EarthClinic®, the self reputed “world largest collection of natural cures”, states in the attached editorial that they have knowledge of four herbal treatments for infantile colic; a state of respiratory congestion and uneasiness for babies up to 6 months old.
EarthClinic state “natural colic remedies for babies include herbal teas, gripe water, changes in feeding practices, and aloe.”
Let us address the major health concern in providing advice to parents to provide a newborn baby or infant of a month old, herbal teas; including Chamomile, Catnip and fennel…
Ingestion of fennel’s volatile oil may induce nausea, pulmonary edema, seizures, and vomiting. 37 One case report describes a 28-year-old woman with well-controlled epilepsy who experienced a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, remaining unconscious for 45 minutes, and involuntary diarrhea. 38 Laxative and cholagogic properties have also been described. 39 The oil’s therapeutic use has occasionally induced epileptiform madness and hallucinations. 3 The principal hazards with fennel itself are photodermatitis and contact dermatitis. Some individuals exhibit cross-reactivity to several species of Apiaceae, characteristic of the “celery-carrot-mugwort-condiment” cross-reactivity syndrome. 40 Rare allergic reactions have been reported following ingestion of fennel.
Four case reports suggest that fennel tea given to infants for prolonged periods of time resulted in premature thelarche (breast development) in girls. All 4 subjects had serum estradiol levels 15 to 20 times higher than normal values for their ages. After stopping the ingestion, the premature thelarche resolved within 3 to 6 months. 41 A survey of fennel samples in Italy found viable aerobic bacteria, including coliforms, fecal streptococci, and Salmonella species, suggesting the plant may serve as a vector of infectious GI diseases. 42 (excerpt from drugs.com)
Anything herbal typically has two constituents; Alcohol and Sugar.
Any website promoting the “old wives tales” version of what works with Colic should be stopped. A bit of conscientiousness is required to inform people of the risks, not pretend that they know all the “natural cures in the world”.
Perhaps “EarthClinic” should think about adding legal disclaimers to this page as their mis-information has no scientific basis and/or herbal medical knowledge exemplified. And, in the worst case, some innocent Baby gets hurt due to a Company’s advertising, some legal action would be expected. Ah hold on, there is a legal disclaimer… well at least they can’t be sued.