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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Natural Alternatives for Child Emotional Wellness


Many of today’s children, for one reason or another, suffer from emotional wellness issues.  They are typically prescribed medicines that alter their personality.  Anyone who has a child on these prescribed medicines know that it takes up to 8 weeks to get the body acclimated to the medication.  And, once the child stops taking these medication,  in some cases their bodies go through a withdrawal effect.  And in some cases, the withdrawal effects are so bad, the child has to get on withdrawal medicines, such as clonidine.  If a long term disaster were to occur, there could be a possibility that there would be no access to these medicines.  Are there any alternatives to these medicines that children could use?

Wholesome Diet

Quality, fresh foods can have a profound effect on the mind.  A change in diet can make all the difference.  Studies have shown that foods high in fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6) and foods high in protein can have a deep impact on the mood and attention span.  Eating the right founds can literally change the chemical makeup of how a child reacts to his world.  Removing sugar, artificial flavorings and red dyes from diets can make a big difference.

Natural Herbs

  • Making a tea out of certain herbs such as chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) and catnip (Nepeta Cataria) have calming agents that help keep the child calm.  These are also excellent teas for children how have problems sleeping at night. 
  • Skull cap (skullcap lateriflora)  is another herb that has been  shown to assist in mental disorders as well as a wide range of nervous disorders.  Specifically, the sedative properties this herb has helps calm a person and alleviate anxiety and settles nerves.  This herb is also used as a sleeping aide for some.  1 tsp. of dried leaves to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep for 1-2 minutes.  This tea will create soothing and stimulating feelings.
  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) assists in healthy neurotransmitter balance.  These neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin assist in cognitive focus and cell to cell communication. 
  • Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) relaxes the nervous system and relieves tension, anxiety and irritability that arises from everyday stress.

Supplements

There are natural supplements on the market designed specifically for children that have combined herbs and special vitamins to curb the symptoms of anxiety and panic, assist in mental clarity and help suppress irritability.  For example, Clarocet Jr. is a natural supplement that includes herbs like St. John’s Wort, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, German Chamomile Flower, Bacopa, 5-HTP and a combination of essential vitamins such as vitamin C, Magnesium and Zinc.  These supplements can be purchased without a prescription and could be used during a long term disaster.  The great benefit of having these supplements on hand is that they will last for at least 2-3 years, if properly stored.  Discussing these supplements with the child’s doctor would be beneficial to the child’s well being.  Supplements are relatively inexpensive and are a great natural alternative to the medications that are currently being prescribed.
Depending on the diagnosis of the child, there are natural alternatives available that can help alleviate some of the symptoms the child experiences.  With proper research, a parent could find proper alternatives to have as a back up in the case that an unforeseen disaster were to occur.   If a parent is concerned about the possibility of a long term disaster, they should speak with their child’s doctor to discuss any alternatives the child can use in lieu of their existing prescription.