|Tiny Charlotte and a Sister at the hospital in Cape Town.|
Two very short years later, I'm pretty sure we've been through about a case of the miracle serum Gripe Water. Gripe Water is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and dill seed oil...oh wait, and alcohol. 4.4% in fact. It's marketed to "Comfort Babies with Gripes" or as my bottle from South Africa says, "Vir Verligting Van Krampe by Babas."
Gripe Water was an accidental discovery by William Woodward in England. By 1851 it was mass produced and sold as a "soother of fretful babies."
Thanks to our good old FDA, I'm pretty sure it's nearly impossible to find the alcoholic version of Gripe Water in the States. In the last couple of years you could only find Gripe Water in natural food shops, but I've started noticing it in more mainstream stores like Target. Of course, this is the alcohol and sugar free version. We still stock up on the "real stuff" in South Africa.
Just read this article about a Gripe Water shortage in the UK. Moms are freaking out.
Our main endorsement for Gripe Water comes from its ability to fix truly whatever's ailing baby. So often babies fall in that gray area between contentment and needing actual medicine. That's when Gripe Water comes into play. Also plane rides. Flight attendants really should just hand out little cups full to every baby during boarding.
Of course many studies conclude that Gripe Water's effectiveness is purely anecdotal. However, a few years ago I read another study that compared fancy medicines often prescribed for colic against dill seed oil. Dill seed oil won out every time. In the comments section below the article, hundreds of European moms said over and over, "Yeah, it's called Gripe Water, Americans. We've been using it for more than a hundred years."