care together that your whole family will love.

Continue reading “Kid-Friendly Body Care (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 5)”

Stocking the Family Herb Cabinet (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 4)

Stocking the Family Herb Cabinet (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 4) | Herbal Academy | Stock your family herb cabinet with remedies you make together! Also enjoy using simples as a family.

Welcome back to the Family Herbal Summer Series at the Herbal Academy! I am so happy you and your family are here to join us for our fourth week of camp. This week during our Family Herbal Summer Series we are going to get crafty and enjoy making some wonderful herbal preparations to stock the family herb cabinet such as salves, syrups, herbal infusions, and more! We will also talk about approaching herbs in a simple way that is learning about one herb at a time.

While we craft together, be sure to share your family’s herbal creations with us on Instagram by using hashtag #HAFamilyHerbalSummerSeries. We love seeing all the wonderful things you are making!

If you have missed any of our adventures so far, join us the Family Herbal Summer Series to follow along!

Continue reading “Stocking the Family Herb Cabinet (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 4)”

Family Wildcrafting (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 3)

Family Wildcrafting (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 3) | Herbal Academy | Join us on an herbal adventure as we discover the joys of family wildcrafting!

Welcome to week 3 of our special Family Herbal Summer Series! This week it is time to get out and explore the world of herbalism in the wild with some family wildcrafting. Many useful and wonderful herbal plants grow in the wild places of the world and herbalists often adore finding their green friends growing free in nature.

If you and your family are new to the world of herbalism you may have heard folks talking about wildcrafting and wondered what this means exactly. Wildcrafting is simply the act of finding beneficial plants growing wild in their native habitat and then harvesting those plants for healthful use. This can be a wonderful way to engage children both practically and viscerally in the natural world. So, let’s get ready to go on a family wildcrafting herbal adventure!

Continue reading “Family Wildcrafting (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 3)”

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Welcome to our very special Introduction to Herbs for Kids series! Children are often fascinated by the natural world, learning from simple interactions with a puddle or a bug or a tree. This series of lessons caters to that natural inquisitiveness while introducing children to the world of herbalism in interesting and enjoyable ways. Written towards children, this is a series of lessons kids can enjoy reading on their own or with a parent. With plenty of hands-on activities, printables, and herbal crafts to try, your child will be learning the basics of herbalism while having a fun!

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Join Us For Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 1: Meet My Friend Herb! Part One

Until we take a closer look, many of us don’t really know what an herb is or maybe even why we would use herbs. This lesson gives your child an introduction all the basics of herbalism answering such questions as- What is an herb? Why would I want to use herbs? What part of the herbs should I use? And how can I use herbs? You will also find information on safe use of herbs. There is a wonderful little guide to a few well-loved child friendly herbs with printable herb flashcards for study and a great word search to enjoy along with plenty of activity suggestions for kiddos big and small.

Introduce yourself to Herb here: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-meet-my-friend-herb/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 2: Meet My Friend Herb! Part Two

In this lesson we learn even more about our friend herb! To really get to know plants It is important to understand a bit about botany. Knowledge of botany basics helps herbalists with things such as plant identification and it also gives them a kind of special language with which to communicate about plants. Like a mini science lesson, your child will learn the basics of plant morphology along with an introduction to plant names (botanical nomenclature) and their families. There are some great experiments to try and printables to fill out!

Enjoy botanical learning here: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-meet-my-friend-herb-part-2/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 3: A Kid’s Herbal Pharmacy

Now that we have all become acquainted, it is time to start really using and enjoying herbs. Here your child and you will find all the information needed to make and start using herbs in fun hands-on ways that kids love. Learn how to make kid-friendly herbal infusions and then use that infusion to make a bath, popsicles, and a compress! Also find out how to create poultices and infused oils for skin care. Find even more information about special herbs for kids, instructions for creating your own pharmacy notebook, and great crossword puzzle!

Come craft with us here: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-a-kids-herbal-pharmacy/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 4: Keep It Simple

This very special lesson will introduce your child to the fine art of simpling. This term refers to the idea of getting to know and using one herb at a time. When focusing on just one herb at a time, people can really develop a close relationship with that herb. In Keep It Simple you will find special suggestions for getting to know five different herbs that kid’s adore. From tea tasting to experiments to building activities there is a lot here to enjoy!

Come make some good herb friends here: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-keep-it-simple/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 5: Start Your Herb Garden

Does you child love playing in the garden? Do you often find them hanging out with the plants? Or have you and your kiddo dreamed of planting your own herb garden? If so than this lesson is for you! Filled with all the information you need to start growing your very own herb garden including a growing and use guide to help you fill your garden with herbs you child will love and a garden planning activity sheet.

Dig in the dirt with us here: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-start-your-herb-garden/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 6: Adventures in the Herb Garden

If you are looking for more garden fun, this lesson is full of interesting and sometimes silly ways to enjoy your beautiful herb garden. You will find some crazy ways to sprout your very own seeds and ideas for attracting some helpful insect friends to your garden. When harvest time comes, this lesson gives you guidance for harvesting and drying the herbs you grew! After your herbs are all harvested and dried they will need labels to help you keep track of who is who, so we have some lovely labels for you to print and use.

Enjoy more garden fun: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-more-herb-gardening-fun/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 7: Wildcrafting

Did you know that many of the plants you see around you in the world have been used by people as medicine or food? You can learn about the useful plants growing in the forest, by rivers and streams, in grasslands, and even in urban landscapes. With proper identification many of these plants can even be harvested and used! That is what this lesson is all about! We provide you and your child with the resources you need to get out into the wild and enjoy wildcrafting herbs!

Get wild here: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-wildcrafting/

Introduction to Herbs for Kids

Lesson 8: Herbs Are Tasty!

Our last lesson is the most delicious because here we take herbs into the kitchen to make our food tasty and delightful. This lesson is filled with recipes and ideas for fun ways to cook with herbs. There is also a great chart to print out and keep on the fridge to inspire your kiddo to enjoy herbs in their food.

Visit here to get cooking: https://theherbalacademy.com/introduction-to-herbs-for-kids-herbs-are-tasty/

It is our fondest wish that this series of lessons inspire your child to start walking the sweet herbal road. It is a life long journey, that leads to health, vitality, and an enduring sense of wonder!

Parents who want to enjoy learning even more about herbalism can join us with a membership to the Herbarium or even in one of our wonderful online Herbal Courses.

Herb Gardening With Children (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 2)

Herb Gardening With Children (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 2) | Herbal Academy | Welcome back to our family herbal summer series for kids and parents! This second week is all about getting outside into the garden!

Welcome back to the Family Herbal Summer Series at the Herbal Academy! I am so happy you and your family are here to join us for our second week of camp. This week our Family Herbal Summer Series is all about getting outside and herb gardening with children.

Learn about herbs that are useful, family-friendly, and easy to grow for free! You’ll also find lots of neat ideas for growing your herbs in fun and sometimes silly ways that are perfect for gardening with children. Plus, this week there are also lots of garden crafts for kids and child-friendly ideas for encouraging beneficial insects to make their home in your garden.

Did you miss last week’s adventure? Join us here to follow along and learn about basic botany for herbalists!

Oh, and one more thing… don’t forget to share your family’s herbal memories with us on Instagram by using hashtag #HAFamilyHerbalSummerSeries. We love seeing what you’re up to!

Continue reading “Herb Gardening With Children (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 2)”

Botany for Herbalists (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 1)

Botany for Herbalists (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 1) | Herbal Academy | Welcome to our family herbal summer series for kids and parents! Let's explore herbs in an engaging way that will help families learn about herbs together!

Welcome to our Family Herbal Summer Series for kids and parents! I am so happy you are here! This week I want to introduce you and your child to my friend “Herb,” and we’ll be covering some basic botany for herbalists, too. Don’t worry, though. Everything is broken down into small sections to make it easy for you and your child to learn about herbs together. 

Before we get into this first week’s lesson, let me quickly tell you more about our new Family Herbal Summer Series.

2016 Family Herbal Summer Series

During the summer, we will explore herbs in engaging ways that help parents and kids learn about herbs right alongside each other. This is a great opportunity to learn about herbs for free with your child!

Discover a new topic in herbalism to explore and enjoy with plenty of hands-on activities, fun printables, experiments, and recipes to try. Come and play with us every other week and follow along on our herbal adventure throughout the summer!

And don’t forget to share what you’re learning and doing in this series with us on Instagram. Simply tag your photos with #HAFamilyHerbalSummerSeries so we can see what you’re up to!

Let’s get started learning about herbs and basic botany for herbalists! Are you coming?

Continue reading “Botany for Herbalists (Family Herbal Summer Series: Part 1)”

How To Use Hydrolats For Babies And Young Children

Hydrolats for Babies & Young Children | Herbal Academy | Hydrolats for babies and young children can be an excellent choice when it comes finding natural remedies that are appropriate for young ages.

There’s nothing more stressful for a parent than a baby who won’t sleep or a sick, inconsolable child. Fortunately, we can turn to natural remedies to help and support during these challenging situations. One option parents can choose is to use hydrolats for babies and young children.

But what are hydrolats, where do they come from, and are they safe for small children? How are they used, and where does one find these preparations?

Today, we’ll be exploring how to use hydrolats for babies and children as another natural remedy option when it comes to managing your child’s health naturally.

Essential Oils May Not Be The Best “First Choice” For Children

Essential oils are gaining in popularity, and many people believe that because essential oils are from natural sources, they are intrinsically safe. This is not entirely accurate, and as with herbs, certain cautions should be considered.

A young child’s organs and skin are still developing which means they don’t protect, metabolize, or otherwise process chemicals they are exposed to either quickly or efficiently. Because essential oils are highly concentrated substances, they’re often stronger than what we really should be using with our young ones. Read more about appropriate uses of essential oils with children in this blog post here.

Thankfully, the hydrodistillation process that brings us essential oils also provides us with a safer option that’s effective for all members of our families: hydrolats.

When the water from the essential oil distillation process is condensed and collected, the small amount of essential oil floats on top of a larger volume of water. This water contains hydrophilic, or water-soluble chemical constituents, as well as a small amount of the essential oil. It is often thrown away after the essential oil has been decanted off, but some distillers carefully collect this precious water since they understand its value. This solution is often called a hydrosol, but the term “hydrolat” is actually more accurate as hydrosols can refer to many things, including water soluble fertilizers and machinery cleaning spirits.

Hydrolats for Babies & Young Children | Herbal Academy | Hydrolats for babies and young children can be an excellent choice when it comes finding natural remedies that are appropriate for young ages.

Hydrolats for Babies And Young Children

Hydrolats are a wonderful addition to our pharmacopeia as they are powerfully effective while having few safety concerns. This makes them excellent choices for supporting wellness in babies and young children.

Their primary drawback is that they require a bit more maintenance and have shorter shelf-lives, often ranging from 12-24 months. Keeping hydrolat containers clean and in the refrigerator helps keep them fresh and effective as long as possible. Because of this increased susceptibility to mold and bacterial growth, commercially available hydrolats are often preserved with alcohol. The witch hazel hydrosol you find on the drugstore shelf is an excellent example of a therapeutic plant water with preservatives added.

Some sources may sell “floral waters” or something similar, but these are not always therapeutic quality hydrolats. When selecting a hydrolat for therapeutic purposes, be sure to choose one that has no additives or preservatives and is a genuine product of steam or water distillation. A few reputable retailers are listed at the end of this post to help get you started.

How to Use Hydrolats for Babies And Young Children

One of the fun things about using hydrolats for babies and young children is that their are so many ways you can use them!

You can make sprays, poultices, compresses, aloe vera gel blends, creams, or lotions. You can use them in the bath, as a warm or cold compress, in a diffuser, to freshen the air, to freshen bed linens, or to apply directly to baby’s skin. There really are so many options!

Bath time is an excellent opportunity to use hydrolats for babies and young children, especially when it comes to managing skin conditions. Simply add one to two teaspoons of hydrolat to the bathwater for a baby or one teaspoon per year of age, up to eight teaspoons total, for children ages two through twelve. In cases where aloe vera gel or Calamine lotion would be applied to the skin, an appropriate hydrolat can be incorporated into the application up to a 25% dilution (Catty, 2001).

If you chose to make your own cream or lotion, substitute an appropriate hydrolat in for the water phase. This increases both the aroma and the therapeutic value of your cream or lotion.

Below you’ll find a couple DIY recipes using hydrolats for babies and young children.

Hair Detangler

[recipe_ingredients]

4 oz PET plastic or glass spray bottle
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
2 oz distilled water
0.5 oz lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) hydrolat
1 oz Roman chamomile (Chamamaelum nobile) hydrolat
Other suggestions: rose geranium (Pelargonium x asperum), neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara flos), rose (Rosa damascena or Rosa centifolia)

[/recipe_ingredients]

[recipe_directions]

  • Blend all ingredients together in a spray bottle.
  • Shake well before using.
  • Spray lightly over damp hair after washing and drying hair.

[/recipe_directions]

Sunburn or Boo-Boo Spray

[recipe_ingredients]

2-ounce PET plastic or glass spray bottle
0.5 ounce Aloe Vera Gel
0.5 ounce lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) hydrolat
0.5 ounce witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) hydrolat
0.5 ounce German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) hydrolat

[/recipe_ingredients]

[recipe_directions]

  • Blend all ingredients in the bottle.
  • Shake well before using.
  • Spray on affected area several times per day.
  • May also be used as a cool compress.

[/recipe_directions]

Hydrolats for Babies & Young Children | Herbal Academy | Hydrolats for babies and young children can be an excellent choice when it comes finding natural remedies that are appropriate for young ages.

Therapeutic Applications of Safe Hydrolats for Babies And Young Children

Common name Botanical Name Therapeutic uses
Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana atopic dermatitis, sunburn, bug bites
German chamomile Matricaria recutita atopic dermatitis, sunburn
Roman chamomile Chamaemelum nobile diaper rash, teething, insomnia, inconsolable crying, sunburn, bath water, chicken pox
Lemon balm Melissa officinalis bug bites, diaper rash, cradle cap
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia chills, inconsolable crying, insomnia, sunburn, bath water, atopic dermatitis, pierced ears
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus respiratory challenges
Rose geranium Pelargonium x asperum sunburn, bug bites, rashes, healing scrapes
Rose Rose Damascena or Rose centifolia sunburn, irritated skin, nausea
Neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara flos bath water, calming
Melissa Melissa officinalis skin concerns, diaper rash, cradle cap (Price, 2011).

(Price & Price, 2004)

Hydrolat Safety

Hydrolats have few safety concerns.

There are warnings against using peppermint (Mentha x Piperita) hydrolat with young children (under 3) due to the possibility of it causing respiratory distress, and greenland moss (Ledum groenlandicum) should not be used in children under 6 years old (Catty, 2001).

Internal use is not covered in this article, but the resources listed below offer suggestions for both internal and culinary uses

Recommended Resources About Hydrolats

Retail Sources for Purchasing Genuine Hydrolats

Do you use hydrolats for your family? If so, how do you use them?

REFERENCES

Catty, S. (2001). Hydrosols: The next aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Price, L. & Price, S. (2004). Understanding Hydrolats: The specific hydrosols for aromatherapy. London, England: Churchill Livingstone.

Price, P. (2011). Hydrosols for babies and children. Aromatherapy Journal, (2), 18-20.

How To Make A Kid-Friendly Mother’s Day DIY Herbal Hand Cream 

How To Make A Kid-Friendly Mother's Day DIY Herbal Hand Cream | Herbal Academy | This simple DIY herbal hand cream is moisturizing and is the perfect Mother's Day gift for that special mom in your life!

With Mother’s day right around the corner, many children are busy crafting lovely gifts for the most treasured of people, their mommy. Children love to make gifts for sharing, and moms adore each precious gesture from their little ones. This year help the children in your life make mom’s day extra special with a batch of this kid-friendly Mother’s Day DIY herbal hand cream and package it up with a precious keepsake handprint and poem.

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