23 answers

Is Echinacea Safe for My Toddler?

HI Moms,
I am just wondering if I can give echinacea to my almost 3 year old? My little girl has had a cold for 2 weeks and I am afraid it is turning into a sinus infection. I would really prefer something natural to give her (rather than anti-biotics). Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

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they make an echinacea for children. I bought it in the health food store. An international specialist doctor had recommended it for us. Most pediatricians in the US do not recommend it for children.

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I find it to be very safe. I learned about eachinacea when my daughter was young also. I find that when I give her a dose on a regular basis once a day through the winter months she has a better winter. She does not get sick very often and/or her colds are not harsh. Just be sure to check the dosage amount for her age and weight. Some people think it's crazy, but I swear by it. I'm with you, I'd prefer an herbal method over a prescription or drug.

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Dear J.,

I have been giving my children echinacea for years! I use a brand called Esberitox which is chewable. I must say, not only do they love it, it reduces their illness nearly 100%. They are the healthiest children I know! I don't know if it will clear up a sinus infection on its own, but it is safe to try. You may need to also give her saline nose drops to help clear her out. The other thing I would try is a warm vapor bath and then "suck" her nose with one of those baby nose things. Unless she knows how to blow her nose, of course. Good luck
L. J.

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In the U.S., more than $300 million are spent each year on echinacea, mostly in an attempt to treat and prevent the common cold. Colds are especially common in children, who average 3 to 8 colds a year, each lasting about a week. Parents want something natural and gentle that works. But does echinacea work in children? Researchers from the University of Washington and from Bastyr University (an alternative medicine institution) decided to find out. A total of 524 healthy children aged 2 to 11 were included in the 4 month long study. When they got colds, half of them were given echinacea and half were given an inactive placebo, and it was kept a secret which was which. The findings were published in the December 3, 2003 JAMA. There were no differences between the two groups in the duration or the severity of cold symptoms. Colds lasted an average of nine days, with peak symptoms lasting a day and a half, whether or not they got the herbal remedy. But more than 7 percent of the children taking echinacea developed a rash. Echinacea appears to do nothing to help treat cold in children. It doesn't help them feel better or get better quicker. But it does cost money, and can have side effects. It is possible that echinacea may help to prevent colds, but this has not been proven. I hope someone will look into the possibility as carefully as this team looked into echinacea as a treatment.

Alan Greene MD FAAP
December 09, 2003

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Hi J.,
I give echinacea to my 2 oldest kids 5 and 3 1/2 and have been for a year...a childrens form I get in Wegmans' grocery store. You give it to them for 10 days, then 10 days off, then 10 days on, 10 days off...you get the idea.

I can honestly say I don't think it has helped a bit! They were sick with everything all winter!!! (Pre-school doesn't help that, though!!)

Good luck to you,
PS - If you aren't sure, never be afraid to call the pediatrician.

they make an echinacea for children. I bought it in the health food store. An international specialist doctor had recommended it for us. Most pediatricians in the US do not recommend it for children.

Absolutely not. It's not even proven effective or FDA approved for adults!

Check out the book "Smart medicine for a healthier child". It has a lot of great natural remedies in it.

I know of 2 things that are safe for toddlers - used them on my daughter - they are in the Isotonix line - Might-a-mins (children's multi w/probiotitcs and OPC-3 (powerful antioxidant) I started taking OPC daily and haven't had any sinus or respiratory infections since - I used to get bronchitis at least once a year and it has been over 4 years without! POWERFUL STUFF. And natural! My girlfriend sells it and her daughters had all sorts of resipratory trouble that has been helped greatly by taking the OPC.

you can purchase them them or get more info thru www.marketamerica.com/pmwrege

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