Troubles with the tummy are something that my kiddos have struggled with a bit through the years. This of course has led us to lots of research on natural ways to support this area. Probiotics and enzymes are always important and DiGize oil has been amazing, but I was finding that they needed additional support to get things moving gently since proper nutrient absorption and elimination are so huge to physical as well as emotional health. One of the challenges in this is how to get kiddos to take things! Herbs can sometimes not taste the best but digestion support is often best when tasted since it helps to trigger enzyme release. I also wanted something easy to grab for whenever we needed it. Thus I decided to go with herbal pastilles as they can taste delicious and thus are a great way for kiddos to take herbs. Since you can make them in advance it also makes them simple to grab. After lots of research I decided on the herbal combination that I thought would be best for us based on what we needed as well as the energetics of my kiddos and their needs. For us that meant something very gentle that soothed and relaxed, while encouraging proper elimination without introducing stronger laxatives that the body can become dependent on after long term use. Here is what I chose and why:
Marshmallow Root: Marshmallow root is a mucilage so it encourage mucous production so can be soothing. It can specifically be soothing to inflamed bowels as well as adding bulk which helps you be more regular. It is also highly nutritive and gentle so is great for little ones. Additionally it is prebiotic which is as important as probiotic since it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Slippery Elm Bark: Slippery elm is another soothing and highly nutritive herb. It can be specifically soothing to the digestive tract and can also help regulate intestinal flora. It can lower bowel transit time as well as helping to absorb toxins from the bowels.
Plantain: Plantain is also a mucilage as well as adding bulk to the stool. It is also highly nutritive and gentle for little ones. It can help draw out toxins as well as stimulate the liver and help with poor digestion and assimilation.
Ginger: Ginger is a great digestive herb! It works to relax painful cramps while stimulating the gentle contractions that encourage elimination. It also supports healthy digestion in general and supports against nausea.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is another great digestion supporting herb and can help support against sluggish digestion and gas.
Making the pastilles is so simple! It is also a great herbal medium to let the kiddos help with as it can be fun to roll the little chews and letting them have hands-on learning about natural ways to support the body is one of the best ways to help them desire a healthy lifestyle. All you need is your herbs of choice in powder form and a little honey. With a pastille you simply mix up your powdered herbs and then add enough honey to moisten it enough to roll it out. You can then roll them a little in powder to keep them from being sticky. My children love these and the way they have supported soothed digestion and ask for them frequently! Here are the exact measurements I used for our tummy pastilles.
3/4 cups powdered marshmallow root
3/4 cups powdered slippery elm bark
3/4 cups powdered plantain leaf
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1/8 cup ground ginger root
1 cup honey
3 drops Orange vitality essential oil (optional; adds yummy flavor and can help support digestion)
Mix together the powdered herbs. Add in the honey mixing well until completely incorporated. Roll into super small balls about 1/4 teaspoon each. Roll in slippery elm to keep from getting sticky. Place pastilles into a jar and store in a cool dry place. If making this large of a batch you may want to store some in the freezer for long term storage. This made about 2 pint jars full of pastilles.
I allow my older kiddos 2 pastilles a day or a few more if experiencing acute tummy trouble. My youngest I allow 1 per day.
Here are a few additional notes:
-Do not give honey to children under the age of 1.
-The ginger in this recipe made it slightly on the spicy side so if you think your kiddos wouldn’t like it, you may want to reduce it some. For us it worked well because it wasn’t too spicy but had just enough kick to encourage a glass of water which is very important when taking bulking herbs.
-Encourage drinking lots of water when taking these.
-If you don’t have the herbs in powdered form you can use a coffee grinder to grind them into powder.