Are you tempted to used gripe water as a remedy for colic but are unsure about the side effects? This article discusses the possible gripe water side effects and weighs up the options and consequences of using this popular remedy.
This colic relief remedy originated from England in the 1860’s where is was used as a remedy for tummy aches. Very soon it had spread throughout the world as a herbal colic relief remedy. This product is marketed as a natural, herbal form of colic relief. The words natural and herbal delight parents who assume that being natural and herbal means being safe. This is not always the case.
Herbs such as peppermint and ginger can cause the worsening of symptoms such as reflux. These herbs are said to relax the stomach sphincter even more causing reflux. Although these herbs do aid digestion you should be wary of its use if your baby suffers from reflux.
Some brands of gripe water use alcohol which is not at all recommended in babies and infants. Sodium bicarbonate, also a popular ingredient in this popular remedy can also cause some unwanted side effects. Sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda and can cause dehydration in the body and also affect the blood acidity level.
The most serious side effects of this remedy is due to allergies. Babies are very sensitive and all babies are different and will react differently. Symptoms of allergies can range from the more common skin rashes and hives to the more serious wheezing, swelling of the throat and lips and difficulty breathing. Some babies may experience a worsening of their symptoms and their colic or reflux could get worse. If this is the case then you should stop using gripe water immediately.
So, side effects do exist with this natural remedy. I am sure the question on your mind is ‘Should I take the risk?’. Well, firstly let us look at what this remedy actually does. Most if not all colic relief remedies soothe the symptoms of colic without taking into account the cause of colic.
No, colic is not caused by wind, gas and indigestion. These are only the symptoms. Soothing these symptoms will only provide short-term relief if you are lucky and in some cases no relief at all. To truly cure colic you need to treat the cause of colic.