Raising Tiny Herbalists
Children are magic. They are born with the wonder and connection to the world that so many adults lose touch with. They know the worth of plants without having to be told why. In a field full of flowers a child will run overjoyed to you with a bouquet of dandelions to tell you they are the most beautiful flowers in the world and they wish to share the with you! They know there is something magical in the plants around us and how wonderful would it be to support their connection with plants by also educating them about the healing powers they can also provide? Raise a little herbalist so their connection to the earth doesn’t fade like so many of ours has.
In our family garden my three children each have their own plots to tend to completely on their own. They’ve had them since they were babies. My sons most adored plant is a rosemary bush he planted when it was only a few inches tall. He has seasoned many of our family dinners by running out to his garden to harvest a few sprigs to share with his family. And how great that in his enthusiasm of sharing his rosemary the perfect opportunity is presented for us to talk more about the benefits of rosemary! My daughter has several different herbs in her garden she likes to harvest for their beautiful aroma. A sprig of lavender to take to bed with her at night, some lemon balm to rub and inhale the flavors. Caring for their herbs from the very beginning and then being able to harvest has instilled that appreciation for the herbs.
For the cold and flu season my children helped make syrup from the elderberries we harvested on a recent camping trip. Now when they are feeling a little down they’ll ask for some of the syrup they helped make! Growing up being involved in the process of using herbs safely to supplement their health has helped keep them excited about it. Knowledge that will continue to grow and expand as they get older and discover new herbs.
Nurture the love for plants children have. Use the little scrapes and bruises kids get as opportunities to talk about why we use certain herbs. For little burns my daughter will now request aloe and lavender because she loves how it soothes. I get headaches often and the children know peppermint is my savior. Children want to help those around them and knowledge of herbs give them the ability to share their love of plants while tending to their nature to nurture. Let’s encourage our children to dive deeper into their wonder and know why herbs play such an important role in our lives.
By: Kelsey Montat
Disclaimer- Safety is always something to instill into the children. I encourage people to educate and keep the love of plants alive in children by involving them but be mindful to do so while keeping safety a priority being sure to use appropriate herbs safe for children.
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