Herbal Dosage for Children
How do you figure the herbal dosage for children? Children are much more than little adults. Developmentally, there are huge differences in children as they age. For example a child of 6 months will assimilate and digest an herb in a completely different way than that of a 10 or 12 year old. For this reason, the herbs we use for children are usually much more gentle. Also, dosages are usually much smaller and given more frequently. So rather than taking 30 to 90 drops 3 times per day, as an adult might, a child may take 3 to 5 drops 6 or 10 times per day.
Things to Consider
When considering an herbal dosage for children, remember that each child and each situation is always unique. What works great for one person may not work at all for another. Herbs work in terms of energy, strength, and affinity (to name a few).
Here are some things to think about in when deciding on your child’s dose.
- Size and age of the child.
- How robust or healthy are they normally.
- Their current state of health (or illness).
- The child’s constitution. For example, are they small and thin, large and robust, in between?
- Do they get sick often?
- When they get sick is it in the same way all the time? What way is that?
Small, timid or fragile children are likely to respond better to gentler herbs and lower dosages. Larger, robust children may need a slightly higher dose.
As a general rule of thumb, watch your child closely to be sure they are responding in the way you want. If your child develops adverse or unexpected reactions STOP.
Choose your Herbs
Next, choose the herbs you want to use. Consider the herbs energetics (hot, cold, dry, moist etc), the strength of the herb, affinities and finally the preparation.
Many company’s make herbal formulas for kids. Personally, I prefer gentle herbs that are easy to use with very low risk of side effects.
Decide on the dose
There are several ways to determine the herbal dosage for children. Most experienced herbalists rely on years of experience and intuition. Below is a chart for the beginning herbalist to provide a sound guideline to help you determine herbal dosages for children of all ages. Remember this is only a guideline.
Dose by Age
Tea or Infusion
When the adult dose (age over 12) is 1 cup, (8 ounces) ,the following is recommended for children.
- Younger than 2 years the dosage is approx 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
- 2 to 4 years the dosage is approx 2 teaspoons
- 4 to 7 years the dosage is approx 1 tablespoon
- 7 to 11 years the dosage is approx 2 tablespoons
When the adult dose is 2 droppers full (approximately 60 drops) the recommended dose for children based on age is as follows;
- Younger than 3 months – 1 to 2 drops. (I like to put a dropper full of the tincture into 8 oz of water. Then give the child 1/2 to 1 dropperful)
- 3 to 6 months – 2 to 3 drops
- 6 to 9 months – 3 to 4 drops
- 9 months to 12 months – 4 to 6 drops
- 12 months to 18 months – 6 or 7 drops
- 18 months to 24 months – 7 to 8 drops
- 24 months to 3 years – about 1o drops
- 3 to 4 years – 12 droops
- 4 to 6 hears – 15 drops (about 1/2 dropper full)
- 6 to 9 years – 24 drops
- 9 to 12 years – 30 drops or about 1 dropper full.
Other common ways to determine herbal dosage for children
Add 12 to the child’s age. Divide the child’s age by this total. Example: dosage for a 4 year old: 4 divided by 16 (4+12) = .25, or 1/4 of the adult dosage. Therefore, if the adult dosage is 60 drops the child’s dose would be 15 drops.
Divide the number of the child’s next birthday by 24. Example: dosage for a child who is 3, turning 4 would be: 4 divided by 24 = .16, or 1/6 of the adult dosage. Resulting in a child’s dose of 9 to 10 drops when the adult dose is 60 drops.
Are all herbs safe to give Children?
No. Many strong herbs should not be given to kids on a regular basis. Especially if your not experienced with herbs. Much depends on the individual child, and the variables discussed above. Additionally, Some herbs should only be used when working with a qualified practitioner. (This is my opinion).
Herbal Preparations for Children
I find that teas by the teaspoon or dropper are easy for kids to take. they also seem to do well with glycerites because they are sweeter. Tinctures, or extracts can be more difficult to get your kids to take if they don’t taste good. In that case, try putting the tincture into water or juice first because, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
Herbal oils, are nice because you can apply the externally. However if using essential oils, the dosage suggestions are different. Essential oils are very strong and should be used with caution to children. I find that infused oils work as well if not better without the dangers.
Other Ideas for Children's Preparations
When kids refuse to take herbs or other medicines make it fun.
- Make Jell-O with an infusion or tea
- Homemade gummies are easy to make and kids LOVE them
- Put the goods in pudding or a favorite food
You get the idea. Give me a holler if you need to brainstorm.
Wonderment Gardens Children's Products
Wonderment Gardens offers a full line of children’s formulas and products. Most made at the correct dosages for the young ones.
The statements and ideas presented here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. They have not been evaluated by the FDA. All ideas presented are for the sole purpose of education. To help you take control of your own health. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. We suggest that you always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
Herbs taken for health purposes should be treated with the same care as medicine. Herbal remedies are no substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are serious about good health, you’ll want to combine diet, exercise, herbals, a good relationship with your doctor and a generally healthy lifestyle. No one of these will do it alone.
This information is designed to be used as part of a complete health plan. No products are intended to replace your doctor’s care, or to supersede any of his/her advice or prescriptions.