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Home » Common ailments, Green parenting

Traditional, Complementary medicine & Alternative health Treatments for colic

Submitted by on Thursday, 31 December 2009 Loading Add to favourites  No Comment

baby content without colicColic affects up to one in five babies and is characterised by daily bouts of inconsolable crying, usually at around the same time, commonly early evening. The baby’s legs are drawn up to the abdomen, they appear to be in severe pain, their stomach may rumble loudly and they may also pass considerable amounts of wind. This usually begins within around 3 weeks of the baby’s birth, and the attacks last for between 2 and 4 hours at a time.

Likely causes:

Some pediatricians suggest the problem is caused because tired babies naturally have crying fits in the evening and it is the quantity of air they may gulp as they cry which is responsible for any ensuing discomfort, bloating and wind. Others suggest that colic is produced by un-coordinated contractions of the young baby’s intestines which may be too immature to contract smoothly and efficiently.

Anything that effects digestion contributes to this, such as intolerance to a particular type of formula milk or, if the baby is breastfed, to upsetting foods in the Mother’s diet. It has been found that several types of food can find their way from a mother’s own digestive system into her breast milk and thus into the digestive system of her baby. These includes foods containing caffeine, strong spices, and gas producing vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

Sometimes colic is caused by acid reflux, in which irritating stomach acids pass back up the baby’s esophagus after feeding, causing discomfort similar to heartburn for adults. This may be suspected if the baby feels far better when upright after a meal and worse when lying down.[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]0091923441[/amazon-product]

In growing children, colic may be bought on by fear of oncoming event or some sort of trauma – in some cases, going to school itself can cause an attack.

Colic can also affect adults – they are usually less affected by colic than children, but when they are the intermittent pain comes and goes like a fist being clenched and unclenched in the abdomen, and can make them double up in agony. The pain may also occur when an organ such as the bile duct or intestine contracts and becomes inflamed when trying to expel poisoned food, or to pass an obstruction such as gallstones.

What your doctor might suggest:


Antispasmodic drugs may be prescribed for babies. For adults, painkilling drugs may be prescribed and the patient told to avoid rich foods and alcohol

Alternative Health treatments

Western herbalism herbal teas made from either chamomile, dill, fennel or catmint after feeding for the baby may be helpful. Alternatively offer a teaspoon of warm herbal tea every hour. If the mother is breastfeeding, she could drink a cupful 30-45 minutes before each feed. Adult colic sufferers should drink a cup full of the infusion three times a day or try mixing a teaspoon each of fennel seed, aniseed and caraway seed in a cup of boiling water – cover the cup and infuse for ten minutes then strain and drink while the tea is still hot.

[amazon-product small=”1″]034549068[/amazon-product]Bach flower remedies Rescue remedy for the distress that some baby’s (and their parents) suffer – both of you can take it (diluted in a bottle of boiled, cooled water, or applied to the breast if you are breastfeeding prior to a feed or dabbed onto baby’s forehead, fontanelle, temples and wrists.) or you can rub rescue cream into your baby’s abdomen.

Biochemic tissue salts Mag.phos is indicated if the child draws up the legs and has crampy and constrictive pains. Nat.sulph is indicated in all types of queasiness.

Aromatherapy For babies, massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction with 2 drops of fennel essential oil in 1/2 tsp carrier oil. Adults can also try cinnamon, juniper, lavender or patchouli.

Homeopathy Chamomilla is useful for babies who seem better when they are held. Pulsatilla is for babies who are better in the fresh air and when they are rocked. Cuprum Met. is used when the tummy rumbles and the child curls their fingers and toes in discomfort.

spiritual / emotional connection mental irritation and impatience. Check to see if there is any annoyance in your surroundings.

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