The Effects of Gripe Water on Infants

schreien image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

While colic is a mysterious condition that afflicts newborns, its treatment doesn't have to be. Gripe water is a traditional European remedy that has been around since the mid 1800s. It is now gaining popularity in the United States, as well as other countries around the world, as a remedy for colic.

Gripe water is a formulation of water mixed with herbs and sometimes homeopathic medicines, and is believed to help colic by calming the digestive system. In addition to colic, it can also relieve some of the symptoms associated with teething, as well as other problems of the digestive system.

Colic Symptoms

The cause of colic is unknown, however, many parents believe it has something to do with gas or digestive troubles. Gripe water contains stomach-calming herbs such as such as peppermint, chamomile, anise, fennel and/or ginger. These herbs benefit the whole digestive tract, whether the problem stems from gas, reflux, or stomach upset.

Teething Relief

Gripe water can also relieve some of the discomforts of teething in infants. Teething produces an which upsets a baby's stomach. Also, babies take in a lot of air during teething because of crying, and gripe water helps to eliminate the air, which could be making your baby gassy.

Other Uses

The same ingredients that help relieve symptoms of colic help relieve other digestive problems. Hiccups and nausea, as well as acid reflux, can be relieved by the use of gripe water.

Side Effects

While gripe water is generally safe if taken within the dosage guidelines, there are some possible side effects that can occur. Digestive problems such as gas, vomiting or black stools may occur. Dehydration, rashes, breathing problems or inflammation may also occur. One of the ingredients in gripe water, yeast, may cause a baby to gain weight. You can minimise side effects by always giving your baby the correct dosage, getting a doctor's recommendation for which brand to use, and storing the gripe water in the refrigerator once the bottle is opened.