The constantly changing landscape of a rapidly growing child can create episodes of anxiety. Going to an unfamiliar house to meet new people or going to a new daycare center can create anxiety. Rather than using drug therapy, there are natural remedies for anxiety that are generally considered safe for children. Holistic remedies include the consumption of certain foods, the use of aromatherapy, homeopathy and gentle acupressure.
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Apply Ayurvedic Principles to Reduce Kapha Anxiety Imbalance
Ayurveda, or the Indian sister science to yoga, divides minor anxiety into categories based on a person’s dosha, or body/mind type. Vatas are thin, wiry, fast-acting, scattered; Pittas are little fireballs of activity and hot under the collar and may be “screamers;” and Kaphas tend to be chubby, mellow and calm. These are broad categories and many children are combinations. Childhood is a Kapha time of growing. Anxiety can be relieved by eating a Kapha-pacifying diet of a mixture of cooked and raw foods. For example, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. Providing time for quiet activities such as reading, playing games or napping before dinner can quell minor anxiety in small children.
Use Aromatherapy to Calm Children
Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils extracted from plants, flowers and herbs that are diluted in carrier oils such as sweet almond, jojoba or other plant or nut oil, can calm anxiety in children. Lavender, lemon and chamomile are three essential oils that are generally safe for children to use.
Be certain your child is not allergic to these oils before using. Combine three ounces of a carrier oil with 10 to 15 drops of any of these essential oils and apply to your child’s bed pillow, blanket, jacket or shirt collar. Dab on an area where your child can sniff the essential oil. These can have a calming, slightly sedative effect. Lavender sachets are safe for infants when tucked under their bed pillows, where they cannot be accidentally swallowed.
Consider Bach Flower Remedies and Acupressure
Bach flower remedies and simple acupressure points may also provide some relief for minor anxiety in children. Bach flower remedies are the use of highly diluted mixtures of plants, herbs and flowers that are taken in pellet, tincture or spray form. Check with a licensed naturopath before giving anything to your child. There is a Bach flower remedy called Rescue Remedy that combines several remedies into one and it is commonly used for children who have experienced a minor emotional or physical injury.
Pressing on the lung acupressure points, located at the physical ends of where the collarbones end, by softly pressing one fingertip into each hollow for 20 to 30 seconds, can also help a child calm down. Every parent knows that pressing a child against his or her breast often has an instant calming effect.