Have you ever thought about your child being stressed? Did you even know that children can be stressed?
Sure they can! This Kid’s Health article explains stress in kids. It talks about the many ways that kids can be stressed as well as how to recognize it and how to deal with it as their parent.
Today, I want to introduce you to a group of herbs known as “adaptogen” herbs, and these herbs are very useful in helping the body deal with stress. Yes, even children’s bodies and the stressors that they sometimes face.
I’m gonna share an herbal blend recipe that you can make and use similar to the spring tonic herb blend I shared last week. You can use it in your herb ball recipes, smoothies, and in other recipes that don’t require high-temperature cooking (nothing over 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
Understanding Adaptogen Herbs
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that enable the body to adapt more efficiently to stress and to maintain homeostasis (balance) through stressful shifts in the environment. – Herbal Academy of New England
In the book Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, David Winston says adaptogens have the following properties:
- adaptogens improve resistance to and recovery from stressors
- adaptogens are generally safe for most people
- adaptogens have non-specific activity (instead of affecting one area of the body, they have a general effect on increasing the body as a whole’s resistance to stressors)
There are several herbs that are considered “adaptogens”, but today we’ll only be using 5 adaptogenic herbs in our blend that I’ve researched and found safe for kids.
DIY Adaptogenic Herb Blend
- 4 T. red maca root powder (buy here)
- 2 T. ashwagandha root powder (buy here)
- 2 T. astragalus root powder (buy here)
- 2 T. eleuthro root powder (buy here)
- 1 T. licorice root powder (buy here)
Combine herbs in amounts indicated. Store in a glass jar and label. Add 1 tsp. of herb powder per serving to any recipe you’re using this blend in.
When I Use This Blend
So I know that saying this adaptogenic herb blend is good for kids when they’re stressed doesn’t really narrow things down for you too much. In fact, it may leave you open to wondering if thus-and-such is a good time to use it which is why I want to share when I would use it with my kids.
Our lives, thankfully, are fairly stable so there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities for them to be stressed, however, there are times when I think these herbs would be appropriate for them.
Some of these times may be:
- during a time when one of us is sick
- death in the family (human or pet)
- starting something new
- getting up in front of people
Does this help to give you some ideas of when this blend could be used? I sure hope so. It’s a great one to mix up and keep on hand for when you need it!
Can you think of a time when you’d use this herb blend with your kids? Share it with me in the comments below, and don’t forget to pin this to your herbal Pinterest boards and share it on Facebook via the “share” button below!
If you wanna get more of maca’s superfood powers into your kid’s diet, then take advantage of my 10% discount when you purchase maca root powder for your kids by using my coupon code “HERBAL” when you place your order on any of The Maca Team’s products! Hey, every little bit helps!
33 thoughts on “Boost Your Child’s Body With This Adaptogenic Herb Blend”
Have you ever heard of tulsi, or holy basil’s use as an adaptogen? Is it a powerful one, or weaker compared to the ones you mentioned? Thanks!
Yes Jamie! Holy basil is an adaptogen, but I’ve not read much about it’s use with children. I do know that some people will use it as a tea with kids, but I’m not sure that it’s for an ongoing period of time or the amount that’s used. I tried to find more info on it with children, but there isn’t much out there. As far as it being more or less powerful than the one’s I’ve mentioned… I’m not sure. It is powerful in it’s own way though. It has blood thinning properties, lowers blood sugar, and is thought to be a form of birth control for men. It’s also not recommended during pregnancy as it can cause uterine contractions. So as far as using it as an adaptogen… my guess would be that the dose would be a small one and that it shouldn’t be used for long periods of time… especially if any of the above issues would be negative for the person. I personally don’t think I’d add it into this blend. When I researched the adaptogen herbs for this blend, I was looking for ones that had been used in children with no major issues. Hope that helps!
I feel that kids are are stressed throughout their school years. Here in Oklahoma we have just finished state testing. I know my students have been so stressed out. This blend I feel would be so beneficial. Assisting in stress reduction would allow the students to relax and be able to demonstrate their learned knowledge.
Yes Nancy… that would be a perfect time to use this blend. School testing time!
I have tried maca root before not knowing it was more than a supplement for health.It is so strong and later I found out it is for people with libido problems. I would not recommend it to kids. I don’t know about the other herbs here.
Thanks for you comment Amanda, and you’re right… many people use maca root as a nutritional supplement because it is. It’s very nutritious and high in a lot of great things our bodies need.
It is strong which is why the recommended amount is based on the type of maca root used and the age and weight of the person taking it. This recipe only calls for 1 tsp. of the powder blend so you child is getting a very low dose of maca. Plus, maca isn’t toxic so there’s not upper limit really. You start taking it at it’s lowest dose and work your way up with it.
And yes, it can be used by people with libido problems since maca root is an adaptogenic herb and it works to balance the body, especially the hormones. However, it’s not only for people with libido problems, that’s just a great benefit to it balancing the body.
As far as not recommending it to kids, I can’t see any reason why kids shouldn’t take it at an appropriate dose. They too deal with stress, and with today’s diets and the condition of children’s health, I’d say they can use all the nutritional and herbal help they can get to help get or keep their bodies balanced.
I am trying to learn as much as I can in this wonderful world of natural products. My questions is actually really basic, Am I supposed to add this blend to my kids food? drinks? how do they actually take them?
The adaptogenic blend can be used in food and drinks, the same as any powdered herb blend, but it’s only used during the times mentioned in the post. If you’re looking for a daily herb blend, this spring tonic blend may be a better suit and it goes into more detail on how to use it with kids. HTH! Thanks for your comment.
I am a homeschooling mom with 3 kids 12, 8 &, 3 Older two are boys youngest is a girl. We are plant based vegan (minimal oil etc). My oldest is struggling with daily concentration. I was curious if there is a daily herb blend. When I clicked on the spring tonic blend it showed that there was no information. This would be super helpful to me. Any advice??
Here is the post to the spring tonic blend. I’ll update that link in this post. You may also want to check out this post on concentration. The oil mentioned here could be useful as well. Also, in case nothing else helps, the Herbal Academy has a great new workshop on ADHD that covers lots of great information on improving cognitive function and general brain health. It’s great whether ADHD is an issue or not. I don’t think it’s open for registration at the moment, but it’s something to be aware of. Hope this helps!
I’ve just started using maca along with magnesium, gelatin, zinc, & cod liver oil to help balance my hormones in preparation for ttc (I’m a type 1 diabetic as well as have PCOS, and as of the 24th only 1 ovary). In any event, my son is 12 and has ADD, is this herbal mix something he could take daily? I think it would greatly help him in school, I’m hoping to ween him from his current medication before he hits high school. Kind of a ramble lqtm Sorry 😉 Thank you!
From my understanding, you can take many adaptogenic herbs daily, however, I would suggest doing further research and working with your son’s doctor if possible… or at least a clinical herbalist. For example, licorice is in this blend and licorice can raise blood pressure with long-term use. It isn’t recommended to use longer than 6 weeks at a time. For a child, you could try this blend for one month, then break for 2 weeks before starting again. Also, be sure to do your own research on each herb in the blend looking for things like long-term usage and how they may interact with your son’s current medications. A clinical herbalist (one who works with patients) will look at a variety of different things specifically about your son and come up with the best plan for him. Also, be sure you’re focusing on his diet (as you may already be doing). This is key with getting kids off ADD meds. Best of luck!
In your opinion, is this safe to take while breastfeeding? Also, what about the various types of ginseng during breastfeeding- would you take panax, American or Siberian ginseng if needed?
Thank you so much, you are an inspiration to me!
Many herbs are restricted during breastfeeding, Shannon, and there are mixed opinions on the ginseng varieties. Some people say it’s best to avoid them, but then others say they’re safe. The Botanical Safety Handbook classifies all ginseng varieties as safe for pregnancy and nursing and that’s what I go by. These herbs have been consumed by pregnant and nursing women in various cultures for many years with no problems and scientific studies have not shown them to be a problem. However, I really think that many problems pregnant women run into when using herbs is based on the dose they are taking, and eating small amounts of this adaptogen blend each day isn’t going to provide a substantial therapeutic dose for an adult. I hope that answers your questions a bit.
This is wonderful information. I was wondering of there was a difference in a child’s dosage vs an adult dose? Or different ways an adult can take it (maybe capsule form) that a young child cannot? Thank you!
Yes, there would definitely be a difference. An adult could take more of this blend than a child would. If I’m making a smoothie for myself, I’ll sometimes add 1 TBSP of mix in instead of the 1 tsp. that I do for my kids. It makes it kind of strong, so it depends on what’s in your smoothie to start with as to whether it tastes great or not. Other ways you could take it would be in capsules like you said, but I prefer to eat the powder because it takes capsules a while to break down. You could put it in herb balls, mix it with some honey and make an electuary. I wouldn’t heat it though. Keep it as raw as possible. Maybe add it into some no-bake cookies or granola bars. Hope that helps!
Hi I wanted to know if you happen to have any recipes to add the adaptogen blend to? Simple and Quick ones if possible!! I would love to hear from you with your recommendations!!! Thanks in advance 🙂 Tiffany
Sure thing Tiffany. You’ll want to use this blend in recipes that don’t use heat as that can kill the herbs properties. I have a recipe for a maca smoothie that tastes great, but really you can add this into any sweet smoothie. You can also put this in these no-bake turmeric boost balls or in my multivitamin balls. Thanks for your comment!
Hi, I’m wondering if you can speak to the bioavailability of the herbs in this form. I know many herbs are considered food-like (like gotu kola), but the compounds in others seem to be most available combined with a solvent like water, oil or alcohol. I’ve been trying to decide if it is worth adding powdered root adaptogens like eleuthero and astragalus to my son’s dehydrated flax crackers, or if they would be be less effective in this format. (He has special needs and will sometimes do a nut butter ball, but more often wants dry crunchies.) Any insights much appreciated!
This is a very good question Julie… one that I’m not sure I have the best answer to. Most of the herbs in this blend are food-like herbs or are herbs commonly used in powdered form so I’m sure that they are bioavailable when taken as a powder. However, with that being said, you can always buy these herbs in root form and tincture them as they’re also soluble in alcohol.
As for the crackers, I would think they would be fine to use that way as you probably combine your dry ingredients with something that’s water-based to make the dough. This would start the breakdown process of the plant material, and since the crackers are dehydrated, I wouldn’t think the temperature would be too high to cause any problems.
I’m sorry if this doesn’t answer your question thoroughly enough. I’ll have to ask some more experienced herbalist what they think. If I get any more info, I’ll definitely let you know.
I have a question. Does it have to be red maca? All the other herbs are available from Mountain Rose herbs, can I use the maca that they sell and that way order only from one source? Or maybe, I just need to find a supplier that carries all of them, preferably in Canada for shipping purposes. 🙂
No Wendy… all macas are adaptogens. The Maca Team just has their maca broken down into the different types. You can totally purchase it from MRH.
My son was diagnosed with autism in the summer. He is now 2 1/2 yo. I’ve been reading a lot about autism and the brain. The more I read, the more I found out that people on the spectrum have a lot of problems with stress. Their stress hormones are always on guard and they basically live on the edge of “fight or flight”. Not being able to control (and understand most of the time) their emotions, they panic and get high level anxiety attacks very easily and it takes forever for them to come down from them.
So, my question is : would this blend be safe long term on a child as young as my son? Since it is always a 0 to 60 thing, it’s hard to say we’ll use it as needed. By the time we need it, it would already be happening. That is why I was wondering if we could maybe add something like this blend to his daily supplements that would help him manage this tidal wave of stress he’s constantly forced to deal with?
Yes, Yanic. From my understanding, most adaptogen herbs are safe for long-term use. However, you still want to check for side effects with the herbs. For example, licorice root can cause water retention and high blood pressure if used in too high of a dose for too long. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it at all, but you may wanna use it for 4 weeks then leave it out for 4 weeks… switching back and forth with it. I’m assuming that if he has autism, he’s under a doctor’s care and having routine checkups. You can do your research on the herbs and then bring it up with his doctor just to double-check. Also, some autistic children are very particular about taste and texture so if he doesn’t like the flavor (sort of sweet) then you may need to mask it more. Hope that helps some! Good luck!
Thank you so much!
My son is pretty easy, I can put just about anything in applesauce. 🙂 But he has also been drinking mild herbal teas since he was a baby so I usually don’t need to add honey or sweetners.
Fro all the research I’ve been doing, it seems most are pretty good. Maybe do a very mild dose like I do with his daily herbal tea (1/4 of the dose). I’ll run it by our doctor. Thank you again.
If I wanted to use only licorice root powder, would 1 tsp. be a safe amount to use daily with a 5 y/o child? Thanks!
my son is almost 11 years old, he is swimming 5 time a week .can l give him maca and how much?
Yes, maca should be fine for his age. As far as dosage goes, most companies give a suggested dosage you can follow. Most times, the dosage is for an adult so you’ll want to cut in down to 1/4 – 1/2 of that for children. Best of luck, Anna, and thanks for commenting!
I was thinking of making this as a tincture. Can I leave the maca root out? I can add it to my next batch when funds are available.
Yes, you could leave the maca out.
Also-most of these herbs I have are in loose leaf and not powder. Any suggestions on how much?
I figured same recipe but do “parts” instead.
So like one part, two parts…etc.
Hmm, I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying, Tempera. The herbs in this recipe are all roots, not leaves. When it comes to adaptogens, powdered form and used in electuaries is my favorite way to use them, but you could also make a tincture from them as well. Hope that helps!