Looking for natural remedies to help children with nausea, constipation and similar gastrointestinal problems? They’re readily available and they’re safe, says Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, a pediatrics professor at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and the author of “The Holistic Pediatrician.” Kemper recently wrote an article on the subject for Contemporary Pediatrics magazine.
“What we did was look at the original research, the studies, what people were out there doing, and came up with a guide for pediatricians,” Kemper said. “Historically, 50 years ago, people used home remedies. Then they began relying on prescriptions, and now there is a swing back toward using more natural health products.”
The article cites chamomile as one of the most widely used and safest herbs for children with abdominal discomfort. It can be given in small amounts to treat colic in infants and can be combined with peppermint or fennel for stomach aches, gas, indigestion and bloating for school-age children, according to the article.
Ginger has been well documented as a remedy for nausea and dyspepsia. Probiotics, such as yogurt, have been used to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea, newborn colic, ulcerative colitis, and a variety of forms of diarrhea.
The article recommends further study of herbal products for children and greater communication between patients, parents and pediatricians on these topics.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Aug 29, 2005