Anxiety in children can range from mild symptoms of nervousness about some upcoming event to symptoms that are crippling and debilitating. Phases of anxiety are normal and generally pass but when panic, shyness, fear, excess worry and avoiding people or places become common, you probably have a problem on your hands. Anxiety can also have some physical symptoms, like sweaty palms or a nervous stomach, even nausea and vomiting.
Herbs can help. There are a few different ways they can be used. They are also very powerful and so not all herbs are for children! Below I’ll give you a heads up on five essential herbs that will calm your anxious child. Please don’t go to your local health food store and buy an herbal anxiety formula that isn’t made for children – this can be really dangerous.
How to Use Herbs
There are a few applications for herbs. Each depends on the malady and the intensity of the malady.
- Infusions – pretty much making tea by putting the herb in a pot with a lid and pouring boiling water over it.
- Decoction – involves extracting the plants active ingredients by heating the herb in cold water and simmering up to one hour.
- Tincture – made by steeping the dried or fresh herb in a mixture of water and alcohol. This extracts the active ingredients of the herb and preserves.
- Syrup – uses honey or unrefined sugar as a preservative; great for coughs and also disguising herbs that don’t taste pleasant.
- Powders – can be encapsulated, be stirred into drink or sprinkled on food.
- Aromatherapy – done by using an electric diffuser, potpourri, a light bulb ring or my making a room spray.
There are lots of other ways to apply herbs but this should do for now, for your anxious little one.
Five Essential Herbs that will Calm Your Anxious Child
Chamomile shouldn’t be taken on a regular basis because allergies can develop and if your child is allergic to ragweed, it should be avoided entirely. But outside of those two precautions, a nice, warm mug of chamomile tea is a great way to get your child to relax. Studies have found that chamomile is a mild sedative that seems to be safe for children of all ages.
Lavender shouldn’t be ingested but when used in aromatherapy, it can do wonders. It has one of the most calming, relaxing scents that exist. Try giving your child an eye pillow stuffed with lavender and have him lay down, even only for a few minutes, or just dab some of the essential oil on his pillow. The effect is heavenly.
Valerian root is another must have essential oil. It’s also another no-no for internal use in children, but it has been used for centuries all over the world to cure all sorts of ailments. It does have a pretty pungent smell, but if you can get your child to withstand a few sniffs, you might see some serious benefits. It soothes anxiety, aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, hysteria, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, shock, stress and trauma. A nice, warm herbal bath can provide relaxation for stressed kids.
Catnip is a great herb for kids. It’s a relaxant and is also known to settle an upset stomach. It calms anxiety and restlessness, and it a gentle relaxant that helps especially those prone to temper tantrums. Use it in tea to calm nerves and sleep better, or just grow some on your windowsill and use it in soups and sauces.
Lemon balm is an herb in the mint family (I thought that the above picture was peppermint at first). This herb protects the cerebrum from excess stimuli. Isn’t that amazing? It calms anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and relieves depression. It’s also good for an upset tummy and it’s used to treat ADHD – it has actually been proven to increase concentration and give mental clarity. It’s great in tea with some honey.
These are the five essential herbs that will calm your anxious child. You can find them almost anywhere, but I love the herbs at Mountain Rose Herbs. They have it all, and lots of what they have is organic and sustainability harvested. What herbs to you use to treat your child’s anxiety? Do you use other methods as well, or do you use herbs for any other ailment? Tell me about it down below!