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13. How should children be given herbal medicine?

As herbal medicine is administrated in rather small dosage and the diet of children is often simple compared with that of an adult, the method of giving herbal medicine to children also differs from that for adults.

For infants, the herbal powder can be tipped on the nipple while the baby is breast feeding or bottle feeding.

For children under 5 years, the herbal powder can be given mixed with milk, yogurt, lemonade or water. There is no strict time regulation of taking medicine between the meals, but the frequency is the same as in adults. If the herbal medicine is a pill or tablet, it should be first dissolved in a little water.

For children under 5 years of age, it is forbidden to prescribe pills, tablets or capsules because children of this age cannot swallow them properly, especially when they are nervous, ill or reluctant to take the medicine.

For children older than 5 years, the method of taking the medicine is somewhere in between the usual method for adults and that for smaller children because they can understand why they should take the medicine and so can cooperate better.

Of course, herbs prescribed for children should not be too strong in taste or smell. After the herbs are taken, favorite drinks can then be given as refreshment.

Next: What are the contraindications and cautions when using Chinese herbal medicine? 

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