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IS ECHINACEA SAFE FOR KIDS?

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It was camping day!  I woke early to get ready!  Unfortunately I noticed my son was sniffling.  After informing my camping buddy that we would be a little late because I had to get some Echinacea for my son he asked me: Is Echinacea safe for kids?  I told him  “Yes! Of course it is!”

Echinacea IS safe for babies, toddlers and children of all ages. It is safe in general as long as the dosage is appropriate for weight. Dosage: 1 drop per 5 lbs of body weight to 1 drop per lb of body weight. It is useful to both prevent and treat illness. Can be taken internally as well as topically.

Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpura, E. pallida

Uses:

  • Strengthening immune system (helpful with any illness)
  • Colds and flus
  • Acne/Skin infections (internally)
  • Bites/Stings
  • Fever accociated with infection
  • Reduce inflamation
  • Upper respratory infections
  • General infection
  • Cough, sore throat and strep
  • cyctitis
  • UTI
  • After circumsision care
  • Prevent infections
  • Styes
  • measles/mumps

Though studies are often inconclusive and contradictory (as studies of inexpensive herbs that allow one to be proactive in ones own health often are) it has been and still is used for the following:

  • Preventing, shortening and reducing severity of colds.
  • Upper respiratory infections, and influenza.
  • General strengthening of the immune system.
  • Reduces inflamation. Treats sores, wounds, fungal infections and swollen glands.
  • Helps with breast feeding problems, genital care, prevents infection in high risk infants.
  • Disinfects wounds.
  • Impetigo.
  • Reduce inflamation of poison oak/ivy, urinary tract infection.

The reason it can help during almost any illness is because it strengthens the immune system.  Basically, it helps your body fight the illness itself rather than a drug fighting if for you.  

I give my son Echinacea almost every time he is sick and it always helps.  Either with other remedies specific to particular illness or alone it works marvelously!

Properties

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Immunostimulant
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antivviral
  • Antiseptic
  • Alterative
  • Improves lymphatic system

Infusions, Decoctions, and Tinctures, Oh my!

Different ways you can give your child Echinacea:

Echinacea Tincture

Dosage of Echinacea Tincture
  • Preventative: ¼ child’s body weight in drops twice daily
  • Treating illness: 1 drop per 1 or 2 pounds of childs weight as often as every few hours depending on severity of illness.
    • More severe = more drops and more often
And A Tincture is………?

A tincture is and herbal remedy prepared by extracting medicinal properties of a plant using alcohol.

They’re concentrated, quick acting, my favorite, and the most convenient because they are the most readily available.  They are easy to administer: diluted drops in water or juice.  Also relatively inexpensive considering the hassle and time they save you. You can make your own.   However, making your own takes a little more effort and a lot more time, as you must steep the herb for various weeks.

If you do want to make your own please see: How to Make a Tincture with Alcohol

Where to buy Echinacea Tincture
  • Your local Cooperative
  • Most health food stores
  • Here’s a link for my favorite Echinacea on Amazon
  • ∗You can tell if an Echinacea Tincture is good quality by a buzzing sensation or tingling on your toungue after use. Lack of this buzzing could mean low quality herbs that might not work as well.

Echinacea Infusions

Infusions are very strong teas that require a large quantity of herbs steeped in water.

Proper Dosage and how to make Echincacea Infusion

“Steep ½ ounce of the root pieces per quart of boiling water for 1 hour. Strain and take ¼ to 1 cup as often as every 2 to 4 hours. Use freely as a topical wash or compress.”  (1)

Echinacea Decoctions

Decoctions are concentrated infusions.  Thicker and taken in smaller doses.

Proper dosage and how to make Echinacea decoction

Simmer ½ ounce of Echinacea root pieces in 1 quart of boiling water for 20 minutes.  Then strain and use as for infusion.    (1)

Brief History of Echinacea

Echinacea was originally used by various North American tribes for different ailments including:

  • blood purifying
  • antiseptic
  • treatment for snake/insect bites
  • sore throat
  • toothaches
  • burns
  • stomach cramps
  • pain

It was then used by the early white settlers in North America. The first recorded preparation using Echinacea was in 1880 in Meyers blood purifier.

It used for rheumatism, neuralgia and rattlesnake bites.

First commercial cultivation was in Germany in 1939.  It was cultivated in Switzerland in 1950.

Echinacea has continued to grow in popularity in United States and is a pretty common house hold name. It’s been found most effective and used mostly for strengthening the immune system.

Happy Ending

When my son woke up the next day at the camp site, he was noticably better. Thanks to the Echinacea.

After only one day of correct dosage and use as well as playing outside all day in the dirt, sand, and ocean.  My friend was astonished!  Which led to me to want to share with all parents about this wonderful helpful herb.

Don’t be a Pill! Why people say it doesn’t work

Insufficient Dosage

The most likely reason why people say it doesn’t work is due to insufficient dosage.

Herb Quality

The quality of the herb might also be at fault.  While using a tincture, a way be sure of the quality is by a tingling sensation on the tounge after use. If your making decoctions or infusions you should also make sure to use good quality dry herbs.

Incorrect Preparation

Failure to work could also be due to incorrect preparation. Therefore, make sure you are preparing your tincture, decoction, or infusion correctly.

Pill Form

It is my understanding that pill forms of most herbs usually do not work as well because herbal properties need to be extracted with water, alcohol, oil, etc.

Simply grinding up an herb and putting a very very small amount in a capsule seems kind of silly to me however, my early introduction to the herb was by my sister who took capsules at the first signs of a cold to shorten the duration and severity and for her it worked.

Citations

Most of the information from this article is from my favorite and only herb guide for children:

Some came from these websites:

Disclaimer

The information in this article is informational only and not intended to treat any illness.

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2 thoughts on “IS ECHINACEA SAFE FOR KIDS?

  1. Lucio

    I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info
    for my mission.

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