The summer months are the time for fun and adventure. It is a time when mom’s, dad’s and babe’s get to spend time outdoors which is exciting but can also can leave you vulnerable for bug bites, bumps and bruises. Below is a list of some products that are inexpensive, effective and easy to carry.

French green clay– Is the perfect product for mosquito bites. French green clay is presently marketed as a ‘facial mask’ but herbalists have been using pure, healing clays for centuries. The green clay is best used to alleviate the pain associated with mosquito bites. For mosquito bites the clay is used in the form of a paste. Put a ½ teaspoon of green clay in a cup and add a few drops of water till the clay begins to stick together, forming a paste. Scoop up the paste and spread it over the bite. When the clay dries it might begin to crumble off; so if the bite is still painful you can spread another layer of clay over the existing one, and you can continue layering as needed. The green clay will help to pull out the toxins, reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.

Arnica gel-is a wonderful product that stays fresh in your purse or diaper bag and is easy to carry around. It is used for bumps and bruises. Applied immediately after a bump it will reduce the swelling and help ease the pain. (It can also be used later but the sooner the better). The gel can be applied either 3x a day or every 15 minutes if the injury is very painful. Do not apply to open skin. The homeopathic pellets of arnica are also very helpful and those are dissolved under the tongue. Three pellets are the standard dosage.

Natural bug spray-Most bug repellents have the chemical DEET which is a potentially toxic chemical. There are a variety of natural bug repellents made from essential oils which can be very effective. The down side to essential oils is that they need to be re-applied more often, but essential oils used in bug repellent formulas are safe (keep away from your and your child’s eyes), good for the environment and pleasant smelling. One of my favorite products is from healing spirits and the product comes in a small, easy to carry size that will fit perfectly into a diaper-bag, purse or back-pack. I suggest spraying the product onto the child’s clothing or sprayed into your child’s hair.

So, this summer be adventurous and enjoy the beautiful hikes, beaches, and parks just be prepared with these three beneficial products.

It is always best to be one step ahead when it comes to your child’s health. Especially when the weather begins to change and children often go from playing outside in the warms summer sun (getting healthy rays of vitamin D) to sitting indoors in a playgroup or school. Gratefully there are lots of things moms and caregivers can do to help stimulate their child’s immune system.

  • Herbals such as Elderberry and Astragulas are wonderful herbs that help stimulate the immune system and can be given to a child daily. Elderberry is best given in a syrup or a tincture (where the herb is soaked in a grain alcohol), Astragulas is best given in tincture (but in Asia this herb is cooked into soups and feed to children). These herbs can be given separately or together diluted in a little grape juice.
  • Herbal honeys are easy to make, yummy and easy and safe for children over 12 months old. You can make an herbal honey by slightly heating an organic honey in a saucepan and adding dry herbs likes sage (specific for sore throats), echinacea (which stimulates the immune system), or lemon balm (helpful with virus). Add an herbal tincture stir, let cool and keep in the refrigerator. The honey can be taken directly by the child, added to oatmeal, or mixed into a smoothy.

1. With school starting back up, what are some natural ways parents can help boost their children’s immune system?

  • I am a fan of herbs to assist the body during the stressful times such as the transition kids go through from going back into a classroom after the freedom of the summer months. (Moms are also going through changes worrying about their children’s new teachers, and hoping that their child will get along with the other children). Herbs are suggested to be given daily anytime you or your child goes through changes. The herbs I suggest kids use preventively are:
  • Astragulas-given two times a day in tincture form (a tincture is an herb steeped in either grain alcohol or a vegetable glycerite). Best given morning and evening, this herb helps stimulate the immune system and helps to combat bacteria and viruses.
  • Lemon balm– is a great anti-viral herb and is also very calming. Lemon balm given in tincture form at night can help kids (and moms) sleep better at night, and also help calm down your child after a stimulating day at school. Best given two times a day, when the child comes home from school and before bedtime.
  • Elderberry-is most herbalist’s all-time favorite form of vitamin C. This herb is available in either a syrup or a tincture. It is delicious and has powerful anti-viral properties. Best given in a syrup or tincture 2-3x a day with or without food.

2. What are some natural ways to combat cold and flu season?

  • I love the herb Echinacea. I know that Echinacea has had some controversial studies lately, but Echinacea, in order to be effective, needs to be given in tincture form (tea form is also beneficial, but you need to drink a lot of it), but most of the studies used echinacea in pill form which is less effective. Echinacea comes in tincture form (liquid) and if taken three times a day at the on-set of an illness it can shorten the duration and lessen the intensity of a cold or flu.
  • Oscillicoccinum is a homeopathic remedy that is extremely effective if taken at the first sign of flu. The remedy needs to be given three times a day for the first three of the illness. The typical dose is three pellets dissolved under the tongue (for kids the pellets can be dissolved on top of the tongue). The protocol is that your mouth needs to be clean (meaning not filled with peanut butter) and no eating or drinking five minutes before and five minutes after taking the pellets.

3. Are there any specific products your recommend that parents have in their home for cold and flu season?

  • My favorite herbal combinations are from the companies Herbalists & Alchemists, Herbpharm and Gaia. It is best to purchase one of their products that are specific for building the immune system, or one for cold and flu.
  • Airborne is also a great way to help your immune fight off infections whether they are viral or bacterial. The product has a great combination of vitamins and because the product is in an it is effervescent form the body is able to digest and absorb them easier.

4. What’s your take on hand sanitizers? Should kids carry them or is it too much?

Hand sanitizers are quick and easy to use. They are great if you are in the car and your child just petted an animal and then wants to eat a snack, if you are traveling on a plane, or if your child left the playground and played in the sand and then wants to eat lunch. But putting antibiotics onto your skin too often is not a great idea. It not only kills the bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria. Our skin is our defense against the toxins in the world and is perfectly balanced with both good and bad bacteria. Nothing bets good-old soap and water which is still my favorite. I am not against a child having a small hand sanitizer in their back-pack to us occasionally but I’d try to teach the child to only use the hand sanitizer if the child really feels their hands need an emergency wash!

Today we women do it all—yes, you men also ‘do it all’—that’s just the way the world is today; keeping us constantly busy! We work, parent, shop, cook, clean, and most of all, we get stressed! Most adults know that we are supposed to find the time to take care of ourselves, but that doesn’t always happen. We know we need to sleep, eat healthy food, drink water and exercise, but we usually find it difficult to include these necessities into our busy schedules.

Many countries have a rest period—a ‘siesta’ or a ‘tea-time’ in the middle of their work days. Imagine if we had the custom to stop the busy flow of our day and sit down to a relaxing cup of tea. Imagine if that cup of tea was filled with calming medicinal herbs. What would happen? Wouldn’t we all become calmer, or feel less stressed? The answer is emphatically yes!

When I first studied herbal medicine, ‘tea-time’ is what my teacher believed everyone should do at least once a day. She taught us that certain herbal teas could help counter the terrible side-effects of chronic stress such as high blood pressure, headaches and digestive disorders. She spent a lot of time teaching us how to make wonderfully relaxing herbal blends. In my first few months of practice, I believed I could convince my clients of the need for this ‘tea-time’ ritual, but since most of my clients were habitually busy, running from one activity to the next, ‘tea-time’ was not going to happen for them in the foreseeable future. Most of my clients didn’t even have time to wait for the water to boil, let alone have time to steep the tea. So I re-evaluated what I had learned and began offering a ‘quicker’ solution for my clients—I taught them about ‘tinctured herbs.’ Tinctured herbs are herbs that have been steeped in grain alcohol, in order to capture and preserve their medicinal qualities within a liquid form that is both potent and easy to take. All one has to do is put 25-35 drops into a small cup of water or juice and drink it—the alcohol has no effect. An herbal tincture or mix could be kept in a small bag or purse and taken while driving the carpool, before a big business meeting, as you run out of the house, as you are preparing dinner, or anytime you are feeling stressed. And the good news is that the entire process takes only about 30 seconds.

There are many soothing and calming ‘anti-stress’ herbs; so each person will require a different herb, or different herbal combination, depending on the source of their individual stress. Some people need only a single herb to help ease the negative effects of stress, while others find that combining all of the herbs listed below makes them feel their best, and here they are:

  • Motherwort is my all-time favorite herb to help stabilize moodiness. This is an herb that can be felt within twenty minutes after taking it. It is an herb that can be used by women of all ages and stages of their lives. Motherwort is wonderful for taking that ‘edge off’ of your feelings and is helpful if you suddenly feel as if that ‘black-cloud’ is descending. It can be used prophylactically if you know you will be encountering a difficult time.
  • Skullcap is for nervous tension and also helpful with anxiety. Skullcap, like motherwort is an herb you will begin to feel working within twenty minutes of ingestion. It is best used before an intimidating experience, like a business meeting you have been anticipating for weeks, or right before it is time to put your children to bed. Skullcap can be taken over a long period of time, or as needed in the moment.
  • Mimosa bark is purported to bring ‘joy to a person’s heart’. In Italy it was customary to bring the one you loved a bouquet of mimosa flowers. So, in a similar vein, why not treat yourself with the special present of mimosa bark if you are just feeling sad, moody and unloved. Mimosa bark can be used occasionally as needed.
  • Fresh milky oats is a wonderful herb if you have been through long-term stress. Oats can help with frazzled nerves. This herb is best taken three times a day over a long period of time. This is not an herb whose affects you will feel right away. Think of fresh milky oats as a massage for your central nervous system.
  • Eleuthero is an herb called an adaptogen. Simply stated, adaptogens are a family of herbs that heal the entire body. Eleuthero is especially useful for type-A personalities who work too hard and become ‘burned-out.’ This herb will help balance one’s adrenal glands. Eleuthero is best taken three times a day for a long period of time to feel its effects.

While it is always best to work with an herbalist who can take your history, understand your personal needs and create a personal blend, the herbs that I have listed are safe and can be experimented with freely. Most of these herbs combine with most conventional drugs, but it is best to check with an AHG herbalist if you are not sure.

When people walk into a health food store, most are overwhelmed by the amount of products that are available to them and they are confused about which products to spend their money on. When I teach classes on ‘natural’ medicine, one thing I make sure to do is to teach my students which products are worth buying and which products are not. Unfortunately, lots of natural products are just big ‘hype’ with very little return. In contrast, I have mentioned below two of my favorite product that are really beneficial to have in the house during the summer months (and all year around).

French green clay– is presently marketed as a ‘facial mask’ but herbalists have been using pure, healing clays for centuries. The green clay is best used to alleviate the pain associated with mosquito bites, diaper rash, and kitchen burns. This clay can either be used directly as a powder, or mixed with a few drops of water and make into a paste.


  • Mosquito bites-put a ½ teaspoon of green clay in a cup and add a few drops of water till the clay begins to stick together, forming a paste. Scoop up the paste and spread it over the bite. When the clay dries it might begin to crumble off; so if the bite is still painful you can spread another layer of clay over the existing one, and you can continue layering as needed. The green clay will help to pull out the toxins, reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
  • Kitchen burns- the paste form is also used and in the same way it was used for mosquito bites. If the green clay paste is put on the burn right away, it will often heal quicker and without leaving that annoying brown mark on the skin.
  • Diaper rashes-are treated using the clay in its powdered form—do not make it into a paste. At every diaper change sprinkle the green clay as you would baby powder. This clay is especially helpful for those diaper rashes that are caused by an overgrowth of yeast. The clay smoothers the yeast and heals the skin.

Freeze-dried nettle-is a food herb that is beneficial for people of all ages—from children to the elderly. It is called a ‘food-herb’ because people throughout the world make the nettle into a soup or use it in a salad. Nettles are filled with many vital nutrients and are packed with important trace minerals that are often difficult to acquire in our food today because of processing. Nettles can be found and used in various forms, including: tea, tincture, and capsule. Most herbs do not stay fresh in capsule form; however, nettles in the freeze-dried form are one of the rare exceptions. Another important quality of the nettle is that it does not conflict with most prescription medication (but please consult with a proficient herbalist if you are concerned).


  • Allergies and colds-freeze dried nettles have a natural antihistamine helping rid the body of extra mucous while reducing the inflammation in the nasal passages associated with nasal congestion. In clinical studies, nettles have been shown to clear the nasal passages as well as over the counter antihistamines. The difference between conventional medicine and nettles is that many medicines are formulated to stay in the body for twenty-four hours, while nettles must be taken throughout the day; however, when taking herbs you never feel any of the side-effects associated with antihistamines like dry eyes and throat and grogginess. The suggested dosage for freeze-dried nettle is: two capsules taken three times a day for teens and adults. For younger children, from a half of a capsule to a full capsule taken once or twice a day is a sufficient dosage. If a child cannot swallow a capsule, you can easily open it and pour the green powder into applesauce or yogurt.
  • Pregnancy-freeze-dried nettles are a wonderful pick-me-up from that weak and fatigued feeling, due to their easily absorbable nutrients—one of which is iron; which is so helpful with anemia. It is especially beneficial for women who are not finding the time to eat as many salads as they need to.
  • Traveling-during summer travel many people have trouble adjusting to new time zones, new water and new foods. Nettles can help keep up your strength by providing easily absorbable vitamins. Normally the body needs to have a lot of stomach acid and a well-functioning digestive system in order to properly digest conventional vitamins, but when people travel they are often stressed and nervous and can usually feel that tension in their stomachs—as it affects their digestion. Since nettles are so easy to absorb, you will still reap their benefit during such stressful times.

I am constantly getting e-mails from my clients about their pleasant experiences with green clay and nettles. So if you have always been interested in adding alternative products into your lives, or are just looking for a few new products to have in your collection, these two products are reasonably priced, both safe and highly effective, and easy to carry in your purse, keep in your car and have in your home.

Let’s begin with some basics, and to do this we’ll compare the body to a favorite machine of ours—the car. In order for your car to run properly it needs gas, oil, and other fluids. But if your car sits for too long these fluids get thick and congeal and your battery probably dies as well. The best way to keep a car intact is to make sure it has gas, clean oil and that it moves. Both of these factors also work for our bodies. In order to stay healthy, with plenty of energy, we need to eat beneficial foods (or gas), stay hydrated (radiator, brake and transmission fluids), consume good oils and move around, or else our battery dies.

A master herbalist I was once working with said that if your clients can change only four small things in their lives, they will be surprised at how much better they will feel in just a few weeks. Here they are:

  • Make sure to drink filtered water every day, and yes, eight cups a day are required for proper hydration. Many people suffer from chronic exhaustion due to dehydration.
  • Switch your oil to olive oil in as many of your foods as possible. The extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil is the healthiest, but it has a pungent flavor. This form of olive oil is best used at room temperature over salads, soups or meat. For frying and baking one should use the extra light olive oil.
  • Change your salt to sea salt. Regular salt is mined from the ground, but salt coming from the sea is richer in minerals.
  • Add berries to your diet.

Now let’s discuss the issue of exercise. We know that there are those avid exercisers who passionately love going to the gym, and the hikers who get exhilarated climbing big hills, and you even have yogi’s who enjoy contorting their bodies into abnormal positions while trying to breathe deeply, and then there are some of the rest of us. There exists a population of people who wonder if exercise means bending down to tie their shoes, or working their biceps mean opening the refrigerator. While this is not altogether bad—and we should always be encouraging—it certainly isn’t sufficient. The old saying is in fact true—that if you don’t use, you’re bound to lose it—meaning that things in your body, like a car, will not function properly unless it is moved. Many of my clients say, “Hey, I have never moved my body much, so what could be the problem?” Unfortunately, the problem is that as we age, circulation becomes more difficult because the heart is a muscle that needs to be kept stimulated, in order to maintain proper blood flow. Moms also ask, “Hey, if I bend down to pick up my kids’ toys and stomp up and down the stairs yelling at them isn’t that exercise?” The answer is: perhaps a little, yes, but sadly a lot more no. It will increase your circulation, but during stressful times your body produces a harmful chemical called cortisol, and your heart will not benefit from nervous movement in the same way as it does from endurance movement. During endurance movement the body stresses physically, but the mind remains at ease! Imagine now that you decided to walk three times a week, during the first ten minutes you might have nervous thoughts, “Are my kids okay at home,” “Gosh I forgot to buy gefilte fish for Shabbos”. Concerns like these will produce the hormone cortisol, but after the first ten minutes of nervousness, you begin to relax and feel the wind on your face, feel your muscles moving, and think of how great it is you are finally exercising. Now your body will begin to produce the wonderful hormone of oxytocin, which will help heal both your body and your mind.

Ideally, your goal during exercise should be raising your heart rate for a steady twenty minutes, at least three times a week. So if your only form of exercise is walking, then begin at a slow steady pace and gradually increase it to a slightly more aggressive speed; which you can maintain for a full twenty minutes.

It was many years ago that my teacher, the herbalist, demanded that her clients consume lots of berries, and she did this before all of the current studies have confirmed the amazing healing properties of berries. Researchers Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., and Marshall G. Miller have found that, “recent research increasingly shows that eating berry fruits can benefit the aging brain. To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic. The review concluded that berry fruits help the brain stay healthy in several ways. Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. The two also report that berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition.”

So, to recap, let’s drink water, change to good oils, use sea salt, eat berries and exercise. That doesn’t sound too difficult does it? By taking on these little changes you can have a year where your soul, body and brain have the power and energy to accomplish all they need to, down on earth.

Honey can heal cuts and scrapes even better than antibiotic creams

If you cut or scrape yourself, reach for honey instead of your antibiotic cream and you pay be pleasantly surprised. When applied to a wound, honey slowly releases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), an antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic compound produced from an enzyme, disinfecting the wound, killing the germs and healing the broken skin. Scientific evidence has shown that most strains of harmful bacteria cannot survive in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Also, honey’s viscosity provides a protective barrier and forms a moist environment for the wound. It creates a healing layer between wound and dressing with no sticking and no tissue damage, reducing the chance of scarring as the skin cells grow without forming any scab. Honey supplies nutrients necessary for healthy tissue regeneration and stimulates the growth of new blood capillaries. The antibacterial properties also provide a barrier to cross-infection of wounds. Honey’s high sugar content has an osmosis effect on wounds. It draws lymph out to the cells while absorbing moisture and provides an anti-inflammatory action which reduces swelling and pain.

Animal studies have demonstrated some profound findings with honey. Clinical studies have shown that honey accelerated wound healing. In rabbits with cutaneous wounds, honey was found to decrease edema, decrease inflammation, reduce necrosis, improve epithelialization, and improve wound contraction when the wound tissue was examined histologically. In mice, the use of honey also demonstrated accelerated wound healing on cutaneous wounds at the histological level. Clinical observations from human trials reported that honey-debrided wounds facilitated formation of granulating tissue, improved epithelialization, and reduced inflammation. This was consistent with what was reported in the animal study data previously discussed; however, clinical observation without the support of histological evidence is limited.

Studies showing honey helps children with night-time coughs

Honey is also suggested for a night-time cough. Giving yourself or child honey a few times throughout the day and especially before bed can help sooth a night-time cough. (Honey should never been administered to a child under one years of age). A tasty idea is to heat up organic honey on the stove add some elderberry syrup mix well, chill and store in the refrigerator.

Studies have shown that honey is a potent treatment for nighttime cough. In one study of 130 children aged 2-17 with runny nose and cough were randomized to receive nightly doses of buckwheat honey, artificial honey-flavored cough medicine (dextromethorphan), or no treatment. On a parent-rated symptom scale, honey was found to be the most helpful in reducing nighttime cough and improving sleep in children with upper respiratory infections. Another randomized study of 139 children aged 2-5 years old with upper respiratory infection were divided into 4 treatment groups: honey, dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine (eg, Benadryl), or no treatment. Standard care, such as acetaminophen and nose drops, was also given to all children as needed. While improvement was seen in all of the groups, children receiving honey had the fewest episodes of nighttime cough and slept better compared to children in the other groups.

Honey used for acne

For centuries, people have been using honey mask for acne and for curing other marks, scars, spots etc. The honey masks are very popular and very effective. It can be made with different combinations of herbs and other substances. Below is a special Rosh Hashana facial mask

Ingredients: One medium sized apple (preferably organic apple), four to five tablespoons of honey (preferably organic honey) and lukewarm water (to wash face).

To preparation: Scoop out the seeds of the apple and run the rest in a mixer to make a fine pulp. Now add three to four (depends on the size of the apple and how many persons it will serve. The quantity of honey should be sufficient to mix well with the pulp) tablespoons of honey into it. Mix well into a uniform paste. Your apple honey mask for acne is ready to apply.

How to use: Apply a layer of this apple honey mask on your whole face. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes and let the mask dry up a bit. When done, wash the mask off with lukewarm water. That’s it. You are done!

Insight: The apple honey mask works best when fresh and is very easy to prepare, make it just before you apply.

Facts: The grains of apple work as a sort of gentle scrub for cleaning your face, but it’s the glycolic acid in the apple that facilitates exfoliation. Together they clean up the skin pores. Also, since honey in it is a natural antioxidant and has anti-microbial properties. This eliminates the microbial infections that cause acne.

Patch test before applying to you entire face: Test if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the mask by applying it on a small patch in your wrist and wait for a few hours. If rashes appear or you show other symptoms of allergy, do not use this mask on your face.

Honey and acid reflux

Many people are finding relief with reflux with the use of honey. Honey is very thick and has a tendency to coat the stomach and digestive system. Not only will it quell acid flare-ups it can also help with digestive disorders as well. Honey seems to help food to break down and coats the small and large intestine, which means that digested food moves through quicker and easier.

Manuka honey in particular, has shown to help with acid reflux. The antimicrobial action of honey is finally being proven in clinical studies and manuka honey seems to be one of the stars. What is so unique about manuka honey for alleviating acid reflux? It is interesting to learn, that manuka honey is collected by bees which exclusively feed on the manuka flowers, and it contains a higher percentage of methylglyoxal (MGO) than other honey types. The methylglyoxal along with other components are responsible for imparting the antibacterial property to it. In addition to the strong antibacterial action, manuka honey acts as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. If you suffer with acid reflux it is worth giving manuka honey a try.

Going back to school is a big and exciting transition for both your child’s psyche as well as his body. It is fun for kids to get a new backpack and lunch bag; new clothes are always cool, and the prospect of acquiring new friends is both invigorating and scary. As uplifting as the promise of these new items are, children usually begin having thoughts like, “What if the classes are too hard?” and, “What if the kids don’t like me?” , or “How am I ever going to wake up on time?” These questions echo the common thoughts that run through most kids’ minds, the weeks and days before the start of new school year. For moms the common thoughts are, “My kids always ends up with a cold after the first few weeks of school,” and, “What can I give my children when they are so nervous the first few days of school.” The good news is that there are plenty of herbs that can help kids and their moms strengthen their immune systems, and help quiet the new-school-year-jitters.

Since the herbalist’s goal is always ‘prevention first’, we teach our clients to anticipate their own, and their children’s stressors, in order to ‘nip them in the bud.’ After all, theses stressors are among the main factors that are responsible for resultant stress and sickness. While there are lots of herbs that are useful after a person has become sick or nervous, it is, nevertheless better to know the herbs that you can take to in order to prevent the colds, flu, and stress.

However, before we begin with learning about our herbal allies, it is important to remember that there are a few things that all kids should have.

  • The first is a jug of purified water that kids need to bring to school every day, and be encouraged to drink! Dehydration makes it more difficult for children to concentrate, which in turn makes it difficult for a child transition well. Therefore, hydration is an easy and inexpensive way to help a child both academically and socially, within the school environment.
  • The next thing is to give your child snacks that contain oats. Oatmeal in the mornings and granola bars—preferably the one’s without a lot of sugar—contain B vitamins which help calm the central nervous system.

Now that I have mentioned the basics, we can get back to discussing the herbs.

As a preventative measure, I like to give children a good herbal immune-mixture for two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year; to be continued on through the first month of classes. Nerves, tension and anxiety can suppress the immune system, allowing kids to be more vulnerable to the viruses and bacteria that just love to ‘hang-out’ in children’s classrooms. For a good herbal immune-mixture, my favorite herbal companies are: Herbalists & Alchemists, HerbPharm, Gaia, and Herbs of Light, and I prefer the herbs to be in a tincture form. Tinctures, which are processed in either grain alcohol or glycerides, preserve the potency of the herb, more than it is saved in capsule form. The above mentioned companies produce a children’s immune-mixture that available in glycerides, which are alcohol-free blends. You can purchase either immune blends, or cold and flu blends, because each of these have the herbs that not only fight infection, but even in times of good health, they stimulate and promote the immune system. The herbs should be given morning and evening during healthy times, and can be increased to three or four times a day if the child seems to be coming down with an illness. Moms can also take these immune herbs two weeks before school starts, because most moms’ immune systems also tend to suffer during stressful times.

If your child is nervous or tense about beginning the new school year, try some of the following herbal suggestions. The dose would depend on the weight and age of your child, but the usual dosage is three times a day—with breakfast, after school, and before bed. And you should know that these herbs are not addictive.

  • Skullcap is best used for nervous tension and anxiety feelings; you can feel the calming effect within twenty minutes of taking this herb.
  •  Lemon Balm is both a calming herb and an anti-viral. Therefore this herb can be given after school if a child is not able to relax, or at the first sign of a cold.
  • Fresh milky oats is an herb whose effect is not felt right away, and can take a few weeks to work, but it is greatly beneficial for the nervous system after long-term stress, and works well when combined with the other two herbs mentioned above.
  • Echinacea is one of my all-time favorite herbs, and has unfortunately gotten a lot of mixed press over the years. Notwithstanding, this herb, when taken at the first sign of cold or flu decreases both their severity and duration. Interestingly, I have found over the years that this herb does not seem to work very effectively for people with blood-type O. Not that it has any negative affect for people with this blood type, but it just doesn’t seem to stimulate their immune system in the same way that it does for people with the other blood types. And so another choice for them is an herb called Usnea. However, this herb must be ordered on-line because most stores do not carry it.
  • Valerian is herb that is best used if a person is in a nervousness state that is accompanied by sadness. This state can be recognized when a child becomes sad and weepy; often having trouble falling asleep, or when he falls asleep too often when he is nervous. This herb works best after a few days, when the system begins to calm down.

As an herbalist, who believes that prevention is best, I suggest that you don’t wait until your child has the full-blown symptoms of an illness, because it only becomes more difficult to treat. Therefore, for best results, nip that cold, flu or nervousness in the bud, before it has a chance to blossom into days absent from school.

Homeopathy tends to be the best choice because young children like the taste of the homeopathic remedies which are sweet and easy to administer. Homeopathy matches the symptoms of the condition because all babies may have pain while teething but all children’s specific symptoms will vary so finding the exact match is sometimes challenging. To find the exact match look for the child’s specific symptoms

Silicea at 6x – helps the tooth erupts through the skin easier; baby will not scream out in pain but will be annoyed from the pain. Gentle babies who tend not to complain often.

Chamomilla at 6c – for babies that get really angry when they are in pain and are difficult to console. Chamomilla seems to have not only a calming effect on the physical pain, but also the emotional pain teething can cause. Children that require this remedy often have redness in their checks.

Mercurius vivus 6c- if your child’s main symptom is drooling. Drooling may also be accompanied by bad breath. Kids can’t seem to find a comfortable position.

Calcarea careonica at 6c – for babies that get sweaty and clingy when they’re in pain. This is for kids who also tend to get ear pain when teething; helps soothes.

Cold fruit (blueberries) helps a lot; you can also do cold peas. The mouth’s temperature is warm enough to melt the frozen blueberries and peas so there is no risk of chocking.

Gaia Children – “gummy rub” topical herbal analgesic; anti-inflammatory and has a slight numbing effect on the gum.

Catnip and lemon balm herb sweetened with agave nectar and made into tea, cool then make it into Popsicles and let child suckle on them. Catnip and lemon balm and calming and soothing herbs that help reduce inflammation and ease pain.

Babies tend to breastfeed more often while they are teething because of the warm pressure of the breast on the gum helps ease the pain. Usually, babies will breastfeed very intensely for the 12 hours before the tooth erupts.

I do not recommend clove oil on gums unless it is HIGHLY diluted in olive oil. Clove oil is a very intense essential oil that can easily burn sensitive tissue. Used mostly in adult tooth pain, but still highly diluted.

Today we women do it all! We work, cook, parent, clean, shop and most of all get stressed? Most modern women know that we are supposed to find the time to take care of ourselves, but that doesn’t always happen. We know we need to sleep, drink water and exercise but most find it difficult to squeeze in our busy schedules to ‘take care of ourselves.’

Many countries have ‘tea-time’ in the middle of their work days. Imagine if we had the custom to stop our busy days and sit down with a relaxing cup of tea. Imagine if that cup of tea was filled with calming medicinal herbal teas? What would happen? Would we all be calmer? Would we even feel less stressed?

When I first studied herbal medicine ‘tea-time’ is what my teacher believed all women should do at least once a day. She taught us that certain herbal teas could help counter the terrible side-effects of chronic stress such as high blood pressure, headaches and digestive disorders. She spent a lot of time teaching us how to make wonderfully relaxing herbal blends. The first few months of practice I believed I could convince women of this ‘tea-time’ ritual but since most of my clients are busy running from one activity to the next ‘tea-time’ was not going to happen. My clients didn’t even have time to wait for the water to boil, let alone have time to ‘steep’ the tea. So I re-evaluated what I learned and began offering a ‘quicker’ solution for my clients. I taught them ‘tinctured herbs.’ Tinctured herbs are herbs that have been steeped in grain alcohol and taking them is easy. Just put 25-35 drops a small cup of water or juice and drink it. You could take your herbs driving the carpool, as you run out of the house, or as you are preparing dinner. You could also keep the herbal mix in your purse and take the herbs anytime you are feeling stressed, and good news is that the entire process would only take you about 30 seconds.

There are many soothing and calming ‘anti-stress’ herbs and each woman will requires a different herb depending on what is making her stressed. Some women need only a single herbs to help ease the negative effects of stress, while others find combining all of the below herbs together makes them feel their best. Here are a few herbs you can begin with.

Skullcap-Best used for nervous tension with anxiety. It is considered ‘food for the nerves.’ Women, who feel stressed before they take on new projects, or woman who ‘take it all on’ and appear to be able to handle everything but have a nervous feeling in their stomachs.

Fresh milky Oats– This herb is indicated for nervous exhaustion. One of the best remedies for chronic stress with impaired sleep patterns. Oats help relieve the feeling of being ‘burned out.’ This herb naturally contains magnesium and calcium which is needed to repair the nervous system.

Eleuthero-This works on the adrenal glands to help normalize stress hormones. Regular use of this herb helps smooth out the peaks and valleys that help lead to chronic stress. It also helps normalize blood pressure, realizes stress and helps dispel depression.