Many families use herbal remedies instead of — or in addition to — "regular" medicines. But if you're interested in trying the herbal route, be careful. Many herbal remedies are useful, but some are dangerous, especially for small children. Some are even as strong as prescription medication, while others can interfere with something your child is already taking.
So do your homework. Most pharmacies and many health care providers have references that will help them evaluate herbal remedies' ingredients, effects, and side effects. And reputable naturopathic providers will know what the active ingredients are in any substance they suggest.
You should also know that herbal remedies' strength isn't regulated — so don't be tempted to give your child "just a little more." Before you know it, you could be entering the overdose zone. If your child is sick, injured, or needs surgery, let your health care provider know everything your child is taking, since any medication, herbal or otherwise, can affect her care.
Many researchers are currently studying Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), so we'll know more about the risks and benefits of herbal remedies soon. Until then, proceed with caution.
For more information, check out this Web site: http://www.nccam.nih.gov.