Holistic Heath and Early Childhood
As parents, we all want what is best for our children. We want to nourish and nurture our children so that they can be healthy and vital. A young child's natural sense of wonder and curiosity about the world as they learn about their environment and culture through play, makes early childhood a very special time indeed.
As a parent, you will be exposed to all sorts of ideas on how to raise your child, parenting tips and varying ideas on whats best for your family in areas of education, lifestyle and health, and the best piece of advice I could offer you is this; do your research and feel into what maybe the best fit for you and your family, only you know what is right for you and yours. This article is aimed to give you a brief taster of some of the ways a naturopath/medical herbalist may be of service to parents and young children.
The world of Naturopathy and holistic healthcare, can offer you many ways to support young children and their families through early childhood illnesses, accidents and of course those mile stones such as teething. The beauty of holistic health is that it can be adapted to fit into all lifestyles, it can be used as a main source of health care or used alongside allopathic medicine
There are herbs to help support women through pregnancy, herbs and supplements that will help alleviate common pregnancy complaints such as insomnia, morning sickness (we all have heard that ginger is often effective with this , but so are herbs like fennel and peppermint), varicose veins, reflux (this can be often remedied with diet and lifestyle advice, or herbs that have an antacid or nervine action) and constipation or low iron stores.
A holistic healthcare practitioner, can help support parents through labour with such things as Bach flower remedies or herbal tinctures that will help relax and calm anxious parents, aromatherapy blends for relaxing and helping with pain, hydrotherapy or massage treatments or homeopathic remedies to help lessen any trauma during labour.
After baby arrives herbs can be used again during lactation, to enhance milk flow (galactogogue herbs such as blessed thistle, fennel and nettle), or with herbs to help relieve mastitis or thrush. Herbs can also be successfully used to help a new mother cope with the new influx of emotions, stressors, anxiety and lack of sleep. Your practitioner can also help advise the new mother on nutrition to help rebuild strength and nourish the body after giving birth.
There are plenty of gentle, safe herbs that can be used for relief of symptoms of common childhood illnesses such as colds, coughs, croup and colic. For example; linden (or lime flowers as it is sometimes known) makes a wonderful infusion to help reduce symptoms of fever. Chamomile or Lemon balm tinctures or teas can be useful for digestive issues or calming an anxious child (or parent!)
Homeopathic remedies such as Chamomilla, can be useful when a child is irritable and suffering from colic, teething or has diarrhoea. Homeopathic Arnica is wonderful to administer after a child has a knock or a fall when out playing to help reduce swelling, pain and bruising; or to help reduce swelling and bruising after vaccinations.
Skin creams can also be made up to soothe and heal nappy rash using herbs such as calendula, chamomile or chickweed. Massage oil blends made with the age appropriate essential oils can be wonderful to add into children's baths or used for baby massage to settle an infant who is irritable or suffering from colic. Creams and salves that help heal eczema, cuts and scrapes can all be made with an abundance of natural ingredients and medicinal herbs.
Of course, just because something is natural, does not automatically mean it is safe. All people are different and can react differently to herbal remedies and holistic treatments. Correct dosage needs to be carefully worked out for young children and pregnant women, so please consult a naturopath trained in herbal medicine before taking any medicinal herbs. If you would like a consult for you or your child, please use the book now button on my treatment and pricing page, or feel free to contact me via email or phone.