Homemade Natural Gripe Water for Colic in Babies

Gripe water has always been one of my favorite go-to mama tricks for my babies and its surprisingly easy to make cheaper at home with no worries of high fructose corn syrup.

All Natural Homemade Gripe Water for Colic in BabiesWith three breast-fed babies who all had acid-reflux, gripe water has saved my sanity on many a day and long, long, long night. I went off dairy, onions, broccoli – you name it, and they would still get reflux. But once given the gripe water, I found that it would almost instantly soothe their stomachs, even in the middle of the night, and help them to stop crying or go back to sleep. It should be called a mama’s miracle instead!

But, once I started really reading labels, I found my go-to gripe water’s second ingredient, after water, was high fructose corn syrup. It’s not exactly something I want to be pumping down my newborn baby’s stomach, so I started reading about which herbs help to soothe colicky babies and upset tummies. Here’s what I found:

My Merry Messy Life: Homemade Gripe Water IngredientsSafety Note: As with anything you would give your baby to ingest, please check with your pediatrician first to be sure it’s something that is safe for your baby. I am not a doctor and I make no promises or medical claims. Herbal medicine has less side effects than chemical medicine, but it is still medicine and should be taken safely.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel is a perennial herb found in the Mediterranean that is commonly used as medicine to treat colic in babies. Though it hasn’t been proven with scientific research, the anecdotal evidence says that it helps to relax the colon to release trapped gas and decrease respiratory track secretions (source: WebMD). According to my new fav book, Natural Healing Wisdom and Know-How (where to buy), Fennel also helps to decrease obesity, water retention, urinary tract problems, indigestion, and colic and it even has hormonal properties that can increase a mother’s milk supply.

Ginger

Ginger, like peppermint, is more commonly used to treat indigestion because it contains chemicals that relieve nausea and inflammation (Source WebMD). Other uses include motion sickness, gas and diarrhea. I also use it in my homemade cough medicine and find it works very well.

Dill Weed

Dill is also used to treat water retention, obesity, and indigestion. Fun fact – Native Americans chewed on dill seeds to curb their appetites during long church services! (Also found in my new fav book). There are some chemicals in dill that are thought to relax muscles and increase urine like a water pill (source WebMD).

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of those herbs that can help with a multitude of ailments – from rashes to ulcers and menstrual pain, it also helps with indigestion, anxiety and insomnia – all of which are perfect for tiny people and their tummies.

This recipe is very flexible – other herbs/teas that would work well include catnip and peppermint. The two most important ingredients are fennel and ginger.

Homemade Gripe Water Tea

It’s helpful to have a small loose-leaf tea strainer for the fennel seeds.

How to Make the Tea/Gripe Water

With Tea Bags

Essentially, gripe water is just herbal tea and there are two ways I thought of to make it. The super easy way and the super duper easy way. The first one is just to buy (I like Traditional Medicinals herbal teas) ginger (where to buy), fennel (where to buy), chamomile (chamomile), and/or peppermint (peppermint) teas. Put them all in a mug, pour hot water over it and steep for at least five minutes. Then add 1 teaspoon of organic, raw sugar. Let it cool and refrigerate to store.

With Loose Herbs & Tea Bags

Fresh would be best, I suppose, but I’m a little too lazy and occupied with three under four to do that. So, I opted for loose, dried herbs and bags of tea (when I couldn’t find loose dry herbs) that I bought at the grocery store. I found Dill Weed (where to buy), Ginger (where to buy) and Fennel (where to buy) in the spice aisle, but it’s easier to find organic on Amazon. Then, I used bags of Lemon Ginger Tea (where to buy) and drank it a lot during pregnancy when I was nauseous) and Chamomile (where to buy) tea.

Just like in the picture below:

  • I put the tea bags in the mug and the loose herbs in the tea strainer (where to buy) and poured about 1 cup of hot water over all of it.
  • Steep for about 10 minutes or just until it starts to get more strong (and also potent, which is good).
  • If you find your’s is too strong and your baby doesn’t like it (cue really cute, squished up nose), then just add some water to dilute it.
  • Then, LET IT COOL! It’s common sense, but ya know, we all forsake common sense in moments of exhaustion with a screaming baby. So, if you need it fast, maybe throw an ice cube in it.
  • Add sweetener – You may find your baby will take it without sugar, but mine sure doesn’t like it. He does just fine when I add 1 tsp. of organic, raw cane sugar or coconut palm sugar.
  • DOSAGE – 1 teaspoon.
  • Refrigerate – to store and up to two weeks. HELPFUL TIP - I never use more than one cup of it in two weeks, so next time I make it I’ll put some in ice cube trays and freeze it. Then, thaw it under hot water when I need it.

Homemade Gripe Water Tea for Babies

You Could Also Use…

Essential oils! They work wonderfully to calm fussy babies and rowdy children. I’ve used it with a lot of success on my kids.

  • Dilute 2-3 drops Fennel, German Chamomile, Melissa, or Marjoram in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil (where to buy), sweet almond oil (where to buy) or even grape seed oil (where to buy)
  • Use topically by diluting 1-2 drops in 2 tablespoons carrier oil of choice, and massage a small amount gently on stomach and back
  • Can also diffuse lavender oil in an aromatherapy diffuser while the baby is sleep to get the therapeutic benefits, or dilute and rub on the bottoms of the baby’s feet 2-4 times a day

Click here to buy the purest and most effective therapeutic grade oils I’ve ever used! Read my post on how to use essential oils for babies here!

3.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Gripe Water for Colic in Babies
A recipe for traditional gripe water to ease stomach upset and colic in babies. Could help a person of any age, though!
Author: Sara – My Merry Messy Life
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour hot water over all ingredients and steep for about 10 minutes, or until it starts to get strong. If you want to make more, add 2 or 3 cups of water and steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (label your jar)
  3. DOSAGE – 1 teaspoon or 5 ml

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

 

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Comments

  1. Kimberly says:

    My go to recipe when my babies had colic was Dill water, just a tea brewed from dill seed, worked wonders!

  2. I used to make Gripe Water all the time for the grandbabies, worked wonders.

  3. Cheryl Burella says:

    Great idea, but as someone who studies herbal medicine, I wouldn’t recommend chamomile for any babies whose family history includes hayfever. Fennel will work great on its own.

  4. Wow! My baby never had colic, but I so sympathize with moms who have to deal with this. Nice to know about this for my own stomach issues now that I’m in my 50′s. Thanks ever so!

    Best,
    Sheila
    http://sheilazachariae.blogspot.com/2013/07/knitcircus-blue-hitchhiker.html
    sheila recently posted..KnitCircus Blue HitchhikerMy Profile

  5. Yogi has a Stomach Ease tea. It has a lot of the required ingredients and then some.
    Organic Licorice Root, Organic Cardamom Seed, Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Coriander Seed, Organic Barley Malt, Organic Peppermint Leaf, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Black Pepper

    Any thoughts on whether this would be an easy alternative to having multiple types of tea?
    Thanks for this recipe!

    • Hi Claire! That’s a great question – I think it’s probably okay, but babies are so sensitive that I’d be careful. The thing about these particular herbs is that they have been working for babies for many years, so I’d be cautious and maybe just try a little when your baby isn’t fussing and see he/she handles it. Of course, I’m no medical doctor, so please if you’re concerned, talk to your doctor.

    • I’ve personally heard that peppermint is not good for babies! I’d research a little before using that tea.

      • That’s not something I’ve ever read, so I’ll look into that, too! The fennel and dill are tried and true, so you can just omit the peppermint. Like I say in the post, you’re basically making herbal tea so it’s very flexible.

  6. Are there any concerns with giving this to a newborn (approx a week old). He clearly has discomfort in his tummy, quite gassy and always needs to burp – it wakes him from sleep throughout the night and early evenings within an hr of going to bed. Should I cut the dosage in half for a younger newborn?

    • No, I don’t think so. I have used it from the very beginning. I would just take extra precaution and boil or steam the container in which you put it, to kill germs. And makes sure the medicine dropper or bottle you use is also sterilized. I have found it to be safe to use from birth, though I can’t guarantee it for others. If you are concerned, I would ask your pediatrician just to be safe.

  7. I have a sick dog and this sounds like something to settle his stomach. Thanks for the recipe.
    Hazel Moon recently posted..The Gift of StoriesMy Profile

  8. this my sound dumb, but how young can the baby be? New mom.

  9. When my son was a baby/toddler this was my go to remedy but now he is 8 years old and he gets frequent tummy aches and I refuse to give him medicine, can he still take gripe water? Or is there something else?

    • Hi there! Yes, absolutely! I make this when my kids or I have stomach aches, too. The warm liquid works to flush out your intestines and the herbs, especially ginger and lemon, will soothe. I’ve been reading a ton about the cause of stomach aches because my son has them, too, and just to throw it out there for you, I’m finding it’s all related to diet. I’m about to put our family on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet / GAPS. Lots of info out there about and two very good books that go along with the diet.

  10. I’ve made up a batch successfully and it seemed to help my 6 week old. I’m just wondering when is best to give it to him (before/after feed? before sleep?), and how often?

    • I think it’s best to give right before or after eating to help with digestion and isn’t related so much to sleep. I’m not sure what a doctor would say about how often is safe and would ask a professional about that one. But I give it to my baby and kids a couple of times during distress. Usually just one or two doses seems to help them a lot. For all my babies, fussiness and gas has been directly linked to dairy (I nursed all of them). Once I cut out dairy, they rarely get intestinal distress.

  11. When a breastfeeding mama drinks fennel tea, the carminative(less gassy) effects pass into the breastmilk AND it helps increase milk supply. Win win! So it’s best that mama drinks the tea instead of giving it to baby.

  12. mary ferguson says:

    Ginger is a proven treatment for nausea and upset tummies from way back. Great for morning sickness, sea sickness, flu…. as either a tea or sucking on a small piece.

  13. Hi I was thinking if this is ok for my 10 days old baby aswell or is too soon?

  14. Didn’t have any dill but this still worked a miracle. THANK YOU!!

  15. Have you read or tried red tea [cold] mixed with a little formula to stop colic . Its used in Europe d has been for a long time for colic . it is good for adults with thgas and stomack cramps. Helps baby sleep too .
    cathyb.

  16. I only have fennel seeds :(so I used 1/2 the amount ( I’m assuming the see would be stronger then the fresh since it’s slightly concentrated. Do you think this is ok?

  17. Eskimos used pepermint many many years ago to soothe babies tummies. I also used it and worked. I melted 1 peppermint in one cup water. Add one teaspoon to 4 oz water. Adjust to baby’s taste.

    So on your homemade gripe water. Do you mix with formula(powder) or just give 1 teaspoon By itself or with a little water.

  18. Does the dosage change by age? My son is 2 months old

    • I don’t think so, not even the store brand changes. But, I’d do whatever you think is right. For an itty-bitty newborn, I’d do less than a tablespoon, but for your two-month old, that should work fine. However, I’m not a medical professional, so please don’t take my word for it.

  19. Anastassia says:

    Thanks for the receipe! Am just about to try it! I hope so much that it will ease my babys pain :-(
    is it safe to give it to 8 days old infant though?

  20. I just finish making my batch lemon, camomile, mint, ginger , organic sugar….I made a few cups one for the fridge and some to freeze and im having a cup now…. I been thinking about making it fir longer for my 5 week old we had a store bought organic one but I left it at my moms so happy to find your recipe now ill be prepared no doubt it will be perfect for the little guy ….

  21. Hi Sara! Just wanted to say this saved my life!! I give my two month old 2 ML 2-3 time a day when/if needed, usually one 2 ML in te am, one in the afternoon, and one at night. Saved.my.life! Can’t believe how much calmer, happier she is. Se actually naps now in the day for more than 20 minutes and the crying/fussing has gotten much better. Thank you!!

  22. my 6 weeks baby is constipated. Can you please recommend any specific herb for constipation?She poops after 3 – 4 days. She cries in pain and it so hard to see her crying. I am desperate and really need help.

    • Oh, I am so sorry, Nehal! It’s so hard to see your precious baby suffer. The gripe water could really help. Also, I’d recommend using essential oils like Fennel, Ginger, Marjoram, German Chammomile or Melissa – but the number one I’d recommend is Fennel. Use my directions in this post to dilute it, and rub it on her belly and back whenever she’s in pain. If you’re nursing, I’d bet she is really sensitive to something in your diet like dairy, onions or broccoli. I had to go off of all three when nursing all of my children. Or, if she’s on formula, trying a dairy-free one (though soy is really dangerous as it alters the hormones) could be the ticket.

      • Thank you Sara for the very useful advice. She is doing much better now using fennel to make grape water. Now she is doing ok and poops once or twice a day. I am breastfeeding.

  23. Debbie M says:

    This is also great for adults. Cures hiccops and when my daughter was a swimmer her coach told her to take gripe water whenever her ears plugged up.(dont know why but it worked).

  24. My 2 months LO got heat rash since the last two weeks and it is getting worse day by day. I give her bath and don’t use any thing else. Is there any herb might help to get ride of the heat rash? It in her face and neck.

    • Hi Nehal! I see she’s doing better now (yay! so glad!), but for future reference, Lavender would be a great oil for that. You can put it in some epsom salts and put in her bath, or dilute it and rub it on the bottoms of her feet. Lavender is safe for babies. Read all about how to use essential oils for babies, here!

  25. Hello! How long can you store this recipe in the fridge for?

  26. Thanks for this recipe, I’ve made a batch to use with my 5 week old. Can I ask how you give it – room temp or heated a little? I’m breastfeeding, would you suggest prior to every feed or only a couple of times a day? I find she is very sick when using infacol from the pharmacy so looking forward to seeing if this helps.

    • Hi Lyndsey! I gave it to my babes in a bottle or medicine dropper – they would suck on it like a bottle and drink it down. It did give it to them slightly warmed so they’d like it. I also suggest essential oils like Ginger and Fennel. You can rub them on their bellies before or after feedings to help their bodies digest it. The gripe water is safe, I’d do it if I started to see him get uncomfortable, which was sometimes several times a day.

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