Back to Back Issues Page
Herbal Supplements Spotlight, Issue 010 -- Children and Supplementation
May 11, 2005

Supplements for Children

Are prescription drugs harming your kids?

It seems like every time you turn around, another prescription medication is being pulled off the market due to a whole slew of dangerous side effects. So, what other options does a concerned parent have to treat their child if they aren't comfortable with the risks of using "traditional medicine" anymore?

A recent article on shows that alternative medicine, which was previously thought to be nothing more than quackery, is now gaining more and more acceptance with people who are frustrated by the conventional medical wisdom of prescribing medications first and asking questions later, or are concerned about what effect all these medications might be having on their kids.

Some of the more widely known systems include acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal remedies and naturopathy, all of which have very different mechanisms.

Herbal remedies, which are one of the most widely used forms of supplementation are available everywhere from drugstores to health food stores and include a wide range of plants, roots and flowers that have been historically used for prevention and treatment of diseases.

Homeopathy, on the other hand, uses highly diluted cell salts and herbals to stimulate the body's natural healing response and is reputed to give faster relief from symptoms while allowing the systems to heal themselves.

The most diagnosed and medically treated problem in children bar none is ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, and parents who want to help their child be more focused and calm without resorting to stimulants such as Ritalin are now turning to some of the more nontraditional methods for encouraging attentiveness and mental function.

These therapies include increasing amino acids in the child's diet, using beneficial herbs and cell salts, and even something as simple as following a natural diet plan that has the added bonus of reducing the child's risk of becoming overweight.

A major concern for parents, however, is that the majority of alternative medical treatments are not covered by medical insurance. This is mainly because there are few "scientific" studies done to prove their efficacy against diseases, but many people are relying more heavily on success stories from friends and the traditional recorded uses of these herbal remedies.

The general feeling is that despite all the research and studies done on prescription medications, they still seem to be doing more harm than good as proven by the recent rash of drug recalls and relabeling for children.

Despite the concerns over whether or not these alternative medications are all they are cracked up to be, more and more people are turning to them first when they are ill rather than heading to the doctor.

However, it must be said that if you or your child is under a doctor's care for any reason, it's best to talk to them before starting a new therapy or see a doctor that specializes in complementary medicine.

As herbal supplements and natural remedies become more popular, hopefully more medical professionals will study and learn the many health benefits these alternatives offer, and not be so quick to prescribe the traditional pharmaceutical medications.

Until next time, here's to your health!

Back to Back Issues Page