To treat fussiness and colic the natural way
Proper gripe water manages to soothe baby’s stomach, helping them to stop crying or fussing, so that baby can go to sleep. It helps me keep my sanity, Daddy keep his head, and baby keep their loving place in my heart. To be honest, I give gripe water when I have no idea why baby is difficult, and usually it works.
Being a product that I use often and with little hesitation, I had to make sure that my children don’t get any nasties in, and was I surprised! Most locally available gripe water contains sodium bicarbonate and terpeneless dill oil, which seems pretty harmless. But then they also add preservatives, alcohol, sugar, and even colourants. Although in small quantities, I don’t think we were really meant to ingest things that we cannot even pronounce, and as you know, we turn to gripe water a lot during the day – then these small quantities add up. Especially with a newborn you should be extra vigilant about what you allow down their throats. Not happy with the store-bought stuff, I set about researching how to make my own, and this is what I found:
Great for easing irritability, nervous tension, and anxiousness. Used for treating insomnia and restlessness, it is also very effective for treating babies hypersensitive to pain.
Long been used for indigestion and as a gas-reliever and cramp-relieving agent because of its ability to inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those found in the intestinal tract. It also has pain-reducing and anti-microbial properties.
Used to relieve flatulence, heartburn, and indigestion, it is also an anti-spasmodic used for mild spasms in the gastrointestinal tract.
An excellent digestive aid known for its gas-relieving properties as well as its antispasmodic effects. It also stimulates bile flow, assisting in enhancing and rebalancing the body’s bile secretions which are essential for the treatment of indigestion, including gastric acid reflux.
Like peppermint, ginger is also an antispasmodic and a very effective nausea remedy. It also contains chemicals that can reduce inflammation, motion sickness, gas, and diarrhoea.
I found a very nice recipe here, specially formulated for little tummies, and adjusted it according to my needs and my littlies’ preferences. Although the recipe is very flexible, two ingredients must rather stay put – the fennel and the ginger. The success lies in them. For the preparation, I cheated a bit, using tea bags that I left to infuse with the added herbs in a loose-leaf tea strainer. You can choose to do it my way, or to rather buy all of the individual ingredients
Homemade natural gripe water
Homemade and natural answer to baby’s fussiness and colic
- 1 bag chamomile tea (I used Purity – Organic Goodnights Rooibos and Chamomile Tea, but you can buy loose leaf tea here)
- 1 bag Lemon Ginger Tea (I used the Woolworths brand Lemon Peel & Ginger Root Tea)
- 1 tsp. Fennel seeds (I used the Woolworths brand)
- 1 tsp. Dill tips (I used Cape Herbs and Spice brand)
- 1 tsp. Caraway seeds (I used Cape Herbs and Spice brand)
- Fresh mint sprig (I grow my own)
- 1 tsp. organic sugar (optional, if you choose to add you can buy here)
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Place loose herbs in tea strainer.
- Place strainer in cup together with the tea bags and mint sprig.
- Pour hot water over all ingredients and steep for about 10 minutes, or until it starts to get strong. If you want to make more, add 2 or 3 cups of water and steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (label your jar with the date)
- If you want to make it last longer, pour some into an ice cube tray and freeze for use later
DOSAGE – 1 teaspoon or 5 ml
Safety Note: As with anything that you would consider giving your baby, first check with your doctor to make sure that it is safe. I am not a doctor, and can make no medical claims. Herbal medicine, although natural, still has side effects and should be taken with care and consideration. When in doubt, don’t.