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Alternative Medicines for Your Toddler

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Alternative medicines are for children, too!

Are you a parent? Then you know it’s both a blessing and a hard thing to have a child especially when your child is only a baby. You won’t risk yourself on giving anything that would harm your child and by that fact, you’ll be spending a lot on the things, food and medicines you’ll be giving your child. Yet the fact that medicines nowadays are in syrup/tablet type, even if it’s prescribed for a children, still has chemicals. And chemicals are still harmful no matter what effect it brings to anyone, especially in babies. So try these alternative medicines for your baby if you are having doubts on these chemical-mixed medicines they sell in the drugstores.

Related: Antioxidants can save lives!


What it is: a form of “good” bacteria that creates balance in the digestive system, boosting your baby’s immunity

For: diarrhea, colic, eczema

Why it works: “Nearly seventy percent of the human immune system is located in the digestive tract,” says Chapel Hill, North Carolina, pediatrician Hilary McClafferty, M.D. “Compelling research has shown that probiotics significantly cut the duration and severity of infant diarrhea, which can cause dehydration,” she notes. Some doctors recommend using probiotics every time a child is given antibiotics to restore the beneficial bugs the medicine eliminates and to control antibiotic-related diarrhea. Other small studies are finding that probiotics may also help with colic and eczema.

Probiotics can be found at pharmacies and health-food stores, but ask your baby’s doctor to recommend a brand (Florastor Kids, Lactinex, and Culturelle are popular) and how to administer it. A refrigerated supplement with a mixture of live bacteria, described on the label as having 5 billion to 10 billion CFUs of powdered probiotics, is most effective.

The safety quotient: Probiotics are well studied, so pediatricians often recommend them without hesitation.

Herbal Tea

What it is: an herbal remedy made from a plant’s leaves, roots, stems, or flowers

For: colic, gastric distress

Why it works: Although most herbs are too strong and untested for infants (and some, such as star anise, can be downright dangerous), doctors often recommend chamomile or fennel tea for gas and colic. “Studies have confirmed that these two herb teas reduce crying time in colicky infants,” says the AAP’s Dr. Rosen. The usual advice: Steep one herb or a combination of both in hot water, then let it cool to lukewarm. Serve your baby one-ounce doses three to four times a day.

The safety quotient: Chamomile or fennel is fine (but stay away from all other herbs), as long as you don’t give your baby too much tea, making him too full for those important feedings of breast milk or formula.


What it is: a system of natural medicine recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. The nontoxic ingredients are all found in nature and used in minuscule amounts.

For: teething, colds, colic, bruises, allergies

Why it works: Homeopathy works on the premise that a natural substance that causes symptoms in its pure form will prod the body to heal itself when diluted extensively (similar to the way vaccines work). Homeopathic remedies performed as well as conventional drugs for respiratory illnesses — and worked faster — in an Austrian study last year of both adults and children.

Your doctor will likely recommend starting with prepackaged homeopathic remedies sold in drug- and health-food stores. Follow the dosage for babies exactly, crushing the pellets into a powder that you can slip into your child’s mouth during feedings. For more complex conditions, some physicians may refer you to a trained homeopath for a customized remedy.

The safety quotient: “Homeopathy is particularly effective for babies because there are no side effects and it offers great remedies for the conditions babies often get,” says Tim Fior, M.D., a Chicago family physician.



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