Gripe Water Ingredients
Colic is not something any parent wants to deal with, but according to the Mayo Clinic, as many as 25 percent of all babies are affected by it. Babies will first show symptoms of colic, continuous crying at about the same time each day, within a few weeks of birth and in most cases, by three months of age, the colic will disappear. Although in some instances, babies are still colicky after that. However, there is a cure called gripe water. This is an old herbal remedy used in Europe and gaining popularity in the United States.
The main ingredients in gripe water are several different herbs. For hundreds of years, peppermint relaxes the stomach muscles and flushes out the stomach faster than normal. Chamomile is a relative of the daisy plant and has small white flowers. It contains components that reduce inflammation and ease stomach upset. Unfortunately, it is related to ragweed, which can cause allergic reactions in anyone who is susceptible to ragweed. Ginger is another herb used in gripe water. Ginger treats nausea and indigestion.
Gripe water includes fennel to treat colic due to its ability to stop the spasm of the muscles in the stomach and ease cramping. It also is a pain reliever and fever reducer. The ancient cultures of China and India used fennel oil to treat a number of ailments. Crushed and boiled fennel seeds release the oil that contains the active ingredients. Discard the remains of the fennel seeds. If you make gripe water, you can substitute dill for fennel.
Many recipes of gripe water include sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. Baking soda is a natural material that helps to balance pH in the body. Baking soda comes from soda ash, or sodium carbonate, which comes from trona, an ore. In a distillation process, the soda ash dissolves, and carbon dioxide is added. What comes out of this reaction is sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda is an alkaline substance, which neutralizes the acid in the stomach, making it an important ingredient in gripe water.