Article - Little immune systems need special attention Article - Little immune systems need special attention

Little immune systems need special attention.

Kids are not just small adults - their bodies actually work quite differently. Their immune systems are still developing and they build up their adaptive immune system all the time as they encounter new bugs. Read our previous article to learn how your immune system works.

A child’s immune system is therefore on high alert. You will notice that your children can take a turn very quickly. One minute they're fine, the next they're suddenly very lethargic and running a fever.  And they may recover just as quickly. That is a developing immune system at its finest!  Being able to successfully fight infections in childhood is essential for a healthy immune system later in life.

Medicines for children need to be formulated with their specific needs, and safety, in mind. Concerns over safety and lack of efficacy meant that in 2012 the NZ medicines agency Medsafe recommend that pharmaceutical cough and cold medications should not be used in children under the age of 6 years. 

Plant medicines are therefore the only option. Lucky for us they work so well!


Prevent and Treat with Plant Medicine

Plant medicine can be used preventatively during school term and acutely when unwell. Children need a different dosage than adults. It is better to give them smaller doses more frequently, rather than large doses once or twice a day.

Here are some of our favourite herbs to use with children.

Echinacea root (Echinacea purpurea): Echinacea is a fabulous plant for both preventing and treating infections as it helps to increase the number and activity of immune system cells. This results in a more efficient attack on invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Echinacea can reduce the severity and duration of colds and the flu. 

Studies on children with respiratory tract infections and ear infections have shown that it is both safe and effective.  Keep this baby in your medicine cabinet always!

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): A powerful natural infection-fighter! Thyme’s essential oils fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It is great for coughs as it helps to bring up sticky phlegm.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice’s wonderful soothing, sweet taste not only makes other herbs taste better, it also soothes a raw sore throat and helps with a cough. It's proven an effective antiviral medicine. Additionally, licorice helps the body adapt better to stress, including the physical stress of an infection.

Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis): The most important herb to relieve dry, unproductive coughs and bronchitis due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Californian Poppy (Eschscholzia californica): Traditionally used to help relax children. Californian Poppy enhances sleep by reducing pain and restlessness. This is especially helpful when little ones are feeling unwell.

At Artemis, our experience and expertise means that we have formulated some great products for children. We formulate for safety, efficacy, and dosage. Our favourite Artemis products for keeping kids well are: Immuno Boost Tea, Kids ViroGoneKids Chest Relief DayKids Chest Relief Night.


All Artemis Kids Products are:

Effective: expertly formulated specifically for young children, not adults
- Potent: made from organic fresh-plant extracts for maximum strength
- Safe: ingredients used medicinally for generations and well documented in official pharmacopoeias and trials as safe for children. Suitable right from birth.
- Hypoallergenic: 100% natural and organic ingredients which are free from pesticides and herbicides; free from artificial flavourings; free from gluten, wheat and dairy
- Sugar Free: no sugar, honey, fruit concentrate or natural/artificial sweeteners
- Low alcohol / no artificial preservatives: only 4.2% ethanol (much less than the amount of alcohol a child's body produces naturally when digesting a banana



Research is on file, please request if you’re interested.


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Hechtman, L. (2012). Clinical naturopathic medicine. Chatswood, Australia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Lim, T. (2014). Edible medicinal and non-medicinal plants: Volume 8: Flowers. New Delhi, India: Springer.

Santich, R., & Bone, K. (2008). Healthy children: Optimising children’s health with herbs. Warwick, Australia: Phytotherapy Press.