Medicinal Herbs and ADHD


Herbs in Pediatrics

Key Topics: Medicinal Herbs
October 20, 2020

About this PDF

Utilizing herbal medicine for children can be safe with the proper dosing, good clinical judgement, and the supervision of a licensed practitioner. This PDF serves as a guide to dosing herbs in children, general tips for using herbs in children, indications and safety of key herbs studied for use in children, and herbs best avoided in children.

Dosing herbs in children is safe as long as the dose is adjusted appropriately. There are several universally accepted pharmacological rules that apply when calculating herbal doses for pediatric cases; however, dosing in children always requires good clinical judgement, under supervision of a properly licensed practitioner, and should be tailored to each individual case. Dosing rules and calculations can be applied based on either age, weight, or body surface area (BSA), with weight and BSA-based formulas likely being the most relevant and clinically useful.

General Tips for Using Herbs with Children

Consider the following useful tips when using herbs with children:

  • Poor adherence to treatment is a major problem in pediatrics, and the issue of taste in herbal medicine is a significant challenge to clinicians.
  • Cooperation of the caregiver is essential, and behavior modification strategies such as an appropriate reward can increase compliance, as well as role-modelling and taking herbs together as a family.
  • Ideally early exposure/introduction to herbs is helpful, starting with single herbs with a pleasant taste (e.g. elderberry or chamomile) before moving on to those that are more
  • Protocols should also be simple and compatible with life’s busy demands.
  • Sweetening agents such as honey or maple syrup, glycerin, or high quality/low sugar juices (e.g. apple or pear concentrate) can be useful.
  • The issue with tinctures (e.g. alcohol) in children is controversial, however at correct doses the amount of ethanol is still very low and rarely problematic.
  • Tablets can be opened/crushed or ground (coffee grinder or mortar & pestle) and mixed into honey, yogurt or apple sauce.

Learn more.


The following information is meant for medical professionals only and is not a substitute for individualized medical care or be taken as specific advice for any patient. It is recommended that practitioners always consult the medical literature before making a decision about the use of herbs in children.

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