Safely Using Herbs

Learn proper methods for dosage, preparing and storing herbs.

Remedies Cover

In “Natural Remedies For Kids” Kate Tietje and Bob Zajac, M.D. teach you proven natural remedies along with tips and hints on which remedies are best for which issues to help you clear common conditions like diaper rash, eczema, runny noses, coughs, upset stomachs, and more.

Cover courtesy Fair Winds Press

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Natural Remedies For Kids (Fair Winds Press, 2015) by Kate Tietje and Bob Zajac, M.D is an easy-to-use illustrated reference guide for parents who are ready to take their families' health into their own hands by using more than 100 natural and herbal remedies to help common ailments at home.

Safely Using Herbs

Before diving into natural remedies, it’s important to know how to use herbs safely. Not all herbs are appropriate for all people in all situations. You’ll find specific cautions on each recipe, so you can determine what is best for your family. Please read the cautions carefully and consult your doctor if you have a special health concern before using any remedy. Even simple herbs, like ginger, should not be used by some people. Always read the individual contraindications on each recipe.

Always properly label your herbs

If your herbs aren’t properly labeled, then plants that look similar may get mixed up and used improperly. If in doubt, throw it out. Never use an herb if you’re not completely sure what it is.

Check the contradictions

Some herbs can cause adverse effects in some people, just like anything else — for example, some people are allergic to peanuts or shellfish, which are foods that many people can consume without an issue. If an herb is known to be harmful or potentially harmful to some people, it will be noted on individual recipes. Read these carefully before choosing which ones to prepare.

When in doubt, use smaller doses

For some people, it takes only a tiny dose to bring about the desired effects; for others, it takes a larger dose. You can always take more, but you can’t take less. Start with a very small dose, especially the first time you use an herb. Consider taking notes at the end of this book on what doses you give and how they work, so you’ll know next time what is right for each member of your family.

Know if internal use is safe

Some of the recipes in this book can actually be used topically or internally. Many of the herbs can be used both ways in different preparations. A few must never be used internally; these recipes will be labeled “for external use only.” Know the proper amount and method for taking any remedy you use.

Store herbs and remedies properly

Herbs should be stored in their original bags or labeled glass jars, away from heat and sunlight, and out of your child’s reach. Remedies should be stored in labeled glass jars, bottles, or tins. Some remedies must be refrigerated. Make sure to check the individual recipes for storage instructions. If a remedy ever smells off or looks discolored or moldy, throw it out.

In general, herbs are pretty safe. Most of the herbs used in this book are “adaptogenic,” which means that they are used to gently balance the body rather than have any strong effect. Many are safe even in large doses. Still, always exercise caution with an herb that is new to you or your child.

More from Natural Remedies For Kids:

Cough and Throat Drops
Fever Tea
Lemon Sports Drink


Reprinted with permission from Natural Remedies For Kids by Kate Tietje and Bob Zajac, M.D. and published by Fair Winds Press, 2015.