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Is Gripe Water safe for your baby?

Written by Dr. Chandhi Rajapakshe

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Posted on October 05 2021

Dr. Chandhi Rajapakshe
Senior Lecturer | Doctor of Ayurveda | M. Sc (University of Peradeniya) | BAMS (University of Colombo)

 

Newborns often tend to have excessive gas and tummy problems as their digestive systems have just started working independently. If there is repeated crying for more than 3 hours continuously at least for 3 days a week, your baby may have colic. As the exact cause for colic has not been identified, it is difficult to find a specific remedy.

Gripe water is essentially an over-the-counter supplement given to colicky babies all around the world, yet there is quite a debate as the U.S FDA does not consider gripe water to be safe for children as well. Is there a better alternative?

What makes Gripe Water unhealthy?

 Gripe water usually consists of sodium bicarbonate with the incorporation of herbs like;

  • Ginger
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Peppermint

 Gripe water was initially a mixture of sugar and alcohol, although now the manufacturers have diverted to the key ingredients being agave, purified water and ginger flavor.

 The inclusion of alcohol, sucrose, dairy products or gluten makes gripe water unhealthy for babies and children as it can induce allergies and affect teething.

 Side effects of Gripe Water

There have been quite a few adverse reactions to gripe water with increased constipation and vomiting in babies.

Babies also tend to have an allergic reaction to gripe water resulting in hives, itchiness or vomiting.

As it also contains high amounts of sugar, gripe water may tend to cause conflicting issues with the development of teeth in babies.

As listed under Medicinenet diarrhea, change in breathing, watery eyes and fever are among the other side effects typically seen as a result of consuming gripe water.

Is it safe for babies?

Gripe water has been considered an uncertain choice, as a doctor I would recommend that you run through the risks and possible side effects beforehand in order to make sure that you are fully aware of them.

 Some of the major concerns have been with regard to the ingredients. As not all brands of gripe water use the same ingredients, they cannot be directly criticized yet we can consider certain facts. For example, the FDA has banned gripe water due to it being a supplement as opposed to a medication. This raises the question of whether it is ideally recommended for consumption by babies.

 Although most brands in the present-day state that their gripe water is alcohol-free this doesn’t necessarily apply to all the brands. Large amounts of sodium bicarbonate have also been proven to result in milk-alkali syndrome.

Does Gripe Water work?

 Most studies have concluded that gripe water has not worked for its intended purposes therefore it is indeed questionable as to why a majority resort to it as a medication.

 Gripe water is often known as a herbal remedy but taking a closer look at the ingredients may prove that it is not usually the case. As a doctor, in the field of herbal treatment the lack of transparency and reliability with using different ingredients (sometimes unhealthy) in gripe water, leads me to believe that more harm than good is done.

Alternatives to Gripe Water?

 Although there are plenty of probable remedies that may work such as applying very minimal pressure on your baby’s tummy or other techniques such as cutting out common irritating types of food from your diet such as caffeine, spicy foods and dairy if your baby is being breastfed. Most parents are left with none of these solutions being a success.

 Secrets of tea introduces their Babies’ Magic tea which has proven to work for thousands of colicky babies over the world.

This unique blend of tea is said to prevent and treat acid reflux, gas, colic, constipation and other common digestive problems seen in new-born infants.

 

 

Whats in Babies’ Magic Tea? 

  • Organic & Sanitized Florence Fennel
  • Organic & Sanitized Iranian Cumin
  • Organic & Sanitized Roman Matricaria Chamomile  

 Why is it a better alternative?

 It has no sugar, alcohol, artificial colors or flavours, no gluten, dairy, soy, chemicals or petroleum and is 100% vegetarian and vegan.

 It is BPA/PVC/Phthalate free and also, FDA approved, halal and kosher making it undeniably inclusive and a healthier option.

 

It is advisable to give 2-8 ounces of tea each feeding. Starting with 3 to 4 servings a day and when the baby feels better, the tea can be continued to be served twice a day to prevent any future tummy issues. The tea can be given directly or added to the baby’s formula or expressed milk. Nursing mothers can drink the tea to pass its benefits through their breast milk.

Babies’ Magic Tea: Does it work?

 A clinical study done on the primary ingredients have proven that scientifically each ingredient can be concluded to be a treatment.

 

 

·      Florence Fennel (Foeniculum vulgae)

 Commonly known as fennel, as a stilbenoid is packed with nutritious value and is a rich source for protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and plenty of dietary minerals which have biochemical implications in infant health and bacterial control.
 Irina Alexandrovich, MD, Department of Pediatrics, determined that infants, administered with an emulsion of fennel seed oil were relieved of colic in 65% of the cases.
 

 ·      Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

A herb found in the native areas of the eastern Mediterranean to south Asia.
Cumin has a long history of being an ancient medicinal herb. Naturally it has a strong flavor and warm aroma due to its essential oil content.
Cumin acts as an anti-viral and anti-cancer which targets the copper and iron binding in cells. The effects of cumin are potentially active on the gut microorganisms in order to maintain ‘good’ bacteria. This would help infants develop their own healthy gut microbial bacteria as the cumin would only be effective against any foreign bacteria.
 

 ·      Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Being one of the oldest and most established medical herbs recognized, it has been prescribed for a wide range of illnesses. Targeting from hay fever, inflammation, insomnia, wounds and gastrointestinal disorders.
Chamomile has often been administered as a tea with its essential oils and active ingredients seeping from the herb itself into the boiling water for consumption.
After 7 days of treatment, parents reported that the tea eliminated the colic in 57% of the infants which proves the efficacy of chamomile.The study showed that diarrhea ended sooner in children treated with chamomile as well.
Therefore, it can be concluded that chamomile can be used to safely treat infant colic and digestive disorders.

Babies’ Magic Tea, a blend of three ingredients, carries the weight of relieving infant colic and digestive distress and it is definitely a better option compared to gripe water for babies and children. A closer look at the ingredients justify that each acts as a vital component in treating colic and excessive gas in infants.

It can be tiring and difficult to continuously watch your baby deal with discomfort. If major issues such as food allergies and acid reflux had been ruled out by your pediatrician, this tea is the solution youve been looking for.

It has been my go-to recommendation for patients who are seeking an herbal remedy that is guaranteed to be effective and not have adverse side effects especially in the long run. The studies that I conducted showed that over 80% of babies who were prescribed Babies’ Magic Tea got quick relief of all digestive issues, including, colic, gas, constipation and acid reflux.

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