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Herbal Medicines & Children

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Getting your children to take medicine is hard at the best of times.  Herbal medicine should always be taken with care and when given to your child always consult with a "Qualified Professional Herbalist" (such as myself) or one in your local area, who can give you the correct advise as to what is best to use and when to use it.  

There are many ways in which you can administer herbal remedies to infants and children.  As their digestive system is not fully matured, their absorption may differ from an adult.  It's not until they reach 10 -12 years of age that their digestive tact resembles that of an adult.

Breast Fed Infants
A common suggestion for treating breastfed neonates is to have the mother to consume the herbal extracts in the belief that therapeutic doses will pass into the breast milk.  Although there is some documentation of this practice 1. There is a lack of guidance as in to how much a mother would have to take to be of benefit and 2. the transfer of plant chemicals into breast milk is influenced by many factors and getting a therapeutic concentration of what is needed is near to impossible to get.

What is recommended is to take the appropriate dosage and mix with 5ml of expressed breast milk or infant formula.  Syringe this amount and apply with steady pressure to the back of the infants throat.  Then either breastfeed OR give a bottle of either water or infant formula.

Because neonates and infants have a larger skin surface area relative to their body weight compared to an adult.  By putting an infusion (tea) into their bath water, as they will absorb an amazing amount through their skin & this can be of significant help to their health.

Toddlers & Older Children
For those children agreeable, herbal teas are a great way to heal.  How much to give is the question.  For infants up to 2 years of age I use the following rule:

Age in months, divide by 150, x adult dose = childs dose

e.g. (7 month old)  7 divide by 150 x 750ml (3 cups tea = adults dose) = 35ml

So 35ml is the TOTAL dosage of infused tea you would give over a day for your 7 month old.  Remember to check this calculation each time you need to treat as our children grow so quickly.  After 2 years of age I would use the following calculation:

(1.5 x weight of child in lb) divide by 2.2 + 10 = the percentage of the adults dose that they consume.

e.g. Your child is 44lbs (20kg) then x by 1.5 which = 66, then divide by 2.2 which = 30 then add 10 which is 40.

So the child's dose is 40% of the adults.  To work out 40% of the adults dose (3 cups tea/750ml) do the following:

750ml divided by 100 then x by child's percentage

e.g. 750 divided by 100 x 40 = 300

So the total amount for this child is 300ml.

How to administer?
With tea if your child finds disagreeable you can do any of the following to make it more pleasurable:
1. Add honey or molasses to sweeten.
2. Prepare as a jelly.  Buy some organic juice and gelatine.  Once you've worked out the amount your child needs to take per day you will have the amount of liquid.  Infuse your tea in hot water (half the amount of water for total daily dosage) mix this with organic juice (the other half of liquid) and add in gelatine as per box instructions.  Set in tray or ice cube tray and they can eat their dosage throughout the day.
3. Prepare as an iceblock.  Do as above but put into iceblock mould

AGAIN with any health concern consult with your "Qualified Herbalist" (such as myself) before administering any herbal remedy.  As it is very common for non-qualified people to work in health shops always ask for the instore qualified practitioner for the best, correct information, or  email me at tanya@naturalus.co.nz

All the best in you and your child's health - talk soon :)


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Withania - Male Infertility Hopeful

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Indian researchers recently investigated the effect of a three month treatment with Withania on semen quality in infertile and fertile men.  Shukla KK et al, Reprod Biomed Online 2011 Mar 7 (epub ahead of print);     Pesch S et al, Theriogenology 2006 Jul 15;66(2):307-313.  



A control group of 75 normal healthy and fertile men and 75 infertile men were recruited from a urology outpatient department.  The control (fertile) group comprised age-matched men with evidence of recent paternity or recent initiation of pregnancy, and exhibiting a normal semen profile.  Three groups each of 25 men participated in the infertile men category, one group with normal semen profile but infertility of unknown cause; one group with a low sperm count but normal motility and morphology; and the final group with normal sperm count and morphology but low motility.

Each subject was prescribed 5 grams per day of Withania root powder, taken orally with milk for the three month period.  Semen was collected for analysis pre- and post-Withania treatment, from both the fertile and infertile groups of men.

Following Withania treatment, sperm concentration increased and motility improved significantly in all three subgroups of infertile men.  The semen volume also increased significantly but only in the first 2 subgroups.  Withania also increased the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione in seminal plasma, as well as increasing serum testosterone levels.

Prior to Withania treatment, sperm death was significantly higher and levels of essential nutrients (zinc, iron, copper) for sperm health were lower in all groups of infertile men.  Withania treatment, significantly reduced sperm death in the first 2 groups and increased nutrient levels in the 2nd & 3rd group. The levels were increased to the levels measured in the fertile group.

This study has provided them with convincing evidence, that consuming the equivalent of 5 grams dried Withania root powder per day, over at least a 3 month period, can have a number of benefits on semen quality and fertility in men.  Further studies involving larger numbers of participants are now being looked at.

For those of you who are needing to get started with your Withania treatment click here & then choose Withania in the drop down menu.



Withania has many other wonderful properties as below:

Withania (root) - The Indian Ginseng, an important herb from the Ayurvedic medical system used for the treatment of debility, emaciation, impotence and premature ageing. Its Indian/Sanskrit name Ashwagandha refers to the smell and strength of a horse and alludes to its reputed aphrodisiac properties. A strengthening and rejuvenating tonic for all forms of weakness, fatigue, wasting and convalescing. It is said to provide fresh energy and vigour for a system worn out by any constitutional disease and to strengthen the nerves and promote restful sleep. Regarded as a rasayana herb, promoting health, increasing resistance of the body to stressors, revitalising the body in debilitated conditions, increasing longevity as well as improving learning and memory retrival. Modern research on Withania has stressed its antitumour and adaptogenic actions (Adaptogens increase the ability of an organism to cope with stress.) It therefore helps to conserve energy as well as boosting energy reserves. While it's compared with Ginseng it lacks the stimulating effects of it, it has a mild sedative action as indicated by its latin name "somnifera". Withania was found to be quite effective at decreasing inflammation as well as anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. dexamethasone and indomethacin. Weight loss caused by chronic arthritis was corrected and the inflammation and bony degenerative changes were decreased. It has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence, number and size of tumours as well as increase body weight of those with. Children who drank milk fortified with Withania showed improved strength of hand grip, increased body weight and increases in blood haemoglobin and serum iron levels. When given to adults between the ages of 50 - 59 for up to a year it showed increases in red blood cell count, increased seated stature, increased hair melanin content (less greying) as well as 71% reporting improvement in sexual performance.

So it is especially helpful in the following areas: Debility, nervous exhaustion especially due to stress; Emaciation and anaemia, especially in children; Convalescence after acute illness or extreme stress; Impotence due to devitalisation; Chronic diseases especially those marked by inflammation e.g. connective tissue diseases; As a general tonic for disease prevention and those under stress e.g. athletes and the elderly; May have some value in hypertension and high blood cholesterol; May have some preventative action against cancer; To improve immune function; As an adaptogen for athletes and improved muscle strength in elderly. Withania is also used to promote lactation in Ayurvedic medicine and the traditional medicine of south-east Asia. Withania was shown to improve milk yield and quality throughout lactation period and the children were shown to be of a better than average healthy weight.
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Withania & Infertility

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QUALITY NATURAL PRODUCTS CREATED BY A NZ HERBAL PRACTITIONER...

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Naturalus has been making and selling natural products here in Christchurch
new Zealand since 2008. Being a Clinical Medical Herbalist, Tanya has an understanding of how natural ingredients work on the body and how to combine them to give the most benefit. Also over the years more pure essential oils have been sourced and added. To compliment that there is a great range of Ultrasonic Oil Diffusers, being one the first in NZ to have them. There are plenty of other products to check out and if you want to read some feedback its’s here: Feedback.
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