Alternative Treatments for Children

Herbal remedies and alternative treatments that are safe and effective for children.

By Emily Bloch


guide to alternative treatment for childrenHow to Find a Savvy Doctor
The number of pediatricians in the United States who have training in alternative treatments is growing. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a new Complementary, Holistic, and Integrative Pediatrics section, which will present educational programs and highlight research in alternative medicine for all its pediatricians. Every year, the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, run by Andrew Weil, MD, certifies 50 health care professionals (including pediatricians). The American Holistic Medical Association also has a referral page. But the key is still communication. "It would be great if your child's doctor were someone who considered non-Western and other nature-based methods of healing," says Russell Greenfield, MD. "But having a competent doctor who is respectful of your values and is open to new ideas is the most important thing."

The Herbal Tea Rx
A soothing cup of tea is a safe way to treat many of your child's minor ailments. Use prepared tea bags or a teaspoon of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water.

Symptom Upset stomach; colic and crankiness in babies
Herb Chamomile
For Ages Six months and older
Try Celestial Seasonings Organic Chamomile

Symptom Constipation
Herb Senna
For Ages 1 year and older
Try Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move

Symptom Sore throat
Herb Licorice, slippery elm
For Ages Three years and older
Try Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat

Symptom Generally unwell
Herb Green tea (decaf)
For Ages Five years and older
Try Choice Organic Teas Decaf Green Tea with Peach