By Supriya B
A warm hello to all the mothers and mothers to be. When babies get ill it can be a very scary time for new mothers, more so if you have not seen too many infants around you. The baby cannot tell you what is wrong, and you are too afraid to give him medicines that may have some side effects. Sabir (my 5 month old son) cried endlessly come evening, and though everyone said it is colic and gas and it shall pass, the cries were too distressing. So was the thought that I will have to give him some medicinal drops everyday if I didn’t want him to cry. After reading up a few books and consulting some family elders we came up with a home remedy routine for him that has helped in a big way. He hasn’t been colicky since we started this treatment. Of course the reduced dependence on medicines has been added plus.
There is a lot of debate about whether baby colic and baby gas are related, some people say colic is totally unrelated and no one really knows what it is. However for my child baby colic was nothing but gas. Here are the traditional home remedies we use for him.
Baby colic/gas home remedies
When the baby starts crying with gas pains (check the stomach, it doesn’t feel as soft as it does otherwise) the first thing I do is apply a pinch of asafetida (hing) mixed with half teaspoon coconut oil on the baby’s tummy and
Take a pinch of carom seeds (ova/ajwain) and a pinch of dill seeds (bal shopa/ sua seeds). Roast them on a small tawa till fragrant. Add four teaspoons of boiled water to this. Boil this till it reduces to half and give 7-8 drops of this every half an hour till the baby is relieved.
Constipation and gas often go hand in hand, and you can’t treat one without treating the other.
I have also tried Woodwards Gripe water and found it to be effective.
In case of very severe gas, there is a medicine called Colicaid (check with your pediatrician for this) which was helpful.
Take one raisin, wash it, and boil it in two teaspoons of water till water reduces to half. Filter the water. Give this water to the baby.
You can increase the quantity of raisins (bedane/ manuka) if you find it suiting the baby. Start with one initially. You can also crush the raisin in water for a stronger medicine. However always filter and give the baby.
(Sabir is now 5 months and I use 5 raisins to make this medicine for him.)
Apply some castor oil or coconut oil on the baby’s bum.
Lifting the baby’s legs to his stomach with knees bent also helps release gas and pass stools.
Getting the baby to lie on his stomach also puts the pressure for stool to come out. However do not let the baby sleep like that, it increases the risk of suffocation. Make sure you supervise the baby when he/she is on his tummy. (Simple tip- for very small infants, stretch your legs and cross them. Put your baby on your thighs. This way you can pat the baby to make it feel comfortable while there is pressure on his/her tummy).
This is the traditional baby tonic plus preventive and curative medicine all in one. The best part about this is that you can completely customize it to your baby’s needs. I am going to share what I did to customize this for my baby. I started giving this after Sabir completed three months, but a lot of people start sooner.
For the tonic to truly work it needs to be given every morning once baby completes 3 months till the baby is atleast one. You can give this for a longer time if you have the time.
Janam Ghutti – Tonic
Mamra Irani Almond-1/2 (increase to one slowly)
Kesar/ Saffron – 1 stick
Anjeer/Dried Figs -2 rounds (only if baby is prone to constipation)
Vekhand-3 rounds (for cold and cough)
I have a small ‘sahan’ on which I make this mixture with twice boiled water.
Sahan is Marathi word for a rough stone used to make paste of Chandan Stick by rubbing it on this tool)
Can give Beheda earlier, one small round if baby is crying often due to gas and between 1 to 3 months of age. For babies one month and younger I suggest following what the doctor says.
Other items that can be added to the ghutti are
Dried Dates (kharik) – 2 rounds
Jyeshthamadh – 2 rounds (if the baby is prone to cough)
Sunth/Dried Ginger – 2 rounds (if the baby is prone to cough)
Wavding – for gas prone babies or those who have indigestion issues
For the Mommy
- Ova Water (to prevent gas in the baby )
- Ova (carom seeds) – 2 teaspoons
- Bal Shopa (dill seeds) – 2 teaspoons
- Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1 teaspoon
- Saunf (fennel seeds)- ½ teaspoon (optional- added for flavor and taste)
Wash these seeds and add two litres (boiled) water to them. Once it comes to a boil, simmer for 5-10 minutes. Cool and drink this. This prevents gas for both the mother and child when breastfeeding.
Do you know more home remedies for trating common health problems in babies?