Did you know that your child can be allergic to certain herbs?
Just like seasonal allergies from plant pollen can affect people by giving them itchy, watery eyes, a sore throat, cough, and hives and food allergies which cause all sorts of problems from stomach cramps, to itching and hives, to full out anaphylactic shock, herbs can cause allergic reactions as well.
Small amounts. Large amounts. First-time use. Hundredth time use.
These days, allergies are more common than they used to be, and if you’re going to use herbs on your kids, you wanna make sure you’re using ones that agree with their body right away. Thankfully allergic reactions to herbs are usually mild.
So how do you know whether your kiddo is allergic to a particular herb?
You need to take their current allergies into consideration. If your child has allergies to ragweed (a common allergen), then chances are they may have allergic reactions to plants in the Asteraceae family such as chamomile, calendula, and yarrow, to name a few.
If you think your child may be allergic to a particular herb or if you’re not sure, there’s a way you can find out.
How To Test Herbs For Allergic Reactions
- Make a strong infusion and drink 1 tsp. Wait 30 minutes.
- If no reaction occurs, drink 1 TBSP. Wait another 30 minutes.
- If no reaction occurs then, drink 1/2 cup.
- Wait again, then try 1 full cup.
If your child has no reaction after all of this, it’s very unlikely that they are allergic to the herb you’re testing. You can go ahead and use the herb, but remember to start small with the doses and work your way up anyway. That’s always a safe way to dose herbs for kids anyway.
UPDATE: If you have a child who has or is prone to allergic reactions to certain plants, foods, or insects, it’s wise to first test an herb by rubbing it on the skin on the inside of the wrist and waiting to see if a skin reaction occurs before testing the herb by ingesting it.