At what age can mint be given to children?
Such a perennial medicinal plant, like mint, has been in demand in folk medicine for many decades. Tea with fragrant dried leaves has healing properties and is loved by many adults.
But when a baby grows up in a family, it is legitimate to doubt whether children can mint, because such a plant, like any other medicinal herbs, has its own contraindications, and if used incorrectly, it can turn into harm. In order not to worry, you need to figure out how mint acts on the human body and when it is possible to acquaint children with it.
Mint is represented by more than 20 varieties, but the most famous is pepper, which was obtained by crossing water and garden varieties. It is most valuable for its features:
- The plant is rich in carotene, essential oils, vitamins C, P, B and A, flavonoids, menthol, tannins, calcium, iron and many other compounds.
- Mint tea has a calming effect and the ability to relieve insomnia. The use of this drink helps to cope with the experiences and stress, reduces nervousness and irritation, prevents fatigue.
- Mint has a beneficial effect on digestion. It helps eliminate nausea and effectively fights flatulence.
- Applying peppermint will help reduce blood pressure, improve bile flow and relieve cramps. In addition, the active components of the leaves help to get rid of cough.
- Menthol present in the plant (about 5% in leaflets) gives mint cooling properties that are in demand in the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics.
- Mint has properties to reduce inflammation and eliminate itching. Such effects are widely used by dentists and cosmetologists, adding essential oils from such a plant to conditioners, toothpastes, creams, tonics, and other products.
- The use of peppermint (and especially its oils) can provoke allergies.
- Excessive ingestion of menthol in the body leads to drowsiness, dizziness, double vision, breathing problems.
- A large amount of peppermint provokes heartburn.
- Drinking tea with mint is contraindicated in low pressure blood, chronic pathologies of the liver and kidneys.
- If a nursing mother drinks this tea, it can reduce the production of breast milk.
How old are children?
Doctors advise to introduce the child with mint in the form of tea not earlier than at the age of 3. Although many pediatricians do not recommend brewing such a plant until the child is 5 years old. Such a ban is associated with a pronounced soothing effect of the leaves.
Sometimes you can hear the advice to give a light infusion even to an infant, as this will help get rid of bloating and colic. However, the use of mint in children under 3 years old without consulting a physician can harm. It is especially dangerous to give an infusion or decoction of this plant to children up to a year.
Note that the sale can be found for children teas with a calming effect, including mint leaves. One of them is the Grandmother’s Tea basket, on the packaging of which it is noted that this product is allowed from the age of three months.
However, you should not rush to brew such a tea for a 4 month old baby to soothe. At least, without coordination with the pediatrician. The product may cause an allergy in the infant or affect the rhythm of the heartbeats or breathing of the baby.After consulting with a doctor and making sure that there are no contraindications, you can start giving such baby tea from 5-6 months.
In what form to give the child?
- Most often, mint is used in the form of hot or chilled beverages. Brewing tea leaves can be alone or with other plants, such as chamomile or lemon balm. To make mint tea for a child over 5 years old, you need to brew a weak black tea, adding a sprig of mint during cooking and leave the drink to infuse for about 10 minutes.
- In summer, mint leaves can be added to cold cocktails, for example, in classic lemonade made from still water, sugar and lemon juice. The added dried or fresh twig will change the taste of the drink and make it even more refreshing.
- Mint can be used as a seasoning for main dishes. Dried shredded leaves shade the taste of lamb, chicken, zucchini, salmon. Seasoning can be added to salads and a variety of sauces.
- Mint leaves are able to give zest and desserts. For example, fresh strawberries and chocolate are wonderfully combined with this plant. It can also be added to jam, ice cream or jelly.
Mint for bathing babies
While bathing a baby, herbal tea is often added to the bath. The most popular are the sequence, calendula and chamomile, but you can also add a mint infusion, lavender, and valerian. The concentration of herbal decoction should not be high, because plants with healing properties are highly allergenic.
To prepare the infusion, you should pour about 4 spoons of crushed dry leaves 0.5 liters of boiling water. After 40 minutes, the liquid can be drained and poured into the bath, not forgetting to check if the water is too hot. In such a bath, the crumb will quickly relax and calm down before bedtime.
As for bathing with peppermint essential oil, the addition of such an aromatic product to the baby bath is allowed from 1 year. The dosage for one bathing for a baby 1-2 years is 1-2 drops, and from 2 years of age - 3 drops. The oil is first dripped onto the baby bath salt, mixed, and only then added to the water.
Where to buy and how to prepare?
You can buy dried mint at any pharmacy - both in the form of dried leaves, and as part of medicinal fees, where motherwort, lemon balm and other plants are present. When buying such a finished product, you should carefully consider the packaging and check the expiration date.
Collect mint leaves is advised from April to September, preferably - before the flowering plants. The grass grown on the summer cottage or torn off in a place remote from roads and industrial plants should be washed under running water and then dried on paper or fabric. When the leaves are completely dry, put them in a glass container or paper bag.
Useful and medicinal properties of mint, you can learn from the video below.