When a newborn cries for no obvious reason, it is often thought to be because of colic. The baby cries for a long duration and no matter what the mother does, she is unable to pacify her baby and put an end to the crying. During an infant’s first six months they typically double in weight and the sheer amount of food that must be ingested to accomplish this can often times lead to an upset tummy due to gas build up and general indigestion. The good news is that colic can be treated successfully using herbal remedies in the form of tea, tincture and other methods of application. These herbs should be taken by both the infant as well as the mother if she is breast feeding as in many cases.
Herbal Remedies for Baby Colic
Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Anise, a plant with star-shaped fruit which is harvested just before it ripens, has long been used for it’s ability to treat gas, bloating and other digestive problems making it a natural choice for infants suffering from colic. This traditional colic remedy is administered by giving one tsp of anise tea to the baby three times a day while the mother drinks one cup three times a day. This remedy has been used successfully in many cultures for many years as a treatment for colic.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
This herb is another traditional remedy that has been used worldwide for centuries as a cure for colic. One notable feature about this particular remedy is the fact that each dose the mother takes is cumulative. In other words, it takes around 3 weeks before the dosages begin to stack up and become effective. Aside from that, this particular remedy is reported to be very powerful and effective for improving colic symptoms. German Chamomile (matricaria recutilta) should be used to make a tea with one cup of water. The mother should take one cup of water a day and none should be given to the infant. As you can probably guess this is only effective if you are breast feeding.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel seed is another colic herbal remedy that is incredibly effective when breast feeding. This is due to the fact that tea made from fennel seeds will ease lactation and flavor breast milk. Additionally modern research has discovered another major benefit of this herb; the fact that it is completely side effect free. The tea is prepared with 1 cup of water. The infant should be given 1 tsp three times daily, while the mother should take 1 cup a day.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
This may come as a surprise to many but peppermint is actually a highly effective herbal remedy for fighting colic. This is due to the fact that peppermint contains menthol (a volatile oil) which has strong medicinal properties. It produces a calming, numbing effect which is incredibly effective at fighting gastrointestinal problems by stopping cramping, diarrhea and gas. Peppermint also helps to fight food borne bacteria, making it even more useful for infant’s health. Peppermint tea is prepared by dipping a tea bag in 1 cup of water. The baby should be given 1 tsp three times daily, while the mother needs 1 cup a day.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender has long been used for its ability to soothe the mind and body, making it a great natural remedy for colic. In addition to this, lavender oil is also known for being able to treat digestive tract disorder, treating both the cause and the symptoms by reducing muscle spasms, relieving abdominal distension, remedying chronic gas and indigestion. Unlike most colic remedies lavender isn’t to be taken orally. Instead it is best incorporated into a bath or used in a massage. Remember, the scent of lavender is just as much a part of the cure as the infant absorbing the oil through his or her skin.