I’ve never given my children antibiotics.  Sure, they’ve gotten sick.  Ear infections, bad coughs, the croup, stomach viruses, diarrhea.  But I love herbs; it’s unfortunate that they sometimes get a bad rap based on people’s misuse of them. They are SO effective in treating ours and our little ones’ ailments.  Of course, it’s extremely important to know what you’re using and why, so I’ve created a little guide for you to help you understand what is available to you based on your child’s symptoms.

In terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), antibiotics have a very cold property, which makes them effective in clearing heat and reducing inflammation (thus killing bacteria).  But that same cold property weakens the digestive function… I won’t go into the mechanisms by which they can ultimately weaken immunity, but this is why children may tend to get the “same” cold or infection at the same time every year, or why something may become a lingering illness, and why we can eventually harbor drug-resistant bacteria.

When herbs are used to treat infection, however, the pathogen is not only destroyed and inflammation reduced, but the herbs can also simultaneously resolve phlegm as well as support the digestive function, and preserve the body’s defensive qi (immunity) to prevent recurrence.

Blue Poppy has a great line of Pediatric Herbal Formulas.  All of the herb companies I use have the highest standards in terms of testing and quality of herbs used.  They are all manufactured in the US, so they don’t run the risk of containing acetominophen or steroids like some products bottled in China. While this guide focuses on formulas for immunity, colds, and infections, there are also formulas for colic, indigestion, pediatric eczema, bedwetting, ADD and more.



(and other tips)

      Differentiating Symptoms


All Blue Poppy Pediatrics

Common cold

Humidifier with essential oils:


Oregano Oil

Clary Sage



Very light food, water with lemon & Honey

  1. Runny nose, clear phlegm, sneezing, itchy nose, mouth or throat. Possible stuffy nose, difficult to breathe.

  1. Onset of a cold with Sore Throat.

  1. Chesty, phlegmmy cough

  1. Cold that seems to be worsening

  1. Aller-Ease Jr.

(nasal decongestant)

  1. CQ Jr.

  1. Lung Qi

  1. Bupleurum & Angelica

Earache or Ear Infection

You can also sprinkle a probiotic directly into the ear or mix with a bit of Olive oil.

Infuse Garlic in Olive Oil and warm.  1 or 2 drops in ear.

  1. Mild fever, sinus congestion with heat (yellow snot).

  1. Fever and Ear Tugging

  1. High Fever with discharge from the ear

  1. Children’s Ear Formula

  1. Bupeurum & Angelica

  1. Either of above wtih Coptis Relieve Toxicity added

Stomach Virus


Bupleurum & Angelica combined with Tummy Qi

Other Tips and Remedies


It’s important to recognize that, while it can be scary, a fever is your little one’s way of letting you know their immune system is functioning.  A fever indicates that their body is fighting off whatever has invaded.  To give them fever medication does reduce the symptoms and their discomfort, but it actually stops their body from “burning off” the bug!


  • Cool bath with drops of lavender or lemon essential oil, or even lemon juice

  • Sip water or chamomile tea with lemon and honey (for children over 12 months old)

  • Steam or humidifier with detoxifying essential Oils: lavender, clary sage, rosemary, eucalyptus, clove and tea tree


  • Keep food intake light… reduce sugar, dairy, starches and meats.  Garlicky  and Gingery Broths and vegetable juice, lemon water are best.

  • For sore noses, you can rub a drop of coconut butter on the inside of each nostril.

  • One of my favorite products is Raven Crest Botanicals Breathe Easy Chest Rub.  It is sensitive enough for your child’s tender skin, and contains the essential oils of eucalyptus, camphor, lavender, peppermint, rosemary and chamomile.  You can rub it on their backs, chest and even their feet to help reduce cough.

Sore Thoat:

  • Warm water or chamomile tea with lemon and honey

  • Make your own herbal honey: Mix a drop each of mint, sage, eucalyptus and lavender with a few tablespoons of honey.  Mix well and give by the teaspoon.

  • Slippery Elm lozenges

  • Chewable zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C


  • You can make your own Garlic Oil by putting a few cloves of garlic into olive oil and infuse for at least a week.  Remove the cloves, and warm a teaspoonful when needed and pour into the ear.  

  • You can buy a pre-made Garlic Ear OIl at most health food stores.

  • I like to add powdered probiotic like Klaire Labs Infant Probiotic into either of the above before using.

Above all, if you’re still breast-feeding your child, don’t stop!  Breast milk, breast milk, breast milk.  It’s like Tussin — use it for everything!

Visit our store for the herbal remedies discussed in this blog.