Homeopathy is a philosophy of healing that teaches “like cures like.” In other words, the illnesses can be cured by giving a tiny dose of something that–in a large dose–would actually cause the very same problem. For example, a homeopath might recommend miniscule amounts of poison ivy extract to stop an itchy rash.
Some of the homeopathic treatments recommended for colic are chamomile, colocynth, magnesium phosphorica and pulsatilla. Some parents swear by them, but there is no convincing evidence of benefit. Over $2.5 billion dollars has been spent by the National Institutes of Health to test herbal and other alternative health remedies for colicky babies. Unfortunately, almost no effective homeopathic tonics have been found.
Homeopathic Remedies for Babies Aren't Always Safe
Just because a medicine is labeled homeopathic doesn’t mean it is harmless. Two medical reports have detailed how one colic treatment, named Gali-col Baby, was associated with near-death choking reactions in 12 babies.
The same skepticism relating to homeopathy surrounds claims that chiropractic or osteopathy calm crying. These anatomical approaches to colic assume a birth-related skull and/or spinal misalignment. But if birth trauma was the cause of colic, why is it that preemies never have colicky screaming…until they reach their due date? And, why does colic spontaneously evaporate after 3-4 months? Studies have yet to produce clear evidence that bone manipulation reduces infant fussing.
Note: Manipulation of a baby’s skull (cranial) bones may be a harmless expense, but I am very concerned that spinal adjustment risks seriously injuring a baby.
The bottom line: Give the 5 S’s a good chance to work. If you’re not seeing benefit, ask your doctor’s advice before using any medical or alternative treatment.
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