Childhood Diarrhea

The number and consistency of stools varies a great deal. Loose stools are
normal in the breast fed infant. If baby is vomiting and having more than
8 watery stools there is danger of dehydration and loss of electrolyte balance.
Refer the child if there is blood in the stool, abdominal pain causing crying
for over two hours, or signs of dehydration such as lack of turgor, depression
of the anterior fontanel, or dry mucous membranes.


Consider it diarrhea if the number and fluid content of the stools has dramatically
increased or exceeds 10 per day in the child under one year of age. Infection
with Shigella, Salmonella and Campylobactor will often result in blood flecked
diarrhea. Ampicillin will sometimes result in diarrhea, however the most
common cause is mild viral infection.


A number of the astringent remedies are particularly suitable for children.
Possibly the most useful is Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). Unfortunately
whilst available it is not widely stocked in North America. Tell your herb
supplier they need to carry it! These herbs are also helpful for children
:

Geranium maculatum (Cranesbill)

Euphrasia spp. (Eyebright)

Solidago virgaurea (Golden Rod)

Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)

Plantago media (Plantain)

Rubus spp. (Raspberry)

Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

Potentilla tormentilla (Tormentil)

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)




Rosemary Tea (quoted from Natural Child Care by Maribeth
Riggs)

Rosemary is antispasmodic and astringent, so a mild tea made from this herb
is excellent for infant diarrhea. The antispasmodic property relaxes painful
abdominal cramping and the astringent quality helps tighten the lower intestine
and solidify the stool.


1/4 oz. Rosemary

1 cup water




  1. Combine Rosemary with the water in a covered pot, bring to a boil and
    simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. Take the pot off the heat and steep the herb for 15 minutes.

  3. Thoroughly strain out the herb through cheesecloth and discard it.

  4. You may see some essential oil floating on top. Stir this back in and
    cool the tea to tepid before serving. Do not sweeten. Refrigerate the unused
    tea and reheat with each use. Discard remaining tea after 3 days.


Application: Bottle-feed an infant suffering from diarrhea 1/4 cup
of tea 3 times each day, for 3 days, or until the diarrhea is checked. Most
infants do not like the taste of the tea, so you may have to use a teaspoon
or sterile dropper to administer it. Diarrhea in an infant can become a
serious condition owing to dehydration. If the diarrhea is severe, dehydration
can occur in less than 24 hours. If mild diarrhea does not improve after
3 days or treatment, or if the diarrhea is severe, with frequent uncontrolled
bowel movements and painful cramping, consult a physician.

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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