This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 9 and 3 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Homemade Gripe Water

Gripe water is an old-fashioned remedy for multiple baby ailments including upset tummy, colic, gas, hiccups, and general fussiness. It is basically an herbal tea mixture and different commercial brands use different combinations of herbs. The most common ones are chamomile, ginger, dill, fennel, and peppermint. Here is what each one is good for:

Chamomile: Chamomiles reported anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestine. The herb may therefore help to relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related flatulence. It may also be useful in the treatment of diverticular disorders and inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn's disease. Chamomile has been used for centuries in teas as a mild, relaxing sleep aid, treatment for fevers, colds, stomach ailments, and as an anti-inflammatory, to name only a few therapeutic uses.

Ginger: Gingerols increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract and have analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that it may help reduce nausea caused by motion sickness or pregnancy and may help relieve migraine.

Dill: Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds, has been in use in traditional medicines as anti-spasmodic, carminative, appetizer, digestive, disinfectant, to help increase breast milk secretion in nursing mothers and to relieve neurological symptoms like headaches and nervous irritability. Along with caraway, fennel, aniseed, it too is one of the most important ingredients in gripe water preparation.

Fennel: Carminative herbs, such as fennel, are rich in essential oils that help relax the stomach and stimulate the movement of the digestive system, which aids in preventing gas formation. Fennel has traditionally been used not only to relieve flatulence, bloating and gas discomfort, but also to stimulate appetite and digestion.

Peppermint: Research studies have also been suggested that the compounds in the peppermint relax intestinal wall and sphincter smooth muscles through blocking calcium channels at cell receptor levels. This property of mint has been exploited as an anti-spasmodic agent in the treatment of "irritable bowel syndrome" (IBS) and other colic pain disorders.

You can buy a commercially prepared bottle of this at the store but it is very pricey and may have high fructose corn syrup or other undesirable ingredients in it. So I decided to make my own! It's very simple and cost effective. You have peace of mind knowing exactly what is going into the tea and you can customize it according to what ingredients you have on hand.

For mine I used chamomile tea bags, dill weed, and ground ginger. In a perfect world I would have also used fennel and fresh ginger but I did not have either. I used purified water and steeped all the ingredients in a large bowl for about 10 minutes until cool. Then I poured it over a coffee filter into a glass jar and let it slowly filter.

To this I added about a teaspoon of sugar (only because baby made a sour face without it and did not want to take it). It smells quite nice and just tastes like fragrant herbal tea. I read that the herbs are not as potent after about 24 hours so to extend the use of the tea I poured it into an ice cube tray and froze it into approximately 1oz portions. I thaw what I need and only give him about a teaspoon at a time. It seems to help and soothe his fussiness and that makes for a happy baby AND momma!


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