Gripe water is a natural remedy that is commonly given to babies to relieve colic, wind, reflux and other stomach conditions. It may also be used for other conditions such as teething pain and fever. There are many different formulations of the mixture, but traditional gripe water, developed by William Woodward in England, includes alcohol, sodium bicarbonate, dill oil, sugar and water. Although there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence for the effectiveness of gripe water, there is no clinical evidence to prove that it can improve digestive conditions. In fact, there has been much debate whether this product is actually safe to use at all!
Is gripe water safe for babies?
In 1982 the FDA banned the traditional gripe water from sale in the United States and in 1993 it banned the import of this product. This caused much confusion over the safety of the product. Since this time some brands of gripe water, made in FDA approved labs, have been allowed to be sold in the United States.
One of the main concerns raised about gripe water is that the original recipe contains alcohol. Some brands had been shown to contain up to 8% alcohol, which can have negative effects on the developing baby. However, gripe water sold in the United States is not permitted to contain alcohol and is safe to use with babies by following the dosage instructions. Some medical professionals even encourage the use of gripe water in babies suffering from colic or wind pain. As with all remedies it is best to discuss the use with your family doctor or pediatrician.