Is My Kid Too Young for Herbal Medicine?
Patients always ask me if their kids are too young to be treated with herbal medicine. Since most pharmaceuticals have limitations for young ones, why wouldn’t parents wonder?
Never Too Young
The good news is that a trained Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Dermatology practitioner can treat kids with herbal medicine as early as 4 months old. There are other conditions where we start even sooner. And sometimes we treat the Mom while the fetus is developing. But for eczema, most babies show the first signs of eczema at 4 months old. Babies at this stage are typically very uncomfortable and very unhappy, causing their parents to feel the same. So, treatment starts as soon as the baby’s parents find us.
How Is This Possible?
People find this rather surprising, but it really isn’t. Chinese herbal medicine is made of ingredients that naturally exist in the animal, plant and mineral world. Because Chinese herbs are essentially food and primarily vegetation, the human body can assimilate these ingredients quite easily. Also, because herbal formulas are prepared thru a process that extracts the biochemical constituents from the herbs into distilled water in a sterilized pressure cooker, the completed liquid formulas are pure and easily absorbed by the skin, if used externally or by the bloodstream, if taken internally.
All Chinese herbal formulas are dosed based upon the patient’s weight, constitution, and skin condition. Therefore, we can adjust dosages of individuals herbs (which address different issues of the skin condition) and we can meter the overall strength of the formula in order to match the size of the baby, toddler, tween, teenager or adult. This is what makes Chinese herbal formulas unique: it is completely customizable. Typically, no two patients are given the exact same formula because no two people have the exact eczema presentation, body type or combination of contributing factors.
How We Do It
For little babies, we typically start with an herbal formula that is mixed into the bath water. Sometimes we offer herbal topicals as well. Seventy-five percent of the time, this method works very well. But just like older eczema sufferers, sometimes the skin is so super sensitive that any normally benign ingredient can become an issue. If this is the case, we typically treat internally.
With babies, we typically fill a reusable clear tube plastic syringe and squirt formula into their mouths a few times a day. Babies absorb formula very quickly, so good results typically come fast. Our toddlers usually use a favorite sippy cup and drink their formula. And all our tweens, teens, adults and mature patients knock back their formulas like a shot, sometimes with a tasty chaser like cranberry juice.
So, no matter what age you are, Chinese herbal medicine can treat your eczema. If you know someone who is struggling and has not achieved good results with conventional medicines, let them know they’re not too young (or too old!) to see results from herbal medicine.
Amethyst treats people all over the contiguous United States via video conferencing or in office appointments. If you have questions about your eczema condition, feel free to set-up a Complimentary Consultation.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Hsu Friedman is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and sees patients all over the nation in person and via video conferencing. She holds a TCM Dermatology Diploma and a position on the internationally recognized Register of Chinese Medicine Dermatology (RCMDerm). Additionally, she received a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (Dipl.OM) from the National Certification Commission of Oriental Medicine and is a licensed Illinois acupuncturist (LAc). Olivia earned a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from National University of Health Sciences, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Joseph Janse Outstanding Graduate Award.
Outside of the office, Olivia serves as the Vice President of the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is also one of two Illinois delegates to the American Society of Acupuncturists.