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Anonymous
Anonymous asks:
Q:

Should parents give their children herbal supplements for stress and other emotions?

I was perusing a parenting magazine this weekend and came across a featured promotion for an herbal supplement series for kids focused on 'emotional balance'. I've seen such herbal supplements for adults, and have even tried them (such as "Rescue Remedy"). While I didn't find them very effective physically (I wasn't able to stop crying, or stop anger shakes, or feel more calm), I have to admit that the act of taking something to 'calm down' did make me feel that at least I was trying something to feel better rather than just sink into further sadness or give completely into the emotional downward spiral.

However, with kids, I worry that this may not be the best approach. Are we doing more harm than good if we teach children to take a pill or 'medicine' when they feel stressed, angry or sad? I understand that medicine and pills are necessary for some medical and behavioral conditions, like depression and ADHD, but this product I saw advertised focuses on "restoring balance" for "happy, healthy kids". Shouldn't we instead teach children emotional intelligence and how to regain calm without taking pills or herbal supplements? What do you think?  
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Parenting / Our Family, Children and stress
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Mar 2, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Talk to your pediatrician.  There are only about 7 herbal supplements that have been tested on children. We as physicians have no scientific proof that they work for children.  Most supplements are "foods" and are not regulated as medicines and therefore not standardized or necessarily from safe sources.

I would speak to your pediatrician and go the the AAP's website.

Resources:

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Additional Answers (3)

Dr.Monika
Dr.Monika , Child Professional writes:
Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA.  Therefore, their safety and effectiveness, especially in children, cannot be guaranteed.  Moreover, although natural, herbs work like pharmaceutical products.  They may interact with medications and cause adverse or allergic reactions.  Before trying any herbal products on children or even yourself, check with your health care provider to assure your safety.

Emotional problems in children and adults result from various problems.  I see depression across lifespan in my clinical practice everyday.  If you think that your child is sad most of the time, does not enjoy his or her usual activities, or does not want to spend time with friends, it is the time for an evaluation by your health care provider.
> 60 days ago

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shinesprite
shinesprite writes:
A lot of these herbal supplements for kids are vitamins with minerals that they aren't getting in our processed world. I don't base anything on FDA approval as they approve drugs that have known side effects that do more harm than good. Few doctors are willing to talk to you about herbal remedies that do work (although they take longer), due to the fact they aren't taught anything about them. They are paid by drug companies to promote certain drugs as well. It is up to you whether you feel comfortable giving your child something. As a home schooling mother, I feel others may give their opinions, but it is my and my husband's decisions. No one will look out for your child the way you do. If your child eats processed foods a lot or not enough veggies and fruits then I suggest they get on a good multi-vitamin. Just remember we live in a "now" society. Herbs and nature supplements take time. They aren't chemically induced to happen "now" like we're used to in this technological age, but they can be far safer than some alternatives. How you deal with your anger and stress will be passed on to your kids. Learn to safely and effectively treat yourself. I drink herbal teas like chamomile or lavender to relieve stress. Taking deep breathes and clearing your mind as well. Our children see how we take on the world. If you're freaking out and aren't learning to deal with your stress they can't learn. They can turn to more violent or unhealthy ways to de-stress. Are you stressed because they are acting out? getting into trouble? not listening? Remember they are people too. They need you to listen, to feel, and to learn who they are so you can do your best to care for them. They are like babies crying because something isn't right. This is how they tell you when they don't know themselves.
> 60 days ago

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ClarkeBenson
ClarkeBenson writes:
Hello, you should not put your kid on any herbal supplements without the prescription of a doctor. You can use stuff like Vitamin C or Calcium tablets to ensure your child has the required nutrients but do not go for commercial stuff like this 'Rescue Remedy' without consulting a doctor. To see what sort of supplements are good and what can harm you child, take a look at this site below. Hope this helps!

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