A peculiar condition that affects some children is the disorder known as colic; children affected in this way are given over to long bouts of persistent and vigorous crying during which they cannot be consoled in any manner-they simply do not respond to any treats nor can they be coaxed out of the particular weepy mood that takes over them.
The ancient Greeks believed that the source of the condition lay somewhere in the digestive system and hence the name “colic” after the Greek word for the large intestine; the name of the condition simply reflects the belief of the ancient Greeks and the name once given has been retained until today.
It is quite normal for the majority of human babies to go through some stage in their development when they are given over to long periods of uncontrollable crying and fussiness even if it when no basis exist for such a behavior to manifest itself externally or internally.
The condition tends to affect infants in during the first three or four months of life, this tends in general to be the time during which colic is developed. The condition has usually disappeared by the time the child is older than three months, and often begins within the first three weeks after birth. Generally speaking, babies older than six months do not commonly suffer from colic.
The greatest growth spurt in the infants is seen during the first six months of life, when children are being breast fed. The birth weight usually doubles during this period in the infant’s life. Many babies often suffer from indigestion and gas because of the amount of food they are consuming to support this spurt in growth that occurs during this period.
These conditions can also be linked to the tendency of the baby to swallow a lot of air either during the feeding process and during prolonged crying spells. The pain due to excess gas in the stomach is increased by the swallowed air. This form of gas pain could well be the most severe type of pain the infant has ever experienced in his or her short life and adequate measures must be taken by the mother to care for this eventuality.
The problem with colic is that the baby keeps crying and cannot be distracted in any way, nor does the intensity of the crying subside over time, this is the greatest difference between colic an other types of conditions that may cause a child to cry. Colic can come accompanied by other symptoms such as different body postures caused by the presence of excess gas in the stomach.
Several examples of these accompanying physical symptoms can include clenched fists, an arched back, a tense and distended tummy along with the a behavior where the knees are pulled up on to the chest, the baby may also flail the arms and legs in the air.
There are some signs to point out if the child suffers from what is a true attack of colic-the crying is sudden and occurs at a particular time everyday and often during the evening or the night, these can also be severe bouts of loud crying prolonged for several hours at a stretch.
Other symptoms for true colic can be episodes of crying that occur repeatedly, often starting suddenly and ending just as abruptly. The baby is inconsolable and cannot be comforted in any way nor is distraction possible. There could be no explainable causes for the crying and the infant may seem angry and may struggles when you hold her or him. All of these situations and behavioral patterns indicate that colic is the likely cause of the child’s discomfort.
Parents must also learn to deal with their own emotions and responses to the colic affected child, anxiety and frustration, accompanied by mental and emotional confusion, along with physical exhaustion, feelings of guilty, and inadequacy can all affect a parent because of the weeks and months involved in handling a child who is always crying uncontrollably.
The parent therefore must be able to constantly affirm themselves in their relationship to the child, and maintain a level of confidence in their ability to deal with the colic affected colicky infant. The mother must not blame herself for the condition and must learn to comfort herself as well as the baby. This self assurance is an important aspect in dealing with colic affected infants, as the psychological strains may rob a parent of all confidence in their ability to deal effectively with their newborn.
Supplements and herbs
Consuming an herbal tea made from the chamomile herb is a great remedy for colic; this herb is a relaxant and will soothe the mother. A single cup of the herbal tea made from the chamomile can be consumed two times everyday by the breastfeeding mother of the colicky baby. Mix the herbal tea with some formula or in water and give one teaspoon of this mixture to a bottle-fed infant thrice each day for three or four days to calm him or her during attacks of colic.
This dosage can then be reduced to two times a day when the intensity of the colic attacks subsides. Colic can also be relieved through the use of the fennel as an herbal supplement. A cup of fennel tea is an excellent herbal supplement for the mother of the colicky infant and a cup of the tea can be taken thrice daily. If preferred a cup of the fennel tea can be diluted in two cups of water, and a teaspoon of this mild tea can be given four times a say to the baby as a direct supplement.
The colicky baby can also be helped if the nursing mother drinks a cup of ginger tea as an herbal supplement thrice a day during periods when the baby suffers from colic attacks. Some of conditions that can be treated through the consumption of peppermint tea are problems like flatulence, the herbal tea also aids in increasing the rate at which the stomach is emptied, and this herbal tea also aids digestion. The herbal peppermint tea can be given to babies four to five times daily, at doses of a teaspoon each time.
For your attention: leave at least an hour as an interval between any two doses of peppermint tea if giving it to children when it is given along with some other homeopathic remedy. This is because the action of the homeopathic remedy may be reduced in effectiveness by the strong smell of the mint.
A combination herbal tea made from several herbs can also be tried on babies affected by colic. In a study carried out by Israeli researchers on a group of babies undergoing some episodic attacks of colic, it was found that a daily dose of about half a cup of a combination herbal tea made from the chamomile, the licorice, the fennel and the balm-mint eased the colicky symptoms in more than half the children.
Commonly used essential oils for colic:
Infants can be administered these homeopathic remedies in several ways; the remedies must first be prepared for the baby by mixing one to several pellets of the chosen homeopathic remedy in a glass of spring water, a teaspoon of this solution can be given directly to the infant, it can also be administered using a dropper and even by simply rubbing some of the prepared liquid on to the lips of the infant. Direct oral administration can also be carried out by simply placing a single pellet of the remedy in the mouth of the infant.
For infants afflicted with colic, the ideal strength of the remedies should be at 30th potency, these remedies can be given at this potency as and when symptoms intensify or whenever it is felt that an attack of colic may occur. The entire syndrome of the condition itself can disappear through the utilization of the correct remedy; the use of the correct remedy will also bring all symptomatic attacks of colic to an abrupt end.
Belladonna is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of colic affected babies in whom the appearance of physical symptoms signals a colic attack. These include symptoms such as a throbbing abdominal area with a stomach having a distended appearance and protruding lumps; the abdominal areas also feel very hot to the touch.
The facial area of the infant dries up and feels red hot to the touch. Other physical symptoms include the dilation of the pupils and accompanying conditions like an attack of fever. The child will show great sensitivity to noise and light, and to jarring motions of any sort. The baby also suffers from attacks of violent and sharp pains that appear and disappear continuously. The child reacts with fury and screams while crying and if old enough may strike out at the mother.
The condition of such infants can greatly worsen when they are touched in any way and they may even hate the bed clothes for this very reason, the child is adverse to any pressure felt on the skin, the child also dislikes company during an attack, and the intensity of the attacks can increase if the child is lain down on the side of the stomach.
The condition of the child can greatly improve if the child makes certain physical movements such as bending backward; the colic attacks also decrease with periods of rest in a dark room. Some symptoms felt by such infants can be a great craving for lemons and the persistence of thirst. The presence of one or more of these symptoms in an infant during a colic attack requires the use of Belladonna as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the child.
Chamomilla is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of colic affected infants in whom physical symptoms can include the presence of flatulence and cutting pains arising in the abdominal area. Conditions such as diarrhea often accompany the colic; the stool produced during diarrhea is often in the form of an undigested grassy or yellow green mass, which has the odors of bad or rotten eggs.
The infant also feels thirsty and the body becomes very hot at most times, the baby may also have hot sweats, and one of the cheeks may redden considerably. The child displays psychological symptoms and becomes fretful and demanding; he or she also develops a very terrible temper, and is given to constant moaning during an attack of colic. The child may display truancy and refuses to speak often ignoring people and shows bad behavior by refusing to answer any question.
The painful symptoms may deprive the infant of sleep at nighttime. The child studiously avoids all conversation and hates being touched in any way; the child however wants to be carried about. The condition of the child can appreciably worsen in the evenings, and in the period before midnight, the child may also suffer during teething periods, the symptoms can increase in intensity after the consumption of warm food, and if the child has a cold, the baby’s condition can be aggravated if the breastfeeding mother consumes coffee.
The condition of the infant can appreciably improve when the child is topically treated using a cold compress; in addition carrying the child about until he or she sleeps will decrease the severity of the symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the use of the Chamomilla as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the colic.
Cina is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of infants afflicted with colic in which the symptoms of the condition can include the presence of white colored pieces of mucus in the stool, along with twisting pains in the abdominal area; the abdomen is often bloated and can become hard. The abdomen also often stiffens up. Some other physical symptoms that can also be present are behaviors like grinding of teeth and gums. The child suffers itching sensations in the anal and the nasal regions of the body.
There are indications of the presence of internal parasites in the child. The child often suffers from attacks of additional complications such as diarrhea or vomiting after consuming food; to compound this problem the child suffers acute pangs of hunger at all times. Another symptom can be bedwetting at night. The child can also display additional symptoms such as cold sweats.
Emotional symptoms surface and the child is always dissatisfied with everything around him or her, irritability is another problem. The child can also feel very insecure if people look at him or her. The child feels better when he or she is carried about. Physical symptoms can also include muscular twitching that occur at all times of the day and the night.
The condition of the infant can greatly worsen when he or she is touched; the symptoms also increase at night and when the child is asleep. The condition of the child can appreciably improve if he or she is lain down with the abdomen downwards; the condition of the child also improves when the child is moving about. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the utilization of Cina as a homeopathic remedy to treat the colic attacks in the afflicted child.
Colocynthis is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of a colicky child in whom physical symptoms such as intense and severe cramping pains develop during the attack of colic, the child often writhes about because of the pain, and this can be observed by the child pulling up his or her legs up to abdominal area. The other symptoms the child displays are a propensity to give sudden spells of crying, the child may also keep jerking about because of the symptoms.
Diarrhea is another symptom in which there is produced stool that is frothy, watery and shredded in appearance, it is also sour and yellow. Psychological symptoms in the child can be the presence of restlessness and irritability; the child is often enraged and is given to throws things about. Such outburst of anger on the part of the child is often followed by attacks of colic and diarrhea.
The condition of the child can appreciably worsen at nighttime, and if the child is lying with the abdomen downwards, the consumption of cheese can also cause an aggravation of the symptoms. The condition of the child can appreciably improve when the child is bent double and if heat is applied to the body of the child.
The condition of the child can also improve on the application of hard pressure or through the massage of the stomach; the intensity of the symptoms can also decrease appreciably when the child passes stool or gas. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the use of Colocynthis as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the child suffering from colic.
Rheum is to be used as a homeopathic remedy during the treatment of children afflicted with colic in which the colicky attacks occur before the appearance of diarrhea, the urge to pass stool follows the colic attack. The body of the child has a sour smell, even after he or she has been washed or bathed. The stool produced is sour; the child is also given to vomiting and sweating.
The stool passed is brown or green in color with a slimy consistency, the stool has a fermented odor about it. The child is often irritable and impatient; restlessness is also a symptom. The child may become demanding, and may show arbitrary likes and dislikes and desires many things, she may hate his or her favorite toys and can become very demanding about her wants. Symptoms such as sudden outburst of screaming and crying are also a typical occurrence, the child often goes sleepless. Such an attack of colic can occur during teething.
The condition of the child can appreciably worsen after the child has consumed food and if the body is not kept covered in any way. The condition of the child can improve to an appreciable degree on the application of warm compresses and if the child bends double. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the utilization of Rheum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the colic afflicted child.
Senna is to be used during the homeopathic treatment of a child afflicted with colic in which the symptoms include extensive pain in the abdominal region because of trapped gas in the stomach; the child also suffers from flatulence. The child is given to sudden episodes of shrieking because of the pain in the stomach and suffers from restlessness.
Further physical symptoms can include development of cold sensations in the abdominal area which comes accompanied by a sensation of emptiness and uneasiness. The child also suffers from the rumbling sensations in the stomach arising because of fermentation in the abdominal region and these results in the production of a foul smelling gas in the stomach. The child often suffers from prolonged episodes of sneezing; a lot of heat is produced in the palms of the hands.
The child also in addition suffers from physical and mental exhaustion and this occurs in particular after the consumption of meals and results in sleeplessness. The child also produces hard and dark stools and suffers from constipation. Other symptoms are sudden urges to defecate and gripping attacks of diarrhea with the production of a yellow-green stool. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate utilization of Senna as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the colic in the child.
Other beneficial herbs
- Black Cardamom
- Button Snakeroot
- Cape Aloe
- Cherry Guava
- Cuban Oregano
- Fresh Cut
- Star Anise
- White Mustard