What is Gripe Water?
Have you ever heard of Gripe Water? Strange name, right? If you are a parent whose child is suffering from discomfort due to painful gas, teething, hiccups or colic, gripe water just might become your new best friend.
If you are from the UK, you already know about this homeopathic remedy. Brands like Nurse Harvey's Gripe Mixture and Woodward's Gripe Water are often given as a gift to a new parent in much the same way as bottles or bibs are given to a new parent in America. Gripe water has been used as a popular treatment for baby colic in Europe for over a century.
The term gripe water is thought to have been coined by William Woodward (of Woodward's Gripe Water fame), in the 19th century. At the time, doctors were using a similar mixture to treat malaria, and by accident, discovered it also worked for soothing crying babies with gastrointestinal troubles. The 19th century slang for gastroenteritis was "watery gripes."
Historians think Woodward borrowed the mixture, and the slang name, and started marketing Woodward's Gripe Water in 1851. Although it is more readily available over-the-counter outside the United States (because the FDA considers it a drug and limits its distribution), many baby specialty stores and online retailers do carry this quick and natural remedy to soothe your baby's discomfort.
Some of the more popular gripe water brands available online in the US include Colic Calm, Baby's Bliss,and Wellements.
Each brand has its own specific claims and homeopathic ingredients, but for the most part, gripe water is a liquid mixture fortified with herbs known for being true tummy soothers. For example, ginger, chamomile, peppermint or fennel is often found in these different brands.
Gripe water is for oral use. Some parents mix the gripe water in with their baby's formula. Other parents use a measured dispenser, such as the NumiMed to administer each dose. Only you and your pediatrician can determine what works best for your baby. Some parents start using the remedy a few weeks after birth and continue as long as the baby suffers from gas and colic. Even some adults have been known to use gripe water to treat digestive problems.
The next time your baby's tummy is suffering, try something safe, effective and fast to stop their pain. Stock up on some gripe water.