Supplements for Sniffling Bairns

herbal treatments for kids

We read about Lachie MacLachlan and his bairns of 10 last week when the girls had the sniffles, so I had to put that bairns word in the title (forgive me).  Selah didn’t like the bairns book until the WEH read it in his fake Scottish accent. Fake meaning a terrible job at imitating his SWEF (Scottish Wendy’s Eating Friend). Fortunately, my daughters don’t need to hear any kind of special accent to get them to take their natural medicine when they have a cold.

Medically, the ‘sniffles’ is an upper respiratory infection. The girls had a runny nose, congestion, headache, and sore throat. A cough developed later for both of them, but didn’t hang out too long, thanks to all the herbs I was pumping in their veins. In little bairns, the sniffles can easily progress into ear infections, which is why I like to stay on top of it.

Here’s their get well booty:

1. Licorice Root Tea

Selah loves to drink licorice root tea even when she’s not sick. I let her drink it out of my favorite tea cup, which makes the experience all the more worth it for her. Re’uth has an obsessive thrill with dumping out beverages, so she has to drink it cooled out of a plastic sippy cup. We wouldn’t want to put hot tea in a plastic sippy cup, because that would be TOXIC, and then we’d be giving our kids toxins in the hopes of making them feel better, just for the measly sniffles. Anyways, licorice root is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and a demulcent. It works perfectly for the common cold. I used organic, dried licorice that I bought in bulk from a local herb shop.

2. Traditional Medicinals Just for Kids Organic Cold Care Tea

Selah loves this tea too, and I have no problem getting her to drink it. Re’uth isn’t as interested in tea, probably because she’s 2. Traditional Medicinals’ kids tea is mysteriously more expensive than the adult tea in my local grocery store, but I like the herbs in it, and they can’t have the adult one I’d give them because it has orange peel in it. This tea contains European elder flower, linden flower, chamomile flower, and peppermint leaf. The peppermint opens up stuffy nasal passages. I brew it double strength and add a teaspoon of honey. Of course, I let it cool a bit, but I aim to serve it pretty warm but not burning hot.

3. Elderberry Syrup by Wise Woman Herbals

Both girls LOVE this so much that they ask for it when they are not sick. This is a sweet tasting, glycerin based syrup made with elderberries. It’s anti-viral and helps to boost their immune system.

children's glycerite4. Children’s Glycerite by Wise Woman Herbals

It’s no new news to tell you that Selah also loves this one. She’s most definitely the daughter of a  naturopathic doctor. Re’uth is just learning to like it. During the neverending illness back in February, she wanted NOTHING to do with it. We had to hide it in applesauce. This time around, she took it off the spoon only because she saw Selah doing it. She’s totally in that Monkey See Monkey Do phase right now. Re’uth says it’s too spicy (it has ginger essential oil in it). Oh, and yes, this has orange essential oil in it, but the kids have done OK with it, and since it works so well, we just deal. At least the orange essential oil doesn’t contain any proteins in it. Although, if a child had an anaphylactic reaction to oranges, I would not give them this glycerite. I try to keep this magic kid’s potion stocked in our house at all times.

5. Vitamin D3 Gummies by Nordic Naturals

It’s easy giving candy for the sniffles, so of course, they gobbled this up. Selah got a whole gummy everyday until she felt better, and Re’uth got a half gummy. With their pale skin, GI inflammation, and Seattle latitude, they are most likely low in vitamin D. Since vitamin D plays a large role in the immune system, I wanted to bring it on board. This particular product has tapioca syrup in it, so it’s not something I’d give to them in their sniffle free life (they don’t do well with any kind of tapioca).

6. Juicy Fruit-C Chewable Vitamin C by Metagenics

When we cleaned underneath our couch over the weekend, I found two of these tablets. That was Selah. She doesn’t like them. I think she got some ideas from the childhood story I told her about that time I hid all my vitamins behind the dresser in my bedroom. My mom didn’t find my stash until she moved my dresser to clean the room. Re’uth, however, loves these, which is good since she’s not as eager to take everything else.

7. The Regulars

Everyday, the kids get a multi-vitamin, quercetin, a chewable probiotic, and a methylated folate/B12 supplement.  Sometimes I give them a few other things, but they didn’t get any of the extras while they were sick.

kid playing with herbal treatment tea

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2 Responses

  1. Bethany Hudson

    Hi, Archer! I was wondering what multivitamin you use for your kids? We’ve been using one by Nordic Naturals that they love – but it contains 9g of sugar in a daily serving! I’m trying to find something chewable and palatable that’s got way less sugar. Add their Vit D supplements and that’s 11g of sugar in vitamins alone before the day even begins! Thanks ?


    Dr. Archer Atkins

    Hi Bethany,

    My kids are able to swallow pills, so they take Thorne’s Children’s Basic Nutrients. The pills are small, almost the size of Tic-Tacs. In terms of a chewable pill, the only one I like for kids that is chewable is the Chewable Optimal Multivitamin by Seeking Health. I haven’t tested it out on my kids yet, so not sure how tasty it is compared to the sweet/fun Nordic Naturals vitamins!


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