Use of herbs in children’s health. Awareness of therapeutic margins and contraindications are important to ensure safe use.
Recipes for Children’s Health
The listings of research below represent a compilation of scientific articles found on the topic, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. This compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use of any herb listed.
- Three types of eucalyptus showed fumigant activity against lice, with 1,8-cineole being an active constituent. From: Toloza, A. C., Lucia, A., Zerba, E., Masuh, H., & Picollo, M. I. (2008). Interspecific hybridization of Eucalyptus as a potential tool to improve the bioactivity of essential oils against permethrin-resistant head lice from Argentina. Bioresource technology, 99(15), 7341-7347.
- Lavender and tea tree reduced head lice. From: Barker, S. C., & Altman, P. M. (2010). A randomised, assessor blind, parallel group comparative efficacy trial of three products for the treatment of head lice in children-melaleuca oil and lavender oil, pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide, and a. BMC dermatology, 10(1), 6.
- Certain monoterpenoids from O. majorana essential oil, including linalool, terpinen-4-ol and α-terpineol may be effective in a treatment for head lice. From: Yang, Y. C., Lee, S. H., Clark, J. M., & Ahn, Y. J. (2009). Ovicidal and adulticidal activities of Origanum majorana essential oil constituents against insecticide-susceptible and pyrethroid/malathion-resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae). Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 57(6), 2282-2287.
- In a randomized controlled trial with 74 colicy infants, topical use of chamomile herb oil preparation applied to the abdomine three times a day for 14 days reduced colic symptoms. From: Salehipoor, H., Afzali, B., Akrami, R., Ghorat, F., Niktabe, Z., & Sahebkar, M. (2019). Effect of Topical Chamomile Oil (Matricaria chamomile L.) as a Supplementary Method on Colic Symptoms in Infants: A Randomized Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial. Iranian Journal of Neonatology IJN, 10(1), 15-22.
- A blend of coconut oil, anise oil and ylang ylang oil controlled lice infestation in children. From: Mumcuoglu, K. Y., Miller, J., Zamir, C., Zentner, G., Helbin, V., & Ingber, A. (2002). The in vivo pediculicidal efficacy of a natural remedy. The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ, 4(10), 790-793.
- A solution with paw paw, thymol, and tea tree oil was 100% effective in eliminating head lice in participants. From: McCage, C. M., Ward, S. M., Paling, C. A., Fisher, D. A., Flynn, P. J., & McLaughlin, J. L. (2002). Development of a paw paw herbal shampoo for the removal of head lice. Phytomedicine, 9(8), 743-748.
- Twenty children that used a shampoo containing grapefruit extract showed a reduction in head lice. From: Abdel-Ghaffar, F., Semmler, M., Al-Rasheid, K., Klimpel, S., & Mehlhorn, H. (2010). Efficacy of a grapefruit extract on head lice: a clinical trial. Parasitology research, 106(2), 445.
- Eucalyptus, marjoram, pennyroyal, and rosemary oils showed activity against human head lice. From: Yang, Y. C., Lee, H. S., Clark, J. M., & Ahn, Y. J. (2004). Insecticidal activity of plant essential oils against Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae). Journal of medical entomology, 41(4), 699-704.
- Kunzea oil was as effective as tea tree oil in killing head lice in vitro. From: Williams, C. R., Webb, C. E., Orre, S., NAUNTON, M., & THOMAS, J. (2016). Can kunzea oil (Kunzea ambigua) control head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis)?. Parasitology Open, 2.
- A garlic supplement reduced acute respiratory infections in children. From: Andrianova, I. V., Sobenin, I. A., Sereda, E. V., Borodina, L. I., & Studenikin, M. I. (2002). Effect of long-acting garlic tablets” allicor” on the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections in children. Terapevticheskii arkhiv, 75(3), 53-56.
- In a large review of over 4000 children showed eating citrus and kiwi reduced asthma and wheezing symptons. From: Forastiere, F., Pistelli, R., Sestini, P., Fortes, C., Renzoni, E., Rusconi, F., … & SIDRIA Collaborative Group. (2000). Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. Thorax, 55(4), 283-288.
- This was a double blind randomized clinical trial including 46 children with intermittent asthma. An herbal blend of Matricaria chamomilla, Althaea officinalis, Malva sylvestris, Hyssopus officinalis, Adiantum capillus-veneris, Glycyrrhiza glabra and Ziziphus jujube taken at the onset of the common cold for five days reduced symptoms compared to the placebo. From: Javid, A., Haghi, N. M., Emami, S. A., Ansari, A., Zojaji, S. A., Khoshkhui, M., & Ahanchian, H. (2019). Short-course administration of a traditional herbal mixture ameliorates asthma symptoms of the common cold in children. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine, 9(2), 126.
- A witch hazel ointment was an effective and safe treatment for certain skin disorders in young children. From: Wolff, H. H., & Kieser, M. (2007). Hamamelis in children with skin disorders and skin injuries: results of an observational study. European journal of pediatrics, 166(9), 943-948.
- A randomized comparative trial of 60 infants showed that a treatment with aloe vera and calendula was safe and effective in treating diaper rash. From: Panahi Y, Sharif MR, Sharif A, et al. A randomized comparative trial on the therapeutic efficacy of topical aloe vera and Calendula officinalis on diaper dermatitis in children. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:810234.
- A topical preparation containing comfrey reduced wound healing time of adults and children without side effects. From: Barna, M., Kucera, A., Hladikova, M., & Kucera, M. (2012). Randomized double-blind study: wound-healing effects of a symphytum herb extract cream (Symphytum× uplandicum Nyman) in Children. Arzneimittelforschung, 62(06), 285-289.
- Naturopathic ear drops containing Allium sativum (garlic), Verbascum thapsus (mullein), Calendula flores (marigold), Hypericum perfoliatum (St Johns Wort), lavender, and vitamin E in olive oil reduced ear pain in a double blind study of children. From: Sarrell, E. M., Cohen, H. A., & Kahan, E. (2003). Naturopathic treatment for ear pain in children. Pediatrics, 111(5), e574-e579.
- This randomized double blind placebo controlled study shows that colic in breastfed infant improves within 1 week of treatment with an extract based on Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis. From: Savino, F., Cresi, F., Castagno, E., Silvestro, L., & Oggero, R. (2005). A randomized double‐blind placebo‐controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis.
- In a multicenter randomized study of 167 babies with colic, a blend of Matricariae chamomilla, Melissa officinalis, and tyndallized Lactobacillus acidophilus was significantly more effective than simethicone in reducing symptoms. From: Martinelli, M., Ummarino, D., Giugliano, F. P., Sciorio, E., Tortora, C., Bruzzese, D., … & Campanozzi, A. (2017). Efficacy of a standardized extract of Matricariae chamomilla L., Melissa officinalis L. and tyndallized Lactobacillus acidophilus (HA 122) in infantile colic: An open randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 29(12), e13145.
- Fennel seed decreased the intensity of infant colic in a randomized, placebo-controlled study. From: Alexandrovich, I., Rakovitskaya, O., Kolmo, E., Sidorova, T., & Shushunov, S. (2003). The effect of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seed oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 9(4), 58.
- Aromatherapy massage with lavender reduced colic in babies. From: Çetinkaya, B., & Başbakkal, Z. (2012). The effectiveness of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil as a treatment for infantile colic. International journal of nursing practice, 18(2), 164-169.
- In this 7 day double blind randomized clinical trial with 66 infants, inhalation of 1% lavender for 15 minutes reduced crying in colicy babies. From: Vaziri, F., Sahebkaram, Z., Bahrami, R., Pourahmad, S., & Azima, S. (2018). Lavender Oil Aromatherapy on Infantile Colic and Maternal Mood: A Double Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. Pharmaceutical Sciences, 24(1), 38-43.
- A small study of 30 children showed passionflower might be safe and effective in reducing ADHD. From: Akhondzadeh, S., Mohammadi, M. R., & Momeni, F. (2005). Passiflora incarnata in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Clinical Practice, 2(4), 609.
Other Contagious Diseases
- The combination of essential oil of M. alternifolia with organically bound iodine was effective against the viral skin disease Molluscum contagiosum (water warts) in children. From: Markum, E., & Baillie, J. (2012). Combination of essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia and iodine in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum in children. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 11(3), 349-354
- In a study of 30 children receiving a dental procedure, aroma of orange essential oil reduced salivary cortisol and pulse rates associated with anxiety. From: Jafarzadeh, M., Arman, S., & Pour, F. F. (2013). Effect of aromatherapy with orange essential oil on salivary cortisol and pulse rate in children during dental treatment: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Advanced biomedical research, 2.
- Marshmallow, beet, chicory, watermelon, coriander, licorice, fummitory, henna, chamomile, peppermint, water lilly, great plantain, purslain, pomogranate, willow, violet, and jujube have been used in Persian medicine to help reduce fever in children. From: Hadian, F., Varshochi, M., Zargaran, A., Besharat, M., & Mousavi Bazaz, M. (2019). Medicinal Herbs Useful in Pediatric Fever from the Perspective of Persian Medicine. International Journal of Pediatrics, 7(9), 10087-10098.
- Vibercol was as effective as aceteminophgen in reducing fever and infection. Vibercol had less side effects. Vibercol contains Chamomilla recutita, Atropa belladonna, Solanum dulcamara, Plantago major, Pulsatilla pratensis, Calcium carbonicum, and Hahnemanni. From: Derasse, M., Klein, P., & Weiser, M. (2005). The effects of a complex homeopathic medicine compared with acetaminophen in the symptomatic treatment of acute febrile infections in children: an observational study. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 1(1), 33-39.
Compiled by: Kathy Sadowski
Last Updated: 5/25/2020